(Click here for bottom)

kNight. The kind that moves gimpy across the chessboard. See more complete information at Kt.

Abbreviation for metric prefix nano-, representing 10-9, or one (American) billionth.

Back when most of my work was in nanoelectronics, I named one of my Sun workstations enano. It was a pun.

Nematic. A liquid-crystal phase with orientational order and no positional order. If you ignore molecule orientations, the phase is a liquid. Usually in this context, molecules are treated as if they had the symmetry of rods: orientation is characterized by the direction of the long axis of the molecule. (Strictly speaking, it is possible to have a further orientational ordering, associated with rotations of molecules about their major axes. In practice, however, phase diagrams usually involve transitions to different kinds of ordered liquid crystals, such as smectic and cholesteric, as well as to crystalline and liquid phases.)

Newline escape sequence. See the LF entry for equivalences, the B (programming language) entry for etymology.

Newton. Force unit in MKSA or MKS system. 9/40 of a pound, in sensible units. 105 dyne, in older approved units.

Usage note: units named after people are not capitalized, but their symbols are. Hence, N abbreviates a unit that is spelled out as ``newton.''

1 N = 1 kg m/s2

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

When people say ``as free as the air,'' they're talkin' nitrogen, 78%, and that can go for as little as pennies on the cubic foot.

Gallium Nitride (GaN) has been used to create blue lasers, so now [I think I entered this entry in 1995] full-color flat-panel displays and area illumination based on compound semiconductors are anticipated. When people talk about the danger of material shortages that might result, they're not talkin'bout nitrogen.

Nonideality factor in semiconductors. Simple semiconductor device models (like the Ebers-Moll model) typically contain voltage-dependent factors of the form exp(qV/kBT), arising as ratios of Gibbs factors. The fit of measured characteristics can often be substantially improved by inserting a fudge factor in the argument of the exponent: exp(qV/nkBT).

Although this is essentially a phenomenological correction, it does have some theoretical justification, in a slightly more complicated approximation than that which yields the standard Ebers-Moll equations. If transport across the depletion region is modeled as taking place in two stages, then n = 2 is obtained as a limiting case. Usually the two theoretical approximations serve as bounds on the empirical fit: the nonideality factor lies between 1 and 2. For good Si devices, n in the range of 1.1-1.3 provides a good fit for high voltages, and 1.6-1.8 fits well for low voltages. (The transition between these regions is moderately sharp -- taking place over less than half a volt around 0.65 V -- so there are regions where constant-n is a useful approximation.)

Schottky barrier diodes with low-to-moderate doping, dominated by majority-carrier conduction, are nearly ideal (1 < n < 1.03). Space-charge layer recombination (essentially the ``more complicated'' mechanism described above) and hole injection from the metal can both increase n. Interfacial effects and other cruddy parasitic stuff can also raise n.

The large-n limit is ohmic behavior. As the doping on the semiconductor side of a Schottky is increased and the space-charge layer correspondingly shortened, quantum tunneling comes into play and is said to raise n. This is not so mysterious: a highly-doped Schottky (i.e., a metal contact to highly-doped semiconductor) is simply (precious word, that) an ohmic contact.

See also A and A0.

Nonmetal. Click M for metal. (Dial M for Murder, or else this number.)

North. Vide compass directions.


November. Not an abbreviation here, just the FCC-recommended ``phonetic alphabet.'' I.e., a set of words chosen to represent alphabetic characters by their initials. You know, ``Alpha Bravo Charlie ... .'' The idea behind the choice is to have words that the listener will be able to guess at or reconstruct accurately even through noise (or narrow bandwidth, like a telephone). November is a good choice.

Number of neutrons in a nucleus.

Number of anything. E.g., number of elements in a sample population, number of elements in a finite universe (in the statistical sense of the term), number of terms in a sum.

Avogadro's Number. The number of whatever in a mole.
6.022137 × 10²³ .

Until well into the twentieth century, calculations used Loschmidt's number instead, to get around the fact that the atomic hypothesis was not universally agreed to have been conclusively demonstrated.

N-acetyl-Aspartate. A brain chemical.

(Domain name extension for) Namibia. In 2006, Namibia became the world's largest maternity ward so that all of Angelina Jolie's children could be born in the third world.

You'd suppose the adjective form corresponding to Namibia would be Namibian. But FWIW, they have a bi-weekly (issues on Tuesdays and Fridays) Afrikaans-English newspaper, based in Walvis Bay, called the Namib Times. It was founded by Paul Vincent in 1958 as a bi-weekly trilingual newspaper. He sold it in 2002 when his health started failing. At the time of his death in 2004 it was the country's second-oldest newspaper.

Narcotics Anonymous. On the pattern of that obscure organization ``Alcohols Anonymous,'' I imagine that this must be a twelve-step program for drugs that have come to the terrible realization that they are narcotics. For the benefit of anonymous Francophone narcotics, here's a link to Narcotiques Anonymes (Québec).

National Association.

Network Analyzer.

Next Address.


NA, N.A.
North America.

NA, N.A.
Northanger Abbey. Title and one of the main locations of a novel by Jane Austen.

In chapter 5 of William Cobbett (1925), G.K. Chesterton makes an observation about NA that it was very characteristic of him to make:

We should think it rather odd if a profiteer had a country house that was called The Cathedral. We might think it strange if a stockbroker had built a villa and habitually referred to it as a church. But we can hardly see the preposterous profanity by which one chance rich man after another has been able to commandeer or purchase a house which he still calls an Abbey. It is precisely as if he had gone to live in the parish church; had breakfasted on the altar, or cleaned his teeth in the font. That is the short and sharp summary of what has happened in English history; but few can get it thus foreshortened or in any such sharp outline. ... The romantic reactionary at the end of the eighteenth century might not often find the Bad Baronet in a castle, but might really find him in an abbey. The most attractive of all such reactionaries, Miss Catherine Morland, was not altogether disappointed in her search for the Mysteries of Udolpho. She knew at least that General Tilney lived in an abbey; though even she could hardly have mistaken General Tilney for an abbot. Nor was she wrong in supposing that a crime had been committed by that gentleman in Northanger Abbey. His crime was not being an abbot. But Jane Austen, who had so piercing a penetration of the shams of her own age, had had a little too much genteel education to penetrate the shams of history. Despite the perverse humour of her juvenile History of England, despite her spirited sympathy with Mary Stuart, she could not be expected to see the truth about the Tudor transition. In these matters she had begun with books, and could not be expected to read what is written in mere buildings and big monuments. She was educated, and had not the luck to be self-educated like Cobbett. The comparison is not so incongruous as it may seem. They were the four sharpest eyes that God had given to the England of that time; but two of them were turned inward into the home, and two were looking out of the window. I wish I could think that they ever met.

NA, N/A, n.a.
Not { Applicable | Available }. When you need both senses, make a distinction by using either d.n.a. (does not apply) or, if applicable, n.d.a. (no data available), or both.

Numerical Aperture.

Nurse Anesthetist.

Chemical element abbreviation for sodium (q.v.). The most common alkali metal in the earth's crust. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool, where it was #3 on the Top Five List last time I checked.

National (US) Academy on Aging. You might not want to graduate from this academy, but it looked like the academy itself might expire. At least its name had been looking badly. The academy survives with the help of a couple of lexical prosthetics implanted in the name: see NAAS.

(To ``look badly'' is not a comment on visual acuity but an expression meaning to ``look bad.'' It seemed to be common back in the 1960's and 70's, mostly among the frail elderly. Presumably it was an overcorrection among those who'd been taught that verbs are modified by adverbs, without recognizing the accepted exception of copula and seem-type verbs. Other common expressions of this sort were ``look poorly'' and ``feel badly'' (i.e., feel sympathy or guilt). Of course, the -ly was added by these kindly elderly folk because they knew that the -ly changes adjectives into adverbs.)

N-Acetyl Aspartate. Found mainly in neurons, and measurable by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

National Aeronautic Association.

National Amnesia Association. I think someone forgot to create this organization. So this entry shouldn't be here (or here).

National Apartment Association. A landlords' association. Many of the local affiliates are named something like Apartment Association of [your area here], but there are also the AOBA in metro DC, various PMA's.

National Aphasia Association. ``[A] nonprofit organization that promotes public education, research, rehabilitation and support services to assist people with aphasia and their families.''

a*pha*sia (uh-fay'-zhuh) n. An impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words, usually acquired as a result of a stroke or other brain injury.

See also Alicia Courville's Speech Disorders page.

Related useless entry: AA for Academy of Aphasia.

National Archery Association. The national governing body for US Olympic archery. It changed its name to USA Archery and or US Archery, but never came up with a good abbreviation, so one still sees ``NAA'' a lot, in use as if it abbreviated the new name.

National Amnesia Association. I think someone forgot to create this organization.

Neutron Activation Analysis. The way this works is, you stick the sample in a nuclear reactor, where it is bombarded by neutrons. Some fraction of the nuclei absorb a neutron, or maybe two, and become unstable (i.e., radioactive). Light elements typically decay by emitting an electron--that is, a neutron emits an electron and becomes a proton, the atomic number (Z) increases by one while the atomic mass number (A) stays constant. (The atomic mass decreases by a small amount.) Detection of the electrons gives information about the kind and relative numbers of atoms originally in the sample.

National Alarm Association of America.

National Association of Arab Americans.

National Association of Air Ambulance Services. A UK charity with a web presence that seems to evacuate rapidly.

National Association of Automotive Buyers and Vendors. Frequently misabbreviated NAAVB.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. When the NAACP was founded in 1909, ``colored people'' was a euphemism. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then, and ``colored people'' has drifted across the semantic spectrum to become an odd sort-of dysphemism. I've heard black people use it facetiously. You have to give the NAACP credit (backbone points) for not changing the expansion or at least sealing the acronym, let alone changing the name altogether.

At its annual convention in 2007, the NAACP held a mock funeral to ``bury the N-word.'' The mock funeral was itself mocked as a sign of the NAACP's irrelevance and miredness in the past. That year also, the NAACP cut a third of its staff to close a $3 million budget deficit.

North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation. It's a green Christmas in Bureaucracia.

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.

The usenet newsgroups soc.support.fat-acceptance and alt.support.big-folks have lots of FAQ material.

North American Association For Exports To Eastern Europe.

NAAFI, N.A.A.F.I., Naafi
Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes. ``Serving the [UK] Services.'' Also written naffy. ``HM Forces' official trading organization.'' A private not-for-profit organization that ``provide[s] community support to members of the British Forces and their families,'' bringing ``retail and leisure services to some strange and exotic places around the world.'' Evidently something like a British USO, but they make it sound like the PX. Until January 1, 1921, it was the Navy and Army Canteen Board.

National Association for the { Advancement | Acceptance } of Fat People? You're probably thinking of NAAFA.

North American Academy of Fitness Professionals.

National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance.

North American Agreement on Labo[u]r Cooperation. Part of NAFTA.

National Association for the Advancement of Perry Mason. Name of a Raymond Burr fan club and its quarterly newsletter, based in Berkeley, Calif. Like Burr, it's gone now. It was run by Jim Davidson for a decade.

National (US) Ambient Air Quality Standards.

National Academy on an Aging Society. Well, it's true that the vast majority of individual Americans are getting older, and it's true that the average age of Americans is increasing, so in that sense the society as a whole is aging, but the latter facts do not follow from the first one. If there's an up-tick in fertility or immigration, will they have to change the name aging?

North American Association for the Study of Obesity. It seems they've been deemphasizing the expansion and prefer the irritating appositive style (example next paragraph). Anyway, they're not promoting obesity.

``NAASO, The Obesity Society is the leading scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity. Since 1982 NAASO has been committed to encouraging research on the causes and treatment of obesity, and to keeping the medical community and public informed of new advances.''

Maybe you were thinking of the NAABV, or maybe that's what you actually heard.

North American Air Working Group. Something set up in 2002 by the CEC Council. The CEC (Commission for Environmental Cooperation) was created by the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) which is a part, or a dimension or wing-strut or something, of NAFTA. The NAAWG is charged with providing guidance to the Council and facilitating future cooperative work on issues related to environmental air quality.

To discover someone in the commission of a forbidden act.

National (US) Association of Broadcasters.

New American Bible. Published in 1970. You call that new?

North American Broadcasters Association. ``North America,'' in this unusual instance, meaning North America -- at least from Mexico to Canada, and points in between.

National Association of Burmese (cat) Breeders.

[Football icon]

National Association of Basketball Coaches.

North American Bengali Conference (Banga Sammelan). An annual conference held in North America to celebrate Bengali culture, with ``international'' (i.e., subcontinent-based) and ``domestic'' (North American) performers. For many years it's been held the three days from Friday through the first Sunday in July. They don't seem to have a regular website, but for at least a few values of yy, the URL for the year 20yy has been <http://www.nabc20yy.org>.

North American Bridge Championship.

NABC's, still often informally called ``Nationals'' even by many Canadians, are held thrice annually. They're called the Spring, Summer, and Fall NABC's, and they open in March, late July, and late November -- at different cities in the US and Canada. The 2006 NABC's were successively in Dallas, Chicago, and Honolulu. This list illustrates two decided tendencies in the siting that are apparent from the venues for 1997 to 2012:

  1. The ``Spring'' NABC (sometimes technically in late Winter) is generally in an inland city. (Vancouver, in 1999, was the only solid exception.)
  2. Every year since 2006, and infrequently before then, the Fall championship has been scheduled for a major city that is (a) a seaport or (b) close to Disney World (which is on Seven Seas Lagoon).
Well, they do try to spread them around. The ACBL website serves lists of NABC's past and future.

The main sessions of play (afternoon and evening) usually run 10 days, from a Friday until the second following Sunday. In addition to the major championships that give the tournament its name, lesser games are offered that are suitable for all levels of player; there are morning and midnight games for those who want even more. Consequently, these are the largest bridge tournaments anywhere, except for those involving simultaneous play at many sites.

NABC 2002
North American Bengali Conference (Banga Sammelan) 2002. July 4-6 in Atlanta, Georgia. The twenty-second Banga Sammelan.

The twenty-first was held in Lowell, Massachusetts, July 6-8, 2001.

NABC 2007
North American Bengali Conference (Banga Sammelan) 2007. It's the twenty-seventh Banga Sammelan, the weekend of June 29 to July 1, at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Conference hotels (with negotiated special rates) are the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the Courtyard Marriott (across Jefferson Avenue E from the Renaissance Center), Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Downtown Detroit, and the Doubletree Hotel in Dearborn. When you call for reservations, particularly if you want to stay at the Renaissance Center Marriott, make very sure they understand that it's for your 2007 conference. The 2008 Spring NABC (North American Bridge Championship) is scheduled for March 6-16 in the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

North American Bengali Conference (Banga Sammelan) 1999. July 2-4 (Friday to Sunday) in San Francisco, California.

National Association for Business Economics.

National (US) Association of Biblical Instructors. Name used from 1923 to 1964, explained at AAR entry.

Originally called the National Biscuit Company.

National Association of Black Journalists. What kind of insensitive journalistic hacks would say ``Black'' when the New York Times insists on ``African American'' (sometimes even for African non-Americans)?

As I've noted somewhere, if you mention ``Tolstoy'' to a Russian or Ukrainian, he's apt to reply ``which one?'' as if Leo (i.e., Lev) had not earned one-name default status as much as Shelley has. I haven't encountered the same thing with Vladimir Nabokov, but just in case: the author of Lolita, Pnin, Pale Fire, and many other works was Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (1899-1977). His father, involved in the 1917 provisional government, was Vladimir D. Nabokov (1869-1922).

NABR, Nabr
National Association for Biomedical Research. Founded in 1979 to keep the animal rights activists from crippling medical research.

(Canadian) National Advertising Benevolent Society. ``The National Advertising Benevolent Society is a non-profit organization that was established to assist people in the advertising industry and related businesses who need help due to illness, injury, unemployment, substance abuse or financial difficulties.''

Network Access Control.

Network Access Corporation.

NitroAromatic Compound. NAC's are an important environmental contaminant at old military sites, with the principal NAC being TNT. TNT is known to be toxic (mutagenic) to many plants and animals. It's truly a miracle substance.

North Atlantic Council. Highest governing body of NATO.

(US) National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics. Nobody can ever remember what this acronym stood for. In fact, when it was set up by congressional legislation in 1915, it was just the Advisory Committee on Aeronautics. The ``National'' was just conventional.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union put into orbit the world's first artificial satellite. It was an 83.6-kg (186-lb.) metal sphere named Sputnik (Russian for `traveler'). Apart from going around the planet once every ninety-six minutes, it performed only two memorable actions: send out a lonely-toy beep, and send the West into a hysterical panic.

On October 1, 1958, NACA was succeeded by NASA.

It is probably fair to mention, in advance of further details, that the US space program suffered a number of embarrassing failures between those Octobers, but that they were the failures not of NACA but of the unprepared Navy program initially selected to carry out the effort.

National Association for Campus Activities. ``[A] member-based, not-for-profit association composed of colleges and universities, talent firms and artists/performers, student programmers and leaders, and professional campus activities staff. We are a clearinghouse and catalyst for information, ideas and programs promoting a variety of college and university activities, from leadership development to student programming.''

National Association of Child Advocates. ``They educate decision makers...'' Right.

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. ``[Their] mission is to set a new national standard on providing loans to low and moderate income people and those who are considered to be subprime borrowers.''

Nepalese Academy of Cosmetic Aesthetic Dentistry.

North American Computing And Philosophy conference. Coordinated with IACAP.

North American Council of Automotive Teachers. It ``is the ONLY international organization devoted to teachers and trainers of automotive technology and its related fields.'' It was difficult when we were first starting out. You can't imagine how hard it can be to get even the simplest idea into a cylinder head, or ``block head'' as we used to say. They never made skulls that thick. Open 'em up and it's obvious that they're basically just ``air heads.'' Ain't nuthin' under the hood. There was constant pressure to ``pass them along.'' If we held them back a year, it would discombobulate the whole assembly line. Things have gotten a lot better since they started putting computers in there.

(Canadian) National Arts Centre / Centre national des Arts (canadien).


North American Cambridge Classics Project. A group that promotes and supports the use of CLC Latin-teaching materials in the English-speaking bits of North America.

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Not a popular job, but someone really must do it.

National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

German preposition that in typical contexts is translated `after,' `to,' or towards.' If these seem contradictory, think of chasing after something.

The same word functions as a postposition meaning something like `according to [the object of the postposition].' See m.A.n. for an example.

Need for ACHievement. A term of art among psychologists.

Shows how much they know. Ask any advertising professional: image is everything.

German, `post-war period.' Usually the post-WWII period.

German: `last name.' German names have the same standard order as English names, so a last name in German is also a family name (Familienname). Vgl. Vorname. Cf. tria nomina.

German, `appendix.' From nach, `after' and trag, root of the verb tragen, `to pull' or `to drag' (the cognate).

I'm not trying to create a German-English dictionary or anything, but I figured I'd add this entry because of the charming imagery of the word. Eventually I may even give a translation.

(Canadian) National Arts Centre Orchestra. Keep reading.

National Arts Centre Orchestra Association / L'Association de l'Orchestre du Centre national des Arts. A volunteer organization whose mission is to support and promote the National Arts Centre Orchestra. I don't really have to point out that ``National'' here means Canadian.

National Association of College Stores. Sponsors CAMEX.

National Association of Convenience Stores.

(Japan) National Center for Science Information Systems of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. There's an OLCC for Japanese libraries.

National (US) Accreditation Commission for Schools and Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Original name of ACAOM.

National Association of College and University Business Officers. ``National'' in the sense of ``American,'' uh, by which of course I mean US. There's also a Canadian analogue called CAUBO/ACPAU. Not too surprisingly, the issues that face college and university business officers differ substantially among different countries. Enteric conditions seem to be more uniform, and the corresponding organization for food services administrators (NACUFS) uses a more expansive notion of ``national.''

That reminds me, in the Summer of 2005, the Royal Shakespeare Company is touring with Euripides' Hecuba. They're doing an English version by the poet Tony Harrison. Vanessa Redgrave stars. The last offering in a season of tragic plays, it should have been the climax. Reviews have been tepid. I'm not surprised. In this self-absorbed century, people -- even actors -- have a very selective ability to empathize.

Gesundheit! Oh look, there's an expansion: National Association of College and University Food Services. ``National'' here means ``the US, Canada, and abroad,'' but the six defined regions cover the US, Mexico, and most provinces of Canada. (Mexico, the US, and Canada are all nations.) There's also an independent organization called CCUFSA.

NACUFS sponsors an annual ``National Culinary Challenge,'' and the winners receive American Culinary Federation medals. The six finalists are required to prepare four portions of an original hot entrée, with side dishes and sauces to balance the plate so that the center of mass is within one centimeter of the center. Okay, I added the words after ``plate.'' Contestants (``culinarians'') have seventy-five minutes to prepare the meal and present it to a panel of ACF judges. In the 2005 competition, it had to include lamb.

National Association of College and University Residence Halls. ``National'' here means `Mexican, US, and Canadian.' NACURH has a bunch of regional associations that carve up the map of North America and give it labels that look vaguely like a Scots Gaelic declension: CAACURH, GLACURH, IACURH, MACURH, NEACURH, PACURH, SAACURH, SWACURH.

National (US) Association of Clean Water Agencies.

na czczo
Polish, `on empty, on [an] empty [stomach].' Is it really just a coincidence that this phrase is pronounced like a stuttering of nacho?

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide.

Oxidized form of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD).

No { Apparent | Acute } Distress. Emergency-care usage. I suppose that if distress were acute, it would be apparent, but implication doesn't run the other way, so NAD and NAD are not synonyms. Oh dear.

North American Digital Cellular system. Defined by TIA/EIA IS-54, ``Cellular System Dual-mode Mobile Station-Base Station (BS) Compatibility Standard,'' Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), May 1992.

Narcotics And Dangerous Drugs Information System.

What, no ``other''? So narcotics are not dangerous drugs? That explains a lot.

Reduced form of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD).

North American Digital Hierarchy.

National Atmospheric Deposition Program.

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) Phosphate.

Reduced form of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADP).

National (US) Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages. That URL doesn't look very permanent; visit NCSSFL if you encounter difficulties.

North Atlantic Deep Water.

Scots English for `not, no.'

National Academy of Engineering. ``[E]stablished in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers... .''

National Aeronautical Establishment (of Canada).

National Association of Evangelicals. The largest conservative Protestant group in the U.S. Founded in 1942. Motto: ``Cooperation without compromise.'' On March 6, 2000, the NAE changed its bylaws to allow member denominations to also belong to the liberal NCC. See related information at the NRB entry.

In 2006, not even 80 months after the NCC co-membership decision, headlines read ``Rev. Ted Haggard leaves National Association of Evangelicals after male escort claims he paid him for sex for three years.'' Now, without reading the sordid article accompanying this headline, I can hazard a guess who was the ``he'' that paid, and who the ``him'' that got paid. (``Allegedly''! ``Allegedly''!) But it's not as clear as it would be if they were of different sexes. Things would be a lot clearer 99% of the time if we simply assigned everyone randomly at birth to one of 100 distinct grammatical genders, and referred to them by 100 corresponding distingishable third-person singular personal pronouns. Slime molds do something like that.

National Aerospace and Electronics Conference. There was one in Dayton, Ohio, 13-17 July 1998.

Sponsored jointly by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society (AESS).

``NAECON is the premier national forum for the exchange of specialized aerospace electronics and related information. It includes a strong technical program featuring high-quality papers and tutorials, extensive exhibits of the latest technology and applications, and discussions of the latest trends in the area. The theme of this year's conference is `Technology --A Bridge to the Future' [some people think that just because the president of the US uses a meaningless phrase, it's eloquent] and emphasis will be placed on technology development and application of new technologies. NAECON should be of interest to all military, commercial, and academic members of the aerospace and electronic community.''

(US) National Assessment of Educational Progress. It shows taht we is stoopit. But suppose you already knew that. Would the NAEP tell you anything you didn't know? Possibly. Education research is usually pretty bad stuff, and the NAEP is the stuff of ed research.

There are, first of all, methodological questions. A school's participation in the NAEP is voluntary, and half the schools selected to participate choose not to. In other words, what we know about the participating schools is that they were in the half of schools, roughly, that chose to participate. After you've controlled for the controllable factors like SES (socio-economic status), race, etc., you still have a skewed sample. If you try to compare poor districts with rich, for example, on the ``low-SES'' side of the comparison you probably have a relatively small fraction of schools whose administrators for some reason feel confident or competent enough to allow participation. On the ``high-SES'' side, you probably have a more representative sampling of rich districts. Thus, you compare best-of-the-worst, putatively, with typical-of-the-best. In effect, you weaken the apparent or poorly ``measured'' effect of all factors that really are effective.

There are also political reasons to be wary of NAEP data. Here, for example, is a footnote (#73, p. 219) from a chapter in The Black-White Test Score Gap ed. Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Pr., 1998). The chapter (6) is ``Why Did the Black-White Score Gap Narrow in the 1970's and 1980s?''

Dramatic changes starting in one particular year also raise the possibility that changes in sampling procedures or participation rates could be distorting results. One conceivable ``explanation'' of the trend data is that black adolescents' scores are overestimated in 1988 for some reason. When the 1986 NAEP results for reading looked inexplicably low, the Department of Education suppressed them, even though focused investigations never found methodological problems that might explain the decline. The 1988 scores for black 17-year-old students look abnormally high, and the black reading decline after 1988 would be negligible if this single data point were eliminated. However, this is not true for thirteen-year-olds, whose reading scores show a steady decline after 1988. Errors that affect only blacks and not whites in 1988, affect blacks of all ages in 1988, and affect black thirteen-year-olds after 1988 appear unlikely.

(My emphasis.)

Here are some excerpts from a Heritage Foundation Report entitled Critical Issues: A New Agenda for Education, ch 3 ``The Growth of the Federal Role in Education,'' by Eileen M. Gardner. The relevant text concerns programs under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Title I provides federal aid to counties for compensatory (remedial) education for educationally disadvantaged students from low-income families. Gardner writes:

Studies assessing the effectiveness of Title I consistently have shown that the goal of the program has never been achieved. Yet Congress steadfastly has resisted efforts to eliminate it. By 1969, however, clear signals were reaching Capitol Hill that Title I was failing to live up to its expectations. Results of congressionally mandated evaluations showed that federal budget officials did not view the program as cost effective; educators complained of red tape, excessive regulations, and unwieldy bureaucracy; and parents of eligible children complained they saw little change in the quality of their children's education. Most telling, perhaps, the achievement test scores of the children served were not significantly better than their non-Title I counterparts. The small improvements they did make proved temporary.

She cites some of the research supporting her claims, and continues (I don't know quote how archly or facetiously the word ``oddly'' is meant)

Oddly, these data had no noticeable effect on Congress's views of the program. High levels of funding continued. In fact, by the early 1980s, public policy was forcing researchers to distort data. A prime example is a 1982 report by the congressionally mandated National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)9 on the reading, science, and mathematics performance of American youth during the 1970s. No grade levels were given; no standardized tests were used. Performance on subjective ``exercises'' created by ``specialists'' determined ``achievement classes.'' ``Lowest'' and ``highest'' were insufficiently defined. No objective criteria for reclassification from one group to another were given. Vague data for Title I eligible schools were given, but Title I students were not identified.

[Ftnt. 9: ``Reading, Science and Mathematics Trends: A Closer Look,'' National Assessment of Education Progress, December 1982.]

Contradictions were unclarified. On the one hand, students within Title I eligible schools were reported to have increased their representation in mathematics and science in the highest achievement class at age nine and to have decreased their representation in the lowest achieving math class at age seventeen. However, a separate chart dividing groups into lowest and highest achievers showed that the lowest achievers at ages nine and thirteen significantly improved in reading but made no significant progress in math (nine and thirteen) and science (nine). At seventeen, the lowest achievers had declined in math, as well as reading, and had made no progress in science.

National Association of Environmental Professionals.

National Association of Elementary School Principals. Their annual National Convention and Exhibition is in April. Cf. NASSP.

National Abortion Federation. The ``professional association of abortion practitioners'' in the US

Uh-ohhh: It looks like I missed a period! What will I do!?!?

National Association of Female Executives.

North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers.

Slang version of NAAFI.

Spanish equivalent of English naphtha in all of its meanings. The common word for gasoline in some Spanish-speaking areas (e.g., Argentina). Overall, bencina (`benzene') is more common.

North American Free Trade Agreement. Among Canada, US, and Mexico, took effect January 1, 1994. Diane Gates compiled a useful list of links.

Among Union opponents: ``No American Factories Turning out Anything.'' (``American'' here used in the sense of US.) In Spanish, TLCAN.

A jealous protectionism of jobs unites all nations. Under (US) federal law, a work visa cannot be issued until it is certified, in this case by a state's Labor Department, that no American is willing to take the job. Thus, when a nightclub in Stuart, Florida wanted to hire a foreigner for an $11/hour job as an exotic dancer, it had to place an ad asking prospective US applicants to send a résumé to the Bureau of Workforce Program Support at the state's Department of Labor. (The ad appeared the week of April 11, 1999; it ran in the Palm Beach Post.)

Paid a wage up front to dance?

Is the state of Florida qualified to make this certification? My friend Mike, a solid-state physicist, had a job bartending nights at a club in Maryland. The proprietor explained to him how to decide whether a girl was a good dancer: If people bought beer, she was a good dancer. [Girl is a technical term here, okay? A term of art. I've been in a bar where the dancing girls happened to be male, although they didn't seem to be. You gotta be careful, you never know what you'll pick up.]

A concern for the AFL-CIO: there are more cheap-labor countries on the mainland of North America (N. Amer., q.v.). Good news for the AFL-CIO: NAFTA will not be expanded! Bad news: FTAA.

Numerical Algorithms Group, Ltd. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sounds like a picturesque medieval Japanese town, but really stands for National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators. Compare Nara and NARA. What the hell, visit the alternating current entry too. It has some information on Niagara Falls.

National Assessment Governing Board. ``[A] 26-member board established by Congress in 1988 to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The ``Board is composed of state, local, and federal officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public.'' Not surprisingly, it's findings are completely at variance with the evident precipitous decline in student achievement that is before the noses of all educators.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. In addition the US government website (preceding link), another source of information is this page at the University of Arkansas.

National Association of Graduate and Professional Students.

Numerical Algorithms Group Users Association.

National Association for Girls and Women in Sports. One of six national associations within the AAHPERD.

I guess they noticed that the letter sequence N - A - G has poor associations. Their logo just has ``GWS.''

National Association of Home Builders. They have the HOME page, as they put it.

National Association of Home Care.

North American Hunting Club.

National Association of Hispanic Firefighters. They have an official seal with the words ``bomberos unidos'' surrounding a firehat in the middle. See the first miga entry for some relevant comments.

(UK) National Association of Head Teachers.

1 Heath Square, Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1BL. Cf. NUT.

To be head, or naht to be head -- that is the question.

British `head teacher' is American ``school principal.''

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

National Aging Information Center. A service of the Administration on Aging (AoA).

North American Industrial Classification System. NAICS, developed jointly by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, replaces the SIC in the US, slowly.

National Associa--
tion of Indepen--
dent Colleges and Univ[ersitie]s

The District of Columbia and about three-quarters of the states have an affiliated organization. Some of the state organizations (Iowa, Louisiana, Washington, and Wisconsin) have names of the form <State Name> Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Unfortunately, there is only one NAICU member school in Hawaii (Chaminade).

National Association of Independent Colleges and University State Executives. ``NAICUSE is composed of the leaders of state associations representing independent colleges and universities.''

National Association for Information Destruction. ``[T]he international trade association for companies providing information destruction services. Suppliers of products, equipment and services to destruction companies are also eligible for membership. NAID's mission is to promote the information destruction industry and the standards and ethics of its member companies.''

The word national in the name is now used in the common sense of international. There are member companies in Australia, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Germany, Guam, Ireland, Singapore, the UK, and in the US, where the organization was founded.

North American Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Project. That name sounds just the teensiest bit retributive. If I were you, I'd mind that due date strictly.

Non-arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. According to a statement released by Pfizer, Inc., in May 2005, this is the most common acute optic nerve disease in adults over age 50. I'm not sure how significant this is, after all the qualifiers. An ischemia is a local blood shortage. ``Local'' in the sense of being limited to a particular body region, organ, or tissue. It typically arises from a problem in a particular blood vessel -- vasoconstriction, thrombosis, or embolism.

I can't decide whether this entry should end on the line ``if you keep on doing that you're going to go blind!'' or some other.

The National Association of Installing Partners. It ``was formed by a team of sales, installation and service professionals with decades of experience in the low voltage industry.'' Their site has resources both for consumers and ``low voltage professionals.'' I think that's wonderful.

A word that means `playing card' in Spanish. Juegos de naipes are `card games' and jugar [a los] naipes means `play cards.' In Portuguese, naipe means `suit' of cards.

Non-Accelerating-Inflation Rate of Unemployment. ``Natural'' rate of unemployment, although there's nothing especially natural about stability.

National Aging Information Center.

National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. Its newsletter has a digital edition called Proteus. They sponsor an unmoderated mailing list called COURTINTERP-L. NAJIT was founded (1978) as Court Interpreters and Translators Association (CITA).

Negative AcKnowledge (character). ``What? Hello? Is someone there?''


In digital communication, a NAK is a way to indicate that an expected data packet was not received within an expected time, or that it was found to be corrupt (typically because a checksum didn't check out). A NAK is effectively a retransmission request, like ``Wie bitte?'' NAK has been verbed; to NAK is to send a NAK. The use of NAK and ``negative acknowledge'' has led to the retronym ``positive acknowledge.''

Naked Babe and the Cloak of Manliness, The
A 1947 essay by Cleanth Brooks, on Shakespeare's ``Macbeth.'' Sounds at least R-rated today.

(US) National Agricultural Library. ``... part of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is one of four National Libraries in the United States.''

Network Adaptation Layer.

NATO Allied Long-Lines Agency.

Allied Van Lines does long-haul OTR moving, but that doesn't seem to have anything do to with NALLA. Oh, well. I was just trying to be helpful.

interNational Association of Lighting Maintenance COmpanies. I think that sometimes, you should just bite the bullet and change the acronym along with the name. Short-term pain, long-term gain.

The National Association for Law Placement.

(US) National Air Museum. There couldn't be much to see there unless they've got some smog on display. Hmmm, it seems someone had the bright idea of evacuating some of the displays... the NAM only existed from 1946 to 1966; since then it's been the National Air and Space Museum (NASM).

National Apostolate of Maronites. ``National'' here presumably means Lebanese.

National Archaeological Museum. There's one in Athens, appropriately enough. The entire stewardship of archaeological treasures in Greece is a disaster, because it's under the jurisdiction of a Ministry of Culture that is simultaneously very jealous of its power and totally underfunded. If you find something that looks ancient on your land, the only sensible thing you can do is dig it up and hide it under your bed. If you tell MiniCult about it, they'll just immediately rope off your land so you can't disturb it, and spend the next decade or so with the cataloguing of your site sitting in their in-box. Eventually, they'll collect the artifacts and put them in storage awaiting analysis in the indefinite future. The NAM has about the sort of confused web-absence that you would expect from such a system. Here's the ministry's pitiful English page for it.

(UK) National Army Museum.

National Art Museum. There's one in Bucharest (Muzeul National de Arta Bucuresti). The UN has upwards of 170 members, so I imagine there are other NAM's.

National (US) Association of Manufacturers.

Network Access Machine.

Network Assessment Model.

NonAligned Movement. An organization created to épater le bourgeoisie. Founding heroes included Jawaharlal Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah (co-chairs of founding meeting in 1961), Josip (Broz) Tito, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Fidel Castro, and Enver Hoxha [socialist and ``socialist'' leaders of India, Ghana, Yugoslavia (host of 1961 meeting), Cuba, and Albania, resp.].

Oh, alright, technically, it was created to find a third way, not aligning with either of the two post-WWII power blocs (US and USSR). Sure. The locus classicus of the ``moral equivalence'' fallacy. [To be excruciatingly fair, Yugoslavia, China, and Albania did follow alternate paths toward the end of socialism, independent and opposed to the USSR.]

With the end of the Cold War and with emergence of some NAM members from poverty (typically through exploitation of their resources by the West), the pretense that this organization has unity or meaningful purpose is often threadbare, but it must continue to exist (this is a universal law of C. Northcote Parkinson). In service of its continued existence, it continues to achieve prodigies of hypocrisy. Perhaps that is its purpose.

You can read online an address by the Prime Minister of India at the XII NAM Summit at Durban on 3 September 1998. About half of the speech is devoted to the issue of rolling back nuclear proliferation. The position is very easy to understand if you simply understand that there are good guys and bad guys. The bad guys are all the countries that have nuclear weapons, and nothing that the bad guys do is ever even remotely progressive. The good guys are the countries that are working so hard to ban the bomb. Most of the good guys have no nukes, but some, like, uh, India, have tested peaceful nuclear devices. India is still with the good guys, though, because India's heart is in the right place. India was forced to develop its peaceful devices by military threats from unnamed neighbors. This is in contrast with the bad guys, who only developed nuclear weapons because they want to destroy the world and harm the environment. Ditto Pakistan. Others coming soon.

There doesn't seem to be an official NAM site. This one from the government of South Africa looks relatively official. Let's try this one for the XIII NAM Summit in early 2003.... Oops: ``[an error occurred while processing this directive].''

Number Assignment Module.

Nunavut Association of Municipalities.

National Agri-Marketing Association. Based in KS, and by that I don't mean K Street.

Japanese noun meaning `name.' It's not a loan from any European language. It's normally written with two kanji.

National (US) Association of Mortgage Brokers.

National (South African) Agricultural Marketing Council.

National (US) Association of Medical Communicators. Medical Communication is a booming subfield within the Human Communications discipline. Doctors and medical students are being trained in effective communication with patients, honing their rhetorical art on simulated patients (SP's). However, that's all largely irrelevant to this entry, because NAMC is an organization for journalists and others who report medical news to the public.

National (US) Association of Minority Contractors. It ``is a nonprofit trade association that was established in 1969 to address the needs and concerns of minority contractors. While membership is open to people of all races and ethnic backgrounds, the organization's mandate, `Building Bridges -- Crossing Barriers,' focuses on construction industry concerns common to African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans.'' They apparently also serve women contractors.

``Covering 49 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, NAMC's membership base includes general contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, manufacturers, suppliers, local minority contractor associations, state and local governmental organizations, attorneys, accountants, and other professionals.'' Organizational funding comes from membership dues, federal and state government grants, and private-sector grants and contributions.

I wonder if Vermont is the state where they have no members. In the last debate among Democratic Presidential aspirants before the Iowa Caucuses in 2004, Rev. Al Sharpton sharply criticized former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean for not having any blacks in high positions in his administrations in Montpelier. (I forget the wording.) Former Senator Carol Moseley Brown, who was in the presidential race just to rehabilitate her reputation, defended Dean against Sharpton. In the aftermath of this debate, Sharpton's poll numbers plummeted from 1% to 0.1%. Moseley Brown dropped out of the race, mission accomplished, throwing her support to Dean. Dean's poll numbers slid, and he fell from front-runner to a disappointing third-place finish.

Afterwards, Dean gave a rousing, animated we-will-not-give-up speech to his supporters and campaign workers. The speech was televised, and apparently people over the age of about 25 thought it was a little too animated. He didn't look presidential enough. Throughout 2003, the man looked like he was ready to burst with anger at George W. Bush, and now they notice that he's emotional? What a bunch of uptight honkies. The next week, there was a debate ahead of the New Hampshire primary. Dean actually felt it necessary to spin his performance in that televised pep talk, implying none too subtly that he'd been condescending to his young supporters. Sharpton was consoling, pointing out that if he (Sharpton) had spent the money Dean had spent, and gotten 18% of the vote, he would still be in Iowa celebrating. Apparently some candidates are in the race only to place or show. After the debate, Dean's poll numbers began to rally from his post-Iowa low, but Sharpton's soared immediately, from the neighborhood of 0.1% to the threshold of those heady single-digit heights. With just another factor-of-ten bump, Sharpton could be a contender for third place. See the MOE entry for an explanation of why these numbers are meaningful.

Seriously, Dean needs to find out about fitted shirts. For any given sleeve or chest size, these are available in a number of different neck sizes. Here's a picture of an angry Howard Dean pointing his finger: Furrow-browed Bibi Netanyahu pointing finger

Wait a second. That's Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli PM and current (2004) finance minister, angrily pointing his finger. Here's a picture of Howard Dean angrily pointing his finger: Furrow-browed Howie Dean pointing finger

National (US) Association of Mothers' Centers.

National Association of Minority Contractors of Upper Midwest. Yes, ``Upper Midwest'' is treated as a proper noun with no article. It's a euphemism for Minnesota. There's apparently a separate NAMC chapter for Wisconsin.

National Association of Minority Contractors of WIsconsin. As of January 2004, their webpage is funky. AWOL, in fact.

National Alliance for Membership Development. Since 2003 a division of the ACCE, q.v.

National Association of Membership Directors. In 2003 it merged into ACCE, q.v.

National Association Majorettes England. Sic. I am convinced that this organization is not a put-on, based on this page (which very reasonably includes an exoteric preposition in the name) and this other one (now defunct), and the fact that they even appear to have their very own official webpage. As you can imagine, however, tracking down information about this organization on the web is no joke.

``All I want to know is, What's the name of the guy on second?''

``That's right!''

Are you nuts? Good, then visit our majorette entry.

The association was formed on the 6th of January 2002. This new association was born out of the desire for an association for majorettes that would give a broad range of events at regional competitions with qualified judges and also the opportunity of representing England at European and World Majorette Championships, and at the same time keeping their identity as majorettes. At the end of each competition year we hold our National Championships from which we select the England Team for that year.

Name [sic] is affiliated to the National Baton Twirling Association under whose umbrella we are able to take part in the European and World competitions.

NAME's webpages are on N.B.T.A. England's site, but they appear to be somewhat distinct organizations, just as baton twirling and, uh, majoretting appear to be somewhat distinct activities.

German: female `namesake,' literally `name sister.' Cf. Namensvetter and name twins.

German: male `namesake,' literally `name cousin.' (Vetter is a male cousin; Cousine is a female cousin.) Cf. Namensschwester and name twins.

N. Amer.
North America. In Spanish: Norte América.

name twins
Two people with the same name. That's a precisely vague definition, because the meaning is not sharply delimited.

Biological twinning is something that normally has to be arranged before birth -- usually in the first couple of days after conception, in fact. Name twins can be made at any time, by marriage and other mechanisms. Jeff Gillooly, husband (1990-1993) and partner in crime of Tonya Harding, changed his name to Jeff Stone in 1995, over the in-court protests of many of the people whose name twin he became.

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

National Association of Maritime Organizations. ``The National Association of Maritime Organizations (NAMO) is comprised of maritime-related organizations throughout the United States. NAMO represents its members in all matters on a national level that affect foreign or domestic waterborne commerce using U.S. ports.''

A Portuguese word that is a blend of namorado and marido. Namorado is `boyfriend' (a parallel construction in English would be `enamoured [one]'). Marido is `husband.' As the frequency or normativeness of marriage has declined, there was apparently a felt need for a way to refer to a long-term male companion or father-of-her-children or significant other or something. Maybe what used to be called common-law marriage. Hence the blend.

Usually, this kind of blend is made possible by the fact that past participles of -ar verbs like amar (`to love') take an -ado ending, while other (-er, -ir) verbs take an -ido ending. In this case, however, the situation is a little bit different. The noun marido comes from the Latin adjective maritus. (Yes, it's ``maritus, a, um.'' The neuter form maritum is necessary for the sense of `paired, closely joined.') Anyway, there was a Latin verb maritare which was derived from the adjective, rather than the other way around. Portuguese also has the derived verb maridar, though it is much less used than various synonyms like casar. (Regarding this interesting word, see this CASA entry.) Very rare is the verb's past participle (p.p.) maridado (Latin maritatus).

The verb morrer (`to die') has both a regular and an irregular p.p. form, roughly like English `die.' In a decent approximation, one may say that the regular and irregular forms correspond: regular morrido with `died,' and irregular morto with `dead.' Portuguese also has words na (a preposition contraction meaning `in the' and a personal pronoun), but it's syntactically difficult to arrange a na morrido collocation to pun on namorido. Namorido still sounds kinda pungent, but then, slang is supposed to. I propose namorto for whatever semantic opportunities may befall.

As I've been writing and researching this (sure, in that order), I've found the the comparison of Portuguese and Spanish enlightening, or somewhat instructive, or at least, well, never mind, it's going in.

The Spanish congener of Portuguese namorado is enamorado, but it is rather more marked and dramatic than `boyfriend.' It's more like `enamoured one' in English. Naturally, then, enamorido (analogue of Port. namorido) would not be a very compelling neologism. Just last January, Laura mentioned a term that now fills that semantic slot in Argentina, but I forgot it. Sorry. The word na is only an archaicism in Spanish, derived from the even more archaic enna for en la, corresponding to the modern Portuguese contraction na.

Except for those referring to words beginning in n, all of this entry's statements about Portuguese also apply to Spanish, with the following adjustments:

  1. There are various slight pronunciation differences of the words spelled identically in the two languages. Most have to do with vowel qualities. The greatest difference is that the d in Portuguese sounds like an English d, whereas the Spanish d (in all contexts above) is pronounced like the voiced th in English them.

  2. Maridado in Spanish is merely quite rare, rather than very rare. Sounds like meat, I know. The vocable tends to be used in food discussions, in the somewhat bian sense of `accompanied' (fancy fast food: ``fish accompanied by chips''). The gastronomical sense also occurs (but is very rare, of course) in Portuguese.

  3. There are slight and increasing differences between the use of morrer in Portuguese and its congener morir in Spanish. The spelling difference represents a phonemic difference, and the r and rr of standard Portuguese correspond reasonably closely to the r and rr of Spanish. However, so far as I know, not being able to pronounce the rr properly (r is easy) is generally regarded as a speech defect throughout the Spanish-speaking world, whereas there are places in Brazil where the distinction is muted and in some contexts disappears.

    Like Portuguese, Spanish has two past participles for this verb. They are morido (for Port. morrido) and muerto (for morto). In Spanish, however, the use of morido has been steadily losing ground to muerto, so that now muerto is used in constructing all analytic conjugations. (This is especially so, that I know of, in Argentina.) A somewhat similar situation within English is that of some old adjectives like brazen, flaxen, leaden, leathern, and silvern. These special adjectives have largely given way to the attributive use of the corresponding nouns brass, flax, (do you even know what that is?) lead [the metallic kind], etc. (Of course, brazen survives in its transferred sense.) Other such adjectives -- golden and wooden spring to mind -- have fared better. So morido vs. morrido. So it goes. In functional terms, verbs make a closer analogy (lit/lighted). In some cases in English, strong forms are displacing the more modern weak forms. Don't tell me ``that makes sense.''

The irregularity of Port. morrer (and Span. morir) has a simple cause, somewhat similar to the cause of the oddity associated with maridar. In all these, an original Latin adjective was carried forward into Romance along with a verb from which it was not derived. At all stages of evolution, the verb also had a regularly derived p.p., which could be used as part of an analytic verb conjugation or as an adjective. (A little useful terminology: a verb form (normally a participle) used as an adjective is called a gerundive, just as a verb form (also normally a participle) used as a noun is called a gerund.)

In the etymology of marido and maridar, a Latin adjective maritus gave rise to a verb maritare. In the case of morto and muerto, the adjective and irregular p.p. is derived from the Latin adjective mortuus, which is in fact a regularly formed p.p. of the Latin verb morior. This is, however, a deponent verb. (Cue disquieting drumroll.) The verbs of modern Romance languages all use verbs that function more or less like active (i.e., nondeponent) verbs in Latin. (Cue disquieting sound effects.) Something had to happen, and something did, but different things in Portuguese and Spanish. The Spanish verb morir, like most cognate verbs in Romance languages, is derived from the Vulgar Latin active verb morire. (Cue monkeys.) A small number of Romance varieties constructed an active verb from moririor. The latter was an alternative form of the deponent, archaic but well-attested, that disappeared in the classical Latin of Rome; it evidently persisted in places. It is presumed that the rr in Portuguese morrer arose from collapse of the unstressed syllable -rir-.

This entry is what Wikipedia would call a stub, the sort of thing that painfully ambushes your toe. It's a twisted stub, and one day when I want to put off grading again I'll extricate the mori- material and create a new entry. Maybe by then I'll have some idea how moririor, a third-conjugation verb like morior (I think), gave rise to -er verbs in Portuguese and some obscure dialects.

I'll be sure to note that morto and muerto, in the respective languages, function as irregular p.pp. of matar -- yes, matar, `to kill,' as in matador. In Spanish, for example, instead of saying that a man was ``matado por la justicia,'' (`killed by [the legal instrumentalities of] justice') you say he was ``muerto por la justicia'' (`dead by justice' -- a marked construction, somewhat like our `put to death'). Imagine: we still don't have a defective-verbs entry!

Exactly how the semantic load is distributed between the regular and highly irregular participles of matar and cognates, however, varies a great deal. It is intriguing that Basque has a complete identity between matar and morir: its verb hil means both `to die' and `to kill.' ``Hil da'' means `he is dead,' while ``hil du'' means `he has killed.' Du and da mean `he has' and `he is,' resp. They are the respective forms of ukan and izan, as an atheist God is my witless, er, witness. These are the auxiliaries of all transitive and intransitive verbs, respectively, even if the transitive verb (like kill) doesn't happen to be taking an explicit target at the time. I'm dying; take me to the Camptown Races. (For enlightenment, see this DD entry.)

Incidentally, although it's not obvious from the orthography, the Portuguese verb morrer is a stem-changing verb like Spanish morir: the normally close o changes to an open o in the third person and the second-person singular of the present indicative. Something happens in the imperative too. The stem change is more extensive in the conjugation of Spanish morir, but apart from the stem change and the past participle, the verbs are basically regular. You wanted to know.

When all that's out, there'll be plenty of space to talk about Italian inamorata and the fact that wife in Portuguese and Spanish is not marida but esposa (that's right: `female spouse').

National Association of Mortgage Planners. Really, the only reason I put in this entry is because NAMP and NANP sound so similar. You are reading the dairy of a bad glossarist. I mean the diary of a mad glossarist.

[Phone icon]

Narrow (band) Advanced Mobile Phone Service. Proposed cellular phone protocol. Cf. AMPS.

National Academy of Neuropsychology. It's not a number either, or too or something.

Not A Number. (Widely used in programming languages to represent the result of division by zero.)

Nurses Association of New Brunswick (Canada). In the French-Canadian language, that's Association des Infirmières et Infirmiers du Nouveau-Brunswick (L'AIINB).

Not AND. The logic function (or gate) whose value (or output) is the negation (inversion) of the AND of its arguments (inputs).

North American Nursing Diagnosis Association. It's now ``NANDA International,'' though since it already was, I think they should have become ``NANDA Intercontinental.''

NANDA also designates a general-purpose taxonomy of nursing diagnostic terminology. There are a bunch of these ``standardized nursing languages.''

NANDrOlone. A steroid used by athletes.

SI prefix for 10-9. From a Greek root for small. A midget or dwarf is nanos in Greek (and enano in Spanish). The prefix is abbreviated with the single letter n.

North American Network Operators' Group.

North American Numbering Plan. ``Mask'' for telephone numbers in the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, over 20 Caribbean countries, developed by Bell Telephone in the 1940's. Originally, all numbers were of the form NIX-NNX-NNNN where I=0-1, N=2-9, X=0-9. This allowed switch software to recognize area codes from the second digit. The introduction of cellular phones, and the stupid policy of assigning a large block of (ten thousand) numbers to any company, led quickly to the exhaustion of the mere 160 area codes allowed under the original system, so a new scheme has been replacing the original: NXX-NXX-XXXX. Now there is no numerical difference between area codes and local exchanges, so you have to enter an initial 1 to alert the switching software that the next three digits are to be interpreted as an area code.

It's virtually impossible to pronounce NANP so it sounds different from NAMP. NANP is administered by ...

North American Numbering Plan Administration. Administers NANP.

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

National Association of Orthopaedic [sic] Nurses. The ``[sic]'' is not part of the name. It's just a way of pointing out `Look! Commonwealth spelling!'' Sic means `thus' in Latin. ``National'' means US in NAON. It's based in Pitman, New Jersey. Founded in 1980. ``Members are the `backbone' of NAON.''

You also want to celebrate International Orthopaedic Nurses Day! Hey -- any excuse for a party. Just don't throw your back out.

North American Olive Oil Association.

N-Acetyl Penicillamine. Used to treat mercury exposure.

National Academy Press. Guarantees that all those well-intentioned but worthless and boring studies sponsored by the US National Academies (see NAS) will find a publisher. What's the matter, won't Jossey-Bass take'em?

Network Access Point. They're basically the places where the parts of the internet ``backbone'' are joined, but what?is.com will be happy to tell you about them in better detail. So will any of the four NAP's themselves:

Keynote, which monitors ISP performance, finds that they are a major bottleneck.

National Automotive Parts Association. An auto parts distribution system that was founded as a retailers' cooperative in 1925, it was down to a cooperative of just three members before Genuine Parts Company (founded in 1928) bought NAPA Hawaii. As of this writing (2006), Genuine Parts operates 58 of NAPA's 69 distribution centers. Quaker City Motor Parts of Pennsylvania operates the rest.

National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. An umbrella organization for minor leagues, founded in 1902. It was renamed Minor League Baseball (MiLB) in 1999.

Minor leagues were classified into A, B, C, and D levels from 1902 to 1911. A top level of Double-A (or AA) was added in 1912, and a level A1 was inserted between A and AA in 1936. In 1946, the top two levels were renamed: A1 became AA and AA became Triple-A (a/k/a AAA).

There was also one league that was Class E for one year: the Twin Ports League in 1943, discussed at the Class E baseball entry.

The lower classifications B, C, and D were eliminated after 1962. Since 1963, the lowest classification has been Rookie League. There are also Winter Leagues (a generic term for leagues that play in the off-season; their names usually include ``Winter League'' or ``Fall League'').

North American Product Classification System. Under development within NAICS.

National Association of Private Enterprise.

National (US) Association for Physical Education in Higher Education.

The National Alliance for Photonics Education in Manufacturing.

National Association for Public Interest Law. ``shaping and promoting the next generation of public interest lawyers.''

Northeast (US) Association of Pre-Law Advisors. Name uncomfortably reminiscent of NAMBLA (no I don't have an entry for that). For other US regional pre-law advising organizations, see the list at (chuckle) SWAPLA.

You want the ID entry, really.

National Association of Purchasing Management. Now the ISM.

North American Potbellied Pig Association. ``Located in the United States, NAPPA is the oldest potbellied pig service organization in the world, offering education and information about the pet pig.'' I dunno -- Wally, who had the office next to mine at ASU, had a pet like that, too. He regarded it as a pet, though it was just an ordinary hog, and when it was full-grown he had it slaughtered. (I recently met a woman who grew up on a farm in Michigan, and she explained that on a farm you eat your pets. I don't think every farmer's daughter would put it that way, and I doubt farm families eat cats or dogs. She tries to be provocative; I guess claiming to eat one's pets is a standard provocation.)

Remember: for hog accessories, NAPPA; for hogg accessories, NAPA.

Negative-Acting Proofing System. I guess I've cleared up that question!

North American Patristic Society. The name is often written with plural ``Patristics'' as the third word, but officially it's singular. Their newsletter is called Patristics. I dunno. It seems to me that the adjective is patristic, and the noun is patristics. The organization name ought to use the attributive noun, because the society itself is not patristic. I think I'll sleep on it.

Hmm. It seems to have been a consistent spelling error by their original homepage wizard. It's ``Patristics'' after all.

Oh yeah, ``The North American Patristics Society is an organization dedicated to the study of the history and theology of early Christianity.'' They publish The Journal of Early Christian Studies.

NAPS used to hold a members-only session at the annual APS, but in 1980 they went off on their own, and today (2004) they hold an annual meeting in Chicago in May.

National (US) Association of Realtors. The NAR periodically computes and publicizes an ``affordability index'' which is simply the ratio of median income divided by the median mortgage payment (determined for the same intervals -- monthly income divided by monthly payment, let's say). At the peak of the housing bubble in 2006, the index was at 1.08; at the end of 2008, as the bubble is bursting or rapidly deflating, the index is at 1.42. They don't actually find out what the median mortgage payment is. They take the median price of houses being sold, stir in some assumptions such as 20% down payment, and compute an idealized sort of mortgage payment corresponding to the median house.

National (US) Association of Rocketry. Co-sponsors TARC with AIA. When we start colonizing places at higher elevations, they can think about merging with the other NAR.

The historic capital of Japan. Inland from Osaka.

National (US) Archives and Records Administration.

National Association of Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies. ``NARA was founded in 1978 to serve as the trade association to represent the interests of Medicare-certified rehabilitation agencies and multidisciplinary rehabilitation businesses that treat Medicare patients. The majority of the 250 members are Medicare Part B providers that contract with long term care facilities for one or more of the three primary rehabilitation services, which are physical therapy (P.T.), occupational therapy (O.T.) and speech language pathology (S.L.P.).'' (Pathology is a service now?) I think NARA originally stood for just ``National Association of Rehabilitation Agencies.''

National (US) Abortion and Reproductive rights Action League.

That name turned out to be a foe paw, I think it's called. In particular, the word abortion doesn't have very positive associations, so those who favor it also favor a circumlocution when one is possible. ``Choice'' is the choice euphemism, and the right to abort is ``rights of pregnant women.'' Eventually (possibly as late as 2004 or 2005), they sealed the acronym and started going exclusively by ``NARAL - Pro-Choice America.'' This business works in both directions (the anti-abortion side favors ``pro-life,'' since everyone is pro-``pro'' and anti-``anti''), and maybe I'll have more to say about it after I cook up a shibboleth entry. Cf. NRLC.

The original expansion mentions abortion and ``reproductive rights''; I'm not sure what all the other rights are. NARAL has made it clear over the years, however, that it regards as a violation of those rights any law requiring a pregnant minor to have a parent or guardian's approval to have an abortion. NARAL's conception (ooh, sorry) of ``reproductive rights'' seems to include mostly non-reproductive rights.

Back in Argentina in the 1950's, my father worked in management for a conglomerate that had, among its businesses, a very large drug store. There was a strike by unionized employees, which put the pharmacists in a difficult spot. So the pharmacists came to work but stayed out of sight, and management personnel manned the counters. A fellow came in acting somewhat diffident, and didn't make it clear what he wanted. The pharmacist guessed and told my father to ask if the man wanted ``píldoras para bebé'' (`baby pills'). ``¡Para NO bebé!'' came the reply. So my father was instructed to dispense two large enteric-coated pills of ginger extract as an abortifacient.

National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Alternate URL: <grammy.com>.

NARCotics agent. Law officer working on drug-law enforcement. Most applied to DEA agents. Pejorative as well as slang, so I don't think the finer distinctions among different law enforcement agencies are punctiliously observed.

Nashville Amateur Radio Club.

National Association of Regional Councils. A ``nonprofit membership organization serving the interests of regional councils and metropolitan planning organizations [MPO's] nationwide [US].''

``Today, regional organizations include not only regional councils of governments--or COGs--but also regional transit, sewer and other public authorities, regional chambers of commerce, regional studies institutes, regional civic organizations, regional faith-based groups and regional leadership forums.''

If etymology were semantic law, then narcotic would be a synonym of soporific.

National AIDS Research Foundation. Founded in Los Angeles with a quarter million dollar donation from AIDS-sufferer Rock Hudson and the support of his friend and sometime co-star Elizabeth Taylor. NARF was incorporated in August 1985 and merged the next month with a similar organization (AMF) to form amfAR.

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.

Naturally-occurring or Accelerator-produced Radioactive Materials. Traditionally in the US, both of these have been regulated only by the states, with no federal regulation (apart from federally-run facilities). Cf. NORM.

Neuropathy; Ataxia; Retinitis Pigmentosa. Symptoms that define (and whose acronym names) a mitochondrial syndrome.

narrow fabric
Any textile fabric not wider than 45 cm (about 18 in.). The narrow-fabric industry considers its bailiwick to include ``ribbons, laces, cords, tapes, labels, webbings, wicks, elastics, ropes, straps, trims, fringes and lanyards ... crafted out of different kinds of materials such as leather, cotton, satin, velvet, polyester, teflon, rubber, jute, nylon, fiber glass and also beads.'' They serve a helpful short textile-terms glossary. ``Smallwares'' is sometimes used as a synonym of ``narrow fabrics.''

National Alliance on Schizophrenia and Depression.

National Adult Reading Test. Used as a measure of pre-morbid intelligence of psychiatric patients. This is on the (in some cases now statistically confirmed) assumption that the pronunciation of irregular words is unaffected in various clinical disorders and that performance is highly correlated with general intellectual ability. It is also necessary to ascertain whether NART scores are correlated with other measures used in clinical diagnosis of psychiatric patients, such as BPRS and SANS.

National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers.

National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. ``[A] non-profit, educational organization dedicated to affirming a complementary, male-female model of gender and sexuality.'' Needless to note, they disagree with the majority or official view of the psychological community that homosexuality is not a disease or disorder requiring treatment as such. ``NARTH is a member of Positive Alternatives To Homosexuality (PATH).''

Hardly any.

n-ary, N-ary
Having n (or N) arguments or parameters. Term used to characterize functions used in a computer program. Usually only the explicit arguments are counted, and counting is by name (i.e., an array passed as such, whether by name or by value, counts as a single parameter). If you spend a lot of time worrying about this, you probably need to get back to coding.

More at the 0-ary entry.

During the Democratic party's presidential nominating convention in 2000, nominee Albert Gore was suddenly overcome by sexual passion and completely spontaneously decided to give his wife Tipper a long wet movie kiss on prime time television, thus completely inadvertently proving that while his economic program was pure Clinton, he was obviously faithful to his wife (unlike some other people). Al must think that Tipper is quite a number. And Al invented computer functions. He probably also wrote that song about Tipperary. (Sorry. The song just kept going through my mind as I optimized the entry; I had to find some excuse to squeeze it in.)

[column] The Greek root for the number one is hen-. Another song, written by Murray and Weston in 1911, was covered by Herman's Hermits for the US market in 1965. The words came out

I'm Hen-ary the eighth I am
Hen-ary the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She's been married seven times before

The aitch is silent. The lead singer Peter Noone -- ``Herman'' -- is a Mancunian half-heartedly faking a Cockney accent. (Incidentally, his surname is pronounced ``noon'' -- a single syllable.)

In Greek (ancient and modern), the aitch sound is not indicated by a separate alphabetic character but by a breathing mark or spiritus placed over an initial vowel. Originally, there was only a rough-breathing mark; the absence of that mark indicated smooth breathing. Later a smooth-breathing mark (an inverted rough-breathing mark) was developed to indicate the same thing. This was not an improvement; the tops of the letters are cluttered enough with tiny illegible accents.

The rough breathing mark can also appear over the rho, where it roughly (sorry again) indicates aspiration. Aspiration on unvoiced plosives is indicated by a change of letter (kappa to chi, pi to phi, tau to theta). In Latin transliteration, all four aspirated consonants have the aspiration indicated by an aitch (rh, ch, ph, th), but initial rough breathing on a vowel is indicated by an initial aitch (as in hero, herpes, etc.). Farsi (the Persian language) also has that distinction in the arr sound, which is often indicated in English transliteration by r versus hr. (With a fricative, the aspiration is more or less simultaneous with other elements of articulation, so it's not surprising that when explicitly indicated, the feature has appeared both before and after the base letter.)

National Academy of Sciences. A ``private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters.''

They've been proliferating, diluting their prestige among National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, and an Institute of Medicine. The thin end of the wedge was economists, then other social ``sciences.'' It was downhill from there. The same thing happened with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton (IAS). When it was started by the Bambergers, partly as a haven for ``European scientists'' fleeing fascism, it was mostly physicists and mathematicians. Today it's mostly historians and social scientists.

National [US and Canadian] Airspace System.

National Association of Scholars. The ``only academic organization dedicated to the restoration of intellectual substance, individual merit, and academic freedom in the university.'' Sister organization of the Canadian SAFS.

Nerve Attenuation Syndrome. Something half the world's population is suffering from in 2021, in the movie Johnny Mnemonic (JM).

Network Access Server.

Network Attached Server. A server specialized to file-serve.

New American Standard Version of the Bible. A revision of the SARV, whose entry is the one to see.

Numéro d'Assurance Sociale. French, `Social Insurance Number' (SIN). Canadian equivalent of the Social Security Number (SSN) in the US. Unlike the SSN, it contains a 1-digit Luhn checksum.

(US) National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Need Another Seven Astronauts. Gallows humor after the Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. I suppose there must have been someone with the poor taste to revive the joke after the loss of the Columbia in 2003.

Netherlands American Studies Association. A couple of Dutch-university associations of students in American Studies are VASA and USA.

American Studies was established at the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) in 1947, the same year that Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave his famous speech (June 5, at Harvard) proposing elements of what came to be known as the Marshall Plan. NASA (the Dutch NASA) was founded in 1977, at a conference at the Agnietenkapel of the Universiteit van Amsterdam.

North American Securities Administrators Association.

Here are some of their tips for not getting taken (from back in 1989, when fraud was not universal).

National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. Trying to prevent people from getting too high.

NASA jargon.

Network Analysis and Systems Application Program. disaster in 1986.

New American Standard Bible.

Nebraska Association of Student Councils.

National Association for Scientific and Cultural Appreciation. I'm pleased that the nation of which they are -al is the UK. We're more than well-supplied with this stuff (Atlantis, astrology that works, 666 taken seriously, etc.); it's good to spread the manure, and equanimity in the face of flaming eccentricity is something the British do rather well. (I can only wish it were unusual, but it's far enough out of round to be incontestably eccentric.)

NASCA says it ``is an organisation devoted to areas of science that are otherwise poorly covered.'' It puts one in mind of things better covered, to say nothing of honored, in the breach.

National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing. Cf. VASCAR, NHRA.

I beg the reader's indulgence, but since I have a NASCAR entry and a Spam entry, I can't resist drawing a connection. In a townhall.com column September 10, 2004, Jonah Goldberg ridiculed US Democratic party presidential candidate John Kerry for slumming, in so many words, like a candidate campaigning for votes:

``Who among us doesn't like NASCAR?'' Kerry asked not too long ago, about as convincingly as a French chef lauding Spam.

National Association of Securities Dealers. On July 30, 2007, NASD changed its name to FINRA and changed its Internet domain from <nasd.com> to <finra.org>.

NASD as ``market of markets''
In the late 1990's, the NASD had the idea that it would become a ``market of markets.'' In 1998 NASD reached agreement in principle to purchase of the Amex, completing the deal that year or the next. They also tried to buy the PhilEx but couldn't reach an agreement.

The anticipated synergies did not materialize and the business model was abandoned. On January 24, 2002, NASD put the Amex up for sale. I still have to check on the current status of that.

NAtional (Japanese) Space Development Agency. NASDA was created on October 1, 1969, by passage of the National Space Development Agency Law. It doesn't seem ever to have been called anything like ``National Air and Space whatnot'' -- they evidently just wanted an old-fashioned pronounceable acronym.

National (US) Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

NASDAQ, Nasdaq
National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. A virtual stock market founded in 1971. Virtual in the sense that there is no geographically central trading floor--transactions are conducted and recorded by phone and other electronics. Has surpassed the NYSE in average daily volume. Tends to list more technology stocks. In March 1998, there was news of negotiations to acquire the AMEX. Mmm, let me get back to this entry, I haven't read the newspaper in years.

Stocks listed on the NASDAQ are analyzed by the NSG (NASDAQ Stock Guide?) which is not affiliated with NASDAQ.

[dive flag]

National Association of Scuba Diving Schools.

National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. ``Dedicated to licensing well-prepared, safe and wholesome educators for our nation's schools.''

``Well-prepared, safe, wholesome'' ... this sounds like lunch. How about learned, demanding, effective?

National Association for Self-Esteem. A darn useful and important organization, if they do say so themselves. For an alternative, research-backed opinion, see the floccinaucinihilipilification entry. Looks like a real donnybrook! But it's an easy call. I mean, who you gonna believe -- a bunch of behavioral ``scientists'' or a self-appointed committee of educrats?

National Association for the Self-Employed. Vide etiam SBA, AHBA and CENA.

Neutron-Accelerated Soft-Error Rate (SER). Empirical methods of predicting long-term reliability require some form of acceleration, since time-to-market is much less than installed life.

North American Science Fiction Convention. A NASFiC is held in North America in the occasional year when Worldcon is not.

New-Age Sensitive Guy.

Nash Rambler
We really ought to have a Nash Rambler entry.

Okaaaay! Well started is half done.

Nash was one of the companies that merged (as part of Nash-Kelvinator) into American Motors (q.v.) in 1954. The Rambler was Nash's most successful line at the time, and much of the early marketing effort of AMC was bent on leveraging the Rambler product and name. They rebadged Ramblers for sale by Hudson dealers in 1954; later the separate marques were dropped and all cars sold by AMC were called Ramblers. That happened in 1958. The same year there was a joke pop song in 1958 about a guy driving a Cadillac (in the 1950's this was a luxury car rather than your grandfather's pimpmobile) and a guy driving a ``little Nash Rambler.'' The story is told from the point of view of the guy in the Cadillac, who describes a race in which the Rambler driver is trying to show him up. The song was ``Beep Beep,'' by The Playmates, and it was on Doctor Demento from time to time. Choose a lyrics page for it from among these.

National Academy of Social Insurance.
``America's only private, non-profit, non-partisan resource center made up of the nation's leading experts on social insurance. Both in the United States and abroad, social insurance encompasses broad-based public systems for insuring workers and their families against economic insecurity caused by loss of income from work and the cost of health care.

The Academy's scope includes such social insurance systems as Social Security, Medicare, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, and related social assistance and private employee benefits.''

It must be frustrating to be an expert in a field where everyone has a politically motivated opinion.

North American Serials Interest Group. The eleventh annual NASIG conference held in 1996 in New Mexico.

National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs. ``North America's [see National entry] only professional organization specifically devoted to fostering study of less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) through self-instructional principles developed for an academic setting.''

Sorry, I don't read Polish. (See the Polish entry for even less information.)

National Association for the Support of Long Term Care.

National Academy of Sports Medicine.

National Association of Schools of Music.

National Air and Space Museum. (Was NAM until 1966.)

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

NAtional (Malaysian) SMI Consultative Center.

National (U.S.) Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators. They use the acronym SMSA for State Motorcycle Safety Administrator[s], feigning blithe unawareness of the fact that that acronym has already been claimed by the Census Bureau.

National Association of School Nurses, Inc.

National Association of Sports Officials.

Native American Student Organization. If they followed the usual ``Student Association'' naming convention, it could lead to some confusion.

National (U.S.) AeroSpace Plane.

National Association of Sales Professionals.

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. It's a professional organization for ``student affairs administrators, faculty and graduate students.''

National Association for Sport and Physical Education. One of six national associations within the AAHPERD.

North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.

North American Spine Society.

North American Society for Sport History.

National Association of Secondary School Principals. Cf. NAESP.

North American Society for the Study of Romanticism.

North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.

NPOESS Airborne Sounder Testbed.

National (US) Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

Too long to pronounce as an initialism, but how to pronounce ``LGC''? My best guess at the spoken form, until I am informed otherwise: ``Nasal Gee Cee.''

National Association of Science Writers. Science journalists, but you could be forgiven for the misunderstanding.

National Association of Sexual Workers. This organization doesn't seem to have a web site, possibly because it doesn't exist yet. Perhaps you were thinking of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW below). In 1994, some researchers in California published ``National Survey of Social Workers' Sexual Attraction to Their Clients'' (in vol. 4 of the journal Ethics and Behavior; authors were Ann Bernsen, Barbara G. Tabachnick, and Kenneth S. Pope). It was actually a pretty boring article; if they ever want to sell a script they're going to need stories, not just numbers. Maybe a crib from US presidential candidate Jimmy Carter's 1976 Playboy interview (``I have committed unethical countertransference in my heart'' or whatever it was he said). And the numbers themselves need to be jacked up.

The article was subtitled ``Results, Implications, and Comparison to Psychologists.'' The first word there reminds me of a comment in an article by one R. Shankar, ``Statistical Mechanics of Random Systems--Exact Results'':

I will mainly be giving results and not many proofs. For those of you who are disappointed by this, I promise a later talk where I will give lots of proofs with no results.

[I have an incomplete citation source for this. I guess it was Ramamurti Shankar of the Yale Physics Dept., on or near page 446 of, I think, ``Disordered Systems'' (that's probably a section title if it's correct) in a 1989 book from IOP Publishing.]

National Association of Social Workers. (Alternate URL here.) Their Code of Ethics, adopted by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised by the 1999 NASW Delegate Assembly, is now available in Spanish. This whole code-of-ethics thing seems to be a big deal for social workers. Oh yeah, see the previous NASW.

The California Chapter doesn't use a distinctive initialism; they just refer to themselves as ``NASW-California Chater.'' If they used NASWC or something like that, they could have had their own entry in this glossary. See SW entry for related entries. I know two professional social workers. Judging from this experience, the range of intelligence of people in the field is vast.

National Association Of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers. According to this page, the ``NASUWT is the largest teachers' union in the UK.'' The organization's acronym evidently dates back to the union of two earlier unions. I suppose they failed to come up with a more wieldy name because they got hung up on the contemporary awkwardness of ``schoolmistress.'' The acronym is now pretty well sealed; on the homepage, ``The Teachers' Union'' appears in lieu of an acronym expansion.

Network Address Translator.

National Air Transportation Association.

National Appropriate Technology Assistance Service.

National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. NATAS is not the same as ATAS, q.v. I was just about to ask, what's with this ``and Sciences'' shtick? But it seems NATAS is preferring the shorter ``National Television Academy.''

As of 2004, NATAS is having a hard time figuring out how to make internal hyperlinks that work at the natas.tv site linked at the begining of this entry. They seem to have a number of independent, equally official sites. Try the slow-loading emmyonline.org or natasonline.com instead.

National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

National Association of Teachers of Further and Higher Education. ``Higher and Higher Education'' would have conveyed the same idea more and more perfectly. The organization was founded in 1904 as the Association of Teachers in Technical Institutes. The silly NATFHE moniker was adopted in 1976. In December 2005, members of NATFHE and AUT voted overwhelmingly to merge, the amalgamation taking place officially on June 1, 2006. NATFHE members were especially keen on this (95.7% of voting members, as opposed to only 79.2% of voting AUT members), evidently because the merger would entail getting rid of the silly name. The new union is called the University and College Union (UCU).

[Football icon]

An adjective used in organization names, to mean
  1. American -- as in `National Football League' (NFL).
  2. Not American -- as in `National Football Conference' (NFC). Cf. AFC.
  3. Canadian -- as in `National Hockey League' (NHL).
  4. Of the US and Canada -- as in `National Junior Classical League' (JCL). You actually find some people who think that ``American'' can be used without qualification in Canada to mean ``North American'' or ``Canadian and/or of the US'' or some such. That might be logical, but it might also be inconvenient. Anyway, it doesn't work that way, other than in proper nouns for continental (or so) organizations.
  5. Any-old-countrian -- as in the 100+ `National Contract Bridge Organizations' members of the WBF (details here), which is to say
  6. International -- as in NAID or NWR.
  7. Quondam country (adj.) -- as in TNN.
  8. Of England and Wales (but not all of Great Britain, let alone the UK) -- as in NUT. London-born Kingsley Amis went to live in South Wales in 1948 (he got a teaching position at the University of Wales, Swansea), and he commented in his Memoirs that people there then made no distinction between England and Wales. They thought of themselves as living in England. (And presumably they used ``Englishman'' as a synonym of Briton, q.v.) These people spoke no or little Welsh, and many of them had short histories in the place. Amis noted that the culture was different further north and (of course) in rural areas, though I don't recall any comment specifically regarding the senses of ``England'' and ``English'' there.

A ``national of'' some country is a citizen of that country (not necessarily very carefully construed).

In the context of Northern Ireland: of the opinion that it should become part of the Republic of Ireland. I.e., pro-Union-with-the-Republic-of-Ireland. Cf. unionist.

Ireland is predominantly Roman Catholic, and the UK (the union that unionists favor union with) is predominantly, or nominally, or by default or something, Protestant. (Too, the UK monarch has something to do with the state church, which is Protestant.) It happens that many of the Irish leaders in Ireland's struggle for independence from the UK were Protestant. Be that as it may, the partition of Ireland was approximately along religious lines. The parts of Northern Ireland where nationalist parties poll well are predominantly Catholic, and those where unionists poll well are not. In loose but accurate terms, the conflict in Northern Ireland is between religious communities. This is not to say that the conflict in Northern Ireland is about religion per se, any more than the 1960's civil rights struggle in the US was about skin pigmentation per se. Nevertheless, in both cases the grievances, perceptions, goals, etc., are strongly correlated with social identity, broadly defined. However, in the last few days I've added a couple of potentially inflammatory entries. (Ha! Try to find them!) Thus, like the news media, I will prefer to ignore the religious subtext and write as if the N.I. conflict were some sort of unmotivated abstract dispute about value-neutral national alliances.

This word has a range of meanings, but in my experience, European bien-pensants regard it as a very bad thing, almost synonymous with fascist, whereas many American academics seem to use it in a looser and less sinister sense similar to patriotic person.

National Semiconductor

An Israeli bimonthly published in Hebrew since 1988, now under the aegis of ACPR and available online in English. The periodical's name is typically block-capitalized in English transliteration. The Hebrew name of the journal means `path.'

An adjective and noun ultimately derived from the Latin nat-, past participial stem of nasci, `to be born.' It's been drifting semantically all these centuries, and now generally implies that the thing so described (as native) is original to some context stated or implied. Hence the term ``native-born,'' whose etymological sense might be something like `born born,' specifies that the sense in which someone is native to a place is that he is, as we used to say not too long ago, ``native to'' the place.

I thought we should have a Return of the native entry, so here it is.

NATional Labor FEDeration. A cult. See longer entry for the shorter acronym NLF.

National (US) Association of Theatre Owners. It's known as ``the other NATO.'' Europe isn't even close to being one of their theaters of operation. The ``theatre'' in the name is not a misspelling or an indication that they have mostly Canadian or any live theater. It's just pretentious.

National (US) Association of Travel Organizations. During the 1950's, this association conducted a campaign ``to change the observance of certain major holidays to Mondays'' (in the words of James L. Bossemeyer, NATO's executive VP, in his article ``Travel: American Mobility'' for the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 313, (1957), pp. 113-6, the source also for the next paragraph).

Specifically, the plan called for the ``observance of Presidents' Day on the 3rd Monday in February, Memorial Day on the 4th Monday in May, Independence Day on the 1st Monday in July, and Thanksgiving Day on the 4th Monday in November.'' Bossemeyer claimed that ``[t]he plan has drawn enthusiastic support from the majority of individuals to whom it has been adequately explained.'' The individuals who did not support it were evidently deemed not to have suffered an adequate explanation (see educate people).

North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They provide some funds for transatlantic research collaborations, and to organize NATO ASI's. Apparently they have some other activities as well.

I just picked up a copy of NATO: A Bleak Picture (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977), by S. Vladimirov and L. Teplov. (The translator is not named. I detect a pattern here; read about Trotsky's book.) Concluding the introduction, at p. 25 they explain:

  The aim of this book is to reveal the true nature of the North Atlantic bloc--from the time it was set up to the present day--to demonstrate both the futility and the dangerous nature of its activities. The book also outlines a broad programme of measures which are the only alternative to NATO policy.

I'm afraid the arguments are too subtle to summarize.

National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.

NATO(-subsidized) Advanced Study Institute. Usually held in Italy in the summer, in my experience. Eligibility to attend, back when that was an issue, was based on work affiliation, so during the Cold War, Vietnamese nationals conducting research in France attended. So I heard.

This is one of those words that has had so many meanings over time that if all of them were regarded as possible senses in current use, the word would be almost useless.

The earliest sense (judging from a quoted instance dating to 1581) given by the OED is that of ``[a]n expert in or student of natural science; a natural philosopher, a scientist,'' marked as obsolete. I first encountered this in the ``Historical Introduction'' at the beginning of A.E.H. Love's A Treatise on the Mathematical Theory of Elasticity. On page 4 of the fourth edition (1934) there is this paragraph (of which only the part up to the word ``besides'' is relevant to this entry):

  Except Coulomb's, the most important work of the period for the general mathematical theory is the physical discussion of elasticity by Thomas Young. This naturalist (to adopt Lord Kelvin's name for students of natural science) besides defining his modulus of elasticity, was the first to consider shear as an elastic strain13. He called it ``detrusion,'' and noticed that the elastic resistance of a body to shear, and its resistance to extension or contraction, are in general different; but he did not introduce a distinct modulus of rigidity to express resistance to shear. He defined ``the modulus of elasticity of a substance14'' as ``a column of the same substance capable of producing a pressure on its base which is to the weight causing a certain degree of compression, as the length of the substance is to the diminution of its length.'' What we now call ``Young's modulus'' is the weight of this column per unit area of its base. This introduction of a definite physical concept, associated with the coefficient of elasticity which descends, as it were from a clear sky, on the reader of mathematical memoirs, marks an epoch in the history of science.

The OED quotes the second sentence above up to ``besides'' from the first edition (1892), in which Lord Kelvin was identified as Sir William Thomson. [Thomson was made Baron Kelvin, of Largs in the County of Ayr, only in the same year 1892.] The OED does not quote Thomson s.v. Its quotations for this sense of the word are from the years 1581, 1605, 1654, 1686, 1726, 1752 (publ. 1777), 1795, 1813 (publ. 1846), and 1892. It might be that in some conversation with Love, Thomson used the word naturalist in a way that had become rare, and that Love mistook his usage for a neologism. Some word was needed, but during the nineteenth century the word scientist was coined -- probably by Whewell by 1840, though possibly by someone else as early as 1834 -- and quickly became popular. William Whewell was a highly successful neologist.

A weekly science magazine.

Nature's Way
The hit song ``Nature's Way'' appeared in a studio version in Spirit's second album, ``The Family the Plays Together'' (1968). One particular repetition of ``it's nature's way'' is intoned like the start of a sneeze. At the end of the song, muffled coughs are heard in the background.

Northern Arizona University. In Flagstaff.

Net Asset Value.

Norton AntiVirus. Antivirus software for Windows machines that was top-rated by PC magazine from 1997 to 2002. I don't know about 2003 because I'm writing the entry in 2002.

NAVE Automatic Virtual Environment. Developed by the Georgia Tech Virtual Environments Group. Like CAVE, but completely PC-based and cheap (a mere sixty kilobucks). See also BNAVE.

In 1975, R. F. Autry was awarded Canadian patent 997,608, entitled ``production of meat snack product.'' The patent was for ``a flat edible dried bar snack having good shelf life and comprising upper and lower layers [kinda makes me nostalgic for ISO 9000 Certification] of an edible collagen film and a thicker center layer of meat emulsion.'' The coatings (upper and lower, above and below; also left and right or front and back -- see below... I mean later on here) are intended inter alia to
  1. contain soft meat emulsions during extrusion,
  2. act as a barrier to oxidation, and
  3. restrain fat leakage.

``A typical formulation for the emulsion [is] 120 lb. chuck tenders, 60 lb navels, 1.7 kg salt, 1 kg dextrose, 250 g black pepper, 100 g red pepper, 90 g mustard, 90 g coriander, 70 g nutmeg, 50 g garlic, 100 g curing mixture, and 100 g starter culture.'' Double-plus yummy. (But it needs way more spices.) ``The emulsion is placed on an edible collagen film about 1 mil thick, covered with another collagen film, and rolled [I think this means flattened with a roller] to a thickness of about 0.25 inch. The sheet is placed in a smokehouse or drier, and heated initially at a low temperature and high humidity to allow the starter organisms to function.'' What is their function, exactly? ``Eventually, a temperature of 150 °F is put in effect for 30 min. When the moisture content falls below 20%, the sheets are rolled and cut into the shape of candy bars and packed. A smoking step can be applied during drying. It is not clear whether the texture of the finished product is similar to that of a typical jerky.'' It isn't entirely clear why they need much of an ``upper'' layer.

The quotes above (including the metric-transition-era units, and the absence of the word ``cook'') are taken from the chapter 18, ``Meat-Based Snacks,'' of Snack Food Technology by Samuel A. Matz (p. 232; see the snack food entry for bibliographic details). It occurs to me that Metzger is German for `butcher,' and that Metzger and Matz bear as close a relationship to each other as navels and most people's unconsidered notions of meat or even of mats of meat emulsion. Yummy. Evidently, ``navel'' is a sort of meat-industry synecdoche for um, less commercial cuts of carcass.

Currently there's some more navel content in the entry that follows this one, and there likely always will be. There's also a bit at the orbit entry.

navel exercises
In Japanese, heso-ga cha-o wakasu [literally: `navel boils tea'] is an idiom meaning one is extremely funny. Perhaps the definition is recursive in a Zen sort of way. This puts innies and outies in a whole new light, and may go some way to explaining why the obese should be particularly jolly, despite all we imagine we know about ``cholesterol.''

This entry is part of the Japanese belly information ring. Next stop: seppuku.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society. Animal-rights activists tend to be vegetarians.

North American Vegetarian Society.

People often become vegetarians for moral reasons (cf. other NAVS). Perhaps you are attracted to moral persons. Alicia Silverstone is a North American and a vegetarian (or maybe a vegan; I'll have to remember to ask her next time I have a chance).

According to Desirable Men, Chapter 27 (``Dating the Second Time Around''), p. 195,

Two basic kinds of salads are available in almost every restaurant: Caesar salads and garden salads.

Further on: ``Hostesses of most restaurants are extremely helpful during off-peak hours. ... You may ask, `What is an easy food item to eat?' ... Be honest and let her know that you will be there on a date and don't want to make a fool out of yourself.'' (This is a juicy morsel of advice-book wisdom, inviting comment, but I'm not going to bite.)

Chapter 24 is ``Graceful Exit Lines.'' Here are a couple from p. 175:

(I know the second one worked for Michael Corleone.)

I happen to think that real grace is making ``Mr. Wrong'' think not meeting again was his idea. Here's a graceful exit-stimulation line for that purpose:

If that doesn't work, just promise to call.

For more one what to eat and what not to eat on a date, see these entries:

  1. Hold the onions.
  2. LBI

It's becoming increasingly hard to believe, but the original impulse to create this glossary came from a desire for my microelectronics students to understand those elements of my lectures that might require a level of English fluency not commonly acquired by ESL engineering students. But it's all good: some fraction of engineering graduate students finish up their degrees and, perhaps after a stint as slaves on the fab line to convert their visa status, go on to open a restaurant with the word Tandoori in the name.

Short title of the CBS TV show ``Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service'' that debuted in 2003. This is what we call an ``Acronymic AAP: Acronym-Assisted Pleonasm.'' For 2004, the initial word Navy was lopped from both the short and long titles, cruelly depriving us of a prized opportunity for exaggerated whining.

It was created by Donald P. Bellisario, creator of JAG, it fills JAG's old time slot, and its main characters were introduced in a special episode of JAG late in the previous season. For people who liked that sort of thing, this is the sort of thing that they will like. Some fastidious types assert that technically it is not a spin-off because none of the previous season's regular JAG cast got a regular part in Navy NCIS.

I don't know how Donald got the extra el in his name -- the Spanish name is Belisario. I see two possibilities. One is that the name is Italian. More likely, however, is that he was so happy with the first el, he figured he'd go with that and do the same thing again. Go with your strength. Do it again. Like JAG and NCIS, or Navy NCIS.

I think that Bellisario needs to be liberated from the endless cycle of violence investigation. That's my pretext, as they say, for mentioning Polisario, which is also known as the Western Sahara Liberation Front. They've been trying to break into prime-time news since 1975, with little success in the US.

The lead character of JAG is officer Harmon Rabb, former Navy fighter pilot. The lead role in Navy NCIS is a naval officer played by Mark Harmon. It's a good thing we're all so smart, or we'd have trouble keeping the different shows straight.

National Association of Water Companies.

Naval Air Warfare Center. It used to be called the Naval Air Development Center. That kind of unexpected honesty really spooks me. Cf. DoD.

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. Part of NAWC.

National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. Also, and probably officially, NAWCWPNS.

Naval Air Warfare Center WeaPoNS Division. Also, and probably unofficially, NAWCWD.

National-American Wholesale Grocers' Association. I don't know a website for this organization, but it's part of FDI -- Food Distributors International, so try that.

New awk.

Neues Ausbildungszentrum bei HARTING. `New Training Center at HARTING.' More specifically, at HARTING Technologiegruppe. Harting is a surname, apparently of the founder of the business, but they like to capitalize it.

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