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S. J.
Sidney Joseph (Perelman) -- (1904-1979). A Brown-University drop-out.

SJ, S.J.
Society of Jesus. The Jesuits. Founded by Ignatius of Loyola. The National Jesuit Conference has an office in Washington and a web page.

Here are some lists of Jesuit Universities. See also the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) and AUSJAL.

Oh, here's something hot off the press -- on October 12, 2000, not even a full century after Oscar Wilde's deathbed conversion to Roman Catholicism (he died Nov. 30, 1900)! A Jesuit quarterly, La Civilita Cattolica, has rehabilitated Mr. Wilde. As evidence of Wilde's interest in the Catholic church, Spadaro wrote that Wilde wanted to go to a Jesuit retreat upon his release from prison in 1897. The Jesuits asked him to wait a year as a test that his desire was real.

Someone who was more careful about his posthumous religious condition was An interesting comparison may be drawn with George Santayana. The Spanish-born Santayana was an American philosopher, part of the intellectual and cultural social circles that included E. M. Forster, Robert Lowell, John Maynard Keynes, Bertrand Russell, Lytton Strachey, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. (I feel so dirty introducing someone who needed no introduction, but Santayana's stock took a swift dive after his death in 1952, aet. 90. Today he is remembered, if at all, for a few aphorisms in his voluminous writings.) Santayana was an atheist, but he was a decidedly Roman Catholic atheist. He identified both with Catholicism, and against Protestantism, but he didn't accept Catholicism. It seems to be a recurring theme: he was regarded as an American, published in English, worked and spent most of his life in America, but he harbored fundamental reservations against America. Then again, nowadays that's not so unusual for an academic. He remained a Spanish subject until his death. It's hard to summarize or perhaps to make sense of his religious views, but it's fair to say that he regarded Roman Catholicism as a more legitimate or appropriate form of error than other religions. Do not tell me this is unreasonable; he was a philosopher, so he could believe anything. I only mention all this to say that he spent the last decade of his long life at a home run by the Blue Nuns in Rome. (I'm only going to explain once: Blue Nun is a white wine; blue nuns are unhappy nuns of ordinary coloration; the Blue Nuns are an Irish order that wears blue habits.) Recognizing the nuns' earnest desire for his salvation, he left explicit instructions to his executors that even if, in his dying moments, he should happen to nod in apparent acceptance and be given last rites, it should be understood that he nodded just to get the nuns and priests to stop pestering him, and that his apparent acquiescence should under no circumstances be misconstrued as a deathbed conversion. Aaah, give it a rest. For an alternative attitude, see assassination, political.

A note about the use of S.J. following a name: it may mean that the man is a Roman Catholic priest in the Jesuit Order, but it may also mean that he is a ``brother'' (i.e., not a priest). (A similar practice applies to O.P.)

Traditionally (i.e., until some time after the middle of the twentieth century), Jesuits wore black robes. One of my father's Catholic school teachers, whenever discovered by his students at the race track, would habitually joke that underneath his pants, he was wearing his black robe. In some places and times, ``black robe'' could be a synecdoche for Jesuit. For an example, see the black monks entry.

Generally speaking, if you get an audience with the pope and you don't have a standard religious habit, it's good to wear black. It's just generally respectful and gets things off to a smooth start, so long as the pope is not comatose. And if you're female, don't wear anything too daring, if you know what I mean.

Statens Järnvägar. The Swedish (.se) national railways.

(Domain code for) Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands.

Saint Joseph College. In Connecticut.

Saint Joseph's College. In Pennsylvania. Informally called ``Saint Joe's.'' Rob went there for a couple of years, majoring in accounting. When he couldn't take the tedium any more, he transferred to business at BC.

Saint Joseph's College. In Rensselaer, Indiana.

Saint Joseph County Public Library. Enter from the Main Street side, in downtown South Bend, Indiana. There is a common OLCC, called PUBLICON for SJCPL and the nearby public libraries in Mishawaka (MPPL), Plymouth, and Bremen.

Saint Joseph County (Indiana) Spay Neuter Assistance Program. Sometimes it's possible for an acronym to be a bit too graphic, even if not accurately so. SJC-SNAP ``is a program designed to help low income pet owners spay and neuter their pets.'' The goal is evidently to avoid littering: to have low-income, low-outcome pets. Still, it strikes me that to ``spay and neuter'' a pet is overdoing things. To paraphrase the woman I know who complained about ``male e__________'' email, it would require removing what it hasn't got.

Incidentally, the explanatory quote dissected above is from a flyer distributed by the Pre-Vet Club [oooh, just missed a good pun opportunity by one letter] and the Biology Club at the University of Notre Dame. They sponsored a ``Domer Doggy Walk'' on September 28, 2008. Events included a ``Blessing of the Dogs.'' That reminds me that before my father was kicked out of Catholic elementary school, for taking an emergency piss in the neighborhood of a Virgin Mary statue or idol or whatever, he was taught the Latin prayers needed to administer ultimate unction, again in case of emergency. It gets me to wondering whether these things can be done with the speaking parts done remotely (see the Joyce ACC entry for some evidence regarding that) by teleconference, or with a tape-recording or synthesized voice or parrot or a talking dog named Fido.

A trio of contests was scheduled for 2pm: ``Friendliest dog,'' ``Best trick,'' and -- was there a prize for this? -- ``Best owner/dog look-alike.'' One of the activities (noon to 3pm) was ``Doggie Tattoos.'' Now every dog can be, or at least have, a ``Spot.'' I suppose they could also get one of those stylized hearts with a ribbon across the middle saying ``Bitch.''

Airport code for Cruz Bay, St. John [Cruz Bay Seaplane Base], U.S. Virgin Islands.

Scheduler JCL Facility. [IBM.]

Shortest Job First. Scheduling strategy. Also called SPN -- Shortest Process Next.

Single Jewish Female. Abbreviation in personals ads. Don't answer these.

Soho Jazz Festival. (The Soho in England.)

Svenska Journalistförbundet. `Union of Swedish Journalists.'

Single Jewish Male. Personals-ad abbreviation.

So I'm told. Never read them myself, of course.

Svalbard And Jan Mayen Islands. ISO three-letter country-code.

Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center. Located in South Bend, Indiana, it serves Saint Joseph County -- or whoever comes in, I guess.

Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia's Jesuit University. Never heard it called that. I've always heard it called ``Saint Joe's.'' Rob went there. Majored in accounting, was bored out of his mind. Bailed out to ``Business'' and transferred to BC. (For stuff about Jesuits, see SJ.)

(Domain code for) Slovakia (or the Slovak Republic). Slovakian cuisine is big on cabbage, potatoes, vinegar, cheeses and creams, meat, and more meat. So I'm told.

Postal abbreviation for the Canadian (.ca) province of Saskatchewan (spelled that right in one try!). Capital: Regina; Most Frequent Mistaken Guess For The Capital: Saskatoon. Not on DST -- ahead of its (neighbours') time in the summer.

skewer the odds
To put a sharp cooking implement through alternate integers, starting with the number one. (This entry was inspired by a sports commentator's skewering of a standard idiom.)

skid marks
Skid marks on fat men's underpants? No. Impossible. I assure you, and I can prove it. You see, skid marks are caused by rubber abraded from tires by friction with the road when one makes a rapid stop. Tires don't wear underpants (and if they did it wouldn't be underwear -- perhaps you're thinking of grille bras). If one were to put underpants on a tire, then during a skid the rubber wouldn't be in contact with the road, so there wouldn't be a rubber skid mark. Also, skid marks appear on the road, and it is self-evident that you can't put underpants on a road -- they're not big enough.

I swear, people are willing to believe all kinds of I-won't-say-it! (Note that here I don't mean what-I-won't-say literally.) The world needs experts trained in logic -- philosophers -- to enable them to think. It's a wonder ordinary people ever come to a valid conclusion, if they do. Hmmm, that reminds me: for a sociological analysis, see the dirty underwear entry.

Spending my Kids' INheritance. Spelled out on tee shirts.

There's a joke at least as old as the people who wear such tee shirts, that madness is genetic -- you get it from your children.

skintight burqa
Every time I think I've come up with a really original, wildly improbable concept, Google demonstrates that I'm late to the party.

Sowjetische Kontrollkommission. `Soviet Control Commission' in Soviet-occupied Germany shortly after WWII.

Sungkyunkwan University. Founded in 1398. Their landing page once proclaimed ``Beyond Korea, Global SKKU,'' and the slogan still appears on scattered webpages, but they seem to have campuses only in Korea (Seoul and Suwan). They have a lot of ``international partners'' and student exchange programs. But despite their having some English-language webpages, I think the student exchange is mainly for export. The school does seem to be an increasingly popular university for Koreans, behind Seoul National University.

St. Kitts and Nevis.

The name of a toffee bar from Hershey, and a few other things.

As was apparent from the early advertising campaigns, Hershey wanted to give the bar a Scandinavian appeal, and may have chosen a word which would be likely to be pronounced ``score'' to suggest some erotic reference to various blondes acting in the ads. FWIW, however, the Swedish word which means `score' is spelled skår. The Swedish word skor means `shoes,' which might be read as suggesting that the caramel is as tough as leather. (For another unfortunate name associated with shoes, see the incubus entry.)

Also, Skôr is (nominative singular) `dung' in ancient Greek. (Just to jog your memory, and to draw the connection with useful words like scatological, see the WGASA entry.) For other infelicitously named ingestible products, see BM, Colon, Dropsy, Mental, and Sucrets. I figure slime phone rates a mention too, since it is brought close to the mouth.

skort, skorts
The word is a blend of skirt and shorts. The garment is a pair of shorts with a flap or panel across the front, and possibly the back, to make it resemble a skirt.

The women on the crew of the Enterprise in ST:TOS. Grace Lee Whitney played hot Yeoman Janice Rand in the first half of the first season of ST, and her skort... well, one often speaks (spoke? sporked?) of a garment ``flattering a woman's figure,'' but I'm not sure of the appropriate terminology for a garment that reveals by revealing. Anyway, somewhere I remember reading or hearing her claim that the original plan was for the crew women to wear pants or a longer skirt, and that skorts were used at her suggestion, but this is hard to track down.

A little bit. Bill Cosby gave this little bit of slang greater currency in endorsement advertisements for jeans for, you know, older men. They had ``a skosh more room'' up front, presumably to accommodate your enlarged prostate.

The word is supposed to be derived from the Japanese sukoshi, a noun and adverb meaning `a little bit.' It's natural that the u in the standard transliteration does not appear in the English spelling of the loan. The u following s in Japanese, while regarded phonemically as equivalent to the u's transcribed elsewhere, is more centered (i.e., it is articulated further back than ordinary /u/, a front vowel) and seems more indistinct. Moreover, a u between any two unvoiced consonants is normally indistinct, so a u following s and preceding an unvoiced consonant often seems to disappear. Add to this the fact that syllables in Japanese are pronounced more rapidly than in English (even more rapidly than in French), and it would be surprising if the u survived the language crossing. In some accents I've heard, the i in final shi also tends to disappear.

This feature of Japanese pronunciation helps to keep loans from English to Japanese somewhat recognizable. Japanese doesn't have a lot of consonant clusters. Formally, it doesn't have any consonant clusters beginning in s unless you count the geminate ss or the palatalized sha, shu, and sho (which are represented in Japanese kana as shi + ya, shi + yu, and shi + yo). However, clusters like sk, st, and sp are reproduced fairly accurately with katakana spellings equivalent to suk, sut, sup, etc.

The word sukoshi occurs in the following common phrase: Sukoshi tsumete-kudasaimasen-ka? A good ``functional translation'' of this is `Would you please move over a little?' The second-person pronoun could be made explicit but is usually just understood (i.e., Japanese is a pro-drop language). The courtesy (`please' in English) is in the verb suffix, and the phrase is marked as a question by the particle -ka. (The syntax, which is altered in English to distinguish a declaration from a question, is the same here as it would be for a declarative sentence.) The interesting thing about this request is the base verb, which does not mean `move,' exactly. The verb tsumeru means `to pack.' The request is literally that the person or persons addressed `pack [together] a little [more closely].' The context that makes this phrase common is the subway. More common than the phrase is a nonverbal indication that one wants to sit down. It is not considered rude to make a sweeping motion of one's hand to indicate what one wishes done.

Sanskrit. This does not mean script written in sand.

Stock-Keeping Unit. In NYC I've heard the acronym pronounced ``skew.'' A unique ID Number that usually defines an item at the style, color, and size level in retail applications.

Polish word meaning `crumb of moist cooked food.' Cf. snibbles, crackling and cracklings.

Actually, that's the loose definition. The strict meaning of skwarka has to do with the preparation of schmaltz (German and Yiddish word for cooked fat). During cooking, some insoluble parts (incl. skin) settle out (they form what are called grumos in Spanish) and burn. These tasty arteriosclerosizing (it must be a word -- I wrote it without spaces) bits are skwarka in the strictest technical sense of the word.

Postal code for Saarland, one of the sixteen states (Länder) of the German Federal Republic (FRG). [Like most of the country information in this glossary, Germany's is at the domain code .de.]

The state's area is 2,570 sq. km. Its population was 1,056,000 by the census of 1987, estimated at 1,083,000 for 1997.

Latin, sensu lato, `in the broad sense.' Cf. s.s..

Savings and Loan. See thrifts.

Service-Learning. Academic coursework that furthers a social service objective.

(Domain code for) Sierra and Leone.

The famous director was Sergio Leone.

Single Layer.

Source Language. The original language of a text to be translated (into a TL).

Spin Lock. NMRtian.


Seattle Language Academy. A ``non-profit language school in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle offering both group classes and individual lessons in foreign languages and in English as a second language. Classes and private tutoring are available in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. Seattle Language Academy also offers instruction in Latin and Ancient Greek.''

Second-Language Acquisition.

Many years ago, my father and his boss were in the back of a taxi, down 'Bama way, speakin' Spanish, prolly. The driver commented, ``Ah shaw woo lack t'speeknothah langage lack yoo doo.'' My father had to translate for his boss, who could speak and understand English. The boss said [in translation] ``tell him to start with English.''

In 1988 or thereabouts, I told this story to a native Louisianan who was working out of Washington, DC (you know -- the city with Northern charm and Southern efficiency). He complained that I had flubbed the accent: I was using Harlem (NY) accent instead of any Southern accent. Shee! Demd egg-spits.

There's a very slightly relevant story, which I can't vouch for personally and haven't been able to trace back to a good source, that got a lot of newsgroup circulation starting in late October of 1994. It went that the bluesman K.J. James was asked to ``play some Clapton'' and replied ``Well, son... I'm an old black man, and you're asking me to try to sound like a young white man trying to sound like an old black man... and that's just too much pretending for me.'' These things are relative, as they say. Clapton was 49 at the time. While his age was still increasing at a rate of 7 days a week, I had some difficulty determining the age of Kelly ``KJ'' James. He went right on touring college campuses into 2011, but died on January 5, 2012, aged 76, so less than a decade separated him from Clapton.

I nearly died on January 4, 1984. A couple of weeks later, still scarred up but out of the hospital, I was driving back to school to finish my dissertation when Eric Burdon and the Animals' ``For Your Love'' came on the radio. That was when the thought first occurred to me: ``I'm glad I lived.''

Semiconductor Laser Amplifier.

Service Level Agreement. ``Level'' in the sense of ``how much,'' such as how much up-time, how much help desk, etc.

Special Libraries Association.

Symbionese Liberation Army. [The people who kidnapped Patty Hearst.] All those years ago. In July 1999, a former SLA member who had been living a quiet life as a mother and homemaker appeared in a California court to face old charges. Everybody knows there's no statute of limitations on murder.

Gee, I hope ``homemaker'' is still the right word. It used to be ``housewife,'' but that was considered sexist. So now homemaker means `housewife,' and househusband means `male homemaker.' Last I heard, anyway. To use the wrong word would be such a crime.

Synchronous Line Adapter.

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

Studsvik Liquids and Amorphous (materials) Diffractometer. It's at the Studsvik Neutron Research Laboratory in Sweden.

Strongly Linear Array Grammar. What's that? A subclass of the linear array grammars, obviously! See picture grammar.

See A. Rosenfeld, Picture Languages (New York: Academic Pr., 1979).

Single-Layer Alumina, Metalized.

Stand-off Land Attack Missile. For use by strike aircraft against surface targets.

Street-Legal Arts Magazine. They've got a shingle on Ironwood, just North past the Schlotzky's at the intersection with US 23. It's Saint Joseph County, but I'm not sure if it's technically within South Bend, IN.

Surface-Launched Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile. Nope -- I don't get how it can be air-to-air and surface lauched, unless it's launched from a plane on the runway. But with an acronym this good, you've got to overlook the minor logical difficulties.

Say the unknown word to yourself, Look for passage clues to the meaning of the word, Ask yourself what the word might mean and find a word or phrase that shows the meaning, and Put the definition in the passage to see if it makes sense. A strategy by Joanne F. Carlisle, Ph.D., in ``Fostering Morphological Processing, Vocabulary Development, and Reading Comprehension,'' chapter 5 in Vocabulary Acquisition (2007). This entry is placed here for illustrative and acronym-focused purposes; it does not constitute an endorsement.

Strategic {Lawsuit[s]|Litigation} Against Public Participation. A civil suit threatened or brought by a company against those engaged in protest against it.

Side-Looking Airborne Radar. Obsolete now, replaced by SAR.

Second Language Acquisition, Research and Teaching. There was a mailing list by that name, too.

Remember, you can't spell slaughter without... aww, you guessed it already: laughter. You sociopath.

Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile. In principle, this could be sea-launched, but the whole point of sea-launched ballistic missiles -- strategic ballistic missiles during the Cold War, anyway -- is concealment. Surface ships don't serve that function very well. Cf. SLCM.

Salt Lake City. When you write ``SLC, UT,'' take care not to leave out the central letter.

Subscriber Loop Carrier. Pronounced ess el cee and also ``slick.''

Sea-Launched Cruise Missile. For example, the Russian SS-N-7 submarine-launched anti-ship cruise missiles. Cf. ALCM, LACM, SLBM.

Shallow-Level Centers in Semiconductors. An international conference; the seventh is memorialized here.

Second-Line Drug. Term used in tuberculosis treatment for drugs that are generally less effective, more toxic (or ``less well tolerated''), and more expensive than first-line drugs. The first-line drugs are isoniazid and rifampin. Resistance to isoniazid develops readily, so it is normally used together with rifampin. There are six main classes of SLD's: aminoglycosides, polypeptides, fluoroquinolones, thioamides, cycloserine, and para-aminosalicylic acid.

SuperLuminescent Diode.

Store Local Descriptor Table. Cf. SGDT.

Screen (-based) Line Editor.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. The autoimmune disorder called lupus. A clinical overview is served by H. Michael Belmont, M.D., a rheumatologist.

Nine times more prevalent among women than men.

sleaze pop
A music-related entertainment genre that includes, or perhaps entirely comprises, ``The Pussycat Dolls.''

Single Large Expensive Drive. Possibly pejorative acronym meant to contrast with RAID (q.v.).

sleep like a baby
Toss and turn constantly, pausing only every fifteen minutes to wake up and squall. Their faces do look relaxed as they drool and nod off, though.

sleep like a lamb
You know, it's not enough to keep sheep safe. You have to make them feel safe, or their health suffers and they produce less wool.

sleep of the just
A slumber that is proverbially untroubled, because the just have clear consciences. In reality, the sleep of the just is troubled by doubts, while the truly unjust are not bothered by their consciences.

Sleep with Him on the First Date, It's Okay to
The title, and presumably a recommendation, of a book by Andrea Syrtash and Jeff Wilser, published in 2013. It seems a natural corollary to the subtitle of Syrtash's 2011 book, Cheat On Your Husband (with Your Husband): How to Date Your Spouse.

slept like a baby
Past-tense form of sleep like a baby.

slept like a lamb
Past-tense form of sleep like a lamb.

slew rate
Time dervative of output voltage in response to a sudden change in input voltage.

Soda-Lime Glass. Very different from a glass of lime soda.

[Phone icon]

Subscriber Line Interface { Circuit | Card }.

In golf, a ball is said to slice when it curves through the air opposite the side the golfer has driven it from (viz., toward the right for a right-handed golfer, and conversely). A ball curving to the opposite side is said to hook.

A kind of motor-vehicle accident that occurs on -- and not entirely on -- slippery roads. (In northern Indiana, that usually means icy or snowy conditions, but a little bit of rain -- not yet enough to wash off any oil -- can also be treacherous.) The driver loses control of the vehicle and it slides off the road into a soft shoulder or ditch or worse. In California, it tumbles 100 feet into a ravine or canyon, or down a mountainside, and then either plunges into the ocean or explodes, as you can tell from any movie (except for ``It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,'' but that was just crazy). Outside of California, a slide-off is better than a slide into oncoming traffic, a kind of accident for which there isn't any special term that I am aware of. (Not even my editor came up with anything. It can be described, of course, but ``slide-over'' and ``slide-across'' are at best rare nouns, and ``cross-over'' is a noun with different meanings.)

Slightly to the Right
Written by H.L. ``Bill'' Richardson, in frustration after the defeat of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 US presidential election. His stated objective was to teach like-minded Republicans how to communicate (the threat of Communism) more effectively. Since his regular employment was in the advertising business, his opinions may be regarded as relevantly ``expert.''

I think the book was self-published. (The publisher is listed on the 1965 paperback as Constructive Action, Inc.; P.O. Box 4006; Whittier, California 90607.) I think you might find it quite difficult to obtain a copy today.

This is a citation entry. In other words, I don't expect many people to come here directly because they were surfing the web for information about Bill Richardson's book that they remembered from way back. It's here so I don't have to repeat the reference information at the two or three places where I quote from the book. As it happens, however, so far I only cite the book from the cybernetic warfare entry. In the future, the book will also be cited in the John Dewey entry. Since that entry isn't ready and I've got the book handy now, let me just quote the Dewey material here. The dedication of Richardson's book reads as follows:

If you think this book is going to be a literary masterpiece, then forget it. I am a product of the progressive, permissive, regressive school of education (degenerate Deweyism), which has permeated the American scene for the past thirty years. My spelling is atrocious and my handwriting is a scribble, and if it weren't for the patience and fortitude of my volunteer secretaries and my captive wife, who for some unaccountable reason either escaped or rose above scholastic pablum, this book wouldn't be here today.

(An entry for John Dewey now exists.)

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slime phone
A one-time-only discount product consignment sold in Israel, the happy result of a little spelling error by a Hong Kong manufacturer, 1997 or 1998, I think. Some irregulars you can't sell in an Anglophone country.

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Serial Line Internet Protocol. The ``serial line'' is a telephone line. SLIP was superseded by PPP, which has long since been superseded by DSL.

`Underwear' in Franglais and Italiese. Apparently this generalizes the more specific sense it has in English.

slip stick
Slide rule. The first slide rule was invented by William Oughtred (1575-1660) in 1625. When was the first pocket protector invented?

Slip sticks are available from the Sphere Research Slide Rule Site, The Slide Rule Universe! They even have new (i.e. never-used, unpre-owned, so to speak) boxed slide rules.

If you can tear yourself away from the keyboard, you might have a look at a wonderful short History of the Logarithmic Slide Rule, by F. Cajori (bound in a reprint edition with W. W. Rouse Ball's String Figures).

Slip Stick
Song in The Numbers By Whom album. Here's what I've been able to transcribe of the lyrics so far:
I've got my clipboard, my text books
Lead me to exam room
Yeah, I'm off to the civil war
I've got my pencil, my staple gun
I'm runnin' in the rain
Gonna run 'til my feet are raw!

Slip stick, slip stick, do multiplication
Using only rows C and D.
Slip stick, slip stick, squared calculation:
It's so easy, use A and B.
So easy -- use A and B.
It's a hard, hard knurl!

I left my pocket protector
Bungalow behind me
I left the door ajar.
I got my vacuum tube;
Full of hot tea and sugar.
Left the keys right in my car.

Slip stick, slip stick, do multiplication
Only half way -- about three.
Slip stick, slip stick, a trig. relation;
I have got to use S and T,
Have got to use S and T.

Slip Stick Hymn
I came up as the rule's three-century reign passed, in the waning days of the glorious stick age.

Sliding Home

More emblematic than a pocket protector,
More democratic than a mechanical pencil,
More tactile than the card catalog,
More personal than unfashionable clothes,
More magical than a fire cow,
More sublime than all.

In the textile industry, a long bundle or ribbon of combed fiber ready for spinning is called a sliver, which is pronounced with a long i (like shriver).

School Library Journal.

Scribe-Line Monitor. For any level of integration below WSI, a wafer is scribed and then broken into chips along the scribed lines. Evidently, a certain fraction of the area of the wafer, of width sufficient to allow for uncertainty in the scribing, cannot be used for product circuit. However, one can place test circuits in that space (the regions where the scribe lines will be drawn) to test the wafer --- i.e., the fab process -- before scribing. This approach provides testing that does not cost precious real estate.

Single Longitudinal Mode (of operation of a laser).

Spatial Light Modulator. Vide E-SLM, O-SLM.

Student Loan Marketing Association (pronounced and written ``Sallie Mae''). Federally chartered corporation that serves as a secondary market for federally insured student loans. Cf. FHMA, GNMA.

Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiaries.

San Luis Obispo. Spanish, ``Bishop Saint Louis.'' Geographic information at the Cal Poly entry. Obispo is Spanish for `bishop.' [Regarding pronunciation: there's no difference between vee and bee. In this context (intervocalic), they both represent the voiced bilabial fricative that is written as a Greek letter beta in the IPA.) Avispa is `wasp.' The Italian word is vespa, and Vespa was the name of a popular Italian motorcycle that sounded like one. Both Spanish and Italian words come from a Latin word mentioned at this laser entry.

Eeek! Vespa still sells motorcycles! It's that same old spooky feeling I got when I discovered that the Women's Christian Temperance Movement is still in business.

State Liaison Officer.

Student Learning Outcomes Assessment.

slop room
Laboratory facility of the Center for Excellence in Maintenance Science.

State Law and Order Restoration Council. The military regime that took control of Burma in 1988. In 1997, SLORC renamed itself SPDC.

SLO Transit
San Luis Obispo (CA) TRANSIT. Buses.

They could have chosen a different name, like SLOB Transit. That would have evoked quick-and-dirty, as opposed to SLOw.

Second Lady Of The United States. The wife of the VPOTUS. Humiliation unceasing. But you're a heartbeat away from, as they say in baseball, the big dance.

Eric Clapton.

Sea-Level (atmospheric) Pressure.


Silver Latin Poet[ry]. Applied to poets and poetry of the Silver Age of Latin literature. Lucan and Statius are the typical examples. Ovid is sort of borderline -- the last of the poets of the Golden Age or GLP's, or the first of the SLP's.

Speech and Language Pathologist. Also Speech-Language Pathologist.

Super Long Play. Recording at slowest VHS speed. Also called EP (extended).

Sta. Lucia Realty. A Philippine basketball team. In-your-face sponsorship is just too cool. How else could the Realtors have to face Alaska Milk (the ``Aces'') in a sudden-death match for the last semifinals berth of the Samsung-Philippine Basketball Association Reinforced Conference (where the winner faced San Miguel Beer in a best-of-five)? The National Basketball League Regional Cup is sponsored by Panasonic.

Cf. Heidelberg United Soccer Club.

Self-Loading Rifle. A lot safer than a self-firing rifle, I imagine.

Single Lens Reflex. A kind of camera in which the photographer sees the scene to be photographed through the same lens system that the camera uses to produce an image on the film. A series of mechanical linkages move a mirror system out of the way of the film for the time a photograph is being taken.

Small Lattice Relaxation.

Straight Leg Raise. Used to measure sciatic nerve mobility and hamstring length.

Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, Inc.

Solution-Liquid-Solid. Growth mechanism analogous to VLS.

SuperLarge-Scale Integration. More than 500 Million transistors.

Southeastern Louisiana University. It's also referred to as ``Southeastern.'' It's in Hammond.

Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Defecation. Medical acronym for the usual ways that stuff comes out.

sludge pile
You're probably thinking of slush pile.

Saint Louis University High. A Jesuit prep school founded in 1818. It's also called ``Saint Louis University High School,'' but it's not abbreviated SLUHS.

Small Light-weight GPS Receivers.

The econonomic sense of slump is an Americanism, like that of boom, q.v.

slush pile
Collection of unsolicited manuscripts. Every publishing house -- yeah, every imprint -- has one. For the most part they are read, or examined, or glanced at, by the most junior editor-like personnel. Most unsolicited manuscripts are rejected, and returned if they came with an adequate SASE. Most that are rejected are rejected after a cursory examination, and rightly so. Most of them aren't even bad in a way interesting enough to merit consideration for the BLFC. Probably most unsolicited manuscripts that are eventually accepted somewhere are first rejected elsewhere at least a few times. (Someone eventually makes a mistake.)

In order to get published, you want to avoid having your manuscript fly directly over the transom and into the slush pile. In order to avoid having your precious manuscript land in the slush pile, you need to have an agent. But in order to have an agent, you need to get published. Therefore, it's no fair! Obviously, no one is ever published unless they've been published before. Hence, there is no moment in the past when they were not published, or they couldn't have gotten an agent and been published in the first place. Thus, every author was always a published author. What we have here is clearly a being/becoming distinction, a heck of an ontological problem, and a lot of empty chairs at the PEN convention. Fortunately, there is something called the ``First (independent) Clause Argument'' that straightens all this stuff out, and incidentally proves that God (the First Author) really wrote the Bible, because the big publishing houses said it would never sell and Moses couldn't have afforded the fees that a vanity press would have charged.

But slush in general is not what I want to talk about here. I want to talk about The Educators' Phrase Book: A Complete Reference Guide, by someone who is far better off anonymous than she knows. The book was published by International Scholars Publications in 1998, when that was based in San Francisco, London, and especially Bethesda, but as of 2005 its domain name is for sale. If that doesn't tell you something, here's another bad sign: the dedication is missing a comma but includes an exclamation mark. Here's the last paragraph of the introduction, to explain what the book is all about.

          At last! Here is a helpful phrase book to assist teachers and educators as they tackle those spur of the moment reports they are writing late at night when their ideas are running low. Many times a short phrase can help an educator get his or her creative process rolling to complete the report before the rushed deadline. This book with over 1,000 educational phrases can assist educators for years in writing both formal and informal papers.

Chapter One is about curriculum phrases. I'm sorry, it is Curriculum Phrases. Here are the first three lines of the chapter:

an effective curriculum matches
curriculum frameworks are helpful for teachers
curriculum development is essential

The chapter concludes thus:

it took hours to develop the curriculum project

Here are two random good ones from ``Chapter Two Behavioral Phrases'':

the student's behavior was revengeful
the students hall behavior was orderly

The only thing it's missing (besides left margins, punctuation, organization, acquaintance with the English language, and a clue) is page numbers along the right-hand side, and it could be the index to something magnificently tedious. I'm afraid to go to sleep. I know I'll have nightmares about zombies who find this book useful. (In the other hand: an abridged dictionary!) I'll sell the concept and it will be turned into a major motion picture: ``Late Evening of the Nondead Educators and, Teachers.'' Tagline: ``He or she will kill you by the method of unasked for suffocation.'' Tony Randall will return from the dead to costar with Brad Pitt (a stunt double will play the scenes where the Pitt character has to express living human emotions).

South Lake Union Trolley. This is the popular name, and S.L.U.T. is the popular initialism, for a service in Seattle, Wash., that went into operation in late 2007. The trolley serves the neighborhoods of Cascade, Denny Park, and Denny Triangle, a region the operating company (Vulcan, Inc.) calls South Lake Union. The official name of the mass transportation vehicle is ``South Lake Union Streetcar.'' This was either devious guerrilla marketing genius, or just plain stupid, I'm not sure which. In August or September of 2007, Kapow! Coffee -- a shop in the Cascade neighborhood -- sold out a hundred ``Ride the S.L.U.T.'' tee shirts in a few days.

Space Launch Vehicle.

Chemical symbol for Samarium, atomic number 62. A rare earth (RE) element. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Note carefully: this is an abbreviation for SadoMasochism, which culture wonks reveal is the term now preferred to sadism and masochism, which was of course abbreviated S&M.

(Domain code for) San Marino. A small country other than the Papal State completely surrounded by Italy.

Service Mark. Trademark for a service.

Shared Memory.

Siemens-Matsushita. Part of the Passive Components and Electron Tubes Group of the Siemens group. It produces SAW filters and microwave ceramic devices for mobile communications systems.

How do they come up with these abbreviations?

Single Mode (fiber, waveguide, etc.). As opposed to MM.

(Broadcast) Station Manager.

Stress Migration.

Superlattices and Microstructures. A journal edited by John Dow.

Many gentlemen and ladies who advertise in the personals express an interest in ``S&M.'' This is evidence for the widespread latent interest in Science and Technology, and the importance that ordinary citizens place on this shared interest when choosing a partner for life. Or even for a night. Sure! Cf. B&D, S/M.

Switching Matrix. See brief explanation in context at FPGA.

SyringoMyelia. Explained at the ASAP entry.

Screen Manufacturers' Association.

Shape Memory Alloy. When deformed cold and then warmed, an object made from SMA recovers its previous shape. As have thixotropic materials, SMA's have been proposed for robot grippers. Ti-Ni alloy is the best known, but...

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!


[Caution: Do not syncopate. Read as ``Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding.'' The Stammtisch is not responsible for pelvic injury resulting from improper use of this glossary!]

Right here, right now, for your viewing pleasure, et cetera, we present, for the first time ever on the internet of this planet, a scientific discovery announced electronically before publication. (Previous announcements don't count because some were false and others would adversely affect our claim of priority.)

The discovery is simply and stunningly this:

Coke is a shape memory alloy.

That's right, it goes flat when warmed.


Single Mode Approximation.

Smectic-A phase. A smectic phase of liquid crystal that has no ordering within each plane or sheet of oriented molecules. The molecules are oriented perpendicular to the plane of the layer. Cf. Sm-C

Southern Medical Association. Based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

State Medicaid Agency.

Stone Matrix Asphalt. Vide McAdam s.v. Eponyms.

Surface-Mount Assembly.

Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association.

Sowjetische Militäradministration in Deutschland. German for `Soviet Military Administration in Germany' (following WWII).

Adj.: SMALL CAPitalization.

small cap
SMALL CAPital letters. Refers to a font in which lower-case characters are represented by smaller versions of upper case letters, or a letter in such a font. In Cyrillic alphabets, lower case is small caps.

Narrow fabric.

Student-Managed Academic Resource Time.

Surface-Mount And Related (electronic packaging and assembly) Technologies.

Smart Man's Burden
A phrase patterned after Rudyard Kipling's original ``White Man's Burden.'' Isaac Asimov appears to have been the first to formulate it.


Systems Management Application Service Element.

Server Message Block.

Small-to-Medium-size Business.

Smectic-B phase. A smectic phase of liquid crystal that has positional long-range ordering within each plane. This is almost, but not quite, three-dimensional crystalline ordering; the pattern of molecules in one layer is not aligned with the pattern in the next.

UB's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

System Management Bus. Defined by Intel Corporation in 1995, used in mobile and desktop personal computers for low-speed communication within the system.

Saint Mary's College. A women's college across Rt. 33/Bus. 31/SR 933/Dixie Way from Notre Dame. In 1971, ND president Father Theodore Hesburgh announced a planned ND-SMC merger for the 1972-73 academic year -- prematurely, it turned out. The two schools could not come to agreement on terms, and Father Hesburgh decided to take ND co-ed on its own. Here's a poorly written article about it that nevertheless has some interesting and probably correct information.

In the 108th Congress (2003-2005), 62 of the 435 representatives were women, as was one of the nonvoting delegates. Two of the representatives, and the delegate from the US Virgin Islands, are alumnae of SMC. The USVI delegate (Donna Christensen) was the first female physician to serve in the US Congress, a fortiori the first black woman physician in Congress, and the first woman to represent an offshore territory. Eddie Bernice Johnson became the first woman and the first black to ever represent the Dallas area in Congress when she was first elected to Congress in 1992. SMC typically graduates about 400 students each year.

There were also four Notre Dame alumni in Congress. ND typically awards about 2500 bachelor's degrees each year, but at least a couple of these four men were graduates of the law school.

Santa Monica College. A two-year college in southern California.

Sheet Molding Compound.

Sleep Mode Connection.

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

Smectic-C phase. A smectic phase of liquid crystal that has no ordering within each plane or sheet of oriented molecules. This phase differs from Sm-A in the orientation of molecules: molecules are aligned within a layer (i.e. are parallel to each other) but the orientation axis of the molecules is oblique to the plane of their layer.

Southwestern Michigan College. ``SMC offers a top quality college experience, and we're closer and more affordable than you think.'' Ten minutes from Clay High School, according to the postcard, and I would estimate fifteen minutes from Saint Mary's College (SMC).

Southwestern Michigan is a community college with campuses in Dowagiac and Niles. I've heard ``Dowagiac'' pronounced on the weather reports. It sounds like ``duh-WAH-jack.'' Niles is closer anyway. (That's ``if you're within the sound of my voice,'' of course. Hello? HELLO!!?)

Standard Microsystems Corp.

Studies in Medieval Culture. Published by Medieval Institute Publications of the Medieval Institute at WMU. A journal from 1962 to 1977, from 1978 on a series of individually titled volumes.

Surface-Mount Component.

Switch maintenance Center.

Systems, Man and Cybernetics. An international conference sponsored by the IEEE.

San Mateo County Astronomical Society. Founded in 1960, and based at the College of San Mateo. I move that SMCAS be pronounced ``smack ass.'' Do I hear a second?

Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service. None of their emergency vehicles (that I've seen) expand the initialism.

Santa Margarita Catholic High School.

Surface-Mount[ed] Device.

Standard Military Drawing[s].

(US) Space and Missile Defense Command.

Subscriber Maintenance Distributing Frame.

Switched Multi-megabit Data Services.

Science, Mathematics and Engineering.

Small { and | to } Medium[-sized] Enterprises. Not just small enterprises. We wouldn't want to imply that the businesses we are discussing are ... small. We don't want to trample anyone's self-esteem. In fact, even the current term has its problems. Committees are hard at work constructing a new one to replace it. When they finally come up with the new term, it will be SMLSE -- ``small, medium, and large small enterprises.''

Cf. SMI.

Society for Mining Engineers. Founded in 1957; a Member Society of AIME. Now officially the ``Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration.''

Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Soybean Methyl Ether. One kind of biodiesel, q.v.

Smekkleysa SM is one of Iceland's major media companies. It was started primarily as a record label in 1986, and that is still its main business, but it also publishes poetry books, videos, and greeting cards, and markets some gifts.

The company does business in Iceland under its original name of Smekkleysa, but at some point it changed its official name to English: `Bad Taste, Ltd.' or `Bad Taste SM, Ltd.' (I only have obvious guesses as to what the SM stands for.) `Bad taste' is a fair translation of smekkleysa, which is more literally translated as `tastelessness.'

Let's have some pointlessly gory detail. Icelandic smakk- and smekk- roots are cognate with the English word smack (as in ``to smack one's lips''). Smakka means `to taste' (like the German verb smecken; more about that at SMEX) and smekkr is a noun meaning `taste' (like the German Geschmack). In fact, there are no early attestations for either word, and the Oxford Icelandic-English dictionary says for smekkr that it's ``from Germ. ge-smack'' and implies that it was borrowed from some version of Middle German. On the other hand, the entries (in the 1956 edn. which is the latest I have to hand) haven't been modified since the original 1874 edition; maybe someone has thought more deeply about this since.

The -less ending of English (-los of German) apparently corresponds to -laus in Icelandic (hence smekklaus, `tasteless'). It seems that -lessness corresponds to -leys[V] with [V] some vowel (a or i, at least); if this has a West Germanic cognate or parallel, I don't recognize it.

Smekkleysa also uses the name ``Bad Taste Records.'' (The homepage of the website, linked at the top of this entry, has ``Bad Taste Records -- Online Store'' as the content of its <title> tag.) This usage is a head-on namespace collision with a Swedish record label (namely, Bad Taste Records). This is reminiscent of the Samuel Butler situation in English literature. The poet (1612-1680) and the novelist (1835-1902) are now distinguished by the titles of famous works: Samuel (``Hudibras'') Butler and Samuel (``Erewhon'') Butler, resp. Perhaps the Reykjavik-based label could be distinguished as Bad Taste Records (``The Sugarcubes'') for the group that is responsible for the label's existence. The Bad Taste Records based in Lund, Sweden, is not so closely associated with any single group.

We'll have more about The Sugarcubes later, eventually, maybe. A work more in line with ``bad taste'' is a children's song whose title means `the farting people' in English, published by this label in a 1997 album. Bad Taste Ltd. uses as its symbol a pig listening to a trumpet or two. The reputed origin of the name, however, is a little more elevated: it's a reference to a reputed quote of Pablo Picasso: ``Good taste and frugality are the enemies of creativity.'' I haven't found any specific source for this or any similar quote. More frequently attributed is ``Ah, good taste--What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.'' Common in Spanish:

Surface Mount Equipment Manufacturers' Association. Coördinates compatibility of assembly equipment, even standardizing such things as the height of working zonesabove the floor, so that conveyor systems for equipment from different manufacturers can be meshed.

Sleep Medicine Education and Research Foundation. A foundation of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), established to promote education and to fund research.

Oh, here's something from their informative mission statement:

``The SMERF promotes the highest quality education and research within the field of sleep medicine...''

This is good to know. I thought maybe they promoted mediocre and plain bad education and research outside the field of sleep medicine, and that they put ``sleep medicine'' in their name only so it would rhyme with smurf. In fact, they don't say that they don't promote lower-quality work. Maybe ``highest-quality education and research'' is only the tip of the iceberg. Maybe they sell novelties as a sideline to support the research.

``This is accomplished through consultation with representatives of the AASM, industry, and the public. The SMERF integrates their recommendations to develop initiatives for the advancement of the field.''

[Yawn.] I think it's working. Another couple of mission statements ought to do it.

Russian abbreviation of SMERt' SHpionam, meaning `death to spies.' (The second word is sometimes written shpionom. This is the spelling of the cognate in Polish, which is written in Roman characters. The Cyrillic character for the last vowel in the Russian word looks like a lower-case Roman a, and is pronounced like the o in American ``nominate'' or the a in ``father'' (or in the more accurate pronunciations of ``Viet Nam'').

SMERSH was a Soviet Army counter-espionage organization begun on April 19, 1943, and reorganized out of existence during Spring 1946. The name was popularized in English by the novels of Ian Fleming, but in most of the James Bond movies it is replaced by an independent criminal organization called S.P.E.C.T.R.E., q.v. For other, mostly fictional bad guys' organizations, see the bad guys' organizations entry.

Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage. Storage of energy as the field energy of superconducting magnets. Something intended for use as a sort of magnetic flywheel: an energy storage medium that could be drawn down very quickly (but nondestructively).

Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology. Acronym favored by the NSF. Proof here.

SMall EXplorer. NASA's ``Small Explorer (SMEX) Program [originally provided, according to the old webpage] frequent flight opportunities for highly focused and relatively inexpensive space science missions. SMEX spacecraft [had masses of] 180 to 250 kg with orbit-average power consumption of 50 to 200 watts. Each mission [was] expected to cost approximately $35 million for design, development, and operations through the first 30 days in orbit.'' The current site does not highlight such specific parameters.

In German, the word schmeckt means `tastes.' It primarily has the senses that occur in `tastes sweet, tastes good to me' -- schmeckt süß, schmeckt mir gut. (The latter can be shortened to schmeckt mir, but leaving out even the indirect object is probably too ambiguous. My mom can't remember, and I can't google, a straightforward case of someone saying ``Es schmeckt'' to mean ``Es schmeckt gut.'') Anyway, setting aside the idiomatic elisions, schmecken is mainly an intransitive verb meaning `have a taste that is' and typically takes an adjective predicate [or an adjectival predicate, as in schmeckt wie ... (`tastes like ...')]. The narrow usage compared to English taste seems more natural when one realizes that the word is cognate with English smacks. Think ``smacks of'' (schmeckt nach) rather than ``smack one's lips'' (corresponding to the German dialectal verb schmacken).

The transitive verb taste is typically translated by kosten (yes, this also means `cost'), probieren (yes, this also has other senses), or (much less commonly) abschmecken. According to dictionaries, one can even use schmecken transitively, but this seems to be quite rare. (Googling on specific inflected forms which one would most expect to be used in this sense -- first- and second-person singular smecke, schmeckst -- one gets a lot of hits that are borderline creepy.) Anyway, in the transitive dictionary sense it seems to be more like `try, sample.' Yuck. One can also use herausschmecken more precisely for `sense, perceive [a flavor],' particularly when the flavor is unexpected or is partly masked by stronger ones. (I.e., it has some of the sense of tease out in English.)

You know, those two paragraphs aren't a scrap of misplaced text. ``SMEX'' just happened to remind me of ``schmeckt,'' by its approximate similarity in sound. Of course, the similarity would be closer if schmeckt were schmecks. It's funny: when there's a difference, you expect (unvoiced, and therefore noninitial) s in German to correspond to t in English, and not the other way around: besser, daß, heiß, heißen, lassen, vergessen, was, Wasser, weiss are (or have been) `better, that, hot, hight, let, forget, what, water, white.'

Yet the characteristic third-person singular (pres. indic.) ending is t in German and s in English (hence schmeckt vs. smacks). I suppose the reason is that the ending used to be th, which mostly stayed th in English and evolved (depending on voicing) into d and t in German. I think I read somewhere that Shakespeare used the -th (he doth bestride) and -s (all that glisters) about equally. The -s was originally a Northern-English regional variant (a reverse lisp!) that spread south. I probably ought to research this more carefully, but since you came here to learn about SMEX, you probably wouldn't appreciate the effort.

Set-Membership Filter.

Single-Mode Fiber.

Standard Midi File.

Surface-Mount Fuse.

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

You know how eff and ess sound virtually indistinguishable over the phone?

Siromoney Matrix Grammar. See picture grammar.

See A. Rosenfeld, Picture Languages (New York: Academic Pr., 1979).

Shaking My Head. Texting acronym. A tacronym, I guess.

Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald. It's actually an evening paper, because they're in a different time zone, but it doesn't seem to bother the Australians.

Severe Mental Illness. ADA compliance talk.

Small and Medium (-size) Industry. Medium-to-small amounts of sympathy are expressed at the related SME entry.

System Management Interrupt. An OS-transparent interrupt generated by interrupt events on legacy systems. ACPI contrasts this with SCI's, which are visible to the system.

SMI Association of Malaysia.

Standard Mechanical InterFace.

Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language.

Simplified Molecular Input-Line Entry Specification.

A smiley face, usually abstracted into a very schematic representation. Earlier, we amused you wanly with Argh and Grateful Dead smileys. (You are, we expect, reading the glossary in alphabetical order!) There are a number of smiley compilations on the web. Here's a consolidated list; here is the unofficial smiley dictionary, from EFF, and a list abstracted by André Heck from Starbits. This one was recommended on the classics list.

Only SBF, however, offers you a small initiation into Advanced Smileys.

In May 2002, an apparent intellectual and moral imbecile named Lucas Helder drove around the US placing pipe bombs in streetside mailboxes. After his arrest in Nevada, he told police he had planned to distribute the pipe bombs so as to make a smiley face on a map of the US. In video showing him being taken between jail and court in Reno, his face was all smiley. He faces charges in Iowa that carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME).

Smith and Wesson Oil
Man, you want to stay far from the kitchen if that stuff approaches the smoke point.

Smith Chart
A nonlinear plot of the scaled complex impedance
z=(R + jX) / Z0 ,

where R and X are resistance and reactance, and Z0 is the characteristic impedance of a reference transmission line (50 ohms is a nice typical value, if none is indicated). Useful as a compact representation, as a way of graphically calculating some transmission-line properties, and as a basis for recognizing certain impedance trajectories parameterized by frequency.

The nonlinear plot is equivalent to an ordinary plot of the complex quantity

s = (z - 1) / (z + 1).
This particular conformal map is of the type called a linear fractional transformation, and in addition to preserving angles it transforms all z-plane circles (including the infinite-radius circles usually called straight lines) into s-plane circles, and vice versa. Zero resistance is represented in the s-plane by a circle of radius 0.5, centered on (0.5,0). All positive resistances lie inside this circle. Capacitive (negative) reactance corresponds to the lower half s-plane. Similarly, inductive reactance is in the lower half plane.

The Smithereens
A pop-rock group formed in New Jersey.

Now that internal structure has been detected in quarks, we should seize the opportunity to name the next layer of sub-particles smitherinos and smitherons, the whole family to be called smithereens. We mustn't miss the chance, because there may not be any more turtles.

Smithsonian Institute
America's attic. Their homepage has a California mirror. For their sui generis take on materials science, see their photo exhibit thereon. See also some documentary evidence that cavemen were contemporary with dinosaurs (there is an explanation).

We have a dinosaurs entry too.

System Management Interface Tool.

Call letters of a radio station in the Niles, Michigan, area. It has an Urban Contemporary format. The letters are integrated into the current self-description ``Smokin' 99.1 FM.''

Service Management Layer.

System Manager's Manual. For BSD Unix.

Solder Mask Over Bare Copper.

Standard Mean Ocean Chloride.

SMoke & fOG. Haze of at least partly human origin, as modified by chemical reactions in the sky and sun. Perfectly good term now eschewed by the environmentally hip. Instead, for a while they were trying to get us to call it ozone, even though that's only one component.

smog, to
The verb to smog is in common use, at least in California as of 2004, with the sense of ``to have [a motor vehicle] inspected for compliance with emissions laws.'' I wouldn't know, because -- please fasten your seat belt and brace yourself to enter a time warp -- Indiana has no emissions inspections. No motor vehicle inspections whatever. Yuh pays yer taxes and yuh gets yer license-plate sticker. That's it. Credit cards and personal checks accepted. I imagine that there are laws requiring your low-beams not to be focused at the rear-view mirror of the car ahead, but I can see that those are not enforced.

Mary says that if you're illiterate, the Indiana State DMV will assign someone to read you the questions so can take the ``written'' part of the driving test. I don't know how she found this out. Was it written somewhere? What provisions do they make to assist those who are blind and deaf to take the test?

This is the crucial ``working fluid'' of electronics. If you let the smoke out of your circuit, you'll have a hard time getting it back in, or getting the circuit to work again.

smokestack lightning
When a train goes by, silhouetted against a dark sky, you could see the sparks in the smoke trailing close behind the chimney. That's ``smokestack lightning.'' It's not lightning, and it's not sparks in the narrowest sense, but floating embers from the engine fire. Those embers drafted almost the entire length of the engine car: from the firebox just forward of the engineer's compartment, along the inside of a fire tube through the boiler, to the smokebox and out the chimney at the front of the engine. Ideally, external combustion engines aren't intended to be quite so external. In practice, train-engine chimneys were broad to accomodate baffles meant to suppress smokestack lightning.

Chester Arthur Burnett wrote a song he called ``Smokestack Lightning.'' As appropriate for an artist with the stage name of Howlin' Wolf, the song has a lot of howling. In this song, some of the howling is a pun: ``whoo hoo, whoo hoo'' might be the crying of a child or the whistle of a train. Howlin' Wolf recorded the song in 1956 (it was pressed with the title written as three words). If you're like me, the version you remember best is the Yardbirds' (their second cover of it, with mostly new lyrics). The song was also covered by (in no particular order) Manfred Mann, The Animals, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, John Hammond, The Electric Prunes, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Grateful Dead, The Who, The Wailers, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Soundgarden, and many less famous others. Okay, some probably not less famous than John Hammond. The Cult had a hit with ``Fire Woman,'' and ``smokestack lightning'' is prominent in the chorus of that song. (They might have been more successful if they'd had the sense to make the song's hook its title. I imagine that if you go to school in Nashville, you learn this in second grade.)

You say you never saw smokestack lightning? Hmmm, by 1956 I imagine even Howlin' Wolf was writing from memory. His years were from June 10, 1910 (I must have missed the retrospective), to January 10, 1976, so he witnessed the end of the steam age.

Eventually, I want to find connections to link up all the entries in this glossary, in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-type thing. It doesn't always work through the most obvious connection. For example, though I suppose Burnett was named after Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st US president, I can't think of any really good tie-in there. Sorry. I guess Chester Arthur witnessed the rise and heyday of the steam age. Pending a future Wolfman Jack entry, I'll note that the inspiration for that famous disc jockey came from Howlin' Wolf. Wolfman Jack's legal name was Robert Weston Smith. With a little sympathetic misspelling, that links us to the Smith and Wesson Oil entry.

A word that means `tuxedo' (American English) or evening jacket (British) in many European languages, including at least German (capitalized, like all nouns), French, Italian, and Spanish. (In Spanish, however, the pronunciation now follows the naturalized spelling, esmoquin.) Evidently this sense is derived from the English term `smoking jacket.' (Perhaps because of the ellipsis, the Hachette Dictionnaire Universel Francophone tags this a faux anglicisme.)

In principle, I suppose this could also become a faux ami, but I don't think ``No Smoking'' signs cause any genuine confusion. What can cause confusion is the original English term, which has two meanings that are now essentially inconsistent: (1) a jacket for formal evening wear in public, (2) an elegant but comfortable jacket for home wear. If you conjure in your mind a well-to-do men's smoking club of the Victorian era, with an ostensibly relaxed atmosphere, then the double image begins to converge.

Small Matter Of Programming.

Everything is easy for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.

Standard Monkey Operating Procedure. If you were a monkey, you'd do it this way too. Also abbreviated SOP.

Standard Mean Ocean Water. As in 18O SMOW concentration.

Service Management Point.

Society of Modern Psychoanalysts. ``The mission of the Society of Modern Psychoanalysts is to foster training, research and dissemination of information among a broad spectrum of individuals interested in Modern Psychoanalysis.''

From the ``About Modern Psychoanalysis'' page: Modern psychoanalysis ``rests upon the theoretical framework and clinical approach of Sigmund Freud, who defined clinical psychoanalysis as any line of investigation that takes transference and resistance as the starting point of its work. As psychoanalytic practice and theory developed, psychoanalysts began to doubt the applicability of classical psychoanalytic technique to the treatment of narcissistic disorders. Interpretation, the mainstay of classical technique, proved ineffective in the treatment of severe pathologies.

    In the mid forties, Hyman Spotnitz--working as supervisor with a group of mental health professionals at the Jewish Board of Guardians--developed a systematic theory of technique designed for the treatment of preverbal conditions. The body of theoretical and clinical knowledge developed by Spotnitz and his colleagues, known as `Modern Psychoanalysis,' amplified Freud's theories so as to make them applicable to the full spectrum of emotional disorders.

    Spotnitz determined that the core problem in narcissism is self-hate rather than self-love, as previously thought.'' Huh! I bet that selfishness will turn out to be a manifestation of excess altruism, too. Spotnitz ``recognized the preponderance of destructive aggression in narcissistic disorders and used it dynamically in formulating his theory of the technique, thus also confirming the operational viability of Freud's theory of dual drives. Spotnitz further recognized that transference phenomena include experiences from conception through the first two years of life, in addition to those from the oedipal [sic] period.''

Symmetric MultiProcessing.

Shared Memory Parallel Computer.

Switched-Mode Power Supply. One way to produce AC power from a DC source.

Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Schweizerischen Musikpädagogischen Verband. German, `Swiss Music Teachers' Union.'

[Phone icon]

(Telephone) Service Management System. The texting system.

Short Message Service. Sends snippets of text to mobile phones, so you don't have to tie up your pager. That's a joke. It's a both a two-way and broadcast-mode system, up to 160 bytes in GSM standard. Here's one of many free SMS service sites.

Single Molecule Spectroscopy.

(Novell) Storage Management Services.

Syro-Mesopotamian Studies. A scholarly journal.

Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area. Term defined by the U.S. census bureau. Cf. samsara. Also, see NASMSA.

State Motorcycle Safety Administrators. Vide NASMSA.

School Mathematics Study Group. The 1960's math committee corresponding to PSSC for physics, BSCS for biology, and CHEM Study for chemistry. These committees, reflecting or riding a degree of remanent Sputnik panic, set out to improve science education in US high schools. They produced new curricula, textbooks, and audio-visual materials.

Society for Music Theory. Founded in 1977, ``[t]he Society holds annual meetings, publishes two journals (Music Theory Spectrum and Music Theory Online), and encourages scholarly excellence by giving awards for outstanding publications in music theory. We also work to increase the diversity of our discipline and to promote fruitful exchanges between music theorists, musicologists, performers, and scholars in other fields.''

Surface-Mount Technology. Cf. Pin-Through-Hole (PTH), hybrid.

Surface-Mount Technology Association.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.

Saint Mary's University. Located at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Source/Measure Unit. Also expanded source/monitor unit or a stimulus/measurement unit. A voltage source with an ammeter or a current source with a voltmeter.

Southern Methodist University. Known more for football players than for Methodists.

Symbolic Model Verifier. Used to check finite state systems (i.e., computers) against their specifications. Most frequently, model verifiers are based on CTL.

Scottish Movie We Don't Talk About. Braveheart. ``We'' are medivalists (historians of the MA) appalled by the realistic inauthenticity of it all.


Symmetric Mach-Zehnder.

SONET 3:1 Multiplexer.

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