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(Domain code for) British Indian Ocean Territory.

Italian word for I. Cognate with Spanish yo, German ich, French je, and English I. Those Indo-Europeans sure got around.

For those who think the capitalization convention in English is a significant psycholingistic fact, here's some more fodder for thought: in a personal letter in German, one capitalizes the familiar second-person pronoun (Du, Dein, Dich, Dir -- `you, your[s], [unto] you, to you'). The familiar du-words in German are cognate with the English thou-words. In English, the familiar forms disappeared from ordinary speech and an undistinguished use of the formal you-forms became standard. Similar things are happening elsewhere. In Spanish as it is spoken throughout North and South America, the familiar plural second-person pronoun (vosotros) and the associated verb conjugations are virtually obsolete. The formal-familiar distinction survives in the singular, but I have heard mothers use the formal form of imperative to their toddlers.



Isolated Occurrence. Don't let it happen again!

Input-Output Adapter.

The International Optoelectronics Association. Formally the International Coalition of Optoelectronic Industry Associations (ICOIA, q.v.).

International Ostomy Association. ``We are an Association of Ostomy Associations [among them the UOA and UOAC], created to improve the life of Ostomates worldwide.''

Input-Output Block. See brief explanation in context at FPGA.

Institute of Biology.

``The Voice of British Biology.''

Bahhh! Bahhh!

Independent On-Line Booksellers Association.

Initial Operating Capacity. NASA acronym.

Input/Output Controllers. See EPICS.

InOrganic Chemicals. Term used by the water-treatment people.

International Olympic Committee. A private organization that stages the international olympics and promotes (by passivity, by a wink and a nod, and by opposition to effective measures) the use of doping among the world's premier athletes.

[Except for this paragraph, this entry dates back to the turn of the century. But not to worry: if anything interesting should ever chance to occur, we'll be sure to mention it here. As of 2006, though, there's been nothing. Sure, Samaranch promoted himself from whatever he was to whatever-he-was emeritus and éminence grise, and the Summer Olympics go to China in 2008. I hear that people will run and jump and so forth, and it's widely expected that some people will run and jump better than some other people will run and jump. The games are no longer of any real interest except to participants and their pharmacists.]

They've been trying for years to tap the advertising revenue potential of the world's largest dictatorship and ``His Excellency'' Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch (IOC ruler) gave an award for ``protecting the world's youth'' to the scumbag who ordered the tanks to roll on Tian An Mien, but pressure from human rights groups put the year-2000 Olympics in Sydney.

IOC rules prohibit athletes from writing journals during the games. They wouldn't want any competitors distracted by the thought of profit.

In a surprising development, in the year 2000 -- the centennial of the modern Olympics -- the Olympic games were not seen on US television. There were short snippets on the TV news, but NBC had bought the US broadcast rights and refused to allow anyone to see more than a few tantalizing glimpses. Their ``coverage'' consisted of interviews with coaches, inane commentary, human interest stories that weren't, drug scandal opinions, and a hunt for the venue of the next ``Survivor'' TV series.

Unaccountably, prime-time Nielsen ratings for NBC during the Olympics set record lows. I guess the NBC dogs in the Olympics manger are still scratching their heads over that, or whatever part of their anatomy they stuffed their brain into.

Integrated Optical Circuit.

Inter-Organizational Council for Accreditation of Postdoctoral Programs in Psychology. They had enough letters to choose from; you'd think they might've chosen a more distinctive initialism.

Inter-Office Channel.

Intelligence Operation/Command and Control Warfare.

Independent Order of Foresters. A fraternal benefit society that sells life-, accident- and health-insurance policies and annuities to its members. In other words, it's like credit union (non-profit membership organization) but for a set of financial products that are not so liquid.

Founded in 1874, based in Canada, has a million members in North America. Has a suit going against DLJ that I read about in Barron's, October 4, 1999, so I figured I'd do a couple of financial entries in the glossary.

Barron's sells for US$3.50, just like The New Republic, but TNR sells for CA$3.50 in Canada. This looks like a currency speculation opportunity -- buy TNR in Canada and resell in the US. Oh yeah, oughtta be BIG money in that racket.

IOF likes to refer to itself redundantly as ``IOF Foresters.'' They also point out that they're not involved [directly] in the forestry industry, they're not a secret society with ritual handshakes and passwords [that's what they all say] and they want your business regardless of sex or previous condition of wood-industry employ.

Israeli Occupy{ation|ing} Forces.

Internationales Olympisches Komitee. German for `International Olympic Committee.' The name could be mistaken for that of a track-and-field event.

Independent Online. ``Independent Online is a wholly owned subsidiary of Independent News & Media'' of South Africa.

Institute of Medicine. ``[E]stablished in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appointed professions for the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public.''

ISDN-Oriented Modular (architecture or interface).

Isle Of Man.

Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Cooperation.

International Organization of Medical Physics. Founded in 1963. Individuals become members automatically upon joining one of the adhering national organizations like the AAPM. I wonder if I could become a citizen of the United Nations that way.

IOMP publishes a biannual newsletter called Medical Physics World (MPW). Some books are published as the Medical Science Series by the publishing arm (IOPP) of the British professional physicists' organization (IOP), and it has two journals -- Physics in Medicine and Biology, and Physiological Measurement.

Extended IOM.

A nucleus with more or fewer electrons in the vicinity than protons inside. When ``vicinity'' is not sharply defined, neither is ``ion.'' In the gas phase, electrons bound to a nucleus are much closer, on average, than electrons which are not, so ``ionized'' has a clear meaning (cf. ``unionized''). In the solid state, electrons occupy band states not associated with unique nuclei, so it is useful to regard the solid as composed of ions and unbound (quasi-free or conduction) electrons.

[At long wavelengths, the electrostatic screening in a metal is due primarily to free electrons, so the screening length is comparable to the average distance between nearest-neighbor conduction electrons (see rs). As frequency increases, the effective screening length increases, so nearby conduction electrons see most of each others' unscreened charge. Hence, the electron gas in an ordinary metal has collective excitations arising from the long-range Coulomb interactions, so in thermodynamic terms it is not in the gaseous state but in the plasma state. The collective excitations are called plasmons.]

In a section of Harper's (July 1994; $2.95) on the proceedings of the annual Illinois State Fair Golden Gloves competition (16-year-olds), D. F. Wallace reported a new ion-based information system (IIS):

... Sullivano gamely rises, but his knees wobble and he won't face the ref. ... Hall shakes his gloves at the ceiling as several girls call his name, and you can feel it in the air's very ions: Darrell Hall is going to get laid before the night's over.

The son of Apollo and Creusa. He shouldn't be confused with any homonymic Ion, such as the rhapsode ridiculed by Plato in his dialogue of the same name.

The story of Ion (Apollonides) is told by Euripides in his tragedy Ion. It's not a tragedy in the modern sense -- it has a happy ending. In fact, it was a tragedy because Euripides offered it as such in that year's drama (413BC or so) competition. Even in those years, however, Euripides' Iphegina Taurica, Helena, and Ion were regarded as not exactly tragic tragedies. At least one commentator at the time, and later scholiasts, said such works were not worthy of tragedy, or comedic. In recent times, terms like ``tragi-comedy'' and ``tragic romance'' have been used.

Indiana Organization of Nurse Executives. It's an affiliate of the Indiana Hospital Association (IHA) and an affiliate of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE)

Hah! Snared it, oh yeah. Iowa and Illinois, you can just go see your family practitioner of proctology.

Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders. ``Ionl''? That looks like an Austrian-dialect diminutive of Ion! They're only IONL because Indiana was there first when someone shouted ``Namespaces, stat!'' What a humiliation for the AONE affiliate of the state where AONE has its headquarters (in Chicago, naturally)! It could be worse, though; Iowa lost the playoff round and didn't even score <ionl.org>.

Internal Organization of the Network Layer.

Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders. See this other IONL for the fictional play-by-play blow-by-blow.

See at the mercy of the ionosphere.

International Olive Oil Council. Organized under the IMF in 1959. Administers various international agreements, and has the power to perpetuate itself by extending the term of the 1986 protocol two years at a time. So far, they have seen the clear need to extend their own existence until 2000. What a surprise. That has got to be one of the silliest treaty provisions in existence. All organisms have an instinct for self-preservation, and that principle was demonstrated by C. Northcote Parkinson to apply to social institutions as well.

Acronym is COI in various Romance languages spoken in the countries where olives are mostly grown.

Institute Of Physics. The IOP is the UK professional society for physicists -- an approximate equivalent of the AIP. It publishes various journals and books through the IOPP.

Integrated Offload Processor.

Intergrated Offload Processor. Um, a processor of offloads grated in between, um, each other, probably.

Someone should do a study of the utilitarian aspects of misspelling and mispronunciation practices in acronyms (or initialisms, if you want to get precise) and their expansions.


IntraOcular Pressure.

Institute Of Physics Publishing. Publishing arm of the IOP. To judge from the URL's, however, one would guess that the IOP is an arm of IOPP.

International Organization of Pakistani Women Engineers. ``[P]rovides a forum for issues specific to women engineers of Pakistani origin.''

Let no one accuse the Stammtisch of focusing narrowly on its own parochial concerns.

Indian Ocean Region. Range of longitudes for geostationary satellites transmitting to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

International Rectifier Co. It may be that the O between the I and R is just a circle with a diode in it.

Independent On Sunday. The Sunday edition of the London Independent, but it sounds like an aspersion on the weekday edition.

Cisco Internetwork Operating System. The operating system of Cisco routers.

Inter-Organizational System[s]. An electronic commerce (EC) term.

Israel Oriental Studies. A journal.

International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. ``By the term cognate studies is meant the study of the ancient translations made from the Septuagint ("daughter versions") and the so-called apocryphal and pseudepigraphical literature circulating around the turn of the era.''

A feature of Modern Greek pronunciation: the convergence of many vowels to the sound of iota (English ``ee'', IPA /i:/). I'm sure I mention a couple of examples around here. One is the epsilon in beta; examples of upsilon iotization are given at the nu and ships entries.

Investor-Owned (power) Utility.

I owe you. A debt, or a marker or chit for that debt.

In Other Words. Email abbreviation.

International Office for Water. See IOW-OIE below.

A state name that looks like it could easily be an acronym. In contrast with, say, New Hampshire. You would think with a name this short, no one'd've bothered to come up with an abbreviation, but the USPS has (IA). Wouldn't IW have been less ambiguous?

International Office for Water / Office International de l'Eau.

Are you sure you didn't just hear Iowan?

Image Processing.

Impact Point. (Of ordnance.) Distinguished from aiming point (AP).

Information Processing.

Innings (of baseball) Pitched.

Inositol Phosphate.

Institute of Petroleum. International organization (oh, excuse me: organisation) based in England. Old URL looked impermanent, and sure enow, it now (April 1998) forwards to http://www.petroleum.demon.co.uk/, which does not appear to even be under construction yet (and still not in August 1999). However, the demonic site had changed its domain name from demon.co.uk to to demon.net; maybe it had something to do widdat. (The preceding enclitic is free for your enjoyment.)

Institut Pasteur.

Instrument Panel. (As in an automobile; don't know if usage is more general.)

Intellectual Property. Fondue heater, Saab, etc.

For information on Spanish intellectual property law, see this page of the Ministerio de Cultura.

Intelligent Peripheral. Most people with a boss feel this way and have some converse thoughts besides.

Intermediate Pressure. Term used, with HP and LP, in connection with triple-expansion steam engines.

Internet Protocol. Here's a little tutorial. Here's a longer one. This should transform the IP information to spherical trigonometric coordinates. This here as well. Visit this site to find out your IP address.

Ionic Product. Marble columns, right? Nope. The product of the concentrations of ions of a dissolved salt. If an ion appears multiple times in the salt formula (as in Na2SO4), then its concentration is raised to the power of its multiplicity (e.g., [Na]²[SO4]).

Can you say ``Law of Mass Action''? Sure you can!

Ionization Potential.

Ion Projection.

Iraqi Police.

(UK) Independent Pharmacists' Association. Held its inaugural meeting today.

(Okay, okay. Today was April 6, 2003. I thought they were called something quaintly antiquarian over there, like ``Chemysts.'')

International Phonetic Alphabet. One of the linguists who participated in the construction of the IPA was Henry Sweet. Henry Sweet was George Bernard Shaw's model for Henry Higgins in the play ``Pygmalion'' (which was made into the movie ``My Fair Lady''). One of my grade school classmates was named Janet Sweet; I don't know if she was related. I estimate the probability at more or less zero.

This is a very focused glossary; we give you only the essential information. Using these essentials, you are enabled to deduce the necessary contingent.

Matthew Sweet is a rocker.

A scheme has been developed for writing IPA in newsgroup postings. That is, using only seven-bit ASCII characters.

The A&R (Atene & Roma) entry has a bit of information or speculation on theta in the IPA.

International Publishers Association.

IsoPropyl Alcohol. (Modern systematic name: isopropanol.)

Independent Petroleum Association of America. They used to have a nice animated gif of a petroleum pump.

ISDN Primary-rate Access Transceiver.

Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield.

Imaging Proportional Counter.

Índice de Precios al Consumidor. Spanish: `consumer price index' (CPI). The Spanish expression makes explicit that the prices indexed are not ones paid for consumers (like finder's fees or commissions to salespeople, say). It's so good to have that cleared up.

Many Spanish-speaking countries (yes, the countries themselves speak Spanish) use the IPC initialism for an index corresponding to the CPI in the US and other English-speaking countries. There is often an official one published by the government, and often the official one can't be trusted. In many Latin American countries, the consumer price index has at various times been an exciting and vertiginous statistic. In Mexico, for a reason that is clear from the next entry, the CPI is called INPC.

Índice de Precios y Cotizaciones. Spanish: `index of prices and values.'

Spanish, like English, has various words whose meanings overlap precio or price. As in English, tradition affects which words are preferred, and it is difficult to articulate a consistent semantic distinction among the terms. FWIW, my feeling is that precio in Spanish tends to be used slightly less broadly than price in English. In particular, as I was growing up I don't think I ever heard my dad (who had been a company manager) use precios rather than cotizaciones for stock prices. Putting together my limited experience with some dictionary definitions and ghit data, I conclude the following:

Cotización used alone typically refers to a stock price (though cotizaciones can refer to other kinds of prices in the right contexts). It is therefore usually redundant to say explicitly cotizaciones de acciones, and this phrase is less common than valores de acciones (using the general word valores that is typically translated as `values' or, in financial contexts, `stocks' or similar instruments). The general term precios is also used in reference to stocks, almost necessarily by those less familiar with the specific term, so the phrase precios de acciones is roughly as common as the single word cotizaciones.

In Mexico, IPC with the given expansion is the principal index (based on 35 prices) of stocks that trade on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores.

Instructions Per (clock) Cycle.

InterProcess { Communication | Control }.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

International Professional Communication Conference. Sponsored by the IEEE PCS. Held jointly with SIGDOC since 2000.

Institut für Physik und Chemie und ihre Didaktik (`Institute for Physics and Chemistry and their Instruction') at Universität Freiburg, on Campus 1 in Freiburg, Germany. Their homepage displays prominently the words “Verstehen ist Menschenrecht” (`Understanding is a human right'). This is described as a shortened paraphrase of a quotation of the educator Wagenschein, and said to serve as the institute's motto. It reminds me of a comment of Dr. Johnson's (reported, as usual, by Boswell):
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

Next stop: increment entry. (You must click.)

InterProcess Communication Environment.

Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information.

. The IPCS sponsors the ISPC.

Internet PC User Group.

InterPupillary Distance. Alternate name for the pupillary distance (PD, q.v.).

International Periodical Distributors Association. ``[E]stablished in 1972 as an association of national distributors.'' Cf. the US publishers' organization MPA.

Let's see if I understand this: the Magazine Publishers of America represents a membership of companies that is about 25% international, but the International Periodical Distributors Association has no membership outside America that is worth mentioning. I guess the constant here is that one is implicitly discussing the US market, so the international publishers that sell in the US are publishers ``of America.'' On the other hand, from the perspective of the distributors of America, the extraterritorial origin of some of the periodicals makes them (the distributors) international. So happy I could clear that up.

International Public Debate Association. A major organization founded in 1997. We have other debating entries.

Integrated Programming Environment.

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

(UK) Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. Previously and briefly the IPEMB.

(UK) Institution of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and Biology. Formed in the 1995 merger of the Institute of Physical Sciences in Medicine (IPSM) and Biological Engineering Society (BES). It seems they changed the name again in 1996 or 1997, to become the IPEM.

L'Institut professionnel de la fonction publique du Canada. The English acronym for the organization is PIPSC.

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. We like the word university we so much that we use it wherever it makes sense we and then some we. Slightly more substantive information at the solecistic IUFW entry.

Implantable Pulse Generator. A cardiac prosthetic. It's kind of cute that here ``pulse'' is used in the extended sense of an electronic pulse generator, and again in the original sense of a heart's pulse.

The term IPG highlights a divagation in the extended sense of ``pulse.'' A characteristic aspect of a heart's pulse is that it is ``rhythmic,'' in ordinary terms, or approximately ``periodic,'' in technical language. (Well, it is until it isn't, of course.) But in electronics and physics, the temporal aspect that is emphasized is its brevity -- the idea that the pulse has a duration, and that the duration is short compared to the typical time between pulses. So a ``pulse generator'' in the lab is typically, though not necessarily, a one-shot (aka monostable multivibrator): it generates single pulses (in response to a trigger, possibly following a programmed delay). Let's not discuss ``pulsatory'' just yet.

They should implant the IPG within a pod.

International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.

Incipient Paranoia Index. Not endorsed by the DSM, but more exciting than REM.

Are you laughing at me?

Intelligent Peripheral Interface. For dealing with RAID and related compromises.

Intelligent Peripheral Interface. Part 3 of an IEC document that is still in working draft (here's a PostScript version) stage: ANSI/ISO/IEC 9318-3, ``Information technology - Intelligent Peripheral Interface. Part 3: Device generic command set for magnetic and optical disk drives.''

Information-Processing Language.

10	The name of a particular language.
20	Widely used(in the fifties).
30	Utterly historical.

(I don't know if that's what it looked like, exactly, but at least I spared you the shouting.)

Initial Program Load. Synonymous with boot(strap). Under IBM's VM operating system, the name of a command which you used to start your selected simulated operating system (typically CMS) in your virtual machine.

Internet Public Library. For more of the same, visit the etext entry.

Independent Particle Model. In nuclear physics, the simplest kind of shell model. This overview page of nucleus models has a link to an extended technical description (dvi).

Índice de precios al por menor. Spanish: `retail price index.' Unfortunately, a `wholesale price index,' índice de precios al por mayor, would also be abbreviated IPM.

Integrated Pest Management.

International Publishers Marketing. Many non-US publishers now have easily accessible on-line catalogs and even on-line shopping options. Unfortunately, it is not always straightforward to order internationally. For US book purchasers, simplifying the purchase is the main advantage of IMP (shipping is also faster from a US warehouse).

Integrated Platform Management System. Used in ships.

Information Processing and Management of Uncertainty. There's a biennial Conference on IPMU in Knowledge-Based Systems. The seventh was in Paris, 1998.

Interpenetrating Polymer Network.

InterPlaNet. As Dave Barry would say: I am not making this up. InterPlaNet is a networking standard that is supposed ``to form the backbone of a future interplanetary system of Internets... the standard would enable spacecraft communication and the sharing of information across the solar system. [As of 2007] NASA spacecraft carry telecommunications equipment that enable them to correspond with Earth, but these devices lack the ability to link with those on other spacecraft.'' A major issue is the existence of substantial irreducible signal transmission delays. At their furthest separation, for example, Earth and Mars are 20 light-minutes apart. As of February 2007, IPN was under joint development by NASA and DARPA, with the goal of having ``a well-functioning network between Earth and Mars by 2008.''

Ipng, IPng
Internet Protocol: Next Generation. Pronounced Eye-ping. Cf. ST:TNG. IPng currently refers to IPv6.

Initial Public Offering. First sale of stock (publicly-held shares in a private corporation; a form of debt).

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

International Phase of Ocean Drilling. I hear ``IPOD'' a lot these days. I must be surrounded by crypto-oceanographers.

Ideal Professional Park. Proper noun: a square parking lot surrounded by long, two-story buildings filled with the offices of practitioners of various medical specialties, at 2333 Morris Avenue, Summit, N.J.

To tell you the truth, I probably wouldn't have mentioned it, but I didn't want the other IPP entry to feel lonely. It's surprising the social skills you have to deploy in order to maintain a successful, happy, single-author glossary. It's like I tell the entries every day before work -- ``You are the glossary!''

Independent Power Producer.

Happy now? No?! Oh yeah, it's ``[i]it's as I tell the entries....''

Internet-Protocol Public Address.

International Philosophy Preprint Exchange.

The Institute of Physics and Power Engineering. Established by the Soviet Union on May 31, 1946 ``to solve scientific and technical problems of nuclear power development'' according to a temporarily defunct page. Further down the page, it turns out that 1950 marked the ``beginning of the activities concerning non-military applications of the atomic energy.'' On March 29, 1994, the government of the Russian Federation granted IPPE the status of a State Scientific Center (elsewhere described as a State Research Center).

International Primate Protection League.

Aren't there any other IPPL entries?

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilation.

Intellectual Property Right[s].

Iowa Public Radio.

Inches Per Second. Convenient unit for magnetic tape speed.

Instructions Per Second. Inconvenient unit for processor speed. Try MIPS.

International Primatological Society.

Indiana Professional Standards Board.

Information Processing Society of Japan. As soon as they've processed their homepage information into English, they'll probably change the name of the page the ``English'' link goes to from its current name of dummy.html.

(UK) Institute of Physical Sciences in Medicine. Defunct in 1995; vide IPEMB supra.

Internet Protocol (IP) Security Option.

International Prostate Symptom Score.

(Novell) Internetwork Packet eXchange.

Internet Protocol (IP) Version 4. The current version. Cf. IPv6 (vide infra). Uses 32 bits, written with periods separating the eight-bit numbers (0 to 255 in decimal) representing each of four fields. Since 232 is only about 4 294 967 296, there aren't even enough to give every living human his or her own subdomain. In fact, because of the hierarchical manner in which they are allocated, they're getting used up pretty fast. Hence IPv6, to be phased in over a few years.

Internet Protocol (IP) Version 6. Why should I explain it? And what do I know anyway? Let David Jacobs explain.

Oh all, right: 128 bits (2128 is about 3.402 823 692 09 × 1038, and now I really do mean ``about'') divided into 8 sixteen-bit segments. This time, the segments will be separated by colons. Since sixteen bits describe a number between 0 and 65535, this could get unwieldy; apparently another part of the plan is to prefer the use of hex notation, so the sixteen bits are each representable by four hexadecimal digits.

Inositol 1,4,5-TriPhosphate.

In-phase and Quadrature (90 degrees out of phase) (signals).


Intelligence Quotient. For months this said ``Inteligence Quotient.'' Duh. The same abbreviation stands for Intelligenzquotient in German. Cf. QI. The term occurs, appropriately enough, in the song ``Think,'' written by Aretha Franklin and Ted White, 1968. I think it's an octave from the I to the Q.

Here are some essay links presenting the politically incorrect side (i.e. it's not just nurture, but nature too) of a number of IQ-related issues.

It is common to norm IQ tests to a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 (``deviation IQ'', WAIS) or 16 (Stanford-Binet) or something else, but even that is nowhere near as straightforward as it sounds.

This seems like as good a place as any to place a link to Test Junkie.

In IAWL, Clarence is described as having the IQ of a rabbit. People all over Bedford Falls are clamoring for help, and this is the guy the heavenly authorities select to go down and answer their prayers. Oh yeah, he's got the faith of a child, too. He's been in heaven for two hundred years and he still needs faith to sustain his belief? Good one.

Guicciardini's ricordo C60 reads, in Domandi's translation,

A superior intellect is bestowed upon men only to make them unhappy and tormented. For it does nothing but produce in them greater turmoil and anxiety than there is in more limited men.

Guicciardini was evidently going by the maxim that a word to the wise is sufficient. Here is an earlier version of this ricordo (B115):

In this world it is undoubtedly true that men of mediocre mind have a better time, a longer life, and are in some respects happier than men of high intellect; for a noble mind is apt to be the cause of trouble and worry. But mediocre men participate more in brute animality than in humanity, whereas the others transcend the human condition and approach the celestial natures.

(Domain code for) Iraq.

It's an iqqy-stiqqy situation today. The rock group The B-52's recorded a song called ``Mesopotamia'' once, the title track of an album. Prophetic.

Just another software house. Ho-hum. I hope I remember to update this entry before I go there to interview for any job. Their corporate fact sheet doesn't explain how they dreamed up the company name, or what I-Q stand for.

IQ Earings
What, you wear them and you become smarter? That's stupid! Oh wait -- it said ``1Q Earnings.''

International Quantum Electronics Conference. Sponsored by the OSA.

Integer Quantum Hall Effect (QHE).

InterQuartile Range.

German abbreviation for im Ruhestand, `in retirement.'

Near InfraRed. Electromagnetic radiation with wavelength near to but shorter than visible wavelengths. Sometimes it is useful to have a precise definition. Vide infra

This entry isn't misalphabetized... it's near IR.


InfraRed, occasionally Infra-Red, rarely Infra Red. [From the Latin infra, meaning `below,' and English red. This is très barbaric.] The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum just lower in energy (or frequency) than visible light. This range of EM radiation is associated with heat radiation because the natural emission of light from a body at typical ranges of temperature is peaked in this part of the spectrum. There is also a historical reason for the association. The astronomer Sir William Hershel discovered IR light in 1800. He called it calorific rays (the story is sketched at the linked entry). The term ultra-red has also been used.

For ideal (``black body'') emission, the peak wavelength of the emission spectrum is given by Wien's Law (technically, this is one of Wien's two displacement laws, but today one regards his second law as a consequence of his first and the Stefan-Boltzmann Law). Wien's Law states that wavelength at maximum = 2897.8 µm-K/T. At (the standard, rather stuffy value of) room temperature (T = 298 K), this yields a wavelength just under 100 000 Å, compared to a typical optical wavelength in the vicinity of 5000 Å (500 nm).

Metals that don't have a color in the ordinary sense (as copper is red or gold is yellow) can be described as ``gray bodies'' in a technical sense. A gray body is one whose absorptivity or emissivity (they have to be the same in equilibrium) is not unity (as in a black body) but is independent of frequency. A gray body has an emission spectrum that is uniformly scaled down from that of a black body, so the location of the peak is still given by Wien's Law. So a gray body heated to 2500 K has a wavelength distribution peaked in the ``near IR'' with a significant amount of visible radiation mostly in the red. ``Near IR'' usually means wavelengths from about 800 nm to 1400 nm. The color tells the temperature, but little else. A grayish metal heated to 2500 K will have about the same color whether molten (as iron would be, since its melting temperature is 1808 K) or rock-solid (like tungsten, melting point 3687 K). (All this assumes the metal isn't burning; that nonequilibrium process emits light in a spectrum characteristic of the particular oxidation reactions.)

The Sun is a pretty good approximation of a ``black body'' in the technical sense; it only doesn't look black because it's white-hot. Its surface temperature is about 5780 K, which gives a peak wavelength of about 500 nm. If this distribution were sharply peaked, the sun would look green or cyan. In fact, the distribution is fairly flat within the visible range of the light spectrum, so sunlight is white. The Earth's atmosphere, however, preferentially scatters short-wavelength light (by what's called Rayleigh scattering). When we look directly at the Sun, we see white light minus the scattered component, so the sun looks yellow. When we look away from the Sun, we see scattered light, preferentially blue, the ``color of the sky.''

The radiation normally classified as infrared is everything between the visible spectrum (ending at red around 750-800 nm) and microwaves (1 mm). As that range covers more than three orders of magnitude, it is useful to break it up. Hence the conventional divisions in terms of wavelength λ --

Image Reconstruction. It's a rare first lady that doesn't need this before the end of the President's first term. In Britain, the PM's spouse tends to stay out of view, but the whole Royal family needs ER IR.

Inland Revenue. The British IRS.

You're probably wondering, ``well, if that's so, why don't they just call it the IRS''? Three reasons:

  1. Intergovernmental trademark (TM) agreements.
  2. On QWERTY keyboards (KB), S is just one fat-finger error from A.
  3. With the British penchant for seeing irony everywhere, too many taxpayers would notice that ``service'' is a bad joke.

They collect right out to the shore, I believe. A/k/a ``The Revenue.''

Institutional Research. Appears to be research into the administration of post-secondary education. Visit, for example, California Association for Institutional Research (CAIR) or the national Association for Institutional Research (AIR).

International Relations. In American universities, departments of political science, as it's called, usually recognize four major subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, IR, and Political Theory.

Investor Relations. Propagandizing the creditors.

(Domain code for) Iran.

The country Europeans used to call some such names as the English ``Persia.'' Strictly speaking, Persia is only a southern province of Iran. ``Persian'' does properly refer to the principal language of Iranians -- Parsi (Farsi). They preserve the distinction in the same way that most Spaniards speak Castilian and preserve the distinction between Español and Castellano.

You know, in English some people say ``Ih ron'' and some people say ``Eye ran,'' but nobody says ``Eye ron.'' This is good, because it would sound too much like iron, an element with isotopes at the top of the curve of nuclear binding energy.

Iran's main exports are oil, gas, and terrorism. It's hard to put a dollar value on the last item because Hezbollah and Iran's secret services have not boarded the financial transparency bandwagon yet. But since Iran mostly sells the first two and buys the last, it probably exports more hydrocarbon fuels than terrorism. If they cut back on terrorism exports, they could afford to spend money on other things, but perhaps there are traditional cultural reasons for maintaining the expense (for a historical perspective, see assassination, political). Iran is also the world's largest exporter of wild sturgeon caviar. I'm just amazed fish still survive in the Caspian.

Iridium. Atomic number 77. One of the platinum group metals.

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

Impulse-Radiating Antenna.

Individual Retirement Account.

El Instituto Riva-Agüero. It's an institute of advanced studies of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Escuela de Altos Estudios de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú), founded in 1947. It's named for José de la Riva-Agüero y Osma (1885-1944), ``one of the most notable Peruvian humanists of the 20th century.'' The focus areas of the institute are Archaeology, Popular Art and Culture, Law, Philosophy, History, and Language and Literature. The university also has a Centro de Estudios Filosóficos (`Philosophical Studies Center'). Ask me, this is overkill.

International Reading Association.

Irish Republican Army. ``IRA cease-fire'' used to refer to the interval between bombings -- however long it took to make another bomb. Now it means something completely different.

The IRA is generally believed to be funded by charitable contributions from Irish nationalist sympathizers in the US. However, they also have income from mafia-like operations in Northern Ireland and foreign operations like sharing their bomb-making expertise with FARC guerillas.

Technically, the IRA is only the PIRA (provisional same). It puts me in the mind of ``actual, existing socialism'' (communism).

There is something called Sinn Féin (pronounced ``shin FEIGN'') that is typically described as ``the IRA's political wing.'' Sinn Féin and the IRA are, you know, ``in contact'' ... they receive communications from each other, by some mysterious means. Séances, perhaps. So if Irish and British governments negotiate with the political group Sinn Féin, then Sinn Féin might be able to prevail upon the terrorist group (the IRA) to diminish its violence and even eventually to lay down its arms, so long as this can be done in a nonverifiable way. This kind of peace process is known as ``never negotiating with terrorists.''

In 2004, during an extended period of ``qualified cease fire'' observed by an independent monitoring commission (IMC), the government of the Irish Republic was negotiating with Sinn Féin for the IRA (not innocent Sinn Féin, of course) to renounce its ``criminal activities'' (as opposed to its other activities). Then, that December 20, someone staged a carefully planned robbery of Northern Bank, Belfast, taking away 26 million pounds -- one of the largest cash heists in history. The MO -- kidnapping a couple of bank employees and holding their families hostage -- was similar to that used in a series of earlier, less profitable crimes. Irish and Northern Irish police blamed the IRA. Feelings were hurt on many sides, so much so that harsh words were spoken in the aftermath.

In February 2005, after making its own independent investigation, the IMC also concluded that the IRA committed the bank robbery and the series of similar crimes that preceded it. Moreover, the IMC reiterated some claims it had made in its first report, published in April 2004, summarized by these, uh, bullets:

* Some members, including some senior members, of Sinn Féin are also members, including, in some cases, senior members of PIRA.
* Sinn Féin, particularly through its senior members, is in a position to exercise considerable influence on PIRA's major policy decisions, even if it is not in a position actually to determine what policies or operational strategies the PIRA will adopt. We believe that decisions of the republican movement as a whole about these matters lie more with the leadership of PIRA than with Sinn Féin.
* Within the PIRA some decisions follow a process of consultation with the membership initiated by the leadership.

In the usual measured language, the IMC ``note[d that although] Sinn Féin has said it is opposed to criminality of any kind it appears at times to have its own definition of what constitutes a crime.'' Ah -- it's always some little technicality that gets in the way of peace.

As of mid-March 2005, the bank heist and one other event have caused a sea change in public mood. The other event was the vicious murder January 30 of Robert McCartney, father of two. Nothing unusual in the event, but in the aftermath his sisters and girlfriend have mounted a public campaign to get the IRA to lift the intimidation (how do you say omerta in Gaelic?) preventing some 70 witnesses from admitting they saw anything. So effective has their campaign been that the IRA has made them a counter-offer (to execute McCartney's murderers), and other victims' families are beginning to take heart and publicly demand justice. There are even calls for Catholic and Protestant communities to come together against the terror.

Meanwhile, the political side-effects of the bank robbery have continued. The Irish government is saying, in effect, that it chooses to remove the scales from its eyes, and that Sinn Féin is the IRA. Pundits are urging the British government to make the same discovery. I dunno. Anyone who would believe that Sinn Féin is the IRA probably believed that the terrorist group Al Fatah (cofounded by Yasser Arafat) is the same as a liberation organization (the PLO, led by Chairman -- it sounds so sedentary -- Yasser Arafat). This is stupid: they're distinct organizations. One hand is not responsible for what the other is doing.


Irish Review of Antiquity.

Well, no, not really. Just a little academic classicist humor.

International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching.

Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique. Interestingly, the homepage gives the organization name in French, German (Institut für Radioastronomie im Millimeterbereich) and Spanish (Instituto de Radioastronomía Milimétrica). (The page title is in French.) The name is not given in English (how are we supposed to figure out what the page is about?!?), but the rest of the page conent is in English (oh). Almost none of the site content appears to be available in any language other than English (the actual facilities are located in France and Spain).

Instituto Argentino de Racionalización de Materiales. Among other things, it certifies electronic components, so its bailiwick is larger than it was when it received its name.

Intelligent Random-Access Memory (RAM). A semiconductor memory chip -- probably DRAM -- that also has a bit of processing power. See PIM.

Interview for the Retrospective Assessment of the Onset of Schizophrenia.

{ Internal | Institutional } Review Board. All hospitals and medical centers have them, many universities and colleges too, though they serve a different role.

Medical IRB's review incidents and accidents, and procedures and performance, possibly adjusting the latter to prevent the former from happening again. Post-secondary IRB's just meddle bureaucratically to prevent component divisions of the school from performing their assigned tasks. (E.g., they must approve the administration of any assessment projects by the assessment office, whenever the office wants to solicit data from students. The traditional name for this is ``a bone in your throat.'')

Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile. You know, it's that uncomfortable intermediate range, like the teen years: too long-range to be medium-range but not quite up to the ``intercontinental'' range. And of course, there's always the question of setting boundaries, of milestones and comings-of-age. Some say you're long enough to be intermediate at 2500 km, some say no less that 3000 km. You may think it's a quibble, but for the little country that's trying to play with the big boys, it's an issue.

And what's long enough to be intercontinental? The Red Sea separates Asia and Africa -- that's intercontinental, isn't it? No? You want 3500 km? Some say 5000 km?! 5500!!???

Information Resources Center (of the Special Libraries Association -- SLA).

Institute for Roman Culture. IRC is the acronym used for itself by an organization calling itself the American Institute for Roman Culture. They use a logo with an A above an IRC, and I'm going to consider AIRC their identifying acronym.

International Reply Coupon. This is sort of like a collect call: it's a convenient way for a person in country A to pay for a letter sent from country B at much more than the price of the stamp sold in B for the same purpose.

In late 1919 the Securities Exchange Company (in spirit the very opposite of the SEC) was founded in Boston. They sold notes redeemable after 90 days for 50% more than the amount invested -- and soon adopted the practice of redeeming them in 45 days instead. If you rolled them over immediately, the compounding should have led to an effective interest rate just above 2,580% per annum.

This was the classic ``pyramid scheme,'' in which previous investors are paid off (if not induced to reinvest) from the capital of new investors. This works as long as unliquidated plus new investments (minus what the scheme organizers skim off the top) grow at the appropriate exponential rate, but eventually the pyramid collapses. The organizers abscond or try to.

Of course, in the better schemes, the organizers give some more-or-less plausible explanation of how the amazing returns are generated. This 1919 scheme was one of the best (or perhaps worst) -- the president of the company was Charles Ponzi, and since that time pyramid schemes have been known as Ponzi schemes. How did Ponzi's company say it was earning all that money? By arbitraging IRC's (the putative subject of this entry). I am grateful to Mark for pointing out the connection and contributing the details (as well as for numerous other improvements to the glossary).

By the time the scheme collapsed 8 months later, the company had taken in $15 million, but its liabilities exceeded its assets by $3 million. One of the things that helped bring it down was that the Postmaster General pointed out that there were not enough IRC's in existence in the world for them to have been telling the truth.

See Ponzi Schemes, Invaders from Mars, & more Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Joseph Bulgatz (1992, Harmony, ISBN 0-517-58830-7).

Ponzi schemes are illegal. It seems like there has been a resurgence of them in recent years. One variant is the chain letter (``send $5 to the first five names on this list, add your name at the bottom and send to five friends, ...'') now experiencing new life in email. The amazing thing about this version is that it doesn't even pretend to be anything other than a pyramid scheme.

I saw a picture of Ponzi in an article on a perceived increase in investor suits and complaints to the SEC from victims of investment schemes (this was in the NYTimes, 1999.05.25, first business page). Ponzi looked like Milton Berle.

The other historic scam of 1919 is discussed at the WS entry. Insurance policies involve a kind of investment, and have been used as the basis for Ponzi schemes also. See the MEWA entry for an example. For more bunko scams, see the Brooklyn Bridge entry.

You know, in 2001 I received an email out of the blue from someone claiming to be a middle-level official in the former Zaïre. He had a lot of hard-to-explain money that was burning a hole in his mattress, and he needed my help to get it out of his war-torn country. Oh yeah, he got my name from some trusted common acquaintances. I can imagine that my help would have consisted of providing a bank account through which his money could be laundered, for which I would be handsomely rewarded, but first he would have needed a blank check so he could make the necessary transfers. Gee, it turns out that in fact, this scam often involves travel to far-off destinations (often Nigeria), where you can pay a lot of up-front money (for bribes, sometimes literally to launder money, etc.), with your cut for helping launder the money as the carrot. You've arrived in the country without a proper visa, and when the carrot no longer works, the stick may be literal, or it may be the need to bribe your way back out of the country.

That year (2001) was apparently a big one for this sort of thing, and others have been showered with a variety of generally similar investment opportunities. Don't jump at the first offer; those trusted common acquaintances will keep on selling your name. Not all of the opportunities came from <yahoo.com> mailboxes. There's a <yahoo.co.uk> as well, you know. Joining the bunko brigade recently are smaller free email services like TechEmail (which features ``Spam Detection/Blocking'' -- apparently effective only inbound) and alloymail. Oh, here's a dash of exoticism: an invitation to help launder Nigerian money from an Irish email address (eircom.net). For more heartening news on how business opportunities are dissolving the artificial barriers that separate us, visit the B&W entry.

The reason I was not bilked by this perfectly sensible-sounding transaction is that I am spotlessly honest, and I feared that this very believable scheme might require me to do something possibly slightly ethically questionable. You know what they used to say: ``you can't cheat an honest man.'' They used to say this because they preferred to confess dishonesty than stupidity. Forget 1919; this scam is so ancient it's the criminal equivalent of being held up with an arquebus. For a few links on this version see the 419 entry.

Speaking of ancient, in the 1930's when my father was a teenager in Chile, some guy tried to perpetrate one of the standard scams on him, I forget which. As my father (this is actually before he was my father, of course) ran off, ostensibly home for some money, he visited the police commissary. The bunko artist was well known to the cops, so they took the guy in and beat him up again. I guess that dishonest marks and police brutality are just unfair misfortunes that you have to average into the costs of an otherwise rewarding line of work.

It all basically comes down to yield: what fraction of potential marks falls for the scam. Data seem to be limited, so you may appreciate this semiquantitative quasireliable news. CNN reported on August 8, 2005, that Nigeria is cracking down on Internet scams. The report begins with some personal color -- a vignette of one Kele B., who has sent out ``tens of thousands'' of emails telling recipients they have won about $6.4 million in a British government ``Internet lottery.''

``Congratulation! You Are Our Lucky Winner!''

Kele reports that so far he's had only one response, from an American who paid more than $5000 in ``fees and taxes.'' So a yield below about 0.01% is sufficient return on investment to keep Kele coming to his local Internet cafe. Others are more successful, however. The current crackdown, which started in 2002, recovered cash and assets worth more than $700 million between May 2003 and June 2004, from a mere ``more than 500'' arrested suspects.

International Rescue Committee. An American NGO that provides relief, protection, and resettlement, for refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict.

Internet Relay Chat. A client-server protocol that allows multiple clients to ``talk to each other'' (send short, inane messages to strangers) through the server. Also ``undernet.'' Here are links to IRC FAQ's. The usual port is 6667.

This page lists a number of IRC servers and links to other information.

ichat is a netscape plug-in for chats.

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. I've seen an ad or two with the conclusion is an AA/EEO/IRCA/ADA employer.

Inter-Residence and Campus Businesses. A ``division of the Faculty Student Association, (FSA) the not-for-profit services corporation at the University at Buffalo'' (UB).

InfraRed CounterMeasures. Because target acquisition is often based on IR imaging, some effort to protect potential targets goes into emitting an IR signal that will overwhelm enemy IR imaging systems' detectors.

The Institute for Research in Classical Philosophy and Science. It ``is a non-profit educational corporation established in late 1983 by scholars at various academic institutions in Canada, Europe, and the United States. Its primary purpose is to enhance higher education and to promote research in both the sciences and the humanities, by fostering and supporting scholarly study concerning the history of the interaction between science and its interpretation in the various societies and language groups constituting Western and Near Eastern culture.''

IRCPS has in its care in Princeton what they call the Neugebauer Index. It's a microform version (actually microfilm and also fiche) of Otto Neugebauer's 26-thousand-plus file cards, available for research purposes only to scholars and institutions, along with a user's guide and directory.

IRCPS also has an electronic publication called Aestimatio: Critical Reviews in the History of Science. ``Aestimatio provides critical, timely assessments of books published in the history of what was called science from antiquity up to the early modern period in cultures ranging from Spain to India, and from Africa to northern Europe. The aim is to allow reviewers the opportunity to engage critically both the results of research in the history of science and how these results are obtained.''

Independent Research and Development.

Integrated Receiver/Decoder. For satellite TV transmissions.

InfraRed Data Association.

Image Reference Data Base.

IR divergence
Vide infrared divergence.

Institute of Radio Engineers (predecessor of the IEEE).

InfraRed-light-Emitting Diode.

Institute of Real Estate Management. ``Transforming Knowledge Into Value.'' Well ain't that specific. I suppose if you've got an informative name, you can go fuzzy on the motto. The web site's got value available in nine languages.

International Research and EXchange Board. A ``nonprofit organization founded in 1968 to administer academic and research exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union. Committed to education in the broadest sense of the word, IREX efforts have expanded both geographically and topically to encompass professional training, institution building, technical assistance, and policy programs with the Newly Independent States (NIS), Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), and Mongolia.''

Institutet för rymdfysik. Swedish `Institute of Space Physics.'

International Radio Frequencies Board. The institution that coordinates international agreements on radio and communication satellites, and on the jostling for space in the crowded electromagnetic spectrum.

Irish Rugby Football Union.

International ReproGraphic Association. The Annual Convention is in May. Hope they printed up enough fliers.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

International Republican Institute. ``Republican Party,'' in English or translated, is not an especially popular party name around the world. The R-word in the name is intended to be understood as the nonpartisan small-R republican, but it does happen to be the case that all the prominent officers of the IRI are associated with the Republican party in the US.

``The International Republican Institute ... was founded in 1983, as a nonprofit nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing democracy, freedom, self-government and the rule of law worldwide. IRI programs are nonpartisan and adhere to the fundamental American principles of individual freedom, equal opportunity and the entrepreneurial spirit that fosters economic development.

IRI was founded after President Ronald Reagan's 1982 speech before the British Parliament in Westminster in which he proposed a broad objective of helping countries build the infrastructure of democracy. Quoting the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he stated `we must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings.'

The Westminster speech led to the establishment of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) by Congress in 1983. The NED is a mechanism that channels congressional funds [``congressional''? so it's not ultimately coming out of my pocket?] to the four institutes: The International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). These organizations are uniquely qualified to provide technical assistance to aspiring democrats worldwide.''

I notice also that the names associated with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs are Democratic-party names. It appears that the IRI and NDI, whatever legitimately nonpartisan and arguably beneficial work they may be doing, are a bipartisan boondoggle.

InfraRed (IR) Interferometer Spectrometer. An instrument on the Voyager space probe.

Illinois Researcher Information Service.

Information Regarding Israel's Security.

Irish Interpreter, The
The newsletter of the Athletic Compliance Office of the University of Notre Dame, home of the Pugnacious Hibernians, or whatever. ``The newsletter is designed to keep Notre Dame's faculty, staff, alumni, and student-athletes up to date on the latest news concerning NCAA rules and regulations.''

Irish sports pages
The obituary notices. All I know about the usage is a comment by Joseph Epstein, in an August 16, 2010, valedictory (``Adios, Gray Lady,'' subtitled ``Joseph Epstein cancels his 'New York Times' subscription''). He wrote ``Most days now I do no more than scan the headlines on the front page, check the sports pages for the pitchers in that day's White Sox and Cubs games, then flip over to the Irish sports pages, as the obits have been called, to see if anyone I know has pegged out.''

Illinois Researcher Information Service / Online Periodical Service. ``A graphical interface to the OPS database of selected items from the Commerce Business Daily and the Federal Register.'' [It may be that your institution does not subscribe or subscribes only to the telnet version.]

The SGI unIX. I'll get back here when I learn what creative thing the first two letters stand for.

I'm back, but I haven't found out yet. I just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten, completely. Don't give up hope, sucker.

International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism at Hanazono University (Kyoto, Japan). According to the old homepage, discontinued in 1999, IRIZ is an academic research institution devoted to the study of Zen Buddhism. I don't know...it all seems so, un-Zen. They should at least acknowledge the futility.

Indy Racing League. Same as USAC. Founded in March 1994 by Tony George, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, completed its first season in 1996. In competition with CART, which in 1996 staged a ``US 500'' at the Michigan International Speedway on the same day as the Indy 500. (In the weeks before the race, it was looking like the race would be a joke, with a pick-up truck qualifying. In the event, the race was competitive and the crowd normal -- 350K -- although most big-name CART teams are staying out of IRL so far.) George is trying to keep the costs and speed of the race down, and give more American drivers a chance. He's also resisting the trend towards more Grand Prix-style (road course) racing.

In Real Life.

After visiting this glossary many years ago, my friend Steve commented that it was just like me, but concentrated. So IRL I'm like, diluted.

InfraRed (IR) Light Emitting Diode (LED).

International Recording Media Association.

Iterated Rippled Noise. Rippled noise (RN) is the sum of a random noise signal and a delayed copy of that signal. Iterated rippled noise is the sum of copies separated by multiples of a common delay. Audible IRN sounds like a buzzy tone: a tone with a pitch at the reciprocal of the delay, with background noise like the original noise signal.

Islamic Republic News Agency. An anagram of the country it ``serves.'' Cf. MNA.

International Registration Plan. Plan for streamlined registration for international trucking.

ISDN Remote Power Controller.

Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas. Spanish `Personal Income Tax.'

In Spanish, persona física is literally `physical person'; the term persona natural is equivalent. The terms are used in Roman law to distinguish a human from an artificial legal entity like a corporation, partnership, or estate. Any of the latter is called a persona jurídica. Other terms include persona moral (a translation of the Latin corpus morale) and various terms in legal theory that are generally less common (e.g., personal ideal). These are not entirely equivalent, but the distinctions are out of my bailiwick.

International Relations and Pacific Studies. A big deal at UCSD.

International Reliability Physics Symposium. Consponsored by the IEEE.

International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals.

Industrial Relations Research Association.

International Rice Research Institute.

Indian { Remote-sensing | Resources } Satellite.

(US) Internal Revenue Service. The on-line U.S. tax code is a Swiss mirror of the U.S. House of Representatives gopher.

Great icon.

International Rough Set Society. We'll hae nae moren yer lilly-livered, weak-tea-sippin' Fuzzy Sets! Arrr! Yill see whut comesenem! Arrrr!

Interborough Rapid Transit. The private company that built New York's first subway line, opened in 1904. The term is still used informally to refer to their routes. Cf. BMT, IND, NYCT.

Since the use of punctuation in initialisms has declined and can now seem old-fashioned, it is natural that the punctuated form (I.R.T.) has come to be used exclusively for the original private company, in contradistinction to the IRT lines within the current publicly operated subway system.

[Society of] International Railway Travelers. Sometimes ``IRT Society'' for short. ``The Society of International Railway Travelers is an international organization of sophisticated travelers who prefer going by rail.'' The society publishes a newsletter entitled The International Railway Traveler.

I [mis]Read That As. Email and newsgroup abbreviation. Used in uk.rec.sheds, at least. Cf. mondegreen.

Internet Research Task Force.

Indiana Romance Writers of America. We also serve an RWA entry.

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