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Hazardous Cargo. Abbreviation appears in the international red-circle-with-diagonal-slash on roads through populous areas.

Health Care.


H.C., HC
High-Capacity [bomb]. Technically, a bomb whose weight was 75-80% explosive (see CWR). Term used by the British during WWII both attributively (``H.C. bomb'') and nominally (``4000-lb. H.C.''). Informally they were called blockbusters.

High-speed Cmos logic. Infix on 7400-series SSI/MSI and other chips. (E.g., ``74HC381.'')

Host Controller.

Hot Carrier. A electron or hole with kinetic energy substantially greater than kBT, typically as a result of unscattered acceleration across a large voltage drop.

HealthCare Assistant.

Heidelberg Center for American Studies. Based at the University of Heidelberg, Germany's oldest university.

HepatoCellular Carcinoma.

Honolulu Community Concert Band. ``Providing musical enrichment to the people of Hawaii since 1973.''

High-Capacity Digital Service[s].

Home Care for the Elderly.

Hot-Carrier (HC) Effect[s].

Health-Care Financing Administration. Former name of the US government agency administering Medicare and related programs. It's now called the ``Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services'' (CMS).

``Centers.'' I'm sure there was a very good reason to use this word.

Health-Care Financing Administration form 1500. A uniform health insurance claim form used for billing services to Medicare and other insurance carriers. I suppose it's CMS1500 now, but I don't know.

Horizontal Center of Gravity. Trucking term. The horizontal position of the center of gravity (CG), measuring along the direction of motion of the truck.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. ``Pregnancy hormone'' that stimulates the corpus luteum to produce progesterone during pregnancy. hCG is also used to induce ovulation.

Historical Center for the Health Sciences. An outgrowth of the Michigan Digital Historical Initiative in the Health Sciences at the University of Michigan, and particularly focused on Michigan and UM Med. School documents.

Home Center Institute.

Human-Computer Interaction.

In 1992, the Greenville (S. Car.) Department of Social Services sent a termination notice to a former beneficiary. This stated in part:

Your food stamps will be stopped effective March, 1992, because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances.
Reportedly, the ``May God bless you'' was inserted at the keyboard by a sympathetic civil servant. I don't believe this answers all reasonable questions that might occur, however.

Under proposed welfare reforms now being considered in the House of Representatives under the Republican regime, the letter would have read ``Your food stamps have been stopped effective March, 1991, because we figure you'll be dead soon anyway. May the Market have mercy on your estate. If there is a change in your circumstances, we'll call you.''

Under terms of the 1988 Democratic Party platform (by all accounts, year of the last admittedly liberal US presidential campaign), the letter would have read ``Your food stamp allocation will be increased effective March, 1993, because you haven't been eating well. May a superior rational being, if you choose to acknowledge one, empower you emotionally. If you have any material desires, please allow us to fulfil them.''

Human-Computer Interface.

Health Care Industry Group. The Western New York region has a major concentration of health technology firms, most prominent among these being Wilson Greatbatch, known for pacemaker batteries.

Hot-Carriers (HC) In Semiconductors, Tenth conference. ``Nonequilibrium Carrier Dynamics in Semiconductors'' that time, it was in Berlin.

Stands for original name -- Hot-Carriers (HC) In Semiconductors, of conference now called ``Nonequilibrium Carrier Dynamics in Semiconductors.'' The eleventh conference was held in Kyoto.

High Court of Justice. The name in English of the Israeli supreme court.

Hardware Compatibility List.

Hydrogen ChLoride. A molecular gas at standard temperature and pressure, it dissociates to hydrochloric acid in water.

HydroChLoric acid. An acid stronger than nitric and weaker than sulfuric. Sold industrially as muriatic acid. See CU.

The strongest acid that any ancient civilization knew about was acetic acid -- the chemical which, as its name suggests, makes vinegar sour. (Follow the link for etymological details.) Acetic acid is not a strong acid. Over the course of centuries, mineral acids were eventually made and discovered. In 1824, the English physician William Prout demonstrated that the gastric juices of animals contain hydrochloric acid. (So much effort, and all that time the alchemists were carrying around little sacs of acid at the ends of their esophagi.) Prout's contemporaries were incredulous.

Hydrochloric acid was at the center of some confusion at the beginning of the nineteenth century. For details, see the remarks under oxygen in the technical misnomenclature entry.

Hypertrophic CardioMyopathy.

High-speed CMOS.

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research.

Hydrogen cyanide. Double-plus ungood.

Hydrocyanic acid. A weak acid, but this is not the cause of its fame.

Highly Conjugated NonCentrosymmetric (molecule).

Cyanic Acid. A colorless, poisonous liquid at room temperature.

Hexagonal Closest Packing (crystal lattice).

Hopi Cultural Preservation Office. Here is an extremely characteristic quote from the homepage:
``This Home Page is protected by copyright laws.
No material including images and text shall be reproduced without
the explicit consent of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office.''

Please visit.

House Concurrent Resolution.

History of Computer Science. They serve an ``HCS Virtual computer history museum.''

Hindu-Christian Studies List. Interesting the way the hyphenation works out. An electronic mailing list ``set up to create an avenue for easy electronic communication among members of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies [SHCS] and other interested scholars. The purpose of HCS-L is to provide a forum in which scholars trained in these traditions may exchange ideas and information on matters pertaining to their academic interests, research, and teaching.''

High Capacity Storage System.

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

High-speed CMOS logic with TTL-compatible logic levels. Infix on various chips, but especially on 7400-series SSI/MSI. (E.g., ``74HCT381.'')

House Committee on Un-American Activities. The more common acronym for this very well-known committee is HUAC. I suppose it's because ``huac'' is pronounceable and ``Committee of the House on Un-American Activities'' is unwieldy. FWIW, credit unions (CU's) were not common in the 1940's and 1950's. But Consumers' Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, was politically active (hint: union) and probably more prominent then than now. Just follow the link, already.

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

High-Capacity Voice (channel[s]).

Hilda Doolittle.

Haloperidol Decanoate. Also ``HAL-D.'' Used to treat schizophrenia.

Hard Drive. (I.e., hard magnetic disk, rather than floppy.)

Heavy Duty.

High Definition. Short for HDTV.

High Density (floppy disk). 2 Megabyte 3½ inch floppies; with the usual formatting they store only 1.4 Meg. They have a sensable hole in addition to the write-protect opening, to distinguish them from mere double-density (DD) floppies. You can cover the hole with some tape and have a high-reliability DD floppy.

Hitachi chip ID code.

Homosexual Dread. The secret fear that one may be homosexual. An old term replaced by homophobia in the seventies, as was HP, q.v.


HeteroDuplex gel shift Analysis. A short-cut method (indirect and incomplete) of measuring viral mutations.

Host Data Base View.

High Density Bipolar 3.

Holder in Due Course. Business-law term.

HydroDynamic Chromatography.

High Definition Compatible Digital. A Microsoft-trademarked name for something with no functionally substantive noun. ``HDCD-encoded CDs sound better because they are encoded with 20 bits of real musical information, as compared with 16 bits for all other CDs. HDCD overcomes the limitation of the 16-bit CD format by using a sophisticated system to encode the additional 4 bits onto the CD while remaining completely compatible with the existing CD format. HDCD provides more dynamic range, a more focused 3-D soundstage, and extremely natural vocal and musical timbre.''

Hard Disk Drive.

Hierarchical Data Format. A ``platform-independent data format for the scientific data storage and exchange'' from NCSA.

High-Density Fiber Bank.

Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire.

Human Development Index. A mathematical quantity defined to prove the speaker's point.

Hardware {Definition | Description | Design} Language.

High-Density lipoprotein. ``The good cholesterol.'' Notice that in The Wizard of Oz, there are two bad witches (East and West) and two good witches (North and South). Not just that, but the evil witch of the East gets killed so early that it's a non-speaking part. In blood cholesterol (really lipoprotein), you start out with one ``good'' which (HDL) and one or two bad whiches (LDL, or LDL and VLDL), and you can count your blood happy if there's only four times as much of the latter as of the former. There's also triglycerides, the winged monkeys of blood chemistry. All of this goes to show that, while in fantasy the odds are two to one in your favor, and you can expect help from farm workers, unemployed metal workers, and wild cats, in reality the odds are maybe 4:1 against you, and your doctor wants insurance identification (ID) in advance.

High-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol. This is an insult to intelligence, a forward insistence on stupidity, as if to say ``It's not good enough to pretend that lipoprotein is cholesterol, I need to encode my error in an acronym.''

``The Internet Doctor'' provides excellent (i.e. egregious) examples of its use, demonstrating en passant the inappropriate rigidity respecting numbers, the misspelling, and the credulity that are special charms of the information-like ASCII sequences found on the web. On the bright side, this page of advice is probably broadly correct, and does take the trouble to give incorrectly named quantites their correct units.

High-level Data Link Control. A network protocol originally from IBM; now the name for a family of similar protocols.

High-Density Microsome[s].

Handheld Device Markup Language.

Humpty Dumpty Physics. The physics of systems precariously far from equilibrium. Cf. HEP.

High-Density Plasma.

High Density Polyethylene (plastic). Probably still the most common plastic for bottles. Typically that white/translucent/matte plastic used in milk bottles and some water jugs. Code 2 in PCS. May be indicated by ``PE'' embossed on bottom of bottle.

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Also ``HAM-D'' and ``HDS.''

Hamilton Depression Scale. Also ``HAM-D'' and ``HDRS.''

High Definition Systems. An ARPA program to support development of display technologies.

High Data-rate Subscriber Line.

High Data-rate Subscriber Line with a 6 dB noise margin. Six dB represents a factor of two (presumably the 2 in the acronym).

Heat Deflection Temperature. One measure of the softening characteristics of polymers, described in ASTM test method D468-72. A plastic (i.e. polymer) bar of rectangular cross section is loaded as a simply supported beam. The load on the bar is adjusted to produce a maximum fiber stress of either 1.82 MPa (264 psi) or 0.455 MPa (66 psi). The center deflection of the bar is monitored as the ambient temperature is increased at a uniform rate of 2°C/min. The temperature at which the bar deflects 0.25 mm (0.01 in.) from its initial room-temperature deflection is called the heat deflection temperature at the specific fiber stress.

In order to allow rapid characterization (temperature increase between 1.8 and 2.2 °C per min.), the fiber is immersed in an inert liquid medium such as mineral oil. The buoyancy of the fiber in liquid is a negligible effect.

Heavy Duty Trucking. ``The Business Magazine of Trucking.''

Host Digital Terminal.

High-definition Television. In principle, and initially, HDTV was not intended to be very different from ordinary television, but only to have more lines per screen.

The technical problems in transmission and display are formidable, but some Japanese receivers, and some program transmission, were already in operation in Japan in 1990. At about that time in the US, the FCC put out a call for participation, to define the encoding and transmission schemes that it would make standard for the US. In the competition (to see whose idea the FCC would essentially adopt whole as the standard--as happened with NTSC), it became clear that the way to go was to have digital signal encoding, with substantial compression of the transmitted signal, often with only an image-modification signal sent. SECAM (the French color TV system) has been using storage of a full screen of data for years on traditional resolution, so by now the approach of storing and updating is not a significant technical hurdle (vide VRAM).

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

High Density Wavelength-Division Multiplexing.

Hall Effect.

Helium. Atomic number 2. Why heck, that's almost as low as you can get!

First detected as a line in the solar spectrum, hence the name. The Latin -ium ending was used -- instead of the Greek ending -on of the other noble gases -- because it was not known to be a noble gas when it was discovered and named.

The isotopes with one and two neutrons were once called He I and He II, respectively. They have rather different low temperature properties, essentially because He I is a composite fermion and He II is a composite boson.

Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool, where it was #5 on the Top Five List last time I checked (long ago).

The proceedings of the International Conference on the Science of Superconductivity, Hamilton, New York (1963), were published in Rev. Mod. Phys. vol. 36 (1964). One of the interesting articles there is K. Mendelssohn's ``Prewar Work on Superconductivity as Seen from Oxford,'' (pp. 7-12). He writes:

... Nowadays, it is not generally appreciated that one of the main reasons for making ... miniature liquifiers was the scarcity of helium gas, which had to be extracted laboriously from Monazite sand. The arrival of the first American helium from gas wells was an important event, and I went down to the Berlin Customs House to open the crate. But then the official wanted to open the cylinder too, to see whether it contained liquor. He only relented when I assured him that I should be most disappointed if it did.

As I was leaving the library after reading Keesom's paper [W. H. Keesom and J. N. van den Ende, Comm. Phys. Lab. Univ. Leiden, no. 219b (1932)], I had to duck a few bullets which were flying through the streets of Breslau, heralding the approach of Nazi rule, and it became clear that the cooling experiment would have to be deferred a little.

... I say `nearly all' laboratories, because the Russian colleagues who had signified their intention to attend failed to turn up. We were given the glib explanation that they were too busy to attend meetings. I was particularly disappointed because Shubnikov's group in Kharkov was carrying out work [L. V. Shubnikov, V. I. Khotkerich, J. D. Shepelev, and J. N. Rjabinin, Physik. ZS. Sowjet Union, Suppl., p. 39 (1936)] very similar to ours, but communications had been limited to exchanges of reprints with greetings scribbled on them. As it happened, Shubnikov was arrested shortly afterwards on charges from which he was to be posthumously exonerated twenty years later.

Postal code for Hessen, 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's area is 21,114 sq. km. Its population was 5,508,000 by the census of 1987, estimated at 6,031,000 for 1997. Hessen was part of the old West Germany; its capital city is Wiesbaden. Before the Federal Republic, Darmstadt was the capital of the state. IIRC, the Electrical Engineering and Physics Departments at UB have student exchange programs, each with a University in one of these two Hessian cities.

Hessen is one of those German proper nouns that used to have a slightly different form in English (Hesse), but whose German name is slowly being accepted as the standard English name. The best example of the phenomenon is the German name Frankfurt, which has almost completely displaced the older English equivalent Frankfort, q.v. As it happens, Frankfurt am Main is in Hessen State, 17 miles north of the smaller city of Darmstadt.

Hesse, of course furnished the largest group of mercenaries for the British effort against its rebellious North American colonies late in the eighteenth century, and German mercenaries generally came to be known as Hessians. A fly whose appearance was first noted at the time of the Revolutionary War came to be known as the Hessian fly in the US, and the American fly in Hesse.

During the Revolutionary War, Continental and state militia forces combined totalled about 20,000 troops, while British forces numbered about 42,000 regulars plus about 30,000 German mercenaries. US forces lost most of the major battles they fought, controlled none of the major cities, suffered disunity, mutinies, treasons, incompetent generals, bad cash flow and military supply problems and worthless government scrip. The British had some problems too, and they lost the war. What's this information doing here in the Hesse entry? Oh well.

Higher Education. Seems to be something of an official government acronym in Britain, as in HESA.

High Explosive. Powerful chemical (i.e., non-nuclear) explosive.

Hot Electron. A hot carrier (HC, q.v.) that is an electron.

Higher Education Act (of the US Congress).

Listening through headphones is a considerate and civilized way to enjoy music without disturbing those around you unless
  1. you have the volume turned up so high that the empty glass in front of you vibrates across the table, as you destroy your hearing ... requiring you to turn the volume up still higher;
  2. you tap and clap in approximate time to the music, and sing and hum along, so people wish they had the real music to drown out your library karaoke.

  1. Originally: something (instrument) that adorns the head.
  2. Colloquially: something that adorns the inside of the head.

A food adjective meaning flavor-abated or price-enhanced.

In the movie Sleeper, Woody Allen's character is the manager of a health food store who is accidentally put into suspended animation when a routine dental procedure goes awry, and defrosted by political dissidents in a totalitarian future. His reaction on sampling a particularly distasteful dish is to remark that it would have sold well in his health food store. (He is also offered unfiltered cigarettes as an effective tranquilizer by his physician hosts, who lament that in his day the healthful properties of double fudge and juicy steak had not yet been recognized.)

The June 1998 Atlantic Monthly has a story on how butter is no worse for you than margerine, and how it tastes great and is lined up to be the next olive-oil-style healthy gourmet food.

healthcare professional
In personals ads, this term has the specific meaning of `nurse.'

High Energy Astronomy Observatory. There've been three: #1 was launched aboard an Atlas Centaur rocket on 12 August 1977 and operated until 9 January 1979.

NASA's HEAO 2 was renamed the Einstein Observatory after making it into orbit. Good move.

#3 seems to have been the underachiever in the family.

History of Early Analytic Philosophy Society. What a neat acronym!

I read once that in ordinary conversation it's usually necessary to guess something like 30% of the sounds (more as you age). This morning, December 14, 2003, after spending a few hours offering my five-dollar bill to a refractory bill changer, I relented and put the five in the soda machine. In an experiment earlier this year, I had discovered to my horror that the soda machine returns dollar coins, so naturally I never put in more than a dollar over the price. But this day I was pleasantly surprised. Walking back into the library, I shouted at the guards:
Hey! Great news! The soda machine doesn't give those stupid dollar coins any more!
The older guy replied:
Yeah, they confirmed it!

He referred, of course, to the reported capture of former Iraqi dictator Sodam Achine.

My accent is also mentioned at the adult education entry. There's another entry that describes a pattern-recognition failure using the sense of sight, but you'll never guess what entry I stuck the story into.

High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center.

heated dish
A CATV receiving antenna with a heating element to remove accumulated ice and snow. If your dish is oriented to pick up signals from directly overhead, then you probably don't need this.

Heather Mac Donald's Law
As students' writing gets worse, the critical vocabulary used to assess it grows ever more pompous. [Definitive statement on p. 11 of ``Why Johnny Can't Write,'' in The Public Interest, #120 (Summer 1995), pp. 3-13.]

If you need heating, you don't have enough computers.

heavy holes
Compound semiconductor people throw around terms like this all the time without giving it a second thought.

heavy metal
In the human health context, heavy metals are transition metal elements in the sixth and heavier periods, which should be present only in small quantities. Like lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg), for instance.

In microelectronics, heavy metals are period-four and -six transition metals that are troublesome contaminants because of their electrical properties. Au (see Gold) and Pt are lifetime killers in Si. Fe, Cu, Ni, and Cr, in period IV, have atomic weights in the range 51 to 63, or about twice that of Si. They're at the top of the famous curve of (nuclear) binding energy, so they're rather common.

Because the conventional definitions of heavy metals include only transition metals, they exclude, amusingly, barium (Ba), whose name means heavy.

Heavy metal is a broad category of rock music characterized by electric-guitar amplifier distortion in the lots-to-huge range. Lyrics are often deemphasized but never absent. If they took out the lyrics, it would be a new kind of music that might be called Doo-Wop Scream. Some scattered other thoughts on heavy metal at the E.T.I. entry.

It was for an election of student representatives in junior high school that I first used one of those those walk-in gray, steel-construction voting booths. You know which ones I mean -- those curtained half-booths with flip levers that click clearly and a big red-handled lever that gives a solid ka-chunk as it registers your vote and pulls the curtain. If you're not strong enough to pull the lever, you've got no business voting. I loved those things. The popular model came out in 1960, based on a design originally by Thomas Edison. I've used a half a dozen different kinds of voting machine in the years since, and it's never felt as good. No wonder voter turn-out has declined: there's nothing to look forward to any more. Bring back the heavy-metal voting machines!

heavy water
Water in which the hydrogen atoms are of the deuterium isotope: D2O.

If you like to think in exotic terms, and when you consider that water is quite polar, you can think of a heavy-water molecule as two deuterons bonded to an O= ion.

High-Energy Booster (particle accelerator ring). See the SSC entry for an obsolete instance.

Header Error { Control | Check }.

Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa.
This a well-known Spanish saying which means that laws are made with built-in loopholes. A literal translation is something like ``the law made, the loophole made.'' The Italian version is evidently ``fatta la legge, trovato l'inganno.''

Higher Education Contribution Scheme. The system by which students pay for attending public tertiary education in Australia. An ICR loan scheme. (See the ``Going to Uni website'' if the link above is gone.) It sounds a rather inauspicious name.

HECS was introduced in 1989. Until then, Australian students paid no tuition fees. John Dawkins, Minister of Education in the Labour government at the time, argued that this constituted an unfair subsidy to the better-off families that sent students to college. Under HECS, each student is assessed a tuition obligation (initially it was AUD 1800 per year of study), and they have the choice of paying immediately or deferring payment. If payment was deferred, no interest is ever charged, although the obligation is indexed to consumer prices. (Actually, there is an effective charge for accepting the loan, because students who pay immediately receive a discount, but most students choose to defer.)

Repayment of the loan is keyed to income, and in fact functions as a kind of income-tax surcharge. Starting after the end of their period of studies, students are required to repay in amounts (called ``deferred contributions'' to the higher education system) that depended on how much their income exceeds a threshold of the average industrial wage (about AUD 30,000 in 1989). Contributions would be collected until the loan was repaid or 25 years had passed, whichever came sooner.

Health Employer Data and Information Set. A set of standard performance measures for managed health care plans, defined to allow comparison of such things as quality of care, access, and cost. CMS collects HEDIS data for Medicare plans.

N-(2)-(Hydroxyethyl)EthyleneDiamineTriacetic Acid. A complexing agent for Pd.

High-Energy Electron Diffraction.

The Scottish name for the HEFCE, to judge from this SCRE newsletter.

Higher Education Funding Councils for England.

Higher Education General Information Survey.

Heidelberg United Soccer Club
An Australian club founded by immigrants from northern Greece in 1958. Actually, the team has been through a few names in its history, and the current official name is the Heidelberg United Warriors. It's also known as ``the Bergers,'' and many of its fans still call it by its original name Megas Alexandros (or `Alexander the Great'). Oh how the mighty are fallen. Alexander was one of the founding members of Australia's National Soccer League in the 1980's, but it ended its 1994-5 season with the worst record in the NSL. In the off-season, claiming they were losing a million dollars a year, NSL cut Heidelberg, the Zebras (another Melbourne club with a losing record), and most controversially the Parramatta Eagles. They added Newcastle and the Canberra Cosmos, for a net decrease from 13 teams to 12.

Now, to tell you the truth, I don't give a rat's ass about Australian Soccer. Nothing personal: it's just that I'm an American, and Americans don't care about soccer. It's not unconstitutional for an American to care about soccer -- it's not even illegal in most states. It is merely impossible. I'm not sure whether it's a logical impossibility or a biological one, but it can't happen. (I did find the NSL administrative shenanigans exciting, though.) Yet you know that I wouldn't drag you this far through a glossary entry just because a Macedonian Greek soccer club in Australia is called Heidelberg United. (Alexander was in Fitzroy before it moved to Heidelberg.) That's why you're still reading. (Hello?!) There's got to be more entertainment value in it than that, and there is. So keep the faith, and read on.

Since it was dumped by the NSL, Heidelberg has played in the Victorian Soccer Federation. It won the Victorian Premier League championship in 2001, but the next year it fell to last place in the VPL and was booted down to the State League's first division. I don't know what that is, but in everything I've read so far (including the team's own sugarcoated history), the sentence that mentions State League 1 always contains the word ``relegated.'' Anyway, under current (2004) president Elias Deliyannis, the team has signed a number of former NSL players. It's pushing to win the State 1 championship in 2004 and bid for promotion back to the VPL for 2004/2005. (We actually have another VPL entry.) But it's been hard to find sponsorship. Deliyannis heard that Gotham City, a local business, had backed motor racing and netball in the past. (They've also supported kickboxing.) He approached the owner, who committed to a ``corporate sponsorship package'' of about $20,000. Gotham City is a South Melbourne ``institution'' (that euphemism comes up a lot) which promotes itself as Australia's only ``six-star brothel.'' This institution charges ``$240 an hour and an additional $30 for fantasies.'' (All amounts in Australian dollars.) Reporter Peter Desira broke the story.

Now you shouldn't worry that young children will be exposed to anything their parents wouldn't want them to see. ``There definitely won't be signs at the ground or on our shirts,'' according to Deliyannis. He understands that ``this has to be dealt with in a sensitive way.'' So what's in it for Gotham? Well, ``the owner believes he will get value by word of mouth...'' (my italics). Is that what Delyannis meant by saying that they were ``endeavouring to expose their business in a tasteful way''? This ``sensitive'' business can get pretty sticky. Wording is subject to alternative interpretations. ``It's a straight-out cash deal. There are no additional services offered, or asked for.'' Mm-hmm. The team website expresses great pleasure at all the attention. In an emailed announcement of the deal, the team urged fans to ``support the girls who support us.'' Athletic supporters, sure.

I really want to write about the NSL corporate gamesmanship that happened in 1995, but I haven't sorted it out yet. So instead, I'll explain that Elias is one of those names with a different form in the vocative. So if you're talking about Elias, that's what you call him, but if you're talking to him, it's Elia. Also, Delyannis looks like a Cypriot name (because of the -is) rather than a mainland name, but you never know.

Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, etc. To be fair to Paris, while she may trade on her celebrity, she does earn a living at it.

As long ago as 1997, a children's book was published with the title Duh - Heir Head: And Other Stories That Are Even Dumber than Dumb and Dumber, by Allen B. Ury. According to the publisher, it's ``packed with the air-headed action of a brainless gang of geeks, all the stories in this dud-namic new series serve up stupid in a very smart way. Characters bungle their way from story to story in this stupendous series, creating havoc and fun for midgrade readers--even the quick-witted ones.'' No, I don't understand where the pun comes in.

High-Energy Ion backscatter Spectroscopy. Or High-Energy Ion Scattering, which refers to the same thing. The acronym is mildly amusing, since heiß (heiss, if Rechtschriebung don't confront you), means `hot' in German.

Sure, he mighta' slept here, but the probability is exponentially, astronomically small. Here, on the other hand, there's very likely a picture.

He knows when you've been sleeping, he knows when you're awake...
What kind of fascist is this guy, anyway? Big Brother? Peeping Tom?

Header Extension Length. Not mentioned in my spam lately.

Spanish verb with the basic sense of `to freeze,' derived from the Latin gelare. It has a range of senses that substantially overlaps that of the more common Spanish verb congelar. I have a sense that in intransitive uses (when the verb's subject itself freezes) helar is more likely to be used without a reflexive suffix or pronoun than congelar would be. In other words, helar is more readily regarded as an intransitive verb. But this is a quantitative issue, probably subject to regional variations.

In metaphorical senses related to money (price freezes, freezing of assets, etc.), the usual verb is congelar.

Before the discussion to follow it should be stressed that when helar and its inflected forms are used nonmetaphorically as verbs, some solidification is usually implied. Thus, for example, ``esta noche helará,'' `tonight there will be frost' (not just cold). When fruit or plants are said to helar they have not just been chilled but gone hard. The only standard exception I can think of is in describing a person as freezing (i.e., suffering extreme cold), which may be considered either dramatic hyperbole or else a way to avoid some of the transferred senses of enfriar (`to cool, to make cold'). (Here one really must use the reflexive enfriarse, `to become cool, to get cold.' You probably also want to know that resfriarse is `to catch cold.')

The word for ice, hielo, is more evidently and straightforwardly related to helar than to congelar. (Helar is a stem-changing verb -- see hielo for details -- so the e/ie distinction is ignorable.) Perhaps that is why English terms related to ice (rather than freeze) seem preferentially to correspond to helar words. For example, helado, literally `iced,' means `ice cream.' (This is closer than it looks now; the original English term was iced cream.) Likewise, heladera is `refrigerator,' the technological descendant of an ``ice box.'' A congelador is a `freezer.' And heladera also means `ice cream woman.' (One who sells or makes it, not is it.)

A different word altogether, and not very common now, is helear, `to make bitter.' It's from hiel (`bile'), q.v.

HELlenic Association of American Studies. Of course, Hellas is Greece itself. There is such a thing as beeing too clever. HELAAS is based in Thessaloniki and was founded in 1990. It's a constituent association of the EAAS.

Helen of Troy
Parent company of Revlon and Vidal Sassoon. According to most reports, the original Helen had an illicit relationship with Paris. It was more than a brief fling. Paris, the capital of France (in Europe, a ``continent'') is historically associated with women's fashion. The poet Siegfried Sassoon made many classical allusions in his work. More about Ziggy at the DSO entry.

Helsingin Liiketalouden Ammattikorkeakoulu. Helsinki Business Polytechnic.


Pertaining to the period, or approximately to the period, from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE) to the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Peter M. Green's widely praised book about the Hellenistic era is entitled From Alexander to Actium. Actium, now called Akri, is a promontory on the coast of western Greece. A naval battle took place there on September 2, 31 BCE, in which the fleet of Octavius Caesar, commanded by Marcus Agrippa, defeated the combined fleets of Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius) and Cleopatra (Kleopatra VII). The lovebirds flew to Egypt. The next year Octavius pursued them there, and the city of Alexandria surrendered without a fight. Mark Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. Cleopatra's death marked the end of her (Ptolemaic) dynasty, and Rome annexed Egypt. (Although that was the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty, it wasn't the end of people named Ptolemaeus. The most famous such was the Alexandrian astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy, who flourished in the second century CE.)

The ``Hellenistic Age,'' by that or a similar name, is one of the more useful periodizations. After Alexander died, his generals competed for the pieces of the empire he had carved out of the western Asia and Egypt, and politically the region settled into a pattern that persisted until Rome's expansion overran it. Culturally, the period was marked by a diffusion of the Greek language, and Greek (Hellenic, as distinguished from Hellenistic) ideas and culture.

Aristotle died in 322 BCE, so the Hellenistic era begins with the end of the golden age of Greek philosophers. Although the Greek city-states declined precipitously in political importance, however, Athens maintained its preeminence as a center for philosophy.

Hemolytic anemia, Elevated Liver transaminases, Low Platelet count. A syndrome of unknown etiology, typically occuring in the third trimester of pregnancy. Here's a brief description.

There's a HELLP Syndrome Society, Inc.

Home Equity Line Of Credit.

Help Desk, help desk, helpdesk
Walk a mile in their tires.

Here are some purported reports from the field.

helpful hints
  1. When you've got the nut in the nutcracker, hold it inside a bag (a transparent bag with the unshelled nuts will do) to crack it, so the broken bits of shell don't fly all over the room.
  2. Don't just test your smoke alarm. If it doesn't work, replace the batteries.

That's enough for now. When you've memorized the list, you can come back and we'll have more hints.

  1. What, back already? Alright: if it smells bad and isn't cheese, throw it away. You save money in the long run.
  2. Remember that nut thing you memorized? Of course you do! Do that when clipping your toenails, too. But use a nail clipper instead of a nutcracker, and use a different bag.

helps prevent
Does not prevent.

Heat Exchanger Method (of growing [Si] crystal).

Earnest HEMingway, to you unhip people. Ahem.

Competently constructed clothing has hems; the bottom hem of a skirt is called a hemline. Until he was six, Ernest's mother Grace dressed him in girl's clothes. There is endless speculation on the effect. We literati are bored by it all. Heck, I don't mention it but two or three times in this glossary. (The other place I can find right now is this bit.)

HEMIspherical combustion chamber (in an internal combustion engine).

One-sided weakness, CNS-based.

A sixty-fourth note. The kind of word you can find framed and mounted in a museum of sesquipedalianisms. Ruth, a Cambridge ethnomusicologist, once mentioned (even while sitting next to yet another Brit music type) that it was an Americanism. I just noticed that the American Heritage Dictionary describes it as chiefly British. My patriotism is salved by the confirmation of my original belief that this lexical monstrosity belongs to the nation that gave the world rule by constitutional jesters. (Assuming the AHD isn't wrong here.)

A semibreve is a whole note. Wonders never cease.

History of Early Modern Philosophy. This is not a common abbreviation. In fact, the one example I could google has been updated away. However, I decided to put in this entry anyway as a sort of gentle suggestion. What happened was, I saw an announcement for the South Central Seminar in the History of Early Modern Philosophy and I was moved by the music of the two-word modifiers -- South Central Seminar, Early Modern Philosophy, Saint Louis University. The theme reverberates across the webpage -- the seminar is to ``be held Friday-Saturday,'' and they're interested in early modern ``(especially pre-Kantian)'' philosophy. If I go I'm taking my castanets.

Helicopter Emergency Medical Service[s] (EMS).

High-level Entity Management System. A network management protocol that was withdrawn while under consideration to be an internet standard, in favor of SGMP and CMOT.

High Electron Mobility Transistor (Japanese-proposed name for this device, which seems to have won out). Depletion-mode Field Effect Transistor (FET) in which the channel is the two-dimensional electron gas in a quantum well. In principle, one could have a high-hole mobility transistor, but in practice the III-V compounds from which these heterostructure devices have been made have much higher electron than hole mobilities.

Other equivalent names: MODFET (less common), TEGFET (rare), and 2DEGFET (not completely unknown).

A figure of speech in which and connects terms with similar or overlapping senses. The best examples typically aren't.

Helium-Neon (laser). Pronounced ``HEE-nee.'' [Note these are long vowels; in IPA, /hi:ni:/. For comparison, /hini:/, spelled hinny, is like a mule, but with parent genders interchanged: female donkey and male horse. These tend to be smaller, presumably because jenny uteri are smaller than mare uteri. This contradicts the spirit, if not quite the letter, of the ranking of kinds of sexual congress described at the beginning of the Kama Sutra.]

The laser has a nice green line at 543.5 nm.

HENRY, H.E.N.R.Y., Henry
High Earner who is Not Rich Yet. A marketing term that I've read was first used in Fortune magazine in 2003.

According to a July 2012 article in the Weekly Standard, ``Henrys run households with annual incomes between $100,000 and $250,000. There are about 21 million of them. Henrys make up the overwhelming majority of affluent consumers, who account for 40 percent of consumer spending--which in turn is 70 percent of economic activity.''

(I'm not endorsing these claims, just passing them along.)

Higher Education National (UK) Software Archives.

Highly-inclined Earth Orbit.

High Energy Physics. Same as EP physics. Cf. HDP.

Human Error Probability. I think that's a synonym for unity, but of course I'm probably wrong.

High-Efficiency Particulate Air. Used in ``HEPA filter,'' sometimes shortened to ``HEPA'' (implying filter). Filters going by this name have been common in electronic fabrication labs since at least the 1980's. In 2004 I heard a radio ad that expanded the acronym as ``High-Efficiency Particle Arrestor.''

Literally, inflammation or disease of the liver. Hepatitis is also thought of as a blood disease because of the liver's function in filtering the blood -- so signs of infection are most readily discerned in the blood. If it were strictly a blood disorder, however, it could be called a hematitis or anemia. [Cirrhosis is not a specific disease but symptom: liver fibrosis (replacement of healthy tissue by fibrous tissue with nonfunctional cells), which may result from any of many conditions, particularly malnutrition and hepatitis infection, although one tends to think of alcoholism first. Hepatocellular carcinoma is also associated with chronic hepatitis infections.]

More useful information can be found at the Hepatitis Information Network.

Although nonviral hepatitis occurs (bacterial hepatitis, hepatomas, and food poisoning that may be referred to as nonviral hepatitis), in current usage the unqualified term hepatitis usually refers to a viral liver disease, of which six (A, B, C, D, E and G) are common. (The corresponding viruses are typically called HAV, HBV, etc.; a namespace collision looms -- cf. HIV.) Viral diseases generally do not (except indirectly) respond to antibiotics.

Higher Education Price Index. An index of the prices of the goods and services typically puruchased by colleges and universities -- mostly trained workers. I.e., factor prices: the prices of the inputs to higher education.

High Energy Physics (HEP) Information Center. Link here.

Collective term for the seven pre-Viking Kingdoms of England: Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria, Kent, East Anglia, Essex and Sussex.

Hercules. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

A Greek goddess, one of the Olympians. She was a sister and the wife of Zeus, who frequently humiliated her.

Hadron-Elektron-Ringanlage. The English expansion that is given, to the curious but German-less, is ``Hadron-Electron Ring Accelerator.'' This is close, but Ringanlage is literally `ring site.' Anlage is used for work sites, and in this context the term `facility' would not be amiss.

High Explosive Rocket-Assisted Projectile.

herd of independent minds
A term coined by Harold Rosenberg to describe the group, of which he was a prominent member, that is known as the ``New York Intellectuals.'' Nowadays, the term is more often applied to university faculty, or more particularly and appropriately to liberal arts faculty or faculty at elite universities. The group Rosenberg referred to was generally anti-socialist and pro-American and knew it, in approximate contrast with the group it is now applied to. (Not to make any broad generalizations or anything.) Someday we really ought to have an entry for New York Intellectuals. Right now they only have another mention at the WWIII entry.

Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union. Merged with UNITE (the former ILGWU) in 2004 to form UNITE HERE, q.v.


heres ex asse
Latin legal term meaning `heir to the whole estate.' Dunno, sounds a lot like `trust-fund baby' to me. Read the article on heres from William Smith's A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1875). The work (or its Roman parts) has been made available on the web since the twentieth century by Bill Thayer.

Higher Education Research Institute. Part of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). They do US-wide assessment of the college experience, based largely on surveys like the CIRP and CSS (a matched pair!) and the new (instituted in 1999) YFCY.

A contraction of the personal name of Hernando Arias de Saavedra, and the name by which he is commonly known. The reference information on him that I can find without going to the (nonreference) stacks is sufficiently contradictory that I'm going to present it without prejudice:

According to R. Andrew Nickson's Historical Dictionary of Paraguay (Metuchen, N.J. & London: Scarecrow Pr. Inc., 2/e 1993), his years were 1560 to 1643, and he was governor of Paraguay three times: 1592-1599, 1602-1609, and 1615-1621. He was the son of Governor Martín Suarez de Toledo. [The current system of Spanish surnames did not become common until the mid-1700's. Arias was probably named after his mother or less probably a grandparent. The ``de Saavedra'' bit could be geographic or genealogical.]

According to Ione S. Wright and Lisa M. Nekhom's Historical Dictionary of Argentina (Scarecrow, 1978), his years were 1561 to 1634, and he was born in Asunción of Spanish parents. He was appointed lieutenant governor in Asunción in 1592, and then served three times as governor of the Río de la Plata area: 1597-1598, 1602-1609, 1614-1620.

According to the EUI, he was born in Asunción and was the first creole to hold [high] public office in [Spanish] America. He was governor of Argentina in 1591. The EUI doesn't give other dates, but says he governed the extensive province of the Plata for many years. It also explains that initially, his merits were not recognized by the Spanish court, and this caused him to be passed over in favor of Diego Marín Negrón (of whom I can find no other mention), but that Arias was allowed to succeed him on his death.

Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordinance. MIL STD 1385.

Higher Education & Research Opportunities in the United Kingdom. ``HERO is the official gateway to universities, colleges and research organisations in the UK.''

This entry is not about heroin but about heroin (the word). And it's not about the English word heroin, but about the Japanese borrowing of that word, which happens to be written heroin in romaji.

English has a word heroine that is currently pronounced identically with heroin in the major dialects. As it happens, Japanese has borrowed that word also. (Given the possibilities, it seems clear from the Japanese pronunciations that both words were borrowed from English rather than another language.) However, rather than borrow the same pronunciation, the Japanese simply adjusted the pronunciation of the word for hero that was also borrowed from English and written hirô. Hence, the English homophones heroin and heroine correspond to the Japanese heterophones heroin and hiroin, respectively.

I should add that Japanese is generally very tolerant of homophones. It is true that in most cases, native homophones are not homographs -- they are distinguishable in writing because they typically contain at least one different kanji. When words started to be borrowed from European languages, they originally had two written forms. One was a ``phonetic'' representation (which linguists prefer to call ``phonemic'') using the katakana syllabary; the other form, using kanji, was constructed in the manner of new native coinages. Eventually, the Japanese stopped constructing kanji versions and used katakana exclusively for new foreign (i.e., European-language, and eventually mostly English) loans. Homophones in foreign borrowings, therefore, are indistinguishable (are homographs), unlike native homophones. Nevertheless, I don't discern any great effort to avoid homophony. In fact, this entry was only constructed to support the entry for the Japanese suchîro, which represents a Japanese homophone pair borrowed from an English homophone pair.

Heron Mechanicus
A rara avis indeed. Found in Alexandria.

Heron's Formula
The area of a triangle whose sides have lengths a, b, c is

[ (s - a) × (s - b) × (s - c) × s ]½ ,

where s is the semiperimeter (a + b + c)/2, and in case it's not clear, the quantity in square brackets is being raised to the one half power -- square-rooted.

A term for a variety of chronic viral infections that cause recurrent skin sores.

[column] The Latin word herpes is derived from the Greek epsilon-rho-pi-eta-sigma [in beta code: e(/rphs, genitive e(/rphtos masc.] and originally referred only to herpes zoster (vide infra). The Greek term occurs at least twice in the Corpus Hippocraticum, viz. in the Prorrheticum (2.11) and in the fun-to-read Aphorisms (5.22). It is derived from Gk. e(/rphw, `to creep.'

Herpes simplex I and II
Viruses that cause oral, anal, and genital ulcers. It used to be that herpes simplex virus I (HSV-1) was much more common in oral ulcers, and HSV-2 more common in anal and genital ulcers, but perverted sex has mixed the two up some.


Herpes zoster
The virus that causes that shingles. The New Latin name combines the Latin word herpes (q.v.) which in origin referred only to shingles, and the Greek zoster, meaning `girdle.' You know, Aphrodite had a girdle that made her irresistible.

Higher Education Survey.

Higher Education Statistics Agency. (of the UK).

HEalth Sciences Communication Association.

Hot-Electron Transistor.

HETeronuclear CORrelation. NMRtian.

HydroxyEicosaTetraEnoic acid[s].

There ought to be a word like this meaning different spellings of the same word. (On the pattern of homograph, different words with the same spelling.) Cf. heteronyms.

An interface between materials of different bulk composition. A heterointerface and a heterojunction are the same thing, but if you talk or write of a heterojunction you imply that you're interested in its electronic transport properties, whereas using the word heterointerface suggests that you are concerned with other properties (mechanical, or electronic structure properties, say).

In its original sense, in both Greek and Engish, it was a grammatical term meaning `irregularly inflected.' I guess that's not such a useful word in ordinary English discourse. Instead, it is now mostly used in the figurative sense of abnormal or anomalous.

An electronic junction between materials of different bulk composition. Typically used to refer to semiconductor-semiconductor interfaces such as AlAs/GaAs, and to distinguish them from homojunctions. See also heterointerface.

A word that does not describe itself. Examples: monosyllabic, Spanish. Is ``heterological'' heterological or homological? Professor Gilbert Ryle, in an article entitled ``Heterologicality'' [first published in Analysis vol. 11, #3 in 1951; reprinted in Philosophy and Analysis (Oxford: Blackwell, 1954)], argued that we cannot rightly ask whether heterological is heterological. Hah! I just did it!

Words with identical spellings but differing in meaning and probably in pronunciation. If they differ only in pronunciation, they're likely just different pronunciations of the same word. If they differ in meaning only, then you'll probably get your meaning across more clearly if you call them homographs, it being assumed (unreasonably, to be sure) that different words with the same spelling are pronounced identically. If they do have different meanings and the same spelling and pronunciation, of course, they might not be homographs but simply different meanings of one word. How to tell the difference? We'll be examining that question eventually.

Highly Enriched Uranium. Cf. eheu.

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

Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Implicitly, an Internal Combustion Engine Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

Health, Education, and Welfare. A cabinet-level department of the US government, until it was split into a Department of Education (DoE) and Health and Urban Development (HUD). Since it doesn't exist'n'all, I've linked the HEW expansion to the Joe Bob Report instead.


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

Hardwood Floor[ing|s]. An abbreviation used in the real estate business. Some people really like it, and some people figure they'll only cover it with rugs or carpeting.

The shine on a hardwood floor can get scuffed away over time, or foam may get stuck to it from years under a carpet. Typically it's not so bad that you can't hire someone to come in and refinish it to look like new.

Do not mistake laminate for hardwood. Laminate is a kind of plywood sponge. A few hours under standing water, and the stuff begins to look like the Pillsbury Doughboy's syrup-streaked cousin.


Often what is referred to as Hartree-Fock is really only `Unrestricted' Hartree-Fock (UHF, q.v.).

High Field.

High Frequency. Band from 3 to 30 MHz.

Human Factor[s]. (A technical field, a journal and a professional society.)

Hydrogen Fluoride. Aqueous solutions of HF are used for dissolving silicon dioxide. Vicious stuff: at first dissolves unnoticed through the skin; a half hour later you are in agony as it attacks nerves and bone.

hexafluoroacetylacetonate. CF3COCHCOCF3. Also abbreviated hfac. Cf. acac.

Hydroxy Fatty Acid.

hexafluoroacetylacetonate. CF3COCHCOCF3. Also abbreviated hfa.


Household Finance Corporation. A NYC-area concern that gave I-think-it-was Phil Rizzuto a second career in TV testimonials. However, looking over the HFC materials mentioned in connection with Mrs. Pepper, I see that HFC, established in 1878, in fact had its headquarters at 919 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. HFC of Canada was headquartered on 80 Richmond Street West in Toronto. ``A consumer finance organization engaged in making consumer loans through branch offices in 29 states and Canada'' as of 1951. Are you bored out of your mind yet? Today, according to the website, HFC is part of the HSBC group.

Hybrid Fiber/Coax. The standard HFC architecture uses fiber to carry video from the headend or central office (CO) to the optical node serving a particular neighborhood, where it is converted to an electrical signal sent downstream via one of the (typically four) coax lines served by that fiber line. Each coax is multiplexed, so multiple individual customers have drops for packets. Multiple services (phone, video) are carried on the same coax and separated by a service unit at the customer site.

HydroFluoroCarbon. Many of these compounds have properties making them candidates to replace ozone-munching CFC's.

HyperFine Coupling Constants.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Made by hydrolysis of corn starch.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup 42. HFCS that is 42% fructose. Cheaper than HFCS-55, effective sugar substitute in a variety of products.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup 55. HFCS that is 55% fructose. A liquid very popular in soft-drink manufacture.

Human Factors Engineering.

(UK) Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Heterojunction Field-Effect Transistor (FET).



Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Since 1944, the HFPA has administered the Golden Globe Awards. These are annual awards for American movies and (since 1956) TV programs, second in prominence to the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards (for movies and TV, resp.). The Golden Globes are awarded on the basis of voting by journalists for foreign media who are based in California.

Hartree-Fock-Slater. An approximation of the Hartree-Fock method introduced by J. C. Slater, Physical Review, 81, 385 (1951).

Heat-Flow Sensor.

(Apple Macintosh) Hierarchical File System.

Hydrogen Forward-scattering Spectrometry.

hfs, HFS
HyperFine Structure. The consequences of hyperfine interaction. The hyperfine interaction is the residual interaction between the electrons of an atom and its nucleus. That is, the perturbation of the atomic spectrum by the electromagnetic moments and finite extent of the nucleus. The effect of finite extension is called isotope effect, but there are many other isotope effects that are principally atomic-mass dependencies of chemical and collective properties.

Human Frontier Science Program. International program supporting (mainly molecular) biology basic research. Main contributor is Japan.

High-Frequency-Structure Simulator.

In The Man with Two Brains (1983), Steve Martin plays Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr, the world's greatest brain surgeon. Steve Martin, who co-wrote the script, seems to have a thing about brains that are absent (The Absent-Minded Waiter, 1977; The Jerk, 1979) or misembodied (All of Me, 1984).

In Roxanne (1987) he plays C.D. Bales, the Cyrano de Bergerac character whose eloquence is borrowed by Chris McConnell, a pretty face in front of an empty skull, played by Rick Rossovich.

A number of Martin's routines have to do with pharaohs, whose brains were removed and stored separately during the embalming process.

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