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King James Version. A translation of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles (the ``Old and New Testaments,'' according to a Christian theory) commissioned by King James I of England (a/k/a James VI of Scotland) and first published in 1611. It was also called the Authorized Version (AV), because for a couple of centuries following it was the only English translation of the Bible permitted to be published in the British Empire (and it could only be published with Royal approval). The membership of the translation committees is mostly unknown, but there are hints and theories, particularly that William Shakespeare was a contributor. King James himself was an acknowledged expert on witchcraft and the divine right of kings. More about him and the bard at the swashbuckle entry.

The King James version is a revision of the Bishop's Bible of 1568, which leans heavily on the banned William Tindale (or Tyndale) Translation.

The earliest version of the King James Version included translations of the so-called Apocrypha, which were later deauthorized. So it goes. The first revision of the KJV to be authorized for the Anglican communion was the HBRV.

The ARTFL Project serves a search tool for the KJV.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Ticker symbol.

Oh, don't go breakin' my heart!

I couldn't if I tried!

What's that supposed to mean?


J. Korringa, Physica 13, 392 (1947).
W. Kohn and N. Rostoker, Phys. Rev. 94, 1111 (1954).

Karush-Kuhn-Tucker (conditions). Conditions that must be satisfied by any optimal solution of a constrained, convex nonlinear programming problem.

King's KnighT. Designation in the descriptive notation for the file designated g in the algebraic notations. One of the two files labeled Kt, for KnighT. Equivalently but potentially confusingly: KN.

Variant of qq1.

Kuala Lumpur.

In the slang that my apartment mates and I used when I was in college, ``Kuala Lumpur!'' was an expression of amazement, like ``wow!'' I don't know how that usage got started, but it has the multisyllabic advantage that you can really drag it out and put some emotion into it. Obviously, we had no use for the abbreviation. You might want to read the UNITA entry now.

KL is the capital of Malaysia.

So far as I'm aware, the resemblance to the word koala (the bearcub-like eucalyptus-colonizing marsupial of Australia) is completely coincidental.

At one point, we experimented with saying ``The Lab'' in unison (not that kind of unison) with extreme seriousness, but before we got around to thinking up what it should mean, we discovered that the performance was too embarrassing to be of any practical use.

Dannon Yogurt had a series of TV commercials in those days, featuring old people who ate yogurt. There was one that featured what we called ``the dancing dead men of [Soviet] Georgia.'' (These guys were illiterate, and in follow-up studies, researchers asked them how old they were and got answers that were ten years more than they had gotten five years earlier. Something about like that.) We had a gesture we performed frequently to indicate ecstatic joy. With an expression of chloroformed surprise, one would raise his hands above his head at pope speed (I mean, arthritically), then turn the palms back and forth on a vertical axis. We called this the Kaymore V'nacha, after the old guy who performed it in the commercial. Actually, it turns out that his name was Temur Vanacha. One of the Dannon dancing dead men (seated) is featured on the cover of The Best Thing on TV: Commercials, by Jonathan Price (NY: Viking, 1978), and the ad is storyboarded on pp. 154-5 with the caption ``Most fondly remembered commercial.''

Just in case you were wondering, we did all graduate, eventually.

Allowing for the k-to-t correction, Mr. Vanacha's given name sounded (in the ad narrator's pronunciation) like ``Taymore.'' As it happens, one Julie Taymor is a Broadway director. She directed the ``The Lion King'' (a musical based on the Disney movie based on the Japanese movie) and was the original director of ``Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,'' a musical that she co-wrote with Glen Berger.

Kuala Lumpur Commodities Clearing House.

Kuala Lumpur Commodity Exchange.

klein aber fein
German proverbial expression: `small but good.'

Klingon Language Institute.

Kuala Lumpur InterBank Offered Rate. Cf. LIBOR.

klick, klik
Slang for kilometer, and elliptically for kph. Also spelled ``click.'' The OED claims that the latter is the usual spelling in Australia.

When I first encountered the word in the 1970's, the context implied that it was Canadian military usage, and I don't know how far back it goes. I heard a US serviceman say it on TV during the 2003 Iraq war. Wentworth and Flexner's Dictionary of American Slang, first lists it (also with the spelling click) in the 1967 Supplement.

Thousands of Logical Inferences Per Second.

Kerr-Lens Mode-lock{ ing | ed laser }. Cf. MCPM

KLM - Royal Dutch Airline. Since 1919, the expansion of ``KLM'' has been a closely-guarded secret: Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij.

K, L, M, N...
Sequence of symbols used to designate X-ray lines and associated spectroscopic features (``K edge,'' etc.). K lines are atomic emission lines are produced by electrons in a p shell (total angular momentum l=1) emitting a photon as they fall into the lowest-energy shell (1s, l=0). L, M, and successive lines are produced by emissions down to successively higher levels.

It's amazing to me that I didn't put this entry in earlier. The s,p,d,f,g,... entry has probably been in there since the very beginning, 1995. That was already, gulp, 20 years ago.

German colloquialism (Umgangssprache) for toilet, or loo, or water closet. It's an abbreviated form of the last term. The grammatical gender of Klo is appropriately neuter.

Kuala Lumpur Options and Financial Futures Exchange.

Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Now known as the Bursa Malaysia.

KLSE Composite Index.

There is a German word Klotz that means a `block' -- of wood (Holz) if the material is not otherwise specified. The Yiddish cognate of that is used in the transferred sense of `a butterfingers, a person who drops, knocks over, and breaks things.'' (I presume that the implication is that a butterfingers is a blockhead.) The word klutz was adopted in its Yiddish sense in English, with typical spelling klutz (I've seen klotz as a variant). Old English had a cognate as well, with the sense of `a shapeless mass, lump': clot. A variant of this word arose by the 14th century: clod, and the two words' meanings diverged somewhat, with clod typically being a lump of earth and clot typically being a lump of coagulated blood. I guess it's not surprising that clod has a transferred sense similar to klutz.

(Domain code for) Comoros. An island group between Mozambique and Madagascar. The capital is Moroni.

Kennewick Man. A couple of college students were wading through the shallows of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington, on Sunday, 28 July 1996 (my birthday! oh sorry, my mistake, not my birthday), when one of them stubbed his toe on a human skull partly buried in the sand. They thought it might be a murder victim and called the police. It turned out to be a prehistoric male, 9500 years old by carbon dating (after calibration). (But no, he looked to be only 40 to 55 years old when he died.) He became quite intriguing because the skull is clearly (or not, if that bothers you) not very like in form to the skulls of what we normally call ``Native Americans'' these days.

There were many articles on it. See, for example, ``The Lost Man'' in the June 16, 1997 issue of The New Yorker, pp. 70-81.

From the remains it is estimated that KM was 5'9'' (175 cm) tall, which was rather tall compared to the prehistoric Amerindians of the Northwest. Also. The shape of the face is intermediate between northern Asian and American Indian (short, broad faces) and southern Pacific and European populations (tall and narrow). (Look in the mirror... ``I'm adopted!'') KM falls into an intermediate group more closely resembling the Clovis and Folsom people, the earliest large human populations known in the New World. The condition of those older remains has prevented DNA analysis, but it might be possible with KM. (But most probably, useful DNA data could not be recovered from the KM remains.) It's been suggested that KM is a descendant of the Clovis people -- a minority survival among a majority population of later immigrants from North Asia. Other possibilities are that he was just an unusually tall, narrow-faced guy, or that his boat got caught in a strong current and he's really from another continent. We won't learn anything further, at least from the KM remains, that might help decide these or any other scientific questions, because pursuant to the terms of NAGPRA, the US DOI determined in September 2001 to turn over the remains (about 350 bone fragments) to a consortium of Native American tribes that claims KM is ``culturally affiliated'' to them. The majority of those tribes wanted to rebury him.

Hey, this seems somewhat interesting. I wonder if it's discussed anywhere on the Internet. Whoa! Okay, here're some good starting points:

Kennebunkport Man. George H. Walker of the Bush clan.

Yeah, I've placed this entry out of order for some reason. Also, I made it up out of whole Republican wool cloth.

A map abbreviation with rather less utility in these past many decades.

One thousand (k for kilo-) meters. See also klik.

Kresge MART. (Not that the expansion is official or was ever used, afaik.) A chain of discount department stores.

Sebastian Spering Kresge opened a small five-and-dime store in downtown Detroit in 1899. Five-and-dimes were the dollar stores of that era. He had expanded to 85 stores by 1912. In 1959, Harry B. Cunningham became president of the S. S. Kresge Company. He pushed a plan that led to the launching of the first Kmart in 1962. The first Kmart store opened in Garden City, Michigan; seventeen more Kmart stores opened that year. (Kmart went bankrupt in, I think, 2001, and emerged from Chapter 11 in May 2003.) The Kmart competitors Woolco (now defunct, along with its parent Woolworth's), Target, and Wal-Mart were all also launched in 1962.

Nickname of NBA player Kenyon MARTin, a 6'9" power forward out of Cincinnati, drafted (2000) by the New Jersey Nets, still with the Nets in 2004 as I write this entry.

Kein Mitleid Für Die Mehrheit. German, `No mercy for the majority.' The acronym (not its expansion) is the name of a rock band. Here's more.

King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. Mongkut hasn't been the king of Siam since the nineteenth century, when he unfortunately died.

Kangaroo Management Program. Sounds like cat-herding to me, but it's apparently a charge of the Australian Nature Conservation Agency. The Stammtisch has conducted a mostly theoretical investigation of kangaroo kicking. A major finding is that kangaroos are capable of delivering a mean kick.

People who keep kangaroos as pets have been able to train them to not jump indoors. I figure anyone with a ceiling could do that.

Abbreviation, or just a representation of the written word in a consonantal spelling (what alphabets originally were), of Kemet, an old Egyptian name for Egypt meaning `black land.' The name of a magazine that is a sort of National Geographic of Ancient Egyptian Archaeology. Full title: KMT: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt.

Black is good: black here stands for fertile, Nile-washed soil, like the humus-laden black earth of the fertile triangle of Russia. (The ``fertile crescent'' refers to the Levant-Syria-Mesopotamia region.)

Afrocentric-hypothesis folks probably interpret `black land' to mean `land of people with deep, deep natural tans.' Whatever.

The word chemistry comes from the Greek word chemia. That doesn't seem to be an Indo-European word, and one popular hypothesis is that it simply refers to Egypt. If the etymological guesses are right, then it makes sense to interpret chemistry as `black arts.'

Kinetic Molecular Theory. Older name for Kinetic Theory of Gases.

Kuo Min Tang. Loser, 1949, against Mao-led, Soviet-assisted Communists in Chinese civil war. Chiang Kai-Shek took the remnants of his government to Taiwan, where Kuo Min Tang has ruled and evolved into a fairly democratic party.

(Domain code for) Saint Kitts and Nevis.

King's kNight. Designation in the descriptive notation for the file designated g in the algebraic notations. See Kt entry, too.

Knudsen number. Bird, Boyd and Chen have defined a generalized local Kn as the mean free path times the gradient of the logarithm of any macroscopic quantity.

Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences). Their library serves Medical Information in a more widely used language.

knee socks
Don't sleep in knee socks -- the hair on your legs needs a rest too.

This entry is unnecessary because everyone knows what a knish is.

A speed of one nautical mile per hour. The only artificially defined speed unit in common use that doesn't have a derived-unit name like MPH or KPH.

If you read the entry for nmi., the abbreviation of nautical mile, you'll understand why traveling at sixty knots will take you across an angular distance of one degree of the Earth's surface per hour. That's about one time zone every fifteen hours at the equator.

Knowledge Economy, the New
It's still whom you know that counts.

[Football icon]

Knows God.
Nose guard. They play football in beantown, you know.

Cf. Dorothy Parker's comment at the SVO entry.

Knox Room 104 is moved to Knox 110
This astounding bulletin was posted at entries to one of UB's classroom buildings in the summer of 1996.

(Republic of) Korea National University of Education. Presumably the odd name syntax reflects the strength of binding of corresponding grammatical structures in the Korean language. KNUE has a well-known and somewhat-respected EFL program called EPIK.

A moderately informative name ending. A Slavic surname ending in -ko is very probably Ukrainian.

A Japanese given name ending in -ko (a diminutive suffix) is very probably female unless it ends in -hiko, in which case it is probably male. (As pronounced, the -hiko may sound to non-native ears like -hko or -shko.) That diminutive suffix ko is written with a kanji that basically means `child,' and which frequently means `small' or `slight' in compounds. (But it can also mean `child' in compounds: for example, mamako means `stepchild.' For more of that step- stuff, see mama-haha.) Another pronunciation (``reading'') of the same kanji is shi, which occurs in the word shoshika, explained at the rejârando-ka entry.

(An easily recognized use of -ko is in panko, meaning `breadcrumb[s].' Pan, meaning `bread,' is a centuries-old loan of the Portuguese pão. Oops, sorry: that -ko is the kanji meaning `powder.' Grumble, grumble.)

Knock Out. Usually quite violently.

Biologists, particularly geneticists, use a lot of knock-out animals, but that's a different idea, with the violence occurring at the DNA level. The ``KO'' initialism is widely used in the literature, both as such and as part of other initialisms. For example, CTRKO is calcitonin receptor knock-out, DKO is double knock-out. See also TKO.

A Denver radio station, AM 850.

Kampgrounds Of America.

The koala is an Australian marsupial. Everyone knows that. Hence, we are able to build on this base knowledge by making gratuitous tangential references to koalas at the Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Polish entries. (See also wombat.) Koalas only eat eucalyptus shoots and leaves. (Lynne Truss's surprise best-seller about proper punctuation in English is titled Eats, Shoots & Leaves. The cover is illustrated with pandas, which only eat bamboo shoots and leaves.) According to a potato chip I read (see bongo entry), this makes koalas stink of cough drops.

Japanese: `employee, subordinate.' Cf. oyabun.

Kiss Of the Dragon.

Stephen Kodak, FBI spokesman. I guess a spokesman should be photogenic.

Potassium (K) Hydroxide. If you're trying to exclude carbonates, note that KOH pellets stored in an atmosphere containing CO2 may have carbonate on the surface. Wash'em twice before use. (Analytical chemists are so fussy. Evian isn't good enough for them either, they want TDW or DI.)

If you weren't going to use KOH pellets, then it was probably a complete waste of time for you to read not only the above caveat, but also this very sentence, especially now.

Japanese: `junior.' Cf. senpai.


A Greek with simplified grammar and somewhat reduced vocabulary, widely used in Middle Eastern regions Hellenized by Alexander's conquests. It's the one sort of Ancient Greek still relatively widely taught that is never called Classical Greek.

Philo of Alexandria, Polybius, and Flavius Josephus wrote in Koine, and the language of the Christian Testament, written in the first centuries of this era, is believed to resemble spoken Koine closely. The Septuagint (LXX), a second-century Alexandrian translation of the Hebrew Bible (based, according to tradition, on a consensus of seventy translators) is written in Koine, although it contains some Egyptian peculiarities. There are some scattered related thoughts at the GJohn entry.

Kansainvälisen olympiakomitean. Come on, you can guess this one. Okay, a hint: it's Finnish for IOC.

Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium, Leiden (Netherlands).

Knight of the Order of Malta.

Some kind of fermented Japanese mushroom tea. This is not really a definition entry. I didn't really put this entry here in order that anyone might learn what kombucha is. Rather, it is an antimisdefinition. The only reason for the entry is to avoid having anyone suppose that kombucha was something else that it is not.

A man's given name. Also, an Indonesian surname.

Editing notation used at the old Life magazine. Not exactly equivalent to TK (q.v.) as used elsewhere, because this was essentially an instruction to the fact-``checker'' to fill in the missing information. According to That was the LIFE (New York: Norton, 1977), Dora Jane Hamblin's memoir of her quarter century there as a fact-checker, reporter, and staff writer...
Writers and editors, faced with the need to make even the most banal occurrence seem important, reached always for superlatives or piquant details and, if they couldn't find them in the assembled newsclips and reporters' files, simply inserted the word KOMING. KOMING was a Life word which meant, in short, ``this fascinating fact will be forthcoming.''

Those who forthcomed it were the researchers. They became quite accustomed to being asked, at midnight, to fill in ``there are KOMING rivets in the bridge,'' or ``there are KOMING trees in Russia,'' or ``this was the KOMING Bingo game in history.'' Obviously on the latter the writer wanted to say ``biggest,'' but he needed a checker to prove it for him.

[Above is from p. 78, op. cit.]

An advantage of editing notations like KOMING and 000 (q.v.) is that they are recognizable and yet extremely unlikely to be intended to appear in the text of an article.

Fact-checkers were also required to put pencil dots over each word checked, as a supposed check that they had actually checked. They had to use red pencil for names, dates, and titles, and green pencil for material that could be expended in sizing.

Various national laboratories use schemes reminiscent of Life's dots in order to maintain security: guards may be required to touch the identification (ID) badge of each individual entering at the gate. The idea is that this decreases the chances that a guard will inattentively let someone through who isn't authorized to enter a secure area.

Kommunisticheskii Soyuz Molodezhi. Russian: `Communist Union of Youth.' Youth wing (from mid-teens) of the CPSU.

`Candy' in German.

`Ready-made [off-the-rack] clothing' or its manufacture, in German.

Koopmans' Theorem
Should be Koopmans's Theorem (it's the theorem of one Koopmans, not Koopman and Koopman), but what can you do? Same problem with ``Graves' Disease.'' It could be worse, I suppose; at least it's not called ``Koopmen's Theorem.''

And it's not even a theorem -- it's just an obvious lazy approximation that works okay because large errors approximately cancel. I'm disgusted.

For your convenience, we have distributed information related to this German noun at a number of places in this glossary (redundantly, so you won't miss anything important). Here, enjoy:
  1. ausgeruhter Kopf
  2. Grant's Tomb
  3. Hauptwort
  4. KDE (spelling and etymology)
  5. kfm (spelling)
  6. Kopfbedeckung (follow link or just scroll down)
  7. Goran GROSSKOPF (etymology; GROSSKOPF is a subentry under Nomenclature is destiny)

A German word which can be literally translated `head dress,' and means `hat' or `cap' of any sort, but has the extravagantly technical feel of a word like `headgear.' The German word Hut can refer to a hat but definitely not a wool cap. A cap is a Mütze or Kappe (the latter tends to be smaller, about the size of the cap part of a baseball cap). In English, a woman's wool cap (Wollmütze) can be called a hat, although a man's usually is not. All of this is subject to regional variation.

(Republic of) KOrea Photovoltaic Research Association.


An ancient Greek word for merde. Do I have to spell this out? In Homer, Herodotus, and elsewhere, hé kópros is `the dung, ordure, manure, etc.' Homer uses it in a transferred sense of `farm-yard, home-stead.' (I'm cribbing from the middle Liddell here, so don't ask me for more detailed cites. You find a lot of examples on TLG if you have a subscription. Otherwise use Perseus.)

Kilo Operations Per Second. You don't want ever to have an occasion to use this unit either (I allude to KIPS). Try Mega FLOPS.


Those ancient Greeks were such habitual perverts that they had this special word for a statue if it depicted a woman with her clothes on.

Nickname of a boy named MarKOS. Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, posting as kos, blogs at Daily Kos, one of the most prominent leftist blogs of the US in 2005. He was probably the most prominent netroots organizer in the 2006 midterm election cycle. In that year, the first annual YearlyKos was held June 8-11 in Las Vegas. Everyone enjoyed it. Kos acolytes -- some of them, anyway -- it's not a cult! -- call themselves Kossacks.

An underappreciated aspect of blogging is that lightning commentary without benefit of editing gives rise to transparency. No time for second thoughts, no time to repair Freudian slips.

Kos also composes paino music. In 1996, he recorded a piece called ``Solipsistic Affirmations.'' Indeed. (Rereading this entry some time later, I think I had left the typo intentionally uncorrected.)

There's a directory of kosher places to eat at, but no one has a convincing explanation of why Ashkenazim can't eat corn, let alone kitniot, for Pesach.

Japanese: `filial piety.' A fundamental moral principle of Confucianism.

A low-expansivity iron-nickel-cobalt alloy (29% Ni, 17% Co, 0.2% Mn, balance Fe) widely used for microelectronic circuit leads in ceramic packages. (Expansivity 5.2 × 10-6/°C.) Alloy F-15 in the ASTM classification. Also called rodar (with 0.3% Mn; ® Wilbur B. Driver Co.). About the same as ``29/17'' alloy. The otherwise nameless ``42 alloy'' is a popular alternative. Trademark registered to Carpenter Technology; developed by Howard Scott: ``Recent Developments in Metals Sealing Into Glass,'' Journal of the Franklin Institute, vol. 220, pp. 733-753 (1935).

It gives you an idea of how important it is to minimize mechanical stresses when you consider that kovar is a pretty cruddy conductor (2.05 × 106 S/m, about 1/17 that of aluminum). Of course, package leads don't have to be thin.

Small greyish-white spots which stick to the back of the cornea.


Kitchen Police. A military punishment that results in at best indifferently peeled potatoes.

(Domain code for) Korea, Democratic People's Republic of. (Hence DPRK.) Alternate expansion with pee: Korea, Police State of. Anyway: North Korea. A lot of pees floating around -- the capital is Pyong Yang.

A mouthpiece for the North Korean government's take on the news is Minjok Tongshin.

KPH, kph
Kilometres Per Hour. Not much point in writing that ``kilometers.''

Kadomtsev-Petviashvili equation I. See
B. B. Kadomtsev and V. I. Petviashvili, Dokl. Akad. Nauk. SSSR 192, 753 (1970) [Eng. trans. Sov. Phys. Dokl. 15, 539 (1970)].

( nt + 6nnx nxxx )x - 3( nyy + nzz ) = 0 .

It describes wave motion in a number of fluid and plasma systems: small-amplitude, fast magnetosonic (FMS) waves in a low-<beta> magnetized plasma.

This entry is under construction.

Kadomtsev-Petviashvili equation II. See
B. B. Kadomtsev and V. I. Petviashvili, Dokl. Akad. Nauk. SSSR 192, 753 (1970) [Eng. trans. Sov. Phys. Dokl. 15, 539 (1970)].

( nt + 6nnx nxxx )x + 3( nyy + nzz ) = 0 .

KPII is not as interesting mathematically as KPI (+3 --> -3) because it has no two-dimensional soliton solutions, but it does occur more frequently in physical models. [Per A. Senatorski and E. Infeld, ``Simulations of Two-Dimensional Kadomtsev-Petviashvili Soliton Dynamics in Three-Dimensional Space,'' Physical Review Letters [PRL] 77, 2855-2858 (1996.09.30).]

Kansas Pioneers (email-compiled) List.

KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, was formed in 1987 from the merger of Peat Marwick International (PMI) and Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG). The M is understood to stand for M in KMG.

Knowledge Query & Manipulation Language.

(Brian) Kernighan and (Dennis) Ritchie. Authors of the first and definitive book about the programming language C. The first edition (K&R1) was based on early implementations of the language; the second edition (K&R2), on the version standardized in 1989 and called ANSI C, ISO C, Standard C, or C89.

Buy it.

King's Rook. Designation in the descriptive notation for the file designated h in the algebraic notations (the far right file, if you're white). One of the two files labeled R, for Rook.

(Domain code for Republic of [i.e. South]) Korea.

Here's the South Korean page of an X.500 directory.

Chemical element symbol for Krypton, a noble gas at room temperature, unless you cool your room with liquid helium. Its atomic number is 36. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

K ration
Emergency field rations used by US troops in WW II. Single meals. Named for the physiologist Ancel Benjamin Keys. This might be regarded as an eponym in acronymic form.

K (chemical symbol for potassium), Rare Earth Elements, and Phosphorus. The acronym is applied to an unusual sort of basalt returned from the surface of the moon by Apollo astronauts. The basalts have unusually high concentrations of the elements that define the acronym.

Kurdistan Regional Government. The government of the Kurd-dominated region of northern Iraq in the period following the removal of the national government in the Allied invasion of 2003. A national government in all but name, in 2006 it concluded a deal with DNO, a Norwegian oil company, to investigate oil reserves near Dohuk. Kurdish is the first language of instruction in public schools of all levels, and there is in 2006 a move to make English, rather than Arabic, the principal second language.

Knowledge Representation for Interactive Multimedia Systems. A conference.

Kinetoplast RiboNucleic Acid. RNA that is a transcription of kDNA, q.v.

Kids Research Unlimited. Market research. ``... the level of comfort you need in knowing that your kids' research is coming from a parent company who's the leader in youth research.'' The parent company is Teenage Research Unlimited (vide TRU). Great. Kids having kids.

Knowledge Retrieval System. The scent of marlin? Something like that.

Knowledge Representation Specification Language.

Kaposi's Sarcoma. A cancer of the walls of lymph vessels that was extremely rare until it appeared as a common ailment among AIDS victims.

US Postal abbreviation for Kansas.

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

[Football icon]

Kicking Squad. Used for both the field goal unit and the punting/kick-off unit.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Information under top-level internet domain code <.sa>.

Knowledge, Skills, and Ability.

Ain't worth nuthin' if you ain't got the do-re-mi.

Keats-Shelley Association of America. They sponsor a homepage for their Keats-Shelley Journal which ``is published annually (in print form) [and] contains articles on John Keats, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, Leigh Hunt, and their circles--as well as news and notes, book reviews, and a current bibliography.''

Kennedy Space Center. NASA's main launch facility, located on Cape Canaveral in Florida, which from 1963 to 1973 was also called Cape Kennedy. Speaking just for myself, I prefer the name Kennedy because it's easier to spell.

Key-Sequenced Data Sets. Most popular kind of data set created with VSAM.

Korn SHell. One kind of Unix process.

Kansas State Historical Society.

KSI, ksi
Kilo PSI. One thousand pounds per square inch, or about 6.895 MPa. Cf. MSI.

Korea Semiconductor Industry Association.

Keats-Shelley Journal, published by the KSAA.

Knowledge Systems Laboratory, Stanford University.

Kansas State Nurses Association. ``The largest and oldest professional nursing organization in the state of Kansas representing registered nurses.''

KeyStrokes Per Hour. 100 wpm with words averaging five characters (hey, that's English) works out to 36000 KSPH. I think they need a better unit.

Keyboard Send/Receive.

Known Segment Table.

In the Multics system, memory objects were called segments [of memory space]. The KST listed those segments ``known'' to a particular process in the sense of being accessible to that process.

The only significance of the Multics system is that the name Unix is a pun on it.

Kentucky Science Teachers Association. KSTA is the Kentucky chapter of the NSTA.

Kansas STATE University. In Manhattan. Manhattan, Kansas, that is. Wasn't it clever of us to alphabetize K-State right next to KSU?

  1. Kansas State University in the state of Kansas. (Also known locally as ``K-State.'')
  2. Kennesaw State University in the state of Georgia.
  3. King Saud University. Known as the Harvard of the Wahhabi Muslims. Okay, that's not, like, actually, factually true. You don't believe? Fifty lashes!

If I think of something to add, maybe I'll break these out into separate entries. It's not a taggo or anything like that, see?

Key Service Unit. I don't really know what this means, exactly, but there's an expansion, anyway.

Kinetic Safety Vehicle. An experimental car. (This is a mid-seventies entry. The KSV may not be very cutting-edge anymore.) A KSV is sort of a compromise. The static safety vehicle can be made much safer, and it can circle the earth's axis in just twenty-four hours with negligible fuel consumption, but it's not very maneuverable.

Knight[s] of the Order of Saint Vladimir.

There ought to be a word game like magnetic poetry that allows you to mix and match acronym expansions to produce hippogriffs like Knights of Saint Vehicular, etc.

J. C. Trewin, recalling the touring repertories of 1920's England, has written

These companies, working on a small budget, kept to a familiar run of plays: among the tragedies, Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar; among the comedies, The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and less often, The Merry Wives of Windsor, though this had seldom been out of [touring-company director Frank] Benson's programme in the old days when, as the late Henry Caine said once, a week usually began with `The Merry Shrews of Venice.'
(According to a footnote, Henry Caine, 1888-1962, made this remark to Trewin at St. Ives, Cornwall, in August 1959.)

[The above information is cribbed from Arthur Colby Sprague and J. C. Trewin: Shakespeare's Plays Today : Customs and Conventions of the Stage, (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1970), p. 12.]

When Quellenforschung finds her mark, the result can be deadly.

Cretaceous-Tertiary (geological boundary).

KaraT. See k.

KiloTon (of TNT equivalent). Little Boy, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, rated about 12.5 KT.

KnighT. A chess piece, and a file designation in the ``descriptive notation'' of chess; see explanation at file. The Knight initially nearer the Queen (Q) is indicated QKt, for Queen's Knight, the one on the other side KKt, for King's Knight (see K).

Note that these are not exactly equivalent. King's Knight and Queen's Knight only designate files (q.v.) on a chessboard. Knight can designate either of those two files, as well as one of the four pieces called a Knight.

An alternative, less traditional (as I understand it) abbreviation for Knight is N.

Every allowed move of a Knight moves it onto a square whose color is different from the one it's on. For equally fascinating thoughts, see the B (for Bishop) entry.

Kosterlitz-Thouless. Theory of certain borderline phase transitions in two-dimensional systems with vortices. Seminal paper in 1973. Later major developments by Halperin and Nelson, 1978, and Young, 1979.

Kilotesla. In the early 1990's a highly respected member of the Stammtisch (granted this is pleonastic) suffered the same indignity at the paws of two different European journals, which journals shall remain unnamed out of mercy to the guilty and because I forgot to ask what they were. In papers that involved physical chemistry but nothing of magnetism, the expression `kT' was copyedited as `kilotesla.'

This is probably a sign of the imminent collapse of civilization, or at least the collapse of eminent civilization, but we may as well entertain an alternative interpretation: In the rush to establish a net presence, a number of journals that have previously published camera-ready papers have moved to an edited format, as this entails little work in excess of that needed to mark up articles as hypertext. A number of new copyeditors must have been hired who are unfamiliar with scientific typesetting or science. I suppose he might have protected himself by writing kBT.

KnighT. The flesh-and-blood kind. The kind on a chessboard are abbreviated N, but see the Kt entry.

Knight[s] Templar. Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle. Founded in 1687, some time after the last crusade. The original knights templar were supposed to protect or occupy the temple mount in Jerusalem.

Umberto Eco has written

I work for a publishing company. We deal with both lunatics and non-lunatics. After a while an editor can pick out the lunatics right away. If somebody brings up the Templars, he's almost always a lunatic.

Cretaceous-Tertiary (geological) Boundary.

KriegsTageBuch. German, `war log book [diary].' More at Shrapnel eponym entry.

Kidney Transplant/Dialysis Association. ``[A]n all-volunteer, patient-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization made up of kidney dialysis and transplant patients, kidney donors, their families and friends, and health professionals. Our officers are themselves kidney patients or spouses of kidney patients. Now [site visited Dec. 2009] with over 2,200 members across New England, as well as throughout the country, the KT/DA is dedicated to providing financial aid, information, and emotional support to chronic renal disease patients and their families.''


kai ta leipomena. Greek: `and the rest.' Hoity-toity version of etc.

Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen. A motorcycle manufacturer that once actually used that mellifluous sequence of names as its own name, after company founders Ernst Kronreif and Hans Trunkenpolz, and after Mattighofen, Austria, their center of operations.

Potassium Titanyl Phosphate. A popular nonlinear-optical crystal.

Korea Thermoelectric Society.

University of Kansas. Never ``UK.''

`Catholic University' in various Germanic languages.

Katholieke Universiteit in Dutch. Flanders example: Leuven; Netherlands: Nijmegen, Brabant).

Katholischen Universität in German. E.g.: Eichstätt.

Katholieke Universiteit Brabant, in Holland (.nl).

Katholieke Universiteit Brussel, in Belgium (.be). Other Brussels schools: ULB, VUB.

Ku band
12-14 GHz frequency range. It's a microwave range in a part of what's often called the ``millimeter wave band,'' but the wavelength at 13 GHz is 2.3 cm.

Used to be very common with police radar, I think, but now they also use X-band equipment.

Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven. Leuven is in Flanders.

Czarist term for a prosperous, landed peasant. Leninist-Stalinist term for any person exhibiting independent economic initiative, to be briefly encouraged and then viciously eliminated.

Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven Afdeling Kortrijk. Now officially Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Campus Kortrijk. A branch of KUL, 100 miles away.

Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen. This place serves a fortune.

Kundera, Milan
A famous Czech writer. We mention him at various entries around the glossary, although the being entry is the only one with substantive information about him. Recently, though, I came across some Kundera-related stuff that seemed to merit an actual Kundera entry, so here we are.

kung fu
An oriental martial art -- the one true way of hurting people honorably and ceremoniously, according to ancient tradition, requires an echo chamber as well as a roomful of electronic sound-effects equipment.

Vide fu.

A Japanese word for a cart or a vehicle of any kind, including a jinrikisha. A jinrikisha is a rickshaw pulled by a jin -- a `person.'

Basil Hall Chamberlain repeatedly complained to Lafcadio Hearn, whose work he published, about the unnecessary use of Japanese words in his stories about Japan. on June 5, 1893, Hearn wrote him<

DEAR CHAMBERLAIN, -- Thanks for strictures and suggestions. I changed the text as you desired, except in the case of the word Kuruma. That has been fully explained in preceding articles. (By the way, I never heard a Japanese use the word jinrikisha.)

The missing determiner (in this context one would usually the or your before ``strictures and suggestions'') is interesting. It's the sort of error a native Japanese-speaker would make in English (Hearns's native language).

A Japanese word for a person who pulls a jinrikisha (which is defined in the preceding entry).

Lafcadio Hearn, writing on June 19, 1893, to Prof. Basil Hall Chamberlain at Tokyo Imperial University, related the following story told by a young kurumaya.

[O]ne evening a military officer engaged him to take him to a house near the Hanaokayama. He took him there. The officer went into the house, -- a superb residence, --bidding him wait. He waited until 3 A.M. Then he suddenly saw that there was no house, and that his kuruma was gone. He got no money, and only found his kuruma two days later, -- in a gorge.

Keep Up The Good Work. A bit of Textingese or whatever that featured prominently in a WSJ article by Stephanie Raposo posted online August 6, 2009. The article title was ``Quick! Tell Us What KUTGW Means.''

I've never encountered it, but it was also listed in an accompanying sample of ``popular shorthand texting terms.'' This is ``popular''? It's praise, how could it be popular? Oh, I get it: irony.

Kill Vehicle. A missile or part of one, not a car bomb.


KnightVision. A version of BlackBoard software used at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and presumably elsewhere. I mean the s/w is presumably used elsewhere, not that Calvin College is -- you understand.

Good news about customer satisfaction! Reportedly, students only hate KnightVision to the degree that they are forced to use it.

Kilo Volt-Ampere. A common abbreviation on electrical equipment. Although a watt equals a volt-ampere (i.e. volt times ampere), so KVA can in principle stand for kilowatt, power engineers make a distinction: kW and W units are used to label for power; KVA and VA are used to label something else that has units of power: ``apparent power.''

The difference comes into play in alternating current. If we consider the simple case of ordinary single-phase current (and we had better, because that's all I understand), then voltages and currents are normally given in terms of their root mean square (rms) values. If the voltage is a sinusoidal signal oscillating between +170V and -170V, then the square root of the average of the sqared voltage is 120V (i.e., the rms voltage is down a factor of 0.7071 from the peak voltage value). If you put this voltage across a simple resistance, then the current is in phase with the voltage, and the factors work out so that the time-average rate of power dissipation is just the product of Irms and Vrms. This power can be labelled indifferently in watts (W) or volt-amperes (VA).

If the effective impedance of the load is complex (i.e., if the current through a power-consuming device is not in phase with the voltage), then the product Irms × Vrms does not represent the power consumption. Instead, while there is power dissipation in phase with the voltage, there is out of phase with it as power that is alternately stored in the device and returned by the device. For example, in an inductor, this is energy stored in the magnetic field generated by the current in the coil.

The circuit situation is represented by writing the current and voltage as phasors. Phasor is just an unnecessary extra word for a two-dimensional vector rotating at constant frequency; a complex number with time dependence exp(jwt). [Here j is the imaginary constant, what everyone who is not an electrical engineer writes i; t is time, and w is easier to get to appear on your screen than the angular frequency omega.] Okay, then: if there is some reactance (imaginary component of impedance), then the current and voltage phasors point in different directions. Let's call the phase difference, the angle, Ø (phi). [Okay, just between you and me, it's really a Swedish vowel, but it's close enough. Sheesh, gimme a break whydontcha.]

Say the complex voltage is

V(t) = Vpexp(jwt),
with Vp real. Then the current is
I(t) = Ipexp(jwt+jØ),
with Ip also real. Now consider the complex product
(I(t))*V(t) = Ip Vp exp(-jØ).
The real part of this, apart from a factor of a half, is the real power used-by/dissipated-in the load. This is real power, and labeled by W or kW. The modulus of the vector sum of the real and imaginary parts is nevertheless useful, and it is labeled in VA or KVA. More concisely: IrmsVrms is labeled in KVA or VA, the real power IrmsVrmscos(Ø) is labeled in W or kW.

The imaginary power IrmsVrmssin(Ø) is still significant -- a motor with a non-unity power factor draws current in excess of what one would estimate based on power alone. In the extreme case of a purely reactive load, no power is used, but the power supply must still be capable of providing current, and the cables of carrying it. Hence, power engineers use KVA in sizing elements of the power distribution and supply systems, particularly transformers.

Koninklijke Vlaamse Chemische Vereniging (Royal Flemish Chemical Society).

Yiddish, `complain [repeatedly and irritatingly].' About the same as `whine' or `bitch and moan.' In a little more morphological detail: the infinitive in Yiddish is kvetchn, and in English the verb root has been abstracted and the conjugation domesticated (kvetch, kvetches, kvetched, kvetching). In both Yiddish and English, ``a kvetch'' or ``a kvetcher' is a person who constantly kvetches.

I've never seen an etymological dictionary of Yiddish, but in German this would be written quetsch. The German noun Quetsche means `plum,' and the verb quetschen means `squeeze.' Also, Quetsch is the name of a plum variety that is used in Alsace, primarily to make a fruit brandy (which is also called Quetsch).

I don't see what this-- oh!

Here's another German word: Quatsch. It started out as the onomatopeoic verb quatschen, `squish' (to make the sound that comes from pressing a moist or water-logged mass). In the nineteenth century, it came to mean `prate, talk nonsense,' and the noun Quatsch was coined to mean `nonsense, balderdash.' I'm not sure what relationship there is between the verbs quetschen and quatschen. It seems there might be some influence, at least.

Known-Value Item. A common product frequently purchased, whose price customers are likely to remember. On the reasoning that these will be the items whose prices will be the basis of comparison shopping, stores may use KVI's as loss-leaders -- low or negative profit used to attract customers.

Yiddish for `receipt.' This Yiddish word has the same pronunciation as its evident modern German cognate, the adjective quitt. Some German-English dictionaries translate this latter word very accurately as `quits,' but quits seems to me to be mostly dead except as embalmed in the idiom ``call it quits.'' At this point, most people (I've checked a sample) understand that phrase to mean `call an end to it' or `give up trying' (esp. in the face of difficulty), but that is not quite its original sense. Inferior lexicographers are, as usual, somewhat behind the times, and idiom dictionaries of the twenty-first century still give the earlier obsolete meaning along with the current one. One dictionary published in 1969 gives only the old meaning, which was probably already obsolete by then, judging by the older informants in my survey. By now you're probably wondering what that earlier, now-obsolete meaning was. You haven't guessed? Give up? You want to call it quits?

Okay: quits originally meant `even' in a financial sense. To ``be quits'' was to be even, accounts-balanced, debt-free, square (in one sense)<[ meanings of square are very various; origin of `squared away' unclear to me at least]>. The German word, at least according to dictionaries I've consulted, retains both meanings, and like the English word is used only as a predicate adjective, and not attributively. The words come from the Latin quietus, meaning `quiet.'

A related legal term that is still understood (more in North America than Britain, at this point) is the noun quitclaim, which comes from the same Latin root (via the post-classical quieta-clamatio and various related medieval terms, either directly or via French). This also contains the notion of a written document, Like the Yiddish kvit and unlike the German quitt.

Read more. Read it at the kvitl entry. There: two, no three! sentences. A solid paragraph.

One of various Yiddish words meaning `note' in the sense of a short written message. The spelling kvitl is a transliteration of the Hebrew characters. English-speakers typically prefer a spelling like ``kvittle.''

The base word kvit means `[written] receipt.' The final -l in kvitl is a diminutive suffix used in Yiddish and in Austrian dialects of German (and, I imagine, in other Upper German dialects). [It used to be productive in English, and in standard German it is used in verb formation. I don't know why the more common noun suffix in German is -lein. L-containing diminutive suffixes are common throughout the Indo-European language family. They seem to have entered via the Hittite word for `son,' just as the Japanese diminutive -ko is originally the word for `child.' I'll try to get an entry together some time.]

I imagine that most of the fluent Yiddish speakers today are members or former members of the a Hassidic community, for whom the following is or was important: One of the main characteristics distinguishing a rebbe from a mere rabbi is that a rebbe reads kvitlach (the plural `notes'). This kind of kvitl is prayer request -- a request for the rebbe to pray on someone's behalf.

The requests are conveyed through the rebbe's gabbai (`secretary'), who is usually the one who writes the kvitlach.kvitlbelieve -- that detailed and vague kitlach yield exactly equally satisfactory results. Hasidim also believe this, so they kinda agree with me. In every sect, anecdotes (hey -- the plural or at least the dual of datum) circulate about how the rebbe supernaturally `read between the lines' of a kvitl.

Of course, all this pious expertise doesn't come free. Underneath the kvitl when it is handed to the rebbe is a pidyon, `redemption,' more plainly described as ``cash.''

The Yiddish name of a game that resembles blackjack. It's the plural of kvitl, q.v.

Yiddish `note.' Much more at the kvitl entry.

Kirchhoff Voltage Law: the sum of voltage drops around a closed loop is zero. This is simply a statement of the fact that electrostatic potential is a single-valued quantity. The general statement is not correct in the presence of induction (a net changing normal magnetic field integral over an area enclosed by the loop), but for periodic systems it can be supplemented by the equivalent statement for individual frequency components of the voltage.

Kansas Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.


KiloWatt. Reddy Kilowhat has his own web pages. (Don't forget that eponym derived units are not capitalized when spelled out -- hence ``kilowatt.'' Longer entry at KVA (above).

KiloWatts of Electricity.

(Domain name code for) Kuwait.

KW is sort of appropriate, for a country whose only significant resource is petroleum.

Kwame Touré
Stokely Carmichael (1941-1998). This is not to suggest that his born name was somehow better than his adopted one, but some of us like to keep track.

KeyWord In Context.

Most of this stuff has since been replaced by online search tools (see, for example, concordance.com), but many university libraries still have a few such dusty tomes in the reference section. The 1960's and 70's were a sort of golden age for these volumes, typically printed in nonproportional font, often in all-caps. Just thinking about it, I can hear the line printer farting a burst of asterisk lines. For old times' sake, let's take a stroll down acid-paper lane... Ah! A Concordance to the plays and [mostly much longer, axe-grinding and stupid editorializing] prefaces of Bernard Shaw in ten volumes, compiled by E. Dean Bevan (Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1971). Bevan had help, however. Singled out for special recognition was one keypunch operator (if you don't know what this means, ask your oldest living ancestor), ``Pamela Toburen, who for nearly a year sat at the keyboard for three to four hours a day, punching a staggering 2,378 pages of text with unparalleled accuracy.'' Following are the Dumas entries from volume 3. (The lines in this concordance are 131 columns long, from beginning to end of printable area; you may have to widen your browser window.)


The stuff in the first seventeen character spaces cites the source. OVER stood for his probably justly forgotten work ``Overruled,'' METH for ``Back to Methuselah'' (preface only; the individual parts of his ``pentateuch'' are coded as MTH1 through MTH5; R84 stands for page lxxxiv), and FABL for ``Farfetched Fables.'' (In this simple case, the lengths of preceding and following context are fixed. In cases where these are allowed to vary, the context field might be rotated in a wrap-around field, with the end of a long following context appearing at the beginning of the line. I really don't want to think about this, or about what happened when the preceding context was long.)

Entries were ordered first by keyword, next alphabetically by (word of) context following keyword. Obviously, a number of editorial choices are necessary. Certain frequently-occurring words did not get entries (ALL would have required seven thousand lines). The available computing power and programming guts dictated that the collation (``alphabetical'') order used was that native to the Honeywell 635, to wit:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ? A B C D E F G H I . ( J K L M N O P Q R - ' ) ; S T U V W X Y Z , " !

There are no examples of KWIC's in Eugene Garfield's Citation Indexing--Its Theory and Application in Science, Technology, and Humanities (Wiley, 1979). I mention it only because I already transcribed the author and title and stuff, so why waste the work? You can read that book and get a feel for the ``advanced information resources'' of an earlier, quickly bygone era.

Ah! The book I had been looking for was the even thinner volume by T(revor) H(oward) Howard-Hill. (If I had two Howards in my name I'd use more initials too.) It's called Literary Concordances : A Complete Handbook for the Preparation of Manual and Computer Concordances (Pergamon Pr., 1979).

The double KWIC is a variation on KWIC indexing which identifies an important term within the context of each keyword and does a secondary alphabetization with respect to the subsidiary term. That is, entries for a common keyword are ordered alphabetized by secondary keyword rather than by context following the KW. I'm not sure a double-KWIC has ever been published for English work, but you could read more about them in Lucille H. Campey, Generating and Printing Indexes by Computer, ASLIB Occasional Publications, No. 11 (London: ASLIB, 1972).

KeyWord Out of Context. The following is probably not an example of what ``KWOC'' is intended to describe:
If at first you don't succeed, then try, try, and try, again, until you convict.

Now that we've got that out of the way, I should mention that a KWOC is usually a KWIC with the keyword printed at the top left of an entry or sequence of entries. While that is the only necessary difference in principle, in practice the term KWOC implies a bit more. The redundant use of keywords as headwords betokens a willingness to sacrifice efficiency for the convenience of the user, ease-of-use, or user-friendliness (is that clear?). Hence, once can expect mixed case, more white space, and features that make the volume look more like a traditional (i.e. manual) concordance. (For a bit more on the latter, see the article by Joseph Raben, ``The death of the handmade concordance,'' in Scholarly Publishing, vol. 1, no. 1 (1969), pp. 61-9.) Features that become possible once a separate line is introduced for the keyword headword include cross-reference information (for alternate spellings and related words) and a count of the total number of occurrences (like the parenthesied 3 below). If the Shaw concordance exampled in the KWIC definition above had been done as a KWOC, it might have looked like


down to the latest guilty couple of the school of  Dumas  fils, the romantic adulterers have all been  Over. Pref. 161
which makes his plays, like the models of Scott,  Dumas  , and Dickens, so delightful.  Also, he developed that   Meth. Pref. r84
a disease?  Shakespear, Walter Scott, Alexandre  Dumas  , myself: are we all mental cases?  Are we simply   Fabl. Pref. 64    

A common feature of traditional concordances is a certain flexible inconsistency: rather than simply include or exclude keywords, omitting any entry at all for the more common keywords, traditional concordances have an intermediate strategy. While most keywords have detailed entries and a small number of very common words have no entry, the remaining words, of intermediate frequency, have a listing only of their locations. When a KWOC does this, of course, it is no longer a special case of a KWIC.

Using the present tense to write this entry felt kind of weird, justified mostly by the fact that KWOC's are still read in libraries, even if they are no longer published. KWIC's and KWOC's are like tables of logarithms -- providing the kind of information least appropriate to continue publishing in paper.

Okay, since you're all so interested that you've read through to the end of the entry, here's an actual example of a KWOC, rather than a reworked KWIC. It's from A Concordance to the Works of Sir Thomas Malory, edited by Tomomi Kato (University of Tokyo Press, 1974). This was the heroic tree-murdering sort of concordance, with 43.5 columns of concordance for the word a. According to the word-frequencies data at the back of this concordance, that word occurred 4953 times (2981 in the narrative, 1972 in dialogue or ``conversation''), and represented 1.4435% of the words in the text. A quick skim suggests that the three most common words are and (6.4655%), the (3.9922%), and that (2.4560%, the alternate form thatt occurs once, for a total of 2.4562%). I am not so ambitious; here's the entry for the word fyres:


The second line comes from book twenty, chapter one, page 1161 (you didn't think I was going to write that out, did you?) and line 6 (I'm unpredictable). The absence of a ``C'' in the second-to-last field means that this was narrative rather than ``conversation.'' It was transcribed by ``hand A'' according to Eugène Vinaver's edition.

King's Cross. It's not some fancy kind of castling in chess. It's a major rail terminal north of London (and a stop on the underground, not inconveniently nor by accident...).

On Sunday, February 10, 1946, a slow (non-express) passenger train, traveling from Hatfield to KX, approached the Potters Bar station north of London too quickly. It derailed at a switch, toppling sideways. The derailed train was then hit by a London-to-Edinburgh express, and that mess was in turn hit by a southbound Bradford-to-London express. It might've been worse; two soldiers were killed and seventeen other people were injured.

On Friday, May 10, 2002, a high-speed train (going from KX to King's Lynn, in Norfolk) derailed as it passed through Potters Bar. Travelling at about 100 MPH, the last car of the four-car electric train swung off the tracks, smashed into a bridge next to the station, and slid across two platforms, hitting waiting rooms at the station. It eventually came to a stop when it became wedged underneath the platform canopy. Seven people died, mostly among the thirty passengers in the derailed car, and over seventy were injured. (The forward cars, with 121 passengers, lost a set of wheels and came to stop a third of a mile past the station.)

Everyone was appalled. My gawd -- two accidents at the same station, in the space of a little over 56 years! That's it, from now on I'm driving.

(Domain name code for) Cayman Islands.

KentuckY. USPS abbreviation. It's not very dignified to have to share an abbreviation with a, um, personal lubricant, but Kentucky doesn't stand on ceremony. Mostly, it stands on the side of a hill of carbonaceous deposits.

Popular song suggests that Maxwell's equations don't have the same kinds of solutions in or on or over Kentucky as they do elsewhere. For example, there's Bill Monroe's ``Blue Moon of Kentucky'' (1947). The singer beseeches the ``[b]lue moon of Kentucky [to] keep on shining.'' Dang, blue moons rarely even start to shine in other states. Then in ``Kentucky Woman,'' Neil Diamond sang repeatedly that ``[s]he shines in her own kind of light.'' I hope to get to the bottom of this someday. Until then, if you visit Kentucky I recommend you take an extra set of batteries.

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

Japanese, `cap.' A loanword (gairaigo) from English, used in the sense of a hat (of Western style, of course),

Japanese, literally: `education mother.' This term is pejorative: the mother is seen as relentlessly driving her child to study, to the detriment of the child's social and physical development, and emotional well-being. Education experts -- who are the same fatuous rascals in Japan as everywhere -- warn constantly about the dangers. They also blame domineering mothers for children who experience ``school rejection'' in their sense of school phobia in children. To get some realistic perspective on this, you might see the juku entry.

I use the singular ``child'' above advisedly, by the way. The most recent data since the turn of the century show Japanese fertility around 1.3 or 1.4 -- way below replacement rate (usually estimated as 2.1 children per woman).

In the head term of this entry, mama is a foreign borrowing; in Japanese it is written in katakana. (Cf. mama-haha.) It would now be possible, at least, to borrow an equivalent term from English. I don't think the term is common, but see ``push parenting.''

A Japanese word that currently refers to self-sacrifice for a yakuza superior. Originally referred (as the Chinese term still does) to voluntary self-sacrifice for a friend.

(Domain name code for) Kazakhstan. If you insist on pronouncing the kh as /k/ instead of the hard, glottalized aitch (written /x/ in the IPA), then not only may you be mistaken for an airhead TV newsreader, but you'll have some major problems sorting out a history that includes Cossacks.

Konzentrationslager. German, `concentration camp.'

KalamaZOO, Michigan. Site of the annual International Congress of Medieval Studies, sponsored by the Medieval Institute at WMU. Parchment, MI, is only a couple of miles north. This is the principal annual meeting of medievalists, at least in the Anglophone world.

I'v never seen the name of the international congress abbreviated ICMS. It's usually referred to as ``Kalamazoo'' and abbreviated K'zoo. Makes me think of tiny, tinny, one-note flutes.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. US State Department slang for the senior cleric and theocrat of Iran. Cf. K2.

Kindergarten through Twelfth grade.

A strain of E. coli.

Kindergarten through the senior year of college.

Mohammad Khatami. US State Department slang for the cleric and president of Iran (elected in a landslide in 1997). He held power subordinate to K1. That ought to make the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1900-89) K0; he was born Ruhollah Hendi and adopted a Kh name in 1930.

The K1 and K2 slang terms were mentioned in a New York Times article in the Week In Review Section, in June 2000.

Kindergarten through the fourth year of graduate school. Honest to God. After I saw it in a mailing-list CFPP, I wrote the organizer (in the southeastern US) and she replied, ``[y]es, the new `term' we educators are supposed to use these days instead of K-16. Glad you noticed it!!''

The SEA blithely uses ``K-20'' in a CFP (submission deadline Nov. 21, 2003) posted to the ASSESS mailing list (Nov. 25, 2003). Is it too late to stop the spread of this pernicious abbreviation beyond the southeastern US? The outlook is grim.

A complete Old-Order Amish education.

Earlier this year, I was in the Wendy's on Dixie Way towards closing and I overheard an argument. An employee was angry because a customer had grabbed her and the manager had seen it and done nothing. The manager was temporizing sophistically, and the employee was giving notice.

I saw her before she finally left and told her she was in the right. I pointed out that, ``to be blunt, you're the cutest girl here'' and she jumped in to say that this was the reason the others didn't understand. [Note to self: beautiful persons socially disadvantaged-- challenged; need legislation; must found research group, call the Carnegie, MacArthur, People Like You] I asked why she didn't get a job as a waitress in a restaurant with more enlightened management. She explained ``I'm in adult school! I haven't even graduated from eighth grade!'' Later, she showed me the mood-ring-luster bead on her pierced tongue. She's probably not Amish.

I hadn't realized that there were educational requirements, but come to think of it, the waitresses at Nick's Patio have all completed at least K-12. I guess the Amish must have a serious shortage of people qualified to wait table in their Greek restaurants. For a moment, you yourself probably wondered whether a complete HS education is needed for identifying, communicating, and delivering food items. It is needed -- for many reasons, not all obvious.

Traditionally, of course, completion of high school was a demonstration of determination and emotional maturity, and hence a token of desirable work habits. Today, as we know, it requires no determination or maturity at all, and may even suggest a reluctance to work. However, as the topics explored in school have become more diversity-sensitive, relevance-oriented, and quality-driven, it has been necessary to delay the introduction of certain difficult topics. [Long ago (1969), unenlightened teachers used those subjects to indoctrinate students in patriarchal Western ``culture.''] HS graduation now guarantees that the prospective waitperson has been exposed to spelling and arithmetic issues, viewed from a rich and diverse range of modern and traditional third-world perspectives. This is helpful when the cash register goes off-line.

(For the record, I've learned that Nick's does hire waiters and waitresses without HS diplomas.)

K9, K-9
Rebus for Canine. Police K-9 units are composed of trainer-and-dog teams. See this entry concerning an occupational hazard. See also B-9.

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