(Click here for bottom)

International Journal of Adhesives and Adhesion.

International Journal of American Linguistics. At first blush, the title almost seems nonsensical.

International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence.


International Journal of the Classical Tradition. Tables of contents available on-line. Also catalogued by TOCS-IN. Official publication of the International Society for the Classical Tradition (ISCT).

International Journal of English Studies. A refereed journal published semiannually by the Department of English Studies of the University of Murcia in Spain.

International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching. A quarterly newsletter of about 40 pages, published online, written for and mostly by secondary-school teachers. (There are also a lot of articles by EFL teachers in East Asia.) Registration is necessary, and the email address you enter is used ``only to let you know when the next issue is available,'' but they don't confirm the addresses.... (The notification is probably handy, since there was a nine-month lapse in publication at one point.)

International Journal of Intelligent Systems.

It's just... Koming... umm... I wrote it on a scrap of paper; it's around here somewhere. Oh -- IJKM stands for the International Journal of Knowledge Management.

For practical purposes, in physics and chemistry, this is the alphabet of Roman letters for integer indices. If you need more, you should consider primed letters. Please don't use l or o.


International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. Catalogued by TOCS-IN.

International Journal of NeuroRadiology. Published by SILAN until the year 2000.

Initiativkolleg. German expression perhaps best rendered as `new program of studies.'

German words with the root Kolleg- are often faux amis of English words with a cognate root. The English word colleague does correspond to the German Kollege (female form Kollegin), but Kollege also means `counterpart, opposite number': interior ministers of different countries, though they might hardly be ``colleagues,'' are conventionally Kollegen (yup: the plural form).

German Kolleg usually refers either to a course of lectures or specifically to a Roman Catholic theological college. On the edge of similarity is the use of Kollegs or Kollegien (alternative plurals) for special secondary schools to prepare adults for university admission. I don't know much about them, but it sounds like an honest description of a junior college. Kollegialität is not exactly `collegiality' now but either `friendliness' or `loyalty to one's co-workers.'

Interchange Key. Used to encrypt DEK's for transmission within a message.

Dwight David Eisenhower's nickname. A Chicago expressway. A silver-dollar coin (40% silver, actually). ``Blue Ikes'' is numismatists' jargon for 1971 to 1978 uncirculated Eisenhower dollars in the original blue envelopes of issue. ``Brown Ikes'' are 1971 to 1978 uncirculated proof Ikes in the original brown boxes of issue.

Normally, Ike is the nickname of someone named Isaac.

Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. A catalog sales company for furniture, founded in 1947 by Ingvar Kamprad, who grew up on a farm called Elmtaryd, near the parish he later called home -- Agunnaryd (in Sweden).

There's a business hagiography by Bertil Torekull, Leading by Design: The IKEA Story {tr. Joan Tate} (New York: HarperBusiness, 1999). According to Appendix C, IKEA was registered as a firm 1941-1943. In 1941, Mr. Kamprad turned 15. That sounds about right. IK's cousin is quoted on his early years:

... He caught fish and crayfish and was adventurous and bold, stuffing the crayfish he'd just caught down the back of his long johns. He was like that.
That's probably pretty funny in the original Swedish, too [Historian om IKEA, (Wahlström & Widstrand, 1998)].

. Russian for `Space Research Institute' of the (`Russian Academy of Sciences'' -- RAS).

Illinois. USPS abbreviation.

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

Ilyushin. Prefix for some Soviet aircraft (-62, -86, -96). Ilyushin was a designer, of course.

Informal Logic. Don't act so surprised. If there were no such thing, there'd be no point to labeling the other kind ``formal.''

il, IL

Intermediate Language. Vide MSIL.

(Domain code for) Israel. International telephone dialing code 972. Here's the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage.

iGuide is ``Your Guide to Israeli Internet.'' (I think by ``your'' they mean mine, but I don't object if you, dear reader, use it as well. Consider it yet another generous service of the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve.) Sponsored by NetVision.

A very useful feature, given the varying ways in which Jewish names are transliterated across different alphabets, is the phonetic-match name email address lookup provided at IBM Israel's Electronic phonebook.

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

You can see the Wailing Wall here, from the safety of your ergonomic chair.

International Llama Association.

International League of Antiquarian Booksellers / La Ligue Internationale de la Librairie Ancienne. The ABAA is its national association for the US.

ILlinois Association for Infant Mental Health. An affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

International Linear Algebra Society.

[Football icon]

Inside LineBacker (LB).

International Louis Braille Club.

Interleaved Bit-Map.

InterLayer (or InterLevel) Dielectric.

[phone icon]

Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier. Cf. CLEC.

Inelastic LEED.

International Lexical-Functional Grammar Association.

Short for ILGWU.

International Lesbian and Gay Association. According to the homepage, visited in March 2006, ``26 years of activism for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Communities around the world.''

Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization. To judge only from its stick-in-the-mud name, ILGO is an organization with an irrational and fanatical fear of trans-, bi- and other-sexuals, not to mention polygamists or polyamorists or whatever the fashionable term is. (Cf. ILGA.)

Is the organization name pronounced ``I'll go''? They've been trying to march in New York City's annual Saint Patrick's Day parade since at least 1991. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, which organizes the parade, denied them permission to march that year (as every year since), but they participated anyway as invited guests of then-mayor David Dinkins. They and he were pelted with nasty words and beer cans. I often wonder about these situations: is there a place where protesters who didn't plan ahead can exchange their empty bottles for acceptable aluminum projectiles, or are they reduced to relying on their verbal creativity?

International Ladies Garment Workers Union. What everyone wanted to know is whether there was a separate union for male workers. It must have been confusing. For whatever reason, the ILGWU is no more, the successor union is UNITE.

During WWII, domestic car manufacture was halted so production capacity could be devoted to war materiel, and gasoline and rubber were rationed (see also Jeep). Ford then sold its building on the northeast corner of West 54th Street and Broadway in Manhattan to the ILGWU. You can see a picture of the building on page B25 of the July 7, 2000, New York Times (first page of the Weekend Section), illustrating David W. Dunlap's article ``Street of Automotive Dreams'' (a mile and a half of Broadway, centered approximately on Columbus Circle).

The six-story Ford building was built in 1917 to designs of Albert Kahn, one of the foremost American architects of the century. It has a red-tiled hip roof, so you think you're in a lazy Mediterranean villa, get loose and careless, wander out onto Broadway and get flattened by a delivery van. Then again, maybe not. The building runs half a block along Broadway; UNITE has a twenty-foot-by-ten-foot elevator. Talk about feeling guilty for not using the stairs. The ground floor, which used to be a showroom, is occupied by UNITE-owned Amalgamated Bank.

On the northwest corner of the same intersection, mostly facing W 54th, there used to be a REO showroom. Now it's a deli.

Set a half a block back from Broadway, the old Automobile Club (ACA) building (1910) and its annex span the block from 54th to 55th. There was parking for about 1000 cars, and amenities included accommodations for chauffeurs and Turkish baths. Now the buildings house the Labor Department (NYSDOL) and the Hearst Corporation. Like a lot of Auto Clubs around the country, the one in New York became a local affiliate of the AAA and changed its name to reflect its diminished territorial ambitions (``Automobile Club of New York''). You know, New York is the ``Empire State.'' The Auto Club is falling down by having its headquarters in Garden City. New Jersey is the Garden State. In two hundred years, New York hasn't invaded Vermont. Oh, wait, there's something here. They also have a travel agency at 1881 Broadway (NW corner with 62nd Street), upstairs from the Bank of New York. That building used to house the Martin Cadillac showroom. Since property values drove the last dealership to Eleventh Avenue in 1985 (gee, that's 15 years ago already), that little AAA travel agency may be the last toehold of auto business on old Auto Row.

Gary's dad was in the furniture business for a while. When a new furniture store set up near his store, his son worried that that'd steal business. Gary's dad said that to the contrary, they wanted the furniture stores clustered together. It's better for business. Another thing, in the big fire, I guess the competition burned down too. People can make surprising jokes at their own misfortune, but it may be hard to remember them afterwards. I'm just typing here, it may come to me. Hmm. It'll have to be in a later revision.

A guy I sat next to on a plane was reading internal literature from his company, Discount Auto Parts. When he went to the bathroom, I learned that they don't worry about having stores in nearby towns. There's a synergetic effect: putting a new DAP store moderately near an old one actually increases business at the old store. Studies Show that. But maybe people go to the old store because they see ads for DAP and go to the one they already know. Maybe this steals business from the new store. Evolutionary biology is all about this kind of thinking, but this isn't an evolutionary biology entry, is it? No, I didn't think so.

Now Gary lives close to Mishawaka. (So do I, but to mention that here would interrupt the flow of the definition narrative, so I don't. Sharp glossarists like me don't miss a trick.) Mishawaka-area auto dealers are concentrated on a stretch of Grape Road where the speed limit is 40 MPH, and on the same road there are competing auto parts stores across the street from each other. In Elkhart, the auto dealerships are on Bypass Road. If you want to select a car, you wait until the dealers go home and then visit the dealers' lots with Rob, who knows more about the cars and isn't working on commission. If you don't know Rob, I guess you're out of luck, huh? When you've chosen a car (test-drive any former friend's model) you order on the internet, and the local dealer that wins the bid hates you. That's why the auto lots are protected by guards. At Bypass Road, after waiting politely for Rob to pause in his discussion of options, the guard asked if we knew where she could buy that yellow police tape for cordoning off restricted areas. Must've been for another job.

We're talking Indiana, here, okay? If you want to know where the dealers are out of state, try 11th Ave. in NYC or North Avenue in Westfield, NJ. This should be obvious. If Mishawaka were in Japan, it would be Mishakawa, and there would probably be other differences as well.

There's a computer type font named Mishawaka, too.

Influenza-Like Illness.

Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement. A program of the Division of Undergraduate Education of the NSF, supporting development of new or improved laboratory courses or experiments in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Most of the money goes into supporting equipment, under Instrumentation Projects (ILI-IP); a smaller part goes into nonequipment costs: Leadership in Laboratory Development (ILI-LLD).

Plural of ilium. Two will do.

Have you ever noticed how, when you buy a package of two or four chicken breast halves, they're all from the same side? They ``spoon'' better that way (here I suppose it would be enough to say they stack better), but it means that it takes two chickens to make one package of two chicken-breast halves.

Of or pertaining to the ilium. Cf. ILLIAC.

One of two very ancient epic poems by Homer, about whom all we know for certain is that he wrote this and another epic poem called the Odyssey. Or maybe not wrote but composed. Except that maybe two different people created the two epics. And they was blind (I'm getting confused), or at least that's implied in the Iliad. Cf. Illiad.

Here is the mythical genealogy, specifically the paternal line, that explains some of the names:

  1. Zeus
  2. Dardanus
  3. Erichthonius
  4. Tros
  5. Ilos
  6. Laomedon
  7. Priam

The region of Troy is called Dardania (see 2 above) and the legendary founder of the city is Ilos (5). The city is called after him or Troia after his father (4). Priam and his children have starring roles in the Iliad and in a variety of other works. A separate genealogy concerns another son of Tros, named Assaracus. The paternal line here goes

  1. Tros
  2. Assaracus
  3. Capys
  4. Anchises
  5. Aeneas
  6. Ascanius

The legendary mother of Aeneas, incidentally, was Venus. Aeneas is the star of Virgil's great epic which we call the Aeneid. I guess you could have figured that out yourself.

Each of the Homeric epics is divided into 24 books, although there is some question when this division was imposed. They're probably divided into 24 books because the Greek alphabet had 24 letters. The Aeneid is divided into 12 books, the first six modeled on the Iliad and the second six modeled on the Odyssey. The Aeneid begins with the words arma virumque cano, `arms and the man I sing.' One of the earliest plays (1894) of George Bernard Shaw was entitled ``Arms and the Man.''

Regarding that ``the'' there... (Say that out loud.) There is no definite article in Latin, so whether one should occur between the ``arms and'' and the ``man'' in English is a matter for the translator's judgment. (As the old saying goes, ``a translation is a commentary.'') Normally, new characters in a story are introduced with the indefinite article. (E.g., ``a priest, a minister, and a rabbi enter a bar.'') This is not a hard-and-fast rule, however. In many cases, the introduction of a character or situation implies others that no longer require an introductory indefinite article. (``The bartender says, `what is this, a joke'?'') There are other situations where one uses the definite article with the first mention of a subject. This usage carries the implication that you are already there or you already know this. It can have various effects on the reader, producing a sense of falling into an unfamiliar situation in medias res, for example, or a sense that the subject spoken of is so important or well-known as not to require introduction. For the Aeneid's opening halfline, many translations use ``the man'' or an equivalent expression. I happen to prefer that version.

One of the most recognizable scenes in Western art is Aeneas carrying his lame father on his shoulder through the burning ruins of defeated Troy, holding the hand of his son Ascanius.

The i line of the mercury spectrum, with a wavelength of 365 nm, was used for semiconductor photolithography starting in the 1990's. Cf. g-line.

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust.

The topmost and broadest of the three bones constituting one of the lateral halves of the pelvis. Plural ilia, adjective iliac. Cf. sacroiliac.

Latin name for the city of Troy, taken over from the Greek name Ilion. The nominative form of the adjective associated with this noun is Iliás in Greek, taken directly into Latin (long before accent marks started to be used in Greek; they have only rarely been popular in Latin), and this adjective has been used as the name of Homer's epic about Troy.

Romance languages derive the forms of their nouns from the Latin accusative or ablative singular form (final ems became silent in Vulgar Latin, decreasing the difference between accusative and ablative). Hence, in Spanish the epic is known by the title La Ilíada (that's right stress: on the second i) and in French as L'Iliade. Other languages followed the cultural lead of France: Iliad in English, Iliade in German, etc. The philhellenic movement and classical philology of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries led German scholars to prefer a direct transliteration of the original Greek names over the traditional Latin and Romance forms. Thus Ilias is now common in Germany, while Iliade is clearly antiquated. (A similar tendency exists among English classicists, though it has had a variable impact. For example, classicists often use Herakles for Hercules, but that usage has not become common. On the other hand, the Greek name Athena seems to have almost completely supplanted the Latin Minerva in common usage, as Odysseus has Ulysses to a lesser extent.)

Non-U word meaning sick.


InterLibrary Loan. Here's the online form for ILL at UB.

Institute Max von Laue-Paul Langevin. Okay, they didn't want to pony up for two institutes, so they named one after both of them. But clue me: von Laue is known for his work in X-ray diffraction, and Langevin for his stochastic work on diffusive transport, so the ILL supports the activities of the European Space Agency?

Ich liege lachend am Boden. `I lie on the floor laughing.' German acronym inspired by ROTFL, but not the most literal translation that would be understood. ``Ich kugele mich vor Lachen'' is a standard expression that can be fairly literally translated as ``I am rolling with laughter,'' but the expression ``ich kugele mich vor Lachen auf dem Boden'' and similar expressions seem to occur primarily on webpages that translate ROTFL.

I'll believe it when I see it.
I won't be looking.

ILLinois Institute for Advanced Computation. A series of computers designed and built at the University of Illinois. The FOLDOC entry mentions that its assembly language (by the same name) was listed in CACM 2(#5), p.16, (May 1959). Cf. iliac.

An ambitious but ill-fated member of the ILLIAC family. A SIMD machine. The main system, of which only a quarter was built, was housed at Moffet Field in California, a Naval Air station and site of NASA Ames research center. An unappreciative entry in FOLDOC has further gory details.


There's a Homeric poem called (in English) the Iliad. It's the one that Francis Ford Coppola did not desecrate for television. The movie Troy, with that pretty man Brad Pitt as Achilles, will have to do.

Writing in the classics list CLASSICS-L, Alice P. Radin recalls Herbert M. Howe thundering out the orthographic mnemonic:

The Iliad is not ill, nor is the Odyssey odd!

She has added that deities don't diet (but see ie entry), and solicited mnemonic help for the prophecy/prophesy dichotomy.

Actually, the Odyssey is odd. For that matter, there's probably an Otto somewhere in Ottawa.

The Homer and the Papyri website has

  1. Up-to-date lists of papyri pertinent to the Iliad and the Odyssey.
  2. A repertoire of variant readings contained in these papyri.

Here's something from Thinking to Some Purpose, L. Susan Stebbing:
A little reflection shows us that if what we are maintaining is false, then anything implied by what we are maintaining is false. I must, however, admit that I know a learned man who professed himself unable to give unhesitating assent to this contention.

I trust that the stupidity of Stebbing's contention is obvious to most people, whether or not they use words like contrapositive or converse. Nevertheless, an example may be amusing: the proposition ``animals with four legs are dogs'' implies that cats are dogs and that dogs are dogs. Since cats are not dogs, dogs are not dogs either.

Stebbing, according to the back cover of this book, lectured in symbolic logic at Columbia University in 1931-32, and was the author of A Modern Introduction to Logic. There's a profile picture of her on the back cover, showing that she at one time suffered from either nausea or some other dyspepsia. She was also at one time Director of Moral Science Studies at Girton and Newnham Colleges, Cambridge, and she was President of the Aristotelian Society, and also of the Mind Association.

According to the same materials, from 1933 she was Professor of Philosophy at the University of London. This prompts me to rush to the defense of my good buddies in philosophy. Apart from phenomenologists, ``political philosophers,'' postmodern ``philosophers,'' philosophers of science, Kantians, Hegelians, other continental philosophers, analytic philosophers, philosophers of language, and a small number of other exceptions, most philosophers are intelligent. The stupid quote at the beginning of this entry is not representative of the kinds of mistake that philosophers generally make.

I'll take your word for it.
I don't believe it.

I'll tell you what I'm gonna do.
Trademark phrase of Sid Stone, who had a regular segment as a pitchman on Uncle Milty's show.

ill-tempered problem
I'd prefer an ill-posed problem over that any day, but especially Friday.

Industrial Light and Magic.

Interim { Link | Local } Management Interface.

International Literary MarketPlace.

InterLayer (or InterLevel) Oxide. With the use of nitrides, this is no longer (as it was into the seventies) the only kind of interlevel dielectric (ILD).

International Labour Organization, the first specialized agency associated with the UN, although actually part of the (1919) Treaty of Versailles.

Instruction-Level Parallelism. VLIW and superscalar are examples.

Institute for Learning in Retirement.

Internet Legal Resource Guide.

Institute for Learning and Research Technology. ``[A] centre of excellence in the development and use of Information and Communication Technology to support learning and research.''

It's good they're only going for plain old excellence. You know the old saying -- ``better excellence is the enemy of good excellence.''

You know, when you think about it, excellent isn't an absolute adjective. Indeed, when you get right down to it, excellence is a very subjective thing. One man's ``fair'' is another man's ``excellent.'' This is a liberating thought, because it allows you to flatter with a clear conscience, i.e. without shame, or shamelessly, as the expression goes.

These thoughts are no reflection on ILRT, about which I know very little. Indeed, I've practically never heard of this internationally known center of excellence.

Institute for Latino Studies. Founded in about 1999. As of early 2002, the University of Notre Dame seems to be unique in the use of this particular name (no such luck with the name ``Notre Dame''). It's not like ``Institute for Theoretical Studies,'' which every Tom, Dick, and Harry University has.

There's a Puerto Rican & Latino Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut, and there are plenty of Institutes Of Latin American Studies, such as The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at UT Austin (LLILAS).

If I hadn't been on the ILS mailing list, I would have remained blissfully unaware of the following important event: the premiere on January 23, 2002, of American Family: the first drama series on broadcast television to feature a Latino cast.

American Family was created by Academy Award-nominated director Gregory Nava (El Norte, Selena). ``The series is about an American Family living in Los Angeles that happens to be Latino,'' says Nava. ``I wanted to create a show that will make the audience laugh and cry as it chronicles the daily struggles and triumphs of a family. American Family is about everyone's family.''

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. On one hand I suppose it is overdue. If you don't watch Univisión you might have the weird idea that the Los Angeles area is as Anglophone as whitebread 90210. On the other hand, the real problem with television is not that it fails to represent the real world accurately, but that it accounts for so much of peoples' limited understanding of the world that its knowledge lacunae become theirs. Of course, no one watches PBS, so the program is a nonevent.

Instrument Landing System.

A system for landing instruments, if the instruments are appropriately equipped aircraft.

Integrated Library System.

International Lyrics Server. They claim, as of December 1999, to have a database of 130,000 songs and lyrics for 60,000. This is not quite as many as it seems, since each cover of a song by a different artist, and each different release of a song by the same artist, is apparently counted separately. Not bad, but if you don't find what you seek there, try an ordinary web search engine.

International Lung Sounds Association. If it weren't for the Internet, I might have gone through life never even suspecting that this organization existed. The physics of wheezing, the spectroscopy of coughing, snore mensuration, diagnostic crackling ... this is great, why don't they cover this stuff in Physics 101?

Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. An act of the US Congress that punishes companies that invest more than twenty million dollars in either country.

Insect Lighting Trap.

International Lead/Zinc Research Organization.

The spelling of I'm (the contraction of I am) used in IM.

Contracted form of the German in dem, `in the.' For further enlightenment, you need to go to the inn entry.

Ice Massage. Ahem, ``a rapid cooling technique used to facilitate therapeutic movements in the rehabilitation process.'' A form of cryotherapy. More ice than massage. ``Wouldn't you like an ice massage?'' ``Oh, yes, I--Aaaiii!''

Individual Medley. A swimming triathlon or tetrathlon. The Olympics version is a tetrathlon: the swimmer is required to swim (equal distances each of)
  1. Butterfly,
  2. Backstroke,
  3. Breaststroke, and
  4. Freestyle.

This is the standard order. In the three-stroke medley, the butterfly part is eliminated. Each stroke (i.e., each style of swimming) is done for an integer number of laps. Freestyle must not be any of the previous strokes, but since it's a race, anyone who would repeat one of the earlier strokes could as easily be disqualified for drugging, since ordinary stupidity alone could not explain such a choice.

In a medley relay (in swimming), each of the different strokes is performed by a different swimmer. The order of the strokes is different then. If it turns out that there's an abbreviation for medley relay, then we'll make an entry for it and explain the order there. If it weren't for the Olympics, we would probably not be motivated to improve ourselves by acquiring this athletic knowledge. What we really need now is a ``muscular Christianity'' entry, but at least we have an entry for the word medley.

Injection Mo[u]lding. I suppose you could argue that this term describes intramuscular (IM) steroid injections used by many body-builders, but the usual context has to do with plastics. Here are some fantasy visions of an Injection Molding Machine. Related entry: flash, which I promise has nothing to do with the exposure of physique, molded or otherwise.

Input Method.

Inspection and Maintenance.

Amazing but true: in the state of Indiana, there is no automobile inspection. Not annual, not biennial, never. It's illegal to operate an unsafe vehicle, of course, but it'll have to be pretty bad before they stop you.

Instant Messaging. As long as you're not planning to think over what you're going to say, why not express it immediately and regret it sooner?

(Honesty compels me to admit that most IM-ing occurs in a guilt-free haze of unreflection. A shame culture without the shame.)

``Send an instant comment to me / Initial it -- with loving care!'' is a lyric from the Yes song ``I've Seen All Good People.'' (It seems to be about speed chess.)

Internal Medicine. A specialty. IM specialists are called internists.

IntraMuscular. Most vaccines are given intramuscularly.

The male plural ending in Hebrew (not to be confused with the generic dual ending -ayim). Corresponds to -in in Aramaic and Arabic, as in the well-known word fedayeen.

Illinois Medieval Association.

Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications at the University of Minnesota.

Interactive Multimedia Association.

Internal Mammary Artery.

International Midi Association.

image problem
The problem of truth interfering with the accurate presentation of façade.

Imagine an Ent.
Think of one of those mythical tree-creatures of J. R. R. Tolkein.

Imagine Ent.
A film studio.

Vipul: We haven't met. My name is Vipul. What's your name?
Al: I'm Al.
Vipul: How do you spell that?

Inhibiteur de la monoamine-oxydase. French for MAOI.

In My Arrogant Opinion. Modeled on IMHO. Possibly it was intended as a synonym by people who thought the aitch there stood for honest.

In most of the longer entries of this glossary, you could usually insert BTW somewhere along about the beginning of the second paragraph, and IMAO at the end.

Oh-wait-a-second... That wasn't an I, that was a lower-case el. They weren't being frank about their opinions, they were laughing!

Interactive Mail Access Protocol. See RFC Nos. 1731, 1732, 1733 and 1734 for the latest (IMAP4) and backward compatibility with IMAP2 and IMAP2bis.

The International Microelectronics And Packaging Society. Created from the merger of ISHM (hybrid microelectronics) and IEPS (packaging society) in 1996.

Instructional Materials Center[s]. Would a cemetery qualify? How about an automobile junkyard?

Instrument Meteorological Conditions. Which require flight under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Contrast with VMC and VFR.

Independent Montessori Consortium. This is a generic term; there are at least three such in the US. There are so many Montessori organizations that they collide in acronym space (cf. next entry).

International Montessori Council. Not the same as MCI. Those ``Montessorians'' sure are a clubby bunch. Enough international organizations so that everyone who wants to can be president of his or her own. How encouraging.

Integrated Mission Control Center (NASA).

International Multi-Conference on Complexity, Informatics and Cybernetics.

InterMetal Dielectric.

InterModulation Distortion. Also called ``intermod.''

Internet Movie DataBase.

All video purchase links at IMDb point to <Amazon.com>. This might owe something to the fact that Amazon owns the IMDB. Other places to search for videos are

  1. Facets.com
  2. Reel.com
  3. MoviesUnlimited.com

According to research published in Desirable Men, ``[o]ut of 20 activities listed that people typically do on dates, movies ranked as the most likely type of date to be cancelled. These results were ranked the same for both men and women.''

The last comment reminds me of research that shows men reporting significantly different frequencies of whatever with their wives than women report having with their husbands.

Input Method Editor.

Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center. ``Europe's leading independent research center in the field of microelectronics, nanotechnology, enabling design methods and technologies for ICT systems.''

(UK) Institution of MECHanical Engineers.

Impossible Missions Force. You know, with the disposable reel-to-reel. Maybe in the choice of acronym, they were making some kind of geopolitical statement about...

International Monetary Fund.

International Myeloma Foundation.

A form of IMAO encountered in chats.

IMF Loans
Iron Mountain Financial Loans. A California mortgage company whose name is based on a direct translation of its German owner's name (Eisenberg, I guess; cf. Audi). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sued to get IMF Loans to change its name.

International Medical Graduates.

Istituto di Metrologia ``G. Colonnetti,'' a Torino (i.e., in Turin, Italy).

I'm going 40 in a 30 zone!
It's okay, just pull over to let people pass.

In My Humble Opinion. [The humility here is usually putative, theoretical, or ironic.] Conceivably, the H might be expanded as `Honest,' but this kind of initialism is used principally to abbreviate common expressions, and the cliche using humble is apparently perceived to be more common. Cf. IMNSHO, IMNVHO, IMO, JMO, JMHO.

IMIpramine. A tricyclic antidepressant (TCA).

Israel Military Industries. In 2007, IMI had $575 million in sales. In a September 2, 2008, article in the Jerusalem Post, IMI CEO Avi Felder projected 2008 sales of $676m. The company was investing $85m in R&D per annum. I think that qualifies as ``research-intensive.''

International Medical Informatics Association.

imide, imido, imine, imino
Organic compound containing an aminic group double-bonded to a carbon. That is, either the group ==C==NH or --C(:NH)-- , or a related structure with the H substituted, appears in the structural formula. There is an involved system of organic nomenclature, which determines how these terms are used (usually the suffix or infix forms -imide and -imine or the prefix forms imido- and imino-), and by these rules the prefix -d- form should be used only for acidic groups, but that rule is not followed strictly. Vide polyimide.

IMagery INTelligence. [Military.] Not to be confused with the more prevalent Imaginary Intelligence.

International Municipal Lawyers Association.

Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit. A critical figure of merit for manned interplanetary missions, because a large fraction of the mission cost is lifting the spacecraft into earth orbit. As currently envisioned, such missions require spacecraft too massive for any single lift vehicle, so plans are generally to lift components of the vehicle into LEO and to assemble it there. (When NASA was actively researching a manned mission to Mars, the IMLEO's were in the range of 500 to 3000 tons, depending on trip times.)

Most of the vehicle mass is in fuel, so if fuel can be manufactured on the Moon, it becomes attractive to start from there, and IMLEO becomes smaller and less critical.

(US) Institute of Museum and Library Services. Brought into being by the The Museum and Library Services Act of 1996, which gives it the statutory responsibility to play Santa to libraries, museums, and worthy people with leadership potential.

International MultiModal Transport Association.

I'm no angel.
I'm an incorrigible devil. Trust me again.

Here's something on angel.

``I might steal your diamonds but, I'll bring you back some pearls.'' -- Fake pearls.

In My Not-So-Humble Opinion. Cf. IMO, IMHO.

In My Not-Very-Humble Opinion. Hard to tell which came first -- this or IMNSHO (which latter, FWIW , the glossarist encountered earlier). Evidently a development based on IMHO.

In My Opinion. Cf. IMNSHO, IMHO.

InterMetal Oxide.

International Maritime Organization. The UN's ``specialized agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships.''

International Meteorological Organization.

International Meteor Organization.

Imp, IMP, Imp
Current at Maximum Power. See MPP.


Abbreviation for Latin Imperator, as in ``Imp Vespasianus Caesar Aug'' for Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus. The Romans did not use a period to indicate abbreviation because that convention had not yet been invented. The Modern English don't have that excuse.

The whole eighteen cubits: He was named Titus Flavius Vespasianus at birth. (Titus was frequently abbreviated T.) On accession his title became Imperator Titus Flavius Vespasianus Caesar, and in August 69 C.E. he became Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus. The next year he accreted ``pontifex maximus'' and ``pater patriae,'' and by the time he died he was Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribuniciae potestatis X, Imperator XX, Pater Patriae, Consul IX. Of course, his pals just called him Max.

I really hope that the word imp is derived from this title abbreviation, but I fear it may not be, so I haven't dared to look it up. You'll just have to trust me on the etymology, and reason that it must be correct, since I wouldn't mislead you on a matter of this importance.

Interface Message Processors.

InterModulation Product. The word product here is practically a pun. An intermodulation product is a signal produced by (hence the product of) intermodulation. On the other hand, intermodulation arises from nonlinearity. An input signal processed through a nonlinear device yields an output signal that contains at least one non-unit power of the input. If the input has components of different frequencies, then the second- and higher-order powers of the input signal consist of second- and higher-order products of the input components. (That last ``products'' completes the pun.)

To take a simple example, if the input signal is proportional to sin(2πƒ1t)+sin(2πƒ2t) and the output signal is the square of the input, then the output is proportional to (sin(2πƒ1t))2 + 2sin(2πƒ1t)sin(2πƒ2t) + (sin(2πƒ2t))2. The second term is a second-order intermodulation term, which by a trigonometric product rule can be written as cos(2πƒ-t) - cos(2πƒ+t), with ƒ+ = ƒ1 + ƒ2 and ƒ- = |ƒ1 - ƒ2| the sum and difference frequencies, respectively.

A mischievous supernatural creature. The corresponding natural creature would probably be a computer bug.

Mysterious ingredient that enabled Pepsodent to claim whatever it claimed.

International Maritime Pilots' Association.

International Merchant Purchase Authority Card. A VISA card issued to government employees after training.

The English noun impact originally had a meaning similar to collision, and the earliest instance listed by the OED2, from 1781, is in a scientific text. The word has cognates in French and Spanish and probably every other Romance language; it is constructed from the past-participle stem of the Latin impingere.

In fact, the past-participle adjective was used as early as 1601 in a botanical context (Philemon Holland's translation of Pliny's Historia Naturalis) with the sense of ``forcefully pressed into (or against).'' That adjective has continued in widespread botanical and medical use, and is probably most widely known from the expression ``impacted tooth.'' It is not necessary or even common to add the English past-participle suffix -ed to a word that happens to be constructed on the basis of a Latin participle, and in fact the original form of the adjective impacted (attested as early as 1563) was impacte or impact. It seems that this was misunderstood as short for a hypothesized form impacted, and that there the trouble began. Perhaps if the word had been impactate, none of this would have gotten started. Holland should have known better.

In due course the verb impact was back-constructed from the misconstructed word impacted, and the verb was nouned to give the word we started out talking about two paragraphs ago. The scientific noun impact early on came to be used figuratively, as a colorful synonym of effect that implied a sudden or forceful cause.

Now that this history has been explained, we can get to the point of this entry, the casus belly-ache-us, so to speak. And that is, that people started using the verb impact, which was created to mean ``press into,'' in the new sense of ``have an impact on'' -- have a sudden, forceful effect on. This was popular business-speak in the 1990's, and I am pleased not to be hearing it any more. Adding new meanings to a word is legitimate and natural, but it is objectionable when the meaning is already well expressed by an old expression similar to the new one, as ``have an impact on'' expressed the new sense of ``impact.'' In its favor one might argue that the new expression is more compact, but in this case something else is going on: the new meaning of impact is impacting the old meaning of impact (in both senses). When a new sense is added to a word that has an older, still-active sense, the new sense ought to be sufficiently different from the old one that the context will generally make clear which sense is meant. Otherwise, the effect of adding a new meaning will primarily be to degrade the precision of the word. The only saving grace, if that's what it is, is that the new verb has the initial stress of a noun.

Interdisciplinary Model Program in the Arts for Children and Teachers. An influential late-sixties demonstration program, conducted in five very different (in SES) school systems.

Impacts of Study Abroad Programmes on Students and Graduates
Higher Education Policy Series 11, Volume II. By Susan Opper, Ulrich Teichler, and Jerry Carlson. Nice cover.

Impact Avalanche Transit Time (diode). [Pronounced as Cockney ``HIM, pat''.] Like the BARRITT diode, this has a negative AC resistance: current and voltage are about 180° out of phase.

Impending CRISIS
The title of a book (capitalization sic, at least on the spine) by Roger E. Herman, Thomas G. Olivo, and Joyce L. Gioia, published by Oakhill Press in Winchester, Virginia, in 2003. The ISBN-10 is 1-886939-53-5. Not to be catty or anything, but you know what a number like that means. Still, the acknowledgments mention two (2) people at Oakhill Press, although the ``editor'' seems to be someone somehow related to one of the authors and not to the publisher. In fact, it looks like at least 50 to 80% of the books published by Oakhill do not have Roger Herman as the or an author. Also, I estimate that the press published about two books a year between 2003 and 2010, so I guess you could say they're very selective and focused.

Anyway, the subtitle of the book explains the crisis that impended: ``Too Many Jobs, Too Few People.'' The authors' research uncovered the fact that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was predicting that by 2010 there would be 167 million jobs chasing 157 million qualified workers. My research in 2011 determined that, according to the BLS, total nonfarm employment (which is as much as the BLS tracks) in the US had peaked around 138.0 million in January 2008, and bottomed out around 129.3 in January 2010, less than a million below the lowest figure for 2003. But by May 2011, it had soared back up to a brief maximum of 131 million (prelim.).

A large sheet of paper, most often 23 by 33 inches.

imperial, double
See double imperial.

Imperium sine fine
Latin, `empire without end, everlasting empire, empire with boundaries at infinity, the Microsoft Reich.'

A Spanish verb that means `imply' and `implicate.' I've seen the English word implicate used as a falso amigo by at least one Spanish-speaker who meant imply.

importance of literature
It is a commonplace that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. It is less remarked that a similar truth applies to love of literature. The topic did come up in two or three of the interviews of Philip Roth's Shop Talk.

In one chapter, Edna O'Brien compares the Ireland of her youth and of the present (the interview was conducted in 1984): ``Ireland is very different now, a much more secular land, where, ironically, both the love of literature and the repudiation of literature are on the wane.'' Irony, like humor generally, is not to be explained. Therefore, we must simply disagree that this coincidence is ironic. She continues: ``Ireland is becoming as materialistic and as callow as the rest of the world.'' Ireland was also becoming one of the economic tigers of the EU, so perhaps now it has the prosperity to be less materalistic. Want makes hunger, you know. The notion of becoming callow is an interesting one, however, since callowness is immaturity or lack of experience. If you want irony, growing into callowness would be it.

Earlier in the interview, Roth raised the issue of writing from exiles of various sorts. Edna O'Brien made her home in London and wrote about Ireland. Ireland could boast, if that's the word, of exporting many great writers, among them Becket and Joyce. O'Brien: ``But you have to go if you find your roots too threatening, too impinging. Joyce said that Ireland is the sow that eats its farrow. He was referring to its attitude toward its writers--it savages them. It is no accident that our two greatest illustrissimi, himself and Mr. Beckett, left and stayed away, though they never lost their particular Irish consciousness. In my own case, I do not think that I would have written anything if I had stayed. I feel I would have been watched, would have been judged (even more!), and would have lost that priceless commodity called freedom.'' (I thought the ancient name for Ireland was Hibernia. Now I think I had that wrong; it must have been Claustrophobia.)

This writing-from-exile trope is a recurring one in interviews with O'Brien. (See, for example, this Salon.com Lit Chat item from 1995.) Naturally, the Roth interview included some discussion of the issues of exile and freedom facing Eastern European writers. I'll touch on that somewhere later. The Eastern European experience under communism is also fodder for the head topic of this entry.

improved performance
Some bugs in previous release are fixed and some new bugs put in place. The principal change is a modified user interface. This obscures the absence of any significant new features. It also obscures the location of old features that worked fine in the previous release. The old release will no longer be supported, because the new release is so much better (after another climb up the learning curve, of course).

Oh yes, and for your convenience, documents saved by the new release cannot be opened by the old one. So there's something the old version can't do.

im Quadrat
A German phrase equivalent to the English `squared' in its simplest arithmetical sense. So drei im Quadrat means `three squared.' It's also possible to say drei hoch zwei, which is akin to `three raised to the power two.' German has a verb quadrieren, `to square,' and it's possible to use the past participle as in English to say drei quadriert, but this is rather less common.

Literally, the phrase im Quadrat means `in the square.' (The im is the standard contraction of in dem. I think one only encounters the uncontracted form, as indem, when dem functions pronominally.)

The reason for this entry is to explain a pun. Ritter Sport, a line of chocolate bars made by Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG. They make a big deal of the square thing. One of their mottoes is ``Qualität im Quadrat.'' Which means, as you now understand, both `quality in the square' and `quality squared.' The German motto appears on the mostly-English packaging in the US, but they also used to include the nearly literal translation ``Quality in a square.'' Later they switched to ``Quality. Chocolate. Squared.'' Eh. At least it doesn't kill the frog, as I just did.

Infant Mortality Rate. Too high. Normally quoted in deaths during first year of life per 1000 livebirths. (Stillbirths don't count.)

Internet Marketing Resources. ``...offers the help you need to exploit the incredible opportunities the Internet offers to shrewd marketers.''

Has a good list of high-interest links.

Independent Media Review and Analysis. An English-language source for Middle East news.

Institut Minoru de Recherche Avancée. `Minoru Institute of Advanced Research.' An industrial R&D lab set up at Valbonne/Nice, France, in 1986.

Minoru is the given name, I believe, of Mr. Minoru Toyoda. The Toyoda family founded and controls Toyota and the associated keiretsu. (More on that at the Jabba entry.) The stupendously innovative ``idea of a global IMRA research and development network ... was championed by Mr. Minoru Toyoda, the Honorary Advisor to the All Aisin Group. Aisin is Japan's largest, and one of the world's top ten manufacturers of automotive related components.'' Somehow Aisin Seiki scraped up the funds, and the facility at Nice was the first one founded. Sites were added in Germany and the U.K., and the lot became IMRA Europe S.A. There's an IMRA America, Inc. -- it describes itself as ``a globally active company dedicated to the leading edge in ultrafast and short-pulsed fiber laser technology for commercial and research applications.''

Fermi spelled backwards. A suomafni electrical engineering term whose use is now thankfully largely discontinued. The respectable term is ``quasi-Fermi level.''

Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Infrastructure Management System[s]. Hansen is one supplier.

Intelligent Manufacturing System[s].

International Machaut Society. Machaut was apparently some historical musician/writer dude.

International Magnetospheric Study.

International Monitoring System. A global network of seismic stations. The organization with the authority to announce officially, ``Oh, big one!''

What may not be apparent is that the term ``monitor'' does not refer to the fact that the earth is being monitored. What ultimately is being monitored is compliance with the terms of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty (CTBT), article IV (``Verification'') of which established the IMS. Thus, ``monitoring'' includes (article IV [section B], paragraph 16) radionuclide, hydroacoustic, and infrasound monitoring as well as seismic monitoring, and may include such things as electromagnetic pulse (EMP) monitoring, as appropriate (article IV [section A], paragraph 11). The IMS is supervised and coordinated by the Technical Secretariat instituted by that treaty (Article II, Section D). The data gathered by the IMS is made publicly available by the International Data Centre (IDC).

A table of the stations comprising the IMS is on-line, but we were just desperate to add entries, so a fine selection of the three-, four-, five- and yes, even six-letter acronyms designating these stations are scattered among these pages. We also serve the list in alphabetical order.

Interpersonal Messaging System.

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering.

International Mathematics and Statistics Library. A software library of callable routines.

Independent Manufacturer Support Program.

Insertion-Mount Technology. You know: old-style leads through physical holes in the circuit board.

International Money Transfer.

Institute for Medical Technology Assessment. Founded in 1988 by Professor Frans Rutten (it and he both at Erasmus University Rotterdam). IMTA is closely linked with IBMG.

Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua. `Mexican Institute of Water Technology.'

According to this page, IMTA was created by a presidential decree on August 7, 1986, as an agency separated out of the then Secretaría de Agricultura y Recursos Hidráulicos, `Secretariat of Agriculture and Water Resources,' (SARH). In a presidential decree of December 28, 1994, IMTA was absorbed into the then Secretaría de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca, `Secretariat of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries' (Semarnap). Persuant to a presidential decree of October 30, 2001, IMTA is now (2004) a public agency operating separately from the federal government, coordinated by the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, `Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources.' (Semarnat). Whatever is unclear to you in the above explanation is probably unclear to me too.

Integrative Manual Therapy Association. Possibly defunct.

International Maitland Teachers Association. ``In 1992 I.M.T.A. was founded in Zurzach, Switzerland, by the teachers' group trained by G.D. Maitland, P. Wells and G. Rolf in Bad Ragaz and Zurzach, Switzerland.'' IMTA is trying to promote awareness of the Maitland Concept, which has something to do with ``the management of patients with neuro-musculo-skeletal problems.'' They are very trying indeed, since they say what it treats, what is at its center, tries to do, assesses, etc., but not what it is. ``[P]romoting awareness'' evidently means advertising. So far as I can tell without visiting a fourth level of pages, it's a European version of chiropractic, which is kind of amusing because another chiropractic organization is (or was) also IMTA.

International Management Teachers Academy. An annual two-week school run by CEEMAN.

International Map Trade Association.

International Maritime Transport Academy.

International Military Testing Association.

International Mobile Telecommunications Association.

International Modeling and Talent Association.

Irish Marketing Teachers Association. I would think that having one's own permanent website would be a useful marketing tool these days; I guess the IMTA is not interested in marketing itself. The main activity of the IMTA -- that I have been able to learn of -- is having an annual conference hosted somewhere in Ireland.

Irish Massage Therapists Association.

Irish Mathematics Teachers' Association. Founded in 1960.

If My Theory Is Correct. I've never seen the abbreviation in use, but it conforms more closely with sci-fi thriller usage than does IIAR. Also, pronouncing it as an acronym makes you sound efficiently time-conscious (``im-tick'') rather than stupid (``I are'') or pretentious (``my theory''). No lab coat required. Use it. Make it real.

International Mobile Telecommunications 2000. 2000 refers to the 2 GHz band (i.e.2000 MHz) allocated to it by the 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference.

Inertial Measurement Unit. A device that measures changes in orientation and velocity, widely used in aircraft and spacecraft.

At the time of the Apollo missions, the IMU, also called an inertial platform, had a gyroscope but no accelerometers: it measured only orientation. A New York Times article about Apollo 9 (on March 4, 1969; page 14) explained that the Apollo capsule's on-board computer took three kinds of navigational inputs: data from ground radar radioed up to the spacecraft, IMU data, and star and landmark sightings made by an astronaut with an electronic sextant. Actually, the way it worked was that the orientation of a star was typed into the console and the capsule reoriented itself. There was an ``alignment optical telescope'' (AOT) fixed to the spacecraft and oriented to view whatever the capsule was oriented to. The lunar module did not have an AOT.

The famous Apollo 13 crisis began 56 hours after liftoff when one of the two service-module oxygen tanks ruptured, and the second tank began leaking slowly. The leaking gas cooled on expansion into the vacuum, and the cooled gas condensed into a cloud many miles wide. This cloud surrounding the spacecraft was thin enough to see through, but just like earth's atmosphere it scattered sunlight and made it impossible to see any stars ... with one exception. As a desperation measure (much of what was done during the Apollo 13 mission fell under that rubric), the IMU was calibrated by sighting on the Sun.

Every NASA space shuttle has three IMU's in the nose cone, each the size of a breadbox. The shuttle can fly and land with just one, but you know -- redundancy. The agency's safety rules specify an early but not immediate end to a flight if one of the three fails. There have been IMU problems on at least five flights, but they mostly came late in the flight and had little or no effect on the flight schedule. In late November 1991, the No. 2 IMU aboard Atlantis, turned off early in the mission to conserve power, started giving faulty velocity readings some hours after being reactivated, and the mission was cut short by three days. In June 1991 and in April 1993, Columbia missions were delayed by an IMU malfunction.

International Mathematical Union.

If you hope to join this organization, there is one important question that you must ask yourself:

Am I a country?
If your most honest answer to this question is a regretful no, then dash your hopes; they won't take you. No wonder they only have sixty members.

Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation. Neonatal care term.

Israel's Media Watch.

3rd-order InterModulation. Intermodulation signal at a frequency of |2ƒ1±ƒ2|, where ƒ1 and ƒ2 are two frequencies of the input signal.

5th-order InterModulation.

7th-order InterModulation.

9th-order InterModulation.

(Click here for top) Previous section: ie (top) to II-VI (bottom)

Next section: in. (top) to INXS (bottom)

[ Thumb tabs and search tool] [ SBF Homepage ]

Space above was intentionally left free of glossary definitions so that links to bottom of document can appear at the top of the screen display.

© Alfred M. Kriman 1995-2013 (c)