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Cf. U2.

Under Review.

The Uruguay Round (q.v.) of GATT.

Uruguay Round Agreements Act of GATT.

A language that is essentially simplified Hindi with a very large infusion of Arabic words, written using the Arabic alphabet. I should probably point out that someone I know who is familiar with both languages disagrees, but I won't.

Urban Resource Development Unit.

Its synthesis by Alfred Wöhler in 1824 was the first organic synthesis, and the death of vitalist theories.

Universal Resource Identifier. See T. Berners-Lee, ``Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW: A Unifying Syntax for the Expression of Names and Addresses of Objects on the Network as used in the World-Wide Web.'' (RFC 1630, CERN, June 1994.)

University of Rhode Island.

Upper Respiratory (tract) Infection.

urine breakthroughs
The large role of piss in the progress of science is a surprising, perhaps suppressed story.

  1. In 1669, phosphorus (P) was first identified by the alchemist Hennig Brand, who prepared it from urine.
  2. In 1828, Friedrich Wöhler (1800-1882) synthesized urea from ammonium cyanate. This achievement definitively overthrew the vitalist theory that organic (vital) and inorganic (nonvital) chemicals were fundamentally different, so that organic chemicals could not (ex hypothesi) be synthesized completely from inorganic chemicals. Wöhler's synthesis marks the beginning of the modern era in organic chemistry.

    Urea [ CO(NH2)2 -- diamino methanal] is an organic substance produced in the liver and known from its presence in urine.

  3. In 1949, John F. J. Cade discovered the psychoactive properties of lithium (Li), as the result of a line of research that began with the observation of a cross-species effect of urine (described at our alkali metals entry).

Hah! And at first you probably thought the ``urine'' of this entry was a pun on ``you're in.'' That phrase, with stress on the second syllable and the slightest hint of double entendre, occurs at the <Wow, who's the mother?> entry and elsewhere.

urine news
The following noteworthy event didn't merit listing in the higher-prestige urine breakthroughs entry:
  1. During the Apollo 15 mission (late July/early August 1971), NASA officials became concerned when radioed data indicated a possible oxygen leak in the lunar module. Astronauts David R. Scott and James B. Irwin investigated and found that a valve in the urine dumping system was open, allowing oxygen to escape. They closed the valve and mission controllers decided that the loss was not great enough to require any curtailment of the astronauts' scheduled 67-hour stay on the moon.

Uniform Resource Locator. (Was originally Universal ....) See T. Berners-Lee, L. Masinter, and M. McCahill, ``Uniform Resource Locators (URL).'' RFC 1738, CERN, Xerox PARC, University of Minnesota, October 1994.

URL's have a habit of getting long, particularly when they contain form data to be passed by the GET method, particularly when the CGI coding is poorly done. When you put these long URL's in emails, they have a tendency to wrap. If they are longer than about 255 characters (the maximum length of a text line in the email protocol), then problems multiply. One way around this problem is to use a free URL redirection service like the ones offered at <http://www.makeashorterlink.com/> and <http://www.ulimit.com/>.

Universidad Rafael Landívar. You've got to love their URL: <http://www.url.edu.gt>. A Jesuit (SJ) institution in Guatemala (.gt).

Uniform Resource Name. Intended to be a kind of logical-name reference to documents. Has previously been Universal for U and Number for N. Many proposals, apparently some local implementations, but none is widely supported.

An abdominal appendage of a crustacean. The word is constructed from the Greek roots ourá `tail' (i.e. posterior) and poús, pod- `foot.' Originally, the term referred to any abdominal appendage of a crustacean. This is the sense found in the big ol' 1913 Webster's, and it's the definition in the OSPD4, so you should memorize it if you play by those sort of Scrabble rules. Eventually, the meaning became restricted to refer to either of the sixth and final (posteriormost) pair of abdominal appendages of a malacostracan crustacean (like a lobster or shrimp). Ugh, made me lose my appetite.

A hump out of which grow the tail feathers of a bird. (Note that the brilliant display fan of a peacock is made of feathers that grow out of its back. They're not tail feathers and they don't grow out of its uropygium.)

The word is from the Greek ouropúgion [literally `tail rump'], minimally modifed in the usual way into Latin. The regularly-constructed Latin plural is uropygia, but most English dictionaries give no plural (neither this nor uropygiums). The adjective uropygial is encountered more frequently (there is a uropygial gland). Oddly, the OSPD4 gives only uropygia, defining it as ``the humps from which birds' tail feathers grow,'' leaving a doubt as to whether each tail feather gets its own individual hump. The main dictionaries valid for tournament play (SOWPODS and TWL98) both accept uropygium, uropygia, uropygiums, and uropygial. A related word is callipygian, explained at the entry more honored in the breech.

Selects a random URL. Play!

Upper Reading Room. Of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Guess what LRR stands for?

Union des Républiques Socialistes Soviétiques. French for USSR.

Utility Receipts Tax.

Universidad Rafael Urdaneta. It's in Maracaibo, Venezuela. The UNU has a branch in Venezuela also. Who would have thought that Venezuela would achieve such a prominent place among countries with universities m/U.U/? URU and UNU both have grandfathered-in non-US .edu domains.

Uruguay Round
  1. A big, traditional yellow cheese of Uruguay [.uy].
  2. Alternate name for eye round cut of beef, because it's shaped kinda like the country.
  3. The eighth and final round of international trade negotiations sponsored by GATT. The round began in Uruguay in September 1986 and ended there in December 1993, and took place mostly in Geneva, Switzerland. All during the negotiations, two concerns were uppermost in the minds of negotiators: (1) that the negotiations might end without an agreement, and (2) that the negotiations might never end without an agreement. The sponsor, GATT (q.v.), had its existence terminated by the final agreement of the Uruguay Round. This is a scapegoating process perfected by the EU, EC, EEC, and other organizations, in which the failures of a basic idea and group of people are symbolically transferred to the name of an international organization. That organization is ritually slaughtered, the resentments its actions gave rise to fade away as if by magic, and somehow a new organization arises to fill its place (the WTO, in this instance). The sacrifice of these bureaucrats -- nay, international public servants -- is selfless in the truest sense of this word. They serve womanandmankind heedless that they know not where their next office plaque is coming from.

Okay, okay, so the first three definitions are jokes.

The wonks abbreviate the round of the third definition as UR. An earlier round (this sounds like a dance, doesn't it?) was the TR.

Upper Range Value.

Union of Rubber Workers.

Totally off topic, my ex-condisciple Fred, a nuclear physicist, ended up working in the petroleum industry and was proud to join a society (SPE?) that allowed him to describe himself as a lubrication engineer.

ur wc, u r wc
YOU'RE WelCome, YOU ARE WelCome. Chatese. Or maybe YOUR Water Closet, YOU ARE a Water Closet. Chat discussions can get pretty weird. You wanted to know this.


UltraSound. Sound at frequencies above the range perceptible by humans (say above 20,000 Hz). Typically, it's more efficient to generate these using a piezoelectric transducer than an electromagnetic set-up like a loudspeaker. In common parlance, and in medicine, US stands for imaging based on ultrasound. In Spanish, it's all the same, with US standing for ultrasonido.

Unbelievably Salacious. We just made this one up to streamline the POTPOTUS, um, entry.

(Domain code for) United States (USA). Partly because many of the top-level domains are exclusively (.gov, .mil) or almost exclusively (.edu) for US organizations, the ccTLD of the US is not very heavily populated.

Most state governments have websites at http://www.state.<USPS>.us and at http://www.<USPS>.gov (where <USPS> is the two-letter US Postal Service code for the state, territory, or federal district). The URL's http://state.pr.us and http://pr.us were resolvable in February 2003 but returned only an Apache test page. By January 2005 they were gone. A large number of local domains are defined under .us in the form <city>.<USPS>.us, where <city> is the Western Union (telegraph -- remember telegrams?) city code.

Often, I put some country information in the glossary entry for its ccTLD. Here's the US page of an X.500 directory, and here's a map.

United States. In principle, this might refer to another country than the one sharing borders with Canada and Mexico, as many other countries are federations of states (Estados Unidos Mexicanos, for an example). More at the USA entry (no, not the very next one).

United Synagogue. The largest synagogue grouping in the UK, representing ``moderate Orthodoxy.'' Cf. USCJ.

Unit Separator. The function originally conceived for the ASCII (and EBCDIC) nonprinting character corresponding to an integer value 0x1F (decimal 31). It is supposed to be equivalent to ^_ (control-underscore), but don't count on it.

United Space Alliance. A joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed-Martin that combined the divisions of those companies and of Rockwell that were primary contractors for NASA, it manages and conducts space operations work for NASA and (in principle only, as far as I can tell) others. Created mostly to consolidate and stabilize the market for NASA's Space Shuttle outsourcing. It is now contracted for some other NASA stuff too.

United States of America. You've heard of it?

In the major national languages of Europe, the name of the US is simply a translation of ``United States,'' with or more often without the ``of America.'' In German, for example, the United States is die Vereinigten Staaten.

In Hebrew, it's Artzot Habrit, literally `Lands [of] the Covenant' (optionally followed by shel Amerika, `of America'). Most Hebrew words, and all Hebrew words in this entry, have accentual stress on the final syllable. There is no upper-case/lower-case distinction in Hebrew -- I've applied capitalization to conform to English usage. The letter c for the k sound is systematically avoided in transliteration. I'm doing the best I can. What you want, I should write in Hebrew characters, maybe? That would make you happy?

It's widely believed among Hebrew-speakers that this surprising name (viz., `Lands of the Covenant' instead of a literal translation of ``United States'') was created to avoid confusion with the Hebrew for United Nations, but this is just legend. In fact, the term appears in Hebrew papers in the nineteenth century -- in the Hamagid L'Israel weekly as early as 1857. (That newspaper's name could be translated `The Preacher to [the people] Israel,' but something closer to `Intelligencer' was meant. Modern Hebrew has other words translating reporter and herald, and magid also has the sense of `narrator.')

I expect that you're picking up by now that ha is the definite article in Hebrew. Just as in Ancient Greek, a definite article between two nouns typically implies an `of.' Now getting back to the UN thing, it happens that the Hebrew name of the United Nations is Ha-umot Hamehadot. Mehad means `united' in the political sense, from the word ehad (`one'). This wouldn't likely be mistaken as a name for the United States, because umot means only independent `nations.' (Like the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, perhaps.) However, the word medinot has a range of meanings similar to that of English `state' (including `province' and `country'). Thus, Hamedinot Hamehadot, the most literal translation of `the United States,' could indeed also mean `the United Nations.'

By now I imagine you should have glommed on to the fact that -ot is a plural ending. It's the feminine plural ending, though a few common male words form plurals with it (see the agricola entry). It gets repeated in adjectives because in Hebrew, as in most languages with noun gender (afaik), adjectives have to ``agree'' with the nouns they modify. At this rate, in a couple 'thousand more paragraphs of this 'ere USA entry, you'll be fluent in Hebrew.

This would be a good place, or say almost as good a place as most, to consider proposed official languages of the US. The US doesn't have an explicitly designated official language. Probably the best-known federal legislation touching on the issue is section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended. (It's actually part of the 1975 amendment and extension of the VRA.) This law does not designate an official language. Implicitly, however, it contains a clear recognition of the de facto status of English as the standard language of official communication and electoral activity. For example, one condition that can trigger a requirement of ``bilingual voting materials'' is a Census Bureau determination that ``more than 5 percent of the citizens of voting age of [a] State or political subdivision are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient'' (42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a). (I suppose the fact that the law is written in English might be taken as another suggestive indication that English is the de facto standard language.)

Around the time that the US was founded, on the other hand, there were a number of proposals for an official national language for the new nation. Apart from English, the languages proposed included French, Greek, and Hebrew. Most of the non-English languages were probably seriously proposed but not very seriously considered. It was proposed in the Virginia legislature that some laws be published in German as well as English, but the bill was narrowly defeated.

The proposal for official Hebrew was made by that old fool Benjamin Franklin (what'd he ever do?), who also wanted the wild turkey to be the official national bird. (Official drink, okay.) I understand that most of the major European powers then used some eagle as emblematic bird. In the case of both proposals (official language and emblem), the motive was partly to differentiate between the Old World and the New. In this connection, it's interesting to recall that the word Hebrew is derived from a root with senses related to `separate.' A Hebrew (person) is Ivri in the Hebrew language (the language is Ivrit). Abram and his people were called Ivrim (-im is the male and generic plural ending). The name refers to the area they lived in: Ever Hanahar, `across the river.' [Never mind the vowels; the constant element in Semitic words is the three- or occasionally two-consonant root. In Ivri and ever, the consonants are the silent ayin (see 0), bet (see beta), and resh (what, you want everything explained?).]

Daylight Saving Time, wild turkey mascot, and now official Hebrew! Either Franklin was a long-term crack-head, or he was very badly misunderstood. I'll have to look into this. Maybe he suggested that Hebrew be an official language, but optional. Maybe he was buskin' again.

In that place name Ever Hanahar, the river (Nahar) in question was the Euphrates. The general area where Abram lived was called Aram Naharayim, `Aram of the two rivers' (-ayim is the dual ending). The other river was the Tigris. A similar name for the same general area is our Mesopotamia, from the Greek meaning `middle [between] rivers.' This kind of naming is not so unusual. The Argentine province directly north of Buenos Aires is called Entre Ríos (literally `Between Rivers'). It's bounded on the west by el Río Paraná and on the east by el Río Uruguay. And -- I know this is off-topic, but I promise it won't happen again -- a major ancient Greek city on the Italian peninsula was named Metapontum, `beyond [the] water.' Interchanging the roles of water and land in naming, we have the Mare Mediterraneum, `sea in the middle of the earth.'

[Just as an aside, we certainly want to be fair and balanced to all those unbelievers who are going to hell (Gehinna) -- give the devil his due, as they say. So we'll point out that there are those who feel that Abram was a purely legendary figure who never existed. Ipso post facto, he can't have lived in any part of Aram if he didn't live at all.]

Looking back now at all those -ot plurals, it's interesting to consider the singular forms. Maybe you think it's not interesting, but I'm driving so that's where we're going. The word umot is the plural of uma, `nation.' It's obviously cognate with the Arabic word normally transliterated umma. This has the same meaning, and some others, and in particular is used for the `community' of Muslims. (Other words with similar pronunciation are discussed after this entry.) The word medinot is the plural of medina, with various senses related to `state.' The Arabic word medina meant `town' or `city,' but is now used more to refer to the old or original (often walled) part of a city, or to the town center. The Arabian city we call Medina was originally called Yathrib. It became known as Medinatu'l Nabi, `City of the Prophet,' after Muhammed migrated there during Hijrah.

This semantic divergence of medina is reasonable, when you consider that our current notions of state are largely modern inventions. The ancient entities that corresponded to the modern notion were often city-states, or city-states that grew. This coincidence of words for city and state makes one wonder about a similar-seeming resemblance in German...

The plural form of the word Staat, meaning `state,' occurs in the German name of the US (Vereinigten Staaten, remember?). Staat sounds much like Stadt, which means `city' (the main difference is a longer vowel in the former word). The two words ultimately stem from a common Indo-European root *sta, meaning `stand,' with a subsidiary sense of `that which stands.' This is one of the most prolific roots in Indo-European (giving rise, for example, to the word stem in the previous sentence). In Latin it gave rise to the word status, which had a truckload more uses than the straightforward loan word status in English. That Latin word gave rise to both the English word state and the Modern German synonym Staat. On the Germanic side, the same IE root *sta gave rise directly to the Old High German word stat, meaning `place.' In Modern German, the word statt alone is a preposition meaning `instead of.' You can think of this as `in the stead of,' where the English stead (from *sta) means ``place'' (stede in Old English). The Modern German verb stattfinden means `to occur, take place' (more literally `find place,' if you like). Anyway, the modern noun Stadt, `city,' arose as an alternative spelling of statt created to distinguish related meanings of the one word. (Details in the Grimm. I don't make this stuff up, you know.)

Yiddish, incidentally, is a development parallel to Modern German (the branches separate from Middle High German). The word stat, as place or city, occurs in the well-known -el diminutive form of shtetl, `village.' The Yiddish name of the United States is essentially the same as the German. So the Hebrew can't be explained as a translation of some weird Yiddish term.

Since this a longer-than-average entry, we're going to have a review. In Hebrew, the name of the United States is Artzot Habrit, `Lands of the Covenant.' End of review. The word artzot is the plural of feminine noun eretz (`land'). Brit means `covenant.' Presumably the covenant referred to is the Constitution which constitutes one nation out of many states. So this is akin to saying `federation of lands.' (In the German Federal Republic, in fact, the state-like entities are called Länder, as you recall from some entry I can't find now, but which should be cited at AbhKM. That's why I thought Yiddish might provide a clue.)

In the appropriate context, the word brit (bris in the Ashkenazi pronunciation) is short for brit milah, meaning `covenant of circumcision.' So much so, in fact, that in effect brit virtually means `circumcision.' That's sort of okay, because circumcision is so common in the US that `lands of circumcision' would not be entirely misleading. Now you're probably wondering about the precise pronunciation of the word brit, and whether it sounds like the word Brit, short for British. The short answer is no. The vowel in the American pronunciation of bris (which is all I have to go on for the Ashkenazi and Yiddish pronunciations) is around the short-i vowel in the English words Brit, hiss. In the Israeli (and, I presume Sephardi) pronunciation, the i is brighter, like the Spanish i, though not as bright as what would be written breet in English. But I'm glad you asked. Britain, of course, is not a land of circumcision, at least not much. An American guy I knew went to England for the last year of high school, and he said that in the gym he felt like an alien.

I guess we really need a transition sentence here. This glossary is under construction.

The Finnish language uses a frightful number of case declensions instead of prepositions. On a generous day, we can think of them as attached postpositions. For convenience, therefore, ``USA'' is treated as an ordinary noun and declined accordingly (USA, USAn, etc.) even though it's an acronym of English words. Göran told me this in 1978.

I used to give Göran's last name in this entry, sort of like one of those interstellar beacons, sending out a message just in case anyone is out there to receive it. (These are the satellites that send out a recorded message saying ``Helloooooooooooooooooo! Is anybody out there???'' Something like that. Probably in French, Greek, and, uh, Hebrew too, just in case those ignorant uncircumcised aliens don't know English. Details here.) In 2004, he emailed back a correction, so now he's just named in the virtually anonymous style we normally use. That's the way it goes: for the better part of a decade, the entry is wrong and identifies him by name, making him look like he doesn't know his own language. As soon as it's correct, the name goes down. There's gratitude for ya. I'm disgusted! (Cf. LFA 8/e.)

All this naming and crediting business reminds me of a book that, coincidentally enough, has something to do with the putative subject of this entry (USA -- you remember?). It's A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America (London and New York: Granta, 2002). The copyright page includes the following sentence:

Malise Ruthven has asserted his moral right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the author of this work.

It sounds as if the publisher was suggesting a safer policy.

If you came to this entry to learn about the USA, you must not be impatient, because if you were impatient you wouldn't have read this far.

US Army.

Utrechtse Studenten Amerikanistiek. `Utrecht Students of American Studies.' An organization of students in the American Studies masters program at UU.

United States Army Air Corps. Peacetime designation of what officially became the USAAF in 1942. An antecedent designation for the USAF (q.v.).

United States Army Air Force. An antecedent designation for the USAF (q.v.).

After March 9, 1942, the USAAC was officially the USAAF, although it continued to be called the Army Air Corps informally. As explained on this page, the USAAF was divided into a number of separate air forces. Some of these were further divided into air divisions, some of these into

United States Army Aviation Section, later the United States Army Air Service. Two stages in the administrative evolution of what became the US Air Force. See the USAF entry for more details.

United States Advanced Battery Consortium. Formed in June 1991. A consortium within USCAR.

United States Auto Club. Pronounced ``You, sack.'' An organization for Indy car racing. [Alternative name: IndyCar Racing League (IRL).]

United States Army Corps of Engineers.

United States Army Corps of Engineers Information Network.

United States Anti-Doping Agency. Trying to keep athletes au naturel. You know: in the nude, the way the Ancient Grecians did it. Oh! You meant ``all-natural''? No drugs? I didn't know! Why don't you make my suspension effective starting after the games, huh?

Spanish: `used [female].'

USA Deaf Sports Federation. (Previously the AAAD.)

United States Air Force. There were various air forces within the Army before WWII, and in May 1940, when President Roosevelt called for an air force of 50,000 planes, the US air force was still the US Army Air Corps. A separate service was finally established by the National Security Act of 1947.

The same act guaranteed an air component for the Army. Friction between the two services led to various conferences attempting to iron out the differences. The first, the Key West conference in March 1948, produced an agreement that limited Army air forces: Defining land, sea, and air as the domains corresponding to the ``primary missions'' of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, the Joint Chiefs agreed that while secondary missions might overlap, no service was to develop weapons or capabilities that could serve only its secondary capabilities. An agreement later in the year placed weight limits on Army aircraft. As things developed in practice, the Navy was able to develop specialized naval air resources, but until 1966 the Army was forced to rely on the Air Force for air support. The story of this struggle is told by Frederic A. Bergerson in The Army Gets an Air Force: Tactics of Insurgent Bureaucratic Politics (Johns Hopkins U.P., 1980). It's mostly about (the bureacratic maneuverings for) helicopters.

    Michael Robert Terry, in Historical Dictionary of the United States Air Force and Its Antecedents (No. 11 in the series Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest) (Lanham, Md. and London: Scarecrow Pr., 1999) identifies the following as among the antecedents of the US Air Force.
  1. Aeronautical Division of the (Army) Signal Corps created by administrative memorandum, August 1, 1907. (Orville Wright's historic first flight had occurred on December 17, 1903.) After years of training and testing, and the purchase of fifteen planes of various descriptions, first operational unit of the Signal Corps, Aeronautical Division was formed as the First Aero Squadron, subordinate to the Army's Second Infantry Division.
  2. Law passed June 18, 1914 established the Aviation Section, Signal Corps (USAAS), effective July 18 that year.
  3. The first air company of the US National Guard formed Nov. 1, 1915 under the unwieldy but standard-style name of Aviation Detachment, First Battalion, Signal Corps, National Guard, New York.
  4. Amid wartime military aviation expansion, Aviation Section becomes Airplane Division (within the Aviation Section), and other divisions are formed to coordinate production, engineering and other functions.
  5. Army Air Service, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) created by order of AEF HQ on Sept. 3, 1917 It was demobilized in 1919. Following recommendations of the War Department, a five-year expansion program begins on July 1, 1926, and it becomes
  6. Army Air Corps (USAAC), name changed by act of Congress July 2, 1926.
  7. Army Air Forces (USAAF) created by Army regulation 95-5 on June 20, 1941 (but maybe that was July 20). The USAAF was an organizational entity that incorporated the USAAC and a GHQ, Air Force, until the USAAC was officially dissolved on March 9, 1942.

United States Air Force Academy. Located in Colorado Springs, CO. Undergraduates at the USAFA are called cadets, just like undergrads at the USMA. In general, the ranks and insignia of the USAF parallel those of the US Army, the service out of which it was created. The British Royal Air Force has a similar parallel, but I can't remember whether it's with the Navy or Army. I'd look it up for you, but unfortunately the library is closed now in observance of a day of prayer after today's (September, 11, 2001) unprecedented terrorist attacks.

United States Agency for International Development.

United States Automotive Materials Partnership. Formed in June 1993. A consortium within USCAR.

United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. How refreshingly original: uncountable (or is it singular?) science! It has to be plural Arts because ``Art'' means ``Fine Arts.'' (Not that Fine Arts have to be fine -- they can often be coarse and terrible.) But come to think of it... Better yet, let's forget it.

``Oklahoma's only public liberal arts college...since 1908.''

In 1696, the pioneering demographer or economic statistician Gregory King estimated numbers of households, average household sizes, and average incomes of various social classes in England and Wales for 1688. (Actually, the term was ``political arithmetician''; for more on King, follow the link.) Out of a total population of 5,500,500, only 750,000 were members of farmers' households (150,000 families), though an additional 2,575,000 were in the two groups ``labouring people and out-servants'' and ``cottagers and paupers,'' many of whom worked as farm or ranch hands. (``Cottagers'' were people who lived in cottages: individual homes without farmland.) I mention this only for scale. I could as well have mentioned that there were 10,000 households of ``persons in the Law.'' (These had an average household size of 7. King used the term ``family'' and included in family any person, such as a servant, living in the home. Dogs did not count as persons. Because of King's bizarre notions of what counted as family and what did not, I describe his results using the term household.)

There were 16,000 households of ``persons in sciences and liberal arts'' (average size 5). More when I get back from the gym.

Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism ACT. First enacted in October 2001. There is a sunset provision, but many of the enactments that impinge most on civil liberties are exempted from this provision. The law was passed with very little debate. Cf. DORA. With some minor changes, it was renewed at the beginning of 2006.

Universal Synchronous/Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter. A serial port adapter for either asynchronous or synchronous serial communications. Typically faster than UART by a factor of as much as 16.

U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

USA Today. McPaper.

United States of America Track and Field. The organization in charge of covering up positive doping results of potential US Olympians. Or maybe that's the role of the USOC. I guess everyone has an important contribution to make, even if it's only urine. An example of an NGB.

USA Today
Often disparaged as ``MacPaper,'' this periodical is beginning to earn a kudos or two: In My Sister Roseanne: The True Story of Roseanne Barr Arnold by Geraldine Barr with Ted Schwarz, ©1994, it is argued that USA Today has ``national and international hard news and sports'' coverage superior to that of the National Enquirer, and it is implied that its performance in more important categories is at least not incomparably far below the standard set by the Enquirer.

The technical term for glossary entries like this is ``slumming.''

USA Volleyball. The NGB for volleyball in the US.

USA Weightlifting.

Universal Serial Bus. See USB-IF.

University at Stony Brook. Part of SUNY.

Upper SideBand.

Universal Serial Bus Implementers Forum.

United States Bracket Racing Association. A drag-racing association. Vide goracing.com, VROOM!

United States Basketball Writers Association.

UltraSonic Cleaning.

Uniformed Services Clinics.

United States Code (of laws). Also served here by Cornell Law School. The code is divided hierarchically into titles (there are 50), chapters and sections. Sometimes chapters are divided into subchapters, labeled by roman numerals. Chapters are numbered starting from 1 within each title. Sections are also numbered starting from 1 within each title, continuing to increase across the chapters (i.e., the first section of chapt. 2 is not numbered 1). Many section numbers are not used. This may be done so that a chapter or subchapter may consist of a block of sections numbered from, say §§21-27, and the next (sub)chapter start at §31.

In the notation ``## U.S.C. ###,'' the first number (##) is the title number, and the second number (###) is the section number. If you want to refer to a chapter, you really should write something like ``## U.S.C. Chapt. #.''

The fundamental purpose of the legislature is to pass laws that tax the numbering system of the U.S.C. As a back-up in case this fails to make things sufficiently confusing, sections of a law are often referred to by the section or title number in the original act, rather the section number in the U.S.C. This is only one provision of the Lawyers' Full Employment Act.

Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. It's in Galicia. The Spanish (i.e. Castilian) name is Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (very different, see?). They have a tolerably translated English start page also.

University of South Carolina. It's in Columbia.

University of Southern California. ``Southern Cal,'' or ``'SC.'' Also expanded by faculty as ``University of Spoiled Children.'' USC is one of those geographically named private schools, like the University of Pennsylvania. It's the alma mater of O. J. Simpson, who was a very popular running back for the Buffalo Bills. For his subsequent highly remunerative career as a celebrity, he was based back in Los Angeles, where he achieved greater fame as an acquitted murderer.

The president of USC from 1991 to the present (writing as of late 2002) is Steven B. Sample (he was president of UB until 1990). During the rioting that followed the Rodney King videotape, he was pinned down below window-sill level in his office. It's a rough part of town, just off campus.

United States Code Annotated. A version of the US Code (U.S.C.) published by West Publishing Company with an apparatus of court decisions, presidential proclamations and executive orders, etc.

United States Council for Automotive Research. They now (2003) see themselves as working to assist the competitiveness of DaimlerChrysler, FMC, and GM.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

United States Coordinating Committee on ElectroMagnetic Compatibility.

No, know it is not some transcontinental collaboration between Southern Cal (USC) and Columbia University. It's the University of South Carolina at Columbia.

United States (Army) Corps of Engineers.

United States Council of EMC Laboratories.

I know what you're thinking: ``What is EMC''? I think they mean electromagnetic compatibility EMC, but they don't reveal the secret.

United States Chess Federation. How quaint. A bunch of John Henries to the digital hammer.

United States Coast Guard.

United States Colored Infantry. Obsolete, I do believe.

United States Computers, Inc. Out of business, I do believe.

United Systems Cabling, Inc.. The link provides access around the world to a company that installs cable in Oklahoma City, OK. Isn't the web wonderful?

Actually, they have a useful set of links to the K-12-oriented computing-related services.

US Council for International Business.

United States Civilian Internee Information Center.

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Founded in 1913 as an employment agency. Okay, not exactly. It was originally an organization of synagogues affiliated with the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. So it was the synagogues that got rabbis who'd been trained in the seminary for the Conservative movement. (Or ``Conservative stream.'' Jewish denominations are increasingly called streams instead of movements.)

You know, it was a bit fuzzy at first. Reform Judaism is older; Reform was a originally a movement that sought to modernize traditional Judaism (e.g., shorten the services, include prayers in the vernacular, allow instruments for the music, loosen Sabbath and dietary restrictions). The movement began informally in Western Jewish communities, primarily Germany, France, England, and the US. The changes were local and organizationally independent, but sufficiently similar to constitute a coherent movement or at least an identifiable trend. Reform is often and reasonably described as having begun specifically in Germany. It may well be that that is where the first moves toward reform took place, and certainly for a long time Germany had the only rabbinical college producing rabbis specifically for Reform congregations. However, I think the reforming must have gone further in the US. For example, in the Reform synagogue my mother attended in Breslau, Germany, in the 1930's, women and men had separate seating. This was abolished in US Reform (and not reinstituted in Conservatism).

I've read contradictory accounts of the origin of Conservatism. One account has it essentially as a US reaction against Reform -- a feeling that too much had been jettisoned, so the Conservative stream flowed out of the Reform. In the other account, Conservatism was a separate development from Orthodoxy -- like Reform, but not as radical. Conservatism was probably the largest Jewish movement in the 1950's. It's hard to put precise numbers on denominational populations nowadays, as very roughly half of American Jews are not formally affiliated with a synagogue, but Conservatism is now firmly the second-largest denomination in the US after Reform.

Anyway, over time, the USCJ evolved from not-exactly-an-employment-agency into the congregational arm of Conservative Judaism. There's also a related youth organization called United Synagogue Youth. The educational arm of the USCJ is the Solomon Schechter Day School Association (SSDSA); the United Synagogue Day School (USDS) is just a school in Toronto. First the singular ``Synagogue,'' and now this. Maybe they should reform the whole thing.

There is also a ``United Synagogue'' (see US) in the UK, which is part of the Orthodox stream.

Mordechai Kaplan was a Conservative rabbi who wanted reform (``reconstruct'' was his favored word) the Conservative movement in various ways. Probably the most prominent was to reform the English in prayer books to make it gender-inclusive. He didn't want to start a new movement; instead, he promoted the formation of ``havurot'' (essentially discussion and prayer groups) within Conservative congregations. They also became popular in Reform congregations, and a number of them formed independently of Reform or Conservative congregations. Eventually, Reconstructionist became a fourth stream. The situation resembles that of the Wesleys, or John Wesley, who didn't want to create a new church outside the Church of England: he only wanted to reform it. The high-church leadership of the Church of England held fast, however, and eventually Wesley's followers created the Methodist movement.

Unified School District. Fashions in US public education shift back and forth between centralization and decentralization.

United States Dollar. Not equivalent to ``Almighty Dollar,'' even when the currency is strong. Latter term refers to a state of mind. Construction of the symbol follows standard explained at the currency symbols entry.

A Universal Currency Converter is available online, but they don't give away free samples.

Oh, here's another currency converter. There seems to be a widespread interest in money.

A few other currency converters are at our currency converter link (oddly enough).

University of South Dakota. ``South Dakota's flagship university.'' As near as I can tell, though, it is not the flagship of the University of South Dakota system. Instead, it appears to be the system. It's located in Vermillion. There are also State universities.

User's Supplementary Documents. For BSD Unix.

United States Department of Agriculture. Gee, why don't they follow the pattern of other cabinet-level departments like the DOD and the DOC, and just call it DOA?

United States (military) Disciplinary Barracks.

United States Distance Learning Association promotes distance learning (defined as ``[t]he delivery of education or training through electronically mediated instruction including satellite, video, audiographic computer, multimedia technology and other forms of learning at a distance''). More on distance learning at ODL entry.

United Synagogue Day School. A K-8 school in Toronto. The general term for day schools affiliated with United Synagogue is Solomon Schechter school. USDS is the largest one (see SSDSA).

used & new from
When you bring up the page for a book on the Amazon website, you find the list price (say $11.99) as well as a couple of links to, say ``12 used & new from $9.37'' from independent online booksellers like elephant_books or mediacrazy_com. You know, just folks who are clearing out their attics and have sold somewhere between a myriad and a million books. Okay, maybe they're not exactly mom-and-popperations. (My neologism, but I permit you to use it for free.) Ten of these books are new or in mint condition.

It happens that on February 8, 2007, I heard from someone whose book was published on December 31, 2006, by Authorhouse. As you can guess from the name, Authorhouse is a possible solution for authors who can't interest major publishers in their work. It's what we would call a vanity press, if we weren't so circumlocutorily polite. And some self-published books are good, even quite good. This entry may be of interest for the authors of such books -- the good books that can't find regular (as we call them) publishers. If you're writing a bad book and plan to self-publish, never mind.

Okay, now I just wanted to point out that those numbers in the first paragraph are not made up but real, and they're on the webpage for the book referred to in the second paragraph. The author of the book is selling it himself for $12 a copy. He also offers the book at a discount through a distributor, so that retailers can mark the price back up and make a profit. Nothing prevents those retailers from giving the book away for a loss, or making a smaller per-book profit by selling the book at a discount off the list price. If the legalities are followed, then the author gets paid. In fact, depending on the terms of the retailer's discount, the author may get paid the same amount as for a book sold at full price.

Many self-publishing outfits offer to handle distribution to jobbers or wholesalers, and even marketing. From what I've read and heard, it seems that self-publishing authors typically take a pass on the marketing offer. They'll do book-signings in local stores or make inappropriate postings to mailing lists, and try convincing independent bookstores, non-bookstore book retailers, or other relevant organizations (a gym for a fitness book, say) to carry their books. For the rest, they let the printer arrange to supply any retailer that may be interested. One expects that to be mostly Amazon.com and the like, and these generally offer a book at the list price. I just want you to realize that you may also get instant cut-price competition.

Then again, you might not. Another self-publication I am aware of, a snide book about the Swiss, is offered on Amazon.com at $12.95, and there are (as of Lincoln's birthday 2007) 25 ``used & new'' copies available at prices ranging from $12.45 (new) and $12.65 (used) through $14.97 and $16.76 (collectible -- like new) up to $18.70 (new). There's also a used copy in very good condition available for $41.33. It's not clear whether personal references are required before they will consent to let you have it at this price (trust me: it's a steal). But wait--there's more!

In addition to the used copies available in paperback, there are also three paperback copies (yes, paperback) available used. They start at $57.61 (used -- very good). This one is marked with a little checkmark and the words ``low item price.'' The other two copies are only ``used -- good'' and are from booksellers with low customer ratings (91% and 90%). On the plus side, if you're short of shelf space, this is an efficient way to drop $75.43 or $125.14 (plus shipping). [Alright, just to spoil some of the fun: the highest-priced used copies are of the Minerva Press third edition, published in 2000. Minerva Press has apparently gone out of business. (Do not confuse it with Minerva Books, an imprint of Butler Books ``publishing commercially-viable books for the faculty and staff of the University of Louisville.'') The more recent copies are from Authors Choice Press (2002).]

The uncompetitive prices for the Swissy book are offered by many of the same booksellers that are undercutting that guy mentioned in earlier paragraphs, so you might guess that the Swissy author has lowered his price to meet the competition. I'm pretty sure that's not the case. He first posted editorial reviews and some badly faked customer reviews in November 1999. I've saved the Amazon.com page for his book from December 2000 (this had no used-&-new links), and at the time the book was priced at $12.80.

I think the take-home from all this is, if you pay around $12 for a book, then one way or another, you probably paid too much.

United States Education Information Network. Here's a link; I have the impression that it was the title of some now-defunct federal initiative.

Usenet, USENET
USErs' NETwork. The newsgroup system. This link should take you to about the right part of an FAQ listing.

Index and access offered by Google, which bought the archives of deja.com (which used to call its service Deja News). AltaVista (used to be an option, now it's a separate page) and Lycos (where the search is on newsgroup names, but you can browse the selected newsgroup from the Lycos site).

So Deja leaves. The word deja in Spanish translates some senses of the word leave in English. It is not too tortured to say ``Deja nos deja'' (`Deja leaves us') although ``Deja deja de ser'' (`Deja ceases to be') is more natural. In French, déjà means `already.' Fertile ground for macaronic business history.

Here. The Advanced Computing Systems Professional and Technical Association.

(Weblint says it's ``bad form to use `here' as an anchor!'')

United States Escapee Program. An old US State Department program to help refugees from communist countries. I think ``USEP'' and its expansion are informal names, and that officially it was just the (United States State Department's) ``Escapee Program.''

A well-known artistic theme is ``Houdini escaping from New Jersey.''


Use pure, clear, simple, concise Anglo-Saxon; avoid Latin derivatives.
A joke. Every word in the sentence is a Latin derivative.

[It was old when mentioned by W. L. Carr of the University of Chicago High School, in an article entitled ``The English Vocabulary of the High-School Freshman,'' Classical Journal, XV (#1) pp. 20-29 (Oct. 1919).]

I've seen a calque of this -- benutzerfreundlich -- used in German.

Nope, nope. Reasonable guess, though. It's actually the name of an Egyptian (yeah, like, what other kinds are on offer?) Pharaoh. Very little is known about him, so this could eventually be a relatively comprehensive entry. But first some context.

We count Egyptian dynasties (pop etymology: die + nasty), following the Egyptian historian Manetho, starting with the first kings who ruled over a united Upper and Lower Egypt. The founder of the first dynasty was Menes (a/k/a Aha), a king of Upper Egypt who first united Upper and Lower Egypt. (He also founded Memphis and Crocodopolis.) The fifth and final king of the second dynasty was Khasekhemwy, about whom little is known besides the fact that he undertook massive military campaigns and united Upper and Lower Egypt. About many of the nine kings between these two, often very little is known, except that they united Upper and Lower Egypt. For example, Anedjib, fifth and next-to-last king of the 1st Dynasty, was not the least known, but apart from some family details, the main thing we know is that his crown bore symbols of Upper and Lower Egypt, to indicate that they were united under his power. We also know that his word was a dead letter, or maybe a dead logograph, in Lower Egypt.

The first two dynasties are together known as the ``Early Dynastic Period.'' Wait, wait, we're building up to Userkare. I'm not giving much in the way of dates because they're not very certain, BTW, but Menes ruled around 3000 BCE, and Khasekhemwy around 2700.

The next four dynasties (that would be the 3rd Dynasty, the 4th Dynasty, the 6th Dynasty, and -- oh yeah, almost forgot -- the 5th Dynasty) are known as the ``Old Kingdom.'' This period saw the building of the first pyramids, growth in the worship of the sun god Ra, and elaboration of the beliefs about the afterlife that were eventually incorporated in the Book of the Dead. Other important stuff probably happened, but since this is just a microelectronics glossary, we're not going to get into the parts of it that don't concern us.

Well, okay, about the pyramids. The early Egyptian kings were buried in bench-shaped mounds called mastabas. Netjerykhet (a/k/a Djoser or Zoser), the second king of the 3rd Dynasty, got the royal treatment. His architect, Imhotep, stacked six mastabas of diminishing size one on top of the other to create a step pyramid. I imagine that it would have been more interesting had he stacked the bigger ones on top. Anyway, the fad caught on for a millennium or so. The Old Kingdom was the golden age of pyramid building, however. Snofru (or Snefru or Sneferu; what the heck, call 'im Snuffy), the founder of the 4th Dynasty, got the first smooth-sided pyramid -- a step pyramid filled in with stone and covered with a limestone casing. Let's face it: ancient Egypt was a skateboarder's paradise. Later on, Snuffy had a vogue among 12th Dynasty pharaohs, and they all built their pyramids near his. Snuffy's sonny Khufu (Cheops in Greek), third of the dynasty, built the Great Pyramid at Giza. The base covers over 13 acres.

As you can imagine, all this heavy government spending couldn't go on forever. The pyramid of Cheops was the largest ever built, and his son Khafre's was the second largest ever built. Grandson Menkaura had a much smaller one, and that was it for the 4th Dynasty.

The 5th Dynasty, starting around 2500 BCE, also had smaller pyramids. Things were headed south, figuratively speaking. Around 2350, Teti founded the 6th Dynasty. According to Manetho, he was murdered by his guards. Eventually, he was succeeded by his son Pepi I (yeah, yeah, it's a funny name; get it out of your system; a/k/a Meryre). What happened between those two reigns is unclear, but it appears that someone else ruled for two to four years. The someone else was apparently Userkare, and his claim to the throne seems to have had some legitimacy. On the other hand, there are indications that he was associated with the party that killed Teti, and that afterwards his inscriptions were subject of a rather thorough damnatio memoriae. Teti and Pepi I, and the fourth and fifth kings Merenre and Pepi II, all had pyramids at Saqqara. If Userkare had one, or if he even had a burial plot staked out, we don't know.

In late April 2003, Vassil Dobrev of the IFAO announced the discovery of a previously overlooked necropolis in the center of Saqqara. The necropolis contains rock-cut tombs of various high priestly officials of the 6th Dynasty. One of them, Hau-Nefer, served Pepi I, and it is unusual that his tomb is not near his king's pyramid. Stay tuned.

user name, username for translation
In Spanish, what I've encountered is ``nombre de usuario.''

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. ``[P]rohibits discrimination against persons because of their service in the Armed Forces Reserve, the National Guard, or other uniformed services.'' Passed by Congress over twenty years after the US defeat in Viet Nam, when everyone was feeling all guilty for not welcoming the boys back home. A feel-good measure signed into law days before the mid-term election, it must have shored up support for the Democratic Congress, sure, but that November saw a historic Republican victory, quickly squandered.

USERRA complaints are handled by VETS, which may refer unresolved complaints to the OSC.

The act itself, in all its original wordiness, can be found here.

That name (``Uniformed...'') reminds me of the FBI's crime reports (UCR's).

US Employment Services. Employment service of last resort.

University of South Florida. It's at Tampa. Okay then, if Tampa is ``South Florida,'' then what's Miami -- Cuba North? As a matter of fact, yes.

United Supplement Freedom Association. Here's the motto I would recommend: ``Dope responsibly.''

Uniformed Services Family Health Plan.

US (military) Forces Korea.

United States Figure Skating Association. Cf. PSA.

United States Foreign Medical Graduates.

Uniform System of Financial Records.

Uniform System of Financial Records for Charter Schools.

United States (government) Fish and Wildlife Service.

Undoped Silicate Glass. An insulating material between IC metalization layers.

Unix Support Group. (I'm not aware of any twelve-step programs, though.)

Urea SuperGranule[s].

United States Golf Association. It's the governing body for golf in the United States and Mexico.

United States Geographic Board. The name during 1906-1934 of the entity that was previously and is now known as the Board on Geographic Names (BGN).

United States Global Change Research Program.

US Geological Survey, part of the Department of the Interior.

Utah System of Higher Education.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. On the mall in DC.

University of Southern Indiana.

User-System Interface.

United States Information Agency. Public Relations organ of the US government.

User-Specific Integrated Circuit.

U.S. Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East. Does pressing the Enter button imply acceptance of this terrible initialism?

Hmm. No highlights or action alerts or any other news on the website since early 2000. And they say no news is good news.

United States-Israel Educational Foundation. Funds Fulbrights.

United States Information Service. Overseas name for the USIA.

United States Institute for Theatre Technology.

United States Mint.

Unlisted Securities Market.

US Military Academy. At West Point, New York. The first engineering college in the US. Undergraduates there are called cadets.

U.S. Military Assistance Command - Vietnam.

United States Marine Corps.

United States Medical Licensing Examination. Administered by the NBME.

United States Marshals Service.

During FY 2004, US marshals ``apprehended more than 36,000 federal felons, clearing 39,000 federal felony warrants -- more than all other law enforcement agencies combined. Working with authorities at the federal, state, and local levels, U.S. Marshals-led fugitive task forces arrested more than 31,600 state and local fugitives, clearing 37,900 state and local felony warrants.''

US Navy.

USN Plane Types
Prefix Function or Type Examples; Comments
A Amphibious
B Bomber B-17, B-25, B-52, B-1, B-2
F Fighter F4U, F6F-3, F4F-3, F4F-4, F-100, P-38F, P-40F
FB Fighter/Bomber P-40C
G Single-engine transport
H Ambulance mnemonic: Hospital
J Utility mnemonic: Jeep
JR Utility/Transport
N Trainer mnemonic: New
O Observer
OS Observer/Scout
P Patrol P-38F, P-51
PB Patrol/Bomber PBY
R Multi-engine Transport
S Scout
SB Scout/Bomber SBD-3, SB2C
SN Scout/Trainer
SO Scout/Observer
T Torpedo
TB Torpedo/Bomber TBF, TBD-1
X Experimental

USN Plane Manufacturers
Code Manufacturer Examples; Comments
A Brewster mnemonic: Brewster Angle
B Beechcraft/Boeing B-17
C Curtiss SB2C, P-40C, P-40F
D Douglas SBD-3, TBD-1
E Bellanca/Piper
F Grumman F4F-3, F4F-4, F6F-3, TBF
G Goodyear
H Howard
J North American B-25, P-51
K Fairchild mnemonic: Kindergarten
L Bell P-39
M Martin/General Motors
N Naval Aircraft Factory
O Lockheed P-38F
P Spartan
Q Stinson
R Ryan
S Stearman
T Timm
U Vought, Chance Vought F4U
V Vultee
Y Consolidated PBY

US Naval Academy. An undergraduate institution where the students are called midshipmen. Located at Annapolis, described at the AACC entry.

U.S. Naval Institute.

``For nearly 135 years, USNI has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

As an independent forum that produces thoughtful periodicals, scholarly books, and stimulating conferences, USNI makes a material contribution to the professionalism of Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, and in turn plays a unique and vital role in our national security.''

United States Naval Observatory. ``The U.S. Naval Observatory performs an essential scientific role for the Navy, for the Department of Defense and for the United States. Its mission is to determine the positions and motions of celestial objects, to provide astronomical data, to measure the Earth's rotation and to maintain the Master Clock for the United States.''

US News and World Report. A newsweakly.

You probably want to know if there used to be magazines called ``US News'' and ``World Report.'' Yes. At the beginning of 1948 (volume 24), as for some years previously, The United States News had a vertical blue bar along the left 40% or so of the front cover. That listed the title and had five white stripes with ``The only magazine devoted entirely to reporting ... interpreting and forecasting the news of national affairs'' in red caps. Some white stars and red shadowing of white letters and stars completed the patriotic color scheme. ``Published Weekly at Washington.'' The last issue with this layout was that of January 9, 1948. Among the cover stories in that issue: ``Third-Party Chances'' (Henry Wallace was planning his run) and ``Cold Cure in Sight?'' The next issue, of January 16, had a banner announcing ``Starting With This Issue U.S. NEWS and WORLD REPORT Are Combined.'' The red (``... only magazine ...'') text was removed and ``World Report'' over a blue globe superposed on the old stripes. The magazine length grew from 48 pages to 72 pages (usually) while the price stayed at 15 cents. (World Report, a weekly launched on May 23, 1946, had also been published by United States News Publ. Corp. ``The weekly newsmagazine of world affairs.'') The March 19 issue used a layout similar to the one they still have in 2005. (Blue square with ``U.S. News and World Report.'') The Whispers section for March 26 included the following short item:

Pope Pius XII is being forced to consider alternatives to Rome as headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church by possibility of a Communist regime in Italy. Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and Quebec, in Canada, have received some consideration. The church in Italy is openly opposing the Communists and will be in trouble if Communists win.

Spanish noun meaning `use,' and verb form meaning `I use.' But in Spanish, the ess in unvoiced in both words and the pronunciations are indistinguishable.

United Service Organizations. Chartered by Congress on February 4, 1941, the USO is a voluntary and non-profit civilian organization for the men and the women in the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. On December 20, 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed the USO Congressional Charter into law (Title 36, U.S. Code, Chapter 45) and the USO became incorporated in the District of Columbia.

Utah Symphony Orchestra. Where do you suppose they play their home games, er, performances? Yes! Downtown Salt Lake City -- lucky guess.

United States Olympic Committee.

At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Prince Alexandre de Merode of Belgium, chairman of the IOC's medical commission, said that the USOC covered up five positive drug test results before the 1988 Games, and that some of the athletes protected may have gone on to win medals in Seoul.

We are always grateful for information, but Prince Alexandre has a habit of being a day late and a dollar short. A decade after the Los Angeles games, he explained that he had been unable to report all of the drug positives at the Los Angeles games (1984 -- the revenge counter-boycott year) because a maid at the Biltmore Hotel had mistakenly tossed out documents from his room. I guess he forgot to bring his dog.

Universal Service Order Code.

USO at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). According to this brochure, the ``USO/SFO is the first airport USO in the world. It was established in June 1966 during the Vietnam conflict at the request of the Sixth Army to serve the large number of military personnel en route to and from Vietnam and the Pacific.'' My friend Rob used to volunteer there. It's a small world.

Unique Sales Proposition. Scam.

US Pharmacopeia. See here some of what is no longer used to fill prescriptions.

United States Public Health Service.

US Postal Service, semiprivate since 1971. They distribute garbage, but occasionally some critical mail is mixed in, so you're forced to sort through the junk, which is usually disguised to look like mail. In foosball and other games, this is called ``keeping [you] honest.'' I think this is outrageous, but the USPS has a competitive advantage: it owns the marketplace. Although ``private,'' it is the only organization legally permitted to use your mailbox.

Below is a US map with their two-letter state codes. (These are not abbreviations of the sort that one should use in writing, incidentally. Thus, for example, an address label could have `MN' while a list of states would include `Minn.')

Some years earlier, when the service was being deprivatized and Washington was president of the US, Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General. Franklin brought important professional experience to this appointment. When he was starting out as a printer in Philadelphia, the mail concession was held by his former employer and rival publisher in town, who prevented him from getting out-of-town news until he had published it, thus always scooping a newspaper that Franklin was trying to start. Franklin wrote in his autobiography that he made himself a vow then, to deliver the mail fairly if he came to have the concession (which he eventually did). Franklin's life was full of this sort of thing: each injustice done him, or misfortune befalling him, taught Franklin a moral lesson, and led to a practice or conviction that often enough had very long-term benefits for the new nation.

That doesn't sound very cynical, does it.

Postal delivery monopoly is a recurring theme in Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, © 1966, 1965.

US map with state outlines

US Patent and Trademark Office. Website here. Other countries' offices here.

STO serves a patent search tool. MicroPatent serves separate patent and trademark tools. The Intellectual Property Network allows you to search the patent records of several countries simultaneously.

US Robotics. Less well known than the USSR, but then they're still in business. Also, they don't make robots, exactly. They make data communications equipment (``DCE''), like modems.

Universities' Space Research Association.

Universal Synchronous Receiver/Transmitter. Cf. USART

United States Ship.

United States Sports Academy. So that's what all those rock songs were about! According to the homepage, `` `America's Graduate School of Sport.' '' (It's not clear whom they're quoting.)

... The Academy is a private, non-profit graduate school that offers sport-specific residential and online distance learning programs to students, teachers, and administrators around the world. The Academy has a special mission to serve the sport industry as a resource in instruction, research, and service.

``Sport'' -- isn't that like an atavism in reverse?

A song keeps running through my mind's ear, trailing off ``back in the yoo ess ess e-ey.''

Upper Single SideBand.

United States Satellite Broadcasting (Company).

United States Soccer Federation. A member of CONCACAF. You think ``conk a calf'' sounds stupid in English? It could be worse.

And what's with this ``soccer'' thing anyway? Is it played professionally? Does anyone in the world watch the events or care who wins? How many soccer celebrities in rehab have you even heard of?

United States Special Operations COMmand.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. According to Cornelius Castoriadis: ``Four words, four lies.'' That's a lie, of course, because of ``of.'' It is ``no coincidence,'' as a favorite communist phrase went, that this is reminiscent of Mary McCarthy's famous comment about Lillian Hellman: ``Every word she writes is a lie, including `and' and `the'.'' (She said this on ``The Dick Cavett Show'' in 1980, quoting her own comments from an earlier interview with Paris Metro. Hellman sued but died while the case was still being argued, and her executors dropped it.) Part of the animosity between Hellman and McCarthy was due to the fact that Hellman was in fact dishonest and that McCarthy was ferocious in pursuit of truth, but part of the animosity had to do with some of the things that Hellman was dishonest about. Hellman was a Stalinist (in the sense that Americans were ever Stalinists: a supporter of and propagandist for Stalin, a defender of the show trials, a critic of Krushchev's de-Stalinization). McCarthy was a part of the anti-Stalinist left -- one of the ``New York intellectuals.'' Stalin was the leader of the USSR from not long after Lenin's death until his own death in 1953.

The USSR, or Soviet Union, was an important twentieth century country (1917-1991). As a result of the ``October'' revolution which led to the creation of the USSR, Russia switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, in consequence of which the October revolution was seen to have occurred in November. Thus we see how the revolution, by propelling Russia into the future, contained within itself the seeds of its own destruction.

The enduring state-planned collectivist economy that characterized the Soviet Union was imposed mostly by Stalin. Stalin's method of persuading his country along that path was state terror, made credible by mass executions, deportations, deadly work camps, show trials -- your basic (and paradigmatic) twentieth-century totalitarian horror. Through the thirties and much of the forties, much of the left in western countries largely bought in to Soviet propaganda depicting the USSR as a progressive society, possibly making a few mistakes. By the late 1940's and into the 1950's, most of the US left became anti-communist. A consensus was forged, that communism had to be resisted or ``contained.''

It was widely claimed that the fall of the USSR was unheralded, but here in the title song from his album ``Lawyers in Love,'' Jackson Browne makes his clear prediction a full eight years earlier (©1983 Night Kitchen Music ASCAP):

   Last night I watched the news from Washington, the capital.
   The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, like Russians will.
   	Now we've got all this room,
   	we've even got the moon,
   And I hear the U.S.S.R. will be open soon
   As vacation land for lawyers in love.

Of course, there was also Soviet dissident Andrei Amalrik's essay, Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984? (published in 1970). Amalrik's conclusion was less tentative than his title, and perhaps his analysis of the USSR's weakness and vulnerabilities was accurate, but his attempt to predict the future course of the regime was mistaken in many major details and lacked a catchy melody.

November 7 was Revolution Day in the USSR, a day to celebrate the achievement of the Octobrists. On November 7, 1996, coming out of quintuple bypass heart surgery, President Yeltsin issued a statement renaming it ``Day of National Accord and Reconciliation.'' Later the same day, in the afterglow of elections that assured that President Clinton would also continue as president of his country, a rash of long-awaited cabinet resignations began. Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested that this is ``a chance for [Clinton] to reach out and be very bipartisan and even appoint some Republicans in a way which indicates a real willingness to work together.'' In the elections, Republicans strengthened their control of the Senate, which must approve cabinet appointments, but lost some House seats, some of whose lame-duck occupants must have been looking for work.

Accord, Shmaccord. Admit it, politics is boring, and reconciliation is positively soporific. More on ``Lawyers in Love'' at the PSU entry, and even at the bobo entry, where we mention the decadent bourgeois.

United States Specialty Sports Association.

Underground Storage Tank. Cozying up to the aquifer.

[Phone icon]

United States Telecom Association. Founded by a group of independent telephone company executives [nice history at that link] in 1897 as the National Telephone Association. After the break-up of AT&T in 1982, the name was changed to United States Telephone Association, and the seven Baby Bells (RHC's) were admitted as full members.

United States Tennis Association. May is USA Tennis Month.

United States Trotting Association. Only horses.

United States Twirling Association. Associated with the WBTF. The USTA is one of the two major majorette associations in the US. The other is the NBTA (associated with the GA, of course). My failed attempt to enumerate only the major twirling associations can be found at the majorette entry.

``The Association was founded in 1958 as the first national twirling organization to be run democratically and it remains the only twirling organization that elects its Board of Directors through its membership.''

Urdu title of respect, meaning about the same as Hindi Pandit.

Spanish pronoun of respect, meaning `you,' but taking third-person verb conjugations. Traditionally abbreviated Vd.

The coincidence of conjugations leads to frequent confusion, because subject pronouns are normally omited in Spanish. That is, when I (first person) am talking to a second person, about a third person, which person I am talking about is usually clear just from the verb conjugations. But if the person I'm speaking to expects to be addressed using polite forms (as opposed to familiar forms), then my statement about a third person could be misinterpreted as a statement about the person I am speaking to.

The traditional Spanish second personal pronouns are tu (singular `you') and vosotros (plural `you'; `y'all' in the strict sense). (We'll just focus on the nominative forms here, okay? The rest are similar.) I'll have a lot more to say about vosotros and vos, and French and Latin, when I get around to writing the relevant entry, but for now the thing to note is that while vosotros is still used in Spain, it has virtually disappeared in the Americas, replaced by the plural polite pronoun Ustedes. (In principle, if you're talking to second-persons plural about third-persons plural, then this compounds the problem described in the preceding paragraph, but really if you attend gossipy speeches, you get what you deserve.)

The replacement of familiar or unmarked forms by polite ones is a common phenomenon (pun intended). English provides another example: you. Originally, the words thou and ye were the singular and plural. So:

``Thou, get into thine ox-cart!'' (sing.)

``Ye, getteth into your ox-cartes!'' (pl.)

As the language evolved through Middle English and Early Modern English, two successive major changes took place. First, the plural came to be used as a polite singular form. I hope it is intuitive that addressing someone in the plural is suggestive of respect, 'cause I ain't gonna explain it, yer majesties. The second change was that the group of people who merited the polite form grew to include pretty much everyone. That left thou, the original singular and erstwhile familiar form, as a marked form. Presumably under the influence of the KJV, this marked form continued be used in addressing God. In effect then, the earlier polite form you became the modern unmarked or familiar form, and the earlier familiar form thou became the modern polite form. A neat inversion. Thou continued to be used in various dialects, particularly of religious communities. An interesting case is the Quakers, perhaps the largest well-known group to continue using thou and thee, except that in conversational use, many now apparently interchange the nominative and oblique cases. Alright, another can of worms:

Originally, thou was the nominative form and thee the oblique or object form, the way I and me are nominative and oblique forms, respectively: Thou givest to me, I give to thee. The usual crude explanation is that the nominative case is for the agent of the action, and oblique case is for everything else except possession (my, mine, thy, thine, your, yours). I think it's just an accident of etymology that the long -ee ending appears in the oblique forms of of I and thou. As it happens, the first- and second-person plurals followed had -ee nominative forms. Perhaps the pattern of I and thou made a nominative ye sound somehow off. For whatever reason, the form you replaced ye and is now the common nominative as well as oblique form. (No comment on he.)

Just to complete a thought: Spanish has familiar and polite imperative verb forms. One increasingly hears parents unironically addressing their children using the polite forms, even though they normally use familiar indicative forms. It is jarring to hear, but it's becoming more common, and appears to be part of a trend in which the familiar imperative form is disappearing. Time will tell.

The US Southern expression y'all originally served as a replacement for the Old English ye. That is, it distinguished the second-person plural. You didn't say y'all to a single person. Apparently, however, the construction has proven more useful as an affectation of friendly folksiness, adopted by Yankees and misused even by Southen' city-slickers. Y'all is reminiscent of Spanish vosotros (and nosotros), since otros means `others.'

University of Science and Technology of China.

Formal second-person (sing.) personal pronoun in Spanish.

United States Trade Representative.

United States Travel and Tourism Administration. In 1994, the US ran a $21 billion net surplus in tourism, officially, but these numbers are pretty hard to pin down accurately. Vide Tourism entry.

Utah State University. A public land-grant university whose main campus is located in Logan, it was originally established in 1888 as the Agricultural College of Utah. It later became Utah State Agricultural College, and finally took its present name in 1957. USU and Utah University are the only Ph.D.-granting universities in the USHE system.

Utility Services Use Tax.

Isuzu in the rear-view mirror.

Unterbrechungsfreie StromVersorgung. (Ger.: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).)

Unmanned (water-) Surface Vehicle.

United States Virgin Islands. See VI entry.

UnderSea Warfare.

And so forth. [For und so weiter in German.]

United SteelWorkers of America.

United Synagogue Youth. ``... serving 9th - 12th graders, is the youth arm of the Conservative Movement, affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.''

Universal Time. What you mean when you say GMT; see UTC.

University of Tampa. A private university.

University of Texas. Unless otherwise qualified, probably UT at Austin, the flagship school of the UT System, especially as UT Austin is not normally abbreviated ``UTA.''

University of Toronto. More commonly ``UofT'' or ``U of T.'' U of T has three main campuses (there's also an outlying campus for aerospace studies -- UTIAS). The St. George campus in downtown Toronto is the main one. St. George has a number of constituent colleges.

One of those colleges, founded in 1964, moved to a new campus in Scarborough (eastern edge of Toronto) and became known as UTSC, but since 1972 it has been a separate division of the University of Toronto, and is now called the University of Toronto at Scarborough. It seems that the Erindale College of the University of Toronto, located on Mississauga Road in Mississauga (how strange is that?) became the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM).

Upper Tester.

A Latin adverb and conjunction. How am I supposed to explain this? In what manner should I do it? As, for example, in this clause, as also in this one (as [of course] in this one). Yes, so, and as follows: each italicized word or phrase in this entry corresponds to ut in some translations of the English into Latin. How I do explain this!

B. G. Whitfield's little book, A Classical Handbook for Sixth Forms (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1956) has an entire paragraph devoted to the 32,000 different meanings of ut (in Latin alone).

The first word of a hymn to John the Baptist:
Ut queant laxis
Resonare fibris,
Mira gestorum
Famili tuorum,
Solve polluti
Labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes!

Each line of the hymn begins one note (of the diatonic scale) higher than the line before. In other words, the initial syllables correspond to ascending degrees of the C major scale. In the eleventh century, Guido d'Arezzo used this fact as the basis for representing degrees of (his) scales by the bolded syllables above:

ut, re, mi, fa, so, la

The syllable ut is not as euphonious as the others. Moreover, Italian doesn't much like final consonants anyway. (In detail, so far as I am aware: l and n occur as final consonants in words that never end a sentence -- il and con -- and in the Venetian dialect. If I remember Dante, the word for and was still written et, but I suspect that the t was unaspirated and simply represented the sharp end of the eh sound. Cf. EEK!. So I figure it was pronounced much like the current e.) Probably ut was pronounced like English ooh, but even so: that vowel has a relatively high principal formant, making it just a little harder to use for a low note. Anyway, no one seems to know the origin, but it's not surprising that in Italy the ut was quickly replaced by do. That change was adopted virtually everywhere but France. (By ``everywhere'' I mean Western Christendom, which was in musical terms rather homogeneous.)

In the Western musical tradition, scales are enumerated or sung beginning at the low pitches. This is so standard that it seems natural, but it is an unusual feature of our musical tradition. (When I write ``our'' I don't me the ``royal we'' me; I mean you too.) In other surviving traditions, as in ancient Greek music, scales are normally begun at the highest note and followed down. This seems to be easier on the voice, which is perhaps a more important instrument in non-Western music. The assumption that scales go up led to a misunderstanding and complete reassignment of the ancient Greek mode names in Medieval and later Western music.

That's enough for now, I guess. One thing I won't mention until later is the etymology of gamut (gamma (G) + ut: synecdoche for the entire scale).

Utah. USPS abbreviation.

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

University of Texas at Arlington. Part of the UT System. By settled convention, ``UTA'' is not used as an abbreviation of University of Texas at Austin.

Ultra-Thin Body. So far as I can tell, this term is not used in the modeling and fashion business, but only in microelectronics packaging.

University of Texas at Brownsville. Part of the UT System since 1991. Operates in close partnership with Texas Southmost College (TSC), a Brownsville municipal college.

ut bémol
French, the note `C flat' or a flatted do, whatever do (ut) is, if it isn't C. In fact, if do is C, then ut bémol is B.

UltraThin Cell. Probably an ultrathin GaAs-based PV cell for space applications.

Uniform Traffic Citation.

United Technologies Corporation.

Le temps universel coordonné. `Coordinated Universal Time.' I'm sure there's a language in which this initialism is probably ordered. (No, that's not an error for ``properly.'') I've seen ``Universal Time Coordinate,'' which is a properly constructed English noun phrase, and ``Universal Time Coordinated,'' in which the C-word is consistent with the French ``expansion.'' We should all have such trivial problems.

UTC is essentially the current version of what used to be called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT, or Zulu or whatever) except that it is no longer supposed to be called that, and it's computed from time kept simultaneously by atomic clocks around the world. The Greenwich observatory isn't even in Greenwich any more -- it's in Cambridge (or Oxford, I can't recall).

Here is the UTC from USNO: Clock requires Netscape

UTC is not precisely a linear measure of time -- it's more like a piecewise linear measure: it is adjusted so that on average over the years, the Sun is overhead within 0.9 seconds of 12:00:00 UTC on the meridian of Greenwich. The adjustment is by a whole number of leap seconds -- usually the addition of one or maybe two seconds. The adjustment is made at the recommendation of the IERS, and so far has always been made on the first of January or July. At other times, UTC tracks TAI, a consensus of atomic clocks. As of mid-July 2004, UTC differs from TAI by 32 seconds.

Usado, usada o usadas también como sustantivo. Spanish dictionary abbreviation: `also used as a noun.'

University of Texas at Dallas. ``We are the future,'' they say. Perish the thought. Part of the UT System.

ut dièse
French, the note `C sharp' or a sharped do, whatever do (ut) is, if it isn't C.

ut dièse mineur
French, `C sharp minor' key. Cf. ut dièse.

ut mineur
French, `C minor' key. Cf. ut.

Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. In BAires.

University of Texas, El Paso. Part of the UT System.

Urinary Tract Infection.

University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

UTK intercollegiate teams are called ``The Volunteers'' or ``The Vols.'' It sounds so socially responsible.

The July 21, 2000 Chronicle of Higher Education had an interesting article concerning athletics at UTK.

Upper Tolerance Limit. Also Upper Limit (UL) and Upper Limit of Tolerance (ULT).

Universal Transverse Mercator (projection).

University of Toronto at Mississauga. Vide UT.

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Part of the UT System.

[Phone icon]

I guess it's from Greek Eu + topia -- `good place.' The eu you recognize from evangel (ev + angel: `good' + `message' -- roughly equivalent to ``gospel'); the top- is the same root as topic, topos, topographic, ...

Sir Thomas More invented the word. It was the name of an island that enjoyed a perfect social, legal and political system. Like any uninhabited island, except that this one had people on it too, and was imaginary. The locale of an eponymous book published in 1516.

Disclaimer: you really want to read the next entry as well.

Hmmm. Seems I got the etymology not quite right. Alright, then, give me a hint. [The U in Utopia doesn't stand for eu.] Okay then, maybe it stands for Yiddish oy, as in ``Oy! what a place!'' [No.] Well it was a good try anyway, I should think! [ou, Grk. `not.'. ``Utopia'' is no-place, just like J. S. Mill's Erewhon (almost nowhere spelled backwards.] There, see, I was right: ou is oy in Latin transliteration.

Probably the best-known instance of Greek ou in the sense of `no' is in Homer's Odyssey. In one episode, Ulysses tells the Cyclops Polyphemus that his name is Outis, literally `no one.' Later, Ulysses and four companions put out the eye of Polyphemus, and he ends up telling his fellow Cyclopes, when they come in response to his cries, that no man has delivered a mortal blow. His unsympathetic fellows say it's an act of god (Zeus, to be specific) and go back to sleep. It does seem just a bit contrived.

Universal Test and Operations PHY Interface for ATM.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (cable).

Universal Television Program Code. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 enables the UTPC transmission with both analog and digital signals to be ``guaranteed.''

Unshielded Twisted Pair Transceiver.

The initialism apparently stands for University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, though as of this writing (2004) it is officially called the University of Toronto at Scarborough. Vide UT.

UT System
University of Texas SYSTEM. Cf. Texas State University System.

As of fall 2005, the UT System comprises nine universities and six health institutions:

  1. University of Texas at Arlington (UTA)
  2. University of Texas at Austin (``UT Austin'' or simply UT)
  3. University of Texas at Brownsville
  4. University of Texas at Dallas (UTD)
  5. University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
  6. University of Texas - Pan American
  7. University of Texas of the Permian Basin
  8. University of Texas at San Antonio
  9. University of Texas at Tyler
  10. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
  11. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB)
  12. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  13. University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  14. University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
  15. University of Texas Health Center at Tyler

The universities with names of the form ``University of Texas at Foobar'' are called ``UT Foobar'' for short.

Ulster Teachers' Union. It has one of those grandfathered-in non-US .edu domains.

Universiteit Utrecht.

Unix-to-Unix. Productive, as in UUCP and uuencode.

University (Student) Union Activities Board at UB.

Unix-to-Unix CoPy. (Or Unix-to-Unix Copy Program.) Unix utility that formed the basis for Usenet.

The O'Reilly & Associates book on this features a greater kudu, and was written by Grace Todino & Dale Dougherty.

Unix-to-Unix ENCODE. Electronic mail is designed to transfer ASCII characters. When non-ASCII (i.e., ``binary data'') files are sent by email, some of the non-ASCII characters may be munged by the mailer, if it interprets them as instructions to itself, and on the receiving end, the receiver's machine may munge them. It is also inconvenient to edit non-printing characters from a file. The standard procedure when transferring non-ASCII characters (filename1 in the example below) is to compress and asciify them, in the sequence

%compress filename1
%uuencode filename1.Z filename2.Z >filename3

The sender includes the ASCII contents of filename3 in email. On the receiving end, the user may extract via a mailer feature or shell, or just write the mail to a file, edit out the header and other non-uuencoded bits, save the result to some file filename4, and in the directory containing that file:

%uudecode filename3
%uncompress filename2.Z

[The four filenames filename1, filename2, ... can be any legal file names, and need not be different.] The compression is not necessary, but is advised in mailing between different machines, so as not to tax bandwidth, and since uuencoding balloons the size of the file by a factor of about 2X.

Of course, modern mail codes manage all this transparently in MIME-encoded attachments (uuencode is a MIME type, as is binhex, which does something similar for Macintosh files, which have the further complication of being divided into resource and data forks).

(To ftp binary files, just set binary.)

Presumably, this would originally have been expanded Unix-to-Unix NET. Later it became a ``network integration and services provider'' belonging to MCI WorldCom.

Ulster Unionist Party. Formerly the Official Unionist Party. The main unionist (q.v.) party until 2003. It formed all the governments of Northern Ireland from 1921 until 1972, when direct rule from London was imposed.

United University Professions. A union that is reputed to represent and negotiate in the interests of ``nearly 29,000 academic and professional faculty on 29 state-operated State University of New York campuses, plus Central Administration, Empire State College, and the New York State Theatre Institute.'' Part of the AFT.

Unit Under Test.

Unmanned Under{ water | sea } Vehicle.

UltraViolet. Indicating a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum at energies above, but near, those of the visible spectrum. UV light has just enough energy to drive certain chemical reactions, including certain kinds of polymerization, and also to excite electrons out of the floating gate of an EPROM. (We're rather overdue for an ozone entry. Sorry.)

The UV used in ``optical'' lithography is now typically 0.365 µm, which corresponds to photons of energy of 3.41 eV.

Universiteit van Amsterdam.

University of VirginiA. There's a bit on UVA history, some of it impolitic, at the Harvard of the South entry.

UV light in the wavelength range 400nm to 320nm. The region around 365nm is dominant in many tanning lamps.

UV light in the wavelength range 320nm to 290nm. ``Bad UV.''

UV light in the wavelength range 290nm to below 260nm. The absorption peak of DNA is centered around 260nm. That UV-B radiation is most significant is a kind of compromise: solar intensity falls off exponentially with decreasing wavelength (shorter than green), so UV-A is most intense, but sensitivity falls exponentially with increasing wavelength from UV-C. In the UV-B region the product of intensity and sensitivity is a maximum.

UV divergence
Vide ultraviolet divergence.

UV-erasable PROM. Synonym for EPROM.

UV filter
Camera filter especially useful for preferentially lowering the intensity of a bright sky or sun.

UltraViolet (UV) Germicidal Irradiation. Erases them li'l buggers good as'n EPROM, so you can breathe easier. Of course, UV radiation also suppresses immune response.

UV Index. A service mark of Accuweather, which computes it for places in the US.

University of VICtoria. In British Columbia.

University of VerMont. Given that the state name is a compound noun, VM makes a lot more sense than VT. Someone should point this out to the USPS. It's not as if anyone's going to think VM stands for Virginia. More likely they'd mistake VT for Virginia Tech.

No, I don't know anything about the place... but a former colleague of mine went there twenty years ago and was quite happy as a professor in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS), last I heard. He looks older and more distinguished than I remember him. I guess we all look older, but the more distinguished bit isn't so automatic.

Utah Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Utah Valley State College... no more:

Utah Valley University. Located in Orem. The legal name of the institution was Utah Valley State College until July 1, 2008. Nope, I don't know anybody there. I just have a thing for palindromes. Utah could have more of them, with a little effort.

Usenet Volunteer Votetakers. Information here.

UV/VIS, UV-vis
Ultra Violet/Visible or Near UV.

Here's some instructional material from Virginia Tech on UV and visible-light absorption spectroscopy. Here's a bit from Perkin-Elmer.

United Way. (They seem not to have coordinated their web sites: uw.org is Salt Lake City, uwnyc.org is UW in NYC, uway.org is UW ``of the Midlands.'' ``The Midlands'' is one of those slightly informative terms, like ``tristate area.'' In this instance, they mean north central South Carolina. Oh -- those Midlands. Of course.)

University of Wisconsin. The graphical homepage of the UW System doesn't display properly in Netscape, and all the links on the text-only homepage point back through a custom parser to the text-only homepage. Good goin', guys!

University of Wisconsin-Madison. Better not abbreviate this ``UWM.''

Back when I was an undergrad, I spent a summer working at Fermilab with a collaboration (targets at the Meson Area) that included faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I figured I should mention that first -- full disclosure and all that.

Elsewhere in the glossary, probably in among the double-yoos somewhere, we have an entry for WARF, an institution that helps cure your heart with rat poison.

I'm on a history-of-science (HOS) jag at the moment, so I'm going to have to mention UW's Department of History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. When it was founded (as the ``Department of History of Science'') in 1956 or 1957, it was the first such department in North America (as opposed to interdisciplinary programs, typically based in history departments). Today it is the largest HOS program in North America. Still, at that it only has thirteen regular faculty.

There's actually a good reason to go to Madison: a museum mentioned at the TP entry.

University of the West Indies.

It's intriguing, how one sets up a university for an archipelago. The answer now seems to involve distance learning. ``The University of the West Indies is an autonomous regional institution supported by and serving 15 different countries in the West Indies - Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize (a pied-à-terre!, sorta), British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.''

UWI has three campuses (at Mona in Jamaica, at Cave Hill in Barbados, and at St. Augustine campus in Trinidad). ``In addition to the three main campuses, the University has centres in all of its non-campus Caribbean countries.''

Apparently some courses are taught in parallel by an instructor on one university campus and local instructors at the NCC centers, using a common syllabus and set of materials and tests. The centers seem typically to be part of local colleges like CFB.

University of Wyoming.


University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Not the flagship campus at Madison; that's ``UW-Madison'' or just plain ``UW.''

University of Western Ontario. ``Western'' Ontario? It's in London, FCOL!

Okay, here's more for triangulation: the Central Canada Seminar for the Study of Early Modern Philosophy is meeting at the University of Guelph in October 2005. The seminar is presented by the Guelph-Laurier-McMaster Doctoral Programme. U of G, WLU, and McMaster (in Hamilton) are all east of London. Therefore, we can confidently conclude that UWO is in Western Canada. (And did you know that the Great Plains of the US Midwest are in the Rocky Mountains? I just calculate that!)

University of Wisconsin, Parkside.

User eXperience.

UneXploded Ordnance.


Latin word for `wife.'

(Domain code for) Uruguay.

(Domain code for) Uzbekistan. Learn more at the Uzbekistan homepage.

U15, U-15
Under 15 years of age. A soccer age group.

U16, U-16
Under 16 years of age. A soccer age group. You know, this seems to be about half precise. Presumably it includes fourteen-year-olds if and only if there is no U-15 group.

U17, U-17
Under 17 years of age. There is a biennial international soccer competition among national teams of U17's, the FIFA U17 World Cup.

U18, U-18
Under 18 years of age. A soccer age group. An ice hockey age group. I suppose there's little to prevent the concept and the term from being used more generally.

U19, U-19
Under 19 years of age. A soccer age group.

An Irish rock group. The group was founded by a bunch of Dublin teenagers at the beginning of the 1976-77 school year, on the initiative of drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. It was known as ``The Larry Mullen Band'' for about a day, then as ``Feedback,'' and then as ``The Hype'' starting in March 1977. A year later, the remaining four members of the band started playing as U2, a name which was chosen partly for its ambiguity. This is all cribbed from the Wikipedia page in English, which has more detail.

A detail it does not have, but which is currently (2008.01.23) mentioned at the Spanish Wikipedia page for the band, is that the band name honored the Lockheed U-2 spy plane. This legendary spy plane was believed to be out of the range of enemy fire until a U-2 being flown at 80,000 feet by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union by a SAM-2 missile on May 1, 1960. Paul David Hewson was born on May 10, 1960, and is U2's lead singer with the stage name of Bono (from his nickname Bono Vox, from the Latin words bona vox). I doubt that the proximity of the May dates had much to do with the choice of name, but stranger things have proven true. Anyway, you need at least two meanings to achieve ambiguity, and the only other one anyone mentions is that U2 is a rebus of ``you too.'' [``You two''? What would be the significance of that?]

Dick Evans, older brother of U2 member Dave Evans (stage name ``The Edge''), was the last original member to leave the band before it changed its name to U2. Dick Evans went on to join a band called the Virgin Prunes, which did not go on to fame. But that was an ambiguous enough name too: it might be understood as meaning ``old maid'' or it might be understood as not meaning ``old maid.'' And it might refer to the card game or not. Look, I'm running out of ideas here and I'm in danger of devoting my life to worthy causes. It would be painful to watch, so let's put this entry out of its misery. You can go visit the extra virgin entry while I take this one out behind the barn and shoot it.

U20, U-20
Under 20 years of age. A soccer age group.

U21, U-21
Under 21 years of age. A soccer age group.

Under 6 years of age. A soccer age group. You know, soccer is a conceptually challenging game, cerebral. I'm not sure five-year-olds can grasp the idea of putting the ball into one goal but not the other, of kicking the ball forward but to themselves, of hitting the ball with their feet but not their hands. Maybe they should try a simple game like chess.

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