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(Domain name extension for) Trinidad and Tobago.

Technical Term[s].

TT, tt, t-t

Text Telephone. (For deaf phoners.)

t = t
Tonne for Tonne. Seen (and defined) in EU statistical literature.

True-Type. Scalable font like Adobe Type-5 font. Developed because Adobe's licensing was considered too onerous.

(U.S.) Trust Territories. USPS abbreviation.

Training/Technical Assistance.

To The Best Of My Knowledge And Belief. Pronounced ``titty bomb cab.''

In Woody Allen's ``Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask,'' an experrrriment at the castle goes terribly wrong, and a woman's breast the size of a Cape Cod bungalow goes on dangerous rampage. (TTBOMM, it squirts venomous skim milk. AAMOF, milk from early in lactation always is a bit watery.) A cop on the scene speaks coolly into his squad-car radio:

``Be on the lookout -- they usually travel in pairs.''

It seems the large-breast idea was in the air at the time. In the same year (1972) Philip Roth (who else?) published The Breast. In Roth's novella, a junior academic named David Kepesh awakes one day to find himself transformed into a 155-pound (that's about eleven-stone) female bosom. (The surname Kepesh can be glossed as `hatter,' and perhaps Roth had that in mind.) Roth gave a substantial and not entirely comprehensible explanation of the genesis of the story in Shop Talk, in the chapter on the artist Philip Guston. The chapter is illustrated with three of the eight sketches by Guston that were inspired by episodes of the story. Roth wrote that he

turned his back on New York to hide out in a small furnished house in Woodstock, across town from Philip, whom I didn't know at the time. I was fleeing the publication of Portnoy's Complaint. My overnight notoriety as a sexual freak had become difficult to evade in Manhattan, and so I decided to clear out ... [eventually to a] small rented house tucked out of sight midway up a hillside meadow a couple of miles from Woodstock's main street. I lived there with a young woman who was finishing a Ph.D. [q.v.] ... During the day I wrote on a table in the upstairs spare bedroom while she went off to [a cabin she rented] to work on her dissertation.

He moved there in the Spring of 1969. The famous Woodstock festival/happening/ecological disaster took place in August that year. He doesn't mention it or Woody Allen.

    Life in the country with a postgraduate student [why the British terminology?] was anything but freakish, and it provided a combination of social seclusion and physical pleasure that, given the illogic of creation, led me to write, over a four-year period, a cluster of uncharacteristically freakish books. My new reputation as a crazed penis was what instigated the fantasy at the heart of The Breast, a book about a college professor who turns into a female breast.

I don't know if there's a castle in that story, but the obvious allusion to Kafka's Metamorphosis might remind one that Kafka also wrote a story called The Castle [Das Schloß]. The reason I don't know whether there's a castle in Roth's story is that I didn't read it. I only learned about it in a book review of The Dying Animal, in which Roth describes Kepesh as an old man -- he apparently recovered his original form, eventually, like Teiresias. The book review was by Zoë Heller, the author of Everything You Know. Woody Allen's movie mentioned above takes its title (and little else) from Dr. David R. Reuben's book of 1969 -- Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask). Reuben's original title did not have the ``But Were Afraid'' clause in parentheses as it is often written, but as an asterisked footnote to the title (that was part of the title). It must be a nightmare to catalogue books like that.

Reuben must often have regretted not trademarking that title. Following is an incomplete list of books with titles that ``sample'' his. At least two (1981 and 2006 items by McCawley and Marinker, respectively) followed his scheme to the asterisk.

Jerald G. Schutte:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Elementary Statistics (But Were Afraid to Ask).

Jim Everhart:
Everything You Didn't Want to Know About Sex (But We're Going to Tell You Anyway).

If my name were Everhart, I'd think twice before writing a book with unwelcome sexual information. (Especially so when its cover price is only going to be $2.50.) It reminds me of an epigram of Martial, which I'll insert here, or rather type in, as soon as I have a chance to track it down.

Jack Noble White:
Everything You Need for Children's Worship (Except Children)

They're worshipping children now? This is ridiculous.

Andrew Greeley:
Everything You Wanted to Know About the Catholic Church, But Were Too Pious to Ask.

Cf. 1989 item.

Michael Savage:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Taxes But Didn't Know How to Ask.

Oh, brave title, Michael. Sure, the IRS doesn't scare anyone.

Russell Burkett:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Gold and Other Precious Metals Including Silver, Platinum and Palladium.

J. R. Zuboy and A. C. Jones:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About MSY and OY (But Were Afraid to Ask).

In case you're having trouble finding this work, it's NOAA technical memorandum NMFS F/SEC; 17. It's about fisheries management.

James D. McCawley:
Everything that Linguists have Always Wanted to Know about Logic*
* but were ashamed to ask

Peter Kreeft:
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Heaven-- But Never Dreamed of Asking.

What I always wanted to know was-- Is there a legal way to get evangelists to head for it sooner?

Charles L. Winek:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Drug Abuse but Were Afraid to Ask.

George Rosenkranz:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Trump Leads And Were Not Afraid to Ask.

Paul L. Williams:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Catholic Church But Were Afraid to Ask for Fear of Excommunication.
Ah, you see -- there's no such thing as a stupid question, but...

Compiled by NTT Mediascope, translated and edited by James V. Reilly:
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Business Otsukiai: A Guide to Japanese Business Protocol.

From Take-off To Landing: Everything You Wanted to Know About Airplanes But Had No One to Ask.

Betty Kamen:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Potassium but Were to Tired to Ask.

Someone at Amazon.com could probably use a dose of potassium in the part of the brain that deals with spelling. According to that venerable virtual institution, people who purchased this book also roused themselves sufficiently to purchase one of the Harry Potter books. Given that ten percent of books sold in the US in the year 1990 were in the Potter series (an estimated quarter of unit sales were bought for the reading pleasure of adults fifty and older), this is perhaps not as significant a datum as might appear, but that's between you and your pharmacist. We just put the facts out there and let you decide.

Slavoj Zizek, ed.:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan: (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock).

Cf. 2007 item.

Nancy Van Horn:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Dollhouses But Didn't Know Who to Ask.

Marian Appelhof:
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Watercolor.

United States EPA:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Environmental Regulations--But Were Afraid to Ask: A Guide for Small Communities.

Marian Appelhof:
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Oil Painting.

Liz Harvey:
Shoot!: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About 35mm Photography.

John Bryant:
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS But Were Afraid to Ask Because You Thought You'd Lose All Your Friends

If you were afraid of that, there's a lot you wanted to know.

John Bryant:
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS But Were Afraid to Ask Because You Thought It Was Treasonous

I'm afraid of John Bryant.

Elizabeth Moran:
Bradymania!: Everything You Always Wanted to Know - And a Few Things You Probably Didn't (25th Anniversary Edition)

It's the twenty-fifth anniversary of the show, not a reprinting of a twenty-five-year-old book.

United States EPA, Office of Air and Radiation:
I/M Briefing Book: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Inspection and Maintenance.

Really, that might be a pretty small book.

Judy Monroe:
Issues in Focus: Phobias: Everything You Wanted to Know, but Were Afraid to Ask.

Phobiologyphobia -- the classic double bind! (This books was canned as a public service by Kirkus Reviews.)

Catholics for a Free Choice:
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Catholic Vote: Election '96..

A pamphlet?

Tom Dongo:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Sedona in a Nutshell: Mystery, History, Vortexes, and Much More.

Thomas Wiloch:
Everything You Need to Know About Protecting Yourself and Others From Abduction.

This is part of a series called the ``Need to Know Library.'' Scholastic Press has a ``Homework Reference Series'' with titles in the form Everything You Need to Know About Foobar Homework, as if information useful for Foobar homework is something you wouldn't find in a book that was merely about foobar ipse. Scholastic has a book called Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Kindergarten-But Didn't Know Whom to Ask, by Ellen Booth Church. It's part of the Scholastic Parent Bookshelf.

Martha Sears, R.N. and William Sears, M.D. (I believe they may be related) have a series with titles in the pattern The Foo Book: Everything You Need to Know to Bar, where foo is a single word like breastfeeding or discipline. Reminds me of the reproduction joke about Freud and one of his disciples. Bar is a multiple-word predicate including child or baby, appropriately enough.

White's book, a need variant listed above (1978), at least had a parenthetical; it is not part of any series. Wiloch's is the only one I've included from any of the series, because of its implicit sexual content.

As everyone knows, aliens travel hundreds of light years to abduct humans for sexual experimentation. You've seen aliens on the cover of the supermarket tabloids -- let's face it, they're not very cute. It's pretty obvious that we earthlings are the hotties of the galaxy. And you know what they say -- ``Earth Girls Are Easy'' (1989, starring Geena Davis and David Goldblum). There's a Mrs. Merkin character in this movie. Jim Carrey is in it, but he wasn't a star at the time.

I don't know if Wiloch mentions alien abduction, but Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht discuss how to handle the problem in a paperback that was released on April 1, 2001 -- The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel. We summarize their most useful advice at the EBE entry.

Jerome Rabow, Tiffani Chin, Nima Fahimian:
Tutoring Matters: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About How to Tutor.

Truth to tell, I didn't want to know thing one about how to tutor. I won't buy a book just to put another pun on my bookcase. Sorry.

Jonathan Malcolm Lampley, Ken Beck, Jim Clark, Forrest J. Ackerman:
The Amazing, Colossal Book of Horror Trivia: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Scary Movies but Were Afraid to Ask.

When we add sound effects, chattering teeth will be installed here.

M.L. Shannon:
Bug Book: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Electronic Eavesdropping ... But Were Afraid to Ask.

Ranjit Thomas:
The Ultimate Trivia Book: Quizzing: Everything You Always Wanted to Know but Didn't Know Where to Look.

Dr. Rebecca S. Harrison:
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Bible But Were Too Afraid of Eternal Damnation To Ask: MOSAIC LAW

Spiral bound, like all her books. I have a hard time figuring out who among those involved in the production and consumption of these books is serious.

Dr. Rebecca S. Harrison:
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Bible But Were Too Afraid of Eternal Damnation To Ask: ACTS of the Anti-Christ in the New Testament

This is the second of two books that have a common title and different subtitles. The author is the John the Beloved: the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce, writing as Dr. Harrison, or something like that. Don't ask me what to believe.

Ian Sidaway:
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Art Materials.

Mary T. Johnson, R.N.:
Get Rid of the Blues: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Varicose & ``Spider'' Veins but Didn't Know Who to Ask

She means ``whom to ask.'' Another R.N./M.D. collaboration; Dr. Alan H. Kanter contributed a foreword.

Dr. Margaret Stearn:
Embarrassing Medical Problems: Everything You Always Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask Your Doctor

Advice about B.O. and impotence.

Simon Read:
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Anarchism, But Were Afraid To Ask....

Anonymous, afaik:
God's Answers to Tough Questions: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask.

Donna Henes:
The Moon Watcher's Companion: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Moon, and More.

Ken Perlman:
Mel Bay Presents Everything You Wanted to Know About Clawhammer Banjo: A Complete Tutor for the Intermediate and Advanced Player: A Clawhammer Encyclopedia for Players of All Levels.

Renee D. Crenshaw and Anthony B. Miles:
Everything You Wanted To Know About Credit But Were Too Ashamed To Ask: Tools, Tips and Hidden Secrets to Fixing Bad Credit, Building and Maintaining AAA Credit.

Lois May:
Transgenders and Intersexuals: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Couldn't Think of the Question: A Resource Book for the General Community.

The Unknown Attorney Ms. Cellaneous:
Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Your Nonprofit Corporation.

Simon Marinker, M.D.:
Informed Consent to Surgery*
* Or, Everything You Wanted to Know About Your Operation But Were Afraid to Ask

Susan Kutna:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Fusing...But Had No One to Ask: A Beginners Manual.

It seems to have something to do with fusing colored glass rods into decorative stuff.

Laurenc Simmons:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Slavoj Zizek: But were Afraid to Ask Alfred Hitchcock.

Cf. 1992 item.

Karen Dawn:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Animal Rights: But Were Afraid to Get into a Fight About.

During the 1988 US Presidential campaign, there was a single formal debate between the vice-presidential candidates, on October 5. (Dan Rather insisted on pointing out that it was merely a ``joint appearance'' and not a formal debate in the traditional sense of the word. Thank you, Dan.) The veep candidates were Senator J. Danforth Quayle, Republican of Indiana, 41, and Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Democrat of Texas, 67. Quayle was widely regarded as an intellectual lightweight because he was an intellectual lightweight. The charge of ignorance or stupidity isn't very damaging in US politics, but the charge against which he had to defend himself was lack of experience. We wouldn't want an inexperienced idiot to take over the reins at a critical moment if, heaven forfend, anything should happen to the experienced one we elected president. Danny had an answer to this which he liked. He was warned by his advisors or baby-sitters or whatever that his preferred answer was dangerous to use, and that Bentsen would pounce on it. An hour into the ninety-minute debate, confronted for the third time with the ``experience'' question, Danny used it. He claimed that he had experience comparable to that which JFK brought to the presidency, office he had campaigned for in 1960 at age 43. Bentsen pounced:

``Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. ... Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.''
(The ellipsis above represents exquisite dramatic timing, not elision.)

Bentsen's riposte was a direct rhetorical hit, a hit with his partisans, and the only memorable line in the otherwise sleepy ordeal. The line's easily recognized formula was widely adapted. Bentsen eventually lamented publicly that he hadn't copyrighted it. On reflection, though, perhaps it's not quite so original. There is a common expression that begins ``You don't know Jack....''

We're also planning an entry on ``The Joy of'' titles. I mean besides this one.

Cf. AFAIK (considerably more common than TTBOMKAB).

To The Best Of My Knowledge And Understanding. Pronounced ``titty bomb cow.'' I told you to visit the AFAIK entry.

To The Best Of My Memory.

Also, exquisitely rare but not utterly unattested: Truly Troubled Bladder Or Monthly Madness.

Threshold Test Ban Treaty.

Toronto (ON, Canada) Transit Commission. Operates city buses, streetcars, and subways. Cf. GO. Until 1954 the second T stood for Transportation.

The word ``streetcar'' evolved from the compound noun ``street car,'' and the TTC didn't switch to the one-word form until the 1980's. As of 2003 there were still some signs around Toronto with the old two-word form. For a related instance of unupdated terminology, see HSR.

Teacher Trainers and Educators. Of course, someone has to train and educate the TTEd. Ooooh, recursion!

Texas Tech Ex-Students Association. The alumni of TTU have evidently found an original solution to the Alumnus/Alumna/Alumni/Alumnae problem.

Time-To-Fail[ure]. No, Rutger Hauer did not utter this as the replicant Roy Batty in ``Blade Runner.''

Ta-Ta For Now. Used with other phrase abbreviations in email, but antedates email.

``Ta-Ta'' is an affected, or mock-affected, way of saying Bye. Cf. BFN.

The Tarrance Group. A public-opinion polling organization that works for Republican clients. It's listed here with a carefully compiled bunch of pollsters list we serve. For 2004 they teamed with Lake Snell Perry and Associates on the Democratic side for joint data collection and separate analysis.

TTG conducts something it calls the Battleground Poll. ``Initiated in June 1991, the Battleground Polls have gained widespread media recognition as reliable bellwethers of national opinion and voters' intentions. The Battleground data projected the outcome of the 1992 presidential race more precisely than any other similar effort in the country, including those of the major TV networks and national newspapers.'' I harvested this text in July 2008. Why no mention of 1996, 2000, or 2004? ``In addition, Battleground Polls have consistently been major predictors of what is going to happen in approaching Congressional elections.'' I'd be interested in a more quantitative metric (if there's any other kind) than ``consistently been major predictors.''

The Battleground Poll is one of those that asks a ``direction of country'' question. Personally, I think the US is an east-west country geographically, but a north-south country politically and a northeast-by-east-southwest-by-west country entertainmentwise, with small corrections for deviations from the reference ellipsoid or larger corrections if a spherical earth model is used. Apparently, however, none of these directions is an acceptable answer to those direction poll questions. This page at <pollingreport.com> lists results from various polls.

The LAT/Bloomberg poll asks this version of the question: ``Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or are they seriously off on the wrong track?'' The asymmetry in the formulation (``generally'' vs. ``seriously'') probably doesn't reflect any intention to shade the results. Around 1981, George Gallup gave a lecture to a small group of us at the Graduate College in Princeton. Afterwards, I suggested that the formulation of one of his questions might skew the answers, and his reaction was essentially that gee, he hadn't thought of that. You wonder if there are any professionals in this field, or if they're all just tantamount to journalists.

In any case, the various forms of the subject question are regarded as equivalent for talking-head purposes. For example, the Newsweek poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, asks this: ``Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?'' The results from the different forms of question seem comparable, perhaps in part because the people polled are so inured to the generic question that they don't listen carefully to the particular question they are asked. That happened to me.

During 2008, ninety per cent of the US population was employed by call centers to poll the population of the country. This caused a temporary upward tick in employment statistics, and consequently almost no one was home to be polled. One day I was home sick and got polled. The first question was one of those right-direction/wrong-track questions. I gave the wrong answer (something along the lines of ``I don't answer stupid questions'') and the interviewer terminated our conversation. I think this polling practice skews polls toward people who are so lonely they'll participate in any nonsense for the sake of human contact. Those people probably tend to think the country is going to hell in a handbasket, but then so do I. I can't help it--it's true. It's not a polling question; it's an intelligence test.

Tampereen Teknillinen Korkeakoulu, in Tampere, Finland. TUT in English.


Title. As in legal (en)title(ment).

Transistor-Transistor Logic. ``TTL logic'' for short. ``Transistor'' here means BJT. Dominated the microelectronics industry through the sixties and into the seventies, when it was largely displaced by CMOS logic in large-scale integration.

In terms of the simplest circuits one can design: TTL logic is fast, CMOS is low power.

Truck Trailer Manufacturers' Association.

Tactical Technology Office. Part of DARPA.

Technology Transfer Program. Often, as here, called a ``TTP program'' for short. Just another AAP pleonasm.

The TTP Project. A recursive acronym (XARA) devised by Dilbert, as reported by Scott Adams on May 18, 1994. Recursive acronyms have hidden AAP-ness.

Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

Text-To-Speech (synthesis by machine). Approximately the inverse of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR).

Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Proof that not all medical facilities in Singapore are named Raffles. Anyway, TTSH is a ``step-down'' facility -- they provide convalescent-care services.

Traditional Teacher Training Program[s]. Sometimes presumptively pejorative term for the straw man that brand-spanking-new Competency-Based Teacher Education (CBTE) is going to knock over.

Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

Texas Tech University. Tech as a word seems to be part of the official name. At least it's in the seal. TTU is in Lubbock, Texas.

ttu.edu seems to be the domain for their campus-wide information system (CWIS).

Total Thickness Variation.


ttyl, TTYL
[I'll] Talk To You Later.

Don't wanna hear it again tonight!

Technische Universität. German, `technical university.' Productive -- e.g., TUB.

``Does this mean it's not, like, really what you'd think of as a `university,' but in fact it turns out that technically it counts as one?''

No. Two more guesses. Cf. UP.

Therapeutic Use.

Total Utility. For a discussion of how consumption demand is determined by marginal utility rather than total utility, see this sequence of postings: (1) (2) (3) as well as this offlist comment

Transceiver Unit.

TUpolev. Prefix for some Soviet aircraft (-134, -154, -204).

tu, t u
Variant of ty. It's k, u cn thank us l8r.

Technische Universität Berlin. `Berlin Technical University [TU].' In the part of Berlin that was West Berlin.

Float down the river on (normally sunk into) the middle of an inner tube. Usually intransitive, though ``tube the Salt River'' would certainly be understood. Most commonly a gerund (``go tubing''). I first encountered this usage in Phoenix in 1981 or so, but it's presumably much older.

Phoenix was originally built at the confluence of the Salt River and a couple of others. Eventually, all three were dammed upstream of the city, leaving the riverbeds dry. There's a story that German POW's escaped from a local internment camp during WWII with the plan of stealing a rowboat and making for Mexico; their plan was foiled by the fact that the river, still indicated as water on maps, was dry. In the Southwest, though, many or most smaller creeks indicated on maps are dry in the Summer. The Salt, however, is allowed to flow for about a week each year in August. (Since the mid-1980's at least, there's been a charity fund-raiser associated with this: a duck race. It's essentially a lottery in which each lottery number corresponds to a particular rubber duck. The ducks are poured out of the back of a dump truck into the river, and the first one across the finish line downstream wins for its purchaser.)

A nonlinear electronic device invented in the late nineteenth century.

Tubes, or electron tubes, or vacuum tubes, are called valves in England. (Visit the the National Valve Museum.) Tube and valve are one of the couple of hundred or so instances of things with completely different names in British English and American English. Other examples: elevator--lift; windshield--windscreen; hood--bonnet; trunk--boot; caboose--guard's van (roughly approximate); second floor--first storey. There's a certain amount of interdiffusion, and changes in vocable fashion can eliminate such differences. A good example perhaps fifty years ago might have been truck--lorry. Now, though lorry is still rare in US-age, truck is more common than lorry in the UK, so the most common word is the same in both countries.

Tubes are still made in countries that have recently become or will soon be ex-Communist. Also, One Electron specializes in vacuum-tube circuits.

You might want a look at a very typical five-tube radio. There was a time in the 1950's when just everyone used this circuit. When I was starting to play with electronic circuits and wanted to build a radio, my father wrote out essentially this circuit from memory. Like, here, try this. The tubes you need are in that box.

Tubes were still used in (musical) instrument amplifiers into the late 1990's because of their ``warm'' mellifluous saturation [ftnt. 8]. We're talkin' 'lectric guitars here -- strats an other axes, okay? You want saturation. You WANT saturation. You WANT SATURATION. YOU want to drive to distortion for that heavy-metal timbre; you want to blow your eardrums in.

A typical tube has a smoother voltage-transfer characteristic (VTC) than a BJT, so it stands to reason that tube amps introduce fewer high harmonics in saturation than BJT amps do. The effect cannot simply be filtered out with a linear filter, because high pitches must also be amplified. On the other hand, it is possible to use more transistor stages and achieve the same amplification factor without driving the transistors in any stage so far into saturation. That is, one can soften the saturation. MOSFETs have smoother VTC's than BJT's do, so MOSFET's began to be used for instrument amps, but they were too expensive for high-power applications. (Have a look at a schematic of a simple one.)

These transistor (``solid-state'') approaches were tried for a long time, but those more expensive transistor amps never seemed to achieve that nice warm distortion. All they did was reduce the harshness of the distortion by reducing the distortion. What was wanted was lots of distortion, but distortion that sounded good. Finally it came to be understood that the problem had to do with odd versus even harmonics. Tube amps used circuits that tend to introduce even harmonics -- overtones with frequencies that are even multiples of the fundamental frequency. (They're numbered as the ``odd overtones.'' Just think even frequency ratios and you'll be okay.) By switching to certain kinds of symmetric circuits that saturate the low end of a signal's voltage swing symmetrically with the high end, cheap transistor amplifiers began to be made that had distortion characteristics as good as cheap tube amplifiers. (Note that this symmetry is not enough. For example, a triangular wave has only odd harmonics.)

Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination. This appeared without further explanation in a collection of medical slang compiled by Adam Fox that was published in the British Medical Journal in 2002, and then excerpted (as ``Hippocratic Oafs'') in the November 2002 issue of Harper's. Electronic archives of BMJ do not include the article, and the online archives of Harper's have the following: ``This database normally includes full text of articles available from this publication. However, this particular article is not included at the request of the rights holder.'' But check here.

The usual assumption is that while medically unnecessary, the examination was pruriently advisable. It might be that, if the examinee is stupid or unconscious; any halfway competent examination for lumps is bound to be more informative than exciting. People joke about male gynecologists, but I suspect it's a couple of notches less pleasant than dentistry.

The Utility Connection. No, not the one on the street side of your house. The hyperlink connection to over 4000 ``electric, gas, water and wastewater utilities, utility associations, organizations, news, magazines, utility financial resources, and related state & federal regulatory and information sites.''

Trades Union Congress. In a BBC interview, I definitely heard the leader call it American style, with a singular attributive noun: Trade Union Congress. Of the UK. Pays only 75% of the Labour Party's budget, now that ``New Labour'' has so publicly got the socialist monkey off its back, right. So chastened since middle class disgust with trade unions helped put Thatcher in office in 1979, and keep the Tories in office from 1979 to 1997, that they're sounding as tame as the old (pre-Sweeney) AFL-CIO.

Tucana. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock Software (http://www.tucows.com/). Windows 95/97/NT, Windows 3.x, Macintosh and OS/2 Internet Software, performance-rated and checked for viruses. There's an official mirror site at IGS.

tuechtig, tüchtig
A German word that is typically translated as `efficient,' but which essentially means `thorough.' The translation practice reflects something fundamental about German culture vis-a-vis American. Tüchtigkeit is thoroughness (mistranslated `efficiency').

Teachers' Union of Ireland. (Chumann Múinteoirí Éireann.) It describes itself as a ``progressive, professional teachers' union, representing teachers and lecturers in Vocational Schools, Community Colleges, Community & Comprehensive Schools, Institutes of Technology, Further Education and other specialist areas.'' TUI is a member union of the ICTU. Cf.. INTO, ASTI, and IFUT.

The round kind? Forget it: permanently out of stock.


The common way of referring to Cicero (that's Marcus Tullius Cicero to you, bub) in English, back in the days when he was read.

Available online at Perseus in both English and Latin.

More on Cicero at the chitlins entry.

TransUrethral Needle Ablation. A flexible catheter destroys enlarged-prostate material by local heating with RF field.

tunnel diode
The Esaki tunnel diode is a pn junction with both p and n regions so highly doped that the Fermi energy is outside or nearly outside the gap. Thus, under zero applied voltage the p-material valence band and n-material conduction band nearly overlap. At low bias, then, current can flow by carrier tunneling between those two regions. With increasing bias, these two DOS regions separate, decreasing the current, until the exponentially growing ''normal'' drift current kicks in. The sequence of current mechanisms typically gives rise to an N-type NDR.

Because of difficulties in fabricating devices with controllably large doping densities, tunnel diodes have not been commercially common.

Leo Esaki first described these in ``New Phenomena in Narrow Germanium p-n Junctions'' Phys. Rev. 109, p. 63 (1957). Tunnel diodes were made for a long time before Esaki described them, but they were typically discarded as ``unexplained data.''

Esaki also invented the Resonant Tunneling Diode. There is actually some question whether the tunneling is resonant in the original sense predicted (``coherent'' tunneling) or not (``sequential'' tunneling, which some distinguish as not ''resonant''). Generally speaking, ``tunnel diode'' refers to the older device and ``tunneling diode'' to the later (RTD structure) device.

[Football icon]

turf toe
A hazard of playing football on artificial grass.

turn on, tune in, drop out
Timothy Leary's mantra of the 60's, in its canonical order. He died May 31, 1996. Here's his site, but this interview might persist longer on the net. (He decided not to be frozen, by the way.) His last words are reported to have been ``why not?'' and ``yeah.''


Aristotle observed that no animal has both tusks and horns, and concluded that tusks are horns turned downward. In contrast, there is really no evidence that Freud ever said that ``Depression is anger turned inward.'' Perhaps now we understand why bald aliens all have large skulls.

For a dream insight, here is a link.

TUebingen System of TExt processing Programs. Tübingen is the usual spelling, but....

Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment). Pronounced ``tyoo-pea.'' The name of UK legislation under which the undertakings (commitments) of a business to its employees are required to be honored by any employer to which they are involuntarily transferred. (This commonly occurs in mergers and acquisitions, but on a smaller scale it also occurs when employees are involuntarily transferred between, say, a contractor and another contractor or the contracting company.)

TUPE has been verbed; the verb essentially means to transfer an employee, usually without essentially changing the employee's work. I think the E must be silent in the verb TUPE. Sample usage:

Existing staff need to be TUPEd (or ``TUPEd across'' or ``TUPEd out'' or ``TUPEd over'') to the new supplier.

TURBine-driven superCHARGING.

turd de force
Alan Dundes (1934-2005) delivered the presidential address at the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society (AFS) in October 1980, held that year in Pittsburgh. The AFS declined to publish it, as did various other institutions. The Journal of Psychoanalytical Anthropology made a one-article issue of it in 1981, and the final version of Dundes's monograph was published by Columbia University Press in 1984 as Life Is Like a Chicken Coop Ladder: A Portrait of German Culture Through Folklore. As the title hints, the study is scatological. Information for this growing entry comes from the preface of the Columbia U.P. book and from ``Best of All Possible Friends'': Three Decades of Correspondence Between the Folklorists Alan Dundes and Wolfgang Mieder, ed. W. Mieder (Burlington: U. of Vt. Pr., 2006). I was surprised to read this second paragraph of the Chicken Coop preface:
Immediately before the address was given, a group of German-born members of the Society, sitting together in the very front row and knowing the nature of the subject matter, rose and draped [the speaker's] shoulders in toilet paper. During the beginning of the lecture, the German group was in high spirits and good humor, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the paper, laughing loudly and often at the various examples of folklore presented. As the argument developed and such matters as Auschwitz were discussed, there was less laughter. By the end, several of the Germans were so violently angry that they were unable to speak.

His very good friend Wolfgang Mieder was the only one to approach him following the talk, and he said ``I'm afraid it's true!'' It has to be said, however, that Mieder heard Dundes speak from the advantage of a choir seat. Here's a paragraph from a letter Mieder had written to Dundes the previous May:

    Included please find some variations of the word "shit" and a copy of my short article on the word "shit" ["Das Wort `Shit' und seine lexikographische Erfassung"]. Remember, it takes a German to write on something like that!

Other reactions were mostly either more negative or much more negative. The apt and equivocal description of Dundes's work as a ``turd de force'' came from one of the ``colleagues sympathetic to [his] research.''

Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland. In Finnish it's TTKK (Tampereen Teknillinen Korkeakoulu). See this page for other Tampere educational institutions.

Nickname for TUTankhamen. Stuff recovered from his tomb made a big tour of the US in 1977. I caught the show in Chicago. I thought the most interesting thing was how some leather seemed to have run -- flowed -- over the course of a few thousand years.

Steve Martin performed a comedic musical number based on King Tut. It may be hard to believe, but some further related thoughts on this topic are contained in the Hfuhruhurr entry.

Mimetic representation of disapproval sounds, like tsk-tsk.

German Technischer Überwachungs-Verein. `Technical Supervision Organization.' Tests the safety of technical instalations, machinery and motor vehicles. All motor vehicles three years old and over must undergo a TÜV test every two years. I'm sure you can figure out how that works. As a motor vehicle inspection agency, similar to the British MOT.

You know, in the US state of Indiana, there are no motor vehicle inspections, ever. Pretty amazing, I know. You pays your taxes and you drives your car. I find that the prevalence of misaligned headlights and smoking exhaust pipes is lower here than in New York State, which has inspections performed by private garages. (Motor vehicle inspection has been privatized this way in a number of states.)

An association of 9 Technical Universities (technische Universitäte) in Germany. The abbreviation doesn't appear to leave room for graceful expansion. They should have consulted with the Big Ten and the Big Twelve before they went this route.


Tele-vision. Misbegotten word: tele is from Greek; vision is from Latin. Of course, automobile is no better.

The Average [US] Home Now Has 2.3 TV Sets and 2.7 People. Oops. That was 1996. In 1997 it was 2.4 TV Sets and 2.6 People. It seems to me the trend lines must have crossed in 1998, but the company (or at least the domain) that was source for those numbers was gone when I went back to check in 2004. Apparently the market is saturated, however, and current estimates for the US cluster around 2.5, with high estimates approaching 3.

According to http://mouth.pathfinder.com/living/daily/062597.html,

The White Dot, a newsletter for a TV-free lifestyle, hopes to help families wean themselves from the ``sewer pipe into the soul'' that sits in all of our living rooms. First published last year by mother-of-two Jean Lotus, the White Dot takes its name from the little circle that was left on early television screens after the tube was turned off. Americans now tune in for an average of four hours a day, says Lotus, time that she spends talking, reading or playing with her family. And while Lotus doesn't proselytize, a recent issue included several little yellow stick-on notes to paste on friends' TV with the message, ``Stop staring at a piece of furniture.'' The White Dot costs $8 for four issues (write P.O. Box 577257, Chicago, Ill. 60657 for more information).

Here, see the TV Turnoff Network. (I'll move all this along when I create a Don Quixote entry.) Okay, here's an opposing view.

You know, I never used to think of a TV as a piece of furniture, exactly (more like part of the family, really), but when I rented a furnished apartment (I had to go to work as soon as I moved in), part of the package deal was a TV. This was for a package that didn't even include curtains.

Here are the faq's for television newsgroups that have them.

What, no more on TV? Try the Uncle Miltie entry. (The first sentence would be funnier if English had phonetic spelling, but it would highlight the wrong pun.)

Bill McKibben's book The Age of Missing Information was published in 1992. His big discovery is that TV programming could be better.

Joseph Heller has the reputation of being a slow writer. His first novel, Catch-22, is supposed to illustrate that. He claimed he spent seven or eight years writing it, writing during weekends and in the evenings after work. ``I gave up once and started watching television with my wife. Television drove me back to Catch-22. I couldn't imagine what Americans did at night when they weren't writing novels.'' He should have asked me.

[Incidentally, I misdoubt that 7-8 year estimate. Heller wrote the first chapter in 1955 and the book was published in 1961, but maybe he'd been working on parts of it before. All my information in this paragraph is from Judith Ruderman's Joseph Heller (NY: Continuum Pr., 1991), p. 21. Ruderman lists a number of primary sources in a footnote. You could only believe my comments here if I tracked down those sources, but if I did so, you'd have to conclude I was crazy and could not believe my comments here. You can believe that the working title of Catch-22 for most of the time that it was being written was Catch-18, because I mention that elsewhere.]

TransVestite. Cross-dresser. Try the Uncle Miltie entry.

German, Turnverein. `Gymnastics Club.'

Domain name code for Tuvalu.

Tuvalu, like many countries, is a bunch of tiny islands in the Pacific Ocean. Tuvalu's total area is about one-third that of the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, in nine atolls scattered across 600 miles. ``Tuvalu'' means `group of eight.' (Niulakita has a swamp rather than a lagoon at its center, and no permanent residents.)

In early 2000, a California internet company called Idealab agreed to pay the government of Tuvalu 50 million dollars in royalties over 10 years for the rights to the .tv top-level domain. Their idea is to auction off .tv domain names, particularly to the television industry. kino1.tv bought in. Back in 2000 and maybe 2001 I heard radio ads touting the proposition that dot tv domains are hot. If they say so, I guess. Many years ago, there was a TV ad campaign claiming that ``radio is hot.'' It seems to be hot all over. Cf. .fm.

Tennessee Valley Authority. The Federal Authority that built a bunch of dams in Tennessee from the FDR administration on.

TeleVision Bureau of Canada/Bureau de la Télévision du Canada.

Total Volatile Basic Nitrogen.

Thrust Vector Control. Term used by NASA and hip-hop artists in reference to navigation. Okay, I might be wrong about NASA.

TV channels
Allocated in the VHF (channels 2-13 in North America) and UHF (was 14-83, now restricted to 14-69, with the returned spectrum reallocated to, umm, digital TV? I have to check). For some more thoughts on channels of various sorts, see the open channel entry.

TeleVision show content rating code indicating ``suggestive Dialogue.''

Township-and-Village Enterprise. No one seems to be too worried about whether this may include nontownship-village enterprises, so I'll try not to worry either. It's the translation of an official PRC term.

TeleVision show age rating code indicating that the show is suitable for ``General'' audiences, unless they happen to be sentient.

TeleVision show content rating code indicating ``coarse Language.''

Track Via Missile.

TeleVision show age rating code indicating that the show is intended for ``Mature Audiences'' only. This is ``mature'' in a specialized technical sense meaning ``physically, but not emotionally or intellectually.''

Texas Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Thai Veterinary Medical Association. (The link is here for sentimental reasons only. Apparently the website had to be put down. It's been ``server not found'' since at least October 2008.)

ThermoViscoPlastic Nonlinear Constitutive Relations.

TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder. Yes, we deign to tell you what TIROS stands for.

TV Ontario. Public station.

TeleVision show age rating code indicating that minors should watch the show only with ``Parental Guidance.'' What kind of parental guidance? Well, the parent (or designee) should sit and watch the show with the minor and explain the dirty words. It's a vocabulary exercise.

TV Receive-Only ``terminal'' or system. A satellite dish and some associated hardware and decoding software. Acronym distinguishes these customer or downlink sites from uplink sites. The satellite is in geostationary orbit.

Transient Voltage Suppressor. Usually back-to-back zeners (okay, `anode-to-anode') in parallel with the load, called transorb or ZNR.

It's easy enough to adjust the voltage: trivial circuit analysis says the peak voltage is clipped at the Zener breakdown voltage (plus the smaller forward voltage). The main difference between different suppressors is how fast they react -- how fast their zeners break down.

MOV's are also used.

Triangular Voltage Sweep. A method of measuring mobile charge in oxides. The mobile charge is most often the evil sodium (Na) or its dangerous fellow alkali potassium (K), secreted in by unclean methods such as contaminated photoresist (PR).

TeleVision show content rating code indicating ``Sex.''

TeleVision show content rating code indicating ``Violence.''

TeleVision show age rating code indicating that the show is intended for audiences over the age of 14. Fourteen is a kind of age of consent for television. Just as sex with someone under the age of consent is forbidden, so is voyeurism with someone under the age of TV consent.

(Domain name extension for) TaiWan.

Here's the Taiwan page of an X.500 directory.

TaxiWay. It has to do with airports, and it doesn't refer to a section of the curb where taxis pull up.

Teletypewriter. A typewriter that hammers out what someone elsewhere (hence the ``tele'') presses the keys for. Isn't that way cool? ``What's a typewriter,'' you ask?

Thrust to Weight. This is a term in aviation and not, um, ``sex work.''

Here's a classic line from Cherry, the poet Mary Karr's memoir of her teens. It's the conclusion of a lecturing-to on the subject of Algebra I that she received from her junior-high principal:

I assure you. Without math you'll wind up being no more than a common prostitute.

Time-Weighted Analysis. In practice, this epitomizes the anti-Confucian attitude of the West: older data count less. How soon they forget!

Trans World Airlines, originally called Transcontinental and Western Air (regarding which, see WAE). For a while there in around 1995, they only had a homepage thanks to Pablo Lewin, who had the longest string of moved, go to... pages I have experienced (3-level runaround; four pages and three different servers in 18 months).

It was sort of a sign that maybe this airline was not entirely on top of things. In early 2001, TWA was absorbed by American Airlines (AA).

Traveling-Wave Amplifier.

  1. toward with a typo.
  2. t-word with a typo.
  3. Ward of t.

T. Washington, Booker
That's Booker Taliaferro Washington, (1856-1915). A lot of important ironsmiths in history: Ike, Booker, and the first man ashore in Prince William's invasion. Booker T. founded the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in 1881.

The Weather Channel.

NPR has Nina Totenberg, one of the commercial networks has Barbara Walters, and TWC has Paul Kocin (mentioned at the NESIS entry). All of these people have certifiably irritating speaking voices. If what they have to say ever really needs to be said, then it should be said by stunt doubles, or pinch talkers or something.

Test of Written English. Administered by ETS. Scores in the set {1.0, 1.5, 2.0, ... 5.5, 6.0}. If your score was 2.0 or less, you're not really reading this.

A twelve-string guitar (or a ``twelve-string,'' pronominally) does have twelve strings, but they're really six pairs played together. A twelve-string is basically a six-string with each string duplicated. The string pairs are close enough together so that you pick them together, unless you're trying to get picky.

Something you're less likely to have heard of is the ArchguitarTM. That's a narrow guitar with a wide neck and a lot of separate strings -- between nine and thirteen. ``The archguitar originated in 1982 when 22 year old guitarist [also described as a ``professional street musician in Europe''] Peter Blanchette asked luthier Walter Stanul to build him an instrument that `played like a guitar but could sound like a lute.' As a classical guitarist, Blanchette was frustrated by the lack of bass strings lower than the sixth string of the guitar.''

The Renaissance lute had six to eight ``courses'' (the highest course was a single string, the rest were pairs). In most lutes, the (multi-string) courses were tuned in unison.

As other instruments got louder, the lute began to lose its ``niche'' in the ecology of instruments, and when it was given a competitive range of pitches, it became a chore to tune all the strings. Eventually, as in other Darwinian situations, it was relegated to extreme environments and survival modes. One extreme was the theorbo, a sort of hypertrophic bass. That's a couple of meters long and has one course of three strings. These are tuned with one string an octave higher than the other two. This is called reentrant tuning, persumably because the higher string is only in resonance with the first overtone of the lower strings. This means that coupling between the strings occurs through nonlinear terms, which are usually weaker. This can result in a slow feedback of energy into the string with the fastest (isolated) decay, and I suppose this slow re-entry of energy is what is referred to, but that's just a guess and I really don't know.

The twelve-string guitar also uses reentrant tuning on the four bottom courses. (One string is tuned to the usual pitch used for a six-string guitar, the other string in the course is tuned an octave higher. Obviously this gives a richer timbre.) The two top courses are tuned in unison.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea
A science fiction novel by Jules Verne (1828-1905), titled Vingt mille lieues sous les mers in the original French (1869-1870).

What you need to know is that a league is a distance of like three miles, so 20,000 leagues is a distance traveled under water, not a depth.

There are apparently two different kinds of mensuration league: a league on land is about three miles, but was never standardized; a nautical league is about 3.45 miles (5.56 km). In the National Football League, another mensuration regime is in place.

The World Is A Very Big Place. Email abbreviation.

  1. The time when the sun is not far below the horizon, and its scattered light still significantly illuminates the sky.
  2. The atmospheric light or light intensity during twilight.

Civil twilight corresponds to the time and light of the sun six degrees below the horizon and higher. Nautical twilight is defined using twelve degrees instead. That is, morning nautical twilight (MNT) begins (BMNT) when the sun is twelve degrees below the horizon and ends at dawn. (During the winter half of the year inside the Arctic and Antarctic circles, dawn and dusk don't occur for some part of the year -- an increasing fraction of the year as one approaches the pole. I suppose then morning twilight ends at noon. At the pole, presumably, morning twilight lasts from the vernal equinox to the winter solstice, if you really want to go to the trouble of defining ``morning.'') Near and within the arctic regions, there is also some difficulty defining the beginning and end of twilight. On this see EENT.

At any point on earth, the sun rises due East and sets due West on the equinox. (Okay, there's a fraction of a degree inaccuracy in that statement because the equinox is a moment rather than a day, and because the earth nutates a little. Give it a rest.) At the equator on the day of an equinox, the sun's apparent motion in the sky is a great circle through the zenith, with a constant speed of one degree every four minutes (or fifteen minutes of arc per minute of time, if you prefer), so civil twilight lasts twenty-four minutes and nautical twilight forty-eight. At every other time of the year, and at every other latitude, twilight lasts longer if given a chance.

To Whom It May Concern. Email abbreviation of a old standard legal formula that entered common usage.

Tests With Inorganic Noxious Kakes In Extreme Situations. Hostess actually hosts the site, demonstrating a keen sense of humor and an extreme instance of the just-make-sure-they-spell-the-name-right theory.

Siblings born from the same pregnancy. The incidence of twins is low among humans, but has been increasing of late. Drugs taken to increase fertility are most often cited as cause, but the trend is not entirely understood.

There are various kinds of twins. Among humans, fraternal twins are the most common. As everyone knows, fraternal twins develop from two independent ova that are fertilized by two spermatozoa. As the term is traditionally applied, it is assumed that both the eggs and the sperm each come from the same parents. Fraternal twins have about half their genes in common with each parent and with each other. This is the same level of genetic similarity that there is between any two non-twin siblings with both parents in common.

I should point out that when people speak or write of two individuals having some fraction of their genes or DNA in common, this is a shorthand that is technically incorrect. Any two humans have more than 99% of their genes in common. When one says that two fraternal twins have half their genes in common, what one means is that half of their genes are required, by the mechanics of the fertilization and development process, to be identical, or at least transcriptions from a single original. The other half of the genetic information is also mostly identical, but in a less direct way. The other genes are similar simply because there is a common genome that most individuals of a given species share. One could say, a little more accurately, that fraternal twins have only half the genetic variation of two randomly selected individuals, but that is not entirely precise either. Fraternal twins born of parents from a homogeneous community will be more similar than those born of parents from very different communities. The extreme of different communities, of course, is different species, and that indicates a bound on variation. Individuals of different species, by definition, do not produce fertile offspring. In many cases, of course, fertile offspring do not occur because of purely mechanical or even strong psychological barriers to mating. In general, however, when members of two sufficiently different species mate, no zygote results, or a zygote results but eventually cannot thrive. Genes have to work together and past some point, different genes don't yield a viable individual. Jeff Goldblum (and David Hedison), forget it.

Another issue, which compels us to qualify each ``half'' or similar dyadic fraction with an ``approximately,'' has to do with the granularity of the genome. Each normal (yes, ``normal''; no offense intended) human individual has 46 chromosomes. That's 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes, plus two sex chromosomes (two X's for females and an XY pair for males). Genes can be exchanged between chromosomes of an autosomal pair, and occasionally genes move to different chromosomes, but a Y chromosome doesn't play that game with its X, at least not very often. The Y is a very reduced package of genes, so a male expresses most of the corresponding genes from whichever X chromosome he got from his mother. Moreover, a male has the same Y chromosome as his father, so fraternal twin brothers have about half their genes in common (in the usual sense) on the 47 large chromosomes, and all their genes in common on the small chromosome for cojones. And males constitute about 53% of babies born (absent sex-choice interventions). You can put that all together however you want, but the chances of it coming out exactly 50% DNA variation are nil. See also mDNA.

In vitro fertilization offers some other possibilities, but one possibility that has always existed, and which is indeed common in the animal kingdom, is heteropaternal superfecundation. Not ``heteromaternal'': the way this has to go, the heteroparentage is on the fathers' side: two (or more!) different fathers' sperm fertilizing different eggs of the mother. Twins by different fathers are genetically as similar as half-siblings. Let's not even mention sperm competition in the animal kingdom. Heteroparental superfecundation is normally described as rare. I imagine it was and mostly still is, but its incidence is usually not suspected unless the twins are of different races. (Yeah, yeah, ``race'' is socially constructed, sure.)

Augustus Caesar's daughter Julia was well known to be quite promiscuous. When asked why her children all resembled her husband, she explained that she never took on a passenger until the boat was loaded.

Identical twins occur when the developing zygote splits into separate individuals. This can occur multiple times, leading to identical triplets, etc. Traditionally, identical twins occur in less than one in four hundred pregnancies, and identical triplets and quadruplets are considerably rarer. Armadillos are born in litters of four: identical quadruplets.

Identical twins are genetically identical. Sure, there are occasional transcription errors. To be more precise we can say that two cells chosen at random from two identical twins probably have exactly identical genes, and that the frequency of differences is comparable to the frequency of differences between two cells chosen at random from a single individual. Differences between identical twins are said to arise from environmental differences. That does not mean that they are not genetic differences: environment can affect gene expression. Environmental differences begin in the placenta, with slight, possibly random or fluctuational chemical gradients. Eventually, position differences in the womb can have an effect. Late in pregnancy, especially with twins, the placenta gets crowded and a fetus doesn't move around very much until it's about to be born.

One kind of difference between identical twins arises from what one might not think of as an environmental difference: development at time of splitting. A minority of zygotes that split do so immediately after the first cell division following fertilization (a couple of hours after fertilization, say), and this apparently leads to the most closely identical twins. Usually, however, splitting occurs when the zygote consists of more than two cells. When separation occurs in this case the resulting individuals are less similar. I don't know if this is known to be due to incipient differentiation of cells in the blastula, or to uneven splitting, or what. I guess I ought to look it up off-line. Later-than-usual separation, 9-12 days after fertilization, can lead to ``mirror-image identical twins.'' In some cases, even the internal organs may exhibit mirror images, with one heart on the right, etc. If separation occurs much later, there is a risk that the twins will be conjoined (``Siamese twins'').

The egg can split before fertilization also. If both eggs are fertilized and attach, half-identical twins arise. Half-identical twins share three-quarters of their DNA, in the same loose sense that fraternal twins share half their DNA.

The existence of half-identical twins is significant for the interpretation of identical twin studies. Some half-identical twins are mistaken for fraternal twins, and some for identical twins. The former are bound to be a small fraction of twins regarded as fraternal, so regardless of methodology they have little effect on any control group of fraternal twins. If half-identical twins are included in the group of ``identical twins,'' then they will introduce genetic variation into a group where variations are supposed to arise from environment only, and thus decrease the apparent fraction of variation attributable to genetics (not that that is a really well-defined thing either).

Tournament Word List. Also called OWL; short for OTaCWL (Official Tournament and Club Word List). A list defined by the NSA (no, not that NSA). The OSPD (q.v.) used to be the authority, but after that was published in an expurgated form (starting with the third edition), the NSA had to create an alternative. Tournaments sponsored by the NSA use TWL, but some clubs in North America prefer a larger list called the SOWPODS. The first edition of the TWL was TWL98, which was distributed starting in 1997 and became official on March 2, 1998. The second edition, coming close on the heels of OSPD4, became available in mid-January 2006.

The edition of TWL that was promulgated in 2006 and that is still the officially sanctioned version as of early 2013. It is referred to by a variety of other acronyms, including OWL2 and TWL2006.

The edition of TWL that was promulgated in 2006. If there's any news, I'll be more likely to mention it in the entry for the much more common TWL06 acronym.

Two ...
Maybe the entry you're looking for is in 0-9.html, even if the head term is a phrase, like

Then again, maybe not. See two excimer below.

TaiWan OTC Exchange. Officially it seems to be the GTSM (GreTai Securities Market), formerly it was called ROSE (R.O.C. Over-The-Counter Securities Exchange). It's hard to be certain whether TWO is more common than GTSM, but I'm going to put my money on TWO.

two excimer
According to the Barnhart science dictionary (1986), ``two excimer'' was a term once introduced for what are now often called exciplexes. In other words, ``two excimer'' was one of several attempts to distinguish what are still loosely called excimers from excimers in the original and narrow sense. Science News (no page or year) was cited in support, but I haven't been able to track down any specifically relevant article. This is certainly an awkward usage. Either it was a lexicographer's error, or the usage was really proposed but did not catch on at all:

In January 2006 I searched the Science Citation Index (1975-2006) and found 24 instances of ``two excimer.'' In all cases, the term occurred in title or abstract as part of a phrase in which excimer was attributive and two modified a separate plural noun (``two excimer lasers'' was the typical phrase). For normalization, you may want to know that the same kind of general search (``topic search'') found 15,793 articles for ``excimer'' and 1,946 for ``exciplex.'' This does not exclude the possibility that ``two excimer'' in the sense given by Barnhart occurred in the text of one or more articles, was used in conferences, or had some currency before 1975. (It's very much harder to do any kind of subject or keyword search using the paper SCI that dates back to the early 1960's). For comparison, I did a similar search for ``mixed excimer,'' a term that was introduced in 1962 and withdrawn in favor of exciplex in 1967. This turned up two articles, and in one of them (from 1997) the term is clearly used as a synonym for exciplex. (I also checked Chemical Abstracts, though less thoroughly. There were 34 ``two excimer'' hits, all of the usual sort; of 18 ``mixed excimer'' hits, about half the instances were in the exciplex sense.)

two-letter words
Two-letter words, as such, are very useful in Scrabble® because they allow one to lay down longer words parallel to words already on the board, and (toward the end of the game) because they allow one to get rid of a few remaining letters. One of the first preparations that a dedicated Scrabble nut makes, and one of the few preparations that an occasional player eventually makes, is memorizing all the two-letter words. You can easily google various lists of them. The OSPD3 and TWL98 have 96 of them (the same 96). Three of those (ab, ed, and yo) were new in the OSPD3 (i.e., not in the OSPD2), and five more were added in the OSPD4 (fe, ki, oi, qi, and za). (I imagine these have also been added into the second edition of the TWL.) The SOWPODS dictionary has 121 two-letter words.

Let me pass along a little trick I picked up when I was a student: don't study the stuff you already know. If you're not too ignorant to follow this advice, it can be a great time-saver. For this reason, I don't have entries for the well-known two-letter words like an, as, at, ax, by, do, fa, go, he, id, if, in, is, it, la, lo, ma, me, mi, mu, my, nu, of, oh, on, or, ox, pa, pi, up, us, and we, and others like them, for the most part. Now all you have to do is comb through the glossary for the unusual ones.

Oh alright: this page served by Mike Wolfberg lists all two-letter words in the OSPD4; this page served by Bob Jackman lists all two-letter words in SOWPODS.

Instead of playing a selection of single songs from different artists, the radio station plays pairs of songs (back-2-back!). Twice as much music! How do they do that?

In the 1990's, loosened FCC regulations in the US allowed individual companies to own many different radio stations, even within a single market or broadcasting area. As a result, the same promotions and stale gimmicks (like Two-for-Tuesday, ``basement tapes,'' and cookie-cutter drive-time personalities) appear simultaneously around the country. You call the DJ of your ``local'' station on an 800 number. It's just that much harder for a small local band to break into the big time by playing local clubs, building a local following, and getting local airplay, because there's very little local anything.

Two Paws
A jocular reference to the Village of Paw Paw, Michigan.

A game of betting on the outcome of flipping two coins, with the betting on whether there will be one head and one tail, or not (two heads or two tails). Since two-up is ``fair'' so long as at least one of the coins is fair, if each player contributes one coin to the game, any honest player can be certain the game is fair. (By ``fair'' I mean that the two betting outcomes are equally likely.)

Suppose you have two coins, neither necessarily fair. Let coin i (i=1,2) have a probability 0.5 + ei of turning up heads (ei=0 for a fair coin; |ei| > 0.5 for a coin not of this universe). The probability that the coins turn up different is

	(0.5 + e ) × (0.5 - e )  +  (0.5 - e ) × (0.5 + e )
                1            2              1            2

	coin #1 heads, #2 tails  or  #1 tails, #2 heads
or 0.5 - 2e1e2.

Now the previous statement -- that one fair coin makes a fair game -- is clear from the fact that the different-faces result has probability 0.5 so long as at least one ei is zero. Furthermore, two-up is ``second-order fair'' in the following sense: If ei is regarded as a small quantity, which it usually is, then betting on a single coin is first-order fair in the sense that the deviation from fairness is first-order in e. Two-up is considerably fairer -- second-order fair, in the sense that the deviation from fairness is second order in e. To take an extreme case, suppose two-up is played with two rather unfair coins, weighted to turn up heads 60% of the time and tails 40% of the time. This 3:2 bias would be pretty obvious: any three consecutive flips of such a coin turn up all heads almost twice as often (21.6% of the time) as would occur by chance with a fair coin (12.5%). On the other hand, two such unfair coins (described by e=0.1) produce outcomes in two-up that have probabilities 0.52 (same faces) and 0.48 (different faces).

I think that when people think of unfair coins they imagine one face weighted more heavily than the other, but maybe it's easier to make an unfair coin by beveling the edge.

This glossary has more on games of chance.

The idea of alternating errors in such a way as to cancel the first-order error and have only second-order errors remain is a very fruitful concept in computer methods of numerical integration. One elementary realization of the idea is in Crank-Nicholson numerical integration algorithms for differential equations.

The idea of multiple coin flips is also used in a polling technique developed to preserve anonymity. It was used by the student newspaper at Princeton University, in a survey of academic honesty around 1980. I forget the details, but it would have gone something like this: each survey respondent is asked to recall whether he or she has ever violated the honor code, but not asked to answer directly. Instead, the student is to flip a coin twice, and if it comes up heads both times, to answer the question incorrectly (``lie'') and otherwise to answer truthfully. This preserves anonymity because in any particular case, unknowable chance plays a role in determining the student's response. A student answering ``yes'' may be admitting a violation or else may be a non-cheater who has turned up two heads. In a Bayesian approach, if one guesses to begin that honor-code violation is rare, then one can easily conclude in any individual ``yes'' answer, that the individual flipped two heads.

Overall, however, it is possible to extract a statistic from the polling data: if a fraction p of (surveyed) students have cheated, and if all students follow the instructions correctly, then the fraction of ``yes'' answers will be 0.25 + 0.5p [so p = 2 × ( yes-fraction - 0.25)]. If the survey finds a yes-fraction less than 0.25 or greater than 0.75, then there's a problem. That's what often happens. The point of the procedure is to remove the stigma of a yes answer, but this doesn't succeed so well; too many people fail to follow instructions. Maybe they don't understand, or they use all-tail coins (sure, happens all the time), or are reluctant to give a ``yes'' answer when they get two heads.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Transonic Wind Tunnel.

Traveling Wave Tube. Here's a one-page tutorial from NEC.

Traveling Wave Tube (TWT) Amplifier.

Texas Woman's University. I suppose it might have been worse (``Womans' University''). The Spanish version of the homepage translates it as plural (La Universidad de las Mujeres de Tejas) instead of accurately (La Universidad de la Mujer Tejana).

The school has had the following names

  1. (est'd.) Girls' Industrial College (classes began 1903)
  2. College of Industrial Arts
  3. Texas State College for Women
  4. Texas Woman's University

It's interesting that the ``college'' did not become a ``university'' until 1957, despite having enrolled graduate students since 1930 and having awarded doctoral degrees starting in 1953.

A small fraction of the graduate students and almost none of the undergraduates are male, for an overall 10% of enrollment. Is this great or what? And everyone is trapped at Denton, Texas! (Thirty-five miles north of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, and zero miles from nowhere. Don't get stuck in one of the branch campuses -- Dallas and Houston; the fish probably don't bite there.)

Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO. It's also affiliated with the ITF. The TWU membership is in three main divisions: the Air Transport Division (ATD, the Railroad Division, and the Transit, Utility, University and Services Division (because, like, nobody wants to belong to a ``Miscellaneous Division'').

Uhhh... iz dis duh singoowuh foam of twux? Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huhuhuhuhuh. Naaahhh -- it's The Writers' Union of Canada. Ooooh -- dat skwewwy wabbit!! ``Founded in 1973, The Writers' Union of Canada is a national organization of professional writers of books for the general public.''

Incidentally, you can set a language preference in Google, and one of the language options is Elmer Fudd. (You can't search only on pages written in Elmer Fudd, though. It's what they call a feature.)

TeletypeWriter eXchange. Invented in 1931.

That Was The Week That Was. A BBC program that began airing in 1962, hosted by David Frost. It squeezed out a meager sort of humor by ridiculing religion, politics, royalty, and sex. See? It really is possible to explain the show without using the word ``irreverent.''

The show had 12 million viewers (in Britain; I don't know how much that is in dollars) and David Frost became somewhat well-known. Contrary to the claim of this page, this did not make him a celebrity. A celebrity is someone famous for being famous. Frost only became a celebrity later, particularly in the US. He is familiar to readers of this glossary because he interviewed disgraced former US President Nixon -- see the ED (for erectile dysfunction) entry. Frost didn't interview John Profumo, but his show did ridicule him.

TW3 hired Tom Lehrer to write some songs for the show, which they generally misused or abused, and which he recorded and sold as a number of albums (live, in studio, live in Australia... -- all the same songs).

Every successful show begets a less successful sequel. TW3 begot NSMAPMAWOL.

TX, Tx.
Texas. USPS uses all-caps abbreviation.

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

Texas is a community property state.

Many people are aware that Texas was an independent country before it became a part of the US. (The same is true of California -- hence the flags you've seen, of the short-lived ``California Republic.'') Many people continue to regard Texas as an independent country unto itself, with independently variable degrees of levity and animosity. Some Texan cousins of mine reported that back in the sixties or so, visiting the Blarney Stone, their tour group was warmed up by some comedian who asked people to raise their hands when he called their countries' names. He called the US and Texas separately. I mention this by way of transition. In the MBH entry, I refer to West Texas after writing ``I would mention country where....'' I want you to understand that I'm not treating Texas as a country and forgetting to insert an article before the count noun country. Instead, I am treating West Texas as a region -- country in the mass-noun sense, like ``cattle country.'' Make no misteak -- we never do.

Tx, TX
Treatment. Medical abbreviation. Other common abbreviations of the same form: DX (diagnosis), Fx (fracture), Hx ([patient] history) Rx (prescription), SX (symptoms).

Explanation of abbreviation at Rx.

[Phone icon]

Telephone eXchange, Crossbar.

[Phone icon]

Telephone eXchange, Digital.

[Phone icon]

Telephone eXchange, Electronic.

Total X-ray Reflection Fluorescence.

Thank You. Chatroom abbreviation. As you are aware, all entries in this glossary are thoroughly researched. Some of the research is dangerous, some of the research is completely imaginary, and some -- like that for the current entry -- is arduous. You cannot imagine the hours of hot-air-blown chaff -- the sexual innuendo, the lame jokes, the sexual single entendres, the limp jokes, do you see where I'm going with this, the crippled sex humor, the unasked-for candor -- that we endured so you could have this grain of abbreviated information

u r wc

Well, okay, a highlight from the chaff: in reply to a male chatter's suggestion, one woman I don't know replied, ``my ass is one-way.'' When that was original, it was clever. I suppose now we'll need a cloaca entry. The task is endless!

TYped Communicating Objects in Open eNvironments.

Thank You In Advance. Email abbreviation. The close equivalent TIA is more common.

A euphemism for strongly typed (computer language). I don't really care if it's strongly typed or not; I just want to be able to cast at will, implicitly, and not have to make any declarations.

Characteristic of what introductory statistics textbooks call ``central tendency.'' The median, various averages, and even the mode (if there is one) are all measures of central tendency for a univariate statistical distribution.

Sound research does not always require mathematical methods or impersonal objective procedures, but they can help. One reason is that-- oh never mind, I just wanted to quote this:

   Ten students from each grade, 2nd, 4th, and 6th, from each group were chosen, but not through statistical sampling. At each school, teachers were asked to choose the ``most average'' readers from their classes, that is, the students they considered the most average for their class in that school. It became apparent immediately that the teachers were selecting their best readers, and so the instructions to the teachers were changed. They were asked to list their ten best readers and their ten worst readers; ten subjects were then drawn from those not listed in either group. ...

[This is from ``The Miscue-ESL Project,'' chapter 14 of Interactive Approaches to Second Language Reading, ed. Patricia L. Carrell, Joanne Devine, and David E. Eskey (Cambridge Un. Pr., 1988). The word miscue in the chapter title does not refer to events described in the quote above; the chapter is a report by Pat Rigg of ongoing research into the reading errors made by children who are learning English, rather than the woebegone teachers they are learning it from.]

Be typical [of]. On this pattern, classify might mean ``be classical,'' electrify ``be electrical,'' identify ``be identical'' (almost so, with with), and mystify ``be mystical'' (your call). Granted, typify is generally transitive. It's hard enough finding -fy verbs with associated -cal adjective forms; one can hardly expect the possible objects of those other verbs to fit the putative pattern when the subjects don't fit it.

TYPOgraphical error. An alibi for bad spelling. In extremis, an alibi for bad grammar.


You were probably starting to realize this, but here to put you at ease we will spell it out: the word tyrannos in Ancient Greek, ordinarily translated as ``tyrant,'' is really closer in meaning to `usurper.' Any usurper of political power -- popular or unpopular, brutal or civil; in brief: tyrannical or not -- was originally designated by that catch-all term, although eventually the term took a more pejorative connotation.

tyvm, TYVM
Thank You Very Much.

The Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem. This initialism (with T for the) seems to be much more common than YWLS. Anyway, our main entry for this school is YWLS -- not as a protest against this initialism, but because that was the initialism I first encountered for this school.

(Domain name code for) Tanzania. Commercial web presence at <http://www.africaonline.co.tz/>.

1.536-Mbit/s, loosely speaking.

One business day after Trade.

ITU-T's draft standard of transmission protocols for multimedia data.

Technology Transfer.

Table-Top Terawatt (laser). See M. D. Perry and G. Mourou, ``Terawatt to Petawatt Subpicosecond Pulses,'' Science 264, 917 (1994).

[Phone icon]

Title III (of the 1968 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act). Lays out the conditions under which a phone tap for a criminal investigation may be allowed, authorized, and conducted.

Aww, you figure it out!

The Five Gospels. See TFG.

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