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Mercury. Archaically known as quicksilver. The symbol was constructed from the Latin hydrargyrum (water/liquid silver).

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

The Roman god Mercury, typically depicted with winged feet (depictions do often include toes, though), was the god of thieves and translators, so hermeneutics was named after him (his Greek name is Hermes), as have a number of newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury.

Hatters once used mercuric nitrate to soften and shape felt, poisoning themselves in the process. Hence the term ``mad as a hatter,'' immortalized by Lewis Carroll:

Heated Graphite Atomizer. Used in Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS).

HemoGloBin. This is an older abbreviation than the currently favored Hb. Using initials only of the main morphemes yields Hg or at best HG. That abbreviation was evidently avoided since it can lead to confusion with the chemical symbol for mercury (Hg), which also occurs in medicine.

Hansische Geschichtsblätter. Those are el's (lower case of LL) in the abbreviation, not ones. There're two of them to indicate a plural (Blätter instead of Blatt), just as ll. indicates the plural (lines) of l. (line). A German journal that might have been named `Hanseatic History Journal' in English. See Stuart Jenks's page of Tables of Contents of Historical Journals and Monographic Series in German for a complete table of contents, with Frames or without (deutsche Seite: Zeitschriftenfreihandmagazin Inhaltsverzeichnisse geschichtswissenschaftlicher Zeitschriften in deutscher Sprache).

Hercules Graphics Card.

Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis. Bacterial illness, first identified 1991, transmitted by deer ticks that also transmit Lyme. More rapid onset than Lyme, flu-like symptoms but no cough or nasal congestion. Only antibiotics known effective are tetracycline and docxycycline (or is that one?). Seems not to linger, but may be fatal. Has been fatal in cases where other medical conditions may have contributed to death.

Handling Gear. Protective clothing and tools for handling hazardous materials.

Hepatocyte Growth Factor.

``Human Growth Factor.'' I'm not sure, but I think HGF -- when it is interpreted in this way (and so doesn't stand for hepatocyte growth factor) -- is an error for hGH (below) or IGF (insulin-like growth factor), or a conflation of the two. (HGH stimulates the production of IGF-1, and, in a negative-feedback loop, IGF-1 inhibits hGH secretion by the pituitary.)

Human Growth Hormone. An endocrine hormone; the main hormone produced by the pituitary gland. See also ``HGF.''

Human Gene Mutation Database at Cardiff.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.

Human Genome Project.

Here's some other stuff that's related.

Hansische Geschichtsquellen. A numbered series that might have been named `Hanseatic History Sources' in English. See Stuart Jenks's page of Tables of Contents of Historical Journals and Monographic Series in German for a complete list of monographs (deutsche Seite: Zeitschriftenfreihandmagazin Inhaltsverzeichnisse geschichtswissenschaftlicher Zeitschriften in deutscher Sprache).

After a few years of publication under its original short title, the usual title bloat set in, and after 1897 it was known as Quellen und Darstellungen zur hansischen Geschichte (QDhG).

Mercury Selenide. A II-VI compound semiconductor. Bandgap is 0.3 eV; lattice constant is 6.082 Å.

Mercury Telluride. HgCdTe-based (MCT-based) materials and devices are currently most of the commercial II-VI market and are used primarily for IR detectors.

Bandgap is 0.15 eV; lattice constant is 6.373 Å.

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

Postal code for Hamburg. The second aitch in the code probably refers to the fact that it was a Hanseatic city, though in principle it might refer to the fact that it's a port (see HB entry for Bremen). Like Berlin (BE), Hamburg is both a single urban district (including, in Hamburg's case, two nearby islands) as well as 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.] Hamburg is the second-largest city of Germany (after Berlin) and the second-smallest state (before Bremen). Its area is 755.3 sq. km. and its population (1,593,000 in the national census of 1987; 1,704,700 as of January 1, 1998).

Hamburg, Germany's largest port, is fifty-plus kilometers up the Elbe River from the coast, and traditionally benefitted from traffic along the Elbe in parts of northern Germany. During the period of the two Germanies, Hamburg in West Germany lost trade from those regions, which lay mostly in East Germany (GDR), and compensated to some extent by cultivating business with Scandinavia.

HH, hh
Heavy Hole. Explanation at LH (for light hole).

Hereditary Hemochromatosis. (Haemochromatosis in British spelling.) Learn more about it from the AHS. But go to the CDC's page on it first. The AHS page is half a meg in bytes and may take a while to load.

Home Health or Home and Hospital. Visiting nurses, that sort of thing.

HouseHold. Term used in polling. A ``union HH'' is typically defined as a household with at least one wage-earner who belongs to a union. A ``military HH'' might or might not include HH's with a veteran but no active military, depending on who's counting or reporting.

Hand-Held Assay.

Health Hazard Assessment.

Hispanic Health And Nutrition Examination Survey.

Health Hazard Assessment Report.

The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (DNA). Don't tell me the second aitch isn't capitalized in the title. The copy in my hands has the title in all-caps. We have more information about HHGTTG at the ebook reader entry.

Hubert Horatio Humphrey. Vice-president of the US under LBJ.

Ran for president in 1968 and lost a close election to Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN).

Remembered for saying that he would eat the paper the bill was written on, if the voting rights act of 1964 led to what we now call reverse discrimination or quotas, which RMN imposed by executive order.

There's a Herbert Hoover Highway in Iowa, but I haven't seen it abbreviated HHH.

Herfindahl-Hirschman Index. A measure of market concentration, defined as the sum of the squares of the market shares (in percent). Thus, perfect monopoly or monopsony has an HHI of 10,000 and a market shared equally by n competitors has an HHI of 10,000/n. The HHI has the natural property of increasing with any binary change in market share that is intuitively regarded as concentration: Any binary transfer of market share--i.e., any transfer of market share involving only two market participants, increases (decreases) the HHI value when market share shifts from the smaller to larger (larger to smaller) market participant. Moreover, any (general) change of market share can be decomposed into a sum of such binary transfers. However, more complex redistributions of market share are valuated by the HHI in ways that may not coincide with intuitive expectation. For example, a market dominated by four equal competitors has an HHI of 2500. If three of those competitors lose market share to a very large number of small businesses as well as to the remaining large competitor, the HHI may remain at 2500 with one large business holding almost half the market share.

In deciding whether to challenge a horizontal business merger (under section 7 of the Clayton Act), the DOJ and FTC consider various factors, including ease of entry and concentration trends in the relevant market, financial condition of firms (an unmerged company that soon fails will not prevent market concentration), etc.

Nevertheless, the starting point for analysis is the HHI. Under DOJ-FTC guidelines, a market with pre-merger HHI below 1,000 is regarded as unconcentrated, and the merger is unchallenged. Note that HHI < 1000 means that there are at least ten companies, and that no single company can have a market share exceeding 31.62%; if the pre-merger market is dominated by two companies (with market shares near 23.6%), their merger can double the HHI to near 2000.

If pre-merger HHI is between 1000 and 1800, the industry is considered moderately concentrated and will usually be challenged only if it is expected to increase HHI by 100 points or more.

A market with HHI exceeding 1800 is considered highly concentrated; mergers that increase HHI by 50 to 100 then ``raise significant competitive concerns.''

In any case where a leading firm has market share exceeding 35%, merger with a firm having as little as 1% share may be challenged.

All that said, since the 1980's there's been substantial shift in legal thinking on what constitutes monopoly power, with a deemphasis of raw size concerns and a greater concern with how markets work, and in particular on whether customers are deprived in some way relative to the prices and choices that would be available in a less concentrated market. Still, all those what-ifs are harder to measure than market share.

The formulation of the HHI implies that square of market share is a proper measure of market power. According to Metcalfe's Law, the value of a network varies similarly.

Head Honcho In Charge.

Hanging Head In Shame.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Located at UCSD.

H. H. Munro
Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916). Saki.

Ha-Ha, Only Kidding.

Headquarters and Headquarters OPerations.

Headquarters and Headquarters OPerationS.

Health and Human Services (U.S. Dept. of).

Higher Heating Value. The total energy released by combustion of a fuel. This includes the ``latent heat of vaporization'' of the water, which goes not into heating but into changing the state of water in the fuel. This is quite significant for wood fuel. The ``lower heating value'' excludes the latent heat, and is often a more appropriate measure of heating value for good reasons to be explained at the LHV entry.

For wood and natural gas, latent heat of vaporization is the most important component of the difference between energy released by a combustion and heating done by it. Of course, the thing most effectively heated by combustion is the exhaust gas, and the efficiency of a furnace is mainly a measure of how effectively the exhaust gas is cooled -- i.e., how much of the ``heating value'' is saved from direct loss to the environment in exhaust. (Some of the heating value is emitted as radiation during the reaction, and may never go into the reaction products.)

Hawaii USPS abbreviation. There are a government homepage and a searchable Hawai`i Homepage.

In the Hawaiian language, Hawaii is spelled Hawai`i. The opening single quote indicates the glottal stop consonant, the sound of ``tt'' in most Americans' pronunciation of ``cotton.''

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for Hawaii. USACityLink.com has a page with a few links.


Humanitarian Intervention. Sometimes the adjective characterizes the impulse better than it does the effect of the noun. Cf. HUMINT.

Hydrogen Injection. A part of various diffusion-furnace recipes. It's probably good to keep in mind that H2/O2 ratios between 0.04 and .75 are flammable.

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

German Jewish refugees in Latin America pronounced it ``HEE-ahs'' (i.e., as it'd be pronounced in Spanish if written jías).

High Birefringence.

Heavy Ion BackScatter[ing].

Heavy Ion Collision[s].

High (refractive) Index Contrast.

Hybrid Integrated Circuit (IC).

Hydrogen-Induced Cracking. That's cracking as in fracturing and breaking. Hydrogen refers to acid. Since acids dissolve metal, more or less, one is interested in HIC-resistant metals. One application is ``wet sour gas'' pressure vessels. Sour means acidic, and moisture is needed for an acidic gas (like H2S) to ionize and drive an acid-base reaction.

Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. The thirtieth was in 1997.

High-Intensity Discharge (illumination).

Spanish, `of noble descent.' (It also has the usual transferred senses of `noble' in the modern sense.) The only reason I mention it is because of the cool etymology. It's a contraction of hijo de algo, `son of something.'

Rev. Jesse Jackson used to go around (still does, for all I know) getting schoolchildren to repeat ``I am somebody.''

The word hijo (`son') comes from the Latin filius with the same meaning (source of the English word filial). (Interesting, and not really surprising, that filius is one of those words with a distinctive vocative form differing from the nominative: fili. For more on that, see the entry for Brute.) In Latin, a filius terrae, literally `a son of the earth,' is an expression meaning `a nobody' or `an unknown person.' A similar Latin word, filum (`thread,' compare English filament) became hilo in Spanish. For more on the f --> h sound shift, see the Spanish entry.

hidden layer
In a layered neural-net structure, any layer of neurons other than the final output layer or the initial input layer. The terminology presupposes a fairly simple architecture.

Spanish noun meaning `bile,' from the Latin fel (gen. fellis). Spanish also uses the Latin word bilis in its unmodified form, which yielded French, then English, bile. Strictly speaking, fel was a gall bladder, and bilis in Latin was the bitter fluid (bile) excreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. So say Lewis and Short at their bilis entry but not at their fel entry. It seems that at a very early point, the meanings became confused, and fel at least was widely used metonymically or just loosely for bile. Spanish preserves both terms in the common sense of `bile.' Before you panic that Spanish vocabulary has stolen a march on English, recall that English has the Germanic word gall (why isn't this a French word?). In fact, gall is cognate with Latin fel and Greek cholê, chólos. (The latter is the source of yet another English term, choler, which was popular into the eighteenth century and can still be found in classic literature. There, heave a sigh of vocable relief.) It might be that gall (Galle in Modern German) is cognate with yellow (gelb in Modern German). If so then gall is related to Latin helvus, Greek chlôrós, and the gall bladder was named for its choler, errr, color.

Okay, let's do some more on the Spanish words. There's a tendency for bilis to be used as a technical or physiological term. Thus, a gall bladder is una vesícula de bilis. Conversely, hiel is used in nontechnical Spanish usage, where it can mean `bile' in the narrow sense, or something bitter. The latter sense is implied by the verb helear, which means `to make bitter,' normally in the fairly literal sense of `adding a bitter ingredient.' It's not a very useful word, except possibly for Spanish-speaking karela-eaters (living in Kerala, I imagine). The common verb amargar (related to amargo, `bitter-tasting') means `to make bitter, to embitter' and is frequently used in metaphorical senses. Hiel is also used simply in the sense of `bitterness.' This is particularly common in belles lettres (or is that lettres bilieuses?).

There's a common proverb no hay miel sin hiel, literally `there's no honey without bitterness.' This can be compared with the English proverb, ``too many cooks spoil the broth.'' Well, I said it could be compared -- I didn't say it was comparable. Another one is ``No bees, no honey; no work, no money.'' The one I learned was ``el que quiere celeste, que le cueste,'' literally `he who wants light blue [the sky], let it cost him [work].'

Miscellaneous paragraphs follow. Sometimes you want to mention something, but you don't want to interrupt the flow, you know? And then it's too late.

Spanish nouns derived from Latin neuters generally become masculine. (There is no neuter gender in Spanish. The Inquisition, you know. And Opus Dei.) Quite interestingly, although fel is neuter, the derived noun hiel is feminine. These things befall in the best of families, but more often in linguistics than zoology. Perhaps the gender change was due to the influence of female bilis, or maybe el hiel (`the gall') just sounded too sing-songy.

There's an idiom sin hiel. If the phrase makes no sense in context, you can understand it as `excellent.'

Spanish noun meaning `ice,' from the Latin gelu. It's related to the verb helar, q.v. That verb undergoes a stem change (someday we'll have an ablaut entry, but today ain't someday), on the same pattern as pensar (`to think'). Compactly stated, all present indicative, present subjunctive, and imperative forms, except for first- and second-person plural conjugations, substitute -ie- for -e-. (Otherwise -- which is to say in first- and second-person plural forms, in periphrastic tenses, and in the rest of the synthetic ones -- there's no stem change.) Hence, hielo also means `I freeze.'


A pictographic system of writing used in ancient Egypt. Also, more recently, hieroglyphics have been discovered along the sides of European roads, some of which are quite old and have not been repaired since the late middle ages.

Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts. A community arts center and museum which I hear is ``located in the foothills of western Pennsylvania.''

HIgh FIdelity. Describes sound reproduction; ``high-fidelity'' sound has high fidelity to the original. Back in the 1950's and 60's, the days when vinyl and open-reel ruled, ``Hi-Fi'' was used as a noun for a record or tape player or a combined unit, maybe with a radio. We had a Grundig with three or four short-wave bands. Because it was an expensive piece of high-tech equipment, and most people weren't yet accustomed to paying more for less, it had to come in a monstrously large piece of wooden furniture that was mostly hollow.

``Hi-Fi'' as an adjective for sound equipment is almost as superfluous as ``electronic'' to describe a computer. The term was used by our parents to describe their status-competition toys. In the 1970's when we started buying decent equipment of our own, we discarded (i.e., the marketing people decided that we would discard) the now old-fashioned term Hi-Fi. The radio lost its speaker and output stage (amplifier) and became a tuner. The record player lost its amplifier and speaker(s) and became a turntable. You combined one or more of these items with an amplifier and a couple of loudspeakers and you had a ``component system.'' The components had different brand names on them. They started to come from Japan; soon they all came from Japan. A turntable that came in a single box with an amplifier (what an innovative concept!) was a stereo. Often the stereo came bundled with a radio tuner. In the seventies you could get an old-style combination: a stereo with radio tuner, plus eight-track or cassette or (rarer) both, in a ``compact'' unit.

In the late 90's or so, the old-fashionedness of the term now bleached out by three decades' lying in the cold sun of the linguistic scrap heap, ``Hi-Fi'' has been dusted off and pasted onto some CD players.

Since the download of high-fidelity audio data requires high bandwidth or patience, webpages now often offer a Lo-Fi option.

Heterostructure-Insulated Gate Field Effect Transistor. This seems to be a Honeywell specialty. About halfway between a MESFET and a MODFET.


high rate of speed
This is highly technical police language. I'm afraid you wouldn't be able to grasp it. You'd probably think it means something like `high speed' or `fast.' Yeah, right. Let me lay it on ya': it's traversing a given quantity of distance during a short interval of time, relatively speaking. You'll probably want to retreat to your cage and think it over a while.

high-ratio mortgage
A mortgage loan on a large fraction of the value of a property (i.e., a mortgage loan with a high L.T.V. ratio). In Canadian practice, where high-ratio mortgages are required to be insured, that is defined as a loan exceeding 75% of the lending value of the property.

To have your bike fall over to the outside of a curve. Noun and verb and unpleasant.

A neglected useful word with the meaning of ``is called by the name of.'' So instead of saying ``I am Red'' (which might be interpreted as ``I am red'') or ``I am called Red'' or ``you can call me Red'' (with even greater ambiguity) or ``my name is Red'' (a bit too formal), you can say directly, and without leaning on the passive voice: ``I hight Red,'' which has just the right tone (plus a bit of mystery right now). Obviously, it's a cognate of German heißen.

Chaucer made use of the verb substantially, Shakespeare rarely. Twain embraced it in his Tale of a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889). [The action in that story is set mostly in the sixth century, but the language is Modern English colored with bits of Elizabethan (Early Modern English) archaisms.]

Over the centuries, there has been considerable confusion regarding the conjugation of this verb, with the vowel wobbling about and the parts of the verb interchanging. For this reason, it is clear that the verb should now be regularized: hight, highted, (have) highted, highting. See also contemn and clepe.

C.R. Haines uses hight in his translation, for the Loeb Classical Library, of the correspondence of Fronto. Specifically, in the third paragraph of the first letter -- a somewhat chastising letter from Fronto to his former student Marcus Aurelius, designated successor to Caesar Pius. (In this connection, it's amusing to read the so-called Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. The first section is a list of acknowledgments, and around the middle of the list, Fronto has his paragraph and a carefully measured-out teaspoon of praise.) Haines uses the construction is hight [sic], so we may take the publication year of that volume (1919) as a convenient date marking the death of this verb, before its resurrection in this entry.

Very possibly, it is not accidental that the word occurs in this particular paragraph. The paragraph is about word choice -- beginning with Cicero's and going on to critique that of his correspondent Aurelius. According to Fronto (in Haines's English): ``Wherefore I commend you greatly for the care and diligence you shew [sic] in digging deep for your word and fitting it to your meaning. But, as I said at first, there lies a great danger in the enterprize [sic] lest the word be applied unsuitably [pause here and reflect] or with a want of clearness or a lack of refinement, as by a man of half-knowledge, for it is much better to use common and everyday words [volgaribus et usitatis] than unusual and far-fetched ones [remotis et requisitis], if there is little difference in real meaning.'' I am in perfect concord with this sentiment. The early Loebs are notorious for their archaic English. To judge by his 1889 work Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031), Haines was not normally quite so old-fashioned. (He did use shew and show verb forms in about equal numbers in the 1889 work, however, and by that time shew was distinctly a minority usage even among British writers. Then again, even in 2007 I know a Latin teacher in England who still writes shew.)

In the particular case of Fronto, however, the archaizing is probably appropriate, since he was deeply conservative regarding language and literature. Though born around 90 CE, he hated the modernism of people like Seneca, and only cared for the old republican writers. One even gets the impression that his praise of Cicero was grudging. Fronto's use of the variant volgaribus (see above) instead of the now-standard vulgaribus is probably an instance of his preference for old usages. (In the original manuscripts, of course, there was no graphical u/v distinction, so these words were written uolgaribus and uulgaribus.) At least, -uus nominatives could be and usually were written with -uos until the Golden Age (70 BCE-18 CE).

One thing obvious from Fronto's letters is that he liked to pile on the words, apparently to show off that he knew them. The reason that one obtains that impression is that, quite frankly, the supernumerary words often added little of significance and just reduced precision, accuracy, and overall correctness, so to speak.

High-TC Superconductivity
Also HTS and HTSC. Superconductivity at temperatures (i.e. below superconducting transition temperatures TC) much higher than, say, 30K. Superconductors with high TC were discovered by Alex Muller and George Bednorz of IBM Zurich in 1986.

An online introduction is available from Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston. The ORNL HTSC homepage (apparently this is technically the homepage for ``Superconductivity for Electric Power Systems'') is pedagogically useful as well.

Other useful information sites are SUPRAS and the Los Alamos server form for e-prints. There's also an electronic journal called High TC Update.

Spanish for `fig.' Pronounced like ego in English, except that the e is of shorter duration, the g is articulated at the epiglottis rather than the palate, and the o isn't rounded, but other than that it's all the same sounds.

The English word fig and the Spanish word higo are both derived from Latin ficus, and both show the revoicing of the cee. (The letter c in Latin is essentially a gamma that lost its voicing. If you think I'm gonna explain that one again, you gotta'nother thing comin'.) The eff and aitch sounds are closely related. This can be seen in Japanese, where the syllables associated with ha are hi, fu, he, and ho. (Note, though, that the eff there is bilabial, represented in the IPA by the character phi.) The eff/aitch similarity can be seen in English, where the original aitch-like /x/ or /ç/ sound still found in Scottish loch evolved into eff (rough, tough) or disappeared (high, nigh). In Spanish, a number of Latin initial eff's became aitches, and aitch is now silent. Other examples: hacer, `make, do,' from Latin facere; herir, `injure,' from ferire; hierro, `iron,' from ferrum; hijo, `son,' (cf. hidalgo) from filum; horno, `oven,' from furnus; humo, `smoke,' from fumus.

The word higo is used figuratively in Spanish to suggest something small, somewhat as in the English expression ``I don't care a fig.'' However, in Spanish it is used more, uh, figuratively, if you catch my drift.

{His|Her} Imperial Highness. Abbreviates the title used in English for members of the Japanese royal family.

Hi -- it's me!
Just consider the alternatives.

Heavy Ion Linear ACcelerator.

A genre of writing that comprises both fiction and nonfiction works. The name stands for HIgh interest and LOw difficulty. Hi-Lo writing is aimed adult-like readers with child-like reading ability. The ``high interest'' subjects of this genre are chosen to appeal to people who are beyond normal elementary-school age and likely to be bored by the sort of Dick-and-Jane narratives found in introductory readers. To be perfectly fair, a teenager who only reads at an elementary-school level is nevertheless likely to be more sophisticated than the average younger reader.

The lives of professional athletes are popular subjects of Hi-Lo. This strikes me as ironically appropriate, though there are, uh, many exceptions. Cf. El-Hi.

Health Information Management.

This is a German noun, and it can be translated into just about any European language by a single word, but for English you need two words: `sky' and `heaven.'

A German fish name roughly roughly translatable as `sky watcher.' It's the name of the family Uranoscopidae. The English common name is star-gazer, and German also uses a parallel name as a synonym: Sternseher.

High-altitude Missile Engagement Zone. Surface-to-Air missiles. See differential definition at the weapon engagement zone entry of the DOD's online Dictionary of Military Terms.

Heard Island and the McDonald Islands. See .hm.

Hindus In North America. A pun on the Hindi word hiina, `lost, abandoned.' There seems to be a penchant for irony in the construction of these initialisms. Cf. ABCD, NRI.

A forecast of past events or conditions based on events or conditions in the more remote past. The term is used primarily in weather and climate research, as a way to test predictive models. (Hence the alternate term backtest, although this term is preferred by econometric and market modelers.)

The making of hindcasts, q.v.

The Turkish word for `turkey.' Wonders never cease.

Babahindi is a `turkey cock,' and baba is one of the words meaning `father.' (Internationally, of course, ata is better known. Both words, along with cet [`grandfather'], have a scattering of generalized senses like `ancestor, forefather, elder.') There are many compounds beginning in baba, including babaanne (`paternal grandmother' -- so that's what the Beach Boys were singing about!), but a similar construction for any other bird does not seem to be common. For example, the peafowl is tavus, and the peacock and peahen are tavus kusu and disi tavus, respectively. (Please mark your screen with a cedilla under the s in kusu and in disi.) A drake is an erkek ördek (literally a `duck cock') and a gander is an erkek kaz.

A turkey buzzard (more commonly called ``turkey vulture'' outside the US) is a ``hindi akbabasι.'' I assume this is a loan translation rather than a coincidence; akbaba means `vulture.'

The offspring of a male horse and a jenny. Because a mare is larger than a jenny, mules tend to be larger than hinnies.

The History INTernational cable channel.

Hits (given up) per Inning Pitched. A baseball pitching stat. Cf. WHIP.
Hot Isostatic Press[ing]. I've actually read ``HIPing'' but not heard it.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Passed by the US Congress in 1996. Administrative reforms phased in 2000-2003. Also known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill, it was originally introduced with the intent of assuring some continuing health insurance coverage for employees immediately after they leave a job. In a concession to the insurance industry, an ``Administrative Simplification'' section was added, intended to save money by requiring standardized identification, diagnosis, and treatment codes, and standard electronic formats for records and transactions.

hip abductor
Whoa! I want everything back except the cellulite.

Highly Indebted Poor Country. As distinguished from a highly indebted rich country.

Heterogeneous Intelligent Processing for Engineering Design.

HIgh Precision PARallax COllecting Satellite. (Ordinarily, I might insist on a hyphen between High and Precision, but I'll let it go this time because (a) the satellite was also high and (b) it's a cool backronym honoring a great ancient astronomer instead of some odd mythical character.) Hipparcos, an ESA mission, was launched in August 1989 and charted stars until March 1993. Its ``main instrument generated the Hipparcos Catalogue of 118,218 stars charted with the highest precision. An auxiliary star mapper pinpointed many more stars with lesser but still unprecedented accuracy, in the Tycho Catalogue of 1,058,332 stars. The Tycho 2 Catalogue [based on a reanalysis of the original data using improved reduction techniques], completed in 2000, brings the total to 2,539,913 stars, and includes 99% of all stars down to [apparent] magnitude 11.''

That's almost 100,000 times fainter than Sirius, the radio satellite, errr, satellite radio. Oh, wrong Sirius! Seriously, it's Sirius, the Dog Star, 26 times greater absolute magnitude than our sun and a mere stone's throw away (8.6 ly). It's the brightest star in the night sky.

HIgh Performance Parallel Interface. ANSI defines
PHysical layer standard ANSI/X3.183-1991.
Framing Protocol, ANSI/X3.210-1992.
Link Encapsulation, ANSI/X3.218-1993.
Intelligent Peripheral Interface.
Switch Control, ANSI/X3.222-1993.
Disk Connections
ANSI/ISO 9318-3.
Tape Connections
ANSI/ISO 9318-4.
For a better list, with links, look here.

Government by horse, to judge from the Greek roots. Perhaps you were thinking of hypocracy.

hippuric acid
Also known as N-Benzoylglycine, benzoyl aminoacetic acid (and benzoylamino acetic acid), 2-benzamidoacetic acid, and phenylcarbonylaminoacetic acid. Various of those are official. Maybe it's easiest just to remember the Chemical Abstracts registry number (CAS 495-69-2). Okay, maybe not. In German, it's Hippursäure, Benzoylglycin, or Benzoylglykokoll. The interesting name comes from the Greek hippos (`horse') and ouron (urine). (The German word Säure, cognate with English sour, means `acid.') Spanish and French also have ácido hipúrico and acide hippurique, resp.

It's commonly found in the urine of herbivores and, as you can probably guess, it was first identified in the urine of horses. It's formed in the kidneys by reaction of benzoic acid with the amino acid glycine, and it's a way that herbivores get rid of excess benzoic acid in some plants. Hippuric acid normally occurs only in trace amounts in humans and carnivores.

      H           H
       \         /
        \       /
        /  ___  \
       /  /   \  \
  H---C  (     )  C---H
       \  \___/  /
        \       /
        /       \
       /         \
      H           C===O
           H---N     H
                \   /
                 \ /
                 / \
                /   \
               H     C===O

High-Impact PolyStyrene.

Health Information Resources.

HIgh-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer.

Keeps hedge trimmer in bathroom.

High-resolution Imaging Spectrometer.

Hospital Information System.

(US) House (of Representatives) Internal Security Committee.

Houston (Tx.) Independent School District.

How I Spent My Vacation. An 80-minute Tiny Toon Adventure movie. A work of art to judge by all eyewitness accounts.

Hispanic Heritage Month
Mes de la herencia hispana. I figured I'd mention it because of the novelty of its running from September 15 to October 15, instead of coinciding with a calendar month. Examples of the latter are collected at the awareness months entry.

Here's something geographically numb-brained from the US Census Bureau:

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15 -- Oct. 15). America celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

There used to be a Smithsonian Heritage Months page where, at least during Hispanic Heritage Month, you could find a link for ``evento calendarios,'' which was apparently intended to be Spanish. In Spanish, it means `calendars event' -- i.e., the event having to do with calendars. They've fixed that, but their bilingual stuff is still basically in English and translated English.

In passing, I should note that the homepage of ``Smithsonian Education'' is now set up with links based on who you are rather than on the information you want. The who-you-are approach works reasonably well for toilets, but the only thing it does well for information is insult. It's like the old ``Women's Section'' of the newspaper: tell us who you are, and we'll tell you what you want to know, dear. University homepages make the same offensive assumption. You want the Chemistry Department? Please tell us if you are staff, student, or money-ba-a-ah....err, heh-heh, alumnus/a/um.

The HISTory cable channel. Documentaries about WWII.

historical fiction
A composite material, with broken chunks of history embedded in an elastic matrix of fiction.

The etymology of this word has no more to do with his than that of the word calendar has to do with lend.

The term natural history ought to give you a hint of that. It comes from the Latin historia naturalis. That was the title of a sort of compendium of universal knowledge compiled by Pliny the Elder, and for him natura was a little more inclusive than our nature, which deserves its own entry, eventually. For now I'll just mention that like Linneaus in the eighteenth century, Pliny dealt not just with the animal and vegetable but also the mineral kingdom, both wild (as found `in nature') and domesticated (dyes and other technology), and also the weather, and other stuff. He really wanted to cram all knowledge into his encyclopedia, and at 37 books it is believed to be nearly complete, but curiosity killed that cat. He died in A.D. 79 when he went to investigate the volcanism of Mount Vesuvius, which erupted and covered Pompeii and Herculaneum. (He succumbed to toxic gases on the shore of the Bay of Naples.)

Histôria was a term borrowed from Greek, meaning `investigation,' so natural history is the investigation of nature. It was only gradually that the sense of the word historia (apart from special contexts like historia naturalis) became specialized to the investigation only of past human events.

The Greek histôria was based on the verb histôrein, `to inquire,' related to the noun histôr, `learned man.' No, no, his doesn't mean `man' here. (If anything, *-tor does; it's an element in archaic Greek men's names, such as Nestor, Hector, and Mentor in Homer, and in no women's names that I can think of. That would make story, derived from history, the more purely gendered term. Make of this what you will, but leave me out of it.)

Histôr is generally agreed to be a suffixed form *wid-tor of the common Indo-European root *weid-, meaning `to see.' The same root also led to the Greek words eidos (`form') and idea (`form,' `appearance,' and `idea'). (Hence Plato's ``idealism'' was his ``theory of the forms.'')

The University of Kansas serves a number of history resources such as the Virtual Library page for History and a linked Index of Resources for Historians. (That means that if you're not a licensed historian, you're not allowed to use them. Stay AWAY!)

history has shown
So I don't have to. Whaddaya mean ``please give examples''? It's history, it's facts -- you can go look 'em up! I don't have to tell you where to go (though I'm sorely tempted to).

HIStory of Technology Research Unit at Bournemouth University. This acronym has an unfortunuate resemblance to Minitrue.

Health Information Technology.

Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia, immune-mediated. Reduction in platelet count during heparin therapy (see UFH). Slight temporary decreases in platelet count are common (and self-correct) in the first few days of heparin therapy (both UFH and LMWH). This is not important, and usually not referred to as ``HIT.'' A thrombocytopenia mediated by an immune response to heparin occurs in up to 3% of heparin therapy cases. This more severe effect is HIT, and warrants immediate discontinuation of heparin therapy.

Hunter Information and Training program of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). It's getting dark-- I can't see! The mission of the HIT program is to promote the highest standards of safety, ethical hunting behavior and, wildlife conservation practices among Alaskan hunters. Alaska is the only state that issues licenses without requiring that a hunter education course be taken by the applicant.

If you've got the bandwidth.

Information about the director and occasional actor Alfred Hitchcock can be accessed through his entry the Internet Movie Database, as for others, and also at a dedicated Hitchcock homepage.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The virus that causes AIDS. Even the prime minister of South Africa believes this now.

At least two sets of strains are distinguished -- HIV1 and HIV2. HIV probably evolved from SIV, which induces symptoms more like HIV2. Cf. FIV.

HIV-tainted needles in gas-pump handles? A hoary urban legend; check out the UL entry.

One frequently encounters the usage ``HIV virus'' (an acronym-assisted AAP pleonasm). For clarity or emphasis, or for some unknown reason, ``HI virus'' is sometimes used. The spelling looks somewhat insensitively upbeat. On the other hand, it goes with the thoughtfully constructed adjective ``HI-viral.''

HIV positive. Infected with one strain or more of HIV. And it is a great strain.

Heavy-Ion-induced X-ray Satellite Emission.

Headphone Jack.

Any chance this guy is a distant relative of Max Headroom?

Heterojunction. Not Howard Johnson's, which is abbreviated HoJo.

Historical Jesus. The main frustration in attempting to extract historical information from the extant textual evidence (Christian testimony, Tacitus, Josephus, Talmud, etc.) is that the main weapon in the armamentarium argumenti is ``it seems reasonable to assume that.''

A lot of us nonbelievers are secretly hoping that he comes back anyway, just to hear him say ``No, no! That's not what I meant at all!''

Historisches Jahrbuch. A German journal that might have been named `History Yearbook' in English. See Stuart Jenks's page of Tables of Contents of Historical Journals and Monographic Series in German for a complete table of contents (deutsche Seite: Zeitschriftenfreihandmagazin Inhaltsverzeichnisse geschichtswissenschaftlicher Zeitschriften in deutscher Sprache).

History Journals Guide. An online resource created by Stefan Blaschke.

Hashemite Kingdom (of Jordan).


(Domain name code for) Hong Kong.

Here's the Hong Kong page of an X.500 directory.

The SAR entry has even less information about Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Dredging Corporation.

IATA code for Hong Kong International Airport, in Hong Kong. The largest airport in the world, with over 5500 doors, according to the entertainment portion of our in-flight program.

When I was there in August 1990, ground crew were eating lunch on the tarmac, in the shade of 747 wings.

Helsingin Kauppakorkeakoulu. Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.

Hong Kong (HK) Productivity Council.

Hong Kong (HK) Translation Society.

Hong Kong (HK) University of Science and Technology.

Henry Louis (Mencken).

High-Level Architecture.

Human Leukocyte Antigen. A protein on the macrophage cell surface that serves as a mount for displaying polypeptide fragments from broken-down viruses. Helper T-cells key on the peptides thus displayed (the epitopes) and activate B-cells (which generate antibodies to the free virus) and killer T-cells, which attack infected cells.

Horse-Liver Alcohol Dehydrogenase. (Not a joke.)

Handbook of Latin American Studies. A bibliography on Latin America listing works selected and annotated by academic scholars. Edited by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress. Published annually since 1935. In recent years, the even-numbered volumes have been dedicated to humanities and the odd-numbered volumes to social sciences.

History-of-Law (electronic mailing list). Sponsored by the ASLH.

Hydrophile-Lipophile Balance. Not yet another balance you have to try to achieve in your diet. This one is the responsibility of the emulsifiers. HLB is a measure of the relative attraction of an emulsifier for polar versus nonpolar liquids.

Hidden Line Hidden Surface Removal. A cosmetics technology? Not that I'm aware. The task of determining which lines and surfaces of a three-dimensional object should not be rendered in a computer-generated two-dimensional representation.

High(er) Level Language. A term of limited utility, including as it does both COBOL and C++.

Here's a list of computing languages with online resources.

High Level Language Application Programming Interface.

Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle. Like the Saturn V rocket. In this area the Soviets' space program had it all over us, with a large variety of Energiya rockets. I guess I'll put a link back here from the Satellite Power System (SPS) entry.

Habitation à loyer modéré. French more-or-less literally meaning `moderate-rent housing.' Equivalent to American `housing projects' or `low-income housing,' or British `council estates.' France had a big boom in HLM construction in the 1960's and 70's. Generally, these are high-rise apartments. See jeunes des banlieues.

Large blocks of rental units always seem to develop negative social connotations, and words associated with them become pejorative in various ways. Those ways vary among different languages and we'll visit that topic here eventually (for Spanish, English, and German).

HeadLine News. The sister-station of CNN. I was going to write that HLN is now a ``sealed acronym,'' but I realize now that it's actually a subtle XARA. (A XARA is A Recursive Acronym.) It's 2013, and since at least September of 2010, whenever I've read an expansion of HLN, it has been ``HLN, formerly known as Headline News.''

Properly, that should be written ``Hln, formerly known as headLine News.'' It's a wasted opportunity, of course. They should have called it TCNNFKAHLN (The Cable News Network Formerly Known As HeadLine News). And maybe they will. It seems to get some kind of rebranding every few years. It was launched as CNN2 in 1982, was Headline News 1983-1989, HN 1989-1992, Headline News again 1992-1997, CNN Headline News 1997-2007, and HLN since then. During the HN era and the first year or so of the HLN era, ``Headline News'' was regularly used appositively. Therefore, while it is fair to identify it as ``HLN, formerly known as Headline News,'' it is preferable, because ridiculous and accurate, to write ``HLN, formerly known as HLN, Headline News.''

For most of its existence, it has provided what ``headline'' implies: a condensed version of the news, repeated on a 30-minute loop. It was like the old WINS 1010 AM radio station in New York, which used to repeat, frequently: ``you give us twenty-two minutes, we give you the news.'' (Well it sounded like a comma splice.) The loop actually repeated exactly three times per hour, but they wanted you to show up early and hear the final two minutes of ads from the previous cycle. I would foil them by rehearing the weather report instead.

Since 2005, the once and future Headline News has shifted toward another kind of content strongly associated with headlines: tabloid programming. I believe they're now featuring two hours of Nancy Grace (``television's only justice themed/interview/debate show for those interested in the breaking news of the day'') twelve times daily. Notice that they say ``for those interested in the breaking news.'' Even they aren't claiming that it's always breaking.

Higher Layer Protocol Identifier.

Home Location Registry. (Or Register.) Permanent record of mobile network subscribers. Part of the cellular voice reference model.

Harvard Law School.


Hellenic Literature Society. You can receive a copy of their free fortnightly electronic newsletter, ``Greece in Print,'' as well as hard-copy promotional material, by sending a subscription request to GreekBooks@worldnet.att.net with your name and both your e-mail address and your home postal address. The HLS is a non-profit organization.

HindLimb Suspension. A procedure used for studying the effect on rat muscles of long-term ``unloading.'' Sort of the rat equivalent of enforced bed-rest.

High Loan-To-Value. An HTLV mortgage is one in which the principal on the loan is greater than the value of the property. HTLV mortgages are essentially renegotiations of the mortgage to refinance credit-card or other high-interest debt -- equivalent to a second mortgage.

High-Level Waste. An environmental management term. Cf. CEO, a business management term.

Heard and McDonald Islands, domain name code. An external territory of Australia in the southern Indian Ocean at about 5305' South, 07330' East. They are about 1,500 km north of Antarctica, 4,100 km south-west of Australia, and about 4,700 km south-east of Africa.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty.

Horace Mann School. According to the homepage, ``Horace Mann is a co-educational college preparatory day school enrolling students in Nursery through Twelfth Grade. Among the top independent day schools in the country, Horace Mann is best known for a superb academic program that draws talented young people from three states and as far away as 50 miles.''

Horace Mann, as you probably realize, is also the name of a person. Horace Mann (1796-1859) was an early advocate of free universal public education. He was known as the ``father of the American public school,'' but that's a lot of syllables; his friends probably called him ``Horace.'' (Even though ``Horace'' is disyllabic, it's practically as atomic as ``Paul.'') He was elected the first secretary of the Board of Education of Massachusetts when that was founded in 1837. The Horace Mann School traces its history back to the Horace Mann Lincoln School, founded in 1887 and described today at our HML entry.

Hardwood Manufacturers Association. Sponsors a Hardwood Information Center.

See also the Hardwood Agents and Brokers Association (HABA).

Hot Mix Asphalt.

HexaMethylBenzene. Don't you think you're overdoing the symmetry thing, here? That's it -- no more methyl groups, I'm full!

Heteronuclear Multiple-Bond Connectivities. NMRtian.

HeadMasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. A UK organization that represents the heads of independent schools. In Britain, ``independent'' schools are privately-run schools -- what are called private schools in the US and used to be called public schools in Britain. The government-operated schools (``public schools'' in the US) are ``state schools'' in Britain.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Canadian Ship.

Head-Mounted Display.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

HMDS, hmds

Hoof-and-Mouth Disease Virus. Note that the disease is not ``Hoof in Mouth.'' Cows, at least, are not that stupid.

High Magnetic Field[s]. There's a biennial HMF conference that began in 1972 at the University of Würzburg. Eight of the first 18 conferences were at that venue, so HMF is also known as ``the Würzburg Conferences.'' HMF18 was organized as a satellite conference of the ICPS 2008. As satellites go, it has a long orbital period; ICPS 2008 is in Rio de Janeiro, while HMF18 is in São Pedro, a small town 180 km northwest of São Paulo and 100 km north of Campinas. The conference is providing transportation from São Paulo International Airport and from Campinas airport.

Heavy-Metal Fluoride Glasses. Sounds like something old metal rockers would use to find their way around the nursing home, if they lived that long. See ZBLAN for more serious discussion.

Horse Media Group.

Human Menopausal Gonadotropin. Stimulates egg development. Clomiphene (common name Clomid) is also used clinically for infertility caused by inadequate egg maturation.

3-Hydroxy-3-MethylGlutaryl COenzyme A (CoA).

Hugh M. Hefner. Founder of Playboy Magazine (in 1953) and related enterprises. A pleasingly symmetric monogram.

Hub Management Interface.

Horace Mann-Lincoln School. A private New York City coeducational school founded in 1887 as an adjunct of Teachers College (TC). The official name was ``Horace Mann Lincoln Institute for School Experimentation'' (HMLI), although making anything official or regular is probably anathema. (I assume you know who Lincoln was. Horace Mann is described a little bit at the entry HM, the initialism preferred by the school in its current incarnation.)

HML was a progressive school, and after John Dewey joined the TC faculty in 1904, it only got more progressive. The school was also politically ``progressive.'' It may have had a limousine-liberal period, but eventually the student body came to be mostly red-diaper babies. The philosopher John Searle, who attended HML in the 40's, recalled in this 1999 interview that, as a mere socialist, he ``was sort of the class right-winger of the ninth grade.''

``The Horace Mann School for Boys moved to Riverdale in 1912, and during the 1940's, severed formal ties with Teachers College and became Horace Mann School. The HM School for Girls remained at Teachers College through the 1940's.'' I read somewhere that that closed in 1948, and that its old building is now New York's P.S. 125.

You could do worse than visit the HML entry.

Can't take a hint, can you?

Hidden Markov Model. Where did they hide it?

High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle. ` Humvee.' Replaced the Jeep.

Health Maintainance Organization. If they sold life insurance too, then they might have an incentive for you to survive. Visit the homepage of NCQA, the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

A brief explanation of the origin of the HMO can be found on the web.

Hückel Molecular Orbital (method, theory, whathaveyou).

If you can't enter the umlauted character in the text, write ``Hueckel'' for Hückel.

High-Performance MOS.

Heterostructure MOSFET.

Host Monitoring Protocol.

HyperMedia Presentation.

HexaMethylPropyleneAmine Oxime.

Heteronuclear Multiple-Quantum Correlation. NMRtian. Cf. Single same (HMQC).

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Railway Inspectorate.

Huber-Markov Random Field.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Ship. Most famous: the Pinafore.

The Historical Metallurgy Society.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Stationery Office. Similar in function to the US GPO.

High Molecular Weight.

Honduras domain name code.

H-NET, H-Net
Full name: H-Net, Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine.
``H-Net is an interdisciplinary organization of scholars dedicated to developing the enormous educational potential of the Internet and the World Wide Web. The computing heart of H-Net resides at Michigan State University, but H-Net officers, editors and subscribers come from all over the globe.''

Yeah, yeah, I'm sure they do a lot of fine stuff, but primarily they're known for setting up mailing lists for some of the more electronically halt and lame among humanistic and social scientific learned societies.

HIPPI Networking Forum. Here.

High NonLinearity Dispersion-Shifted (optic) Fiber.

Hughes Network Systems.

Holmium. A lanthanide or rare earth (RE) element. Its existence was predicted on spectroscopic grounds by Delafontaine and Soret in 1878. It was first isolated as an impurity [column] in erbia earth by Per Theodor Cleve, who named it after the Latin name of his native city, Stockholm. Perhaps the reason for the resemblance between that city's Latin name and Swedish name is the fact that the city was founded in the thirteenth century. On the other hand, for a long time the place was Christiana. Oh wait -- that's Oslo. Never mind.

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

Half-O. The name of a model railroad scale, 1:87. Half the size of O (letter O) scale, which was originally known as 0 (zero). HO is the most popular scale for model railroad and industry sets, although there is increasing enthusiasm for N.

High output... lamps, that is. VHO is Very HO.

Home Office. That is, an office at home. Some companies may well use HO as an abbreviation for their (non-residential) ``home office.''

A bricklayer's implement.

The (UK) Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act of 1979.

Highest Occupied Donor Orbital. HODO is to LEAO as HOMO is to LUMO. In fact, the HODO is the HOMO, in some approximation. In donor-acceptor complexes, the highest occupied state (a/k/a orbital) is (centered) on the donor complex and the lowest unoccupied state (the LUMO, if you've done that kind of calculation) is on the acceptor complex, so it's the lowest empty acceptor orbital (the LEAO). So HODO and LEAO are special cases, for donor-acceptor complexes, of HOMO and LUMO, respectively.

A farm implement.

Holographic Optical Element.

H-Net Network on Online Education in the Humanities.

Heteronuclear Overhauser Enhancement (NMR) SpectroscopY. Nuclear Overhauser Enhancement is NOE, but right now there's nothing there but pointers to related acronyms.

Hall Of Fame. What, you were expecting maybe ``House of Flatcakes''?

Henry Mitchell MacCracken, a chancellor of New York University, conceived the idea of a pantheon of great Americans, and coined the name ``Hall of Fame'' for it. It was founded in 1900 and built on what was then the uptown campus of NYU. It opened in 1901 with 29 inductees.

A surprisingly uninquisitive Dave Blevins did not even address the question of priority in his nevertheless interesting book Halls of Fame (2004). It's subtitled An International Directory, and in addition to a few he found in the US, he gamely listed HoF's in Canada and 17 other countries. (He counted ``more than fifteen countries.'' Maybe he was running out of toes, or maybe he just had a nagging suspicion that possibly the Irish Music Hall of Fame in Dublin, Ireland, is not in the UK.)

According to the back cover, more than 450 HoF's are listed. I'm not going to check, but here are some numbers I can compute easily:

Are there disturbing signs that America's famous lead in the HoF race is shrinking?

Blevin is also the author of UFO Directory International: 1000+ Organizations and Publications in 40+ Countries (2003).

History Of Geology. The Geological Society of America has a History of Geology Division (GSA HoG) and the UK's Geological Society (GS) has a SIG called the History of Geology Group (HoGG).

An animal that ignorant city-slickers are apt to call by the technically incorrect word pig, or a different animal altogether: a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The latter is also called a hawg or hogg. Regarding the latter of the latter, see the hogg entry. And speaking of entries...

In July 1995, a stray Vietnamese potbellied pig named Chi-Chi discovered a shiny black hog belonging to Walter Wyatt, in the yard of Wyatt's home in Key West, Florida. Excited, Chi-Chi mounted the brand-new hog's front tire and tried to mate with it. Okay, perhaps it succeeded in mating with it. Who's to say? Walter's wife Patricia witnessed the whole thing from her kitchen and called police. The 50-pound animal did at least $100 of damage to the object of his affections, scratching the paint and tearing the bike's fabric cover. It must've been hot.

According to animal control officers, state law requires all unclaimed strays to be neutered, and the owner, not identified in news reports, declined to claim him. Many locals, including the assault victim's owner, felt that the punishment was too harsh. I say the punishment fit the crime better than the victim did, but Walter Wyatt said, ``His crime is an alleged sex act against a Harley. We don't even know if that's a felony!'' A ``Spring Chi-Chi'' defense fund raised $300, and Wayne Smith, president of the Monroe County Bar Association, handled the case on a pro bono basis. ``The punishment could be death or what some males may consider a fate worse than death,'' said Smith.

What were the alternatives? A local motorcycle dealer said he might let Chi-Chi go hog-wild in his showroom, just to get it out of his system. ``Just a night's stay.'' One man offering to adopt Chi-Chi sent a letter to the Chamber of Commerce. It ended ``P.S. I have a broken scooter. It's his.'' Chi-Chi was fixed and retired to a local petting zoo.

Florida seems to produce a disproportionate share of animal-related weird news. For another example, read about the trouser snake at CREAMER. For more about potbellied pigs see NAPPA. Many NAPA distributors also carry motorcycle parts.

I'd like to mention that Key Lime pie was invented in Key West, but I can't think of a good excuse to do so. One of the factors in the creation of that confection was the widespread use of canned condensed milk there, at a time when it was less common elsewhere in the country. This must have been due to Key West's isolation. Isolation was probably a factor in the siting of the Agriculture Department's Animal Import Center at nearby Fleming Key. On July 26, 1989, six years to the day before Chi-Chi's case was heard in Key West, the Ag department officially admitted a herd of Chinese hogs after four months of tests at the center. The herd of 140 animals included three breeds: Meishan, Ming and Feng-Jing. They had been purchased by the University of Illinois and Iowa State University for breeding experiments. The breeds were described as ``unusually prolific''; their twice-yearly litters average 16 to 20 newborn, with a record of 33. They must suckle in shifts. Most U.S. breeds have litters of 10 to 12. (I couldn't bring myself to write ``only 10 to 12.'') I should probably also mention the nearby Bay of Pigs. Done.

History Of Geology Group. Details at the HoG entry.

Sheep. Sometimes I get the idea that the language has been taken over and is being made deliberately confusing by nefarious beings called Anglophones. Read about famous Anglophones who wrote in English at the item on Douglas Hogg.

Hard Of Hearing. Deaf or hearing-impaired. You have to be a little bit careful or sensitive in using these terms: there is an emotional disagreement about the best way to educate children who are profoundly deaf: immersion in a signing environment vs. heroic efforts to mainstream [lip-reading, ``Signing Exact English (SEE, q.v.), etc.]. Some terms to indicate partial hearing impairment are interpreted by those favoring a signing focus as indications of destructive wishfulness on the part of mainstreamers.

HOmonuclear HArtmann HAhn (variety of NMR spectroscopy). Not a joke. Don't insult me; I would have thought up something funnier.

Holocaust Oral History Project.

Howard Johnson's. I think they spun off the ice cream business a few years ago.

Head Of Line.

Hold the cheese.
Hold all of the cheese; I want it with no cheese. (This particular entry is for the edification of fast-food preparers everywhere. To encourage distribution, this entire glossary entry is placed the public domain. No, not the entire glossary.)

Also -- you know those double burgers with the pre-positioned cheese slice between the patties? Take it out or start over.

Also, when I say ``Taco Salad, hold the lettuce,'' yes, that means I want no cheese with it. Obviously, I meant ``hold the cheese'' and misspoke. ``It comes with cheese'' is not an acceptable response.

BTW, it's not necessary literally to hold the cheese, just don't put it on the food item.

Hold the onions.
This was a code phrase used in movies during the most severely repressive era of sexual-content censorship (after institution of the Production Code in 1934; the onion code was popular in the 40's). The idea was that a man would remember not to put anything on his breath that was unpleasant, or deleterious to romance, if he planned to do any heavy breathing in the near future. It was so well understood that it was a common joke on the radio. (More about leeks and legalities at the PTD entry.)

Time passed, and people forgot. In Waiting (chapter 9 -- see LBI entry), social scientist Debra Ginsberg actually went to the trouble of explaining, as if to a child, that ``a couple on a date early in their relationship will either both have garlic in their meals or request that it be entirely removed from their dishes.'' At least she realized that it could go without saying, that the latter group experiences less satisfaction.

Harvard OnLine Library Information System.

Holy Trinity
The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

Higher-Order Laue Zone (lines).

German, `wood.' A common surname. Surnames tend to preserve older spellings, so Holtz is also common. Lou Holtz was the Notre Dame football coach until the end of 1996, when he resigned ``because it was the right thing to do.'' It was the right thing to do because the AD wanted him out.

Wood seems somehow to be prototypical stuff. When you try to conjure up an image of nonspecific stuff, likely as not the image you conjure will be of wood or clay. That's my theory, anyway. I mean, if someone says ``a fish'' out of the blue, the mental image evoked is not likely to be of a barracuda or a zebra fish or even a mature flounder. You're more likely to imagine something that looks roughly like a cod. It's like that. For supporting evidence, see the HYLE entry. Another bit of evidence is in the fact that the German word Klotz, meaning `block,' is understood to mean a block of wood if the material is not otherwise specified. More about that word is now at the klutz entry.

Homeworkers Organized for More Employment.

Web weenie. Differs from ``cyberweenie,'' much as ``geek'' is a very different thing than a ``nerd.''


Homer search page
htgrep form for Homeric papyri.

Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. Mnemonic for the ``Great Lakes'' of North America. Lake Michigan is entirely in the US, but Lake Ontario, like the rest, is shared between Ontario and the US. It probably seems unfair, but as it happens, Michigan isn't really a whole lake. Michigan and Huron are two lobes of a single body of fresh water connected by ``Mackinac Strait,'' which is 3.6 miles across at its narrowest. Water flows through the strait in both directions. The areas of L. Huron (59,596 sq. km = 23,010 sq. mi.) and L. Michigan (58,016 sq. km = 22,400 sq. mi.) are computed by allocating some of the strait to each; their combined area far exceeds that of L. Superior (82,414 sq. km = 31,820 sq. mi.), which is popularly considered to be the world's largest fresh-water lake.

Lakes Erie and Ontario have areas 25,719 sq. km (9,930 sq. mi.) and 19,477 sq. km (7,520 sq. mi.), resp.

  1. Cloth woven by hand.
  2. You're looking for stuff about Norman Rockwell. Try the NYC entry.

Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital. Pronounced with long ohs [as in homozygous pronounced carefully, or as in (Joshua) Nkomo rather than, say, homonym] and stress on the initial syllable (/'houmou/). Lower-lying orbitals may be referred to as ``HOMO minus one'' (HOMO-1) ``HOMO minus two'' (HOMO-2), etc. See also LUMO and HOMO-LUMO gap.

Cf. (the less common) HODO.

It is a question of long standing whether the second e in the word ``homogeneous'' should be pronounced. A haiku inspired by Spam has settled the question definitively:
Ears, snouts and innards,
A homogeneous mass.
Pass another slice.

See also the navel entry.

Two words are homographs if they are written the same way. Since English spelling is not especially phonetic, there exist homographs with different pronunciations. Here's a list of heterophonic homographs that I can come up with offhand, plus some I added later: The pronunciation of the suffix -ate stressed or unstressed, or with a long or short vowel, seems (when the distinction occurs) typically to differentiate a verb (long or stressed a) from its homographic adjective or noun. In cases like celibate or differentiate, the pattern holds despite the absence of the verb or the rarity of an alternate form.

A junction between regions of the same bulk material which differ in the concentration of dopants. The paradigmatic example is the np diode, but a junction between As-doped and P-doped n-Si is technically also a homojunction. Cf. heterojunction.

A word that describes itself. Examples: polysyllabic, English. In this specific sense, homological has the synonym autological (entry under construction). In that sense, perhaps, autological may be preferrable, since homological is also a synonym of homologous.

The energy difference between the Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital (HOMO) and the Lowest Unoccupied Molecular Orbital (LUMO).

Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital, minus one. The orbital immediately below HOMO and immediately above HOMO-2. Parallel nomenclature in LUMO+1, etc.

Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital, minus two. Often when, in systems with an even number of electrons, you say ``HOMO minus one,'' you really mean HOMO-2. That's because in most approximations that use molecular orbitals, and to a very high degree of accuracy, orbitals come in degenerate spin pairs, and by ``minus one'' you mean down one level in energy. In the naming of orbitals this is just a book-keeping or nomenclatural convention problem, but in Hartree-Fock calculations, it's an issue! See the symmetry dilemma entry for moral guidance.

Honesty is the best policy.
Okay, fine. What's the second-best policy?

Margaret Carlson describes this as a joke ``[a]mong consultants'' in her March 27, 2008, ``Commentary'' at <Bloomberg.com>, entitled ``Hillary's Just Making It Up As She Goes Along.''

Japanese: `real, inner wish.'

Nitrous Acid. ``HONO'' is the structural formula, used as an abbreviation. If you like, you can regard it as an acronym with the expansion ``Hydrogen Oxygen Nitrogen Oxygen.'' The deuterated form is called DONO.

honors programs
In schools that have them, honors programs typically enroll about 5-10% of students.

hoofbeats, When you hear
... think horses, not zebras. A medical proverb, instructing one not to be too clever by half and imagine unlikely etiologies when common and more likely ones are available.

In the movie Duck Soup, which begins with a shot of ducks swimming in a bowl (IIRC), Groucho says

Gentlemen, Chicolini may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.

In golf, a ball is said to hook when it curves through the air toward the side the golfer has driven it from (viz., toward the left for right-handed golfer, and conversely). A ball curving to the opposite side is said to slice.

Informal name for the game of basketball.

A common circus trick is getting large cats to jump through hoops instead of eating the trainer. Metaphorically, ``jumping through hoops'' means performing pointless tasks for the satisfaction of someone you'd probably rather bite. It is the favorite metaphor of pre-meds and med students to describe the stuff they have to learn, or at least parrot, in order to get into and through medical school.

Anne wrote The Ultimate Sex Book. Grace was a mathematician who wrote the first implementation of COBOL and became the first woman admiral in the US Navy. Oh wait. That's Grace Hopper. Whatever. A lot of the stuff on the web on GH is bound to be a little distorted.

Since the 1830's.

Any flight under eight hours, according to the precise definition in one of Joan Didion's novels.

Hopeful Oats
A particularly self-deceived variety of wild oats, for sowing. Oh wait, maybe not. Could be Hope Floats. Those would be the MIA/POW cars in your Veterans Day parade. I suppose you could regard it as a complete sentence, with floats regarded as an intransitive verb, third person singular. Also a movie.

History Of Philosophy Of Science. Distinguished from HPS, q.v.

HOPOS also referred to ``[t]he History of Philosophy of Science Working Group ... an international society of scholars who share an interest in promoting research on the history of the philosophy of science and related topics in the history of the natural and social sciences, logic, philosophy, and mathematics. We interpret this statement of shared interest broadly, meaning to include all historical periods and diverse methodologies. We aim to promote historical work in a variety of ways, including the sponsorship of meetings and conference sessions, the publication of books and special issues of journals, maintaining an email discussion group, and the dissemination of information about libraries, archives and collections, and bibliographic information.''

The biennial meetings of HOPOS are also called HOPOS, or more specifically HOPOS '98, HOPOS 2000, HOPOS 2002, HOPOS 2004 (San Francisco), etc.

Between the time when I first put this entry in (around 2002) and today (2004), the ``working group'' has renamed itself ``The International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science,'' and slightly reworked its self-description with more formal and less personal wording. HOPOTH abideth within the membership of la FISP.

(And FISP is a member of CIPSH. It's like Russian dolls.)

Horologium. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

It's not what you think, you filthy-minded illiterate! Improve yourself, view these historical documents:

horology.com offers a comprehensive index of internet resources. There's also an Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS). Washington University hosts a museum wall of old clocks and a nice sundial.

If you ask scholars of eighteenth-century English literature (dieciochistas) what the greatest work of their period is, a large fraction will answer that it was Tristram Shandy -- Laurence Sterne's strange (``experimental''!) novel published in 1760. It has an extremely discursive style, even for its era. The book begins at the very beginning, with Tristram's conception, and a clock plays a pivotal role in that beginning.

Tristram's father made a very regular habit, the first Sunday night of each month, of personally winding a large house-clock that stood at the head of the back stairs. The book is written as a first person narrative, and it includes this delicately phrased report:

...it so fell out at length, that my poor mother could never hear the said clock wound up, -- but the thoughts of some other things unavoidably popp'd into her head, -- & vice versâ : -- which strange combination of ideas, the sagacious Locke, who certainly understood the nature of these things better than most men, affirms to have produced more wry actions than all other sources of prejudice whatsoever.

Shandy was conceived ``betwixt the first Sunday and the first Monday in the month of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighteen....'' By the workings of his mother's vice versa clause above, as they were doing the deed, she quoth, ``Pray, my dear, have you not forgot to wind up the clock?'' This untimely question disturbed his father, and in so doing it ``scattered and dispersed the animal spirits, whose business it was to have escorted and gone hand-in-hand with the HOMUNCULUS, and conducted him safe to the place destined for his reception'' thus damaging him for life.

In mid-June 2004, Blind River, Ontario, a town of 4,000 on the northern shore of Lake Huron, had a related experience: all the electric clocks gained about ten minutes per day against the eastern time kept in surrounding areas and by computers and VCR's in the same town. It eventually turned out that, in order to do some maintenance work, engineers of Hydro One (the power utility) had taken Blind River off the Ontario power grid and supplied the town from a local generator. That generator's frequency was slightly higher than the usual 60 Hz.

What, you were expecting some connection with Tristram Shandy? No. This story is only connected -- and that most tenuously -- with the dueling time zones entry.

German for `radio drama.' Literally, it is a compound noun correponding to English `hear play.'

Higher-Order Statistics.

History Of Science. An academic discipline not unrelated to HPS or HST. There's a link to useful stuff at HSTM.

Okay, a thumbnail description: history of science is historical inquiry (now ``interrogation,'' in the pomo term) designed to demonstrate that scientists are fundamentally self-deluded and irrational. Because the majority of in-fashion historians of science like science as much as they like scientists, HOS is increasingly externalist.

One of the interesting emerging research problems in this careful field of scholarship is ``the Science Wars.'' The circumstances of the Science Wars are the following: Working scientists (natural scientists, I mean) mostly ignore philosophy of science because it is of no use, and ignore history of science, as written by historians rather than scientists, because it is no good.

Time-out for an opposing opinion: Scientists dislike philosophy of science because it exposes their unthinking prejudices, and ignore history of science, as written by historians rather than scientists, because it is not Whiggish and so does not flatter scientists' triumphalist fantasy. We now return you to the regularly-scheduled rant.

People in HPS have difficulty understanding scientists' POV, because they think that what they're doing is useful (philosophers) or competent (historians). Occasionally, a scientist will notice the spew from HOS, point out that it's garbage, and possibly even trouble to explain why, even though the fact is essentially self-evident. The HOSers will respond by psychoanalyzing the offending scientist. Occasionally the story makes it into the newspapers. This is the Science Wars.

Okay, time for another fit of conscience. Philosophy is useful, though not usually in a practical way, because it attempts to answer the most fundamental questions thinking people have tried to make sense of. Unfortunately, science deals only in approximations. Often excellent approximations, but still not certain enough to hang a heavy philosophical argument on. For example, Newtonian mechanics is an excellent approximation for the reality the eighteenth century could understand, but the qualitative aspects of that theory bore only a partial formal resemblance to the quantum mechanics that replaced it in the twentieth century. So while Newtonian mechanics might be highly accurate in physical terms, in metaphysical terms it wasn't in the same universe, never mind close. Today's physical theories are much more accurate than Newton's and explain a much broader range of phenomena, but there is no reason to suppose that these accurate theories are anything but sand foundations for a metaphysical edifice.

As to HOS, well, a lot of it is garbage, and a lot of it is excellent. Because HOS is not itself a science -- that is, because it does not as a discipline integrate regular tests of theory against experiment, there is no very good way to cast off the ballast, and various ships in the HOS fleet are sinking under the weight of too much pomo freight.

Taking cognizance of the preceding information, you may or not be interested in the discipline's professional society HSS and the fact that the largest, oldest, and probably the best respected (within-field) HOS department in the US is the one at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), q.v.

Hours Of Service. That's hours of service of drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV's). You want to wake up a drowsy driver? Mention the FMCSA's proposed new HOS rules, that'll get 'im goin'. A perennial big issue for truckers.

Eye dialect for horse.

Hoss Cartwright
Nickname of character Eric Cartwright played by Dan Blocker (see IMDB entry) on the TV series Bonanza (1959-73). Middle son of Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) and brother of Adam Cartwright (Pernell Roberts, only until 1965) and Little Joe (Michael Landon, who later starred as father on the treacly Little House on the Prairie; see the IMDB entry, if you must).

The name ``Hoss'' suggested build or strength. Dan Blocker died of a pulmonary embolism following surgery at age 43 (1928.12.10-1972.5.13).

hot, HoT, HOT!
Helen Of Troy. A legendary person and a forgettable 2003 TV mini-series that uses the names of some characters from Homer's Iliad. Some plot elements also appear to have been inspired by that book. Helen of Troy is also the title of a 1956 movie. In this one, Brigitte Bardot (not yet a star) plays Andraste, a handmaiden to Helen. You know the joke about the millihelen, right?

Incidentally, if you're ever in the land of Heinrich Schliemann or anywhere else that German is spoken, you should be careful to distinguish phrases about the weather or environment, such as ``es ist heiß'' (`it is hot') or ``mir ist heiß'' (`it seems hot to me'), from statements about internal conditions like ``ich bin heiß'' (`I am sexually excited, I am in rut'). You wouldn't want your partner to get up and turn on the air conditioner -- it might get very cold in the room (das Zimmer), very fast.

History Of Technology, not. This cool acronym is avoided by professional historians of technology. Instead, they use STS and HST, always sticking science in there, as if some technologies were not in fact completely independent of or at least prior to science. Not serious enough, I guess. Have a little fun! At least the professional society is SHOT.

If you only have space in your library for one so-bad-it's-good book, please consider A Short History of Technology, copyright 1954 (details at self-published). It's not by professional historians of technology either; it's by Vice Admiral Harold G. Bowen and Charles F. Kettering. I have two bits of advice about reading it:

  1. Don't drink and read.
  2. Vacuum the carpet first. (You'll thank me when you're ROTFL.)

For a sample, read the first two paragraphs of Kettering's foreword:

This booklet is a short history of discovery and invention. It also is an explanation of how our country became the leading industrial nation of the world with the highest standard of living ever attained.

It tells how the nameless people of Western Europe by their own inventions, plus those acquired from the Arabs, improved the existing practical arts. The improvement continued until suddenly the mind of man became emancipated from most of the century-old ideas which had been holding him back and he became creative.

hot carriers, hot electrons, hot holes
Quasifree carriers in a semiconductor which are nondegenerate and whose kinetic energies are significantly greater than kT, where k is Boltzmann's constant and T isn't. If you have to guess what T is, it probably didn't help you to know what k is called.

Historians Of the Twentieth-Century United States. ``In June 2007 around 30 British historians of the US gathered at the Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) for an inaugural meeting for a new organization of historians of America in the twentieth century.'' That answers the first question: they did know that the acronym can be read as ``hot cuss.'' The second question is, how are they going to define ``twentieth century''? (Cf. BrANCH.)

hot Java
Hot coffee.

A web browser from Sun. Originally named oak.

hot Jupiter
Astronomers' term for a Jupiter-size planet orbiting its sun at a Mercury-like distance, preferably much closer. Large mass and close orbit both improve the chances of detection, and for both of the methods of detection in use (described at exoplanet).

hot links
Spicy sausage, usually pork. Cf. VSDL. (FYI, Landjaeger is pepperoni made with beef instead of pork.)

Harvard Of The South.

Higher-Order Thinking Skills. Something you can claim to have when you don't know anything useful.

Remember, you can't spell Hottentot without tent. Actually, you might as well forget it, because the approved term is Khoikhoi, that group's own name for itself, and the former term -- based on European settlers' efforts to imitate the click sounds of their language -- is deprecated (in the computing sense) as deprecatory.

Also, they apparently didn't use tents historically, but more permanent structures, despite practicing transhumance (moving their herds between winter and summer pastures). A west African friend told me (in 1982 or so) that people would ask him things like ``do Africans still live in trees?'' But he was still kind of hung up on the colonialism/neocolonialism thing, and it wasn't unknown for him to exaggerate. Also, he claimed that they don't live in trees. I could be more precise with the details, but I'd rather point out that he is now his country's UN ambassador [temporary ``permanent representative to the UN''] and leave his and his country's identities vague.

Once upon a time, there was an African King who kept several thrones hanging around in his grass hut palace. Then one day they all came crashing down. The moral: ``People who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.'' [This was once a widely told pun.]

hot tip
The business end of a soldering iron. Be careful.

The pronunciation of this English word is interesting: the verb has a voiced ess (i.e., a zee sound). Voicing of the final sibilant distinguishes noun and verb in some other instances. (This is sometimes marked by a spelling difference, as in advice (n.) and advise (v.), and sometimes not, as in use and use, similarly excuse.) The other words I can come up with that look like house and have common noun and verb uses, are grouse, louse, mouse, and souse. All have a consistent unvoiced final sibilant. (Touse, with voiced ess, seems pretty archaic to me, but it tended to be a verb...) There is, on the other hand, a tendency for -ouse words that function almost exclusively as nouns (lobscouse, spouse, titmouse) or verbs (bouse, espouse, (a)rouse, carouse), to have unvoiced and voiced ess at the end, respectively. But there's an exception, if you count the verb chouse, which may not be obsolete. Douse or dowse is trickier, since the voiced and unvoiced verbs, spelled either way, refer to different actions.

It is dangerous to try to draw conclusions in English based on spelling alone. The sound-spelling correspondences, er, correlations, depend very much on the origin. The etymologies of -ouse words, as it happens, are a bit varied and occasionally unknown. However, I think it is useful to consider all -ouse words as a group, because they tend to look Germanic and be interpreted as such. (Just as deacon, from Greek via Church Latin, is pronounced like Germanic beacon.) Anyway, I think that the pattern of voicing may have to do with assimilation of voicing in the final consonant of the verb inflected forms. That is, rouse, say, even if it have started with an unvoiced ess, could have gotten a voiced ess first in the frequent form roused. Later, the voicing would have jumped the vowel in rouses and also appeared in rouse, in an instance of psycholinguistic reasoning (in Sapir's sense). Nouns, and words that may be verbs but usually are nouns, would not have been affected. House is then exceptional in a consistent way: unlike most -ouse nouns, its plural has voicing in the root. That is, the first ess in the plural noun houses has a zee sound, just like the second and final ess. So it all pretty much hangs together, if one can explain why the first ess in houses is voiced, even though it's not voiced in similar collocations elsewhere. Probably has something to do with archaic plurals. Uh, yes, um... we'll leave this as an exercise for the reader.

Comments above about current pronunciations tend to reflect my own (typical mid-Atlantic) dialect. Pronunciations vary. AHD4 claims that blouse is somewhere pronounced with a voiced final ess. A regional variation related to house is in the name(s) Houston, q.v.


Housman, A. E. (Alfred Edward) (1859-1936)
In the introduction to his critical edition of Manilius, book v (1930), the famous poet and classicist wrote:
The first volume of the edition of Manilius now completed was published in 1903, the second in 1912, the third in 1916, and the fourth in 1920. All were produced at my own expense and offered to the public at much less than cost price; but this unscrupulous artifice did not overcome the natural disrelish of mankind for the combination of a tedious author with an odious editor. Of each volume there were printed 400 copies: only the first is yet sold out, and that took 23 years; and the reason why it took no longer is that it found purchasers among the unlearned, who had heard that it contained a scurrilous preface and hoped to extract from it a low enjoyment.

More at the A. E. entry.

A city in Texas whose name is pronounced about like ``YOU stun'' or ``HUGH stun.'' (I.e., as /'ju:st.n/ or /'hju:st.n/, where I've represented a short-duration shwa by a period.) There's a Houston Street in New York City; that ``Houston'' is pronounced essentially as ``house-ton'' (/'haust.n/). As I mention at the SoHo entry, I've heard that mispronouncing the New York name led to the exposure of a German spy in WWII, but I've never been able to track the story down.

High-Occupancy Vehicle. Term used for what is really better described as a vehicle that is somewhat highly occupied -- with more than one, maybe more than two riders. (Unless it's a motorcycle, I think.) Less-clogged HOV lanes are used by traffic-choked municipalities as an incentive to get commuters to buy life-size passenger dolls. In some movie I heard about, a guy desperate to use HOV lanes hired a prostitute off the street to ride with him. So the streetwalker became a passenger, a ho' fo' de HOV. Sounds perfectly natural.

There are proposals floating around to allow LEV's in HOV lanes.

Howard Dean, diplomat

How do you kiss?
``Softly, passionately and often.'' is the correct answer, according to an AP article (Greg Myre byline) on Russian female, American male matchmaking services. Now that I've given away the answer, they'll have to come up with something a bit more creative.

Howlin' Wolf
Stage name of Chester Arthur Burnett. A musician, he was born June 10, 1910, and died January 10, 1976. We have a little more information about him, or perhaps just a little more loquaciousness, at the smokestack lightning entry.

How Many Children Had Lady Macbeth?
A famous 1933 essay by Lionel Charles Knights, published in his Explorations. You're supposed to understand that the title question is an Early Modern English phrasing of ``How many children did Lady Macbeth have?''

Also the title of a (probably justifiably) unknown monologue (by Don Nigro, 1966) in which a woman describes how her ambition to play the role of Lady Macbeth has led to some funny and some sad consequences.

How short are you?
How short of discharge are you? How much time is left in your tour of duty? Military expression.

How stupid do you think I am?
You don't have to answer that.

How to crack your back.
Most people know how to crack their knuckles but not their backs. I discovered accidentally how easy it is:
  1. Sit to one side (i.e. next to the middle) of an old sofa. Ideally, the sofa should be dusty or have loose dry dirt on top, or have threadbare cushions filled with hardened, disintegrating old urea foam.
  2. Slap the middle of the sofa repeatedly.
  3. Without moving your legs/lap, twist your upper body sideways to lean down to face the center of the sofa.
  4. Sneeze involuntarily, surprising yourself.

This method may not be very repeatable, but you won't mind.

HomeOwners 3 Special Form. Industry-standard homeowners insurance. As far as I know, the absent apostrophe is standard too. The 3 refers to the three basic kinds of protection:
  1. Physical damage coverage. This pays repair/replacement costs for house, unattached buildings on the property, and personal property, and incidental expenses for temporary alternate housing.
  2. Liability coverage. Pays for liability you or your household or pet(s) may incur for someone else's bodily injury or property damage, or to defend in court against a claim of such liability, or both.
  3. Medical coverage. Covers the same group as liability, but pays medical expenses. The idea behind this is, say some knucklehead visits and walks into your door. The medical coverage part of your homeowners insurance is a kind of no-fault coverage that pays for an MRI scan to see if his brain cell was damaged. It's hoped that this will take care of sincere nuisances, up to a kilobuck or so. If that won't do, and knucklehead wants you to pay for an intelligence transplant or for mental anguish (oh! the embarrassment!), then he's going to have to sue or settle, and that's where liability coverage for bodily injury kicks in. He'll need to convince a court that it was negligent on your part to have a door, or demonstrate that he was not already stupid before the brain trauma suffered on your property. (And no, it's not hard to find donors for an intelligence transplant. Plenty of people have it and never use it.)

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(But the ``Hold the cheese.'' entry is in the public domain.)