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Echo. Not an abbreviation here, just the FCC-recommended ``phonetic alphabet.'' I.e., a set of words chosen to represent alphabetic characters by their initials. You know, ``Alpha Bravo Charlie ... .'' The idea behind the choice is to have words that the listener will be able to guess at or reconstruct accurately even through noise (or narrow bandwidth, like a telephone).

I recommend ``Echocardiogram'' to avoid confusion.

Elohist. Refers to a component of the Pentateuch, and its supposed author. The other three major components, to the extent that agreement exists, are J (Jahwist), D (Deuteronomist) and P (Psalmist). E and J texts are concentrated in the early books, particularly Genesis, and distinguished by the use of JHWH (His name) and Elohim. The Deuteronomist uses both names. Stories with two tellings in the bible are typically attributed to two different authors.

Emitter. One of the two larger bulk regions in a three-terminal bipolar junction transistor (BJT). As an attributive noun, emitter also refers to the emitter-base junction [EB, (don't bother following the link)].

In broad qualitative terms, there is no difference between the emitter and the collector. Quantitively, the difference is that E is designed, and designated, so that the forward current gain alpha is larger (closer to unity) for common-emitter than for common-collector configuration.

Eta. The Roman-character transliteration of Greek requires certain compromises.

E, E-
Experiment. At Fermilab (FNAL), each proposal for the use of beam facilities is assigned a number corresponding to the order in which they are received, and formally designated ``Fermilab-proposal-<number>.'' (Here's a fairly complete list of the proposals. Perhaps the skipped numbers correspond to withdrawn proposals, or to numbers somehow reserved but not used.) Sometimes two or more proposals (or documents, such as letters of intent in support of associated projects) share a number, and a letter is appended for disambiguation. Approved projects (list here) are designated by the proposal number prefixed with E. Proposal 1a, submitted in June 1970, became E-1; it was a measurement of the charged and neutral interaction cross sections of the muon neutrino.

Other labs, such as Brookhaven (BNL), SLAC, and HERA, use similar designations. I noticed that an experiment at JLab had the designation E02-012; I think that's experiment 12 in experimental hall 2, but I haven't looked into it. (FNAL and BNL also have different areas, with names like Meson Area and Neutrino Area.) In the published literature, it is more common to refer to stable collaborations or to the major pieces of equipment they are built around, or to the areas where they operate.

Glutamic acid. An amino acid. More at synonym GLU.

Largest men's shoe width indicated by a single letter. Wider shoes are indicated by EE, EEE, etc.

You know, maybe what you need isn't wider shoes, but shoes that fit right. Not all feet are shaped the same. In particular, a minority variant on the usual shape has the widest part of the foot much further forward of the instep than is normal. If that's the case with you, the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve recommends that you try on some Clarks Shoes, founded in 1825. Okay, their shoes look a little too rugged for the most extremely formal wear -- if you're going to be uncomfortable, you might as well be uncomfortable from your neck all the way down to your toes. Clarks also sells very sensible shoes and sandals for women.

Clarks has been expanding, and now has its own outlets in Canada, in New Zealand, and in Australia (at least) as well as England (where they have become the #1 manufacturer and retailer of footwear). In the US, you have to buy them through a retail outlet that doesn't sell just its own brand. (The company homepage has a search engine to help you find the closest retailer that carries their shoes.)

According to the website, ``Clarks England is recognized by serious shoe lovers around the world for its commitment to comfort, authenticity and individual style.'' This statement accurately indicates their priority (comfort). The term ``individual style'' is widely recognized code for ``I don't care if other people think the shoes are ugly. Wince on, fashion victims. Sneer through your pain.'' Outside of shoe stores, most of the conversations I've had about Clarks shoes have been in Japan, where one is constantly getting in and out of one's shoes.

When I ran an AltaVista search on "Clarks shoes" in late May 1999, I got 214 hits. The same search in April 2004 garnered 35645 results. I believe that has more to do with growth of the web than of Clarks.

Around 1993 I heard about an English anthropologist who discovered that Celtic feet and Germanic feet are different, and has been very much in demand to identify skeletal remains. Something like that -- it's been a while.


East Africa.

Eastern Arctic. East of what!?

Easy Axis. Of interest to crystallographers and to the operator (cad) who looks at all the angles.

Economic Advisor. Entrail-reader.

Economic Analysis. Sooth-saying, followed by soothe-saying when in error.

Effective Action. In his famous Lectures, Feynman explains how the word action now refers to a different quantity than it originally did.


Electronic Antiquity. A classics journal. Alas, the modifier in the title reflects the mode of publication, not the subject.

Embedded Array.

Endometriosis Association.

Environmental Alternatives. Before you push your plastic bottles through their mail slot, wait! They're actually ``a non-profit corporation providing foster homes and group homes for children'' in northern California.


Epigraphica Anatolica. A classics journal.

The Episcopal Academy. A Christian ``college preparatory school for more than 1,100 boys and girls from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade in four units: Lower School at Devon and Lower, Middle, and Upper School in Merion, PA. The school was founded [in 1785] by the Right Reverend William White, first Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania. Among its charter trustees were leading citizens of Philadelphia and signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.''

``A nonprofit organization, the Academy is affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia and governed by a 32-member self-perpetuating Board of Trustees.'' (I believe that it's on account of the latter fact that it is ``independent.'')

Executive Agent. This acronym probably has a meaning as well as an expansion, but for now I can only give the latter. I had thought that by their very nature, agents had to be executive.

Executive Assistant. Like Administrative Assistant (AA).

Engineering Alumni Association. (So called at UB, at least.)


Ethylene Acrylic Acid.

Experimental Aircraft Association. There's also an unofficial (local club) homepage at Harvard.

Hellenic Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry. (English webpages here.)

EAA neuron
Excitatory Amino Acid neuron.

European Association for American Studies. Americanists are more like historians of science than epidemiologists. However much they may hate their object of study (viz. disease), epidemiologists do not contemn it.

The EAAS's constituent associations are

  1. AAAS (Austria)
  2. AEDEAN (Spain)
  3. AFEA (Ugh, France)
  4. AISNA (Italy)
  5. APEAA (Portugal)
  6. ASAT (Turkey)
  7. BAAS (UK)
  8. BELAAS (Belarus)
  9. BLASA (Belgium and Luxembourg)
  10. CSAA (Czech Republic and Slovakia)
  11. DGfA (Germany)
  12. HAAS (Hungary)
  13. HELAAS (Greece)
  14. IAAS (Ireland)
  15. NAAS (Finland and Scandinavia plus)
  16. NASA (Netherlands)
  17. PAAS (Poland)
  18. RAAS (Romania)
  19. RSAS (Russia)
  20. SANAS (Switzerland)

It would have made more sense to order the preceding list alphabetically by country, but the EAAS's list already does that. There's also one affiliate member: IAAS (Israel). The Israeli Association probably can't become a constituent member because then there would be two with the same initialism. You think that's silly? The Magen Adom (`Red Star,' the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross) can't be a member of the ICRC because its symbol isn't allowed. It seems that religious symbols are forbidden. (A red cross or a red crescent would be okay.)

Educational Activities Board (of the IEEE).

Echelons Above Corps. [Military]

Editors' Association of Canada/L'Association canadienne des rédacteurs-réviseurs.

Elkhart Area Career Center. Located next to a factory in Elkhart, Indiana.

European Association for Cancer Education. It publishes the JCE jointly with the AACE.

Énergie atomique du Canada limitée. (AECL in English. AEC in American, I guess. I was kind of expecting AEL.)

European AIDS Clinical Society.

Estrategia Alternativa de Desarrollo. Spanish, `Alternative Development Strategy.' (It's not the title of a particular one, so it is a common noun, but it seems generally to be capitalized.) Economic development is understood, as in the ``development'' that expands the D of UNDP (PNUD in Spanish). The initialism is typically encountered in the plural (EADs) -- Estrategias Alternativas de Desarrollo.

Euro-Arab Dialogue. An entity chartered in 1975. It was created on the initiative of France, to foster high-level discussions, on economic and political issues, between the EC (now the EU) and the Arab League.

The notes sounded by the ``open strings'' of a six-string guitar. (An open string is a string whose vibration frequency has not been increased by ``fretting'' -- by pressing it down against a fret.)

Mnemonic: ``Eddie Ate Dynamite. Good-Bye Eddie.''

The order of notes above is from lowest to highest in pitch, but from highest to lowest in distance from the floor. When you talk about moving up or down the fretboard (on the neck of the guitar), ``up'' means up in frequency -- downward toward the body of the guitar. Basically, guitars are upside down.

It's much less common, in my limited experience, to name a tuning by giving open-string notes in order of decreasing frequency. But apparently it's been done (probably just to confuse people). To be confused, see the EBGDBE entry.

And on the subject of upside-down guitars... It always seemed to me that it would be more efficient if you carried your guitar with its body up at your shoulders and the neck pointing down -- with the center of mass high, like a backpack. That way too, if you put your machine gun on the same strap, you could switch weapons by just sliding the strap half-way around and it would in position for immediate use. This might help to eliminate some of those people who think you could like to hear them try to play the suggestively titled ``Stairway to Heaven.'' Without the machine gun or some other counterweight, the upside-down guitar immediately sags down your back till its head hits the floor. (I think Johnny Cash made it work by shortening the strap, or being thick-chested, or both. Even so, the guitar head was at or below his knees. It makes me curious about the song ``Oh, Susanna.'' The original lyrics were written by Stephen Foster in 1847. What's with this banjo-on-my knee business? It sounds uncomfortable.)

Bon Jovi tapped into a powerful fantasy with ``Wanted, Dead or Alive.''

I walk these streets, a loaded six-string on my back.
I play for keeps, 'cause I might not make it back.

European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company. The conglomerate that has controlled Airbus Industrie since June 2000. Interesting that the conglomerate's principal business is not listed in the name.

Extended Air-Defense TestBed.

European Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.

EnteroAGGregative E. coli.

Experiment for Accurate Gamma, Lepton, and Energy Measurements. A device planned for the LHC. In 1992 the group that was planning it joined forces with the group planning ASCOT. The child of that merger is ATLAS

Expert Advisory Group on Language Engineering Standards.

East Asian Heartland.

European Association of Hospital Pharmacists.

East Asian Circulation Index.

(Business-)Enterprise Application Integration.

East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

English as an Additional Language. One of four categories defined by E. Judd for describing the function of English in different ``sociopolitical contexts.'' There will be a brief description at the entry for taxonomies of English language use.

English {is|as} an Asian Language. The title of various conferences and symposia sponsored by various organizations.

ElectroAbsorption Modulator.

Embedded Atom Method. An approach to describing interatomic interactions in pure metals and alloys that goes far beyond mere pair potentials. It's much too difficult for you to understand. You should just feel honored to have been in the presence of greatness, now go away. If you want to turn into a pillar of salt, look up the following:

M. S. Daw and M. I. Baskes, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 50, pp. 1285ff (1983); Phys. Rev. B, vol. 29, pp. 6443ff (1984).

S. M. Foiles, M. I. Baskes and M. S. Daw, Phys. Rev. B, vol. 53, pp. 7983ff (1986). The volume number is given incorrectly for your protection.

External Affairs Minist{er|ry}. Cf. FM.

European Automobile Manufacturers' Association. The official acronym is ACEA.

Emergency Action Notification. A component of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

European Article Numbering system. The organization promoting it is now called EAN International, to reflect the wide use of the system beyond Europe. EAN is sometimes also called the ``International Article Number.''

European Alliance of News Agencies.

See EAN (previous entry) and UPC.

European Association for Oral Medicine. ...and call me in the morning.

English for Academic Purposes. Normally designates a type of EFL program, typically for students planning university education in an English-speaking country. A more general term, almost ironically, uses the word specific: ESP. (Specific is a pretty general term.)

There's a Journal of English Academic Purposes, a quarterly published since 2002. And there's a British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes. Excuse me, I have to and change a fuse in my brain.

Extended Appearance Potential Fine Structure. A surface science technique.

Early American Pressed Glass.

East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes. An NSF program that ``offers U.S. graduate students in science and engineering a unique opportunity to study abroad with foreign researchers (in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, or Taiwan) for 8 weeks during the summer.''

Electron Affinity Rule. Electronic band alignment at semiconductor heterointerfaces are determined from the electron affinities of the two semiconductors. Proposal by R. L. Anderson [Solid State Electronics 5, 341 (1962)]. Doesn't work very well, but the problem is hellishly contentious.

Early Childhood Development Center
Nursery School. Day Care.

Early Modern English
Roughly speaking: Elizabethan English. Shakespeare. KJV.

Early Modern Period
Regulation time for the Renaissance. When the clock expired on the Early Modern Period, the Renaissance went into overtime.

Early Modern Philosophy
Montaigne to Kant.

ear muffs
Aftermarket accessory for cell phone, used for conversion from hand-held to head-set configuration. Allows wearer to keep hands in pockets of parka.

Electrically Alterable ROM. An EEPROM based on MNOS structure: instead of a control gate and floating gate, there is simply an insulating nitride later between gate oxide and the single gate. Bits are stored by F-N tunneling into the oxide-nitride interface, which functions as a floating gate.

Emergency Animal Rescue Service.

Emergency Alert System. US FCC's replacement for the old Emergency Broadcast System (EBS).

The voluntary AMBER alert system is now integrated with EAS. Originally, AMBER alerts were activated by sending a Civil Emergency Message event code to EAS equipment. This caused some confusion, so Child Abduction Emergency event code has been introduced, and all new EAS equipment installed since February 1, 2004, must be able to receive and transmit the new codes. Older systems are grandfathered in.

Each alert message has a header with a single event code. You're probably wondering how compatibility between older and newer systems will be negotiated. So far as I can tell, it won't be. The EAS system was incredibly poorly designed. (If, indeed, it can be said to have been designed at all.) Among its flaws is the absence of any explicit rule for how receiving equipment should handle invalid or partly invalid or unrecognized (including new) codes. Apparently no thought was given to how changes in the system might ever be implemented. To take the case of the added AMBER alert code, if a message is sent out using the new Child Abduction Emergency event code, older equipment will probably ignore it. Or possibly not. It may depend on whether the equipment is operating automatically, and it will depend on how the particular manufacturer interpreted the inadequate original technical specification. In order to make sure that older equipment gets the AMBER alert, one would also have to transmit the alert under the old Civil Emergency Message event code. There is no mechanism to prevent this other alert from being transmitted by the newer equipment as an old-fashioned civil emergency message. So the net effect of adding the new code is to multiply uncertainty with possibly no improved functionality.

European Association of Social Anthropologists.

European Association of Science Editors. A quarter of the membership is from other continents than Europe. EASE-Forum is their mailing. ESE is their bulletin.

Ecology of the Antarctic Sea-Ice Zone. One of SCAR's major programs.

European Association for the Study of Science and Technology.

Eastern (US) Association for the Surgery of Trauma. A natural XARA.

Eastern Ontario
Isn't 1735 a bit early for--oh! Easter Oratorio, by J. S. Bach. Never mind.

European Association of State Veterinary Officers. One of the four ``vibrant sections'' of the FVE. Funny how even the initialism has a collectivist (okay, a Russian) sound to it. It should have been ``EAStVO.''

easy to remember
A password attribute often equivalent to ``easy to guess.''

  1. Ingest. Begin the process of digestion.
  2. Corrode, or otherwise diminish a solid by reaction at the surface. [Diminish the original material, anyway. Until pieces start to break off, oxidation increases the mass of oxidizing metal. Vide Pilling Bedworth Ratio.]

Emergency Action Termination. A component of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

European Association for Theoretical Computer Science. I am not convinced that this is the most felicitous choice of acronym, given the pronunciation that suggests itself.

One of Scrabble®'s many gifts (another is coolth) to thothe who lithp, aktheptid by all three major Thcrabble dicthionarieth. (BTW, it supposedly means `easy.' Someone who visited Scotland during the twentieth century apparently claimed it was still in use there.)

Eating Primer
Hand-corrected version of the title of any schoolbook distributed (improperly, by assumption) with the title Latin Primer.

English for AViation. Cf. ESP, AVENG.

European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging.

Environmental Audio eXtension. Software that models echo/reverb and attenuation effects.

Since April 2003, the EAX 3.0 SDK has been available <creative.com>. By the time you read this they might be on to a later version.

European Association for Zoological Nomenclature.



Electron Beam.

When an electron beam impinges on a solid surface, it loses energy primarily by electron-electron interactions. In those interactions, the energy gained by electrons in the solid is often sufficient to ionize them; the electrons thus ionized are called secondary electrons (SE). The initially incident electrons, called primary electrons, can reëmerge from the solid surface with a large fraction of their initial energy; such electrons are called backscattered electrons (BSE).

The interactions of a primary electron with the solid are classed as elastic (energy-conserving) and inelastic (energy non-conserving). In the latter case, energy fails to be conserved in the sense that, while total energy is conserved, energy is transferred from one subsystem (typically the primary electron) to another (the solid).

It is important to recognize that the simpler processes one imagines are typically elastic. For example, if one regards the solid simply as a rigid electrostatic potential, then almost no energy is lost by the primary electron: the primary electron does lose some of its kinetic energy upon entering the solid, but this energy is stored as electrostatic potential energy which is completely regained when the electron rattles out of the solid at some other point.

It is thus clear that inelastic processes--and energy loss by the primary electron--require recoil--some movement of the electrostatic potential generated by the solid. There is a more roundabout intuitive way to see this, which demonstrates in a small way the unity of physical law. If energy is lost by the primary electron, then the energy lost must be taken up by the solid. Since the potential energy of the solid is determined by the positions of its constituents, it is clear that neither the potential nor the kinetic energy can change unless some part of the solid moves.

E. B. White was Elwyn Brooks White (1899-1985), but from his college days on he was known as `Andy.'

Emitter-Base. A junction in a bipolar junction transistor (BJT) between emitter (E) and base regions.

Encyclopaedia Britannica. By some measures, the best version of this is the famous eleventh edition (first half published December 1910; second half six months later). It is available free online in increasingly readable form (it is slowly being converted from badly OCR'ed versions. The modern online version is available mostly by subscription. (The beginnings of articles are available as a tease.) I can't quite put my finger on the reason, but the online edition of the modern EB feels anti-intuitive and hard to use. The information is scattered in packets that don't connect very well or form a coherent narrative. Kinda like this glossary.

The eleventh edition, on the other hand, is an object of veneration. They did get a lot of very good contributors, famous experts in their fields: out of 1500 contributors, 168 were Fellows of the Royal Society, 56 were presidents or secretaries of learned societies, and 47 were members of the British Museum staff. For ``an informal narrative designed to tell the general reader of the origins, development, trials, and triumphs of the great reference work,'' see The Great EB: The Story of the Encyclopædia Britannica by Herman Kogan (Un. of Chicago Pr., 1958).

From the title of Harvey Einbinder's The Myth of the Britannica (Grove Pr., 1964), you might expect a bit of muckraking, but it seems quite even-handed to me. Einbinder's judiciousness may be judged from his measured precís (on p. 57) of Kogan's book:

   This optimistic spirit was reflected later in the year [1958, marking the 190th anniversary of the first edition] by the publication of a full-length history called The Great EB, which presented an exhaustive account of the Encyclopaedia's growth and financial history. The author of this skillful exercise in public relations was Herman Kogan, a former Chicago newspaperman who was subsequently appointed Director of Company Relations for the Britannica. The early parts of his book were animated by a critical spirit, but the closing portion merely offered a glowing description of the Company's editorial and sales policies. Despite this defect, The Great EB is a useful historical work because it was compiled from the Company's private archives. It supplied a great deal of material for this [third] chapter--and its quasi-official character was emphasized by its publication by the University of Chicago Press. [By that time, the EB was published by the University of Chicago.]

If you don't already have access, or if you're cheap -- and let's face it, if you're using this glossary as an information resource, that's a possibility that can't be ruled out -- then you could visit The Catholic Encyclopedia, which is available free online.

Incidentally, I've decided to dedicate this entry to the memory of my cousin Rita Schaeffer, because she used to sell the Britannica.

Here's another family connection: back in 1984 or 1985, my cousin Rachel was a local winner (San Francisco) of the Scripps Speling Bea. Hard to believe we could be related, huh? Anyway, one prize she won was a Britannica. This sort of public relations co-promotion has long been a big thing for the EB. In the 1930's, for example, there was a popular radio show called ``Information Please,'' in which listeners mailed in questions to a panel of experts, and anyone who managed to stump the experts won a free copy of the Britannica.

Rachel's other big prize was the chance to compete in the National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., where I was working at the Naval Research Laboratory. (My presence in D.C. was never an important part of Scripps Spelling Bee promotions. Then again, it was never an unimportant part either.)

Anyway, she flamed out. (She didn't win, okay? It's not as easy as the Super Bowl or the World Series: practically all of the contestants lose; the system is rigged to generate disappointment. They have a team of warm, kindly matrons who escort the heartbroken young contestants off the stage as they go down. It's not like Olympic figure skating, where they televise the girls sitting with their parents to learn their scores.) At a family get-together afterwards, Mary (Rachel's mom) mentioned a school project Rachel was working on. She was supposed to report on a famous mathematician. (We won't get into how worthwhile I think such projects are for middle-school students. Let's just note that when Rachel grew up she became a lawyer, and leave it at that. Okay: and that she married an artist.) There was extra credit in it for her if she could report on a woman mathematician. Rachel had had trouble finding material.

Now, given the parameters of the problem, the two obvious solutions are Sofia Kovalevskaya and Amelia Noether. Kovalevskaya had the more colorful life, but I'm a physicist so I said ``Well, the name that comes immediately to mind is Emmy Noether.'' It turned out that Rachel had looked up and not found an entry for Noether in her prize Britannica. Generally, questions of who does and who does not get an entry, and how long the entries are, have long been a focus of criticisms of the EB (more about that later... possibly much later). In fact, Emmy Noether had been mentioned (too briefly) in earlier editions, and eventually she reappeared. For that year she just happened to have gotten edited out.

Incidentally, Hypatia of Alexandria and Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, are not obvious solutions of the problem stated above. They're just two other obvious solutions. The next two paragraphs finish the Rachel/Emmy story. You can skip them if you're only interested in information at least vaguely related to the EB.

I found a couple of obituaries of Emmy Noether at the NRL library. One was B.L. van der Waerden's obituary that I mention in the abacus entry. I translated (from German) whatever seemed useful of that. I also found a French obituary in some other math journal. [Hermann Weyl wrote an obituary in English that appeared in Scripta Mathematica, vol. 3, pp. 201-220 (1935), but I missed that. Back then we used computers for computing, not searching.]

My mother never heard about this until 2007. When I told her about the German translation, she said ``Of course, at the time you didn't realize that Charlie [my uncle, Rachel's dad] knows German.'' This is true: he's more fluent than I, but we communicate in English and I didn't know that he was a German-speaker until about 2005. About the other article, my mom commented ``Well, everyone reads French.'' Back in 1984 or whenever, I took the articles to the hotel where the family was staying, and Rachel said ``But I don't know French!'' I replied, ``Everyone reads French!'' We sat and I read the beginning of the French article with her, but I don't think she was immediately convinced. Anyway, she earned an A on that project.

Energy Balance. An approach to electronic device simulation. This may, implicitly, exclude lattice heating, in which case simulation with heating effects is designated Nonisothermal Energy Balance.

Electron-Beam Coating.

Extended Binary-Coded-Decimal (BCD) Interchange Code. A ``wasteful'' [eight-bit (one-byte)] alternative to the ASCII character codes developed by and for IBM. Cf.ASCII. Vide collating sequence.

Emotional and Behavioral Difficulty.

Electron-Beam Direct-Write.


Extraterrestrial Biological Entity. The Worst-Case Survival Handbook: Travel, tells you what to do whenever you meet one who keeps pursuing even after you firmly tell it (probably him) to leave you alone.

``Go for the EBE's eyes (if they have any); you will not know what its other, more sensitive, areas are.'' Hey, they don't call'em BEM's for nuthin' you know.

Ancient EBE's are illustrated here. More at the TTBOMKAB entry.

You want serious information on how to avoid a real disaster? Why didn't you say so!? Go to the ICLR entry.

German noun meaning `boar.' (You know -- a male swine, uncastrated. How long you been off the farm, boy?)

There's a surprising amount of disagreement regarding the etymology of this word. German and English Latinists generally seem to accept that it is related to the Latin aper (genitive form apri), which also means `boar,' and assume, perhaps without looking too deeply into the matter, that English boar is a related aphetic form.

The Duden Deutsches Universalwörterbuch (2003) identifies a MHG etymon eber, derived in turn from OHG ebur, ultimately from a hypothesized proto-Germanic *ebura. The Latin aper is identified as related, but further etymology is characterized as ungeklärt (`unclear'). I think the idea is that they expected to see more early cognates in other languages. (German-Latin contacts don't seem to go back far enough to account for a loan from one to the other.) With enough information one might reconstruct a proto-IE form, but other Indo-European languages turn out to have unrelated words for boar. In Ancient Greek, for example, the standard term was sŷs, a cognate of English swine (and German Schwein, etc.). (The word is perhaps most famous because swine is what Circe turns the men of Odysseus into, at least in Homer's version.)

On the English side, things don't get any clearer. The modern word boar evolved from Middle English bor and Old English bar. The OED2 remarks that related words are known [certainly] only in West Germanic, and offers only cognates beginning in b: Old English bar is identified with Old Saxon bêr (-swîn). The implication seems to be that a term like bear-swine, or just bear, was used to refer to adult male swine. Other cognates offered include Modern Dutch beer and Modern German Bär, which still mean bear. This is plausible, but it makes Latin aper (not mentioned) seem an odd coincidence. The OED2 does mention Russian borovu, meaning `boar.' The Germanic words related to bear do indeed seem not to have non-Germanic cognates, though that singularity doesn't require any particularly contorted explanation. FWIW, the Old English word for bear was bera.

Electron-Beam (EB) Exposure System. Possibly the one developed by Bell Labs [R. K. Watts and J. H. Bruning, ``A Review of Fine-Line Lithographic Techniques Present and Future,'' Solid State Technology, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 95-105 (May 1981).

The notes sounded by the ``open strings'' of a six-string guitar when it has the ``standard'' tuning. Note that these notes (I had to write that) are given in order from ``first'' to ``sixth'' string (counting as usual from the floor up, or from the palm of your left hand to the fingertips).

Mnemonic: ``Every Bible Gets Dusty After Easter.''

This is an abnormal order for describing guitar tunings. See the the more ordnance-oriented EADGBE entry instead.

The ancient Greeks had scales that divided the octave up in various ways, very likely prominently including our harmonic progression among them. However, their normal way of doing the do-re-mi was by starting at a high pitch and working down. (How uninspiring!)

Some left-handed guitar players play their guitars left-handed (i.e., they pick with the left hand and fret with the right). Jimi Hendrix is the best-remembered left-hand-playing guitarist. He strung his guitar so the highest-pitched string was at the bottom (closest to the palm).

Electron-Beam-Induced Current. See SC (specimen current).

Error bit.

EBITDA, ebitda
Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization.

A monolingual Spanish-speaker might have trouble deciding what to do with the ``td'' consonant cluster, but would probably end up pronouncing a word spelled ebitda very similarly to Evita. Evita Perón had something to do with EBITDA: she would regularly shake down businesses for contributions to her, ahem, charities. I'm not sure whether bribes count as taxes or just a cost of doing business.

Emitter-Base Junction. The pn-junction of a BJT that is forward-biased in the normal (forward-active) operating regime. Cf. EBJ.

Electron Beam (or e-beam) Lithography. For a picture, visit an EBL machine at the NSF Microelectronics Lab at UIUC. (Substantially higher resolution is possible than is mentioned in the figure caption.)

English as a Basal Language. A term in Moag's typology of English users (in our future entry for taxonomies of English language use).

European Bridge League. Zone one of the seven zonal organizations of the WBF. About half the WFL membership (counting players) is in this zone, which includes 42 countries that have even a toehold in Europe [e.g. Turkey (.tr)] right on out to the Caucasus [Armenia (.am)], and a couple that don't [Israel (.il) and Lebanon (.lb)].

Andorra (.ad), Armenia and the Faroe Islands (.fo) are member countries but don't have any player members. No country that reports members reports any fewer than four.

Evidence-Based Medicine. There's an EBM Journal, which is a sort of Reader's Digest of EBM research appearing in other medical journals. It used to have a companion EBM Journal édition française as recently as the 1990's some time.

Vide compass directions.

ebook reader
The earliest description of an ebook reader, that I am aware of, occurs in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (HHGTTG). That is the title of a fictional work of nonfiction, a vast encyclopedia that is a best-seller elsewhere in the Milky Way than Earth. HHGTTG was conceived by Douglas N. Adams and was the title of a BBC radio series first broadcast in 1978. The radio series also bore the HHGTTG title, as did a novel adapted from the first four parts of the radio series. (The novel was first published in London on Columbus Day 1979, or would have been if Columbus Day were celebrated there on the Julian calendar date anniversary of his first arrival at a Carribean island. But it's not.) The HHGTTG title was also used for various other, as the copyright lawyers say, derived works.

I characterize the fictional HHGTTG as a vast encyclopedia in conformance with its description in the novel of the same name. The title was inspired by the Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe, and I don't know how vast it was in original conception or in the radio series. The vast cult that developed around all things HHGTTG has produced experts who probably do know how vast etc. Anyway, in the novel, Ford Prefect's satchel contains ``a device that looked rather like a largish electronic calculator. This had about a hundred tiny flat press buttons and a screen about four inches square on which any one of a million `pages' could be summoned at a moment's notice.''

(The ``pages'' are those of the (fictional) HHGTTG, and it appears that those pages are themselves extensive documents, since a mere million of them would occupy ``several inconveniently large buildings'' if printed in ``normal book form.'')

A variety of ebook readers are now (2010) for sale on Earth -- pending its destruction to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

The Emphasized Bible. Not much like the Amplified Bible (AB). The EBR (1959) uses various sigla to indicate emphasis. A/k/a ``The Rotherham Bible,'' after translator Joseph Bryant Rotherham. Served as basis for the SNB.

Vide compass directions.

Experimental Breeder Reactor I. See AEC for a little context.

Electronic Brokering Services.

Emergency Broadcast System of the US. Soon to be replaced by Emergency Alert System (EAS).

Employee Benefits Security Administration. Part of the US DOL, EBSA ``is responsible for administering and enforcing the fiduciary, reporting and disclosure provisions of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).''

``The provisions of Title I of ERISA, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, were enacted to address public concern that funds of private pension plans were being mismanaged and abused. ERISA was the culmination of a long line of legislation concerned with the labor and tax aspects of employee benefit plans.''

Other aspects of ERISA (besides those tasked to EBSA, vide supra) are administered by the IRS (ERISA Title II) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (Title III).

Electron BackScatter Diffraction.

Electron BackScatter (diffraction) Pattern.

Electronic Benefits Transfer. Many supermarket check-out lanes have a small unit where the customer can pay with a credit or debit card. The device at one store I visited listed another choice: ``EBT.'' After the cashier expanded this for me, I asked, ``what's that?'' It's the electronic version of food stamps.

English Bridge Union. A rather specialized trade union in the construction industry. Let me just check that... Hmmm. I could have sworn that, well, okay... It seems that now it's ``a membership-funded organisation committed to promoting the game of duplicate bridge. It is also a National Bridge Organisation in its own right affiliated to the European Bridge League and the World Bridge Federation.''

European Blind Union.

European Broadcasting Union.

Epstein-Barr Virus. A herpes virus. Infects B-lymphocytes and causes infectious mononucleosis (mono).

European Board of Veterinary Specialisation. ``The EBVS organises veterinary specialisation on a European level.''

Conduction-band Energy. The value of the CBE level. Cf. Ev, Eg.

E. coli, q.v.

(Domain code for) Ecuador.

The country of Ecuador straddles the equator. In Spanish, equator is ecuador. In English, it is generally ungrammatical (or nonsensical -- take that, Noam Chomsky) to call the country the Ecuador, but in Spanish, definite articles operate differently. The country of Ecuador may be correctly referred to in Spanish as Ecuador or El Ecuador. In conversation, it sometimes causes confusion. The last time it happened to me, I was talking with a Peruvian woman, naturally enough.

It's hard to give a general rule on this. The country of Argentina is often la Argentina, but Chile is rarely el Chile. Perhaps it's to avoid confusion with the vegetable (chile in Spanish). I've seen el Chile for the country in legalese, but otherwise the instances generally turn out to refer to chili peppers or to things named after chili peppers. La Chile is occasionally used for La Universidad de Chile. Coincidentally, Chileans have the habit (unusual or unique in Spanish) of using definite articles before personal names: ``el Pablo'' for ``Pablo,'' etc.

El Salvador is special sort of weird case. With the article, it is clearly `the Savior,'' epithet of Jesus. Salvador alone is used as a given name like Xavier. In principle, San Salvador might be a `Saint Xavier,' but generally it refers to ``Santísimo Salvador'' (`most sainted savior' -- i.e., Jesus). The Catholic feast of Santísimo Salvador comemmorates the transfiguration of Christ at Mount Tabor. I'm sorry if I don't have the official English terms right -- this is cribbed from a Spanish page. There it is explained that the Central American town of San Salvador was founded in 1525 and elevated to the status of a city in 1548. In 1824, delegates from the area administered from San Salvador met in the city and founded a country, choosing the name El Salvador. I should probably mention this stuff at the El Salvador entry. Anyway, I don't think it's too common for Spanish-speakers to call the country just Salvador, but the short form does occur in English.

Edge Connector. (``Edge'' of circuit board.)

Electoral College. We've put all the discussion of this institution at the EV entry. (I know, I know -- this is a crazy, roundabout way to do things.)

Electric Carrier -. As in EC-3 (carrier #3).

Electron Capture. By a nucleus, resulting in the conversion of a proton into a neutron (and the emission of a neutrino). Proton-rich nuclei may decay by alpha emission or EC, or by fission. The likelihood of EC relative to alpha decay increases with nuclear size. It's mostly s-state electrons that are captured, and the more-tightly bound. EC can be detected from the associated X-ray emission cascade.

Electronic Commerce. Here's a virtual center for EC. Harbinger would like you to use its EC/EDI Jumpstation. Vide EDI.

This is a B-school case study of EC.

Emergency Coordinator.

Engineering Change.

Engineering Council. ``Created by Royal Charter in 1981, following the Finniston report, `to advance education in engineering, and to promote the science and practice of engineering for the public benefit and thereby to promote industry and commerce'.''


Esophageal carcinoma. Usually metastasizes early because the esophagus has no tunica serosa to contain the tumor.

EuroCity (trains). A system of international trains in Europe, using cars from the national railways involved. Replaced an earlier system (which had its own dedicated fleet) called Trans-Europ Express (TEE).

EuroCopter. Eurocopter S.A., of Marignane, France, manufactured (at least as of 2002) the EC 635 light twin-engine helicopter (for police and noncombat military use), the Super Puma, and the EC 350. Eurocopter is a wholly owned subsidiary of the European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Co., Amsterdam.

European Championships.

European Commission. One of the smaller parts of the European Union's (EU's) government. In an earlier dispensation, the EU itself was known as the...

European Community. An organization that changes its name again as soon as you learn the new one. It was the EC from about May or June 1987 all the way to late in 1993. Some of the more long-used names included EEC (European Economic Community) and ``the Common Market.'' Vide EU. Cf. EG.

Following the pattern, if you visited them at their former address <http://www.cec.lu/>, you were for a long time redirected to <http://europa.eu.int/welcome.html> which, you immediately learned, did not exist anymore, so please go to <http://europa.eu.int/index.htm>.

In order to confuse everyone, the EU now (2002)

  1. Refers to what was always called the ``Council of Europe'' as the European Council, though this is not to be abbreviated ``EC.''
  2. Has a ``European Commission'' (membership described at the EU entry), though this is not to be abbreviated ``EC.''
  3. Uses the phrase ``the European Communities'' (note plural) to mean ``the European Community, and Euratom,'' though this is not to be abbreviated ``EC.''
  4. Uses EC to mean European Community, but in a different sense than before. It turns out that the EEC, created by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, never really went out of business. It was however superseded. The EEC only governed ``matters relating to the free movement of people, goods, services and capital, transport, competition, tax, economic and monetary policy, trade policy, employment and social policy, culture, health, consumers, industry, regional development policy (economic and social cohesion), research, the environment and development.'' As such it merely ``forms part of the wider entity of the European Union.'' The EEC was renamed the EC by a provision of the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 (which was not turned down by the voters of any member countries whose governments did not hold a referendum on this wholesale surrender of sovereignty). Under a written European constitution being hammered out in 2003, member nations will give up even more self rule, to a European government answerable to no one.

There you have it. In justice virtually the entire EU is still and again the EC.

Electronic Commerce Association.

Engineering Computer-Aided Design (CAD).

Engineering Computer-Aided Design (CAD).

European Computing And Philosophy conference. Coordinated with IACAP.

e-card, ecard
An electronic postcard. There are a lot of electronic postcard services. This site lists 175 of them. Here's an eclectic list:
  1. Electric Postcard (from the MIT Media Lab)
  2. Sweet Briar College e-Cards
  3. Warner Brothers WeB cards
  4. Blue Mountain
  5. American Greetings (service subcontractor to Yahoo)

Not all ecards include music.

East-Central/American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. EC/ASECS ``held its first meeting in 1970, a few months after the inaugural meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS), of which it is an affiliate.''

Electrically Controlled Birefringence. [See I. C. Khoo and S. T. Wu: Optics and Nonlinear Optics of Liquid Crystals, (Singapore: World Scientific, 1993).]

Emirates Cricket Board. The governing body for professional cricket in the UAE, and the UAE's member of the ICC.

England and Wales Cricket Board. The governing body for professional cricket in where you would guess, and one of the ten full members of the ICC.

The governing body of Scottish cricket was founded in 1908. It was known as the Scottish Cricket Union until being renamed Canadian style in 2001: Cricket Scotland. Cricket is not sae popular up thair, and Cricket Scotland is not a full member of the ICC.

European Central Bank.

Ec. C.
ECclesiastical Council.
  1. 325
  2. Forgot, damn it.
  3. 431
  4. 451
  5. 553
  6. 681

English China Clays. The company officially changed its name to ECC, then changed it back (to English China Clays). So now instead of writing ``ECC (f/k/a English China Clays), the financial papers can go back to writing ``English China Clays (ECC).''

In late April 1999, ECC was acquired by the French metals group Imetal SA. Earlier in the year Imetal had purchased the Brazilian group Rio Capim Caulim (RCC) [or should that be ``RCC (f/k/a Rio Capim Caulim)''?]. By June Imetal was selling off some of its metal activities. On September 22 of that year, Imetal officially changed its name to Imerys and announced to no one's surprise that it would thenceforth concentrate on industrial minerals.

Erie Community College. Founded in 1946.

Error-Correcting Code.

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

Electronic Commerce Council of Canada.

European Cultural Centre of Delphi. In Delphi, Greece.


Short for Ecce Romani, a Latin schoolbook series. The title itself must mean `Behold the Romans,' or `Look! Romans!' or something of that sort. Frankly, as the first translation suggests it might, ecce was originally followed by a noun in one or another oblique case. A nominative form like Romani is not attested before Cicero, but I guess you can't go wrong with Cicero. Also, probably the best-known use of ecce is in the Vulgate, where Pilate says ``Ecce CENSORED,'' meaning `behold the man!' CENSORED is a nominative singular form (well, okay, what you see there IS A PARTICIPLE); the accusative form, which kinda sounds like it might be appropriate here, is hominem.

Here's a collection of useful bookmarks for teachers of Latin using Ecce. An attractive set of resources for the first two (of four) books of the Ecce series is served here by Dr. Melissa Schons Bishop. A list of common Latin textbooks is at the Latin school texts entry.

Electronic Counter-CounterMeasures.

Engineering Concepts Curriculum Project. CEE-sponsored and NSF-funded project ``to develop a high school course that would give the college-bound students who usually avoided science an interesting and accessible overview of basic scientific concepts.'' Initiated in 1963, it was based for most of its existence at Brooklyn Poly. By 1966, materials for a course called The Man-Made World (TMMW) were available for a pilot teaching project. Summer institutes were held to prepare high-school teachers to teach it. (Much of the development was done, or finished, at SUNY Stony Brook. Let me know how much and by whom.) A TMMW textbook series was published in 1971, the year that federal interest and funding began to dry up. (The summer institutes continued for another five years.) The course covered such concepts as modeling, feedback, stability, and analog and digital computers. The texts were not widely adopted, but in the 1980's it became one of the inspirations of the STS fad in science education.

One of the pilot teachers of the TMMW curriculum wrote in 2002:

TMMW was also unique in that a primary design criterion was that less is more. Project 2061 and other contemporary educational reform groups in the past ten years have also adopted the less is more approach. TMMW focused on major engineering concepts such as design and decision-making, modeling, systems analysis, and optimization.

A hungry fox passed below a fine bunch of grapes hanging high from a vine. After trying in vain to jump and reach them he gave up, saying to himself as he walked off, ``the grapes looked ripe, but I see now they are quite sour.''

Less is more indeed. At least, less is not proportionately less, if you do the triage properly.

Eastern Caribbean Dollar.

Electron Capture Detector[s].

Early Childhood Development Center. Because ``Center for Excellence in Nursery Scholarship'' is too blatant.

Early Childhood Development Center -- Notre Dame. Attended primarily by children of Notre Dame faculty and staff.

Early Childhood Development Center -- Saint Mary's College. Attended primarily by children of Saint Mary's College faculty and staff.

Electronic Chart Display and Information System[s].

A ``legal ECDIS'' is an ECDIS that conforms to standards issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and rules-of-use of appropriate national organizations (e.g., US Coast Guard -- USCG). Following these rules and standards gives the ECDIS the same legal standing that official government-issued nautical charts have historically had. (The more complete name is ``legal equivalent ECDIS.)

(UN) Economic Commission for Europe.

Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Early Career Fellowship. Awarded and funded by the Leverhulme Trust, ECF's are grants. ``Offering fifty per cent match-funding for the salary costs of three-year academic research position, the scheme enables early career researchers to undertake a significant piece of publishable work. Applicants must have a track record of research, but should not have held an established academic appointment in the UK.''

ExtraCellular Fluid.

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. ``A higher standard. A higher purpose.'' Yeah, yeah, but what about the parable of the workers in the vineyard?

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

European Council on Foreign Relations. Quoting from the front matter of an ECFR report (representing only its authors' views) of declining European influence at the UN (Sept. 2008):

The European Council on Foreign Relations was launched in October 2007 to promote a more integrated European foreign policy in support of shared European interests and values. With its unique structure, ECFR brings a genuinely pan-European perspective on Europe's role in the world:

ECFR was founded by a council whose members include serving and former ministers and parliamentarians, business leaders, distinguished academics, journalists and public intellectuals. Their aim is to promote a new strategic culture at the heart of European foreign policy.

With offices in seven countries, ECFR's in-house policy team brings together some of Europe's most distinguished analysts and policy entrepreneurs to provide advice and proposals on the EU's big global challenges.

ECFR's pan-European advocacy and campaigns work through the internet and the media to make the necessary connections between innovative thinking, policy-making and civic action.

ECFR is backed by the Soros Foundations Network, Sigrid Rausing, FRIDE (La Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior), the UniCredit Group and the Communitas Foundation.

ECFR works in partnerships with other organisations but does not make grants to individuals or institutions.

Here's something interesting from that report (p. 1): ``Europe has [also] lost ground because of a reluctance to use its leverage, and a tendency to look inwards -- with 1,000 coordination meetings in New York alone each year -- rather than talk to others.''

AVMA's Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates.

Meat! What a primitive food technology. I advise that you not get an education in this field, because pretty soon we'll be phasing out livestock.

ElectroCardioGram. Invented in 1887 by Augustus Desire Walker. I'm not sure that this shouldn't be in the Nomenclature is destiny entry.

European Commission Host Organisation.

What now -- sweets with crunchy little silicon chips? Oh wait, transposition error: e-cholocate... echo-locate. Sorry.


Echos Du Monde Classique
A journal that ceased publication at the end of 2000 and that was replaced by Mouseion : journal of the Classical Association of Canada = revue de la Société canadienne des études classiques.

European Court of Human Rights. A bit more information under the French acronym, CEDH.

Employment Cost Index.

Electronic Cataloging In Publication. A program of the US Library of Congress under which publishers generate the cataloging information that the Library of Congress used to produce itself. The publishers get speed (immediate cataloging information they can enter on the copyright page) and the LC gets its work done free, according to its own rules, by people who may not have to place a long-distance call to resolve any uncertainties. Presumably the British Library's CIP system is electronic too, now. The UK and China each publish over 110,000 titles a year, Germany and the US over 70,000. Japan, Spain, France, South Korea, Italy, and Russia are the only other countries that publish over 25,000 titles as I write this in 2001.

European Community Investment Partners.

European Council of International Schools.

See James D. Lester's ``Citing Cyberspace,'' Michael N. Salda's ``Citing Electronic Materials with the New MLA Guidelines,'' Nancy Crane's ``Bibliographic Formats for Citing Electronic Information'' [for the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA)], George H. Hoemann's ``Electronic Style Page,'' and Maurice Crouse's ``Citing Electronic Information in History Papers,'' which has a comprehensive bibliography.

Many content providers note that current MLA guidelines on electronic citations are inadequate. In addition to various pages above (particularly Nancy B. Crane's precis of her book with Li, and Crouse's page), see Beyond the MLA Handbook: Documenting Electronic Sources on the Internet by Andrew Harnack and Eugene Kleppinger.

European Court of Justice. While national and lower courts in the civilized world usually at least try to appear not to legislate, the ECJ has explicit power to issue regulations binding on the whole EU. Appointive membership, of course. Cf. ICJ.

Emitter-Coupled Logic. Another name, dating back to the days when separate research groups were introducing the design is current-mode logic (CML). That name could in principle include IIL, but as a matter of terminological history does not. Frequently also, the expression ``ECL logic'' is encountered.

ECL is based on an inverter that is essentially a BJT differential amplifier. ECL is a speed demon, but it's a power hog too, so its use is mostly restricted to SSI and MSI applications, AFAIK. That doesn't mean you couldn't make a computer out of it, though. In order to get maximum speed at available linewidths, the IBM-360/370® machines, as well as some Cray supercomputers of approximately the same era, used ECL and willingly paid the price. In the latter case, the price included water cooling.

The basic ECL gate is a differential amplifier comparing input to a reference voltage. The reference voltage used to have to be externally supplied in the earliest devices (ECL I family), but since then a bias circuit generates a bias voltage appropriate for a broad range of VEE. The outputs of the differential amplifier pass through emitter followers, which in addition to increasing output conductance also level shift so output voltages are aligned with input voltages.

With a single input, the complementary outputs of the differential amplifier function as an inverter and as a sharpened version of the input signal. However, the single transistor on the input side can be replaced by a number hooked in parallel. That is, wired together at collectors and emitters, to produce a device with one C, one E, and a number of B's (bases). This is a version of the wired-AND idea: any B that goes high draws current, and since the diff. amp. is essentially a current switch, that determines the output. Any low inputs essentially present a pair of reverse-biased diodes (the BE and BC junctions) in parallel, and are irrelevant. In this way it is very easy to construct multi-input OR/NOR gates.

A 50 kilo-ohm resistance (a pinch resistor is ideal, since accuracy is unimportant) connects each input base to the low voltage. This is a high-enough resistance to have small effect on connected inputs, but prevents any unused inputs from floating high. (An input pulled low, as noted, is essentially out of the circuit.)

The transistors in an ECL gate do not saturate, and as you probably realize, if you want to use them, they are very fast (to a great extent because ECL is a non-saturating logic family). In particular, the rapid fall and rise times give rise to ringing. The ringing can be minimized by proper termination -- that is, by attempting to impedance-match the inputs connected to an ECL output, balancing the load on complementary outputs can also reduce transients. In addition to this kind of fiddling, which is work for the logic-network designers, there is also a partial solution designed into the circuitry of the logic gate itself, as described next.

One of the bad things about ringing between the output of a device and its respective inputs is that it introduces noise into VCC at the output device. This propagates and can lead to interdevice interactions. The strategy for avoiding this sets the upper rail -- the high-voltage level for for the logic circuits -- to coincide with ground: VCC = 0. Then two separate grounds are used (i.e., two electrically distinct nodes are at ground voltage). One ground serves as VCC for the emitter followers and is noisy (due to the ringing). Another ground, which serves as VCC for the differential amplifiers, is quiet because it is locally isolated from the first ground. Among commercial logic families, this particular (double-ground) strategy is unique to ECL.

Note that, although one works between VCC = 0 and VEE = - | VEE |, one still generally uses ``positive logic.'' That is, logic 1 is the algebraically higher voltage value, although it is closer to zero. (One could also design ECL using pnp transistors instead of the standard npn. Then the collectors would be at the low voltage and one could have double grounds with a positive logic in a positive voltage range. No one in his right mind will ever do this with silicon, because pnp's are substantially slower than npn's.)

Digital Microelectronics by Haldun Haznedar contains more material than usual on handling hybrid circuits [i.e., on voltage-level shifting and buffering for current drive (the latter not an issue between TTL and ECL, I think)].

The following advice, from a posting of mine of 1995, is bound to be increasingly irrelevant, but anyway --

Do you really need ECL? Check first that AS-TTL (propagation delays like 1.5 ns) won't do. If you still need faster, then I think you need ECL 100K series (0.5 ns for low fan-out) or 10KH (1 ns). Power delay products are still best in Schottky TTL (SBTTL), but I presume you're willing to pay in power to get speed. Slew rate in 100K is limited to be even less than for Schottky TTL (to minimize ringing), but since the voltage swing is smaller in ECL the fall and rise times are shorter. What is your application?

English and Comparative Literature.

English as a Celestial Language. ``The Emergence of English as a Celestial Language'' was the title of a presentation by Robert C. Meurant at ICHIT'06. The abstract begins thus:
Given the emergence of English as a Global Language, and the probable eventual intensive human exploration and settlement of Space, what forces will likely shape the structural features of English as it expands into the Cosmos?

English Comprehesion Level.

Error-Correction Logic.

``If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times'' is not a general proposition.

(UN) Economic Commission for Latin America. Main offices in Santiago, Chile. See also ECLAC.

Various publications with statistical information from this organization are cited with an ECLA- prefix.

European College of Liberal Arts. Founded in 2000, it describes itself as ``Germany's first private liberal arts college.'' This claim may depend on some unobvious technical assumptions; see KU. ECLA occupies eight buildings in the old embassy quarter of the former East Berlin. As of 2006, it doesn't seem to offer an entire degree program or award degrees. Credits for coursework are awarded by Bard College in New York. The language of instruction is English. ECLA offers academic year, ``project year,'' and six-week ``International Summer University'' programs. Normally, I'd be inclined to make some catty remark here about innovative programs or maximizing real-estate utilization or something, but as I'm in an unaccountably generous mood, I'll just say that ECLA is different, and variety broadens the scope of freedom. (Yuck. I've gone saccharine.)

(UN) Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. See also ECLA.

Unvoiced final stops are hard to distinguish. This could be éclat. It would pretty much have to be, in fact.

Extensible (OO, C++) Class Library for Information Retrieval.

Extremely tasty oblong cream-filled pastry with chocolate syrup or icing on top. Serve chilled.

Success with pizzazz, roughly speaking.

External Cavity Laser Diode.

Environmental Control and Life Support System. NASAnese.

Electronic Counter-Measures. But wait! It gets worse: ECCM. Reminds me of the old Spy-vs.-Spy cartoons in Mad Magazine.

European Computer Manufacturers' Association. Issues standards.

Erie County Medical Center. Teaching hospital affiliated with the University at Buffalo (UB).

European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. There are those who claim that it doesn't matter whether an acronym is pronounceable. If it's short, sure, but what kind of convenience is there in saying ``Ee Cee Em Double Yoo Eff''? Do they call it ``Eck'umwoof''? I think they admit the inconvenience of this acronym when they suggest ``the Centre'' as an acceptable alternative.

Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. ECMWF was originally a project of the distastefully named COST.

Oh yeah, they have quite a reputation for accuracy, as these things go, but then their weather comes from the well-monitored Atlantic, and not the wide Pacific.

Enterprise Certified Novell Engineer (CNE). (Also E... C... NetWare E....)

Engineering Change Order.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

European Conference on Optical Communication.

European Council Of economics and FINance ministers. Or maybe european council of ECOnomics and FINance ministers. Who knows? The formal name is not ordinarily capitalized to indicate the acronymic extraction. ECOFIN is responsible for deciding EU legislation regarding tax harmonization, financial liberalization, and economic policy. The Council makes the final decision on most aspects of Emu.

Now that we're so used to e-neologisms like email and e-commerce, they ought to bury the name of this council.

E. coli
Escherichia coli. A bacterium prevalent in the GI tracts of humans. Has been a very popular host for recombinant DNA.

Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (non-Shiga toxin-producing E. coli) causes bloody or watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes fever. The varieties of the bacterium are classed in four major groups:

  1. Enterotoxigenic (ETEC): the most common cause of travelers' diarrhea (a/k/a ``Montezuma's revenge,'' etc.), and a common cause of food-borne disease outbreaks in the US. There are an estimated 80 thousand cases of ETEC in the US each year.
  2. Enteropathogenic (EPEC): primarily affects children in the so-called developing world.
  3. Enteroinvasive (EIEC): primarily affects children in the underdeveloped world.
  4. Enteroaggregative (EAgg EC): probably causes chronic diarrhea in AIDS victims.

Electronic COMmerce Promotion Council of Japan. (In English also.) See also EC, the more common generic abbreviation for Electronic Commerce.

ECOWAS MOnitoring Group. It would be more precise to say not ECOWAS but only the Anglophone ECOWAS countries. And mostly Nigeria, with sub-battalion-strength units contributed by Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, ... and Sierra Leone. (That ellipsis doesn't represent a long alphabetical list of gee countries... it's just a carefully calibrated comedic pause.)

ECOMOG differs from UN ``peacekeeping'' groups in that the UN only monitors ``peace'' after the fighting has stopped and until it begins again; this ``monitoring group'' fought its way into Liberia in 1990.

The Liberian civil war finally came to an end in 1996. In Spring 1997 or 1998, I met a new student at the business school who was from Liberia. I met him in the Oak Room. The Oak Room was a wonderful place to eat on campus, so naturally they had to ruin it. They were building new dorms on the south side of campus, and after progressively destroying the quality of the dining experience at the Oak Room, they closed it down and turned the building that used to house it into a cafeteria that serves cafeteria food. Finally, to add insult to injury, they created a replacement of the Oak Room on the rear end of the building, named ``Reckers.'' They have some story about who the Recker was that is ``honored'' by this, and since he's dead he can't complain, but we all know it's just a sly misspelling. The joint still features some of the worst pizza you never finished. Anyway, we got to talking, and he explained diplomatically that ``the international community'' ended the war in his country. I pointed out that ``the international community'' as a whole did nothing for Liberia; peace was made by its west African neighbors. He didn't disagree.

Environmental Council of the States.

(UN) ECOnomic and SOcial Council.

Exclusive Correlation SpectroscopY (COSY).

Economic Community Of West African States.

Effective Core Potential. Used to simplify computational chemistry by representing the combined effects of nucleus and core electrons on valence electrons. Intuitively, the ECP consists of the core-electron-screened nuclear potential plus terms which mock up the ``Pauli repulsion.'' Here's an essentially randomly selected site that includes some discussion of ECP's.

Efficient Cluster Packing.

Engineering Change Proposal[s].

Enhanced Capabilities Port.

Enhanced Capabilities Port/Enhanced Parallel Port.

Excessive CrossPosting. A category of spam.

Electronic Communications Privacy A t. (Etext of the act itself.)

[phone icon]

Electronic Coin Public Telephone. When cellular phones were first introduced, they were never expected to be so popular. Perhaps the popular affection for ECPT's can explain this.

Efficient Consumer Response.

Efficacité continuellement renouvelée.

This page in French, compared with this page in English, proves that the preceding French phrase is equivalent to ``Efficient Consumer Response'' (previous entry). It's just a happy coincidence that the acronyms work out to be the same. Cf. EDI.

Electron Cyclotron Resonance. There is also Muon Cyclotron Resonance (µCR).

Electronic Combat Reconnaissance.

European Congress of Radiology.

East Coast Racing Association. Vide goracing.com, VROOM!

European Computer Industry Research Center GmbH, Munich, Germany.

Electron-Cyclotron-Resonance-Heated (plasma).

Economic Cycle Research Institute.

Education Commission of the States.

The Electrochemical Society, Inc.

Exchange Carriers Standards Association. Now called ATIS.

East, Central and Southern African Federation of Food Science and Technology.

European Coal and Steel Community. This sounds like the granddaddy organization to the European Community (EC).

European Central Securities Depositories Association. ``[C]reated in order to find common solutions and establish common principles for cross-border activities for efficient and safe securities settlement within the European Union.''


ElectroConvulsive Therapy. Also ``electroshock therapy'' (EST) and ``Electric shock treatment,'' in decreasing degrees of ephemism. Still used to treat some extreme depressions.

During the US presidential campaign of 1972, Democratic vice-presidential candidate and senator Thomas Eagleton was `revealed' to have once undergone ECT as part of a treatment for depression. Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern's first public remark on the Eagleton news was that he supported his running mate ``one thousand per cent.'' After a quick uproar Eagleton was forced off the ticket -- so you see that eventually, ECT can be very painful and be a cause of serious depression.

It's hard to say that this `scandal' damaged the Democratic ticket's viability, since it was already in pretty bad shape. Sargeant [that's his first name] Shriver, married into the Kennedy clan and first director of the US Peace Corps (in JFK's administration), became the new Veep candidate, and the ticket avoided an electoral college shut-out by winning Shriver's home state of Massachusetts.

After the debacle, McGovern received a sympathetic letter from Barry Goldwater, who lost in a landslide to LBJ in 1964. Goldwater wrote ``If you have to lose, lose big!'' McGovern says that was the first thing to cheer him. Evidently, ECT can even lead to a contagious form of depression.

There's a story about Democratic presidential candidate Fritz Mondale, after his landslide defeat in 1984, asking McGovern how long it takes before one recovers emotionally from such a defeat. McGovern answered that he'd let him know whenever it happened to himself. (I'm a bit hazy on the details, this may have been about Mondale and Dukakis, although the latter's defeat was a landslide only in the electoral college.)

Abbreviates Latin et cetera, in principle, anyway. But it is better regarded (and not well-regarded) as a misspelling of etc.

Eastern Caribbean TELecommunications Regulatory Authority. (For St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines.)

Ethylene ChloroTriFluoroEthylene copolymer. (Allied-Signal Corp.: Halar®.) Properties similar to ETFE.

European Computer Trade Show. Held in London, around September (looking to Christmas). Corresponding US event: E3.

East Carolina University. In Greenville, North Carolina. It's further north and further east than any point in South Carolina, FWIW.

ECU, ecu
European Currency Unit. A unit of account used for bookkeeping purposes by various European international organizations. Specifically created by the EMS for the denomination of its debts and credits, and as a reserve credit in the EMCF. The ECU value was computed as a weighted sum (``basket,'' how quaint) of the currencies of EU members. The ECU went out of existence on January 1, 1999. Or rather, its ontological relationship to its component currencies changed, as did its name. Cf. the euro, described not at the euro entry but at the 1999 entry.

Episcopal Church USA. In other words, and officially, the ``Episcopal Church.'' Other members of the Anglican communion are called Anglican Churches. (But stay tuned -- change may be afoot.)

The British colonies that became the US were settled by an awful lot of nonconformists and non-British Protestants. Episcopalians were (by membership) the fourth-largest US religious denomination in 1776, representing 15.7% of church members (after Congregationalists, 20.4%; Presbyterians, 19.0%; and Baptists, 16.9%). A few decades earlier, Episcopalians had probably been a solid third, but Baptist membership grew during the first ``Great Awakening'' in the early 1740's. [These estimates and those that follow, except as otherwise noted, are from Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, in The Churching of America, 1776-1990 (Rutgers U.P., 1992).]

Until the Revolution, the Episcopalian or English Church enjoyed establishment status in some of the mid-Atlantic and Southern colonies, as the Congregationalists did in New England. After the Revolution, this advantage evaporated quickly for the Episcopalians and slowly for the Congregationalists. The Episcopalians presumably also lost members disproportionately in the emigration of loyalists. In the wake of the Revolution, religious toleration gave way to something much closer to religious liberty, and substantial competition in the religion market. There were big opportunities, because the largest portion of the population, a bit over 80%, were unchurched.

Between 1776 and 1850, the proportion of the population that belonged to some church doubled (from 17% to 34%, in Finke and Stark's estimate). This period includes the ``Second Great Awakening,'' a phenomenon of intensified missionary activity from the early 1800's to the early 1830's. Over this time, Christian denominations' market share also changed dramatically. (Adherence to non-Christian organized religions was negligible.) Methodism, which grew from a movement within the English Church to one outside it only in the middle of the eighteenth century, represented only 2.5% of the churched in 1776. In 1850 it was the largest denomination, with a 34.2% share of the religious market. Baptists also grew, from 16.9% to 20.5%. Catholicism, which started at 1.8%, grew to 13.9% largely on the strength of immigration. The number of Presbyterians grew faster than the overall population, but their market share declined (19.0% to 11.6%). The other two mainline religions also managed to grow also, though their memberships as a fraction of total population fell, and as a fraction of church members collapsed: Congregationalists to 4.0% and Episcopalians to 3.5%.

In the second half of the century, however, the Episcopal Church repositioned itself upmarket. At least, it came to be regarded as the most socially prestigious church in the US. In the process, it also recovered market share. Between 1850 and 1880, membership in ECUSA grew almost 80% faster than the US population (by a factor of 3.87 versus 2.16). [This is based on a comparison of old US census figures available here and church records available here.]

European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia. Now the ECVAA.

European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. Formerly the ECVA.

The European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine - Companion Animals. ``ECVIM-CA is a veterinary specialty organization which was established in June 1994 by the European Society of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ESVIM). The College was formed in response to a growing demand for specialized veterinary care for companion animals and a need to harmonize the certification of specialists within Europe. It was granted full recognition the EBVS (European Board of Veterinary Specialisation) in 2002.''

European Conference on Visual Perception.

Eastern Championship Wrestling. See this other (essentially the same) ECW.

Emergency Conservation Work (act of 1933). See CCC.

Extra-Cellular Water [space]. Water in an animal body that is outside of the cells, and the space occupied by that water.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (league). Originally a member of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), it was established in 1992 as Eastern Championship Wrestling. It withdrew from the NWA in 1994 and changed its name to Extreme Championship Wrestling. The rest, as they say, is history. By this they mean that it's boring. ECW flourished, or whatever, in the mid-1990's and went bankrupt in 2001. WWE bought the rights to the name and library in 2003, and now uses ECW as a brand of WWE events.

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