- Because English spelling is only approximately phonetic, a few spelling
rules and mnemonics have been invented to help one in remembering correct
spellings. (Some others are mentioned further
Probably the most famous rule is
``i before e except after c.''
This is useful, but even more useful is the more complete, but less
``i before e except after c,
or when pronounced as a.''
The latter rule takes care of neighbor, their, the
heir/hierarchy confusion, and
for which a special mnemonic is given below.
Some special cases are still left over (e.g., height), and while it
is best simply to memorize many of these, some others are best regarded
simply as diphthongs not covered by the rule (e.g., science, although
words like conscience are trickier cases).
For more English spelling help, see this 28-rule list.
There is a similar, much less severe problem in German. Words with ``ie'' are
pronounced in some cases, depending on the accent and the consonants following,
like words with ``i.'' English speakers are taught to choose between ``ei''
and ``ie'' spellings according to the (English) sound of the second letter
(d.h., ``ei'' for ``long i,''
``ie'' for ``long e''). These spellings, which obviously represent literal
transcription of diphthongs in earlier pronunciations, have an interesting
history, because the old pronunciations they represent arose among
German-speaking settlers in the ``east.''
- Id est. The Latin phrase
corresponding to `that is.' Cf. d.h.,
- (Domain code for)
Here's the Irish
page of an X.500 directory.
- Indo-European. A large language family that includes most of the
languages of Europe and northern India.
The name is taken from the two extreme ends of the region over which the
language group had spread before the age of rapid European colonial expansion.
By a similar reasoning, German philologists and linguists also call this
the Indogermanischen language family, presumably since the languages
spoken at the extreme NW end of the region are Germanic.
One reason this usage is not so widely popular in English is that the
adjectives ``Germanic'' and ``German'' are similar and may be carelessly
conflated, whereas the respective German terms germanisch and
deutsch are quite distinct.
Indo-European is the official language family of the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve.
Nevertheless, we concede that Chinese is a major world language. Unix
curses have also been uttered.
- Industrial Engineer[ing].
WWW Virtual Library has an
Industrial Engineering index.
In Spanish, however, IE is
Ingeniería Electrónica, which stands for `Electronic
Engineering.' We`re everywhere!
LookSmart has a short
page of IE links.
- Information Element.
- Japanese: `family, household,' roughly
translated. Cf. seken. Do not
confuse with similar-sounding iie (`no').
- International Endometriosis Association. Old name of what today (2008)
calls itself the Endometriosis
- International Energy Agency.
- InterExchange Carrier. Between telephone exchanges.
- I've seen ``International Electrical Commission.'' I presume that was
its name when
founded in 1906. Now it's the International
Electro[-]technical Commission of the ISO.
Preceding are sites in Chiba. You can get it
from Geneva, Switzerland. It ``is the international standards and
conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology.''
- International Engineering Consortium.
Mostly concerned with education of engineers for electronics and information
- ISDN Echo Cancellation. What happens if you forget
to pay your bill again, before they even restore ISDN service from
the last time it was cancelled. Probably.
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
/ Commission Electrotechnique
Internationale. Having the acronym spelled out in French like that is a
material help to that large group of technically trained people who don't read
English. I mean, conversely, if it were only in French, sure I'd be at a
complete loss to know what it meant. I also appreciate the highway signs in
Ontario; they allow me to see double and feel disoriented without DWI.
Of course, I'm just kidding. Everybody realizes that the only reason the
acronym appears in two languages is to assuage British resentment of French
cultural success. Look, in the twentieth century Britain was forced to give
up a world-wide empire that extended to every inhabited continent, whereas
France lost a much smaller area mostly restricted to
Africa and Asia. And no amount of ``European plane'' window-dressing can
disguise the fact that final assembly of Airbuses is in Toulouse. High fashion
too takes off from the runways of Paris, not London,
and no one eats ``British cuisine.'' Finally, France has completely outclassed
England in the competition that matters most -- outrageous idiot intellectuals.
The glory days of Karl Marx at the British
Museum are long past. What can England answer to Sartre, Foucault,
Derrida, Lacan? Benny Hill? Freud's granddaughter hosted an interview
programme on the Beeb whose lame attempt to
epater le bourgoise was using a bed for a couch. Oh, it's crushingly
hard to be British these days, when your long-time
rival is so triumphant.
- IEC (System for Conformity Testing
and Certification of) Electrical Equipment.
- IEC Quality (Assessment System for
Electronic Components). As you probably realized at the IECEE entry already, the
IEC has a pretty bad case of logorrhea. You can see this in the longwinded
suborganization names, and you won't be surprised to learn that they go in for
stilted bureaucratese big-time (``who have need of,'' ``most economic and
cost[-]effective,'' ``time delay,'' etc.).
- Bus standard which follows HPIB. Just as
GPIB does. Gives new meaning to the expression
``de facto standard.''
- IED, I.E.D.
- Improvised Explosive Device.
- International Electron Devices Meeting.
- International Electron Devices & Materials Symposium.
- Institute of Electrical Engineers.
British Organization similar to IEEE.
Interestingly, whereas Electrical Engineering degree programs in the
US are accredited by an organization (ABET)
separate from the IEEE, in Britain the IEE handles the job.
of Environmental Education.
- Integrated Electronics Engineering Center. At
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Claims to be the
``world's largest technical professional society. A non-profit organization,
... promote the development and application of electrotechnology and allied
sciences for the benefit of humanity, the advancement of the profession,
and the well-being of [the] members.'' Visit the
- Vide SMC.
- IEEE standard
- There's an IEEE
- IEEE TED
- IEEE Transactions in Electron Devices
is a monthly. The next issue's
preview is on the web.
A publication of The Electron Devices Society.
- IEEE 802.2
- Connectionless operation is ``type 1,'' connected operation ``type 2.''
Always use type 3.
- Independent Evaluation Group. Back in the 1980's, one IEG that was so
designated was a panel of technical experts under the leadership of R. Joseph
Sovie of NASA Lewis Research Center. That IEG was
established by the SDIO Power Program Office to
provide it with analyses and counsel regarding its own (the Power Program
- Institute of Electronics, Information and
Communication Engineers. Japanese Organization.
(Not to be confused with Interface Engineering
Inc., Consulting Engineers.)
- Israel Exploration Journal.
Catalogued by TOCS-IN.
- IEEE/IEE Electronic
- Intensive English Language Institute (at UB).
Founded in 1971. Changed name in 1995 to just ELI.
- iEmmy, iEMMY
- International Emmy. Conferred by IATAS.
- Interactive Employment
- Individual Education Plan. For a particular student's special needs.
- Initial Enrollment Period.
- Instantaneously Effective Photocathode.
- ISDN Enhanced Power Controller.
- International Electronic Packaging Society. Merged with ISHM in 1996 to become IMAPS.
- Initial Enrollment Questionnaire. A questionnaire sent to those becoming
eligible for Medicare, intended to determine if some other insurance coverage
will pay any medical bills before Medicare.
- International Earth Rotation Service.
This is the international entity in charge of making the sun, moon and other
celestial objects go around the earth about once every twenty-four hours. It's
Don't believe me? Okay, it's in charge of deciding when to make time jump, as
explained at the UTC entry. They also have a
longer official name:
International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service.
- Illuminating Engineering Society. They seem to prefer IESNA these days as the regular noun form, but
continue IES as an attribute noun and productive prefix.
- Institute of Environmental Sciences.
- Internet Engineering Steering Group. Executive committee of the
- Illuminating Engineering
Society of North America. You shouldn't get the wrong idea. It's
perfectly okay for an attributive noun
be modified by its own attributive noun. There's an
IES Annual Conference in August.
- Institute of Electronic Structure and
Laser (sic), one of seven institutes
- Internet Engineering Task Force.
A task force under the IAB.
(Old IETF address
- Inelastic Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy.
- Intelligence Electronic Warfare.
- International Elbow
- InterFeron. Also IFN.
- IF, I.F., I.-F.
- Intermediate Frequency. This does not refer to a specific frequency
range, like RF. Instead it refers to a frequency chosen for use in
intermediate stages of a radio or other tunable broadcast receiver -- hence,
``IF stages,'' ``IF amplifier'' .... As explained at the superhet entry, an adjustable frequency is
generated (using a VFO) to be mixed with signals
coming from an antenna. Discrimination (i.e., selection of incoming
signal or station) is accomplished by filtering for a particular difference or
sum frequency. In other words, you tune the receiver by adjusting the VFO so
that its frequency, combined with the signal frequency, yields the fixed chosen
Subsequent amplification may be conveniently performed at this frequency. This
has the advantage that the frequency range of signal to be amplified is
fractionally small (i.e., a small fraction of the IF). Within this
narrow band, it is easy to achieve linear, frequency-independent amplification.
IF is not the final frequency because after amplification,
the desired signal is extracted as deviations (AM,
FM, or long story) away from a pure IF signal.
For information on the use of punctuated forms of the abbreviation, read
the attributive noun entry.
- International Federation
of Audit Bureaux of Circulations. ``Bureaux'' is French for bureaus.
This spelling is used to remind you that the IFABC is an international
organization. ``Of'' is an English word meaning that internationalization (i18n) only goes so far, thank you. In French, the
final ex is silent, unless the word is immediately followed by a vowel
sound. Liaison! Like, you really needed to
If information is nonnegative, then it probably won't hurt much to visit
the ABC entry.
- International Fund for
Agricultural Development. Here's
français d'archéologie orientale du
Caire. Name reported in English as `French Achaeological Institute in
- International Foundation for Art Research.
- Interrupted Feedback. Earphone in the host's ear which allows the
engineer or other responsible person to confuse any host who appears to
be in danger of making too much sense.
The comedian who smashes watermelons with a mallet on cable TV has complained
that the ``brightness'' knob on most sets does not seem to work properly.
(He should talk.) This is why.
- International Federation for BodyBuilding
and Fitness. I haven't been able to determine when the ``and Fitness'' was
added to the name, but I estimate January 2005.
The IFBB was founded in 1946 by Ben Weider and his brother Joe. In January
1998, then-President of the IOC Juan Antonio
Samaranch welcomed the IFBB ``into the Olympic family.'' (That doesn't mean it
gets to be even so much as a demonstration sport at any Olympics. Cf.
Bodybuilders have always been at the cutting edge (that's a pun, son) of
chemical progress. Wayne DeMilia, who headed the IFBB pro division from 1980
until 2004 and oversaw such limited testing as was conducted, said in 2005 that
``everybody in bodybuilding takes drugs.''
``The problem, as the media is finding out now, is that testing runs two to
three steps behind people coming up with new drugs and masking agents,'' he
said. In addition, he noted that there are no effective tests for growth
hormone or insulin, and masking agents for diuretics have grown more effective.
Possibly most important, except for a few years in the mid-1990's, the IFFB
didn't conduct off-season random testing of the bodybuilders. As the Olympics
and such mainstream sports as football and baseball have learned [SBF is
echoing news reports here; the SBF content-injector doubts that mainstream
sports have learned very much], announced tests on the day of competition are
unlikely to catch anyone who has been alerted. ``Let's be honest,'' DeMilia
said, ``They're taking stuff that can't be detected.''
Ben Weider, CM, CQ, SBStJ, PhD, is still president of the IFBB as of this
writing (2006). He is also a historian by inclination and publication, so the
following is mildly amusing. In a 1999 interview (and elsewhere) he
rhapsodizes: ``Getting bodybuilding recognised by the IOC was almost like
making an impossible dream become reality. ... As Churchill said during the
Second World War, it was a struggle of `blood, sweat and tears,' and a lot of
perseverance.'' Of course, ``Blood, Sweat, and Tears'' is just the name of a
rock band; everyone knows that WSC's famous phrase was ``blood, toil, tears,
and sweat.'' It's evident that Weider wanted to include the toil concept, so
it's amusing that the president (of an activity that is practically distilled
toil) remembered only the bodily fluids.
- L'Institut de formation
bancaire, Luxembourg. A/k/a ``the Luxembourg Institute
for Training in Banking'' and ``das Luxemburger Institut für
Bankberufsbildung.'' The IFBL was set up at the beginning of the 1990's by
- Independent Film Channel. ``Launched
in September 1994, The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first channel
entirely dedicated to presenting independent film, unedited and commercially
uninterrupted 24 hours a day.''
- Inside Front Cover.
- Intellectual Freedom Committee of the ALA.
It became the IFRT probably because, as I
speculated at the LRRT, some furniture store had a
- InterFerential Current (therapy). A kind of
- International Finance Corporation.
Part of the World Bank Group.
- Investment Finance Company.
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center.
``The Internet Fraud Complaint Center ... is a partnership between the
Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).''
Federation of Catholic Universities. Its pages are generally available in
French and Spanish as well as English, but the
php code likes to decide for itself which language you want to see. Find the
language switch hidden at the bottom of the left-hand frame or follow our
FIUC link to start in the other languages.
- International Foodservice
Distributors Association. Part of FDI --
Food Distributors International.
- Institution of Fire Engineers. What,
a hospital for pyromaniacs? A school for young arsonists? ``The institution
is the international qualifying organisation and learned society for fire
engineering and fire safety professionals.'' Sounds like they're working at
- (Mexican) Instituto Federal
- Internships in Francophone Europe.
Pardon? If you knew French, you could speak the native language of the
fascinating people of one and two-half major European countries! But that's
not all! If you order now, you also get... Monaco, at no extra charge!
- Institut für Energiedienstleistungen
GmbH. `Institute for Energy Services.'
- International Federation of Esthetic
International Federation of Esthetic Dentistry was founded in 1994 by the
American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry,
the European Academy of Esthetic Dentistry and the
Japan Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. Its purpose is
to contribute to the progress and development of worldwide esthetic and oral
health and to enhance communication between member organizations.''
The national organizations that are members of IFED are
generally called academies. The British academy doesn't belong to IFED, but
Maybe IFED could hire K-Fed as a goodwill
ambassador. He's got a nice smile, and like the UN goodwill ambassadors his
celebrity is mostly expired, and I hear he's available cheap.
- Centro Internacional de Formación ``Aristides Calvani'' --
Caracas, Venezuela. Look, don't blame me: I don't make up the acronym, I
just report it. In English that would be `the international center of the
Aristides Calvani group.' They seem to study stuff. What kind of stuff they
study might be indicated by the title of the book I got this out of, which they
cosponsored: La Decisión: Aportes para la Integración
Latinoamericana (`the decision: requirements for Latin American [economic]
- Identification: Friend or Foe. Military avionics.
- IF and only iF. [Mathematics usage.]
- Inverse Fast Fourier Transform (FFT).
- International Federation of
- International Financial Institution. A generic term.
- Institute for
International Cooperation. An entity created by and for
- International Federation for Information
Processing. Now has very clever pages that poop on Netscape for Unix.
Too bad. The old homepage
made it sound rather bureaucratic, and it was founded by the UN (UNESCO, actually). Oh
well, probably somebody has to do this work, whatever it is, and good it's
- International Football League. If it exist, then this must be its
acronym. [I'm really sorry about this, but I had a strong desire to see
the present subjunctive in use.]
- Introductory Formal Logic. A first-year course that most university
philosophy departments consider essential and most philosophy undergraduates
consider difficult. Horrors -- it's as hard as math! Runaway,
runaway! It's got symbols!
You think I'm kidding, that nothing could be as bad as dread Physical Chemistry? This article,
written from a pedagogical point of view, uses words like fear and
loathing, and urges that the courses be made easier so the students
will show up in class (I exaggerate only a little).
- International Federation of Library
Associations and Institutions. Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927
at an international conference; celebrates its 75th anniversary in Glasgow,
Scotland, in 2002. As of May 2001, has 1622 members in 143 countries.
Do you realize that, if they had hurried up and founded it in 1901, they could
be celebrating their centennial this year, instead of this awkward bis-jubilee
next year. That would be cool. The ``and Institutions'' was not part of the
official name until after 1976 sometime. It didn't just happen to be left
unrepresented in the acronym.
- International Forum for the Literature
And Culture of Peace. Dr. Ada Aharoni, a Cairo-born Israeli poet, writer,
and professor in Haifa, founded IFLAC, or ``IFLAC:
PAVE PEACE,'' or ``IFLAC PAVE PEACE,'' in 1999. She is the IFLAC president (as
of this writing, 2005), and also the founder, editor, and factotum of various
such putatively worthwhile projects as the magazine Horizon Pave Peace. I don't know
what it is about her and non-dirt roads. I do know that poetry will not bring
peace to the Middle East. What is needed is a space race. Israel and Hamas
will compete to see who can put a man (okay, okay -- or a woman) on Mars first.
No extra credit for the return trip.
You know, I'm a poet too. There aren't any certification tests for poet. I'm
a five-star black-belt poet with an iron cross, eagle ring, six olive clusters,
and three large coconuts, and my poems can crush your poems without breaking
On second thought, I think that another high-level conference is just the thing
that will bring lasting peace. But only if the joint closing statement
is carefully crafted to paper over the unresolvable differences.
- Indiana Foreign Language Teachers
- Instantaneous Frequency Measurement.
- Intrapulse Frequency Modulation.
- Interactive Facility Manager Assistant.
Facility Management Association.
- International Fire Marshals Association. Used to be called Fire Marshals
Association of North America (FMANA).
- InterFeroN. Also IF.
- Identified Flying Object.
- International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements. ``I-foam''?
It sounds like something from DuPont.
- If only I had spent more time at the office!
- People often say that no one ever goes to his grave regretting not having
worked hard enough. Setting aside that many regret poverty, there is the
counterexample of Prince Felix zu Schwarzenberg. He was groomed by Metternich
for diplomatic service, but for most of his life he practiced his eloquence
only in the seduction of women. It was only during the revolutions of 1848
that he discovered the joys of work. Before he died in 1852, he remarked, ``If
only I had worked harder!'' [Yeah, I'll try to track down the original.]
- Instantaneous Field Of View (FOV).
- Independent Feature Project. That's the
expansion whenever an expansion seems to be given, but I'm not sure it's
official. I would have guessed it was ``Independent Filmmakers and
Producers,'' but IFP seems to have some unresolved emotional issues concerning
the word producer. Their ``About IFP'' webpage is not very
helpful, but perhaps the sort of people who would lionize Moore's Bowling
for Columbine as a documentary are not the sort to be fussy about details.
- Inkatha Freedom Party. Ruling party of KwaZulu in South Africa.
- International Federation of the Phonograph
Industry. They don't dwell on the expansion of their name. IFPI
administers the ISRC system.
IFPI is affiliated with RIAA.
- Initial Flight PLan.
Intelligent Flight Path Monitor. [Avionics still (1997) in development.]
- International Federation of Philosophical Societies. FISP.
- Income Fund Reimbursable. (UB bookkeeping item.)
- Increasing Failure Rate.
- Instrument Flight Rules. Vide IMC.
- IFRAME, iframe
- Inline FRAME. The <iframe> tag is like the <img> tag, but
instead of inserting an image it inserts a floating frame, with content just
like an ordinary <frame> tag in a frameset. Inline frames were at first
supported only by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but they're part of the
HTML 4 standard. Nevertheless, as of June 2001, I'm not aware of a platform
on which even the latest Netscape Navigator release supports it. This page
contains mark-up for one to appear at the right of this entry.
International Federation of Health Records Organizations. French name
Fédération Internationale des Associations du Dossier de
``A nongovernmental organization in official
relations with WHO,'' who have this information sheet for
- International Federation of Reproduction
Rights Organisations. ``IFRRO works to increase on an international basis
the lawful use of text and image based copyright works and to eliminate
unauthorised copying by promoting efficient Collective Management of rights
through RROs to complement creators' and publishers'
own activities.'' Gee, I hope it's okay to quote that.
- InterFace Roughness Scattering.
- Intellectual Freedom Round Table (of the ALA).
Another one! Cf. EMIERT, LHRT.
IFRT used to be the IFC.
International Federation for Research in Women's History.
International Federation of Science Editors.
- Internet Freeware Shareware Programming Languages for the Macintosh.
A document now called Anopolis.
- The Institue of Formal Social Sciences.
A wonderfully stupid site, and apparently completely sincere.
``An Online Teaching And Reference Institute
of N U M E R I C A L Systematic Philosophy
Ideometry. A Natural Science
Tables of Prime Factors In Ideo-Quinary Numerals
You get the idea. If you poke around, you can read about ``Computer Aided Philosophy.''
- Institute of Food Science &
- International Federation of Social
- Institute of Food Technologists. (Here's the same site via an alternate URL.)
- International Fuel Tax Association.
- Instruction-Fetch Unit. An element of computer architecture, and not of
- Instituto de Física de la Universidad Autónoma de
Puebla. `Institute of Physics of the Autonomous University of Puebla' in
Mexico. Long form: ``El Instituto de Física 'Ing. Luis Rivera
Terrazas' de la Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.''
(The institute is named for the engineer Luis Rivera Terrazas. There are two
autonomous universities of Puebla.)
- Irish Federation of University Teachers.
(Cónaidhm Éireannach na Múuinteoirí
Ollscoile.) ``The only dedicated trade union and professional association
in Ireland that consistently defends traditional University values such as
academic freedom and the need for pure research.''
- If you can't say anything nice, don't.
- That's how it goes, right?
- ImmunoGlobulin. Certain classes of small proteins that function as antibodies.
- In Geardagum. A scholarly journal of ``essays on Old and Middle
English language and literature.'' The title is Old English for `in days of
yore,' almost literally. The modern word yore comes from the O.E.
geara; day comes from dæg, though here
dagum is better understood as the dative of `times.' (The g in
both cases represents yogh, a letter that was eventually replaced by g, y, and
gh in various collocations. Note, however, that most gh's in Modern English
arise from noninitial h's in Old English.)
- Input Gate.
- Inspector General. There's a bit of information on inspectors general at
the RAT entry.
- Interface Group.
- Immunoglobulin A. A class of antibodies secreted
by mucus glands in the gut, salivary glands, tear ducts, mammary glands, and
colostrum. ``S-IgA'' is IgA from saliva. The IgA antibodies in milk lend some
immune defense to a breast-fed baby; in this connection, see
- Independent Grocers Alliance. Founded in
1926. Looks like a self-defense alliance for ``family-owned retailers''
against the big conglomerates. About 4000 stores in the US, another 400 in
IGA International. Here's
what their toilet paper looks like, on exhibit at VTPM.
- Independent Grocers of Australia.
[O]perating along the Eastern Seaboard and in South Australia. Over 2000
- International Geosphere Biosphere Program. Here're sites in Sweden (IGBP
Secretariat Stockholm) and
- Insulating-Gate Bipolar Transistor. The terms
``COMFET'' and less frequently ``GEMFET'' are used, as well as the
unnecessarily ambiguous ``IGT.'' Basically, the MOS
gate, when turned on, causes minority carrier injection, which modulates the
high-resistance drift region required for voltage blocking.
- Indiana Gaming Commission.
- InterGovernmental Conference. A meeting of European Community (EC) member nation delegations for negotiation.
Decisions must be reached by unanimity. The
Stammtisch has successfully implemented this approach.
Kissinger liked to observe that university faculty politics are vicious
because they are petty (he put it differently).
An IGC met in Turin in 1996.
- Institute for Global Communications.
It claims to be ``the nation's only unionized
Internet Service Provider.''
- Institute of Global Cultural
Studies. Located at the University of Binghamton
(part of SUNY).
- International Game Developers
Association. As of 2003, the principal association for developers of
computer games. Formerly known as the IGDN.
- International Game Developers Network.
Now called IGDA.
- Immunoglobulin E. A class of antibodies that
play a rôle in active immunity to worm parasites. Their inappropriate
overproduction is associated with asthma and other diseases.
- Institute of Global
Environment and Society.
- Insulin-like Growth Factor. This is not really my intellectual bailiwick,
but there's spot more information on this at the HGF
- International Game Fishing Association.
- Insulated-Gate FET.
Really the same animal as a MOSFET, but in
practice almost a complementary term. Whether the gate is metal
or highly doped polysilicon (or anything else, although for commercial devices
there is no anything else), if the gate insulation is oxide it's called a
MOSFET. IGFET is now a rare term, so if anyone uses it they're either trying
to be general or they're referring specifically to some gate insulator that
isn't (silicon-, for all practical purposes) oxide.
The idea for an IGFET was patented in Britain in 1935. The first commercially
successful IGFET's were Si MOSFET's,
which became available in the later sixties (nMOS
ROM and SRAM) once cleanrooms became clean
enough to keep sodium out of the oxide.
- Immunoglobulin G.
A class of antibodies. The major immunoglobulin in normal human blood serum,
and the only immunoglobulin that can cross the placenta.
- Index-guided laser.
- InterGalactic Medium.
- Immunoglobulin M.
A class of antibodies active against bacteria and foreign red blood cells.
Their size prevents them from crossing the
human placenta. An important detail.
- Internet Group Management Protocol. A TCP/IP
protocol for multicasting.
- ignoratio elenchi
- The name of the fallacy of ``ignoring the point [of the argument]'' or
``irrelevant conclusion.'' In Latin, elenchus
is a pearl pendant worn as an earing -- a drop-pearl, as in Pliny's Natural
History, 9.113 or Juvenal 6.459. So I guess ignoratio elenchi means
`the ignoring (or the ignorance) of the pearl.' Oh wait -- there's a
Greek word that would be transliterated elenchos. In neuter gender
it means `reproach, disgrace, dishonor,' and in male gender it means
`refutation.' Of course, the word is Latinized into the second declension,
-os becoming -us. So ignoratio elenchi means `ignoring of the
refutation.' Too bad, I preferred the `pearl.'
A special case is the non-denial
- Inter-Governmental Organization.
- Integrated Global Ocean Services System.
- Interior Gateway Protocol. A protocol used to communicate routing
information between internet routers. This is not for header or other
message information but for information about the internet path itself.
- Insect Growth Regulator. Such hormones are used in pest control
(preventing a chrysalis from maturing, for example). An advantage is that,
if strategically deposited, these can be effective in small quantities.
A disadvantage is that hormones don't differ all that much across the
- International Guitar
Research Archives. Other links at the guitar
- Interior Gateway Routing Protocol. A Cisco proprietary routing protocol
for IP and ISO CLNS networks.
- Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Above-normal blood glucose levels normal,
but too low to justify a diagnosis of diabetes. Previously called
``borderline,'' ``chemical,'' ``latent,'' or ``subclinical'' diabetes.
- Institute of Gas Technology.
- Insulating-Gate (bipolar) Transistor, q.v..
- Integrated Telecom Technology.
- International Geophysical Year. Cf. IHD.
- Imperial Household Agency. A self-perpetuating bureaucracy nominally under
the Japanese prime minister. Its principal tasks are to prevent any correct or
unfavorable information about the Japanese imperial dynasty and its
preposterous myths from becoming public, and to make the life of the Empress a
living hell (from the time she becomes Crown Princess). They're also in charge
of some protocol stuff. It cannot be proven that they call directly upon the
services of the violent nationalists who threaten and harass anyone who
publicly opposes the IHA's policies.
- Institute for the History of Ancient
Civilizations. At North East Normal
University, Changchun 130024, Jilin Province, China. IHAC maintains its own library and publishes
its own journal, the Journal of Ancient Civilizations (JAC, q.v.).
Okay, here's the information you've been waiting for: what's the
weather like in Changchun? Thanks to a job posting, we can say that
it is ``normally sunny, dry and clear'' but
Winter c. -25 to -10 °C
Summer c. 16 - 28 °C
Take a sweater.
For more information, see
this posting on the Classics list.
- I have great admiration for ...
- ... but I disagree.
- I have great respect and admiration for ...
- ... but I disagree.
- I have the greatest respect and admiration for ...
- ... but I disagree.
- Inner Hair Cell. Supports a cilium in the cochlea. Listen to your
- International Humanitarian Cooperation. Development Aid.
- Institute for Health and Disability. A network of programs for children
and youth and their families, based at UMN. As of
2004, it seems to have changed its name or disappeared.
- International Hydrological Decade. Cf.
- International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Program.
- Insensitive High Explosive.
Alfred Nobel's first great technical achievement was the invention of
dynamite, a manageable form of nitroglycerine.
- Inside Higher Ed.
(Sic. There's no ucation in the official name.) A website for
``jobs, news and views for all of higher education.''
- Interface Homme Machine. French -- a language in which, unlike
English, adjectives generally follow the nouns they modify (significant
exceptions: quantifiers, bien, mal).
- `him' in German -- a language in which, unlike English, the letter
aitch often follows the letter ai.
- International House Of Pancakes. Originally a chain of breakfast A-frames
with blue roofs. Nowadays they stack 'em under other architectures as well.
``I HOP'' may also express the idea that ``I am hopping [mad]!'' Today
I ate at the local IHOP for the last time. I was served late, I had to ask
three times for my drink, my order was taken and forgotten, then apparently
taken incorrectly, and the food was unsatisfactory. At least I didn't have to
wait five minutes to be cashed out, as happened on an earlier occasion.
You're probably thinking I should stop complaining and just get a life, but
stop a moment and think: I am I really the sort of glossarist who would bore
you with the petty irritations of my life if there were not some important
larger point to be made? Would I just blather on about such stuff? What do
Wrong! There is a bigger point here, and I'll make it eventually.
Once while waiting too long to be seated, I looked at the seating chart and
noticed a management notice to the effect that employees caught hanging out at
a certain nearby table would be dismissed. I guess management was never there
when I was. For reasons beyond my ken, employees at that IHOP are particularly
prone to haunting the place when they're off duty. Scratch that, generalize;
they're particularly prone to being off-duty when they're there. The
second-to-last time I ever go there, as I was beginning my meal, my waitress
asked if there was anything I would want, as she was going on break. An
off-duty co-worker sitting nearby razzed her, saying ``you just took a
break!'' You probably think I'm making this stuff up. Your fall-back opinion
is that it serves me right for going more than once. I guess I just thought it
had to be a fluke, and another fluke, and... Really poor service is rarely a
fluke; it's a management failure. Today among the off-duty personnel at nearby
tables, I overheard one waitress complaining that the other day she figured out
that she had only earned 4.5% in tips. I was tempted to tell her that that was
probably right. (I actually checked discreetly to see who it was. She wasn't
anyone who had ever waited on me, though of course I'd seen her around.) In
the future if I want service this poor I can go to Denny's -- it's closer.
I can't say that all big restaurant chains have shabby service. Indeed, over
the long run you imagine none can. But in the highly competitive restaurant
business, chains exhibit the effects of management failure in interesting ways.
To contrast, consider the restaurants in my area that are not franchises of
some chain. They go out of business at an extraordinary rate, as I suggest at
the pork rinds entry. But more to the point,
on an individual basis they decline quickly. The suddenness is expressed in
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (1949):
Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life.
He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine.
He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And
when they start not smiling back -- that's an earthquake. And then you get
yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you're finished.
Most retailing is like that; it doesn't matter whether the salesman travels to
the customers like Willy, or puts up a sign and waits for the customers to come
to him. What matters is that when you're being paid for a commodity, you're
often competing on the basis of customer service.
prepared-food retailers -- can compete by offering unusual cuisine (don't tell
me they can offer food that everyone likes more) or low price, or convenient
location or speed. But it's not called ``food-service'' for nothing.
Oops! You made a mistake: you came here before I finished the entry. Say ``my
bad'' and come back in five months.
- Institut für Halbleiterphysik (Eng., `Semiconductor physics').
At Frankfurt (Oder).
- International Hydrological
Programme. A UNESCO program.
- ISDN High-voltage Power Controller.
- Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology.
- International Human Powered
- German, `her [fam.], their, your [formal].'
- Institute of Historical Research.
Founded in 1921 by A. F. Pollard. Part of the School of
Advanced Studies of the University of London. As of early 2008, the
institute housed three research centers:
- International Hotel & Restaurant
Association. Founded in 1946 in Paris, France, and moved to Geneva,
Switzerland, in 2008. Its members include both national hospitality industry
associations and hotel and restaurant chains.
- International Hot Rod
Association. A drag-racing association created in 1970. Vide
Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. ``Sportsclub''? Is that
anything like a clubbell?
- Indian Health Service. ``[A]n agency
within the U S Dept. of Health and Human Services [DHHS] ... responsible for providing federal health
services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. ... The IHS is the principal
federal health care provider and health advocate for Indian people...''
- International Handling &
Storage Magazine. Published by
- Illinois High School Association. It's
about athletics. ``The IHSA governs the equitable participation in
interscholastic athletics and activities that enrich the educational
experience.'' (Doubtless the use of a restrictive clause is intentional: if it
doesn't enrich the educational experience, then it's governed by Bob the
Bookie; inequitable participation is the responsibility of Felix the Fixer.)
And don't wonder why they don't mention athletics
or sports in the organization name. It's not necessary: they mention ``High
School,'' so obviously it's all about sports.
- International Handling & Storage
Exhibition. Meetings in 2000, 2003, ...
- International Humic Substances
Society. ``[F]ounded in 1981 to bring together scientists in the coal,
soil, and water sciences with interests in humic substances. IHSS has [as of
early 2002] a membership of nearly 900 scientists.''
- International Herald Tribune. For a
while it was operated jointly by the New York
Times and the Washington Post, but
Pinch Sulzberger decided he needed to control this ultra-important trifle
(``The World's Daily,'' available to sticks-in-the-mud throughout many places
in Europe). In 2002, Pinch offered to buy the Post's share for $65 million,
and threatened to launch an international edition of the New York Times if the
Grahams (the family that owns most of the Post) didn't sell. The NYT took over
at the beginning of 2003. I'm not sure when they began the practice, but the
IHT masthead is now (2008) subtitled ``The Global Edition of the New York
- Institute of Human Virology.
- I... I. The Roman numeral representing the number two. It is often
appended to indicate the second person in a line to bear a name. The line may
be a sequence of monarchs of a given realm. A current example is Queen
Elizabeth II of England. Note that the monarchs need not belong to the same
dynasty: the first Queen Elizabeth, now referred to as Queen Elizabeth I, was
a Tudor; Queen Elizabeth II is a Windsor. (I'm not sure to what extent the
pope of the Roman Catholic Church counts as a monarch, but that would be a
stronger example in recent centuries.)
Look, I know the following is disordered, but it might help you to figure
things out until I do.
That briefly is the usual practice with ruling houses. A definite outlier is
the House of Reuss, which has had a number of lines (e.g., younger and
older Reuss-Plauen lines, and Reuss-Lobenstein) as well as extinctions. One is
reminded of Candide's adoptive family and their precious quarterings.
The Reuss Younger
Line, is a dynasty that ruled a German principality from 1806 (founded with
Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine) until 1918 (defeat of the German
Empire). All the males of that house were named Heinrich, but they each got
a serial number that was unique enough (counting restarted each century).
Hence, the first member of the family to reign in the principality was already
Heinrich XLII. If some later ruler of the principality had had the same
number, then presumably he would have been Heinrich XLII the Second, or
Heinrich XLII II, not to be confused with his cousin
This is a real entry,
and not something concocted by Monty Python. All males of the House of Reuss
have been named Heinrich since Heinrich I von Weida. Read some
of the messy
here. The Reuss
Elder Line followed the same numbering practice (and ruled a smaller
principality that existed from 1778 to 1918), but was less fecund. Both
comprised archipelagos of territory in Thuringia. They had the unimaginative
names of Fürstentum Reuß <fooere> Linie,
where <fooere> took the values
ältere and jungere, resp. (`Principality of the Reuss
<Foo> Line,' <Foo> `Elder' and `Younger'). The lines were also
distinguished as Reuß-Greiz (elder) and Reuß-Gera (younger).
There were a number of lines in the Reuss house, and a few extinctions.
The weird numbering of the Reusses (set aside the use of a single given name
for all males) approximates the usual practice of assigning numbers to
nonrulers. In the line of a common family, a ``Jr.'' is used to distinguish
the son when a father and son have the same given names; II and III are used to
designate bearers of a name in the second and third generations when three
generations bear the same name. For an instance of 2.0, see the
downtown Holland entry. The Romans
used many given names that simply stated birth order. In this connection, see
Septimus; for a related idea, read about
Jefferson Finis Davis. You may not want to be reminded of
Bush 41 or
Most names in English are specifically male or female, but it sometimes happens
that a parent and child of opposite sex share a name. For example, I know a
father and daughter Gene and Jeanne, though I don't know how they spell their
names. Dale and Dana would be clearer-cut cases. Anyway, I've never
encountered Jr. or II used in such a case, and it would seem odd to me, but you
It occurred to me to write this entry when I learned of a Douglas MacArthur II
who was the nephew of General Douglas MacArthur. There wasn't any remarriage
involved. Captain Arthur MacArthur III and Mary McCalla MacArthur had a son in
1909 and named him
MacArthur or something after Arthur's younger brother Douglas (who did not
have a middle name Arthur), and this Douglas was known as Douglas MacArthur II.
So far as I can tell without working too hard, Gen. Douglas MacArthur had one
son, by his second wife, in 1938, and Douglas MacArthur II did not have a son.
- Illegal Immigrant. This acronym is understood in Hong Kong, which exists entirely on its own border
(sort of like a Julia set).
- Impact Ionization.
- Independence Institute. A
Colorado think tank.
- Ion Implant[ation].
- Information Industry Association. How come I didn't know about this? A
slow-down in production?
- If I Am Right. The scientist in any of those 1950's
monster-from-outer-space movies might have found this handy when talking to the
military man. Cf. IMTIC.
Using IIAR too frequently can make you
seem self-centered and dismissive of others' contributions. Therefore,
be sure to also consider ``If You Are Wrong.''
I think the Beatles had a relevant song.
- International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration.
You don't have to refrigerate ammonia. It keeps.
- i.i.a.r.f.t., IIARFT
- It Is A Remarkable Fact That. (I recommend against pronouncing the
initialism as an acronym.)
In the foreword to their Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1988), J. H. Conway and
N. J. A. Sloane wrote:
At one point while working on this book we even considered adopting a special
abbreviation for ``It is a remarkable fact that,'' since this phrase seemed to
occur so often.
For a greater example of prescience, see the entry for ``Likes romantic walks on the beach.''
And for all you militantly descriptivist lexicographers out there, no,
I've never seen the abbreviation given above, in either form, in use
anywhere else... yet.
- Independent Inquiry Committee. There are two kinds of IIC:
- IIC's funded and accountable to outside parties, with staffs and
members, ultimately selected by outsiders, whose interests do not
conflict with the goal of a thorough investigation and an accurate and
- Real IIC's.
- I²C, IIC
- Inter-IC (bus). A popular serial bus for low bit-rate communications (100
kbit/s) -- between IC's, as
you may have guessed. It
was developed by Philips Semiconductor in the early 1980's. Two lines wire-or'ed, (SDA, SCL) plus ground.
- Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
- Identically Independently Distributed (random variables).
- Instituto Interamericano
de Derechos Humanos. Institut Inter-Américain des
Droits de l'Homme. Instituto Interamericano de
Dereitos Humanos. Inter-American Institute of Human
- Institute of Industrial Engineers.
- Institute of International Education.
- Institute of International Finance, Inc.
``The Global Association of Financial Institutions.''
- International Institute of
Fisheries Economics and Trade.
- Instituto de Investigaciones
Filológicas. The institute for philological research at
- Although four has been written IV more commonly than IIII for centuries,
IIII is still a common form on clock faces. The accepted reason for this
tradition seems to be that the size of IIII provides a better visual balance
to VIII on the opposite side of the clock face. This also explains why nine
is written in the more usual way (IX rather than VIIII).
IIII, VIIII, XIIII, XXXX, LXXXX, CXXXX, DCCCC, MCCCC were fairly standard in
(Roman) Republican times. In early Imperial times, subtractive forms became
increasingly common -- not just IX for nine but XIIX for eighteen, etc. There
was evidently a long period during which both subtractive and additive forms
were common. For an analysis of the epigraphic evidence see B. E. Thomasson
``Zu den Notis Numeralium in Lateinischen Inschriften,'' Opuscula Romana
3.1961, 169-178, in particular the table on p. 171.
- Compound semiconductor[s], chalcopyrite[s] like CuInSe2. This
(Cu-In-Se, called CIS) is the most studied
instance at this time (2005), along with the alloys
CuIn1-xGaxSe2 (written more compactly as
``Cu(In,Ga)Se2'' and also called
CIGS) as well as Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 or
CIGSS. The I-III-VI system offers direct-gap
semiconductors with a broad range of lattice constants and bandgaps, so various
I-III-VI's are being investigated for possible exploitation as photovoltaic
materials. The CIS system also has good minority-carrier lifetimes, making it
attractive for polycrystalline-film PV's.
(As the example suggests, the group-I elements are transition metals -- group
IB in the most common traditional namings, or group 11 in the
IUPAC numbering. Also as the naming and examples
suggest, the group-III and -VI elements are main-group elements in the
p-block: groups IIIA and VIA in the traditional American scheme, IIIB and VIB
in the traditional European scheme, and 13 and 16 according to IUPAC. It's a
lot easier to add obvious comments about the notation than to go and learn
anything about the actual semiconductors.)
- I-III-VI2, I-III-VI2
- Same as I-III-VI.
- A group compound semiconductor compounded of one or more elements from what
used to be called group IIIA (mostly Al, Ga, and In) with nitrogen. Also
written and pronounced ``III-nitride.'' The III-N's are a subset of the
- The International Institute of
Informatics and Systemics.
- IIIT-D, IIIT-Delhi
- Indraprastha Institute of Information
Technology, Delhi. It was created as a State University by a 2007 act of
the Delhi Government. (Yes, Delhi -- the capital of India -- is a state in its
- Compound semiconductors combining an anion from group V [from nitrogen
(N) on down] and a cation from group III [well, skip
boron (B) usually, use aluminum
(Al), gallium (Ga) and indium
(In)]. Usually takes zincblende (ZB structure when grown epitaxially (MBE, MOCVD and variants).
The stable bulk allotrope often has Wurtzite structure.
- Compound semiconductors that are sometimes thought of as derivative of the
III-V's, with a monovalent-divalent species pair
replacing the group-III metal. E.g., LiZnAs.
- III Vir RPC
- Triumviri Rei Publicae Constituendae
Consulari Potestate. Latin, `three men with
consular power for the constitution of the republic.' Something like that.
Whatever. Official name of the second
triumvirate, about which we don't say much at the triumvirate entry.
(It ought to be said about the Roman republic that at that point it hardly
existed anymore except as an elaborate formality overlying the reality of the
- This was the initialism that was at one time used by
d'information juridique. Only available in French and
English (the latter as CanLII).
- IIM, iim
- Institut Interculturel de Montréal/
Intercultural Institute of Montreal. You're probably wondering why they
chose French and English names that can share a common abbreviation -- it seems
to make too much sense. In fact, it looks like they were a tad embarrassed
about the intercultural message one might draw from their splash page. In
order to demonstrate their commitment to an ever-deepening
understanding of cultural pluralism, they color-coded the second I of IIM and
color-coordinated it with Interculturel and Intercultural, so you
would be able to figure out which language was home. They can't help
IIM was created in 1963. As an entertainment input to those who
would never think of learning about this organization and having a cynical
chuckle or curl of the lip, I present their self-description. IIM is
a non-profit research and social action organization, dedicated to promoting an
ever-deepening understanding of cultural pluralism, intercultural relations and
social change. Its scope is local, national as well as international.
Although harmonius [sic] ethnic relations and cultural diversity are
generally recognized as desirable, little is understood about the
transformative possibilities they offer our pluralistic world.
iim is committed to exploring these possibilities in order to meet contemporary
economic, ecological, social and civilizational challenges. These can only be
met by a sincere search for wisdom and insight from each and every culture,
through dialogue, understanding and cooperation.
The philosophy and practices of iim find their roots in the non-institutional
and community sectors of our societies. The Institute's spirit has been one of
engaging itself in a dynamic interaction between the public and private or the
formal and informal sectors, without compromising its identity as a community
- International Ice Patrol. We're not talkin' little ice cubes here.
- (US) Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982.
- Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits.
- IIRC, iirc
- If I Recall Correctly. Occasionally ``... Remember ....''
- Indian Institute of Remote Sensing.
- Intelligent Information System.
Intermodal Solutions. ``Intermodal'' as in intermodal freight transport.
A product group from SAIC.
- Internet Information Server.
- Interim Interswitch Signaling Protocol.
- Illinois Institute of Technology.
- Indian Institute of Technology. Campuses all over India.
- Indiana Institute of Technology.
- Image Intensifier Tube.
- Iowa Interpreters and Translators
- International Interconnect Technology Conference. It's sponsored by the
IEEE Electron Devices Society. The
thirteenth annual IITC: San Francisco,
CA, June 7-9, 2010.
- Two-Six (semiconductor). As in: compound of a IIb metal (viz.
Zn, Cd, and Hg, in periods 3, 4 and 5, respectively) with a group VIa
cation. The latter is usually S,
Se, or Te. [The
two VIa elements are Po and O. Polonium is rare, and very radioactive (its
most available isotope has a 138-day half-life by alpha decay; it
self-vaporizes). Transition-metal oxides show a variety of interesting
behaviors and phase transitions, but they're basically insulators.
Pseudobinary alloys with
Mn are also common ``II-VI'' materials.
A major motivation to study II-VI semiconductors is their broad range of
bandgaps (from 0 in HgTe to wide in CdTe) and the demonstrated possibility
of making MBE- and
MOCVD-grown heterostructures as in the
III-V system. (VCSEL's are
popular structures.) They also have interesting magnetic properties
[Dilute Magnetic Semiconductors are generally
II-VI materials with low Mn (or Fe) concentration].
A variety of technological challenges, though, have so far prevented the
practical fabrication of electronic and electro-optic devices out
of II-VI semiconductors. These include difficulties in doping, instabilities
in the epitaxial growth process, and rapid
micromechanical degradation of optical devices during use (2.5-hour laser
lifetimes were reported at an 8/95 II-VI conference in Edinborough).
There was an unofficial II-VI
homepage, which is supposed to have moved to this new location,
but I can't reach it.
A friend of mine (Dan) works for II-VI
Incorporated, so I've put a link in. See?
Crystals serves a
list of properties.
There's a low-traffic UK-based mailing list for II-VI researchers called