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Diameter Nominal. Nominal Diameter, of pipe. Postposed adjective probably has something to do with French. Cf. NPS (Nominal Pipe Size).

Distribution Network.

Defense Nuclear Agency. Old, historical name (until 1996) for Defense Special Weapons Agency (DSWA). It seems, from this example and others (NMR --> MRI; ``nuclear family'' --> ``traditional family''), that the word nuclear has a half-life of a few years. Stand back! The fall-out could mutate the letters in your name! You wouldn't look like your ID picture and you'd probably be married to someone you don't even know!

Oh, wait, no -- it's not that at all! They explain:

The military organization, the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, was created in 1947 to conduct nuclear weapon effects research and provide nuclear technical, logistical and training support for DoD. Renamed in 1959 as the Defense Atomic Support Agency and in 1971 as the Defense Nuclear Agency, the Agency became DSWA in 1996, as the result of a new charter and an expanded mission.

DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. The material on which the genetic code is written. The code has four characters (chemical bases): A, T, G, G (Adenosine, Thymine, Guanine, Cytosine), typically in sequences of three bases, which encode for individual amino acids. (There are twenty-two different amino acids, and only twenty are coded for, so the code is somewhat redundant.) Some code is junk, some code is punctuation, a lot is not yet understood. The code duplicates by forming a double helix, with each base matched to its complement on the opposite side of the helix (the base pairings in DNA are A--T, G--C). DNA encodes for proteins (long sequences of amino acids) which include enzymes (often these are among the shorter amino acid chains called polypeptides). Cf. RNA.

In Spanish, the acronym is ADN.

A little glossary of DNA terms as edited by Beverly Gaglione is available as one of the side-benefits of this decade's trial of the century. Patrick Carey has written a primer of some utility.

DNA has been proposed as a basis for computation.

Dermatology Nurses' Association.

Digital Network Architecture.

Does Not Apply. See NA entry for applicability.

Douglas Noel Adams. Author of comedy science fiction, including HHGTTG; he and it have a cult following. He died young (age 49) in 2001. Terry Pratchett has been the preferred consolation of the bereaved.

National Dyslexics Association.

Dense Non-Aqueous Pollutant Liquid.

Dictionary of National Biography. ``National'' here means UK. Published by Oxford University Press. A new edition was published in September 2004: sixty volumes, 11 shelf-feet, also available on CD-ROM and by online subscription.

Democratic National Committee. Established at the 1848 Democratic National Convention.

If this seems wildly inappropriate to the context in which you heard it, then perhaps you heard the expression D'n'C (D and C).

During the campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, Howard Dean came out of nowhere to be the presumptive nominee in January, then place second in the Iowa caucuses, and crash and burn. At the end of 2004, after the man who beat him in Iowa lost in the general election, Dean campaigned to replace Terry McAuliffe, whose term was ending, as chairman of the DNC. He won the post. A lot of people think that having a parodically anti-defense figure as chair is an unwise move for the DNC, but that's not why I bring up the subject. I just wanted to record here for convenient reference the details of some of the most memorably preposterous comments made at the time, mostly instances of blindly wishful thinking.

(That's what I wanted to do. I haven't actually done it yet.)

Democratic National Convention.

Entering the third century of the life of the party, Democrats are generally ``pro-choice.'' Nevertheless, no actual abortions are performed at the convention, unless you count some of the non-prime-time speeches. If the confusion that brought you to this glossary entry remains, you might want to visit the D'n'C (D and C) entry.

If I told you what DNCO stands for now, it would spoil the suspense and you'd be disappointed and bored by the DNCS entry (coming).

Dislocation Nucleation Diagram. A graph of (open-mode) stress intensity factor (SIF) versus distance of dislocation to crack tip.

Do Not Erase. If it's important enough to be worth spelling out the acronym, it's important enough to transcribe from the blackboard or whiteboard or whatever. I do my calculations in pen; if they're important, I scan them.

Distributed Network for Electronic Resources. An initiative of JISC intended to ``integrate access to the various electronic information services currently available. A key concept behind the vision of the DNER is to separate services which provide the content (for example, library catalogues) from those that provide presentation of information (for example, web gateways).''

Did Not Finish. Used as a noun (e.g., ``109 Starters - 8 DNF's'' and so 101 finishing times are given).

Duke Nukem Forever. A first-person shooter. We have a little information on it here.

Desktop Network Interface. To a computer. Often so called even though it's inside the machine as a slide-in card (NIC).

Director of National Intelligence. Maybe that should be expanded ``Director of NescIence.''

Data Network Identification Code.

Dialed Network Identification Service.

Day-Night (average sound intensity) Level.

Double Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

Did Not Play. Baseball box score abbreviation.

Dnp, DNP
2,4-DiNitroPhenyl. Nitro groups like the ortho and para positions. Cf. TNT.

Did Not {Reply|Respond}. Polling code.

Do Not Resuscitate.

Dogbert's New Ruling Class. The Dilbert Newsletter is the official publication of Dogbert's New Ruling Class. If you don't subscribe, you will be relegated to slavery when Dogbert takes over the world.

DimethylaminoNaphthalene Sulfonyl. Same as Dansyl.

Domain Name { Service | Server | System}. Internet address database. Unix implementation is BIND.

DMIS National Standards Committee. DMIS (q.v.) is the Dimensional Measuring Interface Standard.

Domain Name Supporting Organization. The structure of the Domain Name Supporting Organization of ICANN was determined in Singapore, on March 4, 1999; the first DNSO General Assembly was held in Berlin, May 25, 1999. ``At some point of time between 9:10 and 9:40 a.m. Amsterdam time on Sunday [15 December 2002], the DNSO ceased to be....'' Its duties were taken over by the GNSO.

Folks extremely unhappy with DNSO have a website at <http://www.dnso.com/>.

Dedicated NetWork.

Deformation Optical. Refers to nonpolar interaction of optical phonons in a crystal. Vide DA interaction.

Dissolved Oxygen.

DO, D.O.
Doctor of Osteopathy. A sympathetic explanation of osteopathy is given here, where it is asserted that ``a medical doctor, M.D., and an osteopathic doctor, D.O. ... are alike in many ways.'' ``Author's name omitted by request.''

(Domain name code for) Dominican Republic. Shares an island (Hispaniola) with Haiti. The Dominican Republic is the eastern half, divided by an approximately North-South border from the western half, occupied by Haiti. The western half has a bay that makes it look like a jaw opening west.

Hispaniola in this set-up looks a lot like the island of New Guinea, where a North-South line (the 141E meridian) divides the eastern half (the main territory of Papua New Guinea) from Irian Jaya, a province of Indonesia. The western half has a bay that makes it look like a jaw opening west. Irian, the Indonesian (and originally Malay) name for the entire island of New Guinea, means `Cloud-covered.' Or else it is derived from a Biak phrase meaning `shimmering land.' Resolving this question is next on my to-do list after solving the Palestinian problem. The Indonesian part of the island was originally called Irian Barat, meaning West Irian. When the Dutch granted Indonesia independence in 1949, they gave nominal sovereignty of Dutch New Guinea to Indonesia, but retained control. Under ``Guided Democracy'' (dictatorial) rule, self-appointed Indonesian Prime Minister Sukarno announced a military campaign to take control of Irian Barat (Dec. 19, 1961). Military infiltration began in early 1962. Under heavy US pressure, the Dutch gave it up to the UN on August 15, 1962, which after a decent interval (about a year) turned it over to Indonesia, with an unenforceable and unspecific requirement to obtain West Irian consent for integration within five years. That consent was manufactured in Summer, 1969. At that time, it was renamed Irian Jaya. Jaya means `victory' or `glory.' (Jaya is about 1000 miles east of Java.)

The country's (i.e., the Dominican Republic's) name in Spanish is República Dominicana, abbreviated R.D.

DOA, doa, DoA
Damaged On Arrival. Explained at next entry.

Dead On Arrival. In electronic device reliability, this is about equivalent to infant mortality. In another context, this would be a tasteless pun.

The DOA acronym (strictly: initialism; it's pronounced ``dee oh ey,'' not ``dough-uh'' or anything) has been adopted in the shipping business also. There the expansions are ``damaged on arrival'' (blame the carrier) and ``defective on arrival'' (blame the shipper) but I doubt the correspondence of acronyms is entirely accidental (oops, sorry about that!).

In India, hospitals are said to declare a person ``brought dead.''

Here's a comment on brain death by the tyrant Macbeth (Act III, Sc. 4 of Shakespeare's report):

Blood hath been shed ere now, i' the olden time,
Ere humane statute purged the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been perform'd
Too terrible for the ear: the times have been,
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
And there an end; but now they rise again,
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
And push us from our stools: this is more strange
Than such a murder is.

In Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Michael Corleone is asked to confirm a hit. He says ``I saw his brains.''

This entry is taking a turn in a nasty direction, isn't it.

Direction Of Arrival. Sure, the entry is out of order. (When different entries have the same head term, we usually order them alphabetically by definition text.) These things don't just happen randomly, you know.

DOA, doa, DoA
Defective On Arrival. Explained at the main DOA entry.

Dogbert Outplacement Agency.

do a book
Not write a book.

Phrase used by people who have no business writing a book, will not write a book, and who are ``shopping'' the book they should not and will not write with publishers. Eventually, their celebrity will get them a contract, and a writer who shouldn't be wasting life with pap will ghost the book because he or she needs the money.

I hope you're not too troubled by the shift in grammatical number.

There is another, rarer usage in an honorable context. Here's an example from Scepticism, Man, & God: Selections from the Major Writings of Sextus Empiricus (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan U.P., 1964). The preface begins

      Years of frustration are the cause of this book. Writings of all sorts, including poems, plays, histories of philosophy, and even encyclopaedia articles on the Greek Sceptics have been so often wrong about and unreasonably antagonistic towards Classical Scepticism that I have finally felt compelled to do this book.
The writer was Philip P. Hallie, who provided an introduction, notes and bibliography for the volume, and who selected the passages with the concurrence of Sanford G. Etheridge, who did the translation from the Greek.

Okay, now back to celebrity authorship. Michiko Kakutani writes engagingly for the New York Times. She writes book criticism, and even her individual book reviews rate a column (``Critic's Notebook'') in the broadsheet section, instead of the NYTBR. She often parodies the style she is critiquing. Her column for October 23, 2003, is entitled ``To Stars, Writing Books Looks Like Child's Play.'' It tells the wonderful story of stars who write children's books.

Many [famous brand-name people] wrote books about children who sounded like themselves. Jerry, a comedian who made pots of gold with a television show and more pots of gold with commercials for a credit card, wrote a Halloween book about a greedy boy who wants to get his hands on lots and lots of brand-name candy. Madonna, a blond star, wrote about a pretty little blond girl who has no friends because everyone is jealous that she ``shines like a star.'' And Britney, a younger blond singer, wrote a book, with her mother, about a young blond girl who really, really wants to become a singer...

Other celebrity children's-book authors:

(Not to mention Jerry, Madonna, and Britney.) The list excludes a small number of celebrities who can write for children (Jamie Lee Curtis, John Lithgow), and aren't just in it to further merchandise their names. (Links are to glossary entries that mention the celebrities, but that may not be about them.)

Paris Hilton has done her first autobiography. It's titled Confessions of an Heiress and was written by Merle Ginsberg. It's selling well on the internet. It has lots and lots of pictures. (I'm sorry -- it's hard to shake off the effects of that children's-book section of the entry. But it really really has a lot of pictures! Ginsberg never had it so good.) Confessions is a natural companion volume to her porn video. I'm very excited about this book, and I plan to buy it as soon as it hits the dollar table. But I hope she invests in new boobs before the next autobiography.

Here's some further guidance on related wording -- specifically on the meaning of the preposition by in the context of such books. Marco Perella is an an actor too, and at the urging of his friend Molly Ivins, he wrote a book about his experiences. Her foreword to that book began thus:

Who wants to read another book by some rich, famous, successful actor? Especially when we can hear from Marco Perella instead. He's un-rich, unfamous and perfectly hilarious. Besides, he wrote this book himself.

More about the book, Adventures of a No Name Actor, can be found at our cybermuffin entry.

DOS Open Application Programming Interface.

DOB, D.O.B., dob
Date Of Birth. Personal information forms are more likely to ask for this information than for your date of death. For something equally dim, see the end of the item on Cameron Bright.

Daughters Of Bilitis. Founded in San Francisco in 1955 to advance the concerns of lesbians within the gay rights movement (avant la lettre). For a decade beginning in 1956, they published something called The Ladder.

Bilitis was believed to be a poetess from the island Lesbos, one who was a contemporary and acquaintance of the famous Sappho. The cause of these beliefs is a hoax perpetrated by the French novelist Pierre Louÿs, who claimed he had discovered poems of this previously unknown person. In 1894, he published free-verse ``translations'' into French; a later edition included a bibliography of spurious related scholarship and related works on Bilitis. The poems provided relief to some for whom the surviving bits of Sappho are intolerably coy. Bilitis was well-known to be an invention long before 1951, but the poems continued to enjoy a certain censored vogue, and Bilitis also became a subject of paintings. (Bilitis in these came to be confused with Sappho, but given how little we know of the latter, and how entirely fanciful such paintings are, no harm done.) J.B. Hare speculates that DOB selected the name it did precisely because Bilitis was generally obscure. Louÿs shares writing credit for a 1977 French movie entitled Bilitis.

Nickname, appreciated or not, of UK politician (Labour) Frank Dobson.

DOpyera BROthers. A guitar designed by said brothers in the 1930's, popular in bluegrass and country music. According to a posting on alt.usage.english, it's a sort of self-amplified version of the Hawaiian guitar, very much like the National steel guitar, which the Dopyeras also had a hand in designing. The Dobro looks like a regular guitar, except for what looks like the hubcap from a '58 DeSoto mounted over the sound hole. It's supposed to be played horizontally with a slide bar. (The guitar, not the player, is supine.) I don't know how good the Dopyera brothers were at musical instrument design, but they were obviously prescient in automobile styling. On the Dobro, the hubcap covers a resonator cone that produces a distinctive sound. Similar guitars are made by many different companies and individual luthiers today.

Dobro was a trade name, and it has not passed into the public domain. The trademark currently belongs to the Gibson Instrument Co., which is protecting it by insisting that only instruments manufactured under the Dobro trademark be called ``Dobros.'' Instead, people are supposed to use the generic term ``resophonic guitar.'' Gag.

As a way of needling the Gibson folks, a lot of people who own and play the instrument have taken a page from TAFKAP and taken to using the term TIFKAD -- ``The Instrument Formerly Known As Dobro.''

(US government) Department Of Commerce.

Department Of Corrections. Typical name for a US state government's department in charge of executing criminal sentences and occasionally convicts. If I were the owner of The New Republic magazine, you may be sure I would have a department of corrections also.

Dissolved Organic Carbon.

DOCtor. There's a popular old New Yorker cartoon with a supercilious seater at toney restaurant, taking a reservation over the phone --
``And is that a real doctor or just a Ph.D.?''

It is possible to quantify the degree of ``reality'' of various ``Doctors'' along a straight line (specifically, the base of a triangle with apex at home plate): If the M.D. is in deep right field, then the Ph.D. is in shallow center, and the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is in the parking area. (Sometimes Doctors of Osteopathy can be seen wandering into left field.)

For those who nay be imterested, the N.D. landed foul, on the grass!

Old English word meaning `bastard son.'

The standard mnemonic:
The wise kangaroos
Prefer yellow shoes.

The only wise kangaroo I know of, who probably wears athletic shoes, is a coauthor on the Stuperspace article cited at the Acknowledgments entry.

The mnemonic has been credited to Gilbert Murray, an Australian.

Okay, a kangaroo sits down at a bar and says, ``I'll have a Foster's, mate!'' The bartender charges him ten bucks for the brew and says, ``you know, uh, we don't see a lot of kangaroos in here.'' He replies, ``well at these prices, you're not likely to see many more!''

We also have kangaroo information at the KMP entry.

When that pop singer what dint ha' hi' sea legs sang about ``sittin' on the dock of a bay,' he was all wet. The only dock you can sit on and stay dry is a drydock -- a section of dock that can be pumped out for shipbuilding and repair. The dockside land that landlubbers sometimes call a dock is a ``quay.''

(Actually, that singer was Otis Redding, and he wasn't available to do a corrected version. He died in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin, three days after recording ``(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay.'')

DOCuments onLINE. The ``National Library of Medicine's automated interlibrary loan (ILL) request routing and referral system. The purpose of the system is to provide improved document delivery service among libraries in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) by linking journal holdings to efficiently route the requests to potential lending libraries on behalf of the borrower.''

DOCumentation, construed plural.

Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification.

Documentary Hypothesis
The most widely accepted hypothesis about how the Pentateuch came into being. It was developed and promulgated by Karl H. Graf in the 1860's and Julius Wellhausen in the 1870's (hence also known as the Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis). Here's a good description. Here's a calmly unsympathetic page. The situation is like that with evolution. The web is filled with the deluded trying to make converts.

When it's good, it's good, and when it's bad it's still better than nothing. There's a small pile of documentation in hypertext form from the University of Wisconsin at Madison CS Dept.

DOCument Delivery USER. The ``National Library of Medicine's online interactive database, [which] contains directory, interlibrary loan [see DOCLINE], and network information on libraries throughout the world. It is the administrative file for both NLM's interlibrary loan service, and the libraries that make up the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM).''

(US government) Department Of Defense. The principal responsibility of the DoD is to fund research that could by some stretch of the imagination be useful to national defense; lamentably, however, most of the money goes to war-making capability and other overhead.

In George Orwell's 1984, Oceania's DoD was called the Ministry of Love. In George Washington's first cabinet, it was called the Department of War. Here's how it evolved:

             1789_       War (army and navy)
             1798_      __|__ 
		       |     |
                     Navy   War (army)
                       |     |
		       .     .
		       .     .
		       .     .
                       |     |
              1947_    |     |____
                       |     |    |
                       |     |   Air Force
                       |     |    |
              1949_    |_____|____|

DoD is pronounced ``DEE-oh-DEE'' and never pronounced ``DEE-uh-DEE'' (like ``House o' Car Audio'').

As far as the US military itself is concerned, ``DoD'' is obsolete and has been replaced by ``DOD.'' I guess they just noticed that computer print-outs are in all-caps. Soon enough they'll notice that they aren't.

In 1798, the Department of War was split into Departments of War and the Navy. This use of war to refer only to military operations on land goes along with the traditional sense of military to refer only to the land component of what we think of as military. (For an example of this usage in British English, see the D. of I. (R) entry.) The word military comes from the Latin word milites meaning soldier. The division into separate Navy and War Departments continued until 1947, when the Air Force USAF was created as a separate department out of the earlier Army Air Corps (USAAC). The DOD was created by the National Security Act of 1949.

DOD Directive.

(US) Department Of Defense Dependents Schools. Part of the DODEA. There's a popular story -- which I don't know to be false -- that the original plan was to call the DODDS system the ``Department of Defense Overseas Schools'' system. The military is compulsively acronymic, however.

(US) Department Of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe. Part of the DODEA.

Department Of Defense Educational Activities. ``Teaching the children of America's military families worldwide.''

A group of 13 Aegean islands -- go figure. The most important one is Rhodes.

They were controlled by Italy for a while and transferred to Greece after WWII.

The Los Angeles Dodgers began as the ``Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers'' (1884-1888). For their sixth and final season in the A.A. (1889), they became the ``Brooklyn Bridegrooms,'' a name they kept for their first years in the National League (1890-1898). For twelve seasons they were the ``Brooklyn Superbas'' (1899-1910). They were the ``Brooklyn Dodgers'' from 1911 to 1913 and from 1932 to 1957; during the intervening period (1914-1932) they were the ``Brooklyn Robins.'' They moved to LA after 1957 and have been the LA Dodgers since 1958.

There have also been football teams called the Brooklyn Dodgers. For details, see the AAFC entry.

DOD Instruction.

Different Orbitals for Different Spin. In principle, this can make Hartree-Fock more accurate when there are open shells.

(US government) Department of Education.

Here is something from an introduction by Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips to a volume of essays they co-edited:

The United States ought to be conducting large-scale experiments aimed at reducing uncertainty about the effects of schools' racial mix, class size, teacher selection systems, ability grouping, and many other policies. We do such experiments to determine the effects of different medical treatments, different job training programs, and many other social interventions. But the U.S. Department of Education, which should in principle be funding experiments from which every state and school district would benefit, has shown almost no interest in this approach to advancing knowledge about education. The most important piece of education research in the past generation, the Tennessee class-size experiment, was funded by the Tennessee legislature, not the U.S. Department of Education. Experimental assessments of other educational policies that have a major impact on school spending -- salary levels, teacher selection systems, education for the physically and mentally disabled, for example -- have been almost nonexistent.

If we did more experiments, we might eventually develop better theories. At present, theorizing about the causes of the black-white gap is largely a waste of time, because there is no way to resolve theoretical disagreements without data that all sides accept as valid. Most theories about human behavior start out as hunches, anecdotes, or ideological predispositions. Such theories improve only when they have to confront evidence that the theorist cannot control. In education, that seldom hapens.

The Black-White Test Score Gap
(Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998), p. 42.

I think the DoE was created (see HEW) early in the Carter Administration (say around 1978) and that abolishing it was a plank in Reagan's campaign platform (unfulfilled). The animus against the DoE was probably driven by the conviction that it was political payback to the (politically) liberal NEA for its support of Democrats, and by the expectation that the DoE would increase federal intervention in education, properly to be seen as a matter for states and localities. Then again, maybe not. You know, this stuff is history.

(US government) Department of Energy.

Design Of Experiment.

Diffractive Optical Element.

Female deer.

does not inspire confidence
An announcement for a new ``orthapedics'' list. (It reminds me of my experience described at the PA entry.)

Does not promote tooth decay.
The US FDA has fairly precise guidelines one when this claim can be made. According to rules published August 23, 1997 and effective since January 1, 1998, the ``does not promote tooth decay'' claim may be made on foods which are sugar-free even if they contain other polyols [carbohydrates like glycerine, which contain multiple alcohol (-OH) groups that may be fermentable]. In cases where a product may contain fermentable carbohydrates, FDA applies a plaque pH telemetry test developed by TSI for assessing the noncariogenicity of the product. This is an in vivo test that classifies a food as cariogenic if pH falls below 5.7 after food is consumed.

DoF, dof
Degrees Of Freedom.

Depth Of { Focus | Field }.

To take off (clothing). A transitive verb, with clothing as the usual direct object.

D. of I. (R)
Director OF Intelligence (Research). This abbreviation occurs in The Wizard War, a book about British intelligence in WWII. D. of I. (R) was the title in the immediate post-war period of what had been the A.D.I. (Sc) (q.v.) during the war. [The ``(q.v.)'' is not part of the abbreviation!] With the new title came, for a while, a place at the Joint Intelligence Committee, alongside the Directors of Naval, Military, and Air Intelligence.

Distributed Optical-Fiber Sensing.

Canine. A domesticated species of wolf. Omnivorous. Comes in a bewildering range of varieties, all of which can, at least in principle, interbreed. It's amazing, isn't it, how all discussions always come back to the two fundamental questions of origin: sex and etymology.

The word dog is an etymological mystery -- a foundling. Coming out of nowhere, it almost completely displaced the Germanic word hound (German cognate Hund). Sure, dog comes from Middle English dogge, and Old English docga, but before that, what?

For puns based on the dog-god metathesis, see the Dyslexic Theologian entry. There's also a lightly-forced double pun at JPO. There's no pun at woof that I can hear, but wolf may be pronounced with a ``dark ell.'' And the fire dog is not the Saint Bernard of hot California forests.

Daily Order Generation. A term in merchandise logistics.

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft, e.V. `German Ophthalmological Society.' They copped dog.org first! They have an online tool for members called ``My DOG''! They have ``DOG working groups'' (Arbeitsgemeinschäfte)! This is great. Woof-woof!

The organization was founded in 1857 by Albricht von Graefe. That's sort of doubly noble: in German surnames the word von, meaning `of,' betokens nobility, while Graefe means `earls.' His organization's acronym normally takes a definite article: die DOG, mit der DOG, etc. Die is the female article, so it's a bitch. See also SOE and AKC.

Difference Of Gaussians. A type of apodizing filter.

Disgruntled Old Graduate.

Dot On the Ground. An algorithm. Fetch!

A hunter or trapper of feral dogs. Dogging used to be an important occupation in Australia, where sheep ranching has long been a major business. Feral dog populations have been estimated in the many hundreds of thousands, and annual losses to their depredations are estimated in the thousands of sheep. A gang of dogs can bring down a cow. (Evidently, they have other food sources.) Sheep ranchers say that dog attacks also traumatize their flocks.

Doggers have traditionally been paid privately, on the basis of a per-dog bounty. There are still a few such doggers in Australia, but there are more attractive occupational opportunities, and the population of doggers is getting older. Although doggers will shoot dogs when the opportunity arises, most dogs are caught in traps. Nowadays, the traps' teeth typically have strychnine-soaked rags wired to them, and that poison is usually what kills them.

Another control measure used by state governments and federal agencies has been the air-dropping of poisoned bait, but there is concern that this bait will be taken by endangered species, so such programs are always themselves endangered. Besides doggers and poison, there is fencing. A 5,400-kilometer barrier cuts off the south-east corner of the continent from the interior. (For the sake of comparison, the Great Wall of China is 6,400 km long.) Erected in the 1880's, it's usually been described as successful in keeping dogs that roam the arid interior from crossing into sheep and cattle country. I don't know how they can be certain. There's a movie about some aboriginal children taken from their parents, who find their way home by following the fence, but I can't remember the title. There is currently (2006) a proposal under study to build a 1,100-km fence in the northwest corner of the state of Western Australia. It would stretch from Esperance in the south to Meekatharra in the north-east, separating the ``bleak'' interior from the pastoral properties closer to the Indian Ocean coast.

Australia has a variety of other feral populations besides dogs. These include horses, cattle, goats, hog, donkeys, camels (!), water buffalo, dogs, cats, rabbits, foxes, and mice. I suggest paving the interior. Using dogs to help hunt feral hogs (or ``feral pigs,'' as they are more often called) is called pig dogging (not dog pigging). The dogs used to find and attack wild boar and flush them out of the brush are usually pit bulls, which came to be called pigdogs by Australian hunters. The legality of pigdogging is under state jurisdiction (outside of the national parks), and varies across Australia. The legal situation is generally acknowledged to be confusing. Certain styles of surfing, in which the surfer's crouch is said to resemble a pigdog's posture as it hangs on a pig, are called pig dogging.

All three major Scrabble dictionaries accept dogger and its regular plural. Not that it matters, but OSPD and TWL, which offer definitions, list it as a fishing vessel.

One kind of dogger that sounds intermediate between these is a crane chaser. He also generally works outdoors. This kind of dogger attaches slings to cranes and directs the movement of loads handled by cranes, maybe does a little shoveling, and is occasionally crushed by accident. Oh-- that kind of crane! Anyway...

dog food
If you run out of Alpo or Science Diet, Eukanuba, or whatever, you could try homework. Dogs absolutely love to eat homework. Homework contains nutrients essential to dog health. Don't shred it, or they'll think it's just some paper with ink on it. (For related information, see this FDR entry.)

Dog food is also a stage in the Microsoft software development process, I was not surprised to learn. On the other hand, Intel's Moore speaks of how Intel must ``eat its own children.'' This must be the difference between software and hardware.

Disgruntled Owners of General Motors Automotive Diesels.

Database Of Genome Sizes. Provided by the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis (CBS).

Dual OverHead Cam(shafts). One to operate the intake valves, one to operate the exhaust valves. More at OHC.

(US government) Department of the Interior.

In common usage, the definite article is much more likely to be elided when DOI is attributive (e.g., ``Department of Interior administrative rulings'').

Digital Object Identifier. ``The DOI System is for identifying content objects in the digital environment. DOI® names are assigned to any entity for use on digital networks. They are used to provide current information, including where they (or information about them) can be found on the Internet. Information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it, but its DOI name will not change.''

Do I really impress you as someone who cherishes his or her liberal credentials?
Somewhat otiose question, though possibly sincere, especially considering the gender ambiguity.

(US government) Department of Justice. Despite the name, its main concern is actually with law enforcement. The courts (judicial system) are a separate branch of government, independent of the executive-branch DOJ, though whether it is judicious or just is similarly questionable.

The presidential security escort, called the Secret Service, is part of the Treasury Department for historical reasons (like: that there didn't used to be a DOJ), or perhaps because the protection of the president is motivated more by a desire for a stable currency than by any consideration of justice. This might explain why secret service officers failed quietly to assassinate Quayl when Bush (president 41) was ill, and thereby risked the former's becoming president.

The absence of the final e in Quayle's name is not a misspelling. It's a joke -- a reference to a famous misadventure he suffered when he returned to elementary school. Already in December 2003, as I was touching up the text, I restored the absent e. Fortunately, the editor caught the incorrectly correctly spelled name, and now the correct misspelling has been restored for your amusement. For help remembering the original incident and for some of its Nachleben, see the FF entry (french fried potatoes).

D.O.L. lesson
Daily Oral Language LESSON. An exercise conducted in elementary school, often at the beginning of the school day, specifically dedicated to the correction of pupils' errors of grammar and usage in speech.

(US government) Department Of Labor.

Frances Perkins was FDR's Secretary of Labor, and the first female member of a US Cabinet. They probably snuck that in under the radar, spelling her name Francis often enough to make people think Frances was the misspelling.

Data Warehousing and OnLine Analytical Processing. An annual conference since 1998, sponsored by the ACM and held in conjunction with the CIKM. I just hope it's pronounced doe-lap rather than dewlap. Cf. ROLAP.

dollar store
This is basically the five-and-dime, updated by a century. A no-frills discount store, selling Brand X, Made in China, typically located in a downscale or distressed strip mall. Around the turn of the century (I mean around 2000), a dollar store was a small store that sold stuff (wicker and plastic goods, paper, cleaning and basic hygiene products, boxed and canned food, hand tools, novelties) that was priced at a dollar apiece, except maybe some candy bars for a bit less. Right from the beginning, many ``apiece'' shrank with time, and by 2005 a new model was dominant: a dollar store sold stuff that was priced in round numbers of dollars, with a few items priced in multiples of fifty cents. The sizes of the stores and the range of products expanded, and the soap bars shrank more slowly.

As of mid-2009 the only traditional dollar store I know of is Dollar Tree. A local Dollar Tree franchise (in Mishawaka, IN) fills a space of about 10,000 square feet, so it's not as if there aren't cheap items available to sell. Dollar Tree is a good place to go to buy AAA batteries in packages of fewer than 50, single items of silverware (two for a dollar), pickles that are not packed so tightly into their jars, and mystery brands. That local Dollar Tree is the only place I know where you can buy the Sunday edition of the South Bend Tribune for a discount (on the Sunday morning of issue, perhaps I should add).

Most dollar stores are franchises of major chains like Dollar Tree and Dollar General -- buying in bulk must be part of the business model -- but there are also variations on the idea, and probably some independents. I don't know if that includes the 99-cent store I remember in Garwood, New Jersey. Back around 2004-2005, they had a going-out-of-business sale that lasted about a year. They did in fact eventually close the store, but I wonder how much they restocked.

A June 24, 2009, story in the Wall Street Journal begins thus:

When Cyrus Hassankola moved to Dallas a couple of years ago, after successfully going out of business in several locales, he decided to settle down and go out of business permanently [selling oriental rugs]. ... Customers ... would sometimes say how sorry they were that he was going out of business. ``We're not,'' Mr. Hassankola told them. ``It's just the name of the store.''

The Texas AG's office objected to the name, so he changed it to ``Cyrus Rug Gallery'' and started to advertise a sell-out ahead of ``the impending demolition and redevelopment'' of the premises, apparently based on a rumor that has not yet been proven true... or false. He says he's looking for a new location.

Dolly Lama
Someday in Tibet, they hope to sing ``it's so nice to have you back where you belong!''

A person (usually an alum) associated with the University of Notre Dame. The word is an allusion to the famous golden dome on the central building of the campus. (Actually, some of the newer buildings are of comparable height and more massive, and the center of the campus by many reasonable definitions has moved east, but the building is still iconic.)

Someone who has received two degrees from Notre Dame is called a ``double domer.'' The word ``domer'' is also used very loosely as an adjective meaning ``associated with Notre Dame.''

Digestible Organic Matter Intake.

Plural of Latin domus, `house.'

Domus Aurea
Latin for `golden house,' known in English as ``the golden house of Nero'' (and in French as ``la maison dorée de Néron''; seems to be a pattern). There was a great fire in Rome in A.D. 64, and Nero did not ``fiddle while Rome burned.'' We know this because fiddles hadn't been invented yet. We don't know what he was doing. He was out of town. He was away a lot, even when he was around, partly because he was going out of his mind. He decided that he was a great artiste and he neglected the daily chores of being Roman Emperor.

Nero took the opportunity of the fire to expropriate an area of over 200 acres in central Rome. There, between 65 and 68, he built a colossal palace (domus was a single-family dwelling of variable size). (When I say ``he built,'' I don't mean with his own hands. In 66 he went off to Greece for 15 months in search of religious enlightenment.) He laid out the area as a park with various porticoes, pavilions, baths, and fountains, with an artificial lake in the center. (The later emperor Vespasian had this drained to make a site for the Colosseum.) The domestic wing of the palace stood on the slopes of the Oppian Hill facing south across the lake. He didn't get to enjoy it for very long: in 68 he died, probably a suicide.

Director Of Nursing. I learned this at an elder care facility. Often, unabbreviated terms (like ``nursing home'') are euphemized away and acronyms preserve an earlier usage.

A gully in a veldt. A word of autochthonous southern African origin. Dongas are found there and on the Scrabble tablelands.

Donor-Organized Non-Governmental Organization. An NGO organized by donors.

This is probably the ideal point to make the following point about NGO's: when you incorporate, you have to select a name that is unique, at least so far as the jurisdiction of incorporation is concerned. It's a lot like trademarking. An NPO could incorporate under the generic and not very helpful name DONGO, but then a group that wanted to develop a cross between donkeys and Australian dogs, or between dogs and bongos, could not be incorporated by the same jurisdiction under that name. So always have a plan B and maybe a plan C.

Deuterated nitrous acid. ``DONO'' is the structural formula, used as an abbreviation. If you like, you can regard it as an acronym with the expansion ``Deuterium Oxygen Nitrogen Oxygen.'' The ordinary form is called HONO.

A small city at an oxbow in the Monongahela, some miles south of Pittsburgh. The city was incorporated in 1901, and its name is a blend of NORA and DONner (details at the end of the entry). A major disaster took place there in 1948, when weather conditions resulted in the accumulation of exhaust from industrial plants, particularly smelting plants, leaving 19 people dead. I visited the place around 2005. I bought a six-pack of Iron City beer and did other equally interesting things, and I also visited the public library to see what I could learn about the historical disaster.

They didn't have much information on it, but they did tell me that a few years earlier somebody from Notre Dame had come and taped interviews with survivors and made some kind of movie out of it (which they apparently didn't think it odd not to have a copy of). Back at Notre Dame, I haven't been able to track that down easily, but I'll let you know if I do.

Perhaps an interest in Donora's tragedy is an occupational hazard of working at Notre Dame. Maybe it has to do with the bend in the river. Notre Dame is at South Bend, Indiana. (Actually north of the center of that city, but wholly outside the city limits.) South Bend is on the Saint Joseph River, which rises generally southeastward from Lake Michigan (at the city of Saint Joseph, Michigan), flows directly south from Niles, Michigan, and takes a sharp turn to the east here. If this were the eighteenth century, and you were canoeing south up the Saint Joseph, you might land in South Bend and portage west to reach one of the tributaries of the Mississippi. The Saint Joseph does not continue exactly eastward, and it turns out that the river's southernmost point is at the city of South Bend, whence the name.

Niles, Michigan, incidentally, is not named for the river in Africa. It's named for Hezekiah Niles, as explained at the Niles entry.

Donora name:

On June 1, 1902, under the headline ``How a Town's Name Was Made,'' the New York Times printed a column-inch of news from ``The Pittsburg (Penn.) Times.'' [Regarding the aitch missing from ``Pittsburg,'' see the Pittsburg entry.]
  Few persons know how the new town of Donora was given its name. It is simple enough. The first syllable is part of the name of W.H. Donner, President of the Union Steel Company, which started the town, and the last syllable is the first name of Mrs. A.W. Mellon, the wife of one of those heavily interested in the town and steel company.

Mr. Donner was in fact the industrialist whose enthusiasm drove the development of the area that was named Donora. There's an alternative story of the origin of the name Donora that is based on the idea that Mrs. Mellon's maiden name was Donner. That would have been a bit of a coincidence, unless Mr. Mellon had married a relative of his friend Donner. In any case, she was née McMullin. I didn't invent the ``Nora Donner Mellon'' story, but I helped propagate it. Sorry.

Disturb Opponents' NoTrump. A contract bridge bidding convention known by its initialism.

Don't be so bloody literal-minded!
Don't think!

don't-care condition
Apathy. Anomie. Whatever.

Don't let them tell you that ...
Advice not to be taken too literally.

Don't you see?
Look, on the basis of one mispronounced word, and my deep understanding of the deeper significance of Freudian slips, I am prepared, free of charge, to reveal you to yourself and tell you how to run your life. Hey, where you goin'?

Don't you worry your pretty little head about that.
When this phrase occurs in a wonderful old movie, it adds to one's understanding of the movie to recognize that this part of the script was probably not originally intended to set your teeth on edge.

Don't worry if that doesn't make sense yet.
This phrase, often followed by ``we will explain it later,'' is a special code phrase used by the authors of programming-language books. It means the following: ``The author of this book has been programming since he was a twelve-year-old street urchin in the bad part of the slums of some third-world city that has electricity and occasional running water. He dropped out of school at age 14 to pursue database programming full time, and moved to the US to receive a decent wage for the same work he was doing in Mexico or India or some other outsource location for five dollars a day. Along the way, he learned just enough broken English to get by. Now he has written the unedited $50 upchuck of words and fiendishly flawed sample code before you. Good luck.''

Abbreviation for ``Days Of Our Lives'' that is standard in rec.arts.tv.soaps. The tabloids tend to use ``DAYS.''

Door Slam Method, Car
Method of assembling a music album: cobbling together movie background tracks not integral to a movie. So called from the fact that the music is dubbed into scenes of people getting into and out of cars. According to Bruce Springsteen (more at CEO entry) in a June 1994 interview in Mother Jones magazine (MoJo).

The ``soundtrack album'' for the movie ``The Graduate'' was definitely not made by the door slam method. The music was actually intelligently adapted to what was going on in the movie. Most of the songs sound at least a little bit different in the album, and a few are clearly different versions. (And the sound quality is better, not very surprisingly.) I would have investigated personally, but unfortunately that movie is not among the between 1¼ and 2¾ movies from the sixties that I am still able to stomach in their entirety, so I have had to rely on infallible sources like Robin. Robin claimed that ``Mrs. Robinson,'' though written for the movie, wasn't used in it. I passed that information along here (though of course I protected my sources). The claim was apparently made nowhere else among the many thousands of other web pages that mentioned this obscure song, so we had quite a scoop ... of something. According to an old FAQ page, the song is evidently used at least twice in the movie, though in at least one instance it is a whistled rather than sung version. If you come back to this entry later and it no longer mentions my good friend Robin, that'll be an indication that none of the versions used in the movie were sung.

The song was an enormous hit for Simon and Garfunkel, spending four weeks at number one in 1968. It contains a lyric

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Joltin' Joe wasn't sure how to understand the lyric, and said in an interview that he once took the opportunity to ask Rhymin' Simon about it. Joe didn't reveal what answer he got, but it was evidently complimentary.

More about Mrs. Robinson is hidden somewhere in the Buffalo Bills entry. Go figure.

You know, that entry is so bloated, I'm just going to continue the thought here. The thought concerns that movie (``The Graduate''). The graduate of the title, Benjamin Braddock, has an affair with a Mrs. Robinson, who is supposed to be old enough to be his mother. The characters are played by Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, 30 and 36 years old at the time, respectively. Even before it became illegal to make the contrary suggestion, it used to be said that women are more (emotionally) mature than men of the same age, but this doesn't really cut it. At least Bancroft was older, so I guess you could say casting got it qualitatively correct. Dustin Hoffman eventually went on to play an unemployed actor who poses as a woman to get acting work in ``Tootsie'' (more at the metastatic entry).

Now I think of it, one day I was in the car with [name actually omitted to protect my privacy, can you imagine?] and she asked me how old I was. In the years we'd been dating, it hadn't ever come up. It turned out then that I was twenty-five and she was thirty. She said ``why-you're-just a baaaaaaaaabyyyyyyyy!!!!'' I guess you could say she got that qualitatively correct, but I won't. She eventually married someone quantitatively (or chronologically, as they say) older.

In the movie ``Bridget Jones's Diary'' (2001), 32-year-old Renée Zellweger plays a 32-year old woman (the title character) desperate to hook up permanently. (Sort of like a mobile home, I guess.) The other two vertices (or is it sides?) of her love triangle are played by Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, who were born on September 9 and 10, respectively, 1960, or eight and a half years before Zellweger. Romantic comedy is an amazingly limiting and even ritualized genre, but because you're a sensitive person, you thrill to the subtle wrinkles in each new product. In this one, plucky-everygirl Bridget Jones overcomes-misunderstandings-and-a-rival-to-have-a-happy-ending-with-the-rich-and-talented Mark Darcy, the Colin Firth character. According to the script, she was four when he was eight. Bridget Jones says ``That's a pretty big age difference -- quite pervy really.'' (Full disclosure: this might be a tendentiously selected quotation.) (Further disclosure: the preceding full disclosure was not complete. I'm not saying it wasn't a full disclosure, just that it was not a complete one -- it was a partial full disclosure.)

The Chemical Key to Passion and Bliss, according to the cover of the journal Psychology Today, September 1997.

A neurotransmitter amine. May be abbreviated DA.

Dartmouth Oversimplified Programming Experiment. An experimental programming language, predecessor of BASIC. See this DART entry for others.

Double with 0 (aces), Pass with 1. A contract bridge bidding convention known by the pronunciation of how its initialism looks. Another one is ROPI.

Beautiful Leila once coaxed me into being a fourth for bridge -- her partner -- and tried to teach me the rules of the game as it went along (kind of like life). All I learned was the verb to finesse, but at that stage I could at most coarse. Bridge is all about social intercourse. I still regret every bid and every pass that I remember not making that night. I was very, very DOPey. Now Humiliation -- that's I game I know how to play.

Dorado. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

The Large Magellanic Cloud is located in Dorado.

Defence Of the Realm Act. Passed by the British House of Commons without debate on 8th August 1914, this act gave the government broad censorship and eminent domain powers. It was amended over the course of the war to give increased powers to the government. Cf. USA PATRIOT Act.

Department Of Redundancy Department. A feature of the Firesign Theatre.

Doppel-Ring-Speicher. `Double storage rings' at DESY in Hamburg.

Dorothy L. Sayers. Affectionate shorthand used in mystery mailing lists.

Denial Of Service. A form of service theft or merely malicious internet attack.

Density Of States. The number of quantum states per unit interval of energy or momentum or some other good quantum number. May be extensive (counting total states in a volume or system) or intensive (counting states per unit volume, area, or length).

Department Of State. The US Department of State is essentially what is called the Foreign Ministry in most other English-speaking countries. The job of the State Department seems to be to oppose the foreign policy of the President. The Secretary of State is the nominal head of the DOS, selected by the President and approved by the Senate. Within a few weeks of ``taking over,'' the Secretary of State goes native.

There are a number of US states with their own departments of state. I suppose it's cool to have a ``state department of state'' or a ``State department'' that is only a single one of the ``state departments,'' but after a couple of hundred years, I think the novelty starts to wear thin. The US Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 10, and elsewhere) limits the power of states to conduct individual foreign policy (although governors regularly head delegations seeking to expand foreign trade). State departments of state are generally not ministries of the exterior but of the interior.

For example, the ``State of New Jersey Department of State'' seems to be something of a catch-all, with responsibility for elections, volunteer programs, arts programs, tourism, American Indian affairs, and scattered other stuff. The ``Florida Department of State'' seems to be only slightly less scattered, with a stronger emphasis on elections. (And really, as the 2000 elections showed, that may already be more than they can handle.) The ``Pennsylvania Department of State'' has just ``five bureaus that work for the public.'' No mention of any bureaus that work against the public, so it sounds pretty focused. The links to the five are labeled ``Elections, Licensing, Corporations, Charities,'' and ``Athletics.'' Athletics? ``Each [bureau] is unique in function and all are vital to the strength of our Commonwealth.'' It's looking like Pennsylvania might be critical in the 2008 elections. Watch out.

Disk Operating System. That is, an operating system (OS) stored on disk.

In common parlance, refers to MS-DOS or PC-DOS, a CP/M-like set of commands (that is not technically an operating system) that IBM bought from Microsoft for the IBM-PC. (On those early IBM PC's, it used to reside on floppy disks.)

John DOS Passos.

dosemu, DOSEmu, DOSEMU
DOS EMUlator. ``[A] linux application that enables the Linux OS to run many [MS-]DOS programs - including some DPMI apps.''

A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue from the Twelfth Century to the End of the Seventeenth, founded on the collections of Sir William A. Craigie. Edited by William Craigie, A. J. Aitken, James A.C. Stevenson, Harry D. Watson, Margaret G. Dareau, and K. Lorna Pike, and published starting in 1931. The closest Scottish equivalent to the OED. The OUP has been slowly reprinting the DOST volumes since 1983 (vols. 1-5 -- A-C, D-G, H-L, M-N, O-Pn -- that year; much more slowly afterwards). I hear tell that the SNDA is selling it too.

Be aware that paperback publications of DOST are actually sub-sections of the hardback volumes. In principle, one paperbound ``part'' or fascicle is supposed to be issued annually, and every four or five years the recent ones are bound into a hardback volume. Part XLIV, ``S(c)hake to S(c)hot,'' is dated 1996 (it came out in Dec. 1995), and our library doesn't seem to have received any subsequent parts.

For something you can hold completely in one hand, try the CSD.

Serbo-Croatian word meaning `enough.' Used as an adjective, adverb, and stand-alone interjection approximately as in English. (Dosta! Enough!)

In Spanish, the adjective and adverb is bastante, but the interjection is ¡basta! -- `it suffices!' -- from the verb bastar.

In Hindi, bas is the adjective, adverb, and interjection `enough,' and this is evidently related to Persian bas. I've heard a Sikh mother tell her son bascaro! (Punjabi `enough').

Not every Indo-European language has a bas cognate, obviously. English Enough is cognate with German genug.

That should do for now.

Department Of Transportation. The US government's DOT is pronounced as an initialism (``dee oh tee''), except perhaps when written ``US DOT.'' It has become popular for individual US states to call their own departments of roads (plus whatever, and whatever else) by acronyms ending in DOT pronounced like the ordinary word dot. Examples include GDOT, KDOT, and PennDOT (relevant information at the PA entry). In fact, the practice has become widespread! In a disturbing display of concord, North and South Carolina use NCDOT and SCDOT, and North and South Dakota use NDDOT and SDDOT. (Yes, I do mean respectively. It isn't necessary to say the obvious all the time, the way I'm doing in this parenthetical.) We're going to examine this important trend in greater depth, not exhaustively by systematically. First we'll do

The Vowel States.

Alabama took ALDOT, which isn't exactly euphonious, but better than AKDOT. Alaskans must've thought the same; they have a DOT&PF (Department of Transportation and Public Facilities). Arizona uses ADOT. Arkansas is experimenting with Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD). This is one of the benefits of federalism: an innovative idea (a lunacy) can be tried out in just one state first, and if it fails there it can be tried out again nationally. This is why so many US presidents have been former governors.

IDOT (``Aye, Dot!') is used by Illinois, but written out it looks, uh, dumb. Neighboring I-states Indiana and Iowa use INDOT and Iowa DOT. When your state name is short enough to look like an acronym, you've got plenty of space left over on the truck door. Idaho went with ITD (Idaho Transportation Department). I'm not surprised, really. Idaho is ``way out there,'' and I don't just mean way out west. You know, ``... way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back -- that's like an earthquake.'' Oh, sorry, that's Willy Loman. Whatever. (Accurate and more complete excerpt at the dast entry.)

ODOT is used by Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon. Bosons, obviously.

Utah has UDOT all to itself.

There aren't any E states, so we have space for

The Semivowel States:

WashDOT is used somewhat, but Washington State's DOT is officially WSDOT, possibly because washdot sounds too much like what happens to roads in the wet western part of the state. Wisconsin uses DOT and also WisDOT to a certain extent, though not currently (2004) on the homepage. Perhaps this is deprecated, in the computer sense of being understood but superseded. That would be a good thing, because the voicing of the letter dee in WisDOT likely leads many to pronounce this ``Wiz dot.'' That doesn't mean anything, precisely, but what it means imprecisely isn't good. Wyoming uses WYDOT. Why not? West Virginia has a WVDOT. I never noticed before how much ``WV'' looks like ``VW.'' West Virginia sells ``Officially Licensed NASCAR® and NASCAR® Driver Plates'' on line. They call this ``Bridging the E-Commerce Gap.'' I call it playing to type. (``Collect the entire series of your favorite NASCAR® drivers!'' What, a different plate for every block-mounted car-cass in my yard?) West Virginia brings us back to

The States With Two-Word Names,

which in every case share a word with another state. What about the New states? NHDOT, NJDOT, NMDOT, ... boring, boring, and boring. Oh goodie, NYSDOT, for New York State. Someone got a gray-flannel suit with slightly larger belt-loops. Could that be pronounced ``nice dot''? I guess it could be.

The remaining en's? Nevada takes no chances (the house never does): its chips go on NDOT. And Nebraska goes with ... NDOR! Yes! They probably figured Kansas made such good publicity with its Good Witch of the North, they should try a witch connection too. (I'm writing this stuff during ``Reading Days.'' There's nothing else to do. That's my excuse.) It stands for ``Department of Roads.'' More at the ENDOR entry eventually, perhaps, I suppose, in your dreams.

There are

Other States That Have To Share A First Initial

of course. Virginia took VDOT. Vermont has an Agency of Transportation. It would be sooo-ooo-ooo cool if they called it VAT, but they call it VTrans, which sounds like a bus service.

Exams are coming up soon and we'll only have time for one more contested initial, so let's cut to the em's. As you know, the we're-not-a-boy-band! boy band of brothers Hanson had a big hit with MDOT. Who can forget those bittersweet lyrics --

In an mdot they're gone.
In an mdot they're gone. In an mdot they're not there
In an mdot they're gone. In an mdot they're not there
In an mdot they're gone. In an mdot they're not there
In an mdot they're gone. In an mdot they're not there
Until you lose your hair. But you don't care.
(repeat chorus if you can stand it)

Oh, I guess I forgot the lyrics. It's not mdot but mmmbop. Of course! That way the lyrics make much more sense. Let's compare what the various mmmstates do. Michigan: MDOT. Oops, that's all we have time for, sorry.

(My favorite StateDOT is DelDOT. It's the reason I wrote this entry at all.)

(US government) Department of the Treasury.

Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

DMIS Object Technology. DMIS (q.v.) is the Dimensional Measuring Interface Standard.

DOTBAM, dotbam
The on-line subsidiary or division of a traditional bricks-and-mortar (BAM) business, as opposed to a dotcom...

dot-bomb, dot-bomb
A dotcom that bombed.

dotcom, DOTCOM, dot-com, dot com
An e-business. Especially one that is a no-capital start-up with no bricks-and-mortar (BAM) customer area. Especially one whose programming gerbils survived by eating stock options washed down with coffee. Especially one that went out of business in 2001 after never turning a profit. Cf. DOTBAM.

Name taken from the most popular TLD (particularly for retailers).

DOTF, D.O.T.F., DotF
Defender Of The Future. Ecco the Dolphin is a side-scrolling video game first released in 1992, about a future world in which humans and dolphins have joined together in a moist ecological alliance. Let's all burble Kumbaya together and hug a tree, or a sea sponge or something. One of the releases is called Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future.

Here's something from a review of Ecco the Dolphin: DOTF that I found sadly amusing: ``...most of your first hour will be spent getting to grips with Ecco's simple, intuitive control system and marvelling at the beautiful graphics.'' (This is from page 317 of the same reference quoted at the virtual entry.)

DOT Force
Digital Opportunity Task FORCE.

double entendre
French for `double entendre.' Except it isn't. Apparently it has a different meaning in French. If you want real information, you should take a gander at the entry for the Heidelberg United Soccer Club.

double imperial
Twelve-liter resealable container for ethanol-water solutions. That suggests that a single imperial would hold six liters, but that doesn't seem to be a named standard size. The jeroboam holds five liters.

On July 28, 2004, Beringer Vineyards unveiled a larger bottle at its winery in St. Helena, California. The four-and-a-half-foot bottle was filled with 2001 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (which suggests that they don't plan on letting it settle very long). It is claimed to be the world's largest bottle of wine, and officials of the Guinness Book of Records were on hand to certify the event.

double negative
A pregnant woman not from Hong Kong whose husband is also not from Hong Kong.

Corroborated by a second liar. Journalism's gold standard of accuracy.

double tradition
Material found in approximately similar form in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark (or in Jeroboam, for that matter). Cf. triple tradition, Sondergut.

double vibration
This embarrassingly flat-footed term is used by music theorists to mean cycle or period. For example, the Thompson's International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians defines pitch as ``[t]he identity of a sound according to the number of double vibrations produced per second.''

Data Over Voice (line).

An ugly government neologism. See SIR.

downside risk

Okay, that's correct, but there's a little history to it. Back in the sixties, economics modeling was grappling with the problem of what mathematical measure to use for risk. That is: how to quantify risk. Many of the proposed quantifiers were ``downside measures,'' which quantified the probability of, say, price decreases but not increases. One example of a downside measure of risk is the semivariance, which is essentially the price variance computed by considering only negative deviations from the mean (price). (Of course, it's a mathematical fact that this is exactly half of the ordinary variance.) In the end, perhaps primarily because of its formal convenience, familiarity and simple properties, standard deviation (the square root of variance) was widely adopted. It does have a couple of attractive properties from the practical economic point of view: it does more heavily weight large deviations (than does average deviation, say) and thus incorporates the notion of a ``comfort zone'' of unalarming small price fluctuations. Also, it is a linear measure, so it can be compared directly (i.e., dollars to dollars). [That's really also a disadvantage, because it gives people the mistaken notion that they understand it, since it is some number of dollars.] However, strictly speaking the standard deviation in price is a measure of price volatility. One may say that downside volatility is closer to a precise notion of risk, and because theoretical discussions now usually assume that ``risk'' is volatility, ``downside risk'' is not an utterly meaningless, stupid phrase. Just an ugly one.

The above is something of a guess.

downtown Holland
I like the idea that Holland has a downtown. Holland itself is in Western Michigan, a region heavily settled by Dutch Calvinists, some time ago. The main industry in Holland seems to be Hope College, located downtown. I visited in early February 2003 to see the special exhibit of Michael Ayreton's work (sculptures, mostly) based on the [column] Myth of Daedalus. While there I had lunch in a student cafeteria, where sixties rock was playing over the PA system. Ninety-six Tears came on (you know -- by [question mark] and the Mysterians?), and some kid on the north side of the room started grooving to it. He couldn't have been much more than a spermatozoon when the sixties were a decade in the can. I'm sure this is very meaningful and significant, but I'm just doing data collection here. Insight will have to come later, when some imaginative think-piece writer like Claude Lévi-Strauss digests the data from all this precise ethnological work. Still, I think it made me understand a little better how Schubert might have felt forty years after he died, if he had lived that long. (A priori, it's not unreasonable that Franz Schubert might have lived forty years longer than he actually did. He died at the age of 31. Claude Lévi-Strauss, by contrast, lived to be 100.)

The Holland visit was a side-trip on my way to a dinner date with Gail. Gail grew up in Detroit, and she explained that my Hope College observations did not mislead me: the western part of lower Michigan is strange. It's always good to get input from researchers on the ground.

This just in -- more anthropological data from Holland, Michigan. Jon Blake Cusack talked his wife Jamie into naming their son Jon Blake Cusack 2.0. Version 2 was born January 27, 2004. Jamie Cusack said she figured that she got to pick out the theme of the baby's room and other things, so she ``decided to let Jon have this.'' (Welcome to Narcissism 102.) I imagine by now they're already expecting for next year -- 2.1.

The software-release analogy reminds me of 1984. In January of that year Apple launched its Macintosh line with a memorable advertisement that was based loosely on the ``Two-Minutes Hate'' (hate Emmanuel Goldstein) sessions of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. (Yes! A Goldstein variation.) At the Democratic Party convention in San Francisco that July, Jesse Jackson gave a most eloquent speech. (Everyone said he gave a very nice speech. That was the same convention where Mario Cuomo gave a mediocre speech that everyone praised as moving and eloquent. This proves that people generally have worse judgment than I do.) Here's one of the lines from Jesse's speech:

God is not finished with me yet.

Just like Microsoft.

Just to continue the remakes theme -- in 2007, a political attack ad against Hillary Clinton was put up on <YouTube.com> (it was made by someone who turned out to be associated with the Obama campaign). The ad was a remake of the 1984 Apple ad.

Dissolved Organic Halogen (X). Cf. TOX.

Do you know the one thing that's really despicable?
Rhetorical questions masquerading as conversation. As if demanding an impossible answer were letting someone get a word in edgewise. Typically, such questions are intended to demonstrate the questioners' superior knowledge, but in fact demonstrate their inferior imagination. The proper polemical strategy with a rhetorical question, if you don't have a snappy smart reply (and often even if you do) is to ignore it, or at least not answer it directly. You could do worse than reply with the counterquestion above. If your interlocutor takes the bait, you can use some of the definition here to ``break service'' in your conversational match.

Study this entry well, and be prepared. Staircase wit is bitter in the throat.

Do you want ethernet in this room too?
Yeah, two on the far wall and one by the toilet paper (TP) dispenser.

BullDOZER. Earth-moving equipment. A tractor with a broad blade pushing bulky objects and for leveling the ground or stuff on it.

The term arose in the US during Reconstruction, as ``bull dose,'' specifically a bull dose of punishment, usually flogging. To judge from contexts offered by the OED, these doses were generally originally delivered in a highly race-prejudiced manner, but later the courtesy was extended to all races. The verb meant to administer this flogging, or by extension to coerce by force. The word bull-doser applied to the sort of person who would, could, or looked like he might bull-dose. Somewhere along the way the ess must have gotten to be voiced, probably after or as the original motivation of the term was forgotten. Bulldozer, apparently never with an ess, was used by 1881 to mean a large pistol. Bulldozer, in the sense of a machine for flattening the inanimate opposition of earth, was in use by 1930.

Georgia-based manufacturer of barbells and other instruments of self-torture. If I knew what DP stood for, I'd tell you.
Dislocated, Perhaps.

Data Processing.

Degree of Polymerization. The (typical, average, etc.) number of monomer units in a polymer chain.

Dial Pulse. See pulse dialing entry.

Differential Pressure.

Digestible Protein.

Displaced Person. Abbreviation best and most sadly remembered from DP camps, where enormous numbers of WWII survivors waited to return home, if it was there to return to, or start a life elsewhere.

Distributed Proofreaders. See PGDP.

Domestic Partner. Someone with whom you share significant furniture.

Double Play. A defensive play in baseball, where two runners are put out while the ball is in play. A `4-3' double play would typically be one in which the second baseman (player designated 4 in box score sheet) fields the ball and makes an unassisted put-out (force at second, or tag runner coming from first) and throws to the first baseman, who puts out the batter running to first. Since, even in baseball, a majority of players bat right-handed, playable balls are more commonly hit to left field, and probably the most common DP is `6-4-3': shortstop fields the ball, tosses to second baseman, who has run to second as the play develops, who forces the runner to second out and jumps out of the way (the runner is sliding so as to break up the double play), spins and throws to first for the force-out there.

When I was in graduate school one October, a graduate student in the English department walked into the crowded TV room and, after vaguely discerning the focus of attention, asked aloud how many games there were in the World Series. The first answer she received was ``Are you an American?'' from a Tigers fan.

Dual Process{ ing | or }.

Dynamic Programming.

Destructive Physical Analysis.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Diagnostic Pharmaceutical Agent. A DPA is an optometrist who is authorized to use pharmacological methods to diagnose diseases of the eye. The first DPA law in the US (allowing qualified optometrists to act as DPA's) was enacted by Rhode Island in 1971. Cf. TPA. This all seems to blur the distinction between optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Distributed Power Architecture.

DOD Protocol Architecture.

Drug Policy Alliance. An alliance of George Soros's money with NORML ideas.


Duke Papyrus Archive.

Durable Power of Attorney.

DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. At the University of Notre Dame.

There ain't no DPAC Shakur.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. California, at least, allows the DPAHC by statute. In many other states, the closest equivalent is the ``living will.''

Demand Priority Access Method. Originally developed at Hewlett-Packard (HP).

Draft Proposed ANS.

Durable Power of Attorney for Property Management.

Digital Private Branch eXchange (PBX).

{ Differential | Delta } Pulse Code Modulation (PCM). Differential in the sense that one only encodes changes between successive samples.

An idea that helped make fax practical was the recognition that an efficient compression scheme is to encode only changes in density.

Double-Pole, Double-Throw. ``Double-pole'' means that there are effectively two electrically isolated switches, but that they are ganged so that they can only be switched simultaneously. ``Double-throw'' means that the switch can be ``thrown'' into either of two positions that make an electrical connection. A position in which the switch can only be open -- i.e., an off position that one cannot tap in to, is not counted among the throws. A DPDT switch may have one, two, or three rest positions. A DPDT switch with one rest position is called a DPDT momentary. (The rest position may be open or it may be one of the throws.)

A DPDT switch would be appropriate for switching ordinary two-phase power between either of two alternative loads or for switching an appliance between either of two AC power supplies. (With three-phase power, the same applications would require triple-pole double-throw switches.) Another application of DPDT switches would be in selecting which of two alternative phones is connected to an ordinary (two active wires) phone line, or which of two phone lines is connected to a particular phone. If you were switching a single line among three phones, or a single phone among three lines, you would use a double-pole triple-throw switch.

Data (link) Protocol Data Unit.

DP Europe
Distributed Proofreaders EUROPE. The second DP site, on the web starting in January 2004. The original DP (see PGDP), based in the US, makes etexts in ISO Latin-1 character set (suitable for most Western European languages), primarily of English texts. DP Europe uses UTF-8 and is doing texts in various Eastern European languages, although roughly half of the early texts are in Western European languages. At least until some expected Asian sites are up, it is anticipated that some other non-Roman-alphabet work will be done at DP Europe.

Michael Hart (see PG entry) has authorized two or more PG groups in Europe. DP Europe is led by Zoran Stefanovic and will operate from Belgrade. (It's part of Ratsko. I don't know what Rastko is exactly, though it seems to comprise a collection of cultural preservation projects.) There is a separate PG-EU based in the Netherlands, which apparently will also do distributed proofing. As of this writing (Jan. 28; one day after official DP Europe announcement) the European operations are at various testing stages, so the situation is a bit fluid and the division of labor remains to be worked out.

Netherlands, like all of the EU, follows a Life+70 rule in copyright protection. The EU and the US (also +70) both are trying in their separate ways to extend the rule of that law. Serbia (like Canada and Australia) follows Life+50 as of 2004, so the siting may offer some flexibility. Although the jurisdictional issues are not clear, it seems to be agreed that some works are in the public domain in Serbia that are not so in the EU or US, and it will be possible to proof and serve them from a PG Europe there (once Serbian servers are used) though not at PG-INT or PG-EU. However, Serbia is expected to join the EU in 2008 or later, and is starting the ``harmonization'' process. Australia is in trade negotiations with the US, and Life+50 -->+70 is on the table. (There's a PG-AU, and as of this writing there are some very preliminary moves toward a PG-CA.)

Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (German Physical Society).

Digital Pattern Generator.

DiPhosphatidylGlycerol. Same as bisphosphatidylglycerol.

DiPropyleneGlycol. An emulsifier for lye and fat (may be used in saponfication).

DiPhenyl Hexatriene.

DPI, dpi
Dots Per Inch. An inch is an American inch, because other countries with their own excellent systems of units have foolishly discarded them in favor of the SI. In France, in particular, the inch was unusually long, so Napoleon's height given in conventional units seemed low when interpreted (incorrectly) with the scales of other lands (although I think the Prussian inch was an enormous exception). Well, I've read this, whether I believe it or not. It does sound like the bureaucrats' revenge, because Napoleon rightly perceived that metrification was a stupid idea. Unfortunately, he had bigger fish to fry.

In the US, the centimeter has been defined as exactly 50/127 inch, sort-of. DPI is also the initialism of the slightly Orwellian-sounding UN Department of Public Information.

Double-Pendulum Interferometer.

Death Penalty Information Center. A group opposed to the death penalty that presents itself as an unbiased source of information. News organizations helpfully cooperate by regarding their their press releases as news and describing the DPIC as ``a nonprofit research group in Washington'' vel sim. In contrast, organizations that favor the death penalty are identified as ``the conservative Washington Legal Foundation'' or ``the pro-execution Texas group, Justice for All'' (q.v.).

Distributed Proofreaders INTernational. Starting in 2004, there is a separate DP Europe site distinct from the original DP (information mostly at the PGDP entry), so the latter is distinguished as DP-INT.

Democratic Party of Japan. (Minshuto.) It was originally created in 1996 by dissenters from other parties including 57 members of the Diet. It was relaunched in 1998 as the ``new'' DPJ, when it absorbed various other small opposition parties. (Or when those parties merged to form a new DPJ, absorbing some other parties' dissenters in the process, as the relaunch spin had it.)

The emergence of the DPJ represents a qualitative change in Japanese politics -- the possibility of something like a two-party system. DPJ is now (ahead of the snap general election called for September 2005) large enough to credibly challenge the LDP for the status of largest party, a status it has held firmly since 1958. The closest previous parallel is the SDP when it was led by Takako Doi. The SDP briefly achieved parity with the LDP in the upper house of the Diet in the early 1990's, and was the largest party in the coalition that kept the LDP out of government for a few months in 1993-4.

In the Summer of 2005, 60 years after the end of WWII, Germany and Japan find themselves in similar circumstances. Both countries experienced spectacular sustained growth for decades after the war, and both economic engines stalled after 1990. Both countries have been making painful economic reforms, the leaders moving slowly against resistance within their own constituencies. Following votes that went against them, both countries' leaders (in a move unpopular with their fellow party-members) dissolved their governments and called early elections for September 2005. In both elections, the principal question is the pace and direction of economic reform, and in both countries a new party is changing the electoral dynamic. (In Germany the new party is die Linkspartei, `the Left Party.')

I am reminded of some famous lines I misunderstood for years, from RWE's ``Ode Inscribed to W.H. Channing'':

Things are in the saddle, And ride mankind.

In the Japanese elections on September 11, PM Koizumi's gamble paid off. The LDP increased its share of seats in the 480-member lower house of the Diet to 296, up from 249 before the election, reversing a decade-long slow decline. The most seats the LDP ever held was 300 in 1986, when the lower house had a total of 512 seats. The LDP and its coalition partner, the Buddhist-supported New Komeito Party, together now hold 327 lower-house seats, exceeding the two-thirds majority needed to override any veto by the upper house. I think most people realize now that 63-year-old Koizumi is a rock star. (The following Summer, on a state visit to the US, the rock star visited Graceland, where he did one of his Elvis impressions. Memphis, in Tennessee as in Egypt, is an ancient shrine. But visiting this one doesn't get the PM in much trouble with Japan's neighbors.)

The day after the 2005 elections, DPJ president Katsuya Okada conceded defeat and announced his resignation. During the campaign, he had already said he would resign in the event of a defeat, and the defeat was severe: the DPJ crashed from 175 seats to 113, holding onto only one seat in Tokyo, a former stronghold. Seiji Maehara became DPJ president on September 17. There had been speculation that DPJ would break up as a result of the electoral defeat, but they're still in existence as of June 2006, the current update of this entry. This month also, a hefty tax increase kicked in (something like an increase in the withholding percentage for social security), while social-security benefits are being reduced. That ought to give them a fillip. (There is a downside to high life-expectancy, as SciFi writers in large numbers were pointing out in the 1950's. It isn't helped any by a birth dearth -- something not so widely foreseen then.)

This obscure corner of the glossary is just the sort of place I would choose to mention the fact that what used to be called ``the Diet'' is nowadays called ``Japan's Parliament'' in English-language news stories. I'll have to look into why and when this change happened, but I imagine that the underlying cause is a discomfort people feel with this acception of the word diet. The precise etymology of this word is unclear, but it's certainly related to the German word Tag (as in Bundestag, the lower and more powerful house of the current German parliament, and Reichstag, the corresponding assembly of the Weimar republic). In Spanish, the German lower house is called dieta.

The week after the decisive result in the Japanese elections, Germany had a very inconclusive election that was expected to lead to a coalition government -- probably a grand coalition -- and gridlock on many major issues.

Digital Power Line.

Digital phase-locked loop. A use for VCO.

Decays Per Minute.

Deputy Prime Minister.

Digital Panel Meter. A flat-panel digital display with integrated Analog-to-Digital conversion (ADC), so device takes analog input.

DOS Protected-Mode Interface.

Digital Portable Mathematics Library.

Defects Per Million Opportunities. Term used by six-sigmoids in service-industry management.

DOS Protected-Mode Service[s].

Detroit Parent Network, founded in 2002 or maybe early 2003.

In 2009, eighteen large US cities participated in the the federally-sponsored National Assessment of Educational Progress. The math results came out around December 10, 2009, and they showed Detroit firmly in last place, with 69% of fourth-graders and 77% of eighth-graders scoring below the basic level, the lowest levels in the 40-year history of the test. (Reading scores would be released in 2010.) Speaking on Saturday, December 12, DPN executive director Sharlonda Buckman reacted to the news:

		Somebody needs to go to jail.
		Somebody needs to pay for this.
		Somebody needs to go to jail,
		And it shouldn't be the kids.
(I didn't hear her say it, but it was obviously sung.)

After the song, she asked for go-to-jail volunteers from the audience of 500 parents. That's amazing! Gosh, let me check that. No! She said that teachers should go to jail. That's a great idea: there they can finally meet many of the parents who never show up for parent-teacher conferences. It might give a kind of fillip to teacher recruiting, too.

Tonya Allen, a founding member of DPN, said ``They could have took this test in French and done just as bad.'' Gosh, there just full of great ideas.

Digital Private Network Signaling System.

Dial Pulse Originate.

Documentary Proof of Origin. A term used in shipping, for something commonly required. In the antiquities trade, no one would be so crass as to demand such a thing -- everything was stolen, at some point.

Distortion-Product OtoAcoustic Emission[s] (OAE). OAE's arising from nonlinear response (distortion) of the cochlea. For stimulus frequencies f1 and f2 , the strongest response appears to be for the lowest-order harmonics that are close to the applied frequencies (2f1 - f2) and (2f2 - f1) when f1 and f2 are close).

Differential Pulse Polarography.

DiPhenylimide Perylene. A dye used in electrophotography.


Whatever it is, it serves as a standard sample for calibrating EPR apparatus. (See, for example, Siegfried Nitschke's page.)

It's probably 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (below). As a stable radical, this presumably has a wonderfully strong EPR signal, but don't take my word for it--I'm a spectral innocent.

 / ___ \
/ /   \ \
\ \___/ /     O N
 \_____/       ² \
       \          \_____
        \         / ___ \
         N---N___/ /   \ \___NO
        /        \ \___/ /     ²
  _____/          \_____/
 / ___ \          /
/ /   \ \        /
\ \___/ /     O N
 \_____/       ²

Democratic People's Republic. One-party communist dictatorship.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea. North Korea. See .kp.

Department of Public Safety. The Police, but it sounds more dignified (and less ambiguous) than ``Drunks, Vagrants, and No-Goods `R' Us.''

Double Page Spread. Layout on two facing pages of a multipage document.

Differential Phase-Shift Keying.

Diode-Pumped Solid State [laser].

Double-pole, single throw. A pair of ganged switches, each with two rest positions, one in which the circuits are open, and one it which they each close a single circuit.

Dial Pulse Terminate.

Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus. A standard triple vaccination or ``triple booster'' given to protect children from once-quite-fatal childhood diseases. Actually, world-wide they are still quite fatal; pertussis (whooping cough) alone still kills ~350,000/yr.

DeParTuRe. Airline fare abbreviation. Why doesn't this list of abbreviations have anything for arrival?

From what I recall, the FAA considers a flight to have departed on time if it pulls away from the gate no more than fifteen minutes after the stated departure time. If it spends the next few hours on the tarmac awaiting clearance for take-off, that's not a late departure, just your bad luck (though it might lead to a delayed arrival). The reason you have to wait is that the FAA imposes a minimum separation between flights, which in turn puts an upper bound on the rate at which flights can take off. Airlines ignore this and schedule large numbers of flights to depart at virtually the same time.

Defense Programs Transportation Risk Analysis.

Department of Public Works. Here's a link to the DPW for Westfield, New Jersey.

DPW, DP World
Dubai Ports World.

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