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Earnest Money.

Electricity and Magnetism. See EMag.

Electromagnetic, electromagnetism.

In 1998, popular Senator and war-hero Daniel Inouye ran to represent Hawaii for a seventh term. It's hard to find anyone in his or her right mind to challenge in such an election. His Republican opponent was someone named Crystal Young, who has said she has been disabled since having electromagnetic needles implanted by Shirley MacLaine. Shirley MacLaine has denied the allegation. I'm not sure exactly what role this allegation played in the campaign, but Inouye was reelected with 79 percent of the vote. (Young had 18 percent.) Inouye raised $981,000 to Young's $37.29, demonstrating that Young was able to get a whopping factor of 5994 more votes per dollar than the incumbent. Newsface logic: Obviously there was a groundswell of disaffection with Inouye.


Electron Micrograph. The result of doing electron microscopy of some sort.

Element Manager.

Emerging Market[s].

Engineered Material[s].

Environmental Management.

Name of the letter that looks a lot like M or m. Nickname of a woman named Emma or Emmeline, especially an aunt.

A dash or space as long as the font is high. From the movable-type tradition that the capital em was set on a square cross-section.

Early Middle Ages.

Electron Microprobe Analysis.

Electronic Messaging Association.

Epithelial Membrane Antigen.

Ethylene-Maleic Acid (copolymer). A polyacid. Another polyacid is PAA.

A fondness or mania for buying. The word is less common than what it describes. The word is a straightforward adaptation of the Latin emacitas (on the model of the very many words that underwent -tas > -ty via French). That Latin word in turn was constructed from the emacem, `fond of buying,' from emere, `to purchase.' (Or `to buy' -- I just thought I'd mix it up a little there.) This is a useful word because it is not well-known and encapsulates something you might want to get off your chest without being understood.

The word emacity is occasionally defined as a fondness for bargains. There's really room here for two words, as some people like a bargain because it allows them to buy more, and some because of the good feeling it gives them buying something that they mightn't otherwise feel any desire to buy.

Editor MACroS. Vide GNU. Most people who use it use it exclusively for editing, but it can do a lot besides. Perhaps that's why it also has the folk acronym expansions ``Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping'' and ``Emacs Makes A Computer Slow.'' The latter conforms to the GNU recursive acronym expansion standard. Pronounced ``EE-max.'' There's an Emacs Implementations and Literature FAQ.

Electricity and Magnetism. Difficult fundamental course material taught to Electrical Engineering undergraduates in one or two semesters, usually in the junior year. Pronounced as a word, with the initial E stressed and long. There is a special vocabulary to describe the experience of taking this course.

Code Phrase Meaning
I hated the course!
I took the course.
I loved the course!
We weren't required to actually master any of the material, so the instructor just came in and chatted about stuff.
It was easy but boring.
I'm confused. We're talking about Electronic Circuits 101, right?
The book wasn't written for humans!
It was a standard textbook that's been used by tens of thousands of students.
The book wasn't written by a human!
The author understood the material.
The book was really, really terrible!
I hated the course, but the instructor is my advisor.
The TA's did a really bad job!
I hated the course, but the instructor is my advisor and he wrote the textbook.
The instructor assumed that we knew all kinds of obscure mathematics!
The syllabus assumed we remembered mathematics taught in the prerequisite courses.
The course was harder than P-Chem.
I'm a chemistry major. I took this course by mistake.
This course wasn't any harder than P-Chem.
I'm not a chemistry major. I'm just bragging that I took P-Chem anyway.
I aced the course.
The number of students who understood even less than I did was too large to fail en mass.
I hated the instructor!
The course had an instructor.

Cf. anticline entry.

Electronic MAIL. Also e-mail, E-mail, and other forms. Normally I would include these inferior orthographies on the head-word line (i.e., unindented above this paragraph), but I've been alerted that many people feel strongly about the hyphen, so I left them off just to jerk your chain, particularly if you're writing German.

In the Yes song ``I've Seen All Good People,'' Jon Anderson repeatedly sings

Send an instant comment to me.
This was in ``The Yes Album'' of 1971, so they were evidently ahead of their time. The ``move on back two squares'' suggests some sort of GUI as well.

Email is a poor medium for finding out that someone has died. Okay, maybe there's no good medium for communicating such information, if it can't be in person, but I'm still in shock. (Don't worry, it probably wasn't anyone you knew.)

Here's some useful information that is almost certain to be of no use to anyone who reads it here first: There are servers that provide webpages via email. One of these is at the address agora@dna.affrc.go.jp. For example, the two-line message (in the email body, not the subject line)

will return an email copy of this page. (You can do it on one line also. It's slow; don't be alarmed if the first response to your request is a help file). There is a 5000-line-per-request limit; this is no constraint if you request one of the ``small'' glossary files (e.g.: <SBF/E03.html>, <SBF/S12.html>, <SBF/Z.html>), which are typically about 1000 lines long. Many of the full-letter combined files (including <cgi-bin/A.cgi>, <cgi-bin/C.cgi>, and <cgi-bin/S.cgi>) are in the 10,000-line range.

Send the message

for full instructions anytime.

The word mail is an uncountable noun. A countable unit of mail is usually described by a more restrictive term like letter, postcard, parcel or package. Some people feel that email should likewise be exclusively uncountable, but there is no convenient, concise, generally accepted accurate term meaning `email message.' Therefore, following common usage, I also use email countably in that sense. Similar issues occur with the French courriel and mél (deprecated).

EMAIL in German. The hyphenated spelling is preferred, since Email would be a homograph with an existing word.

French: `enamel.' Plural form émaux.

In her novel La maison de Claudine (1922), Colette wrote

C'est seulement une fois que je vis, un matin, la cuisine froide, la casserole d'émail bleu pendue au mur, que je sentis proche la fin de ma mère.

Tooth enamel is émail des dents and about 95% mineral matter.

Some Old French spellings of the word had an ess: esmal (ca. 1140) and esmail (1260). The word is ultimately cognate with the English verb smelt. The Old French word is presumed to have entered English in Anglo-French forms *amil, *amail. The common attested form was ultimately amel, which did not become obsolete until the eighteenth century. Enamel was originally a verb like encrust, describing the placing of amel (and in the other example, originally precious-metal crust). The verb eventually took over the sense of the noun, as if the verb enamel had simply been a verbed noun. Something not too different happened with embroidery (French broderie).

German, `enamel.' This entry is just here so you don't get the idea that the previous one was some kind of massive missprint. Surprisingly, this German noun is female, even though the French original is male.

German spelling is fairly reliably phonetic. However, foreign loans, particularly from French, preserve something like their original pronunciation until (more like unless) naturalized. Educated speakers are not being pretentious but merely correct when they pronounce Restaurant with a final nasalized ``aw.'' Some dictionaries offer a phonetic transcription with the ng nasal, which is not too far wrong and which probably corresponds to less well-educated speech. In Swedish, restaurant is spelled restaurang. Reflecting the French pronunciation, Email is pronounced the way a native word spelled Emai would be.

email bankruptcy
A condition declared by those suffering hopeless email-reply indebtedness. You don't need a court's permission. You just declare yourself email-bankrupt, ask forgiveness for all the email replies you owe, and start over with a blank slate. Seven minutes later, no one even remembers you were ever in their email debt.

email, free
Many organizations were offering free web-based email accounts in the late 1990's. By 2008 the thing seemed to have shaken out a bit. Here's a very partial list of companies offering free email accounts as of mid-2008.
  • Eudora (Now redirects to Lycos Mail, 3GB free storage.)
  • Gmail (Google mail. Google got into the free email business into 2004 -- relatively late, but they were far from being the first search engine also -- and they have grown fast. As of April 2008 they had 101 million email users, according to the research firm comScore Inc., and had gained over 30 million users over the preceding year. Google offered 1 gigabyte of free storage per account when they entered the market; as of June 2008 they were offering over 6 gigabytes.)
  • Hotmail (One of the first such services, still among the most popular; now owned by Microsoft. Comes with 5 GB of free storage.)
  • hushmail (touts security)
  • Mail.com
  • MixMail (Spanish-language service from ya.com. Ya means `already.')
  • RocketMail (In 1997 Yahoo bought Four11 Corp. for $80 million. The rocketmail domain was part of the acquisition, and rocketmail users at the time of the acquisition were allowed to keep their existing accounts and email addresses. Shortly after the acquisition, Yahoo started offering free email accounts assigning addresses in the yahoo.com domain. As of April 2008, according to the research firm comScore Inc., Yahoo was the email market leader, with 266 million users worldwide. [Microsoft, whose final offer of $47.5 billion to purchase Yahoo was rejected at the end of that month, was a close second at 264 million users.] With so many accounts, new subscribers have been finding it harder to come up with satisfactory userids. To address this problem, Yahoo began to register new addresses under the rocketmail.com and ymail.com domains around noon PDT on Thursday, June 19, 2008.)
    You know, a Notre Dame running back named Raghib Ismael was nicknamed ``Rocket Ismail'' for his speed. He went hardship. I recall that at the time he said that he valued education and planned to finish his degree, but I haven't seen him around campus. He played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) for a while, for the Carolina Panthers 1996-1998, and signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 1999. Cowboys owner Jerry Johnson said ``We've been criticized internally, as well as externally, about our speed situation, and he addresses that.''
  • RocketIsmail (when I edited this entry in July 2000, this domain name wasn't taken -- for free email or anything -- but it looked like tabnet.com might be holding it for ransom. Checked back June 2008: it's free; it's just not there.)
    Raghib's brother Qadry is nicknamed ``the Missile.'' One of the now less common meanings of the word missile, still preserved in cognates like missal and missive, is message or letter. More about rockets at the V-2 entry.
    The US Postal Service (USPS) sponsored bike racing teams; Lance Armstrong was their big star.
  • TechEmail (``now partnered'' with Everyone.net, which isn't free)
  • weed mail (what, all the good names were taken?)
  • Yahoo (As of Summer 2008, it is also registering email addresses in the ymail.com and rocketmail.com domains, under the same terms and with the same features as addresses in the yahoo.com domain. When Yahoo started offering email accounts in 1997, they came with 3 megabytes of free storage. As of 2008, they offer ``unlimited'' storage.)
  • Zap Zone Network (ZZN).

A large number of internet organizations offer free email as a sideline or as a way of delivering their service or advertising. These are sometimes restricted to an interest group or region, and a lot are just using services provided by the major providers listed above. Some examples: BMX (byke.com, used to be ZZN-powered), britannica.com, CNN ("powered by" mail.com), gURLmAIL (according to terms of service, ``[u]ser verifies that she is at least 13 years of age,'' but not that that ``she'' is female -- possibly because that would be illegal; partly run by WhoWhere, which owns Mail.com), Let's Go Mets Email - Official Email of the New York Mets, Wong Faye (don't ask me, free email seems to be one of the exciting features that pop star web sites can offer; "powered by outblaze").

What can you do with all these free email addresses? You can go to ACrushOnYou.com, register under some pseudonym, and have a message sent to some guy that someone has a crush on him. He has to visit the site and try to guess who (i.e., what email address) sent this secret-admirer note. There's no ``I give up -- who was it?'' button.

What's in it for the victim? He learns a lot about himself. Take me, for instance. After the most obvious addies (I'll allow myself to use such ugly slang on this occasion because stress seeks release in profanity), and then the most desirable (``has she recently changed email address?'' I wonder in a hopeful panic), I next tried those of all the cute women I have good reason to believe hate me, and finally the lesbians. I still haven't tried the ones I'm really (I mean really) not interested in. Uh-oh, but now the heavy Angst begins: is it my girlfriend, testing me with a forged addy? Do I have to mention this to her or lose her trust and more important privileges? If it isn't her, will I screw things up worse by mentioning it? Who is the opportunity I am passing up? Is it just some guy, like on alt.singles.sex.on-usenet-transvestitism-is-just-a-cryptic-userid-away?

(No, I haven't used gender-inclusive language. Mutatis mutandis, I suppose.)

Okay, now I've started on the undesirables/inappropriates. When the cgi takes a long time to reply (``X Sorry you guessed incorrectly''), I wait with increasing horror that this time I'm loading that feared large data chunk. Still no hint from the GF pro tem.

In one of Kurt Vonnegut's stories, the hero wins a cosmic prize (a combination cattish pet and self-cleaning crock pot) and then tries to find his way back to his real world by visiting various possible worlds in order of decreasing probability. Finding his own world uncongenial, he continues on to worlds of negative probability. I'm going to start guessing random email addresses. Eventually I'll make up my own new TLD's. Who knows? I might win a cosmic prize.

[A similar (prize-winner/spacetime-traveler) plot device is used in a 1972 TV mélange of Vonnegut bits called Between Time and Timbuktu. There the prize is better motivated -- a nebbish wins a trip into the good ol' chronosynclastic infundibulum by writing the best jingle for some Tang-like product (I mean a product sleazily joint-marketed with space exploration).]

Incidentally, a good way to learn about more potential free email addresses is to read the return addresses on your spam. Of course, the more email addresses you have, the more spam, and the more spam...

French: `enameling' (the act of enameling or the result).

French: `to enamel.' As you can probably guess, I really like this word.

French: `he who enamels.'

French: `she who enamels.'

German, `to enamel.' A more common word is the past participle (used as an adjective) emailliert, `enameled.' (The double-el in all conjugations of this verb is pronounced as a palatalization.)

Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

European Menopause and Andropause Society. Let's see menopause is from meno-, short for menses, `menstrual discharge,' and means the cessation or end of menstruation. Similarly, then, andropause means the end of the man. Oh, I get it.

embarrassment of riches
In French, this would be embarras de richesse. The concept is so foreign to the American language that it has to be translated to be understood. For more on wealthy foreign embarrassments, see the last story in the TP entry.

embedded system
A computer built into a product that is not a computer. When even toothpicks and soda cans are computerized, this term will be an obsolete synonym of ``machine'' and ``tool.'' Now spatulas...

Executive MBA.

European Molecular Biology Conference. Not the sort you would attend. ``Negotiations between the EMBO Council, EMBO members [scientists; ca. 1000 as of 2002] and government representatives [led] to the establishment of the European Molecular Biology Conference [a formal ``Agreement''] in 1969.'' Twenty-four members in 2002.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory. (Laboratoire Européen de Biologie Moléculaire, Europäisches Laboratorium für Molekularbiologie.)

EMBL Enterprise Management Technology Transfer GmbH. It is an affiliate and the commercial arm of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). ``EMBLEM, established in 1999 identifies, protects and commercialises the intellectual property developed in the EMBL-world, from EMBL-alumni and from third parties. EMBLEM facilitates and accelerates the transfer of innovative technology from basic research to industry by working closely with industrial partners spanning the biotech, ITC and mechanical/electrical engineering markets to develop new diagnostics, drugs, therapies and machines and devices.''

European Molecular Biology Organization. ``[E]stablished in 1964 with the aim to promote molecular biology studies in Europe.''

A finely ambiguous term, meaning `excessive plumpness' or `stoutness,' from French literally meaning `in good shape.' See Rubenesque.

Au Bon Pain is a chain of bakery/cafes.

To conceal with foliage. A great place to do this is in the lush Scrabble forest.


Echos du monde classique/Classical Views. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

ElectroMagnetic Compatibility.

ElectroMagnetic Control.

Ensemble Monte Carlo (simulation method).

European Mathematical Council. An informal organization. See the EMS entry.

Export Management Companies.

Electron-Multiplying Charge-Coupled Device.


Échos du monde classique/Classical Views. ISSN 0012-9356. Currently edited at the Memorial University of, uh, the, you know, the school in St. John's, NL. Let me get back to you on this. The journal is published by the University of Calgary Press. Articles in French or English, with abstracts in both languages. One of the two official scholarly journals of the CAC/SCEC (as recognized by a constitutional amendment of 1997). Original title, when founded in 1957, had ``News and Views'' instead of ``Views.''

Master of Ceremonies. Also ``MC.''

European Monetary Cooperation Fund.

em dash
A dash that is one em long.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

European Medicines Evaluation Agency. Licenses drugs in the EU.

emergency candies
Ah, just what I needed! Hmm. Nmm. More waxy than chewy. ... Not very sweet, either. Pttheh! Tastes like soap-on-a-rope. Wrapper has misspelling, too.

For other information about emergency candies, read the warning under Medical Calorie (a subhead of the calorie entry).

Inducing, or that which induces, the generation of technicolor yawns.

Not to be confused with the emic-etic distinction.

ElectroMagnetic Fields. A few years ago a field worker (sociologist) noted that leukemia patients' homes tended to be near electric power substations or high tension lines more often than houses generally. This has blossomed into a simmering health scare. The effect, if real, is small enough to be in the noise of most studies.

ElectroMotive Force. In 1820, Hans Christian Oersted announced his discovery that an electric current exerts a force on a magnet. This discovery was the first indication to scientists that electricity and magnetism were related phenomena, and it immediately made ammeters possible -- it gave intellectual and practical impetus to the study of electrical (from that time electromagnetic) phenomena. A few years later, Michael Faraday discovered a force that complements this: when a wire carrying a current is moved through the field of a magnet (by movement of either the magnet or the wire) a force acts on the carriers in the wire. This force generates an ``EMF.'' ``Induced EMF'' nowadays is the name we use for an integral of the electric field along the wire, generated in this way. (This is not a ``force'' in the usual mechanical sense. The mechanical force and the electrical quantity are closely related. I may explore this a bit later.) In my own restricted experience, ``EMF'' usually just means ``induced EMF.'' This raises the question of what EMF means when not (explicitly or implicitly) qualified by ``induced.'' The answer today is that it is some similar line integral of the electric field. In the absence of a time-varying magnetic field, however, this can usually be called a voltage, or at least a ``potential difference.'' (I'll try to get into that in a future version of this entry.)

The term ``electromotive force'' in its original sense was much closer to what we would call a force today. (Almost coincidentally, since the meaning of ``force'' has also evolved since then.) The term (forza elettromotrice in Italian) was first introduced by Alessandro Volta (1745-1827). I think that would have been in 1800. At the time, it really referred to the force acting on charge. However, notions were a bit fuzzy at first, with ongoing arguments at some point over the question of whether electric forces acted on wires or on an ``electric fluid'' inside the wires. (Of course, at this point electromotive force had nothing to do with magnetism and induction.) The English term occurs at least as early as 1824 (in the Encyclopedia Britannica (Suppl. IV). When Maxwell introduced his famous equations, he used ``electromotive force'' in almost the same way. It essentially meant electric field, which is force per unit charge. Unfortunately, in his famous textbook (An Elementary Treatise on Electricity he started to use the term electromotive force in the sense of a voltage. That was certainly an influential book, and it is at least partly to blame for our confusing current usage.

This entry is in the process of repair. It had one major blunder and one minor error. Those are both already patched, but usually when I screw up like this I try to atone by thinking and maybe researching a little bit and improving the entry further. In this case I'll probably have to distribute contents to a shorter EMF entry and a new induced-EMF entry. For now, the rest of this entry implicitly refers to induced EMF.

Back in the 80's, there were special commands for ``parking'' (moving into a position safe for transport) the magnetic heads (read and write) on floppy disk drives. Nowadays, those commands are executed automatically in a normal shut-down. If power is lost unexpectedly, then the energy stored in rotational kinetic energy of the disk and rotor part of the drive are recovered as EMF and used to park the heads.

Excuse Me For Butting In. Shouldn't that be XMFBI?

EMFM, emfm
ElectroMagnetic FlowMeter.

ElectroMagnetic Gun. Various schemes have been studied. Rail guns seem to have been an outgrowth of the late Gerard K. O'Neill's efforts to develop tools to lift construction material into orbit for a space station, as part of a space colonization vision. Now that there's access to the powerful Russian Energia rockets, rail guns are probably even less cost effective.


ElectroMyoGra{m|phy}. Measures the speed of propagation of the electric signals associated with muscle contraction. Carpal tunnel syndrome might be associated with a latency at the wrist.

Boy, I hope this isn't how electroglottography (EGG) works.

You can read more on electromyography at the On-line Medical Dictionary.

Externally Mounted Gun.

Electron MagnetoHydroDynamics (MHD).

ElectroMagnetic Interference. Distinguished from electrical noise.

Intracultural (or occasionally endogenous) as opposed to etic, which refers to the cross-cultural (occasionally exogenous). This popular social-science terminology is loosely abstracted from the distinction between phonemics and phonetics.

Roughly speaking, phonetics studies speech sounds as such, whereas phonemics studies speech sounds within the framework of understanding of a particular group of speakers. One might identify phonetics and phonemics as objective and subjective, respectively, but this is not quite accurate. The range of sounds that are represented in English as ``the sound of the letter p'' constitute a single phoneme. From a phonetic perspective, however, one may distinguish unaspirated /p/, which is pronounced at the ends of words, and aspirated /ph/, which occurs in the initial position (medial p pronunciation depends on speaker dialect and adjacent sounds within the word). People whose first language is a European tongue other than Greek tend not to be specifically conscious of aspiration, but the difference is easy to detect manually, so to speak:

Hold your hand a few inches from your mouth and pronounce the words in and pin. If you speak an ordinary dialect of English, you should feel a puff of air (the aspiration) from the initial p. You will not feel a similar puff from the unaspirated final p in nip.

Aspiration typically is phonemically distinguished in languages of the Indian subcontinent, and is typically indicated in transliteration by the addition of an aitch. Thus dharma and Boddhisatva, etc. Semitic languages also generally make a distinction. In the Ashkenazi (roughly the Northern European) pronunciation of Hebrew, not surprisingly, much of the distinction was lost. (In particular, the aleph and ayin are indistinguishable.)

For further examples, see the el entry.

A social-scientific concept -- the distinction between categories constructed, recognized or validated by a society, and those of an external observer. This generalizes the distinction between phonemic and phonetic sound categories. More at the emic entry.

Ethnic Material and Information Exchange Round Table (of the ALA). Cf. FLRT.

ESCON Multiple Image Facility.

Early Money Is Like Yeast. ``Emily's List'' is a donor network rather than a political action committee. That is, rather than give money directly to candidates, it recommends a list of candidates to its members, who make their own contributions. Its focus is to elect pro-choice, Democratic women to state and national offices. Network members pay $100 every two years (who would pay $50 for the odd years?) and pledge to write at least two checks (to different candidates) per year, of at least $100 each. In return, they receive the list, along with two-page profiles of the recommended candidates.

Incidentally, the plagiarism of a Tony Blair speech by Senator Biden of Delaware isn't the only instance of trans-Atlantic PIP theft. The British Labour party created its own Emily's List and named it ``Emily's List.'' For US Republican or conservative versions, see RENEW.

Stage name of the rapper Marshall Bruce Mathers III.

Evangelism and Missions Information Service. Based at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton College. Publishes EMQ.

emitter follower
An output buffer; a common way to get some current drive. If an output has a voltage level determined by current through a load resistor, then the output impedance is ordinarily no less than the load resistance. The simplest way to improve (lower) the output impedance is to hook the output to the base of an npn, the collector to VCC, and under appropriate conditions the emitter just follows the base voltage, decreased in the amount of the BJT on voltage, about 0.7 V for a Si transistor. The follower is sometimes used simply for its voltage shifting. In ECL it provides level shifting and isolation of the current switch from noise in the output stage.

ElectroMagnetic Launcher. See the EMG (EM Gun) entry supra.

Element Management Layer.

English as a Missionary Language. It understand it uses horizontal expressions.

[phone icon]

Expected Measured Loss [in telephony]. Equals the sum (we're talking dB's here) of ICL (q.v.) and test pad losses. This is to be compared with AML.

Early Modern Literary Studies. ``... (ISSN 1201-2459) is a refereed [electronic] journal serving as a formal arena for scholarly discussion and as an academic resource for researchers in the area. Articles in EMLS examine English literature, literary culture, and language during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; responses to published papers are also published as part of a Readers' Forum. Reviews evaluate recent work as well as academic tools of interest to scholars in the field. EMLS is committed to gathering and to maintaining links to the most useful and comprehensive internet resources for Renaissance scholars, including archives, electronic texts, discussion groups, and beyond.

Exempt Market-Makers.

Expanded Memory Manager.

Electronics Manufacturing Management Information System (MIS).

It may be a wasteland, but it's a heavily decorated wasteland. The Emmys were first awarded in 1949. More about the various Emmys at the entry for ATAS, which awards the (US) Prime Time Emmys.

The name Emmy is derived from Immy, nickname image orthicon tube. The variant Emmy was used because the award statuette looked more like woman (albeit a winged one) than a vacuum tube. You can read a longer version of the story at this page sponsored by NY-NATAS.

The HowStuffWorks website has some pages explaining ``How the Emmy Awards Work.'' They work? I didn't know! What kind of ``achievement'' were they supposed to honor, exactly?

EMOtional. Refers to emotionally charged punk rock music.

Smiley, like ``:-)''. From emote + icon.

emotional ATM
Someone in a relationship who just keeps giving.

Early Medieval Period.

Early Modern Philosophy. Roughly, European philosophy from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, ending with Kant.

ElectroMagnetic Pulse.

Electron MicroProbe.

Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (biochemical pathway).

English for { Maritime | Medical | Military } Purposes.

Euro[pean]-Mediterranean Partnership. What's this? I never heard of it! They even had a Barcelona Declaration in 1995 (it established a European-Mediterranean partnership for peace, stability, prosperity, human development and cultural exchange), with actual signatories and an EMP ``methodology of engagement with and inclusion of the South.'' No one told me!

Excessive MultiPosting. A category of spam.

Spanish, `hoity-toity, conceited, arrogant.' Less commonly, `elevated to an advantageous social position.' Cf. vanidad, orgullos.

Variant spelling of employee that the Washington Post used to get on its readers' nerves (which has its own variant spelling), and to demonstrate its arrogance.

EMP pathway
Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway. From glucose to pyruvate.

empty creditor
A term coined by Prof. Henry Hu (of the University of Texas law school) to describe a creditor that acts as if it doesn't have an interest in a debtor's survival. Empty creditors act this way because they don't, in fact, have such an interest. We're talking mostly about commercial debt here -- the debtors are companies in trouble, and the amounts are best expressed in scientific notation. The creditors are insured against loss -- by credit default swaps (CDS's), say. If, as is typical, the insurance pays only if the debtor goes bankrupt, then the creditor has no incentive to accept a debtor's out-of-court offer to restructure the debt. This forces debtors into bankruptcy, which is expensive and a lot more dangerous for debtors than renegotiating their loans out of court.

The term has also been extended to sovereign (i.e., government) debt, particularly in the context of the ongoing ``euro crisis'' and prospective default of Greece and other countries. The situation with sovereign debt is somewhat different, of course. There is no bankruptcy court that a country can be forced into (CDS's pay on ``default''), and a country has options that a private debtor does not. (The usual option is ``printing money,'' but a country can also force restructuring by changing the law governing the debt contract. It has further leverage against empty creditors because the definition of the ``default'' that triggers pay-off of a CDS may be affected by the country's laws.)

Evangelical Missions Quarterly. ``A professional journal serving the missions community.'' Published by EMIS.

I don't know if it's a heresy, merely, or an entirely new gospel, but an article in volume 40, number 2 (April 2004) was entitled ``God Can Even Speak through Meetings.'' The same wild-eyed provocation artist, John C. Kerr, has a more thoughtful-seeming piece in the same issue: ``Could Poverty Be a Blessing?'' This is pretty subversive stuff. I mean, by the very title he's planting the seed of the idea that poverty might not be a blessing. What is he, crazy? What is a mere sixty years and ten [or twenty-five years and ten (2003 est.) -- he's writing about Zambia] against eternity? Better to starve now: a cadaverously skinny camel has a better chance of making it through the eye of a needle (lightly greased, of course).

Educable Mentally Retarded. Executive material.

Electronic Medical Records. Plural because it mostly occurs attributively, as in ``EMR system.'' Epic Systems, based in Wisconsin, has been the dominant EMR company in the U.S. health care market. They are, however, a sort of IBM of EMR systems: they sell big systems to big customers -- academic medical centers, large hospitals and health systems. Smaller hospitals, medical groups and crusty old independent physicians use EMR's from smaller vendors such as PracticeFusion and AthenaHealth.

The spiffy new term for EMR is EHR. Stay tuned.

Electron Magnetic Resonance. A synonym of Electron Spin Resonance and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance. Follow the latter link for further links (and yeah, maybe some info.)

Excimer Mid-range Raman-shifted Laser Device. Oh, clever.

WHO (World Health Organization) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. Other regional offices are listed at the AFRO entry.

European Materials Research Society.

ElectroMagnetic Susceptibility.

Electronics Manufacturing Service. Some examples: Sanmina, Celestica, Elcoteq. In principle, an EMS does not design the electronics it manufactures. (For more on that, see ODM.)

In practice, turning designs into products might not seem so straightforward, but it's been common for a while. There are ``foundries,'' places like MOSIS that will take chip designs and reliably turn them into chips. (Back in the eighties when these foundaries first got going, they were relatively cheap. If you were doing microelectronics research in a university, you could source the pedestrian, industry-standard parts of your work from MOSIS and focus on the cutting-edge stuff you meant to specialize. No longer -- at least no longer cheaply.)

An EMS usually manufactures in large quantities and may provide consumer packaging. A foundry produces small quantities (and for the price, you wouldn't want large quantities).

Electron Momentum Spectroscopy. Visit this description served by Christopher Walker.

Element Management System.

Emergency Medical Services.

European Mathematical Society. Created at the instigation of the ESF, which noted the absence of a specifically Europe-wide mathematical society. After a period of informal existence as the EMC, it was established on October 28, 1990. EMS is incorporated and based in Helsinki, where EMC was based. The EMS has both individual and organizational members. Unlike other mathematical societies such as the IMU (which has only organizational members), several different mathematical societies in one country can all belong to the EMS. This ``provides for flexibility and avoids political controversy.''

European Monetary System.

Event Monitoring System.

Expanded Memory Specification.

The Environmental Molecular Science Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Actually, it's down the hall.

Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory of the ORD of the USGS.

Éducation manuelle et technique. French: `manual and practical education,' in other words `vocational education.' On second thought, ``manual education'' sounds a bit dodgy. How do you educate a hand? It must be training: VET.

Emergency Medical Technician.

English as [a] Mother Tongue. When you spell it out like that, it looks vaguely lewd. You should know, and avoid, a term that might mean the same thing sometimes: ENL. Cf. EFL, ESL, and ESOL.

In Yiddish, mama lashon is a common and somewhat shmaltzy term meaning `mother tongue.' I guess Yiddish azoi Mama Lashon'' would be the term corresponding to ``English as a Mother Tongue.''

External Mass Transfer Control.

ElectroMagnetic Transient Program. A standard code for real-time simulation of power systems including single-phase and three-phase balanced and unbalanced circuit modeling, various equivalent-circuit models for T-lines and transformers, and time-dependent models for simulating circuit breakers, lightning arrestors, and faults. One version of the code is called Alternate Transient Program (ATP). The user interface is considered a dog.

Eastern Mennonite University. ``Mennonite'' sounds like a great name for a mineral.

Eastern Michigan University.

Electric Multiple-Unit train. E.g., a subway train. Designates a passenger rail car with its own electric motor, when this is part of a multiple-unit (MU) system.

Emu, EMU
European Monetary Union. Starting in 1999. As late as 1997, it looked like few EU economies would meet the criteria set by ECOFIN for entry into Emu, but they did. Now was that a good thing?

Flightless bird second in size only to the ostrich. It lays big green eggs.


Egregiae Memoriae Vir. Latin, `distinguished memory of the man.'

European Medical Writers Association. Affiliated with the AMWA (you can guess or look here).

End Node.

The name of the fourteenth letter of the English alphabet.

One half the width of an em, the traditional width of the letter en in movable fonts.

San Antonio Express-News. Shares a website with TV station KENS-5, a CBS affiliate.

Electrically Neutral Atom. Three words to say one. Normally, an atom is understood to mean an unionized (i.e., electrically neutral) atom. Otherwise, you call it an ion. To be exceedingly fair, the term ENA is used -- ah, let's not be overly fair. ``Electrically neutral'' means neutral.

French École Nationale d'Administration. A state-run factory for cloning new French civil ``servants,'' known not quite jocularly enough as énarques. It is significant that Nicolas Sarkozy, who was elected President (a fifth-republic office akin to elected dictator) in 2007, is not an énarque.

enabling technology
A technology that suffers from a lack of glory, or a perception of weak job opportunities, and taught by an engineering department that is experiencing consequent diminishing enrollments which leave it vulnerable to restructuring.

A common strategy in propaganda or PR for such a technology and its department is to shine in the reflected glory of some technology that is currently sexier. For example, did you know that copper plumbing is an enabling technology for computers? It's true: without indoor plumbing, computer programmers would die of thirst or water-borne diseases.

To enact is to put into practice. Hence its formulaic use today ``to enact law.'' Sports writers and other illiterates write ``enact revenge'' when they mean ``exact revenge.''

Egyptian National Agricultural Library.

Vivid imagery.

Emergency News Center.

You don't know what an enchiridion is? Shame on you! It's a handbook or manual. In short words of one or two syllables, it's about the same as a vade mecum.

Oxidation under the edges of an oxide mask (usually silicon nitride).

[Football icon]

When a defensive lineman crosses the line of scrimmage and fails to get back before the center hikes the ball to begin play.

A word borrowed from the late Latin encyclopædia, which in turn comes from egkuklopaideía. The latter is considered to be bad Greek -- a misreading of the standard Greek phrase egkúklios paideía, `encyclical education' (more on this below). The alleged solecism occurs in manuscripts of Quintilian, Pliny, and Galen. I suppose the emphasis on mss. is to suggest that this was too gross an error for those authors themselves to have made. Xenophon wrote a fictionalized account of the life of Cyrus the Great, and it was known as the Cyropædia (Kuropaideía in Greek): `Education of Cyrus.' I'm not qualified to pronounce on the acceptability of the alleged pseudo-Greek egkuklopaideía, but perhaps you are. As Fox News says, ``we report, you decide.''

The Latin spelling, of course, is preserved in the Latin titles of various long-established encyclopedias like the Encyclopædia Britannica, (EB), Encyclopædia Londinensis, etc. It's also preserved because monkey see, monkey do (it's an important principle of spelling standardization). For example, I have before me (actually to the left of the keyboard) a ratty copy of How To Clean Everything: the Encyclopaedia of Home Care. It was first published in the US in 1952, but my 1972 British edition has ``corrections'' copyrighted by the British publisher. I wonder if a respelling of encyclopedia was one of the corrections.

The practice of giving encyclopedias Latin names when approximately no one knows Latin is a great opportunity for mischief, often of the literally barbarous kind. There is, for example, an Encyclopedia [sic] Americana. The EB is now divided into a Propædia, Macropædia, and Micropædia. The EB people have also put together an inferior Spanish encyclopedia called Enciclopedia Hispánica, which includes a volume called Temapedia (at least both roots are Greek) and one whose spine writhes with the words ``DATAPEDIA y Atlas.''

In German, the letter c when followed by a letter other than h has had the sound value /ts/ for at least a couple of centuries. (That's why the Scottish ancestor of Immanuel Kant had to change his name from Cant.) The letter z has the same sound value, and during the twentieth century, spellings in z replaced those in c. Thus Encyclopédie, borrowed from the French, was initially spelled Encyklopädie in German and later Enzyklopädie. [Of course, c still occurs in German. It is part of the symbols ch, ck, sch, dsch, and tsch, to say nothing of Nietzsche, and it persists in unnaturalized spellings like Camping, Décolleté, and decrescendo, and incompletely naturalized words like decodieren and Ressourcen. (Even words with unnaturalized spellings obey native German capitalization conventions and may have altogether unnatural naturalized inflected forms.) By common agreement among the governments of German-speaking nations (and cantons), naturalized spellings will be encouraged. Some new approved spellings, however -- like Dekolletee -- rather tear the envelope than push it.]

Encyclopedia USA
Full title:
Encyclopedia USA: The Encyclopedia of the United States of America Past & Present
This is a weirdly ambitious project begun before the internet imploded the market for reference books. It's the first specimen in my, err, our entry (that of the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve glossary -- online, you'll have noticed) for incomplete multivolume works. However, the level of superfluous detail got out of hand, and -- with uncharacteristic mercy to compulsive readers of that entry -- I've given Encyclopedia USA its own entry. Your loss.

Encyclopedia USA was published by Academic International Press (fnd'd 1964). All the volumes are thin and small -- each almost exactly 250 pages long, and 6 in. × 9 in. I'd like to give you a flavor.
The first volume, published under the editorship of R. Alton Lee in 1983, went from AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Act) to Agriculture - Machinery. It included entries for three Abbeys: the illustrator, painter, and muralist Edward Austin Abbey (1852-1911); the poet Henry Abbey (1842-1911); the apparently unrelated theatrical manager Henry Eugene Abbey (1846-1896). The longer entries have named authors, so we know Phillip Drennon Thomas wrote the page-long item for Edward, but not who wrote the quarter- and half-page entries for Henry and Henry Eugene.

There are 28 Abbott entries (all short) and a long entry for Abbott and Costello (Lou doesn't get his own entry). There are entries for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (long) and Abraham Lincoln, Fort (short), but not, of course, for Lincoln, Abraham.

There are 53 Adamses (or so -- I'm not going to double-check). Most of the entries are biographies of people or government agencies, and there are a few for named (or nicknamed) laws (Abominations, Tariff of; Act Concerning Feme-Sol [sic] Traders; three other acts I never heard of either -- AAA I'd forgotten since eighth grade). There are a number of abstract-noun headwords, including the last nine (Agriculture; Agriculture -- Conservation; Agriculture -- Country Life...). I'm sure my selection would have differed. If I too were to include three Agnew entries, one would certainly be for ``disgraced vice-president Spiro T. Agnew.'' That's the standard formula, and no, he doesn't have an entry in Volume 21: Detente to Dixon, Willie James. By that point (1995), the editor was Donald R. Whisenhunt. I may fill in some more details later, but a couple of dedicated students are sleeping at a table in the reference reserve stacks by this encyclopedia, and I prefer not to disturb them.

Oh look: I don't need to disturb them! The publisher has a webpage specifically for this encyclopedia. ``Encyclopedia USA should be viewed as the serial Dictionary of American Biography uniquely expanded to all aspects of American life--especially cultural life--to serve the broad spectrum of readers and libraries.'' They offer ``Three volumes, 750 pages annually. Cloth. $42.00 each. Index Volumes $55 eac.'' If you're thinking of subscribing, do note that the last regular volume [29: Everybody's Magazine to Fanning, Tolbert] was published in 2003. The third supplement came out that year also. As of 2012, Whisenhunt is still retired and AIP is looking for a replacement.

Advertising in the back of the first volume indicated that the original plan was for fifty volumes, just like the other encyclopedias in the Academic International Reference Series:

  • The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History 50 vols. (Back then, you know, ``Russian and Soviet'' implied that history was probed more than half a century back -- into the period preceding the Soviet Union.)
  • The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet Literature 50 vols. (Now, of course, ``Soviet'' is the more historical term. Or at least ``Russian'' is the more current term.)
  • Military-Naval Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union 50 vols.
  • Encyclopedia USA. The Encyclopedia of the United... 50 vols.
  • The International Military Encyclopedia 50 vols.

The website now mentions ``Fifty or more volumes plus indexes and supplements when complete.'' They envision a day when it might be complete? I estimate that 100 volumes would make more sense, or only the very most important Williamses could make it in.

Okay, one of the students is awake again, so I don't feel like I'm skulking around trying to steal a laptop. The supplement series is up to volume 3, ending with an entry for Ashmore, Harry Scott. Full details aren't up on the website yet (maybe I'll check again in 2020), but I can tell you that the three supplements so far (or ever?) were all published in 1997.

A couple of Agnews were added in the supplements, and Spiro got his. He had died in 1996, and a cursory survey suggests that biographical entries have to wait until the biographees are dead.

Egad -- they've got the entire list of entries right out there on the web! Like this. They're stealing my thunder! How am I supposed to keep a non-profit, nongovernmental, unsponsored, non-charitable online reference work afloat with mock advertisements if I'm going to be undercut by moribund publishers of incomplete encyclopedias of outdated information?

End of History?, The
Francis Fukuyama's famous article appeared in National Interest, no. 16 (Summer 1989). The question mark was gone when the book (a best seller) came out (The End of History and the Last Man). Its principal premise was that the ideological evolution of mankind had reached an end with the universal triumph of Western liberal democracy. To write a book like this is to creatively imagine a premise that is the very embodiment of unimaginativeness.

Here's something interesting, the interpretation of which I do not suggest is immediate: Fukuyama was a student of Allan Bloom's at Cornell and a graduate student in comparative literature at Yale, where he studied under Paul de Man.

en dash
A dash that is one en wide. Sounds just like em dash, unfortunately. Fortunately, copy editors write their instructions.

Electron-Nuclear DOuble Resonance. I haven't looked around much for web resources; try this.

East NorthEast. Vide compass directions.

There's a Van Halen song from 1983, appearing on their 1984 album, with a refrain that sounds like ``NMR'' (British accent) or ``enema.'' It's ``Panama'' (title and chorus). For related considerations, see the mondegreen entry (or the deconstruction entry).

One line in that song is ``I can barely see the road from the heat comin' off.'' This refers to the wet, shimmery, or mirror-like appearance that hot roads can have. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:

[two-lane highway]

As is clear from the foreground, the shoulder of the road is bounded on the outside by grass in sandy soil. The lighter colors of the soil and grass mean that it both absorbs and emits radiation more slowly than the black road surface. The leaves of grass also function as cooling fins, promoting cooling by conduction to, and convection in, the air. The combined effect is that at the end of an August day (like that on which I took this picture), the grass is pretty much at the temperature of the air, but the road is much hotter. The optical effect is clear in the distance, where the grass seems to rise above and over the road (see especially the grass on the left side). The car in the distance appears to be floating on air. In fact, the apparent flat bottom of the car is also an illusion: it's a reflected image of the top of the car.

The illusion has to do with the fact that the refractive index of air is not quite unity (the vacuum value). Warm air is less dense -- more like a vacuum, say -- and its index of refraction is lower, closer to unity. This causes reflection. The air layer is smooth, so reflection from it produces a mirror effect. What one sees in that mirror depends on what is beyond it. It may be darker and look like a wet spot or, as in the picture, it may be a lighter-colored hazy sky that looks like it ends below ground level. Since the warm air that produces the effect is lighter than the surrounding air, it is buoyant; with a hot-enough road, the air moves visibly and produces a shimmering effect.

Technically, the reflection off hot air is total internal reflection (i.e., reflection by a region of low index of refraction back into a region of high index). The effect is very simply described by Snell's law, that for a beam of light traversing a change in refractive index n, at angle THETA relative to the direction of index change:

n×sin(THETA) is a constant.

Total internal reflection occurs because sin(THETA) cannot increase beyond 1, so a decrease in n cannot always be compensated by an increase in THETA.

You can use these facts, with some obvious approximations, to estimate the temperature of a reflecting road surface. Suppose you're on a long hot road, with no trees in the distance, so you can tell where total internal reflection appears. You can measure this distance from road markers, odometer, or speedometer and elapsed time. Call the distance L, and the height of your eyes above the road surface h. (It doesn't matter if you're on a long steady incline -- h should be the normal distance of your eyes from the road surface, and probably doesn't change much on an incline.) Then, if you're on earth, L is probably much larger than h, and sin(THETA) is about 1 - 0.5 (h/L)2.

The index of refraction of any atmospheric gas is pretty close to unity, and the first correction should be proportional to 1/T, so say
n = 1 + c/T.
We now write
n1×sin(THETA-sub-1) = n2×sin(THETA-sub-2),
where the subscript 1 refers to you and subscript 2 refers to the road. When total internal reflection begins, sin(THETA-22) is exactly unity. Substituting the quantities discussed for the other sine, and retaining only the lowest-order terms,
2c/T2 = 2c/T1 - (h/L)2.

Hmmm. Looks like we could use some extra information here. The value of c, f'rinstance. Let's say that for air in the optical range of wavelengths, c = 0.08K. Alright then: The road temperature T2 is given by T2 = 1 /( 1/T1 - (h/L)2/0.16K). Thus, if the temperature in the car (which determines the apparent direction of the line of sight) is 25 degrees Celsius, or about 300K, you're at 1 m height and the mirage begins at an apparent distance of 100 meters, the road surface is at 369K or 96 degrees C, about hot enough to boil water. Good thing tires are vulcanized.

Japanese for `energy.' The g is pronounced hard because the word borrowed was Energie, the German cognate of energy. If the Japanese word had been borrowed from English, the head term of this entry would have read something like eneruji.

End-Notched Flexure (specimen).

Meyers-Briggs personality type (MBTI) that has alphabetic priority: Extroverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging. (As opposed, respectively, to Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving.)

The Keirsey Temperament and Character Web Site offers to categorize you. The trouble with its character sorter (a very good name, BTW, in that it doesn't imply ``testing'' and the associated possibility of failure) is that most multiple-choice answers are caricatures of mature thought.

Electronic NewsGathering. I'm told that this is what TV news reporters do, as demonstrated by the fact that a Canadian TV series of that name (ENG) is set in a TV station's news department. I dunno -- seems to me that what TV ``news'' ``reporters'' do is not substantially more electronic than what newspaper reporters do. What is characteristically electronic about TV news is the dissemination.

Empty-Net Goal[s]. (Soccer.)


EU technical term for appeasement.

England in Transition
Hi there! For your convenience, I've made an entry out of what would otherwise be a reference somewhere else in this glossary. For those of you who have just arrived here by following a link from another entry: Welcome!

England in Transition: Life and Work in the Eighteenth Century is a little Pelican paperback (a Penguin imprint) by M. Dorothy George (née Gordon, so she didn't have to change her monograms). As the cover explains, it's a ``social history of England immediately before the Industrial Revolution, describing vividly the evils as well as the attractions of the so-called `Golden Age.'' The book evolved out of a series of BBC broadcast talks that the author gave in 1930; the book was published in 1931 and republished with additions in 1953.

(You'll want to know that on my copy (1953), the print along the binding is upside down when the book is laid face up.)

Angular momentum given to a pool ball by a player of a game, in order to, or at least with the effect of, affecting its trajectory (especially after collision with another ball or the rail).

When I was working at Fermilab (1977), I used to spend my free time at the recreation center conducting experiments on the mechanics of collisions of hard spheres rolling on felt-covered slate. (I was that dedicated.) Once I asked a British fellow experimenter there what they called english in England. ``Spin!'' he replied angrily. I did not.

At least he didn't give me the look. Most Englishwomen and some Englishmen apparently learn the look in school. The look is a physiognomic achievement at the cusp of disdain: just enough directed attention to express contempt, but not so much as to suggest the target is worthy of attention. I am usually too impressed to be offended. For more on this kind of stuff, see the swarthy entry. (I mean the entry for the word swarthy.) For ruminations on dourness, read my cri de coeur at the SHS entry.

For other yrast national skills, see pen spinning.

I used to have a link here to the image archive at Washington University in Saint Louis, where there was an image named <the_look.jpg>. The archive is long since defunct, but you can do a Google image search for the_look.jpg and find a selection. Click the link! Haven't you figured it out yet? I have no idea which, if any of these, I originally had in mind.

For yet more abuse, FPT.

English speaker
Most speakers who are English are English speakers, but most English speakers are not speakers who are English. What a difficult language! I'll never understand it. (I would prefer to use the term English-speakers. There isn't much justification for this, except that hyphenation is sometimes used to indicate a different relationship between two words than they would have if not hyphenated, and that there's even less justification for using a hyphen when English is what the speakers are rather than what they speak. It doesn't seem that my view has many active adherents, however.)

Equivalent Noise Input. What I'd like to do to the upstairs neighbor.

Electroless Nickel/Immersion Gold. In that order: we're talking microelectronics fab.

Equivalent Noise Level.

English as a Native Language. Contrasted with English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Unfortunately, among the manifold synonyms of EFL is ``English as a New Language'' (next ENL entry). Ghits suggest that ENL in the ``native'' sense represents a distinct minority of usage (1:40, say). Rarer in absolute terms, but not likely to produce the same absurd confusion, is EMT (``English as a Mother Tongue'').

English as a New Language. So far as I have been able to determine, this is yet another synonym of EFL, ESOL, and ESOL. It's just a matter of time before these people use up all the 3LA's and 4LA's beginning in E and ending in L.

ENL, however, has the unfortunate property of being something close to its own antonym: see the preceding entry. ENL in the sense of the current entry seems to be especially common (though probably not prevalent) in Indiana.

Enhancement-mode, n-type MOSFET.

Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer. The first fully electronic digital computer, made starting in 1943 by J. Presper (``Pres'') Eckert (1919-1995) and John W. Mauchly. It weighed 30 tons and fit in a 30' by 50' room, but it was 1000 times faster than standard mechanical calculators then in use. The US Army contract for its construction was for the computation of artillery shell trajectory tables, but it was programmable and was used for atomic bomb design as well. The Smithsonian Institution had a section of the machine on hand (picture here) for the Institution's Information Age exhibit in 1992. (A permanent photographic record of the exhibit is served here.)

The machine was planned for use in WWII, but it wasn't completed until 1945 (I think it was unveiled on Valentine's Day 1946). It was succeeded by the EDVAC.

The FOLDOC entry for ENIAC is now extensively footnoted, and seems to have settled on what exactly was von Neumann's contribution to the ENIAC/EDVAC project.

Environmental News Network.

European Neurological Network. Practically nothing to do with ENNS infra.

European Neural Network Society. Distinct from International and Japanese same.

English National Opera.

The surname of washed-up rock musician Brian Eno, who once had a top-40 hit with ``The Seven Deadly Finns.''

Effective Number of Bits.

Enterprise Network Roundtable. A group of users that provides feedback to the ATM Forum.

The Eastern NeuroRadiological Society. Founded in 1989. Not Eastern as ``wisdom of the neuroradiologists of the ancient Orient,'' but Eastern as in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, the District of Columbia, and the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

The mailing address is in Oak Brook, Illinois, identical with the WNRS. Different extension on the phone number. Related to the ASNR.

ENemy Situation Correlation Element. I don't know what this means, so let's shoot it.

École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris.

A Spanish word that is not enseñar. Although ñ is easy for Anglophones to pronounce, many either ignore or are ignorant of the n/ñ distinction, and come to grief. Like the woman I know who wished someone ``¡Feliz ano nuevo!'' She told me she got an odd look from the person she greeted thus. (She had wished the person a `Happy new anus!') I don't think any other minimal pair can top ano/año for unintended shock or humor value, but fwiw, enseñar is a very common word with meanings like `teach' and `indicate.' The verb ensenar is practically an antonym; it means `hide.'

In the form of a sword. The adjective is used primarily in biology, and is typically said of leaves, but there is also the term ``ensiform cartilage,'' also referred to simply as ``the ensiform,'' for an appendage of the sternum.

École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son. A widely used but probably unofficial acronym for La fémis (see FEMIS). It's a reasonable acronym and it follows the pattern of other state-supported or state-run post-secondary schools in France. Those are good-enough reasons to abjure it; on a besoin de mystère!

El Niño Southern Oscillation.

École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de Bretagne.

Bretagne here refers to Brittany, not Britain. By Brittany I mean a place, not a person.

A tree-like being encountered in JRRT's Lord of the Rings. Cf. entwife.

Evening Nautical Twilight. The time from dusk until EENT (sun 12 degrees below horizon), q.v.

Otorhinolaryngology. Not one ee, and the only tee comes before the first en. How do they come up with these crazy acronyms?

[BTW: an otorhinolaryngologist deals with the health of throat, ears, and nose. These are connected.]

Extrovert, iNtuition, Thinking, Judging. One of 24 = 16 categories, based on four bipolar variables, which definitively categorize the human animal. Too bad Jane Austen and Henry James didn't have this useful tool -- their novels would have been so much more insightful.

The scheme was created by a couple of geniuses (see MBTI) who based their work on the limpid writings of Karl Jung.

German word meaning `release [as from prison]' or `discharge [as from a hospital or employment or military service].'

It used to be more common in English to say that a firearm ``discharged,'' where now we'd say ``fired'' (or misfired'') or ``went off.'' In Spanish, the verb disparar describes the action of various things that shoot or are shot, including gunmen, guns, and projectiles of various descriptions (incl. soccer balls).

  1. Noun, with stress on first syllable, meaning ``entryway'' or ``act of entering.''
  2. Verb, with stress on second syllable, meaning ``put into a trance.''

The mot was first reported by Jack Malvern in the London Times, July 9, 2002, as coming by way of Baroness Williams of Crosby. British Prime Minister Tony Blair recalled that he and presidents Bush and Chirac (US and France, resp.) had been discussing the decline of the French economy. Bush confided to Blair that ``the problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur.'' The next day, Lloyd Grove reported in the Washington Post's Style section (in the regular The Reliable Source feature) that Malvern had it second hand from someone who heard the baroness use it in a speech. Blair's director of communications and strategy, Alastair Campbell, denied the original story and denied that Blair told such a story to the member of the House of Lords, and suggested that if she used it in a speech, Williams must have been joking.

A week later, in the July 17 Daily Telegraph (London), Andrew Marr wrote about poor neglected Gore Vidal:

He has not only perfected the dry narrative style that I call sardony, but has the grand cadences of the old East Coast aristocracy, now rarely heard. His best story, I thought, was passed on by a friend, who says that Mr Bush, after a tense phone call to Paris about the stand-off on trade, slammed down the receiver, turned to his aides and complained: "You know the trouble with the French? They don't even have a word for entrepreneur."

That was practically the last time the story was provenanced in any way. Marr's story, incidentally, was a ramble entitled ``Why I was a bloody mess over Brown's spending review notebook.'' Brown was Gordon Brown, and the following year, the Diary feature of the Glasgow Herald claimed that they had reported it some months earlier as ``told by Gordon Brown at a showbiz reception where he informed a fellow Scot of a G7 meeting at which French president Jacques Chirac bemoaned the economic climate adversely affecting France's competitive edge. A listening George Bush turned to Tony Blair and murmured: `The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur.' ''

I couldn't find that report, but I did see that in the Herald of August 1, 2002, Dr. Ian Morris, replying to a letter in part

I agree with Iain Scott about entrepreneurs and like the comment made by George W. Bush. The French are backward compared with America. They do not even have a word for entrepreneur. Apocryphal?
That was the first published instance I found that apparently treated the remark as a joke by rather than on Bush, a Harvard MBA (1975).

It was amusing to see in a fawning puff piece on Sir Terence Conran (by Ginny Dougary in the September 14 London Times) how he ``heartily disapproves of Blair's support of the Bush administration, snorting with derision at dubya's gaffe, `The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur,' and is maddened by the two leaders' response to terrorism.''

By the end of the year, the quote had received the imprimatur of the Oxford Dictionary publishers. It didn't just make their list of 100 top quotes of 2002; it was quote of the year.

Ha! But English doesn't have a native word for dirigisme, so there!

This French word means `contractor.' What French word means `entrepreneur' is turning out to be a difficult question to answer. I checked my Larousse de poche (which is all I have handy now) and it gave a Gallic shrug (i.e., it didn't have an entry for this word on the English-to-French side). I put it in the Altavista Babelfish text-entry form, and that made an unusual hand gesture (i.e., it answered with three question marks; you have to concede that would be a very unusual hand gesture). This is highly unusual. Normally when Babelfish encounters a word it can't come up with a translation for, it simply leaves it untranslated (this works quite well for proper nouns and technical terms). This is even the case when you give it a single French word that is not an English word, and ask it to translate that word from English into French. (At least that's what happened when I tried a few examples just now.) I guess they don't want to embarrass Mr. Bush and be ``punished'' (clarification deep inside the WI entry).

Oh wait -- it was a font problem. Babelfish translates ``the entrepreneur's enterprising contractor'' (in English) as l'entrepreneur entreprenant de l'entrepreneur. This is fun! ``The female entrepreneur's enterprising contractor'' becomes l'entrepreneur entreprenant de l'entrepreneur féminin! Let's try ``male prostitute'' ... prostituée masculine. I don't think so. I may have to find a more reliable informant.

Oh great! I found another French translation dictionary in the house. Taschenwörterbuch der französischen und deutschen Sprache (the sixth revised edition, 1911 -- back in the day when Herr Professor G. Langenscheidt actually controlled the Langenscheidt press. This dusty tome translates Unternehmer (English `entrepreneur'; take my word, I checked the Duden Deutschesuniversalwörterbuch) as entrepreneur. With the translation of English enterprising as entreprenant, the evidence is beginning to accumulate: French does have at least one word meaning entrepreneur: the word entrepreneur. However, the French word has a broader meaning than the same string literal in English, so French may not have a word specifically meaning the same thing as the English word entrepreneur. I'm guessing it doesn't have a common one, unless something shows up soon. In summary, entrepreneur is entrepreneur, but the French word goes a little heavy on the je ne sais quoi. Once again, dubya's enemies have misunderestimated his superior linguistic prowess.

German: `developmental biology.'

A tree-like being rumored but not encountered in JRRT's Lord of the Rings. Cf. ent.

Entzuendung, Entzündung
German noun meaning `inflammation.'

Eastern New York Occupational and Environmental Health Center. ``[O]ne of eight regional occupational health clinical centers established by the New York State Legislature in 1988.''

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