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Latin, Gaius. A praenomen, typically abbreviated when writing the full tria nomina. Much less common than C., q.v.

g., g, (g)
Gas[eous]. In chemical formulae, the fact that a substance is in the gaseous state may be indicated by a parenthesized gee (always lower case) following the chemical formula. Thus, for example, ice [H2O (s)] and liquid water [H2O (l)] can be distinquished from steam: H2O (g).

A symbol related to (g) is the upward-pointing arrow, which indicates that a gaseous reaction product is allowed to escape (typically from the solution in which other reactants are dissolved). Many elementary reactions are driven to completion by the escape of a gaseous product. Kinematically, one can regard this as a much-reduced rate for the reverse reaction: the product gas goes away and is no longer available to participate in a reverse reaction with the condensed products of the forward reaction. Thermodynamically, one can think of this as an entropy-driven reaction: the entropy of the gas, when ``confined'' in an infinite volume, is infinite. (In a finite volume, it grows logarithmically with the volume.)

General, Generalized. Productive prefix.

General Audiences. Designates movies that will not give young children or their parents nightmares.

Giga-. SI prefix for 109. Vide billions.

Glycine. An amino acid. Its three-letter code is GLY. Glycine is not the same as either of the amino acids glutamic acid (GLU) or glutamine (GLN) whose one-letter abbreviations are E and Q, respectively.

Why use confusing single-letter amino-acid codes? Look, a typical protein is thousands of monomers long.

Once when I volunteered at Recording for the Blind, I was monitor for the recording of a biochemistry textbook. The terms of RFB's standard agreement with publishers require that all content be faithfully recorded and all the pictures described in detail. (I guess publishers will only allow a ``copy'' rather than an abridged ``derivative work.'') One page of the biochemistry book illustrated schematically a polypeptide chain (a short protein) that had been sequenced, each monomer represented by a little box with a three-letter code. For a few minutes, all the reader did was rattle off ``...glutamine, valine, glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, serine, alanine, ....''

GNU C++ Compiler. Under Unix, filenames and commands can typically have nonalphanumeric characters, but they can be inconvenient. (In non-Unix operating systems, there are tighter restrictions.) If only to avoid problems, the filename and command for g++ is gpp. Cf. gcc.

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

I prefer ``Gravitation.''

Gospel. Used as a prefix in Historical-Jesus studies: GMark, GMatthew, GLuke, GJohn for Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Matthew, etc.

Traditionally, one ``John'' was regarded as the author of GJohn and of [the Book of] Revelations, but serious scholarship now regards this as highly improbable, since the Greek of one of the texts (Revelations) contains many ``Palestinian'' errors and the other does not. ``GJohn'' is occasionally used to designate the John who was the (presumed single) author of the text GJohn.

Gram. SI unit of mass. If you shear off its empty head and put a lead pillow under its tail, it makes a tolerable 9. Or perhaps an intolerably confusable ``nine.''

The gram may have some other uses.

<g>, <G>

<bg>, <BG> Big Grin
<eg> evil grin
<g,d&r> grinning, ducking & running
<g,d&rvvf> grinning, ducking & running very very fast...
<vbg> very big grin

Groschen. One hundredth of an Austrian Schilling from 1823 until the euro was introduced. Preceding that, the Groschen has a long if not always lustrous history; I don't plan to research when in the past it has and has not been abbreviated by a lower-case letter gee. The word Groschen continues in use in proverbial expressions in Germany as well as Austria.

In German, euro is spelled Euro; the pronounciation, written in English, would be something like ``OY-hroe.'' (As Twain remarked, foreigners spell better than they pronounce.) Also in German, one hundredth of a euro is a Cent. According to the usual German rules, this should be pronounced as ``tsent'' would be in English, unless it is regarded as a loan word from, say, American English, in which case it should be pronounced ``cent.'' In fact, German dictionaries generally favor the ts pronunciation, but the s pronunciation seems to prevail in practice.

Guanine. A purine base in DNA and RNA that pairs with the pyrimidine Cytosine (C). GMW of the isolated Guanine base is 151.1 grams per mole.

[Football icon]

Guard. An offensive position in American football. Really a mostly defensive offensive position. The left and right guards line up to either side of the center, and try to protect the pocket that holds the quarterback from the rushing defensive linemen (sort of offensive defensive players), or maybe block for a running back. Strength and to a lesser extent quickness are important at this position, not so much speed. Defensive linemen are big. If the term hadn't already been claimed by the plasma physicists, I'm sure that football theorists would have coined ``inertial confinement'' for protecting the pocket.

Disclaimer: I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm as bad as most of the other beer receivers at the sports bar.

(Domain name code for) Gabon.

The entry looks a little thin.

Gallium. One of two elements named in honor of France. [The other is Francium (Fr).] Atomic number 31.

Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Gamblers Anonymous. A twelve-step program for gamblers -- specifically, for those people who work too hard at honing their skill in games of chance.


General Admission. A kind of ticket that gets you into the stadium but you have to sit in the cheap bleachers. Actually, that's not exactly correct. It means that you don't have any particular seat reserved. If it's a poorly attended game you can probably sneak towards the better seats after a while and get a good view of a bad game.

For some events (e.g. minor-league baseball, many rock concerts), all the seating is general admission. Rock concert promoters are reported to favor ``festival seating,'' as GA seating is also called, on the theory that the most enthusiastic fans get near the stage and generate excitement for the rest of the crowd; some performers and bands insist on a festival seating area near the stage. Many of the professional classical music concerts, most of the plays, and all of the operas I can recall had assigned seating, or at least assigned sections. Sporting events have typically been a mix, with some GA sections.

All the classes I have ever taught were GA, but none of them has had a mosh pit. I think I had better liven up the presentations. Can I do laser lightshows with PowerPoint?

General Assembly. Usually refers to United Nations General Assembly, a constituent assembly in which every member nation has one vote. A separate body called the security council (SC) has five permanent members with veto power and a rotating membership with nonveto votes.

I've heard the story that when Roosevelt and Stalin negotiated over the form of the UN, Stalin wanted every Soviet Republic of the USSR (all 15) to have a vote in the GA. Roosevelt counterproposed that then every one of the united states (all 48) should have a vote. In a compromise, Stalin got separate membership and GA votes for Ukraine and Belarus. If this seems like an unbalanced compromise, maybe not the best negotiating on FDR's part, well, you're catching on.

General Availability.

General Aviation. Private, noncommercial aviation.

Genetic Algorithm.

Georgia. The peach state. The state capital, Atlanta, has about 200 streets with the words peach tree in the name. That's what the tour bus driver said, anyway. More, or less, at the next entry.

Georgia. USPS abbreviation. Named after an English King George (I or II, I forget).

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for Georgia. USACityLink.com has a page mostly of Georgia city and town links.

Not the same as the former soviet republic and current Russian vassal state of Georgia (.ge).

Global Alliance of National Baton Twirling and Majorette Associations. It seems that major national baton twirling assocations line up either with the GA or the WBTF.

Graduate Assistant. Could mean RA or TA.

Gate-All-Around (electronic device). A rectangular IC package with leads along all four edges.

Gravure Association of America, Inc. A trade association founded in ``January 1987 as a result of the merger between the Gravure Technical Association (GTA) and the Gravure Research Institute (GRI),'' which had each been in existence since 1947.

If you want to learn about gravure, you probably want to know about the GEF.

There's another link from the GAA homepage entitled ``What's Gravure?'' Do you feel entitled, punk? The explanation begins ``Gravure is an intaglio printing process. The image carrier has the image cut or etched below the surface of the non-image area.'' Thank you. I think maybe I'll just go to Kinko's.

Gallerie Amrad African Art Publications.

Governmental Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting. According to the blurb for GAAFR 2005: ``A comprehensive, practice-oriented guide to accounting and auditing in the public sector. A GFOA classic for almost six decades, thoroughly revised and updated through GASB Statement No. 45. An indispensable textbook, reference source, and training tool.''

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Accountants are paid conformists.

Turns out the ``generally accepted'' doesn't stretch across national borders; US and Canadian GAAP are different, requiring separate tallies in the annual report of a company traded on US and Canadian boards.

Grrr, but with a more open vowel. It's not often that you can find an etymology this sort of utterance...

General Anti-Avoidance Rule. Disposition Général Anti-Évitement in French. Sort of an infield-fly rule for Canadian federal income tax: if the tax man determines that some transaction you made had no real purpose or effect other than to reduce your taxes, they can deem it not to have happened. Gaar. The ``tax man'' is CCRA/ADRC (formerly RevCan)

A compound of an element named after France with the element whose oxide smells like garlic. Gallium Arsenide.

Room temperature band gap is 1.43 eV. It's a direct-gap III-V semiconductor. There are satellite valleys at the L points, with minima 0.3 eV above the minimum of the gamma valley. The effective mass is 0.67 times the free-electron mass in the central valley (although I've seen 0.65 used) and 0.55 in the L valley (even less certain).

Lattice constant of 5.653 Å is very close to that of the indirect-gap III-V AlAs, and the AlGaAs system has been the most productive for heterostructure research.

Generally Accepted Auditing Standards. Auditors are paid conformists too.

Gamma-AminoButyric Acid. Printed γ-aminobutyric acid, if possible. Structural formula NH2(CH2)3COOH. An amino acid with various neural functions.

Gamma-Amino-Beta-hydrOxyButyric acid. Printed γ-amino-β-hydroxybutyric acid, if possible. Actually, this is an old systematic name, and thus technically a trivial name. The modern name is 3-amino-2-hydroxybutanoic acid. Its structural formula is NH2CH2CH(OH)CH2COOH. It's an important GABA metabolite, to judge from the fact that it has an acronymic trivial name. There are plenty of other related compounds, but sadly, none of them seems to be abbreviated GABON.

It's almost surprising, really. An acronym like GABOB ought to clue you that neuropharmacologists are more fun than a barrel of monkeys on psychotropic drugs. Here are some representative bits of humor:

For example, suppose one were interested in elucidating the presumed biochemical aberration in schizophrenia. What would one measure? ATP? Glucose? Ascorbic acid? [ROFL.] Unfortunately, this problem early on had been zealously investigated by people who measured everything they could think of, generally in the blood, in their search for differences between normal individuals and schizophrenics. As could be predicted, the problem was not solved. (It may be assumed, however, that these studies produced a large population of anemic schizophrenics with all this bloodletting.)

Deciding where to measure something in neuroscience is complicated by the heterogeneity of nervous tissue: In general, unless one has a particular axon to grind, it is preferable to use peripheral nerve rather than the CNS. Suburban neurochemists have an easier time than their CNS counterparts....

In the next-to-final step before selecting the color of the tablets, the ideal candidate will then be synthesized....

The excerpts are from pp. 6, 7, and 503 of Jack R. Cooper, Floyd E. Bloom, and Robert H. Roth: The Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology (Oxford Un. Pr., 7/e 1996).

Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials. Either that, or it's the first-person singular present tense form of GABEARE.

Granular Activated Carbon.

Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators.

Georgia Association of Colleges and Employers. A state affiliate of SACE.

Global Aerosol Climatology Project.

Jargon for Gamma Crucis, the star at the ``top'' of the Southern Cross.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Worrying too much.

Grupo de Análisis y Desarrollo Institucional y Social. `Institutional and social analysis and development group,' an Argentine organization.

Guatemala Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.

GeorgiA Emergency Medical Services.

GeorgiA Emergency Nurses Association.

A true statement made at a politically inopportune moment. (This, or a similar definition, was promulgated by The New Republic some years ago.)

Grazing-Angle Fluorescence Yield. Tells how many goats you need to trim the flowers. You gotta admit, whatever it is it's got a great acronym. Much better than GIXS.

Gravity-Air natural Gas heating. See the HWO entry for nonusage information.

Gush Herut-Liberalim. (Never mind the vowels. Semitic languages like Hebrew are built on three- and a few two-consonant stems, with different related meanings created using loose patterns of vowels and affixes. This is somewhat similar to, though much more extensive than, the use of suffixes in English. It is thus more natural in Hebrew to just insert the a-a vowel pattern, as in Mapai and Mapam, or Rambam and Ramban, than to carry vowels from the source names and create something strange-sounding like Guhel.)

The name is Hebrew for `Freedom-Liberals Bloc' -- you can deduce the word-to-word correspondence yourself. It was an Israeli political coalition list created in 1965 from the combination of Liberal Party and Herut.

Proposed name for the Earth ecosystem, considered as a whole. [Treehuggerese.]

GUI Application Interoperability Architecture.

German Association for Infant Mental Health. That's the name in English of, and the expansion of the acronym used by, Gesellschaft zur Förderung der seelischen Gesundheit in der frühen Kindheit, which can be translated literally as `Society for the Promotion of Mental Health in early Childhood.' GAIMH is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

`Loanword[s]' in Japanese. The Japanese lexicon comprises words from three main sources: (1) Yamato words dating back to the time before the vast infusion of (2) Chinese vocabulary, followed by (3) Occidental vocabulary. The last group should be understood as ``words entering Japanese via European languages,'' it being noted that (a) the largest group came from English and (b) some of the words (e.g. panda) are ultimately of recent non-Western origin. (Panda in particular seems to stem from some undetermined Nepalese language, and entered English via French.)

Only the non-Chinese loans -- that is, the third group of words -- count as gairaigo. The situation of Chinese loans in Japanese is similar to the situation of French and Latin words in English: so much of English vocabulary has been borrowed from French and Latin that the fact of a word coming from French is natural. The Japanese use gairaigo the way we would be using loanword if we decided that French and Latin words are not foreign enough to be regarded as loans.

The gai of gairaigo is the same as the gai of gaijin. The morpheme go in gairaigo means `language.' (The words eigo, keigo, supeingo, and tango mean `English language, honorific language, Spanish language,' and `word.' As I've heard it pronounced, the word supeingo sounds like ``Spain go''; the u in the first syllable is notional.)

A number of gairaigo are identified in entries of this glossary, and a list of them would serve as a good proxy test of how well you have studied this august resource. I suppose you could even use the list for fun, to see how well you can recognize them. I'll place a list here soon.

This is the romaji representation of a word that is used for `semester' in Japanese. It serves as a useful illustration of certain features of the language. The word can be written in three ways: with a single Chinese character (of a sort that linguists now like to call a logograph), with two kana characters (syllables) and in romaji (Roman characters).

A Chinese (Han) character (called hanzi in Chinese and kanji in Japanese) is the most precise way to represent the word, and the existence of different kanji makes it possible to say certainly that two words that sound the same are in fact two different words rather than two different senses of a single word. In fact, there is another word with the same pronunciation. The other gakki means `musical instrument,' and is written with a pair of kanji.

Japanese has a native phonetic writing system called the kana. I describe this elsewhere in the glossary and I'm not going to repeat myself here. Since the kana is phonetic, two words that sound alike are represented identically. (I should say that there are some exceptions. In particular, the kana that once represented a sound we would write ``wo'' continues to be used in the standard spelling of various words, even though its sound is now generally indistinguishable from that of the kana for ``o.'')

As is typical, the homophone pair of gakki words with different kanji has identical spelling in kana. The spelling consists of two kana, for ga and ki. As it happens, there is a third word that has that spelling, with the romaji spelling gaki. This is a pejorative slang term for young person, something like `young punk.'

As you will have noticed, the kana sequence ga-ki has two different romaji representations. The reason is that there are phonemic aspects of Japanese that the kana cannot represent. The word spelled gaki is quicker, with accentual stress on the first syllable. The words spelled gakki are pronounced almost like two single-syllable words, with stress on both syllables.

(Japanese does not inflect for number, so each of these nouns is used indifferently for one or for more semesters, instruments, or punks.)

GALlon. In England in the eighteenth century, two gallon standards were common: the wine gallon and the beer gallon. Eventually, the US settled on the wine gallon as its single standard, and the UK on something close to the beer gallon. Hence, before the Perfidious Period (i.e., until the beginning of Albionsian Metric Heresy) it was necessary to distinguish between Imperial and US gallons. (This is all from memory, so I can't give you the precise dates of the Albigensian Crusade or anything.)

If your units aren't working out and it's not a mere factor-of-1.20095 error, maybe you're reading ``gal'' wrong...

GALilei. A metric unit of acceleration equal to 1 cm/sec2. The unit is just gal as such, and not regarded as an abbreviation. It was derived from and meant to honor Galilei, the way torr does Torricelli. As cgs units went, it wasn't very widely used, and as cgs units go, it's more obsolete than erg, dyne, gauss, or oersted. I did, however, find it in the ten-volume Duden of 1999 (the most authoritative modern German dictionary). Afaik, there is no official SI (or other MKS) successor unit.

Generic Array Logic. Registered trademark (TM) of Lattice Semiconductors. Like PLD, but differing in two major respects.
  1. Instead of PROM-type burn-in, connections are written in EEPROM-type logic gates, so Gal's are reprogrammable (10,000 to 100,000 times).
  2. A ``macrocell'' controls the kind of outputs (direct, inverted, XOR, registered).

Term demonstrates what unrepentant sexists electrical engineers really are! It's just outrageous! Cf. PAL.

Grün-Alternative Liste. A party grouping for German electoral purposes, combining the Greens and other minor (``alternative'') parties.

Gay And Lesbian Alumni (of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College).

Galaxie and Galaxie 500 have been Ford automobile nameplates. The name manages to look both megalomaniacal and medieval (I think that's two things).

The word galaxy comes from the Greek word gala, meaning `milk.' The word was coined when the only known galaxy was the one we inhabit -- the Milky Way. So ``Milky Way galaxy'' is a bit of a pleonasm.

It's called a `way' because it looks like a whitened path running across the firmament. I'm not sure when it was finally realized that it's not just ``out there,'' but we're in it. In the 1980's when I would fly into LAX, I would usually notice a sort of yellowish line as we descended past the eastern mountain gaps defining an LA basin. (Something like the cloud on the New York side of the Verrazano bridge.)

The Greek root gala occurs in the simple sugar galactose. ``Milk sugar'' is the double sugar lactose, composed of one galactose and one glucose.

The gamma is articulated in the back of the mouth in Modern Greek -- really in the throat, a bit like the Spanish gee (when voiced; see the AWWA entry). However, it is rhoticized -- it sounds a bit gargled (to a degree that varies among speakers), so the word gala today (it's still the word for milk) sounds like rala pronounced in Spanish.

Galaxy is also one of the names of TradeWave or EINet, ``[t]he professional's guide to a world of information.''

Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology. During WWII, the laboratory developed solid propellants for the US military. They probably did other stuff, but this is (not surprisingly) the only work mentioned in Development of the Guided Missile (1954) by Kenneth W. Gatland, F.R.A.S.

GeorgiA LIbraries LEarning Online.

gallic acid
An antioxidant approved for use in foods. Its propyl ester has the same use.
          / ___ \
HOOC_____/ /   \ \_____OH
         \ \___/ /

Old word for leg, and by synecdoche, woman.

Gerakan Aceh Merdeka. Free Aceh guerrilla movement. Aceh is the next piece of Indonesia that wants independence. And you thought Russia was the ``prison-house of nations.''

The GAme Manufacturers Association. Even nonvideo games.

Japanese: `patience, forbearance.'

game of chance
A game of skill in which the main skill is hoping. The difficulty of these games is often disparaged, but even after years of concentrated study, an experienced player may still lose consistently at a game as deceptively simple-seeming as slot-machine.

A good strategy in any game of chance is to hope for more than one thing, to improve your chances of getting what you hope for. Ideally, you should hope to lose. Cf. lottery.

Also, keep your wishes up-to-date. Don't be caught wishing for something you no longer really want. A similar principle applies to your résumé.

Your hopes should not be modest: wish big. Since most wishes go unfulfilled, what you lose in pleasant surprise is more than compensated in pleasant dreams.

It's also prudent to have a fall-back wish. Don't wish for one thing to the exclusion of every other possibility. There is much greater variety in the improbable and impossible than there is in the probable and certain. Take advantage.

Focus. For example, say I need a black face card. Often what will happen is, I draw a two of clubs. This shows that the method is working, since I got a black card. Unfortunately, the notion of royalty has encountered some noise, converting ``royal'' to ``duke'' to ``deuce.'' People often claim they need silence to concentrate. They want to eliminate this kind of noise in the bettor-to-goddess channel.

Some people think it's illogical to hope for the impossible, but it's not. It's only illogical if you believe.

Did I mention that you shouldn't wish for just one thing? One way this can happen is, you wish for important things first, then get bogged down in details and wish for small potatoes. Don't forget the forest when you're looking at the tree! All this concentration is hard work. Indeed, it's not widely understood that because of this work, all games of chance are excellent aerobic exercise. Okay, so as a matter of pettifogging fact, it's not true, but people don't realize this untrue fact nevertheless. I mean, since when has the manifest falseness of a belief ever been a significant impediment to its being widely held? Obviously, there is a conspiracy of prejudice against games of chance. After all, how many games of pure chance do you know personally? Uh-huh. I thought so.

Do not dawdle. Hoping is subject to a window of opportunity. Hope while the outcome is still unknown, hope before it is too late, hope before all hope is lost. Hope while the hoping is good. Strike while the iron is at `cottons.'

And don't just wish for one thing.

Wish carefully. If you wish for the wrong thing and get it, not only do you have the wrong thing but you've also wasted one of the wishes that was going to be fulfilled.

Wish heartily. Don't wish half-heartedly -- don't leave any doubt as to what it is you want.

Subject your wishes to a ruthlessly rigorous examination. If you find that you've been wishing for a logical impossibility, consider quantum logic.

You know, it's important to recognize that what you want most may just not be in the cards for you. If you wish for just that thing, it's like the irresistible force running up against the immovable body ... you've just shot your wish! So for goodness sake and FCOL, wish for more than one thing!

One of the state lotteries, I forget which, has a slogan ``if you don't play, you can't win.'' (Maybe it's more than one of the lotteries, but I still forget which. And the converse of the slogan is true too.) This slogan is true for all games of chance, and in fact it demonstrates that hoping works. Look at it this way: if you don't have any wishes, then your wishes can't come true. Obviously, if you do have wishes, then sooner or later some of those wishes are bound to come true, it would be weird if they didn't. So basically, you're better off if you hope, because some of your hopes will come true. Skeptics will say this shows that hoping is not perfectly effective. Of course not! Nothing is perfect, not even the most fervent hoping. But hoping works a lot of the time -- even most of the time, if you play your cards right.

Some say, ``if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.'' Obviously, wishes are not horses. That is a category error. Wishes are tactical desires.

It's not as if hoping is some untried new idea. No, it's been studied scientifically, and people keep hoping. One interesting kind of study asks people to hope or pray on the outcome of some random event, and a computer keeps track of how well they do. In virtually every study, the same thing happens: the computer thinks that outcomes or winning percentages are consistent with chance unmodified by prayer, whereas the human participants recall afterwards that they did a lot better than one would expect by mere chance. The people who conduct these experiments claim this shows that people believe because their selective memory gives them a distorted idea of how effective wishing has been in the past. THiS KiND oF StUpIDITY is SO FRUSTRATING! All the studies really show is just that hoping doesn't work for computers, because computers lack the ability to hope. Social science is such a waste.

Some people say, ``wishing won't make it so.'' I think this clearly demonstrates that there are fools in the world.

Everyone plays at least one game of chance, because life is a gamble. Even looking up terms in this glossary is a bit of a gamble. Sometimes you get serious information, and sometimes you don't.

game quitter
Here is the term explained en passant:
This isn't to say that Tyson would quit entirely when confronted with obstacles... but he often stopped putting in the exhausting work of continuing to attack: ``Did [Tyson] show heart when he took an ass-beating from Holyfield? Yes. He was a `game quitter.' A guy who doesn't give up, doesn't fall down, he's game with those punches. But he stops trying to win.''

(The quote is from Mike Tyson's Ex-Trainer: Heavyweight Is Not `Even Close' to One of All-Time Greats.'' Sean Cunningham interviewed Teddy Atlas, and the article was published on the twentieth anniversary of the infamous bout in which Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ear.)

This is an interesting term because ``game'' could be misunderstood as an attributive noun, giving the term a meaning like ``quitter of games.'' In speech, the two phrases receive different stress and timing, although the difference is not reliable and is altered if the speaker wants to place special emphasis. In writing, all that a reader of the term has to go by is context. In fact, it seems the most common use of ``game quitter'' is in the context of video-game addiction, if only because of the <Game Quitters> website.

A parameter characterizing the nonlinear response of display and print devices.

Robert Berger has a tutorial on the subject of Gamma. Charles Poynton has made available his own articles and ftp-able FAQ's about something called ``colour.''

Short for gamma particle. It's also a variable commonly used for Lorentz factor, as described at the beta particle entry. The letter gamma is also used as a symbol for various 4×4 matrices that are the relativistic generalization of the Pauli matrices. (Visual confusion is unlikely, as these gammas carry a subscript and appear in very different-looking equations.)

gamma particle
The term gamma particle, or just ``gamma'' for short, always refers to a photon, but not all photons are likely to be called gammas. Usually, a gamma particle is a photon generated by a subatomic process. Typical gamma energies are above 100 keV. However, the letter gamma is the symbol for a photon, and is used in a much broader range of contexts. (A common alternative is to use -- formula for the photon energy -- as a metonymic symbol for the photon itself.)

gamma rays
Electromagnetic radiation (i.e., light) of high energy, covering a range from somewhat below X-ray energies and up. The one-character particle symbol is γ of course, but that is also used to represent a photon of any energy in symbolic representations of nuclear reactions and particle scattering.

The three main types of radiation emitted in nuclear decay are alpha, beta, and gamma rays. Each was eventually demonstrated to consist of particles, which consequently were called alpha, beta, and gamma particles). The first two terms (``alpha rays'' and ``beta rays'') were introduced by Ernest Rutherford in 1889, as described in the alpha rays entry. This was during the period (see the periodization entry if you have plenty of time for following tangents) that is not widely known at all as ``the Montreal Canuck exile'' or canard exile or something (see alpha rays entry if you care to understand that joke). Just to give you a small idea of the terrible hardships he endured, here are some lines from an article he coauthored with Miss H.T. Brooks [``Comparisons of the Radiations from Radioactive Substances,'' Phil. Mag. ser. 6, vol. 4, no. 19, pp. 1-24 (July 1902), on p. 9]:

As most of the experiments were carried out during the very dry Canadian winter, it was very essential [sic] to screen the electrometer and connexions with testing apparatus by wire gauze. Unless precautions of this kind were taken, every movement of the observer produced sufficient frictional electrification to disturb the electrometer. For the same reason and also for convenience the quadrants were separated by a cord connected to a suitable key and operated at a distance.
[Ernest Rutherford, spiritual daddy of the TV remote! Of course, he was wrong to call the electrification ``frictional.'' Let me take a moment to mention that in modern cleanrooms, it is usually necessary to dehumidify the air. However, at Arizona State University, near Phoenix, for part of the year the humidity of the ambient air is so low that it's necessary to humidify the cleanroom.]

Rutherford's original distinction was based on the observation that some rays, designated alpha rays, did not penetrate matter very deeply, while others, beta rays, were much more highly penetrating. The beta rays were also known to be deviable by a magnetic field [i.e., electrically charged].

P. Villard was apparently the first to distinguish gamma rays, although he didn't introduce the name. Using a sample of radium from the Curies, he found that when he covered the source with enough thickness of lead to stop all the beta rays, there was still some nondeviable radiation that could expose a photographic plate. This finding was published as ``Sur le rayonnement du radium,'' in Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des sciences, vol. 130, pp. 1178-1179 (Jan-June 1900). Henri Becquerel later confirmed this, though I haven't nailed down the precise publication. It seems that Rutherford's first publication on the subject was an item (``Penetrating Rays from Radio-active Substances'') sent to Nature on July 6, 1902, and published as a letter to the editor there in the issue of July 31, 1902. [Those were the days! These days, all the journals are bureaucratized and ultracareful, and any important news circulates in electronic preprint for months before it appears in any journal.]

Rutherford found that thorium, and to a lesser extent uranium, also emitted the ``extraordinarily penetrating'' rays that Villard had found with radium, but he maintained the possibility that they were what we would call ultrarelativistic electrons -- electrons moving near the speed of light. This analysis was based partly on an electromagnetic theory developed by J.J. Thomson and Heaviside, according to which the apparent mass of the electron increases with speed, approaching infinity as the speed approaches the speed of light. (This is strikingly similar to some predictions of Einstein's theory of relativity, which was published in 1905. I don't know much about the Thomson-Heaviside theory.)

Rutherford's hypothesis that the new X-ray-like rays might simply be higher-energy beta radiation probably accounts for his not naming them gamma rays at the time. Otherwise it was a natural, since beta rays were originally distinguished as the component of atomic radiation that was more highly penetrating than alpha rays, and there turned out to be another kind of ray, not originally detected, that penetrated even further. This was really just dumb luck. You'd expect that if some kind of radiation occurred that had not yet been detected, it would be because it was even less penetrating than those already discovered. If Rutherford had been smart, he would originally have labeled the most penetrating rays (the electrons) by alpha and the less penetrating rays (the helium nuclei) by beta, and the whole trend would have been screwed up when the gammas were found, but this didn't happen because Rutherford wasn't as smart as I am. (The reason gamma rays weren't originally detected is that in going from alpha to beta to gamma, one not only increases penetration depth by roughly a factor of 100 at each step, one also decreases the degree of ionization caused, also by a factor of roughly 100 at each step. Despite being less ionizing, however, gamma radiation is regarded as the most dangerous of the three kinds because it penetrates.)

The earliest article I can find that uses the term ``γ ray'' is one published by Rutherford in the February 1903 Philosophical Magazine (see alpha rays for the full journal title then used), in an article entitled ``The Magnetic and Electric Deviation of the easily absorbed Rays from Radium.'' An article of his in the previous month's issue (``Excited Radioactivity and the Method of its Transmission,'' pp. 95-117) still only mentioned alpha and beta rays. The February article starts off describing alpha, beta, and gamma rays on the first page (p. 177) as if the existence of all three had already been equally established, and as if the terminology was already in place. He gives the respective thicknesses of ``aluminium,'' whatever that is, needed to reduce the intensities of these rays by a factor of two, as approximately 5 microns, 500 microns, and 8 cm. Either he introduced the gamma-ray term before then and didn't happen to think it was relevant for his article published in January, or he simply decided that it was time to introduce the new notation, and that it would be clear enough. It's clear that I'll have to investigate further. It's even possible that I may actually do so.

(As the title implies, the paper contains evidence demonstrating that alpha rays are positively charged. Perhaps this conclusion, which Rutherford had resisted, prompted him to accept that the γ rays were a distinct species. If the February article had the first instance of ``γ ray'' in print, then probably the German term ``γ Strahlung'' was earlier into print. The February Phil. Mag. paper was sent off by Rutherford from McGill on November 10, 1902, to both Phil. Mag. and Physikalische Zeitschrift. The latter was on a weekly publishing schedule. The paper was received on Dec. 5, translated by A. Gradenwitz (who apparently rendered McGill as ``Mc. Gill''), and published in Phys. ZS. on January 15, 1903.

You need a break from all this serious science. Why don't you read this ABC entry and enjoy the ``Alpher Bethe Gamow'' story?

`Cancer' in Japanese. This and the other two Japanese gan words (gan and gan) are just homonyms (dôon'igigo).

Gallium Nitride. A wide-gap III-V semiconductor. Michael Shur serves a useful GaN electronics page.

(The) Great American Novel.

Don't worry if you didn't have the time to read Tom Wolfe. When he's gone, his stock will plummet faster than Theodore Dreiser's.

`Gun' in Japanese. A loan of the English word gun. Interestingly, there's a kanji character meaning `military' with a reading gun (sounds like a clipped `goon').

I don't know when this (English gun) was borrowed, but words related to war are often among the first to cross language barriers. That's my impression from German, anyway. The German word Kampf meaning `battle, struggle,' was an early borrowing of the Latin campus, `field.' (Especially the Campus Martius at Rome, site of games and military drills.) Of course, the same Latin word was taken over into English as camp (originally in military senses) from the French. The original Latin campus was only borrowed much later. The earliest attestations are in the US, and the first seems to be from 1774 at Princeton. That's Princeton University. (Then the University of New Jersey.) Nowadays nearby ETS likes to call its grounds a ``campus'' as well. ETS has a mailing address in Princeton, but it's located in neither Princeton (borough or township).

`Wild goose' (also `wild geese') in Japanese. This is interesting because the postulated Indo-European root of goose is *ghans-, whence Modern German Gans and anser (< *hanser). It looks like a connection between IE and Altaic, but it probably isn't, so I won't try to look it up.

BTW, Spanish ganso (`goose') is not a direct restoration of the lost g in the Latin congener. Instead, it's just derived from Gothic (so Corominas y Pascual). The English gander presents some difficulties, and may only coincidentally resemble gans. English goose is derived from the common Germanic root (*gans-); loss of the n in English is pretty typical. (Cf. tithe, originally a form of tenth, and English-German pairs like other/ander, five/füf, mouth/Mund. Yeah, yeah, only before certain consonants.)

Gang Green
Local nickname of the New York Jets NFL team.

Local necrosis of body tissue, or the necrotic tissue itself, associated with a lack of oxygen.

Gas gangrene is infection of muscle tissue by clostridia bacteria (hence the clinical disease name clostridial myonecrosis), usually Clostridium perfringens. The common name of the disease comes from the fact that blisters with gas bubbles form near the infected area. Yuck.

Grand Accélérateur National d'Ions Lourdes. French `National Large Ion Accelerator at Lourdes.' The accelerator is large, not the ions especially. This is clear in the French. Oh-no-wait! It's Grand Accélérateur National D'Ions Lourds: `National Large Accelerator for Heavy Ions.' It's at Caen. Sorry about that. They have three cyclotrons, and they use them to accelerate ions of all elements from carbon to uranium, to energies between 4 and 6 GeV. They also have an ECR source.

Gantt diagram
A horizontal histogram for illustrating project scheduling. You'd figure they're horizontal because that'd be easier to print out on those old line printers, but you'd figure wrong, because Henry Gantt developed his diagrams during WWI.

Government Accountability Office. An agency of the US Congress that conducts investigations of how the executive branch spent the money the legislative branch budgeted. Until July 2004 it was called the ``General Accounting Office,'' which made the difference between its function and that of the CBO unclear. Much though I despise the pandering and fuzzy tone of the new name, I have to concede that in some respects it might be a slight improvement.

A British spelling of jail. Regardless of spelling, the word is pronounced uniformly with a j (i.e., soft g) sound, at least for the last couple of centuries.

English frequently reborrows different cognates of the same word from different languages, but Middle English borrowing from French in some cases represented distinct borrowings from what were essentially different dialects. The pair warranty/guarantee is an instance of this in which both dialectal variants survived without diverging very much in sense, yet preserving different spellings and different pronunciations to go with them. The case of gaol and jail is similar: Northern or Norman French had a version of the word that was pronounced with a hard g, and spellings that eventually became standardized as gaol. Central or Parisian French (which is to say, really, only-slightly-less-northern French) had a soft-g version spelled with j, and whose spelling now standardized as jail.

The word jail, or at least its pronunciation, eventually became dominant -- probably sometime in the 16th to 18th centuries. British legal tradition preserved the gaol variant in spelling, but not in pronunciation.

Gallium Phosphide. An indirect-gap III-V semiconductor (2.26 eV), lattice constant of 5.451 Å.

German, gemeinsame Agrarpolitik (von der EG). `Common Agricultural Policy (of the EU).'

Generic Address Parameter.

Good Agricultural Practice. An EU term, and something the EU wants to impose as a GAP.

Government Accountability Project. ``In 1977, the non-profit Government Accountability Project was created to help these [whistleblowing] employees, who, through their individual acts of conscience, protect each and everyone of us.''

Despite the name, the organization does not focus exclusively on government activity: ``The mission of the Government Accountability Project is to protect the public interest and promote government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers and empowering citizen activists. We also advise public agencies and legislative bodies about management policies and practices that help government deal more effectively with substantive information and concerns, while protecting the jobs and identities of those who provide this critical information.''

There's a page en<TITLE>d ``Government Acountability Project Project''</TITLE> and I thought ``Oh great! quis custodiet ipsos custodes and all that,'' but it was just a typo. It seems to be a ``Government Accountability Project'' unrelated to the one in the previous two paragraphs. This one has the goal of helping ``improve government's funding and policy decisions by making transparent the public benefits produced with citizens' resources. Full transparency brings praise and criticism of results - and, eventually, change - based upon maximizing outcomes and minimizing expenditures.''

The Great Ape Project.

GlycerAldehyde-3-Phosphate DeHydrogenase.

Gateway Application Programming Interface.

Guaranteeing Airport Physical Screening Standards. A US House bill referred to as GAPSS 2005 was proposed to eliminate various gaps in airport security. It was introduced by US Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), a member of the Homeland Security Committee. (In the 109th Congress, Lowey is in her ninth term in the House, representing New York's 18th district -- most of Westchester plus a chunk of Rockland County around New City.)

The focus is on screening of airport employees who have access to secure areas. This would include security screening of the sort that passengers and airplane crews already submit to, as well as more thorough employee background checks and a stop-gap of random physical screening until complete screening is implemented.

Elements of the bill have been introduced previously. In fact, the key provision is simply to amend a deadline in existing US Code from ``as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this subsection'' to ``not later than 120 days after the date of enactment'' of GAPSS 2005. The text is in US Code Sec. 44903 (49 U.S.C. Chapt. 449). Apparently the TSA decided in 2002 that the earliest practicable implementation date was in the unforeseeable future. At the time GAPSS 2005 was introduced, an estimated one million airport workers could access secure airport areas without being physically screened. It is not hard to imagine objections on grounds of practicality to, say, screening of baggage handlers each time they cross the security perimeter. (One might then object on grounds of futility to screening workers once or twice per day, though random screening sounds good to me.)

Lowey introduced her bill (HR 2688) with six cosponsors, all Democrats, including ranking committee member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS). Barring a legislative earthquake or an untimely news event, the bill will fail on a party-line vote. There is no Senate cosponsor and almost no media coverage.

The bill was introduced the same month that airport personnel screening was in the news in Australia, where a number of baggage handlers have been charged with drug smuggling. A practical suggestion made in reaction to that scandal and to other complaints about inappropriate baggage-handler ``interventions'' (theft and other mischief) has been to monitor baggage-handling areas with hidden or even with unhidden cameras.

Grand Army of the Republic.

garage sale
A sale held in a garage. Sometimes a yard sale will be called a garage sale even though the garage is not involved. Usually the items for sale are cheap garbage, but some items are expensive garbage. The name garbage sale would be more appropriate, but merchandising trumps accuracy. I don't have anything interesting left to say about garage sales in this entry; I put it all in the linked entries.

I just wanted an entry in which to mention Precious Rubbish, with the subtitle, if that's what it is, As Raked Out of Current Criticism and Commented on by Theodore L. Shaw. I probably bought it at a garage sale; it probably cost me more than the 35-cent cover price, but nostalgia can be precious. The little paperback was published by the Stuart Art Gallery, Inc., of Boston, Massachusetts, in a more innocent time (1956). I am reminded of Yossarian patching up Snowden's leg, with increasing confidence. This book corresponds to the moment before he notices that Snowden has taken major flak to the gut, and will die. In the 1960's, this book's target -- the pile of ``snobbery and humbug,'' the ``appalling barrage of ritzy twaddle'' and the ``pretention and priggery'' of ordinary working critics -- became a refuge from the tidal wave of academic litterature on literature.

garbage can
Garbage can what?

Another useful thought is at the I.A. Richards entry.

garbage in, garbage out
Conservation theorem for computer processing.

garbage sale
The private sale of selected garbage. This is also called a `garage sale' if the sale is occasionally held in a garage, but this term is misleading because the garage is rarely for sale. (See also rummage sale.)

Most garage sales fall fairly cleanly into one of two categories. In one kind, the object is to make money off the garbage, in the second kind the object is to get rid of the garbage. In the first kind, the garbage is overpriced. Since the attitude is the same for the whole lot, you can judge what kind of garage sale it is simply by asking the price of at most one item. If there's stuff on sale that no one could conceivably want, and it's not in a box labeled ``FREE,'' then you don't even have to ask.

gardening and comedy
The connection is obvious, isn't it?

The odor of arsenous oxide (or ``white arsenic'') As2O3, which is poisonous. If you can still smell then you're still alive, so get out of there and stay that way. Run! You can take the bunny suit off later. Leave the MOCVD far behind; let the hazmat people deal with it.

Also diallyl sulfate, which gives garlic its strong odor. Onions have diethyl sulfate. The unsaturation that the allyls have is reportedly a bad thing. On the other hand, the odor of garlic can help repel vampires, as is well known, and also germ-spewing people (possibly selectively: see below).

Part of the reason that a person who eats garlic smells so strongly of it afterward is that the odoriferous compounds are excreted by the sweat glands.

Morley Safer has stated:

You can never have enough garlic. With enough garlic you can eat the New York Times.
I guess technically one has to conclude that the question whether one can eat the New York Times remains open, though the strong implication (it suggests a syllogism) is that one cannot. It's a question of what you're willing to swallow. I suggest a Saturday edition in August. Safer's comment appeared in the food section of the New York Times on October 5, 1994.

In the summer of 1995, letters in response to a Consumer Reports article on garlic reported that rubbing stainless steel could get rid of the odor. Stammtisch speculation on possible mechanisms has been interesting and somewhat informed, but so far inconclusive.

garlic intolerance
This tragic affliction does not appear to be transmitted genetically, especially to stepchildren, according to testimony deposed at the Stammtisch. Frequently accompanied by onion intolerance, which is not fatal.

A benign related syndrome, which might occasionally manifest as a garlic cryptophobia, is described at the entry for ``Hold the onions.''

Getting over a cold, I noticed that in three different foods, the garlic smelled unpleasantly strong. Two of these I eat often enough to know have consistent levels of garlic. If a lowered threshold for garlic distaste is a common effect of colds, then the health benefits of garlic may be enhanced by specificity of quarantine: garlic may repel sick people more effectively than healthier company.

Here's some.

It's the official gem of New York State.

Government-imposed Administrative Rate Supplement. See, e.g., CFC.

This is an actual person, just like the llama-savvy banjo expert and others mentioned in this glossary. I didn't just make him up for the stories, y'know.

One pronunciation of ``GaAs.'' Something to check on seminar announcements with phoned-in titles.


A term coined by Jan Baptista van Helmont (1577-1644) from the word chaos. Specifically, he wrote ``halitum illum Gas vocavi, non longe a Chao veterum secretum,'' or `I have called that spirit gas, as it is not too far removed from the chaos of the ancients.' Van Helmont was a follower of Paracelsus, and Paracelsus had earlier used chaos to designate the `proper element of spirits such as gnomes' [ Ftnt. 23 ], so he has a claim. However, van Helmont apparently had something a little less (to a modern view) speculative in mind. His spirits were essentially vapors that would not condense.

Van Helmont's useful term came to be used first for vapors emitted in reactions and later for aeriform fluids, replacing the confusing or awkward term air. Gases in van Helmont's original sense were qualified as permanent, incondensible, or incoercible. (That's a serial a/k/a-type ``or.'') In fact, there are no truly permanent gases: at any fixed temperature, if you apply enough pressure you can condense any gas. (Above the critical temperature, there is no liquid/gas distinction, and you condense the fluid [call it gas or liquid] into a solid.)

It's worth noting that in the original Greek, chaos refers not to disorder but to `gap' or absence, and that too is altogether appropriate. In fact, while I've got your attention (Hello?) I'll mention the ``Kac problem,'' which might equally well be referred to as the ennui problem or the Maytag Monte Carlo repairman gas pains. It is simply this: when you simulate a gas (numerically), particularly one that is near ideality (low density), you spend most of your time simulating the simple motion of isolated, essentially non-interacting particles, and very little time simulating the interesting scattering or interaction events that determine the specifics of deviation from ideality. Incidentally, I believe that Kac is pronounced ``Katz.'' The ``c'' is supposed to have an acute accent on it, like the final cee on many South Slav names written in (augmented) Roman characters. Also, contrary to what one would suppose, the surname ``Katz'' does not really stand for the German word meaning cat.

General Adaptation to Stress. Hans Selye's term for the standard process by which an animal adapts to stress. Its three main stages are alarm response, resistance development, and exhaustion. My body double clutches early, and after a brief moment of alarm I'm exhausted. Seriously, rabbits are like that, and you can catch a rabbit by just running after it for a little while, it gets exhausted surprisingly quickly. However, this is not necessarily a good way to adopt a pet. For one thing, the rabbit can easily suffer a heart attack. So I'm told.

Gradient Accentuated (NMR) Spectroscopy. Also Gradient-Enhanced (GE).

Gallium Antimonide. A direct-gap III-V compound semiconductor. Bandgap is 0.72 eV, lattice constant 6.096 Å.

Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

Gallium Arsenide Model Analysis Program. Programs to compute model parameters for MESFET small- and large-signal models from s-parameters and other measurements.

Group of Anaesthetists in Training of the AAGBI.

General Aptitude Test Battery. A series of tests from USES.

`Gate' is used in two distinct senses in electronics.
  1. MOS transistors (the most prominent microelectronic circuit element today), SCR's (a common bipolar discrete component) and some other devices have one terminal called a gate. (A few oddball devices have more than one gate. See, in particular, the floating gate entry.) Typically, the gate is the high-impedance terminal, or at least the one that in normal operation does not draw much current, but instead controls current flow through other terminals. Any modifier that indicates a material or device-operation context (metal gate or control gate) implies that this is the kind of gate meant. One can also avoid confusion with the other kind (below) by using a term like ``transistor gate'' or ``diode gate.''
  2. A logic gate is an electronic circuit that performs a logic function (i.e. it has a recognizably distinct input stage and a much-lower-impedance output stage -- each output terminal that approaches one of at least two discrete logic levels).

University of Florida Gators. School athletic teams' name.

General Agreement on Trade in Services. A WTO agreement. Represents one of the major expansions from GATT.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. GATT was an international code of tariff and trade rules that evolved out a multilateral trade treaty signed in 1947, and the name was used for the international organization that grew up to enforce it, if that's the proper term. Officially, this ``agreement'' was superseded by an ``organization,'' the WTO. The final act, resulting from the ``Uruguay Round'' of trade negotiations, is online. The earlier GATT agreement, as amended to 1966, is also online.

Gaullist party
Look, don't ask me what it stands for. It stands for France, and against those chauvinistic Anglo-Saxons who invaded France as the Nazis were fleeing the Resistance with their tails between their legs, just ahead of the victorious Free French forces led by General Charles de Gaulle.

There has been a sequence of Gaullist parties:

  1. Rassemblement du Peuple Français (RPF). Founded by the general in 1947 on a platform opposing the new post-war French constitution (of the Fourth Republic). It split in two around 1952. But there was good bad news on the southern horizon...
  2. In 1958, in the midst of a very bloody war in Algeria, France sought a savior in a military man, just as she had before (in 1940, as well as some previous occasions). De Gaulle agreed to serve as president on condition that a new constitution be adopted, with a much stronger presidency than in the Third and Fourth Republics. Wah-lah, as they say, it happened. De Gaulle ruled with the support of a Gaullist party (funny coincidence, eh?) that went by a variety of names (see UDR).
  3. To be continued...

Gross Annual Value.

Gross Axle Weight Rating. The maximum gross weight that can be carried by a vehicle axle. See more at GVWR.

For more, see the NTEA's glossary of Truck Equipment Terms.

gazebos on decays
That's what I thought I heard. Turned out to be ``the Z-boson decays.''

An unimaginably large number. Five or more. Not much less precise than most other illions.

GigaBit. Cf. GB -- Gigabyte. (Conformity to case distinction unreliable.)

Games Behind first place. Half the difference between the values of W-L of the first-place team and a given team. The first-place team is zero GB first place. If a team is n games behind first place and plays the first-place team, and n is 1.5 or more, then it is n-1 or n+1 games behind after winning or losing the game, resp. (unless, possibly, another team takes over or is tied for first place).

GigaByte. Cf. Gb -- Gigabit. (Conformity to case distinction unreliable.)

On the Johnny Mnemonic pinball machine, one GIGABYTE is worth only 100,000 points.

Gold Bond. Cures itch, they say. Or pain or something. I should pay closer attention to those ads. Seems to come in both green and yellow packages, but that could be my TV.

Grain Boundary.

(Domain name code for) Great Britain. I presume that this equals .uk minus Northern Ireland, since the code was not in use before 1707.

Here's the British page of an X.500 directory.

Great Britain. The term ``Great Britain'' was originally introduced to distinguish it from ``small Britain'' -- now just called Brittany -- the western peninsula of France. According to legend, Brittany was settled by Britons fleeing the Germanic (mostly Anglo-Saxon) conquest of Great Britain.

In (Modern) German, Great Britain is Großbritannien.

GuoBiao, the PRC-standard encoding of Chinese characters. The ROC standard is BIG-5.

Global Business and Technology Association. It's mostly about holding an annual conference and publishing a semi-annual house journal (JGBAT). (Journal information on the ``Conference Related Topics'' page, which is the ``home.html'' page of the GBATA website. Oftentimes, a website's structure and filenames tell you more than the pages themselves.

Poor English is apparently required, but not very poor English. (It's called ``Business English.'') It might be a difficult standard to maintain, but sloppy thinking helps. Here's some thinking from the 2006 registration form: ``Please Note: Registrations from Canada and outside the United States must be made in money order or cashiers check in $US drawn on an American bank.''

Ground Ball to Fly Ball ratio.

Grievous Bodily Harm. A criminal charge in the UK.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Glioblastoma multiforme. The most common (about 50%) and the most aggressive of all primary brain tumors diagnosed, with a poor prognosis (as of 2006).

[column] I don't entirely understand the inflections here. The term is medical Latin or neo-Latin. The Latin word forma is a straightforward first-declension female noun. There also exists an adjective formus of first-second declension. (That is, it takes the forms [sorry] formus, forma, and formum when modifying nominative nouns that are male, female, and neuter, resp.) However, this adjective means `warm' and is unrelated to the noun forma. I imagine that the term abbreviated by GBM was constructed using the genitive form formae, simplified to forme (as is common in English and very common in Romance languages such as Spanish). Thus multiforme is understood as `of multiple form.' I don't think this is an appropriate use of the genitive, and in any case I'd use formarum (`of multiple forms'), but that's the best explanation I can give for now.

Global Business Model[ing [Committee]].

Great Barrier Reef.

GB RailFreight.

Back in 2005, trying to impress Françesca (an impressive Londoner) with how Europeanistically au courant I was, I expressed sympathy with how disastrously the recent privatization (er... privatisation) of the railways had gone. She replied that yes, but they had been another kind of disaster before. Okay, she's not the kind of woman who has much to do with GB Railfreight, but where else will I unburden my heart and unload my troubles? And how more gracefully can I clarify that the eff in Railfreight is capitalized at the beginning of this entry only to indicate that it contributes to the acronym? Don't answer that.

George Bernard Shaw. (I make no representations as to the quality of the site linked to.) ``Bernard Shaw'' to his few friends and many admirers. His father, or at least the husband of his mother, was George Carr Shaw.

An admirer of GBS may be called a Shavian. GBS coined the adjective Shavian, with the meaning ``pertaining to Shaw'' (or his works, wit, etc.), based on the Latinized form Shavius of his name. I don't know if this was influenced by his joining in the Fabian Society in 1884. The Fabian Society took its name from the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus Cunctator. He earned the cognomen Cunctator himself as a nickname. It means `delayer,' and reflects his preference for attrition tactics against Hannibal Barca, rather than a direct confrontation. (The parallel is that the Fabian Society, like its offspring the Labour Party, favored gradual rather than revolutionary movement toward socialism. Lenin famously said of Shaw that he was ``a good man fallen among Fabians.'')

The gens Fabius is derived from the Latin for what we call `fava bean.' GBS eventually became a vegetarian, but that was just motivated by a hope of curing his migraines.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Get Back To Work. Texting abbreviation.

Glide-Bomb Unit. The US's GBU-28 is a two-ton laser-guided smart bomb.

Gain BandWidth (product). Common subscripts D and CM:
GBWD is differential GBW in an op amp;
GBWCM is common-mode GBW in an op amp.

Greater Buffalo Youth String [sic] Orchestra. Auditions were June 9, 1996. You probably missed them. I bet they have auditions again next year, but by then your youth may be gone.

G & C
``A G an' C.'' Aegaean Sea. Also Aegean Sea. I've even seen Agean Sea, which makes less sense than the less common Egean Sea.

Gas Chromatography. Here's a link to Perkin-Elmer's instruments, with some tutorial information. See also material from Virginia Tech, and GC/ECD.

G.C., GC
George Cross. Awarded for gallantry, it is the civilian recognition corresponding to the highest British military honor, the Victoria Cross (VC).

Government of Canada. Also Gouvernement du Canada. Clever of them to avoid the need for two different second level domains. Usage: .gc.ca (the Government of Canada of Canada). See .gov and .gov. for more fascinating details about government URL's from around the world!

Graduate College. The residential college (local name for a dorm) at Princeton University. Consists of the New Graduate College (NGC) and the Old Graduate College (OGC).

Graphics Context. A resource in X that contains most of the details about graphics to be generated.

Guanine and Cytosine. Vide G+C ratio.

Graphic Communications Association. Mostly text site, loads fast.

``A volunteer non-profit membership association ... formed in 1966 to apply computer technology to printing, publishing, and related industries. GCA developed and fosters the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), from which the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) are derived.''

``GCA is a national affiliate and special industry group of Printing Industries of America.''

Great Circle Associates. They do software consulting and developing; their site is the Majordomo home and hosts a mailing list for people who manage mailing lists (both sponsored by Covad).

Ground-Controlled Approach. Control tower talks pilot down to landing.

Global Climate Coalition. Nice, soothing, reassuringly tree-friendly name... ``... an organization of business trade associations and private companies, was established in 1989 to coordinate business participation in the scientific and policy debate on the global climate change issue. The GCC represents virtually every sector of U.S. industry, including electric utilities, railroads, transportation, manufacturing, mining, oil, and coal.''

Global Communications Committee. (Of the UCC, I think.)

GNU C Compiler. Available for any common Unix platforms, including Linux on Intel machines. DJ Delorie Software ported it (and g++, and emacs and some other development tools) to run under DOS (or in DOS mode under Windows) on Intel 32-bit machines (see DJGPP).

For other C compilers, see cc.

Grace Community Church, in Tyler, TX. ``Influencing the world for Christ.'' Not much though, if their counter gif is accurate.

The question is really: what does it mean for many to be called and few to be chosen, within the client-server paradigm? This must be why push and ``channels'' technologies were so hot for a while.

Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua. (`Cements Group of Chihuahua.')

Gulf Cooperation Council. Technically, the English translation of its name (or is it named in English?) is ``Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.'' [Actually, if Arab is taken in its earliest sense, there are no other Arab states.] Saudi-controlled Arabia (.sa) and five small neighbor sheikdoms (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and U.A.E.). All have medieval governments and criminal justice systems, petroleum production economies, enormous foreign workforces and welfare-state social policies for their subjects. They formed the GCC in 1981 as the Iran-Iraq war was getting under way. Their highly trained and well equipped unified defense force is called ``the Armed Forces of the United States'' (of America).

Oh wait, they do have their own regional force, called Peninsula Shield. MENL reported June 10, 2002, however, that they are having trouble meeting a mid-2003 deadline to expand it from the previous strength of 6,000 soldiers up to 20,000. Not only is there a shortage of locally-trained soldiers, but most member states regard Saudi Arabia as a rival, and so are reluctant to send their soldiers to GCC headquarters there. Is this for real? Fears of the belligerent and bellicose Saudi Empire?

``GCC secretary-general Abdul Rahman Al Attiyya said Gulf Arab commanders [at a ninth meeting on the problem] discussed whether foreigners could be recruited into the regional force. Gulf Arab states have a significant number of expatriates in their militaries. These include soldiers from Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and mercenaries from Britain and the former Soviet Union.''

Hired help is the oil sheikdoms' answer to every problem.

In December 2013, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced in Manama that the US will sell weapons to the GCC as a block. (Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain.) Following Hagel's announcement, the GCC announced the formation of a joint military command that could have as many as 100,000 soldiers. So soon? Promises, promises.

On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar for the first time since the formation of the GCC, in reaction to what was described as Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the gulf state's involvement in regional conflicts. The three countries said in a joint communique that Qatar had failed to implement a GCC security agreement (adopted in Riyadh the previous November) to refrain from involvement in other nations' politics and supporting organizations that threaten the gulf's stability.

The next day, the Qatari Cabinet of Ministers announced it would not reciprocate the move by the three countries describing its ``regret and surprise'' at the recall of ambassadors and said it remains committed to the values of the GCC. The GCC has ``values''! Who knew?

Global Change Data and Information System (of the US gov't).

Gas Chromatography using Electron-Capture Detection.

Greeley Center for Independence, Inc. ``[W]here people with disabilities can reach toward their maximum potential of personal independence.'' Physical therapy, rehabilitation, services for assisted independence. A nonprofit.

Gravure Catalog and Insert Council. Part of the GAA.

Global Call Identifier.

Global Call Identifier-Information Element.

Groupe Consultatif International de Recherche sur le Colza. Official English and German names: International Consultative Research Group on Rapeseed, and Internationale Forschungsgruppe für Raps. (But the initialism used exclusively is the one based on the French name -- the head term here.)

Globular-Cluster Luminosity Function. Used to determine distances of galaxies as far as 100 Mpc away.

General Circulation Model[s]. Initialism used for models of circulation in Earth's atmosphere.

National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. The initialism is to the point, and it could survive a future internationalization and name change. These people are obviously thinking about longevity.

General Chairman--Member Pickwick Club. That would be Samuel Pickwick, Esq. Cf. P.V.P.M.P.C.

Global Cardiology Network.

Gospel Communications Network.

Gas-Core Nuclear Rocket.

General Comprehensive Operating System. I'm sure this name reflects a thoughtful analysis of the salient, name-worthy features of the OS, but by sheer coincidence, it also happens that GCOS is pronounced much like GECOS, the name that GCOS had when Honeywell got it from GE. See also TSS.

Also expanded ``God's Chosen Operating System.'' He always seems to make choices He eventually seems to come to repent of.

Galactic Cosmic Ray[s].

Ghost Cancellation Reference (line). In the future, scan line 318 of all 625-line TV broadcasts in Europe will contain a chirp signal that will enable a timing measurement for ghost image cancellation. (Actually a more general measurement: the known chirp signal is subtracted, and shifted-and-scaled echoes of the chirp are fit to the remainder to determine the ghost pattern.) In the US, a similar system uses line 19. Cf. WSS.

Global Competitiveness Report. An annual report of the WEF.

G-protein-Coupled Receptor. Harvard serves a database.

Gray Component Replacement. Don't get your hopes up, this has nothing to do with cranial gray stuff; it's a printing/layout term.

Generic Cell Rate Algorithm.

G+C ratio
Fraction of nucleic acid base pairs that are guanine (G) and cytosine (C). The complement of this number would be A+T or A+U.

Greater Cleveland (OH) Regional Transit Authority.

General Certificate of Secondary Education. Given in England and Wales for passing exams given at the end of the fifth form (students who are 15 at the end of August enter the fifth form, so this is about the same as tenth grade). These used to be called the O-levels (O for Ordinary). Which set of GCSE courses a student will take, and which GCSE exams the student will take, is determined by the stage SAT exams (q.v.) which students take (or ``sit,'' since that's how they do it in Britain) at the end of the fourth form.

Performance on the GCSE exams (highest grade A*, like A-plus). The next two years students take AS-levels and A-levels. The A levels are the college entrance exams.

Georgia College and State University. They are just one institution: ``Georgia's Public Liberal Arts University.''

Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems. An IGBP project.

Gulf Coast Turtle & Tortoise Society.

Gross Combin{ed |ation } Weight. The gross weight of a tractor-trailer combination. See next item.

Gross Combination Weight Rating. The maximum gross weight that can be carried by a vehicle, including vehicle, fuel, cargo, and driver (I wonder how NAAFA feels about this).

For more, see the NTEA's glossary of Truck Equipment Terms.

Gulf Coast Wildlife Rescue.

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