The nonelemental nature of didymium was demonstrated by Auer von Welsbach in 1885. The 1989 edition of the OED (the OED2), has this definition:
A rare metal, discovered by Mosander in 1841; found only in association with cerium and lanthanium. Symbol Di.
I suppose it's possible to give some weaselly defense of this, since they don't flat out say it's an element. But the entry is immensely deceptive, since the unsuspecting reader would probably draw the conclusion that didymium was a metallic chemical element. The dozen other dictionaries I've checked, including the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, are explicit that didymium is not an element. For example, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) offers
A rare metallic substance usually associated with the metal cerium; -- hence its name. It was formerly supposed to be an element, but has since been found to consist of two simpler elementary substances, neodymium and praseodymium. See Neodymium, and Praseodymium.
(I'm not sure whether didymium was given its name as a twin of lanthanum, as the OED2 etymology asserts, or of cerium, or of both.)
The forty-year delay in separating the elemental components of the alloy didymium is due, of course, to the fact that that the rare earth elements are chemically and physically very similar, and separating them ultimately depends on small quantitative differences in the physical properties of their compounds amplified by chromatographic techniques. When the separation is so difficult, the mixed substance may be directly useful. Didymium is used as a light filter in safety glasses used by glass blowers and glass workers. The color centers formed by didymium in glass only add a slight tint to broad-spectrum light, but they absorb very efficiently the spectrum of light emitted by hot sodium glass. Another case of such a mix of elements used unseparated is mischmetal, described at the rare earth entry.
The vertical relationship is easily explained: elements in a single group (column) of the periodic table have the same number of outer shell electrons; these occupy similar orbitals and exhibit similar bonding patterns, and hence similar chemical properties in general. These similarities are greatest between adjacents elements (i.e., elements in the same group and adjacent periods), so various graphs of chemical and physical properties as a function of period exhibit approximately linear, or at least monotonic trends. In such graphs, the lowest-period element (the one at the top of the column) is often an exception to the general trend, but may participate in a diagonal relationship. Sometimes the diagonal relationship is not so obvious because of the way the table is laid out. That's the case with the well-established diagonal relationship between aluminum and beryllium.
Interestingly, in traditional (French-suited) playing cards, each king in the deck is supposed to represent a great king from history:
It also works if you rotate it 135 degrees, left or right! That's called (C4m) symmetry!
Pink Floyd have an excellent song entitled ``Shine On You Crazy Diamond.'' It originally appeared in the ``Wish You Were Here'' album. They put it in the 1995 album ``Pulse,'' since they'd run out of new ideas. (They also have an eight-CD box set called ``Shine On'' for about $150.)
Sky diamonds figure in an LSD song. See deconstruction entry.
Elvis Costello sings
Well it's a dog's life in a rope leash or a diamond collarin ``Suit of Lights.'' From the ``King of America'' album (1986) -- lyrics here.
It's enough to make you think right now
But you don't bother
Most diamonds mined are not gem quality, and have value only in industrial applications. (Diamond is the ``hardest'' material--it defines the maximum, 10, on the Mohs scale of hardness. ``Hardest'' means that no other crystal can scratch it, but it can make a scratch in anything else. My next research project will be to discover how nature manages to put diamonds on cats' paws.)
Somewhere I should mention that diamond is pure carbon (C). It is the stable form of elemental carbon at the high pressures and temperatures that occur where it is formed, but graphite is the stable form at normal temperature and pressure.
Probably the biggest problem is doping. There are no good n-type dopants for diamond, so one is pretty much restricted to unipolar devices. The best p-type dopant is boron (B), and its acceptor level in the diamond bandgap is 360meV above the valence edge. This means that at room temperature, the acceptors are only a few percent ionized. Of course, you can heat the semiconductor up to increase the carrier density -- 360meV represents the activation energy for creating carriers. Unfortunately, this runs into the problem of temperature-dependent mobility: µ ~T-a, where a is typically in excess of 2. In other words, you can't increase the conductivity by raising the temperature to increase carrier density, because the mobility goes down.
One of the great attractions of diamond semiconductor, relative to silicon (if you could get around diamond's other problems), is its stellar heat conductivity -- 20-30 W/K-cm.
``Hey, watch who you call `ancient' there, mortal!''
In music, a diastema an interval (i.e., a pitch difference), typically that between successive notes of a scale. The term is used primarily in the context of ancient Greek music. An obsolete alternative form (for the singular diastema only) is diastem, an accident of borrowing indirectly from the French (diastème).
In zoology and anatomy, a diastema is the space between successive teeth, or between two kinds of teeth. Man is unusual among mammals in having generally small diastema. The way diastema is usually understood, as a substantial natural space between teeth, man has none at all.
I thought the book whose title is the head term of this entry would be interesting. You know, like what sort of metaphor do the deaf sign when they mean ``my ears are tingling'' or something. The book is by Maxine T. Boatner and John E. Gates. Revised Edition Edited by Adam Makkai. Prepared for the National Association of the Deaf. It's part of Barron's Educational Series, Inc., Woodbury, New York. It was originally copyright 1966 by American School for the Deaf, West Hartford, Connecticut. Isn't Gary originally from West Hartford? My copy was discarded from the Grandview School Library in Alliance, Nebraska. I bought it at the used book store there when I made my pilgrimage to Carhenge.
Anyway, the ``for the Deaf'' in the title modifies ``Dictionary.'' It's just ordinary idioms of spoken English. That's the basic problem with reference works: they waste your time and never tell you what you actually want to know! What a disappointment.
The pattern is confirmed two-way bilingual dictionary is described on the title page as consisting of two parts: ``I. French and English'' and ``II. English and French.'' The heading of the first part is described as ``Containing the FRENCH before the English'' and ``Qui contient le FRANÇOIS devant l'ANGLOIS'' (not Anglais). It has French headwords followed by English definitions and explanations. The work:
The one exception to the pattern is the earliest comparably titled work in the series; it is tempting to speculate that the preposition in (rather than of) accounts for or must be coordinated with the difference:
For the sake of completeness, I'll list the other (four, that I can find) bilingual dictionaries in the series; all involve Latin as source or target language or both.
Judging from the first issue, I supposed that the articles were required to be in any of the common languages of classical philology publication -- English, French, German, Italian, maybe Spanish or Dutch. But the author instructions just say that ``[t]outes les propositions d'articles sont à rédiger dans la langue maternelle de leur auteur.'' Things could get interesting (if they can find reviewers).
Ain't what it used to be,
When Lucretius waxed poetic,
About theories atomic.
And Virgil for better or worse,
Gave farmers advice in verse.
Allit'rative verse was once stylish
For teaching the Bible in English,
But it's all over now.
The practice of writing didactic poems took a dive at the beginning of the twentieth century, and the only substantive one that we have in the entire glossary (I can't bring myself to call it ``good'') is a eulogy of iodine from the middle of the nineteenth century (see the I entry). We also have a paean to tar water (water in which pine tar has been washed). It was written by Bishop Berkeley and can be found at the entry for the IBS. I can't deny that it was intended to be didactic, but I'd prefer not to assert that it was informative.
Probably the only well-known didactic poet of the latter half of the twentieth century is Tom Lehrer. He was a roommate at Harvard of my thesis advisor, P.W. Anderson. (I recall that one day he [PWA] seemed pretty disgusted to discover that I, a physics graduate student, didn't know what a double-dactyl was.) Anderson won a Nobel prize in physics, but Lehrer won fame. On the other hand, Lehrer burned out. This webpage features a Flash animation of ``The Elements.'' A good source for (generally older) didactic poetry, including the lyrics of differential-geometry drinking songs and the like, is Gravitation (the big black paperback) by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler.
The main kinds of didactic poetry that have continued to be written are short: advertising jingles and pronunciation poems (the latter mostly for surnames). For good examples of the former, see the Pepsi-Cola and 43 beans entries. We give examples of didactic pronunciation verse at the homogeneous, Jowett, and Pepys entries. But for all of you who have simply printed out the glossary for leisure reading and have trouble following the links, here's another, this one written by Robert Baden-Powell.
Man, Nation, Maiden
Please call it Baden.
Further, for Powell
Rhyme it with Noël.
That boy'd've had to work a lot harder, if he ever wanted to earn the highly coveted Poetry Merit Badge. The way poetry went to hell in the last century, I suppose losing the didactic sort may have been a blessing in disguise.
Sociologists say it with Weltanschaung. Haben Sie alles gefunden? lfs already.
Dr. Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist of the DIFC, said in a speech on October 28, 2007, that the economies of GCC states should now be considered as asset-based ones rather than oil-based. It makes me think of vitamins. (Saidi's speech was the regulatory keynote address to the Sovereign Reserve Management, Pension and Institutional Funds Congress 2007, held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the UAE somewhere.)
Chapter 5 of Atoms in the Family describes a Bébé Peugeot purchased by frugal Enrico Fermi in 1927, about a year before he married Laura (the future author of the book). Even then, and particularly in Italy, this was a noticeable car. (And probably Bébé wasn't the official model designation.)
It burned little more gas than a motorcycle and made the same amount of noise. Because it had no differential and its wheels were obliged to run at the same speed on curves, it moved like a power-propelled baby carriage, jumping and swerving at every turn. The particular Bébé Peugeot of which I am going to talk was a two-seat convertible the color of bright egg-yolk, with a leaky oilcloth roof and a rumble seat in the back. As it sped around at a top velocity of twenty miles per hour, it was always followed by a dense cloud of black smoke from the open exhaust.
(They don't make baby carriages like they used to either.)
With the simplest differentials, if one of the drive wheels is free (on ice, in mud, suspended off the driving surface, etc.) then it spins and little torque is transmitted to the other wheel, yielding little net traction. Limited-slip differentials were invented to prevent this from happening. Nowadays the function of limited-slip differentials is increasingly incorporated in electronic stability control (ESC) systems.
Many years later, on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was exploded at ``Trinity.'' The test was postponed by weather from a scheduled 4am to 5:30 am. Local time was ``Mountain War Time,'' so the test occurred at 4:30 Mountain Standard Time, which was still before civil twilight. So it was dark outside, except during the test. A blind girl was reported to have seen it. The military told the press that an ammo dump had blown up. Enrico Fermi got back home to Los Alamos the evening of the 16th -- between the test and the inspections, he had pulled an all-nighter. The next morning ``all he had to say to the family was that for the first time in his life on coming back from Trinity he had felt it was not safe for him to drive. It had seemed to him as if the car were jumping from curve to curve, skipping the straight stretches in between. He had asked a friend to drive....''
I'll also have to mention the mission-statement slogan ``Working for people.'' Doubtless this is inspiring to people, but the question is: which people and how? Dot Wordsworth (is that a real person?) noticed this and mentioned it in her regular Spectator column (in the 25 May 2002 issue). It's the slogan of the (English, I guess) Muslim Aid charity.
Digi-Key reveals that once, Barry Goldwater purchased a digital clock kit from them.
The company name originates from founder Ronald A. Stordahl's original product, a digital electronic keyer kit for ham radio operators to send radio-telegraph code.
My father sold crystal radios when he was in school. That product has been discontinued as well.
Diglossia is a relatively stable language situation in which, in addition to the primary dialects of the language (which may include a standard or regional standards), there is a very divergent, highly codified (often grammatically more complex) superposed variety, the vehicle of a large and respected body of written literature, either of an earlier period or in another speech community, which is learned largely by formal education and is used for most written and formal spoken purposes but is not used by any sector of the community for ordinary conversation.
I guess the coexistence of a standardized Hochdeutsch (``High German'') and various local German languages, particularly in Switzerland, would be among the best-known modern Western examples of diglossia. The term has become widely used since Ferguson introduced it, and in practice the definition is not so definite.
Okay, enough of that. Obviously, the term was constructed from the reek roots di- (compounding form of dis, `double, twice') and méros (`part, share'), patterned on polymer. Okay, that really should be Greek, and not reek, but I figured you'd be amused by the typo, so I left it. The English word dimer rhymes with nickel-and-dimer. Oh, it's too much! This entry is uproariously funny!
As usual, the term is used scientifically in a way that is more restrictive than etymology alone would suggest. Specifically, the two parts are chemically bonded and are chemically similar. The reason for this restriction is probably that it was patterned on the word polymer, and polymer was originally intended to refer to a chemically-bonded chain of similar units (which eventually were called monomers, or monomer units). Hence a dimer was the first step in the polymerization process.
Eventually, we'll have a paragraph or two here about what we mean by ``chemically similar.'' At minimum, we'll point out that for chemical purposes, different nuclear isotopes are almost always equivalent.
The simplest sort of dimer is a diatomic molecule of a single element, like H2, N2, O2, F2, Cl2, etc. (As the preceding sentence implies, the word diatomic does not imply two atoms of the same element.) Other dimers include cyanogen (CN)2, which is a dimer of cyanide. The word dimer is also applied to a pair of identical functional groups, already part of a single molecule, which bond directly to each other. An example is given in the excimer entry.
The term dimer is used primarily in chemistry, but various dimers, and dimerization (the formation of dimers) are of interest to condensed-matter physicists, particularly in the context of the Peierls instability. In biology, although the word dimer is not itself used (or at least not common), the words dimerous and dimery occur. Specifically, in botany a flower having two members in each whorl is dimerous, and the occurrence of this feature is dimery. In the biological context, the similarity of the two dimerous parts is not a strict requirement.
Parallel constructions in mono-, tri-, tetra-, penta-, etc. occur less commonly in chemistry, and in biology with -merous and -mery.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology uses what look like a running T. Rex and a T. Rex head (Albertosaurus head, actually) as logos, so you might expect them to have a good display. I think they do, but it's no longer very evident from their web pages. Now they want your money. I guess they don't want their institution to go down the toilet the way the Madison Museum of Bathroom Tissue did (concerning which, gingerly inspect this TP entry). If you can't make it to Calgary (Drumheller, to be precise), they'll sell you a virtual tour on CD for $18.69 Canadian. (I think a lot of it was online back in 1995.)
Colors don't fossilize, exactly, so the colors of dinosaurs are unknown, technically speaking. Some interesting hypotheses have resulted.
Citizen Kane is Orson Welles's thinly disguised movie about the newspaperman William Randolph Hearst. A biography The Chief by historian David Nasaw (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000) suggests that Charles Foster Kane was an unfair caricature of Hearst. Be that as it may, the movie has a more interesting inaccuracy: In a scene where Kane and his entourage set off for the beach from Xanadu, the background sky is a montage. It seems to show large birds flying in the distance, but the montage, borrowed from a science fiction movie to cut costs, actually shows pterodactyls.
(Hitachi once showcased its DIS technology with a dinosaur exhibit. They've dissed the dinosaurs; the exhibit is extinct.)
Semiconductor diodes in commercial application all have at least one pn junction. Vide
See ``Molecular Rectifier,'' by A. S. Martin, J. R. Sambles, and G. J. Ashwell, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 70, #2, pp. 218-221 (11 January 1993). for more unusual diodes.
The webpage for this software is very slightly coy about the basis for the name choice. It quotes a work that used to be known as Lives of the Great Philosophers by a fellow who used to be known as Diogenes Laërtes (now still Diogenes, but the Latin Laertius is preferred). The quote is from book 6, sec. 41, however, which happens to be in the chapter on Diogenes of Sinope, and it is famous. The quote is
Preserving the syntax so far as possible, this is
This might well be the best-remembered use of an ancient word meaning `search.' Interestingly, the word hápsas, meaning `lit' in this context, is more literally `touched,' and the Greeks used it in the metaphorical way we do (or still do), to refer to someone whose sanity has been affected. It would not have been out of place to describe Diogenes of Sinope as touched. The word ánthropon here means `man' in the sense of person, male or female. (This is like homo in Latin, if that doesn't cause too much confusion. The homo of homosexual is the Greek root meaning `same.') Any person hearing Diogenes could reasonably infer that the person sought was not just any person. Perhaps it would be a low-contrast or camouflaged person, hence the lamp. Whatever. Other versions of the story have him searching for an honest person, and fwiw this particular line of text has come down to us in at least slightly corrupt form. (I don't think any extant manuscript of it includes the necessary qualifier, however.) As Aristotle remarked somewhere, he was a familiar figure in Athens.
In contrast, Gerard of Liverpool went to America as a young man and became a postdoc with Craig. He would go around during the day and ask ``are you really all daft?'' He felt like David Lister of Red Dwarf.
Diogenes made a great show of flouting conventional standards of propriety, hygiene, and other optional things -- he even lived in a tub. At that point in their evolutionary development, dogs apparently also lived in tubs, so people called Diogenes and the group around him and Antisthenes `dogs'. [Vide NDOPA.]
Gerard is also a bachelor (cf. zoology entry).
Actually, because Diogenes had not mastered Modern English, Athenians called him a `Greek dog,' or cynic.
Gerard is a Brit.
Think about it some more.
Oh, alright -- kunikós is Greek for `dog-like,' from kúôn, kunós, `dog,' cognate with the Latin canis. For further etymological connections, see the DLR entry.
When Alexander the Great asked Diogenes if there was anything he could do for him, Diogenes said ``just get out of my light, Alex'' or words to that effect. Many ancients were sun-worshippers.
Gerard has already figured out that it's not a lot easier to get a natural tan in South Bend than in Liverpool.
One bit of ancient wisdom that we all know today is: It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Back in ancient times, however, they were still working the bugs out of this wisdom, and Diogenes had to use a beta version, which said ``better to light a candle in the daytime, and curse the man who casts the biggest shadow.'' If Diogenes had only got some better pointers on his interviewing technique, he would not have had to live in a tub fit for a dog. He could have afforded a deluxe tub.
Gerard also likes to spit into the employment wind.
Alexander Great was not the kind of administrator who thought that the pen was mightier than the sword. (Of course, the ball-point pen had not yet been invented.) Alexander Great was the kind of boss who liked to solve knotty problems with a sword. To this day there is no satisfactory theory of why Diogenes survived his interview with Alexander. However, while on a cruise some time later, Diogenes was captured by pirates and sold into slavery.
Nothing even remotely reminiscent of this could happen in the US today, because the thirteenth amendment (ratified 6 Dec. 1865) to the US Constitution forbids slavery. Until recently, we even had a significant labor movement.
Someone asked Diogenes:
`Hey, Diogenes, tell us, what fate took you down to Hades?'This is mentioned in Diogenes Laertius, Anth. Gr. 7. 116, and in Suda entry Alpha 180. I cribbed it from Greg Hays's translation.
`A dog's bite took me.'
Much of this can be explained on the basis of Latin derivation. Even as word forms evolved, the grammatical male-female distinction was preserved. Thus female -io and -tas Latin nouns evolved into -ción and -dad nouns in Spanish but remained female. (These correspond to -tion/-sion and -ty nouns in English. For more on the latter, see the vanidad entry.) Actually, one might better say that the female-nonfemale distinction was preserved, since the three genders of Latin collapsed into two, the neuter usually coalescing with the male. In a typical case, Latin ovum (n.) became Spanish huevo (m.). (More on this at LONERS.)
There are some oddities, however, such as mar. The Latin mare was a neuter third-declension noun with sing. abl. forms mare and mari. In Spanish, it is used in both genders. Generally, it is masculine to landlubbers and feminine entre marinos. In addition, some figurative and technical expressions apparently originating with seamen use feminine mar.
The different noun forms that Latin used for different grammatical cases were collapsed into a single form (typically derived from the ablative; see disco). The large number of Latin first-declension nouns with singular ablative forms ending in -a yielded a large number of female nouns in Spanish that end in -a, and this was regularized into a reliable morphological rule (i.e., new nouns ending in -a are female). However, in words derived from Greek and Latin, etymology is normally still the controlling factor. Thus the exotic (fifth-declension male) noun dies evolved into Spanish día but stayed male. (For more, see the sp. entry.)
Most male first-declension nouns in Latin are borrowed from Greek. Among these, probably the largest class is that of words ending in -ista. These were derived from -istês nouns in Greek. The -ista ending generally carried over unchanged into Spanish. In French, the ending was regularly transformed to -iste, and this was a large source of -ist words in Middle English. In all three of these modern languages, the suffix is productive. As nouns, -ista words in Spanish have the same form for males and females. (The politically hypercorrect name for an association of dentists would have to be ``La Asociación de Las y Los Dentistas'' or something equally stupid.) Likewise, as adjectives the -ista words have common gender. (See SEDERI for an example, where male estudios is modified by renacistas.)
Most of the other examples I can think of, of male Spanish nouns ending in -a, are ultimately derived from Greek male nouns ending in -a (typically via the Latin first declension): drama, panorama, poema, poeta, programa, tema (the last is `theme'), etc.
Tequila (in origin the name of a Mexican town) is male; but then, so too was José Cuervo (`Joe Crow'), creator of the Jose Cuervo brand. (The brand name does not have a graphic accent over the e in José.)
That should be enough exceptions for final-a-female rule to cause confusion. The only exception I can think of for final d is the metric capacitance unit farad. It's at least conceivable to me that no -ción, -gión, -sión nouns are male. The usual exception of -ion number names doesn't occur in Spanish: million is millón, billion billón, etc.
In detail: Dryden used it in Essay on Dramatic Poetry, 65 (1668):
If by the people you understand the multitude, the hoi polloi.Lord Byron is known to have written it around 1821-2; it appeared in his published Letters (1830), vol. I, 633:
[We] put on masques, and went on stage with the hoi polloi.
Here are some typical specs.
According to information recently confided to me, it turns out that the ``Dip'' in the head term stands for DIPlomat. Dipnote is a US State Department blog. A news story in November 2007 elicited this comment from one of the people who runs the blog:
In addition, as with all other entries on Dipnote, we will post comments regardless of the point of view. The only exceptions being profanity, hate speech, personal attacks and foreign language.
Given the suspect appearance of the word, and the pernicious elasticity of a weasel term like ``uncontrollable craving,'' in the twentieth century the word dipsomaniac came to be used as a winking or contemptious euphemism for any sot, or habitual drunk. The word dipsomaniac became obsolete in the second half of the twentieth century. One could say it was replaced by the word alcoholic, but the situation is slightly trickier.
The word dipsomaniac, despite its medical provenance, carried a certain moral valence. Its use implied or was associated with the attitude that individuals are strong or weak, and that dipsomania was a sign of moral weakness. It might be pitied or contemned, but it was not morally neutral. A contrast can be made between suffering from dipsomania and being struck down by a meteorite. The latter is a random misfortune that is not taken to reflect on the morals of the victim (except by a certain minority among those who take the phrase ``act of God'' rather literally).
The use of alcoholic as a noun referring to an alcohol addict dates back only to the beginning of the twentieth century. It might be tedious to prove, but this word seems to be associated with somewhat different attitudes than was dipsomaniac, if only because it became common later and was an alternative to the existing word. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935 and probably had the greatest influence on the sense in which the term was understood. Although AA certainly has an understanding of alcoholism that is at its center moral and spiritual (in a carefully general, certainly nondenominational way), the way the word alcoholic is used has an interesting way of, so to speak, cleansing the moral stigma. Accepting that one is an alcoholic is seen as a positive act, and can come as an immense relief, turning shame upside-down. Moreover, AA does not speak of ``curing'' alcoholism, but rather of abstinence from alcohol and from alcohol-related behaviors. Because the ``recovering alcoholic'' is an admirable person, alcoholism is viewed as an affliction overcome by moral strength and moral support. Thus, interestingly, though AA does not promote a medical fix to alcohol addiction, it does promote an essentially medical, or morally neutral, view of the underlying problem.
Recently, however, I was talking with a friend of mine who has just returned to her apartment near Tokyo for the first time since the 9.0 quake that struck the Tôhoku (`northeast') region of Japan on March 11, 2011. Like most Japanese, she's used to minor quakes and normally ignores them, but the aftershocks of the Tohoku earthquake have been unusually strong (ominously so to seismologists, who offer short odds for the big one to hit central Japan soon). Anyway, she was taking a bath when a recent aftershock hit; she jumped out and dressed, as she explained, so she wouldn't be found naked. I asked her what mantissa of difference it would make, if she died and also happened to be found naked. She explained that she might be trapped and wouldn't want to be naked when she called out for rescue. Oh wow -- that's totally different! I hadn't thought of it. Now I get it!
After writing the two paragraphs above, I had a chat with a couple of hourly-wage employees in which I essentially repeated the story. It was a revelation to me. Two or more revelations, quantitatively speaking. Let me say that for statistical purposes, they (informants M and B below) represent an unbiased sample. That is, I didn't choose them based on any evidence or expectation that they would have a particular kind of information -- or any information -- regarding the topic of this entry. I chose them to chat with because I know them, or thought I knew them, and they were chewing the fat where I was passing by on my way to the candy machines. Also, I haven't biased the data by cherry-picking interviewees: my entire sample size so far, and preferrably forever, is 2.
Informant M is a female currently in her early-to-mid 50's. Informant M informed ME that oh yes, this is a big deal with her mother. M's father was a fireman, and M's mother would not just clean but iron his boxers, so if he died no one should think he died with dirty or unpressed underwear. Let's hope she didn't starch them. Upon prompting, M confirmed that the motivating fear was her father's possible at-work death, and not some nonfatal accident. M's mother is reportedly fastidious in other ways. Mismatched socks provoke horror.
Informant B, recently returned from extended medical leave, is a male also currently in his early-to-mid-50's, though he happens to look about 70. (If you lived on coffee and cigarettes, you could probably look older too. In fact, I understand that some adolescents take up smoking precisely so as to appear older. Also, if you look older it's easier to buy cigarettes, so there's some sort of positive feedback effect in there. I'll have to calculate it one day.) Anyway, B's mother must had a philosophy similar to M's, and he remarked that a few weeks ago, when he checked himself into the hospital, he ``felt bad because ....'' (The unstated implication was that he wore dirty underwear to the hospital, and not that he felt bad on account of whatever it was that sent him to the hospital. It takes the old saw ``when you gotta go, you gotta go'' to the next level... down.)
Wallpaper of Sound. (No, not Wall of Sound.)
In principle, and in many particular cases, Spanish nouns could be regarded as being derived from other (usually oblique) cases in Latin. This is particularly the case for second-declension nouns, which have identical dative and ablative forms. As a general rule, however, the best way to guess the eventual Spanish form of a Latin noun is to cast it into the ablative and then apply common (not always regular) sound shifts like u --> o.
It makes sense that the ablative forms should have been salient. The instrumental case found in some other highly inflected Indo-European languages is essentially collapsed into the Latin ablative, as are plural forms of the locative. Not only is the ablative very common, but its frequency was reinforced by the gradual replacement of the genitive case by de + abl. Now you're probably going to suggest that really, the accusative should have been more salient, since ordinary direct objects are more common than objects of prepositions and all those weird ablative-of-whatever forms. Okay, time for a dirty little secret: over time, final em's in Latin went silent... if you lop the final em off the singular accusative forms (and change u --> o), they mostly coincide with the ablative.
A related fact: The common-gender forms of Latin third declension have ablative singulars that end consistently in -e, and Spanish adjectives that end in -e have the same form when modifying male and female nouns.
I can see that you find this stuff fascinating. Read more at the D-ION-Z-A entry supra.
The word uninterested implies little about the matter in question other than that it is something about which there is something to know, and about which someone might possibly be curious. The word disinterested implies that the matter in question is one requiring judgment. The ideal judge (i.e., juror, judge, arbitrator, etc.) is interested, and thus attentive, yet disinterested, and thus fair.
Do you think maybe you're beginning to get the hang of this thing, after all your years of abject ignorance? The difference has to do with two different senses of the word interest. Someone said to have ``an interest'' may have a neutral observer's desire for information, or may possibly benefit or suffer depending on how certain a question is decided. (The latter kind of interest is the only kind that is ``vested.'') One can distinguish these two kinds of interest by using narrower terms like curiosity and stake.
(There are other kinds of interest, of course. There is interest you earn on a deposit, and there is interest that one has in activities. If you say you are interested in travel, you don't usually mean that you are interested in hearing about other people's travel, so much as you are interested in traveling yourself. The situation here is that ``interested in traveling'' really means ``wants or likes to travel'' or ``interested in learning about opportunities to travel.'' This is sometimes sloppy, but one might not want to be precise.)
The confusion between disinterested and uninterested goes bak a little ways. G.S. Fraser wrote this in his The Modern Writer and His World:
Disinterested curiosity -- to be disinterested is not to be uninterested -- is one of the noblest qualities of the human mind.
This was on page 12 of the third edition (Penguin, 1964). I don't know if it was in the earlier English edition (1953). In principle, the text may even be left over from the 1950 edition aimed at a Japanese audience. Whatever the case, the proleptic parenthetical is the earliest evidence I've happened across indicating that confusion between the two terms was a problem.
Kenneth Thompson is credited with discovering the first law of memory thermodynamics:
The steady state of disks is full.
See also RAM disk.
How tired? Thomas Carlyle introduced it as an epithet for political economics in an 1849 essay, ``Latter-Day Pamphlets, No.1. The Present Time.''
Economics is ultimately derived from the Greek word oikonómos, `manager of a household, steward,' composed from oîkos, `house,' and -nómos, nominal combining form of némein here meaning `to manage, control.' The words derived from oikonómos have taken a variety of meanings over time, including theological ones. Some of the meanings depended implicitly on a metaphorical understanding of `household' as a larger entity. L'économie politique came to refer to aspects of governance, and in the second half of the eighteenth century it and the English term modeled on it, political economy, came to have the specialized sense of ``the science [in a loose sense] of the wealth of nations.'' (``The Wealth of Nations,'' of course, was published by Adam Smith in 1776.) The word economics alone did not come into its current sense until late in the nineteenth century. For a detailed discourse on the evolution of this word, see the first chapter of Moses Finley's The Ancient Economy (Sather Classical Lectures, Vol. 43). He comments there that nem- is a ``semantically complex root.''
2H O (aq) ---> 2H O(l) + O (g) 2 2 2 2
The oxygen in peroxides has an oxidation number of -1; in water and oxygen gas, it has oxidation numbers -2 and 0, respectively. (Hydrogen peroxide solutions sold as antiseptics typically contain a stabilizer such as acetanilide (C6H5NHCOCH3).)
The charging of a lead-acid battery involves the disproportionation of the lead ion in lead (II) sulfate (PbSO4). A general example of disproportionation reaction is the Cannizzaro reaction.
The reverse of disproportionation is called comproportionation or symproportionation. Discharge (i.e., ordinary use) of a lead-acid battery involves running a comproportionation reaction. All of the good -tionation words are used in chemistry. (The other one is fractionation.)
(The phrase quoted as the head of this entry is sourced at the books that could have benefitted from illustrations entry.)
Abandonment charges based on unwillingness to engage in sex are not always sustained, because adultery by one partner frees the other from any, em, obligations. It's the `condonation' defense.
Religious opposition to abortion is represented (by the ``pro-choice'' side) by a coat-hanger and the slogan ``Do It Thyself.''
In case of fire, click here.
It's not the destination; it's the trip.
You know, when I googled ``DIYZ,'' I was asked if perhaps I didn't mean ``DAYS.'' This is almost as insulting as that condescending paper clip ``help'' in MSWord.
Disraeli had a gift for spontaneous expression that has resulted in many fine mots being uncertainly attributed to him, either because he uttered them off the cuff, so to speak, rather than into a book, or else because his reputation made him a likely candidate when anyone was casting about for a likely or plausible source of a quote whose real author was unknown or forgotten.
One such is the quote about lies, damn lies, and statistics. More about that one later.
Another such quote is, ``When I want to read a novel, I write one.'' Many close variants are attributed to him. The earliest instance of this that I can find is in a volume of his biography that was first published in 1920. Following is the entire paragraph of context (boldface emphasis added).
His mental processes were as unusual as his physical appearance was peculiar. He did not form his opinions by amassing facts, but by some intuitive process of imagination. And so dramatic was the quality of his mind that he seems never to have been conscious of an opinion or conviction without being simultaneously conscious of the effect which its expression would produce. Hence the epigrammatic character of his talk and writing; to which a cynical flavour was added owing to the mask which he seldom put off in public. Lothair and Endymion recapture and repeat his table-talk, which was uttered with deliberate and impressive sententiousness. The stories told of it were endless. People heard of the royal lady who, indignant at the hesitation shown by Ministers on the Eastern Question, asked him at dinner what he was waiting for, and was told, `For peas and potatoes, ma'am;' of the charming neighbour whose insidious attempts to wheedle political secrets out of him were met by a pressure of the hand and a whispered `You darling;' of the public dinner at which the food was poor and cold, and at which Disraeli, when he tried the champagne, remarked with fervour, `Thank God, I have at last got something warm;' of his grandiloquent excuse for inability to recommend a novel to a neighbour, `When I want to read a novel, I write one;' of his judgment on a leading politician, nearly as well known in Mayfair as in Parliament, `He has a fine presence, ancient descent, a ready wit, and no principles; he must succeed.' But silence and self-absorption grew upon Beaconsfield in society along with age and disease; so that [Sir William] Fraser [author of Disraeli and his Day] could jestingly maintain that he was, in reality, a corpse which only at intervals came to life.
I don't know much about the authors, but perhaps the following may be helpful. This paragraph is from the concluding chapter (17) of the final volume (6), of The Life of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, published at London by John Murray between 1910 (vol. 1) and 1920 (vol. 6). The entire biography is typically listed as being by Monypenny and Buckle. To be precise, however, William Flavelle Monypenny was the sole credited author of volume 1 (covering the years 1804-1837) and volume 2 (1837-1846). The second volume was published in 1912, the year Monypenny died (rather young; he was born in 1866). The third volume (1846-1855), published in 1914, listed as coauthors Monypenny and George Earle Buckle (1854-1935), and the last three volumes gave the authorship as ``George Earle Buckle in succession to W.F. Monypenny.'' (A two-volume condensation ``by Monypenny and Buckle'' was published in 1929.)
I have also seen a claim that ``[w]hen I want to read a book I write one'' was attributed to Disraeli in a review of his novel Lothair (1870) in Blackwood's Magazine. Blackwood's had a rather nasty review of the novel in June 1870, pp. 773-793. (I'm not saying that it was or wasn't fair. Considering its length, to say nothing of the three-volume Lothair, I plan to putting off to the indefinite future having any such opinion on the subject.) The magazine published a ``Note to our review of `Lothair' '' in July (pp. 129-132), defending itself against criticism of its review. The alleged quote does not occur in this latter note, and probably does not occur in the review itself. For laughs, though, and for an indication of how someone might suppose, or misremember, that a quote of this sort was attributed to Disraeli in the review, here are the opening lines of the Lothair pan:
This is the most elaborate jest which the sportive author has ever played off upon an amiable and confiding public. Addressing the novel-reading portion of that public in his own mind, he has evidently said: ``You have been this long while prating of purity of style, truth to nature, probability, and adherence to the rules of art. You have been condemning sensational novels, and false effects, and didactic prosings, and slipshod composition. Well, I will write something which shall be more extravagant than the romances of the `London Journal,' more inflated in expression and false in grammar than the exercises of an aspiring schoolboy of the fifth form, more foreign to life and reality than the hysteric fancies of a convent-bred girl, and, in point of art, on a level with the drop-scene of a provincial theatre. ...''
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