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Old Fart. Old person, possibly an old fogey (see OF). Not necessarily complimentary. A virtually equivalent expression in Yiddish is Alter Kakker (`old shitter'), which came to be abbreviated AK (pronounced Ah Kah). It reminds me of an unbelievably puerile rhyme I learned in elementary school:
Here I sit,
All broken-hearted
Paid a dime to ____
But only ______.
You can figure it out. Hint: don't try to reconstruct this from scansion.

Old Flame.

Old Fogey. An old-fashioned person; a person set in old habits. Actually, since this defines fogey, I suppose an old fogey is an old old-fashioned person as opposed to a young fogey. May be confused with another OF. Back in the seventies, Oldsmobile became worried because its customer base was getting progressively older. (Not just the individual customers, who I'm sure you'll agree are bound to age; the average age of the customer base as a whole was increasing.) Instead of trying to improve the health of seniors, they faithlessly decided to try to attract younger customers. They agitated within GM for less hopelessly staid models, and they instituted a lame and transparently desperate ad campaign (temporarily successful, for all I know) around the neologism Youngmobile, although they didn't actually change the marque. The age of the models in Geritol advertising has been decreasing (or so it seems to me). Soon I expect it to be marketed as a baby food supplement.

You wanted more graceful transitions in the previous paragraph? What do you think this is -- literature?

A-driver's-license-and-car is babe-bait in high school and in retirement communities. In the former, parents may impose a curfew; in the latter, the state division of motor vehicles may impose a no-driving-after-dark restriction.

German, Originalfassung. `Original version.'


Outside Front Cover. The most prominent advertising space on a book. Much valued because, as they say, you can't tell a book by its cover.

Orthogonal Frequency Division Modulation. Part of the European standard for digital audio broadcast (DAB), inter alia. It's used for asymmetric digital subscriber loop (ADSL), and is being considered for high-definition television (HDTV).

I understand that after an initial IFFT, a ``cyclic prefix'' is slapped on the front, which is just a repeat of the end of the transformed signal, and that this makes decoding easy, and that another advantage of OFDM is that it's possible to design for ``bad spots'' in the frequency spectrum. The downside includes high peak-to-average power ratio, and the need for precise linearity in the amplifiers and very sharp frequency syncronization. Don't quote me on that, though -- the speaker intensity at the talk I attended on this stuff was fading into the air conditioner noise (white, Carrier), and the overheads were not easy to decode.

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access. Same as OFCDM.

Overall Factory Effectiveness.

OF and only oF. Evidently, on the basis of iff.

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offensive line
Please! This is a family glossary! As we envision it, the whole family [mom, her current significant other (SO), those step-children living at home] can gather 'round the monitor, a log-fire mpeg endless-looping in a corner window, and together read about

off the record
Here's something I thought was uninteresting in an interesting way: in the October (I think) 2005 issue of Vanity Fair, Michael Wolff reported that
[Vice President Dick Cheney's] office, oddly, or nervously, or defensively, refuses to supply a daily schedule of his recent activities, and, furthermore, makes this refusal off the record. (Truly--a spokesperson refused to provide information only under the condition that I agreed not to say she refused to provide information.)

I suppose she must have threatened to refuse to refuse to provide the information unless he agreed not to reveal her refusal. I think Wolff struck a bad bargain here, and it's not even clear that he honored the confidentiality agreement. It probably depends on the precise wording. What the nonspokesperson should have done was provide the lack of information on a recursive conditional basis. The reporter would have had to agree not to report any off-the-record information, with the stipulation that any information about off-the-record information (including but not limited to the conditions under which it might be reported) would be considered off-the-record information itself. One shudders to think what stick could correspond to such an indigestible carrot. One also wonders about the topology of such an uninformative information set. This set might have a hole in its interior: is it permissible not to report the daily schedule one hasn't been given, or is this tantamount to suggesting that one hasn't received the schedule?

Here's a less convoluted situation, but one with a little more emotional weight. It's from a Washington Post story of June 20, 2007, reporting the continuation of a ban on the use of BlackBerrys in French government ministries and the presidential palace. (After all, BlackBerry data are routed through servers in the UK and the US; the NSA may be listening.)

An Orange France spokesman said Wednesday that the company had no comment on the government's decision to banish the BlackBerry from the corridors and offices of government because of security concerns. The spokesman, however, pleaded not to be named declining to comment.

RIM, the Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry, says messages sent via BlackBerrys are super-duper secure (not an exact quote). Of course, they have to say that. The question is, what are they not telling us, and what are they not telling us that they're not telling us? Check out the non-denial denial entry also, but don't tell 'em I sentcha.

Oxygen-Free, High-Conductivity (copper).

Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Oversees Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Optical Free Induction Decay. A short-pulse generation method for lasers; see Eli Yablonovitch and J. Goldhar, Applied Physics Letters, 25, 580 (1974). See short bibliography

Oklahoma Foreign Language Teachers' Association. The Oklahoma affiliate of SWCOLT (the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching), which is in turn a regional affiliate of ACTFL (the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages).

OFM, ofm
Order of Friars Minor. A Franciscan order.

Oxygen Free Radical. Thought to be a really bad guy in (animal) aging.

(UK government) OFfice for STandards in EDucation.

Office of Fair Trading. A UK government agency.

Orbiter Flight Test. NASA acronym.

OFfice of TELecommunications. British government's telecommunications (wire-line and wireless) regulator.

of the South
The ``Harvard of the South'' is a much-disputed title. It might be Duke (in Caroliney) or Vandy or Emory or any of a score of other places that claim the epithet, or just possibly none of them (so foller th'link awreddy!). Here is a list of X's and Y's, where Y is ``the <X> of the South'' and X is not Harvard.

Niagara: Cumberland Falls (in Whitley County, Kentucky)
Grand Canyon: Breaks Canyon
William Shakespeare: William Faulkner

See also our FSU entry. (F is for Florida, SU is for Soviet Union, and X is for the People's Republic of Berkeley.)

Overseas Filipino Workers. That's Filipinos working outside the Philippines.

Open Financial eXchange. An XML-based project of the banking industry to automate the exchange of bills, statements, and payments.

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Offensive Guard. An inside lineman in American (``grid-iron'') football.

Output Gate.

Old Graduate College. Original wing of the Graduate College, the residential college (local name for a dorm) at Princeton University. There central square is dominated by a statue of Andrew Fleming West, first dean of Princeton's graduate school. West had struggled with university president Woodrow Wilson over whether or not Princeton should have a graduate school. When he lost, Wilson left Princeton and went on to become president of the US. I'm not sure if this counts as a service of the Graduate School. Years later, to compound the insult, Princeton University went on to name its school of public affairs ``The Woodrow Wilson School.''

Cf. NGC.

The OGC sits at the top of a hill, on the far side of a golf course from the main undergraduate campus. On a misty morning, coming into Princeton on the train spur from Princeton Junction, the most prominent sight off to the west is the OGC's Cleveland Tower, rising like an upscale Brigadoon in central New Jersey. More than one person claims to have felt disoriented by the sight.

Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology.

Office of Guest Investigator Programs (Code 668 of GSFC).

Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment.

Other Government Securities.

Og Trans Fat
You must mean ``Og Tran's fat.'' I didn't even realize Og was a Vietnamese name.

AlcOHol. The abbreviation doesn't really reflect middle letters of that word. It represents the chemical symbols for oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H). An alcohol is an alkane with an -OH group substituted for a hydrogen.

Hydroxyl group. Like OH but not sharing any of its electrons. Since many of the common alkalis are hydroxides (in particular, ammonium and metal hydroxides), it occasionally appears as part of the abbreviation for a base.

Off Hook. A standard modem light.

Post-office abbreviation for Ohio.

The Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy serves a page of Ohio state government links. USACityLink.com has a page with some city and town links for the state.

The song ``My City was Gone'' first appeared on the Pretenders' album Learning to Crawl. It was written by lead singer Chrissie Hynde, a native of Akron, Ohio, after she returned from a long stay in Britain. The song ends

Ay, oh, where did you go, Ohio?

OverHead. A common acronym component: POH, SOH, TOH.

Oh be a fine girl kiss me right now sweet
Mnemonic for the spectral classification sequence O B A F G K M R N S. There are others.

The spectral classification sequence categorizes the light spectra of stars. The system was developed by E. C. Pickering, director of the Harvard College Observatory from 1877 to 1919, a time when it was dark at night across most of the US and it wasn't ridiculous to operate a professional astronomical observatory in coastal Massachusetts. Back when there were competing spectral classifications (due to Secchi and Vogel), Pickering's system was known as the Harvard system or the Henry Draper system. Henry Draper was a benefactor of the observatory.

Pickering's system is based not on the color of the star, but on the relative absorption of a sequence of pairs of absorption lines. Thus, as one moves along the main sequence from B to A (i.e.: B0, B1, B2, ... B9, A0) the relative absorption of helium lines decreases and the hydrogen absorption lines become more prominent.

OverHead Cams. The cams are eccentric widths of a cam rod that actuates poppet valves (see OHV, for want of a less specific entry) in an internal combustion engine. Overhead here really means over the cylinder heads, so the valves can be actuated directly, rather than by an indirect mechanism involving rocker arms.

A nice description is served on this page.

Oxygen Hole Centers. Charged defects in silicon dioxide.

Ordered Hierarchy of Content Objects.

2-hydroxydesipramine. (Hydroxy radical is -OH, desipramine is DMI.) OHDMI is the major active metabolite of DMI found in blood plasma.

Office of Human Development Services.

O. Henry
Pen name of William Sydney Porter (1862-1910). There are probably fewer than twenty popular theories of how this name was chosen. Whether he was really guilty of embezzling from the Austin National Bank is also controversial. He is famous for writing short stories less interesting than his own life.

Optimized Hartree-Fock-Slater (HFS, q.v.). See I. Lindgren, Physics Letters 19, 382 (1965); Arkiv Fysik (Sweden) 31, 59 (1966). For relativistic generalization, see Arne Rosén and Ingvar Lindgren, ``Relativistic Calculations of Electron Binding Energies by a Modified Hartree-Fock-Slater Method,'' Physical Review 176, 114 (1968).

Old High German. In modern German: Das Althochdeutsch (see ahd.). The ``high'' (or hoch) refers to geographic elevation -- high in the mountains to the south, highland as opposed to lowland (from Flanders to Pomerania). (Cf. ``Upper'' vs. ``Lower'' Egypt.) The term Hochdeutsch tends to be used in a more restrictive sense today, referring to the standard dialect as opposed to the local languages (some of which are also high German in the strictly descriptive sense). For the rest of this entry, however, I will use ``High German'' in the broader sense of the language subfamily that arose in southern and central Germany.

High German is a division of West Germanic. West Germanic is one of three main divisions of the Germanic language family, which in turn is one of a dozen or so major divisions of the Indo-European language family. The other two main Germanic branches are North Germanic, otherwise known as Scandinavian, and East Germanic. The East Germanic tribes migrated from the Baltic and settled around the Black Sea by the fourth century. Then came Attila. Someday if you're good I won't tell you the story. It's very exciting, and it doesn't have a very happy ending.

West Germanic includes Anglo-Saxon and its descendants (including English, a language you may be aware of), Frisian, Dutch, and related languages, and the two language groups Low and High German. Some time around 500 A.D., a sound shift occurred in OHG that still distinguishes Hochdeutsch (the more precise term for German from other West Germanic families.

The Low German branch of West Germanic has surviving members, such as Plattdeutsch, among the various local languages of modern Germany. But High German is the ancestor of standard German, and historically, most German literature has been written in OHG or one of its descendant languages. German literature is thus divided into three periods. Old High German (800 A.D. to 1050), Middle High German (1050-1500), and New High German (1500 to present)

Other Health Insurance.

Oh, I don't care how I look
You think after I spent three hours to achieve the effortlessly-beautiful look, that I would spoil it with a smudge of ugly truth? Get real: deception is the essence of personal allure.

Yes, yes, you're thinking of Violet, George and Mary Bailey's childhood friend in It's A Wonderful Life. She says, ``Oh, this ol' thing? I only wear this when I don't care how I look.'' The Violet character's best line, m.A.n., is uttered by the actress playing her as a child in an early scene. Coming into Mr. Gower's drugstore, she meets the little Mary Hatch,

Mary: I love [George].
Violet: Me too!
Mary: [But] you love all the boys!
Violet: What's wrong with that?
(From memory; first three lines approximate.)

Oh, I'm sure, like, ``yeah.''
This phrase caught my ear the other day and gave it a sharp tug. It's a minor miracle that people who have thoughts no more intelligent than this are nevertheless able to articulate those thoughts in language that can be understood. I mean, like, if they had to figure out how to construct a sentence from grammatical first principles, they'd have to like, just gurgle, you know?

Look, what I'm trying to say here is, most people have an unconscious mind that would blow out their conscious mind in any fair test of intelligence, see? The conscious mind gets all the publicity only because it's out in front. Cool, no? Anyway, practice the head term until it rolls off your tongue like some bad meat you ate an hour ago, and you can sound spontaneous too.

A structural formula for Iodous acid. O=I-O-H would have been better, but we understood.

Old German word for `uncle.' Also the surname of Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854), who in 1826 discovered the resistance law named in his honor.

The SI unit of resistance, named after Georg Simon Ohm. This is the only metric base unit abbreviated by a Greek letter (a capital omega). The only other Greek letter normally used in metric unit abbreviations is a lower-case mu, indicating a factor of 10-6.

The h in the German noun Ohm is silent -- it only serves to indicate that the o is long (in terms of vowel quantity). In Greek, the distinction is made by using different vowels omega and omicron, as the names imply.

Greek does not have a letter aitch. The capital eta looks like H, but it's just a vowel. When Greek is written in Roman characters, aitches are inserted to represent aspiration. Specifically, th, ph, and ch transliterate the Greek letters theta, phi, and chi, which in Greek represent the aspirated versions of the unvoiced stops tau, pi, and kappa, respectively. (We do the same thing with voiced stops in Hindi: bh, dh, gh.) Vowels and rho can also be aspirated, but there aren't separate letters for the aspirated versions. Instead, the characters for the unaspirated sounds are augmented by a breathing mark. (The breathing mark, also called spiritus asper in Latin, looks like a tiny left parenthesis mark above the letter.) Thus, the Greek words that we write hero and rhetor look like ero and retor with specks of ink or screen phosphor along the top. As you can see, the aitch indicating aspiration is usually written after the aspirated sound in Roman characters, but before the aspirated vowel. However, when a Greek word begins with an aspirated diphthong (as in haima, `blood'), the breathing mark is placed over the second vowel.

Well, I was trying to build to something. I was going to mention that vowels in Greek were only aspirated (or at least only got aspiration marks) at the beginning of a word. (This makes it a bit like English, which now has lost word-final aspiration -- it occurs only in foreign loans like Bach and loch -- and limited intervocalic aspiration.) Then I was going to bring in the microohm, and, like a soufflé, this Greek concoction would rise and yield mÔ! Or mo' or something. (I don't like soufflé.) But alas, as often happens, the ingredients didn't come together quite right and, deflatedly, I must simply ask you to proceed now to the mho entry.

Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (Division) of the state of California.

German: `without.' That's in the sense of `lacking,' antonym of with, not in the older sense of English without that contrasts with within. The word ohne evolved in both low and high German dialects from the negating prefix ohn-, un-, cognate with a, an- in Greek and Sanskrit, in- in Latin (with assimilated forms i-, il-, im-, and ir-), and English un-. In fact, ohn- continued to be productive as a prefix in German until about the 17th century, but today the form (and pronunciation) un- is standard.

At first blush, English appears unusual in having a compound to fill this semantic slot, but that is mainly appearances. Dutch has zonder. (And Dutch zonde is `sin,' so zonder zonde is `sinless.') This zonder is cognate with, and sounds a lot like, the German word sonder. The original senses of the word included `outside' (i.e., `without'), and considering that that is the sense of some Indic cognates (like reconstructed Old Indic sanu-tar), there seems to be some parallel reasoning going on here. Sonder (also sunder) accumulated some related meanings, such as `for each,' and now the main sense of the adjective (and adverb) is `separate(ly).' This all seems very reasonable if one meditates on the related senses of ``outside of'' and ``apart from'' in English. In fact, the outside notion just won't die. The Swedish adverb ut has about the same meaning as its English cognate `out,' utan expresses `without.' The Danish is uden. For Spanish and some other Romance, see sin.

Observatoire de Haute Provence. It observes the ``upper province'' -- to wit: the sky. It's an astronomical observatory. What's that? No? You say that's spelled differently, and there's an old region of France whose name means `higher province'? A likely story. Next thing, you'll be telling me a city has a name that means `colony,' or a country has chosen as its name something generic like ``United Kingdom'' or something.

OverHead (slide or transparency) Projector. I've never personally encountered this acronym in all my years of using overhead projectors of this sort, but I've seen it attested. See also the next entry and the Wasei eigo term OP.

OverHead Transparency Panel. Also called projection plate. Allows a live computer screen image to be projected by an ordinary overhead projector (OHP). The market is currently dominated by LCD's.

German `ear.'

German `eye.' If you can't pronounce your vowels accurately, use Auge.

Oregon Health & Science University.

Off-Highway Vehicle.

OverHead Valves. The valves control intake to cylinders of fuel-air mix and exhaust from cylinders of burnt fuel in an internal combustion engine. In ordinary automobile engines, the valves are always overhead (i.e., at the end of the cylinder, in the cylinder head). The expression ``overhead valve'' derives its meaning from indirection: it simply avoids saying that the camshaft is overhead (that would be OHC), and so implies that the camshaft is elsewhere, and that the valves are therefore actuated by the old pushrod-and-rocker-arm mechanism. A nice description is served on this page. For a completely unrelated kind of indirection, which you really have no interest in, see my uncle's comments at the ZNR entry.

Automobile engines are almost all four-stroke engines. Hand-held chainsaws, lawn mowers, boats with outboard engines, motorcycles, and snowmobiles all traditionally used two-stroke engines. The principal advantage of a two-stroke engine is that you get one power stroke per cylinder per revolution of the crankshaft, rather than one every two revolutions. This means that roughly, you only need half as many cylinders and you have a lighter engine. Two-strokes are also lighter because they're simpler. The earliest designs had no valves, just inlet and outlet openings on the side of the cylinder, closed by the side of the piston. Later designs improved operation slightly with reed valves -- one-way valves that do not require actuation (so no cams, etc.). Some two-strokes do have valves at the top of the cylinder, but I don't know anything about their actuation.

The philosophical disadvantage of two-strokes is that they're sloppy: they squeeze the four operations of compression, power, exhaust, and intake into just two strokes (one complete turn of the crankshaft). This means that you're adding fuel-air mix as you're removing combusted fuel from the same cylinder, so some fuel is wasted: being exhausted immediately as it is let in. Fuel injection gets around this, since fuel can be injected just before spark, and that approach has also been tried. In any case, there are many kinds of inefficiency, and carrying a heavier, harder-to-repair engine may not be worth slightly greater fuel efficiency.

In practice, many other factors influence fuel efficiency, and fuel pass-through is not even the most important cause of hydrocarbon (unburnt fuel) emissions now. Nevertheless, with the exception of hand-held chainsaws, the two-stroke applications listed earlier are moving toward four-stroke. The main practical advantage is vastly reduced noise.

Operations and Inspection.

Chat-room rebus for ``Oh I See.''

Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

Oregon Independent Colleges Association. Affiliated with NAICU.

The local form or forms of a folktale, folksong, or any other folk genre. ``Local'' in the definition may refer to a village, state, tribe, region, nation or other grouping.

The first part of the term is derived from the Greek oîkos, `house, dwelling.' Other English terms with the same root tend to be based on the Latinized root form oeco-, and the initial oe has generally eroded to e (as in foetus > fetus). In fact, the only common words I can think of that have the root are economy and ecology, and derivationally related words. (According to the OED, oecology was modeled on oeconomy.) The Greek original of that word, oikonomia, essentially had to do with household management. [For a really thorough discussion of the semantic evolution of the word economy in English, see the beginning of Moses Finley's The Ancient Economy (Un. of Calif. Pr., 1973).] In German, economy is Ökonomie. (The umlauted character represents oe.) The word Ökonomie shares the semantic field of economy with the more common Wirtschaft. (The distinction doesn't line up with that of economy and finance. Look, this is the oicotype entry. Wait until we have a dedicated Ökonomie entry, or look in a German dictionary.)

By now you're eager to know how oicotype happens to be spelled the way it is. The reason is probably that the word was introduced by a Swede, Carl Wilhelm von Sydow. See Selected Papers on Folklore, ed. Laurits Bødker (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1948).

Oklahoma Independent Colleges and Universities. Affiliated with NAICU.

Original Issue Discount. A term used by the US IRS. If you need help preparing your tax return, try visiting the IRS website.

A suffix that forms adjectives; in general foofoid or baroid means ``having a form resembling foofa or bar.'' Used as a noun, the term often excludes, say, foofa from the category of objects that resemble foofa. The morpheme is common in science and math, and widely used in zoology to name taxa above the level of genus on the basis of a characteristic genus or species. Names with -oidea and similar endings (oideaoids? nah) correspond to broader and more inclusive (i.e., higher) taxa than names ending in -id. Ultimately, the -oid suffix arose from the Greek word eidos, `form.'

Optoelectronics Industry Development Association. A North American industry association; a member of ICOIA.

Spanish for `heard.' More precisely, the female form of the past participle of oír, `to hear.'

Organismo Internacional para la Energía Atómica. Spanish name of `International Atomic Energy Agency' (IAEA). If it bothers you to see the cognate of English organism here, think of it as an ``international body'' rather than an ``international agency.''

Office for Intellectual Freedom (of the ALA). See also FEN.

Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. It's not just about language: L'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie est une institution fondée sur le partage d'une langue et de valeurs communes.

Office of Inspector General.

Open Information Interchange. Index of Standards here.

Operations Interface Module.

Orientation-Imaging Microscopy. SEM-based imaging technique for analyzing the crystallographic structure of materials.

Standard onomatopoeia for pig sound. The fact is, pigs are much more expressive than this would suggest. See two postings [(1) and (2)] on the Classics list.

One Income, No Kids. A marketing demographic. Less common than DINK.

One Insufficient income, Nasty Kids and Spouse. Acronym coined by TV Guide writer Harold Poskin, to describe shows like ``Roseanne'' (in which Roseanne plays Roseanne Conner, a cynical blue-collar wife who works in a beauty salon and has better laugh lines than her kids).

Roseanne (the show) ran from 1988 to 1997. Its outlook would appear to have had little in common with that of ``The Cosby Show,'' which ran from 1984 to 1992. The Cosby Show was a sort of black ``Father Knows Best'' (1954-1963). Bill Cosby said he created it partly because he was tired of sit-coms in which ``the children were brighter than the parents.''

(UN) Office of Internal Oversight Services. ``Services'' is probably the key word here, followed by ``Internal.'' Pressured by the outcry over a vast Oil-for-Food scandal in 2004, SG Kofi Annan appointed an Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) headed by Paul Volcker. The report of its investigation, released in January 2005, immediately became the main source of information about how the opaque UN bureaucracy operates.

It is clear from the IIC's report that the OIOS generated many reports accurately detailing major problems and making sensible recommendations. It is also clear that, with minor exceptions, the content of these reports was ignored. Apparently the OIOS has no enforcement power and no mechanism to instigate enforcement. This is deeply characteristic of the UN, which is ultimately sustained by a faith that words magically lead to deeds, without credibly threatened penalties or force.

Old Irish.

Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. Officially, they seem to prefer the less grandiose OISE/UT, but OISE/UT is apparently the only institution with ``Ontario Institute of Studies in Education'' as part of its name, and plain OISE is widely used.


Ontario Institute of Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. It has a degree program leading to a B.Ed. in Classical Studies (Latin), or has had, and as of this writing (2005) that was the only the only anglophone Latin Teaching program in Canada. This program was suspended in 2005-6 but will run in 2006-7. (I don't know how you do that -- what do students in the program do?) Longer-term continuation of the program is in that parlous state known as ``under review.''

Oxidation-Induced Stacking Fault.

Office of Information Technology.

Organización Internacional del Trabajo. Spanish, International Labor Organization.'

Optoelectronic Industry and Technology Development Association. A Japanese industry association; a member of ICOIA

Official Journal of the European Communities.

Orange Juice.

Initials and nickname of Orenthal James Simpson. Vide Akita.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Part of the US DOJ. I think they're only trying to prevent delinquency, not justice. At most, they want to prevent Justice from having to take its just course. And the Juvenile in ``Juvenile Justice'' -- I'm pretty sure that is supposed to characterize the defendants. Why are you reading this when you could be doing something useful?

Office of Justice Programs. Part of the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

On-the-Job Training. Sink-or-swim. Technique used with new US presidents.

Okay. Expansion, if it indeed be an acronym or abbreviation, is like the etymology generally, much in dispute. Oll Korrect is a popular expansion. See plenty on this page.

OKlahoma. USPS abbreviation.

The Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy serves a page of Oklahoma state government links. USACityLink.com has a page with some city and town links for the state.

OKay Application Programming Interface (API)? No cigar. The okapi is a forest ruminant, related to the giraffe but smaller and with an ordinary neck. It has a reddish-brown body, creamy white cheeks and whitish stripes and bands on the legs. If you haven't seen one, it may be because it lives only in the Congo river basin. It seems that Africa has cornered the market on striped ruminants (short list at the zebra entry). There ought to be a reason.

AlcohOL suffix in organic chemistry. Used to indicate that a chemical species has an -OH (``hydroxyl'') functional group attached to a carbon.

If the carbon is part of a benzene ring, then the compound is called a phenol or (with multiple hydroxyl groups) polyphenol. Otherwise -- with hydroxyl group (or groups all) bonded to nonaromatic carbon(s), it is an alcohol.

There are a number of older chemical terms that end in -ol and do not describe alcohols or phenols. Typically these are terms widely used among all chemists in Germany during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, and which have lingered in use among nonchemists and industrial chemists after the IUPAC rationalization of chemical nomenclature. Prominent among these no-longer-appropriate uses of -ol are the aromatic (but nonphenolic) chemical names ``benzol, toluol, and xylol,'' now replaced by benzene, toluene, and xylene.

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Offensive Lineman. An offensive position in American football. This particular position does not lead to fame.

Office Lady. Wasei eigo abbreviation of wasei eigo coinage. Cf. DK.


Optical Limiter. A kind of optical circuit breaker: nonlinear optical material that increases opacity with intensity, to protect sensitive or valuable equipment. There was an episode of TOS in which Spock's eyesight was spared by the fact that Vulcans evolved a natural OL. He took his initially apparently permanent blindness stoically, of course.

Ordered List tag in HTML. Different numbering styles can be specified using the TYPE parameter, as described in these examples.

OnLine Analytic Processing. This is a pretty meager entry, isn't it. Try the DW entry, there might be something interesting there.

In the previous paragraph, the sentence containing the word meager is declarative, not interrogative. That's why I didn't use a question mark. Some people disapprove. We need to have an international conference on this question. The question question, I mean. You understand?

Optical Linear Algebraic Processor.

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Outside LineBacker (LB). OLB's line up in a two-point stance behind the defensive linemen (typically two defensive ends (DE's) and one or two tackles (DT's), and outside the DE's. There are normally three or four linebackers, with the outside linebackers typically lining up beside or slightly forward of the one middle linebacker (MLB) or the two inside linebackers (ILB's).

Outside linebackers used to be called defensive ends, but that sounded slow, so they came up with a different name. More seriously, the linebacker position was invented by legendary University of Michigan coach Fielding Yost. The number of men on the field (11 per team) hadn't changed, so I guess the original OLB's were DE's who were playing slightly off the line.

Usually pejorative adjective meaning like Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's hourlong ``Countdown,'' a news program with extensive commentary. (Five news stories are counted down on each show.) My understanding is that the likeness is to his leftward or pro-Democratic or anti-GOP bias, but he only works TV, so I only know him by his and MSNBC's reputation. ``Matthewsesque'' gets way more ghits, but a large fraction of these are for the musician Dave. Without careful study, I can only say that the adjective Matthewsesque (for Chris) is at least comparable in usage to Olbermannesque, and possibly much more common.


Oxford Latin Course. One of the more readings-based series, with a strong focus on Horace and the Late Republic/Early Empire period. In principle, most of the widely used introductory Latin books and book series can be used at all levels from middle school to college. In practice, grammar-intensive books like Wheelock work better at the higher levels, while the grammar-soft-pedaling series like OLC, CLC, and Ecce Romani are better-stomached by middle-schoolers. Here's a collection of useful bookmarks for teachers of Latin using the OLC. The textbooks most commonly used in the US are listed at the Latin school texts entry.

On-Line Card Catalog. There is a small number of very widely used systems. There was also a transition around the turn of the century, from curses-based systems like NOTIS to browser-based systems like ALEPH.

I guess ``card catalog'' (like ``carriage return'') has lost some semantic traction, so OPAC will become increasingly common.

As we stroll briskly down electronic memory lane, let's pause a moment and record a melancholy milestone, a John Henry moment. After Notre Dame's libraries switched to an OLCC system in the 1980's, and then to another in the 1990's, the old card catalog at Hesburgh Library had some inertia. It ceased to be updated, but it remained available, and I even used it a couple of times in the late 1990's when the electronic catalog was off line. In particular, during and just before final exams, Hesburgh stays open around the clock, which is cool, but the old electronic catalog went off-line after about 3 AM, which was not cool. That was when I used the cards. I'm sorry I didn't record the dates of these significant events. It was probably before 2000 that the card catalog cabinets were moved out of the first floor.

Once all volumes were on electronic record, the cards started to be recycled for scratch paper. You would look up a book on the OLCC, grab an old card from a convenient stack near the PC, and write the call number on the back of the old card. It was faster than printing out. There is a certain poignant nobility in this final humble service of each card, making its lonely departure among bad photocopies and forbidden candy wrappers, too soon, forever, out of the only library it had ever called home.

One evening last week, during the traditional end-of-semester scavenger hunts, a callow youth approached me and asked where the card catalog was. He wasn't sure what he needed, but apparently he needed a catalog card. When I reached over to get him one, I realized that the scrap-paper stack had only the recycled bad-photocopy slips. I did find a couple of old cards nearby, but today (December 11, 2005) I learned that we have indeed come to the end of an era: the capacious cabinets were finally emptied a couple of months ago, and since then there are no more cards to refill the scrap-paper stacks. Sic transit.

Eda Kriseová is a Czech novelist, was a dissident under Communist rule. Thanks in part to international pressure, she received an exit visa from Czechoslovakia in 1988.

She visited Harvard, where she was to give a reading. Sitting down at a computer terminal in Widener Library, she typed in the words ``Czech underground literature.'' To her surprise, the computer responded. She then typed in her own name. The computer answered that it had carbon copies of some of her own samizdat manuscripts. ``I burst into tears,'' she said. ``I felt like a victorious Robinson Crusoe, whose message in the bottle had washed up on shore.''

She went home. Fast forward to -- no wait! Better go to slow-mo; everything happened suddenly. On January 16, 1989, Kriseová's friend Vaclav Havel and seven other civil rights campaigners were arrested for hooliganism. They were trying to place flowers at the statue of St. Wenceslas in Wenceslas Square. (Wenceslas is the English form of the Czech name Vaclav.)

On May 17, 1989, Vaclav Havel was released after serving only four months of his nine-month term for this crime. Ms. Eva Kvetenska, the judge who ordered his release, read a report from the prison authorities that Havel, a playwright, had shown ``disciplined conduct.'' She ordered him placed on two years' probation, pronouncing that this would be long enough to guarantee his ``re-education.'' In 1968, Havel had gone on the air with the short-lived Free Czech Radio, during the Soviet-led invasion by fraternal socialist armed forces that crushed a liberalization known as the Prague Spring. From that time, he was permanently banned from publication and performance. (The next year, a student named Jan Palach immolated himself at St. Wenceslas Square in protest. The hooliganism of January 16, 1989, was to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of his suicide.) As a coauthor of Charter 77, Havel was arrested within 24 hours of that declaration's announcement; charges related to Charter 77 work won him a four-year prison term in 1979.

Havel became president of Czechoslovakia on December 29, 1989. Well, other things happened too, so I'm just concentrating on the stuff that seems relevant to this entry. Kriseová became a member of Havel's advisory board. In 1992, she attended a conference organized by Partisan Review, on ``Intellectuals and Social Change in Eastern Europe'' (held at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ). Her talk, on the last day of the conference, was entitled ``Where I Hid My Manuscript.'' [The block of quoted text above is from Jacob Weisberg's report on the conference in the back-page ``Diarist'' feature of the New Republic: ``Newark Diarist'' for May 4, 1992, p. 41 (vol. 206, #18).] Kriseová wrote Havel's official biography, which received mixed reviews.


Oxford Latin Dictionary. Many classicists still prefer Lewis and Short (L&S), the century-old Oxford Latin dictionary that the OLD was intended to displace.

L&S has older scholarship, of course; in particular, our understanding of Indo-European is supposed to be improved. I've also read the claim that L&S is notorious for the inaccuracy of its indications of vowel length. I guess notoriety is a matter of degree.

On behalf of the L&S it may be said that it has more usage information, details on semantic shifts, etc. Also, the OLD -- unlike L&S -- is more sharply focused on classical texts for cites and sources, and excludes Christian and other late antique evidence. Some see this as reflecting the values of ``old-style Christian-hating classicists.'' Fight! Fight!

old age
The psalm has been updated to reflect medical progress; by common agreement with the oldest person present (see Governance), this is something you can't die of before age 80. However, the enfeebled condition of all those who have survived to the age of 60 is recognized by the Burger King at the UB commons--a discount is available. Vide AARP).

Old English sheepdog
This amazing creature achieves its status as an Old English sheepdog before it is as much as a month old, even in dog months. The AARP is very interested.

old flame retardant
Eugene A. Nida writes
In general, redundancy is calculated as a ``left-to-right'' procedure; that is to say, the predictability of a following term is calculated upon the extent to which preceding forms determine its probability of occurrence.
In actual speech, however, as well as in the understanding of written materials, persons do not decode merely from left to right. Rather, they take in what might be called ``meaningful mouthfuls'' and actually determine the meaning by two-directional decoding, so that redundancy must be calculated both lineally and structurally.
[In Toward a Science of Translating: With Special Reference to Principles and Procedures Involved in Bible Translating (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1964).] When people who can think but not calculate try to put their ideas into mathematical terms, the results can be amusing.

Old French
Bears approximately the same relation to Modern French that Middle English bears to Modern English. Either that, or postmodern English (q.v.) is spoken.

I'm somewhat conflicted about this entry. On the one hand, ``Olds'' is clearly a short form of the name Oldsmobile, and thus clearly appropriate as an entry in this glossary. On the other hand, Olds is just the surname of the man who founded Oldsmobile in 1897, Ransom E. Olds (yes, and of a lot of his relatives).

old soul
They tell me I have an old soul. Of course, it was cheaper that way. Try over at ``Metempsychoses 'R' Us'' second-hand emporium -- I hear they're having a sale. Everything's got to go. They're moving to a new location.

Object Linking and Embedding. Microsoft object technology.

Opto & Laser Europe. ``[A] a technology-transfer magazine for the European photonics industry.''

OutLook Express. Microsoft mail software (vide MUA). Microsoft prefers to use ``OLE'' for ``Object Linking and Embedding'' (above), but since Outlook Express makes its presence felt by crashing and malfunctioning by design, one needs a short name for it. Some use OE, some OLE. The expressive name is ``Outhouse Excess.''

On the uk.railway newsgroup, monitored by our research department, the despised Connex has been compared favorably to Outlook Express. However, on that newsgroup OLE has another expansion:

Overhead Line Equipment. You probably better look at the previous entry.

A Scandinavian boy's given name. Or boys' given name. I mean, it's not just one Scandinavian boy's name, but the name belongs individually to each boy who gets it. Why do things have to be so complicated?! Pronounced approximately OH-lee. Anyway, that's approximately the pronunciation, regardless how precisely it's pronounced. Cf. Jan, Ollie.

Organic Light-Emitting Diode.

An ester, made from sugar and fatty acids. It tastes and has the texture of fat, but is not digested. Unlike similar products already on the market when it was approved in January 1996, it also does not break down at the temperatures used in cooking.

It's often called a polyester, but it's not a polymer. It's a sucrose (double sugar) esterized with five to eight fatty acids.

As of this writing (March 1997), olestra is found only in, and in all, fat-free potato chips.

It has been impossible to test toxicity using the usual animal-model protocols. That is, normally one gives factor-of-a-hundred (proportional-by-body-mass) overdoses to test animals to detect any deleterious effect. This has been criticized on the basis of the idea that too much of anything is bad, but it does improve the odds of detecting problems that might otherwise take years to develop, or to which the test animal happens to be less susceptible. In any case, since fat substitutes are not trace-level additives but a major fraction of the food they're used in, factor-of-a-hundred increased ``doses'' would simply burst the test animals. A part of the argument for acceptance has simply been that olestra isn't absorbed, so it would take some pretty nifty magic for it have a toxic effect.

There are, in fact, a number of health problems possibly associated with olestra, among the least of them the fact that olestra tends to leak out through the other end of your GI tract, even though you thought you were toilet trained. On the other hand, there are a number of health problems associated with the consumption of ordinary fat.... Studies suggest that GI problems (cramps, ``fecal urgency'' and soft stools, mostly) happen to a few percent of people who eat the equivalent of half a tube of fat-free Pringles, but the data are still, pardon the expression, spotty. The GI effects are reported to be comparable in magnitude or severity to those produced by baked beans, dietary fiber, and prunes.

The main specific concern is that olestra is a solvent for fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K. This affects the ability of the intestines to absorb them, but then so does whether you cook them or not, and whether you eat fiber with them, etc. Federal regulation requires fortification with vitamins A, D, E and K, but that's not so simple. Vitamin A is not one substance but a large class including some of the carotenoids. The possible consequences of depleted carotenoid uptake are unknown, so try to eat a cooked carrot unaccompanied by fat-free potato chips or oat bran, every once in a while.

It's marketed by P&G. They spent 25 years and $200 million dollars on research and health studies. What a bargain. Accidentally created in 1968; first petition filed for its approval as a cholesterol-reducing drug in 1975 and withdrawn in the face of research showing that it wasn't very effective; P&G petitioned for food-additive approval in 1987.

Here're some other sites:

Office of Law Enforcement Technology Commercialization. Hosted by NTTC.

O levels
Ordinary levels. High school exams taken in England and Wales at about age 16. Replaced by GCSE (q.v.).

[Football icon]

Offensive Left Guard. Usually ``offensive'' in the sense of playing on the offense, but the other sense is often applicable.

Originating Line Information.

Oklahoma Library Information Network.

Olive Oil Grades
These are established by the International Olive Oil Council, an agency comprised of major producing nations, based in Madrid, formed under the auspices of the UN in the 1980's. See extra virgin and antonomasia entries. For real information, visit this site.

Nickname for Oliver. Pronounced AH-lee (except in Britain and some other places, where the ``O'' is pronounced, bizarrely, like ``o''). Cf. Ole.

Ocular Larva Migrans.

Output Logic MacroCell.

On-Line Operation[s].

Office for Literacy and Outreach Services. Part of the American Library Association.

One Laptop Per Child. A program to distribute very inexpensive laptop computers to children in poor countries. (They're Linux machines with hand-crank power available. Originally targeted at $100, they're available at roll-out in late 2007 for under $200.)

On-Line Service[s].

Ordinary Least Squares.

On-Line Test[ing].

``One Life to Live.'' An ABC daytime soap opera that began its life in 1968. It was cancelled in April 2011; its dying agonies will air in January 2012, if the world doesn't come to an end before then.

On-Line Transaction Processing.

Optical Line Unit.

Oman domain code. Okay, here's something: Sultan Qaboos University. (Make up your own puns.)

A religious syllable. Also, one finger to the right of in on a qwerty.

In Japanese, this syllable is rendered in such a way that the romaji transliteration becomes `aum.' Hence the name of the infamous Aum Shinrikyo cult (discussed elsewhere in the glossary: LPF).

Odyssey of the Mind. ``... a world-wide, nonprofit organization that promotes creative team-based problem solving in a school program for students from kindergarten through college.''

Organización de Miembros. Spanish, `Membership Organization' (MO).

Operational Measurement.

German, `grandma.' Cf. Opa.

Ontario Medical Association.

Optical Multichannel Analyzer.

Omar is well known to be an Arab or Arabic name. It is less well known that it is an old form of the name Homer. I've read that the latter is the etymology in the case of US Army Gen. Omar Bradley.

A relatively cool word for a relatively warm thing: the third of the four stomachs of a ruminant. You're probably wondering what the others are called.

Oh, all right:
  1. rumen
  2. reticulem
  3. omasum
  4. abomasum
It might help to remember that food normally passes through them in reverse alphabetical order.

Office of Management and Budget. An agency of the White House that handles the number crunching for the Budget that the president sends to the House of Representatives, where by constitutional requirement all spending bills must originate. The Congress has a corresponding office called the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Operation and Maintenance Center.

Optical Mode Conditioner. An interconnect between single-mode optical fiber (like Gigabit Ethernet 1000Base-LX) and ``traditional'' multimode cable.

Organización Mundial del Comercio. Spanish, `World Trade Organization' (WTO). Also l'OMC, in French (Organisation mondiale du Commerce). Cf. OMS.

Office of Motor Carrier, an office of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) within the Department of Transportation (DOT). On January 1, 2000, it was upgraded to a separate administration (within the DOT), now called the FMCSA.

For more, see the NTEA's glossary of Truck Equipment Terms.

OrganoMetallic CVD. Probably the more common term is MOCVD.

The On-line Medical Dictionary. Thanks to Graham Dark. One of the many on-line medical dictionaries autosearched by Onelook.com.

Omega Rho
Operations Research Honor Society.

Ohio's Mid-Eastern Regional Education Services Agency.

Ohmigosh. The eff evidently stands for ``French,'' as in the Montreal-English expression ``pardon my French.''

O.M.F.U.G., OMFUG, Omfug
Other Music for Uplifting Go[u]rmandizers. The signs and awning of the New York club CBGB's (q.v.) read CBGB and, in smaller letters below that, OMFUG. CBGB's founder and only owner, Hilly Kristal, has been quoted in the press as saying that ``[a] lot of people believe `Omfug' stands for something dirty.'' I can't imagine why. ``But the truth is, I felt CBGB sounded so pat that I wanted something to go with it that sounded a little uncouth, or crude.'' This was the club that was famously saved when the Punk music people discovered it.

Until 2002, news reports in major papers expanded O.M.F.U.G. (with whatever punctuation or capitalization) with Gourmandizers (observe the u), although innovative, daring, progressive, and illiterate USA Today used Gormandizers in 1993. From 2003 on, most news reports used Gormandizers.

FWIW, in English the obsolete verb gourmand had the distasteful connotation of sloppiness that the noun gourmand still has, while the obsolete or rare verb gourmandize (used by W.M. Thackeray in his 1841 essay ``Memorials of Gourmandising'') had or has the genteel connotation of the noun gourmet. Personally, I prefer the 1820 suggestion made by A.D. Macquin in a footnote to Tabella Cibaria: ``The gormand unites theory with practice, and may be denominated Gastronomer. The gourmet is merely theoretical, cares little about practising, and deserves the higher appellation of Gastrologer.''

Object Management Group. An organization that now maintains the UML definition.

omg, OMG
Oh My { God | <God-euphemism> }. Useful in chat-rooms. Hence lowercase.

Optical Mode Interference. Mechanism in certain LC displays. [See M. Schadt and F. Leenhout, Appl. Phys. Lett. 50, 236 (1987).]

Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals. Cf. OMIM.

Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man. ``This database is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders authored and edited by Dr. Victor A. McKusick and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere, and developed for the World Wide Web by NCBI, the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The database contains textual information, pictures, and reference information. It also contains copious links to NCBI's Entrez database of MEDLINE articles and sequence information.''

Remember, you can't spell omission without miss. Oh wait, now I think of it, you can. Just write om ission and uh, delete the space.

Organisation Mondiale de la Propriété Intellectuelle or Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual. French and Spanish, respectively, for World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Optical Mark Reader. A scanner for grading bubble-sheet forms (for answers to multiple-choice exams, say).

Open Media Research Institute. A ``unique public-private venture between the Open Society Institute and the U.S. Board for International Broadcasting.''

Orbital Maneuvering System.

Organización Mundial de la Salud. Spanish, `World Health Organization' (WHO). Also l'OMS, in French (Organisation mondiale de la Santé). Cf. OMC.

This would make a euphonious acronym, but it doesn't seem to stand for anything yet. When it does, we will be ready.

Object Management Template. Not explained very clearly here.

Object Modeling Technique.

Organisation mondiale du tourisme | Organización Mundial del Tourismo }. Spanish names of the UNWTO (see WTO).

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment. The extra special therapeutic ingredient that makes osteopathic medicine (see DO) so much more effective than ordinary medicine.

OrganoMetallic Vapor-Phase Epitaxy (VPE).

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