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Watts of Heat. W(q) is also used. See W(e).

White House.

W. H.
Wystan Hugh (Auden). J. Laughlin, founder of the New Directions publishing house, began calling Delmore Schwartz the American Auden in January 1938. Probably to protect his trademark, and perhaps for other reasons, W. H. Auden emigrated to the US shortly afterwards. A lot of people think that both had done their best work by 1940. It just goes to show ... something, I guess.

Women's History and Ancient History, edited by Sarah B. Pomeroy (Chapel Hill, 1991).

What is to be done?
Lenin chose this title in what he quite reasonably expected would be recognized as an allusion to the novel of the same name by Nikolai Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky (1828-1889).

What goes around?
Comes around. Yeah, it's pretty hackneyed. I just needed a place to make a minor point. Back when Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger finally got divorced, everybody understandably felt sorry for Jerry Hall. She seemed to have tried everything to save the marriage, including getting pregnant. I suppose that in the entertainment business, things go around so much that they come around a dozen times before they go around even once, whatever that means. Anyway, when Hall and Jagger started dating, she was engaged to Bryan Ferry and Jagger was married to Bianca. So let's keep the betrayal thing in perspective, okay?

What's a mother to do?
Cue the product endorsement.

What's gnu?
A three- or four-letter word. (This witticism is in the public domain; it fits all known homonyms of gnu but is funnier than ``a word.'')

What's new?
A greeting. It bothers people who pay attention to its literal meaning and feel put on the spot, or feel that they're not given enough time to formulate a detailed answer or something. Consequently, this greeting is only used by those who ignore the literal meaning. Therefore, you can answer ``Thanks. What's new with you?''

I remember that my friend Dilia mentioned back in 1978 that it bothered her. In 1999, Mary Schmich had a column on the greeting in the MetroChicago section of the Chicago Tribune. In a follow-up column on June 18, about favorable response to her earlier column (columnists like to coast too), she reported that many letter writers suggested the response ``Fine.''

Writing to her husband Tom, Mrs. Carlyle began a letter of September 20, 1860 thus:

I do hate, Dear, to tell about myself every day! as if I were ``the crops,'' or something of that sort.

What's up?
Almost synonymous with ``What's new?'' but with the advantage that if you're grouchy you can answer ``Skyward.'' Also spelled in eye dialect: Whassup? Bugs Bunny used to say ``Ehhhhhhhh...what's up Doc?''

What's your nationality? ... Huh, what a coincidence! You know, you look familiar...
It had been a record forty-two weeks since the last time anyone anywhere on this planet had invented a new pick-up line...it was about due.

Works best in Iceland and North Korea. (WINK.)

These are just as bad. Or were, before the link died.

Okay, okay: another new one. I picked this one out of my spam filter. The original version begins like this:

From: Mohammed Houndstooth Goldstein 
Subject: Beach Chair

To Whom It May Concern,

We have learned from the Internet that you are interested in tents.  We have
been in the tent manufacturing business for many years and are currently in the
process of expanding and our customer base.  We are quite excited about

With a few little changes, I'm sure this could be turned into a great new line for picking up MOTAS. And if not, maybe you'll sell some beach blankets.

What was I thinking!?
Scratch ``what.''

Elbert Hubbard defined an editor as
A person employed by a newspaper whose business is to separate the wheat from the chaff and to see that the chaff is printed.
This aphorism is precisely the kind of mechanical cleverness that you get from the harnessing of great ambition to mediocre talent.

when compared with
Many of you have written to ask: ``How do I make my writing more sophisticated, so that I will win the respect of people just like me. (I don't personally care about sophisticated writing -- I just want the respect I deserve. Scratch that: more respect than I deserve.)''

The answer is very simple. You have to use special sophistication phrases. These are secret phrases that automatically make people and attractive members of the opposite sex respect you. For a complete list of these phrases, you'll have to buy the book, but here for free is one of those powerful phrases: ``when compared with.''

The way to deploy this phrase is to take anything you were going to say with the word ``than'' and replace ``than'' with ``when compared with.'' This has no effect on the meaning of whatever you were saying, but it automatically increases the sophistication exponentially.

Some people object that saying ``the losing team scored less points when compared with the winning team'' implies that there is some useful sense in which the losing team might have scored more points when not compared to the winning team, and that the longer (more sophisticated) form unnecesarily draws attention to that fact. Ignore these people. They're just jealous because you have greater sophistication when compared with they do.

When in doubt, take it out.
It could be the surgeons' creed.

APGO's Women's Healthcare Education Office. ``[I]nvolved in a number of activities to strengthen undergraduate women's health education for all medical students [in the US and Canada], across all specialties.'' They follow a common semantic practice in medical education, of using ``undergraduate'' to mean `a student not yet graduated from medical school.'

where the sun don't shine (, put it ...)
A part of your anatomy.

If. These are not exact synonyms. The point is only that whether is neither wether nor weather. The weather may have spells of uncertainty, but it is certainly not spelled ``whether.''

White House Iraq Group.

Walks and Hits (given up) per Inning Pitched. A baseball pitching stat. The number of innings pitched is one third of the number of batters faced. Another statistic is HIP, which means what you'd guess. The statistic that might be abbreviated WIP isn't; this is just as well, since most people don't make an audible distinction between wh and w.

whipped butter
Sounds kinky, but not very exciting. Seriously now, I wonder whether the desire to salvage rancid butter didn't contribute to the popularity of whipped butter. (See the butter discussion a few paragraphs into the French-toast entry.)

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Words meant to suggest an initialism WTF having a different expansion.

White Alice
WHITE (like snow) ALaskan Integrated Communications and Electronics. A microwave (900 MHz) military communication system of the 1960's and 70's. I always had trouble enough to keep from confusing Snow White and Cinderella; this won't make things any easier.

white carpet
Probably the entire market for this product is the film studios for cleaning-product advertisements.

white gold
Mostly, this refers to alloys of gold with one or more white metals. These are used for jewelry. Nickel was once a common choice for the white metal, but is now avoided because some people's skin reacts to it. That's not what this entry is about. You can learn more about that kind of white gold from its Wikipedia entry, or from this page served by the World Gold Council.

I only wanted to mention that in the old Soviet Union, a term meaning `white gold' was used as an epithet of cotton. The idea was that the crop would make Kazakhstan (or rather, the workers of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic) rich. Just like Mississippi, I guess.

White House
Official Residence of the US President, and site of various high-level executive-branch activities. Its earlier official names, if indeed they were official, were ``the President's House'' until about 1850, and then the ``Executive Mansion.'' In 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt ordered that the official name reflect what everyone called it. (The term is also used metonymically in reference to the executive branch of government and the highest levels thereof.)

John Adams was the first to occupy the still unfinished mansion, moving there from Philadelphia on November 1, 1800, for his last months in office. The building was burned by the British during the War of 1812. (I might point out that there are a number of places that are called Casa Quemada in Spanish, `burnt house.' But I better not, or I'd only end up adding more glossary entries.) US history textbooks have often neglected to point out that the burning of the White House and other Federal buildings in 1814 was an act of retaliation for a similar act committed by US troops in York, Canada. (In 1834, York was incorporated and renamed Toronto. North York, different story.)

James Madison (president from 1809 to 17) wasn't able to move back in. The White House wasn't ready for occupancy again until the term of his successor James Monroe (1817-25). There is a popular story that the Executive Mansion only came to be called the ``White House'' after the fire. The idea was that it was whitewashed to hide the burn marks on the gray sandstone walls. This is at least partly incorrect. The sandstone had been whitewashed as early as 1798, and there are some letters extant from as early as 1811 in which it is called the white house.

The White House is called la Casa Blanca (q.v.) in Spanish and la Maison Blanche in French. What strange names.

white knight
  1. A chesspiece.
  2. An investor who makes a welcome counter-offer against the unwanted takeover bid (or bids) for a public corporation. Cf. angel.

white monks
Cistercian monks. An order of monks formed at the end of the eleventh century (1098) by reformist Benedictine monks who followed a more ascetic life style. Not named for cisterns or anything, just after a village (Cistertien, in eastern France) near an abbey. A similar name confusion occurs with CSC.

``White'' monks in reference to their robes. The Benedictines wore black robes (hence, ``black monks'') and were ridiculed by the white monks for their rich living.

Life Style. I like the sound of that.

I saw a Cistercian in the library the other day. It's really more a cream color than white.

white noise
Noise with frequency-independent spectrum. Since a perfectly constant power spectrum would represent an infinite energy, it is implicit that noise is white only over a limited power spectrum. Cf. Brown and pink noise.

white pages

white tie
A white bowtie. A white-tie affair is an ultra-formal affair (hoity-toity, fancy-shmancy) where the men have to wear white ties with their tuxedoes. A black-tie affair is merely formal.

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, the painter Basil Hallward speaks to Lord Harry: ``With an evening coat and a white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain a reputation for being civilized.''

WHMIS, Whmis
Workplace Hazardous Material Information System. The Canadian government's ``hazard communication standard. The key elements of the system are cautionary labelling of containers of WHMIS `controlled products', the provision of material safety data sheets (MSDS's) and worker education and training programs.''

World Health Organization. Its regional offices are listed at the AFRO entry.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. At Woods Hole, MA, of all places!

A directory for InterNIC-registered second-level domains. The organization now has a web gateway..

IC and other electronic part manufacturers quote prices per part, but generally supply only in wholesale -- i.e., in lots or minimum orders of 1000 or 10,000. If you only need one or ten, you typically buy from a retailer. Mark-up varies widely in response to the usual market considerations, but you can expect to pay very roughly twice the price for single units. (Many retailers, especially those that sell primarily by phone or mail, have volume discounts.) It sometimes happens that no retailer carries the individual part you want, or that the part is no longer available. Very occasionally, you might want to buy wholesale. Often, if you're attempting a repair, this will convince you to replace instead. Another possibility to consider: upgrade. If the precise part you need isn't available, try to get a better part that is. It may be that the part you sought is not available retail because only someone with a stake in early failure would use it.

A SUSA poll in September 2004 asked this question: ``If the election for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania were today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, who would you vote for? Republican Arlen Specter? Democrat Joe Hoeffel? or some other candidate?''

Fully 12% were recorded as having said they would vote for ``other,'' while only 3% were ``undecided.'' I very much doubt that 12% of the vote will go to third-party candidates. I'd like to think that one in ten people surveyed answered ``Whom!''

An expression of mock enthusiasm.

Who pays the piper calls the tune.
This is the traditional form of a proverb that has become tricky for some Modern English-speakers to understand. It is now often rendered in either of two alternative forms:
  1. He who pays the piper calls the tune. (Very common.)
  2. Whoever pays the piper calls the tune. (Not exactly epigrammatic, and fortunately much less common.)
  3. She who pays the piper calls the tune. (Oh, gimme a break already.)

To understand the archaism of the original form, it helps to recognize that English has three kinds of relative clauses:

  1. Adnominal relative clauses, like the italicized clause in this sentence:
    ``The tune is chosen by the person who pays the piper.''
  2. Sentential relative clauses, like the italicized clause in this sentence:
    ``The fellow who paid the piper called the tune, which doesn't surprise me.''
  3. Nominal relative clauses, like the italicized clause in this sentence:
    ``Whoever pays the piper calls the tune.''

Adnominal relative clauses are the most common, and in these the relative pronoun is usually who, whom, which, or that. The relative pronoun has an antecedent in the sentence outside the relative clause. In the example given, the antecedent of who is clearly ``the person.'' In alternative form 1 of the proverb has the same adnominal relative clause, with ``he'' as antecedent.

Sentential relative clauses modify entire clauses rather than noun phrases, much as sentence adverbials modify entire clauses rather than verbs. Thus, in the example given, the antecedent of the relative pronoun which is the entire statement preceding the comma.

Unlike adnominal and sentential relative clauses, nominal relative clauses do not have an antecedent outside. Instead, they are said to ``contain'' their antecedents. Most of the words that function as interrogative pronouns (``wh-words'') can also serve as relative pronouns for nominal relative clauses. (The interrogative pronouns form a closed class, but not really such a small one: what, when, where, which, who, whom, whose, why, how, and a few less common or archaic words like whence and wherefore.) In addition, most of these have forms ending in -ever or -soever that may be used. The doubling of ordinary wh-words with their -ever forms accomplishes something that English is prone to: marking for definiteness or specificity. This is most prominent in the distinction between definite and indefinite articles. It also occurs between anyone and someone (a distinction difficult to render reliably and compactly in other European languages such as Spanish or German). Similarly, for most wh-words occurring in nominal relative clauses, the -ever form provides an indefinite variant. Compare ``give me what is on the table'' and ``give me whatever is on the table.''

Some of the wh-words are not commonly used, or are only marginally acceptable, as pronouns for nominal relative clauses. To some extent this is avoids ambiguity. In particular, the words which, who, and whom can all serve as relative pronouns for both adnominal and nominal relative clauses. There has been a degree of load-leveling with whichever and who[m]ever, and today who[m] and which usually occur only in nominal relative clauses with verbs like choose, please, etc. But not pay. Hence the confusion.

With the Supremes, Diana Ross sang ``This time I'll live my life at ease / Being happy loving whom I please.'' Come back later for an in-depth discussion of Holland, Dozier, and Holland.

Who Shot J.R.?
Kristin, his sister-in-law and former mistress, played by Mary Crosby. J.R. Ewing -- and for that matter Larry Hagman, who played him -- survived. These facts were revealed in the Nov. 21, 1980 season premier of the soap ``Dallas.''

Two months later, Ronald Wilson Reagan was inaugurated president of the United States. He was eventually also shot, but survived. He became the first US president since 1840 to be elected in a year divisible by twenty who did not die in office.

Who's Who In Theology
Subtitled ``From the First Century to the Present'' (the latter being 1992). Why such an arbitrary cut-off? Still, I give thanks that someone (John Bowden) has compiled this miraculous volume. It's short -- 132 pp., not including the pope list -- so you know only those who are damn deserving have been included. Frits Staal (Hindu mysticism) deserves an entry, though.

WareHouse Of WEb DAta.

Waist-to-Hip circumference Ratio.

Westfield High School.

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations.

The William Herschel Telescope. A 4.2-meter telescope operated by ING. I think they operate it for the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) -- after all, someone has to pony up the money. However, ING doesn't seem to use a serial comma before and (they use the ambiguous ``A, B and C'' style), so this important question of sponsorship is unclear from the ING homepage and will remain forever a mystery. Also on behalf van de NWO en del IAC. Damn the punctuation.

What Have You. Although the expression is widely used (in a sense similar to ``[and] stuff'' or etc.), the initialism is chiefly British. It has been in use in the UK since times when classified ads only appeared in print.

World Hunger Year. It's not a particular year (calendar or otherwise, like the International Geophysical Year). Instead, it's a year in very loosely the way that Newsweek is a week. That is, it's an organization that performs certain activities each year.

``Founded in 1975, WHY is a leader in the fight against hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world.'' Organizational self-descriptions are, it goes without saying, to be taken with a grain of salt. Salt is a flavor enhancer. Then again, they didn't say it is the leader. It was ``founded by radio talk show host and present Executive Director Bill Ayres, and the late singer-songwriter Harry Chapin.'' Among other things, one of their annual events is a dinner. That seems especially appropriate for a hunger organization. I'd like to know what they serve. Or is it pot luck? Okay, it's an awards dinner. They've been making media awards (and serving them, I guess) since 1982, to encourage the media to ``tell the story of hunger and poverty.'' They used to be called the World Hunger Media Awards, but now they're called the Harry Chapin Media Awards.

Harry Chapin died in a 1981 car crash, at the age of 38. I suppose this might be adduced as evidence for the proposition that ``only the good die young.'' Billy Joel released his song of that name in 1977, in the album entitled The Stranger. The song had to do with tasting forbidden fruit or satisfying one's appetites or something.

Why am I writing this?
I have no idea. Seek your own truth.

Why didn't he call?
Because he didn't want to talk or meet with you again, obviously. That's not really the question.

Why did he say he would call?
Because he didn't want to finish the act before the curtain came down. He didn't want a scene.

Either this entry or the previous one is out of alphabetical order. Once I can decide which one of the two is out of place, I'll move it. But not to Wisconsin.

West Indies.

The Wireless Institute. ``The Wireless Institute in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame is becoming an internationally preeminent center of research, education, technology transfer, and outreach activities that develops wireless communication & networking technologies, applications, and economic & policy studies of great value to society.'' They don't pay me to publicize this, I guess it's fair to say.

Wisconsin. (USPS abbreviation.) The market value of the cheese produced in Wisconsin in a year is greater than the market value of all the tea in China.

It's probably fair to point out that these market-value comparisons can be deceptive. For example, in 1992, US sales of ``Mexican sauces'' eclipsed sales of ketchup (each at about three-quarters of a billion bucks total final sales). However, the retail price by volume is four or five times as much for salsa as for ketchup. [Data from Jeffrey Steingarten: The Man Who Ate Everything (Random House, 1997).]

Ketchup is fat free. Cheese is not. For more encouraging news about health aspects of cheese, visit the WDA entry.

Some years back, the state sponsored a competition for a new motto and motor vehicle license plate logo. Everyone knows that the one that should have won was ``Eat Cheese Or Die,'' but they WImped out: their motto is ``Forward.'' Yick. And they're not ``The Cheese State'' either, they're ``The Badger State.'' It's enough to make you move to Minnesota (MN).

Fans of the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Packers are known as cheeseheads; their ceremonial headgear is in the shape of a large wedge of yellow cheese.

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

Wisconsin is a community property state.

Mmm, here's something: according to the US Economic Census of 1997, in 1996 the top exported commodity category of the state of Wisconsin was nonelectrical machinery, for $3.167 billion, making up 37.7% of its $8.410 billions in total exports. Neighboring Minnesota's top exported commodity category was agricultural products, at $4.943 billion making up 35.6% of that state's $13.884 billion total exports. ``Food and Kindred Products'' is a different category than ``Agricultural Products.'' Arkansas and Nebraska are the only states for which this constitutes the largest export commodity category.

Since the Iraq war of 2003, close US presidential advisors have been giving subtle little diplomatically worded hints that France's obstructionism might redound to that country's disadvantage. Here's the secret plan, based on the Joint military doctrine of flexible (and sometimes rubbery) response: we shall bombard them with American cheese product! This will be called Operation Eat Cheese And Die.

Women's Institute. A charitable membership organization in Britain.


WIsconsin Association of Teachers of Japanese. An affiliate of the NCJLT.

Polish male noun meaning `wind, gale, breeze.' Colloquially: `noise.' It also has the acceptation of `nose' (of a dog or horse).

Wouldn't It Be Nice If.

Not normally an allusion the Beach Boys' ode to marriage, Wouldn't It Be Nice.

Western International Communications, Ltd. of Canada.

West-Indische Compagnie. The Dutch `West India Company' of old. [Literally the `West-Indian Company.'] Officially the Geoctroyeerde West-Indische Compagnie (see GWC for an utterly fascinating discursus on geoctroyeerde). For the Dutch East India Company, see VOC.

Judging from occurrences in the LION literature database of English poetry, drama, and prose, the term `West Indies'' has typically been two to four times more common than ``West India'' in all of the last five centuries. However, WIC was always translated as the ``West India Company.''

(Supplementary Nutrition for) Women, Infants, and Children (government program). To learn more, you might visit The Welfare Law Center.

The religion of witchcraft.

I heard that! Watch what you say or I'll put a spell on you.

Perhaps you were looking for wic.ca, Western International Communications (WIC), Ltd. of Canada.

World Industry Council for the Environment.

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

It's my impression that Wicca is especially popular in the Northwest.

Water Industry Certification Scheme. (UK term.)

Widely Integrated Distributed Environments.

WIndow gaDGET. Otherwise known as a component or a GUI control. Widgets include things like buttons, menus, scrollbars, comboboxes, etc. It occurs to me that some people don't know that the word widget existed long before GUI's. It had the senses of (a) an unspecified or hypothetical manufactured object, probably small, and (b) a bell or whistle on a manufactured object. The word is attested as early as 1931 in the journal American Speech (vol. 6, p. 259).

Widlar, Bob
Designed National Semiconductor's popular LM709 Op Amp.

Widlar circuit, Widlar-mirror
A BJT mirror circuit.

A woman whose husband died while he was still married to her. If you get a divorce and then your ex dies, you're still a divorcee.

Of course, if you're Catholic, in the eyes of the church you're never divorced: either you're still married (and possibly a bigamist) or you got an annulment and you weren't really married in the first place. What this means is that in a sense, the church is a widowmaker. (At least a widowconstruer.)

Women's International Electronic University.

An AM radio station in Indianapolis.

Windows 3.1 Intelligent Font Environment.

WIreless high-FIdelity communication technology that conforms to IEEE standard 802.11b.

Tungsten (chemical symbol W) Inert-Gas welding. Another name for GTAW, q.v., and TIG. In German, WIG is expanded Wolfram-inertgas[schweißen].

Long-distance communication of general messages using a code of flag (or light or an arm) motions or positions.

Worldwide Information Infrastructure.

One of the most hideously lame excuses for a product name since... I can't think of anything. It's world-historic. Some people have suggested that the name is so stupid that it will generate nonstop buzz. Rabid Nintendo fans have pointed out that they're so hopelessly addicted to Nintendo products that they'll buy them no matter what name they get.

The name Wii is supposed to be pronounced like the English pronoun we, or the English verb wee, meaning to urinate, or the English adjective (Scottish dialect) wee meaning small, or the French oui meaning `yes.'

The product now called Wii, a wireless video-game console, was known until April 27, 2006, by its development codename, ``Revolution.'' On the day that the new name was announced, the company website explained that the ``we'' pronunciation ``emphasizes that the console is for everyone.''

Other stupid comments on the site included this: ``Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.'' One could ignore a little bit of over-optimistic linguistic ignorance, but there is a nice irony in the fact that the sound ``wii'' or ``we'' does not occur in Japanese, a language familiar to the management of Nintendo, a Japanese company.

[Historically, there have been kana for at least four syllables beginning in w. However, the kana for wi (pronounced ``we'') and we (pronounced ``weh'') are as obsolete as the Old English wynn rune, and the kana for wo is now pronounced o. That leaves only the kana for wa, which is not appropriate for constructing a two-kana representation of wi. No wi sound occurs among the standard 1000 kanji approved for ordinary use. In principle, a wi sound might lurk among the kanji that occur in family names, but it's rather unlikely. To spell this sound in Japanese I'd figure you'd have to use romaji -- Western characters -- and some version of, say, the Hepburn transcription scheme. Then it could indeed be spelled ``wii.'' And most Japanese can probably pronounce that.

However, there's also a French-style solution for Japanese, discussed below. The w is not part of the traditional French alphabet. On the other hand, having the letter w (which was invented by Norman scribes in England, and was readopted in England after catching on on the continent) is no guarantee; there are many languages in which the semivowel represented by w in English does not occur. In modern German, for example, the letter w has a vee sound, and many German-speakers have difficulty producing the English w sound. (``Vee don't haff vays aff making ahss tock.'')]

There's no need to wonder about the linguistic competence of someone who could approve or promote this name. Here are the words of Perrin Kaplan, vice-president of marketing and corporate affairs for Nintendo of America, as quoted by Daniel Terdiman, staff writer for CNET <News.com>:

The goal is we are a highly innovative company and we want the name to speak to that innovation and uniqueness. If you were to look at [the name of the controller] visually, the point isn't just how you pronounce it, but it symbolizes the controllers, which are one of the most innovative and unique parts of the system.

This is the name of an unincorporated community in Volusia County, Florida. It's part of a sandbar or the outer barrier island near South Daytona Beach. There's a Wilbur Bay between it and the mainland.

Wild Mango Mating Calls
Unrequited fruit. Probably the most poignant song about fruit is Jimmy Webb's ``All I Know'' (popularized by Art Garfunkel). It begins ``I bruise you / You bruise me / We both bruise too easily.'' Fruiting plants reproduce sexually, you know. ``All my plans depend on you / Depend on you to help them grow.'' Eventually, the rot sets in: ``Endings always come too fast / They come too fast / But they pass too slow.'' (They cause constipation?)

Wile E. Coyote
Poster-boy for the policy of testing complex systems in component stages.

A town in Pennsylvania. The name is pronounced ``Wilk's Barry'' or ``Wilk's Berry,'' or with an ambiguous vowel interpolating between Berry and Barry pronunciations.

WIreless Local Loop.

willful ignorance
Premeditated or complicit innocence.

Williams, Robin
Writer of computer books. Who did you think?

willing to adapt material from other sources

... will never be forgotten.
Come back tomorrow and see.

WILMington (Delaware) Area Planning COuncil. An MPO.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Wilson circuit, Wilson mirror
A MOSFET mirror circuit.

Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave ACCess.

Windows, Icons, Mouse, and Pull-down menus. (Xerox usage.)

Weakly-Interacting Massive Particle. The name alone would seem to include the charged leptons (electron, muon, tau and, as usual implicitly: their antiparticles). Implicitly, however, WIMP refers to uncharged particles. Also, there is some experimental evidence to suggest, and no overwhelming theoretical reason to doubt, that the neutrino partners of the known leptons are not quite massless. These are excluded too: WIMPs are electrically uncharged Weakly-Interacting Massive Particles Other Than The Known Leptons, but that doesn't make a very compelling acronym (WIMPOTTKL).

WIMPS have been hypothesized in the attempt to solve the dark matter problem. See, for example, this.

Popular name for the Vickers Amstrongs Wellington bomber, designed by Dr. Barnes Wallis. The nickname alluded to comic character Popeye's friend and opposite, the rotund, placid hamburger-fanatic J. Wellington Wimpy (patent line: ``I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today''). The Wellington was used by Britain at the beginning of WWII as a ``heavy bomber.'' As other bombers came into service over the course of the war, it became a ``medium.''

Fully loaded and crewed (normally five men), the Wimpy was normally used to carry up to 4500 pounds of ordnance, typically nine 500-lb. M.C. bombs or 810 four-lb. incendiaries (yes, small bombs -- they were dropped from small-bomb containers, SBC's), to medium range. Records show that it was used for bomb loads as large as 6500 lbs. over short distances in 1944. It could also carry a pair of 1000-lb. naval mines. With special modifications, it could carry a cookie.

The 4500-lb. payload was about the same as that of the larger B-17 and B-24, but it was a smaller, lighter, and cheaper plane, in significant part because it carried much less defensive armament -- it was used for night bombing. USAAF crews had other names for it, including ``rag bomber,'' ``paper-covered kite,'' and ``canvas-covered coffin.''

Whip Inflation Now. A slogan without a program, instantly derided theme introduced by President Jerry Ford in 1975. The lapel buttons must be a collector's item.

Wireless In-building Network.

An opening in the material covering the wafer surface, defining regions to be oxidized (window in a nitride surface), doped, metallized (contact or via window), deposited, etched, etc. Note that due to the penetrating nature of ion beams, an implantation window need not reach all the way down to the silicon surface.

Cf. defenestrate.

Colloquially, of a number of MS-Windows products -- Windows 3.1, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98 -- that are not all equally bad.

Basically, after Windows 3.X there were two parallel OS paths for desktop machines: more reliable commercial-grade software (NT, 2000) and higher-functionality OS's more popular in home use (95, 98, Me). Windows XP is supposed to build on the 2000 core but provide the functionality of the 95/98/Me versions.

Windows CE
Windows Compact Edition. A Microsoft OS for handhelds.

Windows ME, Windows Me
Windows Millennium Edition. In a certain technical sense, this is succeeded by Windows 2000, which crashes much less frequently but has poorer device and application support. That's great: 2000 succeeds 2001. Okay, enough humor. For a nonpro's (my) overview, see the main Windows entry.

Windows NT
Looks just like Windows 95/98 to the application user, but inside it's the Win95 rebuilt from scratch (originally on a POSIX base, but it's not an open system at all). It's popular in commercial applications because it has enhanced security (while Win 95 has negligible security). It's a memory hog, and not all software for 95, or not all widgets on any given piece of software for 95, will work on NT. When it does, then there will be no further versions of the Win95, 98 series. It came out before Win95, but both had been in development awhile.

Win NT was available before Win 95, but its look and feel corresponds to Win 95 more than Win 3.1. I'm not sure what earlier versions of Win 3.1 looked like.

In Japan, Sony Vaio machines replaced the worthless Microsoft error messages with their own haiku. For example:

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Windows XP
Windows eXPerience. Not clear whether that's good or bad experience. It will require 128 MB of RAM and not exactly require Pentium-III speed. It's the great hope of the industry that its release, now scheduled for October 26, 2001, will fuel hardware sales going into the 2001 Xmas shopping season.

That part of the entry is frozen in time, because that way I don't have to update it. However, I can report here that although it did take some time, the strategy finally worked: In June 2003, Robert installed XP on his old laptop and various peripherals stopped working. Even though he eventually got everything except the tape back-up to sort of work again, the effort elevated his frustration level to the point where he was no longer tolerant of other things that he'd been putting up with for years, so he went out and bought a new computer. Interesting how that works.

What do you mean, ``Who's Robert?'' Who are you?

Windows 95
Here's all you really need to know. If you already have Windows95, then you already have annoyances.

Windows 98
If Windows 95 (supra) had been called Windows 4.0, then, Windows 98 would have been called Windows 4.2. (There was a bug-fix on Win95 that would have been Windows 4.1.) If you got the early release and wanted to install the bug-fixed version, your installer probably wouldn't have recognized the difference. The easiest work-around was to go in and change the name so it looked like it wasn't there. The next little improvement was Windows Me.

Workshop on Innovative Nanoscale Devices and Systems. WINDS2012: Big Island of Hawaii, Kohala Coast, December 2-7, 2012. No, it doesn't take place on the beach, though that's an interesting thought. The conference venue is the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

Attendance is by invitation only. Here's a bit from an email announcement of WINDS2012:

The Workshop on Innovative Nanoscale Devices and Systems (WINDS) is a 4 and 1/2 day meeting with morning and evening sessions, and with afternoons free for adhoc meetings and discussions among participants. WINDS follows the tradition and format of AHW (Advanced Heterostructure Workshop). In 2008, there was a transition as the workshop name morphed from AHW to AHNW to WINDS in order to attract more participation from industrial labs. The format of each session involves one or two overview presentations plus lively discussion (about 15 minutes for each paper) based on recent data. To ensure enough time for discussion, short presentation of data is encouraged. Each participant is expected to engage in these discussions and is strongly encouraged to bring three to four overhead transparencies or a PC with PowerPoint files showing most recent results that can be incorporated into the discussions. Titles, introductions, summary and acknowledgements are strictly discouraged. The total number of participants will be limited to around 80 to keep the discussions lively in the single session.

[Italics in original.]

WINdows Emulator for Linux. The name also has a XARAtic expansion, ``Wine Is Not an Emulator.'' So I guess the first expansion is not official. Also, as of fall 2003, it was already running on FreeBSD and Solaris.

wing fence
Term preferred by Airbus and McDonnell-Douglas aircraft manufacturers for the vertical structures at the outside ends of the wings of some of their jets. More at winglet.

Term preferred by Boeing for the vertical structures at the ends of the wings on their 747-400. Airbus and McDonnell-Douglas aircraft manufacturers use the term ``wing fence.'' The 747-400 winglets only rise from the end of the wing. MD-11 and Airbus wing fences extend both above and below the wing.

Web Interactive Network of [Local, State, and Federal US] Government Services.

The Campus-Wide Information Service of the University at Buffalo. Named after Buffalo. See also CWIS and UB.

Wings of Madness
The cover of this book shows an early-design heavier-than-air craft near the Eiffel Tower, with spectators in the foreground in circa-1900 dress. The jacket copy begins with this dramatic excerpt:
On October 19, 1901, thousands of people turned out to watch Alberto Santos-Dumont attempt to circle the spire of the Eiffel Tower in an innovative flying machine. When Santos-Dumont made it around the tower, he became the toast of Paris. Jules Verne and H. G. Wells sent him congratulatory telegrams. But what started in glory would end in a descent into madness and despair.

Fine print at the bottom of the back flap lists the perpetrators:

Jacket design by Julian Humphries (c) Fourth Estate 2003. Jacket photograph: A composite image of Santos-Dumont flying the Demoiselle, the world's first sports plane, and the crowd that watched him circle the Eiffel Tower in a powered balloon in 1901. (c) Collection Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, le Bourget 6/03.

WINdows Hardware Engineering Conference.

Nickname for the boy's given name Winston, usually but (see next entry) not always.

Winnie was a bear at the London zoo who inspired a series of books by A. A. Milne. It had the name Winnie because it came from the city of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.

Winnie Mandela was named Winnifred at birth, in case you were wondering.

Winning isn't everything
There's no payoff if you don't cover the spread.

A New York City radio station, AM 1010 KHz. ``All news all the time. You give us twenty-two minutes, we give you the world.''

Warehouse Industry National Standards. But compare...

Warehouse Information Network Standards. In fact, I think the previous entry may be a mistaken guess.

Windows Internet Name Service.

WINdows SOCKet.

Winston concentrator
A trough-type parabolic collector of solar radiation. (A long mirror with a profile, viewed from the end, in the form of a parabola, with a collector tube along the focus.) If the length of the trough is much greater than the focal distance, then there's little to be gained (and major costs to be saved) by tracking the sun along one axis only. It's possible then to have fixed plumbing for the working fluid (in the collector) while the mirror rotates around it. The approach was developed by Roland Winston.

Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.
Old advertising slogan and lyric. Heard so often that you forget if you noticed that it was ungrammatical the first time.

Designates a standard PC: MS Windows OS and Intel processor.

A Windows News Client.

Windows 95.

Windows 98.

Women In Prison. A subgenre of soft-core pornographic B-movies. Well, yes: ``a subgenre of B-movies'' would not have been a lot less specific.

Work In Progress. Occasionally also Work In Process, probably as interpreted by people with a limited notion of the semantic field of the word progress. Progress originally meant movement forward, with movement and forward both understood metaphorically (just as the Latin root of dependent, meaning `hanging from,' only makes sense metaphorically). Thus, ``forward progress'' is something of a pleonasm. The meaning of progress does suggest improvement, and the word has an inevitable positive connotation, but the meaning of the word has never been restricted to apply only to those instances in which the speaker is supposed to approve the direction of movement.

For more related to ``dead metaphors'' like dependent, see the calque entry.

World Intellectual Property Organization. It appears that little intellectual property was invested in naming this organization.

If two or more logic gates which pull down are simply connected together, the result is high only if none of the wired-together outputs is low -- a logical AND in positive logic. The idea is part of ordinary gates in I²L. It is also handy for bus applications. In that case, one has to modify the usual TTL output, which would have a push-pull design (totem-pole in earlier families; more complex in later versions). Instead, the relevant output is an open collector (OC) -- the lower half of an ordinary output. The collectors are wire-ANDed, and a simple resistor is used as the pull-up.

The same idea as wired-AND, but in negative logic.

Electromagnetic signals propagated without wires. Like, through the ether! Wild, huh?

Kind of an old term that stuck. Here's a list of links.

``Wireless'' also excludes fiber-optic cables, by conventional agreement.

An adjective meaning not wireless.

The term ``telecommunications'' sort of has a connotation of wireline communications, from the association with telephone and telegraph, but not with television. Just a reminder that language doesn't have to make sense.

Wirth's Law
Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster.

Not quite equivalent to a common saying.

Nicklaus Wirth, a professor at ETH, developed Pascal as his notion of how Algol should evolve, as mentioned in the DBPL entry.

In the US, his last name is pronounced ``Worth,'' while in Central Europe, this German name is pronounced (writing here in English eye dialect) ``veert.'' When asked if the differing pronounciations bothered him, he is reputed to have replied:

Not at all, in Europe they like `call by name,' and in the US they like `call by value.'

Water-Industry Specifications.

Weizmann Institute of Science.

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Most commonly used IQ test for US children. Targeted for ages 6 to 16. [Pronounced ``wisk.''] More at WAIS (q.v.).

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, III. Third version of WISC, in use since 1995.

Wiener Institute for Social Science DOcuMentation. If I were an institution named ``Wiener'' anything, I'd think it wise to go by an acronym also.

A qwerty fat-finger typo for wide.

WordPerfect Information System Environment.

Women In Scholarly Publishing. ``A professional organization serving the educational and professional advancement of its members. Since its creation in 1979, WiSP has worked with a clear commitment to achieving equal opportunity and compensation for all those employed in the field of scholarly publishing.''

With all due respect to
No respect is due to.

with regard to
Verbal quicksand.

with your own eyes
Sure, like you considered an alternative.

Women In Technology International.

World Information and Technology Services Alliance. Alliance of ITAA and various similar software and IT service associations in other countries.

[Big picture of Luddie looking
slack-jawed but close-mouthed, stage right.]

Ludwig. Picture at right. An MAE before he got into the philosophy racket. I don't have anything useful to say about his philosophies, though a strength of my thorough ignorance is that I can fairly claim not to misunderstand them... but I felt that the W's were a bit thin, so I added him.

The graduate student lounge on the fourth floor of Princeton's Jadwin Hall was named in memory of Wittgenstein, for no particular reason that I am aware of. Once, I was standing there staring out the window and across the courtyard, and Robert McKay asked me what I was looking at.

``Brick,'' I said.

``Ah, yes -- poignant brick,'' he replied.
It was quite brown, as usual.

...Bloody Limeys with their sesquipedalian ripostes. What I really need is a deep philosopher whose name begins in cue or wye. (No, no, I've disqualified Quine.)

The raison d'être of all this verbal dross here is so it is very clear that the illustration at right is not of any person in what was once the entry immediately following this. We wouldn't want any such errors on our conscience.

It may be of interest to those who gave up and did not read down to this point that there is a mailing list for the discussion of analytic philosophy. Its web page is here now.

The uninflected form of the Lardil word for `bush mango.' Lardil is spoken on Mornington Island off the coast of Australia, by approximately zero persons. Wiwalan is the nonfuture form. You can become the only speaker of Lardil (approximately) by studying this homework sheet.

When I Was A Lad. A mythological era in the recent past.

According to the Sherman brothers' lyrics, during his ladship Bert (played by Dick van Dyke in the movie version of Mary Poppins) was subjected to physical and emotional abuse by his father (``gave me nose a tweak and told me I was bad''). A social worker taught him a magic word that saved his nose; he survived and grew up to become a productive member of society (a dancing chimney sweep). The End.

Wizard War, The
This WW was WWII. The head term is short for The Wizard War: British Scientific Intelligence 1939-1945, by R.V. Jones (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc., 1978). As Jones explains in the introduction, he had wanted the title to be Merchants of Light, Francis Bacon's name for science spies in his New Atlantis, but was informed that this was ``not a `selling' title.'' He reviews various alternative titles he considered, and explains (p. xix) that he finally settled on the title of a chapter (``The Wizard War'') in Volume II (1949) of Winston Churchill's memoirs. In that chapter, Churchill describes how he summoned Jones to their first meeting in June 1940, writing ``[t]his was a secret war, whose battles were lost or won unknown to the public; and only with difficulty is it comprehended, even now, by those outside the small high scientific circles concerned.''

Jones ends this paragraph of his introduction thus: ``So here, as it were, pickled in its own juice, is Scientific Intelligence in World War II as I saw it, under the Churchillian title The Wizard War.'' (That sentence, at least, must be different in the first published version of Jones's book, sold in Great Britain under the title Most Secret War.)

This is a citation entry: information about a source to be referenced multiple times is sequestered in a single location for convenience and efficiency. If you want more substantive information about the book's contents, you'll have to look at the entries for

  1. A.D.I. (Sc.),
  2. D. of I. (R),
  3. S. of S.,
  4. V-2,
and others as they come up.

I have one bit of practical advice about mentioning the book in conversation: don't refer to Jones as the title page does -- ``R.V. Jones.'' If your listener is familiar with him, ``Jones'' will do. Otherwise, he will almost invariably suppose you said ``Harvey Jones.'' Say ``Reginald Victor Jones.''

Women's International Zionist Organization. It is ``a non-partisan international movement dedicated to the advancement of the status of women, welfare of all sectors of Israeli society and encouragement of Jewish education in Israel and the Diaspora.''

William James. The pragmatic philosopher and proto-psychologist. Born in 1842, the year Edgar Allen Poe invented detective fiction. Died in 1910, the year Mark Twain went out with Halley's comet. A/k/a Henry James's smarter brother.

World Jewish Congress.

Weak Jump Shift.

William James Society.

William James Studies. An interdisciplinary peer-reviewed online journal introduced in Spring 2006. It is ``dedicated to publishing high quality, scholarly articles related to the life, work and influence of William James. No subscription to it is required. Access to the journal is open so as to ensure that all who have an interest in William James have access to its contents. WJS is published [online] by University of Illinois Press and sponsored by the William James Society.''

Wheeling Jesuit University. For more on Jesuit Colleges and Universities, see AJCU entry.

Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin. (Also WKB-J.) None of these gentlemen is represented above right (see instead the Wittgenstein entry above).

An approximate method for finding solutions of the Schrödinger equation, appropriate for potentials that vary either very smoothly or very rapidly in the vicinity of classical turning points. Instanton and soliton methods can be regarded as a generalization of WKB to multiple dimensions. Similar methods applied to other differential equations are known as multiscale methods. Boundary-layer theory in hydrodynamics bears mathematical similarities, with the boundary layer analogue in the Schrödinger solution being the region near the classical turning point where Airy function solutions can be matched to the actual solution.

Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin-Jeffreys. More commonly WKB, q.v..

NewsChannel 7, Buffalo, NY. Originally chosen to stand for ``Well-Known Bible Witness.''

Washington and Lee University. In Lexington, Virginia.

W-L, W/L
Won-Lost or Win-Loss record. In sports where ties are rare or technically forbidden, teams or individual players can be ranked unambiguously (I won't say always meaningfully) by W-L record. When the teams or players compared have not played an equal number of games, a ranking (technically a standing) can be computed by comparing values of (W-L)/2. In particular, in baseball a team is said to be ``[n] games behind first place'' if (W-L)/2 for the team is n less than the largest value of (W-L)/2 in the division. ``Best record in baseball'' and similar expressions refer implicitly to the W-L value.

Sports announcers and commentators being the sort of people they are, the W-L record will occasionally be called a ratio, after the pattern of ``take-away ratio,'' which is always the difference in turnovers.

In ice hockey, where ties are frequent, standings are computed by assigning two points for a win, one point for a tie and zero for a loss. This means, for example, that a team that's gone 0-1-5 (no wins, one loss, five ties) is ahead of a team with a record of 2-0-0, so if games are played on a very uneven schedule the ``points'' approach can be a poor measure for comparison.

Word Line. Cf. and read explanation at BL.

[Football icon]

World League of American Football. There's a Scottish team named the Claymores. Are they named after the antipersonnel mines? I guess this name has a different resonance in Scotland. They list their roster alphabetically by first name first. I think that's a good idea. `Who asked me?' Look, if you didn't need to know this stuff then why did you read it?

Wireless Local Area Network (LAN).

[Football icon]

Weakside LineBacker.

Wafer-Level Burn-In.

Women's League for Conservative Judaism.

Wafer-Level Chip-Scale Packaging.

World Long Drive Championship. The LDA's top annual event. Details in the WLD Champion entry below.

WLD Champion
World Long Drive CHAMPION. A winner of the LDA. There used to be five divisions, each with its own champion. Then, on November 19, 2008, the LDA announced a ``new division structure'' consisting of three divisions: open, senior (ages 45-52) and super senior (ages 53 and up). Art Sellinger, owner and CEO of the LDA, explained:
We have decided to streamline the RE/MAX championship in 2009 by eliminating two divisions, grand champions and women. We salute 2008 RE/MAX world champions Rick Barry and Lana Lawless for their victories, and we thank all the grand champions and women's division entrants for their support.

Eliminating these divisions was a difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary going forward. The fact is that participation in those two divisions has fallen well short of expectations. Simply put, we are unable to envision a reversal to that trend. It's time to move on.

At the time, LDA also canceled the 2008-2009 Exceptional Driver Championship (EDC), a driving contest for amateur golfers that rewarded accurate power. Sellinger had created the competition in 2005, but apparently had trouble selling it. ``The reality is the tournament lacked sufficient financial underpinning to sustain itself during the coming year. Prospects of finding new tournament sponsors in the current financial environment were slim to nonexistent. Eliminating the EDC after its promising three-year run and its move to Golf Channel is an act of necessity dictated entirely by economic conditions.''

World Languages Institute, a unit of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at UB.

WireLess Loop, or Wireless Local Loop.

World Languages Other than English. The point of the modifier ``world'' here is not especially clear. It could mean that the languages are from any part of the world, as opposed, say, to languages spoken in North America other than English. Given the quantity and variety of recent immigration, that might not be a very substantial distinction. Alternatively, it might be meant as a restriction to languages spoken throughout the world, rather than merely in a limited region. Again, given recent immigration flows, this would be a difficult distinction to make sharply. Evidently, some other distinction is meant, and it is probably this: ``world languages'' are languages native to this planetary world, and not some other. For practical purposes, WLOE is equivalent to ``languages other than English and Klingon.''

WLOG, wlog
Without Loss Of Generality. Used in mathematics to describe arbitrary choices made to simplify statements or calculations.

Wafer-Level { Processing | Packaging }

Wafer-Level Reliability.

Weighted Least Squares.

Wafer-Level Test.

Would Like To Meet. Personals-ad abbreviation. I suppose this usefully distinguishes one kind of ad from those others placed by people who prefer permanently long-distance relationships.

Wilfrid Laurier University. In Waterloo, Ontario. I think it's cool the way the university abbreviation suggests its location. Hmm -- it turns out that the name -- but, I feel a digression coming on. Let me mention the name thing later.

Y'know, I'm reminded of something that happened one day at a phonons conference, when Claire introduced me to some of her friends. I said to one guy, ``your accent sounds familiar! Don't tell me, you're from, uh, uh -- you're a Walloon!'' He said ``Walloon''? Beginning to be disheartened, I said ``yeah, you know: French-speaking Belgian.'' He replied ``oh -- wallon!'' Turned out he was a Francophone Swiss. Thinking it over later, I realized that l'anglais québécois resembles those other two as well, though not as closely. There seems to be something in common among the English accents of Francophones from French/Germanic bilingual countries, though I find it hard to define precisely what. I should also mention Finns here. In my experience, the range of Finnish accents in English is astonishing. A Finn speaking English could be mistaken for a native speaker of almost any Germanic language, and quite a few other north-central European ones. I think this has a little to do with varying degrees of familiarity with Swedish as a home language, and something perhaps to do with the sheer foreigness of Finnish. (Estonian is similar to Finnish, of course, but Hungarian, the only other demographically significant language remaining from the Finno-Ugric language family, is very distant. Hungarian and Finnish are not mutually intelligible, but one Finn has told me he senses a ticklish sort of familiarity in the general sound of Hungarian. Both languages have vowel concordance, but to a nonspeaker of both [me], their sounds and song are very different.)

Once my mother attended a talk by an English fellow who, so far as she could tell, had a perfectly standard educated British accent, except... something. She approached him after the talk and asked if he was from Vienna. Turned out he had been a child there. In German, of course, Viennese speech has a distinctive melody, but it's surprising to have it color English recognizably. I also feel that the way Italian sounds in Rome (and not anywhere further north) is very suggestive of the Argentine accent (Argentina had an enormous Italian immigration, of course), but I can't claim to have conducted anything like a test of this hypothesis unless eating in small Roman tratorie counts.

Well, this next story has no connection with WLU that I'd care to try to define, but I haven't written it anywhere else in the glossary. Visiting family in the Los Angeles area once, I walked into a little take-out place on Van Nuys Boulevard just south of Ventura. All I said was ``¡Qué hay de beber?'' [`what is there to drink?'] and the woman behind the counter asked me if I was Argentine like her. This had nothing to do with accent or melody or vos conjugations. It's just that de instead of para in that phrase is Argentine.

This has degenerated into bragging, hasn't it -- language dropping. Let's veer in another direction: Waterloo. I just had a thought I wish I hadn't, and now that I've had it I'd like to be rid of it. So I'll do the usual thing, which is stick it in the glossary and hope some visitors will take this thought away with them. (It's free!) Don't say I didn't warn you. The thought is that Waterloo can be analyzed as Water + loo, and that water is French slang for `bathroom' [< Eng. water closet], while loo is British slang for the same. Remember to flush.

(Just as an aside to that, notice that ``now that'' in a sentence above would often be contracted to ``now'' in British but not in American. Eliding a had just before the comma in that same sentence is also more British than American. We now break back out to the aside this aside was nested in. Sorry for not indenting my statement blocks.)

(Oh, another aside, same nesting depth as previous. It's been suggested that there is an etymological connection between loo and Waterloo. In the October 1974 Blackwood's Magazine (vol. 316, #1908), Alan S.C. Ross had an article entitled ``Loo'' (pp. 309-316). This article seems to be mostly about a military chap, one Gen. Public. Ross has some really quite insulting things to say about this poor benighted fellow, considering him, as we Americans would say, a low-grade moron. I won't say anything at all about my opinion of Alan Ross, except that, to judge from this article only, he was a pretentious fool. Ross proposed incoherently that loo is derived in English from a rare muddled French pun on Waterloo. A difficulty with most of the explanations is explaining why the word loo is first attested in English no earlier than 1947 or so. The etymology of loo is unknown.)

Now about WLU... Wilfred Laurier was prime minister of Canada from July 11, 1896 until October 6, 1911. He apparently had nothing to do with the founding of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, which opened its doors on October 30, 1911. The seminary grew and spawned other educational institutions in the usual ways, with an eventual renaming and promotion (to degree-granting status) yielding a ``Waterloo Lutheran University'' in 1960. In 1973, this was renamed Wilfred Laurier University, and the only connection ever offered between the school and its current eponym is the coincidence of W and L initials, allowing the school to keep its monogram.

By the way, if you came here for information about Washington and Lee University, you got the wrong entry. You want W&L.


WM, wm
Window Manager.

World Medical Association.

Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, launched 2001.

Washington (DC) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Subway (MetroRail) and bus (MetroBus) operator in DC and nearby suburbs. Normally people just call MetroRail the METRO or Metro. Cf. MARC, VRE.

War Manpower Commission. A WWII institution of the US government, created to assure appropriate allocation of manpower to the military, industry, and agriculture. See also OWM.

Weighted (usually ensemble-weighted) Monte Carlo (simulation method).

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Weapons of Mass Destruction. If you spend a year looking for WMD information in this glossary, most of what you find will be sausage-related. Follow this link. Of course, there's SALT.

The German word for WMD is Massenvernichtungswaffen. If you wanted to be strict about it, most German acronyms would have to be one letter long. Dial M...

Windows Meta File.

Wireless Mark-up Language. Formatting for documents downloaded to cell phones with WAP, q.v. Based on HDML (Handheld Device Markup Language), and conforms to general XML guidelines.

World Meteorological Organization.

Clement Wragge, an Australian meteorologist of the early 1900's, is believed to have originated the practice of naming hurricanes and other tropical storm cyclones. He started out using Greek letters. (This worked, of course, because in a typical storm season, the storm systems in any region number fewer than 24.) Later, he switched to names from Greek and Roman mythology, and finally to ordinary names in alphabetical order. The practice was continued informally until 1953, when the WMO started doing it. For each storm region, a separate WMO committee of local representatives chooses the naming procedure and names.

North Atlantic hurricanes and tropical lows are named in alphabetical order from a list. There are currently six lists, used successively so that the storm names for 2001 are taken from the same list as those of 1995. Any country affected by a storm can request that the WMO retire a name -- not use it again for at least ten years. Hurricanes Gilbert (1988), Hugo (1989), and Mitch (1998) have all been retired. Starting at the beginning of the alphabet every year has the advantage that you can tell from the name approximately when in the season the storm was born. From the names retired, one can guess (correctly) that the first few in each season are not usually the worst. The storms originate off the west coast of North Africa and drift west, then take less predictable paths when they approach the Caribbean. Sometimes, when two storms in close succession take very different paths, they will arrive in Florida out of alphabetical order.

Central north Pacific typhoon names are taken in order from four successive lists of alphabetically ordered names. However, naming proceeds to the next list only when the current list is exhausted, rather than switching with each new annual season. This means that there is greater variety in the first letter of name used, and that must be good news for people who find the first half of the alphabet old-hat. However, anybody whose name begins in wye is probably stuck with having a typhoon namesake every four years. Australia uses a similar system.

Wealth Management Product.

Work Management System. See GITA.

World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics.

Western Michigan University. It's in Kalamazoo.

Waste Management Technology Analysis and Decision Support.

The year 2000, by ukase of the IMU, will be the

World Mathematical Year.

For more on the year 2000, visit the century (c.) entry.

I was in graduate school in 1979. A friend of mine was in graduate school for Mathematics in California. Back East, we would whisper ``Pssst! The eighties are going to be like the sixties! Pass it on!'' In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected to his first term in a landslide; Carter conceded as my mathematician friend was driving to the polls to vote. Every decade is special.

Women's National Basketball Association. An initiative of the NBA, which has no plans to rename its traditional operations the MNBA.

Washington National Cathedral. It ``rel[ies] entirely on private support. The Cathedral receives no government or national church funding.''

Call letters of TV channel 16 in South Bend, Indiana. The station was begun in 1955 as the television station of Notre Dame University. We're clarifying our mission and rationalizing our operations, with centralization and reengineering as focal points, allowing us to leverage the synergy and take it to the next level, whatever ``it'' is. What I'm trying to communicate here is that all further WNDU-TV information is at the Joyce ACC entry, for your convenience.

Wireless Networked Embedded Control System.

Wide-area Network Interface Module.

Channel 34, the PBS affiliate serving the South Bend area.

Women's National Invitational (basketball) Tournament. Cf. NIT.

Within Normal Limits. A technical term used by doctors to mean, ``Hey, I do that too.''

Where No One Has Gone Before. Politically neutered form of classic TOS-original WNMHGB.

The Western NeuroRadiological Society. They do neuroradiology at rodeos and shoot'em-ups, I think. But to be a member you have to have founded it or live no further east than Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas.

The mailing address is in Oak Brook, Illinois, identical with the ENRS. Different extension on the phone number. Related to the ASNR.

``Sunny 101.5.'' A light-rock FM radio station serving the greater South Bend area (yeah, Michiana), owned by SCI. In the evening they play that insipid Delilah program. All schmaltz, all the time.

It began its broadcast life in 1962 as WSBT FM, simulcasting WSBT AM. After a series of format and call-letter changes, it ended up as WNSN FM in 1984.

West Nile Virus. Appears to be more convenient for writing than speech. (I refer to the initialism. The virus itself is not particularly convenient.)

The virus was first detected in the US in 1999 in New York City. WNV usually causes mild or no illness in humans, and most people infected don't know they're sick. However, a small fraction become seriously ill and a few die from virus-related encephalitis. In 2004, WNV was found in 47 states of the US, where 2370 people were known to be afflicted and 88 died of the disease.

West NorthWest. Vide compass directions.

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