(Click here for bottom)

VR
ValtionRautatiet. Finnish national Railway.

v.r.
Italian vedi retro. `See reverse [side of sheet],' i.e., PTO.

v.r.
Verb Reflexive. A verb whose action is directed at the agent (the subject in the active mood). E.g.: ``he washed, she dresses, it will self-destruct.'' Reflexiveness may also be indicated explicitly by use of a reflexive pronoun (``washed himself''). Cf. v.t.

VR
Virtual Reality. As opposed to RL.

VR
Voltage Regulator. A VR diode is usually a Zener or avalanche breakdown diode operating in reverse bias.

VR
Voltage Reference.

VRA
Veteran's Readjustment Appointment. A VRA-eligible person ``is someone who served in the military for a period of more than 180 days active duty, all or part of which occurred after August 4, 1964, and was discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.'' Maybe you want to visit the OPM entry.

VRA
Voluntary Restraint Agreement. Import relief. A/k/a ``orderly marketing agreement'' or ``voluntary export restraint.'' Interesting word, ``voluntary.''

VRA
Voting Rights Act. The landmark VRA of 1965 made illegal the creation of districts intended to divide existing minority communities so as to disenfranchise their voters. One imagines such intent might be difficult to demonstrate. In 1982, the Supreme Court ruled essentially that, setting stringent tests for the claim. Not to worry: the same year the law was amended so that a voting district with minority representation not in proportion to its minority constituency was ipso facto in violation. In the nineties, the Rhenquist (sp.?) court has been ruling the amendments out of existence. A number of districts that were redrawn to be ``majority-minority'' after VRA litigation were eventually invalidated by the Supreme Court recently, so that in the 1996 Congressional elections, there were seven fewer of such ``necessary,'' ``safe'' districts than in the 1994 elections. The number of blacks elected to the House decreased from 38 to 37 out of 435 representatives, both numbers are a couple of percentage points below the proportion of blacks in the general population of the US.

VRAM
Video RAM. Specialized RAM for video applications, which require large frame buffer memories with high data rates. Dual-port VRAMs have a serial access memory (SAM) post for periodic screen refresh operations and an independent RAM port for updates.)

VRC
Verbatim [Court] Reporters Center.

VRC
Volcano Research Center. Part of the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo. About ten percent of the world's volcanoes are in the Japanese island arc.

VRC
Vertical Redundancy Check.

VRCI
Variable Resistive Components Institute. Resistive to or of I-don't-know-what.

VRE
Virginia Railway Express. Trains from Washington, DC, to suburbs in Virginia. This is in an area called ``Northern Virginia,'' even though you can go considerably further north (out west of DC, where Virginia almost pinches off Maryland against the Mason-Dixon line). There's also a lot of unincorporated suburbia in Fairfax County that's called Alexandria, which I suppose is close enough for government work, as they say. Cf. MARC, WMATA.

VRG
Vegetarian Resource Group.

VRH
Variable-Range Hopping.

VRLA
Valve-Regulated sealed Lead-Acid batter{y|ies}.

VRM
Voltage Reference Module.

VRML
Virtual Reality Modeling Language. (``Modelling'', in Britishese.)

There's also a VRML talk shop.

[column]

VROMA, VRoma
Virtual ROMA. ``A virtual community for teaching and learning classics.''

VROOM!
Standard children's onomatopoeia for powerful internal combustion engine accelerating.

VROOM
(Microsoft) Virtual Realtime Object-Oriented Memory Manager.

Vroom-Yetton Model
(The V-Y model.) A set of seven questions whose answers are rarely exactly yes or no, which are to be answered yes or no to arrive at a management decision. Described in V. H. Vroom and P. W. Yetton: Leadership and Decision-Making (U. of Pittsburgh Pr., 1973).

The questions are

  1. Is there a quality requirement such that one solution is likely to be more rational than another? [Why the conditional?]
  2. Do I have sufficient information to make a high-quality decision? [Notice the assumption that intelligence is not in short supply.]
  3. Is the problem structured? [Is it object-oriented?]
  4. Is acceptance of decision by subordinates critical to effective implementation? [This is a problem? Send nonverbal messages indicating that ``buy-in'' is mandatory.]
  5. If I were to make the decision by myself, is it reasonably certain that it would be accepted by my subordinates? [Whom am I fooling?]
  6. Do subordinates share the organizational goals to be attained in solving this problem? [Do I?]
  7. Is conflict among subordinates likely in preferred solutions?

The answer to each question in order determines which is the next question (in order) that must be answered.

The ``answers'' are of no conceivable interest.

VRP
Vehicle Recycling Partnership.

VRP
Voyageur Représentant Placier. French for `rep.'

VRS
Virtual Reality Society.

VRSA
Vancomycin-resistant MRSA. MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and the methicillin resistance is a marker for resistance to all the antibiotics known as beta lactams, as well as other antibiotic families. Intravenous vancomycin has become the drug of choice for MRSA, at least until VRSA becomes very common.

VRST
Virtual Reality Software and Technology. Since 1994, there's been an ACM Conference (also called Symposium) on VRST annually, cosponsored by SIGGRAPH and SIGCHI.

VRWC
Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

In January 1998, yet another scandal began ``swirling'' (I suppose these things go around, but do they have net angular momentum?) about an extramarital affair of Bill Clinton, who was US president at the time. (When he first ran for president, new rumors of this sort were called ``bimbo eruptions.'') A week into the scandal, on January 27, First Lady Hillary Clinton stood literally by her man as he scowled and declared ``I did not have sexual relations with that woman.'' It eventually turned out that he was apparently upset that the term ``sexual relations'' would be used when all he did was irrumate ``that woman.'' Something like that. Anyway, the next day Mrs. Clinton sat for an interview by host Matt Lauer on NBC's Today (a morning show). Here is some of the unmemorable stuff she said in the interview:

Matt Lauer: There has been one question on the minds of people in this country, Mrs. Clinton, lately, and that is what is the exact nature of the relationship between your husband and Monica Lewinsky. Has he described that relationship in detail to you?

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Well, we've talked at great length, and I think as this matter unfolds, the entire country will have more information. [Oh gawwwd was she ever right.] But we're right in the middle of a rather vigorous feeding frenzy right now. And people are saying all kinds of things, and putting out rumor and innuendo. And I have learned over the last many years, being involved in politics, and especially since my husband first started running for president, that the best thing to do in these cases is just to be patient, take a deep breath and the truth will come out. But there's nothing we can do to fight this firestorm of allegations that are out there.

ML: But he has described to the American people what this relationship was not, in his words.

HRC: Right.

ML: Has he described to you what it was?

HRC: Yes. And we'll find that out as time goes by, Matt.

ML: Has he described to you what it was?

HRC: Yes. And we'll find that out as time goes by, Matt.


[further on]

ML: Let me take you and your husband out of this for a second. Bill and Hillary Clinton aren't involved in this story. If an American president had an adulterous liaison in the White House and lied to cover it up, should the American people ask for his resignation?

HRC: Well, they should certainly be concerned about it.

ML: Should they ask for his resignation?

HRC: Well, I think that -- if all that were proven true, I think that would be a very serious offense. That is not going to be proven true. I think we're going to find some other things. ...

The next day's issue of USA Today commented -- err, reported -- that ``the first lady didn't make excuses for President Clinton or try to deflect questions.'' Also that day, the New York Daily News ran some comments of people who watched the interview. Glenda Sandusky, of Kansas City, had this instant analysis after watching the interview on a TV monitor: ``She's good. She's smooth, she's calm, she's very professional. I think she knows he's guilty, but she's got no choice but to stand by him.'' Okay, Ms. Sandusky had a few years on wet-behind-the-ears USA Today, but I think this demonstrates that instant analysis can be incisive.

Anyway, the really memorable part of the interview was this:

HRC: But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings. This is, the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.

John Whitehead, a conservative lawyer heading the Rutherford Institute, a Christian civil liberties advocacy group in Charlottesville, Virginia, was understood to have been one of the ``very people'' referred to. He scoffed, but offered to investigate the charges if Mrs. Clinton would provide further details. Others, however, had harsher reactions. Paul Weyrich, then head of the conservative Free Congress Foundation, complained bitterly about not being explicitly identified: ``What do we have to do to get on her list?'' In a press release, he threatened to sue her for discrimination, but I guess it was settled out of court or something.

Look, I'm laying on the context because a thick cloud of protective amnesia and polite silence have obscured the entire, uh, unfortunate episode, and there are probably people today who don't get the joke. But that's enough; let's just skip over all the sordid stuff that perspired before or transpired afterward. Pres. Clinton survived the impeachment and trial, and almost immediately everyone resolutely forgot all about the affair. Hillary Clinton became a moderate centrist (I mean -- she always was!), and all that was really left was her lovely phrase, which is good for a laugh every so often. It has appeared in the titles of at least a few books. (These are listed below in order of decreasing prominence and total sales, as best I can determine. The number preceding each title is the year of first publication.)

  1. How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace), by Harry Stein.
  2. The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: The Arguments You Need to Defeat the Loony Left, by Mark W. Smith. It comes with a free tear-along-the-perforation membership card.
  3. The Shrinking of Ken Starr: The Leader of a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Against President Clinton, by Anne-Renee Testa.
  4. Fascists in Christian Clothing: The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, by Richard J. Weisman. It's published by iUniverse: ``There's no need to waste years hoping that someone will publish your book. iUniverse makes it possible for you to become a published author today.''
Also worth mentioning: A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President, by Jeffrey Toobin (1999).

There's a book with the title How the Left Can Win Arguments and Influence People: A Tactical Manual for Pragmatic Progressives (yes, it's over, that's all of the title), by John K. Wilson (2001). I think one of the tactics conspiracies left, right and ambidextrous use is putting people to sleep with long titles. This book has a chapter entitled ``The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Why the Left-Wing [sic] Needs One, Too).'' This book would rank second if it were on the list above. Another book that references a VRWC is The Left Stuff: How the Left-Handed Have Survived and Thrived in a Right-Handed World, by Melissa Roth. It has a chapter entitled ``The Right-Wing Conspiracy: the Historical Bias Against the Left Hand.'' Look, is it just me, or are titles growing out of control?

There's a music CD entitled simply Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, of sounds by Michael Conlon (analog) and Eric Ewing (digital). Don't ask me what this means; I'm just quoting the liner notes. It's distributed by Pine Tree State Mind Control, which explains that it ``uses subliminal messages and hypnosis techniques to create a happier, more productive society. The messages encoded on this CD will help you work harder, smile more often, and get the best out of your leisure time.'' There's a live track, ``Chronoplasty Live (a Cute Depression),'' which demonstrates that they managed to get a gig once in Rhode Island (``The Ocean State''). Other tracks include ``Acetic Pepsid,'' ``Enochian Deathmatch,'' and ``Declasse Posse.''

Lehigh University's student-run conservative newspaper changed its name at the end of 2005 to become The Lehigh Patriot in January 2006. As I suggested, some younger folk may be missing the joke these days.

There are also quite a few VRWC websites, possibly with associated membership organizations. They may be conspiring as they say, but coordinating they aren't:

That's just scratching the surface. A lot of blogs have names that play off VRWC. There's also LeftWingConspiracy.Com, and googling turns up a smaller but comparable number of hits for Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy than for Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. All right, that's it. This thoroughness has bored me out of my mind.

VS
Variable Star. You might learn more at VSNET, the Variable Star Network.

[column]

VS
Vergilian Society, Inc.

VS
Victoria's Secret. As secrets go, this one is pretty well known. Some marketing person seems to have discovered that VS is perfect for products intended to enhance women's attractiveness (cf. VS Sassoon). I think I can understand why.

VS
Virtual Scheduling. Sometimes it seems that's the only kind.

VS
Visual Studio. The Microsoft Windows IDE.

VSA
Vehicle Stability Assist. One synonym, used by Acura, for electronic stability control. For other synonyms, see the ESC entry.

VSAM
Virtual Storage Access Method. One of the two standard approaches to data storage in IBM mainframes. The other is ISAM. VSAM differs from ISAM in having more efficient space management. VSAM can create three different kinds of data sets:

VSAT
Very Small Aperture Terminal. One-meter satellite dish, as opposed to three-meter head-office dish, in a satellite-linked network.

VSB
Vestigial SideBand.

VSB
VME Subsystem Bus. Motorola TM.

VSC
Vehicle Skid Control. A term used by Toyoto; a synonym of electronic stability control. For other synonyms, see the ESC entry.

VSC
According to the help pages of McAfee VirusScan (from Network Associates), ``VSC is the acronym for VirusScan.'' According to the June 11, 2002 issue of PC Magazine, you should be using Norton AntiVirus 2002.

VSCCS
Visual SCCS. Available for Sun Sparc, HP, and DEC Unix workstations. Cf. SCCS.

VSD
Variable-Speed Drive.

VSD
Ventricular Septal Defect. A defect of the septum separating the two ventricles (lower, pumping chambers) of the heart.

VSDL
Vienna Sausage Definition Language. A language for describing or defining general hyperfood links. You should understand that this entry is a joke, but the VDL entry is not. (Normally, I wouldn't be so heavy-handed as to pronounce which entries are jokes, but I figured this one was too much of a challenge.)

However, there is a ``Sausage Software -- makers of HotDog HTML Web-editor.'' It's difficult for leaping absurdity to stay more than half a step ahead of dogged reality.

VSE
An ESA operating system from IBM, for the IBM/390.

VSE
Vancouver Stock Exchange.

VSEPR
Valence State Electron-Pair Repulsion. Developed by Gillespie and Nyholm to describe the bond bending that arises from ``Pauli repulsion.'' The strength of the repulsion between lone pairs (lp's) is strongest, between bond pairs (bp's) weakest, and between a lone and a bond pair intermediate in energy.

Thus, for example, the excimer XeF2 is surrounded by five d orbital electron pairs: two bonding and three lone. Because the repulsion between the lp's is greatest, they arrange themselves in a triangle (120 degree bond angles) about Xe, which minimizes their repulsion. Next in importance are the lp-bp pair repulsions, minimized by placing the bond pairs on a common axis perpendicular to the plane of the lone orbitals (going through the Xe in the center of that triangle). This gives a bp-lp angle of 90 degrees -- smaller because in the competition to repel electron pairs, a large angle between the lone pairs is more important. In the present case, the weakest repulsion, between the two bp's, plays no rôle, but the bp-bp angle is 180 degrees. The bonds form a trigonal bipyramid, and the molecule is linear.

I think that's chemistry, and you're welcome to it. Give me a million-state-basis Hartree-Fock (HF) any day; I'd rather have numbers than insight.

VSF
Vertical Scanning Frequency.

VSH
Vector Spherical Harmonic[s].

VSH
According to the help pages of McAfee Virusscan (from Network Associates), ``VSH is the acronym for VirusShield.''

VSIG
Vitiligo Support and Information Group. Here's an informational posting by a cousin.

VSL
Virtual Software Library. Service originally known by more descriptive title of SHAreware Search Engine (SHASE).

VSLEP
Vector Sum, Linear Excited Predictive Coding.

[column]

V.S.L.L.M.
Votum Solvit Laetus Libens Merito. Latin, `paid his vow gladly, willingly, and deservedly.' That ``deservedly'' in the translation is according to Appendix 2 of Lawrence J.F. Keppie's Understanding Roman Inscriptions (1991). I hae me doots; perhaps ``deservingly'' or ``meritoriously'' would make better sense.

[column]

V.S.L.M.
Votum Solvit Libens Merito. Latin, `paid his vow willingly and deservedly.' Cf. V.S.L.L.M.

VSN
Volume Serial Number.

VSO
Verb Subject Object. A syntax class. See SVO.

VSO
Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Serving the Hampton Roads communities (Norfolk area) since 1979 as the VSO, and since 1920 as the Virginia Symphony (at the time, the only one between Baltimore and Atlanta). The VSO was formed in 1979 by merging the Virginia Symphony with the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Beach Pops Symphony, and the Virginia Orchestra Group.

VSO
Voluntary Service Organization.

VSOP
Very Small-Outline Package. National Semiconductor publishes specs on the web

VSOP
VLBI (very long baseline interference) Space Observatory Program. There are principal servers for the program in the US (from JPL) and in Japan (from ISAS).

VSOP
Virtual Symphony Orchestra Performance. If, like me, you have neglected to achieve an adequate -- or any -- mastery of the Finnish language, you may find the DIVA page more informative.

VSP
Vertical Surface (microelectronics) Package.

VSP
Victor Sawdon Pritchett. A journalist and a writer of novels, travels books, biographies, and memoirs, but best remembered for his short stories and (popular, not --- ewww! -- academic) literary criticism. He signed his pieces VSP, and his friends called him that. His name usually appeared in print as ``V. S. Pritchett.'' A useful mnemonic, for as long as information about him may be useful: he was named after the Queen, who died the year after his birth. (Queen Victoria, 81, died on January 22, 1901. Her timing was impeccable: her reign of 63 years is a convenient periodization almost equivalent to ``nineteenth century'' in British politics, morals, literature, and art. Hers was the longest reign in British history. If you're keeping score, Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne at the age of 25 in February 1952, on the death of her father George VI, age 56. Queen Elizabeth's mother, born the same year as VSP, lived to be 101.)

VSR
Volume Surveillance Radar.

VSS
Vaginal Surgeons Society. Now renamed; see SGS.

VSS
Visual SourceSafe. Source-code back-up in the Enterprise Edition of Microsoft's Visual Studio. Instead of saving source code under version numbers, it stores it to a database. Visual Studio is a collection of developer tools for various Microsoft language versions.

VS Sassoon
Vidal Sassoon Sassoon (tm). Vidal Sassoon was a trendy hair stylist to actors and other beautiful people in the fifties and sixties, but he hasn't cut any hair in years. As of November 2001, the seventy-three-year-old was head (nudge-nudge) of VS Sassoon. The company was a subsidiary of P&G, which changed the name from Vidal Sassoon in a ``brand restaging'' with ``improved products'' in fall 2000.

[You know, that ``improved products'' thing above came as a real shock to me. I thought that all these companies always offered the best products at the lowest prices, and that the products only changed when there was a scientific breakthrough (you know -- new! improved!). It never occurred to me that there might be a correlation between price and quality; this could have ramifications.]

Anyway, the renaming was gradual, starting with Vidal Sassoon Redline products in fall 1998, and not yet completed by late 2001. However, the new company logo had a large vee ess over the name Sassoon in capitals, and the company apparently treated ``VS Sassoon'' and ``Sassoon'' as equivalent, sort of like Coke and Coca-Cola. This is one of those rare intentional AAP's. It wasn't not a very good intention, because the Sassoon brand's value was in its high-end-niche name recognition, and those who recognize the name know that ``VS Sassoon'' doesn't make sense.

Intentional AAP's seem to have been fashionable in the beauty and elective ``health care'' industries. Cf. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Anyway, P&G also raised its prices about 70%, and market share shrank. Duh. (Okay, maybe if they'd sunk some money into advertising, raising the prices might have reinforced the perception of upscaleness or whatever, and at least kept revenues up.) Late in 2001, there was speculation that P&G, which found itself with nine brands of shampoo, conditioner, and styling products, would sell off VS in the following year or two. In 2003 Sassoon (the guy) sued P&G for destroying his brand by skimping on marketing in favor of some of the company's other brands, like Pantene. (P&G spent only $90,000 in US ads for VS Sassoon in 2002, down from $34 million in 1998.) Things are pretty bad when you have to take your own holding company to court. By 2004 it seems Vidal was no longer head of the company that bore his name, and around 2005 the brand seems to have quietly disappeared. The interesting thing is that (in the opinion of industry analysts) P&G could still have sold the brand -- to a competitor like Unilever, say. P&G's reasoning would seem to have been that a brand is a weapon: even if you don't want to use it, it's better to destroy it than to sell it to your enemies and have them use it against you.

Anyway, P&G was arguing that the Sassoon brand had lost cachet with young people. Not so. You can take it from me: pleonasm killed the brand; the steps-on-its-own-letters ``VS Sassoon'' was unclassy, and everything went downhill from there. Soon ``Sassoon'' will evoke only the WWI poet.

There are still beauty salons bearing Sassoon's name. Some were started when Sassoon was still creatively dressing hair in Europe. More were started by the consortium of former colleagues who bought him out and paid for the right to use his name. In 2002 that group sold out to Regis Corporation, which (as of 2008) continues the Vidal Sassoon salons as one of its subchains (based in Western Europe, with salons in East Asia also). The models on their websites look ghastly.

VSSC
Vikram Sarabai Space Centre. In India.

VSTOL
Very Short Take-Off and Landing. Cf. VTOL.

VSW
Very Shallow Water.

VSWG
Vierteljahresschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte. A German journal that might have been named `Quarterly Notes in Social and Economic History' in English. See Stuart Jenks's page of Tables of Contents of Historical Journals and Monographic Series in German for a complete table of contents (deutsche Seite: Zeitschriftenfreihandmagazin Inhaltsverzeichnisse geschichtswissenschaftlicher Zeitschriften in deutscher Sprache).

VSWR
Voltage Standing Wave Ratio. Standard name for the standing-wave voltage ratio.

VS-1
Valkyrie Spatula One. A gunspatula for intergalactic food fights and worse; from Spatula City.

Vt., VT
Vermont. USPS abbreviation in capitals with no period.

With a growing population that stands at 600,000, it is surging to overtake shrinking North Dakota, which was one of only three states to suffer a population decrease from 1980 to 1990 (Connecticut and Rhode Island were the others). More information on the population of Vermont can be found at the C.U. entry.

The Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy serves a page of Vermont state government links. USACityLink.com has a page with very few city or town links for the state. What did you expect?

Wait -- you wanted to read something interesting about Vermont? What are you doing here!? You need to visit the manual transmission entry.

v.t.
Verb Transitive. A transitive verb is a verb that takes a direct object. This can get complicated, so I'm going to punt, and wait until I have a D.O. entry. Cf. v.i.

VT
Vertical Tab (EBCDIC and ASCII 11 (decimal)).

VT
Vetus Testamentum. There are supplements, too.

VT-
Presumably ``Video Terminal-.'' Prefix designation for a popular line of computer terminals from Digital equipment (VT-52, VT-100, VT-200 series).

VT
``Virginia Tech.'' Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, in Blacksburg, Va. Just a few miles across the state line from Princeton...West Virginia, in Mercer County. The school colors of Princeton, WVa's HS are not orange and black, so save yourself the visit.

Okay, since this is a glossary, we're interested in words and names and such, rather than just any old facts. So here's what we wanted to know, courtesy of James B. Bell, possibly, or W. L. Gibson Jr. (less likely), or the anonymous compiler of ``Agricultural Economics at Virginia Tech --The First Sixty Years--.''

The university was chartered on March 6, 1872 as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. Before the 1896 academic year, the name was modified to Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute. During the 1896 year, the college was first referred to as Virginia Polytechnic Institute, but with the subscript, Virginia's Agricultural and Mechanical College. Soon thereafter, the institution used only Virginia Polytechnic Institute and was commonly referred to as VPI. Not until March 16, 1944 was legislation enacted to change the official name of the institution to Virginia Polytechnic Institute. On July 1, 1970, the name was changed to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to better describe the scope and status of the institution as a university. Since that name change, Virginia Tech has emerged as the most commonly used name.

VT
Virtual Terminal.

VT
Virtual Tourist. ``A map-based directory of all the WWW servers in the world, operating in close association with W3C's Master Web Server Directory.'' Cf. VT-II.

VTA
Valley Transportation Authority. ``Valley'' -- oh yeah, real descriptive. Buses in San Jose, CA. Cf. CalTrain.

VTAM
Virtual Terminal Access Method. IBM trademark for a suite of programs that control communication between nodes and application programs in SNA. Also seen expanded as Virtual Telecommunications Access Method.

VTC
Variable Timing Control. Honda uses the term VTC System for an electronic adjustment of the intake camshaft phase. (They put it on a DOHC; the exhaust valves are controlled from a separate camshaft.) This page for the model-year 2002 Civic Si explains that the timing is adjusted for engine load. I have a hard time seeing how this could be very useful. Obviously, spark timing is advanced with increasing engine speed. Presumably the fuel is injected, so the intake cams only control the air intake. Why mess with that? Intake on the downstroke before compression. I suppose they might have a reason, and there's even a chance they'd state it if I asked, but do I really want to donate my email address to the Honda advertising department? It's an ugly car with Ford-Focus lines. Bring back the 1990 CRX!

VTC
Video TeleConferencing.

VTC
Voltage Transfer Characteristic. Output voltage as a function of input voltage, or a plot of this function.

VTCMOS
Variable-Threshold CMOS.

(See T. Kuroda, et al., ``A 0.9V 150 MHz 10mW 4mm2 2-D Discrete Cosine Transform Core Processor with Variable-Threshold Voltage Scheme'' ISSCC 1996.)

VTE
Vehicle Tracking Equipment.

VT-II
Virtual Tourist II. A map-based guide to local and regional information on the WWW, operating in close association with City.Net'' and later ... ``is no longer in service. The full content of VT2, including a new map-based interface, can now be found in City.Net. You can go directly to the City.Net World Map page.'' Cf. VT.

VTMIS
(Maritime) Vessel Traffic Management and Information Systems.

VtoF
Voltage-to-Frequency. A VCO is a VtoF converter.

VTOL
Vertical Take-Off (and) Landing. E.g., Harrier jump jets. Cf. VSTOL. NASA likes the term VTVL.

VTP
Virtual Terminal Protocol.

VTPM
Virtual Toilet Paper Museum.

VTQFP
Very Thin Quad Flat Pack[age] (QFP).

VTR
VideoTape Recorder.

VTS
(Seagoing) Vessel Traffic Service[s].

VTST
Variational Transition-State Theory (TST).

VTVL
Vertical Take-off, Vertical Landing. NASA term for VTOL. Like the Lunar Module (LEM). Systems have also been tested that take off on their own first and then land. VTVL is contrasted with VTHL.

VTVM
Vacuum-Tube Volt Meter. This is not a meter for measuring vacuum tube voltages, but rather a voltmeter with vacuum tubes inside. And they're not just rolling around in there; they play a constructive rôle in the voltage measurement process; they're a part of the circuit. ``In the loop,'' so to speak.

The designation indicates that the [input] impedance of the voltmeter is especially high (because the grid currents of vacuum tubes are small).

This is a relatively late entry in the glossary. The 11063rd, to be precise, not counting temporary entries that were removed beforehand. A lot you care, you say. [If you have not already said this, do so now. Go ahead: ``A lot I care.'' Something is facetious in here.]

I have been aware of this acronym for a long time, possibly even throwing it around some myself occasionally, when social pressures dictated, but I could never work up the courage to ask, and admit that I didn't know, what it meant. The trouble is, the longer you wait with these things, the worse it gets when you finally `come out.'

The other day, Gary was regaling me with the story of his latest savvy auction bid, or liquidation sale discovery, or theft or whatever it was, and it happened to involve some VTVM's. I decided that it was now or never: I would risk my reputation for general with-it-ness and ask, real casual-like, ``uh, yeah, uh, I forget now, what does VTVM stand for?''

My fears of public humiliation were instantly confirmed. A secretary poked her head out from behind a door, pretending to look for something. Two sociology majors tittered as they walked past, covering their mouths like Japanese schoolgirls. I studied my shoes intently. If they hadn't been velcro I would have retied them. With a look of pitying incredulity, Gary slowly explained the acronym, using small words so I wouldn't panic and become confused. ``[Expletive], Al,'' he concluded, ``the other day Matthew learned that in nursery school!''

``Uh, I guess I was sick back when my nursery school covered it,'' I replied lamely. ``Uh, anyway, uh, I wasn't following real good in those days; I was still learning English'' [vide ID entry for possible clarification]. ``It was quite a few years ago.''

Realizing my distress, Gary immediately tried to salvage the tatters of my self-respect: ``it's okay, you probably learned it and forgot. Happens to everyone. The problem is, the schools teach this without any context, so it's difficult to remember. Why, when Matthew's day school taught it, he came home and asked what `volt' was. Same thing with counting: they learn `one, two, three ...,' but it's all rote memorization -- no Peano's axioms, no transfinite generalizations, so they don't really understand! I dread when they do geometry. I can see it now: `circle, square, dodecahedron.' Nothing about Euclid's fourth postulate, no embeddings in higher dimensions, none of the real fundamentals. So, heh-heh, I'm sure you knew what VTVM stood for once, you just weren't given what you needed to heave it into long-term memory.''

``Thanks, Gary,'' I replied gratefully, as I brushed away a tear.

``So Al, is this going in the Stammtisch glossary?''

``Only if I can make it funny.''

``Funny? What could be funny about VTVM?''

``I'll make stuff up, but I won't say that. I'll say it's `enhanced dialogue' or `not verbatim' or something.''

VU
Velvet Underground. A concept rock group that started out in 1966 or so as the musical component, loosely speaking, of Andy Warhol's happenings.

VU
Vrije Universiteit. Dutch and Flemish: `[tuition-] Free University.' (One of these days, I'm going to make a special effort to discover some difference between Dutch and Flemish, besides the fact that it's spoken in different countries.) VU is productive prepositionally; e.g., Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Cf. German Freie Universität (FU).

VUB
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in Belgium (.be). Other Brussels schools: ULB, KUB.

Vul
Vulpecula. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

VU-meter
A special kind of meter intended for tracking rapidly varying audio signals. Maximum undistorted signal power is designated 0 VU (for 0 dB), and standard specs for a VU require rise time from zero intensity to 99% of a sudden 0 VU signal of 1/3 second and no more than 1-2% overshoot. Nowadays, more equipment is switching over to a row of LED's.

Heraclitus of Ephesus is reported to have observed:

Eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears.
[The fragment is Diels-Kranz #101a, Bywater #15. The translation is that of Philip Wheelwright in his Heraclitus (Princeton U.P., 1959), p. 19.]

VUU
Vlasov-Uheling-Uhlenbeck. Nuclear dynamics model based on single-particle distribution-function description. See Kruse, H., Jacak, B. V., Stocker, H., Phys. Lett. B 54, p. 289 (1985); Kruse, H., Jacak, B. V., Molitoris, J., Westfall, G. and Stocker, H., Phys. Rev. C 31, p. 1770 (1985);

VUV
Vacuum Ultra-Violet (light frequency).

VUV-FEL
Vacuum Ultra-Violet Free-Electron Laser. The description, and originally the name, of a DESY facility. On April 6, 2006, the DESY directorate decided to give it the apposite and flashier name FLASH.

This page explains that a change had been suggested ``to find a compact name for the facility which is more attractive and easier to pronounce in different languages.'' FWIW, in German the acronym ``VUV-FEL'' ought to be pronounced to sound like ``Foof-fell'' in English. In every European language, afaik, it's heavy on labials.

VUW
Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand).

V & V
Validation and Verification. Or is that Verification and Validation?

V & V
Viruses and Viagra. Email. Made that one up myself, but it's true enow.

v.v.
Vice versa. Latin for `with the order inverted.' `Conversely.'

VV & A
Validation, Verification, and Accreditation. [Military jargon.]

VV & C
Validation, Verification, and Certification.

VVA
Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.

VV.AA.
Varios Autores. Spanish, `various authors.' Cf. Latin A.A.V.V.

VVAF
Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation.

VVIP
Veddy Veddy Important Person. Used mostly in India (.in), home of the caste system, along with VIP. Also common in Pakistan (.pk) and Sri Lanka (.lk).

VVMA
Vermont Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

VVMA
Virginia Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA, NVVMA.

VVPAT
Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail. See DRE.

VVPB
Voter-Verified Paper Ballot. See the DRE entry.

VVPR
Voter-Verified Paper Record (of cast ballot). See DRE, already.

VVPT
Voter-Verified Paper Trail. How many times do I have to tell you? See DRE!

VVV
Vereniging voor VreemdelingenVerkeer. Dutch `Society for Foreigners' Travel.' A private Netherlands tourist bureau. The link above is all in Dutch. They direct visitors to the NBT's English-language site (and to its foreign websites, listed at the bottom of this page).

VW
VaporWare. Software that doesn't arrive as announced. Vide gas.

Betatest some vaporware now.

VW
Virginia Adeline Woolf (neé Stephen). Discussed at the Bloomsbury entry.

Before he used her name in his play (discussed at the microscope entry), Edward Albee sought her widower's (Leonard Woolf's) permission. The story is told in Peter F. Alexander: Leonard and Virginia Woolf : A Literary Partnership (NYC: St. Martin's Pr., 1992), pp. 199-200.

VW
Volkswagen. German `people's vehicle.' Not ``-wagon,'' understood?! The original Volkswagen, what came to be called (affectionately!) the ``Beetle,'' was invented by the engineer Porsche. New for his design were unibody construction and torsion-bar suspension. He convinced Hitler to support it, some prototypes were built and tested, and a plant began to be built using government support as well as a subscription system among Germans who were effectively buying their own future jobs. (Oh yeah, and some slave labor, as current VW ownership discovered when they funded some internal historical research.) After the war, automobile manufacturers among the Allies had the opportunity to buy VW but were not, for various reasons, interested.

The Beetle prospered and became an icon. I should probably say more about that.

In 1971, as sales were flagging, a relatively major set of changes was made, including a few-inches-longer nose. This was called the ``Superbeetle'' (175Kb noninterlaced gif). And the bumpers kept getting bigger. The Beetle surpassed the Model T Ford for the largest number of automobile units ever manufactured. Then in 1975, VW introduced the Rabbit model in the US (marketed elsewhere as the Golf, German word for gulf) and stopped selling the Superbeetle sedan in the US. In 1980, the Rabbit Cabriolet (convertible) model was introduced, and no more Beetles were imported to the US.

The Beetle continued to be sold elsewhere. It was made in Brazil, and later manufacturing was transferred to Puebla, Mexico. This Beetle model shared internal parts with the Superbeetle, but the exterior continued the shorter, less muscular style of the old Beetle. After the Superbeetle ceased to be made, the old Beetle continued to evolve in small ways. It was a little as if Homo Sapiens had become extinct and Neanderthals had continued to evolve, but a more relevant analogy would be with the Checker, which continued as a popular taxi-fleet vehicle (particularly in New York) for decades after the 1950's-style vehicle ceased to be sold as a passenger vehicle for personal use. The Beetle was very popular as a taxi in Mexico City, where owners typically ripped out the front passenger seat to facilitate entry to the back seat. VW tailored the vehicle to its market; externally, the most obvious change was that the number of chrome elements on the body was reduced.

In 1998, VW introduced the New Beetle (not to be confused with the Superbeetle). It had obvious Beetle bloodlines, or inspiration or something, but it was not mechanically related to the old Beetle. For the North American market, the car was manufactured at the same Puebla plant that continued manufacturing old Beetles for the Mexican market. I had the impression, after the New Beetle was introduced, that I was seeing a lot more of the old Beetles in mint condition. I suppose a few new old Beetles were making it over the border. Under NAFTA, I guess a Mexican who owns one of those in Mexico must be allowed to drive it into the US, but you couldn't register a new old Beetle in the US, because it is way non-federalized. It's basically a Trabant, and Mexico City has the air quality to prove it.

On July 30, 2003, the last old-style VW Beetle rolled off the assembly line in Mexico. The last hundred or so models were highly sought-after collectors' items. They were a little bit nonstandard -- spiffed up a but to resemble the earlier private passenger vehicles. They got whitewall tires, and they scrounged up some extra chrome trim somewhere.

The VW company still has the largest automobile market share in Europe.

VWF
Vibration-induced White Finger. A term coined by the Industrial Injury Advisory Council in 1970.

VWIL
Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership. A program run by Mary Baldwin College for the State of Virginia. It was originally created to offer women a `separate but equal' alternative to VMI, which fought for years in the courts to stay all-male. There's an article on this (cover story, actually) by Jeffrey Rosen in the February 19, 1996 issue of The New Republic (``Like Race, Like Gender?''), with follow-up editorial mail on March 19.

Summer of '96, the Supreme Court finally ruled that separate-but-equal doesn't work for sex any more than for race. This basically affects only The Citadel and VMI, the two state-supported all-male military academies. The Citadel's governing body voted to comply immediately and vowed to embrace coeducation enthusiastically. (At least they didn't vow to embrace coeds enthusiastically.) VMI considered the option of using alumni funds to take itself private, but did not. Apparently they decided instead that what they would do was accept coeds but harass them mercilessly.

VW&R
Van Waters & Rogers, Inc. Specialty chemicals.

VWR Scientific Products
Known for waterbottle Mitbringseln.

VWWP
Victorian Women Writers Project.

VXCO
Voltage-Controlled Crystal Oscillator. Really, this should be VCXO, but the inverted order is too common.

VXI
Virtual eXtension for Instrumentation.

VXI
Virtual eXtension Interface.

VXI
VME eXtension for Instrumentation. (Often seen: `VME/VXI.')

VXML
Voice eXtensible Mark-up Languaege.

V-Y model
Vroom-Yetton-Model.

VZIG
Varicella-Zoster Immune Globulin.

VZV
Varicella-Zoster Virus. Primary infection causes chickenpox (varicella). The virus may lie dormant for years and then cause shingles (herpes zoster).

V2, V-2
Vergeltungswaffe 2. German for `Retaliation Weapon 2.' It was originally designated A4, the fourth in a sequence of rockets. It was the first ballistic missile and the first supersonic rocket, and it became the first production liquid-fuel rocket (thrust from alcohol and liquid oxygen). [Robert Goddard made the first liquid-fuel rockets in the 1920's. He lived long enough to see one of the German rockets, and died on August 10, 1945.]

The Reichswehr's interest in rocket technology dated from 1930, and was partly motivated by the fact that post-WWI arms limitations did not regulate rockets (or gliders, which they also developed). The V-2 rocket was first used in September 1944, at first primarily against London and Norwich (about 1000 fired). The V-2 had a range of about 300 km. Later in the German retreat, they were used against continental European targets (about 2000 fired). The principal target became Antwerp, an important port supplying the Allied invasion.

Two booms were heard when a V-2 hit. First there was a sonic boom, then the explosion. Since the V-2's approached at supersonic speed on essentially straight trajectories, they could not be heard coming. There was no direct defense against them. An RAF attack (August 17, 1943) against the Peenemünde Rocket Research Center caused enough damage to delay the V-2 weapon program by an estimated one to six months. Once the V-2 came into use, the Allies were successful in destroying the fixed launch sites, but unsuccessful in destroying the mobile launch sites.

They would have bombed the factories if they had known where they were, but intelligence was never adequate to define a target. In fact, Allied bombings contributed to a German decision to reduce the three planned V-2 production sites to one. Peenemünde was one planned site for assembly, apparently judged to be too exposed. Another was the the Zeppelin works at Friedrichshafen, which was bombed on June 22, 1943, to damage Giant Würzburg production. The bombing also damaged the assembly factory there that had been planned to be used for V-2 production (something Allied intelligence did not learn during the war). In the end, V-2's were only manufactured at a large underground plant (Mittelwerke) near Nordhausen, where V-1's were already manufactured. [I think that V-1 production, originally decentralized, was eventually also concentrated at this facility. But since this is the V-2 entry, and we don't have a V1 entry, I don't have to check.] The Mittelwerke were manned by prisoner slaves and run by the SS. Between 1943 and 1945, 60,000 prisoners worked there; 20,000 of them were executed, starved, or worked to death, which is somewhat less than the number killed by V-1 bombs in England (about 25,000). V-2's killed about 2700 in England and 7000 on the continent.

Wernher von Braun led the effort that designed the rockets. After the war, the US, Britain, and the USSR all found the rocket technology verrrry interrressstink, and the scientists and engineers who developed them useful. Von Braun and many of his people became American citizens. The double-thinkish conversion of German scientists from service to the Nazi regime to service to the former enemy was satirized in the movie Dr. Strangelove (mentioned at the F entry) and in a song of Tom Lehrer. The V-2 itself is of central importance to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow.

The V-2 carried an explosive warhead (Amatol Fp60/40) whose weight I have seen variously reported as

  1. ``approximately 738 kg (1 ton)'' (this page concurs, though the consistent wording and unit-conversion ignorance suggest that this may not be corrobration),
  2. ``2,006 lb (910 kg) of Amatol,''
  3. ``975 kg (0.96 tons)'' (the Oxford Companion to WWII agrees),
  4. ``1000 kg (2204 lb),''
  5. and most often simply as ``one ton'' (whether short, long, metric, or heaven-forfend shipping, is rarely explicit).

It is instructive to consider how one might get at the truth that might lie behind these numbers, but you could also skip to the table at the end of this entry. The likeliest a priori explanation of disagreement among sources is that some and possibly all sources were careless or misinformed. There are similar disagreements, and sometimes much more preposterous ones, regarding the range, maximum altitude, speed, and other details of the V-2.

There is rarely any indication of whether the stated figure is net (the explosive itself) or gross (including the case and perhaps the impact fuse). One tends to assume net, since the distinction between the immediate casing of the warhead and the rest of the missile seems a bit pedantic. On the other hand, if the casing weight is included it can make a significant difference: the highest charge-to-weight ratios in RAF bombs were about 80%, so the difference between net and gross might well account for the range of reported weights (i.e., might allow figures at two extremes to both be correct in some sense). This is consistent with the discussion in ch. 45 (``V-2'') of R.V. Jones's Wizard War. The chapter is concerned in large part with the struggle to get firm information on the V-2, with Jones estimating a warhead of one ton early on, and sticking to that estimate against the usually much higher and at one point lower estimates of mistaken experts. As he writes the story, his estimates were eventually vindicated. However, on page 438, before beginning this story, he quotes without demur Albert Speer's comments in Inside the Third Reich that ``... 5,000 long-range rockets ... would have delivered only 3,750 tons of explosives.''

Is there any other possibility? Well, the explosive was amatol, which is just a name for a mix of ammonium nitrate and TNT. Amatol is a weaker explosive than TNT, but tolerates a higher temperature. There were several attempts to use more powerful explosive mixtures, but in tests these detonated prematurely, at altitudes of a few thousand feet. It is conceivable that the volume allowed for the explosive was initially chosen to accommodate one ton of TNT, and was afterwards impossible to modify rapidly. However, ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) has a density of 1.725 g/cc, and TNT a density of 1.654 g/cc, so this could only explain an increase in explosive weight. (If -- an unlikely if for that time -- the explosive was described in terms of TNT equivalence, then it might explain the range of reported values.)

I don't know about you, but after considering all this I am inclined to believe that something like the 738-kilo figure is correct for the net explosive weight, though so far I only have (the linked) web sources (above) for it.

What, you're still not convinced? Okay, let's see what one of the designers, Dr. Walter Dornberger (wartime Commanding Officer of the Peenemünde Rocket Research Institute), had to say about it. He published a book entitled Der Schuss ins Weltall (in German, 1952), entitled V-2 in the English translation of James Cleugh and Geoffrey Halliday (New York: Viking Pr., 1954). Who knows -- there might be some relevant information there. The list of specs on page xvii gives the payload weight as 1000 kg, 2205 lb. The ``high explosive carried'' is 750 kg, 1654 lb. As he explained on p. 222:

  The sheer momentum of a rocket weighing over 4.5 tons and traveling at 1500 miles per hour caused a crater 30 to 40 yards wide and 10 to 15 yards deep even without an explosive charge. Apart from fairly violent earth tremors, no lateral effects were produced beyond the edge of the crater.

  The warhead of 1/4-inch steel was originally designed to hold an explosive charge of 1 metric ton. To lessen deadweight our first plans for the A-4 were based entirely on the use of aluminum and magnesium alloys. Calculations based on wind-tunnel experiments showed that the temperature of the skin would reach 1250 degrees Fahrenheit, and orders to avoid these alloys, which were scarce, compelled us to substitute sheet steel. Deadweight was thus increased. To get anywhere near the required range of 160 miles, we had to give up the idea of carrying 1 ton of explosive and restrict to that figure the total weight of the warhead including the steel casing. ...

Here's the entire table of specs offered at pp. xvii-xviii, very lightly edited. (Brennschluss is `close-of-burning.' The translators preferred this word to English terms then in common use because the latter, unlike Brennschluss, implied that fuel had been exhausted. It will be clear that many of the original metric data are round numbers, and that the precision implied by some of the converted figures is specious.)

                                               METRIC                      U.S.
Length                                           14 m                    46 ft.
Diameter of body                               1.65 m               5 ft. 5 in.
Diameter over fins                             3.55 m              11 ft. 8 in.
Weight, empty but with warhead                4000 kg                  8818 lb.
Take-off weight                             12,900 kg                28,440 lb.
Payload                                       1000 kg                  2205 lb.
High explosive carried                         750 kg                  1654 lb.
Alcohol (containing 25% water)                3965 kg                  8740 lb.
Oxygen, liquid                                4970 kg                10,957 lb.
Fuel consumption, per second                   127 kg                   280 lb.
Mixture ratio (alcohol/oxygen)                             0.81
Burning time (max.)                                     65 sec.
Thrust at take-off                          25,000 kg                55,100 lb.
Thrust gain near Brennschluss                 4200 kg                13,230 lb.
Acceleration at take-off (effective)                      0.9 g
Acceleration at Brennschluss (effective)                    5 g
Temperature in motor                         ~2700° C                  ~4890° F
Pressure in motor                           15.45 atm            227 lb./sq.in.
Injection pressure (above motor pressure)     2.4 atm           35.3 lb./sq.in.
Nozzle expansion ratio                               15.45:0.85
Exhaust velocity                           2050 m/sec             6725 ft./sec.
Rocket stays vertical after take-off for                 4 sec.
       completes tilt within                            50 sec.
       attains angle of 49° from vertical at            54 sec.
       passes speed of sound after                      25 sec.
Velocity along trajectory (max.)           1600 m/sec                1 mi./sec.
Impact velocity                        900-1100 m/sec        3000-3600 ft./sec.
Height at Brennschluss                          22 km                  13.7 mi.
Distance from take-off point at Brennschluss    24 km                    15 mi.
Apogee of trajectory                         80-90 km                 50-56 mi.
Range (max.)                                   320 km                   199 mi.

V2
Verb 2nd. A feature of North Germanic and most West Germanic languages, including Old English and Middle English. In V2 languages, the second element in an independent declarative sentence is always the verb. To a speaker of Modern English, this looks normal if the the first element is the subject (as in an SVO sentence, say). It can look odd if the first object is an adverb (forcing the subject to follow the verb.) In Yiddish, even subordinate clauses are verb-second.

I never had any trouble with this, possibly because I learned Spanish first, then a little German, and then English. When I heard about V2, I mistakenly thought it referred to the separation of the finite verb (in the V2 position) from the infinitives and participles at the end. Sorry. (I really mean that.) That bit is properly, or at least somewhat commonly, referred to as SVOV. SVOV is less common than V2. Swedish, for example, is a V2 language like German but an SVVO language like English. The SVOV structure does seem to be general in languages closely related to German. At least, it seems to be standard in the Plattdeutsch and Yiddish that I have heard. I've also heard Swiss German, but I could only make out one or two words.

I don't find V2 as interesting as linguists do, so the rest of this entry is dedicated to that other feature, since anyway I already wrote that up. In simple declarative sentences, German uses the SVO word order common among SAE languages. For example:

                 German                           English
       Sie erwartet einen Freund.           She awaits a friend.

(For this and the next two examples, it's possible to give translations that are virtually word-for-word, and even cognate-for-cognate. That's why I don't use the more conventional wait-for locutions.) German, like English, has a system of verb aspects and tenses that is mostly analytic. That is, verb conjugations are mostly periphrastic constructions using modals. Here are two examples:

       Sie kann einen Freund erwarten.      She can await a friend
       Sie hat einen Freund erwartet.       She has awaited a friend.

As you can see, the only thing preventing the German and English from corresponding cognate-by-cognate is that the second part of the verb has been moved (``translated,'' in the mathematical term) to the end of the sentence.

It's not just direct objects that get sandwiched between verbs. Indirect objects and adverbials are stuffed in there too -- the whole predicate. Only subordinate clauses escape. Have I mentioned that German sentences can become quite long? Here's a relevant passage from chapter 22 of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court:

I was gradually coming to have a mysterious and shuddery reverence for this girl; nowadays whenever she pulled out from the station and got her train fairly started on one of those horizonless transcontinental sentences of hers, it was borne in upon me that I was standing in the awful presence of the Mother of the German Language. I was so impressed with this, that sometimes when she began to empty one of these sentences on me I unconsciously took the very attitude of reverence, and stood uncovered; and if words had been water, I had been drowned, sure. She had exactly the German way; whatever was in her mind to be delivered, whether a mere remark, or a sermon, or a cyclopedia, or the history of a war, she would get it into a single sentence or die. Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.

(``[T]his girl'' is Sandy. Eventually he (``Sir Boss,'' the book's eponymous Yankee) marries her. More on transcontinental railroads at the golden spike entry.)

Hmmm. Here's a very characteristic bit of prose from (a couple of pages into ch. 1 of) Gertrude Stein's Wars I Have Seen (1945):

And there was my mother and my brothers on horseback and there was a Czech tutor, one did not realise [spelling sic] how important all these nationalities were going to be to every one then and a Hungarian governess, and there was the first contact with books, picture books but books all the same since pictures in picture books are narrative.

The infinitive form of most verbs, and the past participle of strong verbs (which constitute a large fraction of the most common verbs) end in -en. All the rest of the past participles end in -t. So if all you want to do is make rhymes, in German it's easy.

V.21
An international 300 bps full-duplex FSK modem standard. Equivalent to Bell 103 modem. At least it fits in the garbage can. An old computer you may have to pay to get towed away. See the Woz entry for examples.

V6, V-6
A six-cylinder engine with the cylinders in a vee pattern, as illustrated here. An advantage of a vee configuration is that each cylinder head need only be long enough to accommodate half of the cylinders, so the engine is shorter (i.e., the crankshaft is shorter). The engine may also be a bit shorter in height.

V8, V-8
An eight-cylinder engine with the cylinders in a vee pattern. See the V6 entry.

V.90
The international standard for 56 kbaud modems. For a few years before the standard was defined, hardware based on two incompatible industrial standards, x2 and 56Kflex, was already available. The installed-base investment seems to have delayed acceptance of a common standard.

56K modems are asymmetric by design: they can receive at 56K (provided that all other things, particularly cabling and the mux on the other end, allow it), but can send at a maximum speed of 33.6 kbaud.

(Click here for top) Previous section: VJ, V-J (top) to VQT (bottom)

Next section: W (top) to WBW (bottom)

[ Thumb tabs and search tool] [ SBF Homepage ]













































Space above was intentionally left free of glossary definitions so that links to bottom of document can appear at the top of the screen display.

© Alfred M. Kriman 1995-2013 (c)