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H, h
Enthalpy. From the Greek enthalpein, `to heat.' Under conditions of constant pressure, the enthalpy of reaction (the enthalpy change in a reaction) is the heat generated. A lot of enthalpies are known by traditional names like ``heat of reaction'' (which is, in appropriate cases, the almost redundant-sounding ``heat of combustion'') and ``latent heat'' (``[latent] heat of fusion,'' ``[latent] heat of vaporization''). I don't know for certain why it's represented by a symbol aitch; your guess is as good as mine.

Following common practice in thermodynamics, the upper-case letter H represents the extensive quantity (enthalpy) and the lower-case letter h is used to represent one or another intensive quantity (a ``specific'' enthalpy: the enthalpy per particle or unit mass, say, in units of calories per mole or per gram, or whatever else is needed or convenient).

The enthalpy of any homogeneous system of energy E and volume V at pressure p is given by

E = H + pV .

Enthalpy is a useful quantity to define theoretically, and one that can be measured rather directly in experiments, for processes that occur in constant-pressure environments, if and pretty much only if mechanical work by volume change is the only kind of work performed on or by a system. In this case, the differential of energy can be written (with T and S the temperature and entropy) as

dE = TdS - pdV ,
dH = TdS + Vdp .

Note therefore that since volume is positive, increasing pressure under adiabatic conditions increases enthalpy. The exact differential for enthalpy yields some obvious identities in the usual way. (In particular, the equality of the two cross-partials is called a Maxwell relation.)

For systems in which other kinds of work W can be done, it is generally possible to represent dW by a sum of products of the form FdQ, where each F is a generalized force and each Q its conjugate (generalized) coordinate or displacement. (It is true that these may refer at the microscopic level to mathematical objects that are not ``real-valued'' in the relevant sense, but thermodynamics is about macroscopic variables, and them's real, so get a life.) One can thus define a generalized enthalpy by adding a product FQ for each force. This isn't a very common practice, but the obvious applications are magnetic and dielectric systems, and elastic systems under some constant nonisotropic stress.

Chemists now represent energy fairly uniformly by E, but physicists often use U. That is a helpful hint that you should be watching out for a different H, the Hamiltonian, described in an entry close below. If you see it, you are in the realm of statistical mechanics, which is basically the concrete microscopic foundation of thermodynamics. Another symbol-table conflict between thermodynamics and statistical mechanics is at p. This is less of a problem because stat. mech. p is the length of a vector p, and vectors have a distinctive font style, but nevertheless it is often convenient to represent pressure in stat. mech. by a capital P. (Just don't mistake it for the magnitude of the dielectric polarization vector, okay?) In statistical mechanics, the thermodynamic quantities one evaluates most directly are free energies. Moreover, constant-volume calculations are usually more convenient than constant-pressure. Hence, enthalpy and Hamiltonian symbols don't bump into each other very much, even though they describe the same physical systems.

Hamiltonian. The Hamiltonian is a function (in classical physics) or operator (in quantum physics) that yields the energy (as value of the function or expectation value of the operator) when evaluated for a physical system in a particular state. The Hamiltonian is fundamentally the generator of time translations. In plain language, the Hamiltonian determines how a system evolves from moment to moment. It all fits together so wonderfully that it's too beautiful for words, so you have to use mathematics instead.

What, you want to know more?! Look, it's been a long day. Why don't you see if you can figure something out from the FGR, cumulant expansion, Liouville, and RMT entries?

Hartree. A unit of energy equal to two rydbergs (Ry); 27.211 eV.

Hotel. 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).

You could try just saying ``aitch.'' It's different from the names of all the other letters.

Atomic symbol for Hydrogen. Most common element in the universe. Probably pretty common in other places as well. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool, where it was #1 on the Top Five List last time I checked.

Harlan Ellison has observed that the two most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

Hypothesis. Much of formal statistical inference consists of tests to determine whether it is plausible that two samples or measurements are drawn from a common statistical distribution -- that is, that they measure the same thing. The null hypothesis is this hypothesis of null difference, often designated as the proposition H0. Occasionally, the null hypothesis will be more interesting: if one is testing whether the difference between two samples is accounted for by some known mechanism, source, cause, etc., then the null hypothesis may be the proposition that the means differ by a given constant. Alternative hypotheses may be designated H1, H2, ...

Planck's constant. 6.62620 × 10-34 J-sec.

HectAre. One hundred ares. The are is the base metric unit of area; it equals 100 square meters. (It's easier to remember that a hectare equals one square hectometer.) A hectare is about 2.4711 acres.

[column] The consensus of sources, once corrected for numerical typos, appears to be that the Aurelian walls of Rome had a length of 18,837 m (or km, if you insist on reading the comma European style) and enclosed an area of 1373 ha (3393 acres).


HA, H.A.
Historia Augusta.

The Historical Association. ``The Historical Association is the voice for history ... bringing together and representing people who share an interest in, and love for, history. The Association was founded in 1906, and membership is open to everyone.'' (On the basis of what I have learned from the histories of unmoderated electronic fora, I must say that ``membership ... open to everyone'' can be a bad thing.) All of the Association's branches and regions are in the UK. ``H.M. The Queen'' is listed as ``patron.'' Shouldn't that be ``matron''? Ha-ha.

Housing Authority. The Wilmington HA got to ``ha.org'' first.

Humic Acid.

Hydrocephalus Association. ``HA''? What's so funny about it!? Oh sure, back before surgical shunt insertion became routine, congenital hydrocephalus could cause cartoonishly enlarged heads. Not as bad as a lifelong Senator or a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but more evident. And as in the other cases, it could cause severe intellectual deficits.

Hepatitis-Associated Antigen.

Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy. AIDS treatment introduced in 1996.

Hungarian Association for American Studies. HAAS is a constituent association of the EAAS.

Height Above Average Terrain. Refers to a broadcast antennas. It's a felicitous coinage, especially when misinterpreted as Swedish (HÅT).

Hardwood Agents and Brokers Association.

See also the Hardwood Manufacturers Association (HMA).

Hellenic American Bankers Association, Inc. ``[A]n educational and business association for Greek Americans in the financial services industry.''

HeAlth Behavior Information Transfer. ``HABIT is a monthly e-newsletter for those involved in the application of biobehavioral research via policy and practice -- including researchers, academics, health care providers and members of the public health community.''

Just the other day I was hanging out at Dee'S Donut Shop with my pals on the acronym police. Pops (a veteran on the force since the days of cast-iron punctuation) was lamenting bitterly: ``I can never get over how some people are always getting in trouble when it's really so easy to stay on the right side of the law! Sometimes all it takes is an And or a little rewording. Failure to obey sound acronym construction rules is so rationally inexplicable that it can only be a disease. Somebody ought to study that biobehaviorally.'' The bad guys think they're clever, but nothing gets past the men in pencil blue. ``Information Transfer'' for a newsletter? Who do these people think they're fooling? It's got recherché backronym written all over it.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.

The spelling of two or three words in Spanish. One word is a noun meaning axe, and is borrowed from the French hache with the same meaning, derived from a Franconian (i.e. Germanic) root that apparently does not occur independently in English. The diminutive hachette was borrowed in English (a hatchet is a small axe). [Another Spanish word hacha, if you want to count it, is the third-person singular, indicative present-tense form of the verb hachar, `to hew.']

A completely distinct Spanish hacha, now regional and rare, means `torch.' This word, like the Galician-Portuguese facha or facho, is thought to be derived from a variant form, probably fascula, of the Latin facula, `small torch,' diminutive of fax, `torch.' (It is less probable that the hard cee of facula would have evolved directly into a ch, though there are other possibilities.) The idea is that the -sc- in the presumed fascula would have arisen from confusion of Latin fax with fascis, `bundle,' since torches often consisted of bundles lit together at one end. (A similar conflation, or simply combination of meanings, occurs with the English term for a bundle of twigs or branches normally intended for fuel: faggot.)

That word fascis, in the sense of bundle, has another association with axes. In ancient Rome, the power of punishment was symbolized by a bunch of sticks of uniform length, bundled to form a cylinder surrounding an axe, with part of the blade protruding. Ceremonially, lictors carried these before superior magistrates as symbols of the magistrates' power. (In this context the word usually occurred in the plural, which is fasces in the nominative case.) The symbol was originally used by the Etruscans, and the Latin Romans kept the symbol after they booted their Etruscan rulers.

The Latin word fascis gave rise to the word fascio (plural fasci) in Italian, still in the sense of a bundle of rods or sticks. The fascio was again (but without the axe) adopted as a political symbol in late-nineteenth-century Italy, on the strength of the metaphorical notion that though individual sticks are weak, there is strength in unity. From the symbol, the political groups themselves came to be called fasci. The term was eventually monopolized by the party created by Benito Mussolini during and after WWI. For this rightist party, which drew some authority from the notion that it continued or restored ancient Roman tradition, the association with the ceremonial Fascis of Rome was also valued.

I should probably say something about the word axis, since that word was used by Germany and Italy to describe their political (from 1936) and military alliance (from 1939 and the start of WWII). The idea was that the alliance was a metaphorical common pivot or fulcrum, not that you could connect the two countries by a straight line. Later, Imperial Japan was added to the axis, geometry be damned. It turns out that just as Spanish has two kinds of hacha, with the sense of axe or hatchet prevailing, so English has had two words axe (also spelled ax), the same sense now prevailing. The other sense of ax was of axle or axis, derived from a common Germanic root (cf. modern German Achse) related through Indo-European to Greek áxôn and Latin axis.

See Hacksilber.

Randomly shaped pieces of silver, used as currency in the Near East for thousands of years before the advent and rapid adoption of coinage. There have been no Hacksilber finds in Greece, but a hoard of Hackgold, dating to the 8th c. BCE, was excavated in Eretria in the late 1970's.

(That Erétria was an Ionian colony on the Aegean island of Euboea, near the Attic coast. There is also a nearby modern town of a few thousands by the same name, and another modern Eretria on the Greek mainland, in western Magnesia. The similarity of the name Eretria to that of the country of Eritrea is very probably coincidental. The latter is derived from the Latin name of the body of water it has a coast on: Mare erythraeum, literally `Red Sea.')

But to get back to silver, that English-v/German-b correspondence works reasonably well for noninitial consonants, incidentally. In addition to silver/Silber, one can adduce carve/kerben, cleave/klieben, fever/Feber, give/geben, have/haben, heave/heben, knave/Knabe, live/leben, love/lieben, over/über, seven/sieben, and starve/sterben [follow link for discussion of a semantic shift here], etc.

Typically, this works for cognates going back to proto-Germanic. In many cases one can no longer make the correspondence because a necessary cognate is missing on one side or the other. For example, leave had cognates in High Germanic dialects at least up to 1000 AD (some may yet survive in local dialects), but apparently no straightforward reflex of these survived into Modern German. A cognate verb bleiben (`stay, remain, be left') did survive. This is a contracted (``syncopated'') form of a compound that would otherwise be written beleiben. English had cognates belive and beleave, but they petered out of use in the fifteenth century.

The same correspondence holds for loans from a third language, if they occurred early enough. The only such example above is fever, from the Latin febris.

High-Availability Cluster Multi-Processing. An IBM LPP that enables a cluster to function as a file server.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

HIV-Associated Dementia [complex]. Long entry under AIDS Dementia Complex.

Japanese: `underwear.' It sounds so dignified! It leaves awkward euphemisms like ``foundation garment'' crumpled in the gutter with a skid mark down the back. Breathe my exhaust. And although hadagi sounds like it might be related to hadaka (`nudity'), the parallel syllables come from different kanji; that's pretty typical for Japanese. For other examples, see the hageru entry not far down the page.

Latin for `this.' More specifically, it's the female form of hic.

Human Artificial Episomal Chromosome.

Heure Avancée d'Europe Centrale. French for `Central European Summer (i.e., Daylight-Saving) Time.'

The standard transliteration (in both Hepburn and Ministry of Education schemes) of two distinct but homophonous Japanese verbs. One means `go bald' and the other means `come off, peel off.' I count this an instance of a situation that is surprisingly frequent in Japanese: homophones with apparently related meanings, written with evidently unrelated kanji (and hence presumably based on unrelated morphemes). Native Japanese speakers don't find these coincidences surprising; their language has a high frequency of homophones generally, and some fraction of the time one must expect such coincidences. But look: sôzô means `creativity.' A different word sôzô, written with a different pair of kanji, means `imagination.' This just happened by accident? Sure.

Sometimes there is only a one-kanji difference, but one is still suspicious. For example, there is a two-kanji word fujin that means `woman, lady.' With a different first kanji that also happens to be pronounced fu, one gets a different word fujin that means `wife.' (The common final element -jin means `person,' as in gaijin.) If the second word fujin corresponded closely in meaning to the English word wife, then a famous punchline would go something like ``that was no fujin, that was my fujin! As it happens, this wouldn't work because fujin only refers to the wife of the speaker or the writer. The wife of the speaker is referred to by a sort of first-person version of the word: kanai. This is not the only instance in Japanese where the choice of noun carries the sort of person information that pronouns and verbs carry in European and Semitic languages. Japanese verbs are not conjugated for person or number, and Japanese personal pronouns are often omitted. (Also, it is perfectly acceptable in Japanese conversation to use one's own name instead of a personal pronoun equivalent to I or me [typically watashi].)

Often you have to suspect neologistic malice. It strikes me as needlessly inconvenient that the word for comet and the name of the planet Mercury are both suisei -- a coincidence because the sui morphemes arise from two unrelated kanji. I suspect that a certain element of mischievous choice is involved. It's hard not to suspect that there isn't some coy significance in the fact that fusai is the pronunciation of totally unrelated words meaning `married couple' and `debt.'

When you go beyond exact homophones to approximate homophones and similar words, the list of suspicious coincidences grows. Shujin, for example, has the meanings of `owner, master [or mistress, as the female form of master], husband.' Don't think too hard about that, but consider that with a different initial kanji one has shûjin, which means `prisoner.'

hagn, HAGN
Have A Good Night.

Private Korean cram school. It's also spelled hakwon. Hagwons seem to be the main employer of native English-speakers working in Korea as EFL instructors (if you're interested in this, see Dave[ Sperling]'s ESL Cafe).

Health Action International. According to HAIAP's page (visited in 2005) for HAI, it is ``an informal network of around hundred and sixty member organizations and individuals focusing on health, development, consumer and other public interests in over seventy countries.
Founded in Geneva in 1981, HAI's objectives lie on promoting rational use of drugs and ensuring regular availability of quality healthcare and safe and effective essential medicines of good quality to all at affordable prices. With four coordinating offices in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific, HAI carries out its work through advocacy, research, education, action campaigns and dialogue.''

If HAI is pronounced as ``high'' then it is a homophone of a Hebrew word meaning `life.' (That word is typically transliterated chai, but in European languages different aitch sounds are usually allophones with disjoint distribution.) Hai is also the standard transliteration of a Japanese word that means `yes.' (A lot of the time it really just means `I'm listening' -- sort of like ``yes, dear'' but for use in all social situations.) A more informal version is ihai. And be careful how you answer a question, if the question states a negative proposition.

Helicopter Association International.

Housing Affordability Index. The best-known HAI in the US is one computed and reported monthly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and described here. At least some state associations of realtors compute similar indices for their states. Note the word ``similar.''

A HAI is defined in terms of the ``required income to qualify for a conventional loan'' on a home purchased at the median price of houses being sold. The ``conventional loan'' is a 30-year (I think) fixed-rate mortgage with a 20% down payment. The mortgage payment is computed using the ``prevailing mortgage interest rate'' reported by the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) and by HSH Associates of Butler, N.J., for loans closed on existing homes. The ``required income'' is defined as 25% of gross income. The affordability index is defined as the ratio of median income to that ``required income'' for a mortgage on the median-price house. If you prefer, the index is one quarter of the median monthly household income divided by the monthly mortgage payment on a median-price house.

This is a very sensible measure of affordability, but its downfall is that people do not, at least collectively, behave very sensibly. If the median household or future household lived sensibly within its means and only sought a mortgage once it had saved up the 20% down payment, then it would indeed find ownership of a median-price home affordable if the HAI were high. (But rather higher than 1.0, perhaps, if they happen to pay taxes.) Since the savings rate in the US was negative for much of the housing boom, the median household probably did not save the necessary down payment.

One may defend the HAI by saying that, of course, it only measures the affordability of housing for sensible people who save up for a traditional loan. They may have the median income, even if they are not typical. (Hey: the median family doesn't buy a new house every month either!) That might be defending the indefensible, but I would like to go a little further and defend the fool who went ahead and bought a house he wasn't ready to afford, by taking out a nontraditional mortgage. Maybe he was a sensible individual living in an unsensible world.

Our poor fool would have noticed that the down-payment target was moving, and that his savings were not moving as fast as the target. At that rate, he'd never be able to own a home; he'd just be stuck on a treadmill paying increasing rent. Then it came to him: the only way to save up for a home was to make a high-return investment in... real estate! Would the numbers work? Well, he wasn't, like, a math whiz or anything, but the loan officer at the bank seemed eager for his business -- that's not hard to interpret!

Human Awareness Institute. Dedicated to making sure that we're all aware of humans, probably. Based in California, as it need hardly be mentioned.

Japanese, `yes' (ihai is approximately `yeah'). Hai sounds similar to the Hebrew word normally transliterated chai.

HAI Africa
Health Action International AFRICA. An NGO. It ``is a network of organizations and individuals involved in health and pharmaceutical issues. HAI Africa upholds health as a fundamental human right and aspires for a just and equitable society in which there will be regular access to essential medicines to all who need them.
HAI Africa actively promotes the concept of essential drugs, their rational and economic use through advocacy, research, education and action campaigns.'' What happened to the ``dialogue'' quoted at HAI?

Health Action International Asia-Pacific. An NGO; cf. HAI. It ``is a network of organizations and individuals involved in health and pharmaceutical issues. HAIAP upholds health as a fundamental human right and aspires for a just and equitable society in which there will be regular access to essential medicines to all who need them.
HAIAP actively promotes the concept of essential drugs, their rational and economic use through advocacy, research, education and action campaigns.'' Gosh, I could swear I read virtually the same words somewhere before.

``Rational'' is a loaded word pointed at pharmaceutical companies, not doctors. ``HAI promotes the rational use of medicines: that all medicines marketed should meet real medical needs; have therapeutic advantages; be acceptably safe and offer value for money.''

HAI Europe
Health Action International EUROPE. An NGO. ``HAI works to increase access and improve the rational use of essential medicines.'' They work closely with WHO. Their pages include the shibboleth term ``social injustice.''

HAI Europe is part of something called HAI, but there's no website for HAI, q.v.

Given the importance of English-language haiku in the cultures of geeks and the prosodically impaired, the absence of significant haiku content in this glossary is surprising. Until we have a chance to gin up a real haiku entry, here are some internal links:

Jowett of Balliol,
Windows error messages:

Futility. What
a stupid waste of time, eh?
Pointlessness: Causes.

As for external
links, you should have no trouble
finding Perl haiku.

Much more obscure are
the periodic-table
, don't you think?

HAI Latin America
Health Action International LATIN AMERICA. See AIS LAC.

Health Action Information Network. It's ``a non-profit non-government organization established in 1985 based in Quezon City, Philippines. It is involved in health education and research; and mainly works with community-based organizations involved in health and development.''

No. It's hare-brained. And it's probably a scheme.

hair of the dog that bit you
A morning dose of alcohol taken to relieve a hangover. Not homeopathy, really, because we're not talking about some highly diluted drink the morning after, we're talking significant nip, a shot of whiskey, with or without raw egg. A clinical report of two cases, men in their twenties, observed with gastrocamera, provides some supporting evidence (``remarkable calming of the stomach after ingestion''):
James R. Hoon: ``Hair of the Dog,'' JAMA, vol. 229, #2, pp. 184-5 (July 8, 1974).

A common variant spelling of hagwon in English.

Although both /g/ and /k/ sounds occur in Korean, the distinction is not phonemic. That is, they are allophones. The emic perspective is probably best understood in terms of Hangul, the featural script of Korean -- the standard script. Hangul is written in blocks designed to resemble Chinese Han characters (logographs), but each such syllable block can be analyzed in terms of component characters called jama, which may be deformed somewhat to fit the block. (I could have just called the jama ``letters'' and let it go at that, but I figured I'd make trouble instead.)

The system is called featural because the forms of the jama illustrate schematically (or at least try to) major features in the articulation of the sounds they represent. Thus, the symbol for g/k is shaped like a capital Greek gamma (but facing left) not for sentimental xenophilic reasons, but to represent the shape that the tongue makes, viewed from the side, in the articulation of a velar consonant. An extra line is added to this symbol to indicate aspiration and represent the related affricate /kh/, and a doubled form is used for a tensed or faucal version of the sound.

The velar stop takes voicing by assimilation, and so its sound in hagwon is indeed /g/. There are a variety of different Romanizations of Korean, with varying degrees and domains of acceptance de jure or de facto. Some use g to indicate voicing of the k/g character. Some use g preferentially for the k/g, even in cases where it is unvoiced, in order to save k (possibly with kk) for the other velars. In the latter case, hakwon is the appropriate Romanization.

Hardware Abstraction Layer. A component of DirectX, regarded as a ``driver,'' which directs the use of internal hardware like a graphics card.

Harold. Nickname form, though some (e.g. Hal Draper -- see V.I.P. entry) use it as the full name. The same is true of Harry, also a nickname form of Harold. In consequence, Hal, Harry, and Harold (and Harald, a variant) are sometimes used interchangeably. One thus has the situation of Harry being used as a nickname for someone whose given name is Hal, which might seem slightly odd to a foreigner named Peggy.

Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer (from the Kubrick and Clarke movie 2001). That the letters are a one-shift encoding of the letters I, B, M is strictly a coincidence.

In the movie, as HAL is being decommissioned by surviving crewman Dave Bowman, it says

I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. [Here HAL sounds a bit like George H.W. Bush.] I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a...fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992...
In Clarke's book, it was a 1997 model. The commemorations were held in 1997. [Clarke came out with a new book, 3001: The Final Odyssey. Cervantes was thinking of just this when he observed ``Nunca segundas partes fueron buenas.'' (Loosely: `Never were sequels any good.') However, as Arthur Clarke himself admits (NYTimes, 1997.04.01, p. B1), he likes attention. If he hadn't moved to Sri Lanka, we might have been spared another best seller, although we also would not have Kubrick's precious remark: ``Arthur Clarke? Isn't he a nut who lives in a tree in India someplace?'']

There's a pentium version of the story as well.

Language spoken by the Halaka People. This nation has no internationally recognized, politically independent homeland, and its precise origin is obscure, but it is dispersed throughout the world, and increasingly westernized. Indeed, native speakers are extremely rare.

The Halaka language has virtually no productive inflections. Although its phonology suggests a Slavic influence, Halaka is not an Indo-European (IE) language. Thus, the resemblance of its name to the Hindi word halka, (`lightweight') is probably accidental. [Note, however, that the first alphabetic writing system for Sanskrit, believed to have arisen from an Aramaic alphabet, was almost a syllabary, with the default that all consonants were followed by a vowel a : halka --> halaka (a common current pronunciation in the southern, Dravidian-speaking regions of India). Hindi is in the Sanskrit subfamily of IE languages.] There is also no apparent relation with the Hebrew halakha, `the path,' which conventionally refers to the totality of oral and written Jewish law. As the only extant member of its language family (Obnac), Halaka may in fact be called a language isolate.

Today, among an estimated 34 million i speakers worldwide (1990), there is already 85% literacy in the Romanized (i.e., Latin-character-based) orthography. A valuable and comprehensive Halaka <--> English translation dictionary was once available online, but Scott Bordelon apparently decided that the joke was getting old. It took a while for the dictionary to fade from search engine indices. Bordelon also submitted a translation of ``Silent Night, Holy Night'' into Halaka to a site that collects such things. It seems from the text that the grammar, idioms, and semantic fields of corresponding words of Halaka are identical to those of English, except that the word ``the'' is elided in translation. A great convenience, but very hard to rhyme.

I can't take it anymore! I confess! It's lies, all lies! But that translation dictionary was pretty good. I can't remember certainly any more, but I think you could input any English word or nonword and it would spit out an answer. (The same answer for a given input each time.) And the output Halaka words looked wordlike -- no three-consonant clusters, for example. So there must have been some general translation algorithm, but it was hash-like yet constrained.

There, I feel much better now. Please resume your suspension of disbelief.

You know, the path thing is a widespread pretense of religions. Just as in Judaism the law is called the way (halakha), so Christianity has John 14:6 (``I am the way, the truth, and the life''). Path imagery has been popular in Christianity, hence special use of words meaning traveler. (See, for one example, the book Pilgrim's Progress described at the V.F. entry.) Various actual pilgrimages are optional elements of Christian devotion, and in Islam a pilgrimage to Mecca is the obligation of every Muslim who can afford it. The English word Taoism comes from tao or dao, meaning `way,' which stands for the basic, eternal principle of the universe that transcends reality and is the source of being, non-being, and change. That would appear to about cover it. Buddhism has two major schools; the extant one is called Mahayana, Sanskrit for `great vehicle.' Followers of Mahayana dubbed the other school Hinayana, `lesser vehicle.'

Breaking News

It's back! The Halaka-English Global Translator is the index page of <halaka-dict.appspot.com>. Well, actually, it seems to have an entirely different vocabulary and phonology, and now there are inflections and a flag, but to judge from the about page, it's just as real and authentic as before. Gerpun!

This translator doesn't attempt to translate nonwords or regular plurals of English, to judge by a few experiments. So basically it just seems to be a pseudorandom mapping gated through a large English wordlist.

I think there might be some tweaking of individual translations. I suppose this is handled by running the map in advance and prestoring -- and tweaking -- the results in a database, but maybe it's done by exception-handling and most Halaka translations are coined for you by an invertible algorithm in real time. Of relevance is the fact that the translator tool is not perfectly invertible. In particular, Halaka na maps to putative English kil, but English kil is left untranslated into Halaka (possibly because it's the proper noun for a Korean car maker).

Useful vocabulary for tourists:

English                 Halaka            Analysis based on roots
-------                 ------            -----------------------
four                    ana               ...
fourteen                stapun            sta pun: is beer
twenty-four             klerburtur        kler bur tur: how no this
forty                   plamuh            pla muh: hello new
five                    staklo            sta klo: is of
fifteen                 stedrah           ste drah: meet stop
twenty-five             wagerphleklop     wa ger phle klop: big type hotel may
fifty                   muhe              ...
compute                 kiloborsti
computed                shpluklerna
handsel                 stigna
Cockney                 muhklo
McDonald                klerpla
Sahara                  natur
Saharan                 kiloklewa
Jesus                   shplukler
Elvis                   muhtur
visa                    whie
croissant               borstipun
souffle                 stagerwhi
Lancaster               imuhwa
Dorchester              klopweez
Manchester              plaphlegnaklah
Mancunian               splii
catalysis               muhklahphlekilo
catalyses               klokilo
analysis                borpla
analyses                kletur
Thomas English muffin   chai eingeleeza gnapla

HALoperidol Decanoate. Also ``HD.'' Used to treat schizophrenia.

Healthy, with a connotation of strong. Hale is a homonym of hail, a noun for ice-ball precipitation, and a verb meaning something like greet with celebration (or hope, in the case of a taxi).

[Football icon]

Tailback. See running back for discussion.

half-blind double date
The matchmakers don't have to wait to find out how it went. Then they're more surprised when they find out that they didn't like each other, but were just being polite. Naomi Wolf's latest book contains more poignant observations, but this glossary is cheaper.

[Dear reader: this entry is a bit of a long-term project under construction, accidentally published prematurely. Sorry about that. It doesn't appear to be much less intelligible now than it will eventually be or was before, so I'll just let it all hang out.]

Half an odd integer. A physicists' term for the quantum numbers of various angular-momentum-like observables. Obviously, half an even integer is also an integer. The point is to distinguish the numbers that are half-integers but not integers. (These are associated with fermions, q.v.)

There are a number of important angular-momentum-like observables, to be discussed below roughly in order of increasing abstraction. This material is normally covered at various different stages in a physics curriculum, so many readers will find that the going gets unfamiliar or tough rather quickly.

A system with a well-defined angular momentum or algebraically similar observable will have a ``good quantum number'' describing it. The most commonly discussed observables of this kind (with the usual variable designation in parenthesis) are

orbital angular momentum (L)
This is the ordinary angular momentum defined analogously with classical angular momentum in terms of position and momentum operators. The classical angular momentum vector L for a rigid body points along the instantaneous axis of rotation (direction according to right-hand rule). The rotation degree of freedom is bounded (I mean -- what goes around comes around) and, more or less as a consequence, the associated observables are discretely quantized. (I.e. the quantum-mechanical eigenstates of the operator do not take a continuum of eigenvalues. In fact, the spectrum (the set of eigenvalues) has a simple form: the possible eigenvalues of L2 are L(L+1) in the natural units (aitch-bar squared), where L is a positive integer. (Please attend this fact: boldface L here represents a vector. In classical mechanics, italic L its scalar magnitude. In the same way, p is ordinary momentum and p is its magnitude. In going from classical to quantum mechanics, one takes the vectors p and L into vector operators. Because it is an observable, it is certainly possible to discuss its magnitude -- we effectively just did so in the sentence preceding this parenthetical. However, it is inconvenient to use L in the classical way, because of confusion with the quantum number L. (In atomic physics, it is often written with a lower-case l.)

The vector components of L are noncommuting: rotation about one axis followed by rotation about a different axis is not equivalent to the same operations taken in the reverse order. Noncommuting variables cannot be in simultaneous eigenstates, ... you know, I think I may be losing the people who forgot what they learned in Quantum 101, sorry ... so angular momentum eigenstates are further classified by only a single component, usually chosen as along the z axis. In natural units, the allowed values of this angular momentum component (typically labeled lz or ml) are the integers between -L and +L inclusive (loosely: -L, -L+1, ..., L-1, L). Hence, for an orbital angular-momentum quantum number L, there are 2L+1 states.

This is a good point to return to the idea of ``good'' quantum numbers. Obviously this is a quantum notion, but it is related to symmetry, and symmetry is a more general notion. We say that a system is spherically symmetric if the equations that describe it look the same in any direction. A spherically symmetric mechanical system can rotate in any direction. Nothing can slow or speed such a rotation, since that force would require a description that was not spherically symmetric. (Believe me, this is a lot easier to say with equations than words.) Intuitively, something that rotates faster has more energy. In fact, for simple mechanical systems, [okay, looks like this part wasn't finished]

intrinsic spin (S)
This is always well-defined for any elementary particle. The original proposal of intrinsic spin was made by two graduate students, Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck, who proposed that an internal spin variable for the electron would explain some degeneracy anomalies (i.e., there seemed to be twice as many single-electron states as one would expect; kinda important if you want chemistry to work out). In order for this idea to work, there would have to be only two intrinsic-spin states. You can see (correctly) using the formula for orbital angular momentum that 2-fold degeneracy requires 2 = 2S+1 or S = 1/2. There is no way to derive a half-integer value from an angular momentum that generalizes classical angular momentum (as above).

Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck went back to their advisor and said they had second thoughts about their idea and preferred not to publish. He told them it was too late, he'd already sent their manuscript off. In those days, journal reviewers were not so nitpicky either, and the paper went to press. Their advisor (I forget who) consoled them: they were young -- they had the right to publish something crazy. As soon as the paper appeared, H. A. Lorentz pointed out that given the known bounds on the radius of the electron, the proposed value of spin represented an angular momentum so high that the surface of the electron would have to be moving faster than the speed of light (an obvious no-no).

There are other classical-picture objections, and the basic answer to them all today is: spin is an intrinsically quantum-mechanical quantity that happens to share numerous properties (including its general algebraic structure and a proportionality to magnetic moment) with orbital angular momentum, but does not arise from particle motion that has a classical analogue. It is handy to visualize it as the spin of a particle, but strictly speaking elementary particles have no geometric extent and don't spin. (I mean: in the underlying description, elementary particles are points. The real particles they describe, of course, cannot be perfectly localized -- this follows from the uncertainty relations. The picture gets trickier with string theory. String theories are formulated in more than the usual three space dimensions, but the excess dimensions are curled up very tight -- the distance that anything can move in those other directions is preposterously short, and when you move that far, you've just circled back to where you started. Anyway, in these theories fundamental particles are described by strings -- closed loops, in fact. The particles still have at least a codimensionality of three in the higher-dimensional space, so on any human scale it is reasonable to call them point-like.)

There are now many particles (fermions) known with spins (S values) of 3/2, 5/2, and higher. However, so far these are all composite particles or excited states of other lower-mass, more stable particles that have spin 1/2. Spin-S particles have states of well-defined z-component spin (labeled sz or ms) with spin angular momentum values from -S to +S. (I.e., -1/2 and +1/2 for spin-1/2; -3/2, -1/2, +1/2, +3/2 for spin-3/2, etc.) [I ought to talk here about Regge analysis, a great fad around 1960. On second thought: no I shouldn't.] The term half-integer normally modifies spin, which is to say total spin quantum-number rather than a component (``ess-sub-zee''). Therefore, in practice, the half-odd integer it refers to is positive.

Isospin (I)
Contracted from the older name for this concept: isotopic spin. As an aside here, I should mention that isospin, like angular momentum and all the rest

In outline, the idea behind this is simple: protons and neutrons are particles with similar mass, and since mass is energy, they have the same energy. Now as noted above, rotation symmetries yield finite numbers of degenerate states, corresponding to distinct values of the z component of angular momentum. Introducing a completely inventing a new spin-like algebras yield finite numbers of degenerate The idea had been around even before relativity, that particles are, as we would say now, ``excitations of the vacuum.'' rotational symmetry in three dimensions have

There's more (intrinsic spin of a collection of particles, total angular momentum, etc.), but that's for another day.

`I breathe' in Latin. The infinitive is halare. [That's mildly amusing in Spanish, where halar (< French haler; I haven't checked beyond that) means `to pull.']

The Latin verb is source of English words like halo and exhale. The Latin noun form halitus (`breath') is used medically and is identified as the basis of the word halitosis. The conversion of the u to o presumably is a feint in the direction of creating a Greek noun, but I'm not buying it: the ending `-sis' is Greek and the root is Latin, so halitosis is a barbarism. I'm sure we all agree.

In classical scattering, the differential scattering cross section can be computed as b db/d(cos(θ)), where b is the impact parameter and θ is the scattering angle. If b is not a function of θ -- i.e., if some angles occur for more than one value of impact parameter -- then the differential cross section is computed from all the relevant derivative expressions like the above, summed. Since θ is normally a smooth function of b, when this occurs there will be a turning point -- an angle where the above derivative expression diverges. That kind of (integrable, of course) divergence is called rainbow scattering. Another kind of divergence occurs when the scattering angle crosses zero at finite b. This causes a brilliant forward scattering called a halo.

When an atom or nucleus has nearly saturated its bonding, it often can bind one or a few last particles extremely weakly, in low-angular-momentum state(s). These few weakly bound particles are also called a halo.

The trivial nuclear example is deuterium, which can be regarded as a proton nucleus with a neutron halo (D = 2H = 1H + n). This sounds silly on its face: you'd figure that the neutron-proton separation would determine the only sensible definition of what is `inside' the nucleus, so that neither nucleon could be outside of it, on average. However, the rms internucleon distance is an astounding 4.4 fm, so most of the time the nucleons are outside the range of their interaction. Effectively, one should regard halo nuclei as those with some nucleons that spend much of their time more than about a fermi (1 fm) away from any other nucleons. The large average separation is a natural consequence of the just-bound nature of the deuteron. [The scattering-length concept makes this extremely explicit.]

A more intuitive example is 11Li, which looks like 9Li + 2n. [The numbers preceding `Li' should be superscripted. Upgrade your browser or don't complain if they're not. The number in this position next to the chemical symbol for an element represents its atomic mass number A -- the number of nucleons in the nucleus.] The core 9Li has its four protons and five neutrons in a radius of 2.5 fm. The two-neutron cloud in 11Li has a radius of 7 fm.

I think that 11Li marked the ``modern discovery'' of halo nuclei by B. M. Young, et al., reported in Phys. Rev. Lett. vol. 71. Afterwards, it became clear that the surprisingly large branching ratio for E1 decay of 11Be, reported by D. J. Millener, et al. Phys. Rev. C 28, 497 (1983), could be explained simply in terms of a neutron halo.

High-Altitude, Low-Opening. I.e., high-altitude jump (15K feet), low-altitude chute-opening. Paratrooper strategy for minimizing vulnerability in jump behind enemy lines.

High-Amount LockOut. A POS term meaning maximum allowed price. HALO's are defined to prevent the most eye-popping errors by operators (those who key in POS system data).

A word constructed from the Greek roots hals (`salt') and -oeidês (`form'). The word was coined by Berzelius to describe any simple metal halide salt.

The key salt in old black-and-white film was silver iodide, and so one film manufacturer in Rochester called itself Haloid. It later became Xerox.

Yes, yes, the city of Halle in Germany got its name from salt mines there.

An element in the penultimate column of the periodic table (the seventh column in the compact form of Mendeleev's original table). This is the group next to the noble gases. Going down the periodic table, the halogens are Fluorine (F), Chlorine (Cl), Bromine (Br), Iodine (I), and Astatine (At). (As a practical matter that's about it, but artificial elements created in miniscule quantities are crawling along the next period with increasing atomic number, so it's foreseeable that a new and practically irrelevant halogen will be named.

As is common in many element groups, the lightest element is a bit of an outlier. Hydrofluoric acid, although it is extremely dangerous and corrosive, is not the strong acid that hydrochloric and hydrobromic acids are at the same concentrations.

Sometimes hydrogen is given two locations on the periodic table: its usual place at the beginning (upper left corner) and also the spot just left of helium, which is to say just above fluorine in the column of halogens. This makes an obvious sort of ``electronic'' [atomic-level] sense: there is a single unoccupied state in the highest (and only) occupied level (1s). It also makes a bit of chemical sense, as there are hydrides -- simple compounds in which hydrogen has valence -1 like a halogen. Just don't call it a halogen. (And normally, expect it to have valence +1.)

halogen lamps
Halogen lamps are technically better known as halogen-cycle lamps. Quartz, quartz-iodine, and tungsten-halogen lamps are other names used.

Halogen lamps are incandescent lamps that use a halogen fill gas, usually iodine or bromine, and (as is essentially universal for incandescent lamps) tungsten filaments. Tungsten atoms evaporated from the filament react with the fill gas to form tungsten halide (i.e., tungsten iodide, tungsten bromide, etc.). This compound does not stick well to glass, but tungsten halide molecules adsorbed on tungsten metal react to deposit tungsten and evolve halogen gas. These facts result in the capture and eventual redeposition of tungsten on the filament. This is called the halogen cycle, and by reducing the effective rate of metal evaporation, it reduces the principal mechanism of lamp aging. (When a halogen lamp is operated at low power, tungsten halide accumulates on the bulb surface. Operation at full power re-evaporates the condensate, clearing the glass and regenerating the filament.)

During operation, the density of the vapor must be high enough to assure that the mean free path of a tungsten atom is much less than the distance between filament and bulb. This can require fill gas that is close to atmospheric pressure. At atmospheric pressure, the boiling point of bromine is 58.8°C, so bromine fill gas condenses as a fluid when the lamp is cold. (The Br melting point is -7.27°C.) Iodine has boiling and melting points of 184.35°C and 113.5°C. In a small quartz lamp I used to have, a thin brownish film and a hardened droplet or two would be left on the inside surface of the lamp after it cooled, and would slowly vaporize as it heated.

(Normally, incandescent bulbs have nitrogen, argon, or a mix as fill gas, at a low pressure that rises to about one atmosphere at normal operating temperature. Lamps of less than 40 watts typically are just evacuated.)

A little point that was elided above is that while tungsten halides do not react and bond to glass, they may simply condense. Hence, halogen lamps must be operated with the interior of the bulb at 500 degrees C or above. (This is just one very good reason to avoid touching a halogen lamp with your bare fingers.) For a long time, halogen lamps used quartz bulbs because quartz glass was the only kind that had the necessary high-temperature strength. (Nowadays there are some alternate glasses in use.)

At the high temperatures reached by quartz bulbs, some skin oils can penetrate and degrade the glass, making it porous, admitting air, and resulting in early failure. Don't let this happen. If you touch the quartz when it is cold, then before turning it on, clean it with a solvent such as lighter fluid. (I love this recommendation. Be sure to dry it off and put anything flammable away before you turn the lamp back on.) If you touch the quartz when it is hot, just scream.

halo orbit
In astronomy, an orbit ``around'' one of the Lagrange points formed by two objects, rather than around a single object. Halo orbits exist around the L1, L2, and L3 points; like these Lagrange points themselves, they are unstable, but a space probe can maintain the halo orbit for years with a small expenditure of fuel. A number of probes, such as SOHO, have used halo orbits around the Sun-Earth L1 point; at the L1 point itself, they would be much harder to communicate with due to the Sun being in line.

In the preceding paragraph, the word ``around'' is in scare quotes because the Lagrange point is not exactly at the middle of a halo orbit. If one switches to a rotating frame in which the two large-mass objects are stationary, then the halo orbits do periodically go around the axis connecting the two. And if the orbit is tight, then it is close to its corresponding Lagrange point. As the size of the halo orbit increases (as measured, say, by its average radius about the axis in this frame), its average position along the axis changes.

Highly Accelerated Lift Test.

Hot-Air-Leveled Tin. In electronic interconnect fabrication, HALT refers to the final step in the process of tin-coating copper strips. The copper strips are passed through a molten bath of tin (Sn). The tin wets the surface of the copper (Cu), and as the strip emerges from the bath the thickness of its tin coating is controlled by an air knife. The main alternative to HALT is HTD (hot tin dip). In HTD, the tin thickness is controlled by a mechanical wiper. HALT was introduced in around 1985; HTD is the older process, but I'm not sure exactly when it was introduced.

The melting point of tin is 232 °C. This is around the softening temperature of copper (m.p. 1083 °C), but the tinning is done in a quick reel-to-reel process, so the copper is hardly deformed. However, a thin layer of copper-tin intermetallic compound (primarily Cu6Sn5) forms between the metals.

Amateur Radio Operator. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Amateur Radio Club has a useful Home Page, with a callsign database server. We (SBF) also offer a list of Q-signs. The use of ``ham'' for amateur radio operator stems from the earlier use of ``ham'' for a bad actor.

An excessively emotive actor. Or more generally an amateurish or poor actor. The etymology is in the next entry.

The English word ham is descended from a proto-IE root meaning `crooked.' The earliest recorded senses in Old English, starting around 1000 AD, are for the back of a man's knee, hollow of the knee, etc. In the middle of the 16th century its sense was drifting upward, to the back of the thigh or to the thigh and buttock together. [For linguistic thoughts on the buttock, see fanny.] These senses of the word ham are not altogether obsolete, but they are now perhaps most often encountered in the fused compound noun hamstring, for either of the tendons that forms the back of the knee and attaches to the muscles of the thigh.

At least by the beginning of the 17th century, ham also referred to the hock of a quadruped. Now, it is obvious from an evolutionary standpoint, and even from any coherent anatomical viewpoint, that the hock of a quadruped like a hog, horse, or dog corresponds to the heel of the human foot. Hence, what is called the ``hamstring'' in these animals corresponds to the Achilles tendon in the human. However, these animals walk essentially on what correspond to the toes of the human foot. (Or on what corresponds to what is left of it. Although the ur-mammals had five digits at the end of each of their four limbs, most mammals today -- excepting primates and elephants -- have fewer. The horse went from three toes to one relatively recently, I think.)

By the middle of the 17th century, ham referred to the thigh of a slaughtered animal, especially cured hog thigh (salted and smoked, or salted and just dried), and that is the most common sense of ham now, of course. ``Ham hocks,'' a feature (or a bug) of soul food, are simply hog hocks.

Ham as a term for an overacting performer or a poor actor generally evidently arose as a short form of hamfatter, from a popular minstrel-show song originally in ``The Ham-fat Man'' (1863). By an association of amateurishness in acting with ``amateur'' in general (and there is the phonetic similarity), the word ham came to be used for ``amateur radio operator.''

I've come across a number of jokes that turn on an English-speaker in a restaurant in France asking for jam and getting ham (jambon in French). This never happened to me. Frankly, when I was in southern France I found that a lot of the restaurant help and shop clerks were Spaniards.

The Spanish word jamón (also meaning `ham') sounds closer to the English because the j was devoiced into an aitch sound half a millennium ago, but the word was obviously (yeah, there's evidence) borrowed from the French. The etymological trail of these j-words disappears back in Vulgar Latin, and it might or might not be related to the English word. And on the subject of vulgar language, Spanish has a slang term jamona that might be translated loosely as `juicy woman.'

HAM, Ham
A common abbreviation for Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. IMHO it's cool that this common abbreviation coincides with the common term for the kind of character who could chew up the scenery -- especially in the title role. (The etymology of this ham is explained not far above.)

One piece of evidence put forward by Stratfordians, though not the strongest, is that William Shakespeare named his son Hamnet (sic). [Stratfordians are those who hold the view that the plays attributed to William Shakespeare were written by the man named William Shakespeare, of Stratford-upon-Avon.]

A son of Noah. The other two were Japheth and Shem. They already had wives before the flood. For a long time, lasting into the nineteenth century, Christians reasoned that since all humans were descended from the three brothers, that the races of mankind could be correlated with that descent.

Heat-of-A{b|d}sorption Measurement.

Hybrid Access Method.

HAMilton Rating Scale for Anxiety. Hamilton Anxiety Scale.

Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah. Arabic, `Islamic Resistance Movement.' (Traditional semitic alphabets are essentially consonantal. In Hebrew and, I presume, in Arabic too, acronyms are based only on these consonants, with the vowels usually a sounds or based on a parallel with another word. One would expect the ``silent'' stop consonants at the beginning of the definite articles al to be ignored. For what it's worth, it looks like the alif at the beginning of the word Islamiyyah was also incorporated.

Hamas was founded in 1987, at the beginning of the first intifada or `uprising' against Israel. Hamas vows never (see jamás) to accept the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East, and engages in terrorism against Israelis essentially anywhere. It won a majority of seats in the January 2005 elections for the Palestinian Authority parliament.

HAMilton Rating Scale for Depression. Also ``HDS'' and ``HDRS.''

Nickname of jazz musician Lionel Hampton (1908-2002).

Host AUTODIN Message Processing System (MPS).

Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording.

Hospital-{ Acquired | Associated } Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Frequently also ``hospital-acquired MRSA'' and sometimes ``hospital-associated MRSA.'' There's a tiny bit more at the MRSA entry.

Hamwurst College
Jocular, sometimes affectionate name for Amherst College.

Handbook for Scholars, A
A little volume by Mary-Claire van Leunen. The revised edition, from OUP, was published in 1992. Van Leunen takes a very unhelpful attitude regarding the indication of changes in quotations. She insists that ellipses should only be used ``for omission from the middle of a quotation, not from either end.'' Wrong. The absence of an ellipsis at the end of the preceding quote allows you the reader to infer, correctly, that I have quoted to the end of one of her sentences. Conversely, an ellipsis at the end of a quote indicates that more material remains in the sentence, as in ``omission from the middle of a quotation....'' A scholar should care about the difference, and it is no fault to be informative.

Similarly, she condemns bracketing case changes. But when I quote her writing ``bracketing such changes looks not punctilious but weird,'' you know that this is only part of a sentence. Had it been the entire sentence my quotation of it should have begun ``[b]racketing such changes....''

She concludes, ``[p]roceed blithely.'' Don't.

Health And Nutrition Examination Survey. An extensive survey that collected measures of nutritional status of a representative sample of the U.S. population in 1971-1972. But they didn't ask me.

A manufacturer of underwear (that's ``unmentionables'' for men). They've also expanded into unmentionables, but that's probably not the way they would want to express it.

You know that count of entries at the thumbtabs page, that stands at about 16000 as of this writing? Well, even stupid entries like this one count toward that number.

Two out of three of us who discussed it at lunch a couple of years ago believed that the elastics on Hanes briefs had gotten weaker in recent years. (That's not a survey but an exact count.)

Here's another interesting thing about that thumbtabs page: we get dozens of visitors to that page every day who were looking for rock music guitar tabs.

German: `hemp.' One of only about three German words that end in nf, not counting compounds like hundertfünf (105).

Highly Available Network File System. A network file server from IBM that is NFS-compliant.

hang five
Curl five toes over the front edge of the surf board.

Hanks and Hodges
Reference to one of two works on personal-name etmologies, both by Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges, and both published by Oxford University Press:
  1. A Dictionary of Surnames, published 1988. (Special consultant for Jewish names: David L. Gold.)
  2. A Dictionary of First Names, published 1990.

Both are very useful books, but it pays to check them where possible, since a few entries, if not demonstrably wrong, can sometimes mislead. See, for examples, the pardo entry (for the Spanish and Portuguese surname Pardo) and the discussion of Hermann towards the end of the SN entry.

For other similar works, see Familienname and Reaney and Wilson.

Healthcare Association of New York State.

Hazardous Air Pollutant[s].


hapax legomenon
Greek: `once counted or said.' A word, term, or form of word that occurs only once in the available written record of a [dead] language. Dictionary meaning, restricted to words or terms, does not reflect broader usage, which also encompasses isolated occurrences of stories or ideas. Plural only modifies noun: hapax legomena. Philologists tend to just say `hapax.' The Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures contain altogether about a hundred hapaxes, whose meaning in many cases must simply be guessed.

Hispanic American Periodicals Index.

Household And Personal Products Industry. A magazine.

[Football icon]

happy feet
A quarterback (QB) is said to have happy feet if he jumps around nervously in the pocket. His feet may seem happy, but not he.

Hydrazine Auxiliary Propulsion System. NASAnese, of course.

Japanese: `heart-to-heart communication, gut-level communication.'

Harassment Training
It's training to help you increase sexual harassment, but it doesn't work the way you'd think. Instead of increasing it directly, by teaching you how to do it, it does so indirectly, by discovering it where you didn't suspect it was. In fact, by stigmatizing innocent behavior and getting people fired for having the misfortune to share employment with prickly scolds, it might be thought of as training in a kind of harassment. That kind of harassment, however, is not officially a bad thing.

Hard Hearted Little Beggar Boys Consume Noodles Or Fishes Near
Naples; Magnificent Albert Sings Pop Songs Clearly Around
Kitchen Cabinets Scandinavian; Titmouse Vindaloo Creates Many Fearful Complaints iN Curious Zones
Mnemonic for first few chemical elements (H -- Hydrogen, He -- Helium;
Li -- Lithium, Be -- Beryllium, B -- Boron, C -- Carbon, N -- Nitrogen, O -- Oxygen, F -- Fluorine, Ne -- Neon;
Na -- Sodium, Mg -- Magnesium, Al -- Aluminum, Si -- Silicon, P -- Phosphorus, S -- Sulfur, Cl -- Chlorine, Ar -- Argon;
K -- Potassium, Ca -- Calcium, Sc -- Scandium, Ti -- Titanium, V -- Vanadium, Cr -- Chromium, Mn -- Manganese, Fe -- Iron, Co -- Cobalt, Ni -- Nickel, Cu -- Copper, Zn -- Zinc).

Excellent sites to learn more: WebElements and Chemicool.

Currently, this adverb is used primarily in senses like `scarcely' or `almost not' or kaum (in German).

In origin, however, the word (heardlice in Old English) meant `harshly' or `bravely.' That is, it meant `in a hard manner' with an older sense of hard: `bold' or `forceful.' (The modern word hard may be said to preserve the ``passive'' senses of its etymon.) Use of the original sense of the adverb has been in a long-term decline; a more common expression of the idea is ``with difficulty.'' This sense still took pride of place in the hardly entries of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) and of Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (G & C. Merriam Co., 1913, edited by Noah Porter).

The `with difficulty' sense of hardly is hardly common at all. In fact, it's not hardly common: it's just plain rare. But it's not unknown, though I'm not sure if it's hardly unknown. Anyway, here's part of a paragraph that uses hardly in two different senses. In the second instance the different senses of the word are almost opposite, and the context is needed to make clear which sense makes sense.

... In the last quarter of the seventeenth century Cartesian science was indeed expounded in some of the colleges of France, and less widely elsewhere, but dissemination of the thought of Galileo, of Bacon, and of the exponents of the mechanical philosophy owed little to university courses. Occasional examples of a university teacher having a decided influence upon a circle of pupils--as was the case with John Wilkins at Wadham College, Oxford, and Isaac Barrow at Trinity, Cambridge--hardly vitiate the general conclusion that the activities of various societies, books, and journals were far more potent vehicles of proselytization, which is supported by many personal biographies. However stimulating the exceptional teacher, formal courses were commonly conservative and pedestrian: it is curious to note that the two greatest scientists of the age who were also professors, Galileo and Newton, seem to hav been singularly unremarkable in their public instruction. If the universities could produce scholars, they were ill-adapted to turning out scientists; the scientist had to train himself. Many who accomplished this transition regarded it, indeed, as a revulsion from the ordinary conception of scholarship. The learning they genuinely prized, in their own scientific disciplines, they had hardly won for themselves. It would surely be absurd to argue that Newton was less a self-made scientist than Huyghens, or Malpighi than Leeuwenhoek, because the former had attended a university and the latter had not.
[This is excerpted from pp. 6-7 of Rupert Hall's ``The Scholar and the Craftsman in the Scientific Revolution,'' in Critical Problems in the History of Science, ed. Marshall Clagett (Madison, Milwaukee, and London: Un. of Wisconsin Pr., 1969).]

hard water
Water with a high concentration of dissolved ions that precipitate soap. Almost always, that's calcium ion. ``High concentration'' means high compared to whatever one is used to -- you notice the difference immediately in the shower. In absolute terms, a convenient mark is 100 mg/l CaCO3 (calcium carbonate). It's worth noting that this description is nominal: one computes the ``dissolved CaCO3'' from the measured concentration of Ca. What is really in solution is mostly Ca2+ and HCO3- (bicarbonate) in an alkaline (OH--rich) solution (see pOH entry).

(There's also a relatively small concentration of dissolved CO3= ion. I actually had a student ask me once what the superscripted equals sign meant. It's a doubled negative sign. I might have written CO32- equivalently.)

Detergent and soap molecules all have basically the same structure: NaR, where R is a long-chain organic molecule. In traditional soap, the long chain is a fatty acid. (Explanation at the saponification entry. Detergent is usually sodium lauryl sulfate, where lauryl- is a twelve-carbon carbon chain extracted from plants, and the sulfate group on the end of the chain bonds to the sodium.

In the presence of nonpolar dirt, the nonpolar end of a soap molecule buries itself in the dirt and the polar Na+ sticks out where it can dissolve in water. In soapy water, microscopic droplets of dirt accumulate a highly polar surface this way, enabling them to dissolve in water and rinse down the drain.

Calcium ion interferes with this process through the following competing reaction:

Ca2+ + 2NaR --> 2Na+ + CaR2 .
The causes problems both sterically and through ordinary solubility chemistry:
  1. Sterically, the carbon chains tend to surround the calcium with nonpolar dirt in such a way that it has less exposure to the water it's supposed to dissolve in.
  2. In any case, calcium ion is less soluble in water.
The upshot is: soap scum. The problem is less bad with detergent than with ordinary soap. Clothes washed in hard water may develop indelible spots.

Another effect of hard water is to prevent lathering. Lathering is simply the formation of small soap bubbles, and ``soap bubbles'' are really just water bubbles. The role of soap is only to reduce the surface tension of water so the water can form the stable thin-film surface of the bubble. Soap converted by reaction with calcium just doesn't have the same surfactant effect.

Hard water arises because water supplies often come from underground water sources -- aquifers. An extremely common aquifer material is limestone, which consists mostly of calcium carbonate. That's the reason hard water comes not only with high calcium concentration but high carbonate concentration. That carbonate is associated with another hard-water problem: precipitation of calcium carbonate. Nowadays, people notice this first in their teapots: over time, carbonate rings form around the level where the water boils. It's not bad for you and you can't taste it (although you can certainly imagine that you can). It does look bad, though, and many people throw away perfectly good teapots just because they've accumulated an unsightly ring.


What you do is, fill the teapot with water above the ring level, and add lemon juice or vinegar or some other acid. (I suppose any cola would do too. Those are acidified by phosphoric acid, but the sour taste of the acid is entirely masked by the sweetness.) Cook it a little bit and the acid will dissolve out the carbonate. Throw out that water now and you have a clean teapot. For a bit more on acid and scale build-up, see the L.I. entry.

High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile. Often called HARM missiles for short.

Aljean Harmetz is an engaging and thorough historian of moviemaking. She wrote The Making of The Wizard of Oz and many other film-related books. She gets an entry here because one of her books is a source for information on Casablanca that's scattered around the glossary. The book was originally published as Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca--Bogart, Bergman, and World War II (NY: Hyperion, 1992). Subsequent editions (1997, 2002) were published by Hyperion using the original subtitle as title (The Making ...). Where explicit reference is made to the book, I have checked the updated edition published for the sixtieth anniversary of the 1942 movie.

How the English name Harold ends up being rendered (and written) in Spanish. One word that's a real pain to translate from English to Spanish is manifold, in any of its scientific or technological senses. I've suggested manifol. The Spanish congener of English standard is estándar.

haroset, haroseth
A sweet sort of chunky paste made of broken and crushed nuts and a bit of fruit pieces and kosher-l'pesach wine. It's part of the traditional Jewish Passover meal, the constant components of which all have explicit and standard symbolic values -- ``signifieds'' to use the pomo term filched from Ferdinand de Saussure. The signified of haroset is mortar. (The Hebrew slaves in Egypt were supposedly forced to use mortar without straw. This bit is probably true, but it was not a special hardship; Egyptian mortar never contained straw.) I believe it tastes sweeter than mortar, though not having tasted moist mortar, I'm not sure (see, however, the granola entry). Matzah is not supposed to symbolize drywall, but it's not supposed to taste especially good either. It's the ``bread of affliction.'' Unleavened bread was part of the Spring harvest festivals of many agrarian societies, way back when.

The Passover seder is somewhat technically demanding and confusing. A frequent error is confusing haroset with hreyn (Russian name, adopted in Yiddish, for horseradish, ``bitter herbs'').

Now I finally have the appropriate entry for Craig's ``symbolic disputation'' joke. Later.

High Accuracy Radial velocity for Planetary Searcher. There's no hyphen in ``High Accuracy'' for the same reason that the object of ``for'' is unclear: HARPS belongs to the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and is therefore named in Broken English.

HARPS ``is dedicated to the discovery of extrasolar planets,'' and it has discovered most of the smallest ones. It first went into operation in February 2003.

Harris Semiconductor
Once made a computer operating system called ``Vulcan''; yet still in business and even on the net.

Highway-Addressable Remote Transducer.

Harvard architecture
One of the non-von Neumann architectures for general computing machines (computers), in which instructions are just a kind of data. The term is conventionally used to refer to any von Neumann-like architecture which differs from a pure von Neumann architecture primarily in distinguishing instructions and data. In implementation, this means that data and instructions are stored in different memory regions, and that either separate buses or separate bits of a parallel bus are used to communicate instructions and data. The extra communication bandwidth speeds computation (duh).

Part of the reason for using Harvard architectures is to avoid the endless loops, file corrupts and other dangers that occur when instructions can modify themselves. There is a common notion that the von Neumann machine is somehow more powerful or capable of more general tasks than a Harvard machine. This is not true, since within any Harvard machine it is always possible to simulate a von Neumann machine which uses only the data memory. (Of course, it is also possible to simulate a Harvard architecture within a von Neumann machine.)

This entry is a mess because really, when one is talking Harvard or von Neumann architectures, one is usually discussing abstract machines, Kolmogorov entropy, and all that effete stuff about computability. So really the comments about implementation are otiose. I ought to go back and fix the entry, but I'm lazy.

When (and where) I was in grad school, people going for a Ph.D. in the Computer Science Department were really just doing an oddball sort of abstract mathematics. The joke went that the first time they ever used a computer was to word-process their dissertations. (This was before email.)

Harvard of the South
A popular epithet. It is possible to identify four distinct tiers of Harvards of the South.

In the top tier are old private liberal arts colleges that

  1. are known nationally although
  2. they do not have an NCAA division I football team, and
  3. are known to be ``known as `the Harvard of the South' '' by at least one dozen (12) people outside the South who are not either alumni of that school or their close relatives. (These people believe that this is the only school bearing that epithet.)

Strictly speaking, the first tier comprises only Duke and Vanderbilt, but considering that (a) they don't even have a decent basketball team and (b) my pal Marvin went there, I also include Rice University in the first tier. I further include the University of Virginia, so that if anybody tries to thin the ranks of the first tier, there will be another school that goes before Rice. To be fair, because of Rice's location (Houston) it is less well-known than Vandy (in Nashville, Tennessee) or UVA. If one were to judge by how freely and unapologetically the alumni use the epithet, then Rice would rival Duke. (Nashville, incidentally, is known by its inhabitants as ``the Athens of the South.'' This is discussed at the Athens entry, naturally.)

The University of Virginia, the only public university in the top HotS tier, was Thomas Jefferson's last hurrah. Joseph C. Cabell (1778-1856) was Jefferson's principal strategist and assistant in founding the university. In a letter of January 22, 1820, to J.C. Cabell, Jefferson worried that Virginians educated at Harvard would turn into ``fanatics & tories.''

In the second tier are schools with only a regional HotS reputation: Emory (discussed at the S.P.D. entry) heads this list, followed by Tulane and Ole Miss (University of Mississippi).

Schools of the third tier have a qualified HotS reputation. These are schools about which it is said that ``it is said that some people call it the `Harvard of the South'.'' The epithet is usually deployed ironically or in a way that can be defended as facetious if challenged. This group is rather ill-defined; since virtually no one is willing to claim baldly that one of these schools is the HotS, the entire charade is based on rumors of mis-overheard jokes. Most of these schools have to be identified as Foo College in Bar City, State_Name_Here. Many of the third-tiers are members of the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), particularly Centre, Millsap, Morehouse, and Sewanee (``University of the South''), and many of the remaining ACS schools qualify marginally (Davidson, Furman, Hendrix, Rollins, Trinity (TX)). Non-ACS third-tier HotS schools are Fisk, Hampton University (Hampton, Va.), Livingstone College of Salisbury, N. Car. (main claim to fame: ``W.E.B. DuBois once referred to Livingstone as the `Harvard of the South' ''), Wofford College (in Spartanburg, South Carolina) and SMU. (Also one McNeese State University -- sports reporting, you know.)

The fourth and lowest tier of schools have bureaucratically mandated HotS ``reputations.'' For example, according to this linked news item, ``UF [University of Florida, Gainesville] administrators have designated the school the `Harvard of the South'.'' I must have missed the announcement. UT Austin has also been called a HotS. Whether this was pursuant to an administrative order I do not know, but (a) I do know that they have tried to buy a reputation by recruiting top scholars (nothing wrong with that) and (b) I have been in Austin, and it does not feel even remotely like Cambridge.

To summarize: one way or another there are two dozen Harvards of the South distributed among the states that seceded to form the Confederacy. Of those eleven states, only Alabama does not claim to have a single HotS. If you enjoy devil-may-care honesty (and I sincerely hope you do) then you'll want to read this 1996 interview of Auburn University history professor J. Wayne Flynt. My man Flynt! He delivers a coruscating jeremiad that includes this:

I think the popular culture in Alabama has a perception of a limited future. In fact, recent polls indicate when Alabamians were asked "what do you envision for your children?" in terms of their future occupations, the single largest category of response was to be in fast food. The level of local support for education is so poor that (the population perceives) there is no future in this community; there is going to be a steady collapse of community to the point where it may be too late. This brings the question can it be collectively too late for a state, and I think the answer is yes.

Then the interviewer had the gonads to ask (reading from a list, I suppose), ``Who is responsible for the success of education in Alabama?'' His answer appears to be cut off, but it begins ``That's sort of like asking who's to blame for the problems.'' I think Neil Young was on to something.

Also deserving of mention: Baylor (at Waco, Texas), the ``Harvard of Southern Baptists.'' The riffs on this idea are endless. Your next stop on the tour of these riffs is the S.P.D. entry.

History of Anaesthesia Society. It's good to have someone remember what happened.

... has a vital rôle to play.
..., whom we are trying to marginalize.

Japanese: `chopsticks' (or `chopstick' -- Japanese nouns are not inflected for grammatical number). Disposable chopsticks are waribashi.

Hot-Air Solder Leveling. The most popular surface finish for SMT boards.

History of Australian Science Newsletter. The history of this history newsletter apparently peters out in 1995. Connected with AAHPSSS.

Highly Accelerated temperature and humidity Stress Test. Technique for reliability studies. Standard reference:

J. E. Gunn, S. K. Malik, and P. M. Mazumdar: ``Highly Accelerated Temperature and Humidity Stress Test Techniques (HAST),'' 19th Annual Proceedings International Reliability Physics Symposium pp. 48-51 (IEEE, 1981).

History of Australian Science and Technology. Guide at this site.

The HAmburger SYnchrotronstrahlungsLABor is a part of DESY. Their homepage, such as it was, is no longer.

Histone AcetylTransferase. HAT enzymes activate genes in the nuclei of cells by transferring acetyl ``tails'' onto histones. Histones are small proteins around which DNA coils to form structures called nucleosomes. Compact strings of nucleosomes form chromosomes. An added acetyl-group tail loosens the DNA coil, enabling its genes to be expressed. Histone deacetylases remove the acetyl group, reversing the process.

Regarding chromosomes: ordinary human cells have 23 pairs of them. Human germ cells, as they used to be called, or gametic cells (sperm and egg cells), are haploid: they have half the usual complement of chromosomes. Cells undergoing mitosis have double the usual complement just before fission, and red blood cells have no nuclei. (Although paired chromosomes are pretty common in the somatic cells of eukaryotes, there are various organisms which exhibit haploidiploidy: males develop from unfertilized eggs and have haploid somatic cells. You think that's weird, just be glad I don't define haploidization. Haploidiploidy happens with honeybees, but not with chickens. So the egg you had for breakfast was never going to hatch into a bird, since it wasn't fertilized.)

There are a number of genetic abnormalities in humans that involve unusual numbers of chromosomes (``aneuploidy''), and a few of these are not immediately fatal. The best known is Down syndrome (an extra copy, ``trisomy,'' of chromosome 21), which modern treatment has made quite survivable. (Strictly speaking, this only accounts for about 95% of Down cases. In the translocation type of Down syndrome, extra chromosome-21 genes are inherited via DNA that has translocated onto another chromosome.)

A number of aneuploidies involve the sex chromosomes. This page lists a bunch.

Read it here now. Eventually I'll scatter this stuff to more appropriate entries.

Hawai'i Association of Teachers of Japanese. An affiliate of the NCJLT.

hat size
US hat size is simply the average diameter of the head, computed as the circumference (in inches) divided by pi. Thus, a hat size of 7 corresponds very closely to a head circumference of 22 inches.

The Mickey Mouse ears atop the "Earffel Tower" (a water tower in the Disney-MGM Studios addition to Walt Disney World, created by Caldwell Tanks, Inc.) correspond to a hat size of 342 3/8!

``Hat size'' is also a ready euphemism for intelligence. (E.g., ``they don't publish chemistry textbooks in your hat size.'')

What is your problem? Do you need a separate entry for every slightly different word?! Don't waste my time! Everything you need to know is at the Hauptwort entry.

German, `noun' (i.e., noun substantive). The headword of this entry is a compound noun that can be analyzed as `head word.' Haupt is a cognate of the English word head, and alone that is what it means. It is approximately synonymous with Kopf. In compounds, however, Haupt is widely used in figurative senses like `main, principal, leading, chief.' Kopf can also be used figuratively or at least metonymically, but its compounds are less abstract. E.g.: Kopfarbeit is `brain work,' Phillips-Kopf is `Phillips head.' Der Kopfbahnhof is `the rail head; der Hauptbahnhof is `the principal train station.'

Amsterdam Hauptbahnhof is `Amsterdam Central' (Amsterdam Centraal in Dutch). In June 2005 I was able to google a grand total of three instances of Penn Hauptbahnhof, all serving as translations to German of `Penn Central Station.' Journalists, sensibly, generally avoid attempting a direct translation. Penn Central Station was the name given in various cities to the train station where the old Penn Central Railroad stopped.

The headword of an entry, in general, is das Stichwort. Der Stich is a cognate of `the stitch,' but is used for a wide variety of related penetrations -- `stab, dig, sting, pinprick.' You can think of Stichwort as `incised word.' German also has die Rubrik, and `unter der Rubrik ...' does still mean `under the rubric [of] ...,' but the word's meaning has drifted more decisively in German than in English, and now Rubrik itself primarily means `category' (figurative sense of rubric) and `[newspaper] column.' You could use s.v.

A headword, in the technical linguistic sense of a word that may be modified by an adjunct, is simply called a Nukleus in German.

Hepatitis-A Virus. Vide s.v. hepatitis.

The HAV nots are better off, and it is not good to give or to receive.

Help America Vote Act of 2002. Excuse me, but this is a humiliating name for any act of Congress. See also SVRS.

One mandate of HAVA was that every polling place have at least one handicapped-accessible voting machine by January 1, 2006. As of 2008, there are plenty of jurisdictions that are not in compliance, and the US DoJ has taken sued some states to court.


To purchase another of our fine products, insert more money.

have got to
A compound modal (that takes an infinitive predicate) meaning about the same as must or have to. Like must, it isn't very conjugable. If you have got to do something today, then tomorrow you would probably say that you ``had to do it'' (rather than ``had got to do it''). One may think of the word got as an intensifier for the compound modal have to. In fact, one usually encounters the contracted forms (I've got to rather than I have got to), and these seem to have about the same force as the no-got forms.

There was a popular BBC program (or programme, anyway) on the English language, and I think it was in a companion paperback called The Story of the English Language or something that I read the claim that the use of ``have got to'' began in Britain and was brought back to the US by American soldiers after one or another World War. This turns out to be at least partly incorrect.

The hypothesis of a British origin has the following plausibility: one might expect a verb following have in a compound construction to be in the past participle form. The past participle form gotten is preserved in American English, while got is used (as both past and past participle) in British English. Hence, ``have got'' in the sense of ``have received'' is common in Britain and rare in the US. Then again, ``I've got'' in the loose but common sense of ``have'' is common in the US, so this isn't very strong evidence.

In fact, however, the have-got-to idiom was in common use in the US at least as early as shortly after the Civil War, while it was apparently not in common use in Britain as late as 1909. My evidence for both claims (weak for the second) is in Sir William Butler: An Autobiography, which Lieut.-General the Rt. Hon. Sir W. F. Butler, G.C.B. wrote in the year before he died on June 7, 1910. The times he spent in North America included a period in 1866 when he joined the buffalo hunt in the Nebraska Territory. He describes this toward the end of chapter 6, and digresses thus:

    What impressed me most strangely about the men I now came in contact with was the uniformity of the type which America was producing--northern, southern, eastern, western, miner, hotel-keeper, steamboat-man, railroad-man, soldier, officer, general,--the mould was the same. `There has got to be' seemed to be the favourite formula of speech among them all, whether it was the setting up of a saloon, the bridging of a river, or the creation of a new State. `There has got to be' this railway, this drinking bar, this city, this State of the Union. Nobody dreamt, except when he slept; everybody acted while he was awake. They drank a good deal, but you seldom saw a man drunk, and you never saw anybody dead drunk. They sometimes shot each other, they never abused each other; they were generous, open-hearted, full of a dry humour, as manly as men could be; rough, but not rude; civil, but never servile; proud of their country and boastful of it and of themselves. That day and evening, and all the other days and evenings I spent at Fort Kearney, were the same--good fellowship, good stories round the festive board at night, hard riding and hunting all day over the glorious prairies.

It's probably worth noting that there is a certain celebratory tone in much of Butler's writing (particularly in his biography of General Napier), but he is not uniformly laudatory. The business about story-telling reminds me of some observations Gertrude Stein had in Wars I Have Seen (pp. 248-9). This is also an autobiography, like pretty much all of her books, and it was written after the liberation of France, and so also in the year or two before she died.

Gradually as the joy and excitement of really having Americans here really have them here began to settle a little I began to realise that Americans converse much more than they did, American men in those other days, the days before these days did not converse. How well I remember in the last war seeing four or five of them at a table in a hotel and one man would sort of drone along monologuing about what he had or had not done and the others solemnly and quietly eating and drinking and never saying a word. And seeing the soldiers stand at a corner or be seated somewhere and there they were and minutes hours passed and they never said a word, and then one would get up and leave and the others got up and left and that was that. No this army was not like that, this army conversed, it talked it listened, and each one of them had something to say no this army was not like that army. People do not change, no they don't, when I was in America after almost thirty years of absence they asked me if I did not find Americans changed and I said no what could they change to except to be Americans and anyway I could have gone to school with any of them they were just like the ones I went to school with and now they are still Americans but they can converse and they are interesting when they talk. The older Americans always told stories that was about all there was to their talking but these don't tell stories they converse and what they say is interesting and what they hear interests them and that does make them different not really different God bless them but just the same they are not quite the same.

For more on Stein on Americans telling stories in France, and an indication of how all her books are autobiographies, sometimes in two different senses, see the S.O.S. entry. The issue of American cultural homogeneity is touched upon at the 5-2 defense entry, in a quote from Everybody's Autobiography (by and about Gertie, of course).

William Butler's use of the word mold is reminiscent of ``the melting-pot'' metaphor of America, popularized by Israel Zangwill's play of that name. (In Act I: ``A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians--into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American.'') Zangwill's play was the hit of 1908, the year before Butler wrote. (The metaphor was used by others, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, in earlier but much less well-known instances.)

Person from the University of Iowa (UI). Originally, and more generally: anyone from Iowa. Plural: Hawkeyes.

Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbine. The usual sort of windmill.

HAZardous MATerials. Here's a database. Some MSDS's are online from Utah.

The Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (ChemTREC) emergency number is 1-800-424-9300.

HemogloBin. A coordination complex that binds oxygen for transport in blood cells. Unfortunately, hemoglobin binds carbon monoxide (CO) much more tightly (making COHb, q.v.). Recovery from carbon monoxide poisoning takes on the order of a day, but in many cases, various knock-on effects appear and persist after the CO is cleared from the Hb.

See the Hgb entry for a thought on the construction of this abbreviation.

The Commonwealth spelling of (Amer.) hemoglobin is haemoglobin.

Postal code for Bremen, one of the sixteen states (Länder) of the German Federal Republic (FRG). [Like most of the country information in this glossary, Germany's is at the domain code .de.]

The state of Bremen comprises two urban areas -- Bremen and its seaport city Bremerhaven. (The aitch might refer to Haven, `port' or to Bremen's history as a Hanseatic city; I don't know. The German word for port is Hafen, which would be pronounced the same if it were spelled Haven, and which is of course a cognate of the English word haven. Bremerhaven was founded very recently by European standards -- 1827, but spelling evolves.)

Bremerhaven is on the North Sea coast, Bremen is thirty-plus kilometers up the Weser River. All the land borders of the two cities are with the surrounding state of Lower Saxony (NI).

All together Bremen is the smallest Land, both in terms of area (404 sq. km.) and population (660,000 in the national census of 1987; 677,800 in the a local census for Dec. 31. 1996). Bremen was part of the old West Germany, and is Germany's second largest port after Hamburg (see HH).

[Football icon]

HalfBack. An offensive position in American football. See running back for discussion.

Hard Black. A pencil lead of medium hardness. Softer leads run B, 2B, 3B, etc. (up to about 9B); harder ones are F (presumably Firm), then H, 2H, 3H, etc. (up to about 10H). Other grading systems have also been used. See The Pencil by Henry Petroski.

In the same book he also explains that when pencils as we know them were first invented, they used unprocessed, natural graphite -- and the only known source of this with decent quality was a single mine at Borrowdale, near Keswick, England. This monopoly lasted for over 100 years.

HB, hb
Hardcover Book. Traditionally a clothbound book with thick cardboard covers. Cf. PB.

Horizontal Bridgman. One way to grow single crystals. Sounds like parthenogenesis or something. I don't mean that kind of ``single.''

hbar in HTML
It has been a vexation that hbar, probably the most frequently-occurring special symbol in quantum mechanics, has been unavailable in any fonts that one could expect visitors to one's website to have. The symbol finally has a home in Unicode, at U+210F, but most fonts still don't contain a glyph for it. (It does occur in the Apple Symbols font and in various Hiragino fonts for Japanese.)

I recommend using an alphabetic character from Maltese (U+0127; the letter name is ħe). Barring that, if you'll pardon the expression, there are other alphabetic characters. The version of Cyrillic alphabet used in Serbian has a small letter tshe (U+045B) that is similar. Both of these symbols have the form of a lower-case Roman letter aitch with horizontal bar through the upper half of the letter, and both are widely available in italic variants. When italicized, both would pass for ordinary hbar glyphs but for the fact that bar in hbar is a slanted stroke (upper right to lower left). Another option is Ogham letter ruis. This is less similar and less common, which is just as well: it's supposed to be at U+168F, and apparently is there on Mac fonts, but the Microsoft fonts I've checked have a grave-accented W there. Another approach is to use strike-through, but that generally puts a horizontal bar below the middle of the character line, so it looks pretty bad. Here are the approaches described:

(I use <del> because <strike> and <s> are deprecated.)

Another approach is to create the page in LaTeX (where one has \hbar) and use one of the standard conversions that generates gifs for all the formulae.

A normal minor (1.5% to 3.5%) component of total hemoglobin (Hb). Levels of HbA2 are elevated in various diseases.

An abnormal component of hemoglobin (Hb), common in peoples of West Africa. In a certain kind of situation this leads to sickle-cell trait and sickle-cell anemia. The trait seems to have survived because HbC also generally confers some protection against at least one tropical disease.

Vide AC.

Heir Buyout Company. Cash advanced to named heirs against the security of a probated estate. Sort of like those places that advance cash against an expected paycheck. Where's the company that will advance me cash (to pay off my gambling debts) against the relative security of my expected lottery winnings, as well as ``assume all the risk associated with lengthy estate closing delays, which sometimes can drag on for years''?

``Please be aware that our mailings are scheduled well in advance. Although your name will be removed from our list immediately, there may be one more solicitation which is already on its way to you.'' [In microelectronic hardware, this sort of practice is called vectorization or pipelining.]

Historically Black College or University. (The plural -- HBCU's or HBCUs -- should be expanded ``... Colleges and Universities.'') HBCU's are schools whose earliest instructional buildings were constructed of basaltic rock or black marble, obsidian in a pinch. Pitch is preferred as a roofing material, but I'm not sure about slate. Let me check and get back to you on this.

Morehead and Spellman, in Atlanta, are two HBCU's that are part of the Associated Colleges of the South. There's some history of Dillard University, an HBCU in New Orleans, at this AMA entry.

Heterostructure Backward Diode.

Helen Bader Foundation. ``The Milwaukee-based Helen Bader Foundation supports innovative programs that are making an impact on the lives of people throughout Wisconsin, the United States, and Israel. hbf.org is a resource for grant recipients, potential applicants, and the general public.''

A provider of health, property, and other insurance plans now formally known as HBF Health Funds, Inc., and known from October 1945 as The Hospital Benefit Fund of Western Australia. Western Australia, you will recall, is not just a part of Australia but a state, with its capital in Perth, which might be considered a metropolis more or less by default. The Metropolitan Hospitals Benefit Fund (MHBF) was established there on April Fools' Day in 1941. In 1944, members' coverage was extended to all hospitals in WA, which represented an enormous expansion, at least geographically. The em was dropped in recognition of that fact from October 5, 1945.

HemogloBin, Fetal. The largest fraction of fetal hemoglobin (i.e., of the hemoglobin in fetal blood), but normally less than 2% of hemoglobin in adults. Elevated levels in children and adults may indicate various blood diseases, including aplastic anemia, leukemia, and thalassemia (a class of hemolytic anemia).

Company originally named Hickory Business Furniture ``... organized in 1979 as a contract furnishings division of The Lane Company, Inc. of Alta Vista, Virginia.''

Hochbegabtenförderung, e.V. German: `Highly Gifted [child] Advancement,' a nonprofit group.

Hootie and the BlowFish. I wonder if blowfish is supposed to be plural.

Hørehæmmede Børns Forældreforening. When some automatic translation service makes a Danish-to-English option available, our partial omniscience will suddenly expand to enable translation of this acronym. For the time being, with no appropriate dictionary convenient, I can guess that this is an association for those who are born hearing-impaired.

Hoso-Bunka Foundation, Inc. ``[A]s its name Hoso-Bunka or Broadcast-Culture implies, [it] aims to promote the cultural and technological development of broadcasting and progress of radio, television and other telecommunications media. It was established by Japan's public service broadcaster, NHK-Japan Broadcasting Corporation, in February 1974 with an endowment of ¥12 billion [about USD 100 million].

(UK) House Builders Federation.

Hospital-Based Home Care.

Heartless Bitches International. I took a brief glance at the site, and it doesn't have anything to do with bionic puppies. In fact, they have their own idiosyncratic expansion of BITCH.

Ohhh -- I get it. It's the hard-to-get gambit, not-sentimental variation.

Helicoidal Bianisotropic Medium.

{ Her | His } British Majesty. The constitutional monarch of the triple scepter. This entry used to have a typo: ``consitutional.'' I do not regret any embarrassment that may have caused.

Human Body Model. One kind of HBM is used for ESD events. Actually, that's the only context in which I've seen the acronym used.


Home Box Office. A cable network that shows movies. They even make some.

HBO & Co. ``Currently one of the top providers in the $15 billion healthcare informatics industry ... design, sell, install and service a ... information systems for hospitals and health enterprises ... also sells, installs and services local area, wide area and value-added networks and ... staffs, manages and operates data centers, information systems organizations and business offices for healthcare organizations.'' ``HBO'' from the initials of the founders (1974 in Peoria, Ill.): Walter Huff, Bruce Barrington and Richard Owens.

High Blood Pressure.

Hit By (baseball) Pitch. While standing in the batter's box.

Heterojunction Bipolar PhotoTransistor.

Harvard Business Review.

High Burst Rate. We're talkin' data here, not groceries.

Holy Bible, Revised Version. Based on the KJV, and introducing only those changes required to improve accuracy. (In other words, a high value was placed on preserving the archaic majesty and literary beauty of the KJV's language.) Work officially began in 1879; the work was released to fans in 1881 (N.T.) and 1885 (O.T.). An alternative, revised American edition of this, the SARV, was published in 1901 and has been the basis for many further revised versions.

There ought to be an episode where Robin says ``Holy Bible, Batman!'' The defect of having an abbreviation HBRV is that it's bound to be misconstrued as standing for ``HeBRew Version'' sometimes.

Harvard Business School.

Sickle-cell HemogloBin (Hb).

Harvard Business School Publishing.

Hanks' Balanced Salt Solution.

Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor. Cf. DHBT. The idea of using wide-gap material was first proposed by Shockley (US Patent 2569347).

This page is about HBT's on Silicon (Si).

Hierarchical Block Truncation Coding (BTC, q.v.).

Hepatitis-B Virus. Vide s.v. hepatitis.

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