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Lennard-Jones. That's just one guy: J. E. Lennard-Jones. ``LJ potential'' (LJP) is usually an interparticle potential combining the van der Waals attraction and a short-range quantum repulsion, in which both are approximated as radial (varying only with separation r), and proportional to an inverse power of r.

[Aside: Rigorously, a nonrelativistic treatment gives an asymptotic fall-off of the van der Waals attractive potential as the inverse sixth power of r, and this is generally used, although a relativistic treatment gives a seventh-power fall-off. It's easy to estimate the validity of this: the van der Waals interaction can be thought of classically as a correlation between fluctuational dipoles. The dipole moment is associated with quantum uncertainty, or virtual excitation of electrons in the highest-energy occupied states into the lowest-energy unoccupied states. These states are at the outer edges of the atomic cloud, defined by a screened Coulomb potential of the nucleus that has an effective charge close to unity. The average speed of such electrons is [alpha]c, where [alpha] is the fine structure constant and c is the speed of light. Relativistic corrections arise if the fluctuational dipole rotates appreciably in the time it takes the information about the dipole orientation to be carried (at light speed c) from one particle to the other. In other words, the transition from inverse-sixth to inverse-seventh power law behavior occurs around the place where the interatomic distance is larger than an atomic radius divided by the fine structure constant, or very roughly for gases whose density is less than a millionth of the solid density.]

The approximation of the short-range repulsive term as an inverse power law was introduced by Max Born in his work on ionic crystals. Values computed from compressibility data extrapolated to low temperature show values in the range of 6 to 12 (values of six or less do not imply instability for an ionic solid, which has electrostatic attraction in addition to van der Waals).

Sometimes people use ``LJ potential'' to mean a 6-12 potential: using an exponent of 12 for the repulsive term. This is mathematically convenient. You know, it's just an approximation.

For Lennard-Jones's own contributions, you might look at Proc. Roy. Soc., 106 441, 463, 709 (1924); 109, 476 (1925); 109 584 (1925).

Library Journal.

Let's Just Be Friends. Depending on timing, this may mean (1) I'm not interested or (2) goodbye. Now concerning these separate situations:

  1. Other early-in-the-prospective-relationship code is ``let's keep in touch'' (but I can't honestly say I've seen it abbreviated LKIT). If the guy says this at the end of the first date, it means he doesn't want to hear from you again, okay? If he were interested, he'd be more specific.

  2. You may not want to be just friends. You may want revenge. ``The Last Word!'' offers resources (they're developing a place to vent, and they sell tell-him-off cards) if you feel that way. Its creator, reporter Karen Cumming, from Toronto, points out that her cards are ``smart, hip, better than therapy, and cheaper too!'' Well, they are cheaper than therapy, and they're too lame to merit a reply, so you probably will have the last word. This glossary has more on Toronto girls. BTW, the domain is <lastwordcards.com>, and not <lastword.com>.

    Of course, there are more extreme responses.

Liverpool John Moores University.

Lennard-Jones (LJ, q.v.) Potential.

(Domain code for) Sri Lanka. (Formerly `Ceylon.')

Larry King Live. A television show featuring an ancient but unvenerable guy who wears suspenders (Brit. ``braces'') and who interviews weird guys. It's been reported that he also sometimes interviews people who are not weird guys, but it's sort of like the situation with the Nobel Peace Prize. Even if you thought well of someone before they won it, afterwards you begin to have doubts.

Lines. Plural of l.

Lingua Latina. Short title of some books by Hans Henning Ørberg. It's in a foreign language, so I'm not sure what it's about, but it's probably about the Latin tongue. (I hadn't realized there was an ethnic variation in that part of the anatomy.)

Oh, all right. Around 1953 some unusual Latin teaching materials were published by the Nature Method Language Institutes. THE REST OF THIS ENTRY IS INOPERATIVE, or at least suffers from diminished operativity. We'll be working to enhance its truthiness soon.

The Nature Method Language Institutes seem to have been be based pretty much everywhere (specificially, if that's the word, in Amstelodami, Bruxellis, Hauniae, Helsingii, Holmiae, Londinii, Mediolani, Monachii, Novi Eboraci, Osloae, Parisus, Turici, et Vindobonae, and no, I don't plan to convert those genitives back to nominatives). The front cover (of the first volume, which is all I've seen of the first edition) was full of the names of all of the important people who didn't actually write the book.

It's pretty distracting. Now where were we? The core materials are four textbooks by Ørberg. (See Oerberg regarding the usual English/ASCII spelling.) The unusual feature of the books is that they were written entirely in Latin. I suppose it would have been even more unusual if they had been entirely written in any other language. Anyway, the texts contain no translations, and except for a few proper nouns in the front matter, everything is in Latin, including the grammar explanations. This is typically called the ``direct method.'' It is so close to what happens naturally when a child learns a first language, or when one learns a language by immersion, that it is hard to say who, if anyone, ever invented the method.

On the other hand, a language program or even a textbook based entirely on the direct method is a rarity. It seems hard to construct something that is self-contained, and not enormous, that can implement the method. Ørberg pulls it off. Obviously, the initial vocabulary has to be pretty obvious (placenames, Roma est in Italia, that sort of thing, and much of the vocabulary is recognizable through cognates). The common title of the textbooks was originally Lingua Latin Secundum Naturae Rationem Explicata, which can be fairly back-translated as `the Latin language, explained according to the nature method.'

Arthur M. Jensen's is one of the names listed on that busy front cover I mentioned above. He developed and apparently named the nature method. I've seen no explanation or attempt at an explanation of why it wasn't called the ``natural method.'' Perhaps he felt that what is ``natural'' is for a teacher to explain a foreign language to a student in a language the student already knows. That's natural enough that it is the dominant method in schools. Possibly the name was chosen because, in applying the method to the teaching of English, he found it convenient to teach the word nature long before the corresponding adjective. Possibly it was a mistake. I don't know. I am pretty sure he wrote at least one EFL text on these principles, and there was apparently also a French-as-a-foreign-language text that he wrote or had a hand in, but these initiatives seem to have faded away. (On the other hand, it may be that the nature method has been implemented naturally. In East Asia, the English fever is so hot that there aren't enough local teachers to supply demand. Consequently, a lot of the English teachers are recruited from the ranks of educated native speakers of English who have minimal knowledge of the languages spoken in the countries where they teach.)

The first two volumes, at least, have continued to be published (2/e 1983, 3/e 1990, minor corrections 1998, 1999, reprinted 2001) under the title Lingua Latina per Se Illustrata (`the Latin language elucidated by itself'). (And just for completeness: Lingua was written in all-caps, and the capital u was now written V. Also, in the first edition Ørberg had been spelled Oerberg.) I haven't seen the earlier editions of the second volume, but judging from the supplemental materials, which I have seen, they had 53 chapters in the first two volumes, and three chapters were added to the second volume in the last edition.

Supplemental materials (saddle-stitched typescripts of from 30 up to 100 pages or so) include a teacher's manual for vols. 1 and 2, and separate student's guides for vol. 1 and vol. 2, all in English, copyright 1972, by the aptly named W.M. Read, professor of classics at the University of Washington. These were commissioned by the Nature Language Institute in Novum Eboracum. Perhaps Nature Language Institutes in other places produced materials in other languages. New York also commissioned another Teacher's Manual from Prof. Ian Thomson (Dept. of Classics, Indiana University) copyright 1975.

Ørberg also provided a set of Fabellae Latinae (typescript preliminary edition 1972) to go with chapters 1-12, a workbook (Exercitia Latin, typescript 1974) for chh. 1-20, and Colloquia Personarum to go with chh. 1-24 (published in Haunia in 1985). Haunia seems to be in Finland. The precise set of supplementary materials has evidently changed over time, and in particular, the numbers of text chapters that various materials are keyed to has changed. This is obvious by comparing what my library has accumulated over the years with a 1974 review Richard T. Scanlan: ``A Critical Survey of New [yes] Elementary and Intermediate Latin Textbooks, 1969-1973'' in Modern [yes] Language Journal.

Not mentioned by Scanlan, unless it's the ``Prospectus,'' is an undated ``Introduction'' (16-page typescript). There is also an early set of ``Instructions'' keyed to the first 53 chapters, evidently intended for student use, in three anonymous and undated typescripts. Read's two-volume guide probably superseded this.

There's a mailing-list-based discussion group for the Ørberg text. As of early February 2007, it has 227 subscribers.

Liquid-Liquid (interface, phase transition, etc.).

Latin, loco laudato, `at the place cited.' (Lat. laudare is the origin of Eng. laud; `cited' stands for something like `commended to your attention.') loc. cit. is much more common.

Loose Leaf.

Lower Level. In a hotel, that would be at or below the first floor, depending on local storey-counting convention and pretensions. In statistics, it would typically be the lower limit of a confidence interval (cf. UL).

[Image of llamas strutting.]

Life magazine reports (Jan. 1994, p. 15) on research by Virginia veterinarian Dr. Donna Matthews, who has found what is there described as a new way to get these animals to haul ass:

``They chase coyotes because it's a fun thing to do. The moment they sense fear, and think something will run from them, they chase it.''

In fact, this is not really news. [ Ftnt. 21 ] Llamas have been used for years in Texas to protect against coyote intrusions, and a good breeding llama can go for $10 000 (all llamas are mean, but not all llamas are equally mean to coyotes). [ Ftnt. 19 ] This information is courtesy of the Stammtisch banjo specialist. (Link may claim, heretically, that no such newsgroup exists; this merely indicates that your news server is deficient. Incidentally, that's the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve specialist in banjo. There is as yet no particular Stammtisch Beau Fleuve banjo, although this would not be difficult to arrange.)

Llamas have been bred for fur in Clarence, a rural area about 10 mi. east of UB. Llamas are very fastidious creatures [ Ftnt. 20 ], and they typically select a single place to defecate. If you keep them away from this area, they will explode (explotarán in Spanish; concerning which, see the miga entry).

The information above is courtesy of the Stammtisch U.E. specialist. ``You never know when this kind of information might come in handy,'' comments the Stammtisch specialist in decanal affairs.

Winston Churchill once described Charles de Gaulle as looking like a llama surprised in her bath. President and First Lady Jack and Jackie Kennedy, on a state visit to France, were impressed by the breeding of Charles de Gaulle, and his erudition. Young Billy Clinton was impressed and inspired by President Kennedy, whom he met personally in a `Boy's Nation' event. On December 13, 1995, the pugnacious former mayor of Buffalo, Jimmy Griffin, announced that he would challenge President Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, because he disagreed with him on, not to put too fine a point on it, everything. There were neither debates nor fisticuffs. In the primary, Jimmy placed seventh in a field of twenty Democratic party candidates, with about 200 votes out of the few tens of thousands cast. Jimmy decided to abandon his campaign. He probably ended up voting for that gentle old softie Pat, who was bred not in Clarence but near Texas.

Llamas are also used as golf caddies. (You can also check out a site with images that may eventually load.)

According to Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953), in More Beasts for Worse Children (1897) ``The Llama'':

The Llama is a woolly sort of fleecy hairy goat,
With an indolent expression and an undulating throat
Like an unsuccessful literary man.

More local (i.e., SBF) information on llamas at the kevlar entry. There is, of course, a central llama-alpaca site on the web... <llama.org>.

Llamas are native to the Andes, which can get cold. (But see another llama entry.) ``Native'' here is not quite right. The llama, like the puma, jaguar, and many of the other placental mammals that we think of as South American, originally evolved in Laurasia (see below) and later colonized South America from North America, often displacing (driving to extinction) species that had developed locally.

During the age of the dinosaurs, most of the earth's land mass was distributed in two large continents: Gondwanaland comprised land that became the modern continents of South America, Antarctica, and Australia, the Indian subcontinent, most of the current continent of Africa, and scattered bits and pieces of stuff like the island of Madagascar. Laurasia comprised the rest: North America, Greenland, Europe to the northern coast of Africa, and Asia excluding the Indian subcontinent.

About 100 million years ago, over thirty million years before the end of the era of dinosaurs, these large continents began to break up. At the time, mammals -- monotremes (egg-layers like the duck-billed platypus), marsupials and placentals -- were widely distributed but marginal, generally small nocturnal animals. After dinosaurs (or at least featherless dinosaurs) became extinct, mammals evolved to fill ecological niches they had occupied. This evolution took place independently on the separated continents, with marsupials dominating in Australia, placentals dominating in the northerly continents, and a mix of marsupials and placentals developing in the South American continent. Over most of this time the South and North American continents were separated. Placental mammals that evolved in South America (like the armadillo and sloth) are genetically quite distant from those that developed in North America and Europe, even though morphologically, animals that evolved to fill similar ecological niches exhibited uncanny convergence. North American marsupials like the possum generally developed in the southern continent and colonized the north.

Visit the ndl page and get your own glow-in-the-dark FONDL (Friends Of Naked Dancing Llama) tee shirt. For stuff about real llamas, try LlamaWeb.

Llamas don't have lanolin in their wool, so they can get drenched in the rain. Llamas, unlike many animals, seem to have no innate aversion to brother-sister incest.

Spanish, `[he, she, or it] calls.'

Spanish, `flame.'

It's nowhere near as bad as Chinese, but Spanish does have a lot of homographs. Since Spanish is quite phonetic, all homographs are homophones. However, orthography is many-to-one: if there were any word yama in Spanish, it would be a homophone (i.e., pronounced the same as llama).

English spelling, of course, is many-to-many. Among the clever little demonstrations of this apparently obscure fact is Ogden Nash's poem ``The Lama,'' first published in his collection Free Wheeling (1931):

The one-L lama,
He's a priest.
The two-L llama,
He's a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pyjama
There isn't any
Three-L lllama.

The standard reply in Brooklyn is ``theah shaw is -- it's a helluva fah-yu.''

There are cases, incidentally, where Spanish vocabulary makes a distinction that English does not. For example, English fire translates Spanish fuego (controlled fire, like a campfire) and incendio (uncontrolled fire, like a housefire).

My father's mother used to tell him, ``tres mudanzas equivalen un incendio.'' It's a proverb, sometimes attributed to Ben Jonson or others -- ``three moves equal one housefire.'' I hope to find a citation somewhere.

A more important instance of Spanish distinguishing what English does not is that Swiss Army knife of a verb, be, which serves primarily as copula, modal auxiliary, occasionally as an intransitive verb, and a few other things I'm not worrying about now.) In Spanish, when the copula takes a predicate nominative, it is a form of the verb ser. When it takes a predicate adjective or anything else, it is a form of estar. This seems to correspond fairly directly to the Latin verbs essere and stare. English also uses be as a modal to construct a progressive aspect, as in the phrase ``I am going.'' In Spanish, the ordinary present is used more generally, and a periphrastic progressive, with modal verb estar, is used primarily for emphasis (estoy llendo, ``I am going''). At the opposite extreme, a language that distinguishes the progressive aspect much more often than English is Russian. This is noticeable in the kinds of errors Russian-speakers make in English.

Spanish estar and Latin stare are cognate with German stehen and English stay. German stehen has a past tense formed from stand, and (in any tense) corresponds roughly in meaning to English stand. (Even in ``dead metaphor'' derivatives like verstehen, `understand.') English stay typically becomes bleiben in German translation.

In Russian, Ancient Greek and Hebrew, one typically does without a copulative verb. In Japanese, a neutral sort of copula is desu, but you can leave off almost anything you want except the case particles.

Another uncanny similarity between Russian and Hebrew is that verbs occur in different moods. Some Israelis don't even realize that the different moods are related forms of the same verb. That business of different forms of one verb evolving into different verbs evidently occurs in any language with nontrivial synthetic conjugation (like Old English or Hebrew).

German, which like English has a single be verb (sein), uses it as a modal equivalent to haben (have) in forming perfect conjugations. As a rough general rule, a form of haben is used in with most verbs, the exception being with sein and other stative verbs, and with intransitive verbs. It should be noted that in German, as in many languages, the distinction is eroding between preterite aspect (past action, possibly but not necessarily completed in the past) and present perfect aspect (action completed in the past). That is, the meanings of `I threw the ball' and `I have thrown the ball' (Ich warf den Ball, Ich habe den Ball geworfen) are not sharply distinguished. The present perfect form tends to be used. As you can imagine, the past perfect conjugation (I had thrown the ball) is rare.

In English historically, it seems there has been an occasional tendency to use be in place of have. You can see how it would happen, from the related meanings and similar forms of the following two syntactically quite distinct paradigm sentences:

I am gone.
(Verb phrase is construed as copula + adjective, where the adjective is the past participle of go.)
I have gone.
(Verb phrase is construed as modal + past participle, together forming present perfect.) I'm actually tripping here across a topic (the periphrastic perfect tenses) that has been extensively studied, particularly in Western European languages. It seems to have arisen simultaneously in Germanic and Romance, and it's been hard to locate the origin. The wobble among different choices of the modal verb is a general phenomenon too.

Getting back to the different translation of English be into Spanish, the English sentence there is water is translated hay agua, using a form (hay) of the verb haber. Now, the word haber is used as a modal to construct perfect tenses, just as haben and have are used in German and English. It is therefore tempting to guess that they are cognates, but they're not. The Germanic haben is cognate with Latin carpe, `hold.' That's just the way the sound transformations came down. You can see how having and holding could be confused. The Spanish word that translates the ordinary (nonmodal) meaning of English have is tener. The modal construction I have to ... (i.e. I must ...) corresponds to Spanish tengo que ... (tengo means `I have').

You know, we took off on this meandering tangent (it's a curved space) because this is the third llama entry. But just before we took off, we were discussing one or two three-ell lllamas. I'm not aware of any language with a word that begins with three consecutive ell's, but since the recent German spelling reform, German probably has a bunch of compound words with three consecutive ells in the middle. This is something new. German has a fair number of words that end in a double ell, and a fair number that begin with a single ell. Traditionally, German compounds have not used hyphens, but when simple concatenation led to three of any letter, the cluster was reduced to two of the letter. No more: clusters of three of the same are not to be reduced to two. As if German wasn't already a weird-looking language. On the other hand, hyphens are now encouraged. I'll keep an eye out.

LocalTalk Link Access Protocol.

Lower Layer ATM Interface.

Latin, Legum Baccalaureus, `Bachelor of Laws.' (The el is doubled because legum, `laws,' is plural.) Cf. J.D.

Line Loop-Back.

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts.

Language Learning for Children. A SIG of the ACTFL.

Limited-Liability Company.

Logical Link Control. Divided into numbered layers LLC1, LLC2, ...

Lowest-Level Cache. Anywhere from L1 through L6 and on up, in principle, but L2 or L3 seems pretty typical. I mean, there has to be a role for the main memory store, right?

LeadLess Chip Carrier. This acronym is fairly comprehensible, unlike LCC.

LL Cool J
Ladies Love Cool James. The abbreviated form is stage name for a rapper whose real name is James Smith.

Logical Link Control/SubNetwork Access Protocol.

Latin, Legum Doctor, `Doctor of Laws.'

Lower Limit of Detection.

Linear Low-Density PolyEthylene[s].

Low-Level Exposure.

Laurie Lewis and Grant Street. BG artists.

The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at UT Austin.

Lowest Landau Level.

Limited-Liability Limited Partnership. It was always my understanding that the ``limited'' in ``limited partnership'' referred to the limitations on liability (as in LLP), so it's not clear to me how LLLP differs. Maybe they should write ``LLLP, Ltd.'' just to be on the safe side.

Low-Level Mixed (nuclear and non-nuclear) Waste. Cf. LLW.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Library of Living Philosophers.

Lightning Location and Prediction. Lots of luck with the second operation. The path of any particular lightning bolt is substantially affected by the charged-particle component of cosmic rays, which produces straight segments of ionized, and highly conducting, air. Lighting paths tend to consist of such straight paths connected by shorter, more diffusive segments.

Limited Liability Partnership. Equivalent to Ltd.

Live Long and Prosper. Standard translation of the Vulcan expression, ``mene sakkhet ur-seveh,'' also used on by Earth people.

Lyman-Line Pumping. The Lyman series is a subset of spectroscopic lines. Pumping is what you do to get a laser to work: you flood the material with light to create a population inversion.

Large Lattice Relaxation.

And now a word from our sponsor...


Select from our reliable line of children's and infants' flame-throwers.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled glossary entry.

Laser-Light Scattering.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It ``is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services. LLS's mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.'' The LSA was founded in 1949 as the Leukemia Society of America.

Lunar Landing Vehicle.

Low-Level (radioactive/nuclear) Waste.

Low-Level (i.e. altitude) Wind-shear Alert System. Wind shear around airports caused some commercial aviation accidents in the 1980's, leading to a technical effort to develop detection systems.

Little League World Series.

Light Microscop{e|y}.

Liquid Metal. The surface tension of LM is generally much higher than the surface tension of any other liquid at comparable temperatures. Partly in consequence of this, LM surfaces rank among the flattest surfaces known.

You can make a good parabolic mirror by spinning mercury

Literary Marketplace. The title of an annual publication that lists hundreds of publishers that don't want to publish your book.

LuMen. The SI unit of luminous flux -- i.e., light power, suitably normalized. This and related units are explained at the photometry entry.

Lunar Module. NASA's name for the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM). The contractors tended to use the designation LEM, and the initialism el-em was apparently often slurred to ``lem,'' so we put most of the information-like text at the LEM acronym entry.

Laminating Materials Association. According to their old homepage, on a domain that now belongs to the Louisiana Municipal Association, the LMA was a ``not-for-profit trade group, represents all types of man-made decorative overlays except for high pressure laminate. In addition, the LMA is the representative organization for all edgebanding in North America. The products represented by the LMA are applied to a wood substrate and used in the production of furniture (household and office), store fixtures, kitchen cabinets, wall paneling, and etc.''

In 2004, the LMA was absorbed by the Composite Panel Association (CPA), which became ``the primary trade association for the wood-based decorative surfaces industry.''

Late Middle Ages.

Leucemia Mielóide Aguda. Spanish for `acute myeloid leukemia.'

Louisiana Municipal Association.

LMAO, lmao
ROFLMAO without rolling on the floor. For when you're chatting.

Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics within NIEHS.

The Lady Margaret Boat Club. Founded in 1825 as the boat club of St. John's College, Cambridge, it was the first Oxbridge College boat club.


Large Magellanic Cloud. The larger of the two Magellanic Clouds. (The other is the SMC; you can guess what that stands for.) Both are irregular dwarf galaxies that are part of the local group of galaxies that the Milky Way is part of.

(Telephone) Line Maintenance Center.

Loop Maintenance Center.

Literature, Media, and Cultural Studies.

Local Multipoint Communication Systems. Name used in Canada for LMDS, q.v. The Canadian government has allocated 3 GHz of electromagnetic spectrum around 28 GHz for such systems, a number of which are currently (1999) being set up.

Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (du CNRS).

Local Multichannel Distribution Systems. A wireless system for data similar to cellular phones, also using high-frequencies that operate line-of-sight (LOS).

For the US, the FCC has auctioned a 1.3 GHz band around 28 GHz for LMDS, and currently (1999) in trials involving ~10,000 subscribers in the US.

London Metal Exchange. The world's premier market for non-ferrous metals. One also reads of ``LME warehouses'' which may from time to time hold a fair fraction a year's world consumption. These are LME-approved warehouses. According to an LME website FAQ,
``The LME is not the natural source for physical metal. It is rather, a financial market, used mainly for limiting future price risk, supported by a delivery of last resort. Consumers wishing to buy physical metal normally do so directly from producers or through merchants. Some LME members do have a physical department.

``Metal to meet deliveries of LME contracts, that do go to delivery, is stored on warrant in LME-approved warehouses and must meet the specifications of the individual metal contracts as laid down by the LME. In order to ensure the quality of metal held on warrant for delivery against LME contracts, all such metal must be of a brand listed as good delivery by the directors of the LME. If a party wishes to buy metal via the LME it can do so through a broker on the LME. It should be noted that delivery is at seller's option and the location, production source and shape cannot be guaranteed. However, the metal will be of a brand and specification in accordance with LME rules and will be stored in an LME approved warehouse. The LME price is 'in warehouse' and the costs of taking up that metal will have to be met by the buyer.''

Lady Margaret Hall. ``Changing lives since 1879''! Gosh, that's a sturdy old dame. Oh wait: ``An Oxford college for the 21st century. LMH was founded in 1878 [no lives changed the first year, apparently] from a passion for scholarship, equality, and fairness.''

They're introducing a program called the LMH Foundation Year, accepting applications for Autumn 2016. It ``is designed to take academically able students from under-represented groups and through a combination of academic and personal support, enable them to fulfill their potential.'' It's all so carefully worded, but in a video, the principal of LMH (a college with a ``principal''? -- I guess we are divided by a common language) explains that they're looking for students who got poorer grades than they (the students) thought would be necessary to get into or succeed at Oxford, but who can do better than the grades suggest. And I, for one, don't doubt that students with relatively poor grades are an under-represented group among students at Oxford. But the whole program seems an exercise in treading a careful path. If word gets out, it may (unfairly, no doubt) stigmatize LMH students. But if word doesn't get out, then students otherwise too discouraged to apply won't apply. I'm threading the needle right here and thus: I'm letting you know, but you shouldn't tell anyone else. Indeed, you should probably forget about it yourself.

{ Layer | Link | Local } Management Interface.

Leo Minor. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Linear Matrix Inequality. If G is a real-valued n×n square matrix, then G > 0 is a ``matrix inequality,'' obvious shorthand for the proposition that sTGs > 0 for all real-valued, nonzero column vectors s. If G depends linearly on some x (which need not be a scalar), then the inequality is called an LMI.

Lloyd's Marine Intelligence Unit. A shipping consultancy that estimates seaborne petroleum trade by tracking oil tankers.

LAN MAN Management Protocol. IEEE standard for network management.

Lactate MonoOxygenase. An enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of lactate. See LOD.

Loop Maintenance Operations System.

Last Menstrual Period. The number of ``weeks [since] LMP'' determines the price of an abortion.

(Online) Literary Marketplace. There's also an ILMP.

Logic, Math, and Physics. The LMP conference at UWO is a Graduate Conference in Logic, Math, and Physics, held annually since 2000.

Language-Minority Student. A student who is a member of a language minority. There are, in this sense, many majority-minority regions and countries.

Leading Market Services. A full service ad/PR agency specializing in luxury-brand marketing. Founded in 2000 and headed by Lori M. Sachs, whose previous position had been Marketing Vice President at Reed/Cahners Travel Group. The coincidence of initials might be accidental. The firm was created by ``The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.'' (LHW) and some ad/PR firm with a long name.

Least Mean Squares. Parameters determined by minimizing the sum of squares of the deviations.

Licence in Mediaeval Studies. Also M.S.L. (Parameters probably determined by minimizing the deviations of the squares.)

The LMS is a post-Ph.D. degree! You read right. If you're not one of the people who gasped and demanded government action after learning about this, the following message is for you.

Listen, guys: the war in 'Nam is over! The draft is history! You don't need another deferment, you don't need to go to Canada. For God's sake, get a job and get a life!

(And as if that weren't bad enough, see the M.S.D. entry.)

London Mathematical Society.

London, Midland & Scottish Railway. For the other mainline railway companies of Britain's Grouping era, see Big Four.

Leading Market Services. A full service ad/PR agency specializing in luxury-brand marketing. Founded in 2000 and headed by Lori M. Sachs, whose previous position had been Marketing Vice President at Reed/Cahners Travel Group. The coincidence of initials might be accidental. The firm was created by ``The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.'' (LHW) and some ad/PR firm with a long name.

Liquid Mirror Telescope. A reflecting telescope that uses a liquid mirror. The idea (Newton's) is that an incompressible liquid with no surface tension, spinning at constant angular velocity in a constant gravitational field, has a surface that describes a parabola. Obviously, these conditions are or can be well approximated in reality, and LMT's using mercury have been operated since the nineteenth century. The widest LMT in current use is Canada's incredibly cheap ($500,000 Canadian) Large Zenith Telescope, six meters in diameter.

It's called a ``zenith telescope'' because the parabola's axis of symmetry is vertical, so it looks straight up.

Local Mean Time.

Linear Muffin-Tin Orbital.

Linear Muffin-Tin Orbital (LMTO) -- Atomic Sphere Approximation.

Line Monitor Unit.

Leeds Metropolitan University. Leeds Met ``is striving to be a world-class regional university....''

Lincoln Memorial University. Founded on Lincoln's birthday in 1897, thanks to General O.O. Howard of the Union army, who remembered that President Lincoln once expressed the hope that he would organize a great university for the people of his area after the Civil War. Thanks are reportedly also due to Reverend A.A. Myers, a Congregationalist minister who came to the Cumberland Gap in 1888 and opened the Harrow School (an elementary school). Thanks as well to Colonel A.A. Arthur, the organizing agent of an English company that in the late 1800's built a 700-room hotel called ``The Four Seasons'' in the area, along with a hospital, a sanitarium, and an inn, and some smaller buildings. That's it for the titled double-vowel people. The English company abandoned the project in 1895 due to a financial panic; Gen. O.O. got together a group that purchased the hotel and turned it into LMU. I'm not sure what Rev. A.A.'s role was in all of this, but he's mentioned at the page from which I cribbed this bit of history.

Loyola Marymount University. ``LMU|LA'' also appears; the LA stands for the campus location.

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. `Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.'

When it was established in 1472 in Ingolstadt, it was the first university in Bavaria. Today it's located in Munich and is the largest University in Germany. For what happened in the intervening five centuries, see this page.

Low Molecular Weight.

Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin. A fraction of UFH, q.v.

LaNthanide. Or lanthanoid, if you want to be hip with the IUPAC hepcats. Anyway, Ln is an informal chemical symbol for a generic actinide. Don't confuse it with La, the symbol for lanthanum. Lanthanum, by a curious coincidence, is the lightest element of the series (the lanthanides) named for it. It's Science! There's a similar symbol An, for a generic actinide.

Natural Logarithm. Logarithm base e, where e is Euler's constant. I suppose ln might also stand, or be thought of as standing, for Napierian logarithm, or the logarithm of John Napier.

Low-Noise Amplifier. In a sequence of amplifier stages, noise in the earliest stage is amplified the most, so LNA's are best placed early. Vide signal-to-noise-ratio.

Low-Noise Block (converter). See LNBC.

Low-Noise Block Converter. Satellite-industry term for receiver stage that amplifies and converts received microwave downlink signal into lower-frequency CATV signal. Vide Low-Noise Amp (LNA).

Ladies of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's. It seems they now favor ``LND/SMC.'' It's possible to interpret the name of this organization as `Ladies of Our Lady and our Lady's.'

The Ladies of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College. It ``is a social organization dedicated to promoting activities and friendships among the women associated with the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College. ... All women faculty and administrators at Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College and wives of faculty and administrators are encouraged to take advantage of membership in the organization.''

Before they had a website, back when their recruitment letters came on paper, I thought they were a club for faculty spouses. (Or is that ``faculty spice''? Or should we just voice the intervocalic ess in spouses?) I figured it was open to males (husbands of professors) as well as to persons of gender. I was wrong. This goes to show just how out of step with the times I am. I'm a troglodyte, maybe even a trilobite or something pre-Cambrian, and I don't even know it! Well, at least I can be sure that they would welcome warmly the wife of a lesbian professor.

London & North Eastern Railway. For the other mainline railway companies of Britain's Grouping era, see Big Four.

Liquified Natural Gas. Natural gas (mostly methane) liquified by cooling below -163°C = 110 K.

`Pure' Natural Gas is odorless to humans. A fragrance is added to allow leaks of unburned natural gas to be detected.

Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery.

Local Number Portability. You can keep your phone number if you move nearby.


Leading Order. This first nonvanishing order of contributions to some calculable quantity. Typically, the order is the power of some parameter, and the various terms arise from a Taylor series or diagramatic expansion.

When the first term is labelled the LO, the subsequent terms are often labeled the NLO and NNLO.

Literaturblatt des Orients.

[Phone icon]

Local Office. The telephone switching node closest to the individual subscribers. Originally it was an office with a switchboard manned by a switchboard operator (hence ``operator''). Later it was a bank of relays, and later a bank of semiconductor switches. Also ``Central Office'' (CO), q.v.

Local Oscillator.

Longitudinal Optical. Refers to longitudinally polarized phonons. LO phonons always interact with charge carriers by DO interaction. In a polar crystal, they also interact via PO interaction, typically called the Fröhlich interaction, after the description he gave of it that is still used in all but the most ``realistic'' simulation. Cf. LA, TO;

Leave Of Absence.

Limits Of Agreement. A statistical measure. I think it would be better termed LoD. What do you think?

Short for Archers of Loaf, indie band out of Chapel Hill, NC. Here's a fine unofficial website.

Lancaster-Oslo/Bergen Corpus (of British English).

Left On Base. (Baseball statistic.)

`Praise' in German. A noun.

Toss in a high, gentle arc.

  1. noun: ante-room.
  2. verb: to haunt the lobbies of legislators' or other decision-makers' offices, in hopes of persuading them to one's view or interest.
  3. noun: an entity that lobbies for a view opposed by the person using the word. In contrast, a group lobbying for a view favored by a speaker or writer is a ``public interest group'' or ``research foundation.'' Similarly, an individual retired from a legislature who returns to plead a third party's cause has gone through the revolving door to get on the gravy train, or become a respected elder statesman, depending as one disapproves or approves the views advocated, respectively.

Large Optical Cavity.

Lead On (integrated-circuit) Chip.

Loss Of Consciousness. An ER abbreviation.

Loss Of Crew. An acronym NASA has had too frequent occasion to use. Cf. LOM.

Certain words, like ``tristate'' and ``statewide,'' become more irritating than useful when used on the web.

http://www.statewide.com/ is apparently in (all over, from Bedford) New Hampshire (NH). http://www.statewideweb.com/ is in Northern Indiana. http://www.tristate.com/ is a domain name that was scarfed up and held for ransom by an internet scalper.

This glossary contains a longer think-piece on the important ``tristate area'' language crisis.

loc. cit.
Latin, loco citato, `at the place cited.' Less commonly, l.l. Cf. op. cit.

Loss Of Cell Delineation.

The singular form of the Spanish word locos. An ordinary dictionary would make loco the primary entry for the variously inflected forms of this word, but this is not an ordinary dictionary. One of the fundamental guiding principles in the uh-rrangement of this glossary is that words love company just as much as misery. The only reason we have hundreds of words of loca/loco/locas/locos content at all, and the reason that the majority of that is under locos, is that the original LOCOS entry was lonely. I know, it's `crazy.'

Chilean abalone.

LOcal Control Operating Panel.

LOCal Oxidation of Silicon. [Masked oxidation near the silicon surface to provide electronic isolation between devices. Made possible by relatively slow oxidation of silicon nitride, used as a mask. To prevent dopant diffusion, oxidation is done at low temperature and high pressure. Cf. ROx, dielectric isolation, junction isolation.]

Spanish for `crazies.' (That's the male plural form of the adjective and noun. Traditionally, the male plural is used if one or more of those referred to are male. In the politically correct new world -- the cowardly new world -- it is supposed to be an affront if any female is described by a grammatically male word, so a group of crazy males and crazy females must be locos y locas, or locas y locos, or something equally crazy. That doesn't cover all the cases once covered by the single term locos, however. A group of three or more in which only one is male or female would be loco y locas or loca y locos

Locos is derived from logos. Logos is a Greek word meaning `word,' and by extension `reason.' It is well known that crazy people are often obsessed with reason, and quite logical. They just have extremely poor judgment. In the absence of any apparent organic cause, this syndrome is diagnosed as philosophy. There are two main branches of philosophy: analytic and continental, or, as I prefer to call them, acute and chronic. The word philosophy is also derived from Greek roots. It means `love of sophistry.'

Okay, I've been informed that there may be some errors in the preceding paragraph: the first and possibly the last sentence. Picky, picky! Alright: honestly, I had always understood that loco is really derived from Latin locus, `place,' via some longer phrase meaning that you have misplaced your brain. But apparently I understood wrong. Corominas y Pascual devote two pages to examining the various rather tentative hypotheses regarding the origin of loco, and eventually throw up their hands, concluding that its origin is oscuro, possibly Arabic, and that even a pre-Romance origin cannot be excluded. The word occurs in all literary periods of the Middle Ages, and there are old cognates in Galician and Portuguese. The word is recognized as a common Castilianism (castellanismo, if you don't like the neologism) in other Romance languages (and in English, of course), and has been borrowed into the Valencian dialect of Catalan (as lloco, which is to say, without change in pronunciation). You know, I think the whole logos idea is beginning to seem plausible.

Lactate OxiDase. An enzyme. That (like LMO) catalyzes the oxidation of lactate, duh. Lactate, of course, is the anion associated with lactic acid. Lactic acid is a three-carbon molecule, a breakdown product made when glucose is used in muscle contraction. LOD breaks it down further. Many people confuse lactose with lactate, as I seem to have done in an earlier version of this entry. Lactose is another sugar. People who are lactose intolerant (LI) are not lactate intolerant. No one can be very lactate intolerant, since we all produce and metabolize so much of the stuff.

Level Of Detail.

Limit[s] Of Detect{ability|ion}.

Loss Of Frame.

LOw FIdelity [to the exact original]. Term patterned on the earlier Hi-Fi, q.v.

Laplacian Of [a] Gaussian. The ``Mexican-hat function.'' The convolution of an LoG with some property of an image is a popular edge detector.

``Contrariwise,'' continued Tweedledee, ``If it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic!''

The Miss USA competition includes an interview. During the 1994 pageant, Miss Alabama was asked, ``If you could live forever, would you and why?'' She replied: ``I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever.''

logistic equation
Verhulst-Pearl logistic equation. A differential equation describing growth under a limiting condition. In this particular model, the usual equation for exponential growth in time t of a quantity N at a rate r,
-- = r N ,        [ordinary equation for exponential growth]
is modified by a simple correction factor 1 - (N/K),
dN       K-N
-- = r N --- ,    [Verhulst-Pearl logistic equation]
dt        K
where K is some constant upper bound on N. If N is the population in some area, then r represents the rate of natural increase in conditions of abundance (i.e., N much smaller than K), and K may be called the ``carrying capacity'' of the territory. The assumption that the growth rate falls off linearly is just a mathematically convenient one. In most applications the model has the convenient features of familiarity and integrability, and the fact that it satisfies two coarse requirements (exponential growth at small N, growth falling to zero as N approaches K) that describe some idealized situations.

This same logistic equation has also been used to model changing market share of two competing technologies, with K taken as unity (total market share). In this case, the justification is even weaker: within the assumptions of classical economics, the "quantity supplied" is not bounded by a constant, but by a market-determined amount that depends in a self-consistent way on the supply functions for competing goods. Scaling by total (time-varying) quantity supplied, to determine market fraction, is just a fudge. Never mind. If you plot it on a log scale, everything looks good.

Now about integrability: a little algebra shows that

dg                             N
-- = r g ,   if we define g = --- .
dt                            K-N
That is, the quantity g grows as a simple exponential:

g(t) = g(t0) exp[r(t-t0)] .

Usually, one uses a semilog plot (i.e., one plots log(g) against t, labeling the vertical axis by the corresponding g values). This is very good for hiding large final deviations. Logarithmic plotting can usually be manipulated to hide at least one bad fit per graph.

``Logit'' variables are logistic variables used in statistical analysis. If, using the variable names in the previous entry, N/K is a probability, then g is the corresponding odds. As noted above, if N satisfies the Verhulst-Pearl logistic equation, then log(g) varies linearly in time. More generally, all real values of log(g) are meaningful, whereas probabilities N/K must be between zero and one. This has led to the use of logit variables in linear regression (``logit methods'').

The most important thing that must be said about most uses of linear regression in the social sciences is that if the people who use them had any idea what they are doing, they could be called frauds. Logit methods are attractive because they yield results that are not prima facie illogical (probabilities that are negative or greater than unity), but in all other respects are just as bad.


Asociación Española de Estudios sobre Lengua, Pensamiento y Cultura Clásica. Not an acronym, just the Greek word.


A Spanish-language classics discussion list, the mailing list of LOGO (supra). See announcement. (There's also a LOGO-L homepage, but last I checked it was down or very slow.)

A model of communication in a distributed computation, used to optimize performance.

Load OverHead. Cf. TOH.

Letter Of Intent.

Lunar Orbit Insertion. Firing of spacecraft engines to put vehicle into a lunar orbit. In all cases so far, this has eventually been followed a successful TEI. Some details of the first LOI by a manned spacecraft are given at the apocynthion entry.

Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone. A ``core project'' of IGBP.

Legacy Of Kain. A series of video games.

LOL, <LOL>, lol
Laughing Out Loud. Internet usage. Cf. FCOL.

On chats and in other very informal internet communications, it's become quite common to append ``lol'' as a sort of predicate adverb, in situations where the phrase it abbreviates would be clearly inappropriate. Something like ``I like emo boys, lol! Let's meet for coffee, lol.'' I suppose it's supposed to express a genial geniality, but I'm against it. People should stick to tradition. Use an emoticon, the way people have for generations! ;-)

l.o.l., LOL
Little Old Lady. All-caps is the way I've seen this abbreviation scattered around webspace, but since LOL and lol are already much more commonly used for ``laughing out loud,'' I recommend the abbreviation with periods.

Lift On / Lift Off... the freight to and from the vehicle, that is. As opposed to RO/RO (roll), f'rinstance.

Loss Of Mission. An acronym NASA has had too frequent occasion to use. Cf. LOV.

Lowest-Order Model.

Loads Of Money But A Real Dic... Oooh. I should read proposed entries before I add them. Don't wanna lose the G rating.

This term was reportedly around in the late 80's. In those days the self-aggrandizing downhill skier ``Tomba la bomba'' trained in northern Italy, though perhaps not precisely in Lombardy. Maybe his epithet should have been ``Tomba il bombastico.''

(Yes, Alberto Tomba's surname does translate to `tomb' in English.)

lo mein
A dish of noodles stir-fried with sliced vegetables, and usually chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp). The meat and vegetables are usually cut up small enough to pick up with chop sticks; the noodles are not too short, but they can picked up with chop sticks because the thick sauce tends to hold adjacent aligned noodles together. The two dictionary definitions I've seen mention that the dish includes seasonings, as if to imply that anyone but a barbarian would cook without spices.

The term lo mein, pronounced ``low main'' in English, was not just made-up for use in Chinese-American restaurants (like chow mein). It's actually a term used for a dish in Guangdong (southern China, the region around Hong Kong that we used to call Canton), meaning `stirred noodles.' In the US, the noodles are usually wheat-flour noodles.

LOw-altitude Missile Engagement Zone. Surface-to-Air missiles. See differential definition at the weapon engagement zone entry of the DOD's online Dictionary of Military Terms.

A locality in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Ontario (about 70 km from Paris), Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

London, Ontario is further south (42° 59' N) than any major Canadian city. London, England (51° 30' N) is further north than any major Canadian city. I like this so much (even though I didn't make it up myself) that I'm simply going to go ahead and define Windsor, Ontario (42° 20' N) and Edmonton, Alberta (53° 33' N) as nonmajor Canadian cities so that the between-Londons statement can be true. I'd like to say Windsor is a village of about 200,000, and Canada's leading port of entry from the US. Unfortunately, after being incorporated as a village in 1854, it became a town in 1858 and a city in 1892. And Edmonton is the capital of one of those big western states, uh, provinces. But really, what does that signify? Look, it's like this: the south-of/north-of claim is really neat, and I'm not going to let the fact that it's false interfere with my belief in it. Instead, I'm going to do what everyone does when faced with a factual inconvenience: redefine some variable terms (such as Canada and city). I'll report my rationalization in detail later. Until then, you can visit the ECU entry.

London LS
LONDON Liverpool Street. A train station at some street in London, terminus for points northeast.

Anglophone mnemonic for the gender of Spanish nouns: words whose singular form ends in l, o, n (but not ión), e, r, or s are masculine 97% of the time. Moreover, many of the exceptions (female words ending in these letters) are recognizable as Greek borrowings; examples include anatomical terms like laringe, faringe, and siringe, and a large class of abstract nouns ending in -sis).

A prominent exception to the LONERS rule is la sal (`the salt'), but the French cognate is male (le sel). Other exceptions in Spanish include la mano and la libido. (These are not exceptions to the pattern of preserving the gender of the Latin original: mano is derived from the fourth-declension manus, and libido is not from libidus or libidum; but the third-declension libido.)

A mnemonic like LONERS, but for feminine nouns, is D-ION-Z-A. As explained there, many of the rules can be understood in terms of the morphology-gender connections in Latin. In particular, two large classes of abstract nouns that are female in Latin typically end in -tas and -tio in the nominative. The Spanish reflexes of these, generally preserving the female gender, are regularly derived from the ablative Latin forms, and end in -tad and -ción.

long-delayed publication
We describe a moderately extreme example (48 years or not much longer for Index of the Books and Authors cited in the Zoological Works of Linnaeus) at the Studies in Linnaean Method and Nomenclature entry. Publication is often long-delayed because the item to be published is long, but this item doesn't qualify as a long delayed publication. Nevertheless, trying to determine its length, I did run into an oddity. The WorldCat record contains this descriptor field:
Description:  	xlix, 174, lxiii p. ; 31 cm.

I've been assured by a local cataloguing librarian that this really means what it seems to mean: that there are 49 pages numbered with Roman numerals, followed by 174 pages numbered with Arabic numerals, followed by another 63 pages numbered with Roman numerals again. I haven't found out yet whether this means that something like ``p. xxx'' is ambiguous.

Long Eighteenth Century
A conventional name for the period 1688-1832. This begins in the year of the Glorious Revolution, and ends in the year of the famous (voting) Reform Act. Obviously this periodization is most useful in the context of British political history. A handy term for a period that follows it closely is the Victorian Era. Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901, and for the different purposes of different disciplines Victorian Eras that at least substantially overlap that period are defined more or less precisely. Cf. Long Nineteenth Century.

Long Nineteenth Century
A conventional name for the period 1789-1914. This begins in the first year of the French Revolution, and ends with the beginning of the Great War. Well, I guess some people define it as running from the beginning of the French Revolution to the beginning of the Russian Revolution (see BrANCH). Cf. Long Eighteenth Century, Short Twentieth Century, and periodization.

(long story)
Please don't ask.

look, the
Well, I suppose there might be a few, but the one I had in mind was a certain sort projected by the eyes. I describe it in some detail at this english entry. Well, I guess it wouldn't do to have an entry with just that link, huh? You think? Don't just sit there silent with that glassy stare! Speak to the computer! Okay, then, here's a verse from Tennyson's 1855 poem ``Maud'' (part I, stanza or whatever xiii):
Who shall call me ungentle, unfair,
I long`d so heartily then and there
To give him the grasp of fellowship;
But while I past he was humming an air,
Stopt, and then with a riding whip
Leisurely tapping a glossy boot,
And curving a contumelious lip,
Gorgonised me from head to foot
With a stony British stare.

Oh, look: I recently noticed a different noun use of look! The April 25, 2005, issue of People includes a teaser for ``Mariah Carey: How I Changed My Look.'' I didn't read the text, but after examining the pictures (pp. 132-3) I think I can conjecture the method she used to achieve the new look: she switched to wearing dresses that simultaneously cover her upper thighs, midriff, and both sides as well as the bottoms of her implant carriers.

There are three main uses of loose:
  1. As an adjective meaning -- depending on context -- not tight or not confined.
  2. As a verb meaning release from confinement, set loose. (The verb meaning untighten is loosen.)
  3. As a misspelling of the verb lose.

I decided to add this entry after seeing this amusing headline on the website of the UK's Daily Mail:

Jobseekers who don't bother to learn English will loose benefits.
(It was the anchor text for the link to an article. The full title was ``Migrant jobseekers who don't bother to learn English will be stripped of benefits, pledges [UK PM] Cameron.'' To be needlessly fair, the URL uses ``lose.'')

loose women
Women who don't need a formal declaration before, cough, being used.

Oh -- I think I mean loosely typed women. I was speaking loosely. They inherit from sex objects (again, loosely speaking). Surprising to think they have any class at all.

Light OutPut. (I mean the electromagnetic-radiation noun ``light,'' not the low-weight adjective ``light.'')

Loss Of Pointer. Oh, so sorry to hear it.

Loss Of Pointer to Line.

Loss Of Pointer to Path.

Loss Of Pointer -- Virtual.

LOng Range Aid to Navigation.


When The Virgin Mary died, angels bore the house she was born in to Loretto, in present-day Italy (but at the time, they bore it to past-day Italy, the only Italy then taking deliveries). Really! Collecting ancient relics must already have been pretty popular, even though they were, relatively speaking, not very ancient at the time. The house still stands there today as ``The Holy House of Loretto,'' as an official postage stamp of the Italian Post Office proves. No homepage yet, but you can visit the Vatican Library and try to find contemporary reportage of the event.

Father Montague Summers dedicated his The History of Witchcraft (1925), first, to his fellow holy Patrick and the memory of ``Loretto and Our Lady's Holy House,'' where they both worshipped.

[The History of Witchcraft remedied a defect of previous studies, which had been fatally flawed by a nonbelief in witchcraft, and which paid insufficient attention to the mass of damning evidence extracted from the accused by the use of rudeness and other more extreme methods.]

An article on relics, ``What Remains'' by Kathryn Harrison, appears in the December 1995 issue of Harper's Magazine, pp. 54ff. A human has swallowed moon dirt and lived.

British word equivalent to American English truck. Lorry was once the standard word. Lexis-Nexis searches of British and Irish papers in mid-2005 suggest that truck occurs roughly twice as frequently as lorry, and that this ratio has not changed very much since the mid-1970's.

Length Of Stay (in hospital).

Line Of Sight. Term used to make two or three slightly different distinctions.

Line-of-sight transmission is electromagnetic signal transmission that does not rely on reflection from the ionosphere, either because transmission is over a short range or (e.g., commercial TV and FM radio) because the part of the electromagnetic spectrum used is not efficiently reflected by the ionosphere.

Within the context of line-of-sight transmission (by the above definition), one distinguishes the direct line-of-sight signal from signals that travel a different path (e.g., bouncing off a building or a plane). Cities like Moscow and Washington, DC, where tall buildings have generally been prevented from being erected, have significantly fewer echo/shadow/fade problems.

Local Operator System.

Loss Of Signal. One use of the term is indicated at corresponding AOS entry.

Line-Of-Sight AntiTank. An adjective modifying weapon or weapon system.

lose way
The stock answer to the question, ``how would you get to <locant> from here?'' is ``if I were going to <locant>, I wouldn't start from here.'' It usually sounds funnier if you substitute an actual or hypothetical literal for the variable <locant>. (I can't call it a lexical variable; I don't want to go out of scope.) It also sounds funnier -- possibly even funny -- if you haven't heard it 377777 times before.

lose weight
Oh, yeah: like, forget where you put it. It sounds so easy. It oughta be a piece of cake. (The misplaced quantity is called ``weight loss.'')

Here's a sure-fire appetite suppressant: abdominal crunches. Do enough abdominal crunches and you will feel full. (You will also feel pain.)

Free bonus health tip! Sure-fire laxative: seated or squatting leg press. Very effective. In fact, be sure there's a free stall and the path to the bathroom is clear. Wear dark sweatpants or have a change of underwear ready. In fact, if you've got, like, a big back log, you might consider just double-bagging the Depend®s.

Law Of the Sea Treaty.

lost cause
Noble cause. By definition, regardless of the merits. It's a literary convention.

lost in thought
And looking for a way back to familiar territory.

Lost Language of Cranes, The
title of a 1986 novel by David Leavitt, The. It was his debut novel, but it is regarded as important for being one of the first ``gay novels'' with serious literary merit or (if you're a bookman) for being one with serious crossover sales.

One of the characters in the novel runs across the story of a baby habitually left alone by his drug-addicted mother, in a place that looks out on a construction site. The baby, imprinting like a feral child, takes to imitating cranes there -- not cranes of the bird kind. I only wrote this entry because I wanted to spare ornithologists certain disappointment in finding out too late. Everyone seems to agree that the imagined language of the cranes is somehow a metaphor for a missing language of gay self-expression, but the details are sketchy. I just hope that when they find that missing and somehow wanted language, they let the rest us have the word ``gay'' back.

(As some wag observed, the love that dared not speak its name has become the love that won't shut up.)

Loss Of Synchronous Word.

Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap. The preferred or proferred translation is `National Graduate School of Linguistics.' LOT publications offers a variety of dissertations complete and free on line.

Lord Of The Rings. A fantasy ``trilogy'' by JRR Tolkien.

Ralph Bakshi made an animated film of Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. He originally planned to make one film for each of the three books, but when he couldn't get financing for The Return of the King, he combined the first two thirds of the project into a two-and-a-half hour movie and released it (in 1978) under the LOTR title. It won a Golden Globe for the Best Original Score. Even today, animated characters do not receive acting awards. This would have been an interesting marginal case, since it was animated from life: filmed with live actors in black-and-white, and then ``rotoscoped'': each animation cel was drawn over a live-filmed frame. Bakshi's LOTR was the first entirely rotoscoped animated feature film.

Peter Jackson made a three-film adaptation that was released in time for Christmas 2001 (4 Oscar wins), 2002 (2), and 2003 (11).

Czech word meaning `scoundrel.' I wonder if the plural isn't lotri.

Logistics Over The Shore.

  1. A game of chance.
  2. A tax on stupidity.

Back in the late seventies, governments suddenly noticed that people didn't like to pay taxes, and that they especially didn't like to pay increased taxes. Legislators, who pay attention to this sort of thing, realized that their continued employment might depend on how they voted on tax bills.

It was also noticed, however, that people are more willing to pay for government services that they see as benefitting themselves. In the nineties, this observation garnered the buzz words ``user fee'' and the principle was harnessed to pay for roads near upscale suburbs. In the eighties, however, the public service that citizens were willing to pay for was the chance to be rich. A number of states of the US set out to provide this service through lotteries. It was a service many citizens desired, particularly among those who are poor but not so poor they have no loose change. Properly speaking, a lottery is a poverty program.

[As a sop to puritans, a bit of the revenue from this poverty program was diverted to education. This is really unfair, because educated people are some of the lotteries' worst customers (vide supra).]

[Football icon]

Whaddayamean, ``Lou who''?!

The former coach of Notre Dame's (ND) football team! Coach at ND for more games than any previous coach, more even than the legendary Knute Rockne!

Early in the 1996 season, I used to see a sheet hanging from some upper dorm windows. It said ``IN LOU WE TRUST.'' Some time after the loss against Air Force, the sheet came down. Oh ye of little faith! In a Catholic school, yet.

That election season, a group supporting a California ballot proposition to end affirmative action paid for some ads featuring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Over a picture of the martyred civil rights leader, the ad played excerpts from his historic ``I have a dream'' speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, in which he conjured the image of a future truly colorblind society. The Reverend Jesse Jackson, who once tried to corner the market on the martyr's legend, called this ``blasphemy.''

The California ballot proposition passed, but Lou Holtz resigned effective the end of the season, explaining only that ``it was the right thing to do.'' (Holtz is an alternate spelling of Holz.) Six years later, rumors still circulate as to the precise reason that he was pushed out.

Now a word or two about his unworthy successor, Bob Davie. We pass over in silence the age-discrimination suit that ND lost, brought on account of one of Davie's early coaching-staff adjustments. Over his first four years the overall W-L record was a not terrible 30-19. In his fifth season (2001), no player is left who was recruited or ever coached by Lou. The team began the season with three straight losses for the first time in the century or so it has been playing, and as I write this paragraph, the season record stands at 3-5. With two of the three remaining opponents BCS-ranked, prospects are of worse to come. I want to explain why this is a good thing.

It's a good thing because nothing should be allowed to jeopardize the expeditious departure of Bob Davie. Mr. Davie is mealy-mouthed. His vacuous speech consists of clichés trite even by sports standards, relieved by his careless enunciation and spiced up only by interesting errors. He is a typical enemy of the English language; he has nothing to say and says it, poorly. This is the situation after five years of improvement. He should have studied his clichés before it was showtime. For the right way to do it, see the franchise entry. (What you want is at the end, but you should read the whole entry because.)

How well can you expect a man to prepare for a big game if he can't prepare for a short powder-puff interview? How can someone with negative-to-negligible communication skills instruct and motivate his team? Davie's failure is good because it confirms the suspicion that verbal competence is correlated with other abilities, that general lack of creativity glares through in boring speech. It suggests that careful linguistic habits contribute usefully to achievement in activities deemed important. If the man can't build his vocabulary beyond ``big,'' ``small,'' ``good,'' and ``bad,'' how in reason can he be expected to build a football program?

George Bernard Shaw wrote in the preface to ``Pygmalion,''

It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.
I am that other Englishman. Davie's failure licenses me to say not merely ``his speech offends'' but ``he must be a poor coach because his speech offends.'' Hooray! Pray God for the triumphant return of eloquent football wizard Lou.

Well, as this paragraph begins it's December 2001, and there's a lot to catch up on. On December 1, ND closed the season with a win at Purdue, bringing the season record up to five and six. The next day, Davie was expeditiously put out of his contractual misery. I thought it was interesting to watch the person-in-the-street interviews on local TV. By ``the street'' I mean a sports bar in town and a grassy area of the ND campus. Excerpts of a dozen interviews were broadcast, almost equally split between men and women. All the men interviewed, to a man, stressed that Davie had failed to perform and had to go. Some of the men expressed sympathy (as in ``It's tough but...'') and some expressed relief or anger that the move came when it did (finally and long-overdue, resp.). To a woman, every woman interviewed expressed sympathy with Davie's plight. None said outright that he had failed and deserved to go. The reporter concluded with a gender-neutral synthesis, that everyone interviewed ``sympathized but felt it was time for him to go.'' (If you want accuracy, alertness, acuity of perception, or even an ounce of courage, don't watch the news, watch a stupid daytime talk show.) (If you want interesting content, don't read this glossary entry. Oops! Too late!)

There was a rush to find a replacement immediately (I'm not making excuses here) as the recruiting season got under way, and a week later, George O'Leary was hired away from Georgia Tech to lead Notre Dame football into a new era. The era lasted five days. Some New Hampshire reporters saw his résumé on the web and did a little reporting from O'Leary's alma mater, UNH. Probably the most interesting fact they discovered was that though O'Leary claimed to have lettered three times in football, he only attended the school for two years. Also, he never played in a game (not counting practice) -- on account of mononucleosis the first year (1967) and a knee injury the second. He also claimed to have received a masters degree in education from NYU, but had in fact only taken two one-semester courses there. Somewhat interestingly, O'Leary's letter of resignation and apology on December 13 also contained further inaccuracies to excuse the ones that were caught (like the claim that he had had almost enough credits for a masters from NYU). The Manchester (NH) Union Leader, in an editorial that did not recognize the continued dissembling, gave him credit for finally doing the honorable thing by resigning and coming clean (well, one out of two). George O'Leary's ostensible ability to transcend his previous failings was contrasted favorably with Bobby Knight's same old same old: the previous week Knight had reportedly cursed out an arena manager and challenged him to a fight. Former president Bill Clinton's whopper temporizing when l'affaire Lewinsky broke is also compared unfavorably (hey, you know, it's the Machester Union Leader). It's a feeble virtue that depends on the timing of one's best apology.

All the students and players expressed dismay and disillusionment at the revelation of O'Leary's academic dishonesty. And I personally was shocked -- shocked! But enough about me. I just want to pass along a comment of one of the guards at the library (the library with the mural called ``touchdown Jesus'' that faces the stadium) who doesn't have a website of her own. She commented that when she was hired (to prevent books from walking away and such), she was required to provide registered high school transcripts and to take a drug test (a demeaning outrage, as she had no need to point out). On the other hand, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to note that she uses white correction fluid on her crossword puzzles.

loudness notation
Also called dynamical notation. An approximate yet finely graded set of instructions written in Italian on the music staff, spelled out or abbreviated (usually in italics, appropriately enough). In order of increasing loudness, the common ones are
  1. Pianississimo (ppp): very, very soft.
  2. Pianissimo (pp): very soft.
  3. Piano (p): soft.
  4. Mezzo piano (mp): half soft.
  5. [no loudness mark, where instruction is expected]: normal loudness; neither loud nor soft.
  6. Mezzo forte (mf): half loud.
  7. Forte (f): loud.
  8. Fortissimo (ff): very loud.
  9. Fortississimo (fff): very, very loud.

The opening title and the closing credits for Brassed Off appear on screen in oddly mixed font: all letters f and p appear in lower case italics, and tinted red. The title, for example, appears somewhat like this:

The premise of the film is that a coal mine in a northern English village may be closing, which could spell doom for the miners' brass band. It seems the film wraps some pedestrian demonization of Thatcher and the Tories in a bit of sex, music, and improbable and insipid inspiration. I'll have to rent that one real soon.

Louisville pronunciation
The Louisville in Kentucky has a silent ess: ``LOO ee vill.'' The smaller and lesser-known Louisville in Pennsylvania has an ess that is pronounced (but not ``voiced''): ``LOO iss vill.'' I assume you know about the Newarks (New Jersey and Delaware) and about Houston Street in New York (see this SoHo entry if you don't), but I admonish you to review Liouville.

Loss Of Vehicle. Bermuda Triangle? Think Mars. Cf. LOC.

``Loving.'' A daytime soap opera on ABC. Abbreviation standard for rec.arts.tv.soaps.* newsgroups.

[Editor's note: Not every reference work would dare attempt to explain love. That's why we're here.]

Love is a term used in tennis, whist, and other games (we can hardly say ``similar games,'' can we?), with the meaning of zero (as a score). It is speculated that love in this acception has a separate etymology from the usual Germanic one, and is instead a corruption of the French l'oeuf, meaning `the egg' (an egg being generally understood to resemble the numeral zero).

There's an interesting partial parallel to this situation: Another English number is four (4, you know? iv, the famous result of 2+2). This is also a word in French, and in specialized usage (what we call, uh, slang), it too indicates a kind of zero -- more precisely a `failure.' Also, like the English word love, the French word has another meaning (`oven, furnace'). Make of this what you will, but not too much.

Well, since that connection was something of un four, we'll try another. (We never learn.) The English word eggplant was coined for a variety of the vegetable Solanum esculentum whose fruit is white. It's an odd-seeming term now, since the common variety (truth to tell, it's the only kind I've seen in my life) is dark purple to black. The French word for the fruit is aubergine, diminutive of auberge. Auberge basically means `inn or hotel' (or hôtel). That's a red herring! The auberge that aubergine is derived from is an old variant of alberge, whose semantic field is planted with both `apricot' and `peach.' (Finding out whether there has been nectarine in there is on my to-do list.)


low and behold
Cow vacation activities. (And in answer to the obvious question: no, Latin vaccinus and vacatio are unrelated words.)

A less commonly written phrase uses the interjection lo, an expression of surprise or awe.

low-carb treat!
High-fat treat.

lower house
In Britain's bicameral parliament, the House of Commons is referred to as the lower house. Members of that chamber may be and mostly are commoners. The House of Lords is known as the upper house. Instead of being elected for limited terms, they serve permanently by appointment or hereditary privilege. In the current constitution of the British government, the lower house is the more powerful. The government (that is, the executive) is formed by the party or parties that control the House of Commons; new legislation is introduced in that chamber and (usually) approved by the upper house.

The legislature of the US federal government and the legislatures of all US states (except Nebraska) are bicameral. In contrast with the British system, the two chambers in American legislatures have comparable power. Nevertheless, there are parallels that unambiguously establish the correspondence of the US Senate and of state senates to the upper house of the British Parliament, and of the other chamber (usually called the House of Representatives) to the lower house.

low-fat cheese
Cheese that's low in cheese.

low-fat treat!

low-propensity voters
Unlikely voters.

To have your bike fall over to the inside of a curve. Noun and verb.

Smoked salmon. Great on a bagel with cream cheese. For a bit more on salmon, see the .ca entry; for a bit on cheese, see the cheese, and WI entries.

LipOXygenase. An enzyme that oxidizes lipids. One of three enzymes important in the formation of volatile compounds in fruit (including the tomato, which is botanically a berry fruit) during ripening (and also upon bruising and other tissue disruption). The other two are HPL and ADH.

For details see R. G. Buttery and L. C. Ling, ``Volatile components of tomato fruit and plant parts: relationship and biogenesis,'' in Bioactive Volatile Compounds from Plants, 1993, like you're really gonna look that up.

Liquid OXygen (see under its atomic symbol O). A liquid rocket fuel, no wait, I think it's an oxidizer.

At atmospheric pressure, oxygen has a boiling point of 90.2 K and a freezing point of 54.8 K.

LOX, Lox
Liquid Oxygen eXplosive is the original expansion, dating back to at least 1923. Lox was used in mining. According to G. J. Young's Elem. Mining (4/e, 1946), ``Lox consists of a canvas cartridge filled with granular carbonaceous material, moistened, which when soaked in liquid oxygen, removed from the soaking box, and placed in the drill hole can be detonated and is an effective blasting agent.'' By the 1960's this was no longer common, and the sense of LOX came to be predominantly that of liquid oxygen (above).

Lysyl OXidase.

Sofia Consuegra and Ian A. Johnston have studied LOX in lox. Well, they studied it in salmon genes. I imagine the source salmon were dead, and that they didn't die a natural death. That's ``smoked'' enough for the purposes of humor. The article (that I found -- there are probably others) was ``Effect of natural selection on the duplicated lysyl oxidase gene in Atlantic salmon,'' in Genetica vol. 134, #3, pp. 325-334 (Nov. 2008). The abstract begins ``We examined the polymorphism of the lysyl oxidase (LOX) locus, involved in the initiation of muscle collagen cross-linking, in three populations of Atlantic salmon with different life histories and growth rates and compared it with a closely related species (rainbow trout). Up to four alleles were observed per individual, probably as a consequence of the tetraploid origin of the salmonid genome. We found high polymorphism in the LOX locus (16 alleles expressed in total and several low frequency private alleles) in two natural Atlantic salmon populations and extremely reduced diversity in a farmed population (3 alleles) with low density of collagen crosslinks.''

Myrna was a movie star, Nora Charles in the Thin Man series. Mina (1882-1966) was an artist and poet (see NYTimes Book Review for July 28, 1996; there's a review of Carolyn Burke's The Life of Mina Loy on p. 23.)

Loyola University
By some fantastic coincidence, every school with a name like this is a Catholic institution, and even more incredibly, all of these are Jesuit institutions (vide SJ).

Lactose Permease. An enzyme, as is obvious from the -ase ending.

Liberal Party. That doesn't sound very specific. Members of the Liberal Party of Canada (Parti libéral du Canada) are called Grits.

Libertarian Party.

Linear Programming.

Long-Play. Refers to ``records'': vinyl discs (about the dimensions of a silicon wafer) that were used to play back audio recordings on a ``turn-table.'' LP's were the kind of record that spun at 33 1/3 rpm and were about one foot in diameter, so you could get about 18 minutes of sound out of one side. This was a big deal at the time. I have the notes my father was keeping at one time for a planned update of his technical dictionary, and the entry for the microgroove technology that made these speeds possible was all misty-eyed.

Earlier formats, right back to the Edison cylinders, used monstrously thick needles and robust chasm-like grooves. By the 1940's the standard format was a seven-inch disc rotating at 78 rpm with a maximum playing time of about 4.5 minutes. The 33 1/3 rpm records were introduced in 1948, with up to ten minutes of playing time per side (the twelve-inch format came later). RCA came out with a competing format in 1949. At 45 rpm it also ran longer (six minutes) than the old 78's, but a little playing time was sacrificed to put a big center hole that made possible reliable playing of multirecord stacks. (In any case, since angular velocity was constant, grooves too close to the center gave a poorer sound quality.)

Half-speed (16 2/3 rpm) was tried but never quite caught on in the US.

(Urban legend maintains that for a long time, US law required records made in the US to contain a certain percentage of recycled vinyl, so everyone had to buy Deutsche Gramophon recordings if they wanted quality classical recordings.)

The preceding reminiscence is a story with a moral: Even a doomed technology may continue to make progress and innovations. To take another example, as semiconductors were preparing to roll over the vacuum-tube OEM's, improvements continued to be made in vacuum tube design: tubes kept getting smaller, more rugged and less power-hungry, and multiple functions--integration--were beginning to be implemented. Similarly, as magnetic core memory was about to be ambushed by MOS memories in the sixties, research and progress continued on improving density and access time in those old clunkers.

It is often appropriate -- market-adaptive -- to invest in improvements of a technology that is being superseded. Competition continues even (or especially) among participants in a shrinking market for the older technology. With drop-outs in the shake-out, a healthy few companies may survive or thrive. Moreover, a technology may not be supplanted completely. Most television sets continue to have one big (video) vacuum tube, and the best musical-instrument amplifiers continued to be made with tube technology rather than semiconductors until the late 1990's. High-power applications like microwave ovens use magnetrons, with klystrons and traveling-wave tubes a dominant technology in its application niche. While no new magnetic core memory is manufactured, the market for magnetic storage devices has been expanded tremendously by the growth of the overall computer market.

I now park my pulpit. Vide tubes.

Low Pressure. Appears mostly as prefix in longer initialism. In those situations, it's a compound attributive noun (i.e., an adjective) and so should be hyphenated.

Lehrstuhl für Prozessautomatisierung. Felicitously translatable from the German as `Laboratory for Process Automation.' At Saarland University.

Linear Power Amplifier.

Acyl Lyso-glyceroPhosphoCholine.

Least Patentable Change. The smallest modification of an existing product, formula, etc., which produces something which can be patented. This is a more precise unit than the Least Publishable Unit, since a patent must make definite claims.

Linear Predictive Coding.

Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

Line Printer Daemon. A pernicious wraith that examines files sent to the printer, and disables the printer before anything important is printed, unless it contains a significant error. A lot like the kite-eating tree.

Low Probability of Detection.

Luteal Phase {Defect | Deficiency}.

Liberaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands. `Liberal Democratic Party of [East] Germany.' A kept political party of the old GDR, an equal participant (as measured by allotted Volkskammer seats) in the SED-controlled National Front. After German reunification, it merged into the FDP.

Local Policy Decision Point.

Logic-process DRAM. Why they had to double-up the acronym with this expansion, I don't know.

Low-power DRAM.

Liquid Precursor Delivery System (to CVD growth).

Liquid Phase Epitaxy.

Low Pressure Epitaxy.

League for Programming Freedom. A lobbying and public-interest research organization dedicated to keeping public knowledge from being privatized by inappropriate patenting. Founded, like FSF, by Richard Stallman. The FOLDOC entry is quite informative.

Libertarian Party of Florida (FL).

LPF, lpf
Liters Per Flush. Cf. GPF. A liter is a US unit of -- ugh!! -- liquid measure about equal to about 0.264 gallons, or 0.264 of a gallon, or something like that. The grammatical number of quantified uncountables is in a state of, dare I say it, fluxus.

LPF, lpf
Litres Per Flush. Cf. GPF. A litre is a widely used unit that's about equal to 0.220 Imp. gal. (I'm not getting caught in that gallon/gallons trap again!)

Why the discrepancy -- 0.264 gal. per liter vs. 0.220 gal. per litre? Well, a number of possibilities occur. It could be that troy/avordoopwah thing: different units for ordinary and precious substances. It reminds me of that fellow who was ``Venerated Master'' and founder of Aum Shinrikyo. Oh yeah, now I remember: Shoko Asahara, born Chizuo Matsumoto on March 2, 1955. (Okay, okay, I didn't really remember; I looked it up on the net. I bet you'd do the same.) He would sell some of his bodily fluids and his bathwater to his followers at prices that would make a normal person break out in a cold, unprofitable sweat. The bathwater, known as miracle pond, was relatively cheap: two hundred dollars for, well, I don't know the serving size. (Here's the same item.)

Here's an old saw that was carried off in the tumbrils of the sexual revolution:

Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?

After the attack, Japanese police were able to track Mr. Asahara down by following a trail of melons. When they tried to take his pulse (not so surprising -- he was found hiding hanging upside down in a cocoon-like space) he resisted and protested that he didn't even allow his disciples to touch him. His disciples were also allowed only a limited selection of beverages. More on beverages at the Pocari Sweat entry. (I ought to add here what Woody Allen has pointed out: man does not live by bread alone; frequently there must be a beverage.)

Okay, the 0.220/0.264 thing probably isn't related to that. I'll try to think of something. Actually, what I'm thinking is, this is a pretty appropriate entry in which to dump the Aum Shinrikyo information. One of the sarin sources was left in a subway toilet stall.

This is probably a good place to mention that traditional Japanese toilets are basically ceramic versions of slot-in-the-ground latrines -- you squat instead of sitting. They look like tall urinals lying on their backs. Who was it said that dancing was the ``vertical expression of a horizontal desire''? No one in particular. It's a modification of

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.
These words of George Bernard Shaw were quoted in New Statesman, March 23, 1962.

Not too bad a year for Dada psychoanalysis. Anyway, as of 2001, western-style toilets are becoming increasingly common in Japan, partly because of the aging of the population. The cars in a Shinkansen train each have both kinds.

Low-Pass Filter. A filter which allows only low frequencies (`below a cut-off') to pass. A more precise definition would be analogous to that given for a high-pass filter at its entry.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Lighter (shorter-chain) alkanes in petroleum, liquified by cooling. Also carelessly expanded with the oxymoronic ``liquid petroleum gas.''

Ladies' Professional Golf Association. Here's a history.

Laser Programmable Gate Array. I've seen it expanded ``Laser Personalized Gate Array.'' Ugh.

Lightning Print Incorporated, ``provides "on-demand" printing and distribution services to the book industry. LPI books are stored electronically and printed, one at a time, as ordered by booksellers and librarians through book wholesalers. In addition, LPI offers short run and galley print services for its publisher clientele.''

This posting summarizes.

Lines (of text) Per Inch.

Low Probability of Interception (of transmitted, coded signal).

Linearly Polarized Light. Cf. CPL.

Liters Per Minute.

Low Profile Module.

Low Pressure MOCVD.

Low Pressure MOVPE.

Licensed Practical Nurse. I've put the results of my anthropological investigation into LPN's into the CNA entry.

Lateral PNP. A pnp transistor made within the traditional vertical npn fabrication process essentially by reassigning the rôles of different doped regions: the uncompensated n-doped material that usually is used for npn collector becomes pnp base, while the the regions within this that are compensated p to serve as npn base instead become pnp emitters and collectors. Lateral pnp's occured in I2L technology, which used a mix of npn and pnp transistors.

Licensed Program Product.

Library Programs Service (of the GPO).


Lunar Power System. A proposed system to collect solar energy at the moon and beam it for use on earth. In principle, it's the same as a satellite power system, except the satellite is more stable and less maneuverable. Also LSPS.

Line PrinTer. Not part of any automobile model name.

Low-Pressure Turbo.

Least Publishable Unit. A measure of research, or of its absence. Within each field, a different person is (dis)credited with discovering the LPU.

Cf. LPC.

Line Protection Unit.

Linear Parameter Varying.

LoPinaVir. A protease inhibitor used in the treatment of AIDS.

Leipzig Power eXchange.

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