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Fermi Surface. The locus of points in (quasi-)momentum space where the electron occupancy falls rapidly. The concept presupposes electron degeneracy.

Ferrovie dello Stato. `State [i.e. national] Railways' of Italy.

File Separator. The function originally conceived for the ASCII (and EBCDIC) nonprinting character corresponding to an integer value 0x1C (decimal 28). It is supposed to be equivalent to ^\ (control-backslash), but don't count on it.

File System.

Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

Frame Sync.

[Football icon]

Free Safety. A defensive position in American football.

Full Scale. The voltage range on the analog side of an ADC or DAC.

Functional Substitution. A general idea in iterative numerical algorithms where accuracy in intermediate evaluations is irrelevant to the achievement of some recognizable target (like minimization): a convenient (i.e., easily manipulated or evaluated) function (such as a quadratic expression) is substituted as a local approximation to a known function.

Faculty Student Association at UB.

Fabless Semiconductor Association.

(UK gov't.) Financial Services Authority.

(UK gov't.) Food Standards Agency.

Food Safety Authority of Ireland. (Údarás Sábháilteachta Bia na hÉireann.)

Russian initialism for Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti, `Federal Security Service.' The Russian Federation successor, since 1995, of the KGB of the Soviet Union.

Front Side Bus.

FSBO, fsbo
For Sale By Owner. In realtor jargon, this is a noun (for a house so offered) pronounced ``fizbo'' or ``fissbo.''

Finger-Stick Blood Sugar. Blood sugar as measured by the FSBS test.

As you will be aware if you remember your last stay at one, hospitals have nothing to do with hospitality. Rather, hospitals are places where helpless victims receive the expert care of trained sadists. For this reason, blood is taken to measure the sugar level by pricking a fingertip: this part of the anatomy has a very high density of nerve endings. Studies have demonstrated, I believe, that pricking there maximizes pain. Also, most people have lots of fingers, so if the patient (why do you think they're called ``patients''?) doesn't flinch, a different finger can be used the next time.

If the patient becomes suspicious, the ``care-giver'' is authorized to give the following irrelevant ``explanation'': there are a number of noninvasive or, uh, minimally invasive tests that hospitals can perform regularly, to monitor body temperature, blood pressure, etc. But monitoring blood sugar by drawing blood with a needle would be inconvenient. Yet blood sugar fluctuates rapidly over the course of a day. The FSBS test was developed as a solution to this problem: it enables hospital personnel to hurt, err, monitor you regularly without inconvenience.

Blood-sugar monitoring is especially important for diabetics who are insulin-dependent. A blood-sugar measurement is used to determine whether an insulin injection should be administered to the patient with the next meal. A highly trained hospital nutritionist carefully plans a meal for each patient, taking into account conditions like diabetes; only after this is done does the hospital kitchen ignore it completely and send up any old slop.

Federación de Servicios a la Ciudadanía. Spanish `Citizen Services Federation.' (More literally, `Federation of Services to the Citizenry.') A public employees' union affiliated with the CC.OO.

Federal Supply Category. Probably has nothing to do with FSS.

File System ChecK and repair. A maintenance command in Unix.

Faculty Senate Executive Committee ... of UB is headed at the present time (12/95) by Claude Welch of PolySci.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant[s]. As of 1996, range from $100 to $4000 per annum. Eligibility determined by a student's undergraduate institution, on the basis of need relative to others at the same institution. Eligibility does not guarantee that an offer of aid will be made, however. [Get more information from the government or from a university resource (CMU).]

F&SF, f&sf, f+sf, you get the idea
Fantasy & Science Fiction. Sounds like something to do with software.

Free Software Foundation. Founded by Richard Stallman to provide software that is cheap, unencumbered by copyright or patent restrictions. Its major initiative is GNU.

Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Publisher.

Federal Supply Group. Probably has nothing to do with FSS.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone.

Free-Standing Insert.

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Recent amendments grant jurisdiction over foreign states and their officials, agents and employees, and create federal causes of action related to personal injury or death resulting from state-sponsored terrorist attacks.

Fonds Social Juif Unifié

Russian initialism for Federalnaya Sluzhba Kontrrazvedki, `Federal Counterintelligence Service.' The successor of the KGB after the failed coup of 1991. The FSK was reorganized in 1995 and became the FSB.

Frequency-Shift Keying.

Federal Society of Linguists.

French as a Second Language. It's momentarily surprising that FSL in this sense is a hundred times more common than FFL in a similar sense. The corresponding terms EFL and ESL are comparably common. It might be partly for euphony -- to avoid the FF pairing. The main reason, however, is that the term FSL is used mostly in Canada, where French (or some dialect of it) is not foreign.

Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. While it existed (1934-1989), it insured accounts in savings banks as well as savings and loan institutions. As should be clear from the expansion of the acronym, already in 1934 the difference between these two kinds of thrifts was not considered important. Basically, then, the FSLIC functioned as an FDIC for thrifts that were not credit unions (the latter kind of thrift was and is insured by the NCUA).

The main business of S&L's is to raise capital through personal deposits and to work that money by making home mortgages, (and also personal loans and maybe some small-business loans and mortgages). They're chartered under rules that restrict the kind of business they can do. In the seventies and eighties, banking deregulation freed many of these banks to make stupid investments and lose money or have it stolen by bank officers big time. That was the savings-and-loan mess that took many billions of dollars, and years, to be flushed by the Resolution Trust Corporation (created for that purpose). FIRREA, the law that created the RTC, also dissolved the FSLIC into the FDIC.

Until the early eighties, many thrifts were not required by the states that chartered them to be federally insured. In particular, at least a couple of states had alternatives to the FSLIC. After some spectacular bank runs and failures, all of those states changed their laws. I'm pretty sure that no states allow their banks to operate without federal insurance, although that may not exend to all kinds of accounts. You could regard this as rigid government intervention in private sector ... big government ... the slippery slope into socialism!, but somehow the republic muddles on, minus bank panics.

Well, I did specify bank panics. I didn't say anything about global banking system panics, now did I?

Finite-State Machine.

Fuzzy-State Machine. Fuzzy in the sense of fuzzy logic (FL). See item 11 of the comp.ai.fuzzy faq.

Foreign Service Officer.

Full Scale Output.

File Service { Process | Protocol }.

Free-standing Quantum Well. A quantum well clad in vacuum. The confined-acoustic-phonon theorists' jellium.

Financial-Sector Restructuring.

Free Space Reactor.

Full-Scale Reading.

Faculty of Social Sciences. At UB, the Faculty of Natural Science and Math (FNSM), the FSS, and the Faculty of Arts and Letters (FAL) were merged into a College of Arts and Sciences CAS in 1998.

Federal Supply Service, part of the GSA of the US.

Fixed-Service Satellite. Low-power (10-20 W/channel) geostationary satellites used by service providers with big dish antennas, for phone calls, data links, and TV. Not originally intended for direct-to-home (DTH) service.

Flight Service Station. Yeah -- fill it up with regular and de-ice the wings.

Forensic Strategy Services, LLC.

Family and Social Services Administration. The Indiana state government has one.

Forward-Scattering { SPectrometer | Spectroscopic Probe }. Used to determine droplet-size distributions in aerosols.

Filename extension for FAST Image Transfer (FIT) format.

Finlands Svenska Television. A service of YLE.

Fédération Suisse de Twirling Bâton.
German: Der Schweizerische Twirling Baton Verband.
Italian: La Federazione Svizzera Twirling Baton.
English: Swiss Baton Twirling Federation.

I just want to mention that nothing has given me more hearty belly-laughs this month than putting in the entries for twirling associations. For a list of others, see the majorette entry.

Fédération syndicale unitaire.

Florida State University. Known in the 1970's as ``the Berkeley of the South,'' in 2002 FSU became known as a meretricious haven for censorship.

The president of FSU, Talbot ``Sandy'' Alemberte, has been called an ``icon of the First Amendment'' for forcing Florida courts to allow cameras in courtrooms and for protecting reporters' right to keep their sources confidential. With delicious irony, he is now demonstrating (ooh, bad word!) that his commitment to liberty depends on whose ox is gored, or even whose ox is slightly embarrassed. On March 25, 2002, twelve student protesters began a camp-out on the FSU campus, after receiving repeated assurances from campus police that their demonstration was legal. Later that evening, they were arrested for protesting outside of FSU's ``free speech zones.'' Free speech zones are a concept so evil that I'm not sure whether they will get an entry in this wholesome glossary, but basically they are places so out-of-the-way that free speech there is completely ineffectual and acceptable to administration fascists. (For good measure, they can be made small. For example, the two free speech zones at WVU are located on only one of the three campuses, and are the size of small classrooms.)

The protesters want FSU to end its promotional agreement with Nike, a company whose business consists of promoting and milking (licensing the use) of its company logo. The students are unhappy because the squash, or splash, or slash or whatever it is, is passé. However, they claim that they're opposed to the sweatshop conditions in the factories that make products that eventually have a Nike logo slapped on.

Former Soviet Union (SU).

Frequency-Selective VoltMeter.

For Some Value Of.

There used to be a famous manual or tutorial page somewhere that explained the utility of the PARAMETER statement in FORTRAN by taking the example of pi. It recommended using compile-time constant PI introduced by a PARAMETER statement, as an alternative to typing in (I think I mean key-punching) a decimal value for pi at every point in a program where it was used. That way, as the explanation went, you could easily update the program if the value of PI changed.

Seriously, there's something to this, if you have issues with precision or small differences. Even more seriously, the idea of a nonconstant (and socially constructed) value of pi was included in Alan Sokal's Trojan horse article in Social Text. (This was backed up with a citation of Derrida, in an article in the book Structuralism and Poststructuralism.)

For Suitable Values Of.

Fault-Tolerant. Also less frequently ``Failure Tolerant.''

Fault-tolerant computing is, loosely speaking, giving the luser the right answer even though he asked the wrong question.

Fault Tree. See FTA.

Financial Times. British business daily printed on pink broadsheet. Recently began a North American edition to compete with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

First Things. Self-described as ``the journal of religion, culture, and public life.'' Roughly speaking, it is something like a Catholic Commentary, except that it is both more and less Catholic than Commentary is Jewish.

To be a little more specific about it, Commentary was originally and for half a century published by a Jewish organization (AJC), whereas ``FIRST THINGS is published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.'' Consistent with this, FT publishes some articles on religious issues that may be of parochial interest, whereas Commentary publishes some articles on religious issues that are of little interest specifically to non-Jews.

In practice, the AJC always gave the successive editors-in-chief apparently complete editorial freedom. On the other hand, FT is dominated by the personality and the amusing blog-like contributions of its Editor-in-Chief, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.

The January 2006 issue illustrates the tendencies. It has an article about a once-Presbyterian college that now just has a ``Presbyterian heritage'' (see the Davidson College item under ACS). The same issue has an article by Benedict XVI. I think that when you get to be pope, the ``who needs no introduction'' jokes probably begin to get a bit ancient. A note at the bottom of the article's first page says ``Benedict XVI is pope of the Catholic Church. This essay will appear in his volume Without Roots, from Basic Books, this February. (It's a mostly fluent but occasionally flawed translation from the German, by the way. For example, ``[a]ccording to this model, an enlightened Christian religion ... guarantees a moral consensus and a broad religious foundation to which the single non-state religions must conform.'' This error of single for individual is repeated. I suspect the original German adjective was einzeln, which has both meanings. The word continent is also used very, very loosely, to describe cultural or social constructs such as a circum-Mediterranean civilization. There's no warrant that I'm aware of for this in the German word Kontinent, but perhaps it's just some Papal Bull.)

Another journal that has sometimes been called ``a Catholic Commentary'' is Commonweal. It is more specifically Catholic than First Things, but unlike Commentary and First Things, it is apparently not politically conservative. It appears to be politically liberal (in the American sense), but I don't read it regularly or even occasionally, so that's just a quick impression.

Fourier Transform. Productive, as in Fourier-transform ion cyclotron-resonance mass-spectroscopy (FTICRMS), infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), plain ol' FT mass spectroscopy (FTMS), photoluminescence (FTPL), photoluminescence excitation (FTPLE), and nuclear magnetic resonance (FTNMR).

Free Testosterone. ``Free'' in the sense of not being bound.

Free Throw.

[Pron. ``eff-tee.''] Frequency, often determined by extrapolation, at which gain diminishes to unity.

FT, F/T, ft
Full Time. Employed for about 40 hours per week or more. Definition is rough, but this old concept is a bit rigid for many work situations. What is surprising is that the number of hours that constitute a typical FT week of work, after continually declining during the century, stabilized sometime in the sixties. (The precise number varies across the world as well, of course.)

Fault Tree Analysis. Something to do with the expulsion from Paradise (Gan Eden).

This is one of those compound nouns that works with or without the hyphen: it's a tree analysis of the occurrence of faults (failures), and it's an analysis based on what are called fault trees. Fault trees are essentially representations of logic functions, and express failure (a ``top-level'' condition) as the logical consequence of combinations of elementary conditions. In FTA, failure probability is computed from this function by assigning probabilities to the elementary conditions.

Although FTA and Markov Analysis (MA) both can be used to compute failure probability, Markov Analysis yields more information (about non-failure or near-failure states). Furthermore, FTA has a restriction that does not limit MA: failure trees, or logic functions, only describe failure events that follow from elementary conditions in a combinatorial way. That is, the failure probability computed by an FTA depends only on the current probabilities of elementary conditions, and not on the history of those conditions. Specifically, it cannot take account of the order in which the conditions occurred. When the occurrence of a failure depends on the order in which events occur, the computation of failure probability may be expressible using a ``required-order factor'' (ROF), which in some cases is independent of individual failure probabilities. Dynamic Fault-Tree Analysis (DFT) was developed to incorporate the strengths of MA (particularly the ability to handle time-sequence issues) in a fault-tree formulation.

Guicciardini's ricordo C182 reads (in the Domandi translation):

I have observed that when wise men must make an important decision, they nearly always proceed by distinguishing and considering the two or three most probable courses events will take. And on those they base their decision, as if one of the courses were inevitable. Take heed: this is a dangerous way to do things. Often--perhaps even the majority of times--events will take a third or a fourth course that has not been foreseen and to which your decision is not tailored. Therefore, make your decisions as much on the safe side as possible, remembering that things can easily happen that should not have happened. Unless forced by necessity, do not restrict yourself.

Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody {a|A}bsorption. A syphilis test. (Treponema pallidum is the bacterium that causes syphilis.)

Free Trade Agreement.

Free Trade Area of the Americas. Between the ``Declaration of the Heads of State and Governments'' adopted at a 1995 summit in Santiago, Chile, and the November 1999 ``Fifth Meeting of Trade Ministers'' in Toronto, it appears to be all talk so far.

As of 2002, the talk was getting more serious and the FTAA was expected to emerge in 2005. The August/September 2002 issue of LatinCEO was entirely devoted to plumping for Miami as the ideal location for FTAA's Permanent Secretariat. The stars disaligned, however. Presidents in South America have been trending left -- either hard left (Venezuela and Bolivia) or soft left (Brazil, Argentina, Chile).

Focused Technical Advisory Board.

File Transfer, Access, and Management.

File Transfer Access Method. Method for managing files that involves mapping the characterisics of the various file systems containing them to a single, sufficiently general common model -- the virtual file store. ISO protocol 8571. Used for file access (reading and writing), transfers and management.

For The Avoidance Of Doubt. Emailese. Reminds me of the proverb, ``better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.''

Fade To Black. An element in the language of movies.

Federal Trade Commission. An independent agency of the US government that shares antitrust oversight with the Justice Department. This needn't cause any oversight conflicts, as what one oversees, the other may overlook.

Forsyth Technical Community College. ``Forsyth Tech.'' It's in Forsyth County, North Carolina. The family name Forsyte of John Galsworthy's famous novel The Forsyte Saga is frequently misspelled as Forsyth or Forsythe. It may be because each of the latter is ten or more times as common generally.

Foreign Trade Division (of the US Census Bureau).

Formal Thought Disorder. What a name for a florists' network!

FrontoTemporal Dementia.

Full-Time Equivalent.

For The Hell Of It.

First Time In College. An admissions-office category. Readmissions and transfers are judged differently (if only because there are other data on which to base an admissions decision).

Fourier Transform (FT) Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry.

Fourier Transform (FT) InfraRed (spectroscopy). The blurb for a short course is informative; Charles Evans & Assoc. also offers a brief explanation. Here is Perkin-Elmer's index for FTIR.

FastTracK. Filename extension for an IBM Triton audio format. Not widely recognized. I didn't recognize it. Ugh -- all those ones and zeros.

Faster Than Light. Please proceed quickly to the FLT entry.

Flying Tiger Line. See AVG.

Fruit of The Loom. Hey -- clever name!

Flying Tiger Line Pilots Association.

Fourier Transform (FT) Mass Spectromet{ry | er} (MS). An explanation is linked from a general introduction to mass spectrometry served by Virginia Tech.

Face The Nation. This would be a lot more coherent if it were conducted off shore.

Fourier Transform (FT) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).


The Footnote: A Curious History is Anthony Grafton's amusing book about footnotes in historical scholarship (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1997). Pp. xiv, 241. $22.95 hardcover. ISBN 0-674-90215-7, available from <amazon.com>.) James J. O'Donnell reviewed it for BMCR.

One of Victor Borge's gags (I don't know how often he used it, but most comics reuse good gags) was to utter the word ``Seafood!'' in the middle of reading or pretending to read something, and then correcting himself: ``Ah, `see footnote'!''

An article entitled ``Vide Infra'' is reprinted in The Best of the Journal of Irreproducible Results: ``Improbable Investigations & Unfounded Findings'' (New York: Workman Publishing, 1983), p. 151. It's by ``Tim Healey, F.F.R., M.I.Nuc.E.,'' and its only page has one text line and 24 footnotes. The text line itself only has references to the footnotes numbered 1-4 and 14, but the footnotes have footnotes. According to ftnt. 5 of that article, Samson Wright's Applied Physiology has some of the best footnotes Healey ever encountered. Make sure to get the ninth edition or earlier: after Wright died, all that good stuff was removed (ftnt. 8). (The tenth edition, per ftnt. 10, was by C.A. Keele and E. Neil, was published by Oxford in 1961. I can't find any of these editions; it's not impossible that they're all invented.)

Federal Theater Project. One of FDR's make-work programs, set up in 1935 and terminated by Congress in 1939. Among those employed by the FTP were John Houseman, Arthur Miller, and Orson Welles.

ftp, FTP
File-Transfer Protocol.

To search anonymous ftp archives, you can try an old-style Archie server (if you can still find one), or use Lycos FTP Search.

First Temple Period. That is, ca. 850 BCE to 586 BCE. Not really an acronym I've ever seen used. I just thought I'd throw in this entry in case I ever needed to remember those dates.

Francs-Tireurs et Partisans. Also FTPF. French for `irregular soldiers and partisans.' The name was originally used by irregular light infantry and saboteurs during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1). The name is remembered today primarily as that of the French resistance organization formed by the French communists (PCF).

Germany invaded France in May 1940, and the armistice that formalized France's capitulation was signed on June 22 of that year. Hitler orchestrated an armistice ceremony heavy with symbolism. It was conducted in the Compiègne Forest, on the same railway car in the same place where the 1918 armistice (Germany's capitulation) had been signed, with some of the same furniture, etc. On the first anniversary of the 1940 armistice, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russian-held territory. The FTP didn't come into existence until then.

Francs-Tireurs et Partisans français. French for `French partisans and irregular soldiers.' See FTP.

Fourier-Transform (FT) PhotoLuminescence (PL) (spectroscopy).

Fourier-Transform (FT) PhotoLuminescence Excitation (PLE) (spectroscopy).

Fault-Tolerant Parallel Processor.

Flight Tape Recorder.

Frustrated Total Reflection.

Federal Telephone System An independent telephone system connecting a limited number of federal sites. The calls reach the same instrument but follow an alternate set of trunks. The system uses somewhat different telephone numbers. Usually the last four digits of the telephone number are the same as the regular number, but there is a kind of translation table for the first three, and with the small number of locations, no area code is necessary.

Federal Telecommunications Standards Committee.

Financial Times Stock Exchange (index). The ``footsie.'' Dow Jones for the London market.

Federal Telecommunications Services - 2000.

Fiber To The (or Fibre...) . A prefix that is `productive,' at least in the strictest grammatical sense.

Film, Television, and Theatre. The University of Notre Dame seems to be the only institution that uses ``Department of Film, Television, and Theatre'' as the official name of a department. (It's the department that is normally referred to by the initialism FTT.) The name strikes me as slightly awkward, since it seems to exclude a lot of nontheatrical digital video recordings that are viewed on television, although these might be of professional or educational interest to people in the department. They need a name that will stand the test of time, a less specific name that will not be rendered obsolete when technology turns the next page. I recommend ``Department of Applied Optics.''

Free (i.e., available) To Talk.

Federal (US) Technology Transfer Act.

Fiber To The (FTT-) Building.

Fiber To The (FTT-) Curb. Cf. FTTK.

Fiber To The (FTT-) Home. Also Fibre to the (British or Commonwealth) Home.

Fibre To The (FTT-) Kerb. Cf. FTTC.

The type of cable connectors used for cable TV (CATV).

Field-Training eXercise. Military usage. Cf. CPX.

Free Trade Zone. An area within the territory of a country that is legally designated to be outside that country's territory for customs purposes. Usually near a port of entry. Here's some material from Deloitte and Touche LLP.

Officially, US FTZ's are Foreign Trade Zones.

Fractional T1. Renting channels on a T1 line.

fu, -fu
Martial Art. It's spelled fu and not foo because it's extracted and generalized from the Chinese kung fu. Kung fu is written that way because for most of the twentieth century, transliterations from non-Roman scripts tended to use u rather than oo to represent the same sound, and k rather c even where the latter would be unambiguous. These conventions are not arbitrary: they tend to give foreign words a foreign appearance, and so are both generally informative and somewhat useful as pronunciation cues.

There's also Two-Fu, matchmaking service for single herbivores. The name is a play on tofu (soy bean curd).

Fu in the martial rather than the marital sense is usually used in compounds of the form foobar fu, as in the following inventory from Joe Bob Briggs's review of ``Eliminators'' [reprinted in Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive-In (Delacorte Pr., 1990), p. 120]:

Kung fu. Laser fu. Transfusion fu. Throwing star fu. Thompson submachine-gun fu. Toga fu. Monkey fu. Electric fan fu. Colored gas fu. Neanderthal fu. Lesbo fu. Hillbilly fu. Mandroid torpedo fu. Fire extinguisher fu. Laser-to-the-crotch fu.

There's a rock group called Foo Fighters.

When I was in high school, one of my metal-shop classmates kung-fu'ed a valuable T-square and cracked it. This demonstrates that great knowledge must be accompanied by great responsibility or liability insurance.

The guy who broke the T-square was immediately surprised -- he was only playing at kung-fu. Of course, the T-square did not know this. It reminds us of the Aesop's Fable of the boys and the frogs. What it teaches us is that metalworking and machining are skilled crafts, and some people are too stupid to be trusted around a lathe. Instead, they should be given a computer and some web-authoring tools. In fact, they have.

That's right: two or three morals for just the one story.

Freie Universität. German: `[tuition-] Free University.' Cf. Dutch and Flemish Vreije Universiteit (VU). Italian uses Libero Istituto Universitario (like LIUC) and Libera Università (e.g.: Libera Università di Bolzano a/k/a Freie Universität Bozen a/k/a Free University of Bozen-Bolzano or -- a different school -- LUISS).

I'm aware of another ``Free University'' worth mentioning, that was free in a different way. That was l'École Libre des Hautes Études (`the free school of advanced studies'), founded in New York City by Henri Focillon, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roman Jakobson, and Jacques Maritain. Founded during WWII as a sort of university-in-exile for French academics -- a ``Free French'' wartime institution.

Functional Unit.

Freie Universität Berlin.

WWII military slang, come into general usage by many who are unaware of its etymology: acronym of F_ _ _ed Up Beyond All Recognition. Cf. foobar. I attended a psychology seminar around 1981 in which the speaker discussed the ``fubar effect'' -- her awkward term for irony. I hope many people had a chance to have a laugh at her expense before anyone clued her. Ideally, I would hope she was clued but persisted stubbornly.

FUCAM, fucam, FUCaM
Facultés Universitaires Catholiques de Mons. They seem to prefer to write it fucam or FUCaM (cf. TeX) in French. Don't know French? FUCAM.

Are there any other schools in, umm, Mons was it?


Okay, okay now! Knock it off! Relax. Have a cigarette. I hope you're satisfied already.

Another school there is FPMs.

Hey! This is a family glossary!
A lot of people think that the word not written above is an acronym of the phrase For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. They've seen that expansion written on a stocks in the recreation of Colonial Williamsburg.

In fact, the word dates back to an earthier but purer time when English was mostly Germanic, untainted by such Romance intrusions as carnal. It's a cognate of German ficken.

Look, I'm not so fastidious, but search engines' spiders might be.

Fucutel, FUCUTEL
Fundación Cultural Televisa. Spanish (Mexican) `Television Cultural Foundation.' The acronym is still widely used, as of October 2003, but it is no longer used in the foundation's filespace, and the foundation itself now just refers to itself as la Fundación Televisa.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Wouldn't it be more accurate to describe this condition as ``fear, uncertainty, and confusion''? FUD is a standard management and marketing strategy. Of course, politicians would never use it.

(Yeah, yeah, ``and Confused Knuckleheads,'' of course. Look, bud, this is a family glossary!)

Freeform Universal Do-it-yourself Gaming Experience. A generic system of rules for role-playing games (RPG's), intended for every RPG genre from fantasy to pulp to superhero to science fiction (which is technically distinguished from ``fantasy,'' but you wouldn't know it by me). Developed by Steffan O'Sullivan and distributed by Grey Ghost Press, Inc.


First Updated Forecast. Whatever you say, boss.

Federation of Uganda Football Associations.

Fund for UFO Research, Inc. At their symposia you can meet people who claim to have been temporarily abducted by aliens.

You know, maybe the beings on board the UFO's don't know how to terraform, and they're just looking for a habitable planet. If we mess this one up bad enough, maybe they'll just move on.

Cf. furfur.

Folch Upper Layer. A/k/a Folch lower phase. The less-dense, chloroform-poor layer that forms when one uses the lipid extraction procedure of Folch, q.v. The FUL is the polar phase (methanol and water) that dissolves the nonlipids. It should not be confused with ``pure Folch upper,'' a wash used in further processing of the FUL itself.

Unable to swallow any more.

In German, you can say ``ich bin voll,'' which can be interpreted to mean `I am full,' but it sounds crass. You want to say ``ich bin satt.''

See buckminsterfullerene.

Full faith and credit of...
What does this mean, really? Do they promise that I can always exchange $2000 for a new computer with a reasonable array of the latest features? Not really, but it's held true since 1984, so I figure it'll hold for a while longer. They can't even guarantee that everyone else is thinking the same way, yet that's what's making it work. It's a confidence game of some sort, I can sense it.

full Nelson
A half Nelson is a wrestling hold in which the holder wraps his or her forearm under his or her opponent's underarm and rests his or her hand behind the nape of the held person's (his or her) neck. Probably ``rests'' is not the mot juste here. A full Nelson hold is two half Nelsons: neck held down with arms wrapped under both armpits of the held person. It can get uncomfortable, so it was made against the rules of legitmate wrestling.

Bouncers are allowed to use this hold if the door swings outward. Television wrestlers are allowed to use it if the maneuver is being supervised via national television.

``No holds barred'' means no wrestling ``holds'' are barred.

Do you realize that Jerry Springer was once mayor of Cincinnati? In fact, he was occasionally mentioned on the TV sitcom ``WKRP in Cincinnati'' (1978-1982).

[Football icon]


fumic acid
Humic acid. This entry is mostly about the use of eff rather than aitch in the spelling and pronunciation. If you want to know about humic acid ipse, try the ``about humic acid'' page from the Humic Acid Research Group at NEU.

Fumic acid does not have much to do with fumes. It is polymeric, and hence not very volatile. Fumic acid has to do with humus. (Humus is organic matter in soil, apart from organisms and their undecomposed or partially decomposed tissues. In other words, it is decomposed biological matter. This is a very unclear definition, but perfectly standard. The ambiguity arises because it is impossible to pinpoint a moment when ``decomposition'' is ``complete.'' Fortunately, this is just the fumic acid entry, so we don't have to worry about this.)

But the entry isn't finished yet.

Entertainment that doesn't require too great a conscious effort on the part of the entertained.

Loincloth traditionally worn by adult Japanese males. It's a native term, but it sounds like it could be derived from fundament and be related to ``foundation garment.''

Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix. (University Faculties of Our Lady of Peace.) University of Namur, in Belgium. See Notre Dame.

Remember, you can't spell funeral without fun. That is the deeper meaning of Mick Jagger's timeless observation about the alternative:
``What a drag it is getting old.''

If it weren't for Jagger, who was born in another era (another word without which you can't spell funeral), this entry would have been about how you can't spell funereal without fun and real. And while we're on the subject (fun, that is), I suggest you search on "appear that the church authorities opposed fun as such."

It is often asserted that fünf, Genf, Hanf and Senf are the only words in German ending with the letter sequence nf. [Genf is considered the `tough' one.] However, there're also einhundertfünf, zweihundertfünf, usw. So there are really four plus infinity German words ending in nf. That's actually equal to three plus infinity, so I guess that Genf will have to go. German speakers in Switzerland can use the city's name in some other language instead. English is a very popular second language, particularly in the German cantons, so they could use Geneva. How about a Romance language? I don't know what the name is in Romansch, but it's Genebra, Ginebra, and Ginevra in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, resp., so there seems to be something of a consensus among Romance languages. Probably any one will do. Oh yeah, the local language is French. That would be ... Genève?

Note that Hanf is the only word ending in nf that doesn't have a rhyme. Generally speaking German is easy to rhyme because it has a relatively small number of very common suffixes. In particular, almost all infinitives end in -en, -ern, or -eln (sein and tun are probably the only exceptions), and you can usually arrange to have a sentence end in an infinitive (or in the past participle of a strong verb, which also ends in -en).

You can read a less careful discussion of this matter (the nf matter), and some others, in an interview with Frau Frank-Cyrus in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazin, 9. Woche, 4. März 1994 Heft, 731, Seite 50-51. You can read about difficult rhymes in English at the forange entry.

Frame-relay User Network Interface.

Japanese word meaning `indignation, ire.' The vowels have a typically continental (European) pronunciation, so this doesn't sound a great deal like ``fun man,'' I still rate it as mildly amusing, and a very good contrarian mnemonic.

funny hat
The first time you wear a slightly unusual hat in public, complete strangers look at you kind of funny, making you feel self-conscious. Eventually, they stop giving you surreptitious sidelong glances and staring boldly at you when your back is turned. You've probably wondered how a complete stranger you meet on the third day you're wearing the hat manages to know that you've been wearing it awhile, since you've never seen him before in your life, and in particular not on the previous two days. The answer is, all complete and total strangers take a special complete and total strangers' course to learn how to tell. You never took that course because you're not a complete and total stranger. Also, the hat looks older.

unusual name beginning in `B' and ending in -us
This predisposes you to become a famous behavioral psychologist, or at least it used to (John Broadus Watson, Burrhus Frederic Skinner). This entry is located here under the effs because it was originally entitled ``funny name beginning in `B'...'' but I didn't want to offend anyone with a weird name, but then again I didn't want to weasel out completely. It does seem to have landed in a somewhat disreputable neighborhood of the glossary.

A Spanish verb meaning `put a hole into.' The etymology is uncertain; a Vulgar Latin * furaccare is hyphothesized. Spanish also has the synonyms horadar and agujerear, not to mention perforar. BTW, lacerar (along with the older lacerear) has a broader sense than its English cognate.

A Spanish feminine noun meaning `whore.' The etymology is uncertain. (Despite the suggestive semantics, it's probably unrelated to furacar. The related verb would have to have been the afaik unattested furciar.) Furcia doesn't seem to have a cognate in Portuguese or French. More importantly, it apparently doesn't have a cognate in Italian or any of the Rhaeto-Romance languages; this is a good thing because if it did, it might be spelled similarly, and Furcia is a place name in northern Italy.

A pass in the Trentino Dolomites (Dolomite Alps) is called Passo Furcia in Italian and Furkelpass and Furkel Sattel in German. There's a Via Furcia that goes to or through it, and Hotel Jú Furcia is on Via Furcia in San Vigilio di Marebbe, Italy.

The word furcia is much less common in Spanish than prostituta, to say nothing of puta (which is frequently used as a general intensifier, like the word for which eff'in' is a euphemism). In that sense, furcia is a bit like the word harlot in English -- there are fluent speakers of the language who are unfamiliar with the word -- but without the element of archaism.

When not qualified by an adjective, the English word whore means `female prostitute.' Hence, it applies literally only to women. To, uh, cover our ass we might generalize the definition slightly to be a `prostitute to male customers.' But few English nouns are marked for gender, and there is no regularly formed explicitly male version of ``whore.'' Spanish is different, which makes the furcio entry more interesting.

(Of course, with a modifier as prefix the word whore can take senses that implicitly apply to males exclusively or as well. In these extended senses whore essentially refers to those prostituting or willing to prostitute themselves in some way. I've also run across ``man-whore,'' which is an attempt to transfer the concept of ``slut'' across the sexual divide. Wake me when they coin ``man-hymen.'' The song title ``Man-Hymen Bulldozer,'' in Chapstik's album Barnburner, doesn't count because it's obviously a pun on Mannheim Steamroller.)

A mountain pass in the Trentino Dolomites (Dolomite Alps), called Passo Furcia in Italian and Furkelpass and Furkel Sattel in German. (The latter term is metaphorical -- sattel literally means `saddle,' of course, and it isn't usually used for a mountain pass -- and seems to be deprecated.)

There's a Via Furcia that goes through the pass, and Hotel Jú Furcia is on Via Furcia in San Vigilio di Marebbe, Italy.

Spanish masculine noun meaning `blooper.' The word seems to have originated in Argentina and spread. From 2000 to 2002, Canal de las Estrellas, a Mexican TV network, broadcast a bloopers show by the name of Furcio co-hosted by Pedro Armendáriz, Jr., and a CGI-puppet also called Furcio that vaguely resembled Sesame Street's Big Bird and that was operated by Odín Dupeyrón.

There was one Juan Carlos Córdoba Ocana, of the Mexican crime syndicate Los Zetas, who was killed in a Mexican Army operation on April 11, 2011. Córdoba went by the name of ``El Furcio.'' In that operation, another Zeta was arrested and eight hostages were freed.

José García Cansino, a state-level leader of the Zetas in the state that is their main base of operations (Nuevo León), was captured the following October. He too went by ``El Furcio.'' This is very encouraging: they seem to be running out of effective pseudonyms.

A flake of skin, like dandruff. Manna from dust-mite heaven.

Sloughed-off skin is the dominant component of dust in a well lived-in home. Does that mean people of different skin color have different color dust? I've never checked.

It's worth keeping in mind, however, that most people's skin is highly translucent and gets its color from a small concentration of pigment (mostly melanin) (not melatonin, you doofus) and from selective absorption below the skin surface. Furfur is light-colored because it reflects light efficiently, and it is not deeply colored (saturated) because its absorption is about constant across the light spectrum.

Optically, furfur is like flakes of frosted or scratched glass: each flake absorbs little, and its appearance is controlled by the way light reflects and refracts at the rough surface. Skin on your arm is similar, but light that is not reflected off the outer surface mostly does not reach the other side, as it would in a flake, because the other side is much further away. Instead, the light experiences multiple scattering by (non-light-absorbing) inhomogeneities under the surface, and the direction of the light changes until it either comes back out the top surface or is absorbed. The mechanism for this is Rayleigh scattering, which tends to be called Tyndall scattering in the context of animal coloration.

This scattering is inversely proportional to the inverse fourth power of the frequency, and hence much stronger for blue than red, by a factor of roughly 24 = 16). As a result, veins look blue: on average, red light penetrates more deeply before scattering its way out of the skin, and therefore has a higher chance of being intercepted by a vein and being absorbed. That preferential absorption of red makes the light coming off the skin over a vein look blue, although the blood and vein are red. Arteries would look blue too, but they're too deep to trace. I explained this in class and a student asked why some of the veins in her wrists looked more purplish and some more blue. There are some relevant thoughts at the chelys entry, believe it or not.

We tend to shed skin most during sleep, but the exhaled water vapor makes a much greater contribution to nocturnal weight loss. If you're thinking along these lines, you're probably not losing any weight.

Japanese term for the transliteration of kanji into kana. Kanji are logograms (mostly borrowed from Chinese; a few were created in Japan) adapted to Japanese use.

A common use of furigana is in children's schoolbooks. Also, when Japanese write their names on official forms, they may be required to spell it out using furigana in addition to the kanji. Normally one writes native Japanese words in hiragana, but this is one of the exceptional situations. People sometimes write these name furigana in katakana instead. The reason is that katakana has somewhat more sharply defined features than hiragana: it is angular and has more straight and fewer curved lines, so katakana stands in relation to hiragana somewhat as block letters to cursive.

In fact, a good mnemonic for most Spanish-speakers to keep the two kinds of kana, uh, straight is that hira- is pronounced like Spanish jira (`rotates'). Yes, of course Spanish jirar (`to rotate') is cognate with English gyrate. Ground lamb and beef, broiled on a rotating spit and served as shavings on pita bread, is called gyros. That's pronounced ``YEE ross.''

furlongs per fortnight
One furlong per fortnight is 166.309 µm/sec. A thousand times faster than MBE film growth.

Japanese term meaning `furo.' That's what the translation dictionary says. Apparently it's one of those words -- like futon, harakiri, hibachi, kamikaze, karaoke, kimono, sashimi, sushi, and umami -- that has been naturalized into English. Our immigration problems are worse than I thought! Anyway, it looks like you ought to know what it means. A furo is a `Japanese-style bath or bathtub.' A furoya is `a public bathhouse.' A furoshiki (another word based on the same kanji pair as furo) is a `square of cloth used for wrapping.' Wrapping a wet torso? Perhaps, but a towel is a taoru (a loan, of course).

Furrier Series
See Liouville. (You want Fourier Series.) On the other hand, there is a Fuzzy transformation, though it's not fuzzy at all.

further our understanding
Further clot our library's shelves.

This is an interesting Japanese verb meaning `fall' but only referring to rain or snow. One might translate it generally as `to precipitate,' or as `to rain' or `to snow' if context allowed disambiguation. Then, just when you think you've got the translation thing down, you find out that there are verbs furidasu, furisuzuku, and furiyamu, meaning `start falling, continue falling,' and `stop falling,' respectively, all in reference to rain or snow. Japan gets a lot of precipitation. That's why its earliest known (prehistoric) cultures were able to be sedentary without being agricultural: they were hunter-gatherers in settled villages.

The falling of rain and snow presents a problem to the grammatical structures of many languages. Accusative languages like English and Japanese presume that all acts have an agent. This leaves three options for describing the phenomenon of precipitation within the standard grammatical structure.

One option is to make rain, say, the agent of its own falling: ``The rain falls.'' (``La lluvia cae.'' [Spanish.] ``Der Regen fällt.'' [German.] ``The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain.'' [Apologies to Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.])

A second is to use a copula to assign the property of falling to the rain: ``The rain is falling.'' ``La lluvia esta cayendo.'' ``Der Regen ist fallend.'' (The Spanish is tolerable; the German isn't.)

A third option is to make rain an adjective of some sort, such as by making rain a verb or adjective. This is a popular approach, but it raises the question: what is it that is doing the raining? It seems awkward to have the rain rain itself, and the question generally goes unanswered. In English and German the agency question is parried with a neuter personal pronoun: ``It is raining.'' ``Es regnet.'' In Spanish, an explicit pronoun is not needed, though the verb conjugation provides comparable information (i.e., Spanish is a pro-drop language): ``Esta lloviendo.'' ``Llueve.'' [`It is raining.' `It rains.'']

This is a Japanese verb, distinct from the preceding and based on an unrelated kanji. It has a variety of meanings, including these:
  1. wave, shake, swing
  2. shake, rattle, roll (just kidding, sort of)
  3. sprinkle (also furikakeru; also furimaku, which has additional meanings)
  4. wag [a tail]
  5. change kanji into kana (see furigana)
  6. assign
  7. reject a solicitation or advance

Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. A NASA-supported, JHU-operated ``astrophysics mission that was launched on June 24, 1999, to explore the Universe using the technique of high-resolution spectroscopy in the far-ultraviolet spectral region.'' It looks like a grandfather-clock cabinet with some of the panels skew.

Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis.

fuzzy-wuzzy loving cup explosion
I think we missed it.

Federal Voting Assistance Program. Read this fascinating article.

Federación Venezolana de Bridge. The Venezuelan NBO, founded in 1959. A member of the CACBF.

Federation of Veterinarians of Europe. It's ``an umbrella organisation of veterinary organisations from 38 European countries [it] also represent[s] 4 vibrant sections, each ... representing key groups within [the] profession: Practitioners (UEVP), Hygienists (UEVH), Veterinary State Officers (EASVO) and veterinarians in Education, Research and Industry (EVERI).''

Finite Volume Method. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finite_volume_method

Florida Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

[Football icon]

Football Writers Association of America.

Friend[s] With Benefits. The benefits are understood to be of a sexual nature. The benefits are also understood to be direct -- i.e., your wingman is not an FWB. If I were crass, this would be a shorter and less elliptical entry.

Fwd, FWD

Free-Wheeling Diode.

Front-Wheel Drive. Cf. RWD.

FAI World Grand Prix. ``... aims to develop the artistic aspect of aerobatic demonstrations and flying to music. Open to top level solo pilots, formation teams and constructors....

Full Width (of pulse or lineshape) at Half Maximum (value). Twice HWHM.

FWIW, fwiw
For What It's Worth. The phrase and now even the acronym are hackneyed.

The phrase is not just a cliché, it's the title of a 1966 hit for Buffalo Springfield. (The writer was Stephen Stills; young Neil Young was also in Buffalo Springfield.) The title phrase doesn't occur in the song lyrics. The consistent part of the chorus is ``stop, hey, what's that sound? / Everybody look what's going down.''

Four-Wave Mixing.

Euphemism for an obscenity beginning in the letter eff, such as F_c_b__k.

Fish and Wildlife Service.

Full Width (of pulse or lineshape) at one Tenth of Maximum (value). This is a much rarer term, in my experience, than FWHM.

eFfeCtS. Possibly special effects (SFX). A movie and subsequent TV series bore F/X as a title. F/X is productive mostly in the unpunctuated form FX, as in SFX and also VFX and TFX.

FiXed-point. Cf. floating point.

Foreign eXchange.

For eXample. This glossary entry is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute an endorsement. SBF unanimously recommends e.g. (Unless you're abbreviating the Danish expression for eksempel, in which case it's perfectly axeptable.)

Fracture. Medical abbreviation. Other common abbreviations of the same form: DX (diagnosis), Hx ([patient] history), Rx (prescription), SX (symptoms), TX (treatment).

Explanation of abbreviation at Rx.

(Domain code for) France, Metropolitan. Approximations of French are spoken throughout.

Freedom of eXpression Institute. A South African NGO ``formed in January 1994 from a merger of two organisations involved in campaigning for freedom of expression during the apartheid years, namely the Campaign for Open Media (COM) and the Anti-Censorship Action Group (ACAG). Recently, the FXI also established the Media Defence Fund to sponsor freedom of expression court cases on behalf of media who are not able to afford the legal costs. This work is a continuation of work conducted by the now-defunct Media Defence Trust (MDT).''

Wait a second -- this seems to imply... You mean majority rule didn't usher in the millennium? Bummer! What a let-down! Let's just go back to the way things were before, huh? (Yeah, yeah, I mean the millennial age, not the third millennium of the common era.)

``The need for the FXI is rooted in the belief that South Africa is in an early stage of building a democracy and strong institutions are required to campaign for and uphold democratic values, and in this instance, the values of freedom of speech and expression.''

FoX Movies. A subscription (cable or satellite) channel.

Foreign eXchange Office.

Foreign eXchange Subscriber.

FiXed-point (processor or computing) Unit.

Fiscal Year. Traditionally, the fiscal year is simply the annual period used for financial accounting. Oddly, however, in Spanish, el fiscal is not the treasurer but `the public prosecutor.'

Most individual tax returns filed with the United States IRS use a calendar-year accounting period (``tax year''). The IRS defines a ``regular fiscal year'' as a ``12-month period that ends on the last day of any month except December.'' (I'm quoting here from the 2004 edition of IRS publication 17 (Your Federal Income Tax: For Individuals), p. 14. So the IRS definition stipulates that a calendar year is not a regular fiscal year. Wonders never cease.) The IRS also recognizes 52-53-week fiscal years, which always end on the same day of the week, and which vary in length between 52 and 53 weeks.

The US government's own FY used to end on June 30 (as recently as the 1950's, anyway), but now runs from October 1 to September 30. If a new budget has not been passed by the time the new FY begins, Congress usually passes a continuing resolution (or two, or...) that allows the government to continue functioning. Many retailers (Wal-Mart, for example) use a fiscal year that ends on January 31.

For Your {Consideration | Convenience}.

Future Years Corporate Plan.

Future Years Defense Plan.

First-Year Experience. A program to coddle college freshmen so that the weak ones don't drop out until the sophomore year. Eventually, this program will be expanded into a SYE, TYE, and another (really the same) FYE.

Lem writes (p. 5; see inanimate for book)
... Always on display in Orenstein's window were pyramids of enticing red apples, oranges, and bananas with oval stickers that said FYFFES. I remember the word but have no idea what it meant.

Today, Dublin-based Fyffes plc ``is the leading importer and distributor of fresh fruit and vegetables in Europe.'' Follow this link for a history of Fyffe Blue label, which was used from 1929 on. United Fruit Company started putting similar blue stickers on its Chiquita-brand bananas in the 1960's. For a general survey of banana labels, see this highly useful page.

For Your Information. A comment typically written at the top of a xerox tossed in a co-worker's mailbox. The usual reaction of the person receiving such a cryptic message is some variant of ``why would I want to know this?'' However, other reactions may occur.

Former Yugoslav Republic Of. Like BYO, this acronym only occurs in a limited range of contexts. The contexts are FYRO Macedonia and Macedonia FYRO.

Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia. The Current Republic of Greece objects to allowing the present country of people universally known as Macedonians to call themselves the country of Macedonia. They consider use of the name an implicit act of aggression against the region of Greece known as Macedonia. I have at least one Greek friend who feels strongly this way. It's nothing. Weirder stuff happens all the time. Cf. TAFKAP.

First Year of Studies. ``The First Year of Studies is an academic unit which, utilizing a variety of support services, facilitates the transition of first-year students from high school to university life. It advises them in the selection of courses in the First Year curriculum and an appropriate undergraduate college or major while seeking to prepare them for the academic and personal challenges of Notre Dame.''

Float-Zone. One method of growing pure crystals. An analysis of this process involves the study of Marangoni convection -- instability driven by surface tension temperature-dependence. See, for example, Ben Hadid & Roux in JFM (1992); Carpenter & Homsy in JFM (1989).

Forschungszentrum. German: `Research Center.'

Forschungszentrum Jülich. FZJ's English-language pages translate this as `Research Centre Jülich.' This translation is only tolerable: in German, placing the location (a university town) directly after FZ is unexceptionable; in English, the parallel placement is jarring. Perhaps I should say ``still jarring,'' since there are many foreign institutions so named in their respective languages, and the practice, if it isn't seeping too quickly into English usage, is not unknown. (The current (2008) Swansea University was once known as ``University of Wales, Swansea.'' At least they used a comma.) The translation `Jülich Research Center' accurately conveys both the meaning and the impact (or normalcy) of the original German term.

Formula One. Non-stock racing cars and their races. The majority of races are run in Europe. The tour is a competitor of NASCAR, and until the 1980's there were no F1 races in the US.

Student Visa.

A two-seat version of the F-15J.

A Japanese variant of the F-15C.

Visa for spouse of student.

A stealth fighter jet. A version of the F-16 with four more hardpoints (hence stealthier).

Fluorine (F) gas. A halogen gas. B.p. -188 °C.

Federal Reporter, Second Series. US legal journal. Current series (as of the year 2000) is F.3d.

F2F, f2f
Face-To-Face. An increasingly useful modifier to distinguish, say the in-class, physically present participants in a course from those whose participation is mediated by some distance learning (DL, q.v.) technology.

Cf. mano-a-mano.

Federal Reporter, Third Series. US legal journal. The current series, as of the year 2000.

Fox Fan For Life. Fox is understood here as Fox News or Fox TV or Murdoch. Cf. BFF.

Fortune 500. A list of the 500 biggest publicly held companies in the US, compiled and published by Fortune magazine.

Fortran of 1977. It's been downhill ever since.

Fortran of 1992.

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