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INch. An inch is a twelfth part of a foot. Since most countries have succumbed to the metric insanity, the US is now the last, best hope for the survival of ``traditional'' or ``conventional'' units in the world. So an inch is now perforce an American inch. Fortunately, the inch is looking healthy here. Unfortunately, there is only a single standard for the inch length in the US, exactly equal to 2.54 hated centimeters (since 1959 by international conspiracy) everywhere, instead of a different local standard in each ZIP code.

The name of the inch comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ynce. This was a very early borrowing of the classical Latin word uncia. Both words meant `twelfth' (fractional part, not ordinal number) in general, and `inch' (twelfth part of a foot) specifically. In post-classical Latin, uncia also came to have the specific meaning of a twelfth of a pound. A twelfth of a troy or apothecaries' pound is still called an ounce (ultimately from uncia, of course, but via French) or something similar in various European languages. The sense of ounce was extended slightly to mean a subdivision of a pound or of a volume that weighs a pound, so we have the avoirdupois ounce, which happens to be a sixteenth part of an avoirdupois pound, and the fluid ounce.

Although German has Unze in the (now largely disused) sense of `ounce,' it seems that no Germanic language besides English borrowed uncia as a unit of length. It is typical that English reborrowed uncia and has two derived words. Since Romance languages developed from post-classical Latin, it was slightly harder for them to borrow uncia in the earlier sense. They typically use the word for thumb or a word derived from it. (E.g., in Spanish pulgar is `thumb' and pulgada is `inch.' In Italian and French the word for thumb also means `inch,' though in Italian one can also use dito `digit' for `inch.') The classical Latin word pulex (`flea') gave rise to similar-sounding words (e.g., Spanish pulga) for flea. The English word puce is derived from the French word for flea.

(Domain code for) India. I'm told this is the place to start.

There's an Indology mailing list, archives at <http://listserv.liv.ac.uk/archives/indology.html>; you can subscribe by sending the one-line message
Subscribe Indology

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

Indiana. USPS abbreviation.

``accessIndiana'' is the state's official website. USACityLink.com has a page with mostly city and town links for the state.

Here's a page of legal and legislative information served by the Indiana University School of Law -- Bloomington.

In 1868, Heinrich Schliemann tried to become a citizen of Indiana (a ``Hoosier'') so that he would be able to divorce Ekaterina.

Indium. Atomic number 49.

Indium is a soft metal at room temperature. This makes it especially useful in putting together waveguides. A typical waveguide system is composed of mostly straight lengths of copper waveguide, each length with a flange soldered to each end. The flanges have screw holes in standard locations, and the units are screwed together flange-to-flange. If you need a really good seal -- to maintain a vacuum or a particular gas at some determined pressure, say -- you probably need a sealant between the flanges. Indium does the trick: loop some indium wire on the face of one of the flanges and screw it tight. Of particular importance is the fact that indium, because it is a metal, conducts electricity. Hence, there is not a large impedance discontinuity at the join. (Indium is not a very good conductor, but the seal is thin and broad, so it conducts well enough.)

Learn other stuff at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Intelligent Network. Oh yeah?

Institute for Nautical Archaeology. It's at Texas A&M University.

Insurance Company of North America. ``ICNA'' wouldn't have sounded as good.

Intelligent Network Architecture.

Institute of Nautical Archaeology. Click here for the website of their Egyptian branch.

Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis. Neutron-irradiate sample; spectrum of emitted energies identifies content elements. Comparison with standard reference materials irradiated simultaneously allows determination of concentrations in sample.

Incredible Natural Abundance Double QUAntum Transfer Experiment. The NMRtians must be putting me on. In fact, they've set up a bunch of websites using this bogus acronym in a conspiracy to put me on. But the joke's on them: the joke has gotten out of hand and others are using it in all seriousness. Which is a shame because it probably doesn't really stand for anything at all. (A 2D technique.) Cf. INEPT.

inalámbrica, inalámbrico
Spanish adjective meaning `wireless.' From alambre, `wire.'

Institut National de la Langue Française.

Indium Aluminum Phosphide. A pseudobinary-alloy III-V compound semiconductor, obviously.

One of the common kinds of grammatical gender distinction is between animate and inanimate. Going by what I've read and heard, I'd say that languages with just a two-gender system are likelier to have animate and inanimate as the genders rather than male and female. Per mentioned that some Danish local languages have that pair of genders, and Basque makes the same distinction. It's been conjectured that proto-Indo-European had just the animate and inanimate genders. Female gender may have arisen to distinguish abstractions (as with -tio and -tas nouns in Latin, or -ung, -heit, and -schaft nouns in German). The association with female natural gender could have come later, when nouns with female natural gender were reassigned from the animate to the new gender. These kinds of changes happen regularly, and it's not often easy to tell why. In one reasonably well-studied instance I read about, it made some sense. A Caucasian language with a few noun classes had a set of polite endings only used with women of a certain age, and the courteous forms gradually became extended to all women and older girls, and came to function as a new noun class. (Expanding use of polite forms until they are no longer polite is, of course, very common.)

Anyway, it's always interesting to see what the exceptions to the natural gender assignments are. With ``natural gender'' in the usual sense (male/female grammatical gender), it seems that an enormously common exception is construing children as neuter. With animate/inanimate gender, I don't know enough examples to say what is common, but I can mention that in Basque, tables are construed animate, and I've heard that in Ojibwey (in some spelling; what used to be called Chippewa), stones are animate. I'll have to check into all of this stuff later. Right now I just wanted to get the entry in so I could quote the late Stanislaw Lem (d. April 5, 2006).

In the prologue to his Wysoki Zamek (1975), he ruminates on memory. Michael Kandel's translation from the Polish (Highcastle: A Remembrance, 1995) has this at page vi:

  I really don't know when it was that I first experienced the surprise that I existed, surprise accompanied by a touch of fear that I could just as easily have not existed, or been a stick, or a dandelion, or a goat's leg, or a snail. Or even a stone. ...

I guess now I need to explain one or another of the anthropic principles. Knowledge is inconveniently interconnected and never-ending.

Next page, Lem writes that ``For a while I firmly believed that my soul--or rather, my consciousness--was located four or five centimeters inside my face, behind the nose and a little below the eyes. I have no idea why.'' Could it be that he has a Japanese soul? I can't say I've studied this matter adequately, but in the US certainly and, I think, in the West generally, the gesture to indicate oneself is a closing of the fingers of one hand into a fist with the thumb pointing at one's chest or belly, typically acompanied by a slight motion of the hand or thumb towards the body. In Japan, the gesture is pointing with an extended index finger at one's nose.

Starvation, emaciation. Related to the word inane -- both have to do with some kind of emptiness. Cf. na czczo, MT.

Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública. Argentine `National Institute of Public Administration.'

Indium Arsenide, of course. This direct-gap, III-V compound semiconductor is attractive for its low conduction-band effective mass (0.023 of free electron mass). (Not only do light electrons imply a higher mobility, but they also give a proportionally long thermal deBroglie wavelength, and thus exhibit quantum behavior in larger structures.) Its bandgap varies from 0.42 eV at 15K to 0.36 eV at 300K. (The In-based compounds are the only ``narrow-gap'' semiconductors among the III-V's.) Its LO phonon has energy 30 meV, its dielectric constant has a static value of 14.55 and ``high-frequency'' value of 11.8.

Lattice constant is 6.058 Å.

in a silly way
An adverbial that sounds less silly than ``sillily.''

International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications.

in bed
Chinese fortune-cookie fortunes ``work'' if you append this adverbial of place to the end of them. A beautiful woman alerted me to this fact ... alas -- in a Chinese restaurant.


Iraqi National Congress. An Iraqi opposition group. Led by Ahmed Chalabi, 2002 darling of the nation-building faction in the US pro-war group. They have an organization emblem that looks a bit like a biohazard sign or a triskelion with very limber legs. Cf. SCIRI.

El Instituto Nacional Canadiense para los Ciegos. So clever! Hmmm. That doesn't... that just doesn't look right, you know? It might be l'Institut national canadien pour les aveugles. (In postmodern French, I believe that would be ``les aveuglettes et les aveugles.'' Hmmm... still doesn't work, though it reminds me a little of the mot attributed to Mark Twain, that someone who doesn't read ``has no advantage over one who can't....'') Cf. CNIB.

Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales. Argentine `National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts.' If only they'd used ``multimedia'' instead of ``audiovisual,'' the acronym would have looked like the feminine accusative form of a Latin adjective (Incus, a, um). Another important opportunity missed. INCAA is part of Secretaría de Cultura (see SCYC).

InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, pronounced ``inside.''

Misspelling of ``inclement.''

inclimate weather
Misspelling of ``inclement weather.''

International Nickel COmpany, Ltd. The company was founded on April Fool's Day, 1902. The kalends of April would seem to be less auspicious than any day but the ides of March, yet the company is still in business. Mostly in the business of nickel mining. Its main operations are in the area of Sudbury, Ontario, and on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. It seems to be a Canada-based company, but the International Nickel Company of Canada Limited was incorporated on July 25, 1916, as a subsidiary of The International Nickel Company (an American corporation listed on the NYSE since the previous September 23). The company, or the holding company or ``family of companies'' as I've seen it described, started using the trademarked name INCO in 1919. In 1975, Inco Limited became the new name of the International Nickel Company of Canada, Limited.

INCO-trademarked alLOY. You could also think of the name as representing ``Iron-Nickel-ChrOmium alLOY.'' Incoloy is the trademark for a class of alloys with roughly 20-40% iron, 30-50% nickel, and 20-30% chromium. (This is my impression without checking all the different named, actually numbered, Incoloy alloys.) Cf. Inconel

Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority.

incomplete multivolume works
Here's my small idiosyncratic selection from a vast catalogue of near-Borgesian Library-of-Babel proportions. No wait -- I take it back: I'll list them all... eventually.
  1. Encyclopedia USA: The Encyclopedia of the United States of America Past & Present
    It's a fifty-volume dictionary of American biography, bulked up with entries for items that are, to varying degrees, not people: the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Fort Abraham Lincoln, and Agriculture - Machinery. The first volumes were issued in 1983, and the project petered out the 1990's after 29 regular volumes and three supplementary volumes. For more detail, see Encyclopedia USA.

Unsuitability due to a failure to fit in harmoniously.

inconclusive., The scientific evidence is
unfavorable to us., The incontrovertible scientific evidence is
[Technical political terminology.]

This is an equal-opportunity disengenuousness, because no scientific evidence is ever conclusive beyond a metaphysical doubt.

INCO-trademarked nickEL-based alloy. I doubt that's an official expansion, but it's accurate enough. and Inconel, like Incoloy Inconel is the trademark for a class of nickel-based (50-72%) alloys with chromium (15-21%) and iron (5-8%). Perhaps the name is also intended to suggest ``incorrosible metal'' (the alloys are highly resistant to corrosion under various conditions). Cf. Incoloy

increasingly more
A rarely justifiable phrase that means increasingly or more.

``Existentially, for Sartre, each small difference in the x and y directions can be understood to be a choice, a project that discloses being by declaring the previous position to be a lack of being.''

I found that bit of hippogriff dander on p. 121 of Dorothea E. Olkowski's Postmodern Philosophy and the Scientific Turn (Indianapolis Univ. Pr.), and I had an urge to share.

INDependen{ ce | t }. From Latin roots meaning `not hanging-from.' Hence, German uses the calque unabhängig.

INDependent subway system. Constructed by the City of New York to provide routes that the then privately-owned IRT and BMT did not. Still used informally to refer to their routes. Cf. NYCT.

The initialism I.S.S. is now sometimes used to refer to the system before consolidation. I don't know what the practice was at the time. I suppose I could find out.

INDiana. Traditional abbreviation. Some links at entry for USPS abbreviation IN.

Indus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Investigational New Drug. If a new drug seems effective and safe after animal testing, a company developing it in the US files for an IND exemption to allow testing in humans. This application must include records of preclinical testing and a description of the proposed clinical trials. The application is usually about 2000 pages long.

Many people want to understand this word, and think that they would understand it if they knew what it means, but they're wrong. Indeed is not a semantic word but an aesthetic word. Suppose, for example, that you have a text line that is going to end in the middle of a word such as heteropolymerization, anthropolofragilistic, electrodisintegrations, photoelectrochemically, spectrophotometrically, or piezomagnetoresistances. If the word is pushed to the next line, it leaves the right margin gaping or big spaces between the remaining words, or both. In order to avoid committing an ugly hyphenation, one simply inserts the meaningless word ``indeed'' at any convenient place in the sentence, filling out the line in an attractive way. It serves the identical purpose in speech.

INsertion/DELetion polymorphism.

indelible insouciance
``I love indelible insouciance. It is such a total turn-on'' agrees Trudy, in an interview with Esquire -- The Magazine for Men (August 1977 ``Wild Kingdom'' feature). Trudy, a dyslexic real estate agent and self-described ``part-time sicko,'' is one of six ``real women'' interviewed by Mark Leyner, an author and editor of fiction.

The same issue of Esquire, Bruce McCall takes a whack at Golf.

Independen{ ce | t }.

I think this still counts as a solecism. The word dependant is more interesting.

Not dependent, or an independent person. And you thought the previous entry was dull.

Okay, then, let's inject some interestingness. German uses a total calque of independent: unabhängig -- literally `not hanging off.' Wow!

Spanish, `emancipate, make independent.' See the RU entry for a discussion of usage.

index verborum
Latin `index of words.' Term used for an index of one or more works giving the locations where almost every word can be found. It usually implies that no context is given as it is in an ordinary concordance (see KWIC entry).

Very important for heavily inflected languages is lemmatized entries. That is, entries for different forms of a word given together under a base form of the word as headword. This sort of intelligent lemmatization was expected in the traditional indices verborum. In other languages like, well, mostly in English, intelligent lemmatization has to do mainly with distinguishing homographs.

Industrial. For example, an ``indie rag'' for music is a publication read principally by music business insiders, as opposed to one of the glossy rags that cater to the prurient and puerile interest of consumers.

Indie is also a kind of rock music, related to grunge and goth, descended from punk, but all the categories are mixed up these days. NIN is an indie band. There's an indie music newsgroup: <rec.music.industrial>.

The words indigent and indigeneous look like they ought to be related, but their meanings suggest otherwise. In fact, their resemblance is almost accidental.

Indigenous is ultimately from the Latin indigena, `native [person].' This was constructed from indi- + gignere. The prefix indi- or indu- was an ancient (even for Latin) combining form of the preposition in. The heavily contracted gignere, in the passive, means `to be born.'

Indigent is ultimately from the past partiple (which provides the -nt) of Latin indigere, `to lack.' This was constructed from indi- (also) + egere, `to want.'

Intelligent Network Element.

Interoperable Network Event.

Get your tickets now.

Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Now INEEL.

Insensitive Nucleus Enhancement by Polarization Transfer. If the NMRtians hadn't come up with this, some (other?) chemists would have.

inert gas
Noble gas.

Internet with a couple of wires crossed.

International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. INES ranks events from Level 1, which indicates very little danger to the general population, up to Level 7, a ``major accident'' with a large release of radioactive material and widespread health and environmental effects.

INFant. Airline fare abbreviation. Smaller than a CHD, but they have a tendency to grow up, eventually becoming ADT's.

Typical speeds for tectonic plate movements are in the range of 1-10 cm per year. The most rapid collision, of the Indian Ocean plate thrusting against the Eurasian plate, is estimated at as much as 20 cm/y, and is raising the Himalayas on the order of 1 cm/y. Thumbnails and children grow at comparable rates. Something to think about the next time someone says ``geological time scales.''

My first flights, age 18 months, were in little propeller planes over the Andes, crossing the cordillera between Argentina and Chile. One time when we encountered an especially bad patch of turbulence, my mother pretended that we were on an amusement park ride -- Uuu-up!!! Doownnn! Wheee!!! The other passengers stared with wide eyes set in green faces. I have one word for those of you reading this now who were along with us for that ride: Chill. If we die, we die. If we live, the baby froths with drooly joy instead of bawling in terror.

Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces. Sounds like IMF, which is used more frequently and which many feel can also wreak devastation on noncombatants.

In Law: a minor. In traditional Modern English usage, a baby, a child too young to walk. In the earliest recorded Middle English use, however, and in contemporary Old French usage, it could refer to an older child. There is a report that this less restricted sense has come back into use in England recently (like in the last couple of hundred years or so).

In origin, the word comes from Latin meaning `nonspeaking,' hence a very young child. Very quickly, the meaning in Old French was extended to include a boy or youth, hence the military term infantry (unmounted soldiers).

The earliest recorded Middle English use is consistent with this contemporary Old French usage, and in England today, some schools for the early primary grades are called Infants' Schools. Nevertheless, the semantic field of infant has generally shrunk back toward its original sense.

Here's a scrap of wisdom from Dave Ramsey, a syndicated radio personality who dispenses Christian financial advice, makes appearances at churches around the country, and, I just discovered, has a personal finance column on foxbusiness.com called ``Dave Says.'' The column of June 12, 2012, was headlined ``My Wife Hid Massive Debt, Now What?'' This may be common. A guy I know at work made the same discovery a couple of years ago. Dave says
It's called financial infidelity for a reason. Really, it's the same kind of lying as sexual infidelity. It hurts and makes people angry on a lot of the same levels, and that's because it's a broken trust.

My instant reaction was that this made sexual infidelity seem a whole lot less serious. Plus which, only one spouse gets screwed.

in force
A law that is in effect is said to be in force in English, but en vigor in Spanish.

information interchange
These words are a sure sign that you're dealing with an industrial standards organization.

information hemorrhage
Memory loss rate so severe that intense study merely limits, but does not reverse, the damage. Summer vacation.

Usually a nonword. An English-like construct common among French- and German-speakers. It is also the very rare plural of the rare countable noun information meaning ``official document.''

Among French-speakers, informations is a faux ami. The French word information functions both uncountably, as in English, and countably, primarily with the sense `piece of information.' Given the sense of the countable use, the plural is very similar in meaning to the uncountable use. E.g., ``ces informations sont confidentielles'' means `this information is confidential.' However, it seems that the plural tends to be used in the sense of `news items.'

This situation in German is similar to that in French, with singular form Information and regularly-formed plural Informationen. The word is regarded as having been borrowed into German directly from Latin rather than from French; the first extant instances (I like to say that) date from the fifteenth century.

The plural (informaciones) occurs in Spanish, but the singular (información) is usually understood as uncountable. For whatever reason, the erroneous use of informations in English by people more comfortable in Spanish doesn't seem very common to me, and I know a lot more people whose native language is Spanish than whose native language is French.

I'm not going to research the situation in Russian, but I will mention that a Russian-speaking friend just sent me an email that included the phrase ``another info.'' (It could be due to one of his other languages, but those don't have as much absorbed Latin.)

A producer of RDB engines and associated programming tools. Founded in 1980 as ``Relational Database Systems, Inc.,'' it eventually adopted the name of its product line.

Their homepage is very focused to advertising and support, with little PR (i.e., little of interest that isn't closely related to their products).

informs, INFORMS
INstitute For Operations Research and the Management ``Sciences.'' (Informative quotation marks normally omitted.) An associate society of the AAES.

Here yesterday, go.com today.

Latin, `below.' Used in hoity-toity writing as well as this glossary to refer to discussion or text following later in the narrative or collation. Cf. supra, infra.

infra dig.
Usually written without the helpful period that indicates abbreviation, possibly because the expression is widely pronounced ``infra dig'' rather than infra dignitatem, the Latin phrase it abbreviates (meaning `beneath [someone's] dignity') (hey -- it's a dictionary entry; I'm required to get the full definition into a single sentence or die).

infrared divergence
A divergence at long wavelength. Most crudely resolved by an infrared (long wavelength) cut-off. Cf. ultraviolet divergence.

None of this is even remotely like Alexander's solution of the knotty Gordian problem.

Government boondoggle.

Spanish abbreviation for ingeniero, `engineer.' Sometimes used as a title, as Dr. is in English.

The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes. ING ``operates the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope (WHT), the 2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) and the 1.0m Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT) on behalf of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) of the United Kingdom, [brace yourself, the name ride becomes bumpier now] the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) of the Netherlands [duh], and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Spain. The ING is located at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma, Spain.'' They can't seem to settle on whether the definite article is or is not to be construed as implicit in the acronym, and they completely fail to take advantage of the opportunity for cutesy webpage headings like ``EngineerING.'' These people need to hire some talent from the English faculty pronto, before they go and make fools of themselves at some world-class astronomy conference.

Interstate Natural Gas Association of America. I probably have better things to do than add this entry.

Alloy semiconductor InGaAs (i.e., In1-xGaxAs).

Properties interpolate between those of InAs and of GaAs.

The particular alloy composition in InGaAs that lattice matches InP is In0.53Ga0.47As, for which

Effective mass m* = 0.041 m0
density = 5.5 g/cc
longitudinal sound velocity = 4.74 km/s
Deformation-potential constant Ei for acoustic-phonon interaction = 9.2 eV
Transverse elastic constant c12 = 39.56 GPa
Piezoelectric constant h14 = 254 MV/m
Lattice constant a = 5.862 Å
LO phonon energy = 34.5 meV
Static dielectric constant = 13.88
Optical dielectric constant = 11.34

See ``InGaP.''

Alloy semiconductor InGaP (i.e., In1-xGaxP).

Properties interpolate between those of InP and of GaP.

It might correspond to out-gas, but you probably heard ``InGaAs.''

Spanish for `engineering.' I always felt this word had one too many i's. It's interesting that the nie here is not written ñe, because the effect of the unstressed letter i is just to palatalize the en. I almost wrote ``...mainly just...,'' but I can't imagine anyone pronouncing ingeñería any differently than the head term.

I remember a conversation with a Polish colleague once, in which he was trying to get me to pronounce a Polish word that contained an en with an acute accent. This was evidently a palatalized en. I pronounced it that way, and he kept saying that I almost had it, but that palatalized en wasn't quite right. He was never able to explain how to correct it in a way I could understand, and I wasn't able to hear the difference. Looking into it now I think it may have been that Polish dentals t and d, as well as n, are articulated more nearly dentally (tongue against upper front teeth) than they are in English or Spanish (tongue just a little bit further back, against the gum).

In any case, I think that in Spanish there is really no difference between nie and ñe (in any dialect I am familiar with), but that historical spelling counts for something.

Spanish for `ingenuity, talent.'

Spanish for `ingenious.'

Spanish for `ingenuous.' But desingenuoso is a solecism. Use falso for `disingenuous.'

International Non-Governmental Organization.

My travel agent's given name.

Newspeak compound for `English Socialism.'


in. Hg
Inches (in.) of mercury (Hg). A unit of pressure equal to 25.4 torr.

Institut National de l'Image et du Son. L'INIS was (perhaps still is) ``the first screen training establishment in Quebec and the only French-language institute of its kind in Canada.''

For a more interesting and possibly nonexistent INIS, see FEMIS.

A small literary group, if one that included C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and J.R.R. Tolkien can be so called. It used to meet at the Bird and Baby.

Inklings is a clever name. On one hand, an inkling is a perceived clue or suspicion, but the word can be seen as a play on ink and the gentilicial ending -ling (hence meaning something like a printer's devil or more loosely anyone associated with writing).

The Inklings Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Lives, Thought, and Writings of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and Their Friends, by Colin Duriez and David Porter, was published in 2001 (St. Loius, Mo.: Chalice Pr.). Our library owns a copy but it's out, and I'm not going to trouble anyone with a recall just to satisfy your idle curiousity. But I will try to work up an Apostles entry. We do already have a Bloomsbury entry.

inlet invert
The invert of the inlet pipe. See invert.

Instantaneous Normal Modes. To explain, it's best to review normal modes:

The usual normal modes of a system are defined to describe deviations from equilibrium. In that case, the total configurational energy of a system with many degrees of freedom is expanded in increasing powers of a configuration-coordinate vector.
[More precisely, in powers of u = r - re , which measures the deviations ui (of particles labeled by i) from their equilibrium coordinates rei.]

The zero-order term is a not-very interesting constant. The first-order term is the dot product of the configuration coordinate deviation vector u with a constant matrix the represents a generalized restoring force. In equilibrium, the restoring forces vanish.

The lowest-order term that does not usually vanish is the second-order term, a constant matrix dotted with two copies of u. This constant matrix is called the dynamical matrix. Its eigenvectors are the normal modes. If the second-order approximation is correct, then it is possible to excite individual modes of the system independently. The frequency of oscillation of these excited modes (eigenvectors) is given by their corresponding eigenvalues, which in terms of the preceding description, for a system of particles of identical mass m, are mw2/2, where w (read ``omega,'' please) are the eigenmode frequencies. If the particles have varying masses, or the coordinates are not chosen as orthogonal Cartesian position coordinates, or the system consists of more complicated fundamental objects (extended objects with internal angular momentum, say), then a direct analysis of the potential energy function alone is not exactly appropriate. Instead one uses a Hamiltonian or Lagrangian formulation, and through equivalent steps arrives at a dynamical matrix whose eigenvectors again describe independent modes of harmonic oscillation and whose eigenvalues are the squared frequencies.

To be continued after dinner. (Not the most recent dinner.)

Institut National de Métrologie, Paris.

INternational MARine SATellite.

Contracted form of the German in den, `in the' (where the noun phrase is masculine and in the accusative case). I was surprised to see this in a 16th-century quote (something by Burkh. Waldis) in the Grimm. By the mid-nineteenth century, the contraction needed a gloss. In contrast, ins and im are very common today -- in fact, they're the unmarked form, because the uncontracted forms are either emphatic or use the definite article as a relative pronoun: `in that.' (These contract in das and in dem, respectively. The first corresponds to inn but for neuter nouns; the second functions for both neuter and masculine nouns but in the dative case.)

All the contractions mentioned are for singular or uncountable nouns. There are no corresponding in contractions for feminine gender or plural number, that I am aware of, but I've been surprised once already today, so you never know. (The preposition in governs only an accusative or dative object, depending on the sense.)

International Nonproprietary Name[s]. A kind of generic name; for a little bit on generic names, see the drug names entry. The official documents I've seen treat INN as both singular and plural form. (This is the approved convention for all modern foreign loans in Italian also -- plural identical with singular forms -- but it doesn't work so well in languages that don't mark articles for number.) They do the same thing with INNM, q.v.

Remember, you can't spell innate without inn.

The notion of innateness is an important one in philosophy, and the connection between philosophy and adult beverages goes back a long, long way. Socrates drank himself to death, and the great philosopher W.C. Fields is believed to have reasoned, ``Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer.''

inner child, your
A crybaby, if the truth be told. Quite possibly in need of a talk from your inner scold.

International Nonproprietary Name[s], Modified. Generally, INN are defined only for one compound of a pharmacologically active molecule. This molecule is often an alcohol or base, or an acid. As such, it is likely to form and break ionic bonds in water solution (i.e., in the gastrointestinal tract or in the blood) which do not ultimately affect the mechanism of their activity. (Acids form salts with bases, and organic acids form esters with alcohols.) However, different compounds of essentially the same drug may differ in bioavailability or absorption rate, and the different compounds have different molecular weights, which must be specified for proper formulation. Hence, INNM are defined. For example, the generic drug names (INN) oxacillin and ibufenac refer to active molecules that are acids. Oxacillin sodium and ibufenac sodium are INNM for the sodium salts of these acids. (It is a rule that the different INNM of a single INN should differ only in the name of the inactive moiety of the molecule.)

In Notre Dame,
A valedictory phrase I've seen used (by folks at the Indiana university) where ``Yours,'' or ``Regards,'' would have been more intelligible.

innovative family arrangements
Half a loaf, or making the best of a bad deal.

International Neural Network Society. There're also Japanese and European same.

In order to better serve its members.
In order to more profitably serve its cows.

I noticed it one day and didn't know how long it'd been there
Come on, people, we need a word for this concept, or at least a short phrase. I'll start the bidding with ``ne jà vu.'' Pas, I know, but it's meant to sound archaic...

only seems to have been definitively replaced by déjà in the twentieth century; the earlier word is attested at the beginning of the twelfth century; that little parasite on the a appeared in the eighteenth century. (The word is ultimately from the Latin iam. For details, see the entry for in the TLF.) The twelfth century is the time when Old French emerges in literature, and pas seems to have solidified its grammaticalization into a negative auxiliary not too long before, so the proposed expression is antiqued back at least nine centuries. (I'm not sure, but I think the conjugated form vu is not anachronistic.)

Indium Phosphide. A direct-gap III-V compound semiconductor. Lattice constant is 5.869 Å, bandgap 1.35 eV.

International News Photo.

INPEA Administrators Conference. Follow this link for INPEA.

A patient who may stay the night. Notice that in some languages other than English (such as French), the distinction between -mp- and -np- is nonexistent or inaudible. To speakers accustomed to distinguishing the phonemes only of such languages, in-patient and impatient may seem to differ only in the stress pattern.

Índice Nacional de Precios al Consumidor. Spanish: `national consumer price index.' The nación is Méjico. Elsewhere IPC is used, but ``INPC'' avoids an acronymspace collision with a stock index.

Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference. The seventh was in Moscow, ID, and Pullman, WA. So were the first through sixth! INPC is ``an annual topic-focused conference held in the Spring on the campuses of the University of Idaho and Washington State University. The conference is designed to encourage interdisciplinary cooperation and communication on philosophical topics that relate to research in a variety of domains.'' The sixth, held May 2-4, 2003, had the focus topic ``Explanation and Causation.'' I can't explain it and I don't know why. The seventh (April 30 to May 2, 2004): ``Knowledge and Skepticism.'' I don't know about that. The eighth (April 1-3, 2005): ``Time and Identity.'' Personally, I couldn't make it to that one. The ninth (March 31-April 2, 2006): ``Action, Ethics, & Responsibility.'' Who decided that the meetings should be at the beginning of April instead of the end? Was this a good thing to do?

Do not confuse this conference with the Northwest Conference on Philosophy (at the University of Portland in 2006 [58th annual meeting]).

Indiana Non-Public Education Association. I would have thought that ``non-public'' was used to include parochial and other religious schools that might not fit comfortably under a ``private'' school description, or else to include home-schoolers and non-public resources that they use. But the ``Welcome to INPEA'' begins thus:
As the voice for private schools in Indiana, INPEA makes sure we are at the forefront of all topics affecting non-public education.

I guess they just couldn't think of a better way to avoid an acronym that would be pronounced ``I pee.'' It doesn't seem to faze the intellectual property people. I would have preferred ``INdiana Private independent Or Denominational educational association.'' (Well, I didn't saaaay that I would have ``recommended'' it. I'm not that foolish.)

Clicking on the Resources item under the Services menu, the only ``resources'' listed is a printable standard form: ``Request for Waiver of Penalty for Loss of Instructional Day.'' It seems that a filing is necessary only if lost time is not recovered by rescheduling. It is also clear (see this ``state issue'') that a penalty is not assessed so long as the school corporation offers ``at least 180 student instructional days.'' There's a penalty not just for whole lost days but also for the loss of more than 120 minutes in a single day due to delay or early dismissal. Presumably this means school days shortened to contain less than three hours (grades 1-6) or four hours (grades 7-12) of instructional time, since a ``student instructional day'' consists of a minimum of five and six hours of instructional time in the respective cases. (It would reasonable, given the number of days in a year and hours in a day, to limit homework to a maximum of 43 and 42 hours per day, respectively, but this has not been done. It's probably too difficult to coordinate the different classes.)

Penalties are assessed as a pro rata reduction in the amount of tuition support provided by the state [Kind of a big deal the ``Choice'' (voucher) schools.] State accreditation also depends on meeting state minimums. There is an automatic waiver (for penalty and accreditation purposes) for days shortened by less than 120 minutes due to utility failure or weather, if the lost time is made up somehow, but there is no place on the form to request a waiver of penalty for the loss of, say, 110 minutes due to something else. I guess if there's a fender-bender in front of the school that delays the start by fifteen minutes, you should cancel two hours so you have a chance to escape penalties. (Just one idea!)

Anyway, it doesn't look good for a loss-of-instructional-day waiver to be the only, and therefore the featured, resource -- even during this monstrous winter (December 2013 through May 2014).

Indiana Non-Public Education Conference. An annual conference organized by INPEC.

International Network of Protein Engineering Centres.

Between fat-finger typos and Freudian slips, it's surprising this isn't a more common misspelling.

in progress
We've already thought about doing it.

in propria persona
As {him|her}self.

input pad
A padded movable portion of resistance-training (exercise) equipment, designed to be repeatedly moved with exertion. It's a portion of the equipment upon which the person exercising directly performs work. A machine may have a seat or bench, or fixed pads or surfaces, against which the exerciser braces himself or otherwise exerts force. If such a pad or surface is stationary, then apart from a little work done in compressing the padding, very little work is input to the machine through these non-input components.

input impedance
VIN/IIN and/or | dVIN/dIIN |. Input impedance on an amplifier or gate is generally intended to be high. The reason is that the output signal of the previous stage is generally encoded as a voltage, and an input stage with a high input impedance (i.e., resembling an open) has the smallest distorting effect on that signal. MOS capacitors have much higher DC input impedance than BJT's, and quickly after becoming commercially available they came to be used for the input stages of Op Amps. (The reason for using BJT for further stages is that MOSFET's do not have as great an amplification factor or current drive.) The input impedance of a loudspeaker is supposed to be matched to the output impedance of the last amplifier stage in order to maximize power into audio. Cf. output impedance.

INdian Rupee.

In retrospect, it was inevitable
I can think of reasons why what happened happened, and I can ignore reasons why what didn't might have.


Iesus Nazerenus Rex Iudaeorum. Latin for `Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.' The letter J developed out of the letter I, and for a long time some of the languages that distinguished it had a small problem locating it in their alphabetical order (collating sequence). Italian never really adopted the letter; so Biblical words that begin with J in English often have cognates beginning in Gi in Italian, to reflect the evolution of the initial sound from /j/ to /dZ/ (I write ``Z'' for the yogh symbol, used by the IPA to represent the voiced palatal sibilant whose sound scholarly English writes ``zh.'')

Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique. `French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics' (obviously not a verbatim translation).

Immigration and Naturalization Service. Smile when you say ``service.'' Laugh, even. A good person has made the U. S. Immigration and Nationality Act available on line.

The INS has a reputation for poor customer service, though I just phoned them and on just the second try they humored me with only mild contempt (of course, I'm not a ferinner). Among the many hypotheses to explain why they treat foreigners so shabbily, one that hadn't occurred to me before is simply institutional: they're part of the Justice Department (DOJ)! Most of their intradepartmental colleagues (see DOJ org chart) organize their entire thinking in terms of good guys and bad guys, while INS deals with ``us and them.'' The confusion is irresistible.

Contracted form of the German in das, `in the.' See inn.

Indian Navy Ship.

Information Network System. (NTT.)

Instituto Nacional de Saude. (Spelling probably off.) Portuguese `National Institute of Health.'

Indian National Science Academy.

Indian National SATellite.

Indium Antimonide, of course. Like InAs, this III-V compound semiconductor is attractive for its very low conduction-band effective mass (0.015 of free electron mass). Its bandgap varies from 0.24 eV at 15K to 0.18 eV at 300K. Its LO phonon has energy 23 meV, its dielectric constant has a static value of 17.54 and ``high-frequency'' value of 15.68.

Lattice constant is 6.479 Å.

(U.S. Army) INtelligence and Security COMmand.

Indian National Scientific DOcumentation Centre.

Insider's Guide to the Colleges, The
An annual publication with dimensions and weight similar to the World Almanac, ``compiled and edited by the staff of the Yale Daily News.'' A useful publication, and possibly an amusing one. The most interesting information it contains about admissions is that somehow its compilers and editors managed to be admitted to the ``selective'' or ``competitive'' or ``picky'' school that is Yale. (I'm sure there's a mathematically precise expression, like ``selective2.3:IV,'' but I don't plan to track it down.) I've only checked out the 2003 edition (which cost someone $18 new!), but at least you know I'm referring to the pre-Taliban era of Yale admissions.

The guide is apparently compiled from phone interviews with students at 300-odd colleges deemed worth profiling. They're vague on the interview methodology, but here's a clue to help you judge its accuracy. The clue is from their entry for the University of Notre Dame, which begins with this paragraph:

Not far off the interstate in South Bend, Indiana, a statue of a bearded man in flowing robes stands atop the library of the University of Notre Dame. ``Touchdown Jesus,'' as he is known to students, is representative of all that Notre Dame stands for--Catholic ethics, a rigorous education, and football.

Set aside a few minor flaws in this sentence -- the campus of Notre Dame is outside, not in, South Bend; the university has a number of libraries, though Hesburgh Library (the one with Touchdown Jesus) is the largest; the robe looks tightly wrapped and hangs vertically, so if ``flowing'' means anything, then this one isn't. But apart from the minor errors there is this boner: Touchdown Jesus is not a statue that ``stands atop the library,'' it is a part of a mosaic that covers most of the front of the building above the second floor. The building faces south toward the sacred football stadium, and Touchdown Jesus's line of sight is along the center of the field, from goalpost to goalpost. His arms are raised so it looks as if he is about to make the hand signal that football referees make for a touchdown.

I imagine a staffer at Yale was told that Touchdown Jesus is ``on'' the library and imagined the rest. It suggests the kind of misunderstanding that can occur in phone-it-in ekphrasis. I suppose one might argue that a zebra Jesus is somehow ``representative of ... rigorous education.''

The Insider's, or Not-so-far-outsider's, Guide to Colleges is written in the standard stilted style of undergraduates. Still, though better-written than the average freshman paper, it is filled with authentic-sounding local-informant quotes. So if you want to build up a taxonomy of undergraduate errors across the academisphere, this corpus has the advantage that you might at least be able to stomach it. Notes toward that taxonomy project:

  1. Nearest-noun concord: ``During the winter, going to the hockey games are a MUST!''
  2. Mixed idiom: ``a last-ditch resort.'' (Save me a rut.)
  3. Ill-considered qualifier: ``We're not just a bunch of NYU rejects.'' (CUNY turned us down too!)

Some people are under the misapprehension that insincerity is wrong and is considered wrong. This is a surprising misunderstanding that must be painful to live with. The confusion is probably due to the fact that when people discover insincerity (necessarily someone else's insincerity), they are often angry at the insincere person. But this is not the evidence it appears to be. Insincerity is universally accepted. It is the revelation of insincerity that is universally disapproved. To reveal one's insincerity, especially to the person one has been insincere to, is a sign of disrespect and hence clearly wrong.

In summary, insincerity is like nakedness. We're all naked underneath our clothes, but no one disapproves of this. Revealing our nakedness in certain public circumstances is what is offensive. Likewise, it is appearing insincere that is wrong.

But to appear to someone to be insincere to them is always and unconditionally wrong. It is therefore still wrong when one happens to be sincere. Moreover, mere sincerity does not guarantee the appearance of sincerity. Thus, one should take every opportunity to appear sincere, in order to be in practice and appear sincere even on the rare occasions when one is.

This entry doesn't represent original research. I'm just summarizing the communis opinio, the scientific consensus, so to speak. In other words, it is the truth that everyone appears sincerely to deny, except under the guise of ``humor.'' I mean that sincerely.

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made.

--Jean Giraudoux

(This is quoted in Murphy's Law Book Two: More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong (1980) by Arthur Bloch, p. 47. I don't consider that a very reliable source, and I haven't seen a French version.) Anyway, the philosopher George Burns liked to express the thought in so many words.

An instance of actual sincerity, when inconvenient or impolitic, is a gaffe. This was famously pointed out by Michael Kinsley in the New Republic sometime in the late 1980's, probably before 1987, probably in the TRB feature. Here's a link to the relevant Wikipedia page, but they only source derivative links. Oh wait, that's honesty. I'm sincerely sorry.

A verb meaning to spiral inwards, and a noun for an inspiraling trajectory. Both verb and noun seem to be used primarily by astronomers and astrophysicists. As you would expect, those who generally follow British spelling conventions tend to form the past and participle forms with a double ell (and those who don't tend not to).

Meteorologists also use the term a little bit. That reminds me that the reason we call the study of the weather meteorology, and use related terms like meteorological and meteorologist, is that Aristotle believed that meteors were the highest sublunary phenomena (known to him). Come to think of it -- he was right. And just to be sure he was right, the IAU has defined meteoroid to be the object that only becomes a meteor, and naked-eye visible in the sky, when it enters the Earth's atmosphere.

INdiana SPectrum of Information REsources. ``...Indiana's Virtual Library on the [i]nternet. INSPIRE is a collection of commercial databases and other information resources that can be accessed by Indiana residents using any PC equipped with an Indiana Internet connection and a Web Browser such as Netscape or MS Internet Explorer.''

[HIV/STD] Internet Notification Service for Partners Or Tricks.

You know, that bit about tricks could be a problem for a site that was supported by the government of a jurisdiction in which prostitution is, um, not to put too fine a point on it, uh, not, like, you know, legal. (Some things are just so hard to talk about that it's better to keep quiet and die.)

[HIV/STD] Internet Notification Service for Partners Of the Troubled, Los Angeles. I've taken the liberty of sliding that ``Of the Troubled'' in there, because the name as the website gives it only explains ``inSPLA.'' Anyway, it's like momma always told you: unsafe sex is like a box of cho - co - lates: you ne - ver know what you're gonna get. (I think that's from the lyrics of a Cheap Trick song.)

``The site was designed by Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc. (I.S.I.S.), and sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, with funding from the Los-Angeles-County Sexually Transmitted Disease Program.'' It seems like a good idea: ``In Los Angeles, there's an easy way to tell your sex partners you have HIV or another STD. Send them a free inSPOTLA ecard, ANONYMOUSLY or from your email address, right here.'' The only problem I see is that it doesn't help people who have casual sex, but only those who've gone so far down the path of lifelong commitment that they've actually exchanged email addresses. I mean, they'd practically already be married, if only it were legal. ``Partners.'' Committed partners who couldn't guess who might be sending them a you-may-have-caught-something-nasty notification (a ``dear John letter,'' so to speak). That could be a major share of the population, I suppose. But still I wonder what that ``OT'' is really about. Hmmm.

install fair
A part of intensive beta testing: users are invited to haul their own hardware to a testing site, where the software under test is installed. The term was apparently coined at Microsoft, which used the method for its Windows 95.

install fest
A party where more and less adept hackers get together to install Linux.

The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.

INternational STudent Exchange Programme. A program run by Singapore's Nanyang Technology University (NTU).

Euphemism for a certain kind of business. Early in the twentieth century, that business was typically a tavern. Nowadays, it's more likely to be a brothel. See an example at the entry for the Heidelberg United Soccer Club. I mean an example of the linguistic usage. No graphics.

insufferably hip
  1. Widely well regarded
  2. crap.

Insulators are things that don't conduct. An electrical insulator is a material that doesn't conduct (much) (direct) electric current. As a practical matter, the practical materials that fill the bill are solids in which the electrons are in filled molecular or macromolecular levels -- that is, molecular crystals and glasses, polymers of covalently-bonded atoms (exceptions exist, but on the whole it's hard to make a good conducting polymer), and undoped covalently bonded semiconductors (diamond, say). In the crystalline materials, a wide band gap is preferred because it keeps down the number of thermal carriers. In disordered materials, there may be an energy range of low electronic-state density, with mobility edges at top and bottom of the energy range that correspond to band edges. It can help if, as in silicon dioxide, electron-phonon coupling gives a polaron mass to at least one charge of carriers (the holes in silicon dioxide) to reduce their mobility.

There's a glossary of power-line insulator terms on the web. I use a couple of power-line insulators, well-washed with acid, as the closest I can get to traditional-style tumblers (see discussion at Bottoms up! entry) that I can get without blowing my own glass.

I looked down as I opened my car door and saw a piece of insulation on the blacktop. What was it doing there? How had it gotten there? Had it fallen out of my car?

It was pale yellow, about three inches wide and four or five inches long, almost a half inch thick, rounded at the edges -- it looked like weathered old urea foam. Most of the center was covered by a rectangle of some sort of white adhesive that looked shiny and hard. The adhesive had tiny green and red specks on it. I looked more closely, and I realized it was a Pop-Tart.

At least it hadn't fallen out of my car.

When I returned after work there was just a dark red gelatinous smear on the ground. The accumulated evidence, and subsequent research, suggest that it was a frosted strawberry Kellogg's Pop-Tart. Further research on this particular food item is described at this SPT entry.

In 1916 Albert Sharpey-Schafer, of Scotland, hypothesized that a substance existed that facilitated the passage of glucose from blood plasma into cells. He proposed the name insulin for this substance.

In the early 1920's, Frederick Banting and Charles Best, working at the University of Toronto (UofT) discovered that the pancreas produces a substance that could arrest the symptoms of diabetes (vide DM). They called that substance insletin, after the islets of Langerhans where it is produced (vide pancreas), but insulin was the term that stuck.

Insulin is a protein, so if it is taken orally it is broken down into its amino acids before being absorbed through the intestines. Thus, insulin must be taken some other way -- typically still by injection, as of 2003.

Insulin is what is known as an active transport agent: it interacts with structures in the cell and on its surface, with the result that glucose (see blood sugar) enters the cell much more rapidly than it would by mere osmosis (passive transport).

Later in the twenties, it was noticed that insulin is more effective if taken with yeast extract. This was the first hint of the existence of GTF, q.v..

insurance agents
``Be a man!'' said I. ``You are scared out of your wits! What good is religion if it collapses under calamity? Think of what earthquakes and floods, wars and volcanoes, have done before to men! Did you think God had exempted Weybridge? He is not an insurance agent.''
-- from H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds.

``Verily and forsooth,'' replied Goodgulf darkly. ``In the past year strange and fearful wonders I have seen. Fields sown with barley reap crabgrass and fungus, and even small gardens reject their artichoke hearts. There has been a hot day in December and a blue moon. Calendars are made with a month of Sundays and a blue-ribbon Holstein bore alive two insurance salesmen. The earth splits and the entrails of a goat were found tied in square knots. The face of the sun blackens and the skies have rained down soggy potato chips.''
``But what do all these things mean?'' gasped Frito.
``Beats me,'' said Goodgulf with a shrug, ``but I thought it made good copy.''
-- Harvard Lampoon, ``Bored of the Rings''

Tom Clancy is probably the most famous insurance agent in the world right now. He wrote his first book, The Hunt for Red October, in his spare time while working at his family's insurance agency. According to Be Your Own Literary Agent by Martin P. Levin (1995), he still puts in one day a week at the office.

Benjamin Lee Whorf, an unduly respected linguist-sociologist, was a fire insurance claims adjuster in Hartford, Connecticut, if memory serves (and it'll have to; 'cause I ain't lookin' it up).

INTeger. From the Latin meaning `whole,' used now to designate whole numbers. The positive integers (and occasionally the nonnegative integers) are called the natural numbers.

int is the basic type declaration for integers in C, and C is a pretty strongly typed language, so you better use it.

There are also type modifiers signed/unsigned, short/long, so C has essentially four integer variable types, five if you count char, and zero complex variable types. If you want a halfway graceful way to use complex numbers in C, you have to move to C++.

[Football icon]

INTerception. A football pass caught by a player on the defense. All defensive players are eligible receivers, but this does not give the quarterback (or other passer) any attractive additional options.

(Top-level domain code for) INTernational organizations. NATO, for one.

INTernational (unit). For an explanation of int- occurring as a prefix to metric units (e.g., intampere), see the ab- entry.

The Isaac Newton Telescope. A 2.5-meter telescope operated by an organization called the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) on behalf of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) of the United Kingdom and some other scientific sugar daddies. Isaac Newton, Isaac Newton... you're probably wondering why they keep repeating this name. He's some dead English Bozo.

Interoperability Technology Association for Information Processing. [Japanese organization; English homepage here.] ``Good interoperability of information processing requires not only product standardization with such official standards as ISO or JIS, but also by coexistence and harmonization with protocols comprising de facto standards. INTAP, with a global view of interoperability, is conducting the whole standardization project, from development of open interfaces, to establishment of integrated evaluation methods for conformance and interoperability tests.''

INternational council for TEchnical COMmunication. ``INTECOM stands for international co-operation between technical communication organizations aiming to improve technical documentation and communication. INTECOM represents appr. 26.000 technical communicators in twelve member organizations. The biggest one of those is STC in USA with appr. 18000 members. The German tekom is the biggest member organization in Europe and has appr. 2700 members.''

Integrated login failed.
You use different passwords for different systems? Why would you do that?

Inverse differentiation. Mathematica (i.e. Wolfram Research) sponsors a site that does integration. It will find a primitive, but you can't specify range of integration. It seems to be good at the tedious algebra in elementary integrals, but it can't recognize the integral definitions of Bessel functions... Don't give away your Gradshteyn and Ryzhik yet.

Name constructed as a contraction of INTegrated ELectronics. Just think, there was a time not too long ago (1985?) when this company was undercapitalized and IBM bought a share of it to prop up the company and assure a continued supply of the CPU's for the IBM PC.

Grove (the former CEO; vide Grove giveth and Gates taketh away, and following entry on Grove's Law) came out in fall 1996 with a book about the company's wild ride of the previous few years. Time magazine did a fawning puff piece on Grove in 1997 or so.

intellegent and sensative
... is the kind of person I'm looking for, a Lance a lot, but I can't seem to find them in the personals. No sens e of humer too.

intelligent and sensitive
Smart enough to know she's wrong, and smart enough not to tell her.

International Telecommunications Satellite Organization has web site.

A coalition of over 165 nonprofit US-based organizations that meddle do-goodishly overseas. Registered marque of the American Council for Voluntary INTERnational ACTION. Formed in 1984 from the merger of ACVA and PAID.

Latin: `makes a difference,' hence `concerns, matters, is of importance.'

I have nothing to say, but am uncertain of my right to remain silent.

Between grates. But I don't think that's what you mean. I think you mean integrate. Don't complain! Look, I'm only trying to help you sound less stupid than you are. You're such a, such an, oh, never mind.

The opposite of externalism, obviously. Like, ``duh!'' Wait, wait -- you don't want to follow that link. Follow this one...

Characteristic of or characterizing research in the history of science (HOS) that delves into scientific details.

Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer have been stars of the dusky HOS firmament ever since PUP published their Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (1985). In his paper at the 1991 Conference on Critical Problems and Research Frontiers in History of Science, Shapin declared that ``within a generation'' the externalist-internalist debate ``seems to have passed from the commonplace to the gauche.'' This was not wishful thinking. On the one hand, among scientists there is no debate because ``history of science'' that does not attend the details of the science is not taken seriously -- it is regarded as popularization literature at best. The facts on this hand are somewhat beside the point, however, since HOSers regard scientists, in the main, as mostly incompetent to study the history of their disciplines. I kid you not. For the same conference, Steven G. Brush was ``assigned'' (his word) the topic ``Should scientists write history of science?'' [His answer (briefly: yes) was published in Osiris, vol. 10, pp. 214-231.]

Shapin is right, rather, because the debate is over among the new generation of HOSers, though with a different conclusion. It is indeed considered in poor taste, among these, to criticize a colleague for any research deficiencies that may point to their ignorance of the underlying field.

(Shapin's paper, ``Discipline and Bounding: The History and Sociology of Science As Seen through the Externalism-Internalism Debate,'' was published in History of Science, vol. 30 (1992), pp. 333-369.)

An association of national socialist organizations, in some not very mild sense of ``socialist,'' typically equipped with an international headquarters and holding congresses.

  • The First International was the IWMA (q.v.), which lasted from 1864 through 1876. Founded by Marx and Engels, it was eventually taken over by Bakuninists.
  • The Second International was the Socialist International. Founded in 1889, it went very national during WWI, and was subsequently in opposition to the Third International.
  • The short-lived Second and a Half International was part of an attempt at reconciliation of the Second and Third (socialist and communist) Internationals.
  • The Third International was Lenin's International, the Communist International, eventually known as Comintern. Founded by Lenin in 1919, it was disbanded by Stalin in 1943.

internationally accepted

[phone icon]

Internet Phone
Software for using internet lines for voice communication. Available for Windows.

It's URL's seem to be aliases of the ``leadership'' organization UCAID. A faster internet for research universities, with some intelligent caching. Faster backbone called Abiline. So far it looks like more hype than money.

Internet Network Information Center.

Try here.

International criminal-Police organization.


A vertically centered dot separating words and abbreviations in an inscription.

interquartile range
The breadth of the two middle quartiles of a probability distribution. That is, the difference Q3 - Q1 between the bottom of the top quartile (Q3) and the top of the bottom quartile (Q1). (Gee, that has a chiastic zing to it!) For a distribution that is, loosely speaking, sparse, there may be some arbitrariness in the definition of the interquartile range. The two middle quartiles, of course, contain one half of the distribution weight. Note, however, that there may be (and almost always is, for smooth distributions) an interval containing the median that is narrower than the interquartile range and contains more than half the weight of the distribution. Abbreviated ``IQR,'' reminding you that it's not exactly smarts.

A rail pass sold to Europeans for travel in European countries other than their own. Cf. Eurail, Britrail.

In countries where civil rights are not protected, `to interrogate' is to torture an innocent victim until he or she is made to say whatever the interrogator wishes. In postmodern theory, `to interrogate' is to torture an innocent victim until it (the text) is made to say whatever the interrogator wishes.

Interstate Relations in Hell.
A classics seminar on March 16. Now that's a seminar I really want to attend! Oh wait -- that was just the email subject head. The full title is ``Interstate Relations in the Hellenistic Peloponnese: The Story Told by Inscriptions.'' Hmm, not so much. But if you're interested, you still have a couple of days to make it: it's at 5pm Thursday in the Founders' Library on the lampeter campus of the University of Wales. A presentation by Dr Ioanna Kralli, from the Ionian University, Corfu, Greece.

A word that means more than allusion, and therefore less.

In The City
This prepositional phrase occurs in, or is, the title of many rock songs. The Eagles and The Who each released a (different) song by that name. (See the Day Tripper entry for the Eagles' ITC.) Also Andrew Breath, Elastica, Hanson, Jam, Madness, and Xymox, but I wasn't going to mention them in the same sentence. In addition, many groups have released songs entitled ``<Foo> In The City.'' Here's a partial list:

Foo In The City
Artist Foo
Sheena Easton Back
Neil Young Crime
Marianne Faithfull Easy
Melanie [Safka] Garden
Gerhard Schöne Highlife
Nina Gordon Horses
Billy Idol Hot
Nick Gilder Hot Child
Bruce Springsteen It's Hard To Be A Saint
Vertical Horizon Life
RUN-DMC Livin'
Des'ree Living
Michael Bolton Lost
Tikaram Tanita Lovers
ELO Night
Allen Shadow Poet
Unbekannt Rain
The Replacements Raised
The Virus Rats
John Miles Stranger
The Lovin' Spoonful Summer
St. Lunatics or Nelly Summer
Shabazz The Disciple Terror
B Manning Workin' Hard

There is a group called ``Orphans In The City.'' Also, a Dutch group that usually calls itself by the Indian name (whatever that means) Maqtewék Moween has (with obvious good reason, I think) tried out some other names, and recorded as ``Friends in the city,'' at least in 2002. (Try http://www.moween.com if the previous link doesn't work.)

Joe Jackson released an album called Summer In The City, recorded live in New York (presumably some Summer), and six of its fifteen tracks are covers (mostly pop rock, but including Ellington's ``Mood Indigo''). The title track is first, a cover of the Lovin' Spoonful's classic.

(BTW, a little tip in case you want to track down lyrics or learn anything else about rock on the web: Netscape makes it easy to disable Javascript, and thus turn off much of the popup and popunder onslaught. If you use Infernet Explorer, you can't turn it off directly, so you'll have to install some other software to get it done. The preceding was written before pop-up blockers became standard, but it's an evolutionary arms race.)

Alice Cooper hasn't given up touring, but he has a regular gig as a syndicated DJ. There's a section of the program during which he answers email from fans and other listeners who write that they love his show. Around mid-October 2006, he received an email from a woman who said she had written a song. He read off the banal lyrics in a monotone and said he hated it. It was a song about going into the city. Alice said it had been done before, a large number of times. Listen to an expert.

in the weeds
A waiter is said to be ``in the weeds'' when he can't keep up -- when customers are being made to, uh, wait. I've encountered the suggestion that this is a confused variant of ``in the reeds.'' (The latter would be a jocular misunderstanding of the metaphor involved in saying that the waiter is ``swamped.'') One problem I see with this explanation is that one might expect the ostensible confusion to lead to the parallel use of both expressions (i.e., with reeds as well as with weeds), but it seems that only the weeds expression occurs in the relevant sense.

I had only ever encountered this expression in the restaurant context, until I read the following in a Los Angeles Times Opinion page piece (``Muslims -- India's new 'untouchables''' by Asra Q. Nomani, December 1, 2008):

What has irked me these last years is how the world has glossed over India's problems. In 2006, for instance, former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen, whose Cohen Group invests heavily in India, said the U.S. and India were "perfect partners" because of their "multiethnic and secular democracies." When I asked to interview Cohen about the socioeconomic condition of Muslims, his public relations staffer said that conversation was too "in the weeds." But, to me, the condition of Muslims needs frank and open discussion if there is to be any hope of stemming Islamic radicalism and realizing true secular democracy in the country.
(Boldface added for your convenience.)

Irish National Teachers' Organisation. (Chumann Múinteoirí Éireann.) It organizes primary-school teachers in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It's a member union of the ICTU. Cf. ASTI, TUI, and IFUT.

Not the same thing as in to. I'll just give an example of incorrect usage so you can figure it out for yourself. This is from the Politico website:
Like many of the most extreme figures from the 1960s[,] Ayers and Dohrn are [not, to any thinking person] ambiguous figures in American life.

They disappeared in 1970, after a bomb designed to kill army officers in New Jersey accidentally destroyed a Greenwich Village townhouse, and turned themselves into authorities in 1980.

They didn't actually turn themselves into authorities for another decade or so. (Bill Ayers, at least, became a respected educrat.)

INTernational Switch.

Inertial Navigation Unit.

The language of the Inuit. It's not a very inktuitive terminology, but then it's not English.

Inuktitut is spoken by the Inuit of central and eastern arctic Canada.

INner subURBS. Formed on the pattern of exurbs, but exurbs makes better etymological sense: ex- (`outside') + urbs (`city').

As of January 2006, inurbs has been getting a fair amount of press, and seems to be a recent coinage, possibly by Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL), who is concerned that since the 1990's, inurbs have been trending Democratic. That's how it looks right now, and it may well be an independent neologism, but I've seen inurbia used without definition in a paper dating back to 1976. (Exurbs and exurbia are long-established usages.)

INVerse, INVert, INVerter.

In semiconductors: situation in which doped material is forced by applied field to have free charge carriers of polarity opposite that for which it is doped. That is, when p-type material is in inversion, a large positive potential makes electrons the majority carriers, and inverted n-type material has majority holes. Inversion usually occurs at the edges of a bulk region.

For example, in a normally biased n-channel (p-channel) enhancement-mode MOSFET, p-doped (n-doped) material just beneath the gate is driven into inversion when the gate-source voltage VGS exceeds VTn (when -VGS exceeds -VTp).

Spanish `investment' or `inversion.' It's the noun corresponding to the verb invertir (`invest' (as in stocks) or `invert'). Obviously, inversión is cognate with the English noun inversion. Both are derived from the Latin inversio (gen. inversionis).

This word is used as a noun by civil engineers in North America, New Zealand, and Australia, and almost not at all in the UK. It refers to the bottom of the inside of a pipe. Thus, under normal operation, the depth of water (or, uh, whatever) in a septic tank is the vertical distance from the outlet invert down to the bottom of the tank. Since pipe thickness may vary, ``invert'' is a useful term for defining construction codes. The inlet invert of a septic tank (i.e., the invert of its inlet pipe) is typically required to be at least a couple of inches above the outlet invert.

It's useful to know the term ``invert'' so you can understand the report of the septic tank inspection. Also, if the contractor who did the inspection is (in the best possible interpretation) incompetent, knowing this term (and others like outlet baffle, inlet baffle, etc.) helps you produce a professional-sounding report of your own inspection for use in fighting with the title company. Then again, my agent, in commenting on the fiasco last year, said that (in the dozen or more years she'd been an agent) she had never had a client have to perform his own septic inspection (before me). So maybe you needn't worry about this, if you don't mind having a brand new septic tank with a major leak in it.

inverted siphon
This is a pipe whose height falls below the height of both of its ends. This situation is given a special name because it makes possible the use of gravity flow across a topographic depression.

In aqueducts both ancient and modern, an open conduit or channel will feed a closed channel (a pipe) that serves as a conduit. Ancient pipes sometimes passed beneath the surface of an open body of water. A nice feature of this is that the water pressure outside the pipe reduces the net stress on the pipe itself (i.e., the external pressure partly cancels the internal pressure). In the (pretty good) approximation that water is an incompressible fluid, this means that the stress on the pipe is the same everywhere below the surface that it would be if the pipe ran along the (external) water's surface.

Archaeologists normally use the term ``siphon'' for inverted siphon, since siphons were difficult to build before the invention of pumps. To prevent the imprecise conflation, hydraulic engineering in the US officially sanctions the nicely descriptive term ``sag pipe.''

To limit maximum pressure in a sag pipe, the Romans often elevated the lowest portion on a venter bridge.

Ancient sag pipes were commonly made of lead or terracotta. It is interesting that the Athenians, who had plenty of excess lead from their Laurion silver mines, used terracotta also.

Ante. See inversión.

invidious-comparison book titles
  1. My Kid's an Honor Student, Your Kid's a Loser, by Ralph Schoenstein. Recommended by Bill Cosby, despite the comma splice. Subtitled The Pushy Parent's Guide to Raising the Perfect Child.
  2. I'm Perfect, You're Doomed, by Kyria Abrahams. Another comma splice, so many parallels! Subtitled Tales from a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing.

invisible ink
Everyone knows about invisible ink -- it's ink that becomes visible only after some treatment. A very popular invisible ink, used to demonstrate the idea to children, is lemon juice. Lemon juice applied to paper is hard to see once it dries, but turns brown with heat that won't brown the paper it's applied to (much). This is easy to demonstrate using a fountain pen. (That's the traditional type of pen that is filled from an inkwell, one or two steps of technical evolution beyond the quill that one cut with a ``pen knife.'')

I rehearse these facts because a faulty recollection of them is the best explanation I can think of for the following true story.

On January 6, 1995, two Pittsburgh-area banks were robbed by a pair of armed men. One of the two, who had committed bank robberies alone the previous November, was arrested just six days later. His accomplice, MacArthur J. Wheeler, was identified by an anonymous tip and arrested the following April, less than an hour after a local evening news program broadcast pictures of him that had been taken by surveillance cameras.

When detectives went to arrest him and told him how he was identified, Wheeler protested ``But I wore the lemon juice. I wore the lemon juice!'' Someone had told him that applying lemon juice to your face makes you invisible to the camera. Though skeptical, he tested the idea with a Polaroid camera and was pleased to discover that he was nowhere in the picture. Detectives speculated that perhaps the film was bad, or that he made some mistake such as pointing the camera the wrong way. During the robberies, the lemon juice was burning his face and eyes, making it hard to see and forcing him to squint. They should have told him that after the robbery, they had heated the camera.

`Invited,' in Spanish. Invitado (feminine form invitada) is the past participle of the verb invitar, `to invite,' and in the usual way functions as an adjective. In a way that is much more usual in Romance languages than in English, the adjective functions as a substantive (i.e., noun), and so invitado is the standard word meaning `guest.'

You might wonder, then, whether it doesn't sound self-contradictory or at least awkward to say ``uninvited guest,'' which would have the direct translation ``invitado no invitado.'' Perhaps it is not happenstance that Spanish has a special word for this kind of guest: colado. (Yes, the female form of this is colada.)

International NonVolatile Memory Technology Conference.

Did that word evoke any thoughts? I invoke the sainted spirit of E.B. White and enjoin you to see the evoke entry.


involucrum tabacinum
Latin for `cigar.' Vide Nova Verba Latina, a Patre Josepho Maria Mir scriptum, Barcinone, 1969.

You should see the translation for motorcycle!

Illuminati New World Order. INWO is a trading card game in which every weird thing in the tabloid papers is true, and there are secret conspiracies everywhere. Each player represents a group of the Illuminati . . . the "secret masters" who were behind everything from the Kennedy assassination to the cancellation of "Max Headroom." The objective is to take over the world.

An Australian rock band. Pronounced ``In excess.''

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(You know, if this were any other glossary, you'd probably figure all those A's to be an editing accident, which they are, instead of wondering whether there isn't some joke you're missing.)

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