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W/O, w/o
WithOut. (With is W/.)

Washington Office on Africa.

``The Washington Office on Africa (WOA) is a church-sponsored not-for-profit advocacy organization seeking to articulate and promote a just American policy toward Africa. We monitor Congressional legislation and executive policies and actions and issue action alerts to advance progressive legislation and policy. We seek to work in partnership with colleagues in Africa, the Africa advocacy community in the United States, and grassroots organizations concerned with various aspects of African affairs.

WOA was founded in 1972 to support the movement for freedom from white-minority rule in southern Africa. Today, we have an expanded mission which seeks to address issues affecting grassroots African interests throughout the continent. A key focus of our energies presently are economic justices issues in Africa, including questions of aid, trade, and debt.''

Elmer Fuddese for rob.

Variant spelling of web, used in Scotland and northern England since the seventeenth century. Not surprising, when you consider that woven is a form of weave.

Wire-On-Bump. Electronic interconnect term.

Wom{a|e}n-Owned Business[es].

World Ocean Circulation Experiment.

Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society. (We define ostomy here.)

Waste Of Film And Time.

Wo Fat
A villain (originally Commander of Red Chinese Intelligence in the Pacific Theater), on the long-running TV series Hawaii Five-O. He was Moriarty to Steve McGarrett's Sherlock. McGarrett clashed with Wo Fat many times (``Cocoon,'' ``Forty Feet High and It Kills,'' and other episodes), finally triumphing in the final episode (#278) of the final (twelfth) season (of the original series, not the 2010-2014 retread).

That episode was entitled ``Woe to Wo Fat,'' and first aired April 5, 1980. McGarrett was able to arrest Wo Fat by posing as theoretical physicist Dr. Elton Raintree. I'm not sure how the name ``Elton'' was chosen, but Elton John's stardom, and the fact that he often performed in costumes that might be regarded as disguises, could have had something to do with it. I imagine that ``Raintree'' was chosen to evoke ``Rainwater.''

James Rainwater was a (nonfictional) theoretical nuclear physicist who predicted that some nuclei are not spherical. This was confirmed experimentally by Aage Bohr (son of the great Dane Niels Bohr -- sorry, had to) and Ben R. Mottelson. All three were well-known to fellow physicists, but in 1975 they shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for this work. Bohr and Mottelson were Danes (in fact, Mottelson was born in the US and became a naturalized citizen of Denmark), but Rainwater was American, and I suppose that may have counted for something with the writers of Hawaii Five-O.

Most of the Nobel laureates in physics between 1975 and the final season of the show were also Americans, so there was plenty to choose. But I think that at the time, most nonphysicists (and I believe that most of Hawaii Five-O's audience were nonphysicists) would have thought that theoretical nuclear physics was the summa plus ultra of physics. Rainwater may also have had some additional popular renown from his participation in the Manhattan project, and it might have counted for something that he looked a little bit more like Jack Lord (who played Steve McGarrett) than the others. Then again, the name and profession might be simple coincidence.

Patricia Crowley guested in ``Woe to Wo Fat.'' She later went on to fame in the TV series ``Don't Eat the Daisies,'' based on a book by Jean Kerr (see pancreas).

This is actually just a longer version of the WOFAT definition, as befits WOFAT.

Web Open Font Format.

Write-Only Memory. Almost as useful as a one-terminal resistor. There's a spec sheet around, but it's easy to burn-in your own customized implementation.

A family of Australian marsupials that resemble the koala but have a more varied diet.

Waste Of Money, Brains, And Time.

In Saturnalia 2.4.29-30, Macrobius tells the story of some birds. Here is Michael Hendry's summary of the story (posted to the Classics List):

A man trains a raven to greet Augustus after Actium with "Hail Caesar, victorious general!" The emperor gives him 20,000 sesterces. His partner, who got no share in the money, then comes forward to tell Augustus about his other raven, trained to say "Hail Antony, victorious general." Augustus makes them split the money. Augustus then buys a parrot and a magpie trained by others to say the same. A poor tailor is inspired to try the same with a raven, but his bird is too stupid or stubborn to learn its lines, and the trainer keeps muttering "Wasted trouble and expense" (opera et impensa periit). When Augustus is passing in the street, the raven manages to say the proper "Hail Caesar," the emperor says "I get enough of that kind of stuff at home," and then the raven says "Wasted trouble and expense." The emperor is so charmed he pays more for it than for any of the other birds.

EC abbreviation for Committee on Women's Rights.

West Old Norse.

The relation of the new to the old, before the assimilation is performed, is wonder.
-- William James

wonderful book
What do you mean you don't like it?

wonderful children
Ah -- so they're your little monsters, then?

An expert with an unnatural enthusiasm for subject of expertise. An obsessive maven.

It has taken literally years (about three, actually) for the Stammtisch to achieve this definition.

Common use: ``Clinton administration policy wonk.''

Etymology: Antonomasia with elision of unstressed syllable, based on ``Willy Wonka,'' owner of the factory in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a moral parable in the form of food science fiction (1964) by Roald Dahl. A movie was made. [This etymology was discovered by a process of careful imagination.]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was read to one of my classes in grade school. Many years later, two of my former classmates were arrested on weapons charges. In fact, I just heard that one of them is in trouble again. And of course, there's me. I remember when my college roommate Dennis, who's from the same hometown but went to a different grade school, looked at my fourth grade school class picture. He said: ``What a bunch of losers''!

Another datum respecting the etymology of wonk is that the term is widely believed to have originated at Harvard at least as long ago as The Sixties ®. Then, it was a synonym of nerd: a bright, hardworking, socially maladroit student. It's not clear what could have made Dahl's book such an underground hit at Harvard.

It has been observed that ``wonk'' is ``know'' spelled backwards. Similar observations about ``dog'' and ``knurd'' (a variant spelling [ftnt. 25] of ``nerd'') have proven to be irrelevant to the etymologies of those words. Come think of it, the word nerd occurs in the work of Dr. Seuss.

Werk[e] ohne Opusnummer. German for `Work[s] without Opus number.' The work of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is referred to by number to an unusual degree (e.g., ``Beethoven's Fifth,'' ``the Ninth Symphony''), but many of his works were unnumbered. Numbers were assigned to them in Das Werk Beethovens; thematisch-bibliographisches Verzeichnis seiner sämtlichen vollendeten Kompositionen. (`The Work of Beethoven: complete thematic-bibliographic catalog of his completed compositions'). This standard work was completed after Kinsky's death by Hans Halm and published in 1955; it is cited both as Kinsky and as Kinsky-Halm. WoO is used as a prefix when giving the Kinsky numbers, as in ``WoO 1: Ritterballett.'' Since opus means `work,' the Kinsky numbers are being referred to in this way as the works-without-work-number [work] numbers.

Kinsky based himself on the ``Complete Edition'' of Beethoven's works published in 1888, which was in fact incomplete. (At this point, you could hardly be surprised.) In 1957, Willy Hess published Verzeichnis der nicht in der Gesamtausgabe veröffentlichten Werke Ludwig van Beethovens (`Catalog of works of Ludwig van Beethoven not published [i.e., included] in the Complete Edition'). This listing included some lost works, unfinished pieces, and alternate arrangements of previous works. Many of the works listed by Hess and not in the original Kinsky compilation were eventually assigned WoO numbers; those which were not are referred to by their Hess numbers. (In 1959, Hess also published the scores in a fourteen-volume Supplemente to the Gesamtausgabe.)

Hess also published an appendix (Anhang) to Kinsky's catalog, listing ``Beethoven works'' of questionable authorship. Works listed there are referred to by AnH numbers. Numbers make everything systematic and straightforward.

Canine syllable, American dialect. Ruff is also used, especially by the pet of Dennis (`the Menace') Mitchell. There's more information on this topic at the subwoofer entry (SW).

``Bow-wow'' is not used. It can hardly be considered an onomatopoeia at all. It's like trying to imitate a New Jersey accent by saying ``Noo JOYsee,'' when in fact the only people who speak like that live on Lawn Guyland.

Sheep hair, usually. Mom knit me some socks, and in reply to my question about washing writes

> If your machine does not have a "delicate" cycle, I would throw them
> in 5 minutes before the rinse. Warm water should be OK. BTW wool is very
> absorbent and you don't have to wash the socks after each use (if your
> American upbringing allows you to conceive of this possibility).

Liverpudlian name for Mancunians. I have it on Liverpudlian authority that this is not pejorative but affectionate (so I originally arranged the alphabetization to place it here after a pet entry).

{ World | Wonders } Of Radio. Original expansion for the call letters of a New York City broadcaster.

Worcestershire sauce
Contents listed here.

An organization like Al-Anon but for the families of workaholics.

Work Area
A five-mile stretch of reduced speed limits, doubled fines, and traffic cones blocking off at least one lane of highway, ending in a hundred-yard stretch of idle equipment.

A PC adjective meaning ``non-Western.''


World Archaeology. A journal catalogued in TOCS-IN.

World Bank
It's a big secret, so don't tell anybody -- don't even admit it to yourself: the World Bank is part of a worldwide conspiracy to take over the world by making nonproducing loans.

It's so secret, it's not even called the World Bank. It's actually the IBRD. It's based in Washington, D.C. [Sober aside: the World Bank name might be official by now, and IBRD was joined by the IDA in 1960, and later by some other international financial institutions. See the WB entry.]

By tradition, the World Bank president is nominated by the US. The appointment is then voted on by the Bank's executive directors, who represent shareholder countries. Also by tradition, the nominee is an American.

In 1995, Bank President Lewis Preston became ill and the White House began a round of interviews. There was wide agreement among both Clinton administration officials and World Bank insiders that his successor should be selected with a view to serving 10 years, regarded as the kind of time necessary to have a meaningful impact on such a complex organization.

The person selected and accepted to replace Preston was James D. Wolfensohn, and the rest of the content resources that ought to have gone here were retasked and deposited under his name.

World Bank Group
The IBRD, IDA, and IFC. Lately, all conspiracies are trilateral. Oops: as of 2006, this one is already pentagonal. Perhaps the principles are earning interest. See the WB entry; I can't keep these redundant glossary entries all up-to-date at the same time.

Western Civ
WESTERN CIVilization[s]. A common informal and sometimes official name for an overview course in the history of Europe and of the modern history of some places colonized by Europeans. Western Civ courses are able to stir controversy both by their presence and by their absence. (More usually by their impending appearance or disappearance, or changes in associated curriculum requirements). In all cases, the controversy is predicated on the false assumption that students will remember the material or, failing that (pardon the expression), be affected in the long term by having been exposed to it (something like strontium-90, I guess).

World Class
Able to compete in the world. For example, the corner store at Walnut and Jefferson is world class because it provides a unique service (newspapers and chewing gum at walking distance from and along the way to school, respectively) to local customers that not even the store at Wilson and Elm can match.

The following showed up in my email; I thought you'd enjoy it:

A conference co-sponsored by the Academy of Management's Management
Education and Development Division and the United Arab Emirates University,
College of Business and Economics
        to be held in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, April 2-3, 2000.
Personally, I think that avoiding typographical errors and awkward constructions, at least in official announcements, is part of being world class. But then, I'm not a manager's manager or a developer's developer; I'm just literate. If I were illiterate, I would be qualified to write some of the stuff in the management self-help/inspiration genre. The announcement continues
Proposals should be 200 words describing a presentation, symposium (panel
discussion), or workshop (demonstration) of research or theory relevant to
World Class Management Education and/or Management Development in the 21st
Century in its relevance to the developing nations.  ...
See? The term ``world class'' is not just for unsophisticated folk and the ironic. It is also used by those with a weak grip on the language.
                ...  Presentations and proposals may be in English or
Arabic.  Though, English is generally recommended to provide wider access to
sessions by all international attendees.  ...

World Class Quality
The title of a book published by AMACOM, a publishing arm of the American Management Association. Just so you don't confuse it with other books with the same title from the same publisher, this is the one subtitled Using Design of Experiments to Make it Happen. I saw it on the dollar table and riffled through it.

If I were defining world class quality, I would make it the quality of being a global class, but I'd make it nonheritable.

WORLD Science Fiction CONvention. Worldcons bear an interesting relation to WSFS, q.v. In years when Worldcon is held outside North America, a NASFiC is held as well.

World Unclaimed, The
Subtilted ``A Challenge to Heidegger's Critique of Husserl.''

CRITIQUE! CHALLENGE! A world as prize!

Fight! Fight!

You think I'm going to spoil the excitement by reading the book? Get real.

(Yes, sure I mean ``subtilted.'' It's not a typo. You've heard of tilting at windmills and other worthy opponents -- that's violent too.)

Okay, I'll tell you something about the book. The dust jacket (dj) is done in earth tones, basically -- dark brown and purplish grays, some orange. The name ``Lilian Alweiss'' appears on the front, below the aitch names.

This book grabbed my attention because it reminded me of a very bad movie I liked -- ``Bridget Jones's Diary.'' That also featured two men in conflict over a woman, and at one point they come to actual blows. It's never made clear why these two characters are so hot for Bridget Jones, a character that is a fat, chain-smoking, stupid sot. Then again, incredible casting may have made the script credible. You could believe that they're crazy about her because she's hotter than Renée Zellweger. (I mean, hotter than Renée Zellweger is when she's skinny. Tastes vary, you pervert. More discussion of this important psychosocial landmark event can be discovered at the entry for Car Door Slam Method.)

Anyway at the start of the fight, Bridget's ahem, slightly effeminate male friend (he calls himself a ``hag fag'' in the book -- moderately clever, but pretty uncomplimentary all around) runs across the street and alerts the waiters in the ethnic restaurant. So they all rush out and enthusiastically begin to handicap the contest in some distant foreign language. It's one of the rare genuinely funny moments in the movie, so I figured I'd spoil it for you. Of course, if you get your jollies from watching people be genuinely embarrassed, then this will have you rolling on the street.

I hope The World Unclaimed is funny like that, and not about lost luggage as the cover illustration seems to imply. You know, there's a company in Alabama that buys all ultimately unclaimed luggage in the US and auctions it off.

What the heck, let's crack it open at random and see if there's anything valuable inside. Page 122 bears the running head ``The Final Loss of the World'' (mixed-caps, but I can't be bothered to reproduce the formatting) and page 123 has ``The Distinctiveness of the World'' at the top. Random text from page 123:

`Nearness' cannot be measured or calculated, but is defined in relation to what is environmentally closest to Dasein (i.e., the book on the desk rather than the glasses I am wearing) [SBF says, concrete examples are soooo helpful]. Equally, equipment is not merely present-at-hand, occurring at random in some spatial position ..., but all equipment has its place (Platz) in a specific region (Gegend): ``In each case the place is the definite `there' or `yonder' [`Dort' und `Da'] of an item of equipment which belongs somewhere....

I feel like I ought to photocopy some of this stuff and send it over to the boys at baggage claim to see what they can make of it.

Have I ever mentioned ------? (Oops. I had.) Her luggage was lost for a few days when she visited Greece, but fortunately she had a new package of panties in her carry-on. (Look, I just report this stuff. I don't know if Greek panties are not part-compatible or something.) Eventually she got her suitcase back and it had a mark across it as if a tractor tire had rolled across it. Later when she was talking with the airline's adjuster about her losses, she mentioned that ``it looks like a tractor ran over it.'' The adjuster said ``yes, that's probably what happened.'' I guess when you're a claims adjuster, the mysterious becomes ordinary. Dasein -- don't leave home without it. (And stuff a couple in your carry-on -- you never know how far ``nearness'' may be.)

Actually, I do have some information relevant to the part-compatibility issues. My mother's stepfather was a tailor, and he spent long stretches of his career in Germany, then Latin America, and finally in the US. With each move, he had to change his dress patterns. Generally speaking, in Latin America the patterns conformed more closely, so to speak, to that health ideal called the ``pear-shaped body.''

Write On[c]e Read Many. Usually refers to CD that can be written to by the user (CD-R). Optical-disc WORM's are O-WORM's.

World-Wide-Web for Operations Research and Management Science.

worse than previously thought
A somewhat otiose headline phrase. For the most part, general news sources translate quantitative information into qualitative description, and what is lost in translation usually cannot be recovered directly. Even when numerical information is offered, this is done with context inadequate for understanding. Numbers are at best decoration for emotive claims (see 000). ``Worse than previously thought'' thus means something like: ``It's not just bad! It's bad!''

German, `taciturn,' from wort (`word,' duh) and karg (meager, sparse). The word wortkarg is not exactly equivalent to taciturn in connotation, however. In English, a person described as taciturn may reasonably be inferred to have a somewhat dour or sour temperament. Wortkarg doesn't carry that load. Is it possible that English, a language with a bulging armamentarium of words sufficient to wage simultaneous logomachies on three different continents, does not have a word meaning wortkarg? Of course not! The proper translation is laconic. There's also schweigsam, which might be translated as `quiet.'

(Microsoft) Windows Open Services Architecture.

Eye dialect for what. Chiefly British.

Waste Of Time And Money.

Word Of The Day. A service that provides erudition at an eye-dropper rate. Here's one served by the OED.

World ORT Union.

Windows On Win32.

World Of Wireless COMmunications. The public face of the CTIA.

Wow, who's the mother?
In the strictest mathematical sense, this is the absolute worst thing that a man can say when a close female friend calls excitedly to announce that he is to become a father.

Hmmm, could be I inhabit an alternate social universe. In the movie ``The Opposite of Sex,'' Dede (played by Christina Ricci) has seduced her gay half-brother's boyfriend Matt (played by some guy, okay?). She gets pregnant and breaks the news to Matt while they're lying on the bed fast-forwarded after some PG-level lovemaking (I don't know how the movie earned an R), and he asks ``Is it mine?'' She answers ``See? Only straight boys ever say that line. You're in!'' On the other hand, the movie is advertised as a comedy because you can't take the plot or many of the premises too seriously. We'll have to go on collecting data. Later, in a heated discussion with Dede's half-brother and a friend (Lisa Kudrow) who hangs around so the movie can have multiple plot lines, Matt insists, with a bit of umbrage, that he's not gay but bisexual.

I should note that Matt asks whether he's the father even after Dede has explicitly implied that he is. To find out how she implies explicitly (it's easier than explying implicitly, I'm sure), see the pregnant we entry. Yes, it does seem that I'm milking this scene for all and more than it's worth, but Ricci has the udders for it, especially when she hasn't slimmed down for some thin role.

Oh, and -- ladies? Here is something for you to avoid doing. Do not interrupt sex to answer the phone. It spoils the entire act, if you know what I mean.

I never realized what an old-fashioned romantic I was until recently, seeing couples walking through the scenic campus hand-in-hand. They are immersed in worlds of their own, oblivious to everything except the cell phones they hold in their other hands.

Nickname of Stephen Wozniac, a cofounder of Apple Computer. The ``Woz'' is somewhat evocative of ``the Wiz.'' Some important early computers had names ending in IAC: ENIAC, various ILLIACs, JOHNNIAC, and MANIAC, that I can come up with.

Oh wait, that's ``Wozniak'' with a k! Never mind, then.

Gee, seeing as how the connection between this entry and the -IAC machines is kinda tenuous, we might as well mention some -AC machines: BINAC and EDSAC (1949); EDVAC, an early machine; and UNIVAC, which had some name recognition into the 1960's. There's also a much later CMAC.

Frankly, the ILLIAC's don't really qualify as -IAC machines, since the second I stands for ``Institute'' instead of ``Integrator,'' or as -AC machines, since the AC stands for ``Advanced Computation.''

Washington OZaukee County Dental Society. ``[P]romotes dental health and education in Washington and Ozaukee Counties (of Wisconsin). WOzCDS is a nonprofit component society of the Wisconsin and American Dental Associations'' (WDA and ADA). For other Dental organizations, see the list maintained by Sue Hutchinson.

Warsaw Pact. The post-WWII military grouping of the USSR and its ``allies'' (smile for the camera!). Cf. NATO.

The Washington Post. Also ``WPost'' (nuthin' at that entry) and ``WaPo.'' In 1995 they were still piggy-backing an AT&T site. Then again, until 2007, I hadn't updated this entry. These days, as Pinch Sulzberger destroys his family's New York Times (quondam ``paper of record'' of the US), the Washington Post is becoming the country's leading paper by default.

The Washington Post was founded in 1877. William McKinley, who was president of the US from 1897 to 1901 (September -- he was assassinated), kept a parrot named Washington Post in the White House that whistled ``Yankee Doodle.''

Wheel Pulser.

[Phone icon]

WP, wp
White Pages. In US telephone books, the white pages list numbers ordered alphabetically by the name of the party reached at the number. Increasingly, white pages listings have separate residential and business sections. In New York City, something like a third of residences have their numbers unlisted.

White Paper. A special report, the result of a study. In another context: A general research proposal, or outlook, without a budget and not submitted formally through the contracting agency of the author(s).

WordPerfect. Novell owned it during '95, but their site at first seemed to have only a little information on WordPerfect. You had to look under ``Network Applications.'' Anyway, they sold it at the end of January 1996. I think Corel sells it now as part of an office automation suite.

WordPerfect was the word processing program that became dominant on the PC platform while MS Word became dominant on the Macintosh. Now the platform base is expanded for both, and they're fighting it out. In the process, version 6 of MSWord was written for the PC, and the Mac version apparently used a crude translation of the PC code. This made a significant deterioration in performance, and the code didn't really have Macintosh look-and-feel, let alone satisfy Macintosh human interface guidelines. Time to try something new.

Word Process{ing | or}.

Name based on similar action of food processor on food.

Wi-Fi Protected Access.

Works Progress Administration.

Perhaps I should write a couple of words about this Depression-era relief program. The words would be ambitious and unprecedented. If I could have an adverb I would definitely go for an intensifier like utterly. Of course, the Great Depression was itself, for combined duration and depth, unprecedented (and happily unrepeated) in US history. FDR was no economist, but he had the reasonable idea that a big problem would require a big solution, and he had a sense that the urgency of the problem justified testing audacious solutions.

The WPA was a relief measure established on May 6, 1935 by executive order 7034 of Pres. Roosevelt. It was a make-work program, but not so sharply focused on construction projects as programs created earlier in FDR's administration (FERA, PWA, and CWA). It included

The WPA was also much larger than the previous large programs. By March, 1936, it was providing employment for more than 3,400,000 -- about of third of workers without nonrelief employment. Of course, there was still plenty of construction work in the mix. Over its eight years of existence, the WPA built, repaired or improved

This all cost money. The WPA spent about $11 billion in its eight-year life, employing at one time or another a total of 8,500,000 different people on 1,410,000 different projects.

It was reorganized in 1939 (see WPA infra). Once the US got into WWII, military spending became the big spending program, and war production took up the labor supply that didn't go into uniform. The WPA went out of existence on December 4, 1943.

Works Projects Administration. Name of the old Works Progress Administration (WPA, supra) from 1939 on, when it was reorganized as part of the Federal Works Agency.

WPA, w.p.a.
Worth the Price of Admission.

  1. The Council of Writing Program Administrators. Writing Program Administration
  2. WPA: Writing Program Administration. (The Journal of the Counsil of Writing Program Administrators.)

Wyoming Press Association.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In Ohio. ``Wright-Pat'' for short.

War Production Board. An institution of the US government created to control the distribution of strategic materials and empowered to control or suspend production of consumer goods during WWII. See also OWM.

West Palm Beach, Florida. ``West Palm.''

Walsworth Publishing Company.

Water Pollution Control.

Washington Publishing Company. ``[S]pecializes in managing and distributing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) information, primarily in the form of documentation for organizations that develop, maintain, and implement EDI standards.''

WaterProof Chartbook.

An abbreviation never used by the Weeks Publishing Company. Good call! This company publishes ``food product design [don't ask] and food executive magazines.''

Western Publishing Company, Inc. A printer of playing cards.

Whey Protein Concentrate.

Williamsburg Publishing Company. Publishes WILDLIFE NEIGHBORS OF THE WILLIAMSBURG AREA (Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown).

Wimbledon Publishing Company. It may have been bought out in 2002.

Witter Publishing Corporation. ``Through magazines, conferences, trade shows, Internet sites and related products, Witter Publishing provides the information that professionals in the fluid handling, critical cleaning, industrial metal cleaning and business continuity markets need to make business and technology decisions.''

Women's Political Council. A teachers' group. Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955, for refusing the order of a bus driver to move further back in the bus. The WPC, led by JoAnn Robinson, initiated the idea of a one-day bus boycott. Within 24 hours, the WPC had distributed more than 52,000 fliers announcing the bus boycott, which was to take place December 5, the day of Parks's trial. As the vacant buses made their circuits around Montgomery that day, she was convicted and fined $14. She would appeal to the circuit court. Read more about it in the Encarta Africana article about Rosa Parks, or at the related MIA entry.

World Publishing Corporation. Core business: fifteen monthly newspapers (shoppers) distributed free in the East Valley area (the area around Mesa -- east of Phoenix, Arizona). Had we but world enough and time, this coyness, lady, were no crime.

WPC Expo
Formerly ``World PC Expo.'' You know what PC means, don't you?

Warm, Pink, Dry (skin).

WordPerfect Document. A filename extension.

WinniPeG. A girl's given name, formed by contraction of the names Winnie and Peggy (nicknames for Winifreda and Margaret). Just like pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue. At the time that Buddy Holly hiccupped this song to the top of the charts, Peggy Sue was the girlfriend (and future wife) of Buddy's buddy and drummer J.I. Allison.

Hmmm. A faithful reader of the glossary has sent in a, uh, comment. I was right, of course, that Winnipeg is a given name (but the name was given to a Canadian city).

Wafers Per Hour. Silicon, not communion.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Word-oriented language internal to PRODOS Applewriter 2.1.

wpm, WPM
Words Per Minute. A hundred is a good clip. On the other hand, if you're using Morse Code that's about impossible, unless all the words are a. To get a novice ham radio licence in the UK you still need to demonstrate 5WPM Morse Code capability, 12WPM for more advanced licences. Morse code requirements for ham licenses in the US ended in the late seventies or early eighties.

The Washington Post. See the WP entry; I don't feel like repeating myself.

Web Presence Provider. Web Host -- a company that provides http (and generally some other) servers; the WPP's bandwidth and local storage (or rack space) are leased by third parties. There are a lot of WPP's out there. ISP check uses subscriber responses to rate the good ones, and also provides information on the others, all searchable. Startplace bases its ratings on test suites. Hmmm. Just tried to browse Startplace and their server was not responding. Not a good sign. Microsoft also has a WPP certification program.

Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. Intended for ages 4 to 6. More at WAIS (q.v.). WPPSI-R is the current Revised version.

Wisconsin Public Radio.

WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific. To judge from EMRO and SEARO, the W in this ill-formed acronym represents the first letter of Western, and not of World Health Organization. See AFRO for at least one other regional-office acronym.

Word-Processing Software.

Wireless Power Transmission.

William Patterson University. In Wayne, New Jersey. In 2005 it celebrated the sesquicentennial of its founding. (That means its 150th birthday, you moron.)

Wolff-Parkinson-White (syndrome). A heart disorder -- an arrhythmia often accompanied by only mild symptoms. There's a brief nontechnical description from The Arrhythmia Service of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Here's a page of links from The Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). There's an internet Discussion Forum for the Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.

Watts of heat. Q or q traditionally represents heat. See W(e) for discussion.

Wilson Quarterly. You know, you'd never guess it from reading the articles, but the Wilson quarterly is a government publication, published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, housed in the Smithsonian Institution Building. Maybe they could send a SWAT team to any of the other departments and see if they can begin to rescue the English language.

Water Quality and Waste Management.

Water Resource[s].

Waveguide, Rectangular. In such designations as ``WR-62.'' Cf. infelicitously named WC.

Wear Resistant.

[Football icon]

Wide Receiver. An offensive position in American football. A very offensive position, in fact. The strong acids of team chemistry. Probably a majority of WR's are underperforming prima donnas. ``Wide'' refers to the fact that the receiver lines up wide to the left or right of where the ball is spotted. WR's also called wideouts. It's unconscionably easy to find metaphorical parallels between their position and their attitude. There are also some exceptions.

World Record.

Since I haven't anything enduringly interesting to say about world records, let me say something about the word world. Like a large fraction of Modern English monosyllables, it's an eroded version of a proto-Germanic disyllable. In Old English, it still had spellings like weorold and worold, reflecting were, `man,' and ald, `age.' The first part of the compound normally meant a male person, and not man in the generic sense. The word fell out of use, though it is recognizable in werewolf, and in words derived from the Latin cognate vir, such as the English words virile and virtue (the latter originally referring to the virtues identified with `manliness').

The second element, ald, gave rise to the modern adjective old. The OED describes this combination, with an etymological meaning of ``age of man'' or ``life of man,'' as ``a formation peculiar to Germanic.'' It may be, but the association of long time with world is not unique. In Hebrew, the common word olam has the meanings of `forever' and `world.' On the other hand, world records in sports are not associated with long time. They're associated with short time -- that's the whole point, in races at least. And world records in popular sports seem to fall on a regular basis. They don't even just seem to. You can do a linear regression of best times as a function of time and predict what the world record will be a few years in the future with fair accuracy.

As implied earlier, incidentally, world has cognates in other Germanic languages -- in most of the well-attested ones, at least. In German, the English adjective old has a cognate alt with the same meaning, and world is Welt, the r having been lost during the Middle High German period. The devoicing of final consonants in German is standard. (Bavarian and Yiddish are the prominent exceptions.) The main reason to spell a German word with the letter or letters for a voiced final consonant is so that one will know to revoice it if an inflection puts a vowel after it.

So the unusual thing that happened to Welt is not that its final d was devoiced, but that its plural went from Welden to Welten. This seems unsurprising, since the plural would be used infrequently and the status of the final consonant of the singular as devoiced d rather than simple t would presumably be forgotten. But it turns out not to be so unusual, and this special pleading is apparently unnecessary. Many (not all) originally -ld words I can think of offhand are -lt words in Modern German. Here's a sampling (the German words are translated by their English cognates, where possible):

alt, `old'
bald, `soon' (cognate with Eng. bold)
Bild, `formation, picture' (cog. w. build)
Feld, `field'
Gold, `gold'
kalt, `cold'
Schild, `shield'
Wald, `forest' [cogn. w. wold, which was deforested somewhere between Old English and Middle English]
Welt, `world'
wild, `wild'

Many -l words in Middle High German became, or became once again, -ld words in Modern German. It doesn't seem that one can say much more than that the distinction was subject to change.

Waste Regulation Authority.

Window Random-Access Memory (RAM). A dual-ported video accelerator memory like VRAM, but with very wide internal buses (256-bit wide, say) for gigabyte-per second speeds. And priced like DRAM?! Oh, ``near-DRAM prices.'' Not clear whether this will become the name for a next generation of VRAM, or just stay the name of VRAM from Matrox.

Warfighting Rapid Acquisition Program.

Wide Range Achievement Test. ``WRAT-3'' is the third revision.

Welding Research Council.

World Radio Conference. That's a world conference on wireless communication, not a world conference conducted over the radio. It's probably sponsored by the ITU.

World Renewable Energy Congress.
  1. WREC2000, July 1 - 7, Brighton, United Kingdom.

This is a crucial first element in a bill ``acceptor,'' typically integrated into the front of the rubber draw mechanism. Its purpose is to prevent it being too easy to insert a bill, and to ensure that subsequent attempts will be progressively harder.

A Wristwatch-style PHS phone that went on sale May 7, 2003. Hello, Dick Tracy. 37,000 Yen, 113 grams, two hours continuous talk time, 200 hours continuous stand-by time, 64 kbps/32 kbps data rates (down/up, I presume), dark gray metallic.

Personalsese occupation term meaning `unemployed.'

writers in the paint industry
More precisely, writers who have been managers of paint factories, in the formulation of Philip Roth. Roth raised the topic with Primo Levi in a conversation they had in Turin in 1986, published later in Shop Talk. (See pp. 16-17.)
Italo Svevo (1861-1928)
Italo Svevo means, loosely, `Swabian Italian.' It was the pseudonym of Aron Hector Schmitz, who was born in Trieste, and who used the name Ettore Schmitz, at lest after Trieste became Italian. He is best known as the author of The Confessions of Zeno (also published under the title Zeno's Conscience. The Italian title is Conscienza di Zeno, and coscienza means both `conscience' and `consciousness,' so what the heck. Throughout his life, his writing was a hobby. In 1898 Schmitz married his cousin Livia Veneziani. Her family's company Società Veneziani, manufactured marine paint; Schmitz joined the firm, eventually becoming manager of the business after the death of his father-in-law. The firm, like the family, was based in Trieste, which changed hands from Austria to Italy at the end of WWI.
    In Shop Talk, p. 17, Primo Levi tells an amusing tale about this. The marine paint had special antifouling properties (it prevented shellfish incrustation). It was supplied to the Austrian Navy (that has an odd ring these days, doesn't it?) before and during the war, and to the Italian and British navies after. Levi claims that Schmitz took English lessons to deal with the British Admiralty. The very interesting thing is that he took these lessons from an then-unknown Irish writer named James Joyce. They did meet, and become friends, but in 1907. Joyce was already working on Ulysses, and he used Schmitz both as a model for the character of Leopold Bloom, and as a source of information on Judaism. (Schmitz's parents and he were Jewish, but he converted to his wife's Catholicism at some point after they were married.) Joyce spent the war years in Zürich, though he did return to Trieste.
    Ettore Schmitz's mother's maiden name was Allegra Moravia, and that antifouling marine paint, according to Levi, was called Moravia also (using a surname in the family). Another famous Italian writer, born in 1907, was Alberto Pincherle. He used the pseudonym Alberto Moravia; Moravia was his paternal grandmother's maiden name. According to Levi, it's the same Moravia family.

Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941)
Another nonchemist who was just in the business as a business. When he was living in Elyria, Ohio, he managed a mail-order business and paint manufacturing firms. Roth contrasted his situation with Levi's: ``Anderson had to leave the paint factory (and his family) to become a writer; you [Primo Levi] seem to have become the writer you are by staying and pursuing your career there.''

Primo Levi (1919-1987)
He's pretty famous, and you can learn a lot about his experiences as a chemist in some of his books [e.g., The Periodic Table (1975)], so I'm not going to write much. After surviving at Auschwitz, he returned to Turin and lived the rest of his life in the house where he had been born. From 1948 he worked for the Accatti family's paint business SIVA (as principal chemist from 1950). This company, according to Levi (in Shop Talk) ``specialized in the production of wire enamels, insulating coatings for copper electrical conductors.''
In the course of giving his view of The Monkey's Wrench, Roth describes Levi in passing as a scientist. As part of his reply (p. 10), Levi remarks the following:
By the way, I am not a scientist, nor have I ever been. I did want to become one, but war and the camp prevented me. I had to limit myself to being a technician throughout my professional life.

War Resisters League.

I'm glad to have some relevant personal experience to contribute to this entry. My high school electronics shop teacher, Mr. Coulter, was in the Signal Corps in 'Nam (.vn). He always said

Ten percent is good enough for government work.

In the usual color code, 10% tolerance is represented by a silver band immediately following the bands for the nominal resistance value of the resistor. Oh! WRL is for war ``resisters''? Sorry.

Mr. Coulter used to argue with the physics teacher, Mr. Taylor, about which direction current really flows in. But the temptation to escalate the argument to outright war was resisted successfully.

Western Rail Link To Heathrow. Man, that is sooo 2013. You mean WRAtH. But, heh, I haven't constructed that entry yet.

Women's Royal Naval Service. WWII organization that served as a kind of ``Ladies' Auxiliary'' in the British Navy before women were allowed to join on a more equal basis. Informally, WRNS was pronounced and spelled with an ee: ``Wrens'' and an individual member was called a Wren. The US equivalent was WAVES.

WROclaw Airport, IATA airport code. (In Polish, the name of the operating company is Port Lotniczy Wroclaw SA.)

With Right Of Survivorship.

WRT, wrt, w.r.t.
with respect to.

Wide Receiver (WR) University. Officially known as the University of Tennessee.

Work-Related Upper Limb Disorder. Think RSI.

World Rally Cross Country. Used by Subaru as a model name.


Watt-Second. In other words, a joule/second × second, or. lessee, a joule! The abbreviation is apparently used in medicine. Kinda reminds me of nonadiabatic.

[Football icon]

Weak Safety. Not an offensive epithet, but a defensive position, in American football.


Wiener Studien. Studies of small hot dogs? Not quite. `Vienna Studies,' a classics journal (Austrian, of course) catalogued in TOCS-IN.

Wigner-Seitz. The Wigner-Seitz cell is the set of points in quasimomentum space that are closer to the origin than they are to any other point in the reciprocal lattice. In other words, this is a unit cell in the reciprocal lattice constructed as a Voronoi cell. This is a common way to choose the first Brillouin zone (BZ).

German, Wintersemester.

Women's Studies.


World Series. A series of baseball games played each autumn between the season's champions of the American and National Leagues (i.e., between the winners of the ALCS and the NLCS).

The World Almanac was originally published by the company that published the New York World. In the time before television, New York City had as many as fifteen newspapers. The World is one of the ones it doesn't have any more. In many important respects, the modern game of baseball originated in New York, but the ``World'' in the series name does not refer to the New York World or any other newspaper.

The American game of baseball evolved from the English game of rounders, introduced to the British colonies some time before 1744. Rounders was also called round ball, goal ball, post ball, town ball, and base ball, and the rules were about as standard as the name. It was something vaguely like tag or war ball played on a cricket pitch, or like stick ball. With one, two, or three bases besides home, it was called one old cat, two old cat, or three old cat.

The American game became standardized in something approximating its present form after 1845, when Alexander J. Cartwright, a member of the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, drew up rules that were soon widely adopted. Until the Civil War, the game was popular primarily in the New York and Boston areas, but it spread behind Union lines and the veterans brought it back home across the country. The original postseason series, between the pennant winners of the National League and the American Association, was played in 1882 and annually from 1884 to 1891. The first ``World Series'' to carry that name was a postseason series played in 1903 (Boston over Pittsburgh, five games to three). No WS was played in 1904, but in 1905 the National Commission established it as an annual event. Also established in 1905 were the ``Brush rules,'' which included some traditions that continue today: that the WS is a best-of-seven series, and that 60% of receipts for the first four games are paid directly to the players. (No you don't make out a check directly to a player. If you did the endorsed canceled check might be worth more than the price of admission.) Since 1905, the series has been canceled only in 1994 (due to an owner lock-out in response to a player strike).

The game was introduced and grew quickly in popularity in Japan and Cuba before the end of the nineteenth century, so by the time the WS was inaugurated, baseball was not just a US sport. Still today, only US major-league teams are eligible to compete in the World Series. However, the series is played in the world.

For 1919, in a move that may be interpreted as motivated principally by greed for gate receipts or by a desire to satisfy heightened post-war demand, the World Series returned to the best-of-nine format used in 1903. That was the year of the famous ``Black Sox'' -- eight of the Chicago White Sox players conspired to throw a series that, until word of the fix leaked out, they had been heavily favored to win. Toward the end of the 1920 season some of the conspirators confessed. In 1921, with the records of all three confessions stolen from the prosecutor's office, they were acquitted of conspiracy in criminal court, but all eight players were subsequently banned from professional baseball for life. In 1922, the series returned to best-of-seven.

The Sporting News (TSN) archives have brief summaries of all past World Series since 1903.

We have other 1919-related entries. It was a big year for scams; cf. IRC.

Weapons Storage Area.

Westfield Soccer Association of Westfield, NJ. Westfield was always a big football town. Don't get me wrong -- it probably still is -- but like a lot of towns where parents selfishly put the health of their kids before the pride of the town, more children have been playing that foreign game. The joke's on them: heading the ball has been clinically proven to cause brain damage. Ha-ha! It's slightly worse for young kids, since their skulls are still a bit soft, but basically the concussion's the thing. Oh well, at least they won't suffer a career-threatening rotator-cuff injury.

World Savings Bank Institute.

Web Sports Broadcast Network. They won't be worrying ESPN any time soon. They're decidedly a network (four servers) for broadcasting web sports -- what are normally called games and not sports. Cf. PBA.

Could be the AM radio station or the the television station now. One-time WSBT-FM has been WNSN since 1984.

A typical news-talk radio station. A particular one serving the South Bend area. You know -- Dr. Laura, the usual trash. A CBS affiliate since 1932. Owned by Schurz Communications, Inc. (SCI).

WSBT began broadcasting as WGAZ in 1922 and became WSBT in 1925. In the radio station's early days, South Bend was not quite the backwater it is today, and the station racked up one or two firsts or near-firsts.

Channel 22, serving the South Bend area. There are no VHF TV stations serving South Bend. WSBT-TV is a CBS affiliate just like WSBT-AM, and also owned by Schurz Communications, Inc. (SCI).

Winston Spencer Churchill. What to say, what to say? I'm at a loss for words, relatively speaking.

World Scrabble® Championships. Held in odd-numbered years, starting in 1991. It may be that there's such a thing as home-field advantage in Scrabble. The year the WSC was held in Malaysia (in Kuala Lumpur), it was won by Panupol Sujjayakorn of neighboring Thailand. Of the eight WSC's up to 2005, the US and Canada have won three championships each. Also, eight of the champions have been men (including the 1995 champion, David Boys). The Joels have won back-to-back championships (J. Sherman in 1997 and J. Wapnick in 1999).

World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society. Covering all bases, or is the acronym some kind inside joke in Greek slang? ``Unifying the Science.''

Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. One of those organizations that doesn't have a homepage, just a few pages each for some of its more recent annual meetings (usually in February).
  1. was at Northern Arizona University (no conference link)
  2. was at California State University San Bernardino (no conference link)
  3. at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  4. at Arizona State University
  5. at Chapman University in California

They seem to have petered out.

(UK) Wines and Spirits Educational Trust. There -- a single acronym for every kind of fun: wine, women, and science...

Women in Science, Engineering and Technology. It's an entry under the LC number Q130 in the CyberStacks.

Washington Science Fiction Association. (For the greater Washington, D.C., area.)

Welsh Science Fiction Association.

Wood & Synthetic Flooring Institute

Which Stands For Nothing. A concept acronym. Also the name of a beginner's language for Atari computers.

World Science Fiction Society. Membership in the World Science Fiction Society is defined as the membership in the upcoming Worldcon, so joining that Worldcon is the only way to join WSFS.

Wafer-Scale Integration (chip consisting of whole wafer; vide integration).

Wall Street Journal. The dominant national business daily in the US. Published by Dow Jones and Company.

Waterloo Systems Language.

Wafer Starts per Month. Typical fabs in the eighties did 10K WSM, at the end of the nineties, the standard is approaching 30-40K WSM.

White Sands Missile Range. A tri-service facility operated by the US Army, occupying an approximate rectangle in South Central New Mexico, 40 miles wide (E-W) by 100 miles long (N-S). The southernmost point is about 15 miles north of the NM-TX border.

Wireless Sensor Network.

Weapon[s] System[s] Officer. Term used by various air forces (including US and Singapore), meaning gunner. All four forms (with and without either final ess) are widely used. If there's an official convention for the US, it's hard to be certain what it is.

World Series Of Poker. Look, who cares about that? Here's a site called <poker-babes.com>.

Western States Petroleum Association. ``... represents the full spectrum of those companies which account for most of the exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing of petroleum and petroleum products in six Western states (California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii).

Founded in 1906...'' when neither Arizona nor Hawai'i had attained statehood.

World Society for the Protection of Animals.

Western (US) Society of Physical Education for College Women.

Wavelet/Scalar Quantization. Used for fingerprint image compression under development by FBI.

Weather Surveillance Radar. ``WSR-88D'' is NEXRAD.

War of the Spanish Succession.

Wide Screen Signaling (line). In the future, scan line 23 of all 625-line TV broadcasts in Europe will contain data identifying the signal format (PAL, PAL+, SECAM, etc.). PAL+ will also use this WSS line to indicate whether film or camera mode (successive frames of related or unrelated pictures, respectively) is in use. Cf. GCR.

Winston-Salem State University.

Washington State Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

West SouthWest. Vide compass directions.

Woman who has Sex with Women. Unless she's monogamous, in which case she's a Woman who has Sex with a Woman. The imprecision of medical terminology never ceases to amaze me. Of course, language can also be too precise: I would like to have used the word ``monogynous'' above, but the meaning I needed is not standard. For more thoughts, cf. see this MSM entry.

See MSF.

Water Sector Working Group. Yeah, you're not the only one whom it reminds of WYSIWYG.

World Socialist Web Site. Published by the ICFI. Opinions about labor and the US, sometimes both.

Waiver Tourist. A travel status in the US equivalent to a B-2 visa. Nationals of certain countries can visit the US for up to ninety (90) days under the conditions that hold for the B-2 visa, but instead of applying for a B-2 visa from a US consulate before traveling, they just get an I-94 card with the notation ``WT.''

Just like the WB status, which see for the list of participating countries.

Waste Treatment.



Wild Type. As opposed to genetically manipulated.

Wireless { Telecom[munications] | Transmi{tter|ssion} }

Wireless Telegraph[y]. Usually refers to radiotelegraphy, an old technology sort of like texting, except that you typed in all the letters using just one key.


World Twirling Association. According to this history,

In 1960, Victor Faber founded the World Twirling Association. He left his mark on the sport of baton twirling by founding TWO twirling organizations [I guess the other one must've been the IERS] and for being the only person in his field to lead a twirling organization who had been a championship baton twirler.

West Texas A&M University.

Want[ed] To Buy. Actually, I prefer[red] to have it free.

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the FCC.

The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL.

Wilson (truck) Trailer Company.

World Trade Center. Built over a period of many years in the 1970's, so we all (in the metropolitan area) had a chance to watch it go up. A seven-building complex owned by the Port Authority, dominated by twin towers 110 floors tall, it was destroyed in terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. We all had a chance to watch it come down on TV.

World Technology Evaluation Center and ``companion'' Japanese Technology Evaluation Center (JTEC) ``at Loyola College provide assessments of foreign research and development in selected technologies under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

What The?!?! Cf. WTH, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Women's Tennis Federation.

Who Do You Think You Are?

What Happened TO The Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Wave-pipelined Transmission-Gate Logic.


{What|Who|Why} The Hell? Interrogative pronouns in decreasing order of likelihood. Not `What The Hades?' Hades is a person, albeit a Greek god. He has a two-tined pitchfork, or something. Some dictionaries have surrendered the field to ignorance, but we uphold a few standards here. (To be needlessly honest, even some ancient texts use Hades as a metonym for his realm.)

West Texas Intermediate. The light, sweet grade of crude whose price is a benchmark of the oil market.

Writing To Learn. English teachers' and college administrators' interference in the learning process. The attitude motivating this may be best illustrated in Roots in the Sawdust: Writing to Learn across the Disciplines, ed. Anne Ruggles Gere (NCTE, 1993). Syrene Forsman's contribution had the title ``Writing to Learn Means Learning to Think.'' WTL is associated with WAC.

Wright Technology Network. An Ohio nonprofit dedicated to technology transfer (T2) from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) (at WPAFB) to industry in Ohio. See also ODOD.

World Toilet Organization. A nonprofit based in Singapore. ``Improving Toilets and Sanitation Globally.'' Jack Sim, president of the WTO, was quoted in a July 31, 2007, Time magazine article by Ceri Au (``Fighting for the Right to Flush''):
Ladies prefer to keep silent while they queue up all their lives at public toilets, missing the show after [intermission], doing kung-fu stances to pee because the seat cover is too filthy. We don't talk about [public restrooms]. And what we don't discuss, we can't improve.
(It's not my mess; I didn't do it. The square-bracketed bits are in the original article.)

Jack Sim established the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) in 1998 and discovered that there were other toilet associations in existence around the world, but that there was ``no channel [good word!] to facilitate information-sharing and gathering of resources.'' (Okay, the last square-bracket thing is my fault. I'm quoting here from a WTO page on the Founder.) So he founded the WTO in 2001. ``Today, WTO comprises of [aaagh!] 54 members in 41 countries.'' By now (August 4, 2007) it may be up to 42 countries (Time). The memberships are piling up! The American Restroom Association (ARA) represents the US in WTO.

The homepage also bears the UN logo. It's not clear that WTO has UN recognition, and one reason may be that the UN has (or had) two other WTO's (explained here). My view, however, is that the WTO nameturf war is the UN's greatest success in defusing a conflict so far this century, and they should build on it. Later, as a further confidence-building measure, they can send some blue helmets to keep Liechtenstein and Andorra from going to war. (That's not a synecdoche. I mean just send the helmets. That's enough, and almost all the UN can handle logistically.)

``Message of Logo: `LOVE OUR TOILET'
The logo of the WTO is the image of a toilet seat-cover viewed from an angle as how most people would see it. The ring in the middle of the toilet seat-cover signifies a connected circle of members. Blue was chosen as the colour of the toilet seat-cover as a symbolization of water and how WTO is also closely-related to water issues.'' It's deformed slightly at the top so the outer outline resembles the ``heart shape.'' On some pages it's compressed vertically so it looks like parted metallic-blue lips.

Visit the entire website, hopping from one virtual foot to the other if necessary. It's a gas! Observations on the homepage menu bar links: ``Useful Links'' is unnecessarily graphic. ``Toilet Entertainment'' is all clean. About Us > Our Team shows pretty much everyone smiling except Philip, who is the lead trainer in World Toilet College.

World Tourism Organization. Created long before the World Trade Organization, which -- as the Economist put it -- ``pinched its initials.'' Adding insult to injury, in 2005 the General Assembly of the UN approved changing the World Tourism Organization's initialism to UNWTO (with a parallel 5-letter acronym in Russian, which had a parallel namespace problem). The change went into effect on December 1 of that year. In French and Spanish the initialism remains OMT. What all the initialisms have in common is that they are unpronounceable as acronyms. This seems to be part of a broader pattern (see at least VVV). You should check out yet another WTO (not known as YAWTO, though it's the most recent). Maybe they can tell you where you can go when you go there. We also have a Tourism entry.

World Trade Organization.

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. In fact, it's so futile it's downright amusing.

For amusement, visit the Responsible Trade Campaign Home Page of the Sierra Club, the Mobilization Against Corporate Globalization, the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, United for a Fair Economy (UFE), or Global Exchange (GX).

What, back already? Okay, here's something: the WTO was created by the Uruguay Round to succeed GATT (q.v.) on January 1, 1995. The WTO expanded GATT's rules to apply to trade in services and IPR, and includes a tribunal to misadjudicate trade disputes.

World TOurism Organization. Once used instead of the usual WTO when necessary to distinguish it from the World Trade Organization (the other WTO). Rare or rarefying since the UN decided to assign the initialism UNWTO to the tourism organization.

Western Test Range. NASA acronym.

World TRade Organization. Once used instead of the usual WTO when necessary to distinguish from the World Tourism Organization (the other, senior WTO from which the initials were shamelessly filched). Since 2005, WTrO has become increasingly unnecessary; see why at this WTO entry.

William Tindale (or Tyndale) Translation (of the bible). He completed a translation of the Greek New Testament in 1526, and copies of this began to be burned as soon as they appeared in England. He then began translating the Hebrew Old Testament, but only managed to translate the Pentateuch (the ``Five Books of Moses'') and Jonah before he himself was burned at the stake in 1536. http://www.catholicapologetics.net/kill.htm Eventually, his translation formed the basis of the only English translation of the bible authorized to be published in Great Britain and its dominions (KJV).

The Tindale translation is not to be confused with the translation of Reverend Dimmesdale, which also was not completed. Indeed, it wasn't even begun, so far as is known, but Hester Prynne apparently red a letter or two in it, with an alternate recension of the commandment concerning whether adultery should be committed.

WaveTable Upgradeable.

Washburn University. In Topeka, Kansas. It would be so cool if they gave doctorates in thinkology.

Winthrop University. In Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Writer's Union of Canada? Oh, you want TWUC.

Web User Interface.

German noun meaning `wonder' or `miracle.' Cognate with English, wonder, just as Wunderbar is cognate with `wonderful.'

World Union for Progressive Judaism. Established in London in 1926. According to the Overview page, it
is the largest body of religious Jews in the world. Its basic aims are, first, to create common ground between its constituents and, second, to promote Progressive Judaism in places where individuals and groups are seeking authentic, yet modern ways of expressing themselves as Jews.

The World Union for Progressive Judaism serves congregations and communities in nearly 40 countries, encompassing more than 1,200 Reform, Progressive, Liberal and Reconstructionist congregations and more than 1.5 million members throughout the world. Its international headquarters is in Jerusalem, with regional offices in London and Moscow and New York.

Progressive Judaism is rooted in the Bible, especially the teachings of the Hebrew Prophets. It's founded on authentic manifestations of Jewish creativity, ancient and modern, particularly those that stress inwardness and desire to learn what God expects from us; justice and equality, democracy and peace, personal fulfillment and collective obligations.

The practices of Progressive Judaism are anchored in Jewish thought and tradition. They seek to extend the range of observance - e.g., by granting full equality to all Jews, irrespective of gender and sexual orientation - while challenging laws that are contrary to Judaism's fundamental principles.

Of the twelve million Jews in the world today, nearly one-third live in countries where Jewish life is weak and where there are few opportunities for meaningful Jewish practice. It is the World Union's goal to ensure that all Jews have access to the vibrant Jewish life that can best inspire them spiritually and bring their communities together practically. We are committed to this sacred task.

The word authentic appears twice. Whether it's protesting too much a revealing insecurity, or asserting what is confidently believed, it points to a real issue of authority or legitimacy.

Wideband, Uniform Rate, and Smooth Truncation. (NMRtian.)

Washington University in St. Louis. The abbreviation used to be well-known because of the popular ftp site they used to serve.

West University Softball Association. A collection of girls' little league teams. West University is a Houston neighborhood just west of Rice University. My great aunt Mona used to live there. The 10 and under team is called ``The Blazers,'' 12 and under ``The Waves,'' 14 and under ``The Flash,'' 16 and under ``The Crush.''

I think this is the first softball entry, so here's where I'm going to mention it: according to international softball rules, in all innings after the ninth, each team starts with a runner on second. (There are seven regular innings of play.)

Was he?

West Virginia. USPS abbreviation.

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

World Veterinary Association.

{ Wisconsin | Wyoming } Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

West Virginia Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Waste Vegetable Oil. See SVO.

Within Visual Range.

Water-Vapor Transmission Rate.

West Virginia University.

``Where Greatness is Learned.''

They're obviously not going for the small potatoes at WVU.

Wide Well. Vide coupled quantum well.

WidoWed. A personals-ad abbreviation. Usage example: ``WWWPF'' means ``widowed white professional female'' or possibly ``white widowed professional female.'' See W for a nonusage example. Personalsly, I'm bothered by the ``professional female'' thing. It's like pornography advertisements for ``amateur girls.'' What, they didn't get enough practice? Their girlhood apprenticeship was too brief?

[column] In early March 2006, Classics-L (``Classical Greek and Latin Discussion Group'') had a discussion under the subject head ``vomiting courtesans,'' prompted by an image of Würzburg L 479 at the blog Laudator Temporis Acti. One posting included the following:

> ... Your subject line looked at first glance like more porn spam.  (Yes,
> Virginia, there are newsgroups and websites for those who like to watch women
> vomit.  TMI, but if I have to know this, so should the rest of you.)

Actually, it was clear from the original posting that what was meant was something like ``vomiting onto the feet of ancient Greek courtesans.'' The author had meant to write ``vomiting komast'' (the one interpreted as vomiting on the girl).

Yeah, you needed to know all that, else you wouldn't have read it. There's an old joke that still makes some sense even with Caller ID. The punch line is this: ``Well if this is the wrong number, then why did you pick up the phone?''

World War. Choose WWI, WWII, WWIII, or WWIV. (Also written with Arabic numerals, and with space or hyphen after WW).

Western Writers of America, Inc. ``Literature of the West for the World.''

What Would Ann Coulter Do? Ann Coulter is a right-wing, um, there's a word for this, and she writes books. In 2006, Cafe Press was offering a variety of gear (coffee cups, bumper stickers, tee shirts) with WWACD? logos. Cf. WWJD?

Commentator? Provocateur? Firebrand? Wacko? Planter's variety-pack? It's a matter of point-of-view. An old friend of mine, who over the years has drifted off to the left, recently asserted that Rush Limbaugh is a liar. So I asked him to give me one example of a lie that he had told, and he replied that he really didn't want to get into such a bitter subject just before dinner. Good gambit! I'll have to try that some time.

One of the events at the first YearlyKos (see Kos) was a workshop called ``Pundit Project Training,'' run by the Center for American Progress. According to a handout distributed there, when you appear on television you mustn't wear pyjamas (I think they only imply that). Men are advised to wear blue shirts, and to accept make-up if it's offered. [As many talking heads -- white ones, anyway -- have noticed, you can look sickly pale without it.] Women are advised, ``don't dress like Ann Coulter. Cover up for God's sake, preferably with a neutral-colored jacket and a bright shirt.'' (See the Matt Labash report from YearlyKos: ``Riding with the Kossacks,'' in the June 26 Weekly Standard.)

WorldWide Art Resources

Writer's WorkBench. Unix software.

What Would Brian Boitano Do? The touchstone of all philosophical analysis posed by the boys of South Park when considering a moral dilemma. It parodies WWJD?

What Would Betty (Bowers) Do? If you read her advice here, then perhaps you will be saved, but probably not. As the Good Book says, many are called, but few pick up because caller-ID just says ``out of area'' when the call is from, you know, up there. Cf. WWJD?, WWBBD?

Walla Walla College. ``Walla Walla College is situated in the Walla Walla Valley in Southeast Washington State.'' Or... it used to be. It's -- it's gone! The website, everything, gone! It's been completely replaced by Walla Walla University (WWU), which has a totally different domain name.

Walla Walla University. ``Seventh-Day Adventist Higher Education.'' I think they've arranged things so they don't have to play football on Saturday: they only play intramural football (without helmets or pads!).

I guess the WWU initialism could be summarized as quintuple-yoo, but that wouldn't work in every language. In Spanish, for example, the letter w is called doble ve (`double vee'). While we're on the subject, and since there are so many above, I'll mention that the double el (``ll'') in Spanish originally represented a palatalized el (like ``gl'' in Italian), but it lost the el and now sounds like an English consonantal y in most of Spain and Latin America, zh (French j) in Argentina, Uruguay, and thereabouts, and English j in various others. (Puerto Rican ``ll'' sounds like j softened a little towards zh, to my ear, but it's a while since I heard it.)

The ll sound originally developed from pl and cl consonant clusters, as well as from some plain old l's and ll's. (In Latin, not only vowels but some consonants were subject to a quantity distinction. Double consonants represented a longer pronunciation. No method of representing the distinction between long- and short-quantity vowels ever caught on.)

The letter y arose in different contexts than ll, but today it's a pretty reliable rule that ll and consonantal y are pronounced identically, however they are pronounced (i.e., as zh in Argentina, etc.). Nevertheless, there's a word yeismo, which describes the practice of pronouncing the ll like a y. I'm going to have to look into this.

Vocalic y, pronounced like Spanish i, is largely obsolete in Spanish. It occurs in a number of surname variants (e.g., Yglesias for Iglesias). Greek loan words with y in English use i in Spanish (also, ph and th appear as f and t).

Gee, Walla Walla must be a pretty interesting place!

Women's World Cup. Quadrennial soccer competition. Inaugural WWC in 1991 was won by the US. Norway won in 1995 and USA won in 1999.

When I say ``USA won,'' naturally I mean that the entire country was out on the field. Each American woman was on the field, usually for about 0.4 milliseconds. It was a traffic jam, but the team stayed fresh. It's because of this kind of participation that all American women can take pride in our victory.

World Water Council.

Western Wyoming Community College. ``Western'' for short.

Women's Wear Daily. The principal fashion-industry trade journal. ``WWD.com is the authority for breaking news, comprehensive business coverage and trends in the worlds of fashion, beauty and retail.''

World Wrestling Entertainment. `World championship wrestling': very strenuous acting. If you had a stunt double, you'd never get on. Previously called the WWF (q.v.), but it had to change its name.

What Would Escher Do? The initialism appears on the outer side of a wrist band in the form of a Møbius strip, which in turn appears with the expansion on an XKCD comic.

World Wildlife Fund. That was its earlier worldwide designation, and continues to be its name in the US. Outside the US, it has been the ``WWF -- World Wide Fund for Nature'' since 1989. Brief description here from WCMC.

Gee, it seems I neglected to mention that WWF press releases bear as close a connection to reality as the next WWF bears to authentic wrestling.

World Wrestling Federation.

Mr. Jesse Ventura, governor of the state of Minnesota (MN) from 1999, and the first head of the US Reform Party not to be named Ross Perot, performed in the WWF as Jesse ``The Body'' Ventura before going on to host a radio call-in show and do a stint as a mayor (in a city where mayor is essentially just one vote in the town council). Mr. Ventura is, contrary to the stereotypical assumption outside his state, a man of rather liberal tendencies. He was the only one of the three major candidates in the 1998 election who came out strongly in favor of abortion and gay marriage, and since the election he has had a cooperative relationship with the Democrat-Farm-Labor legislators in his state legislature, but not with the Republicans. (THE DFL coalition is a Minnesota peculiarity, a legacy from Fritz Mondale, Hubert H. Humphrey, and before.)

I don't know Ventura's position on conservation, but I suspect he's among a tiny minority of either WWF-ers who would feel at home at the other WWF.

Everybody calls the governor ``Jesse'' outside his presence, but he prefers to be called ``Mr. Ventura.'' He's constantly suspicious that, because of his occupational background, people don't take him seriously. He wants people to be aware that he spent more years doing radio talk than he spent in the WWF. (Oh, well that's different. You've got to respect a radio talk-show host.) If he felt strongly enough about this perceived lack of seriousness, he could do something about it by curtailing his own bantering violent threats and guest appearances as a color commentator for the XFL. Minnesotans still go around pinching themselves and saying ``We did it, didn't we? We elected a clown! Man, we've got guts.'' And sore, over-pinched behinds.

Ronald Reagan was also an actor, and he did creative sports announcing as well (reading off a description with feeling and pretending to be live radio; a widespread practice at the time and also more recently when the 2000 Olympics in Sydney were tape-delay broadcast to the US). RWR held a minor executive position as well (head of the Screen Actors' Guild -- SAG) before becoming governor, and then moving on to the presidency. Some people think that acting skills -- in particular, the ability to bluster and bluff -- are not the most important skills needed by a US president.

Lately (2001) Jesse's been trying to slash the Minnesota higher education budget. Is this a move with direct election implications?

Enough of this political hogwash! LET'S SHOUT ABOUT WRESTLING!

In a dramatic multiround sequence of courtroom smack-downs, the World Wildlife Fund -- a wimpy charity! -- humiliated World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. In a 2001 split decision, the wrestling federation had torn away from it the legal right to use the logo it had adopted in 1998, and the circumstances under which it could deploy the letters WWF were backed into certain specified cases, only within the US. The federation made a desperate stand at London's Court of Appeal, but was denied in February 2002. On Monday, May 6, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company threw in the towel, tossed in the sponge, cried uncle, and changed its name to the appropriately effete ``World Wrestling Entertainment'' (WWE).

WWF International
No matter how you expand WWF, this is an organization with both World and International in its name. That's some kind of distinction.

Worthless Word For The Day.

World Winter Games for the Deaf.

Woman Who Has Sex With Men. This isn't an initialism that is actually used. It's just an opportunity for me to insert inappropriate foreign objects into the glossary. Last month, I heard a self-described ``traditional slam poet'' recite a work in which she described the neglectful mother of a childhood friend of hers as a ``slut about town.'' Drew Barrymore, of the illustrious Barrymore family of actors, played the lead in a movie called ``Riding in Cars with Boys.'' Yeah, that was all I wanted to say.

Woman Who Has Sex With Women. Usually expanded in the plural. Usually used... not at all. The subsingular. Okay, with ghits in the single digits, it's more common than WWMRWW (MR for ``makes romance,'' as they used to say in those old demure, if not quite chaste, old Motown songs), but even so, WWHSWW is mostly just grist for alt.usage.english and such. Its principal virtue is that it is one of the longer initialisms composed entirely of letters that are still valid letters when turned upside down. WWSWW is way more common.

World War One. Originally called ``The World War.'' Also known as ``The Great War.''

For information on earlier wars, try the De Re Militari website.

What Would I Do? Gee, I don't know-- I haven't done it yet. But thanks for asking. I'm getting a lot of advice:
  1. WWACD? (Ann Coulter)
  2. WWBBD? (Brian Boitano)
  3. WWBD? (Betty [Bowers, not Rubble])
  4. WWED (Escher)
  5. WWID (contrived)
  6. WWJD (Jesus)
  7. WWJMD (Jim Morrison)
  8. WWMAD? (Mary Ann)
  9. WWSD? (Satan)
  10. WWXD? (Warrior Princess Xena)

Here are some more variant variants:

  1. WWIT? (What Was I Thinking?)
  2. WWJD (What Would Jesus Drink?)
  3. WWJD (What Would Jesus Drive?)
  4. WWSD? (What Would Scoobie Doo?)

World Watch Institute. Yeah, they spell it out Worldwatch Institute and they use the ``WI,'' but their magazine is called World Watch, and their service Worldwatch News, so spelled, is abbreviated WWNews. Therefore, I think they should use ``WWI'' to avoid confusion.

[1000 words]

World War Two. Also known as ``The Good War.'' Also known in the old Soviet Union as the ``Great Patriotic War.'' This glossary entry could be expanded considerably.

The moderated usenet newsgroup soc.history.war.world-war-ii has FAQ material in hypertext format.

World War Three. Also known as ``The End of the World.''

In The Mathematical Experience (Boston: Birkhäuser, 1981), Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh wrote

One began to hear it said that World War I was the chemists' war, World War II was the physicists' war, World War III (may it never come) will be the mathematicians' war.

Ignazio Silone said (in the fifties, I think), that

The next war will be between the Communists and the ex-Communists.

``The New York Intellectuals'' was a loosely-defined group of public intellectuals of the 1940's and 50's, associated more or less with Partisan Review. The typical New York Intellectual was a disillusioned ex-Communist. (I have to capitalize these words. They're name brands.)

See, however, the WWIV entry for a more recent alternative take on WWIII.

What Was I Thinking?

``I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.'' -- attributed to Albert Einstein.

It's now become popular to regard the Cold War as WWIII, and to call the war against terror WWIV. Norman Podhoretz, in the pages of Commentary, has been one of the main popularizers. For an alternate take on this, see Marshall McLuhan's comment quoted at the JDAM entry.

Wireless Watch Japan.

What Would Jesus Do? A brand of heavy-duty self-adhesive paper patches used to repair rusty bumpers and van doors. Like Harley-Davidson, a brand whose popularity has been used to market clothing and accessories (tawdry trinkets).

The main difference is that WWJD, reflecting its original product, is rather downmarket compared to Harley, which nowadays is a rich man's bike. This is known as market segmentation.

In Carlyle at his Zenith, D. A. Wilson quotes him as saying

If Jesus Christ were to come to-day, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.

The legendary animal trainer Frank Inn, son of a Quaker preacher, was a devout Christian. In addition to training Benjie (preincarnated as Higgins, the dog on the TV series ``Petticoat Junction''), Arnold Ziffel (the ``Green Acres'' pig), and hundreds of other TV and movie animals, he also donated dogs to the handicapped and wrote poetry. Some of his poems pondered whether Jesus had a dog.

I heard the trope ``what would <admirable personage> do'' long before I ever encountered WWJD or its expansion. So when I first heard WWJD, it sounded vaguely sacrilegious -- as if suggesting that He would face all the same constraints and limitations of a mortal. Einstein once commented that the good Lord does not suffer from our integration difficulties -- He integrates empirically (i.e., a physical system is tantamount to an analog-computer simulation of the differential equations describing it). Well, there are different interpretations, but for many the popularity of WWJD has turned the old trope from a general question into an implicit reference to WWJD (hence joke versions like WWBBD?, WWBD?, the genius stroke WWMAD?, ktl.). [There's an up-to-date list at WWID.] Then again, not everyone is so affected. James Q. Wilson wrote in The Moral Sense (Free Press, 1993), possibly without intending this particular irony (pp. 5-6):

Everywhere we look, we see ordinary men and women going about their daily affairs, happily or unhappily as their circumstances allow, making and acting on moral judgments without pausing to wonder what Marx or Freud or Rorty would say about those judgments.

On Monday, November 30, 2009, Jesus Christ reported for jury duty. It's a little surprising that His name got on the list in the first place, but this was Birmingham, Alabama. Assigned to Judge Clyde Jones's courtroom, Jesus Christ became disruptive and was asked to leave. Judge not that ye be not judged, I guess. The 59-year-old woman had had her name legally changed from Dorothy Lola Killingworth. It seems like a lot of trouble to go to to avoid jury duty. Afterwards, according to USA Today, ``[e]fforts to reach Christ were unsuccessful.''

What Would Jesus Drink? Overheard at Nick's. (Reconstituted wine.)

(Actually, I overheard this at Nick's Patio, but I wanted you to think of Nick's bar, the doppel of Martini's in IAWL.)

What Would Jesus Drive? Yet another automobile-related acronym. A campaign by the Evangelical Environmental Network.

What Would Jim Morrison Do? Get stoned and die. Soooo biblical!

What Would Mary Ann Do? I guess that would be Mary Ann of Gilligan's Island renown.


WorldWide Military Command and Control System. Of the US, of course. Who else?

Weekly World News. Also WWNews. A funny paper available at your supermarket check-out. What keeps it interesting is that some of the stories are true.

WorldWatch NEWS. Propaganda from the depressing people at World Watch Institute. Some of the stories are true. Cf.WWN.

Western Wood Products Association.

WorldWide Publishing Consortium. I'm not entirely clear on what it was supposed to do (``provide an independent international forum for the publishing, graphic arts, communications and multimedia industries to facilitate the exchange of information and advancement of education''), but apparently it didn't.

Weekly Web Review in Emergency Medicine. It is still widely cited on the web, but the links to it all seem to be into the <wwrem.com> domain, which just has one of those old generic ``web directory and search'' lists. Apparently a domainer owns it now.

Wine, Women, and Song. That's the canonical order, anyway, but you can expand it however you like.

What Would Satan Do? A question pondered by a man in a big office, in a New Yorker cartoon by P. Byrnes (p. 98, issue of Feb. 18 & 25, 2002).

What Would Scoobie Doo? That question no verb, but clearly: get scared and scat. I guess WWSDD would sound too scatological.

Woman Who Sleeps With Men. This isn't an initialism that is actually used, despite possibly having an apt pronunciation (``woos 'em'').

Woman Who Sleeps (wink wink, nudge nudge) With Women. This is WAAAAY more common (WAAAAY is not an acronym) than WSW.

WasteWater Treatment Facility.

WasteWater Treatment Plant. In a less fastidious time, waste water was known as sewage. In Rome, the central sewer was called the cloaca maxima. In chickens, the vessel through which both eggs and chicken shit pass out of the body is called the cloaca.

Western Washington University.

I haven't heard ``quintuple-yoo.'' The URL is something of an inertial tongue-twister -- once you get started you have to remember to get off.

Call letters of the Colorado-based NTIS short-wave transmitter (2.5, 5, 10 and 15 MHz) that provides a time standard following an atomic clock. Cf. CHU.

In addition to voice and beeps, time information is encoded digitally by PWM on 100 Hz (one bit per second: 0.2 seconds on for 0; 0.5 seconds for a 1).

Call letters of the Hawai'i-based NTIS short-wave transmitter (2.5, 5, 10 and 15 MHz) that provides a time standard following an atomic clock. Just like the Colorado station (WWV, q.v.), but with a female voice. God, I feel really sorry for her. What a boring job!
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time ...
could be as bad as recording one of those dreadful `endless loop' tapes. The technique is demonstrated in one of those Italian neocrazyist films; I think it's in Antonioni's ``Il Deserto rosso'' (`Red Desert') from 1964. In it, Giuliano Missirini plays the radio-telescope operator.

Wicked Witch of the West. I didn't catch her name, so she can go by an initialism.

No! Not water!
You curséd brat! Look what you've done!
I'm melting! Melting!
Oh, what a world! What a world!
Who would have thought that a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?

Oh, she was Elphaba Thropp. Thank you, Hollywood. Actually, it turns out that Margaret Hamilton, who played the part in the 1939 film version, later used WWW sometimes when she signed autographs.

Honorable mention: Water, World & Weissmuller, a biography by Narda Onyx (1964).

World Weather Watch of the WMO.

World-Wide Wait. When you're browsing over a dial-up modem, you've got plenty of time to invent new expansions of old initialisms.

World-Wide Web. You can find an FAQ -- where else -- on the web. Also: World-Wide Waste of time, etc.

Here's an authoritative article in postscript. Oh, wait: it's only of historical interest (year of Oh Lord! 1992). [Berners-Lee, T., et al. World-Wide Web: The Information Universe in Electronic Networking: Research, Applications and Policy 1 2 (Meckler, Westport CT, USA, 1992).] For general information, see also W3C.

World-Wide Webb. Just the fax, ma'am.

Wretched Writers Welcome. Usage peculiar to BLFC.


World-Wide Web Consortium. More commonly W3C.

World-Wide Web Virtual Library.

What Would Xena Do? My guess: slap Chaz Bono around some, just on general principles. I saw a WWXD poster in the art images library room just below the ``God Bless John Wayne'' poster, so there was explicit deity content on the same wall.

World War 1. See WWI.

World War 2. See WWII. Arabic numerals make a more compact and convenient numbering system, especially if you're expecting a long sequence of them. Cf. WWIV.

World War 3. See WWIII. Arabic numerals might have a certain appropriateness, depending on where the next big one begins.

Weather. [Aviation code.]

WX Detc.
Weather (WX) DETeCtor. Gives flight crew advance warning of clear air turbulence (CAT). Drinks are served immediately.

Wyoming. USPS abbreviation. Paul Bunyan used to park his blue ox cart there when he attended school in Alberta.

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

Maybe you can't afford to live in your own private Idaho, but you can probably afford wyoming.com (an ISP).

To judge from Yahoo's listings, Wyoming appears to be the only US state without a private baccalaureate-granting institution. In fact, it does seem that there are no private institutions there that you can attend, in the traditional sense of the word, to earn a bachelor's degree. Isleuth finds a bunch of private institutions, perhaps 17 of them distinct, but are all online -- with one partial exception: there are students actually physically manning Preston University. (Yes, I did have to state the fact in that infelicitous and obscure way first. Don't ask why.) Preston is ``headquartered'' in Cheyenne at 1204 Airport Parkway, and you can attend classes in person (f2f), but only if you're going for the MBA. For other degrees, you can do the online thing or else just attend classes at any of almost 50 affiliated campuses worldwide (as of 2004). The one that's located in the western hemisphere is in Caracas (or was; the link is dead).

The University of Wyoming is the state's only public post-secondary institution. Its two campuses are in Laramie, about 50 miles west of Cheyenne, the state capital.

World Youth Day. A Roman Catholic missionary effort based in Cologne, Germany. Wow, they're really taking it to the pagans' and atheists' home court!

The name of the letter "y." Essentially a version of the Greek letter upsilon, and so called in German and some other languages. In Spanish and French it's called Greek i (Sp. i griega, Fr. i grec). The name is used in various practical applications to refer to the shape of the letter.

A wye turn, for example, effects a U-turn: drive just past a road or drive on the right, stop and back into it (use your right turn signals), then make a left from that to return to the road you were on, but moving in the opposite direction. If your turning diameter is larger than the road width, and you don't have a crossing at which to execute a wye turn, try a kay-turn. I always thought the shape of a wye turn more resembles an upper-case tee than a lower-case wye, but it's a case of stare decis. You can do a wye turn at a tee intersection.

In elementary circuit analysis, a useful set of formulas is the delta-wye transformation. Externally, a delta and a wye both present three nodes. Internally, a delta is in the form of a Greek letter delta, a triangle. Each side is a two-terminal circuit element connecting two of the external nodes. The wye (I suppose you could call it an upsilon for consistency) has a central node joining one end of each of three two-terminal circuit elements, the three remaining ends each connecting to one of the external nodes. I'll do the ASCII art later. It's straightforward to analyze this and any similar generalization (square and cross, say) using Kirchoeff's laws and the characteristics of the circuit elements. However, deltas and wyes with passive linear elements (resistors, capacitors, inductors) occur frequently, and I have to run now and finish this entry later. Okay, back now. The delta-wye transformation given below allows one to replace a delta network with a wye network, and vice versa. This turns out to be useful even when oh, no, not again! I'll be back.

The characters in Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire live in New Wye, U.S.A., home of Wordsmith College. (I'm not going to say that's where the novel is set; it's not that kind of a novel, necessarily. Maybe it's not a novel either.) You can't spell toponymy without two wye's. Go for the gusto at the Yreka entry.

Although the OED and some other dictionaries come right out and define wye and aitch as the names of the letters Y and H, many dictionaries avoid the issue of whether wye or aitch are names. The Random House Dictionary gives wye as a spelling (not an alternate spelling) of the name of the letter Y, but doesn't indicate what that name is. One linguistic authority who shall remain nameless (like the letter i) has sent me numerous (two) emails insisting that Y is the name of the letter Y. Some of you (spelled why, oh, you) may think that words like name have only approximate meanings determined by usage, and that this question turns on details of its meaning and usage that are not generally agreed. I disagree, and when I retire I'll try to remember to put resolving this important issue on my list of things to get around to.

What You See Is All You Get.

Of course, it's not polite to stare.

FOLDOC has one explanation of the term, essentially in terms of the limitations of PC-based GUI desktop publishing (DTP) ap's for large-scale documents.

What You See Is What You Get. Describes some screen-based text-editing programs or their editing modes. [Pron. ``wizzy-wig.''] The term has become sufficiently standard as a spoken word that it is subject to misspellings that reflect pronunciation overruling the expansion: WYSIWIG.

Vide CLI, GUI.

What You See Is What You Need. Claim of Allaire's HomeSite HTML editor. (For the Mac, a similar program is BBEdit.)

World Zionist Organization.

Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Wilhelm-Pieck-Universität Rostock. Registerband zu den Jahrgängen 1(1951/52) bis 25(1976) / herausgegeben im Auftrage des Rektors von der Universitätsbibliothek Rostock.

World Wide Web Consortium. An industry consortium run by the Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

World Wide Web Virtual Library.

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