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(Domain code for) Iceland. In Icelandic (Íslenzka), Iceland (meaning ice-land) is Ísland. Iceland's parliament, the Althing is over a thousand years old, and the longest continuously functioning parliament in the world.

See the Vigdis Finnbogadóttir entry for more.

Iceland's long isolation and relatively small genetic pool (shrunk over years of isolation and especially during years of disease-reduced population) mean that family trees are very completely known, and significant deviations from the mean can be studied both genetically and clinically. In 1998 or so, after extensive and even acrimonious debate, a law was passed empowering one company to gather DNA samples from everyone on the island. There is a voluntary element in the study, but even those who opt out will not stay completely unsampled, genetically or otherwise, since everyone is related. Needless to say, there are worrisome bioethics issues.

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

Information System[s]. Ideally, one wants an intelligent information system (IIS). Desiderata would include: For an example of an IIS, see an earlier entry. Yes, even if you've already read it. No, I insist. That's it, no bed-time story tonight. As punishment, you must work all the chapter seven problems in Jackson's E&M.

Interim Standard[s].

International Standard. This abbreviation is used by ISO, but the individual standards are named in the form ``ISO ###.''

Intrinsic Safety.

You can't fall off the floor.


Inverted Stepanov (crystal growth method).

Island. (Also I., Isl.)

Industry Standard Architecture (expansion bus). Computer communication bus standard used in most old IBM-compatible PC's, first introduced on the IBM PC-AT in 1983. The original standard was 8 bits, expanded to 16 bits in 1984, with a maximum speed of 8.3 MHz.

Institute for the Study of the Americas. ``The Institute for the Study of the Americas promotes, coordinates and provides a focus for research and postgraduate teaching on the Americas -- Canada, the US, Latin America and the Caribbean -- in the University of London.'' It was founded in August 2004 through a merger of the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) with the Institute of United States Studies (IUSS), both of which had been founded in 1965. Organizationally, the ILAS and IUSS were, and ISA is, within the School of Advanced Study.

Instrument Society of America. Nowadays prefers ``ISA, the international society for measurement and control.''

International Sociological Association. ``A non-profit association for scientific purposes. The ISA was founded in 1949 under the auspices of UNESCO.'' A member of ISSC, itself another UNESCO shop. You have to question the scholarship of an organization and a research discipline that willingly associates with something as infamously corrupt and blindly political as UNESCO. Then again, they probably benefit from increased access this way, so I guess it's okay. After all, they're sociologists -- they probably know all about dysfunctional groups.

``The on-going scientific activities of the ISA are decentralised in Research Committees, Working Groups and Thematic Groups, each dealing with a well recognized specialty in sociology. These groups bring together scholars who wish to pursue comparative research on a transnational basis and they constitute basic networks of scientific research, intellectual debate and professional exchange.'' This page lists the Research Committees, all 53 of them. Our glossary hosts some perfectly redundant information on RC33, but we'll be adding the all-important snide commentary as soon as time pressures permit.

InterSubstrate Alignment (microscope). Allows two (opaque) substrates to have patterns aligned on the inside (i.e. on the sides facing each other, that will be bonded together).

Israel { Securities Authority | Security Agency (Shin Bet) | Space Agency }.

Israeli Security Academy.

ISDN Subscriber Access Controller.

Institute for the Study of American Cultures. A group of ``diffusionist'' researchers. Diffusionists believe that since the initial colonization of the Americas (by whatever peoples at whatever times) there have been multiple intentional contacts between the Old and New Worlds (both across the Pacific and the Atlantic) previous the Columbus. This goes against the present orthodoxy of a social science called anthropology.

International Symposium on Autonomous Decentralized Systems (ADS). The third was in Berlin in 1997. The fourth was in Tokyo in 1999. The fifth was in Dallas, Texas in 2001.

International Surface Air Lift. Special shipping method offered by the USPS from designated US cities, for printed matter only: air mail to the foreign country, surface mail there. Cheaper than straight air mail service.

Indexed-Sequential Access Method. One of the two standard approaches to data storage in IBM mainframes. The other is VSAM. Both ISAM and VSAM are storage methods intermediate between completely sequential and completely direct accessing. An index stores entry points to a set of keys, but the keys do not specify record locations completely. Instead, keys specify particular blocks of records, and the records are stored sequentially within the block. (This sounds a lot like a hierarchical file structure with only two levels, except that it's organization within one file.) In addition to the obvious advantages and disadvantages in access time and directory size, there are also some utilities which take advantage of the data organization by sequentially accessing from a certain entry point on (``skip-sequential processing'').

The main difference between ISAM and VSAM has to do with how different data blocks are located on a physical storage device, and especially how blocks are extended physically when they are modified.

International Standard AudioVisual Number. Jointly developed by AGICOA and CISAC. (Ongoing work here.)

Internet Server API.

Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of Japan.

International School for Advanced Studies. (English of Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati.) In Trieste.

The International Society of Anglo-Saxonists. Founded in 1983 to further all aspects of Anglo-Saxon Studies. It has held a meeting in every odd-numbered year from 1983 on. Since 1987 (Toronto meeting), meetings in 4n+3 years have been in North America, 4n+1 years in Europe.

Indiana State Bar Association.

Information Systems Business Area.

International Standard Bibliographic Description.

Illinois State Board of Education.

International Satellite Business Network. Hughes tm.

International Standard Book Number[ing]. The ISBN system is used to assign a unique book to each assigned ten-digit number. (Some books end up with more than one number, so the ISBN isn't unique, though the book of an ISBN is unique. That's the nonambiguity you care want.)

The system was introduced into the UK by J. Whitaker & Sons Ltd. in 1967, and into the US by the R. R. Bowker Company in 1968. ISO standard 2108 specifies that the items assigned ISBN numbers may include ``printed books and pamphlets (in various bindings), mixed media publications, other similar media including educational films/videos and transparencies, books on cassettes, microcomputer software, electronic publications, braille publications and maps. Serial publications and music sound recordings are specifically excluded, as they are covered by other identification systems.''

What about websites?

The numbers have three coded data fields and one checksum character. The first field is a single-digit ``group identifier.'' It gives some indication of the country, language or geographic area in which the book was published. Group identifiers 0 and 1 are used for the ``English-speaking countries,'' including the Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.

The second field identifies the publisher or producer of the book, and the third field specifies a particular title (or revised edition) in that publisher's list. The first two fields together are the ISBN prefix.

The ISBN is all decimal digits, except for the checksum, which is either a decimal digit or the letter ex.

There are many tens of thousands of publishers in at least a couple of the regions. The US ISBN Agency alone had entered just about 100,000 publishers at the turn of the century. (Note that most of the organizations that publish at least one book or pamphlet, and thus need an ISBN, are not primarily publishers.) Some publishers have put out over a hundred thousand books. If the fields were of fixed length, they would require a total of at least thirteen digits, not counting the checksum. Most publishers, however, need only a few title identifiers, while the number of publishers that need very many title identifiers is also few. The ISBN is kept to ten digits by assigning short publisher identifiers to the few larger publishers, so they have more digits available for titles. Publishers that run out of numbers get an additional publisher number.

In the US, the separate fields in ISBN's are indicated by hyphen separation. However, certain patterns make it possible to recognize how long the publisher identifier will be, so in principle the hyphens aren't needed. In particular, the ISBN's beginning 00 and 01 are for two-digit identifiers of very large publishers, so they would hyphenate 0-pp-tttttt-c, where pp is in the range from 00 to 19 and tttttt is one of a million title numbers. ISBN's beginning in 02, 03, 04, 05, or 06 are for three-digit publisher numbers, 07 and 080 through 084 for four-digit publishers, and 085-089 for five-digit publishers and 09 so far for six-digit publishers. Other group identifiers use their own patterns (whereas 06 is for three-digit publishers, 16 is for five-digit publishers). There's a pretty obvious pecking order here.

Bowker offers more information. I just offer some examples from my personal library. This is a different pecking order. If a two-digit publisher hasn't managed to get a book into my library, there's a good chance that when you scrape the trash out of their list, they only publish as many worthwhile books as a three-digit publisher.

0-02	Macmillan (Free Press)
0-03	Harcourt Brace
0-06	HarperCollins (was Harper & Rowe;
	now has various imprints HarperFoobar.  Belongs to Murdock's News
        Corp.; took a big hit on author advances and returns of unsold books
        in 1996; summer 1997 rumors, denied, that division would be sold)
0-07	McGraw-Hill
0-08	Pergamon
0-12	Academic Press
0-13	Prentice Hall (Sunsoft)
0-19	Clarendon (Oxford University Press) (US site too)
0-201	Addison-Wesley
0-256	Irwin (Parent company Times-Mirror
	was acquired by McGraw-Hill in 1996)
0-226	University of Chicago Press
0-262	MIT Press
0-304	Cassell
0-306	Plenum
0-312	St. Martin's
0-316	Little, Brown
0-385	Doubleday (part of BDD)
0-387	Springer-Verlag New York
0-393	W. W. Norton
0-395	Houghton-Mifflin
0-412	Butterworths (Borough Green, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 8PH, England)
0-412	Chapman & Hall
0-415	Routledge
0-440	Dell (part of BDD)
0-442	Van Nostrand Reinhold
0-471	Wiley
0-486	Dover
0-521	Cambridge University Press (CUP)
0-536	Xerox
0-553	Bantam (part of BDD)
0-670	Penguin (Viking)  (US site)
0-671	Simon and Schuster (Pocket Books; Washington Square Books)
0-672	Adobe Press (publ. by Prentice Hall)
0-674	Harvard University Press
0-679	Vintage and other Random House imprints
0-688	William Morrow
0-691	Princeton University Press  (or here)
0-887	William Morrow & Co.
0-7139	Penguin, Ltd.
0-7503	Adam Hilger (UK IOP)
0-7645	IDG (``International Data Group'')
	(The ``...For Dummies'' books)
0-7821	Sybex
0-8014	Cornell University Press
0-8018	Johns Hopkins University Press
0-8020	University of Toronto Press
0-8052	Schocken Books
0-8053	Benjamin/Cummings (for years now a part Addison-Wesley)
0-8093	Southern Illinois U.P. (Carbondale and Edwardsville)
0-8162	Holden-Day
0-8176	Birkhäuser Boston
0-8186	IEEE
0-8194	SPIE
0-8306	TAB Books
0-8493	CRC (Chemical Rubber Company)
0-85274	IOP as well
0-86516	Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.
0-87819	CRC (Chemical Rubber Company) (older no.)
0-88029	Barnes and Noble
0-911014	NEO Press
0-912675	Ardsley House Publ., Inc.
0-937073	Center for the Study of Language and Information (Stanford U.)
1-56592 O'Reilly and Associates
	(also a German-language version)
1-57444 St. Luice Press, now part of CRC Press LLC.
2-226   Albin-Michel Paris
3-540	Springer-Verlag Berlin
3-7643	Birkhäuser Basel
90-277	D. Reidel Pub. Co.
981-02	World Scientific

R. R. Bowker is the sole US agent for ISBN International. Bowker also handles SAN. Irritatingly, Bowker uses the isbn.org domain as the website for ISBN in the US, and has a few pages of ISBN International content in a subdirectory. Here's something apposite:

The fact remains that in current bourgeois cinema, attention to visual information is total. That the disruptive nature of typographical errors in sub-titles is not noticed and corrected is a sign that it is not felt.
  This links it to a broad variety of other social phenomena, such as the method of speed-reading in which individual words recede and are replaced by a Gestalt comprehension of content, or the techniques developed for display advertising and product packaging (including mass market publishing) for the printing of information which, for any number of reasons (e.g., it is considered ``inessential'' such as the identification of the jacket designer, or possibly counterproductive to sales, such as a listing of chemical additives in canned foods), the producer does not wish the customer to read. In this sense the most revealing language in Noam Chomsky's Reflections on Language may well be the ISBN number on its rear cover, printed in a different direction and in a lighter color than the rest of that page's text.

Google the source for more serious nonsense.

The successor to the old ISBN (retronym: ``ISBN-10''). Every ISBN-13 begins with the digits 978, followed by ten digits that are not exactly the same as the digits of the ISBN-10, for your convenience.

Industrial Source Complex.

Inverse Symbolic Calculator.

Short-Circuit Current. The amount of current that a power source will drive when it is shorted. The maximum current a power source will drive. Cf. VOC; see FF or MPP for more complete discussion.


Independent Schools Classical Association. A UK organization.

International Society for Computer Aided Surgery.

International Symposium on Circuits And Systems.

International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project.

International Society for Cultural History. The meaning of cultural would be rather different if the last word were histology.

Interstitial-Cell-Stimulating Hormone. Also LH.

Ugly pronunciation of the German personal pronoun ich.

Industrial Source Complex Long-Term (model), version 2. Simulation code recommended by the EPA for modeling air-quality effects of site-specific emissions. The related short-term model is ISCST2.

International Symposium on Communications.

Industrial Source Complex Short-Term (model), version 2. Simulation code recommended by the EPA for modeling air-quality effects of site-specific emissions. The related long-term model is ISCLT2.


International Society for the Classical Tradition. Official publication is International Journal of the Classical Tradition.

Independent School District.

Information Systems { Debacle | Department | Division }.

International Centre for Sustainable DEvelopment of the Cement and Concrete Industry.

Integrated Services Digital Network. Dan Kegel has collected some online resources thereon. Hmmm. Not sure if that link isn't dead. How unusual.

ISDN uses pulse-code modulation (PCM) to digitize speech.

International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium.

Upside down PEPSI.

International Securities Exchange. An electronic trading system that began trading in the 500 most active options in 2000. By 2004 it was the largest US market for options on stocks and stock indices. I haven't figured out yet what the I-word in its name means.

Independent School Entrance Examination. A three-hour admission test for entrance into grades five through twelve. Actually three different tests going by a common name. ISEE Lower Level (candidates for grades 5 and 6), Middle Level (7 and 8), and Upper Level (9-12). Note that a single test suffices for 8th graders and 11th graders, while students in an equal four-year range at a lower level require two different tests. This makes all kinds of sense, and it's easy to lampoon, so I won't. It's not sufficiently challenging to my satirical abilities, and when you're not challenged, you're not interested. DIY. Administererd by ERB. Cf. SSAT.

International Sun-Earth Explorer. Probably pronounced in two syllables.

ISrael-Europe Research and Development Directorate. The official body that negotiates for EU funding of Israeli projects.

Every four years the EU doles out some 15 billion euros in research grants to over 30 member and associate states (the PA and Israel are member, mmm, states) through its Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, the world's largest R&D fund. Participating countries pay a serious membership fee, and in return they are entitled to submit an unlimited number of proposals in a broad range of fields.

During the fifth ``framework'' (1999-2002), Israel paid approximately US$160 million in dues and received a similar amount in awards. Israeli researchers submitted 2,900 proposals, of which 780 were accepted and funded. (Most of the funding went to physical sciences and engineering, particularly information technology.) You're probably wondering, ``why participate in this mass lottery?'' Why not cut out the middle-man? Just take the dues and distribute them directly in grants to Israeli researchers. The reasoning is that the process fosters useful contacts and partnerships with European firms and technology transfers from Europe. Marcel Shaton, director general of ISERD, is quoted in the 13 June 2002 Jerusalem Post as estimating that Israel's investment in the Framework program has yielded Israel's industries, including such bodies as the Israel Aircraft Industry, some billion and a half euros. It's not clear what period of time that covers, or how the number was estimated. It looks like one of those infamous estimates of ``spin-off'' benefits of research expenditures. And perhaps the head of ISERD is not a completely unbiased source for this information.

International Solar Energy Society.

Is everybody happy?
Trademark phrase of Ted Lewis.

International Science Foundation. A Soros foundation. Soros is the currency speculator and all-around crazy billionaire who goes around being charitable in the former communist countries. He published a book this year (1995). His ISF funds fundamental research in the former Soviet Union.

Iraqi Security Forces.

Ion-Sensitive Field-Effect Transistor (FET).

International Society for Philosophers. I don't know what it is about that preposition, but it seems to have become very popular in organization names in Britain. The country's government renamed a number of ``Ministries of'' to be ``Departments for,'' and here the philosophers are getting into the act.

Another difference between American and British for usage involves time intervals. We and they both describe continuing or recurring positive conditions with for. E.g., ``I've been in therapy for four decades.'' I mean ``positive'' here in the sense that a thing is described as happening rather than not happening. In America, but not in Britain, persistent negative conditions are now usually described with in. E.g., ``I haven't been in therapy in four decades.'' (But still ``I have been out of therapy for four decades.'') This distinction has a certain utility, because it effects a disambiguation: it is still meaningful to use for, but that might negate only the contrary statement. That is, to an American, ``I haven't been in therapy for four decades'' might simply mean that you took a break from therapy in 1998.

Well, detailed linguistic analysis is very much a part of philosophy. The ISFP is a sister organization of the Philosophical Society of England (PSOE). Membership in ISFP is free. It seems that ISFP was created primarily to promote and market ``Pathways to Philosophy'' products (awards, programs and learning materials) originally distributed and run in the UK by the PSOE.

Run by some of the same people: Philsophical Pathways newsletter.

International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases. The 13th was in 2004, and the 14th is in Toulon (on the French Riviera) in 2006.

is highly intelligent
Shares all my delusions precisely.

Japanese: `intuitive understanding.' Usually associated with higengo, `nonverbal communication,' but evidently makes some use of underlying cultural commonality.

International Society for Hybrid Microelectronics. Founded in 1967; merged with IEPS in 1996 to become IMAPS.

International Society for the History of the Neurosciences. Holds an annual meeting; 10th in 2005.

International Swimming Hall Of Fame.

International Symposium on High Performance Computing.

International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology. I'd like to buy a vowel, please. The society ``brings together scholars from diverse disciplines, including the life sciences as well as history, philosophy, and social studies of science. ISHPSSB summer meetings are known for innovative, transdisciplinary sessions, and for fostering informal, co-operative exchanges and on-going collaborations.'' In case you've never attended a technical conference of any kind whatsoever, let me just mention that the ``fostering ... exchanges and ongoing collaborations'' bit is true of all conferences.

International Society for the History of Rhetoric. ``The purpose of the [ISHR] is to promote study of the theory and practice of rhetoric in all periods and languages. The Society fosters inquiry into the relationship of rhetoric to poetics, literary theory and criticism, philosophy, politics, religion, law, and other aspects of the cultural context.''

The society publishes Rhetorica, a quarterly.

Illinois State Historical Society.

The (largely Hungarian) International Society for Hermeneutics and Science.

Inventory of Sources for History of Twentieth Century Physics. ``[A] computer database identifying almost a million relevant letters scattered in 35 countries.'' On-line demo. Six hundred dollars for real. Shucks, Borders didn't have a copy on hand for browsing. Published by TAPSHA.

Indian Standards Institution.

Indian Statistical Institution. Boy, if someone sets off one of those peaceful nuclear devices there, they're gonna have their work cut out.

Ice Skating Institute. In Dallas, Texas. It would be very cool if they put the tropical fishing institute in Anchorage.

Institute for Scientific Information. The compiler and publisher of citation indices of technical or scholarly articles, including SCI, SSCI, and A&HCI (Science, Social Science, and Arts & Humanities Citation Indices, respectively). The citations are indexed by article, there are various alternative search modes, and for articles since the 1980's sometime, the database now includes (searchable) abstracts, so these are excellent general-purpose databases. Only articles from 1975 on are on line. I remember as a graduate student sitting on the library carpet with those oversize paper editions (annuals and five-year cumulations) of the SCI dating back to the early 1960's. My legs would fall asleep.

International Student Initiative. Don Wehrung, director of the ISI at the University of British Columbia (in Vancouver), touts more than just the bargain tuition and living costs when he goes recruiting in the far-off US. He explains in an AP report of October 4, 2002:
We attract people who want the international experience but who aren't real adventuresome. Canada is a way to get international experience with the comfort level of English as the primary language as well as common foods and standards in accommodations.

Have I mentioned that in 2002, one of the few bright spots in McDonald's's generally stagnating sales performance was France, of all places?

The Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, estimates that enrollment at major [not sure what that means] Canadian schools by U.S. citizens has skyrocketed; increasing by at least 86 percent between 1999 and 2002! It now totals about 5000 students! What the AP calls ``a small but fast-growing number.'' They could be more precise and point out that it's about one thirtieth of one percent of total US college enrollment.

About 1600 of those 5000 are at McGill. In 1977, when my friend Rob visited his Long Island cousin there, the word was ``Shhh! Don't tell anyone how cheap it is!''

So it seems that the financial incentives that have increased American student enrollment by over 86 percent in three years have been in place for 25 years. Extrapolating that 23% annual increase (compounded annually) backwards, we can estimate growth by a whopping factor of 176 since 1977, when there must have been about 28.4 US students in Canadian colleges. In 1961, there was only one US student enrolled at a Canadian college (probably McGill). All other things being equal, in 2041 the number of US students in Canadian colleges will exceed the current enrollment in US colleges. What will happen to Division I-A football!?!?

Contribution to a future study: since the late 1960's, out-of-state students have constituted about one third of undergraduate enrollments at the University of Michigan.

(Yeah, yeah -- Mark Twain did this kind of analysis on the Mississippi River. I'm not sure if any of his assumptions were correct, but his arithmetic was unimpeachable.)

Inter-Services Intelligence. Pakistan's spying and ``operations'' agency. I understand it's an entirely independent branch of the government.

InterSymbol Interference.

Hmmm, well, there's some stuff that's sort of relevant at the PERL, Perl, perl entry.

Institut Supérieur d'Informatique et d'Automatique. A teaching arm of L'École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris.

International Student ID Card. It must be good for something, and it probably comes close to rhyming with AIESEC.

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. A comedy show on BBC Radio 4, broadcast (still, as of 2006) since 1972. Comparison with the next entry suggests the precipitousness of the decline in U.K. (now UK) punctuation.

I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again. A BBC radio program that ran from 1964 to about 1966, based around the earlier stage comedy Cambridge Circus. Both are part of the prehistory of ``Monty Python's Flying Circus'' that included John Cleese and Graham Chapman. For more scattered details, see The Pythons: Autobiography by The Pythons, (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Pr., 2003). Copyright in that book is in the name of the five surviving Pythons (John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones) and the estate of Graham Chapman.

For more herpetological humor (sorry, no pythons) read about what Ms. Creamer saw.

A goddess of ancient Egypt that eventually became associated with Aphrodite and Venus, though it's a rough fit.

Institute for Space Imaging Sciences. A joint project of the University of Calgary and (also in Alberta) the University of Lethbridge. The MoU that brought this ISIS into existence was signed on March 23, 2009, which may explain why I can't find a dedicated ISIS homepage as of mid-May 2009. (Various functions brought under the ISIS umbrella do have pages making the connection -- e.g., the Radio Astronomy Division of ISIS.) On March 27 the U of C posted a job description for a scientific programmer and planned to consider all applications received before May 1.

Integrated Standby Instruments System (for aircraft).

International Species Information System.

Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc. You've got to figure that, all other things being equal, viewing porn on your PC ought to be the safest sex of all -- even better than visiting the filthy local adult book store to rent a video. But that's not what they're about.

ISIS-Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to creating new and effective tools for reaching people with critical sexual health information. [They want to reach people with this critical information so they can get the info and bring it back to us?]

Based in San Francisco, California, we work locally, nationally and internationally. Our partners include governmental and non-governmental agencies, for-profit and non-profit corporations, and individuals.

Our highly acclaimed projects include inSPOT.org, an online STD partner notification system for gay and bisexual men, and STDTest.org, an online syphilis testing service for San Francisco residents. Read more about our current and upcoming projects here.''

Interdisciplinary Studies of Intelligent Systems at ND.

International Society on Infant Studies.

The Thames at Oxford. The river on which the Alice tales were spun.

Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics. Part of the University of Bremen.

Integrated Schottky Logic.

Irish Sign Language. Sign language used by the deaf in the Republic of Ireland.

Island. (Also I., Is.)

The Spanish word for `island' derived from the Latin insola (root of such English words as isolate, insulate and insular, but not insult). (The n missing from isolate was lost in Italy. Look for it along the coast of Tuscany. In French and Portuguese, with congeners île and ilha, respectively, even the ess of the Latin etymon was lost.) German adopted the word from classical rather than vulgar Latin, and preserved its original consonant structure more precisely with Insel.

The most interesting situation, however, is that of English. In Old English manuscripts, one encounters the word igland, where I have written g to represent the yogh. Yogh was a rune preserved when Irish missionaries introduced Roman script to Germanic England, and its pronunciation evolved in different ways, strongly influenced by assimilation and word stress, but basically it tended to disappear as a consonant. In initial position, ge- (also gi-) was a common prefix and a standard part of past participles, as it still is in German today. In English, however, the initial ge- (also gi-, ga-) was eroded to an initial vowel in words like afford, alike, among, enough (German genug) yesterday (German gestern). In final position it often evolved into a y (day and the suffix -y, cf. German Tag and -ig) or an h (bough, suffix -ly, cf. cognate German Bug, -lich). (Note that under the influence of Norman French, most post-vocalic h's came to be spelled gh. Note also that final g in German usually devoices, often into an aitch sound (actually /x/ or /ç/). I want to emphasize also that there was some attendant confusion. Once the ge- prefix had substantially disappeared as a marker of the past participle, infinitives were back-constructed that failed to remove the initial y- that remained. (Most famously, Spenser back-constructed ycleepe erroneously from yclept. Note, however, that just as in Modern German, ge- also occurred as a different sort of prefix, often with a meaning similar to Latin co- or com-, in some Old English verb stems.)

Anyway, coming back from that illustrative little divagation to the word igland, we realize that the natural development of that word in Middle English would have been into something like iland. That's what happened, in fact (yland is also found in Early Modern English). (In Dutch and East Frisian, eiland is still the standard form.) Come to think of it, that's how we pronoune it too. However, in this form it came to be associated with the word ile (also yle) from the Old French word ile, ille, spelled île in Modern French (remember?). Hence the occasional spelling ile-land. Along about the fifteenth century, in a Renaissance-inspired conniption of etymological spelling, the French started writing the word as isle. They recovered, but we didn't, hence the ess in isle and island (influenced by isle-land) despite the fact that there's no ess in the pronunciation. (Actually, the situation is a bit more complicated, because for a while there were Anglo-French forms with d, like idle.)

Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts. Its ``goal ... is to help build, sustain and renew a distinguished faculty in the arts, humanities and the social sciences, and to enhance the intellectual life on [the University of Notre Dame] campus.''


International Society for Late Antique Literary Studies. It's a loose scholarly organization. It has no formal membership structure, [that sounds so refreshing; I should join] no dues, [definitely!] etc. Its current [website browsed April 2016] members include some seventy scholars from around the world who study or have interests in literary activity, east and west, in the late antique period.''

You should visit the webpage because the mosaic illustrated by the background image. It shows two women wearing ancient bikinis and discombobulated expressions.

A body of land completely surrounded by water. Well, except on top, which can be pretty dry sometimes, and on the bottom. So really it's surrounded by water only around the edges.

The word existed in Old English as igland. It was a compound noun essentially meaning `water-land.' The first element in the compound ultimately is a cognate of Latin aqua, `water,' in the Germanic branch of Indo-European. The kw sound in Latin, represented by qu, corresponded to hw in Germanic (hence all those Latin qu- pronouns correspond to wh- pronouns in English and w- pronouns in German).

Well, that's enough for today. Tomorrow you can read the isla entry and see what happened afterwards.

Institute for Study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Institute for Study of the Liberal Arts (ISLA) was founded in 1993 primarily to sponsor the publication of a classical children's journal called Hereditas and to foster the study of the liberal arts. In May of 1995, the ISLA created two virtual academies: Scholars' Online Academy and Regina Coeli Academy, with full humanities and science curricula. Thus the corporation was reorganized and became the Institute for Study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences (ISLAS). The ISLAS works closely with Regina Coeli Elementary and Agnus Dei elementary online acadmies in developing distance-learning programs emulating the classical trivium-quadrivium model.''

Spanish for `islands'; plural of isla, w.v.

Indiana Shared Library Catalog.

International Special Librarians Day. I don't know when that is. Go ask at the reference desk and make someone's day.

Okay, here you go: it's the Thursday of National Library Week (didn't know we had one of those either, didja?). Yeah, I think I got the national/international stuff straight. National Library Week is promoted by the ALA. ISLD is promoted by SLA. Symbionese Liberation Army? Bad guess.

The International Society for Luso-Hispanic Humor Studies.

International Symposium on Low-Power Electronics and Design.

International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project.

Industrial/Scientific/Medical. A number of electromagnetic spectrum bands where the FCC permits (see Rules and Regs., part 18) unlimited radiation intensities. These include the microwave 902-928 MHz band, as well as 13.56 ± 0.00678 MHz, and its low harmonics. The latter are popular for RF plasma reactors.

Institute for Supply Management. Formerly the NAPM.

The organization publishes a journal called The Journal of Supply Chain Management. It confers certifications of Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M., since 1974) and an Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P., a kind of junior C.P.M. instituted in 1996) on the basis of exams, experience, postsecondary education and continuing education (CE) hours completed.

International Solidarity Movement. The largest organization of human-shield activists in Palestinian-controlled areas.

InterStellar Medium. (That's explicitly interstellar but implicitly intragalactic.) The principal ingredient of ISM is nothing, followed closely by nothing, nada, zilch, zip, and zero. Eventually, at the level of about one baryon per cubic meter, comes hydrogen. It's also sometimes called interstellar matter.

Since it became clear that the stuff we can detect spectroscopically is a small fraction of the mass in most galaxies, that other stuff (whose presence is inferred mostly gravitationally -- from the fact that galaxies don't fly apart) has been called ``dark matter.'' The ordinary stuff we figure we understand (dust and gas) is what ISM currently refers to.

Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea-level Contributions. A ``scientific task group'' of GLOCHANT.

International Standard Music Number. Like ISBN. Cf. ISRC.

International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Idioma de Signos Nicaragüense. A sign-language creole developed from LSN by deaf students in Nicaragua. A boon for linguists.

The expansions of both LSN and ISN translate to English as ``Nicaraguan Sign Language'' -- in principle, the terms might be equivalent. (The L of LSN is cognate with ``language'' and ``linguist'' and derives from the [column] Latin term for tongue, while the I of ISN is cognate with ``idiom,'' ``idiot'' and ``idiolect,'' from a Greek root meaning personal or individual.)

Islamic Society of North America.

International Society for Neurofeedback and Research. This used to be the SSNR, q.v., before some other things.

International Society for Neoplatonic Studies. ``[A]n organization for the study of Neoplatonism in all of its aspects from the ancient world through the Renaissance and into the modern world.''

International Society For Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering.

Isn't that special.

Infrared Space Observatory. It was ``the world's first true orbiting infrared observatory.'' Launched by ESA in November 1995, it collected data until 1998.

In Search Of. [Singles-ad abbreviation.] I'm merely providing this information as a public service to the desperate. I don't read the personals, not me, oh no!

International Ship Operators.


International Standards Organization, but they insist that the short version of their name is the Greek word iso, in capitals for no particular reason, and their long English name is International Organization for Standardization. [Or maybe ``.. for Standardisation.'' There must be an ISO standard for its own name.] The ISO/IOS silliness should give you the (correct) idea that they'll go for dunderheaded pedanticism every time. These are the people who want to certify whether your business organization as a whole is up to snuff. Still, usually, the only thing worse than a bad standard is no standard at all. Visit their homepage or go directly to their standards index form. Be prepared to wait; remember that the Swiss invented cuckoo clocks. (Okay, maybe they didn't.)

In French, the name is Organisation internationale de normalisation.

Isothermal electromigration test. Specified as JEDEC standard JESD-61.

Internet SOCiety.

Inter-Union Satellite Operations Group. The ``Unions'' alluded to are constituent broadcast unions of the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU).

ISO Latin-1
The standard character set recognized by most hypertext browsers. Also known as ISO-8859-1 character set. There's a USENET FAQ available on the web as well as information from ISO itself. Introductions to HTML originally available from UTIRC and from NCSA include a complete listing and a partial listing, respectively.

A file that lists them completely with proper names for the characters, but which doesn't happen to display the characters, is also available. Some characters have HTML-specific escape sequences (``entity references''). These fall in three categories:

The third set of characters recognized by HTML browsers has entity references defined, although there is a proposed set of entities for these as well. For the time being, the safest way to reference these in HTML is by an escape sequence of the form ``&#x;'' where ``x'' is the decimal code of the character. You can include leading zeros if you want, and it won't read the number as octal (see 0 entry if this is unclear), but most of the useful x values are above 160 anyway. Following are those that I find useful:
-	045	(minus sign; wider than a mere hyphen;
	    the distinction is also expressed by the
	    terminology en-dash and em-dash.
	    Actually, this seems to be default for the dash
	    key binding.  If you want a hyphen it's ­ 173)
×	215	(times symbol, multiplication sign)
÷	247	(division symbol; also used in some
	    communities to designate a range:
	    2÷5 meaning 2,3,4, and 5)
±	177	(plus-minus)
«	171	(much-less-than, or open/left/begins
	    double brackets, or whatever)
»	187	(much-greater-than, or whatever)
¼	188	(one quarter)
½	189	(one half)
¾	190	(three quarters)

High finance:
¥	165	(Yen)
£	163	(Pound)

Low finance:
¢	162	(Cent)

Glam finance:
¬	172	(chip rake)

¡	161	(inverted exclamation mark indicates beginning
	    of exclaimed phrase)
¿	191	(inverted question mark indicates beginning of
	    interrogatory phrase.  An entry here
	    gives an example of this punctuation mark's utility.)
ª	170	(used to abbreviate ordinal numbers and a few
	    other words.  E.g., 1ª = ``primera'' [first;
	    agrees with female noun])
º	186	(used to abbreviate ordinal numbers and a few
	    other words.  E.g., 1º = ``primero'' [first;
	    agrees with male noun], Nº = ``Numero'' [number])

Small Latine, and lesse Greeke (Gk.):
µ	181	(mu)

[Yeah, that's it for Greek: it's pretty bad.  You can use
the ess-zet ligature for squat beta, and <I>v</I> (v) on
many systems looks more like nu than italic vee.  Really,
the µ is here for the metric system.]

®	174	(registered trademark)
©	169	(copyright)

§	167	(section mark)
¶	182	(paragraph mark; ``pilcrow'')

Base-four superscript numbering:
°	176	(degree symbol)
¹	185	(one)
²	178	(two)
³	179	(three)
¹°²	There: footnote #102 base-four (decimal 18).  See
	how well it works?  No?  Please, a civil tongue!

¸	184	(discarded cedilla*)
´	180	(forgotten acute accent)
·	183	(dot floating in middle of line)
¯	175	(macron; overweening hyphen floating at top of line)
¤	164	(exploding pipe; viewed end on)
			(supposedly it's a ``general currency sign'')
			(incidentally, here's a currency converter)
¦	166	(vertical line with cinched waist)

Extremely miscellaneous:
Ð	208	(Where is its lower-case kin?)

Format control -- coulda, shoulda been useful:
[]	[8]	(BS.  If this were operational a lot of
	    character-building options would open up)
[	]	[9]	(HT.  If horizontal tab were heeded
	    in all hypertext, not just in this preformatted
	    section, things would be a lot easier.)
[ ]	[32]	(SP.  Hypertext browsers insert single spaces
	    after full stops.  How crass.)
There's also...
Format control -- a sop to anal retentives: ``&nbsp;'' (equivalently ``&#160;'') for a nonbreaking space. This isn't universally implemented. As a demonstration, or as a test of your browser, I have a file full of nbsp's with a long line that can only be broken at two places, and a similar file full of 160's.

Here's something more official.

Strategies and structures to prevent unintended interactions among devices. This is an important issue for integrated circuits, since multiple devices are fabricated on single wafers of a semiconductor, a potentially conducting substrate is generally present. There are primarily two isolation problems. In bipolar circuits, typically consisting primarily npn transistors, adjacent devices would normally have their collectors shorted, and so they must be isolated by additional structures. In MOSFET devices, the ordinary arrangement of devices gives rise to junction isolation. (Under unfavorable conditions, these junctions may constitute a transistor: vide latch-up.) The problem of isolation then are: (i) small junction capacitance leads to a strong capacitive coupling between adjacent devices and (ii) metal leads may act as gate to MOSFET, with source and drain from different transistors functioning as source and drain of parasitic transistor. Common isolation strategies include ion-beam damage, junction isolation, ROI, SIMOX, and trench isolation (qq.v.).

Hawthorn wrote about isolation in the middle of the nineteenth century, but this was too early to have any effect on microelectronics development. It does no good to be too far ahead of your time.

ISO New England, ISO-NE
Independent (power) System Operator for New England. A non-profit, ``[p]romoting a healthy and competitive wholesale electricity marketplace in New England while maintaining the highest standards of reliability, independence, and fairness.''

A Fairchild ROI strategy that included not only a tub isolation but also an isolation of the base from the collector contact.

Isothermal electromigration test (ISO) using current contact Split into three lines of width equal to the line under test. John Sanchez suggested the change, I am confused why.

Hoary dictionary practice demands that a noun that has a singular form be defined in terms of its singular form, but I don't stand on ceremony. In fact, what Frederick Soddy defined when he first published the term was the plural isotopes. Here are his words from the original article in Nature, Dec. 4, 1913:
The same algebraic sum of the positive and negative charges in the nucleus, when the arithmetical sum is different, gives what I call `isotopes' or `isotopic elements', because they occupy the same place in the periodic table. They are chemically identical, and save only as regards the relatively few physical properties which depend upon atomic mass directly, physically identical also.

Soddy didn't have to point out that he had constructed his new word from iso- (`equal') and tópos (`place') because in those days everyone had studied Greek and Latin (and not enough of anything else) in high school.

Soddy referred to ``positive and negative charges'' because at the time, the nucleus was thought to consist of protons and electrons. Rutherford had only discovered the nucleus in 1911. (I.e., he inferred the existence of a compact positive charge at the center of the atom.) The neutron was only discovered by Chadwick in 1932. Since protons and neutrons consist of positively and negatively charged quarks, however, there's really no need to adjust Soddy's definition.

There are one or two piddling complications concerning the definition of isotope. Therefore, you should visit the nuclide entry, read what they are and forget them.

The name, capitalized thus, of ``a journal of literary nature and science writing.'' Judging only from past tables of contents and from the few previous items published on line, the ``science'' content is a bit thin.

ISO 3166
Country codes. There are three sets: two-letter, three-letter, and numerical country codes. Regularly updated, because history happens. Visit the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA). The two-letter codes serve as top-level domain for most Internet addresses in most countries. There are a few exceptions, mostly for the US. Also, the top-level domain for most national addresses in Great Britain is .uk rather than .gb, even though the two-letter ISO 3166 code is GB.

ISO 8859
8859-1  Latin-1: Western Europe (vide supra)
8859-2  Latin-2: Eastern Europe
8859-3  SE Europe and misc. others: Esperanto (uses circumflex where Czech
uses hacheks), Maltese (.mt), etc. 
8859-4  Scandinavia/Baltic (mostly covered by 8859-1 also)
8859-5  Cyrillic
8859-6  Arabic
8859-7  Greek 
8859-8  Hebrew
8859-9  Latin-5, same as 8859-1 except for Turkish instead of Icelandic
8859-10 Latin-6, for Lappish/Nordic/Eskimo languages

Roman Czyborra maintains a good page on ISO 8859. For more on font standards, visit this explanation. (It won't solve your problems, but it will help you understand what your problems are.)

ISO 9000 Certification
Kill me with bureaucracy, darling! Whisper sweet mission statements in my left or right external portion of auricular apparatus. Let us away to a planning meeting! Fill my spirit with precise longing, rapture my heart in subcategories!

``ISO 9000 comprises a series of internationally accepted [*] standards designed to assure customers of a quality management system resulting in the consistent delivery of a quality product. An entire company or any of its divisions, operations or product lines can be registered under these standards, which entail all aspects of the business as well as how the company manages and improves controls. Companies obtain ISO 9000 registration through an audit, which is performed by a registration body approved by an international certification organization.''

Christopher B. Jones writes

``My dream is to become the first person to have an ISO-9000 certified life. I am currently working feverishly to completely document all the procedures involved in living my life (42 megabytes so far). That documentation will be posted on this web site as soon as my lawyer verifies that it does not violate the Communications Decency Act [CDA].''

Cf. BFS-9000 and QS-9000.

At a party in the Summer of 2002, I mentioned ISO 9000 to the publisher of a stock analysis newsletter, and was pleased that he didn't know what I was talking about.

Intensive Supervision Program. An alternate-punishment program instituted by New Jersey in 1983. An independent preliminary progress report authored by Frank S. Pearson appeared in the July 1985 issue (vol. 31, no. 3) of Crime and Delinquency, pp. 393-410. Results looked promising. It was basically an accelerated, intensified form of parole for a highly select (300-500) group of convicts. Substantive stated motivations were effectively financial: more efficient use of existing reduction prison space and reduced costs. After three or four months of incarceration, program participants were released to a parole status that included a night-time curfew and relatively frequent meetings with the case manager. The program continues in 2001, and there's also a JISP. In the mid-nineties, the program grew to handle about 1200.

Internet Service Provider. Among these (and there are thousands), one distinguishes between access providers and presence providers.

If you need a presence provider for your business, you have the opportunity to pay big bucks for ISP evaluations. Here are some resources listing and/or evaluating ISP's, all offering some limited information free:

Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts. A BYU organization formed in 2002 or so from the merger of BYU's Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (CPART) and Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS).

International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry.

Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. The British SPCK first established a branch in India in 1710 or 1711. The ISPCK was established as an independent entity in 1958.


Israel Society for the Promotion of Classical Studies. Its yearbook is Scripta Classica Israelica (SCI).

Interactive SPELL-checker. On Unix.

International Society for Performance Improvement. The ISPI Annual Conference and Expo is normally in April.

Viagra hasn't put them out of business?

International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures.

International Society for Political Psychology. Somewhat left off-center.

International Society for QUAlity in Health Care.

Intersecting Storage Rings. A generic term, but since these babies are kind of expensive and don't run the sort of profit that would attract private investment, there aren't that many of them operating at energies that produce interesting science. Hence, ISR was used specifically for a collider at CERN that came on line in 1971.

International Standard Recording Code. The standard international identifier for a sound recording or music video recording (ISO 3901). It was devise to play a role for recordings only somewhat analogous to that played by ISBN for books (instead, compare ISMN). Each ISRC is a unique, permanent identifier for a specific recording, and can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC (possible on CD, minidisc, DVD, and VHS) makes it possible to identify recordings automatically for royalty payments. (Oh, goodie.) See the ISBN Users' Manual for an overview of similar international intellectual-property codes.

A distinct code is assigned to each original recording of a piece, but different distribution formats -- CD and cassette, say -- of a single recording share the same code. In any case, a typical physical medium will carry recordings of multiple pieces, each with its own ISRC. An individual ISRC consists of twelve characters in four fields:

  1. A two-letter country code. This identifies the particular registrar (national agency), not the registrant's country. (Multinational registrants may register in the country where they record or where they have their headquarters.)
  2. A three-character registrant code. Usually the registrant is the producer, but it may be a subsequent owner of the recording is sold before being registered. National agencies are encouraged to distinguish music video recordings from sound recordings by assigning two registrant codes for a single registrant to use separately for the two types of recordings. Each character of the registrant code may be any digit or (upper-case English) letter, so each national registrar can assign up to 363 = 46656 unique codes. Is that really enough?
  3. A two-digit year. Under versions of the standard prior to 2001, this ``year of reference'' was the year the work was recorded, and although there was a recommendation that years prior to 1940 not be used, that recommendation was not always followed. So in the years approaching 2040, Y2K-type ambiguity would be an increasing problem, but a fix is promised for a future version of the evolving standard. FWIW, the year of reference is now to be the year that the ISRC is allocated.
  4. A five-digit ``designation code.'' A serial number, left-padded with zeroes to make five digits, if necessary.

IFPI is the ISO-appointed international registration authority for the ISRC system. See their online handbook.

International Society for Research on Emotion! According to a moderately sedate email announcement, it is ``an interdisciplinary society which collects neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, economists and other researchers sharing an interest in the emotions. The annual conference generally involves 150-200 international scholars, and it stands as a unique opportunity to be updated on the latest in emotion research and interact with colleagues in an informal environment.''

Although this is not quite one of those webhomeless societies, its site is not frequently updated, so you may need to do a separate search for the annual meeting!

International Society for Research in Healthcare Financial Management

International Society for Rock Mechanics. Official French name Société Internationale de Mécanique des Roches.

Indian Space Research Organization.

Imaging Science Subsystem. It's part of the gear on board NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan.

``Gear'' -- I like that word. It isn't used enough. Phylacteries and rosaries should be located in the ``Religious Gear'' section of the supermarket.

Independent Subway System. Usage explained at the IND entry.

In-School Suspension. The gibbet in the auditorium, and other forms of exemplary punishment.

International Space Station. A boondoggle that orbits earth in a continuing elliptic quest for a meaningful mission. Participation by the Russian space agency, NASA and ESA. Funding mostly from the latter two, ability to boost big payloads into orbit mostly from the second, except after space-shuttle disasters.

Typically described as ``a vital stepping stone for ambitious future missions to Mars and beyond'' in the sense that the Canary Islands were vital to the 1492 rediscovery of America by Columbus.

Perhaps accurately described as ``the most complex and expensive engineering project ever attempted.'' Still a few little unresolved problems, like making it quiet enough to live in -- but don't worry, NASA stopped trying to keep these problems secret after The New Scientist broke the story in 1999, less than two decades after the initial designs. Since then, NASA has publicly admitted that there are problems with noise, so we can trust them now.

Ion-Scattering Spectromet{ry|er}.

Iron and Steel Society. Founded in 1974. Now AIST.


International Society of the Study of Argumentation. According to some people, at least.

International Space Station Alpha.

International Social Science Council. French Conseil International des Sciences Sociales. Another UN organization of organizations, this one under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

International Solid-State Circuits Conference.

First-generation Japanese-American. Pronounced approximately ``ee say.'' Singular and plural forms of the noun coincide, because Japanese does not inflect nouns for number.

International Society for the Study of European Ideas.

I had a Ghanaian friend who once said that the only thing the Americans ever invented was the atom bomb. This was a deliberate provocation, of course, but sometimes one likes to focus on the negative -- someone else's negative. At first blush, ``European Idea'' may include many things: representative democracy, perhaps, and mechanized genocide, indoor plumbing, and rifling. There are a lot of ideas, so ISSEI has to narrow its focus. The 11th conference of ISSEI, held in Helsinki in 2008, focused on just the following five narrow areas:

  1. History, Geography, Science
  2. Economics, Politics, Law
  3. Education, Women's Studies, Sociology
  4. Art, Theater, Literature, Culture, Music
  5. Language, Philosophy, Anthropology, Psychology, Religion
I hope they were able to find something to discuss.

International Standard Serial Number. The ISSN system is rather simpler than the ISBN system. Each ``key title'' is assigned a separate eight-digit ISSN. This is normally represented as two four-digit numbers separated by a hyphen, but that's just for readability. The ISSN is really just a seven-digit number followed by a one-character checksum which, like that of the ISBN, is a decimal digit or the letter ex.

International Society of Soil Science. (AISS in French, IBG in German, SICS in Spanish.)

A nonprofit, nongovernmental scientific society founded on May 19, 1924. A member society of the ICSU since 1992.

The national affiliate of the ISSS for the US is the SSSA.

International Student and Scholar Services, University at Buffalo Office of.

International Symposium on System Synthesis. I think it would be cool if they expanded it InSySySy.

I remember one day when I was eating lunch in the cafeteria that used to be in Norton Hall (next to Knox). It was one of those rare days when the Stammtisch didn't convene, and I sat at an otherwise empty table. A bunch of students sat down around me, and I forget how we got into conversation, but at some point the student across from me exclaimed in surprise bordering on alarm ``I've never eaten with a professor before!'' I tried to get her to chill, saying something like ``it's cool, it's cool,'' and she exclaimed ``I've never had a professor say `cool' to me before!'' Some people are very excitable.

Oh yeah, so InSySySy has been held every year since, like, 1988.

International Society of Skilled Trades.


Imaging Science and Technology [, The Society for].

Indian Standard Time. Five and a half hours ahead of UTC. (Most people still seem to refer to UTC as GMT, so IST = GMT+5:30. In email headers, UTC is represented by a space between the local time and a plus or minus sign following it.)

Pakistan, on India's northwest shoulder, keeps GMT+5. Bangladesh (old East Pakistan) and Bhutan, to the northeast, keep GMT+6. Nepal used to keep the same time as India, but doesn't any more; see dueling time zones about that.

Indiana State Teachers Association. Affiliated with the NEA. Has bright red shirts for sale to members that remind one of Indiana University, Bloomington.

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition. Not such a popular acronym as RISTA.

International Safe Transit Association. They haven't abandoned the expansion, but they do use one of those appositive appellations: ``ISTA - The Association for Transportation Packaging.''

The term ``safe transit'' makes a probably unwanted allusion to safe-conduct.

International Sail Training Association. What a lot of people call Sail Training International (STI).

International Seed Testing Association. I volunteer for sunflower-seed duty!

International Symposium on Technology And Society. At WPI in 2004 (June 17-19).

Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators.

Inter-Services Training and Development Centre. Created in 1938, it was the UK's first military agency specifically dedicated to combined ops.

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991/92. Pronounced ``Ice Tea.'' Also ``ITEA.''

Public Law 102-240, December 18, 1991. It includes the Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (IVHS) Act of 1991.

ISTEA was superseded in 1998 by TEA-21 (q.v.).

I still miss my ex,
but my aim is improving.

It Seems To Me.

I Seem To Recall.

Idaho State University.

ISU's roots go back to the Academy of Idaho at Pocatello, a state-funded boarding school at the secondary level established in 1902. Eighty percent of the students were from Pocatello, so maybe dormitory life was optional. In 1915, the academy became Idaho Technical Institute, and despite the name its orientation was shifted away from the vocational education that had originally been its main focus. It was empowered to offer ``instruction in such vocational, scientific, literary and technical subjects as will meet the educational needs of the students enrolled. Provided, that the course shall include two and not more than two years of college grade and such work below college grade as the conditions of the educational system of the State renders desirable.'' If that last grammatical-number disagreement is any indication, ``such'' was quite a bit. Pocatello representatives in the state legislature had to settle for this; they had pressed for a college, arguing that the University of Idaho at Moscow was too distant. In 1927, the institute became the Southern Branch of the University of Idaho; it became Idaho State College in 1947 and Idaho State University in 1963.

Illinois State University. ``Illinois' [sic!] first public university.'' Famous throughout the Normal, Illinois region.

Indiana State University. A/k/a ``Indiana State.'' It's located in Terre Haute, in the southeast corner of the state. Terre Haute is also the home of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. (Technically, the main campus of Rose-Hulman is just outside the city limits, but Terre Haute is in the mailing address.)

ISU has been in the midst of downsizing (it's called ``reprioritizing'') over the past few years. (See a brief article from February 2007 at Inside Higher Ed. According to a news item on ISU's homepage in April 2008: ``Criminology professor serves one year in Iraq.''

But seriously, the provost's office issued a report in January 2007 that called for eliminating the physics and philosophy majors. Karen Schmid, associate vice president for academic affairs, said that students could still pursue an interest in either field by majoring in liberal studies with a concentration in physics or philosophy. I can't speak for philosophy, but Schmid apparently knows something about ``science.'' She is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Visit her webpage. You can learn a lot from a face. She has a Ph.D. in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota.

So you see where the slippery slope leads. Once you concede that there is a thing that can legitimately be called a ``social science,'' it's just a short step or shimmy to ``family science'' and ``consumer science.'' (The FCS department has a program in ``Interior Design,'' but this is not yet directly called a ``science.'' For now it can only bask in the reflected glory of the department's absurd designation.)

By the time a report was submitted to the board of trustees (April 19, 2007), the recommendations had been scaled back: ``Plan under development with other departments to create Philosophical Studies program and reorganize academic unit'' and ``[c]reating Department of Chemistry and Physics, retaining, but restructuring Physics major....'' As of April 2008, neither of these pointless rearrangements had occurred.

International Skating Union. Established 1892.

Iowa State University.

Imager of Sprite, the Upper Atmospheric Lightning. I can't recall the last time I saw an appositive phrase contribute so much as a single letter to an acronym. ISUAL is part of the scientific payload on ROCSAT-2.

Independent Software Vendor[s]. A generic term like OEM, and not the name of any formal organization. The redundant ``Software ISV'' is seen.

German: in Sinn von, `in the sense of.'

International Scientific Vocabulary. Refers especially to words with no particular national origin.

Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Institute of Sound and Vibration Research. At the University of Southampton in England.

Illinois State Water Survey.

Inherently Self-X. X is some desideratum.

Iraqi Stock EXchange. Established in June 2004, replaced the pre-war, government-run Baghdad Stock Exchange.

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