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C c

Latin, Gaius, Gaia. One of the most common of the Latin praenomina, typically abbreviated when writing the full tria nomina, q.v.. Abbreviation dates from before the end of the 3 c. BCE, when the letter G was introduced to indicate a voiced version of C (which was originally always hard, like a K). Similar situation with Gnaeus (Cn.). Cf. K.

In case this wasn't obvious: Caia (later spelled Gaia, as above) was a woman's name corresponding to Caius (just as Julia corresponded to Julius). This name had nothing to do with the Greek word Gaia.

Yes, ``G.'' was sometimes used, but less often.

Frederic D. Allen wrote an article entitled ``Gajus or Gaïus'' for volume 2 of HSCP (1891), pp. 71-87, in order to collect in one place the evidence for whether Gaius was pronounced disyllabically (with a consonantal i) or trisyllabically. He marshaled evidence from Latin, other local languages (Faliscan, Oscan, and Etruscan cognates are known) and from Greek. His concluding paragraph:

      As results of the foregoing investigation, we may lay down: (1) that the name designated by the Romans by the letter C was originally Gauius; (2) that this form had passed into Gaius by 190 B.C., though it survived longer in some of the provinces of Italy; (3) that for some reason, not assignable at present, the customary pronunciation (of the educated classes at least) remained Gaïus (trisyllabic) at any rate until the end of the first century of our era, and probably still longer.

The puzzlement implied in the third point reflects the fact that while Gaius maintained its distract form, other -aiu- forms like Maius and Graius assume contract forms relatively early. Allen can think of no other explanation for the difference than the etymology (and the lingering usage) summarized in (1) and (2).


Carbon. Atomic number 6. The Tori Amos song ``Carbon'' also mentions ribbons of lithium, but it's such a meaningful song that I haven't a clue if it's about anything.

Learn useful stuff about carbon at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool. What's this? There are also lithium entries at WebElements and at Chemicool.

I really ought to have something to say about carbon, but I guess I'm just overwhelmed by the task. Have you ever heard of organic chemistry? Why don't you examine one of our diamond entries?

Catcher. Baseball position #2. Squats behind HP.

Gate Cee? At Midway Airport? That's gate Aitch -- they switched after Friday, October 26, 2001. Good move: now ``gate Cee'' won't be misheard as ``gate Gee'' (see PA entry). As of Monday the 29th, though, a lot of personnel and electronics hadn't gotten the message yet.

The speed of light. ``c'' abbreviates ``celerity.'' The International System (SI) standard for time (the second) is fundamental, but the unit of length is defined in terms of the time standard by the speed of light. The speed of light has been defined as an integer number of m/sec which closely approximates the speed determined from earlier length and time definitions. Thus, the speed of light is ``known'' exactly: it is
299 792 458 m/s.

This is a sensible-enough proposition: compared with human scales of length and time, the precision with which time can be measured or defined is sharper than the corresponding length precision. Thus, defining a length unit in terms of a time unit allows one, in principle if not exactly in practice, to define a length unit more accurately than current length measurement allows. But however sensible this may be, and no matter for how long time measurement continues to be more precise than length measurement, the value of c will probably change at some point. The reason is that measurement is a simple but tedious subject which attracts minds that can master nothing more subtle. Self-important busybodies come to dominate the international weights-and-measures organizations during the long periods when well-enough ought to be left alone, and eventually they agree among themselves to make their dominance felt in some unnecessary decision or another.

Physicists often use a value of unity for the speed of light. That is, we assume that one second equals 299 million-odd meters. This is convenient and entirely legitimate, but at first (in a junior-level ``Modern Physics'' course, say) it can seem confusing. For one attempt to ease the discomfort, see the GeV entry.

In ``Genie In A Bottle,'' Christina Aguilera sings

Hormones racing at the speed of light But that don't mean it's gotta be tonight Baby baby baby (baby baby baby...)

Here's something less recent, from Flamm O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds (1939):

Excellent, remarked Mr. Furriskey with that quiet smile which endeared him to everyone who happened to come his way, but do not overlook this, that the velocity of light in vacuo is 186,325 miles per second.

Degrees Celsius. This temperature scale also used to be called ``centigrade.'' Interestingly, as originally defined by Celsius, his temperature scale had 0 at the water boiling point, and 100 at the freezing point.

There are different stories about the origin of the Fahrenheit scale (°F). I like the one according to which it was defined in terms of a zero set by a particular brine fusion point and a high temperature of 100 equal to the human body temperature. That would make Fahrenheit and Celsius both centigrade scales. However, I'm informed that ``other versions have the defined points at 0° and 96°; 32° and 96°; or even 0°, 32°, and 96°.'' Fahrenheit was vague about this in his one published explanation of how the scale was defined and thermometers calibrated, but seemed to imply he used all three points. It's been suggested that he was trying to disinform his competitors.

So Celsius thought the temperature should decrease when things got hot, and Fahrenheit was okay with water freezing at 25 and body temperature about three times that, maybe. Didn't anybody have an intuitive system with sensible numbers? How about Réaumur?

Center. A basketball position. If I knew anything about basketball, this would probably be the entry where I would demonstrate the fact.

Center is also a position in other sports, like...

[Football icon]

Center. An offensive position in American football. Takes an offensive position in front of the quarterback (QB).

Center is also a position in related sports like soccer and rugby, as well as many other team sports played on fields, courts, or rinks with two mirror symmetries (lacrosse, field and ice hockey, volleyball, basketball... the list goes on, but I don't). Center is usually a center forward (or center midfield) position, and the center or center-forward position is usually a scoring position. In football, the flashy players on offense and special teams are in the backfield. Football is like chess, with the forward positions uncelebrated, providing protection and making opportunities for the sprinters that start out behind. It's a game of strategy -- it's cerebral! That's why head protection is considered so important, see?

This is a good opportunity to mention that the chess game in the first Harry Potter book is a lot more convincing than quidditch in any of the rest that I've read. Quidditch is basically two games going on in parallel. One game has most of the players and more often than not is completely irrelevant. The other game is determined mostly by the ride, with glory going to the jockey. I tellya, it's pure make-believe.

c., C.
A century; about pi billion seconds. ( American billions.) The SI only sanctions one unit, fundamental or derived, for any measurable quantity, with convenient units for different situations to be formed by power-of-ten prefixes. Thus the use of minutes, hours, days and weeks, to say nothing of such ambiguous time units as month or year, is discouraged.

At the time of the French revolution, an attempt was made to institute metric time, or at least more evenly-spaced, conventional time units. There were thus to be ten hours in a day and ten days in a week, exactly three weeks in every month, with five or six intercalary days at the end of every year. The idea never caught on, unless you count Mexico. In Mexico, you hear the expression ``ahorita nomás,'' but it sounds like ``horita nomás.'' That is: you are told ``in a small now'' and you think you hear ``in a little hour.''

There's a new effort to institute metric time. A proposal to standardize time references on the internet is based on thousandths of a day or 1.44 minutes (1:26.4), called pieces.

[column] [An aitch elision that sounds similar is in name of a Classical Greek verb form known as aorist, which comes from a- and horizein. (It's not really an aitch, we write aitch to indicate rough breathing in Ancient Greek words.) Come to think of it, ahorita nomás is in fact a kind of aorist tense marker, indicating the action in a casual sort of way, without any real information about its completion. It could conceivably be useful in translating the Greek New Testament into Spanish. Okay, I'm joking. But in case you wanted to know, this flip bit of slang does not occur in any common Spanish translations of the Bible. Not even the dumbed-down (this is kind) Biblia en Lenguaje Sencillo.]

Thomas Jefferson, who was a big booster of decimal units (it is largely due to his influence that we had 100 cents per dollar while the British still had that colorful system of farthing, pence, and shilling), proposed a time standard that was based on a length unit (about a foot): the second was to be the small-oscillation period of a pendulum of standard length.

Note that the present system of numbering centuries was developed before the concept of zero had rediffused back into Europe. It's not clear what would have occurred in the alternative, but in the event, the first hundred years of the common era CE are known as the ``first'' century. This is preceded immediately by the ``first'' century BC or BCE. There is no zeroth century. Similarly, the first year of the first century CE (abbreviated a number of ways, including ``1 c. CE'') is the year one (abbreviated ``1 CE''). It is preceded immediately by the year 1 BCE, which is the last year of 1 c. BCE. In other words, there is no year zero either. Moreover, the first one hundred years, beginning from 1 CE, did not end in the year 99. Instead, they ended with the last day of the year 100. The new century thus began with the year 101. It is left as an exercise for the reader to show that 1901 was the first year of the twentieth century, and the twenty-first century will begin on New Year's Day in 2001. All of you people who celebrate at the end of 1999, it's like arriving an hour early for a party, only 8760 times worse.

To this, Wendy Warren answers ``The fun is when the calendar goes from one-nine-nine-nine to two-zero-zero-zero.'' According to a front-page article in the Monday, December 18, 1995 New York Times (which is often reliable) Warren and 900 of her closest friends have booked a hollow 600-foot obelisk in Seattle to celebrate the coming simultaneous triple-carry of the annual shift register.

TAFKAP had a hit record in the mid-eighties called ``(Tonight) We're Gonna Party Like It's Nineteen Ninety Nine.'' Already this year, the murder rate in Minneapolis is higher than in New York City. [National Lampoon's ``Deteriorata'' (a parody of Max Ehrman's ``Desiderata'') offers the following consolation: ``And reflect that whatever fortunes may be your lot, / It could only be worse in Milwaukee.'' Minneapolis is in Minnesota; Milwaukee is in Wisconsin. The consolation preceding the one just quoted is ``Take heart amid the deepening gloom that your dog is finally getting enough cheese.'' Wisconsin (WI) is known for cheese. What is the deeper meaning of this poem?]

The US Naval Observatory (USNO) is doing its best to proselytize for the true millennium.

Charlie. Not an abbreviation here, just the FCC-recommended ``phonetic alphabet.'' I.e., a set of words chosen to represent alphabetic characters by their initials. You know, ``Alpha Bravo Charlie ... .'' The idea behind the choice is to have words that the listener will be able to guess at or reconstruct accurately even through noise (or narrow bandwidth, like a telephone). Hence, ``Candles'' would be no good because it might be heard as ``Scandals,'' especially if anyone happens to be serving as President of the US.

Personally, I prefer ``Cucaracha!''


Latin Circiter, meaning `around' and used (in both Latin and English) in the sense of `about, approximately' or else short for ca., meaning the same thing but tending to be used mostly for proximity in time. Gee, this is so ambiguous and confusing!

C, c.
Concentration. A quantitative measure of the density of a solute in a solvent. Common chemical measures are molarity and molality. Normality is used for acids and bases.

In many particular applications, trades, and industries, absent any qualification or special context, ``concentration'' is implicitly concentration of a particular standard substance that is understood. In the wastewater treatment industry, that's disinfectant.

Consonant. From 13-14th century French, based on Latin roots to mean `sounded with' or `co-sounded.' What consonants are sounded with is vowels. This idea is not quite right, because many consonants can be sounded alone (semivowels like w, liquids like r, nasals like m, and fricatives like esh). To different degrees, such consonants can function as vowels. Nevertheless, I'm not aware of any consonant other than the rolled r that can function fully as a vowel (i.e. that can be freely substituted for a vowel and still produce something pronounceable). There's a Serbo-Croatian children's song in which a single verse is repeated, each time with a different vowel, the last time with r (that's the fun part). Although it is difficult to draw a sharp distinction between vowels and consonants, the simplest effective approach is to define vowels (q.v.) directly, and then define consonants as all other sounds or letters.

Coulomb. The SI unit of electric charge. Although it may seem natural to think of the charge unit as fundamental and the current unit [ampere, (A)] as derived from it (A = C/s), in fact the fundamental definition is of the amp, and one coulomb is the charge corresponding to a current of one amp integrated over one second.

There is a natural unit of charge, of course -- the magnitude of charge on the proton or electron, typically written e or q. This is 1.602 × 10-19 C.

cum. Medical Latin, `with.'

Curie [unit].

Cytosine. A pyrimidine base in DNA and RNA that pairs with the purine base Guanine (G). GMW of the isolated base is 111.1 grams per mole.

Euler's Constant. A constant defined by the requirement that
     1   1   1         1
     - + - + - + ... + - - ln(N) - C 
     1   2   3         N
converge to zero as N approaches zero.

The value of C is approximately 0.577215... It is sometimes convenient to define a quantity gamma = exp(C) = 1.781072...

A programming language created in 1974 by Dennis Ritchie. For a bit of programming-language genealogy involving C, see the Algol entry. Also C this list of Usenet FAQ's. (Oh yeh, I'm a laff riot.)

Michael Neumann's extensive list of sample short programs in different programming languages includes four C programs, not all of them short.

The name is spoken like the musical pitch: ``cee sharp.'' C# is a class-crazy version of C++. Although you can do pointer arithmetic if you promise the compiler that you'll take responsibility for any untoward results, it manages to eliminate most of the necessity for explicitly pointing and referencing. The language was created at Microsoft, but they have made some effort to make it nonproprietary.

There have been one or two non-MS compilers available since at least 2005, but outside of a machine running Windows, it's hard to see much reason to move from C++. Scratch that; Novell sponsors an open-source project called Mono that ``provides the necessary software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix.'' Its programming languages include no platform-independent C++, but it does include a C# compiler. That has to beat learning Objective-C just to pull in an extra 10% market share. (Nothing against Objective-C, but it's very different from C++. Objective-C takes its object model and syntax from Smalltalk, while C++ uses Simula-type objects. Objective-C's message-passing way of dealing with objects might be a more natural fit for event-driven programs, and it's charming that Objective-C is a strict superset of C, but these things don't make recoding easy. Translating between C++ and Objective-C requires thinking across two different models.)

Michael Neumann's extensive list of sample short programs in different programming languages includes three C# programs.

An object-oriented extension of the C language. [Strictly speaking, standard C is not an exact subset of C++.] The GNU C++ compiler is g++. Plus, there are usenet FAQ's Usenet FAQ's. (Like Gauss's mathematical publications, our links are few but good -- as of July 2007.)

``Double plus'' is a Newspeak adverb; that might be one of the better reasons to switch to C# (``cee sharp'').

Michael Neumann's extensive list of sample short programs in different programming languages includes over a dozen C++ programs.


Abbreviation of circa, Latin for `around,' often used like the English words near or close in the sense `approximately.' Most used in giving dates and date ranges. Also abbreviated just plain c.

Now you, dear reader, are obviously a very sensible person, as evidenced by the fact that you are looking things up here in a (very good, I may say) glossary, instead of risking a vocable miscue. Alas, not everyone is as intelligent or even as conscientious as you. Some people see the word circa enough times, and they think they know what it means when they don't. They lack imagination, which is a necessary component of learning -- if you can't imagine alternatives, then you risk supposing they don't exist, and thus failing to realize that you have guessed wrong. To cut to the chase, what I'm trying to say here is that some people wildly misunderstand the term circa. They seem to think it's a word that just goes in front of a number to indicate that the number is a year. I won't characterize these people further, but I will note that they apparently have a statistically enhanced probability of attending ed school.

For a variant of this, see the links from this page (``Gallery of Space Books'') that is part of The Space Educators' Handbook. Among the books linked from there one finds, for example ``TOM CORBETT : A TRIP TO THE MOON (circa 1953)'' above the image and ``Copyright, 1953, by Rockhill Radio Recording'' below. You get the idea.

Cab-to-(rear)-Axle (distance). Precisely, the horizontal distance from the rearmost point of the truck cab to the rear axle or (midpoint of rear axles). Clear or effective CA measures the back of the cab from the rear surface of any obstruction behind the cab.

For more, see Chassis Dimensions in the NTEA's glossary of Truck Equipment Terms.

Calcium. Atomic number 20. An alkaline earth element. Makes water hard, by the reaction
2NaA + Ca2+ --> CaA2 + 2Na+
where A- is some large organic anion, and CaA2 precipitates out.

Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

CaliforniA. USPS abbreviation.

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for California. USACityLink.com has a page mostly of California city and county links.

California is a community property state, but it's not the only one. I think Arizona is another. If you have a prenuptual agreement, then the community property laws still have to kick in at the end of ten years. Tom Cruise filed for divorce from Nicole Kidman as their tenth anniversary was approaching. I guess he couldn't think of what to get her. Or could.

The California Historical Society is online.

In 2003, California found itself in a hole about $38 billion deep. Governor Gray Davis suggested balancing the budget by firing all the teachers and tripling the auto registration fee, but he was only able to fully implement the second part of this plan. Nominally, the budget was balanced by the usual accounting tricks, but there's something truly original on the way: California is going to balance its budget by a direct application of democratic principles. Specifically, they're holding a recall election to see if Davis can keep his job, and who gets to replace him -- and anyone can get on the ballot for $3500. Everyone's joining the party! If just one third of California's population buys a place on the ballot, the budget will swing into surplus. Unbelievable! As I write on August 6, they're well on their way to solvency. I think I've heard about four million gubernatorial hopefuls who already filed their papers. There are probably also some relative unknowns (that girl I mention in the rehab entry, for example) who've filed but haven't had their fifteen minutes of air, yet. (Thank the gods for all those satellite channels.) Of course, because being a candidate for high state office has become so commonplace, a lot of people forget whether they've already filed; these people are encouraged to file again -- twice, thrice, whatever they can afford out of the Social Security check. They're always assured that ``filing again can not reduce your chances of winning.'' This is great! Good news: I hear the filing deadline will be extended due to ``unforeseen delays'' -- the unusual number of candidates is causing some logistical difficulties in the paper-ballot districts -- this is a uncharted seas for the phone-book publishers.

(Domain name code for) Canada. One country as of this writing, and looks increasingly like it may stay that way. Here's a lesson in Canadian. Also for California, in the second-to-last position: <foobar.ca.us>.

``Canadian initiative, Canadian initiative, ...'' works better than ``one sheep, two sheep, ....''

In breakfast menus, ``Canadian'' is an adjective meaning `with bacon,' just as ``Virginia'' is a dinner-menu adjective meaning `glazed ham' and ``Hawaiian'' is just an elegant way of saying `with a pineapple annulus.' ``Wisconsin'' (WI) means `with yellow cheese.' `Nova Scotia' or just `Nova' (in a food context) means `lots of fresh,' but can only modify the word salmon. ``Louisiana'' means `cooked with hot spices, and imagine accordion music in the background.' ``New York'' is a restaurant term meaning expensive. ``New York-style cheesecake'' is mostly manufactured in Philadelphia. Here's what Alice May Brock says:

Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.

When this entry was first written, Canada had ten provinces and two territories. The territories were distinguished by the fact that their capital cities had concatenated compound common nouns as names. To wit:

The capital cities of the provinces all have three or four vowels, so long as you spell out St. John's.

There's a search site called <canada.com>.

On April 1, 1999, the region previously called the Northwest Territories (prescient plural there) fissioned into two, with about the eastern half becoming the new Nunavut Territory; the capital is Iqaluit (formerly called Frobisher Bay). Alas, Iqaluit doesn't look like a concatenated compound common noun, but you never know. I don't at any rate. Agglutination is a common feature of North American autochthon languages, so there's hope. ``Frobisher Bay'' at least consisted of two nouns, though they weren't concatenated and one was proper.

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

If I had to guess, I'd say that the ccTLD with the greatest number of hyphenated second-level domains is <.ca>, on account of all the bilingual acronym pairs. The CBC sponsors a Canadian-oriented search engine called MegaCrawler. Not a whisper of French -- I am amazed. (To follow their links, copy the URL and remove the duplicated part.) There's also a Friendly Canadian search site that appears to use babelfish machine translation. Even Yahoo! Canada does better than that!

Here's something I hadn't realized: Canada is a part of Europe! In this online TNR article, editor-in-chief Martin Peretz explains ``Europe (by which I mean Great Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Poland, Canada, Australia, and a few others) holds the fate of Palestine in its hands.'' There you go. His magazine is owned by a Canadian company, so I figure he ought to know. Australia is part of Europe too.

Also from the news media: Canada is a part of the US. Or so it seemed for a while in January 2009. For the incontrovertible evidence, you could visit the Financial Times page of World New Headlines, as I did. In the left sidebar, under ``World,'' I clicked on ``US.'' There I found an alphabetized list of US categories:

  • Canada
  • Economy & Fed
  • Politics
  • Society
  • So at least part of the US is part of Europe too. Possibly not Hawaii, though. This is really almost as stupid as the new ESPN homepage unveiled at the beginning of January. Checking the next month, I see that the US category has been renamed ``US & Canada,'' and Canada has been moved to the end of the list. What about Mexico? Isn't Mexico a part of the US? President Polk sure thought so. The ESPN page has been somewhat repaired as well.

    Canadian Alliance. A political party in a North American region that US people sometimes have difficulty thinking of as a separate country up there. Let's take a quick jaunt back down Memory Lane for this one:

    The Reform Party of Canada was founded by Preston Manning in 1987. For a while in the late 1990's the party was trying to enlarge by merging with some smaller parties on the right, which after the humiliation of 1993 included the Tories (also called Conservatives, PC), but the Tories weren't interested. Manning made a renewed push in this direction in 1998, and in 1999 a few provincial Tories from Ontario and Alberta left the PC and created a forthrightly temporary party called the United Alternative for the express purpose of consummating some such merger. In 2000, Reform and United Alternative merged.

    At one time it appeared that the new name would be Conservative-Reform Alliance Party, which would have had a pronounceable acronym, but for unknown reasons that name wasn't chosen. Instead they have become the Canadian Reform Conservative (no hyphen!) Alliance, with an official short form of Canadian Alliance and an official abbreviation of CA for that. (Note that ``(no hyphen!)'' is not part of the name. It's a comment. I should have written it with square brackets so that not so many readers would have been confused.)

    ``Progressive Conservative,'' ``Reform Conservative'' ... diet sugar, compassionate conservative, sofa-bed, hurry up and wait. Something for everyone, a comedy tonight!

    In the federal elections of 2000, the Canadian Alliance failed to make the ``breakthrough'' it had long hoped for in the east (i.e., in Ontario), while the Tories sank a little deeper. In 2003-4, Canadian Alliance and Tories merged, and Canadian Alliance ceased to be used as a party name. Stockwell Day, who is discussed at the Victoria Day entry, became shadow Foreign Minister and took the opportunity to visit lots of foreign countries.

    Cell Arrival.

    Cellular Automaton (sing.) or Automata (pl.).

    U. Frisch, B. Hasslacher, and Y. Pomeau, Phys. Rev. Lett. 56, 1505 (1986), showed that a particular class of local, hexagonally coordinated two-dimensional lattice gases evolve according to conventional two-dimensional hydrodynamic equations.

    Here are a few CA links. Cf. QCA.

    Cellulose Acetate (polymer resin).

    Central America. Many businesses in Central America (Centroamérica or América central) list ``CA'' after the name. If you know where the country is, then this is superflous; if you don't know that Panama, Costa Rica, or whatever is a country in Central America, then the ``CA'' isn't likely to help. In the US postal system, which uses CA as an abbreviation for California, it might even lead to confusion. For example, Panama is the name of an unincorporated community near Bakersfield, California.

    ``Central America'' has always been an essentially political designation, and changes in sovereignty have changed the extent of the region. Today, those who are paying attention recognize that it is the territory of the countries on the American mainland between Mexico and Colombia, including with their nearby island posessions. Other islands in the Caribbean (whatever their political status) are not generally called Central American. (The corresponding terms in other languages sometimes have different meanings.)

    Central America is entirely within North America because Colombia defines the northwest limit of South America. This raises the question, how was ``Central America'' defined when Panama was still a part of Colombia. The answer is rather involved, and I'd like to publish a short form of this entry so another entry that links to it has something to link to. So to make a long story short, the term was a loose one. For example, a January 1812 letter to the editor of the Christian Observer mentioned ``...the boundless regions of central Africa; central America on both sides of the isthmus of Panama; and the whole of Australasia and Polynesia; all of which may be regarded as uninhabited [for the purposes of his argument reconciling Malthusian theory with Christianity].''

    The region became independent of Spain in 1821 was initially a part of the Mexican empire. In July 1823 it seceded to form las Provincias Unidas del Centro de América (`the United Provinces of the Center of America'). ``It'' was the Spanish colonial administrative region that had been called la Capitanía General de Guatemala (`the Captaincy General of Guatemala') until 1821, and that consisted of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. The borders of these states were approximately what they are today. The biggest differences were that Guatemala included Chiapas, and Britain controlled the Mosquito Coast, a strip about 40 miles deep along most of the Caribbean coast of present-day Nicaragua and the 100 or so easternmost miles of the current Caribbean coast of Honduras. Costa Rica included a bit of modern-day Panama.

    In 1824, the name was changed to la República Federal de Centroamérica (`Federal Republic of Central America'). This was the origin of `Central America' as a relatively precise political term.

    In the 1830's a sixth state, Los Altos (loosely `the highlands'), was carved out of the western Guatemalan highlands, including Chiapas. The republic descended into civil war in the late 30's, and in 1840 it was dissolved. At that time, Chiapas chose to become part of Mexico, and the rump of Los Altos returned to Guatemala.

    Certification Authority.

    Channel Access. A network protocol designed for EPICS, q.v.


    Classical Antiquity. A journal formerly published as California Studies in Classical Antiquity (CSCA).


    The Classical Association. ``[T]he largest classical organisation in Great Britain. It has a worldwide membership, and unites the interests of all who value the study of the languages, literature and civilisation of ancient Greece and Rome.'' The CA was founded in 1903, which seems preposterously recent. (I've also seen 1904.)

    As you might expect from an essentially national organization that eschews any geographic or political cue in its name, this is one of those associations that sometimes styles itself ``The Association.''

    The Classical Association publishes three journals, all of them important in the UK and other places where there are classical scholars who can read English: Classical Review, Classical Quarterly and Greece & Rome. (In 2005, with the sole purpose of mystifying everyone, CA switched publishers for these journals from Oxford to Cambridge U.P.)

    Cluster Analysis.

    Cocaine Anonymous.

    College Assistant.

    Common Anode. All the anodes in a particular LED display are a common node.

    Complexing Agent.

    Computer-Aided or Computer-Assisted. I ask you: how informative is this prefix? And the inelegance of it all! What price progress? Cf. CARP.

    Connection Activation unit. Part of a Connection Information Distribution (CID) mechanism.

    Corriente Alterna. Spanish for `Alternating Current' (AC).

    Crank Amperage. A typical car battery provides 700 A. The same battery might provide only 550 A in cold conditions (Cold Crank Amperage -- CCA).

    Cricket Australia. ``formerly known as the Australian Cricket Board,'' until they adopted the Canadian or Australian or whatever naming convention, ``is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in Australia.'' Well, some amateur cricket, anyway. It's a full member of the ICC.

    Current Amplifier. An ordinary bipolar transistor, in common-emitter configuration, is most simply regarded as a current amplifier.

    Cyanoacrylate Adhesive. Superglue.

    Cyclic Acetal.

    Canadian Acoustical Association. The French name is l'Association Canadienne d'Acoustique, represented ACA or L'ACA. Their logo cleverly arranges a letter C centered above two A's on a maple leaf, representing both orderings.

    Canadian Automobile Association. The French name is Association canadienne des automobilistes (not a direct translation, since automobiliste is a motorist), but CAA is used in both languages. You think that's a small concession? They actually offer a French translation of ``1145 Hunt Club Road'' (1145, chemin Hunt Club). (It should probably be ``1145, Hunt Club Road,'' since Road is part of the name. However, for reasons that are difficult to articulate but obvious to everyone, there is a desire to find something to make the translation nontrivial.)

    Canadian Aviation Administration. Now become part of Transport Canada.

    Civil Aviation Authority.

    Clean Air Act.

    College Art Association. Founded 1912, became a constituent society of the ACLS in 1942. ACLS has an overview. It called itself the College Art Association of America at least as recently as 1984.

    Computer-Assisted (CA-) Assessment.

    Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

    Civil Aviation Authority of China.

    In the interest of full disclosure, and so you can see what incorrect glossary entries look like (as we steadily work to extirpate them), here is what this entry used to read in its entirety:

    PRC (Chinese) national airline. Supposed to be ``China Administration of Civil Aviation'' but the order is wrong, so it's probably French. The only English expansion seems to be `Chinese Airliners Always Crash.' Similar expansions at this site or this one. More explanation from Hong Kong. (Visit before July 1, 1997! Oops, too late. Don't visit now.) Note that if ``China Administration of Civil Aviation'' really were the expansion, its acronym would be a child's dirty word in many European languages. Here's the Air China site; I don't know of a specific CAAC site. (Use this alternate URL if you want to drag out the experience.)

    On January 2, 1997 the Chinese government publicly congratulated itself for a record 29 accident-free months for the nation's airlines. (They waited until after the last plane had landed safely before the New Year.) The International Airline Passenger Association (IAPA) had cited China as one of the most dangerous countries in which to fly in 1994.

    Consortium of Art and Architectural Historians. A listserv based at Rutgers.

    Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. It's ``the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits over 2000 educational programs in nineteen (19) health science occupations. CAAHEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).''

    Computers And Ancient Languages (especially of the Ancient Near East). A mailing list run by Petr Zemánek out of Universitas Carolina in the Czech Republic (.cz). FTP archives at <ftp://praha1.ff.cuni.cz/pub/lists/caal/>.

    China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

    Children's AIDS Awareness Project. That particular program no longer seems to be in existence, but see this page, which offers ``[a]ge-appropriate knowledge about the transmission and risks of HIV and its prevalence among youth'' down to the K-3 level (!).

    At education-world.com, there's a curriculum article'' explaining that ``HIV/AIDS Education Isn't Only for Health Class! (It's for English, Math, Science, Spanish.)'' The article continues...

    HIV/AIDS curriculum is often relegated to Health class where instruction can be clinical and boring. But at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a special AIDS Awareness Week program involved teachers of all disciplines. AIDS education came to life in art class and English class, in math and in geography.

    Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency. A standardized test administered by colleges.


    Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute. In Nicosia. They have an events page listing exhibits of Cypriot artifacts, lectures on Cypriot archaeology and conferences with sessions or papers devoted to Cypriot archaeology.


    Classical Association of the Atlantic States. Their seal has the name in Latin: ``Causa Artium Alit Scientiam.'' It's great that it works out to the same letters.

    The ``Atlantic states'' are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The organization name is pronounced ``cass'' (to rhyme with pass) by its members; the 1999 fall meeting was in Easton, PA. The Spring 2000 meeting was in Princeton. After that, they let the website slide. Dang, and Janice tells me the fall 2000 one was the best in at least eleven years.

    Well, the Spring 2001 meeting was in New Rochelle, New York at the end of April, and I finally went. Boy was I embarrassed! Everybody laughed at me, except a couple of people who thought I was joking and laughed with me (I could tell from their ear-lobe muscles). But I wasn't laughing very hard. I was humiliated. It turns out that the Latin C - A - A - S phrase in the seal doesn't translate ``Classical Association of the Atlantic States'' after all.

    How was I to know? Causa looks a bit like Classical. I mean, the words have to be different in different languages, or they wouldn't be different languages, now would they? So there: Quod Erat Disputandum (Q.E.D.). After all, just look at the words: does causa or scientam remind you of any particular word in English? I thought not. I tell ya, it's not fair. It's not fair!

    They say that Causa Artium Alit Scientiam means `the cause of the arts nourishes science.' This is a somewhat biased reading: scientia meant `knowledge.' The current meaning of its English cognate science represents an adaptation and restriction of the meaning of the French etymon. The Germans use Wissenschaft.

    Okay, so some months after the Spring meeting, I got another copy of the program, along with a standard sheet entitled ``Professional Development Documentation.'' There CAAS is revealed to have provider/district registration number 1879, and the meeting turns out to be a professional development activity. I was there two days and I only accrued Professional Development in the actual amount of six hours? Add insult to injury.

    I mentioned this to my cousin Victoria, who teaches bilingual kindergarten in California. She says she could use the hours. The states require public school teachers to do unbelievable amounts of often pointless busy-work, like accruing professional development hours or filling out forms detailing microscopically how each component of their lesson plans meets which of the state's myriad educational achievement goals. It's exactly like being punished by being made to stay after school.

    In the US, private schools manage to escape a large part of this burden. An anonymous informant in the other .ca place reports on work conditions under the Catholic school board there:

    A requirement of the permanent contract is passing a course in religious instruction. The course ran five months, once a week for three hours. This was the first year the course has been so onerous (I won't even get into the idiot assignments we had to do) and it was so onerous because the OCT won't recognize it as an official course if it doesn't have hours and work equivalent to a university-level course. Attendance was mandatory (you were allowed to miss at most two classes).

    At professional meetings, it would be offensive to ``take attendance.'' One thing that surprised me about the CAAS meeting was the large number of participant packages (detailed program, meal tickets, pin-on ID) that were not picked up. A lot of people seem to have paid admission and not come for the show. I can't imagine what they got out of it.

    Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services.

    Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft.

    You know, I was sure I had the URL for this around somewhere. Where did it go? It should be right -- Oh no! I've been hit by ...

    The Bookmark Thieves.

    The really scary thing about these guys is how fast and silently they work. Turn your head away from the computer, and it's gone (the bookmark, not the computer; this entry isn't about hardware theft). They're just like those softwear pirates. Look away from the tumbling and spinning clothing mass, and before you even know it, they've socked it to ya. Vicious peg-leg pirates who ``only take what we need,'' but you're left holding the bag -- of unmatched socks. Fgrep won't get you a.out of this one.

    Carolina Animal Activists Together.

    Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing. At JHU.

    It should be obvious: just promote them to the next grade regardless whether they learned anything or not.

    College of Applied Arts and Technology. Obscure synonym of (English) Canadian equivalent of US Community College. The equivalence is somewhat approximate. Also, the option of completing a baccalaureate degree in the other colleges (``senior colleges'' in a rare but reasonable US usage) in three years is much more common in Canada. Cf. CEGEP.

    CABernet. A red wine that tastes like (and is) Cabernet Sauvignon. Less an abbreviation than an affectation.

    Canadian Association of Broadcasters. ``The Collective Voice of Canada's Private Broadcasters.'' The French acronym is ACR.

    CAB holds its annual convention in October.

    Cellulose Acetate Butyrate.

    Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences. Used as a productive prefix by CAB International (CABI). After I had to download, crop and zoom their welcome gif just to learn the expansion of CAB, you can be sure I wasn't going to waste all that effort on just one entry.

    Civilian Aviation Board. No homepage because it disappeared in 1978, under airline deregulation. Its duties were distributed to the DOT, FAA, and NTSB.

    Alfred E. Kahn was the last head of the CAB, and he eagerly argued his job out of existence. He told an airline executive ``I really don't know one plane from another. To me they're just marginal costs with wings.'' After the CAB was disbanded, president Jimmy Carter made Kahn ``inflation czar.'' In a way, this was very appropriate for a man who in the long run lowered the real costs of air travel. However, Carter didn't give Kahn any power. Nobody on the fiscal side had any power over inflation in those years (see WIN), and in the Carter years inflation was compounded by economic stagnation (i.e., low or negative economic growth). The combination came to be called stagflation. The trouble with fiscal measures against stagflation was (and is) that increased government spending fuels recovery but worsens inflation (in theory). When Ronald Reagan ran against Carter in 1980, he made ``Are you better off now than you were four years ago?'' an effective campaign mantra. Fiscal measures not availing, and Reagan promising increased spending combined with tax cuts, Paul Volker applied the monetary brakes. Volker, appointed chairman of the Fed by Carter, raised interest rates (in the usual indirect ways, by raising the reserve rate and decreasing money supply) dramatically early in the Reagan administration, triggering the worst recession in US post-war history. That seems to have done the trick for twenty years. Amazing.

    One of the vegetables quantified like an important body part (cf. corn). However, cabbage, in addition to being counted in head, comes from L. caput, `head,' via the Fr. cabus, modifying choux (`cabbage') in choux cabbage (`headed cabbage'). The government of British Columbia answers your urgent questions here.

    Another connection between cabbage and the human body, beside the latter eating the former and the former inflating the latter: cabbage is doctors' slang for a heart bypass, evidently derived from the common pronunciation of CABG. This usage has so far only come to the attention of SBF investigators in Canada, but the border is porous. (In fact, this porosity is a significant consideration when provincial governments negotiate compensation with physicians. It turns out that the physiology of Canadians and Americans is quite similar -- we have over 99% of our genes in common -- so Canadian physicians are able to find work in the US with very little retraining.)

    I read once that ``my little cabbage'' (or however that's translated) is an affectionate lover's pet-epithet in France. Romaine?

    California Association for Bilingual Education. ``[A] non-profit organization incorporated in 1976 to promote bilingual education and quality educational experiences for all students in California.''

    In California, bilingual education basically means education in Spanish and English.

    Central American Bank for Economic Integration. English name of the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica (BCIE, q.v.).

    Joseph C. Cabell, a prominent Virginian who died in 1856, is mentioned at the Harvard of the South entry. We don't mention him anywhere else, but William H. Cabell was governor of Virginia from 1805-1808. His grandson James Branch Cabell (1879-1958) was considered in his time (at least by his fellow literati) to be the most distinguished citizen of Richmond-in-Virginia, as he styled it. Virginia has old family like that. The Virginia Lees are another such.

    Massachusetts had something similar, and the famous Boston saying that ``the Lodges speak only to the Cabots, and the Cabots speak only to God.'' As you can imagine, moving in such restricted social circles limited their marriage prospects, so the most famous Lodges and Cabots were Cabot Lodges. Then came the Kennedys -- new money (hold your nose).

    Interestingly, Branch Cabell was born at 101 E. Franklin Street. What's that you say? You say that doesn't seem very interesting? Well just let me finish! That address is now the site of the Richmond Public Library. If they would just move to new digs, they could make that place the Branch Cabell Branch Library. As it is, there's a James Branch Cabell Library at VCU, but it seems to be the principal library on the main (Monroe Park) campus.

    Coronary Artery Bypass Graft[ing]. Pronounced ``cabbage.''

    Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences (CAB) International. Homepage here.

    CableACE Awards
    CABLE Awards for Cable Excellence AWARDS. We selected this term for inclusion in our highly exclusive, excellence-oriented glossary because it is an AssistedAAP Acronym, after a fashion. ACE originally (1979-1983) stood for ``Award for Cablecasting Excellence.'' The official expansion of ACE became ``Award for Cable Excellence'' for 1984. One supposes that they imagined that ACE would eventually stop being thought of as an acronym (was it thought of at all?) and be accepted as a word ``synonymous with cable programming excellence'' (text quoted from a cable executive's dreams). For 1992, they changed the name to the silly head term this entry denounces, and just five years later, 1997, was the last year they gave the award at all. Let that be a lesson to you.

    The awards were sponsored by the NCTA, which eventually created a ``National Academy of Cable Programming'' that oversaw and tried to lend a little lightweight gravitas to the awards from 1985 on. The original pretext for these NCTA-sponsored awards was the exclusion of cable TV programming from eligibility for the Emmy Awards. Cable shows became Emmy-eligible in 1988, but the disappearance of an organization's raison d'être is hardly enough, on its own, for the organization to fold. That the ACE thing coasted along for less than a decade after 1988 is thanks solely to its having a stupid name.

    The awards were given annually from 1979 to 1997, but not in 1986 and twice in 1995, because they temporarily switched the event from December to January. (Cf. APA annual meetings.) The awards ceremonies took place in LA, often at the Wiltern Theatre. I never heard of it either. They were very memorable. Save a link to this page at IMDb, listing results of an ongoing investigation into who, if anyone, was honored by these awards.

    CAucasian, BLack, INdian, and ASIAN. Racial self-description of Tiger Woods.

    Originally a ship's galley (kitchen), or a cabin on the ship's deck that houses the galley.

    In the US, the word was adopted in railroading to refer to a train car for the use of the train crew, usually the last car on a freight train. That car would have kitchen and sleeping facilities. Cabooses (I wish the plural were cabeese) are largely obsolete. Loosely, the word is used to mean the last car. This usage should be continued because it infuriates railroad buffs. In the UK, cabeese (what the heck), or at least the word caboose for such a car, never caught on. Presumably this is because it's a small country.

    A caboose served other purposes besides quartering the crew. Crew on the caboose monitored the freight cars and cargo for problems like overheating axleboxes and load shifting. The last car is (was? was and now will be again?) sometimes a guard's van.

    In Canada, the word caboose was also adopted for a mobile bunkhouse used by lumberjacks.

    Canadian Association of Broadcast Representatives. Founded in 1950 as a nonprofit cooperative organization to promote the interest of Canadian broadcast sales companies. So why isn't the name CABSC? That's pronounceable.

    Citizens Advice BureauX. This expansion is not the official title of any organization, but the plural of what is strictly speaking a common noun. A citizens advice bureau is a sort of traveler's aid for people who aren't necessarily traveling (for people who aren't necessarily, ahem, travelling, in Britain). ``The Citizens Advice service helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free information and advice from over 3,000 locations, and by influencing policymakers.''

    California Association of Criminalists.

    Central American & Caribbean Bridge Federation. The initialism CAC may have been official at one point, and is part of the organization's logo as of 2006, but CACBF now seems to be more common. Other information about this zonal bridge federation is at the CACBF entry.

    Certified Alcoholism Counselor.

    Citizen Advocacy Center.


    Classical Association of Canada. See CAC/SCEC.

    Coast Artillery Corps. I believe this is a bit historical.

    Collective Action Clause. A clause in a prospective agreement (``offer'') between a debtor (such as the Greek government, say) and its creditors. The clause essentially states that after the offer is ``voluntarily'' accepted by a certain fraction of creditors (or more likely creditors representing a certain fraction of the debt), it is binding on all creditors. It's a nifty little deal you can swing if you control the courts where such a deal might be adjudicated (such as the Greek courts, say, in the case of Greek-law bonds). After enough debtors ``voluntarily'' accept the offer, the CAC is said to be ``activated.'' I suppose one legal principle supporting a CAC is that you can't squeeze much water from a stone.

    Connection Admission Control. Talkin' ATM here.

    Consumers Association of Canada.

    Central American & Caribbean Bridge Federation. Founded in 1971 to organize and govern bridge in the named area, CACBF was recognized (probably as ``CAC,'' q.v.,) as Zone 5 of the WBF in 1976. Venezuela and the three Guyanas belong to this zonal organization instead of the South American organization (CSB). Colombia used to belong to CACBF, but is now (2006) in CSB. More about some of the member federations of the CACBF can be found at the NBO entry.

    Memory buffer for processor registers. By retrieving contents of memory locations adjacent to those immediately called, or by holding recently used data, the cache reduces delays associated with memory fetches. Because of the simplicity of cache algorithms, this is most useful in array processing. Instruction and data caches are typically separate. SRAM and DRAM are typical memory types.

    Cache is pronounced like ``cash.'' It frequently occurs as a misspelling of cachet (pronounced ``cash-AY''). For example, a Reuters wire report on August 30, 2005, included some comments of Brandimensions COO Bradley Silver interpreting poor box office results: ``He also said that the data indicates that even movie stars don't have the same cache as they once did.'' (Then again, maybe animatronics is more pervasive than I ever suspected.)

    Official Expansion: Cooperative Approach to Continual Improvement.
    Accurate Expansion: Corporate Approach to Continual Irritation.

    Pronounced khaki. Part of the religion of Demmingism.

    Caca and similar-sounding words, from the Latin, mean `shit' in various European languages (particularly Romance languages; sometimes, given the form, a children's word). The tendency is for the word to have female gender, so the regularly constructed Italian plural would be cache (pronounced kah-keh, not like cache) rather than cachi (male plural, pronounced kah-kee). Actually, the count-noun version is probably pretty rare.

    Catholic Apostolic Church In North America.

    Canadian Association Of Children's Librarians (a division of the CLA).

    Central American Common Market. An unfortunate acronym. Take my word for it, or just see CACI entry above.

    Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

    A Greek root meaning `bad.'

    CACO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
    ``Not Too Big, Not Too Small
    Just The Right Bite Size''

    About 3 cm in diameter and 1 cm high, or thick.

    ``PROUDLY Made in U.S.A.''
    Owned and Operated by Americans''

    After all, what country is better known for delicious cookies? Don't answer that.

    Important selling points:

    1. RIGHT size enjoyable by old and young alike. (I'm still thinking about this one.)
    2. SMALL size, so if you're counting calories you can just eat a few and not feel guilty (just 20 Calories per cookie).
    3. Entire manufacturing process automated from mixing room to bagging. Cookies untouched by human hands other than purchaser's.

    Bud's Best Cookies, Inc., is located in Hoover, Alabama. That's outside of Birmingham. It started in 1992 with an initial investment of $12 million, and as of 1999 was making a million cookies a year. Of course, those are small cookies.

    Cf. Kako.

    A bad writer or speller. The first word listed in the archives of wwftd. James Murray, the first general editor of the OED, cited himself in that work only once. The cite constituted the sole authority adduced for the word cacographer, attested only in the plural: ``Norman cacographers.''

    Calcium Carbonate. A weak basic salt (the salt of a weak base with an even weaker acid), it is the active ingredient in the antacids Tums and Chooz. For other antacids, see the Maalox entry.

    Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.


    Classical Association of Canada -- Société canadienne des études classiques. Publishes the scholarly journals Phoenix (issues two to four times a year, and they're caught up now to only six months behind schedule) and EMC/CV, and CCB/BCEA.

    Canadian Association of College and University Libraries. A division of the Canadian Library Association (CLA).


    Classical Association of the Canadian West. Occasionally, the annual meeting is held jointly with CAPN.

    Canadian Association of the Deaf.

    CAnadian Dollar. On the upswing in 1999. Visit one of the currency converters we link to for up-to-date information.

    A website for Houston, in TX [a state bordering on and once part of Mexico (.mx)], is eager to advance the international money-based amity that NAFTA was partly intended to foster. Their currency converter defaults to CAD/USD. On the upswing in 1999.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Design. [Pronounced ``cad.''] Also expanded Computer-Aided Drafting.

    A popular CAD package is AutoCAD, for which there are usenet newsgroups comp.cad.autocad and alt.cad.autocad and some online faq's. The scripting language for AutoCAD is a version of LISP called AutoLISP. An extensive multipart FAQ for AutoLISP (including recent releases called Visual Lisp, Vital Lisp and ACOMP) appear in the AutoCAD newsgroups; a hypertext version is here.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Diagnosis. A medical acronym, but it sounds like something I do: computer-aided diagonalization.

    Coronary Artery Disease. CAD is associated with a diet high in saturated fats, and saturated fats melt at higher temperatures than unsaturated fats of comparable molecular weight. Thus, unsaturated fats -- the ``good'' kind -- tend to be oilier.

    Oil-based person. He should at least have offered to marry her, some opine.

    Oh, here's something: in chapter two of her What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us, Danielle Crittenden reports that ``that in [her mother-in-law's] college circles in the mid-1950s, a man who took a woman out for more than three dates without intending marriage was considered a cad.''

    Wow. I'm always shocked when the ``joke'' entries are confirmed true. (This happens constantly.)

    She continues ``Today, the man who considered marriage so rashly would be thought a fool. Likewise, a woman.'' Apparently, what her mother didn't tell her she found out from her mother-in-law. The world changes in unexpected ways. What your mother-in-law didn't tell you, you could look up on the internet, if only you knew where to look.

    Spanish: `each.' It is used much like English each, but cannot function as a noun. (You have to use cada uno or cada una, meaning `each one,' or cada cual, which is literally something like `whichever,' but in practice about equivalent to `each one.') The word todo (`all') can function as a noun as well as an adjective, and is inflected for grammatical number and gender. (Cada, you will have noticed from the examples, is not.)

    Cada is derived from the Late or Vulgar Latin word cata. This was used with much the same sense as cada, but in a construction that might have made gender agreement slightly tricky. Everyone seems to agree that Latin borrowed the word from the Greek preposition kata.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Design and Manufacture. It rhymes and it's alliterative.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Design and Drafting. Some buck convention and go with the more poetic Computer-Aided Drafting and Design.

    Originally a Scots word for a boy who does odd jobs, from the French cadet. Now used for a golfer's attendant, someone who carries the clubs, and also for various devices for carrying or holding various things (e.g., tea caddie or service, bicycle caddie or rack). More often spelled caddy.

    Variant spelling of caddie. In defiance of the authority of respected dictionaries, this is actually the standard variant.

    Let me explain. The Tradewinds is a family restaurant in Mishawaka, Indiana. Bethel College is practically in its back yard, and there's a sign painted at the back of the building advertising a 10% discount for anyone with a current college ID. I had come in a few times before I discovered this, and now most of the third-shift staff still have to be reminded that I get a discount. Jen knows me and remembers that I get a discount and is aware that it still gets forgotten a lot. A couple of weeks ago when she brought my check, I heard her use an interesting new locution: ``Here's your check -- with the caddy discount.''

    So I decided to add a new caddy entry to the glossary. But then I wondered whether this abbreviation for academic is in common use or was just a nonce term or a neologism of hers. So I decided to return to The Tradewinds and ask. All for you, dear reader. As you can see, maintaining this vast information resource can run into real money, or at least 90% of real money plus sales tax.

    Jen explained that yes, she does like to create new words but no, she never said ``caddy discount.'' She said ``fatty discount.'' It wasn't a comment on the food groups I was eating, or to my BMI; it was an ironic reference to the fact that the discount was rather small (even though I had lemon meringue pie with that meal). That's what she claimed, anyway.

    This entry isn't a total waste, you know. I can still take the opportunity to point out that ``caddy'' is a nickname for Cadillac.

    A shrub found in the Europe and the Scrabble tablelands.

    Czech Academy of Dental Esthetics.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Dispersive InfraRed (IR).

    A shrub found -- no wait! It's a Muslim judge, usually for a town or village. The office is called a cadiship, but even though all three major Scrabble dictionaries accept cadi (though not cady) and cadis, none of them accepts cadiship.

    Cumulative Advance/Decline Indicator.


    cadit quaestio
    Latin: `the question falls.'


    Centre for Ancient Drama and its REception.

    Combined Air Defense Systems.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Design System.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Design, Manufacturing, And Testing.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Dispatching System.

    Caelum. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Constellations are named after things they resemble, or evoke, or at least sort of seemed to suggest to whatever sleepyhead named them. (We'll pull in the cloud-interpretation scene from Hamlet later.) The official IAU constellation names are Latin. Caelum is a well-known Latin word meaning `sky.' That some stars may resemble or at least suggest the sky is very plausible -- you'll have no argument from me. So alpha Caeli could be interpreted, mischievously, as the `first [brightest star] of the sky,' but it's really the brightest in the constellation Caelum, which is a pretty drab bit of sky between Columba and Eridanus. The respect in which Caelum suggests the sky is that it's mostly black.

    The most common alternative meanings of caelum are closely related to `sky' -- heaven, vault of heaven. Metonymic senses are common as well (air, atmosphere, temperature, climate, weather, horizon, height, vault, arch, covering). There's also a rather less common word caelum, which happens to have the same spelling, declension, and gender, and which essentially means `precision chisel' (L&S defines it as a ``chisel or burin of the sculptor or engraver, a graver'').

    We have Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille to thank for this bad joke of a constellation name. The great achievement of de Lacaille (1713-1762) was to get in on the ground floor of the constellation-naming business by breaking open a whole new unclaimed territory (the southern hemisphere, basically). He spent the nights of 1750-1754 reportedly observing over 10,000 stars from the Cape of Good Hope with his 1/2-inch refractor. He ended up inventing fifteen new constellations and renaming an earlier one as Musca Australis (see the constellations entry). Fortunately, many of the other bad names he came up with were so cumbersome that it was considered permissible, despite his priority, to at least shorten them.

    Carbon Alcohol Extract.

    Common Applications Environment.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) {Education | Engineering}.

    Council for Aid to Education. A division of the Rand Corporation.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Engineering for Cargo Accommodation and Location.

    Chinese Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. What, China got to this initialism before Canada?

    Canadian Academy of Esthetic Dentistry CANADA.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Engineering and Design for Electronics.

    Canadian Academic English Language. This is an interesting approach to avoiding acronym-assisted pleonasm: their defining acronym is an attributive noun, allowing them to use a term like ``CAEL Assessment'' safely. E.g., ``The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) promotes the CAEL Assessment as an effective measure of English language abilities.'' Their logo even has ``assessment'' in small caps underlining CAEL. It even works alternatively with ``CAEL Test Centres.'' They probably gave this a lot of thought at the beginning so they wouldn't repeat the mistakes of YELT. Eventually, however, the law of unintended consequences kicked in with a vengeance, with expressions like ``take the CAEL'' and ``CAEL is pleased.'' It just goes to show that when you use human content providers, you just can't win.

    Capital adequacy, Asset quality, Earnings, and Liquidity. The CAEL Rating System is a standard used by the FDIC to evaluate the solvency of US banks. It's a five-point scale: 1 is excellent, 5 is trouble: regulatory intervention imminent. The FDIC did not register CAEL as a trademark, and in 1999 found it necessary to issue a statement that included the following:
    ... The FDIC is concerned that readers of the Bank Rate Monitor's Internet site may mistakenly believe that the Bank Rate Monitor's CAEL system reflects actual FDIC CAEL ratings.

    Bankers and other members of the public should be aware that depository institution ratings in the "Safe and Sound Bank and Thrift Rating System" on the Bank Rate Monitor's Internet site are not based on, and should not be confused with, the FDIC's CAEL system. The FDIC does not endorse the ratings of the Bank Rate Monitor, nor does the FDIC necessarily agree with the ratings assigned by the Bank Rate Monitor.

    Center for Computer Applications in Electromagnetic Education. A center at the University of Utah that develops software and interactive multimedia lessons in engineering, science, and math education.

    Costruzioni Apparecchiature Elettroniche Nucleari.. From their hard-to-navigate website:

    The CAEN Network's Companies is a micro-cluster of companies with excellence know how.
    The network's companies works independently or handshaking with each other providing top class products in the following fields:

    No comment.


    Classical Association of the Empire State. The Empire State is New York (NY). (There are a number of regional organizations, including the one for for Western New York: CAWNY.)


    Pronounced seizer in English. Apt; cf. Caesar eponym entry. Not spelled Ceaser. Also a kind of lettuce salad (origin of the salad name is disputed; some say it was the name of a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico).

    caesarean, caesarean section
    An operation to deliver a baby or babies by sectioning (cutting open) the uterus (reached by opening the abdomen, in case that isn't obvious). Now typically C-section (more information there).

    In Latin, caedo means `I cut.' The stem changes to caes- in various related words. (This common stem change is evident in many sets of English words derived from Latin: video and vision, for example, and all Latin-derived verbs ending in -de that form nouns in -sion.)

    At some point, a story got started that either Julius Caesar, or the first person with that gens (see tria nomina) was delivered surgically, and hence the name attached itself to the operation. Inasmuch as it would help explain the origin of the gens name, one would expect the story to concern an ancestor of Julius Caesar. Yet, many dictionaries, including the OED, repeat the legend that Julius himself was so born. Suetonius's mention of Aurelia (Div. Jul. 13, 74.2) also diminishes the plausibility of this legend.

    It is a common pattern for ae in Latin-derived words to become e in US spelling, so many US dictionaries give ``cesarean'' as the standard spelling and ``caesarean'' as a variant. In fact, a quick web search suggests that the -e- spelling is three times as common as the -ae- spelling. However, the ae-to-e transformation is not standard for Latin names (or for the Latin versions of Greek names that we use, where alpha-iota or alpha with iota subscript was systematically transliterated ae, as in Aeschylus). Given the etymology, therefore, I think caesarean should be preferred.

    Central African Franc. (As it was originally known; official name now corresponds to African Financial Community Franc.) A currency whose value is pegged to the French Franc, used in countries of former Central French Africa. After the French acronym CFA, this is pronounced `seh-fah.' After the use of the currency was expanded from the original central African countries to include a number of former French colonies in west Africa, the system ended up with two central banks in Africa. You would think this could be a problem, but not to worry: the whole thing is a tightly controlled arm of French neocolonialism. Cf. CFP.

    Chicago Architecture Foundation. Here's a bit more on chicago architecture.

    Conductive Anodic Filaments. Damage (by electromigration from the anode, I guess; it would make sense).

    Confédéracion Africaine de Football.

    California Alliance for Families and Children.

    Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. Their domain, <cafc.ca>, is Kafkaesque. [Which reminds me that, as I point out at the KDE entry and elsewhere, Immanuel Kant's grandfather was a Scot named Cant. Kant was deeply influenced by the Scottish philosophers David Hume. Yeah, yeah, so were various others. But the fact remains that the greatest philosophers (or at least epistemologists) of the eighteenth century were both of Scottish extraction. Sean Connery too.]

    Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs.

    Carsten Fjellerad Christensen. Carsten Christensen is a still photographer in Denmark; he owns the domain <cafc.dk> and displays 148 of his pictures at the site. A lot of the pictures have poor depth of field. (This is normally called ``shallow depth of field,'' perhaps because the camera is typically focused on what is nearest, leaving only the background out of focus. It's really a thin depth of field, because things closer to the camera are also out of focus.) The way to get poor depth of field is to use a wide aperture. I'd like to say you do it by ``stopping up,'' since ``stopping down'' is narrowing the aperture. Likely reasons for the poor depth of field: (1) artsiness, and (2) a small value of f-stop used to reduce exposure time for insufficiently stationary subjects like people.

    I suppose Christensen chose <cafc.dk> because <cfc.dk>, was already taken. The latter forwards to the main website of Kopenhagen Fur. Why does a Danish company use a combination of German (Kopenhagen would be København in Danish) and English (fur is pels in Danish and Pelz in German)? Indeed, why was <cfc.dk> an appropriate domain name for Kopenhagen Fur? You better know the answer because it's going to be on the test. I hope someone gets it right because I'd like to know the answers.

    Their motto is in English whether the language you select to read is English, Chinese, or Danish. (You need to know the reason for that too. It's because the Chinese start page text is in English. You should have realized long ago that the academic solution to a difficult problem is the answer to a simpler question.)

    The motto itself is ``Simply the world's finest fur.'' Oh, simply that. The model has fine skin too. It reminds me of the expression ``neither hide nor hair.'' [Typical use: ``I've seen neither hide nor hair of him.'' Almost literally equivalent to ``I haven't seen any part of him.'' Essentially, it's just a colorful intensification, so the full sentence is equivalent to ``I haven't seen him at all.''] There's a German expression that's parallel, but the hide cognate still refers unironically to human skin (``Haut und Haar,'' meaning `skin and hair'). It seems to be widespread, at least in West Germanic. In Dutch it's ``huid en haar.'' English used to have the phrase ``[in] hide and hair'' meaning, like the previous two, `wholly, completely, like, totally, man!' but I've only encountered the English version in a dictionary. (I also owe the Dutch version to a dictionary, but since I rarely read or try to read Dutch, this isn't very significant.)

    Kopenhagen Fur offers auction services (see the webpage) for fur ranchers. I once briefly (about 20 hours) dated a woman whose father had been a mink farmer. He fed them chicken, which he also raised. They're mean, nasty critters (the mink, especially the American species, but maybe the chicken too).

    Castlereagh Aquatic and Fitness. A workout club in the Sydney (Australia) central business district. If their hours are at all adequate (closed Sundays, open 6-9 Monday-Thursday), then Sydney must be one of those sleepy little towns where they roll up the sidewalks after dinner.

    Catch As Foo Can. No, not really. A domainer bought <cafc.net> (on Bastille Day 2009), so that CAFC may stand for anything or nothing. They only bought it for a term of two years; maybe they thought CAFC was peaking.

    You know, in many countries you can't register a trademark unless you're actually going to use it (or a similar one that you're protecting) for something. Of course, the page includes the usual ``search tool'' returning paid links irrelevant to your search terms. And it deposits three cookies, so now you know something less appetizing than store brand.

    Charlton Athletic Football Club. Charlton Athletic F.C. (a/k/a the Addicks) is based in Charlton, an inner suburb of London, on the south side of the Thames about 7 miles east of Charing Cross; Charlton is part of the London Borough of Greenwich, England. I'm pretty sure that usually, in that particular part of the world (as opposed to Wembley Stadium when that hosts the NFL), the ``football'' they play is ``association football,'' or ``soccer'' for short. Association football is played between associations called ``football clubs,'' whereas North American football is played between football teams, so all that detailed geographic information is superfluous if you're not going to the game.

    Clean Arms for Community. Taking antiperspirants to a whole new level! Hey, you don't believe me? Follow the link.

    What, back already? Well, I didn't claim they would confirm my antiperspirants claim. Clean Arms for Community seems to be a gang-tattoo removal program operating at a juvenile facility, the ``Southern Youth Correctional Reception Center and Clinic.'' The word ``Southern'' here refers to southern California; the facility is in Norwalk. ``Correctional Reception Center and Clinic'' and ``facility'' are euphemisms for prison or perhaps part of a prison. Sure, ``Reception Center'' sounds welcoming, but why not ``Residential Lounge''? A ``gang tattoo'' seems to be any kind of tattoo on anyone who has ever been a gang member.

    (The youngest son of a woman I know was recently kicked out of Catholic school and entered public middle school, where someone asked him if he was a Crip or a Blood. He explained or pointed out that he is white. His dad is actually Mexican. I also know Mexicans who would be regarded as pale in Spain and who consider themselves neither ``whites'' nor ``Westerners'' -- on account of their national origin. ``Race'' is no longer socially constructed; now it's a matter of personal choice, like hair color and gender.)

    CAFC has a lot of video and stills, but they don't show any before-and-after comparisons. Absence of proof, they say, is not proof of absence. Here it is the absence of proof of absence that is not proof of absence of absence, but it does raise a doubt.

    Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. There is no free Cuba, so they have nothing to do. No wait! ``This plan is not an imposition but rather is a promise we will keep with the Cuban people to marshal our resources and expertise, and encourage our democratic allies to be ready to support Cuba when the inevitable opportunity for genuine change arises.'' So they maintain ever-ready supplies of rum and Coke at secret locations throughout the Caribbean. They only buy Coke that's kosher for Passover, so it's made with real cane-sugar sugar, and not that corn-syrup, uh, stuff. (I'm just guessing here, but it seems more than plausible. On the other hand, to be on the safe side, I'm not going to check any of this.)

    C.A.F.C., CAFC
    (United States) Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Back in Abraham Lincoln's days as a lawyer, circuit courts (at the federal and lower levels) would travel a circuit and convene in different localities to hear cases locally. Lawyers like Lincoln would travel with it like camp followers, offering their services to the local litigants (and, starting in the 1850's, to the railroads that were starting to be built through those parts).

    The use of circuit-riding appeals courts was begun under the reign of King Henry II and extended to North America in colonial times. Until 1891, even justices of the US Supreme Court had circuit-riding duties. (Carried out in summer, when the old dirt roads were more passable. This is supposedly the origin of the traditional long summer recess. They ended the tradition just as the bicycle craze led to a rapid increase in paved roads.) Below the level of the Supreme Court, there are still many itinerant judges.

    The federal appeals court system below the Supreme Court comprises thirteen ``circuits.'' Individual cases are heard by tribunals. For some reason the much-preferred term is ``three-judge panels.'' Maybe the word ``tribunal'' is deemed threatening or forbidding. The judges for a case are selected at random from among the sitting judges. They're still called sitting judges even though the larger circuits use courthouses in far-flung districts, so they have to get up and travel to another city. The Ninth Circuit is by far the largest, with jurisdiction for the districts from Alaska to Arizona, and Montana to Hawaii (and Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands). Most cases are heard in Portland, San Francisco, or Pasadena, but panels occasionally sit in other venues.

    Eleven of the thirteen US Courts of Appeals have multi-state jurisdictions. The DC Circuit has jurisdiction for Washington, D.C. (the federal government gives them a chunk of caseload). The CAFC (remember? that's what this entry is about) is the only one without a geographically defined bailiwick. It was created in 1981 (actually inaugurated in 1982) in a merger of the US Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (CCPA) with the appellate division of the US Court of Claims, and its jurisdiction is nation-wide. It hears cases originating in various specialized lower courts, and also cases that originated in district courts but concern patents and scattered other legal matters specified by statute. (Because its jurisdiction is national, giving it the authority to rule on interpretation of a law prevents conflict-of-precedents problems in the administration of laws affecting activities that might span multiple circuits.)

    They mostly sit in one of their DC courthouses, but once or twice a year they'll have a panel sit somewhere else. Frankly, the US Patent system today (2010) is broken, with clerk shortages, long delays, and poor quality of work. I don't know where that leaves the CAFC.

    Crewe Alexandra Football Club. I trust you stayed awake through the CAFC entry for the Addicks, so you realize that this too is a soccer team.

    Most of these websites are written for people who already know a lot about the F.C. whose webpage they're visiting, and who just want to get caught up on the latest bluster and trivia. This is opportunity wasted. Webpages are like dictionary entries: most people visit them while looking for something else. If Crewe Alexandra F.C. had a link to follow that provided information such as, say, where their stadium is located... But no, if you want to know that sort of stuff, you go to the Wikipedia page. (Their stadium is ``at Gresty Road in Crewe, Cheshire and [they're] nicknamed The Railwaymen due to the town's historical links with the rail industry.'')

    I'm going to have to go dig through the anthropology literature to see if anyone has solved the great mystery of why people attend sports events and care who wins. Don't tell me ``because it's fun.'' That's like ``explaining'' the existence of the world by saying that ``it was created by God'' (using materials he found on the back of the giant turtle, no doubt). No, sports fandom is a great mystery, and great mysteries should have deep answers. No explanation short of the cosmological is likely to be right.

    Computer-Assisted Fecal Élimination. Accent on the ee, as in Email.

    Carbon Alternative Fuel Equivalent. A replacement of the existing CAFE standards proposed in outline by former (can I say ``repudiated'' please, please?) Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle and second author Vinod Khosla (``a founder of Sun Microsystems, is a venture capitalist'') in a New York Times op-ed, May 8, 2006.

    ``This new CAFE will measure `petroleum mileage' and give automakers incentives and credits for increasing ethanol consumption as a percentage of fuel use of their vehicles, not least by promoting flex-fuel vehicles, which can run on either gasoline or E85 fuel, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. This approach promises several significant benefits.'' Particularly to corn farmers.

    Corporate Average Fuel Economy. [Pronounced ``café.''] (The corporate average refers to the average of a car manufacturer's fleet, and is important because some legislated fuel economy standards in the US are referred to this quantity (the idea being to give a car company the option of satisfying consumer demand for more expensive gas guzzlers while still lowering fuel consumption overall). However, YMMV. The US first adopted CAFE standards in 1975.

    Computer-Aided Facial Image Inferencing and Retrieval system. A project described in this 1993 paper, to organize the retrieval of facial images in databases.

    A romantic movie location that allows traffic movement to mask the fact that there is no action, only dialogue.

    Also, if you mix in some accordion music you don't need to film Paris on location.

    A genus of single-celled plankton. As of 2001 (see its entry in the online AlgaeBase, it had at least two taxonomically accepted species -- C. minuta and the type species of the genus -- C. roenbergensis. The latter was described by T. Fenchel and D.J. Patterson in ``Cafeteria roenbergensis nov. gen., nov. sp., a heterotrophic microflagellate from marine plankton'' in Mar. Microb. Food Webs, vol. 3, pp. 9-19 (19 July 1988).

    According to marine biologist Tom Fenchel (see above) ``We found a new species of ciliate during a marine field course in Rønbjerg and named it Cafeteria roenbergensis because of its voracious and indiscriminate appetite after many dinner discussions in the local cafeteria.'' (C. roenbergensis mostly gorges on bacteria.) The quote is taken from the species entry at the Encyclopedia of Life, which has a lot of other interesting information, as well as a more sober comment on the name, of the sort that may be necessary to get a scientific joke accepted into the nomenclature: ``The name Cafeteria reflects the importance of this organism in marine microbial food webs.''

    The family Cafeteriaceae now includes three other genera besides Cafeteria: Acronema, Discocelis, and Pseudobodo.

    Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance.

    Central American Free Trade Agreement. An agreement between Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and the US. I never knew that the Dominican Republic was in Central America.

    Carcinogen Assessment Group. Also expanded Cancer Assessment Group. People like me often get confused or change our minds halfway through and write Cancerogenic Assessment Group. You can read as far as you like, but you're not going to learn any useful actual facts about CAG's because I don't know any, besides what they're called.


    Corpus Augustinianum Gissense (a Cornelio Mayer editum).

    Cartography and Geographic Information Society. Member organization of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). Cf. American Cartographic Association (ACA).

    County Adjusted Gross Income Tax. In Indiana there are separate state and county income taxes. One way they are separate is that, subject to certain constraints, the counties can assess different rates. I think there's one county that chooses not to tax income. (I think all the counties tax real property. There used to be a tax on inventory which the ``local option'' county income tax was partly designed to compensate counties for the loss of... you know, this tax thing is kind of a big topic.)

    Anyway, a county gets a cut if you live in it or if you work in it, and those two cuts can be different. The county income tax calculation is part of the state income tax filing, and you add it all up and send it to the state. You also have to list which school district you live in. When a married couple that files jointly works in two or more different counties and lives together in a third, it gets so complicated that they usually get divorced to avoid the paperwork. Just kidding; they shoot themselves.

    Compound Annual Growth Rate. Expanded as ``combined annual growth rate'' by the same kind of people who write FAB instead of fab.


    Cambridge Ancient History. A celebrated multi-volume reference work (first edition mid 1960's) and its progressively less celebrated revised editions.


    Committee on Ancient History. ``[A] diverse body of practicing ancient historians from all levels of the North American educational system,'' part of the American Philological Association (APA).

    Critical Access Hospital.

    California Association of Health Facilities.


    Occasional Papers of the Committee on Ancient History. An electronic journal published by the CAH since 2002.

    ``The Committee on Ancient History desires to publish papers and short manuscripts that employ original research, critical review, and innovative methodology to promote the pedagogy of Ancient History. The Committee understands Ancient History generally to reflect all aspects of the development of societies in those areas about the Mediterranean basin and its peripheral regions before ca. AD 500. Submissions that make use of digital technology are encouraged, as are those using traditional print styles. All submissions accepted for inclusion in the Occasional Papers will be published electronically. Though English is preferred, the editors will consider submissions in any of the major instructional languages of North America.''

    Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study. An annual US-wide survey of Medicare beneficiaries' experiences with managed care plans.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Instruction.


    Common acronym for the Canadian Academic Institute in Athens and the Canadian Archaeological Institute at Athens, for a time after they were founded in 1974. I never figured out whether the CAIA really regarded itself as one or themselves as two organizations (the next two paragraphs report my findings), so I am happy that as of 2007, the CAIA is or are the CIG.

    ``Although known in Greece as the Canadian Archaeological Institute at Athens, the Institute is directly responsible to its mother company, the Canadian Academic Institute, which operates solely in Canada.'' So in CAIA expansions, ``in Athens'' means in Toronto, Canada, and ``at Athens'' means in Athens, Greece.

    The French is no better: `L'Institut Canadien Académique à Athènes / L'Institut Canadien d'Archéologie à Athènes' (ICAA).

    Also on the page quoted above, an explanation of why you might expect other such institutes at Athens (e.g.: ASCSA, BSA):

    ``Because the Greek government requires that archaeological work by foreigners ... be carried out under the auspices of their own national organizations with offices in Greece.''

    Columbia Accident Investigation Board. From the executive summary of the Columbia Accident Investigation Report produced by the CAIB:
    The physical cause of the loss of [NASA space shuttle] Columbia and its crew was a breach in the Thermal Protection System on the leading edge of the left wing, caused by a piece of insulating foam which separated from the left bipod ramp section of the External Tank at 81.7 seconds after launch, and struck the wing in the vicinity of the lower half of Reinforced Carbon-Carbon panel number 8. During re-entry this breach in the Thermal Protection System allowed superheated air to penetrate through the leading edge insulation and progressively melt the aluminum structure of the left wing, resulting in a weakening of the structure until increasing aerodynamic forces caused loss of control, failure of the wing, and breakup of the Orbiter. This breakup occurred in a flight regime in which, given the current design of the Orbiter, there was no possibility for the crew to survive.

    Conflict Archive on the INternet. Northern Ireland. The acronym says it all.

    California Association for Institutional Research. ``Institutional Research'' (IR) appears to be research into the administration of post-secondary education.

    Council on American-Islamic Relations.

    A town in Alabama (the state also has an Arab), Arkansas, Egypt, Florida, Georgia, Illinois (this is the famous one), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and West Virginia. That's nineteen states, in case you lost count. The one in Illinois, at least, is pronounced ``KAY-roe.'' (Cf. Arab.)

    The Cairo in Egypt is a few miles west of the site of an ancient city called Heliopolis by the Greeks. It is called On in the Bible, and the Egyptian name when it flourished was Anu.

    Canadian Association for Information Science.

    Canadian Association of Independent Schools.

    Computer-Aided Interactive Video. As opposed to the other kind, I suppose. An acronym that was still in use in the 1990's.

    Canadian Association of Journalists.

    A tree found in Australia and in the Scrabble forest, where it can also be spelled cajaput and cajuput.

    California Association of Japanese Language Teachers. An affiliate of the NCJLT.

    Computer-Aided Knitting. My mother wrote a Pascal program to rescale patterns, but she had the dignity to refrain from inventing this acronym, which I have placed here strictly for hortative pedagogical purposes, without in any way meaning to encourage its use. Cf. CA-.

    The University of California at Berkeley. UCB.

    CALifornia University of Pennsylvania.

    Cal., cal.
    Calorie, or kilocalorie (Calorie). See the calorie entry below for clarification, or switch out of chemistry.

    Computer-Assisted (or -Aided) (CA-) Learning. Productive in CALMET. Quite the rage. Soon your every textbook will have a CD-ROM disc inside the back cover. This page of links is for CAL software developers.

    Conservation Analytical Laboratory. Now SCMRE.

    Continuous Annealing Line.

    Copyright Agency Limited. A private Australian licensing agency.

    Customer Access Line.

    Chinese-American Librarians Association. An affiliate of the American Library Association.

    Clergy And Laity Concerned. A funny name for a group, but the etymology clarifies: It was originally created in the fall of 1964 by Fathers Daniel Berrigan and Richard John Neuhaus, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, with the name Clergy Concerned About Vietnam. After some leadership change, it veered sharply left in the late sixties.

    A calculator used to be a person who performed calculations. Now it is a machine or software that performs calculations. You might want to have a look at the calculus entry for the etymology of this word.

    Edmund Burke, a great favorite of quote books, wrote this eulogy in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790):

    It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in,-glittering like the morning star, full of life, and splendour, and joy. Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart I must have, to comtemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour, and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever.

    Somehow the ideas of women and calculators seem to attract, sure. At Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, most of the calculators (calculatrices?) were women. (I think Richard Feynman described in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman how at one point, his task was to organize the human card-sorting dance that got the calculations done.) Stanislaw Ulam told a story about one calculatrix in his autobiography (p. 218; title and the rest at the 86 entry), although by the time he wrote the book he was using the anachronistic term ``programmer.''

    I particularly remember one of the programmers who was really beautiful and well endowed. She would come to my office with the results of the daily computation. Large sheets of paper were filled with numbers. She would unfold them in front of her low-cut Spanish blouse and ask, ``How do they look?'' and I would exclaim ``They look marvelous!'' to the entertainment of Fermi and others in the office at the time.

    There's a picture of an attractive young woman and an old mechanical calculator at the HW (for hardware) entry.

    In August of 1914, Edward Grey, Viscount of Falloden, wrote an echo of Burke's words on Europe and the extinction of the light:

    The lamps are going out all over Europe; we will not see them lit again in our lifetime.

    He died in 1933. More on the end of the age of chivalry at the Taxasaurus entry.

    Incidentally, you notice that Burke referred to the Queen of France as the Dauphiness? The King of France was called the Dauphin after the dolphins on his coat of arms.


    In Latin, calculus is a small stone or pebble. The -cul is a diminutive ending, just as in animacule and the nonce word philosophunculist. Today, dentists use the word calculus as one name for the hard build-up on teeth that is also called tartar. The Romans used small stones to perform calculations (it would seem to go without saying) or computations. The stones were moved around on an abacus that was basically a tray of sand. (The kind of abacus that is familiar today, with beads on rods, used to be called an ``Oriental abacus.'')

    The word calculus has continued to be used for various methods of calculation, as in ``differential calculus,'' or simply to emphasize the mathematical quality of a reasoning process, as in ``moral calculus.'' I really didn't want to write this much, but as long as I'm on this I'll mention that the words checkerboard and Exchequer are derived from the use of a table or sheet (a checker board) cross-ruled in squares to function as an abacus (for checking figures). We actually have more information on calculus at the abacus entry than at the calculus entry, and vice versa. If I'm not careful, this glossary could get to be quite odd.

    Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM). Conventional in the sense that it carries a non-nuclear warhead.

    Collected ALGOrithms. Part of the family of publications produced by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

    ``Software associated with papers published in the Transactions on Mathematical Software, as well as other ACM journals are incorporated in CALGO. This software is refereed for originality, accuracy, robustness, completeness, portability, and lasting value.''

    The more recent algorithms can be downloaded from the ACM server, and used subject to the ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement.

    The accuracy of a measurement is limited by the accuracy of the instrument used to make the measurement. By using the instrument to make a measurement of some standard, one can check its accuracy and possibly either adjust the instrument or discount its readings to derive a more accurate result.

    The idea of calibration can be applied even when the measurement is qualitative rather than quantitative, and when the instrument is a person's judgment. For example, on November 21, 2008, the Wall Street Journal's Opinion page contained a column recounting an interview with Bhutan's first elected prime minister, Jigme Y. Thinley. The interviewer and author of the column gushed that Mr. Thinley ``studied in the U.S., and his English is so articulate that it borders on poetic.'' Setting aside the possible objection that poetry is not exactly the apotheosis of articulateness, one may still wonder about the accuracy of the general positive judgment of PM Thinley's English. Happily, the column contains specimens of it, so one may judge directly, and the column is written in English, so one may perform an independent calibration of the instrument herself.

    Here is an example of the instrument's English: ``But the election, comprising of two parties with fairly similar agendas, was remarkably peaceful.'' The column ends by showcasing a sample of the PM's English: ``the individual himself and herself must pursue happiness.''

    Computer-Assisted Language-Instruction COnsortium. With the assistance of your computer, you can see that we have a related CAL entry.

    An option to buy. Complementary to a put option (more at that entry).

    Center for Army Lessons Learned. At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Created in response to the small disaster of Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada, October 1983, minor opposition, 19 US service members dead).

    Computer-Assisted Language Learning.

    They can put a man on the moon, but they can't make a pill that you swallow and the next day you wake up speaking a strange language. (Not counting LSD.)

    call? didn't he Why
    This is the Why didn't he call? entry with the head terms in alphabetical order. Oh yeah --

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

    Spanish, `street.'

    California Low Emissions Vehicle.

    call into question
    This is a very subtle statistical phrase used in the social sciences. Research is said to call into question a claim when:
    1. The claim is unpopular with the speaker, and
    2. the research fails to demonstrate that the claim is true or false with any degree of probability.

    If the claim at first appears to be demonstrated false, but then the research is shown to be so flawed as to make any conclusion impossible, then the research is said to seriously call into question the (obviously false) claim.

    Computer-Aided Learning (CAL) in METeorology. This page is a start.

    A number of energy units. In chemical and chemical engineering usage, this is a standard and traditional unit for thermodynamic quantities. A standard unit for intensive quantities is kcal/mol (kilocalories per mole).

    The calorie was originally defined as the quantity of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. The precise pressure and temperature (interval) at which the defining measurement is supposed to be made have varied, and calorimetry itself is not such a hot (Ha-ha! Pun intended. Laugh, netsurfer, this was for you!) way to define an energy unit. Thus, over time there have been a number of different calorie definitions; it has been 4.185 ± 0.001 joule according to the most widely accepted definitions.

    Okay, for you anals out there, the 4-degree calorie is 4.2045 joules, the 15-degree calorie is 4.1855 J, the mean 0-100 degree calorie is 4.1897 J. There's also the international steam calorie, 4.1868 J, and the ``thermochemical'' or ``defined'' calorie, which is simply an assigned value of 4.1840 J, the preferred value today.

    [The value of a calorie, expressed in a unit such as joules or ergs is sometimes called the ``mechanical equivalent of heat,'' because it allows conversion between energy measured as heat flow to energy defined fundamentally in mechanical terms.]

    Medical Calorie

    The ``calorie'' used on nutritional information labels is not actually a calorie but a kilocalorie. The French, who gave us the word calorie in the first place (1787), often distinguish petit calorie (the thermochemical calorie) and the grand calorie (1000 petits). In English, there has been some effort to maintain a distinction in technical usage based on capitalization: 1 Cal. = 1 kcal. Such a case-based distinction wouldn't work in German, since all nouns are capitalized in that language. (Another interesting feature is that in German, the (stressed) final ie of Kalorie is pronounced as the single vowel sound /i:/ (English ``long e''), but in the plural Kalorie the ie becomes a diphthong /i:e/. This is typical of nouns ending in -ie, all of which, so far as I know, are loans from French.)

    Other languages, such as English, used to capitalize much more extensively than they do now. Capitalization of all nouns was a feature of Danish -- a language used in Denmark, Greenland (at least theoretically), and in the more urban areas of Norway when it was the subordinate partner in a Danish-Norwegian dual kingdom. Norway gained a kind of independence, and complete political independence from Denmark, by the Treaty of Kiel of January 14, 1814. Under its terms the dual monarchy was dissolved, and Norway was ceded by the King of Denmark to the King of Sweden. Norwegian national spirit expressed itself partly as language reform, a phenomenon which I'm amazed to discover I haven't discussed at any length elsewhere in this glossary, though at the bok entry I do mention Bokmål. The latter (`book language') is very similar to Danish (called Rijksmål, `language of the empire,' at the time of independence). FWIW, Danish pronunciation is so odd that the Norwegian and Danish versions sound rather more different than Norwegian and Swedish do.

    The major language reform during the period of Swedish rule (to 1905) was the establishment of Nynorsk on an equal legal footing with Bokmål (this was initially more de jure than de facto, since officials tended to be educated in Bokmål or Swedish). Nynorsk (`New Norwegian') began as a synthesis of Norwegian dialects spoken in rural areas, created by the native philologist Ivar Andreas Aasen (1813-1896) and introduced by him as Landsmaal (`Country Language') in 1853. Aasen promoted his synthesis as the authentic Norwegian language, and advocated its use as a literary language. He even wrote some original poetry in Landsmaal (whether this actually advanced the cause, I'm not sure). Anyway, around 1880, and probably mixed in with this though I don't know the details, universal noun capitalization was abolished in Norway. Denmark itself abolished universal noun capitalization in 1948. In Denmark, this capped (Another pun, netsurfer! You're helplessly ROTFLYAO!) a period during which universal noun capitalization had become increasingly uncommon. (You know, Shakespeare's Hamlet is set in Denmark. You should read our more honored in the breach entry.) Nevertheless, I note that the reform came three years after the end of WWII and the German occupation of Denmark. So whatever other factors may have been involved, two countries that formally abolished universal noun capitalization did so following the end of involuntary foreign rule. (Per tells me that back home in Denmark, nutritional information is listed in the tiny calories. It must make the food seem richer.)

    The attempt to distinguish different things by different capitalization of a single word has been tried in other situations, and it has a poor record of success; among the reasons must be counted the different capitalization conventions of different languages (see previous two paragraphs), the ignorance of copyeditors (see kT entry), and the general carelessness of writers (see this sentence). A recent example of the attempt, already failed, is in the distinction between the unitary Internet and various relatively disconnected or insulated internets. The hoped-for usage was still described in the 1992 edition of the O'Reilly book on DNS and BIND, still in print as of 1997. However, at least since 1995, the lower-case kind of internet has been approximately what is now called intranet. Another example of an attempt to make a case-based distinction in informatics is in the case of gigabytes and gigabits (GB and Gb, respectively). Case is also significant in the abbreviations of many numerical prefixes in the SI.

    Ultimately, the only reliable way to be sure of which calorie is meant is to observe context and to use common sense: it's hard to make a 1000X error if one is familiar with chemical quantities. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) for an adult human is on the order of a couple of thousand kilocalories a day.

    In Ronald DeLorenzo's Problem Solving in General Chemistry, which had a second edition in 1993, there is a calculation of the energy needed to melt one kilogram of ice at 0°C and warm it to body temperature. Our university libraries have not seen fit to acquire this pedagogical work, but I found it excerpted in my copy of Kask and Rawn's General Chemistry, p. 439 (also neglected by our libraries), as a 2/3-page box labeled ``Applications of Chemistry 11.1''). To summarize the box, it takes about 1.2 × 105 calories. Someone must have thought this was a big deal: the box is titled ``The Dangers of Eating Snow for Emergency Water.'' I thought it was going to be about pollutants or albino dogs or something. ``Fortunately, there are several simple ways to get your water from snow and conserve valuable calories so that you do not freeze to death. As part of their car winter emergency kit, some people carry a candle and a metal container such as an empty coffee can in which they can melt and warm the snow.'' Or you could try one of the techniques enumerated in one of the earlier paragraphs of our Veep entry.

    Also, for those thinking of putting emergency candles in the car this Winter, where they will be forgotten and melt next Summer (and spoil the water purification tablets), I have an alternate suggestion: emergency candies. For example, one (1) Twix-brand chocolate-covered cookie bar, about the size and shape of a candle but without the wick, provides 1.4 × 105 calories, more than canceling out the calorie cost of a liter of water and providing needed proteins as well. Okay, Twix cookies also melt, assuming you really forget them. You could substitute M&M's or something, but you'll have to do that calculation yourself. I've already done so much research for this part of the entry that I'm about to burst a button somewhere.

    Look, if you haven't got the joke yet, I have another suggestion. Turn DeLorenzo's warning around and you have DeLorenzo's golden diet recommendation. If you want to lose weight, don't just eat low-calorie foods, eat negative-calorie foods: ice cubes! Yes: one barely-frozen ice cube, with a volume of, say, 8 cc, costs over 900 calories to warm and bring to room temperature. Compare this to a typical diet of 2000 or 2500 Calories, and you can see how, with just a few cubes (about 2137 or 2671, to be otiosely precise), you can wipe out your calorie Consumption as well as your ability to taste food.

    Calories beyond medical help

    Typical reaction energies in chemistry are in the range of 10-100 kcal/mol. Molecular weights -- well, you can figure those out. TNT has a molecular weight of 227 g/mol, and releases a bit under 250 kcal/mol when it explodes, so its explosive power is roughly 1.1 megacalories per kilogram. That's about 1 gigacalorie per short ton. You can forget the kind of ton if you're interested in the practical unit: one ``ton of TNT equivalent'' is defined as 1 Gcal. Hence, a kiloton of TNT is 1 Tcal (T for tera-, 1012) and a megaton is 1 Pcal (P for peta-, 1015).

    calorific rays
    A term coined by Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), the organist and renowned astronomer who discovered Uranus in 1781. (This elides a complication. He did discover the planet, but at first he thought it was a comet.) The term ``calorific rays'' refers to what we now call infrared light.

    Herschel had been observing the Sun through various colored filters, and noticed that filters of different colors passed different amounts of heat, and this led him to do interesting experiments that he reported in 1800. Using a prism-and-thermometer set-up, he measured the heating caused by different spectral colors, and found greater heating with increasing wavelength (i.e., increasing from violet to red). He found that the greatest heating occurred in the region just beyond red. [This is an accident of the exprimental set-up, in which greater heating can be caused by greater absorption or by greater concentration of the light spectrum (if the index of refraction inside the prism varies more slowly with wavelength at longer wavelengths, or by simple geometric effects); for the solar spectrum, the energy per unit wavelength actually peaks around green.]

    This was the first demonstration of light not visible to the eyes. Herschel went on to demonstrate that rays of this light could be reflected, refracted, absorbed, and transmitted as visible light could. (Of course, these facts were implicitly assumed in the original experimental operation.) Just the next year, 1801, Johann Wilhelm Ritter announced the discovery of invisible light on the other side of the visible light spectrum -- what we now call ultraviolet light. These didn't seem to have a direct heating effect, but he observed that they promote certain chemical reactions.

    Calpers, CALPERS
    CALifornia Public Employees' Retirement System. More like calipers, in the experience of California governments. Calpers handles pension plans for many California cities and counties, according to some commentary at the time that Stockton, CA, filed for bankruptcy.

    Cal Poly
    California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. According to the homepage (not quoting precisely): Many students seek admission to Cal Poly not only because the 6,000-acre campus is nestled in the foothills of San Luis Obispo, just minutes from California's Central Coast beaches, but also because of its excellent academic reputation.

    A loan translation. A word created by combining the translations of morphemes in a word from a different language. German uses a lot of calque; English tends to borrow words directly, without analysis or translation, and calque, a French loan, is an example. That is, calque is not a calque (it wasn't even a calque at any stage of its etymology from Latin through Italian to French). I think it is appropriate that English, which makes little use of calque, has a noncalque word to describe calque. Examples in German include unabhängig (from Romance languages' `independent') and Geisteswissenschaften.

    If anything about modern European languages can go without saying, it is that their vocabularies were all enormously influenced by Latin. In the areas that were dominated by Western Christianity, the influence was widespread not only among elites but directly at all levels of society, and there was correspondingly greater wholesale direct adoption of Latin words. The German language, or more precisely the various German languages, did follow this general pattern, and German today has a large number of naturalized Latin words, particularly in the language of the intellect and the traditional crafts, trades, and agriculture.

    However, German is unusual: not only did it not absorb as much Latin as, say, Slavic languages that had a weaker direct exposure to the Roman Empire, German went further and replaced a number of Latin loans with calques. (The Académie Française -- the official arbiter of the French language -- would like to do that today with the language of the American empire.) The phenomenon was driven by a movement of mystics that arose in the fourteenth century, centered in the Rhineland; most prominent among these were Meister Eckhard (Johannes Eckhard, c. 1260-1327) and his pupils. These mystics preached and wrote in Latin and in a German filled with calques of Latin words. Their innovation was influential both directly and indirectly. The indirect influence consists mainly in the fact that Luther followed their lead, using their calques in his Bible translation. In those days German (like English, Spanish, and other languages spoken over broad areas) consisted of a very variable range of dialects. The choices made by Luther in his translation of the Bible established a de facto standard for German, and played a role in German similar to the works of Shakespeare in English. A good traditional source on the history of the German language is Adolf Bach: Geschichte der deutschen Sprache.

    It should be recognized that the Reformation (and Counter-Reformation) involved a number of related developments in language, government, and religion. The Roman Catholic Church had not authorized published translations of the Bible into various vernaculars, so the Reformation brought not only a reform of religion but also, with official translations of the Bible, changes in language status. The translations required increased attention to local language and began the establishment of national languages, usually based more or less closely on the prestige dialect spoken in the national capital.

    (Concerning Bibles and language, it's worth noting that the King James version of the Bible was produced during the time that Shakespeare was active. This has led to speculation that he was a member of one of the mostly anonymous committees of translators, writers and editors who worked on it. There's also a place in the King James translation where some information about the bard can be ``decoded,'' but it's not statistically significant, from what I recall. Vide KJV.)

    Another example of calque is the Hebrew shen-ha'ari, meaning `tooth of lion.' [The definite article ha in this position more-or-less puts the noun it determines in genitive case. A translation using an attributive noun -- `lion tooth' -- is also fair.] The Hebrew term is calqued from the French dent de lion. English, as usual, simply borrows the word with slight spelling and greater pronunciation changes, in this case to dandelion.

    The Hebrew word ari in the previous paragraph should be recognizable: the Biblical name Ariel means `Lion of God.'

    A more systematic and extensive, though trivial, instance of calque is the translation of organic chemistry and SI terminology.

    CALifornia RePorTeR. A legal journal.

    The Current Revolution of the Supply Chain Management is the English title of a book published (1998) in Japanese by Yoshiaki Fukushima. Most of the romaji initialisms, when introduced, are given as abbreviations for Japanese terms, without an expansion in English (or some other alphabetic language). However, on page 109 there's a chart illustrated by four fish; the fish for later times are larger. These visual cues are so helpful. (Also, the fish for earlier times are smaller. Funny how that works. They look a bit like cod.) Each fish corresponds to a different expansion of the CALS acronym:
    1. tiny fish: Computer-Aided Logistic Support.
    2. small fish: Computer-aided Acquisition and Logistic Support.
    3. medium fish: Continuous Acquisition and Life-cycle.
    4. large fish: Commerce At Light Speed.

    CALifornia State Teachers' Retirement System.

    Caltech, CALTECH
    CALifornia Institute of TECHnology. A geek monastery in Pasadena, California.

    CALifornia TRAIN. Commuter service from San Jose to San Francisco. Cf. BART, Muni.

    Cal U
    CALifornia University of Pennsylvania.

    CArl Reiner, Sheldon Leonard, Dick VAn Dyke, and DAnny Thomas. Carl Reiner conceived (and co-produced, wrote for, and acted in) the Dick Van Dyke Show; Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas were the executive producers. The name Calvada was used at various places as something of an inside joke. This was only one small part of the self-reference built into the show. The Dick Van Dyke Show was something like an autobiography of Carl Reiner's experience as part of the legendary comedy-writing team for Sid Caesar's ``Your Show of Shows.'' That team included Mel Brooks and Neil Simon. Mary Tyler Moore (MTM), who played the part of Dick Van Dyke's wife on his show (1961-6), rehearsed for a part in a Neil Simon play a few years later (2003). (See the MTC entry for too much further detail.)

    Calvin, Melvin
    Melvin Calvin was born in April 1911, on the eighth of the month, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He died in January 1997, again on the eighth of the month, in Berkeley, California. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1961, for his work in photosynthesis, but you can be sure I wouldn't have bothered to mention him in this glossary if it wasn't for the fact that his name rhymes. (Well, nearly.)

    Camelopardalis. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    CAMouflage. Mostly military usage -- desert cam has less green than the usual.

    Carbon Adsorption Method.

    ADsorption, not ABsorption.

    (Biological) Cell Adhesion Molecule.

    Slang for camera, in compounds like ``minicam,'' and DL's ``skycam,'' and DomeCam, courtesy of Robert Louis Stevenson.


    Center for the Ancient Mediterranean. At Columbia University -- that sounds more like the periphery for the Mediterranean to me.


    Classical Association of Massachussetts.


    Classical Association of Minnesota.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) {Management | Manufacturing | Mapping}. Pronounced ``cam.''

    Content-Addressable Memory. The Tank-Hopfield net was once the paradigmatic example. Now CAM is achieved in integrated circuits by using partial matches to memory content to generate memory addresses.

    An eccentric wheel or gear.

    A river that runs through Cambridge. Clever of them to name it that.

    Spanish: `bed.' Kind of makes Kama Sutra a more compelling title.

    Centralized Automatic Message Accounting.

    Civil Aviation Medical Association. ``CAMA began in 1948 as the Airline Medical Examiners Association. It was organized to meet the demands peculiar to the civil aviation medical examiner who, in those days, examined primarily airline pilots. It provided a voice for private aviation medicine where and when necessary.
    The Civil Aviation Medical Association adopted its present name in 1955. CAMA later became affiliated with the Aeromedical Association, now known as the Aerospace Medical Association.''

    Computer Automated Measurement And Control. [Pron. ``KAY-Mack.''] Used to designate ``Camac crates,'' the standard frames, about 6' high and 15'' wide, in which electronic gear was installed. IEEE 583 instrument interface standard.

    Center For Advanced Molecular Biology and Immunology at UB has a page for its Nucleic Acid Facility.

    [Camel on bookcover]

    A dromedary appears on the cover of Programming Perl by Larry Wall (creator of perl) and Randal L. Schwartz. The book is part of the O'Reilly & Assoc., Inc. series of quality paperbacks with odd animal drawings on the cover and excellent bindings that don't crack apart and drop pages, unlike that horrid Mathematica paperback by Steven Wolfram, which falls apart after maybe four uses.

    The O'Reilly perl book is sometimes called ``the camel.''

    The surname Oliphant might be supposed to stand for elephant, but in fact it may stand for camel. Many family names arose from locales, and some locales were most easily identified by the prominent sign of a pub. Pubs bore simple, easily identified illustrations (like ``Cock and Bull,'' at the most felicitously named public establishments) for the convenience of otherwise valued but illiterate, or possibly extremely inebriated, patrons. Some pubs were named after exotic animals like camels. However, if one accepts the premise that illiterate persons at the dawn of surnamehood might wish to patronize a pub, then the possibility must be entertained that persons with a limited education might misidentify the simple, easily identified et cetera. In this way, I've read, some persons living in the neighborhood of pubs identified by the sign of the camel came to be named Oliphant. After all, who would name a pub ``The Elephant''? (Don't answer that; it's a rhetorical question. Just shut up and lemme finish.) Anyway, se non e vero, e ben trovato.

    [column] Excavations of ancient animal bones at Tel Jemmeh [ftnt. 34] (once a crossroads near Gaza) indicate that camel caravans were not used in the area until around 600 BCE. On the evidence of Genesis 24 (describing a trip by Abraham's servant) and the story of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, it is clear that camels visiting Palestine until that time did not die locally, but waited until they had left.

    Another book with a cheap binding is Wheelock's Latin. As with Wolfram's Mathematica book, a more expensive and durable hardcover is available.

    A brand of heavily advertised cigarette. It has been suggested that it stands for ``Come Adam Meet Eve Later.'' Right.


    CAMEL, C.A.M.E.L.
    Classical And Modern European Languages. The name of a department or something at the ANU. It may have been renamed in a subsequent reorganization.

    They say that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Blended departments like this are created by university administrators to, um, achieve greater interdisciplinarity and efficiency, and maybe find a way to reduce spending on and hiring for disciplines that are no longer valued, that's the word, quite as much as they once were. Anyway, the ANU used to have a Classics Department; now mail should be directed to the Classics Program, School of Language Studies.

    The Web Site of the Canadian Mathematical Society / Le Site Web de la Société mathématique du Canada. They don't say that Camel is an acronym for CAnadian Mathematics ELectronically or Canada mathématique électronique. Definitely a bactrian. Actually, they show a picture of a bactrian camel (two humps) just above the words ``Canadian Mathematical Electronic Information Services.'' (You'd be amazed how much discussion this generated between the editorial and typesetting staffs here at SBF.)

    [Normally we wouldn't put that last comment in parentheses, but we didn't want to make this entry confusing. You know -- mathphobia. Boo!]

    Giraffe. The word was originally Greek kamêlopárdalis, a compound of kámêlos (`camel') and párdalis (`leopard' -- for the spotted hide). [You guessed right -- our word leopard is itself a compound derived from léôn (`lion') and párdalis (or some other similar form meaning `leopard'). The locus classicus of the error (the belief that the animals known to Europeans as leopards were a hybrid of lions and real leopards) is Pliny's Historia Naturalis, 8.17.]

    You think it's bad to go bald? Just imagine if you had as many as five stumpy little lumps growing out of the top of your head.

    Captious lexicographers insist that since the word was originally camélopard in French, the spelling ``cameleopard'' and the ``vulgar'' pronunciation ``camel-leopard'' are wrong. Not me. It isn't wrong, it's calque.

    Entry coming soon to a browser near you. (When it does, it will probably be the llama entry.)

    An obsolete (since about the sixteenth century) altenative form of cameleon (obsolete form of chameleon) often mistaken (then) for cameleopard (obsolete name for giraffe). (I mean the words were confused -- not the animals. Sheess! Give some credit!)

    A beautiful and expensive fabric originally (13th century) imported to Europe from ``the East.'' The word has had a variety of spellings (chamlyt, camblet, camlott, etc.). Regarding the etymology, OED2 says ``[t]he ultimate origin is obscure; at the earliest known date the word was associated (by Europeans) with camel, as if stuff made of camel's hair; but there is reason to think it was originally the Arabic khamlat, from khaml....''

    It's not clear what was in the original material, but over the course of centuries silk, Angora goat, wool, cotton, and linen have all been used in (or claimed to be in) the imported material or the domestic (European) imitation.

    Presumably the Camelot of English folk history -- the Castle of King Arthur's Court, World Class Round Table Knights Centre -- is the same word, possibly through the association with luxury. In late nineteenth-century France, the Camelots du roi were what we might today call operations people (``bodyguards'' and spies) for La Ligue d'Action Française. Man, that looks like it would be pretty tough to translate into a known language. Whatever the name meant, the group itself was the most extremely monarchialist (Bourbon restorationist) group of significance. Hey, you know what? We've got some more bits of French history in this glossary. Look under Charles Bullion. Also, some Camelot characters star in the courtly love entry.

    Cross-relaxation Appropriate for Minimolecules Emulated by Locked SPINs. (Those NMR guys are a laugh riot.)

    According to Kehlogg Albran,

    It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle if it is lightly greased.
    This also works with camel-twirling on the head of a pin, though it's also likelier to fall off. The trick is to use a very big pin (something a rich man could easily afford). For more on lubrication (and pins), see this aside.

    You're probably on pins and needles wondering who Kehlogg Albran is. You can learn more of his work at the fate entry, which features a picture of camels.

    Computer-Assisted (CA-) Management and Emergency Operations.

    CAmpus Market EXpo. Sponsored by NACS, each year in early April in New Orleans.

    Convection And Moisture EXperiment. ``[A] series of field research investigations sponsored by Dr. Ramesh Kakar, Program Manager for Atmospheric Dynamics and Remote Sensing at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters.'' (This is an interesting novelty in the etiquette of grantsmanship -- thanking by name the program manager who approved the proposal for money. Normally one just thanks the organization.)

    Cation-Adjusted Mueller-Hinton Broth (MHB). The cations are those of calcium and and magnesium, and the stuff is also described as calcium- and magnesium-supplemented Mueller-Hinton broth. I thought I saw the corresponding initialism, but maybe it was a typo with S for A.

    Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. (CAMI previously stood for the ``Civil Aeromedical Institute.'')

    Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing -- International.

    Cf. the Japanese word kami, discussed under the kamikaze entry.

    Computer-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery.

    Spanish, `shirt.'

    Spanish, `undershirt, tee shirt.'

    French, `camisole.'

    camisole de force
    French, `strait-jacket.'

    Not ``straight-jacket,'' okay?


    Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East.

    The Durham Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East draws its membership from the Departments of Classics and Ancient History (http://www.dur.ac.uk/classics/), Archaeology (http://www.dur.ac.uk/archaeology/), and Theology and Religion (http://www.dur.ac.uk/theology.religion/). The Centre aims to promote the study of cultural encounters and exchanges in the ancient world, from India in the East to the Iberian Peninsula in the West; and to foster diverse approaches to, and perspectives on, this area. It particularly encourages projects that straddle disciplinary and/or cultural, temporal and geographical boundaries. Most of the Centre.s work focuses on the ancient world (ca. 3000BCE . 650CE), but all discussions have a strong theoretical underpinning and are based on a clear understanding of how the ancient world has been received and studied in the modern period. The Centre hosts major collaborative research projects but also maintains a broader programme of seminars, workshops and conferences. Members of the Centre are involved in teaching and research across a wide spectrum of relevant disciplines.

    Chemically AMplified Positive resist. For lithography. There doesn't seem to be a comparable acronym for the less-common chemically amplified negative resists, but there's CAR for the general case.


    Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance. A committee within the APA.

    Association for Condensed Matter Photophysics. A Japanese organization, but even in Japanese the word order doesn't justify the acronym. They should have gone with CoMaPA.

    If a movie is so gracelessly incompetent and untrue to life that it seems just willfully, militantly bad, then you can always pretend that the disaster was intentional. As of fall 1996, they were casting for a movie based on the television series ``Lost in Space,'' which is now described as ``camp.'' It came out in 1998. Most of the original cast had cameos, but Jonathan Harris refused.

    This just in: Jonathan Harris, the actor who played the greedy, pusillanimous, and otherwise no-good ``Dr. Zachary Smith'' on that TV series, dead at 87, Sunday, November 3, 2002. He died while receiving treatment for a chronic back problem. A death straight from central casting. The pain, the pain! Another character in that show was the robot (a Model B-9, q.v.). Harris would stay up late nights thinking up scornful, typically alliterative epithets for it. (``Bumbling bag of bolts,'' ``primitive pile of pistons,'' ``bubble-headed booby,'' etc. For a list of 378 or so of the ways he referred to or addressed the robot, see ``The `compleat' List.'') Maybe he was partly inspired by the fact that the robot didn't have a proper name. In after years, he said that he adopted his style of ``comedic villainy'' because he figured otherwise he'd be boring and soon out of a job. He stole the show.

    Cyclic 3',5'-Adenosine MonoPhosphate. More at this online dictionary entry.


    Campanian Society
    ``[A] non-profit educational organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in the humanities and the fine arts and in the social and cultural history of Naples and Campania and of the ancient Greco-Roman world. In particular, The Campanian Society, Inc. sponsors activities and programs that are designed to heighten awareness and critical appreciation of the classical humanities, Greek and Roman social history, fine arts and architecture. Activities designed for innovative educators, discriminating travelers seeking cultural enrichment, adventurous adults, energetic retirees and explorers include programs which appeal to anyone interested in the literature, history, archaeology and overall culture of the Greco-Roman world and of ancient and modern Naples and the cities on the Bay.''

    To read about how I didn't visit Naples (or Campania) once, kindly take a trip to the ID entry.

    We pass along here some news that as of 1997.7.14 had not made it into the web site, that I could see, though they were announced that day on the Classics list. Robert M. Wilhelm, Exec. Dir., announced

    two Special Programs for the Blind and Visually-Impaired:

    Museums, Monuments, Churches, Gardens and Music
    September 3 - 11, 1997

    A special program designed especially for the blind and visually impaired which will include the followings sites:

    • NEW YORK: Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Cloisters, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, The Museum of Modern Art, Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty.
    • BALTIMORE: Walter's Art Gallery.
    • WASHINGTON: National Gallery, American Museum of History, Capitol, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Cathedral, Arlington Cemetery, Monticello, Library of Congress.
    Limited number of participants (several places are still available). Family members and friends of the Blind are welcome to participate.

    For details and itinerary contact:


    (Milan, Lugano, San Bernadino, Verona and Florence)
    April 26-May 8, 1998

    This program has been designed especially of the Blind and Visually-Impaired. Tactile experiences and hands-on opportunities are a special feature of this unique program. Family members and friends of the Blind are welcome of participate in this program. This program will be limited to 16 participants. For details and itinerary contact:


    I guess this is a bit out of date, but maybe they'll do it again.

    Campbell's ordinary soup does make Peter pale.
    Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian and Permian. The periods, from earliest to latest, of the Paleozoic era (extending from about 570 million years BP to 225 million). The Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods together are called the Carboniferous period. This mnemonic is given by Stephen Jay Gould in his Wonderful Life, where he decribes it as ``traditional and insipid.''

    campus maps
    The Interactive UB Campus Map gives phone-book-quality maps for UB's two campuses. Detailed (room-level) campus maps for UB can be found at the Facilities Planning and Design site.

    Community-{ Acquired | Associated } Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Occasionally also ``community-acquired MRSA'' or ``community-associated MRSA.'' There's a tiny bit more at the MRSA entry.

    Continuous Air Monitoring System.


    Classical Association of the Middle West and South (of the US). Pronounced CAM-wiss. Do not confuse with MACAWS. This mirrors the CFP for their April 1998 meeting. It's too late to send your abstract. It's too late to attend. You are really late; you need to get on the ball.

    CAMWS publishes The Classical Journal (CJ). You wouldn't have imagined that was a unique journal title, but it apparently is in English.

    ``Middle West and South'' in the organization name is taken to extend (in the North) ``east as far as Ohio, South from Virginia, West to Utah and Arizona and North into the Canadian Provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan'' (and they mean it -- the 2001 annual meeting was April 19-21 in Provo, Utah). For other, even more expansive definitions of the midwest, see the entry for MWSCAS.


    CAMWS Committee for the Promotion of Latin. You can probably find an expansion of ``CAMWS'' somewhere in this glossary.

    ChloroAcetoNitrile. Other haloacetonitriles popular in water treatment are BCAN, DBAN, DCAN, and TCAN.

    Controller Area Network.

    CAribbean News Agency.

    Tell me when I'm ``done'' so I can roll over.

    A large North American country (.ca). Not the US. Only one country as of this writing. The place where most TV newsfaces in the US seem to come from, and a cheap nearby place to make movies. In a Fox 411 feature dated August 30, 2003, Roger Friedman details the work-related marital difficulties of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, who have film roles in ``Paycheck'' and ``Taking Lives,'' respectively. He explains that
    "Taking Lives" has been shooting in Montreal while "Paycheck"'s schedule was in Vancouver. Although both cities are in Canada, this is the equivalent of filming in Los Angeles and New York at the same time.

    Hey, we're not going to waste your time with unimportant information! See the .se entry (Sweden) for more don't-know-much-about-geography piffle.

    See the BNA entry for an earlier usage of the word Canada.

    This isn't an acronym or particularly edifying. It is, however, a somewhat interesting and doubtfully ironic country-name antonomasia.

    At the Nazi death camps in WWII, shoes, clothing, and other personal belongings were confiscated from the prisoners who entered the camps, whether they were selected for immediate death or for death through work. The collection was stored on-site for shipping back to Germany for, uh, Aryan use. At Auschwitz-Birkenau (Auschwitz II), the storage warehouses, located near two of the crematoria, ``were called `Canada,' because the Poles regarded that country as a place of great riches.'' (Quoting here a webpage from the Holocaust Encyclopedia served by the USHMM.)

    CANadian-AMerican. Two countries as of this writing. This term illustrates the use of ``American'' to mean ``US.''

    Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields. A bioelectronic sensor project at MIT Lincoln Labs that uses cells modified to emit light in response to antigen binding.

    A disease in which some cells of the organism itself malfunction, replicating rapidly and generally not performing their standard function. Cancerous cells infiltrate normal tissue and may metastasize. (I.e., break off from one part of the body, migrate, and lodge elsewhere. This makes treatment much more difficult. The probability that metastasis will occur depends on a variety of factors and varies by type of cancer.) Types of cancer are usually distinguished by the first type of cell affected.

    Existing treatments are pretty crude. They consist primarily in destroying the cancerous tissue by irradiation or chemical poisoning (chemotherapy or ``chemo''), and surgery. Cancerous tissue is targeted on the basis of its greater metabolic and reproductive rate, and the substances it consumes disproportionately as a result.

    Many years ago, when there were no treatments and little hope of recovery, the name of ``cancer'' was spoken only in whispers; it was never mentioned on the broadcast media.

    Many of the colored cause ribbons that have become popular refer to cancer or cancers. Here are some of the cancers with their assigned ribbon colors (according to this color code listing from 2004):

    cancer ribbon color Comments
    melanoma black Good choice.
    colorectal cancer brown Too graphically appropriate.
    multiple myeloma burgundy This is what happens when you delay.
    childhood cancer gold There probably isn't any good color here.
    brain cancer gray This is clever, but they should give it a slight pinkish or brownish hue.
    ovarian cancer green ?

    CANCON, CanCon
    CANadian CONtent. See CRTC, think CBSC.

    Hey waitasecond -- isn't that French for song? Oh well, close.

    Citizens AgaiNst Drug Impaired Drivers. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    candid shot
    A photograph posed to appear unposed. The scientific-laboratory subgenre of candid shots calls for one person to point a finger at the apparatus and the other person or persons to stare with feigned interest.

    The (Christian, not Newtonian) mass each year when candles are blessed. If you don't get enough candles blessed on that day, then at some point I guess you have to use damned candles, or candles that aren't explicitly redeemed or whatever. Then after your candles go up in smoke, they go down again and burn in hell forever. Is that so bad? Isn't that a candle's idea of heaven?

    Perhaps this contrariness involving heat explains another tradition, encapsulated in an English proverb that dates from the late seventeenth century:

    If Candlemas day be sunny and bright,
    Winter will have another flight;
    If Candlemas day be cloudy with rain,
    Winter is gone and won't come again.

    ...that year. I.e., winter won't come again that year. A Scottish version is explicit on this point, and also avoids claiming that winter could end that early:

    If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year.
    Candlemas day falls on February 2. (Yes -- every year. No correction for the precession of the equinoxes or leap years or nuthin'.) In the US and Canada, February 2 is known as Groundhog Day, and the associated legend is that if the groundhog comes out of its hibernation burrow and sees its own shadow (something requiring a day no more than partly cloudy), it knows that six weeks of winter remain. In principle that would be good news, since the spring equinox is still almost seven weeks away. Oh yeah -- another possible reason why February 2 might be associated with a ``second winter'' is that it falls close to the half-way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

    Candlemas day is also the date of the Purification of the Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Let me say that that's wonderful, because it's a sin to have only one sentence in a paragraph.

    It occurs to me that by February, traditionally, one would have been done making candles for awhile. If you're not going to keep an animal into the next year, you might as well have slaughtered it before then, since it wouldn't gain much weight during winter (possibly at the cost of grain) and it's cool enough for the meat to keep well by then. So you'd have had the tallow, and the long nights (and indoor work) around the winter solstice would have depleted your supply and motivated you to use the tallow for candles. (Soap? What's that?)

    And don't tell me meat doesn't keep. In the US, livestock is `fattened' in significant part by hydrating the animals. Wet meat rots fast. In all other places where my family has lived, in Europe and Latin America, meat hung and bled on a meathook is quickly dry enough to need no further preserving. In Germany in the 1920's and 1930's, my family used their small icebox (cooled by ice delivered by an iceman) for milk. The meat (which there wasn't much of by the 1930's anyway) stayed in a cupboard that was built into an exterior wall with louvres to keep it well ventilated. When my grandfather and his future second wife came to the US, they learned to store meat (transported long distances by the miracle of refrigerated train cars!) in the refrigerator. When my great grandmother followed them to the US, she threw all the meat out of the refrigerator, because it smelled rotten.

    CANada-Deuterium-Uranium nuclear reactor. By using heavy water (deuterium oxide: D2O) as a moderator (in the original version, this was also the coolant), it can be fueled by cheaper natural uranium rather than enriched uranium as required by most reactors. The government of India acquired a CANDU reactor for peaceful purposes and used it to produce the fuel used in the explosion of its first ``peaceful nuclear device'' in 1974.

    John Aristotle Phillips visited India afterwards and inspected not only the plant but the contract under which the plant was built. That included special provisions intended to prevent use of the plant for nonpeaceful purposes [Canada is a signatory of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT).] Phillips learned, however, that India had exploited a loophole in the contract: India used the reactor to enrich its own thorium (Th) material.

    [John A. Phillips is best known for submitting plans for an atomic bomb as his Junior Paper -- a standard requirement for physics undergraduates at Princeton (PU). He researched the project without any security clearance, but his paper was not returned because it ended up containing information that was considered classified. I've forgotten the precise details; he tells that story in Mushroom: the Story of the A-bomb Kid. The visit to India came later. It's not in the book; I heard about it from a friend of mine at the New Delhi Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses who met him there. Around 1980, Phillips co-founded a company called Aristotle Publishing, which provides campaign-management software to political candidates. That company has been renamed Aristotle and will focus on web-based fund-raising tools. Aristotle has venture capital from the market research firm Odyssey, but it's not all ancient Greek: the Nasdaq ticker symbol VOTE has been reserved in anticipation of a public offering. In 1998, $125,000 was raised online, about $70,000 of that by Jesse Ventura. On February 4, 2000, the day after John McCain won the New Hampshire primary by nineteen points over George W. Bush, his campaign raised between a half a million and a million dollars online. As of 2008, the typical numbers have gone up by a factor of ten.]


    Classical Association of New England.

    CANE Listserv. The Electronic discussion group (i.e., mailing list) of the Classical Association of New England. Temporarily disabled for a few months in early 2000. Still down as of late June. It has its own web-page. To subscribe, send an email to <mailserv@wellesley.edu> with the content

    subscribe CANE-L

    University of Miami (Florida) HurriCANES. School teams name.


    CA News
    A publication of the Classical Association (UK). Free with membership. Two numbers published per year, June and December (#1 was December 1989). Even though it is an enormously valuable periodical, containing as it does translations of nursery rhymes and snarky reviews of popular movies, some libraries discard (okay -- my library discards) issues after just one year.

    Cuban American National Foundation. (Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana.)


    Classical Association in Northern Ireland. Yes, the in does make it sound like an itinerant association that's just visiting the area. No, I don't know the backstory.

    And because you asked: cani means `am' in Quechua. At least it does if you pronounce cani in Spanish. The preferred spelling is kani now, but since most Quechua-speakers are illiterate, that's somewhat academic.

    Perhaps more relevantly, cani is the dative singular of `dog' in Latin. More straightforwardly, cani is Italian for `dogs' in any case. It's hard to know what those canny Northern Irish classicists had in mind. They could have used NICA, but see the next entry.


    Classical Association of New Jersey. Common name for what is officially the New Jersey Classical Association (NJCA).

    CANadian Legal Information Institute. Only available in English and French (the latter as IIJCan).

    CANadian LITerature.

    CANada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology. A network of energy and mining laboratories managed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

    A misspelling of Stanislao Cannizzaro's surname. Don't feel bad -- it could happen to anyone. Honest, it's a common misspelling. It even happened to me! There, there.

    Cannizzaro reaction
    Stanislao Cannizzaro's signal service to science was patiently and repeatedly explaining, from 1858 to 1860, what his fellow Italian Amadeo Avogadro had already explained in 1811 -- the then-hypothesis we call Avogadro's Law. More precisely, the confusion arose from the distinction between atom and molecule.

    It is fortunate that he did something original that we can attach his name to. Specifically, he discovered that benzaldehyde reacted with potassium hydroxide in a reaction producing benzoic acid and benzyl alcohol. You can get the original article from the library -- just go to Ann. I mean, check with Justus Liebigs Annalen der Chemie, vol. 88, pp. 129-30 (1853), and vol. 90, pp. 252-4 (1854). This reaction is a specific case of

                       _            _
            2RCHO  + OH  -----> RCOO  + RCH OH
    with a phenyl group for R.

    Okay, technically, the product does not include the acid RCOOH but its conjugate base. On a quick glance, this looks like an acid-base reaction (strong base to weak base: OH- to carboxylic anion); it is actually a redox reaction (specifically a disproportionation). The name ``Cannizzaro reaction'' is now applied generally to the reaction given above (where R has no alpha hydrogen).

    cannot be overstated
    Makes God jealous.

    CANada Oil -- Low Acid. Or maybe < CANada + OLA (from Latin oleum, `oil'). Or maybe not. When you trademark a name you're not required to provide an etymology. Canola originally referred to oil from hybrid strains of rape plant developed between 1958 and 1974 by Baldur Stefansson and Richard Downey of Canada. In 1978, the Western Canadian Oilseed Crushers' Association registered Canola as a trademark in Canada, but the legal status of the term seems unclear now. In 1980, ownership of the trademark was transferred to the Rapeseed Association of Canada, which that year changed its name to the Canola Council of Canada. On the other hand, in 1986 the Canadian government established a statutory definition of Canola, with upper limits of 2% erucic acid in the seeds and 30 micromoles glucosinolates per gram of canola meal.

    Historically, ordinary rapeseed oil has for the most part not been for internal consumption. Originally used for lamps in Asia and Europe, rape has been grown in Europe since the thirteenth century. In the nineteenth century it was used as a lubricant in steam engines. It was also used as a cooking oil, but it had a bitter taste. Reducing the acid and the glucosin (a toxin) have dramatically increased the economical value of rapeseed: canola is promoted as high in monounsaturated fatty acids, and the rapeseed meal is an economic livestock feed.

    Check the canola entry in the alt.english.usage FAQ before you buy any of the competing dictionary etymologies for canola.

    canonical bias
    The canonical bias is HJ researchers' term for the tendency to dismiss evidence other than the canonical Christian texts -- i.e., the New Testament. For an example of research that seeks to counter canonical bias, see TFG.

    can opener
    During one of the nonobscene interludes in a chat room that I frequent, uh, very infrequently, one young lad reported that he had given his ex-gf an electric can opener for Valentine's Day. I could probably end the entry right there. He said he was tired of opening cans. Someone suggested tentatively that perhaps this explained why she was no longer his girlfriend, but the lad countered that he found out that she'd slept with two other guys while they were dating. Someone suggested that perhaps this wouldn't have happened if he'd given her the can opener earlier. One of the females present in the chat room offered to go out with the lad if he gave her a monogrammed electric can opener. Some people think chat rooms are just stupid, but I think they're fascinatingly stupid.

    can potentially

    CAnadian Network for SAmpling Precipitation. Tssp ... tssp ... tastes a bit sour.

    CANadian TEST. It's offered by the University of Ottawa's Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), and is described thus: ``The CanTEST measures English language knowledge and skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Scores are reported in each of the four areas using a `band system' that relates test scores to a descriptive statement about the candidate's ability.''

    I know, I know: the capitalization raises the expectation that TEST is itself a backronym (backorpheme?) standing for as many as four or more words. This is a revelation to me. I mean, this is the first time I've ever found the ``as many as ... or more'' locution less than completely pointless. Anyway, no ulterior expansion seems to be given. There are contrary signs, moreover. A message above the quoted explanation informs the Francophone reader that ``(Les renseignements au sujet du CanTest [note dearth of caps] sont disponibles en anglais seulement).''

    There is also a link to something called TESTCan that is offered by l'Institut des langues officielles et du bilinguisme (ILOB) at the (and let me say that I'm always relieved when I don't have to enter diacriticals) Université d'Ottawa. Le TESTCan est le ``Test de français ... pour les étudiant(e)s et les stagiaires au Canada administré par l'Université d'Ottawa [qui] a lieu trois fois par année.'' Never mind what this means; I doubt they managed, or even tried very hard, to make a French backronym of TEST. If I had achieved back-to-back English and French backronyms, they'd be in <font size="+10"> at the top of every webpage.

    So to summarize our findings so far, CanTEST is an English-language test (remember this for later). Its name conforms to a small but representative subset of English-language naming conventions, such as that modifiers generally precede the noun they modify. TESTCan is a French-language test (remember this for later). Its name conforms to a small but representative subset of French-language naming conventions, such as that a modifier usually follows the noun it modifies. I don't doubt that this is intended to make the greatest number of people happy. It is very useful, even for a rabid Angloimperialist like me. I learned the new French word test (masc.). I think I'll remember it. This is even easier than learning Japanese garaigo. (The link isn't dead; it hasn't come to life yet. Gairaigo are words borrowed from languages like English. Especially English.)

    All this symmetry is very wonderful, but confusion can result. Above the French-language description of the French-language test, there is a parenthetical phrase like the one discussed earlier. It reads ``(The information about the TestCan is available in English only).'' There are some problems with this translation. The first is that it is manifestly false, since le TestCan (or at least le TESTCan) is described in French immediately below the parenthetical. It seems that one of two bad things has happened.

    1. One possibility is that the supplier of the parenthetical remark thought that what the French page needed was an English translation of the French remark on the English page. This person proceeded further to treat TestCan as a translation of CanTest. I imagine that it (the test) is not, and certainly the word is not. TestCan is a French test, not the French name of the English test, and even less the English translation of the French name for the English test (i.e., the English name of the English test -- which, by assumption, would have been what was wanted). A proper translation would have been ``(Information about the CanTest is available in English only).'' This would at least have been correct, though of little use to the non-Francophone who has somehow mistakenly stumbled into the French-language page about the French language exam.
    2. Another possibility, and at this point I'm not prepared to dismiss it out of hand, is that the correct and relevant parenthetical was prepared in French. Its translation would have been ``(Information about the TestCan is available only in French),'' but somehow the French word français was translated into the English word `English.' Maybe it just seemed fair and symmetric, or perhaps the translator thought he was told to ``translate the `French' into `English','' or French words to that effect, and decided to go ahead and do so.

    None of this would have happened if the English and French departments had simply stayed out of each other's way. If you're still reading, go on to the RevCan entry.

    Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations.

    In Spanish, a language not unknown in the Caribbean, canto means `I sing.' In many languages, canto means `canto.'

    Can. y Am.
    If you were reading this Spanish abbreviation from North America, you might think it meant (vaguely) Canada y América. But if you were reading it in the DRAE, it would mean Las islas Canarias y América. (Capitalization sic.)

    Many words and usages common in American Spanish seem to stem from the Canary Islands, which were an important staging area for ships sailing to colonial Spanish America. For example, the word concuñado, is shortened to concuño in the Canary Islands and America. The words mean `brother-in-law.' It would be out of place, I guess, for a Spanish dictionary (the preeminent Spanish dictionary, in this case) to just define concuñado as simply the Spanish for brother-in-law, so the DRAE goes through the circumlocution of defining it with the Spanish equivalent of `a sibling's spouse or a sister-in-law's husband.' That's how it is with those boring old monolingual dictionaries. We're not subject to that restriction here, which allows us to be much more concise (if we want to be). I suppose that gay marriage (already legal in Argentina, that I know of, and probably other Spanish-speaking countries), along with other progressive change, will eventually require rewording along the lines of `sibling-in-law's male-identifying spouse' for the latter possibility.

    Another change has already taken place. I should have published this entry when I first noticed the concuño, ña entry of the 21st edition. Now the localization is narrower and longer: ``Can., Am. Cen., Bol., Cuba, Méx. y R. Dom.''

    CAlcium Oxide. Traditionally in English, and for the centuries before there was a science of chemistry, this was called quicklime. Quick here is understood in the sense of alive (as in ``the quick and the dead''), and the compound's name in English is parallel to its name in Latin: calx viva.

    Quicklime is prepared by heating limestone. (Breaking it up a bit first helps speed the process.) Limestone is essentially microcrystalline calcium carbonate (CaCO3), from the point of view of a physicist or chemist, or a sedimentary form of calcite, from the point of view of a geologist or mineralogist. The reaction to quicklime goes thus:

    CaCO3 (s) + heat --> CaO + CO2 (g)

    Canadian Association of Optometrists. In French: lACO.

    Chief {Accounting|Administrative|Analytics} Officer. Don't be CAO'd -- it's just CXO.

    Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Makes possible some fellowships.

    CAPacitor. Countable noun for the device or circuit element. I've never heard `cap' used for electronic capacitance. Read a story about my embarrassing stupidity at the C/R entry.

    Capricornus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Catabolite-gene Activator Protein.

    Cellulose Acetate Proprionate.

    Center for American Progress. A think tank founded in 2003. ``Progressive ideas for a strong, just, and free America.'' It is initially headed by President Clinton's last chief-of-staff John Podesta, often described as a ``Democratic Party operative.'' He insists that it ``is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just'' etc. They couldn't be mistaken for Republicans, but they're making a fair effort to appear more sincere than coy while pretending that they're nonpartisan. Matt Bai, in an interesting article in the New York Times Magazine (``Notion Building,'' Oct. 12, 2003) observed:
    Podesta stressed that the think tank was not an organ of the Democratic Party. Rather, he pledged that American Progress would offer its voice and ideas to any policy maker or party that would have them. It was obvious that he wanted the center to be seen as an insurgent force in politics, beholden to no one, although it was difficult to imagine who besides the Democrats would stand to benefit from a revitalized liberal agenda. (Presumably Podesta isn't raising $50 million in order to take over the Green Party.)

    With all the foredoomed campaign finance reforms that swirl around, political parties, think tanks, PAC's and all the rest are like shells in a shell game. I think Dick whatsisname, the disgraced triangulation guy, explained that CAP is one of the institutions that the Clintonites are making so they have a power base when Howard Dean takes over the Democratic Party in 2004 and ousts them. According to Bai, Podesta is trying to steer clear of the left-vs.-center contention. A different battle is between those who think the Democratic Party's problem is putting its ideas across and those who think the party needs to come up with ideas to put across. Podesta is firmly in the second camp. (This entry was written as Howard Dean's star was rising in 2003, and Dick Morris's comment reflected the assumption that Dean would win the party's nomination. His campaign imploded in time for the Iowa caucuses, yet by the end of 2004 he had taken a clear lead in the race for DNC chair. This time his lead didn't evaporate in January.)

    The site has rather asinine URL's.

    Civil Air Patrol.

    ``The Flying Nun,'' a popular TV series of the early '60's starring Sally Field, was based on The Fifteenth Pelican by Tere Rios. Rios, a Madison, Wisconsin housewife and novelist, was a former pilot in the Georgia Civil Air Patrol.

    Columbia Appletalk Package.

    Committee on Appointments and Promotions. A university faculty committee that is concerned with who is to be where at what time (appointments) and special sales events (promotions). Okay, that's not it exactly, but the appointments part isn't all that far off.

    Common Agricultural Policy. An EU program of subsidies to farmers, costing about 40 billion euros in 2003 and representing about half the EU budget. The largest share of subsidies goes to French farmers.

    Community Action Program. A 1960's program of subsidies to neighborhood organizations, disbursed by the OEO.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) {Philosophy | Planning | Production | Publishing}.

    Computing And Philosophy. An area of more interest to people in the philosophy field than people in the computer field. There's an International Association for this stuff, which coordinates the three main conferences: AP-CAP (Asia-Pacific), NA-CAP (North American) and E-CAP (European).

    Concerned Alumni of Princeton. A politically conservative group formed in 1972, with financial support from Shelby Cullom Davis (class of 1930). T. Harding Jones ('72) was the first executive director. CAP was very unpopular with the university administration, and with many of the undergraduates. During the half-time at the 1974 Harvard-Princeton game, as usual,
    the Princeton marching band detached itself into lines to form letters and spell out certain words, while a scripted commentary was read over the loudspeakers. While playing ``Stars and Stripes Forever,'' the band formed the letters C-A-P, with one part of the band organized as a floating ``R.'' The commentator announced, ``The Princeton University Band takes a long `harding' look at concerned alumni.'' The trouble that CAP finds at Princeton, the commentator continued, really ``comes from the pen of T. Harding Jones, a self-appointed theologian, philosopher, campus politico, sociologist, lawyer, and Great Right Hope. The band now gives CAP a right-handed compliment.'' At this point the ``R,'' after trying to move between the ``A' and the ``P,'' finally settled in between the ``C'' and the ``A.'' The band next paid tribute to Shelby Cullom Davis, who, the commentator said, supports ``the students' favorite comic book, Prospect magazine.''

    Starting in October 1972, the group published a magazine called The Prospect. Bradley was a member of the magazine's board and caused a stir when he resigned in protest following the first one or two issues.

    Of little political significance, but I'm gonna tell you 'bout it anyway, is the resonance of the word Prospect. Prospect is a street running north from the Washington Road side of campus. The Woodrow Wilson School is at the NW corner of Washington and Prospect, and the Engineering buildings are hidden further away in the same quadrant. Prospect has many large old mansions that belong to ``eating clubs,'' essentially the Princeton version of fraternities. (Fraternities and secret societies were banned from campus in the middle of the nineteenth century. They were allowed back some time in the 1980's, and I remember that at least one fraternity started a chapter before 1984.) For many years there was a Prospect Club also. Eating clubs are considered one of the unique features of Princeton's undergraduate experience, though maybe they are a bug. In any case, most Princeton traditionalists cherish this as a part of what makes Princeton-as-it-used-to-be so wonderful.

    CAP petered out of existence around 1986 or maybe 1987. It soared to prominence at the end of 2005 because Samuel Alito ('72) had listed his CAP membership in a 1985 application for a political appointment in the Reagan administration's Department of Justice. In 2005, Alito was undergoing the usual trial-by-ordeal required of all US Supreme Court Justice nominees, and stated (lookit me: I'm a journalist!) that he did not recall being a member until he was reminded (in 2005) by the disclosure of his 1985 application. He did remember that Princeton had expelled his ROTC from campus during his junior year and that he had to go to Trenton State College to finish his ROTC classes. He supposed in 2005 that his opinion of the ROTC expulsion might have been part of what led him to join CAP in 1972. No one ever turned up who could remember his having been a member. Records of the group give no indication that he played an active role in it. Back up: records of the group existed twenty years later!

    Another early member was Bill Bradley ('65), a Princeton Tigers basketball star who had gone on to a professional basketball career with the New York Knicks, and who later served as a US Senator from New Jersey (1979 to 1996 legislative seasons). He quit CAP in 1973. In 1978 I attended a rock concert at Livingston College (part of Rutgers University) that was a campaign fund-raiser for Bill Bradley. The acts that I remember were the Blues Brothers and Patti Smith. It was an indoor event and the acoustics were terrible. (Either that, or Patti Smith couldn't sing.)

    There is a great deal of disagreement on the precise explicit positions taken by CAP, if any. It is claimed that it was in some way or another opposed to coeducation (although the first women had already been admitted to the undergraduate college in 1969), or that it was opposed to race-based affirmative action in admissions, but that it favored traditional admissions and financial-aid favoritism for athletes and alumni children. Alito was confirmed; I can't be bothered to pursue this any more.

    Prostate CAncer. Cancer of the prostate gland. Some men get breast cancer; no women get prostate cancer.

    Clinical Attending [Physician], Psychiatry Clerkship.

    Convective Available Potential Energy.

    Council for American Private Education.

    A loose-fitting garment that has roughly the shape of an annulus sector or isoceles trapezoid when laid out flat. I think it was back in the 1980's or so that I first heard of the warning labels they were starting to put in the capes of superhero Halloween costumes -- ``CAPE DOES NOT ENABLE WEARER TO FLY'' or somesuch. Legal ass-coverage.

    A long obituary of Ken Caminiti appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune (October 31, 2004; p. C-1) and mentioned a story his mother Yvonne used to tell ``of how Kenny, at age 2 1/2, decided he was Batman and tried to `fly' down the stairs.'' He took a lot of risks, and he usually survived.

    Cape Cod
    Used as a common noun: ``a Cape Cod'' is short for ``a Cape Cod house [or bungalow].'' That's a well-known type of smallish, box-like house (squarish layout, onish floors -- okay thish ish getting out of hand, I mean one or two floors, probably one floor and a finished attic with dormers in a steep roof).

    capelan, capelin
    A small edible fish of the Scrabble tablelands. Or maybe the Dinner tablelands.

    Center for Advanced Photonic and Electronic Materials. Successor of CEEM. Announced in the Reporter, 20 February 1997.

    Capen Hall
    Many people coming to an address in Capen Hall, on the North campus of UB, are tripped up by the elevator access. Many rooms in Capen Hall are within the library; public access to these rooms is only through the library entrance on the first floor. Fourth and fifth floors of Capen are accessible only by elevator (not counting fire-alarmed doors), and elevators serve rooms either inside or outside the library exclusively. To reach fourth- and fifth-floor rooms (administuff) outside the library, take an elevator from G, 1, or 2 (the third floor is all library) outside. To get to any room in the library, first go to the first floor of Capen so you can enter the library.

    This map will help you get to the building.

    Capen Hall 10
    In one semester I endured fire alarms, two protests that marched too slowly past the doors (the second had drums and brass instruments), and the booming PA system of the library upstairs and behind me. On the bright side, there's plenty of natural light, and you can get an emergency-exit door's-worth of fresh air.

    capex, cap-ex
    CAPital EXpenditures. Traditional term for business-equipment expenditures.

    capitalist tool
    Not a financial instrument, but an epithet. Adopted as its nickname by one of the national (US) business magazines.

    Canadian Association of Public Libraries (a division of the CLA).


    Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest (of the US). An annual meeting is held in Spring, usually a Friday and Saturday in early April. Every few years CAPN holds this meeting in Canada, jointly with the adjacent Canadian association CACW (q.v.) [as in 1995, Banff, Alberta; 2000, Victoria, B.C.; 2003, Calgary]. In 2001 the Spring meeting was held jointly with CAMWS in Provo, Utah.

    An abbreviation of CAPtaiN, and also eye dialect for an informal pronunciation. The contracted pronunciation uses the same stressed vowel for the letter a as the full enunciation, but uses the consonants that occur in the common American pronunciation of cotton; in particular, the middle consonant is a glottal stop. There is no more systematic spelling of this consonant than apostrophe. Hence, ``Ca'n'' might be more accurate eye dialect, but it would be less recognizable.

    Local nickname for Capistrano, which in turn is short for San Juan Capistrano, a city in Orange County, California. The city's school district, the second largest in Orange County (as of 2010, when the teachers' union is contemplating a strike) is the Capistrano Unified School District. The city is also called San Juan and SJC for short.

    This is the place famous for its old mission and its annual miracle. The annual miracle is that every year swallows return to the ruined church there from their southern peregrination, precisely on St. Joseph's Day (March 19) -- even on leap years. Of course, although they return precisely on that day, they don't all return at once. It's just the precise day that they begin to return. Also, some special swallows also return a bit earlier -- these are the special ``scout swallows.''

    The swallows come to this particular place because it was a Franciscan mission, and swallows were birds that St. Francis of Assisi loved. And St. Francis of Assisi is one of the parton saints of scouting, so that explains the early birds. Be prepared! Also each year, the swallows leave (or first begin to leave, not counting the scouts) on the Day of San Juan, October 23.

    And look, I didn't say swallows were the birds he ``loved best.'' He was big on pheasant, he had a pet crow, pigeons attended his sermons, etc., etc. So let's not play favorites here. If it had been a Jesuit mission, each year Capo would see a plague of vultures, the favorite bird of St. Francis Xavier. Ha, ha, just kidding; everything else is entirely serious.

    Capp, Al
    Alfred Gerald Caplin (1909-1979). Developed the L'il Abner cartoon strip, which inspired movies and other fine works. The NCS has a page for him.

    The Center for Advancement of Public Policy. Founded by Martha Burk and Ralph Estes in 1991

    I have been asked: for advancement in what direction?

    Forward, of course!

    I'm surprised everyone doesn't support the progressive movement.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) {Production | Process} Planning.

    CAPP, CApp
    Computer Application[s].

    Canadian Antique Phonograph Society.

    CAssini Plasma Spectrometer. An instrument on NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. ``Mission'' ... it sounds so diplomatic.

    Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies. ``The Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies ... is a non-profit organization that, while affiliated with the National Association of Purchasing Management and the Arizona State University College of Business, is an independent research organization. Its mission is to help organizations achieve competitive advantage by providing them with leading-edge research to support the evolution of strategic purchasing and supply management.

    CAPS is located in the Arizona State University Research Park.''

    The ``active'' ingredient in hot peppers. It's not water-soluble, so drinking water won't help much if you OD. For reasons that are still in scientific dispute, spicy food is more popular in hotter climes (sour foods are more popular in colder climes.) Enough capsaicin is painful to most mammals, but doesn't bother birds. Apparently this is because of the function of this plant adaptation: spiciness which prevents mammals from eating the fruit, but not birds, causes the seed to be dispersed more widely in droppings.

    This is a good links site from among the alternative medicine pages for Trigeminal Neuralgia. Here's an introduction to the unique chemistry of capsaicin, and some more detail. Here's a general description from the epicurious dictionary.

    Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns. French: ACEIP.

    Completely Automatic Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Images of reoriented, twisted or otherwise distorted or disguised text strings, usually interspersed with nontext content, presented for transcription. The distortions and so forth are meant to stymie non-meat-based pattern-recognition software. You type in the text to demonstrate that you are not some bot or spider that might be trying, say, to spam a discussion site or harvest email addresses for spamming. Here's an article about the evolutionary competition between CAPTCHA and CAPTCHA-breaking software.

    The CAPTCHA acronym incorporates the term ``Turing test'' in the loose sense of a test to distinguish humans from machines, and not in the strict sense of the relatively unstructured test originally proposed by Alan Turing. The usual problem with such Turing tests is not that computers can pass them, but that humans may not. There's actually an annual event where the Turing test in its original form is implemented. Communicating (in English) via keyboard in wide-ranging discussions lasting a few minutes, human judges try to distinguish the humans from the computers among their interlocutors. So far no program has convinced the judges that it is human, but some humans have been mistaken for computer programs.

    In principle, a CAPTCHA need not be text-based. A CAPTCHA might generate other sorts of tests than distorted-text recognitions to distinguish humans from bots, but text-based tests are still the most common.


    You gotta problem widdat? We ain't talkin' geology here.

    Often paired with carping, but not in the sense of fishing for carp. Cf. Carp.

    Computer-Aided Quality Assurance. Gee, why didn't they just go ahead and use the usual QA for Quality Assurance?

    Carina. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Back in the 1960's, I leafed through a silly paperback with fanciful cartoon pictures inspired by puns on the car syllable. A slow vehicle called Es-car-got, a scary one named Boris Car-loff, that sort of thing. I don't know -- the constellation name Carina puts me in mind of an ocarina or PCP.

    Central African Republic. Following a coup in March 2003, François Bozizé became CAR head. He is often identified as the CAR President, but since he abolished the constitution, I don't see why it wouldn't be equally valid to call him the CAR Grand High Muckety-Muck. They once had a president who qualified as CAR Grand High Yuckity-Yuck -- President-for-Life and later Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa. While in power he often gave hints that like his grandfather, he too was a cannibal, and after he was toppled in a French-backed coup that never had UN approval, human parts were found in his meat-locker. He was charged with torture and murder, ho-hum, and cannibalism -- there's something slightly unusual. He was acquitted of the cannibalism charge, but you could draw your own conclusions.

    I propose that the CAR find someone named Burator and make him president. I mean, what could possibly go wrong that hasn't already gone wrong?

    Chemically Amplified [photo]Resist. It's used in lithography (CARL).

    Computer Assisted Radiology. Vide CA-.

    car alarm
    Antitheft device which provides useful warning to a parking lot that a lightning storm is in progress. Federally approved models are loud enough to be heard over the thunder even if the storm is local.

    They're also pretty good at detect-and-destroy against late-night quiet in residential areas.

    When a burglar is trying to break into a car with a car alarm, people walk by and say things like ``poor sucker can't get his alarm turned off.'' Eventually someone calls the police, who help get the alarm turned off and say responsible law-enforcement-type things like ``take it to your dealer and have that thing adjusted.''

    Actress Roz Kelly is best known for her role as Fonzie's aggressive biker girlfriend Pinky Tuscadero in the 1973-84 television series ``Happy Days.'' In 1998 she joined the ranks of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King, Jr., spending time in jail for making a symbolic protest. In late November of that year, after being awakened repeatedly by a car alarm, she armed herself with a 12-gauge Winchester shotgun and fired into two cars and a neighbor's empty apartment. She was eventually sentenced to three years' probation.

    Unit of precious gem mass; approximately or exactly 0.2 gram. The carat has been in use throughout the modern era (i.e., since the sixteenth C.). In 1877, international agreement set its value at 205 mg, but country-to-country variations continued. The 200mg carat was approved by the fourth CGPM in 1907.

    Carat is also Commonwealth spelling for another unit of measure of precious value -- gold purity -- which in the US is written karat.

    Diamond mass is sometimes measured in hundredths of a carat, called points.

    The word carat comes from the Arabic word qirat for the seed of the coral tree. Another seed that became a unit of measure was the barleycorn (one third of an inch). However, the old folk songs about John Barleycorn refer to beer, which is traditionally brewed from fermented barley (though this is not necessary). The rock group Traffic recorded an arrangement of one of these songs, ``John Barleycorn Must Die,'' in the late sixties or early seventies.

    Of course, the most common seed word to be an official unit of measure is the grain (gr.).

    California Air Resources Board. In its own literature, CARB uses the abbreviation ARB. Because of its major air pollution problems and large market, the state of California is motivated to impose strict auto emission controls and able to make them stick. Thus, the ARB of California is a concern far outside California, where the C in CARB is necessary to disambiguate.

    CARBurator. Carburetor.

    Central ARBiter. Controls access among different boards (cf. BARB) to the bus. Unarbitrated buses are also used. It sounds a bit like passengers boarding a mass transit vehicle, and it is, but the passengers are packets of data.

    The inflected form of ``carbon'' used to indicate that the carbon is anionic.

    carbide lamp
    A lamp that runs on calcium carbide and water. Calcium carbide [CaC2] is stable in isolation to very high temperatures (b.p. 2300 °C), but reacts with water to form acetylene and calcium hydroxide:
    CaC2 + 2 H2O (l) --> C2H2 (g) + Ca(OH)2

    This hydrolysis reaction was discovered by Friedrich Wöhler in 1862. In 1888, an economically efficient way was found to manufacture calcium carbide (reaction of lime and coke in an electric arc furnace). Hydrolysis of calcium carbide quickly became the principal method of acetylene production, which it remained until it was replaced by petroleum fractionation in the 1950's.

    Calcium carbide was also used directly in carbide lamps. In these lamps, water drips in a controlled way into a ``generator'' chamber containing the calcium carbide, and the acetylene is burned off.

    Sugars, starches, and related organic compounds. The name was coined in reference to the fact that the empirical formula for these is equivalent to hydrated carbon (carbon bonded, or hydrogen-bonded, or chelated to water molecules). This is in the ratio one atom of carbon to one molecule of water (hýdôr in Greek), either exactly or approximately. Until late in the nineteenth century, the word was commonly written as a hyphenate (carbo-hydrate).

    The name ``hydrocarbons'' is often mistakenly used in place of carbohydrates. Hydrocarbons are all those compounds which contain only hydrogen and carbon, but carbohydrates contain oxygen as well. In semiconductors, the confusion is institutionalized as a conventional meaning (vide THC), just like the conventional meanings of ``cholesterol'' in medicine, ``rare earth'' (see RE entry specifically) in geology, and ``metal'' by astronomers.

    That Immanuel Velikovsky confused carbohydrate and hydrocarbon was one of the more minor points lodged against the theories advanced in his best sellers Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval. So if you hope to launch a daft new theory and cult, or even if you only want to nurse a persecution complex, be sure to get these two terms straight.

    The three main bulk nutrients are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Notice that carbohydrates are the only group not referred to by a singular-form mass noun.

    carbolic acid
    An old name for phenol. It's acidic, but after all it's an alcohol. In its typical reactions with other acids, that's the way to think of it: it's not going to be a weak acid that keeps its hydrogen -- it's going to be an alcohol that esterizes. (Depending on the reaction mechanism, that means that the alcohol ``loses'' either a hydrogen from its hydroxyl group, or its entire hydroxyl group. You know, until now I never thought of that as, like, unpleasant or anything.)

    Trademark for silicon carbide abrasive. Developed by Edward Goodrich Acheson in March 1891. Telescope-mirror grinders use it for coarse work, then switch to aluminum oxide (corundum) for a smooth finish.

    The term carborundum was coined by the inventor Acheson. I don't know what he had in mind, but it seems very likely he wanted to evoke the term corundum (only inferior in hardness to diamond and carborundum itself, among industrial abrasives then available). The substitution of carbo- for co- would indicate the carbon component (it's made by burning sand and coke together; sounds like a great premise for a chimera movie genre -- beach blanket tales from the crypt).

    Get oriented at the Mohs's Hardness Scale entry.

    carboxyl group
    The organic group typically written COOH in molecular formulas, and drawn in some variant of
    in structural formulas.

    The hydrogen from this group typically has a high dissociation constant, so molecules containing the group are acids (called ``carboxylic acids'') by the Arrhenius definition (and hence by all accepted definitions). When people say ``organic acid,'' they usually mean carboxylic acid. This saves a syllable at a small cost in precision, since most organic acids of interest, and among these most of the strong ones, are carboxylic acids.

    carboxylic acid
    An organic chemical that includes a carboxyl group (which is acidic).

    Carboxylic acids form salts in the usual way that acids do. In addition, carboxylic acids react with alcohols to form esters:

                     RCOOH        +     R'OH    -->   RCOOR'  +   H O
                carboxylic acid       alcohol         ester      water
    The reverse reaction is an example of hydrolysis. Usually when people say ``ester'' they mean an ester formed as above between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid, but alcohols can react in the same way with other acids (organic and not), and the term ester is applied to the resulting product.

    In principle, a molecule with two carboxyl groups is a diprotic acid, but it's an interesting case. Normally in a polyprotic acid, each successive hydrogen ionization is harder. In other words, the dissociation constant for the first proton is higher than for the second, and so forth. For a large organic molecule with two well-separated carboxyl groups, however, the ionizations should be essentially independent.

    A slide-in module containing microelectronics additions to an existing box (PC or other computing machine). Here's an example from Fujitsu.

    card catalog, card catalogue
    An increasing number of you, my dear readers, have never been initiated into the mysteries of the library card catalog. For your improvement, I excerpt here some information from a book called Library Guide for the Chemist, by Byron A. Soule, Sc.D. (New York and London: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1938). (I trust that for the time being, I needn't explain ``book.'') (And another parenthetical remark: other people besides chemists used libraries and card catalogs.) [Perhaps I should warn you that this entry is under construction, I've misplaced my copy of Library Guide, and there isn't any information about card catalogues here yet. There's more information on card catalogues at the OLCC entry, but you need a handkerchief to read that.]

    Now just to set things up and give you the big picture orientation: Libraries used to contain books, because no one else would have them and it seemed a shame to discard them. (Okay, that's just a guess, but there's supporting evidence in the fact that as of 2006, libraries still contain books. Check 'em out!) These books are usually in codex form: printed on separate sheets of paper that are bound together along one edge.

    [Usually codices but not always. Old Fine Hall at Princeton (a fine old hall where Einstein once had an office) houses the East Asian Studies department and its excellent collection of old Chinese books, mostly (okay, I only checked a couple of the book boxes, so I'm extrapolating) in the form of scrolls. One of my neighbors my first year in the NGC was a graduate student from Hong Kong who was studying Chinese literature. At some point, I remarked that I wouldn't have expected the US to be the place to go to study Chinese literature. He explained that the best collections of old Chinese literature were in Europe, because of all the stuff the Europeans took when they controlled China, and that the best place to study was the US, because the European collections were closed-stack, and American philanthropists had bought many European collections and donated them to American universities.

    It's been over 25 years since he told me this, so things may have changed. He was also bitter about the script modification adopted in the PRC, which has been promoted as a way to simplify writing and help increase literacy. His beef was that it made young Chinese effectively illiterate: unable to read the old literature. Script reform as effective censorship of the past -- why didn't I think of that? From periodic complaints I hear, it seems that unhappiness with the script reform persists in Taiwan.]

    The main or ultimate topic of this entry (the card catalog) is one we should wade carefully into; there may be hidden shallows in this deep topic, so an impatient dive could be disastrous. Let's start with a poem quoted before the preface of Soule's book:


    These are the masters who instruct us
    without rods and ferules,
    without hard word and anger,
    without clothes or money.

    If you approach them they are not asleep;
    if investigating you interrogate them
    they conceal nothing;
    if you mistake them, they never grumble;
    if you are ignorant they cannot laugh at you.

    The library of wisdom, therefore,
    is more precious than all riches,
    and nothing that can be wished for
    is worthy to be compared with it.

    Whosoever, therefore, acknowledges himself
    to be a zealous follower
    of truth, of happiness,
    of wisdom, of science,
    or even of faith,
    must of necessity make himself
    a lover of books.

    -- Richard de Bury, ``Philobiblon.''
    (Written in 1344, first published in 1474).

    ``The first great principle in learning to use a library is to acquire the knack of saving time.'' -- W.W. Bishop

    ``A month in the laboratory can often save thirty minutes in the library'' -- proverb.

    card game
    The way most people play card games, the cards are not disposable: you play a number of games with the same deck of cards, so you see the same cards a number of times, to the point where they look familiar, if not downright friendly.

    In Las Vegas, in order to avoid having the cards become too friendly with the customers, the card decks are retired frequently. At the MGM Grand and probably many others, they'll give you used decks to take home as souvenirs. They're marked, so you don't try to sneak them into a game, but they're identically marked, so you can use them in your own game.

    CertificateS for Amortizing Revolving Debts. Sounds like a gamble.

    Center for Addictions Assessment, Referral and Education. In Michiana. No webpage -- gee, they really are discreet!

    City Airport Rail Enterprise. A consortium of AMEC and the Royal Bank of Scotland as the preferred bidder and concessionaire to design, build and maintain a DLR city airport extension.

    Originally (1945) a consortium of 22 US relief organizations called Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe. As explained here, the acronym expansion continued to change while the acronym remained the same. In the 1950's, CARE stood for the Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere. Sometime in the 1990's it took its present expansion: Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc.

    Presumably, the name of this relief organization has influenced the use of ``care package'' to refer to a mailed gift of necessities, like a package of food from parents to child away at school.

    A company that provides vehicle history reports. The name is evidently intended to suggest ``car facts.''

    In a sensible world, this would be the name of some mobile cellular document compression protocol or the like. But this is not a sensible world: ``Carfax Publishing Company is one of the few publishers that concentrates solely on academic and learned journals. This specialisation has been a fundamental factor in our expansion from just one journal in the early 1970s to 175 in 1997.''

    The name comes from the original location of its offices: the cross-roads at the center of Oxford.

    There was a Carfax Gallery, founded in 1898, that exhibited such artists as William Rothenstein (a co-founder of the gallery), Charles Conder, Walter Sickert, and Max Beerbohm. Robert Ross became involved with the gallery in 1901, and you can read about the Carfax Gallery in

    [Carhenge jpeg]
    In Nebraska, north of Alliance. Note that they renamed a couple of roads a few years back, so you want to go into the center of town and ask directions. [Carhenge jpeg] Carhenge is just as large as Stonehenge, probably, and it's not cordoned off or anything. The images illustrating this entry are some of the photographs I took during my own pilgrimage there as the millennium drew nigh. I'll have some more detailed commentary after my pal Robert (a carchaeologist) has a look and emails me some verbiage.

    (I understand that there's a small imitation someplace not far from Oxford, in addition to the Ontario carhenge made from crushed cars. Catherine Yronwode tries to keep track of some of the most important tribute (physical) sites.)

    [Carhenge jpeg]

    [Carhenge jpeg]

    [Carhenge jpeg]

    [Carhenge jpeg]

    I'm pretty irritated by the degree of realism in movies. Usually when you get to know people well, it turns out that they are shallow caricatures of the deep persons you assumed they were. The only realistic movies are escapist fantasies.

    CARIbbean COMmunity. (That's the expansion I find on the organization's own webpages, but elsewhere I have also seen the expansion or interpretation ``Caribbean Community and Common Market.'')

    Canadian Association of Research Libraries.

    Chemically Amplified [photo]Resist Lithography.

    Colorado Association of Research Libraries. From a UB machine, this is convenient. Elsewhere, try going direct.

    Combined Arms Research Library. At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

    Computer-Assisted Regional Planning. Enough, already! Cf. CAK.

    A fishy fish. The Asian carp is occasionally a pet in the US. People tire of carp (I want to say carping, but that doesn't happen) and want a new pet, so they toss the pet into a local pond, where it has no natural predators, and pretty soon all you catch in that pond is no fish, or one big carp.

    Name of the Hiroshima team of the Japanese Pro Baseball; in the Central League. (Here's an enthusiast's page.) No longer ``Hiroshima Toyo Carp.'' That was when they were sponsored by Mazda. Pronounced `Kaahp.' Not Koi.

    car parts
    I just chatted with a guy at a preservationist/restorer car show in Mishawaka. He had a 1968 Corvette, and he asserted that early in the model year, manufacturers used to use up part stock from the previous year. He gave as example his own experience: he had needed to replace a lever on the 'vette's steering column, and when he tried to put in the 1968-model part it didn't fit; he tried the 1967 piece and it fit perfectly. [Of course, it may have been a problem with the database information. Here's a 2003 article reporting on an AAIA-sponsored study specifically concerned with data synchronization in the automotive aftermarket. ``The data errors are ubiquitous and expensive. More than half the parts available from suppliers are not reflected in the data files of their distributors; of the parts in common, around one-third require part number reconciliation; and of those that do match, there are still errors in other pertinent data fields in one out of every ten stock keeping units (SKUs).'']

    That show was open to pretty much all vehicles, even though it was sponsored by the Michiana Mopar Association. (As you know, of course, Mopar sells aftermarket parts for Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth vehicles. When Chrysler Corporation bought AMC (before eventually being bought in its turn by Mercedes), it kept the Jeep line in production and also retagged the Eagle line and continued selling those for a couple of years. It turns out that Mopar carries parts for AMC in general.

    On a flight once, I was seated next to an employee of one of the major auto parts retailers, like Advance Auto Parts or something. He was reading some internal company literature, and while he was in the bathroom, I learned that their marketing research had discovered that putting stores close together has an anti-intuitive benefit. If the stores have overlapping sales regions -- i.e., if they're close enough that some customers who go to one store could as easily go to the second store when it opens -- you might expect the new store to take business from the old store. But in practice, same-store sales at the older store generally increase after a new store opens nearby (presumably more than they might otherwise be expected to increase, if the market is growing). It's believed that people are just generally more aware of the company -- of both stores -- when two stores are advertising than when one is. If I had read further, I might have learned how close is too close (I think they were considering stores about five miles apart), but the wait to use the bathrooms wasn't that long. (I really appreciate all this insider information, of course, but I'd be happier if they seated me next to a babe who works in swimwear next time. Even happier if she travels in swimwear. Driving has its advantages. Once when I was driving cross-country, I had to get my car repaired in Houston; another customer at the shop was an attractive saleswoman for Johnson beauty products. It's no wonder the airlines are all going bankrupt: they can't figure out how to satisfy their customers' most basic needs!)

    Another marketing issue is who exactly the aftermarket retailers' competition is -- i.e., what their potential customers' alternatives are. Patronizing a different company's store? Putting up with a ratty car? Visiting junkyards? Scrapping the car and buying a new one? If other retailers are the main competition, then where they don't exist the market might be saturated with a single store. Don't laugh: Once I interviewed for a job in little Athens, Nowhere (or maybe Athens, Ohio; actually both), and happened to mention Meineke Muffler shops. They didn't have muffler shops in Athens; they had auto repair shops. Glad I didn't get the job.

    I mentioned the nearby-stores thing to Gary -- Don't ask me ``Gary who?'' If you'd been reading the glossary diligently you'd know that I don't say, and you'd also know who he is. -- and Gary told me about his dad. For a while when Gary was a kid, his dad had a furniture store. When they found out that another furniture store was, pardon the expression, moving in nearby on the same street, Gary asked his dad if that wouldn't be bad for business. His dad said it would be good, because it would help make their area the place where people would think of going to buy furniture. Eventually a big fire on that street put them out of business, and Gary's dad bought a gas station. Or maybe that was before, but it's interesting how stories line up. I visited the car show (the one sponsored by Michiana Mopar) with Robert (the carchaeologist -- remember?). Robert's dad used to distribute marketing materials to Getty gas stations.


    carpe diem
    Latin: `today is a good day to carpet.'

    Oh, alright -- I guess that some of you may have valid excuses for not already knowing this, so I'll give you a hint. Saul Bellow wrote a novella with the title Seize the Day. That's a very old expression.

    ``Carpe Diem'' was a song on the first Fugs album. It was a boring number -- the longest track (over five minutes), and the fewest distinct (in the sense of nonidentical) words: ``Carpe diem / Death is a-comin' in. [Repeat.]''

    In 1995, Metallica came out with a song called ``Carpe Diem Baby.'' The only other place in this glossary where we have Metallica information as of this writing is also Latin-related. See Agricola.

    Another apparent classical allusion in rock music is the title track of a 1981 AC/DC album: ``For Those About To Rock (We Salute You).'' This is presumably intended to evoke the famous salute to Claudius: Morituri te salutant. This is typically mistranslated or faithfully misquoted in English as `we who are about to die salute you.' AC/DC also gave their 1977 album the title ``Let There Be Rock.''

    In the late 1980's, the New Mexico State football team went from being just bad to scraping the profundities of the haplessness barrel. They made #9 on this list of all-time worst college football teams, where it is reported that a new assistant coach, watching his first practice said, ``Lord have mercy on our souls.'' The Aggies finally ended their 27-game losing skid in a blow-out upset of the 105th-ranked Titans of Cal State Fullerton.

    Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy.

    See, for example,
    M. D. Levenson, Physics Today, 30, #5, p. 44 (May 1977);
    A. B. Harvey, J. R. McDonald, and W. M. Tolles, Progress in Analytical Chemistry, p. 211 (New York: Plenum, 1977).

    Computer-Assisted Radiology & Surgery.

    Corrective-Action Reporting System. Acronym is obsolete, now use RCRIS.

    Championship Auto Racing Teams.

    cartridge brass
    A brass intermediate in composition between red brass and yellow brass: 70% Cu, 30% Zn.

    Calibrated AirSpeed.

    Cassiopeia. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Center for Auto Safety. Founded by Consumers Union and Ralph Nader in 1970.

    Channel-Associated Signaling.

    Chemical Abstracts Service. ``The World's Largest Most Comprehensive Databases of Chemical Information!''

    Choral Art Society.


    Classical Association of Scotland.

    College of Arts and Sciences. At UB, the former faculties of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (FNSM), Social Sciences (FSS), and Arts and Letters (FAL) were merged into a CAS in 1998.

    I've gotten used to the idea that social sciences are counted among the arts and sciences, but I never gave much thought to which. I realize now that I must unconsciously have classed them with the arts -- like metalworking and bricklaying. (As Sherlock Holmes pointed out -- when you've eliminated the impossible, then the truth must lie in whatever remains, no matter how improbable.) I noticed that Ball State (that's BS University now) has a College of Sciences and Humanities, and I thought: ``Cool -- they realized that these two belong together in a college separate from the social sciences!'' Eventually, I discovered that they had made the common error of regarding the social sciences as sciences. As if a fire dog were a breed of canine.

    Collision Avoidance System[s].

    Column-Address Strobe.

    Communication Application Software.

    Computer-Aided Surgery. Vide CA-.

    Cost Accounting Standards.

    Council of Academic Societies.

    Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Curriculum Assessment Service.


    Classical Association of South Africa. I guess (from the URL) that KVSA is the Afrikaans initialism.

    Clean Air Strategic Alliance. ``[A]n incorporated entity responsible for strategic management of air quality in Alberta,'' Canada.

    Computer-Assisted (CA-) Sperm-motion Analysis. Really! I didn't have to make this up. Here, an instance. FWIW, in Spanish casa means `he hunts,' `she marries,' and `house.' These meanings seem pretty unrelated. All over the semantic map. It's not really a big coincidence when this happens in Spanish. The language has a severe word shortage, so most words take a second job, maybe a third. Blame it on the economic austerity measures introduced to satisfy el FIM (`the IMF').

    Okay, okay -- if you want to be fussy about it, `he [or she or it] hunts' is spelled caza. To 90% of Spanish-speakers, that's a homophone of (un homófono de) casa.

    Oh, and, uh, it turns out that the two words that are not just homophones but homographs are related. The verb casar (`to marry') is derived from casa (`house'), in a development that might otherwise have yielded a verb meaning `to house.' Not to worry, though: casar also means `to nullify' and serves as a noun referring to the collection of houses constituting a village.

    National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Based at Columbia University. If they had made the en from National a part of the acronym, they could have pronounced it en casa -- Spanish for `at home.' There are already too many other organizations with the CASA acronym, as you can see here.

    Casa Amarilla
    A historic house in the city of Buenos Aires. The name means `Yellow House' in Spanish.

    Casa Azul
    A large farm (funda) in Chile, in the municipio de La Unión, provincia de Valdivia. The name means `Blue House' in Spanish. As noted in the colored houses entry, the South Korean presidential mansion is called the ``blue house'' also. I hope it's a subdued shade.

    Casa Blanca
    Spanish for `White House.' The US presidential mansion in Washington, DC. Cf. Casa Rosada.

    Casa Blanca and Casablanca are common place names in Spanish. The following list is just a sampling. It's taken largely from the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada and may be a little out of date, since the encyclopedia was published between about 1907 and 1930.


    There's a large farm by that name in the municipio de Florida, departamento de Puchacay, provincia de Concepción. The one-word form is standard for a department in another province of Chile.


    There are neighborhoods (entidades de población) called Casa Blanca in many municipalities:
                  Municipio        Provincia
                  ---------        ---------
                  Arboleas         Almería
                  Denia            Alicante
                  Félix            Canarias
                  Letur            Albacete
                  Lietor           Albacete
                  Oñate            Guipúzcoa
                  Vicar            Almería
    See also Casablanca.

    A spelling of casa blanca, Spanish for `white house,' sometimes used when that expression becomes a proper noun.

    There's a municipality of Casablanca in Columbia. According to the Diccionario Enciclopédico Planeta (1984): 274 km2 and 7339 inhabitants. Primary enterprises: sugar cane and corn farming, forestry, and gold mining.

    There's a town of Casablanca in Chile. According to the Diccionario Enciclopédico Planeta (1984): 955 km2 and 12,314 inhabitants. A rich farming area in the fifth region of of Aconcagua.

    There are neighborhoods (entidades de población) called Casablanca in many Spanish municipalities:

                  Municipio               Provincia
                  ---------               ---------
                  Abarán                  Murcia
                  Cospeito                Lugo
                  Firgas                  Canarias
                  Fuente Alamo            Murcia
                  Lorenzana               Lugo
                  San Carlos de la Rápita Tarragona
    See also Casa Blanca.

    One of the great movies of all time. And not a bad flick, either. The preceding link is to IMDb. There's Casablanca-related website called <cyberblanca.com>. Probably the best book on the making of Casablanca is the one by Aljean Harmetz that we cite at various places. Other entries with Casablanca content:

    Casa Colorada
    A historic house in the city of Buenos Aires. The name means `Red House' in Spanish.

    Casa Dorada
    A Peruvian hacienda in the district of Tambillo, in the province of Huamanga, in the department of Avacucho. According to its entry in the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada (which must date from no later than 1930), it had 40 inhabitants. What am I doing!? The name means `Gold House' in Spanish.

    Casa Pintada
    A place in Argentina. Specifically, it's in the district of Dolores, department of Chacabuco, province of San Luis. The name means `Painted House' in Spanish. Why -- that's almost as rare as a white house!

    Casa Roja
    A Guatemalan hamlet, in the municipio de Pueblo Nuevo, in the departamento de Retalhulen. It had a population of 85 according to its entry in the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada (dating no later than 1930). The name means `Red House' in Spanish.

    Casa Rosada
    `Pink House.' The Presidential mansion of Argentina, in BAires. I guess pink hides the blood stains better than white.

    I'm looking for other colored executive mansions, and I'm having a hard time finding them. I did, however, discover directions explaining that the ``Capt. [James & Emma Holt] White House will be the yellow house on your left.'' It's in Alamance County, N.C. How far is that from Orange County, N.C.?

    Center for Anthropology and Science Communications.


    The fellow who tells Brutus of Cicero's speech: ``it was Greek to me'' in the opening act of Shakespeare's ``Julius Caesar.'' For more unrelated stuff, see the gringo entry.

    Council Committee on Conformity Assessment. In French: Comité de l'ISO pour l'évaluation de la conformité. The French name has no letter a preceding the only ess. The English name has no letter c following any ess. This kind of asinine naming is hardly surprising for the ISO, but for a bunch of desk fascists like CASCO (doing very useful and necessary work, I'm sure), it's probably required.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) {Software | Systems} Engineering. Granted, software engineering without computers would seem feckless. Here's a random CASE link. (Yeah, yeah, it's in German. Too bad. I don't do SE or SWE for a living; go bother some other content provider. Here.)

    Central Arizona Speculative Fiction Society.

    Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household. The AP/Ipsos ``CASH Index'' is intended to be a sort of consumer confidence index, and is based on surveys of 1,000 US adults, conducted every two to five weeks since January 2002. The survey has questions covering attitudes about the local economy currently and in the future, personal finances ditto, ``comfort with making major purchases and other household purchases, confidence in job security and in the ability to save and invest for retirement or education, and job loss experience for self, friends and family in the recent past, as well as job loss expectations for self, friends and family in the near future.'' It's a pollster's license to kill, and best of all it can't be proven wrong because it's meaningless. Recalibrated in January 2004. She blinded me with science.

    Die Wirtschaftszeitung der Schweiz. German: `The Economics Newspaper of Switzerland.' Hmmm. Funny way to make up an acronym. Hmmm.

    While you're stroking your chin and disheveling your beard, visit the Johnny Cash and Johnny Paycheck items under the Nomenclature is Destiny entry.

    Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services (a division of the CLA).

    Council of American Survey Research Organizations.

    Complete Active-Space Self-Consistent Field (SCF) (theories; quantum chemical calculations). Also called Multiple Configuration Self-Consistent Field (MCSCF). Sort of like following SCF Hartree-Fock (HF) with a configuration-interaction (CI) calculation using only a few (presumptively) most important configuration interactions. Except that the HF orbitals are optimized simultaneously with the CI.

    Capillary-Action Shaping Technique.

    CAsk for (temporary) Storage and Transport Of nucleaR material. I'm not sure there's an official position on which letters of the expansion are represented in the acronym.


    Classical Association of the Southwestern United States. The organization was being resuscitated after being moribund for a few years. The fall 2000 meeting was the first in half a dozen years. Late in 2005, I heard CASUS was ``trying to revise and expand its email list.'' They did have meetings each year from 2006 to 2008 that I am aware of, at least, but as of 2010 they don't have a Facebook page.

    California Achievement Test. Assessment tool for K-12 students. Cf. ITBS.

    Center for Advanced Technology. For example, the New York State Center for Advanced Sensor Technology, designated by the NYS governor in July 1998 for SUNY Stony Brook, known as ``Sensor CAT.''

    Center for Assistive Technology. An affiliate of UB's Occupational Therapy department, works closely with the community agencies Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) and Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), serving the entire Western New York area.

    Children's Apperception Test. A version of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT, q.v.) for children. There is also a Senior Apperception Technique (SAT) for the other end of the age spectrum.

    ChlorAmphenicol Transferase.

    Citizens Area Transit. Buses in Las Vegas, NV.

    ``Citizens'' sounds so burgherisch, so sober and responsible. Just the sort of ideas you associate with Las Vegas.

    In 1986, the last time the APS held a meeting in Las Vegas (and it was the last time; hotels were appalled by our sobriety and other unwelcome virtues), I visited family in LA, rented a car and drove in. Caught in traffic, I saw a taxi beside and slightly ahead of me, nosing toward my lane like he wanted go ahead of me... and then he did the most outrageous, stupid, unexpected thing one could have imagined: he gave me the right of way and waited for me to pass. Confusion! Anger! He could have caused an accident! They should confiscate his medallion!

    Rule of the road #1: DO WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU.

    If you don't someone will be surprised and an accident is very likely. If you're driving a taxi, you should cut people off and turn without signaling.

    Sheesh. Fortunately I was able to handle the emergency, and no one was hurt.

    Classroom Assessment Techniques.

    Clear-Air Turbulence. Technical designation of times during a flight when beverages may be served to passengers.

    Computed Axial Tomography. Here's something (down when I looked) from LLNL. Also (more once, and less often now) expanded Computer-Assisted (CA-) Tomography.

    Computer-Adaptive Testing. The questions asked are at a difficulty level corresponding to the proficiency level of the person tested, as estimated from responses to preceding questions. In other words, the test adapts to sample ability with questions of appropriate difficulty.

    Computer-Aided Transcription.

    Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. The AAP pleonasm ``CATA Alliance'' is common.


    Inflammation of the mucous membranes, especially of the upper respiratory tract. Often used synonymously with common cold, not surprisingly given that diagnosis of cold is generally by symptomatology, and catarrh is the major one. Etymology ultimately from the Greek: kata down + rhein flow.

    The principal requirement in a word that is a synonym of catarrh is that it not have any nasal consonants, so you can pronounce it when you've got it. The best thing about the word catarrh is that you can hawk up phlegm just by prolonging the second syllable.

    Class, Architecture, Topology (fold family) and Homologous superfamily, a project at University College London (UCL) for the classification of protein domains, based on data archived at PDB.

    Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters. A chapter of the American Translators Association serving North and South Carolina.

    Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview[ing|s]. This is not a hypothetical category of software; Wincati is one CATI product.

    Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application. DMIS-compliant software for coordinate measuring machines (CMM.

    You know, the word calibre, referring to gun-muzzle size, is a corruption of the word caliper, which one used to measure it with.

    Common Applications and Tools Integration Services.

    CATastrOphe. Used as a verb or noun by model-rocket crowd; refers to an unfortunate event befalling a rocket. There is a camp that regards the CATO as an acronym. This affects the pronunciation. Learn more from the rec.models.rockets FAQ.


    All through the OJ Simpson murder trial, I kept hoping, thinking, there's got to be a way. Maybe the Senate could have held its own hearings, called Brian ``Kato'' Kaelin as a witness, and at the conclusion of his testimony, he could have said it: ``uh, delenda est Carthago.'' It would have made my century.

    Gloss for those who, uh, don't remember:
    It is recorded that Cato the Elder used to end all his speeches in the Roman Senate with that phrase, which meant `Carthage is [to be] destroyed.' Rome did destroy Carthage in the third Punic war, although the business about sowing the soil there with salt is now generally believed to be just a story invented later.

    Cato the Younger was a partisan of Pompey against Julius Caesar, and committed suicide after the defeat of Pompey. This Cato's daughter Portia was married to Brutus, who also eventually opposed Julius Caesar.

    Hmmm. This seems to be a religion. Pretty popular in Spanish-speaking areas. Taking an edjercated guess, I'd say it's probably the worship of cats. Universal cats.

    Computer-Aided Training Systems.

    Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint/Scriptural Study.

    You know, it's pretty unusual for an organization to get a name that is a sentence rather than a noun phrase. Verbs power strong language; I guess they're trying to make a powerful statement about a computer (no article; is ``Computer'' its name? how quaint!) that assisted tools for study. I guess that's it. Either that, or the stonecutter lacked a stencil for the hyphen, and the name is just an ordinary noun phrase about Computer-Assisted Tools further specified by a prepositional phrase.

    ``Computer-Assisted,'' as I believe I point out elsewhere, is a rather widely used term. One problem with hackneyed phrases is that their use becomes a bit unthought. For example, what exactly is a computer-assisted tool? We can gain some insight by considering analogous expressions, such as power-assisted steering. This is steering that works without (engine) power, but that works better with a power assist. Obviously, then, any computer-assisted tool exists independently of any computer, and can be used without a computer, but works better with a computer. That's why it's not called a computer-based tool, or software study tool. I'm going to think up some examples of computer-assisted tools real soon, in the interests of scholarship.

    I think ``fax'' here stands for facts. In other contexts, ``fax'' stands for facsimile, which may be the opposite of a fact.

    ``[A] member-owned information organization serving producers in all segments of the cattle business. Cattle-Fax is a member-directed corporation, governed by a board of directors, elected from the membership. The staff of Cattle-Fax is comprised of [sic; they mean comprises] market analysts, research analysts, data collectors, an information services department and service personnel.''

    That and more here. Really, there is no more accurate and complete compilation of the facts of cattle than the cattle themselves. Eventually, then, as they improve their operation, when you ask for detailed information about one of their beeves, they'll just send its genome description and some historical data to your phone, and a device on your end will clone a facsimile for your inspection.

    Canadian Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. (French: Association canadienne des professeurs de rédaction technique et scientifique -- ACPRTS).


    A Roman poet (G. Valerius Catullus). Some sites noted on the classics list (CLASSICS-L):

    You should be careful pronouncing Catullus, that it doesn't sound like Catallus, the Roman army general. The error is unbelievably frequent. In fact, until Mark B. pointed it out, I had even spelled Catullus as Catallus above, making an oddly meaningless sentence.

    Community Antenna TeleVision. (Cable TV.) CATV is also now expanded as ``CAble TV.''

    Control Arithmetic Unit.

    Clark Atlanta University. Formed in 1988 from the merger of Clark College, a four-year liberal arts college, and Atlanta University, which offered only graduate degrees. A privately operated HBCU.

    Canadian Association of University Business Officers. In French: ACPAU. Canadian analogue of NACUBO. I'd really like to pun on George Eliot's or Umberto Eco's Causubon, or even Caliban, but it's too great an alphabetical stretch.

    Citizens Against UFO Secrecy.

    Aristotle identified four causes:
    1. Formal Cause
    2. Material Cause
    3. Efficient Cause
    4. Final Cause

    Final cause is purpose. Efficient cause is what we call cause in the sense of cause-and-effect; efficient cause is what we moderns think of as the determinant cause. Material cause is what a thing is made of. On 96.10.25 the Stammtisch considered the possibility that analytical chemists have Aristotle all wrong, but we went off on a tangent about saponification process [200] and Maimonides [613] before we could reach a firm conclusion.

    Everyone mistakenly thinks of formal cause as ``name.'' Well, alright, not everyone, but I misunderstood for twenty-one years and nobody corrected me. The formal cause is really the identity of a thing in a fundamental sense -- related to Plato's ideal forms but inhering in the thing perceived, rather than in some thing outside the cave that is not directly perceived. For Ari, the formal cause is determining.

    Okay now, some email input from an appropriate Stammtisch member allows me to raise the quality of discussion a notch: there are relationships among the causes...

    In Metaphysics 1050a8, Aristotle wrote ``The initiating principle [arche] is that for the sake of which a process of becoming takes place, and this is always the end or goal [telos].'' Nearby he also writes ``Matter [hyle] exists in a potential state, just because it may attain to its form [eidos]; and when it exists actually, then it is in its form.''

    As it happens, I can understand the meaning of these passages. The meaning of these passages is that it may require some study to understand Aristotle's philosophy.

    When Elizabeth lies abed at night and wonders what went wrong with the kids, she may think she shouldn't have married such a mean guy. The consort is a great supporter of the WWF, which seems completely unobjectionable. An example of really poorly organized writing; I don't know what the point is either. Blank verse haiku.

    caustic soda
    Lye. Sodium Hydroxide. NaOH. Sometimes just called ``caustic.'' Back when he was a trucker, Dave (you probably don't know him) used to deliver a lot of caustic soda to local gasohol plants. Caustic soda and sulfuric acid are used to raise and lower, respectively, the pH of the gasohol mash.

    Canadian Association of University Teachers. Same as l'ACPPU.

    Canadian Association of University Teachers. Same as l'ACPPU.

    Canadian Association of University Teachers of German / L'Association des Professeurs d'Allemand des Universités Canadiennes. It ``was founded by sixteen professors of German from ten universities who met at the Université de Montréal during the 1962 Learned Societies' Conference. As the Association has evolved, its main objective has become the promotion of studies and research in Germanic Studies at the post-secondary level.''


    Classical Association of Virginia. There's also a state Junior Classical League for Virginia.

    Constant Angular Velocity. The term is usually applied to CD and DVD drives. A CD or DVD used for data storage is usually operated at CAV. For playing music, a CD is normally run at constant linear velocity (CLV) to maintain a constant data rate. The motor speed decreases from 495 to 212 rpm as the read head moves away from the center to keep the disc moving past the read head at CLV.

    CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment. Yes, it was developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, but the cee does not stand for Chicago. At the time the system was under development, that university was officially the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle.'' Consequently (after a manner of speaking), the cee also doesn't stand for ``Circle.'' There are good Greek restaurants in the area; I had my first retsina in one close by that's built into a cellar -- that's sort of cave-like. CAVE is a bit cave-like too, since it's a spatially immersive environment, so it's not an utter XARA. It's a trademarked ``room-sized advanced visualization tool that combines high-resolution, stereoscopic projection and 3-D computer graphics to create the illusion of complete sense of presence in a virtual environment.''

    If you have a library handy, you could see C. Cruz-Neira, D. J. Sandin, and T. A. DeFanti, ``Virtual Reality: The Design and Implementation of the CAVE,'' Proceedings of the SIGGRAPH '93 Computer Graphics Conference (ACM SIGGRAPH, August 1993), pp. 135-142.

    On the other hand, if you have access to the internet, you can follow this link to Fakespace Systems Inc, which also markets RAVE.

    CAVE requires viewers to wear special goggles; the illusion of depth is created by displaying distinct left- and right-eye images projected in linearly polarized light. (This causes a confusing double image if a viewer tilts his head.) Similar systems include NAVE and BNAVE.

    (Flight) Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited.

    Computer-Aided (CA-) Warehouse Engineering. A special case of CASE (...Software...). The ``warehouse'' in question here is a data warehouse (DW).

    Softwarehouse -- now there's a word.


    Classical Association of Western New York. That's right, rhymes with Shawnee. There's also a state-wide organization (CAES).

    A number of years ago, George Constantou was its head. His niece was property manager where I rented an apartment.

    Computer-Aided whatever. Vide CA-.

    Clean As You Go. Pronounced ``cage.'' Restaurant jargon.

    Cab-to-Body (distance). Precisely, the separation between the truck cab and the truck body (the body is the cargo area). Okay, that's not precise.

    For more, see Chassis Dimensions in the NTEA's glossary of Truck Equipment Terms.

    Cecil B. DeMille.


    Circuit Breaker. Serves the function of a fuse, but doesn't burn out each time it trips. See the GFCB entry for an example of how one kind of CB works.

    Citizens' Band. A range of frequencies used for two-way intervehicle radio communication. Popular fad in the 1970's.

    CB Frequencies
    Channel Frequency (in MHz)
    1 26.965
    2 26.975
    3 26.985
    4 27.005
    5 27.015
    6 27.025
    7 27.035
    8 27.055
    9 27.065
    10 27.075
    11 27.085
    12 27.105
    13 27.115
    14 27.125
    15 27.135
    16 27.155
    17 27.165
    18 27.175
    19 27.185
    20 27.205
    21 27.215
    22 27.225
    23 27.235


    Classical Bulletin. Cover date seems to lag real time by a bit. Maybe this is appropriate to the discipline. Catalogued by TOCS-IN. Published by Bolchazy-Carducci (BCP).



    ColumBium. Obsolete chemical abbreviation for obsolete name for Niobium (Nb). The term columbite, however, is not obsolete, and columbium is still used in commerce.

    Common Base. A BJT configuration in which the base is connected to the common ground.

    Companion of the Bath. In the U.K., this is an honor bestowed by the King or the, uh, Queen. They also have something called the ``Order of the Garter.'' They're pervy.

    French Kings Louis XIII and XIV used to, uh, maybe this isn't appropriate for a family glossary.

    Computer-Based (whutzitz). Overly productive prefix, though not half as egregious as CA-.

    Conduction Band (of a semiconductor or semimetal). Cf. VB.

    Confined to Barracks. This is used as a punishment in the army. It might be hard to arrange in the navy.

    [Football icon]

    Cornelius Bennet. A Buffalo Bills linebacker (LB) for nine years until 1996, when as a free agent he took a better offer to go elsewhere. Also known as `the Biscuit.' I think that one of the major fast-food chains had a local (that meant Buffalo-area when I wrote it) promotion for a CB burger in the early nineties.

    According to ongoing research conducted by someone who once sat next to me on an AA flight (OKC to O'Hare), most people can't name twenty active football players. My suspicion is that most of the twenty active football players they can't name are linemen.

    [Football icon]

    Corner Back. A defensive position in American football.


    Cumulo-nimBus cloud. Abbreviation apparently used by airplane pilots.

    Cell-Based Array. ASIC architecture.

    ChloroBenzoic Acid. Some aerobic biphenyl-utilizing bacteria can convert toxic PCB's into CBA's. Other bacteria exist that break down CBA's further.

    One barrier to the practical utilization of this biodegradation process is the fact that PCB's are hydrophobic (i.e., nonpolar, not water-soluble), whereas the bacteria live in moist sections of the soil. In order to accelerate the process, surfactants such as QS have been considered (see F. Fava, D. Di Gioia: ``Effects of Triton X-100 and Quillaya Saponin on the ex situ bioremediation of a chronically polychlorobiphenyl-contaminated soil,'' Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 50, #5, pp 623-630 (1998)).

    Christian Booksellers Association.

    Christian Brothers Academy. A Catholic high school in Albany, NY.

    Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    C band
    Conventional BAND. The conventional band for fiber-optic communications, wavelengths in the range 1530-1565 nm, also called the 1550 nm band. Cf. L band.

    Cattlemen's Beef Board. Common name for the Cattlemen's Beef Research and Promotion Board. How blithely they assume that advocacy and the disinterest demanded by research can cohabit.

    ``[O]versees the collection of $1.00 per head on all cattle sold in the U.S. and $1.00 equivalent on imported cattle, beef and beef products and is responsible for approving the annual budget for its national checkoff-funded programs.''

    The Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

    Canadian-Born Chinese. Cf. FOB.

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The French initialism is SRC.

    (To talk back to As It Happens, email <aih@toronto.cbc.ca>).

    I have seen the CBC described as the party organ of the Liberal Party. To the extent that parallels can be drawn, the Liberal Party of Canada corresponds to the Democratic Party of the US.

    On January 22, 2008, the CBC sponsored a debate among candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination, ahead of South Carolina's Democratic primary on January 26. Neil Young and the NHL, Mark Steyn and now this! We're being recolonized! Sound the alarm, it's... Oh, it's the Congressional Black Caucus, sponsoring a debate on MLK Day.

    Complete Blood Count.

    Congressional Black Caucus. Hey! I just noticed this: there are no Republicans in the CBC. What are they, prejudiced or something?

    For our serious, solid-information-seeking glossary readers (at least the ones we haven't driven off): any actually useful link or content has been segregated in this CBCF entry.

    Corrupt Bastards Club. In March 2006, the regular trickle of stories about government corruption in Alaska began to flow a little faster with stories about 12 lawmakers who had been receiving graft from VECO, an oilfield services company. One day that Spring, a man walked into a bar where Alaska's House Finance Committee Co-Chairman Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) was sitting with some fellow legislators who, like him, were implicated in the scandal. The man walked up and said ``You corrupt bastards.'' As Chenault said later, ``that name stuck.'' They even made up some hats with the device ``CBC'' on them. (Yes, ``device'' is a rather old-fashioned word for this. That's why I used it.) I assume they were hats of the baseball- or feed-cap type.

    Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. (Opposes breast cancer in Canada.)

    Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (Favors blacks in congress. I know, this proliferation of CBCF's is very confusing. We're here to help!)

    Central Bank Certificate[s] of Indebtedness.

    Centralized Broadband Control Unit.

    CannaBiDiol. Psychoactive element in pot.

    Cash Before Delivery. As the saying goes, ``In God We Trust, all others pay cash.''

    Central Business District.

    Commerce Business Daily. Where DARPA posts the authoritative versions of its BAA's. Also at this site.

    Connectionless Broadband Data Service.

    Charting By Exception. A documentation system developed in 1983 by staff nurses at St. Luke's Hospital in Milwaukee. In CBE, only significant findings or exceptions to norms are recorded.

    Chemical and Biochemical Engineering.

    Chemical Beam Epitaxy.

    Commander, Order of the British Empire.

    Competency-Based Education. Also called performance-based education. A movement, or a trend, or a BIG NEW IDEA every few years, that educational accomplishment should be measured not by number of courses (somehow) satisfactorily completed, but instead by the acquisition of identifiable competencies.

    Conduction Band Edge. The energy of the lowest-lying state in the conduction band (CB).

    This entry used to claim the CBE was the ``energy surface of the conduction band as a function of momentum coördinate.'' WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa! Viewed in momentum space, the conduction band is all surface: at any point in momentum space (more precisely in the space of crystal momentum or quasimomentum), there is a discrete set of energies that an electron may have.

    Council of Biology Editors. The expansion with Biological in place of Biology seems to be quite common, but when you think about it, this is an instance in which the attributive noun is clearly to be preferred, if you're not trying to distinguish, say, human from robotic editors.

    The CBE was founded in 1957, as the Conference of Biological Editors, by a joint action of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and the US government's National Science Foundation (NSF). The Conference was changed to Council some time between 1964 and 1972.

    A major activity of the organization is the production of a style manual. Interestingly, or perhaps not so interestingly, while the issuing entity had Biology in its name, the manual's original title was Style Manual for Biological Journals. A case can be made for that, I suppose.

    The sixth edition, published in 1994, broadened the scope of its style recommendations beyond biological disciplines (``microbial, plant, zoological, and medical sciences'' -- why not botanical and animal? why exclude clinical medical research?) to science generally. The cynical view (mine) is that this was a territorial encroachment, a power play, a bid to stick their noses in other people's business. An alternative and fashionable view is that science is rapidly becoming highly interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinarity is an occasionally useful idea because it gives people with money and a negligible knowledge of science the illusion of understanding. In fact, as any fool can see, specialization continues to increase. Interdisciplinarity takes the form of cooperation between specialists who understand each others' work only at a what-can-you-do-for-me level.

    Whatever its virtues, the manual seems to be consulted primarily as an arbiter of the somewhat arbitrary conventions of citation. We're talking about scholarly or at least putatively scholarly research here. The most widely used citation style standards seem to be those of the MLA and the APA style manuals, with those of the CBE and University of Chicago style manuals in distant third and fourth places. On the other hand, the most widely used style manuals (as such) are probably the MLA, APA, and U. of Chicago, and fourth place would probably go to Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. That's my impression, anyway. Outside of academia, I imagine that the most popular style manuals would be those of the University of Chicago, the AP, and the New York Times, in that order.

    In 2000, six years after making its move with the style manual, CBE changed its name to the Council of Science Editors (CSE). As of 2007, there has not been another edition of the style manual, and its citation standards are still widely referred to as the CBE conventions/standards/whathaveyou. I suppose this will change when the CSE issues a new style manual.

    Convergent-Beam Electron Diffraction. A convergent (i.e., focused) electron beam produces a diffraction pattern in a TEM. By taking the pattern over a small region, one avoids the averaging that occurs if a broad field is sampled, and one obtains more detail in the diffraction pattern. In principle, of course, one can take this too far: if the beam size becomes comparable to the wavelength, one loses resolution. In practice, that's not a problem. It would be wonderful if focusing that well were possible.

    Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers Association. Now ITI.

    Canadian Bridge Federation. Contract bridge.

    Cleaner-Burning Gasoline.

    Ceramic Ball Grid Array. Cf. CCGA below. Click on this search for images.

    Country, BlueGrass & Blues. These are the kinds of music originally performed, or planned to be performed, at a club founded in New York City in December 1973. It was founded by Hilly Kristal, who had previously managed the Village Vanguard, a renowned jazz club. Kristal's new club had a capacity of 300 and was typically described as ``small'' or ``cramped.'' Cramped it must have been, and small for 300, but I don't think 300 has been unusually small for a jazz club since pop went rock in the 1960's. Anyway, the awning and the signs said CBGB (and in smaller letters OMFUG, q.v.); the club was referred to as CBGB's.

    Kristal soon discovered that there wasn't much of a market for more C, BG, or B in the city. The bar was in the Bowery, appropriately enough for what eventually became a trendy venue for the 1970's punk rock movement. (For most of the twentieth century, the Bowery was a blighted area. Jim Croce's ``You Don't Mess Around With Jim'' begins ``Uptown got its hustlers / Bowery got its bums.'')

    CBGB's was still there as of August 2005, having dodged the landlord's attempt to evict it. However, the landlord, not exactly surprisingly, refused to renew the lease, and that expired in September 2005. Lawyers for Kristal managed to forestall the closing for a year, which shows how much you can do when you haven't a legal leg to stand on and everyone knows it. The club will closed Sunday, October 15, 2006. Hilly Kristal, still the owner after all those years, was 74 years old and battling lung cancer, but said he planned to reopen in Las Vegas.

    Central Bank of Iceland.

    Charles Babbage Institute. Center for the History of Computing.

    Computer-Based Instrument.

    The Confederation of British Industry. ``The UK's leading independent employers' organisation. Representing public and private sector companies employing 10 million of the workforce - it is Britain's business voice.'' Until August 1965, it was the FBI (where the I represents a plural).

    Confidential Business Information.

    Content-Based Image Retrieval.

    See Sean Landis's pages.

    Content-Based Image Retrieval System[s].

    See Sean Landis's pages.

    Central Bank of Jordan.

    Collector-Base Junction. The pn junction of a BJT that is reverse-biased in the normal (forward-active) operating regime. Cf. EBJ.

    Cross-Bridge Kelvin Resistor. A two-dimensional Transmission Line Model (TLM). Cf. CER.

    Community-Based Learning.

    China's Cultural Revolution was begun by Chairman Mao in 1966. In intention, it was something like one of the Great Awakenings that the US has experienced since the colonial era: it was meant to bolster religious belief. In China, the religion was an economic messianism called Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. Unlike the Great Awakenings, participation in the Cultural Revolution was not optional. There were some other differences, such as the mortality rates, but I want to focus on an aspect relevant to this entry. That was this little thing we call the ``Down to the Countryside Movement,'' begun by Mao in December 1968, which continued for a decade. It wasn't a walk in the park. It was an involuntary ``movement,'' in this case of ``young intellectuals'' into the countryside, where they were educated by the peasants. The education consisted of learning what farm servitude was like, first hand. Most of the ``young intellectuals'' were recent college graduates, but some were not. A friend of mine told me some of his experience of this internal exile, begun before he finished high school. After some time, he got word from his mother of rumors that the Movement would soon be ended; she urged him to try to prepare for the college qualification exams. There were no useful textbooks available, but he and a couple of friends found an educated fellow who taught them whatever he could, which included mathematics to the calculus level. (When you spend a couple of decades exiling intellectuals to the sticks, you're bound to end up with some sharp sticks.) My friend did well enough on his exams to continue on to college.

    This is very different from CBL, of course. But every experience can be a learning experience, so the fact normally goes without saying. When it doesn't go without saying -- whenever an intrinsically noneducational activity is explicitly labeled as learning or education -- it strongly suggests some dishonesty afoot. Okay, here's a CBL definition from a useful email: ``courses, often called service-learning, typically offer students opportunities to provide some meaningful service over an extended period of time that meets a need or goal that is defined by a community group or agency.''

    Cf. CBR, EL. Uh-oh... namespace collision straight ahead!

    Computer-Based Learning.

    This term dates from before widespread web use. It meant something like learning based on an educational computer program distributed on floppy disks. Nowadays it might mean googling for answers. I can't assign take-home exams any more, because any problem sufficiently simple to assign for an exam is liable to have an answer available somewhere on the web.

    Did you say ``honor code''? Look, that might have been effective when cheating normally required the cooperation of a second person, typically drawn from a small pool of fellow students who had also pledged to follow the honor code. With the Internet, it effectively takes only one to tango, and the dance floor fills up fast.

    Cincinnati Bell Long Distance. If this acronym seems strangely and inappropriately familiar, they probably just gave out a gazillion free tee shirts to your undergraduates as well.

    Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute. ``[T]he most unique women's organization in America. [Take it from me girls, or ladies or whatever: relativizing absolute adjectives is so yesterday.] Founded in 1993, our mission is to provide leadership, mentoring, and learning opportunities for girls and women across the country.''

    CoalBed Methane. Mostly in the form of a monolayer of adsorbed methane.

    CannaBiNol. Psychoactive element in pot.

    Christian Broadcast Network. One day Pat Robertson was driving along and the voice of God commanded him to buy a television station. I recall reading that the Lord was very specific about the wattage, too. See also SRN.

    CommanderBond.Net. ``Bond At Its Best.'' (My emphasis.) A great place for male bonding and for providing eyeballs to highly-focused-demographic ads. Hmmm... perhaps not enough of them. They accept donations.

    More on promotional activities: After co-starring as Major Anya Amasova in ``The Spy Who Loved Me'' (1977), Barbara Bach kvetched about having had to kiss icky Roger Moore, who was old enough to be her father. (Not her exact words; I'm going from memory here, okay?) Moore, whose first movie role was as a soldier in a 1945 movie, was 50 at the time and is three years older than Sean Connery. In a 1996 interview, Moore said, ``I have a couple of projects that are simmering. One is a remake of a French film which is almost ready. All we need is to find a leading lady old enough to look as if she would be interested in being kissed by me.''

    Barbara Goldbach was born August 27, 1947. (Not sure when the name changed -- maybe when she started modeling for the Ford Agency at age 16.) When she was 18 she married 29-year-old Augusto Gregorini. BB co-starred with Ringo Starr in a stupid movie called ``Caveman'' (1891; sorry, make that 1981 -- there weren't any pterodactyls in 1891). Starr (Richard Starkey) and she married on her thirty-fourth birthday (he was 40).

    Cubic Boron Nitride. Marketed as the abrasive Borazon (tm). Hardness 9.9 is almost equal to diamond (10) and larger than its hexagonal allotrope (the BN that is stable at room temperature; 9.7 on the Mohs scale). CBN is particularly well-suited to lapping ferrous materials, because diamond reacts chemically with iron (more precisely, Fe catalyzes the conversion of diamond to its thermodynamically stable allotrope -- graphite; the diamond is described, with some unintended humor, to ``carbonize'').

    Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology. ``CBNC is a not-for-profit corporation established to develop and administer practice-related examinations in the field of Nuclear Cardiology and to award certification to those physicians who successfully complete the CBNC examination [CENC] and credentialing process.''

    It was founded in 1996. The Stammtisch Beau Fleuve is a more venerable organization.

    Chief Benefits Officer. There are others -- collect them all!

    Community-Based Organization. An NGO (q.v.) operating at a local level.

    Congressional Budget Office. Legislative-branch accounting agency, charged with performing analyses necessary for the budgeting process. Functions similar to, but performed independently of, the corresponding executive-branch agency (OMB). The other two Congressional research agencies, the CRS and GAO, have somewhat broader missions.

    Since the CBO is ultimately controlled by the majority party in Congress, one might expect it to reflect a partisan bias in predicting future US economic performance (such predictions are needed for estimating tax revenues and public assistance expenses, for example). Nevertheless, over the years the accuracy of its predictions has compared favorably with that of nonpolitical agencies. Tentatively, I think this could conceivably perhaps possibly be taken, arguably at least, as demonstrating personal integrity.

    Coulomb-Blockade Oscillations.


    Chicago Board Options Exchange. For years the CBOE was the largest stock-options exchange in the US, and Amex the second-largest. That was before the ISE. By 2004 the long-time top four options exchanges (the Philadelphia and Pacific exchanges follow CBOE and Amex) had each come down a notch.

    The CBOE and the Amex compete with each other on most of the contracts they list. Exceptions include options on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and some other benchmarks for which the CBOE has an exclusive license. On the other hand, the Amex offers S&P 500 depositary receipts, called ``Spiders,'' and other ``exchange-traded funds'' that track benchmarks. The Amex and other exchanges offer options on many ETF's, but no options market offers contracts on the Spiders.

    Chicago Board Of Trade.

    Central Bank Of Turkey.

    Convolution BackProjection. An approach to computed tomography.

    US Customs and Border Protection. A part of the Homeland Security Department.

    Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

    Class-Based Queuing.

    Community-Based learning with Research. A ``service-learning course'' (always good to have the quotation marks; CBL) that involves research in the community. See also EL.

    Constant Bit Rate. CBR connections are often further characterized as ``CBR interactive'' and ``CBR noninteractive.''

    Conductive-Bridge RAM.

    There used to be a ``Christie Brinkley Resource Center'' in the Hollywood neighborhood of Geocities. It seems to have been there as recently as Jan. 1, 1998. I don't remember much about the site except the clever name. I think it had pictures. Later, 5950 at Hollywood was replaced with something pretty worthless (about which I remember nothing), and last I looked it had gone 404, probably bounced for lack of activity. Do you realize that geocities was originally envisioned by its creators as a way of redressing the lack of gay/lesbian content on the web? The law of unintended consequences is draconian on the web. The glossary you're reading started out as a list of terms for students taking my microelectronic circuits course.

    I just looked around, and found another CBRC -- possibly the same one at a new URL. The site seems extremely bare, but I guess that's how we like it.

    Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear. In other words, hazardous in all the usual ways that materials are thought to be hazardous when described as ``hazmat.'' (Nuclear hazards practically get double billing, but see CBRN WMD.) Of course, materials in sufficient quantity above one may be gravitationally hazardous. It's not a fall-out problem, just a fall-down one.

    Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Weapon[s] of Mass Destruction. Radiological weapons may use materials similar to those of nuclear weapons, but they are meant to destroy primarily irradiating the targets (prospective victims) or their environment rather than mechanically by the release of large quantities of explosive energy.

    Center for Biological Sequence Analysis. This is pretty mysterious: they were clever enough to come up with ``DOGS,'' but they weren't able to name themselves the ``Center for Biological Sequencing'' or else use CBSA as an acronym? Must have been administrative.

    Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. The bureau's non-Dutch webpages offer official names in American (Central Bureau of Statistics) and Canadian (``Statistics Netherlands''). Even though the Netherlands has a constitutional monarch, they don't use either of the obvious British forms (``The Dutch Bureau'' or ``Royal Statistical Bureau''). Anyone can see that they're dissing the Brits. It's obviously due to hard feelings on account of the loss of New Netherland in the seventeenth century, and the recent Boer War (around 1900). Who would have guessed they'd hold a grudge for so long!? Get over it.

    The CBS style is also used by a couple of former Dutch colonies. Indonesia, most of the former Dutch East Indies (including Dutch New Guinea, discussed at .do), had a Biro Pusat Statistik that goes by BPS (q.v.). This translates `Central Bureau of Statistics,' one of the names given on its English pages, though the official English name seems to be Statistics Indonesia, which leads to ``Statistics Indonesia of The Republic of Indonesia'' (for Biro Pusat Statistik Republik Indonesia). The loan word Biro in the official name has now been replaced by the native Badan.

    Suriname, a Dutch colony that in 1975 achieved full legal independence (that doesn't mean it's independent of financial aid from the Netherlands), has an Algemeen Bureau voor de Statistiek (`General Bureau for Statistics').

    The Netherlands Antilles, formerly known as the Dutch West Indies, has been part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1954 (like Suriname from 1954 to 1975). This status seems to be more like that of Puerto Rico's as a commonwealth territory of the US, rather than like that of independent countries of the British Commonwealth. Aruba was originally part of the Netherlands Antilles, but was granted separate independent status, still within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in 1986. Aruba has a Central Bureau of Statistics. (Stay tuned: it seems the Netherlands Antilles may be dissolved, with Curaçao and Bonaire becoming independent countries and the smaller islands becoming a province of the Netherlands, or something of that sort.)

    Central Bureau of Statistics. I guess this hasn't been trademarked. In addition to the Netherlands and a couple of its former possessions (see CBS entry above), the name is used (either directly or as English translation of the name in local vernacular) by the governments of Kenya, Croatia, and Israel (also ICBS). The Palestinian Authority's, similarly named, goes by Palestinian CBS or PCBS. Near miss: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. This is a pretty bizarre way to organize information, but someone's got to do it. For a more complete list of national statistical agencies that even includes differently named entities, see this page served by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Charles Bonnet Syndrome. Transient visual hallucinations unaccompanied by the cognitive aspects of psychosis. The initialism coincidence seems too good to be accidental.

    In order to finish writing up all my physics labs at the end of my first semester in college, I pulled a double all-nighter (i.e., I stayed up over fifty straight hours; I'm not that young any more). During my last hour or two of consciousness, I hallucinated, or maybe just dreamt on my feet, and this was unaccompanied by cognitive aspects of psychosis, aside from worrying about grades. Does that count? So I'm not crazy? Does this mean I have to serve the prison sentence?

    Bonnet first described the syndrome in 1760. (I mean the CBS -- not exactly what I experienced.) This was before the days when patient confidentiality came to be such an important part of medical ethics, and anyhow Bonnet gets a professional `bye' on account of not really being a physician, exactly, so we know the identity of the patient: it was Charles's grandfather.

    Charles Bonnet was also the name of Audrey Hepburn's character's father, played by Hugh Griffith, in the delightful 1966 instructional film ``How to Steal a Million.'' (If they made a prequel today, it would be an infomercial.)

    CBS is not a lot like the dream-like hallucinations that often accompany sleep deprivation, except that both tend to be ``pleasant'' or ``comforting.'' CBS occurs in the elderly and typically accompanies ocular pathology such as macular degeneration. In other words, it results from attempts of the brain to make sense of defective visual information. As I noted above, the coincidence with the broadcast media corporation is too rich. In CBS, people usually imagine they see things that are smaller than normal (little people, for example). Sort of like on TV.

    Columbia Broadcasting System. Visit their homepage or go direct to the latest top ten list or to the archives.

    CBS was founded in 1928, when William S. Paley bought United Independent Broadcasters, Inc. and renamed it the Columbia Broadcasting System. Early days, they would say ``this is the CBS'' as we still say the FBI. In 1974 the acronym was sealed and the company became CBS, Inc. This was purchased by the Westinghouse Electric Corp. in 1995, and Westinghouse renamed itself CBS Corporation in 1997. Bits and pieces of this were sold off in subsequent years, and what remained was purchased by Viacom in 1999 or 2000. Eventually, Viacom was split into Viacom and CBS Corporation, with the latter having the broadcast network as its core business.

    CBS has the epithet of ``the Tiffany Network,'' reputed to be an allusion to the quality of its programming in the Paley era, or less plausibly because some of CBS's first demonstrations of color TV, in 1950, were in the former Tiffany & Co. building in NYC. Nowadays the epithet is typically used in lamentations of the declining quality and prestige of CBS News. The prestige was real, cemented by the legendary Edward R. Murrow with his dramatic reporting from England during the Blitz. It's been downhill since, and fairly precipitously in the 21st century. Regarding CBS programming generally, ``we look forward to'' an upcoming ``reality show'' called ``Kid Nation.''

    Canadian Billiards & Snooker Association.

    Canadian Border Services Agency. It competes in the Canadian Conference of North American Government Agencies. CBSA was an expansion team created on Friday the twelfth (whew -- close call!) of December 2003. In lieu of an expansion draft, a number of players were transferred from CCRA, CIC, and, alas, CFIA.

    The team nickname is ``Customs'' (also Douane -- see ASFC). It's not whether you win or lose -- it's how you play the game.

    A careful examination of the map shows that Canada has land borders with the US and, uh, the US. This is not such a common situation. We set aside island nations (like Ireland, the UK, Brunei, East Timor, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Papua New Guinea), of course. A few countries are entirely surrounded by (and have a land border with) a single other country: Lesotho, the Vatican, and San Marino (Lesotho is enclosed by South Africa; we'll let you guess which two are in Italy). The countries which definitely have a land border with only one other country without being surrounded all have sea coasts (no such countries are squashed up against just a river or lake): Denmark, Monaco, Portugal, the Gambia, and South Korea. (Bangladesh touches Burma, and Swaziland has a Mozambican border.) Qatar occupies a peninsula that borders Saudi Arabia on the south. The western end of the UAE comes close and may or may not border Qatar. All I want to know is: how do they assign the ``mineral rights''?

    Well, it seems that the CBSA isn't concerned only with land borders. Still, they should have called it the ``US Border Services Agency'' -- that would have caused amusing confusion and possibly even eliminated some errorist threats.

    Interesting factoids about the evolving CBSA will be available from the website of the Canadian Prime Minister's office.

    Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. (Official French name Conseil canadien des normes de la radiotélévision.) ``[A]n independent, not-for-profit organization established by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). Its membership includes more than 500 private sector radio and television stations, specialty services and networks from across Canada, programming in English, French and third languages.''

    It can't be government censorship if it's not governmental! (But the CRTC maintains that ``[i]ncreased reliance on self-regulation, however, does not imply that the Commission [the CRTC] is relinquishing its responsibilities. Any interested party may, at any time, choose to approach the Commission directly.'')

    Famous quote:

    In Canada we respect freedom of speech but we do not worship it.
    (From May 10, 2000, statement censuring radio nag Laura Schlessinger.)

    Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.

    Center for Battlefield Technologies.

    Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Just gimme a drug!

    Computer-Based Teaching.

    Computer-Based Testing.

    Computer-Based Training.

    Cross-Bar (often ``Xbar'') Technology. Here's a page from TI.

    Communication-Based Train Control.

    Competency-Based Teacher Education. Teacher education conducted on principles of CBE. Typically contrasted to TTTP (traditional teacher training programs).

    Canadian Baton Twirling Federation. Associated with the WBTF. Just googled for the obvious on July 26, 2004; still no hits on ``Canadian Bacon Twirling.'' If you're hungry for more, visit our majorette entry.

    Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.

    Chemical and Biological Weapons.

    Computerized Branch Exchange.

    C Compiler. Some common old C compilers are called on the command line by
            bcc    Borland C
    	btc    Borland Turbo C
    	gcc    GNU C
    	cc     Unix C
                   (traditionally bundled with the Unix operating system)
    	cl     Microsoft C
    	ztc    Zortec C

    C or C++ Compiler.

    Canadian Club. A beverage.

    Canadian Content. A club.

    CC, Cc, cc
    Carbon Copy. Traditional abbreviation; used very loosely to refer to an unaltered copy of a document. Originally, this was a copy made simultaneously with the original: A thin sheet of carbon paper was placed between the two sheets of paper. The original would be written normally, with line printer, typewriter, ball-point pen, or pencil. The pressure of the writing mechanism on the original would press the carbon paper against the page below it, reproducing what was being written on the original.

    Copies now are more often created by photocopying, by ink-impregnated paper, or by digital reproduction of an electronic original. Cc: labels a mail header field listing one or more addresses that an email should be sent to in addition to any addresses indicated in the To: field. Cf. Bcc.

    The first house pet clone was a gray tabby cat named CC. This achievement was perpetrated at Texas A&M in February 2002, with help from the biotech firm Genetics Savings & Clone. That company plans to offer pet owners the chance, by 2003, to replace old pets with genetically almost identical copies.

    The clones are not completely identical genetically, since they are made by transferring the donor chromosomes into a cell from which DNA has been removed. The DNA from mitochondria and other organelles in the original egg remain, and differ to some degree from that of corresponding organelles in the donor.

    Moreover, identical genotype does not guarantee identical phenotype. For example, although donor (Fluffy, in this case) and clone (CC) have identical sets of the gene pairs that control fur color, the expression of these genes does not follow a simple dominant-recessive pattern. Fluffy has a calico coat; CC is, as noted, gray.

    I'm not going to repeat here the Goethe quote I recently mentioned at the BSET entry.

    Center Conductor. It makes good sense for this to be the live wire.

    Central Committee. As in the Central Committee of one or another Communist Party, such as the CC CPSU or the CC CPU.

    {Central | Common} Control.

    CC, C&C
    Chamber of Commerce. Calling your home number from home is a less reliable way to get a busy signal than calling the CC during business hours.

    Chip Carrier. Productive acronym suffix.

    [Football icon]

    Christian Circuit. A pious amplifier using only kosher components? A misaligned holy roller? No. This is the circuit of revival-meeting venues followed by itinerant inspirational preachers. Benjamin Franklin used to attend revival meetings in Philadelphia, but they don't seem to come up that far north so often anymore. [The speaker was one of the luminaries of the eighteenth-century ``great awakening.'']

    More recently, a physicist I know, who went to a small Baptist school on a football scholarship, needed a job and went to a local preach' to declare: ``I wanna preach the BaAAAAAahble!'' -- got a job on the spot. He eventually tired of that, or maybe got too many ministers' daughters in trouble; I met him making equipment for HEP.

    Another guy I know was getting a Ph.D. in Rocket Science at a Big-Time Ivy League school. He visited his fiancée's old neighborhood during a traditional old-country block party, and his future brothers-in-law took him aside for the traditional old-country serious talk about honorable intentions and ...

    ``... and whaddaya gonna do when you get outa school?''
    ``I plan to become a Professor of Rocket Science at [Prestigious East-Coast University].''
    ``What, you wanna be a teacher? Ain'tcha got no ambishun?''
    Persuaded by the cogency of his new family's adumbrations, this friend was saved and went on to wealth and fame and wealth in the software racket. He can eat juicy steak and buy a fancy new car whenever he wants.

    [Names and details have been changed to improve the story.]

    Could there be a pattern here?

    Classical Content. Used on the Classics List to refer to posting content related to the list mission, as opposed to the usual political stuff. Term modeled on Canadian version.

    Cluster Controller.

    Cocos (Keeling) Islands, domain name code. There's a quote ring in that domain!

    Common Cathode. All the cathodes in a particular LED display are tied to a common node.

    Common Collector. The collector of a transistor is attached to ground, input (usually base) and output (usually emitter) are measured at the two remaining terminals.

    Community College.

    CC, C.C.
    Companion of the Order of Canada. The highest of three levels of membership in the Order of Canada. ``Companion''? I'm sure there's a good historical reason for this choice of name, just as I'm sure there are good reasons for names like ``Order of the Garter,'' ``Order of the Bath,'' and ``Order of the Sanitary Napkin Dispenser.'' (Actually, the last one doesn't exist. But if it did, there would have to be a very good reason.) Still, ``Companion'' sounds so... meek. If the US had heraldic orders, this one would be named something like ``Grand Honkin' High! Muckety-Muck of the Order of the Yoo! Naaaaaahted! States! ofa Merricuh!'' Man, that'll getcher heart pumpin'! If our northern good buddies need any help, we'll be happy to send up a task force of Shriners to help them invent something screamingly appropriate.

    (Although the choice of terminology is completely inexplicable by us, there is no mystery about the coincidence of English and French abbreviations. In both languages, these are C.C., O.C., and C.M. This occurred completely by accident.)

    ``The Order of Canada was established in 1967 [wasn't that an anniversary or somethin'?] to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavour. Appointments are made on the recommendation of an Advisory Council, chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada. The motto of the Order is `Desiderantes meliorem patriam - They desire a better country'.''

    I see a couple of problems with the Latin motto's translation. First is that desiderantes means, in this context, `they who desire.' This is mistranslated so uniformly that I'm having trouble trusting my eyes. So it's more of a description than a statement. Second, as translated it can be interpreted as meaning that members of the order wish that the US were a better neighbor. When patriam is translated a little more accurately, as `homeland' or `fatherland,' the meaning becomes easy for us Americans to understand: `they who wish they lived in the US' or `they who wish they'd been born in the US.' Bill Casselman sort of agrees with me. He argues slightly inconsistently that to the sensitive Latinist, the motto means that order members long to be dead again. I suggest that we just regard this as a two-part motto, with the Latin and vernacular parts expressing sentiments that reinforce each other. Something similar is done with the French part of the Latin-and-French motto: it's also formulated as a statement rather than as a noun phrase. (More philological analysis is described at the related OC entry. I hope to have some slightly funnier material at the CM entry.) Happily, the US got its Latin mottoing out of the way when educated people still had the elements of Latin. As this bit from Macauley's History of England indicates (search on mottoes), among English-speakers the devising of Latin mottoes has long been regarded as a specialized task best left to experts.

    Casselman also hates the medal design and serves a good jpeg of it. I like the jaunty way the crown is cocked.

    The Order of Canada is Canada's highest (or three highest) civilian honor(s). A ribbon bearing the words desiderantes meliorem patriam was also added to the Canadian coat of arms in 1967.

    Continuity Cell.

    Corriente Continua. Spanish for `Direct Current' (DC).

    Cost Center.

    Country Club. A golf course along with a socially significant means to limit access. The abbreviation is usually found as part of the abbreviated name of a particular country club (like ``Scotch Hills CC''), rather than generically.

    Country Code.

    Cross Correlation. Cross correlation is not angry coincidence. It is a name given to correlation between two different functions that distinguishes it from autocorrelation -- correlation between different values (at different argument, or in different events) of the same function.

    Two random variables are correlated if they are not independent. The independence of two random variables x, y can be expressed as the factorizability of their joint probability distribution function P(x, y) -- if the variables are independent, then there exist distributions (normalized, positive, measurable in the Lebesgue sense) P1(x) and P2(y) such that

    P(x, y) = P1(x) × P2(y) .
    An immediate consequence of this factorization is that
    <xy> = <x> × <y> .
    Consequently, it is common to use deviations from the above equality -- <xy> - <x> <y>, for example -- as measures of cross correlation.

    Avoid a common error:

    The converse of the second fact about factorization is not true. That is, one can easily have <xy> = <x> × <y> and yet still have a correlated joint distribution. A trivial example is if y is randomly plus or minus x. There is a high degree of correlation, as evidenced by the fact that the magnitudes of x and y are always equal, but the simplest product-expectation deviation does not catch it.

    Cubic Centimeter. For a discussion in grave depth of the pronunciation of this unit, visit the Pronunciation Sidebar under the decibel (dB) entry.

    Current Contact.

    { Customer | Courtesy } Copy. Receipt.

    Chromated Copper Arsenate. A wood preservative.

    Cold Crank Amperage. A car battery rating. See CA (crank amperage).

    Committee on Computer Activities. There are probably a few others, but here's a link to [column] the CCA of the American Philological Association. The APA is the North American classicists' organization; they've been there, done that, big time, like 1500 years ago at the latest. Anything in the past thousand years is recent. The classics profession is proud of the fact that it was way ahead of the curve, on the bleeding edge, even, of information technology applications in the humanities. Their CCA page lists ``What's New'' for December 1996. I guess that's recent. ``Resting on your laurels'' is an expression with a classical provenance.

    Cruising Club of America.

    Cycle-by-Cycle Averaging. An approach to power electronics load estimation.

    China Council on Adoption Affairs. Because we here at the SBF are such a thoughtful bunch, we've included a link right here at the CCAA entry that points to the WEU entry (which contains all the stuff we should have put here).

    Canadian Council for Advancement of Education.

    Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

    Climate Change Action Plan.

    California Chapter of the American Planning Association.


    Canadian Classical Bulletin. See CCB/BCEA. Say that three times fast.

    Child Care Bureau.

    Configuration Control Board.


    Canadian Classical Bulletin/Bulletin canadienne des études classiques. A publication of CAC/SCEC.

    The Community College of Baltimore County (Maryland).

    Centre for Contemporary British History. Part of the Institute for Historical Research (IHR) of the University of London. Previously known as the ICBH (Institute for...).

    Catechism of the (Roman) Catholic Church. Fits in a world-almanac-size paperback.

    Certified Communication Counselor.

    Civilian Conservation Corps. A/k/a ``Roosevelt's Tree Army.'' Authorized by the Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) Act. One of the first unemployment programs proposed by FDR, it was almost instantly approved by Congress and went into operation a month later. Running from 1933 to 1942, it ultimately employed three million young men and planted an estimated three billion trees. I'm not sure that's a lot. I do remember going into pine forests planted by the CCC. They look almost normal until you notice how regularly the trunks are spaced.

    Clear-Channel Capability. Like, if you didn't have to worry about collisions. I'm an air-conditioned gypsy. That's my solution. Oh, sorry, got off track again.

    I'm mobile!

    Command, Control and Communications. Acronym popular with armed services. More commonly C3.

    Copyright Clearance Center (US).


    Corriente Clasista Combativa. Spanish for `Combative Classicist Stream.' Wow! Take back the schoolhouses, fighting room by room! As Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath wrote in their 1999 academic call-to-arms (with bloody-shirt title Who Killed Homer?) on pp. 170-1:

    Classicists can no longer huddle in the rear in the surf as waves of their greenhorn Greek and Latin 1 A-ers are machine-gunned in the sand. If we are going to lose Greek, let us do so with burly, cigar-chomping professors, red-eyed from overload classes, wounds oozing from bureaucratic combat, chests bristling with local teaching medals and complimentary Rotary pens from free lecturing, barking orders and dragging dozens of dead bodies forward as they brave administrative gunfire, oblivious to the incoming rounds from ethnic studies and contemporary cinema.

    It is rosy-fingered dawn on the day of the epic battle. ``Here, son: have some spiritus asper. You'll need it before this day is done.'' Later...

    Construe! Construe!
    Hold the dochmiac line!

    Damn the torpedoes and conjugate to the max! In the name of Zeus-- batten the scansions! ... They're recensing! They're recensing!! Hit 'em in the gutturals! Reeeeeloooaaad vowel quantities! Go gettus, go getta-- Go-ooo gettum!!!!

    Oh, uh... waitasec. Ummm, tiny little corrigendiculum: Spanish clasista isn't `classicist.' It's like English classist: a different word (if it's a word) related to clase, `class.' So CCC is just an Argentine organization whose name means something vaguely like `combative classist current.' (Actually, it means that rather precisely, but it's vague in both languages. That translation, though, is overliteral; in figurative use corriente corresponds more closely to `stream.') Someone trying to make sense of it may come up with `class-struggler movement.'


    Counter-Current Chromatography.

    Crete Carrier Corporation. Their logo is a red numeral 1 with three letters c lined up vertically inside of it. From the size and shape of the serifs on the c's, I'd say they are lower-case c's. Aren't you glad you asked? You didn't ask? Huh.

    Customs Cooperation Council.

    Closed Chest Cardiac Compression. Alternate name for Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

    Conference on College Composition and Communication.

    California Council of Citizens with Low Vision. A local affiliate of the CCLVI, I kid you not.

    Carbonyl Cyanide m-ChloroPhenyl-hydrazone.

    USSR, spelled in Cyrillic. C is the ``lunate form'' of the Greek letter sigma, with the sound of ess (I mean the unvoiced sound, as in ``sound,'' and not the voiced sound, as in ``zounds''). P is a capital letter rho. In transliteration, the letters read SSSR and stand for Soyuz Sovyetskii Sotsialistikh Respublik.

    CalTech Concurrent Computer Project. The machine was also known as the Caltech Cosmic Cube. Designed by Geoffrey Fox and by Seitz, I think, but I think also that Fox went to Syracuse around 1990.

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. A party organization that was in some technical sense not a part of the government of the CCCP (acronym whose letters stand for mostly different words).

    CC CPU
    CC of the CPU.

    Current-Controlled Current Source.

    Census County Division[s].

    Charge-Coupled Device. A nice historical introduction is on the net. For initial conception, see W. Boyle and G. Smith, ``Charge Coupled Semiconductor Devices,'' Bell System Technical Journal, 49, 587 (1970).

    Computer-Controlled Display.

    Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. ``[A] coalition of approximately 100 national (US) disability organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the self determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.''

    Course and Curriculum Dvelopment (CCD). A program of the Division of Undergraduate Education of the NSF, ``to improve the quality of courses and curricula in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.''

    Conseil canadien de la distribution alimentaire. (`Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors.')

    Child Care and Development Block Grant.

    Constant-Capacitance Deep-Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS).

    Carbon Chloroform Extract.

    Certified Coin Exchange. A sight-unseen exchange for dealers in rare coins and common medals.

    ``The Certified Coin Exchange - CCE is an electronic exchange for US certified rare coin dealers. Founded in 1990, the CCE is open for trading among its 130+ member firms every business day. CCE provides dealers and collectors a ready market and pricing data as well as a way to execute rare coin transactions. CCE member firms have agreed to rules which govern delivery of coins and payment, as well as dispute resolution procedures. There are currently in excess of 37,000 bids for US certified rare coins posted on CCE and about 4,000 asks.''

    Successor of ANE.

    Civil and Construction Engineering.

    Community Care for the Elderly.

    Hey Pops -- you want fries with that?

    Canadian Communications Foundation. Also Fondation des Communications Canadiennes.

    This entry is a good illustration of the great utility and convenience of having names in two languages. Without the French, you might make the mistake of supposing that this was a Canadian foundation about communications. With the French, you realize that it's a foundation about Canadian communications. The English is useful too, because if you don't know French, you probably think this is a Canadian journal for foundry studies. (You probably realized all this before, but I have to mention it because most other readers are not as sharp as you are. Please send money now so we can continue our valuable outreach efforts to enlighten the benighted.)

    Central {Control|Computing} Facility.

    Common-Cause Failures. Multiple failures, often more-or-less simultaneous, resulting from a common cause. CCF's wreak havoc with the assumption of independent failure probabilities; not taking account of CCF's can lead to dramatic underestimation of failure probability leafward on the fault tree.

    Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. A Canadian political party founded in 1932, which reorganized in 1961 and changed its name to New Democratic Party (NDP).

    Hundred (C) Cubic Feet. Abbreviation of unit used for measure of gas fuel consumption. MCF.

    Counter-Current Flow Limit.

    Capacitive Charge Generation. An SEM imaging technique.

    Ceramic Column Grid Array. CCGA is essentially CBGA with solder columns rather than balls, for a more robust interconnection. Click on this search for images.

    Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors. (Conseil canadien de la distribution alimentaire -- CCDA). They also have a a more customer-oriented site.

    Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

    Canadian Council for Human Resources in the Environment Industry. ``a private sector, not-for-profit corporation that began operations in 1993. The CCHREI was initiated by industry with the support of a broad range of partners with interests related to environmental employment. These partners include industry, professional associations, educators and government representatives.''

    ``The CCHREI's goal is to ensure the right match between the skills and knowledge of Canadians with environmental employment, and the needs of the environment sectors. This match will enable Canadian industry to maintain a world class environmental workforce. The CCHREI is working toward its goal by: developing national occupational standards, certifying individuals with environmental employment and accrediting environmental courses and programs, helping young Canadians enter the environmental labour market, promoting cooperation between industry, government, and the academic community, and, conducting research on the environmental labour market.''

    [Labour is a special Canadianese word meaning `labor.']

    La Version français: Conseil canadien des ressources humaines de l'industrie de l'environnement (CCRHIE).

    Coalition for Consumer Health and Safety. I imagine they'll have some content there soon.

    Citizens [apparently sic] Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste. Founded in 1981 by Lois Gibbs, a community leader at famous Love Canal. The organization is now called CHEJ.

    Centre for Cultural Interchange.

    Consumer Confidence Index. A designated ``leading economic indicator for US government economists.'' Developed by Fabian Linden in 1967 for ``the Conference Board,'' (a world business research organization) which continues to issue the index monthly. A competing index (the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index) is issued by the University of Michigan.

    This is not illustrated at right.

    Controlled Cryptographic Item[s].

    Copper-Clad Invar.

    Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics. Hosted site hosted by the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL). Appropriate, somehow.

    Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges.

    CCIE, Ccie
    Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert. Typically called ``Cisco Ccie.'' (Another AAP pleonasm.)

    Certified Commercial-Investment Member. A designation conferred by the Commercial-Investment Real Estate Institute. I warmly approve of the hyphen. I would go even further myself. As of 1993, they confer the CCIM designation on individuals who have completed a 240-hour program of graduate work and have demonstrated experience in commercial-investment transactions.

    Consultative Committee for International Radio.

    Common-Channel Interoffice Signaling. The ``office'' here is a switching office for telephone communication, and CCIS is the use of a separate, high-speed common channel (CCIS link) for communicating between the common control in each office. Older systems used (and use, where still installed) ``circuit-associated signaling'' in which the same line that carried the voice signal also carried control signals.

    Controlled Cryptographic Item Serialization Surety Officer. Yeah: surety, not security.

    Coherent Communications, Imaging and Targeting.

    Consultative Committee for International Telephone and Telegraph (or Comité Consultatif International Télégraphique et Téléphonique).

    Originally a standards body of IEEE; has been succeeded by the ITU-TSS or ITU-T.

    Committed Credit Line.

    Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CLRC). One of the UK's seven research councils. The research councils (RCUK) report to the Office of Science and Technology within the Department of Trade and Industry.

    ``[R]esponsible for one of Europe's largest multidisciplinary research support organisations, the [not at all] Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CLRC).''

    A member of the recently inaugurated SBF Hall of Acronym Fame (SHAB).

    Council of Citizens with Low Vision International. An affiliate of the AFB.

    That's 256, for those of you keeping score at home. According to their low-visuals website, CCLVI has four local affiliates:

    1. NCCLV (National Capital Citizens with Low Vision, Washington, D.C.)
    2. CCCLV (California Council of Citizens with Low Vision)
    3. (malformed) DVCCLV (Delaware Valley Council of Citizens with Low Vision)
    4. MCLVI (Metropolitan Council of Low Vision Individuals, New York)

    Canadian Cycle and Motor Co. Ltd. Originally created to provide a domestically owned manufacturer of bicycles for Canada. Today it mostly produces (roller and ice) hockey equipment, including jerseys and protective gear.

    Christian Computing Magazine. This does not compute: are they trying to simulate the apocalypse, or stimulate it?

    Comité Consultatif pour la Masse et les Grandeurs Apparentées. French, `Consultative Committee for Mass and visible quantities.'

    ccm, CCM
    Cubic Centimeters per Minute. That would be about the same as milliliters per minute.

    Cloud Condensation Nucle{us | i}. Most of the water molecules in the region occupied by a cloud are not condensed in droplets.

    Cisco Certified Network Associate. ``Associate'' -- isn't that what they call the sales clerks at Kmart?

    Cisco Certified Network Professional.

    Conseil canadien des normes de la radiotélévision. Official English name: Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. See the entry under the abbreviation CBSC of that name. (Because we here at the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve are committed to bilingualism, we think nothing of assuring you that should we ever include some information on the CCNR in French, we will probably insert it here.)

    Community for Creative NonViolence. A Washington, DC, advocacy group for the homeless, founded by Mitch Snyder in the mid-1970's. Snyder's most successful tactic was hunger striking. He went on a number of them in the 1980's. Blood tests released during a December 1979 hunger strike indicated that he was cheating, but in the 1980's I guess they stopped releasing blood test results. The Reagan administration capitulated to the political pressure by degrees. In January 1984 they let the CCNV use a federally owned building at 425 Second St. NW for emergency winter housing. In a sequence of hunger strikes and negotiations, they agreed to deed the building, valuated at $23 million, to the DC government, and to spend $5 million, then $6.5 million, then about $10 million, finally $14 million in renovations. The administration also went to court a few times to enforce springtime closure and eviction orders, and they generally won there. But they couldn't figure out how to win in the court of public opinion, though Snyder was an abrasive, confrontational fellow. (Snyder also tried to shake down the Catholic Church with a hunger strike, but that went over quietly and failed. It's sort of reminiscent of Oral Roberts's campaign to extort desperately wanted funds -- $8 million fast, or else God would call him home.)

    The three-story downtown building, at Second Street NW between D and E Streets, is now a 1400-bed shelter (1250 men, 150 women), still run by the CCNV. The shelter itself is also frequently referred to as the CCNV, though it's a bit more accurate to call it the CCNV shelter.

    Despondent over his failed relationship with fellow homeless activist Carol Fennelly, Mitch Snyder committed suicide in July 1990. Fennelly led CCNV until January 1994, when she was ousted by the CCNV board. Gregory Keith Mitchell, a former computer programmer and drug dealer who was rescued by the shelter and made good, was voted the new director (technically: ``Vice-President''). His wife was named Secretary-Treasurer. In 1996 he was ousted (that seems to be the only way to leave alive) amid various charges of misuse of funds; in 1998 he pled guilty to stealing $65,000 out of HUD grants.

    In case it hadn't occurred to you already, you should check the pea entry for more about homelessness.

    In testy testimony before Congress in 1980, Mitch Snyder claimed that there were 2.2 million homeless in the US. Later he claimed that the number was three million, and numbers in the low millions have been popular scare stats among homeless activists ever since. The calculation that this number was based on was apparently political, and Snyder was adept at that kind of mathematics. The number has also been justified on the basis of telephone surveys to bien pensant fellow shelter operators, but maybe that's the same thing. Grindingly sound surveys and censuses, which arrive at boring, mere statistical accuracy, find numbers clustering around 300,000, and with very high likelihood within the range 200,000 to 600,000. (Peter Rossi of the University of Massachusetts estimated 330,000; the US census came up with 230,000 for a typical single day in 1990. Given the unavoidable uncertainties in counting, it would be hard to plot a reliable trend since the late 1980's, which were the glory days for this kind of study.) A third of a million homeless is a tragedy, but it is a different tragedy than two million homeless, particularly when it means that most of the homeless are deinstitutionalized mentally ill.

    I have to track down Mitch Snyder's ipsissima verba. I recall they included a statement of his indomitable credo of defiance against the evil concept of accurate counting.

    The City College of New York.

    Chief of Combined Operations.

    CCOO, CC.OO.
    Comisiones Obreras. `Worker Commissions.' The official name is Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras. Currently Spain's largest labor union organization.

    Council of Credentialing Organizations in Professional Psychology.

    Chinese Communist Party.

    Computer-Controlled Pump[ing].

    See, for example, Allan Rosman and Michael Nofal: ``Computer controlled pump unit cuts power, increases output,'' World Oil, vol. 217, pp. 53ff (November 1996).

    Court of Custom and Patent Appeals. The penultimate US court, in principle, and the ultimate court in practice, of appeal in patent cases. Replaced by the CAFC in court system reorganization of 1981.

    Cloud Chamber Photographic Analysis.

    Charge-Coupled PhotoDiode.

    China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. The spammers' friend. (``Having obtained your contact information from China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. As special garment button supplier,we want to take this opportunity to reccommend you our product line....'')

    Calcium Carbonate Precipitation Potential. Dissolved calcium carbonate is the main thing that makes hard water hard. It precipitates out in your bathroom when one calcium ions (with valence 2+) replaces two sodium ions in the organic salts called soaps and detergents.

    Clock-Cycle Proportional-Pulse. Not to be confused with CCCP. Hmmm, what's this entry coming up next?

    Center for Constitutional Rights. Founded in 1966 by the late William Kunstler and others. It still seems to be in existence, or at least to issue press releases, which might be about the same thing. Their address is or was
    666 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10012,

    which some may regard as significant.

    CHRCL at least has a website.

    Creedence Clearwater Revival.

    Cube-Corner Reflector. Same as CR.

    Current Cell Rate.

    Customer-Controlled Reconfiguration.

    Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. The name of the agency that (minus the customs piece, which went off to CBSA) became the CRA (that's what it was in 2005, anyway). It used to be called Revenue Canada, or RevCan, which was RevCan in French, too. The switch to CCRA (in English) made it possible to have the all-important Janus-faced acronym. In French it was ADRC. Thankfully, it was possible to preserve some of this unwieldiness in the migration from CCRA-ADRC to CRA-ARC.

    Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance. Official name of the Canadian Alliance, explained at a CA entry.

    Continuing Care Retirement Community. A variably-assisted-living community (this term is not used). For those who can afford it, it offers residents as much independence as they individually want and as much care as they need. It's hard to write that accurately without seeming a little bit like an advertisement.

    How long will it be before the members of CCR find themselves rocking the chairs in a CCRC?

    Conseil canadien des ressources humaines de l'industrie de l'environnement. Same as Canadian Council for Human Resources in the Environment Industry (CCHREI).

    California Civil Rights Initiative. Proposition 209, to end racial preferences, on the statewide 1996 ballot, passed by 54-46%, although pre-vote polls had suggested that the margin would much greater. The proponents and opponents (CFJ) are fighting it out in the courts now.

    Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    Canada Centre for Remote Sensing.

    CCR's, CC&R's
    Covenants, Conditions, and RestrictionS. Less often expanded Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions and reservationS.

    The CCR's are a contract agreed by every purchaser of property that is part of a planned community. If a planned community and a community association are the privately realized analogues of a municipality and its government, then the CCR's are analogous to municipal laws (but they tend to be difficult to amend). For more, see this introduction to community associations from the perspective of a student of parliamentary process.

    Captain Cook Society. For ``everyone interested in James Cook (1728-1779)'' and also for those perversely determined to feign an unfelt interest. Formerly the Captain Cook Study Unit (CCSU).

    Center for Cognitive Science at UB.

    Certified (medical records) Coding Specialist. Certified by AHIMA upon passing an examination. Cf. CCS-P.

    Coded Character Set.

    Common-Channel Signaling.

    Continuous Composite Servo. For optical disc memory.

    Hundred Call Seconds. The First C stands for either the Roman numeral C or the Latin Centum, or the English Century (in the sense of 100), or some of those or none.

    Common Control Switching Arrangement.

    Coordinadora de Centrales Sindicales del Cono Sur. Spanish, `Coordinator of Central [organizations] of Unions of the Southern Cone [of South America].' Described as a red (`network').

    Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf.

    The Center for Compound Semiconductor Microelectronics. An NSF-funded Engineering Research Center at UIUC.

    Phonebook Server Lookup. Try the metalists in Linz and South Bend. Oh wait, that second link is to an old Notre Dame gopher server. According to the information on that gopher server, visited January 2001, the gopher service was discontinued on March 15, 1998. Hmm. I guess they left the daemon running so people could find the old links. Sure enough, they mention an "`Old Gopher Links' list http://www.nd.edu/~ircenter/lostlinks.html maintained by the OIT Help Desk." Very thoughtful; too bad that's a 404 error.

    Credit Card Support Program.

    Certified Coding Specialist - Physician. Certified by AHIMA upon passing an examination. Cf. CCS.

    Common Channel Signaling System.

    Community College Survey of Student Engagement. Ah, Spring semester! When a young man's fancy turns to ... NSSE?

    Common Channel Signaling System 7.

    Captain Cook Study Unit. Now CCS, q.v.

    ``Unit'' seems to be one of those name units that later begins to seem like not such a good idea after all. Another example is Moon Unit Zappa, the daughter of Frank Zappa. Discussing the death-ray-on-the-moon project in ``Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me'' (1999), Dr. Evil says

    The moon unit will be divided into two divisions: Moon Unit Alpha and Moon Unit Zappa.
    Moon Unit Zappa's real-life husband, Matchbox Twenty drummer Paul Doucette, says they got a chuckle out of that, and that while she is used to all the old jokes about her name, everyone they know just calls her ``Moon.''

    Moon was born on September 28, 1967. So was Mira Sorvino. (Coincidentally, this entry was first put in the glossary on September 28, 2003.) The first soft (i.e. survivable) landings on the moon of vehicles from earth took place in 1966 -- the Soviet Luna 9 on February 3, the US Surveyor 1 on June 2, and Luna 13, which was launched on December 21 and landed on the 24th. (I'm not sure to what points on earth these dates are referenced.)


    Incidentally, the Alpha-Zappa thing reminds me of something that happened to a journal called The Historian. This is published for Phi Alpha Theta, a history honor society with chapters at over 700 (mostly US) universities. Following the usual practice of Greek-letter societies, each chapter is designated by one, two, or three Greek letters (the first 24 chapters founded had one-letter names, the next 576 chapters had two-letter names, and the most recent chapters have three-letter names). Each issue of The Historian lists the newest initiates into the society by chapter. Originally, the chapters were arranged according to the order of letters in the Greek alphabet. (You probably remember ``I am the alpha and the omega.'' Omega is the final letter of the Greek alphabet.) Beginning with the fall 1997 issue, the chapters have been alphabetized according to the English spellings of the Greek letters' names (... tau, theta, upsilon, ...). I am tempted to write that this is stupid, but a more precise characterization would be ``capitulation to ignorance.''

    If you're still reading, then the logical order for reading entries would have you going on to the collating sequence entry. If you're not still reading, then you can ignore this.

    Central Connecticut State University. Part of the CSU System.

    Controlled Clinical Trial.

    Convenios Colectivos de Trabajo. Spanish, `collective bargaining agreements.'

    Comité Consultatif de Thermométrie

    Canadian Cable Television Association. CCTA holds its ``Annual Convention and Cablexpo'' in May. French: ACTC.

    Canadian Corporate Television Association.

    See for yourself. ``CCTA is a world class service organisation for public servants.'' ``CCTA is the Government Centre for Information Systems.'' After much dogged sleuthing around, I have prised for you the following datum: CCTA stands for Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency.

    California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

    Country-Code Top-Level Domain (TLD). In 2001, a working group of the country-code top-level domains voted unanimously to withdraw from ICANN's Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO). The vote took place on Friday, June 1, the first day of the ICANN quarterly meeting.

    China Central TeleVision. The PRC's state broadcaster.

    Closed-Circuit TeleVision.

    CCU, C.C.U.
    Cardiac Care Unit.

    On October 16, 2008, at Ravenna Bowl in the town of Ravenna in western Michigan, Don Doane bowled his first perfect game. He was 62, and he had been bowling with the same five-man team for 45 years (Nutt Farms, one of the 16 teams that compete in the Commercial League there). Normally this sort of thing doesn't make news, but as he was hugging and high-fiving his teammates, Doane collapsed of a heart attack. EMT's were unable to revive him; he was taken to a hospital but died. So it made Sports Illustrated and newspapers in Thailand and Australia, and you probably heard and read about it.

    This story confirms what we all know: too much excitement can kill you. My advice is to tone it down, and if things are getting too exciting, take a break. By all means have fun, but not too much fun. Are you happy now? Maybe that's not a good thing. Your heart isn't racing, is it? Oh no! Here quick, think about these horrible lyrics:

    Hey girls, gather round
    Listen to what I'm putting down.

    How do you feel now, worse? Good! Remember that it's important to calibrate this thing. You want to dose yourself carefully. So if you're feeling bad enough, stop now. Otherwise, read on:

    Here is the main thing that I want to say
    I'm busy twenty-four hours a day
    I fix broken hearts, I know that I truly can.

    If you need a refill, just do a search on the song title "Handy Man" and the singer "James Taylor." It's the Barry Manilowest thing he ever did. Cf. the latter's ``I Write the Songs'' (``...of love and spe-ecial thi-ings'').

    I want to warn you that at this point, we're going to deviate from the heretofore narrow focus of this entry on cardiac care and consider shopping district management and demographics. Be it noted, however, that many shopping malls now have AED's.

    Christchurch, the second-largest city in New Zealand, has a central shopping district with over 400 businesses. According to Paul Lonsdale, the manager of the Central City Business Association there, they have a problem with several dozen young people who regularly spread rubbish, spray graffiti, get drunk, use drugs, swear, and intimidate patrons. The obvious solution would be to require them to purchase the rubbish they spread (and the spray paint and intimidation supplies, etc.) only from local merchants. But the business association, with the approval of the city council and the police, has thought of something more subtle.

    They plan to pipe music into the mall area. ``Nice, easy listening'' music like Manilow's ``Can't Smile Without You,'' ``Mandy,'' and other pop hits. ``The intention is to change the environment in a positive way ... so nobody feels threatened or intimidated'' according to Lonsdale. They hope that BM's ``smooth and gentle tones'' either pacify the unruly teens or else drive them away. The Press newspaper interviewed one 16-year-old who promised defiance if the threatened measure is implemented. ``We would just bring a stereo and play it louder,'' said Emma Belcher, who I am grateful chose not to remain anonymous. According to the AP story on March 3, 2009, that is my main source for these paragraphs, Lonsdale retorted that the city would then hit them with anti-noise laws. If noise is unwelcome sound, then she might bring countercharges. Perhaps Lonsdale was laying the groundwork for a defense when he insisted that ``I did not say Barry Manilow is a weapon of mass destruction.'' It's obviously more selective than that.

    You know, it is my ambition that one day all the entries in this glossary will form a single hyperlinked ``cluster,'' in the percolation-model or graph-theoretic or seven-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon sense. Entries like this are important in achieving this ambition, because it is necessary to establish and demonstrate the firm connection between WMD-related content and pop-music-related content, not to mention the medical aspects. You may want to have a look at our spiffy new torture music entry, although it still needs stuff about the US siege of the Papal Nuncio's compound in Panama when Noriega took asylum there. Now all I need is another Latin link.

    Canadian College and University Food Services Association. Analogue of NACUFS, with perhaps more emphasis on the management and less on the actual food-preparation aspects of the profession.

    Current-Controlled Voltage Source.

    Coupling-Capacitor Voltage Transformer.

    Concealed-Carry Weapon (permit). A permit to carry a concealed weapon.

    CounterClockWise. What CW looks like when seen in the mirror. Vide clockwise.

    CCW permit
    PERMIT to Carry a Concealed Weapon. A ``CCW permit'' can't really be the same thing as a ``CCW'' permit, since the latter would be a ``Concealed-Carry Weapon'' permit. Hence two entries, all (or both) for your convenience.

    Cadmium. Atomic number 48.

    Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

    Calibration Data.

    Carrier Detect (better: DCD). A standard light on external modems.

    Change Diagram. Model used in one approach to the design of asynchronous logic circuits. See, for example, M. A. Kishinevsky, A. Kondratyev, and A. Taubin, ``Specification and Analysis of self-timed circuits,'' Journal of VLSI Signal Processing, vol. 7, pp. 117-135 (1994).

    Certificate of Deposit.

    Circular Dichroism.

    Civil Defense.

    College Director.

    Collision Detection (as in CSMA/CD (q.v.)).

    Committee Draft.

    Compact Disc. In its standard form, a soft plastic disc with a thin layer of aluminum on top, protected by a lacquer layer. Information is written on the disc in the form of microscopic corrugations (``pits and lands'') of the aluminum, read from the bottom. The gross physical dimensions are highly standardized: 120 mm diameter, 1.2 mm thick. The data density is constrained by the use of 780 nm laser wavelength, with 0.83-µm pits and lands on data tracks 1.6 microns apart.

    There are a variety of formats defined for various kinds of data and application. The standard music CD uses the Redbook audio format (so called because the spec was distributed in a red book). This has a bit depth of 16 and a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz.

    Compressed Data.

    Conduct Disorder.

    Congressional District. The region of a US state represented by a member of the House of Representatives.

    Maine has an interesting way of allocating its votes in the Electoral College. The popular majority statewide is used to select two electors, and popular majority in each CD determines ``its'' EC elector. The way things looked for a long time, it seemed this might matter in 2004. Nebraska uses the same system, but all districts were expected to go to a single ticket (Republican). In fact, through 2004 neither state has split its electoral vote since they changed their allocation laws (1969 in Maine and 1991 in Nebraska).

    In the 2004 general election, there was a ballot issue in Colorado to amend the state constitution. The proposed amendment 36 would have apportioned electoral votes in proportion to the popular vote (without respect to CD's, but this seemed a good place to mention it anyway). If passed, it was supposed to take effect immediately, determining EV apportionment for the 2004 presidential election. Most polls favored the Republican ticket to win a narrow victory in the state in 2004, so Democrats stood to benefit from a switch of as many as four of the state's nine EV's in that cycle. (In the very close election that was anticipated, that might have been decisive.) The effective-immediately provision, however, was challenged in court in mid-October, and fear of adding to election confusion and uncertainty worked against approval of the amendment. Both major parties opposed the amendment, with one of the main stated objections being that it would make Colorado a guaranteed fly-over in future presidential campaigns. The ballot proposition had some popular traction, but was eventually solidly defeated.

    The US House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral legislature, and many democracies have bicameral legislatures with identifiable upper and lower houses. In parliamentary democracies without a separately elected executive, however, the different role of parties, the typically attenuated role of the upper house, and the different dynamics of power make the correspondence with the US system a bit shaky. With that proviso, at least at the formal level one may say that in Canada, what correspond to US CD's are the voting districts for the House of Commons. These are informally known as ``ridings.'' It puts me in the mind of Dudley Do-right, the only cartoon character I can think of with a hyphenated name.

    Critical Dimension.

    Crohn's Disease. He can keep it! I'll take whatever's behind CD door number two.

    CycloDextrin. CD's are widely used in pharmacology as biocompatible carriers of biologically active agents.

    Certified Dental Assistant.

    Clinical Document Architecture. A standard developed by the Health Level Seven organization (HL7). It's an ANSI-approved document architecture for exchange of clinical information using XML.

    Communications Decency Act. A 1996 attempt of the US Congress to censor the Internet, voided as unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 1997.

    Conceptual Design Activity. Term used to designate the phase of the ITER Project from April 1988 to December 1990.

    Cosmic Dust Analyzer. An instrument on NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. Oooh, like, cosmic, man! What's the high like?

    Crohn's Disease Activity Index. The original was developed and described by W.R. Best, J.M. Becktel, J.W. Singleton, and F. Kern in ``Development of a Crohn's Disease Activity Index -- National Cooperative Crohns-Disease Study,'' Gastroenterology, vol. 70, pp. 439-444 (1976). (As of August 15, 2008, that paper had been cited 1551 times in the literature indexed by ISI.) The metric wasn't very precisely optimized, to judge from the round-number weights:
    CDAI = 2F +  5F +  7F +  20F +  30F +  10F +  6F +  F   ,
             1     2     3      4      5      6     7    8
    where the Fi are ``weight factors'' that you can read about on this page, which has a CDAI calculator. The first three authors of that 1976 paper later published ``Rederived Values of the 8 Coefficients of the Crohn Disease Activity Index (CDAI)'' in vol. 77 of the same journal, pp. 843-846 (1979). The next article (pp. 847-869), by R.W. Summer, et al., describes the National Cooperative Crohn Disease Study. I have neither online access to the journal nor sufficent interest in the subject to walk over to the medical school. The titles, including the disease name, are quoted as I have them. There are other, less popular indices of Crohn's-Disease activity.

    Caribbean Development Bank.

    The initials of C. D. ``Charlie'' Bales, suggestive of Cyrano de Bergerac, get it? C. D. Bales is the lead male role in the movie comedy Roxanne (1987), an updated version of Edmond Rostand's ``Cyrano de Bergerac'' (funny, but not a comedy). In that play and this movie, C.D.B. has self-image problems on account of a long proboscis, falls in love with beautiful Roxanne, helps another man woo her, and eventually reveals that he is the author of the other man's eloquence. (Yeah, that's a bit of a spoiler, but a spoiler-ahead warning would not have been appropriate; part of the experience of classics is that you know how they turn out before you enter the theater or read the book.)

    The real Cyrano de Bergerac was a seventeenth-century writer. In one of his stories, he proposed seven ways to reach the Moon from Earth, including rockets. The other six ways wouldn't have worked. In True History, written in around 150 C.E., Lucian of Samosata explains how a Greek ship could reach the Moon by winds and water-spouts. When you consider that a water-spout is a jet and that the propellant in modern rockets is electrolyzed water (i.e., combusted hydrogen and oxygen), this is amazingly prescient. In the movie Roxanne, the title character (Roxanne Kowalski, played by Daryl Hannah) is an astronomer. More on Roxanne and other Steve Martin movies at the Hfuhruhurr entry.

    Community Development Block Grant. See CDBGP.

    Community Development Block Grant Program. A program run by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. It's got a bunch of messy allocation formulas and eligibility rules, but basically the idea is to provide funds to help low-income families fix up their homes.

    Coincidence Doppler-Broadening Spectroscopy.

    California Department of Corrections. Either this is the department of office supplies in charge of white-out, or it's the prison system. Your guess is as good as mine, I bet. An interesting Prisoner's Dictionary is mostly based on the CDC dialect.

    Centers for Disease Control. Based in Atlanta, Ga. The name now is technically Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Clock Distribution Circuit. Here's a page from TI.

    Control Data Corporation. Founded 1957. Used to be in the computer hardware business (see this little memorial to their CYBER machines), but now they hawk ``E-Commerce Solutions'' and ``Systems Integration Services.'' It was originally organized by a bunch of executives who left ERA, but it is remembered in the hardware community as one of the companies that the renowned engineer Seymour Cray worked at. After he joined in Sept. 1957, a month after CDC formed, he got them to work on supercomputers for scientific calculation. Cray left in 1972 to form his own eponymous company (CRI).

    Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir. Normally translated `Catholics for the right to choose,' but the female plural is marked, so an accurate translation is `Catholic women for the right to choose.' CDD is a pro-choice organization in various Latin American countries. Latin America generally has abortion laws more restrictive than those in Europe and the English-speaking countries. Unexpectedly, a regional rash of leftist governments at the beginning of the 21st century has coincided with legislative movement to further restrict abortion.

    Compact Disc-Digital Audio. Original-flavor CD. The acronym continued to be used for a while on computers to indicate that the CD-ROM drive could play audio tracks.

    Copper Distributed Data Interface. Same protocol as FDDI; name only indicates that implementation is on a copper-cable LAN.

    It provides speeds up to 100 Mbps, for distances up to approximately 200 km, but only 125 mi., yet again demonstrating the inferiority of the metric system.

    The copper cables are shielded twisted pairs, thus the alternative name SDDI.

    Certified Diabetes Educator.

    California Department of Education.

    Chemical Dry Etching.

    Common Desktop Environment. Created for COSE. Faq here.

    Compact Disc, Erasable. And recordable too, or there wouldn't be much point.

    Corporación Dominicana de Electricidad. Spanish, `Dominican Electricity Corporation.' The national power utility of the Dominican Republic (.do).

    CDEP, CD&P
    Community Development and Employment Program. The main Australian government make-work program.

    Children's Defense Fund. Created/led by Marion Wright Edelman. I think Hillary Rodham was on its board.

    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Modern incarnation (interesting word, there; you got a licence to say that?) of the sixteenth-century Roman Inquisition. (Yeah, the Spanish Inquisition had a head start.)

    Ohhh -- still crazy.
    Still cra-ay-zy.
    Still crazy after all these years!

    Well, they had to give up physical torture and immolation in the eighteenth century. But they still get to work in secret, ignore their own rules, conduct kangaroo proceedings, lie, punish their enemies, excommunicate, etc. So it's fun work if you can get it. I hear the church is short of normal heterosexual men who would like to take vows of celibacy and obedience, but I haven't yet seen help-wanted ads for CDF in particular. Until then you might get some pointers from The Modern Inquisition : Seven prominent Catholics and their struggles with the Vatican, by Paul Collins (Woodstock and New York: Overlook Pr., 2002).

    Current Density Functional Theory (DFT). An extension of Density Functional Theory.

    G. Vignale and Mark Rasolt, Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 2360 (1987). and Phys. Rev. B 37, 10685 (1988).

    IATA code for Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, (northeast of and) serving Paris, France. Operated by ADP.

    CD+G, CD-G
    Compact Disc plus Graphics. Ordinary CD players can play the audio and ignore the graphics.

    Cadmium Mercury Telluride. Common II-VI family of narrow bandgap semiconductors. Touted for infrared detectors. See MCT entry.

    Collector Diffusion Isolation. In ordinary junction isolation, an n-type epi layer is grown over a p-type substrate. The region of the epi layer deeper than the metallurgical BC junction is collector material for an npn transistor. It is necessary to surround this n material with a p-doped sidewall that will function as a reverse-biased junction, and this is done by an extended p-diffusion. CDI instead manages to save a fabrication step by using a p-doped epi layer. Thus, the surrounding p-layer is already in place. The buried layer now is not the subcollector but the main part of the collector, and isolation requires a deep doping by n, not just to contact the buried layer but also to surround the part of the epitaxial region that will be base. The steps saved are both the isolation and base-forming p diffusions.

    The method is obsolete a few times over.

    Compact Disc - Interactive. A format used by Philips for their interactive CD player. Cannot be played back on a conventional audio CD player.

    Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine. It's ``the national organization of individuals responsible for teaching internal medicine to medical students'' and part of the AAIM.

    Compact Disc - Karaoke. No really! I am sooo not making this up! (In contrast with other similarly amusing entries.) Perpetrated jointly by JVC and Phillips, it's a 12 cm disc with 74 minutes of audio, video, and text. (No, I don't know what a minute of text is.) Playable on CD-I and some CD-G players.

    Chief Dull Knife College. Previously Dull Knife Memorial College.

    Commercial Driver's License.

    Commercial Driver's License Information System.

    Canadian Democratic Movement. A left-wing political grouping.

    Coalition for a Democratic Majority.

    Collaborative Decision-Making.

    Code-Division Multiple Access. Multiple access by the use of Spread Spectrum Systems with different spreading signals. Also called SSMA.


    Cadmium Manganese Telluride. Popular II-VI system for dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMS).

    Compact Disc - MagnetoOptical.

    Complementary DNA. Single-stranded DNA that is complementary to messenger RNA or DNA that has been synthesized from messenger RNA by reverse transcriptase. In practice the ``synthesized'' bit is critical: cDNA is synthetic DNA, distinguished from naturally-occurring DNA that has merely been isolated. The US Supreme Court has ruled that cDNA can be protected under the patent laws.

    CaDmium Oxide. (CdO is the chemical formula, not some randomly selected abbreviation.) This is an infrequently studied II-VI compound. It has a lattice constant of 4.689 Å and direct bandgap of 2.5 eV at room temperature.

    Career Development Organization, Inc., of SUNY. Also ``SUNYCDO.''

    Chief Diversity Officer. A top university official in charge of minimizing intellectual diversity, or a top corporate official in charge of minimizing legal adversity. If you want to see real diversity, look at all the different CXO's that there are.

    Collateralized Debt Obligation.

    Community Dial Office.

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It's important to have the letters in alphabetical order.

    Concurrent DOS.

    CD Player.

    Census-Designated Place. A place designated by the US census. Not too arbitrarily, but not especially systematically.

    Different entries for a given head text, usually corresponding to different expansions of a shared initialism, are normally ordered in this glossary by alphabetizing on the definition text. I figured this is a good place to point that out, since this entry is almost problematical. Alphabetization here is based on the immediate appearance of text rather than on its expansion. (The reasoning is that if you knew all that, you wouldn't be looking it up. The flaw in the reasoning is that since you don't know all that, the ordering isn't especially helpful.)

    Here's some standard Census Bureau boilerplate, taken from the same appendix as the MCD boilerplate; I've only added a hyphen and an otiose parenthetical aside:

    Census-designated places (CDPs) are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places. CDPs are delineated to provide census data for concentrations of population, housing, and commercial structures that are identifiable by name but are not within an incorporated place. CDP boundaries usually are defined in cooperation with state, local, and tribal officials. [What -- no community activists??? Stonewalling!] These boundaries, which usually coincide with visible features or the boundary of an adjacent incorporated place or other legal entity boundary, have no legal status, nor do these places have officials elected to serve traditional municipal functions. CDP boundaries may change from one decennial census to the next with changes in settlement pattern; a CDP with the same name as in an earlier census does not necessarily have the same boundary.

    Cellular Digital Packet Data.

    Comb-like Dispersion-Profiled Fiber. Alternating lengths of standard (high dispersion) telecom fiber and dispersion-shifted (low dispersion) fiber, giving a comb-like dispersion profile as a function of wavelength. In order to get regular spacing in wavelength, the pattern of lengths of high- and low-dispersion fiber has to be chirped.

    Census-Designated Place.

    Center for Democratic Rights. A US civil rights advocacy group.

    Coded Departure Routes. Routes predefined and designated by codes, for use to route air traffic around areas of severe weather.

    Cdr., CDR

    Compact Disc - Recordable. Although some rewritable discs are coming out (1996), ``CD-R'' refers to an older write-once, read-many (WORM) technology. Learn more at Andy McFadden's CD-R FAQ and in three newsgroups:

    Conceptual Design Report.

    Cached DRAM. Not to be confused with CD-ROM.

    Cutaneous Drug Reaction Database. It used to be served by Dartmouth's BioMedical Libraries, but all the links to it that I can find in January 2005 are expired.

    Catastrophic Disaster Response Group. A box somewhere in the vast US government management chart.

    Cross-Domain Resource Manager.

    CD used as ROM. A now-quite-old ``Yellow Book'' standard announced by Phillips and SONY in 1985.

    Here's a colorful picture from the Smithsonian's Information Age photo exhibit.

    A local-focus posting on the Classics list points to a few other postings on CD-ROM readers.

    A CD-ROM holds up to 680 Megabytes of data, about the same as 300,000 pages of text.

    Places to look for particular CD-ROM's:

    CD-ROM eXtended Architecture. ``Yellow-Book Plus.''

    CaDmium Sulfide. (CdS is the chemical formula, not some randomly selected abbreviation.) When I was a kid I had a CdS cell in my electronic projects kit. I believe it changed resistance in response to light. I'm pretty sure selenium does the same; it was a famous discovery.

    Lattice constant of 4.136 Å is by far the smallest among common compound semiconductors, so it doesn't lattice match or even make a tolerable pseudomorphic heterointerface with anything, so it isn't used to make any heterostructures. Room-temperature direct bandgap of 2.42 eV isn't very exciting either.

    Centre des Démocrates Sociaux.

    Child-Directed Speech. Speech directed to a child. Defines a range of linguistic registers.

    Corona Discharge Spectroscopy. Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer.

    Credit Default Swap.

    Cadmium Selenide. A direct gap II-VI compound semiconductor with a bandgap of 1.8 eV at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. The conduction band rises in hydrostatic pressure, while the valence band falls. Uniaxial pressure raises heavy hole band and lowers the light hole band. This is typical.

    Lattice constant of 6.050 Å is in a populous neighborhood.

    Cell Delay Tolerance.

    Center for Democracy and Technology.

    Central Daylight (savings) Time (DST. GMT - 5 hrs.

    Cadmium Telluride. HgCdTe-based (MCT-based) materials and devices are currently most of the commercial II-VI market and are used primarily for IR detectors.

    Bandgap of CdTe is 1.58 eV; lattice constant is 6.482 Å.

    According to a 1996.11.20 posting by Fei Long in the semiconductors-2-6 newsgroup, he (at the University of Hull) and Paul Harrison (at the University of Leeds) had recently published work on the CdTe band structure. Here's the meat of the posting.

    Catholic Distance University. It's based in Herndon, Virginia, but I suppose you might ``go'' there and never know it. It's a ``University'' because it offers an MA in Religious Studies. (Otherwise it would be the ``CDC.'')

    This is probably a good place to mention the problem of Man's alienation from God, and how it's much worse than not being able to attend classes located conveniently near your home. And how the rapture will take place at warp speed. (But maybe I have the wrong religion. Do they teach Kierkegaard?) However, I don't know enough about all that and the information doesn't seem to be within reaching distance, so I'll just quote CDU's homepage, which says it was ``established in 1983 to respond to the need for life long spiritual formation and a deeper knowledge of Church Teaching. CDU's mission calls for transmitting faithfully and systematically the teachings of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers, Doctors and Saints.''

    The Courses-and-Programs page has a cool picture of the old pope hunched over a laptop. (I mean ``old pope'' here not as opposed to ``new pope'' but as opposed to ``younger pope.'' In other words, the same old pope when he was new.) This picture reminds me of those tired old gag pictures of people holding up monuments. You know: someone stands in the foreground with arms raised and palms flattened under an imaginary weight, and in the background a mass of concrete or whatever, lined up by the photographer's angle to appear to be pressing down on those thumbs. I mean, the pope is always hunched over squinting at the floor a few feet away. Put an open laptop before him and it's a wrap! (The laptop is black. Unless you're going as a Cardinal or as one of those fruit-colored Swiss guards, black is the only fashionable color for Vatican City.)

    Another thing that picture reminds me of is an early Saturday Night Live sketch in which President Ronald Reagan does a rap video. Whenever the old man has to move, a couple of Secret Service men pick him up by the shoulders like a talking prop. It had a catchy tune, too.

    The ``Ronald Reagan'' in the preceding paragraph, by the way, was not the actual president. Ralph Nader and Al Gore have appeared on the program, and probably some others who were presidential candidates, but the closest they got to having Ronald Reagan on the show was when they got his son Michael Reagan on. Michael (a dancer at the time) did a skit in which he jumped around in his skivvies, and it was reported that his parents wondered why. (It was a parody of a scene in a popular movie of the time -- Tom Cruise in ``Risky Business''? I can't find it on the web, so I guess this didn't happen either.)

    Along about this point, when I first wrote this entry, I thought it would be apposite to put in a link to wherever it was in the glossary that I told a related story about Benoit Mandelbrot, but I couldn't find it. Coming back now, I see that the story is in the glossary, so I can provide a link to it.

    Benoit Mandelbrot was the fellow who gave the name fractal to geometric objects of noninteger dimension, and he promoted fractals so effectively that scientists actually recognized their value and fractals achieved a pop-culture vogue. Mandelbrot was a sort of scholar-in-residence at IBM's main research labs (I guess that would be in White Plains, NY), at least in the late seventies and eighties, and he was naturally part of a video that IBM made then to spread the gospel of fractal beauty. In the video, Mandelbrot does a little introduction, then turns to a desktop computer and watches as a fractal begins to fill the screen. The audience may be forgiven for assuming that Mandelbrot has pressed a key to launch the application. However, the story goes that Mandelbrot, who worked at IBM as a mathematician (other people did his programming), was so computer-phobic or -averse that he refused to so much as lower a finger onto the keyboard. The way the problem was eventually handled was that somebody crouched behind the chair while Mandelbrot talked, then with one finger on the keyboard launched the necessary application, all below the camera's view. I heard this at a seminar at Princeton Plasma Labs at Forrestal in about 1983, but I can't find this story on the web either.

    Christlich-Demokratische Union. Main conservative party of Germany, `Christian Democratic Union.' The CDU and CSU form a single grouping in the federal parliament, and have an agreement not to run against each other: the CSU's turf is Bavaria, Germany's largest state, and the CDU's is the rest of the country. As you may have guessed without following the CSU link, the party names have in common the words translated `Christian' and `Union.' Neither party is particularly Christian these days, although the current CDU party leader is the daughter of a Lutheran minister of the old East Germany. A common way to refer to the CDU and CSU collectively in Germany is as die Union. Their frequent coalition partner has been the lone nationally significant small party of the right, the FDP. A color-code shorthand is also used (CDU/CSU black; FDU yellow; socialist parties red).

    Under the leadership of CDU Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Germany was reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1998, after 16 years of rule, with continuing high unemployment and relatively slow economic growth, and in a continuing secret-campaign-funding scandal involving Mr. Kohl, the CDU suffered its worst electoral defeat since 1949. In the September 27 general elections, CDU/CSU won 35.2% of the vote, down from 41.4% in the 1994 elections, and ended up with 245 out of 669 Bundestag seats.

    A red-green coalition (socialists and environmentalists) came to power, and Gerhard Schroeder, the new prime minister, promised to fix the economy. In a Nixon-goes-to-China sort of way (that is, with his solid leftist credentials to protect him), it was expected that he would be able to negotiate with the trade unions to reduce the job and unemployment benefits that make German labor expensive and German manufacture less competitive than it is regarded as needing to be. (Interestingly, however, one thing that Germany did not have as late as 2005 was a national minimum wage. One might reason that this is in the interests of the powerful industrial unions, which negotiate industry-wide minimum hourly wage agreements. Apart from this, however, the Sozialhilfe, which is more extensive than the social welfare available in the US, supplements the income of low-wage earners. Other EU nations without a statutory minimum-wage law are Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Cyprus.)

    Schroeder had no significant success solving Germany's economic problems, and by the Summer of 2002 he and his party were behind in the polls. By making opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq the main issue in the campaign, he was able to distract attention from the slow-growth economy and win.

    In 2005, he again tried making an issue of US foreign policy, by insisting that Germany would not send troops to Iraq. It worked almost to the point of victory. He made up a substantial deficit in the polls, and the SPD forced the CDU into a tightly negotiated and greatly hamstrung red-black coalition.

    Cell Delay Variation.

    Computerized Disease Vector Identification Keys.

    Cell Delay Variation Tolerance.

    Charge Density Wave.

    Proof here that people smart enough to describe condensed matter physics research are not too smart to write ``CDW wave'' (an acronym AAP). Cf. next entry.

    Collision Damage Waiver. An automobile rental scam legal in many states and provinces. A CDW is not the renter's waiver of any rights, as the name implies. Instead, it is an agreement to pay an extra ten dollars or so per day so that the rental agency will not sue the renter to recover its losses if the vehicle is damaged or stolen (or otherwise lost, I suppose). If the rental agency is waiving it's rights, then its agent should be initialing the box. Anyway. The rate charged is normally so far in excess of normal insurance rates that many states have made it illegal or mandated a low rate. Your personal automobile insurance may cover it, but you forgot to check with your insurance agent before traveling, again.

    Click here to see some instances of the ever-popular ``CDW waiver,'' an AAP pleonasm. (Of course, this may only apply to the principle driver. Click here for that. The two usages seem to occur with comparable frequency, although the second is occasionally correct.) Cf. preceding entry.

    C&D waste
    Construction and Demolition waste.

    Cab-to-End (distance). The distance from the back of the truck cab to the rear end of the frame.

    For more, see Chassis Dimensions in the NTEA's glossary of Truck Equipment Terms.

    { Cache | Chip | Convert } Enable (voltage level or strobe signal).

    Capillary Electrophoresis.

    Ceramic, Civil, Chemical, or Computer Engineer[ing] .

    Cerium. Atomic number 58. A lanthanide (rare earth: RE).

    Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

    Chief Engineer.


    Common Entrance (and scholarship examinations to Senior Independent Schools in the UK).

    Communauté Européenne. French for `European Community' (EC).

    Common Emitter. A BJT configuration in which the emitter is connected to the common ground.

    CE, C.E.
    Common Era. A less religiously provocative term for the present era than A.D.

    Consumer Electronics.

    Continuing Education.

    Counter Electrode.

    CArcinoEmbryonic Agent.

    Center for Extreme ultraviolet Astrophysics.

    Colorado Education Association. One of the state affiliates of the NEA.

    Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique. This page is written in a foreign language, as you can see from the filthy parasites infesting many of the vowels. There used to be an English version, but ``l'URL que vous avez saisie n'existe pas sur ce site.'' I don't know how they expect anyone to understand anything. For example: in the webpage title, following the mystifying organization name, it says ``Énergie nucléaire, défense, technologies, sciences.'' I don't even know how to pronounce those words. Well, I'll take a shot at translation, anyway. CEA is apparently the French national `Atomic Energy Commission.' As of 2003, CEA had ten research centers scattered around France. They are authorized to emit radioactive pollution in gas or liquid form or both. Unless it is absolutely certain that these effluents will only end up in the US, precautions are taken to assure that the amounts released are small. A local branch of the SPR (roughly `radiation protective services'; see French expansion at its entry) at each CEA center is charged with monitoring these emissions.

    Connecticut Education Association. One of the state affiliates of the NEA.

    Council of Economic Advisers [sic]. An organization that can be ignored in the formulation of future economic policy and blamed for past economic policy.

    Centro de Apoyo al Desarrollo Local. `Center for support of local development,' an Argentine organization.

    Center for Exposure Assessment Modeling. ``The EPA Center for Exposure Assessment Modeling (CEAM) was established in 1987 to meet the scientific and technical exposure assessment needs of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) as well as state environmental and resource management agencies. CEAM provides proven predictive exposure assessment techniques for aquatic, terrestrial, and multimedia pathways for organic chemicals and metals.''

    Coordination Européenne des Associations de Maladies Rares. The old webpage for this entity is no longer hosted by Infobiogen, but maybe you can find what you want at AMR.

    Comisión para el Estudio de las Actividades del Nazismo en la Argentina, 1997-1999. `Commission for the Study of Nazi Activities in Argentina, 1997-1999.'

    One who stops. Cf. Caesar.

    Continuing Education of the Bar. Dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers. Pretty sordid stuff, huh?

    Continuous Electron-Beam Accelerator Facility. A facility that has been used for nuclear physics experiments since the 1990's. In 1996 the institution around the original linear accelerator became known as the ``Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab), though ``CEBAF'' continues to be used as the name for the linear accelerator. The distinction is a bit slippery. (E.g., the University of Virginia hosts a ``Governor's Distinguished CEBAF Professor'' position.)

    Consumer Electronics BUS. CEBus is the registered trademark of EIA for its open standard for home automation. The standard is also known as IS-60 and EIS-600. The standard is promoted by CIC.

    Central Educational Center. A vocational charter school in Coweta County, Georgia. It opened in 2000; read a news report on it in 2007, from CNN.

    Central Election Commission (of the Palestinian Authority).

    Commission for Environmental Cooperation. A trilateral organization created by the NAFTA countries under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). The CEC was ``established to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and to promote the effective enforcement of environmental law. The Agreement complements the environmental provisions of'' NAFTA.

    Commission of the European Communities.

    Council for Exceptional Children. [This implicitly excludes those children who are exceptional because they are gifted.]

    Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board. Search for the acronym on this page.

    Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire.

    Cascode Emitter-Coupled Logic (ECL).

    Chief Environmental Compliance Officer. ``Compliance'' -- that sounds a little reluctant. Better poke around among the other CXO's for a better one, like CGO

    Communications and Electronics COMmand. Under the Department of the Army, which is part of the DOD.

    CECOM - AC
    Communications and Electronics COMmand - Acquisition Center.

    Collins English Dictionary.

    Committee for Economic Development.

    Cross Examination Debate Association. An organization of college and university debate programs sponsoring a sweepstakes championship and national tournament each year. Affiliated with the AFA. There are other debating entries in this glossary.

    Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition. They're not embarrassed by the name because their main customer is the government.

    Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. A UN legal convention. In Spanish, it's la ``Convención Sobre la Eliminación de Todas las Formas de Discriminación Contra la Mujer (CEDAW).'' In French, it's la ``Convention sur l'élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l'égard des femmes.'' This is the way that UN staff actually talk. You can rent UN personnel to perform at children's birthday parties -- they're like clowns, but more existentially surprising. And they're not funny, but -- it's the latest thing! All the Hollywood celebrities are doing it! (Okay -- actually, they don't exactly ``perform.'' They just mill around and disapprove.) Available in six official languages; blue helmets cost extra; will not go into bad neighborhoods. Not recommended for younger children. Warning: UN personnel should never be left alone unsupervised with older children.

    (In Spanish, the use of the singular ``la mujer'' to stand for women in general is a standard usage.) There's also a Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Comité para la Eliminación de la Discriminación contra la Mujer; Comité pour l'élimination de la discrimination à l'égard des femmes). It is not abbreviated, as CEDAW or anything else, so far as I'm aware. This committee is ``a body [uh-huh] of 23 [what is this -- Sufi mysticism?] independent experts'' (oh sure) that ``receive[s] and consider[s] communications (petitions) from, or on behalf of, individuals or a group of individuals who claim to be victims of violations of the rights protected by the Convention.'' Rent by the hour; special rates for holidays and weekends.

    Spanish, `you yield.'

    Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad. Argentine `Center for Studies of State and Society' at UTDT.

    Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Institucional. `Center of Studies for Institutional Development' based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. CEDI is part of the Fundación Gobierno y Sociedad.

    County Economic Development Income Tax.

    CANMET Energy Diversification Research Laboratory. A component lab of CANMET.

    Courrier d'Entreprise à Distribution EXceptionnelle.

    La Cour européenne des Droits de l'Homme. French: `the European court of the rights of man.' (Officially `European Court of Human Rights,' ECHR.) The court is housed in the Palais des Droits de l'Homme in Strasbourg. The building looks like a cross between an oil refinery and the futuristic circular residence in Woody Allen's movie Sleeper (mentioned at the electrical banana entry).

    Commission on Engineering Education.

    Communauté Économique Européenne. French for `European Economic Community' (EEC).

    The Center for Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Kentucky.

    College Entrance Examination Board. The stuff you are more likely to have come here to find out, if your mind isn't half as twisted as mine, is still a couple of paragraphs down.

    The year 1899 was an interesting year in American college admissions. In June, Helen Keller passed the entrance examination of Radcliffe College, Harvard University. An ``Answers to Correspondents'' column in the August 19 New York Times reported that

    Helen Keller, sometimes spelled Kellar, was born in Tuscambia, Ala., July 27, 1880. Her father was Arthur H. Keller, a Confederate officer, an editor, and at one time United States Marshal of Alabama. At the age of eighteen months, Helen, a bright and active child, was overcome by a disease which deprived her of sight, hearing, and the use of the organs of speech. At the age of seven years her parents began to educate her. In 1887 she was taken to Boston, where she became the pupil of Miss Sullivan, who remains with her to-day. Miss Sullivan was three years teaching the child lip reading. She will enter Radcliffe College, Harvard's Annex, in September. The girl is a relative of Robert E. Lee, and a great-great-granddaughter of Alexander Spottswood, the first Colonial Governor of Virginia. She is remarkably pretty, and has a lovable, poetic nature.

    But the year's truly consequential event in college entrance exam history took place on December 1 in Trenton, New Jersey, at the 13th annual convention of the Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools of the Middle States and Maryland. There before over 500 delegates, Prof. Nicholas Murray Butler (Dean of the School of Philosophy at Columbia University) read a paper urging the creation of a unified system for testing candidates for college admission. In a discussion following the paper, President Eliot of Harvard and President Low of Columbia pronounced themselves enthusiastically in favor of the proposal. President Patton of Princeton expressed reservations.

    At the time, each college had its own set of requirements, with examinations in different sets of subjects, and different topics in the subjects they had in common. Each college offered examinations in various cities in areas of the country from which it expected to accept students. The chief selling point of Butler's proposal, however, was not the relief it would give the colleges from the burden of designing and administering all those exams. Rather, the advantage stressed was that standardization of entrance requirements would make it possible for secondary schools to know what to teach their students. (The discussion implicitly assumed that in the past, students had studied for only one exam.)

    Under Butler's proposal, it was contemplated that tests would be created for each subject then currently part of the entrance examinations of two or more colleges, and that colleges could base their admissions on the students' performance on the subjects they chose to use as their basis for admission. (This information would be provided in certificates to be issued by the board administering the tests.)

    The delegates at the Trenton meeting endorsed the plan. The proposed board was duly founded in 1900 as the College Entrance Examination Board of the Middle States and Maryland. Here is the list of chief examiners of the first Board of Examiners (along with the institutions where they were professors), announced on December 15, 1900, after their election by the College Board:

    The following January 22, Prof. Butler of Columbia, in his capacity as Secretary of the College Board, released a list that included associate examiners. Each group of examiners consisted of one chief and two associate examiners. In each case, one associate was from a different college than the chief examiner, and the other associate was a secondary school teacher. (For Latin and mathematics groups they were high school principals.)

    All of the schools represented on the Board of Examiners were in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, or (in the sole case of JHU) Maryland. I assume therefore that ``Middle States'' stood for the three northern Mid-Atlantic states.

    In the January 22 announcement, Butler claimed that all colleges in the middle states and Maryland, as well as most colleges in the nation, would accept the College Board's certificates in lieu of their own exams.

    N.V. Continentale d'Équipements Électriques de Protection et de Télécontrôle, s.a. (The N.V. ... s.a. construction is belt-and-suspenders. Something like `Co., Inc.,' or more like company ... incorporada. I plan not to worry about it.) The B is for Belgium.

    Capillary Electrophoresis/ElectroChemistry.

    Central and Eastern European Countries.

    Central and East European Law Initiative.

    Center for Electronic and Electro-optic Materials. An organization at UB that was incorporated-into/replaced-by CAPEM.

    Centro de Estudos de Engenharia Mecanica.

    Consortium for Environmental Education in Medicine.

    Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Less common acronym than CEEMEA.

    Central and Eastern European MANagement Development Association. Based mostly out of Slovenia, apparently.

    Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. More common acronym than CEEMA, but less common than CEMEA.

    Coalition for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.

    Canadian Expeditionary Force. During WWI, Allied forces fighting in France included the Americans (AEF), British (BEF) and the Canadians (CEF).

    Moving on up the alphabet, we notice that the Dutch sat out that war. It is commonly suggested that the German occupation of the Netherlands in WWII, which was mild compared to that of countries to the east, was resented more keenly by the Dutch because they hadn't suffered occupation in the previous war. Perhaps. As the war was ending and the Germans withdrew, there was famine in the cities; many people went into the countryside and dug up flower bulbs for food.

    Not technically a part of the Canadian Forces were those of Newfoundland, mentioned at the Memorial entry.

    Raymond Chandler, creator of Philip Marlowe and author of The Big Sleep and other works, was born in the US on July 23, 1888. After his parents' divorce, he moved to London with his mother in 1895 and was educated in England. He returned to the US in 1912, and in 1914 enlisted in the Canadian Army. (He joined the Canadian Army because they paid a dependent's allowance that he could send to his mother.) He served in the First Division of the CEF in France and became a platoon commander. In 1918 he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps (later the R.A.F.), but had not completed flight training when the Armistice came. He was demobilized in England; his mother returned with him to California.

    Cable Entrance Facility.

    Closed-End Fund.

    Confederación Española de Gremios y Asociaciones de Libreros. `Spanish confederation of unions and associations of booksellers.'

    Collège d'Enseignement Général Et Professionel. Québec's approximate equivalent of a ``community college'' or CAAT in the rest of Canada, or ``junior college'' in the US.

    Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. In Dorset, UK.

    Comitato Elettrotecnico Italiano. The Italian member organization of the CEI.

    Commission Electrotechnique Internationale. French name of IEC.

    Communauté des États Indépendants. French for `Commonwealth of Independent States' (CIS).

    Comparable Efficient Interconnection.

    Competitive Enterprise Institute. Libertarian advocacy group.

    Connection Endpoint Identifier.

    Consulting Engineers of Indiana, Inc.

    Centro de Estudios e Información Laboral. Argentine `Center for Labor Studies and Information' at UTDT.

    ceiling fan
    Check which way the steam rises from your corned-beef hash before you start with the pepper shaker.

    Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology. The US EPA, ``as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, through its interagency partner NSF[,] are [sic] seeking proposals to create a national Center [sic] to conduct fundamental research and education on the implications of nanotechnology for the environment and living systems at all scales. The Center will address interactions of naturally derived, incidental and engineered nanoparticles and nanostructured materials, devices and systems (herein called ``nanomaterials'') with the living world.'' When you're handing out the money, no one corrects your grammar.

    A rare word, but all three major Scrabble dictionaries know it. According to the OSPD, it's a belt for the waist. In France it's one of two ring railways around Paris: the petite ceinture and the grande ceinture.

    The Spanish cognate of ceinture is cintura. It means `waist' and the word's augmentative form cinturón means `belt' (the main sense of the French word). (Also, cinta is any ribbon. Estar en cinta, literally `to be on the ribbon,' is an old but still-used euphemism meaning `to be pregnant.' There's an American company called Cintas that sells and rents uniforms for all kinds of businesses.)

    These words are derived from the nexus of Latin words connected with cingere, loosely `to encircle, gird.' The disused English word cingle comes via Old French (before they started writing it with an s) from the Latin diminutive form cingulum meaning `girdle.' The more general term cingula gave rise to Spanish cincha, referring among other things to barrel hoops and the girths of harnesses and saddles. In the last sense it was borrowed from Mexican Spanish into the American and general English cinch.

    UNCommittee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Based in Geneva. When the name is given, ``the Exercise of'' is often elided, making the I in the acronym a bit mysterious.

    CELluloid, or a sheet of transparent CElLuloid (or is that CElluLoid?) of the sort that used to be used in making animations.

    The legendary cartoonist Chuck Jones (b. Sept. 21, 1912; d. Feb. 22, 2002) got his first regular job in 1932, washing cels. According to his grandson Craig Kausen, ``he thought he was going to be cleaning in a prison.''

    If he had had a fast (superluminal) internet connection, he could have avoided confusion, unless it came from the Acme technology company.

    Chuck Jones directed the first Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon (``Fast and Furry-ous,'' 1949) and had a hand in creating Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

    Conferencia General del Episcopado Latinoamericano. `General Conference of Latin American Bishops.'

    Someone famous for being famous. Visit Chat Soup for the ``best of celebrity chat on the net.''

    Charge, ELement, and Isotope Analysis System.

    Céline Dion
    The name of Celine Dion, as spelled in her native Canadian language.

    Council of Editors of Learned Journals.

    If you didn't reach this entry by accident (it could happen), then you might be interested in this newsletter editors' resource guide.

    Information in ATM is passed in 53-byte ``cells.'' These consist of 48 bytes of payload and five bytes of header. The process of dicing the data into 48-byte segments and of reassembling the data from these segments is performed in the SAR sublayer of the ATM adaptation layer (AAL).

    The cell header holds addressee and flow-control information, in the form of values for six fields:

    Generic Flow Control. A four-bit field for supporting multiplexing functions. The default value of zero means GFC protocol is ignored.
    Virtual Path Identifier. An eight-bit field to identify the VP (duh).
    Virtual Path Identifier. An eight-bit field to identify the VP (duh).

    Computing Environment for Linguistic, Literary, and Anthropological Research.

    cell phone
    A portable wireless phone. The ``cell'' refers to the fact that the system it's part of divides (some of) the earth's surface into cells, each served by a transceiver that relays messages between phones in the cell and the wireline communication network.

    Have you heard about this philosophy conference in Budapest, April 28-30, 2005? ``Seeing, Understanding, Learning in the Mobile Age.'' Contributions ``invited from philosophers, psychologists, education theorists, and other interested scholars [could this include electrical engineers? nah!] on the following and related topics:

    You learn something new every day. I didn't realize that anyone considered ``education theorists'' to be scholars, interested or otherwise.

    cell-phone violence
    No, I'm not talking about grabbing the thing out of her hand and throwing or crushing it. That's as trite as sex; everyone has that fantasy at least weekly, and some people indulge the fantasy. Also, there are many reports of fans throwing cell phones at basketball players, though this is not common in the US.

    Okay, enough about that poor, long-suffering supermodel. Here's a strange incident took place just before midnight, on April 23, 2005, along the possibly quite aptly named Savage-Guilford Road in Howard County, Md. Occupants of a vehicle shouted to a male pedestrian, who at first thought they were acquaintances. He approached the vehicle, and a male passenger appeared to point a weapon at him. Another passenger got out and ordered the pedestrian to empty his pockets. The other two occupants of the vehicle then got out. One grabbed the pedestrian around the throat, and the assailants rifled the pedestrian's pockets and took a cell phone. The assailants then drove away with the cell phone, made a U-turn and drove back. One of them threw the cell phone at the pedestrian and the robbers fled.

    December 15, 2005, Council Bluffs, Iowa. A 48-year-old man rammed his pickup into the wooden deck in front of Chit Chat Wireless store at 2034 W. Broadway. The man, a Chit Chat subscriber who was clearly not well-gruntled by his cell-phone service, then got out of the truck and approached the front door of Chit Chat Wireless, evidently to have a chit chat. An employee inside the store judged that the man was ``up to no good,'' as he later told police, so he locked the door. The tough customer told the employee to open the door, but the employee accountably refused. (Well, unaccountably is a word....) The man then became upset (that's how the police report put it) and began punching and kicking at the glass door. He succeeded in shattering the glass, but didn't get in. (This would be the right time to cue the ``I hear you knockin' / But you can't come in'' ringtone.) He then threw his cell phone at the door and drove off. The customer was later arrested at a hospital where he sought treatment for the hand he hurt breaking the door.

    Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. A test and curriculum designed and coordinated by Cambridge University ESOL. Given the provenance, it's not surprising that it is more commonly used in the Commonwealth. As of November 2003, the US has nine testing centers, Canada has eight, and Australia nineteen.

    To be frank, they should have saved this acronym for teachers of Gaelic. (The Franks were speakers of a West Germanic language in the area of present-day northern France. Their language was influential in the development of the French language, and the name France is derived from the tribe's name.)

    Communist Economic Mummble and Ahhh I don't know. I'll get back to you on that. Economic development assistance for the former Soviet Union, apparently.

    Got it! It's:

    Council for Mutual Economic Assistance.

    To be frank, I think ``Communist Economic Mummble and Ahhh'' is more informmative.

    Consumer Electronics Manufacturers' Association.

    A childish misspelling of cementary (which see, for key info). We use childish missspellings as a sort of kindly, winking joke, whistfully sighing and thinkong how we were young and orthograhically chalenged once, two.

    The title of that Steven King novel and Mary Lambert-directed horror movie is ``Pet Sematary.'' That's overkill.

    Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. More common acronym than CEEMEA.

    Centre de Mise en Forme des Matériaux. A research center in L'École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris.

    cementary, cementery
    A place where the buried dead can be visited. From cement, in the transferred sense of emotional binding and also because people used to be buried in... oh wait -- that's not right! It's cemetery, and I pronounced it incorrectly for over forty years!

    I suppose the reason for my error is that in my native Spanish, the word is cementerio. After I became aware of the difference, I noticed that my mom makes the same error in English. But the error may not be so rare -- I heard it in a radio ad in 2005. Another word whose spelling in Spanish can easily mislead one in English is substraer (`to subtract'). That is, I used to, uh, em, never mind.

    A common misspelling of cemetery.

    Graveyard. From Middle English cimitery (though MEng spelling wobbled quite a bit) < Middle French cimitere < Late Latin coemeteriumGreek koimêtêrion, `sleeping chamber,' already used euphemistically in the sense of `burial place.' No connection with scimitar, I'm reasonably sure. See the starve entry, however, for a semantic shift associated with mode of death.

    The Spanish cognate is cementerio. Yes, that's with an en. Perhaps the en got in there via an assumed connection with entierro (`burial') and enterrar (`to inter'). I feel compelled to mention that the Spanish words for exhume, exhumation are constructed as something like ``unbury, unburial'' (desenterrar, desentierro).

    Useful list of terms that sound utterly different in Spanish:
    entrar -- to enter
    enterrar -- to inter
    enterar -- to let know
    [enterarse -- to find out]
    Also note:
    entero -- entire, whole

    A few miles east of Point Concepcion (probably Punto Concepción at some point in its history -- particularly the point of its first conception), there's a ``Canada Cementeria'' according to the map. That is, a Cañada Cementería. This is either the cement-mixing ravine or the burial gully. If it were in New Jersey instead of California, that wouldn't be ambiguous. (If you find the last comment confusing, see the teamster entry. If you haven't had enough of obfuscated interlingual puns, visit the faux ami entry. For another example of an unexpected en, see the gringo entry.) For an instance involving a similar pair of sounds in a pair of words having similar meanings, see the mujerengo and mujeriego entries.

    What, still here? Don't you follow links? Try this one, for an epitaph.

    Center for Electromagnetic Materials & Optical Systems at UMass Lowell.

    Complementary Enhanced MOS. Vide CMOS.

    Council of European Municipalities and Regions.

    College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. UVM seems to have the only one. I guess there's no sense applying anywhere else, then.

    Centaurus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Centaurus is the Latin name for what we call a `centaur'!

    Chemical and Engineering News. Professional journal for members of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ISSN 0009-2347.

    Comite Européen de Normalisation or Comite Européen des Normes. ``European Committee for Standardization.'' (Sic, with a z.)

    CEN's mission is to promote voluntary technical harmonization in Europe in conjunction with worldwide bodies and its partners in Europe.

    Harmonization diminishes trade barriers, promotes safety, allows interoperability of products, systems and services, and promotes common technical understanding.

    In Europe, CEN works in partnership with CENELEC -- the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (www.cenelec.be) and ETSI -- the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (www.etsi.fr).

    Latin (and various Romance languages) `dinner.'

    Center for ENtrepreneurial Activities. An independent site, sponsored by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, is entreworld.org -- A World of Resources for Entrepreneurs.

    Vide etiam SBA and NASE and AHBA.

    Certification Examination in Nuclear Cardiology. Administered by the CBNC.

    Comité Européen de Normalisation ELECtrotechnique or `European committee for electrotechnical standardization.' (Sometimes expanded Comité Européen des Normes ELECtrotechniques.)

    Centre d'Énergétique. A research center in L'École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris.

    Centro de Estudios para una Nueva Mayoria. `Center for studies for a new majority,' an Argentine organization.

    Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? and ain't that a big enough majority in any town?

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ch. 26.

    Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics.

    The hundredth part of something, usually money. One US cent is one one-hundredth part of a US dollar.

    In music, a cent is one one-hundredth of a half tone. Since music intervals are not absolute frequency differences but frequency ratios, this means more precisely that two notes differing by one cent have pitches (frequencies) in the ratio of 21/1200 (yes, the 1200th root of two). For example, in the usual tuning, the fifth string of a six-string guitar is an A with a frequency of 110 Hz. If you're sitting in my bedroom with the air conditioning roaring and you're tryin' to tune that string with one o'them newfangled eelectronic tuners, the 120 Hz component of the A/C vibration is going to spoof the tuner, to the tune of one or two half-steps (or half-tones -- we can do it both ways). Now you want to know,

    ``How much is that in cents?''

    1200 log2(120/110) =  150.6 or so. (That is, about a quarter tone above A#.) Cf. decibels.

    Noisy fluorescent lights hum at 120 Hz also, but with a tinnier timbre.

    Centerfold Syndrome, The
    A ``set of psychosexual attitudes and behaviors that is characteristic of most heterosexual men (some more than others) as well as reflective of the many ways in which normative male behavior is problematic.'' Defined by Gary R. Brooks at least as long ago as 1995, in his The Centerfold Syndrome: How Men Can Overcome Objectification and Achieve Intimacy With Women (San Francisco: Josey-Bass). It's decried in chapter 2 of Men and Sex, mentioned at the nonrelational sex entry.

    Central American Northern Triangle
    El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Sorry, Belize; four is square.

    Center for Equal Opportunity. ``[A] think tank devoted exclusively to the promotion of colorblind equal opportunity and racial harmony.''

    Chief Executive Officer. In the US, it is very common for the offices of CEO and Chairman of the Board to be held by the same person. A notable exception occurred at GM during a period when stockholders were so distrustful of management that the chairman functioned effectively as an independent monitor of management for a vigilant board. (For an unusual and certifiably silly alternative expansion of CEO, in a case where the CEO fulfills the usual functions of a chief executive officer, see the bit on Walt Freese.)

    This situation may be contrasted with that of the corresponding legislative authority of the federal government of the US: According to Art. I, Sec. 6 of the US constitution,

    No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

    Similarly, Art. II, Sec. 1 forbids members of the Electoral College to hold other federal office:

    ... no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
    [The Electoral College was originally intended to select the President, but the twelfth amendment, court decisions and practical developments have turned it into a rubber stamp, conveying the decisions of the majorities of voters in the several states. There are persistent movements to abolish the Electoral College because of its nominal status, because of the possibility of mischief (electors' violation of their pledges to a candidate -- i.e. insubordination to the public will), and because of perceived problems with the coarse-graining procedure (winner-takes-whole-state) associated with the College.]

    On the executive side, the restriction on multiple offices takes a weaker form:

    The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

    European corporations are generally less likely to have the same person serve as CEO and Chairman. Also, many publicly held corporations in Europe -- particularly in Germany (.de) it seems -- have worker (viz. union) representation on the board.

    The Chairman of the Board is not very often abbreviated as COB.

    The late Frank Sinatra was also referred to as ``Ol' Blue Eyes'' and ``the Chairman of the Board.'' Another New Jersey (NJ) music icon, Bruce Springsteen, is known as ``the Boss.'' In 1984, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band had a hit with an album (and its title track) ``Born in the U.S.A.''

    Yet another pop music icon with a rank appellation was Nat ``King'' Cole. He was born in the USA, but not in New Jersey. He was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 17, 1917.

    Coastal and Estuarine Oceanography Branch.

    Committee On Earth Observation Satellites.

    Cepheus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Circular Error Probable. As in bomb aiming.

    During the Cold War, the USSR usually (from the late sixties or so) held an advantage in strategic missile throw weight. (The US usually led in SLBM's and bombers.) An important part of the argument in parity computations was the fact that more accurate missiles can kill a target using less megatonnage.

    Council on Economic Priorities.

    Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art (slow link) in western New York (defined here).

    Centro de Estudios y Promoción Agraria. `Center for the study and promotion of agriculture,' an Argentine organization. In Spanish as spoken in Argentina (as well as Andalusia in Spain and throughout Spanish America), cepa is a homonym of sepa (`that [the person] know'). This is probably as good a place as any to mention that Agricola was a great medieval metallurgist.

    Centro de Estudios de la Participacón y Desarrollo. `Center for studies of participation and development,' an Argentine organization.

    Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe. In any Latin American Spanish accent, this is pronounced indistinguishably from sepal.

    The library has been trying to unload some back issues of Revista de la CEPAL on its dollar table, and I'm going to give them some free advertising. The journal seems to be a thrice-yearly (April, August, December) publication of the United Nations, ISSN 0251-0257, edited and printed in Santiago, Chile. For a dollar, that should be enough.

    Centre d'Étude du Polymorphisme Humain. Since April 1993, it has been the Fondation Jean Dausset - CEPH. (CEPH ``is a research laboratory created in 1984 by Professor Jean Dausset (Nobel Prize, medicine and physiology, 1980). This laboratory constructs maps of the human genome. The original idea of Professor Dausset was to provide the scientific community with resources for the human genome mapping.'')

    Centre d'Épidémiologie d'Intervention du Québec. A public health organization based in Laval that seems to have disappeared around 2001, although acronym dictionaries everywhere faithfully continue to expand its acronym. We do our part; if you want immunizations, that's your problem.

    Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office. Part of the US EPA.

    CEntro de PREparación para la Ciencia Y Tecnología. [`Peruvian (.pe) Center for Preparation for Science and Technology.']

    Committee of European Postal & Telephone Authorities. Designates a European telecommunications standard at 2.048 MHz, corresponding to the US's T1.

    CEnter for Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Science. Ought to rhyme with sepsis.

    CEPTES has a regularly scheduled volleyball game with CAPTES (Center Against Philosophy of Technology or Engineering Science) on the fourth Thursday after the second Monday of each month.

    (US) Council on Environmental Quality.

    Cell Error Ratio. (That's ATM cells, in case you're not following the link.)

    Centre for European Reform. ``The Centre for European Reform is a think-tank devoted to improving the quality of the debate on the European Union. It is a forum for people with ideas from Britain [where it's based] and across the continent to discuss the many political, economic and social challenges facing Europe. It seeks to work with similar bodies in other European countries, North America and elsewhere in the world.''

    Why don't these ``think-tanks'' save us all some time by stating up front what their animating prejudices are? ``Centre'' hardly ever describes their political location. Well, I don't know when I harvested the self-description quoted above, but I checked back in March 2016 (the Brexit referendum is this coming June) and they're clear enough (that they're mainstream): ``The Centre for European Reform is an independent think-tank devoted to making the EU work better, and strengthening its role in the world. We are pro-European but not uncritical.'' I guess ``centre'' means ``in'' rather than `out'' -- that makes geometric sense to me.

    Contact End Resistor. A two-dimensional Transmission Line Model (TLM). Cf. CBKR.

    Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

    Centre for Eye Research Australia.

    Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

    Centers of Excellence in Rural America. An initiative of the Western Governors' Association (WGA), or possibly only of Wyoming and North Dakota. Too bad -- I was hoping we could get one in Dogpatch.

    (US) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Better known as Superfund.

    [Image: Sidebraze cerdip: http://www.national.com/packaging/gifs/sb.gif]
    Ceramic Dual-In-Line Package
    A ceramic package for microelectronic chips, with vertical leads, for pin-through-hole mounting, which point down in two parallel rows along opposite sides of the package. They come in different styles, and the ``sidebraze'' type is illustrated above. For the more traditional type of package, see illustration at cerdip below. Specs for some are published on the web by National Semiconductor.

    CERDIL, cerdil
    CERamic Dual In-Line (microelectronics package).

    CERDIP, cerdip
    CERamic Dual In-line Package. Unfortunately, there is something in the nomenclature here that resembles the ROM/RAM situation. While ceramic dual-in-line packages come in different forms, the acronym cerdip refers implicitly to the traditional pressed ceramic package with glass seal, recognizable from the solder-dip leads that come out the sides of the package and bend down (figure below).

    [Image: Cerdip from http://www.nsc.com/packaging/gifs/cerdip.gif]

    CERamic Engineer[ing].

    cereal box
    According to the lyrics of Edie Brickell's ``What I Am,'' philosophy is talk on a cereal box. The following wordful thoughts are from The Fundamental Forms of Social Thought, by Dr. Werner Stark (New York: Fordham U.P., 1963, $5.50), p. 89.
    ... Now the copula `is' which Radcliffe-Brown himself uses here--`he is a biological organism': `he is a citizen of England'--is highly significant. He does not say: a man has a body or he plays a role. This form of words is avoided because it implies a third element, namely the true self, which neither is a body but has a body, nor is a role-complex but plays roles. Am I really no more than body on the one hand, actor on the social stage on the other? Am I not a substantive ego in the Cartesian sense....

    Religion: a smile on a dog.

    Yeah, yeah, I gotta add some stuff on President William Jefferson (``Bill'') Clinton, a former Rhodes scholar, who expounded on the copulative verb to a grand jury:

    It depends upon what the meaning of the word ``is'' is.
    (The wording of Clinton's testimony has been variously reported, by people who in many cases are only indifferently interested in accuracy. A more accuracy-oriented discussion of the quote occurred on the <alt.fan.cecil-adams> newsgroup, first threading at the end of December 2000. The version quoted above was transcribed by a newsgroup contributor from a video of the jury testimony.

    The largest asteroid by far, accounting for about a third of the mass of the asteroid belt, Ceres was discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi on the first day of the nineteenth century. It nicely filled the gap between Mars and Jupiter where the Titius-Bode rule predicted there ought to be a planet, and among the kinds of astronomical objects then known it seemed to fit in among the planets, so a planet it was declared to be. After other solar satellites began to be found with similar orbits, the category of asteroids was invented; Ceres was reclassified as an asteroid, and was no longer regarded as a planet. There matters stood for a century and a half.

    In 2006 it was reclassified as a dwarf planet. For the time being, at least, it's clearly not a plutoid, because plutoids are trans-Neptunian by (current) definition, or at least sometimes trans-Neptunian. I've also read equivocal claims about whether Ceres ceased or did not cease to be an asteroid. I hereby issue a Stammtisch Beau Fleuve Directive recognizing Ceres as an asteroid. I can't be bothered to sort out the other stuff, because the boy who cried ``dwarf planet!'' (that's the IAU, for short) will scramble its definitions soon again anyway.

    Okay! Alright already! In response to countless requests (that's right, I haven't counted them, or it, or whatever the pronoun[s] for nonpositive numbers is or are or whatever) to lift the confusion created by the IAU, I am issuing a new SBF Directive on dwarf planets. A dwarf planet is a planet whose humanoid inhabitants are mostly dwarves or seem to walk awkwardly but aren't obese. If the planet has no humanoids, it may qualify on the basis of bonsai trees.

    You know, that long parenthetical in the last paragraph reminds me of the great French grammarian Dominique Bouhours, S.J.; when he died in 1702, his last words are reputed to have been:

    Je vais ou je vas mourir, l'un et l'autre se dit ou se disent.
    Loosely, this is `I am going to or I is going to die; either is said or are said.' The first clause of the original sounds at least as atrocious in Modern French as that of the translation does in English. (And for about the same reason: use of non-first-person verb with first-person subject. It's the second-person familiar form in French, but I used the third person in English since that's a recognizable nonstandard usage.) During Bouhours's lifetime, however, ``je vas'' was accepted usage.

    Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System. A NASA project to study radiative energy transport in the Earth's atmosphere.

    Bennett Alfred Cerf (1898-1971).

    Collège des Enseignants en Radiologie de France. I'm not sure if an official translation exists or is needed, but let's say `French College of Radiology Instructors.'

    Cytology Education and Research Forum. This likely acronym seems to occur only in acronym glossaries. Here ya go.

    Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute.

    Conseil Européenne pour le Recherche Nucléaire. The European Particle Physics Laboratory at the French/Swiss border. You don't need a visa to visit the CERN Document Server of physics preprints.

    Commander's Emergency Response Program. A program of the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) that assists Iraqi citizens by supporting and developing local programs and institutions. The projects must not exceed $500,000 and must demonstrate an important public need. Examples of things funded include drainage and irrigation projects; building renovations, buses, and uniforms for schools; hospital equipment, and construction of a fine arts institute. Supplies and services are primarily purchased from local sources.

    Cert., cert
    Certif{ y | ie{d|s} | icat{e|ion} }. If that's hard to parse, read
    certify, certifies, certified, certificate, or certification.

    CERTiorari. An appeal to the US Supreme Court is a petition for a writ of certiorari. Thousands of such petitions are filed each year; the court hears only about a hundred cases per year. According to the rule of four, at least four of nine justices must agree to hear the case in order for the writ to be issued. Cf. cert. den.

    Computer Emergency Response Team. Here are a few relevant sites/links:

    Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center at Carnegie-Mellon. See CERT above for other relevant organizations.

    cert. den.
    CERTiorari DENied. The Supreme Court refuses to take the case on appeal. This is not a decision on the merits of the case, and cannot be taken as indicating approval of the lower court's decision. Interesting. Cf. cert.

    An over-the-counter breath medication. Active ingredient: retsin. (Follow that link!)

    Computer Emergency Response Team (Utrecht University). See CERT for other relevant organizations.

    Career Examination Series. A series of ``Passbooks'' (registered trademark) of the NLC. Exam cram. Here are some bulleted selling points of passbooks (R):

    Centre for Educational Sociology.

    7 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW.

    Circuit Emulation Service.

    Community Extension Service[s].

    Consumer Electronics Show. In Las Vegas. Every Winter, they host the Annual Adult Video News Awards, but you won't see any of that in their web pages.

    Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale.


    Centre for European Studies and General Linguistics. The old Classics Department, and I-don't-know-what-other unsalable bits of academic pudding, were filling for this sausage at the University of Adelaide (in SA). This, according to a June 2001 newsletter of the ASCS, ``the spellchecker on computers insists on reading as `cesspool'.''

    Cornell Electron-positron Storage Ring. I seem to recall that it was pronounced ``Caesar.'' So was CSSER.

    Center for Electronic System Technology. At the University of Utah.

    Center for the Exploitation of Science and Technology. Is that fair? Is it legal? Pity the poor little sciencelings and technologylings!

    Well, relax; CEST is gone now. They did their deeds into the early 1990's, apparently, but by 2008 their homepage was a domainer's generic search form with no sign of a successor organization. All that's left is some technical reports and glossary entries.

    It was based in London, so it was probably a ``Centre'' rather than a ``Center,'' but the text at vestigial dead links are equivocal on the question. For your convenience, however, and also to keep the next two entries together (entries with a common head term are ordered by alphabetizing by entry content), I won't update that.

    Central European Summer Time. That's what it means most of the time. A few percent of the time, it means Central European Standard Time, just to screw me up. CEDT and CDT, with the obvious ``daylight'' expansions, are rare. Cf. CET infra.

    Central European Time. (Sometimes ``Central European Standard Time''; see CEST just above.) The name suggests a central Europe that extends as far west as Spain. CET is standard time zone A (which see). It's one hour ahead of universal time. MEZ in German.

    Cetus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Common External Tariffs (of CARICOM).

    Continuing Education and Training.

    There's an old children's song with the lines

    No more pencils, no more bo-oks,
    No more teachers' dirty lo-oks.
    Alice Cooper quotes those lines in ``School's Out.''

    School is never out forever, never out completely. ``The learning society,'' ugh.

    Cf. CPD.

    Conférence des Églises de Toute l'Afrique. For English, see AACC.

    Confédération Européenne de Twirling Bâton. Translation? You figure it out. Plus d'associations twirling bâton: majorette.

    Center for ExtraTerrestrial Engineering & Construction.


    Cetedoc, CETEDOC
    Le Centre de traitement électronique des documents. Based at UCL.

    ceteris paribus
    Latin loosely translated as `all other things being equal.' The favorite phrase of economists.

    Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities. Located at Princeton.

    Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems.

    Central European University. In Hungary. The homepage features a collage of eleven people with glum expressions.

    Continuing Education Unit. An academic credit, not necessarily equal to one credit hour.

    Controlled-Environment Vault.

    Carbon-Enhanced Vapor Etching. Also called locally catalyzed oxide etching. Here's something.

    Californium. Atomic number 98. A transuranide actinide. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

    Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. ``Andrew Carnegie founded The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1905, `to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching.' The Foundation is the only advanced study center for teachers in the world and the third oldest foundation in the [US]. A small group of distinguished scholars conducts the Foundation's research activities.''

    Carried Forward. This is a useful term in describing formal rituals such as financial accounting and, uh, well, um, commercial accounting. (As Churchill said: ``Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.'' Just keep plodding bravely forward in your sentence, onward to full stop, repairing and rationalizing as best you can, even if you started out on the wrong iamb or whatever.)

    CF, cf
    Center Field[er]. (Baseball term.)

    Central African Republic, domain-name code. I suppose maybe the eff represents the fact that it used to be a French colony. Or perhaps it represents a proFanity uttered by some ISO 3166 guy, facing the fact that there are so many toponyms beginning in cee.

    Charcoal Filter.

    Coin First. The sort of payphone that does not trust. Cf. DTF.

    Collaborative Filtering. CF is a technique widely used in ``recommender systems,'' and hence increasingly common on the web. (It is the basis, for one example, of the MovieLens recommender.)

    CF is based on the ``like likes like'' idea. (That's not a direct quote; I just happened to like the symmetry of the expression.) Users are prompted to indicate their preferences for various documents or sites or what have you, and these preferences are recorded as a collection. Each new user belongs to a neighborhood (in the topological sense) determined by the degree of agreement of his preferences with other users. The system makes recommendations based on the idea that if you like the things I liked among those we've both viewed, then you will also like the things I liked among those you haven't viewed.


    Compare. [Abbreviation for Latin confer.]

    Configuration File. (Or ConFiguration.) Filename extension I've seen used with some Perl programs. I suppose if you want to set up a mailing list using Majordomo in the Central African Republic, it could cause some confusion.

    Consolidated Freightways. Cargo by truck. The third-largest long-haul trucking company in the US at the time it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 3, 2002, after seven consecutive quarters of losses. Consolidated had 350 terminals and provided LTL service to almost every market in the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico. It also offered trucking to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

    It had something over 30,000 vehicles in its fleet, and had 20,000 employees, 14,500 of them Teamsters.

    Cost and Freight.

    Cresol-Formaldehyde resin.

    California Faculty Association.

    Call For Abstracts [of papers]. This is essentially a call for papers (CFP) or presentations for a conference, since in most instances the selection of speakers (and presenters of posters) is made on the basis of abstracts only. Many conferences (particularly those with ``workshop'' in the name) do not publish a formal proceedings volume, or only distribute an informal collection of papers. Even when a paper is expected, it is not normally due until some time after the conference program is decided. (Such paper may be due before, during, or after the conference, may be refereed or not, etc. Practice varies widely, even among different conferences within the same discipline.)

    In some cases, mere submission of an abstract guarantees an opportunity to present. It used to be that any APS member submitting one or more abstracts to a national conference of the APS was guaranteed the chance to present at least one poster. (That may still be the rule, but I'm not sure. It was a problem because the APS abstracts volume, distributed to APS members and anyone else attending an APS meeting, became the principal ``publication'' of crackpots who couldn't get their lunacy published elsewhere.)

    Often, referees are under the impression that the papers of invited talks are guaranteed publication. I have never seen this stipulated explicitly by any proceedings editor, but it is an informal expectation and some allowances may be made.

    The respectable assumption is that a submitted abstract describes the results of research that is completed or nearly completed, even though a paper describing the research has not yet been prepared. The reality is that abstracts are often submitted describing research not yet begun.

    Carrier Failure Alarm.

    Call For Applica{nt|tion}s. A job announcement.

    Center for Astrophysics at Harvard.

    Center-Frequency Acceptance. A frequncy band enlarged by Automatic Frequency Control.

    Communauté Financière Africaine. See main entry at CAF.

    Continuous Flow Analysis.

    Context-Free Array Grammar. A kind of picture grammar, q.v.. A subclass in the Chomsky-like hierarchy of isometric array grammars (IAG's).

    See C. R. Cook and P. S. P. Wang, ``A Chomsky hierarchy of isotonic array grammars and languages,'' Computer Graphics and Image Processing, vol. 8, pp. 144-152 (1978).

    Constant False-Alarm Rate.

    Don't they know the story of the boy who cried wolf?

    Circulating Fluidized Bed. A coal power technology.

    Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College. In St. Kitts.

    Call For Comments. Constructed on the model of the more common CFP. Typically a call for public input on a proposed public action such as approval of a code variance or new rule. A much, much less common sense of CFC is ``Call For Commenters.'' This is so rare that I've decided not to give it its own entry. However, one instance I happened to encounter of CFC in the sense Call For Comment-foo was of this latter kind, and it motivated me to create this entry. After writing the following bunch of paragraphs on the subject, I'm hardly going to remove my own comments merely because I've realized that they are completely irrelevant...

    This is a good place to discuss some of the less important differences between conferences in the humanities and social sciences, on the one hand, and engineering and sciences on the other. For brevity, we'll say humanities vs. sciences, but so far as I know the following applies about equally to social sciences and engineering, respectively. (My experience of attending talks in science and engineering is broad; my experience of social science and humanities talks is mainly restricted to the fields of human communications, politics, HPS, psychology, medieval studies, and classics.)

    One difference is that humanities talks are really spoken papers. ``Speakers'' prepare papers and read them. In science, talks are talks. In practice, this difference is quite consequential, making and marking a difference in approach much greater than it might in principle imply. However, here we're talking about some ``less important differences,'' so we can't discuss that issue any further.

    In all scholarly and would-be scholarly disciplines, talks are followed (and in various situations also interrupted) by questions or comments from the audience. In departmental talks (a single speaker for 50 minutes, say, and 10 min. discussion), discussion is usually handled informally. In a single-room conference, a session chairman or moderator may intervene more or less obtrusively, primarily to introduce speakers, make late announcements, keep things on schedule, etc. In a large conference with parallel sessions, keeping things on schedule becomes more important. (Keeping to schedule is quite a topic in itself, and I don't want to get into it here. Until I write an appropriate entry, however, let me mention here that in the March 2004 CJR there's an article by a presidential jokewriter that mentions getting Bill Clinton to use an egg timer. Vide etiam c.t., s.t.)

    I once chaired a session that included a graduate student who gave a core dump of a talk. Most of her overheads consisted of unlabeled octal data. I don't know what the talk was about, but though it was in 1987, I can honestly say that I have not forgotten anything important. When her talk fell off the edge of the data and terminated, I called for questions. Unsurprisingly, none of the two-hundred-plus victims who were surviving there waiting for a later talk had any question to ask. Therefore I asked a question that I had conscientiously contrived in anticipation. That too is part of the chair's responsibility -- to get past any awkward potential silence. I watched decorously and paid no attention as she answered, mission accomplished.

    A session chairman who traffic-manages questions from the audience or who ``gets things started'' represents about the greatest degree of intervention one is likely to encounter in the discussion following a scientific presentation.

    In the humanities, things are different. Organizers of conferences, and of sessions within conferences, receive a great deal more praise for their activity, and their role is more prominent. To a scientist, it sometimes looks quite ostentatious and silly. In the discussion following a presentation, the mix of questions and comments is much more heavily skewed toward comments. If you've ever attended a university-sponsored movie (or worse -- gallery opening or play -- get me outta here!), you probably know what I mean. You remember in the discussion afterward (and possibly also before), supercilious jerks in tweed jackets asking ``questions'' to demonstrate their irrelevant knowledge, twisting their necks in William-F.-Buckleyesque fits of pretentious contemplation, and generally taking too long to utter what amount to no more than excuses for the speaker to puff on. I'm not going to tell you what I think of that.

    Now where was I? Oh yes: conference sessions. (Often called ``panels'' in the humanities.) Not only is the role of organizer exalted, but even the task of appreciating the speakers' talks is exalted. Hence, there is sometimes a designated respondent or commenter for each paper; more often there is a single commenter for an entire panel. In the latter case, decorum dictates that all papers be acknowledged. The respondent has received advance copies of the talks (spoken papers, remember) and prepared five or ten minutes of commentary placing the papers in the context of recent scholarship and raising ostentatiously thoughtful questions for further discussion in the ``question-and-answer'' period. It's good form to find a common thread, preferably recondite, joining the papers so one can talk about how the talks ``illuminate different aspects'' of some issue or other. This isn't exactly a sinecure, but it is a bit of plum job, since it takes up as much real estate on an academic résumé as a real paper, but takes much less effort. So respondents are people favored by the conference or panel organizer, and there isn't really much call for a public call for commenters, but if there is I can assure you that at least once it has been abbreviated CFC. Usually it's a call for respondents.

    ChloroFluoroCarbon. An extremely useful class of chemicals. Unfortunately, they break down to release fluorine and chlorine, and the chlorine in particular is believed to diffuse to the upper atmosphere and interfere with the oxygen/ozone cycle that shields us from UV radiation. A popular example is freon (or rather are, or better were the freons), used as the working fluid in refrigerators and propellant in spray cans.

    Consolidated Facility Charge.

    Example of usage:

    Terms & Conditions:
    If your reservation is not canceled at least one day prior to pickup, you may be subject to a one-day rental charge. Tax and Surcharge rates are subject to change without notice. [SBF: !] Concession fees may be charged (where applicable) at airport locations. At many airport locations a consolidated facility charge (CFC) may also apply ($10/contract in California). A $5.00 per day U.S. Government imposed Administrative Rate Supplement (GARS/GA) will be added to all U.S. Government rentals.

    Chicago Film Critics Association. Starting in 2003 (15th annual CFCA awards), winners are announced in early January, awards ceremony is televised live in late February.

    For other film awards, see the AMPAS entry.

    Continuous-Fiber Ceramic Composite. There's a DOE R&D program on CFCC's.

    ChloroFluoroCarbon number 113. Trichlorotrifluoroethane.

    ChloroFluoroCarbon number 12. Dichlorodifluoromethane.

    Call For Discussion. Part of the formal procedure for newsgroup creation. Renamed RFD (Request For Discussion) some years ago so that the abbreviation wouldn't be one letter away from CFV.

    Computational Fluid Dynamics.

    Constant-Fraction (threshold) Detector.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

    Council of Fashion Designers of America. ``Non-profit trade organization for North-American designers of fashion and fashion accessories.'' We have a discussion of fashion accessories at the paddy wagon entry.

    Cowboy Fast Draw Association. ``Our credo is `The Cowboy Way in action and deed'; it requires no explanation.''

    C.F.D.T., CFDT
    Confédération Française de Travailleurs.

    Centre Français des Études Éthiopiennes. `French Center for Ethiopian Studies.' It was created in 1991 under the name Maison française des études éthiopiennes. It became the CFEE in 1997. The homepage has 161 K of markup and nothing to show for it.

    Center for Free Electron Laser Studies.

    Chemins de Fer Fédéraux suisses. French name of Swiss (.ch) national railway. The acronyms in all the other languages also consist of one double letter and one single:

    This study examined the incidence of neckwear tightness among a group of 94 white-collar working men and the effect of a tight business-shirt collar and tie on the visual performance of 22 male subjects. Of the white-collar men measured, 67% were found to be wearing neckwear that was tighter than their neck circumference. The visual discrimination of the 22 subjects was evaluated using a critical flicker frequency (CFF) test. Results of the CFF test indicated that tight neckwear significantly decreased the visual performance of the subjects and that visual performance did not improve immediately when tight neckwear was removed.

    -- Langan, L.M. and Watkins, S.M.
    ``Pressure of Menswear on the Neck
    in Relation to Visual Performance.''
    Human Factors vol. 29, #1 (Feb. 1987), pp. 67-71.

    Consortium pour la Formation de Formateurs en Traduction. CTTT in a more common international language.

    Corpus fontium historiae Byzantinae. Series of books.

    Canadian Federation for History and Social Sciences. In French, finally something interestingly different (and shorter, even!): Fédération canadienne des sciences humaines.

    CAD Framework Initiative. (Here, ``CAD'' refers primarily to ECAD.)

    ConFigurable Interface (SIPB).

    Continuous Forest Inventory.

    Canadian Food Inspection Agency. ACIA in French.

    Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.

    Corporate Functional Integration Board.

    Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. Better known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS, where the links are).

    The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. Also FCEI.

    Controlled Flight Into Terrain. Plane crash caused by piloting error (or pilot decision), in a plane that was mechanically able to avoid crashing.

    Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Pronounced ``syphius.'' It's an inter-agency group chaired by the Treasury Secretary which monitors foreign investment in US.

    The CFIUS was at the center of a political firestorm in early 2006 after it approved the sale of operation contracts for six major US ports to Dubai Ports World, a firm owned by the government of that Arab gulf state. The firm eventually withdrew.

    In February 2006, the Jerusalem Post reported that Dubai Ports World actively enforced the Arab trade embargo against Israel. The Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007, signed into law in late July, included language requiring the Secretaries of State, Commerce, and Treasury to report to Congress on investments in the US by ``foreign governments, entities controlled by or acting on behalf of a foreign government, or persons of foreign countries which comply with any boycott of Israel.''

    Californians for Justice. Group opposed to the passage, and now the implementation, of the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), a ballot initiative it considers racist.

    CFJ is not racist. Their homepage excitedly announces that ``communities of color, and young and poor people of all colors -- represent a new emerging majority in California.''

    They seem to be heartened by the increasing number of poor in California. With the price of real estate in Silicon Valley, even the pretty well off are poor. CFJ should be thrilled.

    [Football icon]

    Canadian Football League. Do you realize that Baltimore was already home of the 1995 Grey Cup Champion Baltimore Stallions? And still they go and steal away the Browns from Cleveland. The Stallions became the Montreal Alouettes in 1996; the other south-of-the-border CFL teams folded. In fall 1996 the CFL was in danger of financial collapse, but it pulled through.

    The CFL holds its annual draft on the same weekend that the NFL does. In other respects -- punts, pro-championship game, snow -- the northern game is earlier. How they managed to get T-day to happen earlier, beats me.

    Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois. Luxembourg (.lu) national railway.

    Compact Fluorescent Lamp. You've seen 'em in stores. Self-contained fluorescent-lamp-and-ballast units that screw in to standard incandescent-bulb sockets. They consume only one quarter of the power per lumen of incandescent lights.

    Until the 1970's, fluorescent lamps used inefficient core-coil ballast that made lamps shorter than 2 feet (~60 cm) impractical. The advent of high-frequency ballasts in the late 70's made CFL's possible.

    CFL's have been touted as a way to save both money and energy, but the calculations on which this rosy claim is based make two false assumptions: (1) that CFL's are used to replace an equal number of lumens of incandescent lighting, and (2) that CFL's last twelve times as long as incandescents. Assumption (1) is false because CFL's tend to replace lights that are dimmer. Assumption (2) is hype. It probably is true in the laboratory, where hot incandescent filaments wear out by sublimation. Installed, however, my experience and that of people I know is that they frequently fail far short of their advertised average life. In principle, this doesn't refute the claim of long average life (the long-lived ones might be very long-lived), but it appears that problem is jarring and vibration.

    The claims are being put to a large-scale test in the BELLE project.

    With more realistic assumptions, the trade-off is iffy. The calculation is also affected by heating issues: all the power used by an incandescent lamp, whether it is transformed into light power or not, goes into local heating. This entails an extra cooling expense or heating bonus, depending on immediate conditions.

    CorelFLow. Filename extension for files containing chart data in a proprietary format belonging to whatever company owns the Corel suite these days.

    Cure For Lymphoma Foundation. Founded in 1994 and lasted until 2001, so you could say it had something like a 100% five-year survival rate. In 2001 it merged with the similarly-purposed LRFA to form the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF, q.v.).

    CFL Players' Association. Cf. NFLPA.

    ColdFusion Markup Language. Allaire proprietary format (and filename extension).

    Contamination-Free Manufacturing.

    CFM, cfm
    Cubic Feet per Minute. Unit of hot air. CFS is used for congressional levels.

    (Australian) Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

    Canadian Federation of Mental Health Nurses.

    Chief Financial Officer. ``Top bean-counter'' may give offense.

    CFP, CfP
    Call For Papers (for a conference). The expansion, but not the initialism, may occur as a verb phrase, but CFP is normally a noun. A CFP implies an upcoming conference, so CFP essentially means ``a conference announcement with some indication of how to become a contributor to it.'' It's in the nature of technical and academic conferences that the potential participants and the potential audience members are substantially the same group of people, so most conference announcements are CFP's. But not all -- after the deadline and all the deadline extensions have passed, there may be conference announcements to serve as reminders and try to drum up additional business.

    This conference democracy thing (to coin a phrase), where the groups of listeners and speakers are the same, is not universal. It's not like entertainment; I've never seen a ``Call for Movie Scripts'' or ``Call for Fiction Book Proposals.'' They've got enough coming in over the transom to keep all their assistant editors busy full time rejecting first chapters, even though the first paragraph is usually enough to assure a rejection.

    Appel de textes and appel de communications seem to be the most common French equivalents to ``call for papers,'' but there doesn't seem to be a corresponding abbreviation of any sort. Appel à communications and appel à textes are also used. I haven't read enough to be very sure, but it seems to me that the French terms are used less narrowly. I've seen appel à textes used in a call for [very-far-off-off-Broadway theatre] scripts, for example, and in a call for research proposals.

    Any ``invited'' speakers at a conference, almost by definition, are selected on the basis of reputation or of known, typically recent work. In any case, they are not the intended audience for a CFP. Nevertheless, some conferences do occasionally promote to invited status some papers sent in response to a CFP.

    Call For Proposals. I've seen this refer to two kinds of proposals. In the sciences and engineering, a call for proposals is typically an announcement of a funding or contract opportunity. Sometimes in the humanities a call for proposals is an invitation to propose a panel or session of presentations dedicated to some theme within the broader subject of a research conference.

    Common Fisheries Policy. Of the EU.

    Comptoirs Français du Pacifique. Central bank for Pacific dependencies of France. Issues the CFP franc, pegged at 18.18 per FFr, or about a penny US. ``18.18''? Two hundred CFPF's buy eleven FFr's? They couldn't choose a more convenient rate?

    The Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference. Held annually since 1991.

    Continuous-Flow Pyrolyzer.

    CFP Franc. More at CFP entry -- just scroll back a couple of entries.

    Call For (conference) Panel Participation.


    Call Failure Rate. The probability that you will fail to connect to your ISP on a first (or any given) try. The Inverse Net report (see ISP entry) finds this number in the range of 5-10% for major ISP's. This includes AOL. My experience with AOL in Union County, New Jersey (1998) was a CFR of about 90-95% in the afternoon, unless I paid extra for a long-distance call. The reports don't identify the worst performers individually, but none did anywhere near that badly on Inversenet's tests, so take their numbers cum grano salis.

    CFR's, as measured by Inversenet, tend to go up during the Winter Holiday season, a result which they explain in terms of increased numbers of people staying home in the cold, and internet shopping. On the other hand, Keynote finds that performance, as measured in delays for pages to be retrieved across the web, improves during the same period, as they write: ``the Internet is "at rest" over the holidays.'' I can only reconcile these observations by guessing that when people browse at work, they put a heavier load on the internet's main arteries than when they have to wait at home.

    Call For Registration [for a conference].

    Campaign { Finance | Funding } Reform. I think Napoleon said that an army travels on its belly. Didn't they all march or ride upright in those days? Oh, now I see my point! I mean that effectively, his military campaigns were partially funded by the poor peasants of the areas the army occupied and lived off of. Hmm. Well, anyway, ``CFR'' usually refers to electoral reform.

    Case Fatality Rate. Fraction of people contracting a disease who ultimately die of it or because of it (that's two definitions).

    Code of Federal Regulations. A boat anchor--gravitationally and intellectually. Vide labyrinth.

    Commercial Fast (nuclear) Reactor.

    Council on Foreign Relations. Founded in 1921 and based in New York, it's self-described as a ``Nonpartisan Resource for Information and Analysis.'' It's a think-tank that publishes the journal Foreign Policy, which is influential among people who have the time to read such ponderous stuff. CFR attempts, or attempts to appear to attempt, to achieve nonpartisanship by being sort of bipartisan. The board does include some people whose careers have been outside of politics, but many of these are MSMers. The politicos are mostly former government appointees from both major parties. Republicans are in the minority; they seem to be squishy types.

    There's also an organization that was founded in 1922 (the year after CFR) and which took as its name The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. Its goals are similar to those of its New York rival, but it never gained the same level of public visibility. Finally on September 1, 2006, it changed its name to The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The President's message explaining the shift never mentions the 84 years of namespace friction. This organization insists on eschewing an initialism and referring to itself for short as ``The Council'' or ``The Chicago Council.'' Why don't they go for ``Chicago City Council''? That has a familiar sound. And though I know nothing about the quality of this organization's work, it is with an exceptionally clear conscience that I don't give it an entry of its own in this glossary.

    Confidential; Formerly Restricted Data. Part-way declassified.

    Continuous Flow Recirculating Loop.

    Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer[s].

    Crash/Fire Rescue Vehicle.

    Call For Submissions.

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Also called CFIDS and ME. Multiple names reflect continuing uncertainty in diagnosis and understanding of causes. There's a CFIDS Association of America; the Cheney Clinic specializes in CFS. American Soccer star Michelle Akers gives her personal testimony at this site.

    This FAQ, by Robert Burns, has some unclear connection with alternatives.com, which offers this menu of text documents.

    There ought to be a Cheney Clinic that specializes in keeping vice-president and executive-branch designated adult Dick Cheney operative and unfatigued.

    Combined Fuse Switch[es].

    Computers For Schools. A charitable program run by the Detwiler Foundation.

    Constant Final State spectroscopy.

    Consumer and Family Sciences. Yeah, see, it's just like physics and chemistry, except that it's about consumer and family. Let's go to the mall and run some experiments. This might be the most brazen travesty of ``science'' that I've encountered. It's probably significant that the term is only used for the name of a university department at Purdue, which started as an engineering school.

    Container Freight Station.

    Classification of Finite Simple Groups. An achievement.

    Common Foreign and Security Policy (of the EU).

    Certified Fitness Trainer.

    Continuous Fourier Transform.

    Crystal Field Theory.

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    Confédération Française de Travailleurs Chrétiens. In some forrrane toong, this is `French Confederation of Christian Workers.' Chrétien here is translated by its cognate. That's better than translating it as ``long-time Canadian PM,'' but it's not exact, because it is as usual impossible to translate the connotations precisely between cultures. In countries that are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, as France once was, ``Christian'' implies Roman Catholic. (In very roughly the same way, in the American South, ``God-fearing'' means ``Jesus-loving.'')

    By a similar sort of shorthand, in Europe the political meaning of ``Christian'' has been anti-Socialist, anti-Marxist, anti-Communist, rightist. This has been so especially since 1917. Interesting, then, that the CFTC should have been founded in 1919. See also CFTD.

    Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail. The `French Democratic Labor Federation.' Founded in 1964 as an offshoot of the French Confederation of Christian Workers (CFTC, q.v.), but still Catholic-oriented. (That would be Catholic-orientated, if you're reading this in nearby Britain.)

    Colony-Forming Unit (of micro-organisms).

    Call For Votes. [Part of the formal procedure for newsgroup creation.]

    Carbon Glass.

    Center of Gravity. In most practical situations, this is the same as the center of mass.

    Chorionic Gonadotropin. See hCG.


    Classical Guitar. It's a couple of inches shorter and has a wider neck than your typical dreadnought acoustic guitar, and it doesn't have metal strings. (They used to be catgut, now they're nylon.) A classical guitar doesn't have a pick guard because you don't play it with a pick.


    Commanding General. A status, not a rank.

    Computer Graphics. Movie term.

    Congo domain name code. That would be the old French Congo. Belgian Congo, on the other side of the Congo River, was called Zaire (.zr) by President-for-Life Mobutu, but he was ousted in 1997 and died (he'd been dying of cancer for a while), so I think that's now called ``Democratic Republic of the Congo'' vel sim. until the next successful coup.

    Conjugate Gradient ( method).

    Control Gate. [``Gate'' here used in the sense of a transistor gate (defn. 1).] Vide floating gate.

    Cross Gospel. A document or oral tradition supposed to be the original of all the passion narratives in the New Testament scriptures. John Dominic Crossan famously attempted a reconstruction of the CG from GPeter, à la Q. In The Historical Jesus, The Life of a Mediterranean Peasant (1991), Crossan wrote
    First, the historical passion, composed of minimal knowledge, was known only in general terms recorded by, say, Josephus or Tacitus. Next, the prophetic passion, composed of multiple and discrete biblical allusions and seen most clearly in a work like the Epistle of Barnabas, developed biblical applications over, under, around, and through that open framework. Finally, those multiple and discrete exercises were combined into the narrative passion as a single sequential story...The narrative passion is but a single stream of tradition flowing from the Cross Gospel, now embedded within the Gospel of Peter, into Mark, thence together into Matthew and Luke, and thence, all together, into John.
    You'd figure if they were all reading from the same page, they might have gotten the details to agree.

    Carrier Group Alarm.

    Chromogranin A.

    Color Graphics Adapter. Earliest color resolution available on IBM PC's and compatibles: ``four'' colors only (red, green, blue, and black) -- i.e., 2 bits of color information. Obsolete; superseded by EGA, now obsolete as well. Sic transit coloratura.

    Computational Geometry Algorithms Library.

    Chromogranin A-Like Immunoreactivity.

    Convert Gray code to ordinary Binary code.

    Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. Let's amputate the pork.

    Christlicher Gewerkschaftsbund Deutschland. Christian Trade Union Federation of Germany. with 303 thousand members in 1997 (76 thousand female). The third-largest union outside the DGB, q.v.

    Computer-Generated Hologram.

    Clinical Global Impression. Scale used in assessment of psychopathology.

    CGI, cgi
    Common Gateway Interface. The standard for interfacing with a gateway (a program run by a web server). Used in conjunction with HTML. Read the NCSA CGI documentation.

    There's a good explanatory `` Instantaneous Introduction to CGI Scripts and HTML Forms.

    LPAGE Internet services in Sacramento, CA would like to teach you how it's done, for $100 in Sacramento. They have a couple of on-line tutorials, but it's all rather PC-oriented. (From the ``but,'' you may guess correctly that I'm a MacBigot.)

    Web Communications, a W3 presence provider, has a W3 Fill-out Forms Tutorial, though this has a somewhat local focus.

    CyServices offers links to CGI resources for three levels of wizardship.

    There's a site for those with a focus on language learning applications.

    Yahoo has, of course, a generous list of links.

    Un-CGI offers to take care of most of the details for you.

    The CGI Information Resource Center is a handy list of links.

    Computer-Generated Imagery. A movie-industry term.

    Church of God International. Just when I was thinking, ``oh, that kind of church,'' I learn that there is another organization called the United Church of God, an International Association, which does not mention at its site and apparently is not united with Worldwide Church of God, which also appears to be an international association. God help us.

    CGI appears to be the least international of the three.

    Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. It didn't occur to them to call it ``Consultative International Group for Agricultural Research''? Get on the ball, people!

    It's ``a strategic alliance of countries, international and regional organizations, and private foundations supporting 15 international agricultural Centers, that work with national agricultural research systems and civil society organizations including the private sector. The alliance mobilizes agricultural science to reduce poverty, foster human well being, promote agricultural growth and protect the environment. The CGIAR generates global public goods that are available to all.''

    Chew, Goldberger and Low (equations). A set of equations describing a plasma with thermal anisotropy. See G. F. Chew, M. L. Goldberger and F. E. Low: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Ser. A, vol. 236, p. 112 (1956).

    French Confédération Général du Logement.

    CGM, .cgm
    Computer Graphics Metafile.

    Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. A U.K. military medal. The name is really more accurate than necessary, because no order of gallantry, or what we tend to call bravery now, will receive recognition if it's not conspectable.

    Common Germanic.

    Computer Graphics Metafile Interchange Format.

    Conjugate-Gradient Normal Residual.

    Chief {Governance|Green} Officer. My chief green officer will always be Kermit the Frog, because it's not easy being green. CECO is apparently equivalent to CG(reen)O and has the positive advantages of (a) not namespace-colliding head-on with another management head and (b) including ``eco.'' There are other CXO's.

    Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures. `General Conference on Weights and Measures.'

    The name is often incompetently translated from the French as `General Conference of Weights and Measures.' That's where a bunch of weights and measures get together and talk. The heavy weights do most of the talking. Walk softly and carry a big stick.

    Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. (Called GRO at time of launch). Went into orbit in 1991. In March 2000, after a gyroscope failed, it was decided to crash it into the Pacific Ocean.

    Clock Generation & Support.

    Centimeter (cm), Gram, Second. Fundamental units of one or a few standards now superseded by SI.


    Classics Graduate Student List. ``[A] ... tool for graduate student communication and networking'' sponsored by the Women's Classical Caucus (WCC) but ``open to male or female graduate students of all levels of study, institutional affiliations, and scholarly interests.'' It's not a mailing list in the usual sense. In fact, it's remarkably unclear what it is or how it works. Judge for yourself.

    Confederación General del Trabajo. The Argentine `General Confederation of Labor.' In its current incarnation, it was founded (which is to say nominally separated from the Peronists) in 1984. It represented, in effect, a separated faction of the Peronists (the Justicialista party, PJ) with substantial overlapping membership, but by the mid 1990's it was staging general strikes against the government of Peronist president Carlos Menem. As of 2004, about 90% of the country's 1100 unions (sindicatos) belonged to the CGT. The two other, ``dissident'' labor confederations in Argentina are the CTA and the MTA. CGT is the only Argentine affiliate of the ICFTU (abbreviated CIOSL in Spanish).

    Computer-Generated Writing.

    Calvin and Hobbes.


    (Domain code for) Switzerland. Because the country has three official languages (plus Romansch), they used the Latin name, Confoederatio Helvetica. Famous for its prized neutrality and its fierce commitment to defend its independence by small arms fire and by making profitable secret deals with any belligerent neighbor, it naturally has not joined the EU, to say nothing of NATO. For a long time, it was reluctant to join the UN; it had observer status. (English is not officially an official language of Switzerland; I guess they have voyeur status.) Heck, I've observed the UN myself. Various UN organizations are headquartered in Geneva (contributing an estimated $1.8 billion to the economy). I guess the organizations are there because it makes the exchange of multilingual memoranda more efficient, and not because it's a nice place to be. On March 3, 2002, Switzerland finally decided, in a close vote, to join the UN. On September 10 of the same year its admission was approved!!! (We were all holding our breaths in excited anticipation.) It became the 190th member.

    Switzerland was belittled for its cuckoo clocks in the movie ``The Third Man.'' One of the things that my mother brought with her as a refugee to Bolivia in 1938 was her cuckoo clock. Her family set up a tailor shop in La Paz, and many of the customers would bring their children along so they could watch the cuckoo clock tweet the hour or half hour.

    There's a cleverly named sear.ch engine.

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

    Here's something: since 1945, Swiss mothers have been required to take eight weeks off work after childbirth, but in 1999 a measure to require and fund maternity leave again failed to pass.

    Generic chemical symbol for a chalcogen. The chalcogens are oxygen-group elements (i.e., elements in group VIA in traditional US labeling of the periodic table; VIB European; group 16 IUPAC). The term chalcogen apparently arose from an erroneous understanding of the Greek chalkos (`copper, brass, bronze') caused by the fact that in German, a single word Erz is the standard word for `ore' and can also mean `bronze.' Details on the etymology at chalcogen.

    The terms chalcogen and chalcogenide are used for three nested sets of elements. Here they are described in order of decreasing set size:

    1. Loosely, chalcogen (or ``the chalcogens'') is used synonymously with ``any element (or all elements) of the oxygen group.'' To wit, oxygen (O), sulfur (S), selenium (Se), tellurium (Te), and polonium (Po). This represents a common trend in chemical nomenclature: terms originally introduced to mark a physical or chemical distinction often evolve to mark an underlying distinction. Typically, the underlying distinction concerns the outer electronic structure of an isolated atom, or equivalently the group it occupies in the periodic table. (For a very similar example of this kind of semantic shift, see the alkaline earths entry. For an example in which the term was not originally restricted to atomic species, see the halogen entry.)
      An isolated atom of any oxygen-group element has an electronic configuration that ends in np5 (where the principal quantum number n equals the period of the element in the periodic table).
    2. The original definition of the term chalcogen did not include polonium. This is not so surprising: Po is so hot (i.e., radioactive) that it ionizes the air around it into a pretty blue glow -- who cares about the chemistry?
      Okay: for those of you who do care, polonium is a metal. This implies that it is electropositive. [Electropositive elements readily give up their outer, or ``valence'' electrons. Thus, when the pure element is in a condensed phase, the valence electrons are likely to become delocalized and participate in a metallic bond. Electronegative elements don't form this kind of bond and are not metals.]
      Atoms of an electropositive element tend to form positive ions (``cations''), while atoms of an electronegative element tend to form negative ions (``anions''). Hence, the chemistry of electropositive and electronegative elements is qualitatively very different. A category chalcogen that includes both a metal and oxygen is not very useful for making general statements about chemical reactions.
    3. In certain situations it is useful to have a term meaning ``chalcogens other than oxygen.'' The term that is used in these situations is ``chalcogens.'' The particular instance I am most familiar with is ``chalcogenide glasses.'' The most common glasses (heck, the most common materials in the earth's crust) are silicates (various compounds of silicon dioxide). ``Chalcogenide glasses'' are distinguished from these as nonsilicate glasses.


    Cosmos and History. A new journal in 2005. I suppose that people's mental bodily functions also generate waste products unavoidably, so giving them a place to relieve themselves of their philosophy doesn't count as incitement.

    Chamaeleon. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    If this was spelled out, perhaps you heard `CAJ.'

    Pronunciation of the word for tea in almost all Chinese languages. The drinking and cultivation of tea originated in China, perhaps sometime in the last centuries BCE, and with many written references surviving from as early as the third century CE. The word cha did not become the common word for tea until the Tang Dynasty (618CE-906). From China it was spread to Japan and India by Buddhist priests. In Japanese the word for tea (vide navel-exercises) is written with the same logograph used in Chinese, and -- almost surprisingly -- the symbol has the same pronunciation cha. In India the name is chai, as in Russian. (Although tea-drinking was long known in India, it was popularized by the British, whose regular drinking of it identified tea-drinking with advanced civilization.)

    The important exception to the cha pronunciation is Fujian Province (Fuchien and similar in earlier transliterations), across the Taiwan Strait (Formosa Straits) from Taiwan. There the name is pronounced te. Because this was the most important source of tea for Europe, early on, variants of te were adopted in most Western European languages. (Portuguese is an exception, using both te and chá.)

    Computer History Association of California. From there, you're virtually a hop, click, and jump away from New Mexico's Chaco Canyon.

    `Alive' in Hebrew. The related noun is chaim, q.v.

    The cee-aitch in the standard transliteration reflects German orthography, it represents the /x/ sound in German Bach and ach, Scottish loch, and Spanish ajo. (But not the /ç/ sound of German ich.) If you're not particular about your aitches, then chai sounds like the English interjection ``hi'' (but without the palatal glide at the end) or the Japanese word hai.

    Hebrew noun meaning `life.' The standard drinking toast in Hebrew is ``l'chaim,'' literally meaning `to life.' The word is also a boy's given name. Probably the best-known person of that name was Chaim Weizman, a chemist and the first president of Israel.

    The English spelling used here (chaim) is traditional, and is explained at the chai entry. When Modern Hebrew is transliterated into English, the most common scheme tends to hew more closely to letter-by-letter correspondence. For instance, an Israeli moshav named in honor of Chaim Weizman has a name meaning `Chaim Garden,' which is transliterated Gan Hayyim.

    The transcription hayyim corresponds to the Hebrew het-(patah)-yod-(hiriq)-yod-mem. The vowels, in parenthesis, are (mostly, as in this case) written beneath the consonants, and (almost always, as here) pronounced after the consonants below which they're written. So you're wondering why the transcription isn't ``hayiym.'' One reason is that consonantal wye followed by em is hard to pronounce. That's related to the real reason, which is that the yod following the hiriq is obviously mater lectionis; it's used to indicate that the hiriq vowel preceding it is long. The double wye in the transliteration corresponds to the fact that the first yod has a dagesh. The dagesh indicates consonant ``hardening,'' which can mean many things (usually indicated by replacement of one transcription consonant by another), or consonant doubling. Consonant doubling doesn't mean anything in Modern Hebrew (it doesn't affect the pronunciation), but there you are.

    Incidentally, in the transliterations above, there's a little dot under the aitches in hayyim, het, patah, and hiriq. (You can't see them because I didn't insert them.) This indicates that the h represents a letter het rather than a letter heh.

    The -im ending of chaim indicates that the word is a masculine plural. It is easy enough to reconstruct a singular form by removing the -im suffix, but that putative singular form is not used. Instead, the same form is used for singular and plural. (That's life.) Only the context may indicate the number. Another word without a singular is panim (`face'). Syntactically, these words are construed singular. Close English parallels of this grammatical situation are possible in principle, but precise ones are hard to find.

    Examples that come immediately to mind are natural duals like trousers, pants, (swimming) trunks, tweezers, pliers, and scissors. These nouns have more or less common singular forms that are used attributively (i.e., adjectivally, as in ``trouser leg'' or ``scissor kick''), so it is fair to regard their final esses as plural inflection. Moreover, the limited number agreement that occurs in English indicates that they are countable nouns construed plural (``these scissors have'' equivalent to ``this pair of scissors''). These exceptional words fit a bit awkwardly into the language, evidently causing some juxtapositions to be avoided. Thus, the answer to the question ``do you have tweezers?'' is affirmative with even one, but that is more likely to be described as ``one pair of tweezers'' than as ``one tweezers.'' In contrast with the Hebrew comparands, then, these words could almost be regarded defective nouns, missing their singular forms (for which a circumlocution with ``pair of'' is substituted). In the case of some of the words, the formal singular is used or is coming to be used as an equivalent, thus regularizing the usage: the singular pant, originally meaning what the current pantleg or trouser leg does now, went out of use in this sense and has reappeared as an equivalent of pants. The word tweezer (with regularly formed plural tweezers) exists alongside the word tweezers that has limited application as a singular.

    Etymological accident provides a closer fit to the situation of chaim. The words species (definitely see sp. entry), series, and congeries each have identical plural and singular forms in English, essentially because their spellings are unchanged from the nominative forms of the original Latin nouns (which also had identical singular and plural forms).

    Words that look like plurals, and whose use is typically ambiguous as to number, can lead to confusion and anomalous usage. (Did I just write ``ambiguous as to number''? Is my CSP simply draining through my ventricles onto the floor?) Kudos is an example that comes to mind. The anomaly, however, occurs primarily between different users. Those like you, my dear ``intelligent general reader,'' realize that this is just a singular Greek noun, and don't bother to use a plural form because kudos (like nous) is uncountable. Other people try to construct a singular kudo. (Smile superciliously. Or just sneer, if you prefer.) Either way, however, original-flavor or regularized, any individual's usage is likely to be consistent with itself. The word agenda, a plural in Latin, is now an ordinary singular in English, with regularly formed plural agendas. (The Latin agendum gave rise to an English singular agend, now obsolete.) Let's leave discussion of data for some other entry or entries. A relevant contrasting example is provided by the Middle English word peases; that's discussed at the pea entry.

    For other grammatical-number weirdness in Hebrew, see the agricola entry. In the indefinite future, when I return to lengthen this entry, I will survey words like depths, sports and funds, and a few related words like monies, in legalese, and means.

    Transliteration of the word for `tea' in Russian and in many subcontinent Indian languages. See cha.

    Every so often, Gary has to search on his name through this glossary to see if I've slandered him yet. I've just added this entry to jerk his chain.

    This is a generic term for elements of the oxygen group and, conventionally, of certain subsets of that group. That's described at the Ch entry. Here we explore the etymology of the word, which was proposed by Werner Fischer in about 1932, and first appeared in print in 1934. We can be reasonably certain of this because details of the early history of the term were published in the Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 78, p. 1333 by the same Werner Fischer, then aged 99. Fischer's note was entitled ``A Second Note on the Term `Chalcogen','' and followed up a similarly named earlier note, also in JCE, by William B. Jensen.

    Jensen had noted that the word chalcogen has become common but that ``the origins of the term remain obscure.'' He examined a number of introductory chemistry textbooks (most in English, apparently) and found that most glossed the term as `chalk former,' though other etymologies were offered. He rejected `chalk former' and concurred with Gunnar Hägg's suggestion of `ore maker.' Hägg suggested (p. 93 of General and Inorganic Chemistry) that the word chalkós meant ``copper and later also generally metal and ore''). That this was the intended derivation was eventually confirmed by Fischer: `` `chalcogens' (`ore formers' from chalcos old Greek for `ore').'' The only problem with this etymology is that chalkos did not in fact mean `ore.' To be a little less categorical: the LSJ Greek-English Lexicon has a bit over two pages of definitions for words beginning chalk-, and it is clear that in all compounds, this lexeme has meanings closely related to copper and to its colored alloys brass and bronze. Examples include

    The word chalkos alone usually meant bronze in Homer, and might mean anything made of metal in poetry, but even poetic licenciates did not stretch the meaning to ore. The closest one comes to ore is with líthos chalkîtis, almost literally `copper-containing stone.' This can certainly be translated `copper ore,' but the notion of ore is essentially in the word líthos. This term, and perhaps the adjective alone, was also applied to rock alum. Alum was not in fact an ore. If it had been, aluminum might have been discovered a few thousand years before it actually was. The fact that chalkîtis might refer to one ore and one dye mordant does not justify using chalko- as a root for `ore,' any more than the fact that chalkidîtis meant `penny prostitute' justifies using the same root as equivalent to porn-.

    For kicks, I have also checked ten other Greek dictionaries, some of them dismayingly ``exhaustive,'' covering Archaic, Classical, Septuagint, Patristic, Byzantine, and Modern Greek. No dice, no `ore.' So it seems there are two possibilities: one is that Fischer was aware of a sense development of this lexeme that has escaped the notice of the most respected lexicographers, and the other is that he was wrong. My guess is that he assumed, perhaps unconsciously, that the Greek word chalkos has the same semantic range as the German word Erz. The latter word, possibly related to the Sumerian (!) urud, originally meant `copper,' but at one time had its meaning stretched metonymically to cover weapons and other objects made of (any) metal. (The same things happened in Greek, though to a lesser extent.) However, since the eighteenth century, Erz has also meant `ore,' and that sense is now predominant. Where it does not mean `ore,' it now usually means `bronze,' though the more common German word for that is Bronze.

    Jensen, attempting to support Hägg's suggestion and evidently lacking the luxury of a Greek reference that would back him up, adduced the facts that German inorganic texts translate chalcogen as Erzbilder, and that the geochemical term chalcophile, with the sense of `ore-loving,' was coined by Victor Goldschmidt (who was born in Zurich in 1888). I think these examples do not corroborate the etymology so much as demonstrate that Fischer's was a common error. Chalcogen was part of Goldschmidt's classification of the elements, introduced by him in 1922 and still part of any elementary geochemistry course. It may be that Fischer's misunderstanding was derived from Goldschmidt's.

    This is a generic term for compounds formed with (and ions of) elements of the oxygen group. That's described at the Ch entry. This entry is just about the form of the adjective (which forms part of the compound nouns for chalcogenide compounds). Note that, whereas chalcogen is pronounced with primary and secondary stresses on first and third syllables respectively, the stress shifts in the adjective: chalcogenide has primary and secondary stresses on second and fourth syllables.

    The word chalcogen was coined by Werner Fischer. In an article claiming credit or blame for the neologism, he wrote that the terms chalcogen for the elements and chalcogenides for their compounds ``quickly became popular in the work group of Hannover because they were analogous to the well-known terms `halogens' (`salt formers') and `halogenides' for the neighboring elements in the periodic table, the majority of halogenides being salts and chalcogenides being ores.'' Fischer's word halogenide is practically an adaptation of the German word Halogenid (plural form Halogenide). In English, the overwhelmingly standard form of the adjective is halide. This is consistent with the pattern of hydride, nitride, oxide, and cyanide, corresponding to hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and cyanogen. German has related adjectives hydrid, nitrid, oxid, and cyanid, but as the corresponding nouns are Wasserstoff, Stickstoff, Sauerstoff, and Cyan, there is no established pattern of removing the -gen before adding the -id[e]. Hence there is no inconsistency in using words like halogenid and chalcogenid.

    (To give a devilish morphology its due, there is a logical argument for keeping the -gen-: if a halogen is a `salt maker,' as its etymology implies, then by the same token perhaps a halide ought to mean `salted,' while halogenide might mean `combined with halogen.' But this is no way to reason in chemical nomenclature. The morphology of chemical terms already has enough to do to describe the morphology of chemical compounds.)

    The word chalcogen and its congeners became official with the Report of the Committee of the International Union of Chemistry for the Reform of Inorganic Chemical Nomenclature, 1940. (The International Union of Chemistry was the predecessor of IUPAC.) Section B of that report deals with the nomenclature of binary compounds, and subsection V is on group names. In the American version (Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 63, pp. 889-897), this subsection begins with the following paragraph:

    Compounds of the halogens are to be called halogenides (not haloids nor halides), while the elements oxygen, sulfur, selenium and tellurium may be called chalcogens and their compounds chalcogenides.

    The etymologically creditable but otherwise inane recommendation to call halides ``halogenides'' was understandably ignored by English-speaking chemists. The term chalcogenide caught on. Presumably the absence of an established form chalcide was part of the reason why this -genide recommendation ``took.'' Another reason may be that the second letter c in chacide becomes soft (that means it's pronounced like an s, you dunderhead) before an i, making its association with chalcogen less clear. (I should probably mention, along about here, that some people actually pronounce the initial ch like an ordinary chastity-chalk-chapstick-champion-cha-cha-cha cee-aitch. Don't.) A third reason may be that, for good reasons adumbrated in the chalcogen entry, people were confused about how chalc- should be understood. (The article by Jensen mentioned in that previous entry attests the erroneous ch pronunciation.) Whatever the reasons, the word chalcogenide has often seemed inappropriate or flawed to linguistically alert chemists. Jensen, in the abstract of the article referred to, wrote thus: ``It is further suggested that the term chalcogenide should be replaced with the term chalcide in order to maintain a parallelism with the terms halogen and halide.''

    So much for how the recommendation was received. The question occurs, why was the recommendation of ``chalcogenide'' made in the first place? The obvious guess is a disproportionate German influence on the committee. That committee (``for the Reform of Inorganic Nomenclature'') met in Berlin in January 1938, and in Rome the following May. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland and WWII began. This doubtless complicated any subsequent interactions of the committee. In 1940, the German version of the report was published in Chemische Berichte (vol. 73A, pp. 56ff., estimated) and the British version was published in Journal of the Chemical Society (pp. 1404ff, estimated). It is true that the committee chair was Prof. W.P. Jorissen of Leyden (that's in Massachusetts -- man, don't you know anything?!), and various countries were represented [the four other members were from Reading (England, not West Virginia), Paris (no, not Texas), Basel, and Hamburg (south of Buffalo)]. By the way, Leyden is in the Netherlands. But German chemistry was better-represented than that suggests. First, because the prestige and dominance of German chemical research and industry meant that opinions representing German chemistry carried greater weight. Second, the editor of the Gmelin, a German chemical publication, attended the Berlin meetings in an advisory capacity by invitation of the committee. Finally, the final report was drawn up by Prof. H. Rémy (Hamburg) on behalf of the German Chemical Society and in collaboration with some of its members. I figure that Prof. H. Bassett (of Reading), who did the English translation, happened not to consider the chalcogenide name question adequately.

    Chalk is not chalk. Chalkboard chalks are traditionally made of gypsum, and the mineral chalk is very pure limestone (hence very white) that is highly porous (and hence soft). But limestone is mostly calcite, and calcite is just calcium carbonate. It's birefringent; not that you could tell from chalk.

    Chaminade University of Honolulu. Hawaii's only Catholic University. (It has five masters programs, so it has to be a university.) Yawn.

    The Life at Chaminade page demonstrates that the school has some or a very cute, tanned student body. Did I mention that the school is located in Honolulu? ``Relevant Links'' include ``Student Affairs,'' but it's not interactive enough. The important stuff about Chaminade is at our Tempe entry. Nowadays the Chaminade Swordsmen, or ``Swords,'' are an NCAA Division II team.

    No, it's not a misspelling of chemise. It's a flowering shrub of the Scrabble tablelands, also spelled chamiso, so you lose your challenge and a turn. (Chamisoes is not an accepted plural.)

    Many years ago, I visited Taylor Wineries in central New York State. They were not ashamed to demonstrate how they made ``champagne'' -- supercooling wine and injecting carbon dioxide. (The temperature dependence of the solubility of gases in liquids is dominated by the entropy factor, so solubility increases with decreasing temperature.)

    Taylor Wineries is no longer in business.

    Civilian Health And Medical Program (of the US DoD). A program to provide medical care to active-duty members of the military, military retirees, and their eligible dependents. That slightly confused old name for the program has been retired and replaced by ``TRICARE.''

    Japanese postfix particle that functions like Mr./Ms., but more familiar or affectionate than -san. Cf. -samao.

    A Spanish word which has gone through similar meanings that were etymologically unrelated. The most obvious meaning is `sow,' the female of chancho, `hog.' The more common Iberian word for hog, also used in America, is cerdo. The word chancho is a Latin American variant of sancho, now primarily a dialectal term in Aragon and La Mancha, derived from ``sanch,'' a hog call. This points to yet another sly reference to pork in Cervantes. (In Castilian of Galicia, sancho and sanchino are used as rabbit calls. What rabbits they must have!) The widely used cochino (also cocho) is similarly derived from widely used hog calls (coch, coche, cocho). Originally, cochino referred to unweaned pigs, but the meaning became generalized to any hog. The same thing happened with pig in English, which originally referred only to young swine. To this day, farm folk insist on the difference, but city folk -- and we're almost all city folk now -- are indifferent to the difference. Frankly, I rarely encounter either of the words cochino or pig in any but a metaphorical sense, to say nothing of the animals the words represent.

    All the more common words for hog have derived terms. In Latin America, for example, chanchero (or chanchera) is someone working in the pork business (anything from `hog farmer' to `pork butcher'), and chanchería is a `shop that sells pork or sausage.' Chancho and chancha are used figuratively in the sense of `filthy person.' Also, a chancho in chess (ajedrez) is a `blocked pawn.' I don't know why; possibly this has to do with the use of chancho in the specialized sense of a hog fattened and destined for slaughter. At least cochino is used this way. Cochino is also used for various contemptible or pitiable types -- the miserly, crass, slovenly, fat, filthy, or poor.

    From these extensions of meaning one would not be too surprised to find chancha also meaning a `lie' or `cheating trick.' It once had these meanings as well, but the etymology is elsewhere completely. The word was a seventeenth century or earlier borrowing of the Italian ciancie, and the ci's were properly transliterated as ch in Spanish. The Italian word could also be used with the more innocent connotation of `joke, jest.' This sense is either preserved or re-evolved in the word txantxa of western Basque dialects. (See also the chiste entry.) Within Spanish, the emphasis of the word quickly shifted to subtility and graciousness. The pronunciation (now chanza) has also shifted over the years. The Italian word is not supposed to have anything do with the French word chance. It has intriguing similarities to German words like zenzeln (`caress, fondle') and Modern Greek tzátzala (`gossip').

    Somehow, no matter where they come from, words associated with irregularity of some sort seem to congregate in the cham/chan section of the Spanish dictionary. There's chancar (considered of American Indian origin) meaning `beat, `break,' or `grind,' changar (considered onomatopoeic, God help me) meaning `destroy,' and chantaje (from French chantage), meaning `blackmail.' Various words for old-fashioned or ill-fitting things begin in cham. Even an exception to this pattern, the Indian-origin word chancaca, meaning a dough prepared with sugar or honey, includes the unfortunately suggestive ``caca.''

    CHANneling and Diffusion in Ion Damage. CHANDID, pronounced `candid,' is a simulation program developed in Evelyn Hu's group at UCSB, based on SCHLEICH but incorporating simultaneous diffusion. It's described in C.-H. Chen, et al. (details below). CHANDID accounted for discrepancies between experimental results and SCHLEICH simulations. Some results, such as increased penetration of damage for lower-intensity, longer exposure ion bombardment (at fixed fluence) could not be explained simply in terms of channeling, but are qualitatively consistent with diffusion. For GaAs, a rather large best-fit diffusivity of was found (see below), which it was proposed may be due to electron-hole generation (an argument supported by ion bombardment with simultaneous laser illumination).

    The article cited above is ``Diffusion and channeling of low-energy ions: The mechanism of ion damage,'' by Ching-Hui Chen, Debora L. Green, and Evelyn L. Hu in the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology, B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 2355-59 (1995). Here's the abstract:

    A simple model, including both channeling and diffusion effects, was developed for the understanding of the mechanism of low-energy ion-induced damage. This model provided much better agreement with the authors' exptl. data, and yields a value for the effective diffusivity of defects during ion bombardment as ~3 × 10-15 cm2/s. The numerical results support the authors' exptl. data that diffusion of defects, even at room temperature, plays an important role in determining the profile of ion-induced damage and suggests that some enhancement of defect diffusion occurs during ion bombardment. Since the majority of defects are located in the near-surface region (within ~50 Å of the surface), even modest etch removal of the surface can dramatically alter the damage profile. Therefore, surface removal also was considered in the authors' model to find the influence of etch rate on the ion damage profile.


    The ancient Greek word ``chaos,'' which described a view of what preceded the world, did not mean disorder, it meant something like gap. Both disorder and emptiness characterize a gas, although this was not known by the fellow who invented the word gas from the word chaos.

    If you have to climb over anything to get between the kitchen and a bathroom, or if you have to enter the living room sideways, then your abode may need tidying up.

    Chargaff's Law
    In DNA, the concentrations of adenine (A) and thymine (T) are equal, as are the concentrations of guanine (G) and cytosine (C). The conclusion of experiments in 1951. Almost immediately superseded by a more complete understanding that it contributed to the development of (Watson and Crick, 1953) that those bases paired in the double-helix structure of DNA.

    An ancient mode of transportation. That is, a mode of transportation for ancients. For example, on August 1, 2004, seventy-year-old Thomas Scarrow of Arcola, Sask., died during a Ben Hur contest about 50 km west of Portage la Prairie, Man. Police were trying to determine whether the death was accidental or from a natural cause such as a heart attack.

    Charles's Law
    Usually written Charles' Law. What the hell, the name is French, just pronouncing one ess is making a possessive inflection.

    The law named after Charles (but first discovered by Dalton): that the volume of a (rarefied, or ideal) gas under constant pressure is proportional to temperature.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    A children's book by Roald Dahl (1964). (It's not a typo! His name is not ``Ronald'', okay?)

    Choice quotes:

    I'd like to point out that chapter 17 [``Augustus Gloop Goes Up the Pipe''] is improbable on physical grounds. In the room where chocolate is mixed by waterfall, the downstream product is suctioned off in big pipes. Since the room contains trees, it appears that the pipes must raise the liquid a distance a great deal higher than 34 feet, which is about the limit that can be achieved for water at sea level (under a cold front).

    [Reminder: much as ``nature abhors a vacuum,'' it is the pressure outside that raises a fluid to fill a vacuum above it, so a fluid can be raised no higher ``by'' a vacuum than atmospheric pressure divided by the fluid mass density, divided by the acceleration of gravity. A pressure of 76 cm of mercury (760 torr) is equivalent to 10.3m of water, or 33'9''.]

    In the present case, the factory is deep underground, so atmospheric pressure may be higher by a bit. Not much, though, because Charlie, Grandpa Joe and Mr. Wonka don't suffer the bends when they exit through the roof. In any case, the greater density of the chocolate more than compensates. The effect of changes in gravitational acceleration should also be small: the acceleration of gravity inside a sphere of uniform density decreases linearly with radius, so a significant change in gravitational acceleration would require significant penetration of the earth, and the crust itself is everywhere less than one percent of the earth's radius thick. Not to mention that in fact, the earth's density increases with depth, diminishing the magnitude of the decrease in gravitational acceleration.

    (Seven centuries ago, the question whether the force of gravity increased or decreased as one approached the center of the earth was a debated topic. Dante took the view that it increased, which is why Virgil had such a hard time turning to face upward again upon crossing the center of the earth. More about this at the BUR entry.)

    Oh, now I get it! The waterfall makes the chocolate frothy! That's how it's made light enough to go up the pipe!

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of a small number of oeuvres that constitute the food science fiction genre. As in general science fiction, science has been catching up, and Nestlé now markets WONKA Chewy CENTERED GOBSTOPPER -- ``jawbreakers that change colors and flavors with a Chewy Center,'' 50 grams in a regular package. Here's a hint for Grandpa Joe: this will break your dentures, dad gum it!

    Another title that mentions chocolate is discussed at this P entry, but it's in the foodie subgenre of Magical Realism.

    Charlie's Angels
    It is too soon to tell whether this will be the Gilligan's Island of the seventies, but of course there's a homepage.

    The Stammtisch banjo authority claims that the preceding statement somehow dates me. I should probably point out that, except for this sentence, this entire glossary entry was written before the revival (remortal?) of Charlie's Angels as one -- no two -- stupid movies.

    The late Doris Duke owned a complete set of tapes of the series, but when you're a billionaire you can afford to make risky investments. She also helped out Imelda Marcos when the latter was just about literally down at the heels.

    Kate Jackson, when she was on ``The Rookies,'' was apparently promised the star slot on a future show, and this would account for her outranking the other angels. Either that, or they figured that she had to be the one with personality. When I was in college, we studied this program with the sound off. Hypothesis: the show was a parody of its future imitators. Conclusion: Preemptive parody successful. No imitators. Just sequels.

    I noticed that UB's chapter of Delta Xi Omega printed its rush calendar on stock with the well-known three-angels-attacking silhouette from that show. Tomorrow Wednesday there's 70's Training at 8 pm. These kids today don't know how hard it was, back when we had to endure the seventies for the first time, with no one around who had any more relevant experience than 1949. Now they get a free ride from the Student Union. Bids go out a week from tomorrow! ``Good luck!''

    Marx wrote somewhere that `Hegel wrote somewhere' that historical events occur twice. Marx remarked that Hegel had neglected to note that the first time was tragedy, the second time farce. Perhaps in the current circumstance the order has been reversed.

    [Later] I saw a Charlie's Angels Sticker on a superannuated Buick Skylark. The other bumpersticker said ``Mean People Suck.'' The driver was smoking, I don't know what.

    We have another entry on angels.

    Because this glossary has been under construction for years, the thought may have occurred to you, dear reader, that the ``tomorrow Wednesday'' mentioned above is now past. The odds may seem strong for that conclusion, even if today is Tuesday. If so, dear reader, you are mistaken. There is a place in the heart where it is always Tuesday, that Tuesday. Delta Xi Omega held Charlie's-Angels-themed rushes in the mid-nineties, and had a revival in 1999. How about a Brigadoon-themed rush!?!?

    Hmm. Mock sentiment doesn't always go over well in serious information resources like this experimental theater of the acronym, but you can't be sure if you don't try. That's why it's necessary for you to read this trash.

    After wearing my fingers to the bone, writing and rewriting this entry for your maximum enjoyment, I heard that there is in fact a Charlie's Angels parody, called VIP, on the WB channel. It apparently stars Pamela Anderson in the Kate Jackson role. Well, I'm sorry, but after all that work I'm not going to change the entry for the sake of mere accuracy. You'll just have to go without learning this more recent information. Someone else who hasn't seen it wonders whether it's really a parody. Maybe it's an homage.

    Oh, while flipping channels one day the program befell me. Turns out I was right in the first place. Look, Charlie's Angels was a show about three private investigators who just happened to be model-beautiful. VIP is about a Baywatch babe who just happens to be a private investigator. This is totally different. VIP is a parody, really of the entire private investigator TV series genre, but it is not specifically modeled on Charlie's Angels.

    Charnel House Publishing
    I just tapped this in to the search form thinking it was a cute punny name. Imagine my horror on learning that it existed! ``Limited editions of books by Dean Koontz & other horror & dark fantasy writers, signed by the authors,'' many of whom probably belong to HWA. (Koontz belongs -- shouldn't you? Consider the dire consequences if you don't! Brrrrr!)

    Among the items of advice in The Rules (in the book and in the abridged tape version read by the authors) is the following:
    You have to trust that if you relax and let him explore your body like unchartered territory, you'll have fun and be satisfied.

    Another book in this genre is Desirable Men.

    Charter 77
    A call to implement the human rights embodied in the Helsinki Accords of 1975, and the coalition of Czechoslovakians -- intellectuals, purged Communists, and church representatives -- who issued it on January 1, 1977. The five authors of the charter were arrested and their homes ransacked within 24 hours of the call's announcement. See also OLCC.

    Charles. However, Chas Chandler used it as all of his first name. Chas Chandler, bass, was a member of the Animals, founded when Eric Burdon joined the Alan Price Trio he played in. (I think the group was also called `Eric Burdon and the Animals.') Their monster hit ``(House of the) Rising Sun'' put them on an intense touring schedule for three years, but in a 1994 interview for the Independent he said they made little money off of it. Chandler went on to become a rock manager and producer; he ``discovered'' Jimi Hendrix, creating the Jimi Hendrix Experience around Jimi and producing that group's first two albums. He died in 1996 at age 57, at which time obituaries appeared. You think I researched this stuff myself?

    One of my college roommates used Chas. as an abbreviation of his name. He decided to become a Chemical Engineer (ChemE) after seeing ``The Great Escape'' with Steve McQueen. (He didn't actually go with McQueen to see it; McQueen had a rôle in the movie.) I call him Chuck.

    Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

    chaste passion
    Palpitating fear of discovery.

    Codes for the Human Analysis of Transcripts.

    Conversation Hypertext Access Technology. A natural-language query language. Here's a CHAT demo via telnet.

    Chlorinated { HydroCarbon | Hydrocarbon Contaminant }.

    Community Health Center.

    Certification for Home Care and Hospice Executives.

    The Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute.

    Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

    CHilD. Airline fare abbreviation. Adult is ADT. INF under two years of age (what's that in metric units anyway?) is often no charge if it sits on an ADT's lap and screams.

    Congenital Hip Dislocation.

    Coronary Heart Disease.

    An Argentine expression meaning roughly `Hey you!' It's just a convenient interjection for attracting someone's attention. Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, the communist revolutionary hero, was an Argentine among Cubans; he got his nickname ``Che'' by a kind of metonymy.

    Certified Healthcare Executive. The certification is awarded by the ACHE, which describes it as a ``Symbol of Credibility.'' Please wait for the gravitas reverberations to die down before proceeding to the next paragraph.

    Che Guevara studied medicine for a few years, completing his coursework (in 1953) but not his clinical training. He first signed on with Fidel Castro's revolutionary movement as a medic. He also killed a lot of people; you could say he was always involved in health issues.

    Chronicle of Higher Education. Some people call it the ``Comical of Higher Education.'' I guess they think that's clever. Ha. Ha. I call it the ``Chronic Embarrassment to Higher Education.''

    Council for Higher Education Accreditation. ``[A] non-profit organization of colleges and universities serving as the national [US] advocate for voluntary self-regulation through accreditation.''

    Seen on the cover of Teen People magazine, on the rack in September 2003:
    250+ Rock Star Looks (Cheap!)

    Cheaper by the Dozen
    A biography of the Gilbreth family (the family of the pioneering motion-study expert Frank Gilbreth), written by two of the twelve children -- Frank Butler Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. It was made into a movie in 1950, with the beautiful Myrna Loy costarring as Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth. A 2003 movie starring Steve Martin has the same title and gives Frank and Ernestine pride of place among ten with writing credit, presumably for coming up with the title. Casablanca had a lot of writers too (see WGA), but the 2003 movie is not a classic. It is just a demonstration that Steve Martin was not paid well enough for his good movies to be able to resist demeaning himself in shlock.

    The events covered in the original book took place mostly in 1920's. In those days the a family with twelve children was unusual, but not nearly as rare as today. In that decade automobile ownership took off, and some manufacturers began to introduce annual model changes. While the number of children was still increasing, Frank, Sr., used to refer jokingly to the current youngest child as ``this year's model.'' That's what I remember, anyway; I'm not going to go check. (Cf. Jon 2.0, at the downtown Holland entry.)

    cheater cord
    Televisions, and other consumer electronics equipment that run off of line current, usually have a primitive sort of safety interlock system: the power cable that is connected to the wall outlet connects on the other end to a male jack that is part of the equipment case rather than the equipment innards. On the inside of the case, the jack has a female connector that mates rigidly with a matching male plug affixed to the chassis of the equipment. (Electronics is sexy, baby. And shocking, too!) When the case is opened, the connection is safely broken, without exposing any live leads, even if the power cord is still plugged into the wall. This is necessary because idiots are allowed to own televisions. (Indeed, I think it may be a requirement.) [Consider this related fact about bears.]

    The interlock poses a slight problem for the repairman or repairperson, since it's at best inconvenient to diagnose equipment with either the power off or the case closed. It even poses a slight impediment to that most ingenious of characters, the enterprising idiot. The solution is a separate cable that's called a ``cheater cord,'' because it bypasses the safety interlock. This has an ordinary male plug for the wall socket, and a female end to attach to the exposed equipment (male). I'm workin' up a sweat just writin' about it.

    Televisions pose a special danger because the CRT has a DC voltage between anode and cathode of at least 10 kilovolts. Nowadays, of course, TV's are in the disposable category of electronic equipment. You save the power cable, write ``WORKS. NEEDS CORD'' on a post-it note, and sell it at the flea market to someone who will throw it away after giving you ten dollars. In the olden times, however, we'd actually ``fix'' it, which meant replacing the burnt-out parts -- a 12AU6 audio amplifier tube or something of that sort. In the stories I heard, people who accidentally brushed the aquadag usually survived. However, they were usually thrown across the room, had a little burn, and felt sore. It wasn't the sort of ride you'd stay on for another round.

    Plagiarism is cheating. You know, this month the crawler for <turnitin.com> dropped by this web site and picked up 188 files.

    The preceding paragraph was written in 2003 or earlier. It's now 2006, and more and more students are heard to complain that not getting caught cheating is almost as hard as honest work. And the fear of getting caught is almost as stressful as studying. If these injustices concern you, perhaps you should consider Mount Saint Vincent University, in the provincial capital of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In March 2006, the university's board of governors banned the use of turnitin.com ``and any other plagiarism detection software that requires that students' work become part of an external database where other parties might have access to it.'' The decision takes effect in May (final exams for the Winter term end on April 21, surprisingly). Read more about it in the Chronicle Herald.

    Central Hudson Enterprises Corporation. CHEC ``has operated as a comprehensive energy services company since 1982[,] providing energy cost savings through innovative engineering, financing and construction management for industrial, commercial and municipal customers throughout the Northeastern United States.

    Christian Home Educators of Colorado.

    check that you've got your keys
    When you check for your keys before you lock the door, you've always got them, but when you don't check, you're locked out. That's not fate, that's physics.

    It's based on wave-function collapse. Before you go outside, the keys are in an ``indoors'' sector of Hilbert space. When you check for them, you project the density operator into the pocket sector. If you don't, the probability that the keys will still be with you outside is less than 10-100.

    So basically, this key thing is a macroscopic quantum effect. Other macroscopic manifestations of quantum mechanics are superconductors (e.g., Toscanini) and clothes-dryer sock annihilation.

    check valve
    A diode for fluid flow. Lets fluid flow in only one direction unless it's broken. Your heart valves (bicuspid and tricuspid) are essentially check valves that prevent backflow to the atria from the ventricles, forcing the fluid (that's blood) to circulate.

    Also called chutzpah, gall, etc. Here's an email that the instructors of one team-taught course received today (during the break between semesters).

    I'm registered for your class, [course name] next semester.  I'm
    trying to finalize my plans for spring break, so I'd like to know if you
    intend to have a midterm exam on the friday beforehand (March 5).  Thanks,
    -[student name]

    The Latin word for cheek is buca. This is the etymon of the Spanish word boca, meaning `mouth.'

    Jerome K. Jerome's 1889 story, Three Men in a Boat, subtitled ``To say nothing of the Dog!'' has a section in chapter four on the ``Advantages of cheese as a traveling companion.'' He focuses on the odor, but neglects to mention the conversation. Cf. WI.

    Current research indicates that the bacteria that age cheeses and give them their distinctive odors are related to the bacteria that give feet and some other moist portions of the human epithelium their odors. Although the carbon-dioxide-rich plume rising from stationary animals is one of the main beacons used by mosquitos to locate blood donors, particular odors have been demonstrated to have significant effects as well. This was reported in the August 1997 issue of Discover magazine.

    Clifton Fadiman wrote [in Any Number Can Play (World, 1957)]

    Cheese -- milk's leap toward immortality.

    Oops -- missed.

    It's the new religion. Everywhere I hear people exclaim ``Holy Cheeses! Oh dear Cheeses! Sweet Cheeses! Soft Cheeses!'' And they're proselytizing: they want you to ``Say Cheese!'' They wonder, ``What would Cheeses do?'' They can't make a move until they get the okay from ``the Big Cheese.'' They buy Praise Cheeses! tee shirts. (For twenty-five dollars!)

    ``It's-a religion of-a peess,'' I've heard them say. (At least it's not a religion of peas. See what future Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to say about that at the pea entry.) On the other hand, I've also heard them say ``Cheese it -- the cops!'' Well, I suppose every religion has its fundies, its extremist fanatics, its people with big headgear issues. So heed this simple poem:

    [Football icon] Stay away
    From Green Bay.

    (Incidentally, on the subject of packers or packing, and of staying away, see the new material at the skosh entry.)

    Of course, religion is intimately connected with football (when they aren't the same thing). The pro football franchise in New Orleans is called ``The Saints.'' One of the most popular hymns (more generally -- i.e., among, say, small-ess-saints fans) is Paul Kraft's ``Dropkick Me Cheeses (Through the Goalposts of Life).'' Here's a 1976 recording of it by Bobby Bare. Also, many religious icons are represented in classic football poses. See, for example, the entry on Touchdown Cheeses.

    A good layman's introduction to cheesology (the theology of cheesolatry) is Who Moved My Cheese? (Available in a new Chineese translation.) You'll want to study this before you make your first pilgrimage to France (the Holy Land) or Wisconsin or even Switzerland (the Holey Land).

    CHEG, CHEg
    CHemical EnGineer[ing]. Abbreviation used at Notre Dame (ND). I've actually heard it pronounced as a word, to the rhyme of ``dreg,'' even in the presence of one.

    (MOSFET) Channel Hot Electron (HE) Injection.

    Center for Health, Environment and Justice. ``CHEJ believes in environmental justice, the principle that people have the right to a clean and healthy environment regardless of their race or economic standing.'' Various studies have demonstrated that, contrary to activist claims during the 1990's, toxic sites are not disproportionately located on the basis of race. CHEJ was originally CCHW.

    Ancient tortoise-shell lyre. And you thought Jules Verne was being creative there, having Captain Nemo play a stringed instrument with a sea-turtle sound box (in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea). The Mycaeneans had a jump on him.

    I called the gym to see if I left my glasses lying on one of the machines.

    Well, what color is the frame?

    It's got a wire frame, but the ear things are like mixed browns.

    [A minute later...] They're here.

    When I came to pick them up, she pointedly told me: it's called tortoise-shell.

    Studies have shown that women tend to use more specific words than men do. If you show a man a picture of a pair of jeans and ask, ``what's this a picture of?'' he'll answer ``pants,'' whereas a woman would identify the style and maybe the brand. Similarly, a picture of an ordinary flower will elicit answers like ``flower'' from him and ``daisy'' from her.

    These are just general patterns, okay? If you deviate from them in any way you can consider yourself superior. I explained to the proprietor at Mendoza's Guitars that I wanted a Fender pick, medium thickness, normal size, dark colored; he'd only had other thicknesses and sizes when I looked before. Sure enough, when I pointed to what I wanted (but thinner), he said ``Oh, you want tortoise-shell.'' Was I out sick the day they covered this stuff in school?

    I'd also like to know what the ear thingies are called.

    CHEMistry. Here's a little program to balance equations. It's from the Colorado School of Mines, but it balances chemical equations from anywhere in the universe. It's amazing if you think hard about it (though not that hard), yet it's all in a day's work for chemistry. Science is like that.

    One of the most famous professors the University of Notre Dame ever had taught chemistry: Knute Rockne. He also coached -- varsity football, I think it was. Before he began his coaching career, Vince Lombardi taught Latin and chemistry at a New Jersey high school. Classicists like to brag that studying Latin ups your SAT score (and, sotte voce, your general intelligence), but I believe it was the intensive familiarity with chemistry that made Lombardi such a memorable quotesmith.

    Many of the leaders of the US Civil Rights movement in the 1960's were chemists. Well, okay, one that I know of. Hosea Williams had been a chemist with the US Department of Agriculture when he quit to join the SCLC staff as a voter-registration organizer and coordinator. Andrew Young explains in An Easy Burden, p. 281, that therefore he ``was used to making a very good salary, more than any of us, so I had persuaded Gayraud Wilmore of the Presbyterian Church national staff to pay Hosea, as the UCC had done with me. The Presbyterians paid Hosea twelve thousand dollars a year, which made him the highest-paid person at SCLC.'' George Washington Carver was born into slavery in 1864 and grew up to become an agricultural chemist, yet he worked for peanuts. (Also in 1864, physostigmine was first isolated from the calabar bean. At this point I should probably say something about Percy L. Julian, but I'd only be cribbing from websites you can visit directly.)

    Andrew Young got his BA at Howard majoring in biology, but decided to enter the ministry. Back in the 90's (the 1790's), young Jöns Berzelius planned to become a clergyman. To escape family quarrels, however, he took a job tutoring on a nearby farm. There he became very interested in collecting and classifying flowers and insects. (It must be a Swedish thing. Normal people in such situations become very interested in farmers' sons or daughters.) Berzelius decided to develop his interest in natural science and pursued a medical education. By the 1820's, he had become the preeminent authority (in Europe, and thus in the world) on chemical questions. (As soon as I find a movement leader who majored in chemistry before deciding to enter the ministry, Young is out.)

    An excellent quick resource for chemical information is <ChemFinder.Com>.

    Personals ads often mention chemistry as an important determinant of whether a relationship will succeed. What about biology?

    John Louis (``Johnny'') von Neumann and Eugen Wigner both received their first post-secondary degrees in Chemical Engineering. Apparently, this information cannot be found at a page entitled The History of Chemical Engineering. You might browse this list of online resources or the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) site. LookSmart has a page of ChemE links. Through some grievous oversight, it does not include the SBF glossary.

    Another site of interest to ChemE's, less amusing than this but possibly of some other use, is Chemical Online.

    A computer program that ESTimates the physical and chemical properties of organical CHEMicals. Developed by Arthur D. Little, Inc., of Cambridge, MA, it was first released in 1985 or so, available as a user-hosted package or via a dial-up service. A couple of performance evaluations were published in the chemical literature (1988 and 1991), by which time later versions were reportedly available (an improved version called TSTCHEM, and an automated version AUTOCHEM -- CHEMEST was interactive). I don't know what ultimately superseded CHEMEST but something must have: in the US, the Toxic Substances Control Act requires the submission of premanufacture notices, and CHEMEST was used, for ``new'' chemicals, to estimate properties relevant to environmental fate assessment.

    CHEMically sensitive Field-Effect Transistor (FET).

    chemical notation of Berzelius
    The earliest widely-used systems of chemical nomenclature were those of the alchemists. Alchemists often tried to associate pure substances with astronomical bodies. Their notational systems often assigned astrological symbols to individual substances, but the assignments were not consistent among different alchemists' systems, and were mnemonic only to a point. And what the alchemists thought were pure substances were often mixes. (This was almost always the case for gases, known as ``airs,'' but air was typically ignored anyway.) In any case, clarity was not always a goal of alchemical writers. Later, as chemistry developed, various new and more abstract systems developed, but the symbols were rather arbitrary and nonmnemonic.

    The system of symbols we use today to represent elements and compounds is based on, and still looks a lot like, the system developed by Jöns Jakob Berzelius and first published in a French brochure in 1811.

    The feature of Berzelius' system that is most recognizable today was his use of one- and two-letter element symbols, first letter capitalized. The idea of using letters to represent chemical elements and compounds was not entirely original. But the system of Berzelius was the first such suggestion to be successful -- overwhelmingly successful, in fact. The summary below is based on a multi-part paper he published during 1813 and 1814 in Annals of Philosophy, which described his system in the course of reporting other research. There is an online excerpt of relevant portions of the article. (The funny spelling of radical used below is taken from there.)

    Chemistry by that time had advanced to the point that every substance that chemists thought (or at least that Berzelius thought) was as an element is still regarded as an element today. Most of the 47 substance symbols Berzelius used in this paper (three were for elements he did not yet concede were elements) are still identified by symbols that he gave them. These include the following 38:
    B, C, N, O, F,
    Al, Si, P, S,
    Ca, Ti, (Mn), Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As,
    Sr, Y, Zr, Mo, (Rh), Ag, (Sn), (Sb), Te,
    Ba, Ce, (W), Os, Pt, Au, (Hg), (Pb), Bi,

    The preceding list is in order of increasing atomic number (which was unknown at the time). This makes it easy to recognize by inspection which elements are missing. (If not, learn the mnemonic that begins Hard Hearted Little Beggar Boys....) Successive lines above correspond to successive periods of the modern periodic table; the first version of a periodic table was not created until 1860.

    The symbols in parentheses were used by Berzelius, but not consistently or exclusively. For manganese (Mn) he also used Ma, for rhodium (Rh) also R, for both tin (Sn) and antimony (Sb) he also used St, for tungsten (W) also Tn, for mercury (Hg) also Hy, and for lead (Pb) also P (which he also used as the unique symbol for phosphorous, as indicated above). In addition, for columbium he used both Cl and Cb. The latter symbol was accepted, but eventually the element name was changed to niobium and the symbol changed to Nb.

    Element symbols that Berzelius introduced but that have not survived: For beryllium he used Gl, representing ``glucinum.'' (The name is discussed at the entry for its current symbol: Be.) For sodium (now Na): So. For magnesium (now Mg): Ms. For potassium (now K): Po. For chromium (now Cr): Ch. For palladium (now Pd): Pa. For iridium (now Ir): I.

    The article used one other element symbol not listed above: for chlorine (our Cl), Berzelius wrote M (``muriatic radicle''), so that hydrochloric acid would be HM (originally written ``H + M,'' see below). For Berzelius, however, M was not the symbol for an element. Following Lavoisier, he believed that the muriatic radical was the oxide of another element not yet isolated. (For the back-story, see the remarks on oxygen in the technical misnomenclature entry.) Sir Humphrey Davy, whom Berzelius admired, isolated, named, and claimed element status for chlorine in 1810, but Berzelius only conceded that chlorine was an element in 1818.

    There were two other symbols listed above that Berzelius regarded as representing the oxide of some undiscovered element: his N stood for ``nitric radicle'' and F for ``fluoric radicle.'' (He finally agreed that nitrogen was an element in 1824; I don't know about fluorine.)

    I have read that the notational system of Berzelius was not the first to use alphabetic symbols. Certainly Dalton's rather graphical representation used alphabetic symbols, almost haphazardly: an atom of hydrogen was represented by a circle with a centered dot, carbon by filled circle, copper and lead by circles with the letters C and L inside. If there was a compact and consistent alphanumeric system before that of Berzelius, I'm not aware of it.

    In any case, the scheme of Berzelius was the first to catch on in a big way. It may be that the moment for such a system had arrived or it may be that Berzelius's prestige and extensive publication popularized it, or maybe it was as it still seems: a major improvement on previous notations. One thing that certainly promoted its adoption was that Berzelius based a system of compound symbols on it. This system incorporated the assumptions of his own ``dualistic'' theory of bonding -- essentially a theory of ionic and polar bonds.

    The system posited that atoms had a net charge and formed a succession of combinations to neutralize successively finer charge imbalances. The bonding of ``first-order compounds'' was represented by a plus sign between positive and negative ions (calcium oxide was ``Ca + O'') and relative proportions were indicated by prefixed numbers (sulfur trioxide was ``S + 3O'').

    ``Second-order compounds'' were represented in a similar way, as binomials of first-order compounds. In the representation of second-order compounds, if the hierarchy of compoundings had any meaning, one had to distinguish the numerical factors from first- and second-order combinations. This could be done with parentheses (and nested parentheses for higher-order compounds), but instead Berzelius used a superscript notation. Thus, for example, sulfur trioxide, when participating in a second-order compound, was written as SO3. This is almost the modern notation, but for two things. (1) We use subscripts instead of superscripts. In fact, the superscript style was popular for many years in France, before they conformed to majority usage. (2) Although most references show the numerical superscripts as I have, above and to the right of the element symbol, it seems Berzelius (at least in 1813) wrote the numbers centered above the element symbols. I have yet to check this with a facsimile of an original. Berzelius identified compounds up to fourth-order. The fourth-order compounds were constructed of third-order compounds with water -- essentially hydrations. Something of that notation seems to survive today in the notation for hydrated ionic and polar compounds, which uses a centered dot (instead of a plus sign) followed by the water-molecule symbol (with a prefixed number as necessary).

    chemin de fer
    French for `railroad.' Literally `iron road.' Also the name of a kind of baccarat. For examples of usage, see the SNCB entry.

    chemistry books
    In recent years I have accumulated a small collection of chemistry books, particularly introductory textbooks. I can't explain why, because if you knew you'd laugh so hard you'd hurt yourself. However, I can list some of them (along with the odd library loan) for your convenience.

    Textbook authorship was a frequent source of inspiration to nineteenth-century chemists. When I get around to filling in the details, chemists I mention will include Prout, Berzelius, Cannizzaro, and Mendeleev.

    chemistry, I just don't feel we have the right
    Brush-off lie that likely dissimulates this fact: your mouth chemistry produces bad breath. Wait a sec -- sniff, sniff -- that might not be the only source of odor... have you checked the expiration date on that ``recent photograph''?

    Cf. LDR.

    Chemistry Servers
    List maintained at UCLA. Mirror in Berlin.

    CHEMOtherapy. A treatment for cancer that consists of poisons that are a little bit more lethal to the cancer than to the rest of the patient.

    The Spanish translation of chemo is quimio (short for quimio-terapia). It's natural to guess that chemo might be translated quimo. That faux ami (which corresponds to the English chyme) is discussed at the SABI entry.

    CHEM Study
    CHemical Educational Material STUDY. A US program to produce modern educational materials, spurred in part by Sputnik. The name was also applied to the resulting materials. Glenn T. Seaborg served as chairman of the steering committee of the CHEM Study in the early 1960's. Seaborg has written:
        However, after Neil Armstrong's dramatic moon landing on July 20, 1969, a sense of ``mission accomplished'' infused the country; and the nation began to turn its attention to other issues: the Vietnam War, the domestic social unrest and student protests, Watergate, and the oil crisis and economic downturn of the 1970s. Public education was pushed off center stage of the national agenda. The years of neglect exacted a heavy toll.

    This is quoted (I don't entirely agree with the way the chronological development is worded) from Seaborg's A Chemist in the White House: From the Manhattan Project to the End of the Cold War (American Chemical Society, 1998), p. 272. The book describes his personal interactions with the US presidents (all of them) from FDR to Bill Clinton. (That's while they were in office; he also knew Hoover after he retired.) According to the book, ``[a]t present, 24 audiovisual productions in the CHEM Study series are available as films and as VHS and PAL videos. These were last revised in 1989. Millions of copies of the textbook and lab manual have been sold around the world. The books have been translated into 17 languages and the films into 8 languages.

    When I was a senior in high school, I was one of three students who happened to be enrolled in both Chemistry II (an AP course, in fact though not in name until some years later) and an English course called Modern Satire. The three of us (Mark Tomalonis, Claude von Roesgen, and I) created a COME'n'Study film about deterium, a substance that prevents things from happening. Tom Sullebarger and Laurel Bloecher also contributed. I have thought that it's amusing how movie folks obsess over film credits (see, for example, the Alan Smithee and second second entries). But now with the shoe on the other foot, I wish we had written out formal credits to save me the worry of unfairly slighting someone's contribution.

    ``Rocks are a major source of deterium.'' In a white lab coat, I dipped a chunk of granite in a beaker of water to see if it would dissolve, and I tried to coax an irregular rock to roll across a lab bench. Afterwards, the camera panned left, where Claude and (if Mark's memory serves) Laurel held up Olympic-style judges'-scores signs.

    It's not surprising to remember one's own bit best. The theory that this is a general phenomenon has been used to try to deduce facts about William Shakespeare. The approach assumes that words or phrases spoken by a character the bard acted in one play would sort of ring in his head and appear with higher-than-average frequency in his next play. This has been used in arguments over the order in which the plays were written. Don't laugh -- Shakespeare makes critics think even crazier things, such as that he didn't exist.

    Anyway, our sound track was on a cassette, but synchronization wasn't too much of a problem because the sound was mostly voice-over narration. I heard they showed the film at our school for a few years after we left. We used Mark's camera equipment, but Claude is the one who eventually went into the film business in any way. I also acted in (and co-produced, etc.) a video for my Current American Problems course that year, and filmed excerpts from Airport (Sophomore English group book report), so I guess I must have gotten that out of my system, but sometimes I wonder if it hasn't all gone downhill since high school. I also wondered what ever happened to our film. Then in April 2009 Mark found this entry and contacted me. It turns out that the 16mm video component has survived. Maybe we'll do something with it.

    CHEMical TRansportation Emergency Center. They have a 24-hour toll-free number for information on chemical emergencies (leaks, spills, fires and other accidents): 1-800-424-9300.

    Chem 7
    A standard battery of blood-chemistry tests, which measure
    1. sodium,
    2. potassium,
    3. chloride,
    4. bicarbonate,
    5. blood urea nitrogen (BUN),
    6. creatinine, and
    7. glucose (blood sugar).

    Cherenkov Radiation
    Light emitted by a particle moving faster than the local speed of light. Note that causality only forbids particle velocities or information transfer faster than the vacuum speed of light (written c). The speed of light in a refractive medium is c' = c/n, where n is the index of refraction. In the light equivalent of a sonic boom, the radiation forms a cone with opening angle theta away from the backward-pointing vector, given by sin(theta/2) = c'/v, where v is the particle speed.

    (The opening angle of a cone is the maximum angle made at its vertex between two segments along the side. That is, it is twice the angle between the cone axis and its side. By ``cone'' I mean what is technically a ``right cone.'')

    Cherenkov counters are devices which detect the presence of very rapid particles by measuring the Cherenkov radiation. Most ordinary solids and liquids have dielectric constants n not very close to unity, and most gases have dielectric constants between 1 and 1.001. The need to detect particles moving within a few per cent of the speed of light led to the development of aerosil.

    Cherenkov's name should really be written Cerenkov, with a hachek on the cee, but that's hard to do with only ISO Latin-1.

    Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source.

    The percentage of packets eaten by a network connection.

    A business entity created by Enron to make its debts magically disappear.

    Children's Health Fund. I think this may once have been the ``National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition.'' I'm glad they changed their name, if that's what happened, because it would have been too much to type.

    Congestive Heart Failure. For a drug therapy, see ACE.

    CHanGe. Abbreviation used, for example, to obfuscate the terms of airline fares. The more heavily discounted the TKT, the likelier you are to incur a penalty (used to be as little as $50 or $75, $100 on international TRVL) if you make a change. If a medical emergency prevents you from traveling, a note from a doctor can save you a chunk of change.

    Conference-Hopping Grant-Mongering Networking Bourgeoise Academics. Pejorative.

    Chapters. Old-fashioned plural of ch. I've seen it in a book written as recently as 1920.

    Computer-Human Interaction. Don't flatter yourself; even the computer closest to you spends only a tiny fraction of its cycles actually paying direct attention to your input.

    A literary or rhetorical figure in the form of a cross, from the Greek letter chi, which has that shape. That is, two similar clauses, with two elements of one clause interchanged in the second. There's a domain chiasmus.com devoted to the subject.

    Many proverbs are in chiastic form. For example: ``you can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy.''

    Extra credit for apposite name:

    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock;
    Plymouth Rock landed on us.

    Malcolm X

    (Born Malcolm Little. Eventually changed his name to Malcolm El Shabazz or something like that. He also was the first major figure to advocate replacing ``negro'' with ``black.'' Seems to have had a thing about names.)

    Malcolm X had some ideas about religion. I think I'll just leave it at that for now.

    Chiasmus is very popular in early Christian work. In Matthew 10:39, for example:

    He who FINDS his life will LOSE it
    and he who LOSES his life [for my sake] will FIND it.
    Three centuries later, one finds chiasmus and chiastic structures very common in Augustine's sermons.

    The meaning of the term chiasmus is frequently stretched to cover a number of other rhetorical figures and literary structures that have any sort of ``geometric structure.'' (Such is the terminology for rhetorical structure best described in geometric terms.) This is the case, for example, in the discussion notes for Catallus in the A.P. edition published by Bolchazy-Carducci Press.

    (I probably shouldn't neglect to mention the five-member soft-rock group that called itself The Fifth Dimension. Despite the name, neither their music nor lyrics had any unusual geometry that I ever noticed, but they did have a hit with the song ``Love's Lines, Angles & Rhymes,'' title track of an LP they released in 1971. The song was also released as a single that year, b/w ``The Singer.'')

    The looser category of ``chiasmus'' typically involves symmetric organization around a central event or episode, and has been called Ringstruktur by German philologists and later pedimental structure by John Linton Myres, in his Herodotus, Father of History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953).

    Calvert Watkins, in his How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), assembles extensive evidence of ring composition in a variety of Indo-European poetic traditions.

    For an elaborate structural analysis of the Iliad, see Cedric Hubbell Whitman: Homer and the Heroic Tradition (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958), including chapters entitled ``Homer and Geometric Art,'' and ``The Geometric Structure of the Iliad.'' See also André Weil's contribution ``Sur quelques symétries dans l'Iliade,'' pp. 305-309 of Miscellanea Mathematica, ed. Peter Hilton, Friedrich Hirzebruch, and Reinhold Remmert (Springer-Verlag, 1991).

    Elaborate geometric structure can also be found in, for example, Plato's dialogues and Aeschylus's plays. It continues in the Hellenistic period, at least in Jewish writing (in Koine).

    One finds ring structure very frequently in Vedic poetry, though generally it is compressed within individual stanzas. On a larger and more intricate scale, one finds it in Avestan and in the Gathas of Zarathustra.

    Saussure noticed the phenomenon nearly a hundred years ago. Roman Jakobson explored it as well, both in Slavic and on an abstract theoretical plane, in his discussions of the poetic function. David Weir is apparently another language professor who got the chiasmus bug (see decadence).

    Much of the preceding stuff was patched together from material posted by Owen Cramer, Jim Helm, Steve Mason, and George Thompson during a thread on the classics list in April 1999.

    John F. Kennedy used chiasmus in his inaugural address: ``...ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.''

    This echoed a famous speech Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., made on Memorial Day 1884:

    For, stripped of the temporary associations which gave rise to it, it [the Fourth of July] is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.

    At the time, Holmes was a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. He went on to become a justice of the US Supreme Court. Theodore Roosevelt, who appointed him to the position, came to regret it. His original choice had been William Howard Taft, but Taft turned the position down to continue governing the Philippines. (The story seems to be that Taft's ambitious wife wanted him to wait and be president instead.) As it turned out, Teddy Roosevelt also hand-picked his own successor as president: in 1908 he pushed through the nomination of his Secretary of War, who was none other than Taft, now home from the Philippines. By 1912, Roosevelt again decided that he had made a mistake, and when the Republican Party nominated Taft for candidacy to a second term, TR formed a third party called the National Progressive Party (the ``Bull Moose'' party). I seem to have gotten off on a tangent, and the TR situations are really parallel rather than chiastic or in some complementary relation. All this geometry! Look, here's what we'll do: from here on this entry is retasked to the Holmes quote, and we'll start another entry that you can go to immediately if you're still interested in chiasmus, okay? (I'll finish this entry later, and mention Harding.)

    chiasmus, more on
    Okay, everybody here? Good, we're going to try to get back to a discussion of chiasmus, which sort of got derailed back there. If you're coming fresh to the discussion, you should read the preceding entry until you see the name of Theodore Roosevelt (it's spelled ``Theodore Roosevelt''). Just don't anybody interrupt me this time!

    (Isn't hypertext great? It allows so much greater flexibility in organizing reference information!)

    A reference dedicated to chaismus is Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You: Chiasmus and a World of Quotations That Say What They Mean and Mean What They Say, by Dr. Mardy Grothe. It's recommended by X. J. Kennedy, which ought to count for something. I suppose X stands for Xavier, but I don't know.

    As the earlier examples suggest, the typical chiasmus involves interchange of words or phrases. Interchanging parts of words makes possible a class of puns that has been called phonetic chiasmus (I think ``phonemic chiasmus'' would have been a better term):

    Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things.

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    The second pun occurs in Randy Hanzlick's song ``I'd Rather Have A Bottle In Front Of Me,'' which explores the relative merits of these alternative ways to ``kill the pain.'' Hanzlick, an Atlanta physician, got the idea from a graffito scrawled on a bathroom wall in a VA hospital in the early 1970's. That said ``I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy.'' This story is reported on the phonetic chiasmus page at chiasmus.com. (Another doctor -- Demento -- has played that song on his program.) I'd always heard the pun credited to Groucho Marx, but then it probably would be even if he didn't come up with it originally or even say it. Pending more substantive information, I would note that the popularity of frontal lobotomy as a procedure peaked in the 1950's, when Groucho hosted ``You Bet Your Life,'' and was largely the stuff of folklore and sad survivors by the 1970's.

    Exhibiting chiasmus of one sort or another, or perhaps just reminiscent of it.

    During the Prohibition Era (roughly the 1920's in the US and Finland), one element in the war on alcohol was (in the US) a sort of Lysistrata approach. It was encapsulated in the following:

    Lips that touch liquor will never touch mine.

    It's got a beat! Four-three time. Carrie Nation could march to it. (Eight six if she'd had soul.) And its structure is distantly reminiscent of this old saw:

    Anyone who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

    There must be a name for this figure, but I don't know it. And no, it's not very chiastic, but I had to put it in somewhere. I think I first read the lips and liquor ditty in Cheaper by the Dozen.

    Here's a good phrase that I found in an article on the unsolved 1919 disappearance of the despised millionaire Ambrose Small. It's not chiastic, but I couldn't think where else to put it. Let's just pretend that it's a useful exercise for distinguishing chiasmus from other figures, okay?

    Just one thing seems certain. For decades, Ambrose Small got away with murder. In 1919, someone else did.
    (Penned, for all I know completely originally, by Garnet Fraser, writing in the Nov. 30, 2003, Toronto Star.)

    Oh, alright, let's do have some real chiastic stuff. (Hint: more chiasmus at that link.)

    If a man will begin in certainties he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin in doubts he shall end in certainties.

    Bacon, Advancement of Learning, bk. I, v., 8.

    Chicago Homer
    Is there hope for our Cubbies!?!? Nah.
    ``The Chicago Homer is a multilingual database that uses the search and display capabilities of electronic texts to make the distinctive features of Early Greek epic accessible to readers with and without Greek.''

    chicken wings, the sublimity of
    Adelina Patty (1843-1919) was a child singing prodigy who went on to become one of the most celebrated coloratura sopranos of the nineteenth century. Rossini rewrote the role of Rosina in The Barber of Seville specifically for her. He once said to the diva, ``Madam, I have cried only twice in my life. Once when I dropped a wing of truffled chicken into Lake Como, and once when for the first time I heard you sing.'' This was a compliment. Oh, and her name was Adelina Patti, not Patty. Sorry about that, chief.

    chick lit
    A genre of fiction aimed at women at the beginning of their professional lives, depicting women at the beginning of their professional lives. (That's typically women in their twenties and thirties. If you want depictions of women entering professional life at a later point in their earthly sojourn, perhaps you want to look at what is known by the name of ``matron lit,'' or by the clever neologism of ``hen lit.'')

    Gee, sounds a bit censorious. Centre for the HIstory Of Defence Electronics. A special project of HisTRU.

    Cherokee Heritage Indian Education Foundation. CHIEF has produced educational materials on Cherokee history and language in various media (audio books, cassettes, flash cards, videos, and texts). The website has been unreachable since at least October 2003, but materials produced by CHIEF are still being distributed by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, at least. I do hope that CHIEF itself is still available, even if not virtually, because it would be shame if such a backronym were to-- but wait! It's been saved! See

    Christian Hope Indian Eskimo Fellowship. You can read an ``and'' between Indian and Eskimo; the organization serves ``55 Million people and 1,200 Native Tribes in North, Central, and South America.''

    Computer-Human Interaction Forum Of Oregon. Gesundheit!

    Current-Hogging Injection Logic. A variant of integrated injection logic (I²L, q.v.).

    CHIld Language Data Exchange System.

    child labor, future entry for
    I occasionally come across stuff that would be appropriate for a child-labor entry. Until I figure out what exactly I want to write on the subject, I'll lay up reference materials here as I reencounter them. So far, I just have Bill Kauffman: With Good Intentions? Reflections on the Myth of Progress in America (Praeger, 1998). Here's a quote from page x (in the preface):
      ``You can't turn back the clock,'' expostulate those who mistake weariness for wisdom. Yet these believers in history, foreordained, never seem to consider the possibility that their watches show the wrong time.
      This book examines--sympathetically--the people, movements, and arguments of six hopelessly (or so it might seem) ``lost causes'': opposition to school consolidation, the Interstate Highway System, woman suffrage, and the maintenance of a large standing army; and the defense of child labor and the back-to-the-land movement of the Great Depression.

    Miniature idiots.

    Children's Hard Cover Story Books
    Standard, official if there's an office of such things, title of the genre known as picture books.

    CCITT HIgh-Level Language (HLL).

    Chinese and a movie
    Jewish Christmas tradition in North America. Oriental restaurants are usually the only ones open on Xmas, and back in the day, most Oriental restaurants were Chinese.

    Chinese gooseberry
    Around 1963, New Zealand started exporting these in high volume to North America, where they were called ``kiwi fruit'' and ``[giant] kiwi berry,'' after the association of kiwi with New Zealand (see apteryx entry). Now the berry terms have pretty much gone out of use, and they're called either ``kiwi fruit'' or just (in the US) ``kiwi.''

    I remember reading that New Zealand's experience with kiwi fruit turned out to be a cautionary tale of agricultural development. Once New Zealand exporters had done all the spadework, opening up the market against resistance to the fuzzy brown fruit that tastes a lot like a tart strawberry, other lower-cost or closer (which can be the same thing) competitors dove in and ate their dessert, so to speak.

    Anyway, that's what I read a bunch of years ago in an article about economic development planning for the Isle of Jersey, but things can't be entirely bad. I was shopping at Meijer's a couple of days ago and all three varieties of kiwi were ``Product of New Zealand.'' Kiwi trees are thirsty. For California growers, that meant daily irrigation. In the early eighties, kiwi were fetching a dollar a pound for the growers. When that came down to pennies a pound, most California producers got out of the business. According to an IHT article of September 22, 2008, Italy had become the world's leading producer.

    This is not like Spanglish. Spanglish is interwoven English and Spanish, typically fairly grammatical in one language and often in both, with words drawn from both languages. Chinglish is English words with Chinese grammar. Since Chinese is an isolating language with even less inflection than English, the inflections are chosen more or less randomly. For example, here's part of a standard list from a frequent spammer (some Chinese manufacturer):
    A     wearing and accouterment
    A01   man garment
    A02   lady garment
    A03   children garment
    A04   silk dress
    A05   leather/fur dress
    A06   knitting dress
    A07   full dress

    CHarge INjection Transistor. Same device as a NERFET, operating in a different mode.

    A piece of silicon wafer with a circuit fabricated on it.

    Children's Health-Insurance Program. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 created Title XXI of the Social Security Act, the ``State Children's Health Insurance Program.'' Twenty-four billion dollars was set aside for the initial five years of the program. Interesting -- I always thought of an act as the passage of a law, so you could amend a law with an act, but amending an act effectively meant passing another act. I was wrong.

    Anyway, CHIP is one of those federal-state partnerships that are so popular in the US. Like Medicaid, it's ``administered by the states under broad federal guidelines.'' CHIP is meant to provide health care coverage for poor children who don't qualify for Medicaid. I suppose that in practice, ``low-income'' may be more accurate than ``poor,'' but gratuitous accuracy is not a reflex I associate with bureaucracies, and I suspect it's not the reason that the word poor doesn't appear in the literature.

    One thing about federal-state partnerships is that it takes two to tango. If a state doesn't implement the kind of program the feds want, the feds can refuse to fund the state's program, but they can't force the state directly to change the program or even to implement one. And they don't offer to pay all the expenses, either (see FMAP).

    Some NGO's, at least, prefer to refer to CHIP as SCHIP (oh yeah, there's a ``State'' there), but that looks like it ought to be pronounced ``skip'' in English. The federal organizations that administer the programs (I'm sorry, that set the rules by which the states administer them) use ``CHIP.''

    Ala	ALL Kids
    Az	KidsCare
    Ark	ARKinds First
    Ca	Healthy Families
    Co	Family Health Line
    Co.	CHP+
    Conn	HUSKY Plan
    DC	DC Healthy Families
    Fla	Florida Kid Care
    Ga	GA Peach Care for Kids
    Ill	KidCare
    Ind	Hoosier Healthwise
    Iowa	Hawk I
    Ks	Health Wave
    La	LA CHIP
    Me	not available
    Md	Maryland's Children's Health Program
    Mass	MassHealth
    Mich	MIChild
    Minn	Minnesota Care
    Miss	MS's Children's Health Insurance Program
    Mo	MC+
    Mont.	MT Kids
    Ne.	Kids Connection
    Nev.	Nevada Check Up
    NH	Healthy Kids - Gold
    NJ	New Jersey KidCare
    NY	Child Health Plus
    NCar	NC Health Choice
    Oh	Healthy Start
    OK	Sooner Care
    OR	Oregon Health Plan
    Pa	PA Children's Health Insurance
    RI	RiteCare
    SCar	Partners for Healthy Children
    Tenn	TennCare
    Tx	Texas CHIP
    Utah	CHIP, Utah's Children's Health Insurance Program
    Va	VA Children's Medical Security Plan
    WVa	CHIP

    Constraint-Handl{er|ing} In PROLOG.

    Chip Express
    ``Charter: A complete Time-to-market solution featuring smooth transfer from rapid prototyping to high volume production.'' Homepage has reasonable turnaround time.

    chip graffiti
    Nonfunctional artwork visible (under the microscope) on the surface of an integrated circuit. Typically a logo or something along the lines of ``Kilroy was here.''

    A species of rodent less unpleasant than a rat that sings Christmas carols in a nasal voice less unpleasant than a kazoo. Here's a picture from the Washington University picture archive. Probably from shame at the infamous exploits of Alvin and the others, these have been christened (or registered at the local county courthouse or whatever) ``chipmonks'' (as in ``http://wuarchive.wustl.edu/multimedia/images/gif/c/chipmonk.gif''), suggesting cloistered beavers.

    Cave HIll Philosophy Symposium. Conducted at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, in Barbados.

    A chirp is a sequence of short pulses with smoothly decreasing (red chirp) or increasing (blue chirp) instantaneous frequency.

    And now chirplets!

    Spanish noun meaning `joke.' Cognate with French geste, jeste, and English gest, jest, all from Latin gesta.

    The Spanish chiste was adopted with the same meaning and pronunciation into some western Basque dialects (those of Biscay and Guipuzcoa), with the transliterated spelling txiste. A synonym in the same dialectal regions is txantxa, from Spanish chancha, q.v.

    French name for a basket used to play jai alai. The basket is elongated and curved, strapped to the hand and used to catch and hurl the ball. The same word is used in the language of the eastern Basque country (Labourd, Basse Navarre, and Soule), which is to say the Basque provinces that are partly in France. The word is pronounced as in French but spelled xistera (i.e., phonetically in Basque). Cf. chistera.

    The word is ultimately from the Latin, cistella (`small basket'), through cistere, the form of the word in the French dialect of Gascony. This is probably a good place to point out that Gascon is derived from the Latin Vascones, Latin word for `Basques.' The region got the name when the Basques invaded in the sixth century. The shift from the Latin -ll- to Gascon -r- is regular, as is the shift from ci- to chi- in Basque.

    Spanish name for a basket used to play jai alai. The basket is elongated and curved, strapped to the hand and used to catch and hurl the ball. The same word is used in the language of the western Basque country (Biscay and Guipuzcoa), which is to say the Basque provinces that are completely in Spain. The word is pronounced as in Spanish but spelled txistera (i.e., phonetically in Basque). Cf. chistera.

    To be honest, there seem to be a number of slight variations, particularly on the initial consonant or consonant cluster. In Spanish the more common word for the same equipment is cesta, and versions of this word also occur in Basque (xisto in, uh, Baja Navarra, for example). The Spanish word cesta is derived from the Latin cista, and thus cognate with English chest. Corominas y Pascual (1984) criticize the Real Academia for supposing that cesta in the particular acception used in jai alai has some different etymology, and to jusdge from the 21st edition (1992) of its dictionary, the Academy has come around.

    I heard an advertisement on the radio, for a product called ``Fat-Absorb,'' which you take with meals to absorb fat while it's still in your GI tract, so you lose weight. (That's the theory, anyway. One way this might fail to work is if you get too many of your excess calories from excess protein and carbohydrates, which your body converts to fat after absorption.) They said it contains chitin. I thought: `` `chitin,' isn't that the stuff of insect exoskeletons? Ewww!'' I called their toll-free number (1-800-552-0928) and a nice lady explained that it's shellfish chitin, ``extracted from the shells of crabs, shrimp and lobster.'' She sounded a bit disappointed that I only called because I wanted to find out. What, they answer phones on a commission basis? Now the radio ads explain right off the bat what the stuff comes from.

    You know, certain kinds of grasshopper or locust are technically kosher. However, the specification of which are kosher and which treif is considered too vague to allow of certainty, so to be on the safe side all are proscribed (does this predicate dangle?). I have never found this proscription to be a significant burden. For more treif food, see the next entry.


    Chitterlings, but no one who would call them that would eat them. Fried pork entrails.

    According to Cicero, Cato was well-known to have wondered

    ... quod non rideret haruspex haruspicem cum vidisset.
    `...how two entrail-readers [prophesiers] could keep from laughing when they saw each other.'

    Cicero is a town in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, New York, Washington and Wisconsin. For more about entrail-reading, see the insurance agents entry. The word haruspex is originally Etruscan (Etr.).

    It is reliably reported [New York Times, p. 10, 1996.11.10] that you can get chitlins at any of eight outlets around Atlanta owned by Shelley Anthony, who is 44 and hasn't had even one heart attack yet. He's got a drive-through-only outlet on Ponce de Leon. My grandmother used to live on Ponce de Leon; there's a science sort-of-museum to the North before you reach Decatur.

    I've noticed that increasingly, late at night when only the drive-through is open, people are walking through the drive-through service at Burger King restaurants. It's one of the few places where pedestrians and vehicles obey identical rules. Try to imagine the Staten Island ferry on a similar regime. I read once that half the people who commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge have crossed another bridge that day to get there. Sure, but the Golden Gate has a pedestrian walkway. You don't want to get run over on your way to commit suicide -- you could get killed!

    Once, driving through Pecos, Texas, I stopped at an authentic Mexican restaurant, the kind where no se habla inglés. I saw something on the menu that I didn't recognize -- menudos. It was explained to me that this was carne, `meat,' so I tried the sopa de menudos, which turned out to be soup with boiled-tripe flotsam. As neither Cicero nor Cato was first to have said,

    De gustibus non est disputandum,
    or, `there's no arguing taste.'

    Cicero means `small pea.'

    Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

    Central Hockey League. A minor league, okay, but ``Central'' what -- Indiana, Psychodelia? In 2002, the Indianapolis Ice of the CHL hired 7-foot-7 basketball player and sideshow exhibit Manute Bol for a single game, but he never got on the ice because his feet swelled inside his custom-made skate shoes. Why doesn't the Ice just hire all-new players and reposition itself as a baseball team? They could call themselves the Grass. The league can be called Bush.

    On March 12, 2004, Tonya Harding made an appearance at an Ice home game against the Colorado Eagles (who won 2-1 in an overtime shoot-out). She didn't skate either! She did a little exhibition boxing between periods, sparring with her trainer. To keep up with Tonya's periodically newsworthy (or at least News-Of-The-Worldly) career, save a link to the degradation entry.

    Oh wait -- I forgot! Fighting is a part of hockey! How could I forget? As Ice General Manager Larry Linde explained in a press release, ``[s]ome people have questioned our toughness this season and I intend to put an end to that this Friday [March 12].'' Of course, this makes perfect sense. ``She certainly gives new meaning to the [team's slogan] `Are You Tough Enough?' '' Hmmm. ``Harding.'' Almost worth a nomen est omen entry.


    Concealed Handgun License.

    Not precisely to the point, but relevant, are some numbers published in Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2000 (US Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2001). Table 2.77 lists the results of a survey question asked of Americans by the Gallup Organization in surveys since 1959: ``Do you think there should or should not be a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by the police and other authorized persons?'' In 1959, 60% responded that there should, 36% that there should not (4% no opinion). The number favoring such a law declined, steadily, so far as two intervening surveys suggest, until in January 1980 31% favored such a law and 65% were opposed. That was the low point in measured popularity for handgun prohibition. In eleven polls between December 1980 and 2000, the percentage favoring has fluctuated between 34 and 43. In 2000, 36% favored and 62% opposed handgun prohibition. (Although survey sample sizes have varied, the 2000 sample numbered 1012.)

    Current-Hogging Logic. I think it's a variant of integrated injection logic, but I didn't look too closely. See Heinz Lehning: ``Current Hogging Logic (CHL) -- A New Bipolar Logic for LSI,'' IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. SC-9, #5, pp. 228-233 (October 1974). I don't think it caught on.

    Customs-House License. Not their license to operate. The license they issue.

    Cultural Heritage Language Technologies. ``A Collaborative Project to Create Computational Tools For The Study of Ancient Greek, Early Modern Latin, and Old Norse In A Network of Affiliated Digital Libraries.''

    Commission on the History of Modern Chemistry.

    Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease. A ``University [of Durham]-approved Research Centre that provides a focus for research and postgraduate education in the history of medicine, health, disease, and medical ethics. It unites staff and postgraduates from the [uh-oh] Department of Philosophy and the School for Health and has links to several other departments with interests in history of medicine, including Archaeology, Geography [see CAAP if you think this odd], and Modern European Languages. Together with the medical historians at the University of Newcastle, it forms the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine (NCHM). Within the University of Durham, the CHMD constitutes[,] together with the Centre for Arts and Humanities in Health and Medicine[,] the Medical Humanities Research Group.''

    Complementary High-performance Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (MOS). New improved CMOS.

    CHOline. Productive abbreviation.

    Credit Hire Organisation. It's both a generic term (in England, at least) and the name of a trade organization that represents all of the largest CHO's in the UK, representing 90% of the credit hire and credit repair market.

    ``Credit hire/credit repair became a significant customer service in the late 1980's. Back in the 1980's or earlier, if you wanted to hire a car and recover the cost from a negligent driver's insurer you had to pay for it up front, obtain a receipt and then spend weeks, if not months waiting to get your money back. That led to credit hire firms being established enabling innocent motorists involved in an accident to obtain a car on credit.''

    Spanish verb with the meaning `collide, crash,' primarily in the intransitive but also in the transitive sense. Other meanings include `fight,' `astound,' and `clink [wineglasses].' Chocar is probably cognate with the English word shock, and both may be derived from the French choquer, which may in turn be borrowed from a Germanic language, but etymologists are reluctant to rule out the possibility that one or another of the apparent cognates may be an independent onomatopeic development.

    I only put this entry in because it occurred to me that choque and coche form a cute Spoonerized pair. They have the same stress and vowel patterns, with only the consonants switched. Choque, related to chocar, is the countable noun for `crash, collision.' Coche is `car.' [The latter is cognate with English coach, as discussed at the coach entry.]

    The perfect diet food: tastes so good that you won't need to fill yourself up trying vainly to satisfy your hunger with endless quantities of high-sugar fruit.

    There is a particular chemical compound called cholesterol (an alcohol; the commonest sterol), and there is a set of blood solutes called lipoproteins associated with the alcohol cholesterol (they can transport it), which are collectively called ``cholesterol'' in the medical field. The alcohol cholesterol has chemical formula C27H45OH. It's got a bunch of nonaromatic rings, and if you're lucky, the following ASCII picture represents it:
                                          /    \
                                     ____/      \
                                    /¯¯¯¯\      /
                                   /      \____/
                                   \      /\
                                    \____/  \
                                    /    \
                                ___/      \
                               /   \      /
                              /     \____/
                              \     /\
                               \   /  \
                                \ /
                   \             |
                    \____        |
                    /    \      / \
                   /      \____/   \
    [column] Cholesterol was first extracted from bile, and the name is constructed using the Greek word (khole) for bile.

    There is a set of blood solutes called lipoproteins associated with the alcohol cholesterol (they can transport it), which are collectively called ``cholesterol'' in the medical field. The only thing certain about ``cholesterol'' numbers is that the units on the numbers that come back from the laboratory, results from your blood tests, are milligrams per deciliter. And that's not an international standard. (At least in Canada since metrification and also in Denmark, I've heard of some other unit.) Vide liter.

    Trimethyl (2-hydroxyethyl) ammonium hydroxide. [That is: start with ammonia (NH3) and dissolve in water--you get ammonium (NH4+) hydroxide (OH-), replace three of the hydrogens on N with methyl (CH3) groups, and replace the fourth H with a hydroxyethyl group (C2H5OH: i.e. the organic radical that you get when you tear one H off of the carbon in ethanol that isn't bonded to the alcohol (OH) group). Done. N.B.: This is not intended as a synthesis scheme, but just as a mental construction!]

    Syrupy. Famous stuff because acetyl choline [esterize the alcohol group with acetic acid] turns out to be essential for communication between nerves.

    Choline treatment
    Choline : H2O2 : H2O (3:1:95 parts by volume) at 50°C ± 5°, 10 min., ultrasound. DI water rinse for 10 min, spin dry. [See Electrochemical Society Extended Abstracts 81-2, 1981.] Good for organics and some heavy metals.

    CERN Hybrid Oscillation Research apparatUS.

    Collaborative Hypertext of Radiology.

    Multiple voices performing. Almost all the standard senses of the word chorus a specific cases of this general meaning.
    Yiddish, `knick-knacks.' Useless, kitchily decorative things. You want to know the singular form? You don't get it.

    chow mein
    A dish with vegetables served with fried noodles on top. The dish is not Chinese but ``Chinese-style.'' Anyway, the etymology is Chinese enough: chow mein means `fried [i.e. stir-fried] noodles.' Cf. lo mein.

    There seems to be a lot of variation in what goes in besides fried noodles and some common Western vegetables. Helpfully, chow mein dishes usually include the main non-veggie ingredient in the name (``chicken chow mein,'' ``pork chow mein,'' etc.).

    California Highway Patrol.

    CHannel Path.

    Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi. `Republican People's Party' of Turkey. Kemal Atatürk's party, and the only legal political party in Turkey for many years. The first time that free elections were allowed, in 1950, the Demokrat Parti (DP) won 53% of the vote and 408 of 487 seats in the national assembly.

    CHannel Path (CHP) IDentifier.

    Center for Health Policy Research. Now known as the Center for Health Services Research and Policy (CHSRP).

    Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.

    This course in chemical separations covers a number of chromatographies. So does this one.

    A medical term meaning of long duration. Even if the symptoms are only sporadically recurring, the condition itself is persistent, and thus described as chronic. Typically one begins applying this word after one to three months, depending to some extent on the condition. The precise application of the term depends on subtle scientific questions such as who is paying for the treatment. At the opposite extreme from chronic is acute. The term subacute has been introduced to describe that awkward interval between acute and chronic, but we're not going to give that term an entry because people would think we're not serious.

    Chronicle of Higher Education
    Trade weekly for college and university educators and misadministrators. Subscribers can read the current issue here or search back issues here.

    Scientific or technical news articles appearing in its pages are required to contain at least one major foolish blunder. Opinion pieces don't need logic howlers if they are otherwise without intellectual merit.

    Abbreviated CHE.

    California Historical Society.


    Center for Hellenic Studies. It has a ``45,000-volume specialized library and serene wooded campus in Washington, D.C.,'' and is operated by Harvard University. Look under Woods-Bliss for more detail.

    Chinese Historical Society of America.

    Community Health Service Organization.

    Center for Health Services Research and Policy. Formerly known as the Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR).

    Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. The link is to one at the ``The University, Manchester'' (UK).

    Certified Hyperbaric Technologist.


    Chthonios Books
    UK distributor, founded by Stephen Ronan, of scholarly titles from publishers worldwide which deal with Esoteric Studies. The most recent catalogue has a list of 342 books with detailed descriptions divided into sections on Ancient Religion and the Mysteries; Neoplatonism and Ancient Philosophy; Hermetica, Alchemy and Emblemata; Gnosticism and Early Christianity; Judaism and Kabbalah; Magick, Witchcraft and Demonology; Medieval, Renaissance and beyond. Chthonios also has a list of second-hand books.

    Send for a catalogue to:

    Chthonios Books
    7 Tamarisk Steps
    TN34 3DN
    Telephone /fax 01424 433302 (+44 1424 433302 internationally)

    Canadian version of WWV, reporting the time on 3330, 7335, and 14670 kHz. Use it to learn how to count to fifty-nine in French and English!

    Japanese: `loyalty to authority.' A fundamental moral principle of Confucianism.

    The same principle is even more important in the American civil religion, where each person is an authority unto him- or herself.

    CHUKS, Chuks
    Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom, and Sweden. Nickname for the four EU countries that opted out of a closer federal fiscal union in December 2011.

    The American Indian tribe that inhabited the Lompoc Valley. The name is pronounced ``SHOE mosh.'' I have no idea why or since when. In particular, I can't understand why the initial ch is pronounced as in French and why the same sound at the end is spelled in English.

    The word has an etymology that you could look up on the internet. UCSB has a Chumash Room or Chumash Auditorium or something in the student center (UCen).

    A Hebrew study bible -- traditionally a single volume for the first five books. With a little effort, I suppose I could work the phrase ``Hebrew tribe'' into that description, but parallelism isn't everything. The name is pronounced ``WHO mosh.'' The ch is pronounced as in German because when transliteration of Hebrew into Roman characters became common in the nineteenth century, it was principally done into German.

    The word chumash is based on the Hebrew word hameish, `five.'

    Cheekiness, shameless presumptious gall. The standard ``definition'' of chutzpah is a man who, about to be sentenced for murdering his parents, asks the court to show leniency to an orphan. This joke just isn't quite as funny since the the Menendez brothers deployed the ``abuse defense.''

    For your convenience, we've centralized the chyme information, sort of, at the SABI entry.

    Cédula de Identi{ficación|dad}. Spanish, `Identi{fication|ty} document.' (The `document' may be a card or passport-like booklet.) All Spanish-speaking countries have national C.I.'s, and many of them use C.I. as the abbreviation for such a document. Some people, in at least some of these countries, use ``C.I.'' metonymically for the identification number. There's another number called C.I. in Spanish. For a story that begins on the subject of Argentine C.I.'s see the ID entry.

    Chemical Ionization. `Chemical' refers to the mechanism, not the object.

    Clarence Irving. As in C.I. Lewis. What is it about the C. ?. Lewis clan anyway?

    C.I. Lewis (born April 12, 1883 in Stoneham, Mass.; died February 3, 1964, in Cambridge, Mass.). A Harvard philosopher.

    Coeficiente Intelectual. Spanish, `Intelligence Coefficient.'

    Competitive Intelligence. I think this is a generalized version of what used to be called industrial espionage. Learn more from the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP).

    Compression Ignition. Ignition of the fuel-air mix in a combustion chamber resulting from compression. What happens in a Diesel engine, or in any engine that is Dieseling. More at the SI entry.

    Computational Intelligence. A journal. Other than that, you're on your own. Figure it out.

    Configuration Interaction.

    Configuration Item.

    Congestion Indicator. The channel, Bozo, not your nose. Maybe the road, too.

    Consentimiento informado. Spanish, `informed consent.' (Uninformed is desinformado.) Medical terminology, as in English.

    Consumption Plus Investment. ``Private-sector output.''

    Côte D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) domain name code. The country has an official .com site on the web. See the Ivory Coast entry in the CIA Factbook. World's leading producer of cocoa, at the time of the Christmas Eve coup of 1999. Commercial web presence at <http://www.africaonline.co.ci/>.

    Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

    (US) Central Intelligence Agency. Their homepage can be reached through a trap door in the Office of the Director of Central Intelligence World Wide Web Site.

    The CIA are very good at what they do, whatever it is. We know because they tell us so.

    They say that doctors bury their mistakes.

    Cloud Interstitial Aerosol. Cloud aerosol found between cloud elements.

    Commission Internationale d'Aerostation. The FAI ballooning commission.

    Aerostat, for a body having neutral bouyancy in air, and aerostation, are obsolete words in English, so we have gone back to an 1813 encyclopedia to work up entries for these terms. (Follow the links!) In French, of course, no word is ever officially obsolete that might conceivably displace a borrowed English term.

    Connect Infobahn Australia. An ISP

    Culinary Institute of America. One of the premier American schools for professional cooks; in New York City.

    The CIA are very good at what they do, whatever it is. We know because the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    Community Involvement Advisory Committee.

    Computer Incident Advisory Capability. An agency of the Department of Energy that creates public information documents related to computer security.

    Columbia International Affairs Online. A ``comprehensive source for theory and research in international affairs. It publishes a wide range of scholarship from 1991 on that includes working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, and proceedings from conferences.''

    (Australian) Clinical Information Access Project.

    Combat Infantry Badge.

    Conseil International du Bâtiment. Founded in 1953. The need to translate the expansion from French into an international lingua franca such as English provides an opportunity to adjust the public face of the organization, progressively aggrandizing it and unwieldy-sizing the name. I've seen these so far, as of June 2004:
    1. CIB: International Council for Building Research.
    2. CIB: International Council for Building, Research Studies and Documentation.
    3. International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction. (Where did the ``Documentation'' go!? Aghh, this always happens!)

    Credit Information Bureau.

    Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

    Council on Interracial Books for Children. And you probably didn't even know that books had races. Heck, libraries have creeds.

    Credit Information Bureau, Incorporated.

    Carrier Identification Code.

    CEBus Industry Council.

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


    Corpus Iuris Civilis. Latin: `body of Civil Law.' Also Corpus Iuris Canonici (`standard' law).

    E. Metzger, of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, maintains as complete as possible a page of Roman legal texts, including CIC, on the web at <http://www.iuscivile.com/materials/sources.shtml> (part of Roman Law Reseources.

    The canonical codification was done under the Eastern Emperor Justinian, so see it as the Codex at Imperatoris Ivstiniani Opera (`the works of Emperor Justinian').

    US Army Counter-Intelligence Corps.

    Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

    Center for Innovative Computer Applications. At the University of Indiana (IU).

    Scar. In Spanish, which has generally longer words than English, cicatriz is the ordinary word for `scar,' not a sesquipedalianism. The verb is cicatrizar (`to scar' in both intransitive and transitive senses). There's another Spanish word, trizar, which means `to smash to pieces' or `to shred,' according to various dictionaries, although my father (a Chilean) used it in the sense of `to crack,' and not necessarily into pieces. Trizar is not etymologically related to cicatrizar, but since you weren't planning to look up trizar, I figured I'd define it here for your convenience.

    Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Center. (In the Cairo in Egypt.)

    Center of the International Cooperation for Computerization. In Japan.

    Custom Integrated Circuits Conference sponsored by IEEE.

    Cognomen of the famous Roman whose full name was Marcus Tullius Cicero. Traditionally, in English he was called ``Tully'' -- an Anglicized version of his gentilicium -- the same way that Gaius Plinius Secundus was and is known as ``Pliny.'' (More specifically, he was known as Pliny the Elder, to distinguish him from the sister's son he adopted; the nephew took his uncle's name, as was standard in such cases. Of course, there is no reason to be specific, since the nephew, Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, was also known as Pliny... the Younger.)

    Cicero was regarded as the greatest of the Roman orators. If you want some idea of what this could mean, just square Tony Blair and divide by George W. Bush. (Vide etiam Wordsworth.) But enough about Cicero. We only add entries now so we can go off on irrelevant tangents, and to give you the information you neeeeeed and couldn't find in the other hits your search engine dredged up. For this entry, that special information has to do with my home town, Westfield, New Jersey. (Well, I should probably mention that there's a Tully County or something in upstate New York. Some other time, I guess. No need to mention the well-known town of Cicero, Illinois.) Westfield was for many years a powerhouse in New Jersey high school football, and the legendary Gary Kehler, coach from 1961 to 1982, was probably the principal reason.

    To take a ferinstance, his 1977 team was rated by the Newark Star-Ledger as the second-best New Jersey high-school team of the century (apparently the century from about 1910 to 2003 or so), and the best among public schools. And they did it all without steroids. (At least, they were generally small teams, by today's standards. Draw your own conclusions.) Westfield played its home games at Memorial Stadium, built by the WPA on Rahway Avenue, and at some point the name was changed to Gary Kehler Stadium. On April 20, 2006, with due ceremony and the honoree in attendance, the town put up a sign there describing Gary Kehler's coaching achievements at Westfield High. The sign, which was placed on the press box at the stadium, lists Kehler's 171-26-7 record and his eight football teams that won the state championship. (Boy, I really need a transition play here.) There's an inscribed bust of Cicero in the Wellington Museum, at Apsley House in London. [There's a picture of the bust in F.R. Cowell's Cicero and the Roman Republic (Penguin/Pelican, 1948, 5/e 1973), facing p. 174.] It's a pretty good likeness of Gary Kehler around 1973.

    Did I ever mention Garibaldi? Yes, I did! And you already forgot. It's at this ALM entry. I should probably add that Dennis played football on the Westfield school teams.

    I should probably also add that the cognomen Cicero is a third-declension noun, with genitive singular Ciceronis. So most of the forms are constructed with an n. That's why the adjective form (in English) is Ciceronian. A similar-sounding word in Latin is cicer, `chickpea.'

    Converging Input, Converging Output. A kind of stability in an input-output mapping: the system must be BIBO, and in addition any pair of inputs that converge must be mapped into outputs that converge. For the special case of instantaneous response, this is equivalent to the requirement of continuity.

    Customer Information Control System. An IBM-licensed program that enables transactions entered at remote terminals to be processed concurrently by user-written application programs. It includes facilities for building, using, and maintaining databases.

    Charge Injection Device.

    Compositional InterDiffusion.

    When you think about it, that's what always happens in diffusion.

    Configuration Interaction (CI) including Double excitations only. Cf. CIS, CISD.

    Connection Information Distribution (network, mechanism).

    Craft Interface Device.

    Criminal Investigation Detachment. Part of Allied Army of Occupation.

    cid, CID
    Cubic-Inch Displacement. Measure of engine size.

    Canadian International Development Agency.

    Center for International Development and Conflict Management.

    Cambridge International Dictionary of English. Available on CD.

    Product endorsement: ``You could do worse.''

    Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas. Despite the name, it's basically a university dedicated to the social sciences generally, with academic divisions for economics, public administration, political studies, international studies, history, and law (this division does function as a law school in the usual sense). CIDE was founded in November of 1974, and is located in Mexico City.

    Latin suffix meaning `kill,' as in suicide, fratricide, parricide, homicide, etc. A near homonym of suicide occurs in Scottish tort law, but I can't remember what it is and I can't find it in CIDE.

    Control Interval Description Field of VSAM.

    Chemical Industry Data eXchange, Inc. Chemical Industry trade association for EDI.

    Complete Island Etch. The truth they don't want you to know about Atlantis.

    Commission Internationale de L'Éclairage or International Commission on Illumination oder Internationale Beleuchtungskommission. Also a Vienna site.

    Computer Integrated Enterprise.

    Conseil International des Infirmières (in French) and Consejo Internacional de Enfermeras (Spanish). Name means `International Council of female nurses.' Sounds like that other infamous sexist organization, the League of Women Voters. Official English name: International Council of Nurses (ICN).

    Coras Iompair Éireann. So maybe that should be CIÉ. The Irish national public transportation company.

    Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition. Organized to oppose the CDA, preserved to record the defeat of the CDA.

    Council on International Educational Exchange.

    Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

    Centro Internacional de Estudios Superiores de Comunicación para América Latina. `International Center for Higher Studies of Communication for Latin America.' It has some educational functions, and a historical connection with the Universidad Central del Ecuador, but it's not on the UCE campus.

    United States National Committee of the CIE.

    Código de Identificación Fiscal. `Fiscal identification code.' A Spanish tax identification code for businesses. The corresponding number for individuals is NIF. A little more at CIF/NIF.

    Common Intermediate Format (for video). Defined by CCITT; a rather coarse 352 pixels across per each of 288 lines down.

    CIF, C.I.F., cif
    Cost, Insurance, and Freight. Cf. CNF.

    Course Instructor Feedback. It's not a nasty ol' ``evaluation,'' see?

    CounterIntelligence Field Activity. Created by the US Defense Department in 2003 to track threats and terrorist plots against military installations and personnel inside the United States. Usually described as a Top Secret operation, but how secret can it be if I've heard of it?

    Various order forms for Spanish businesses request this information. Individuals making a personal purchase or request fill in an NIF Número de Identificación Fiscal, businesses fill in a CIF (Código de Identificación Fiscal). The Mexican RFC is the common equivalent of both CIF and NIF.

    CIGarette. A popular disposable nicotine delivery instrument and fashion statement.


    Canadian Institute in Greece. A/k/a l'Institut canadien en Grèce (ICG) and also to Kanadikó Institoúto stên Elláda (KIE). I'm glad to see that they're branching out beyond the vanilla languages, but this is probably not what the Inuit had in mind. CIG is the former CAIA (I mean the Canadian Archaeological Institute at Athens, I think), which changed its name in 2005 or 2006. As of 2007, some pages at the CIG still bear the title ``CAIA Home.''


    Corpus Inscriptionum Graecorum. For other epigraphic resources see this links page maintained by Ulrich Schmitzer.

    Cigarette Lighter
    I have tried at various times in my life to grasp the rudiments of such inventions as the telephone, the camera, wireless telegraphy and even the ordinary motorcar, but without success. Television, of course, and radar and atomic energy are so far beyond my comprehension that my brain shudders at the thought of them and scurries for cover like a primitive tribesman confronted for the first time with a Dunhill cigarette lighter.
    --- Noël Coward

    Canadian Interest Group on Open Systems.

    CeIlinGS. Height above the ground of the base of the lowest layer of clouds when over half of the sky is obscured. The reason for the plural is that pilots tend to use ``ceiling'' as a countable noun synonymous with ``bottom of a cloud.'' When less than half the sky is obscured, cloud cover is probably not a big problem, and it's usually so patchy that defining a ceiling is difficult.

    Copper Indium Gallium [di]Selenide. A I-III-VI alloy semiconductor regarded as promising for polycrystalline thin-film photovoltaics. You can think of it as an alloy of copper indium diselenide and copper gallium diselenide: Cu(In1-xGax)Se2.

    Copper Indium Gallium Sulfur [di]Selenide. A I-III-VI alloy semiconductor (q.v.).

    Christmas International House. Provides an opportunity for international students to gather for fellowship and reunion during the Christmas holidays. All international students (18 years of age or older) are invited to apply. They are guests (room and board free) of local communities around the US for two weeks around Christmas and New Year's. Students pay a registration fee [in 1996: $35 before or $50 after November 11] and round trip transportation.

        CIH Registration Office
        P.O. Box 764
        Tucker, Georgia 30085-0764
        Phone: (770) 938-4291

    I used to have the expansion with Interational -- interesting thought.

    Confederation of Indian Industry. ``Building Business Leadership.'' Founded in the last years of the nineteenth century, it is non-governmental, nonprofit, industry-led and industry-managed. French news sources describe the CII (Confédération indienne de l'Industrie) as analogous to France's Medef.

    French: chaîne française d'information internationale, `French Network for International Information' or something.

    The project stems from a campaign promise President Jacques Chirac made during his successful 2002 campaign to remain in office (and thereby avoid prosecution on corruption charges stemming from his years as Paris mayor, though he had other motives for seeking reelection). He promised a ``CNN à la française.'' In other words he meant to create something like CNN, but government-run and government-subsidized. Its annual budget is initially about $87 million, operated as a 50-50 joint venture between TF1 and France Télévisions. CII plans (as of March 2006) call for broadcasts to begin at the end of 2006, initially to Africa and Asia.

    Notice that although Chirac said it would be the ``voix de la France dans le monde,'' he did not promise that this voice would speak French -- he didn't call it a ``CNN en française'' or a ``CNN francophone.'' In fact, it came out around mid-March 2006 that most of the programming would be in English. A week or two later, Chirac was attending an EU meeting where a French businessman announced that he would make his presentation in English, since that is the international language of business; Chirac and the rest of the French delegation at the meeting walked out in protest.

    China Institute for International Strategic Studies. ``Attached to'' the Chinese Defense Ministry.

    Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy.

    Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.


    Conference on Information and Knowledge Management. An annual international conference inaugurated in 1992, sponsored by the ACM and its SIGIR and SIGMIS. I swear, these guys spend so much time on conference junkets, you wonder when they find the time to discard the spam from their mailboxes.

    Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. Latin for `body [collection] of Latin inscriptions.' For other epigraphic resources see this links page maintained by Ulrich Schmitzer.


    Cetedoc Index of Latin Forms. There may be some information on it at this Belgian site. Also known as Thesaurus formarum totius Latinitatis a Plauto usque ad saeculum XXum (TFTL).

    Computer Integrated Manufacturing.

    Corporate Information Management. A Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to modernize computer systems across the armed services. This went down in flames in January 1996 after six years of futility.

    Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association.

    The Connected International Meeting[-]Professionals['] Association. ``The first and only online association of meeting professionals.''

    ``MISSION: Connect all meeting professionals to the internet and build a global community of tech-savvy buyers and sellers of meeting products/services.''

    CIMPA traditionally holds a breakfast for members and guests who are attending the US Presidential Inauguration in Washington DC.

    Alternate URL: <http://www.MEETINGPROFESSIONALS.ORG/>.

    Component Information Management System. Part of the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) environment.

    China International Machine Tool (show). I just received an unsolicited email with the exciting information that this year, the biennial event will be held in China. At least they're not offering to refinance my X-rated wealth.

    Community Information Network.

    Console INput. Just as bad as cout, but in the other direction. Hey -- why not take a break from the C++ grind and visit the Neuphilologische Mitteilungen entry, huh? I promise it's not entirely irrelevant.

    CinC, CINC, C-in-C
    Commander-IN-Chief. The US constitution identifies the president as the commander-in-chief of the US armed forces. In the US military, CinC's have traditionally been the commanders of major combatant, uh, commands, such as CINCLANTFLT and others listed following this entry. In 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered subordinates to instead use ``combatant commanders'' when referring to generals and admirals to those large commands, on the reasoning that the only CinC is the POTUS.

    The usage dies hard, however. A memorandum of September 15, 2003, includes the following:

    Let's make sure that no service, CINC, or others make announcements on troop rotations, stop loss or mobilizations, without the proposal having been worked through the Joint Staff, David Chu [undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness] and me personally.
    The memo was written by Donald Rumsfeld.

    A genus of evergreen trees and shrubs that originally grew in the tropical valleys of the Andes (from Bolivia to Columbia, and also some mountainous parts of Panama and Costa Rica). Eventually, it came to be extensively cultivated in India, Java, and the Scrabble forest. The English and Dutch transplanted species of cinchona (to India and Java, respectively) for the production of the antimalaria drug quinine, an alkaloid extracted from the bark (``Peruvian bark'').

    The name cinchona is based on definitely bad information about possibly bad information: in 1742 Linnaeus named the genus in honor of the Countess of Chinchón. That's a small town about 45 km from Madrid, along the way to Toledo, and if Linnaeus could have googled this he wouldn't have misspelled it. It's too late now, because the one-aitch spelling has been widely incorporated in botanical and chemical nomenclature. I wish that IUPAC would adopt a sensible, similarly conservative attitude to terminology. Leave well enough alone! Look: I'm willing to compromise in the interest of letting sleeping dogs lie. You never heard me complain that the word, misspelled as it is, is mispronounced in some sort of church-Latin way (``sink-oh-na,'' or some such).

    There's a new hotel in that town, named Hotel Condesa de Chinchón, only twenty minutes from the Warner Brothers Theme Park (Parque Temático de la Warner Bros.; ``Warner Bros.'' gets a female definite article because it is implicitly la empreza or la compañía Warner Bros., now where was I?). Oh yeah, the hotel is on Calle de los Huertos (previously called Avenida del Generalísimo). Calle de los huertos means `street of the orchards,' so it's rather appropriate and you're glad I mentioned it. According to legend, La condesa de Chinchón was cured of malaria by the use of Peruvian bark in 1638 while she was serving as vice-queen (no, no! -- ``vice'' as in ``deputy'') of Peru, and she brought some of the bark back to Spain in 1640. Well, it's not certain that she didn't.

    Other names for the bark are Jesuits' bark (based on a separate legend) and quinquina, from the local (Chechua) word kina, meaning `bark.' (The reduplication is original in Chechua; the letter q is just the preference of Spanish orthography.)

    Commander-IN-Chief, AtLANTic FLeeT.

    Commander-IN-Chief, PACific FLeeT.

    Commander-IN-Chief, Strategic Air Command.

    Commander-IN-Chief, US NAVal Forces EURope.

    Mercuric Sulfide. A bright red mineral highly prized as a dye. According to Lyde S. Pratt, The Chemistry and Physics of Organic Pigments (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1947), p. 4, there is archaeological evidence of the use of cinnabar as a pigment in China as early as the third millennium BCE. In Europe, cinnabar continued to be used until better artificial red dyes replaced it in the twentieth century. It is still the most common mercury ore. Today half of the mercury ore mined in the world comes from Spain and Italy. The color of cinnabar is called vermilion. More information on this mineral is at the entry for the historically related mineral minium.

    Chief Information Officer. (Eldridge Cleaver, when he held this office in the Black Panthers, had the title ``Minister of Information.'' However, this was before he became a fugitive, before he bopped around Africa and was granted asylum in France, before he struck a plea bargain to return and do some time, and before he was born again. It was also before the information revolution.)

    Chief Investment Officer.

    Congress of Industrial Organizations.

    In 1935, the CIO was formed behind the leadership of UMW head John L. Lewis, who stormed out of the AFL after beating up Carpenters-Union president William L. Hutcheson on the floor of the AFL convention floor.

    The UMW was the only large industrial union in an AFL dominated by craft unions, and Lewis wanted the conservative AFL to engage in more aggressive organizing based on industrial unions. He put this idea into practice with the CIO, which created automobile and steel industrial unions and grew rapidly.

    Semantically, Lewis's work was characterized by late nomenclature revision. For example, CIO originally stood for Committee of Industrial Organizations, and the United Steelworkers of America originally did business as the CIO's ``Steelworkers' Organizing Committee.'' Other important things can be and have been said about his leadership, but let this be here recorded: he showed that the American labor movement knew how to deploy apostrophe marks as well as sit-down strikes.

    In 1940, Lewis returned from CIO leadership to UMW leadership, and after WWII the AFL experienced faster growth than the CIO. The AFL and CIO were merged as the AFL-CIO in December 1955.

    Cf. DGB.

    Counter/timer Input/Output.

    Confederación Internacional de Organizaciones Sindicales Libres. Spanish, `International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.'

    (Data- or other Communication-) Carrier Identification Parameter.

    Catalog[u]ing In Publication. More (heck, something) at the ECIP entry.

    Computer-Integrated Polarization Microscopy.

    Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting.

    Center for International Private Enterprise. Eets zee demmid Englo-Sexons at eet ageen! See IRI.

    Center for Insight into Philosophic Health, Education, and Renewal. ``[A]n organization originally developed in response to issues raised at the Third International Conference for Philosophical Practice, held in New York in July of 1997, and devoted to the promotion of philosophy as a mode of practice.'' Philosophical practice, or philosophical counseling, is to the mind what chiropractic is to the body: voodoo, but what the hell, try it -- it might work.

    Permanent International Committee of Linguists. Like other organizations-of-organizations that are known by French acronym and English expansion, the CIPL has been slow to get its web-act together. Still no website as of late June 2001.

    Comité International des Poids et Mésures. `International Committee of Weights and Measures,' but you knew that.

    Canadian Information Processing Society.

    Centers Information Processing System. The ``Centers'' are those of the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    The Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply. ``CIPS is an international organisation, based in the UK, serving the purchasing and supply profession.''

    Conseil International de la Philosophie et des Sciences Humaines. Normally referred to by its French initialism and its English name: International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies. It is an NGO within UNESCO, but I am aware of no other reason to suppose that CIPSH should be entirely corrupt.

    Central Indiana Professional Writers.

    They apparently stopped keeping up a website, but they're reported still to exist, meeting in donated space. According to this webpage, they ``meet the third Sunday of each month from 2-5:30pm in the lower banquet room of the Pizza Hut on Hwy. 31 North in Kokomo, IN.'' Makes you want to join just to learn what the ``lower banquet room'' of a Pizza Hut might entail.

    Center for Individual Rights. A DC-based organization whose lawsuit forced the end of racial discrimination in admissions at the University of Texas (``race-based preferences'').

    Center for Insurance Research.

    Circinus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Committed Information Rate. Guaranteed minimum data rate of a Private Virtual Circuit.

    Community Information and Referral. (In Central and Northern Arizona.)

    Cylindrical Internal Reflect{ ance | ion } (spectroscopy).

    Latin, around. Now mostly used in the sense of `approximately [in time].' Abbreviated ca. (which see) or c.

    Circ desk, circ
    CIRCulation DESK at the library.

    Collimated Ion Resonance Cannon, Ephermal. I suppose it might be more interesting if it were something real, instead of just a Star Wars weapon. (Star Wars the work of fiction.)

    Circle of Willis
    A ring-like arterial structure that distributes the blood supplied by four arteries to the various parts of the brain.

    Circle of Willys
    Jeeps in a protective configuration.

    The vital dates of a person who lived in premodern times. Metonym from the fact that, due to factors including calendrical ambiguities and lost records, birth and death dates are usually uncertain and stated as circa some year.

    Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences. It's located at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    The [!] Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Liberal Arts.

    Certified in Integrated Resource Management. A cert program launched by APICS in 1991.

    Council on Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards.

    Chicago International Remainder and Overstock Book Exposition. ``[S]trictly a trade show open only to attendees and exhibitors within the bargain book trade. This annual trade show takes place in Chicago every [F]all.''

    Cf. BEA.

    Conference on InfraRed Physics.

    Cooperative Institutional Research Program. A survey of incoming college freshmen, administered by cooperative post-secondary institutions across the US for the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI, q.v.). The survey instrument is sometimes also called CIRP, and sometimes the ``CIRP Freshman Survey.'' HERI has a corresponding exit survey for graduating seniors (CSS).

    Cirrus Logic
    ``Multimedia. Communications. Data Storage. And more.''

    Composite InfraRed Spectrometer. An instrument on NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan.

    Look, I'm just a down-to-earth guy. Explain it to me in layman's terms. Make it relevant. Is it pronounced like ``Sears''?

    (Stanford University) Center for Integrated Systems.

    Cluster-Ion Spectroscopy.

    Common Information System. Coördinated by (CISAC)

    Commonwealth of Independent States. An extremely loose confederation of former soviets of the old USSR. Originally established, if that is the word, on (western) Christmas day, 1991, comprising eleven of the twelve non-Baltic states (Georgia stayed out).

    Conductor-Insulator-Semiconductor. CIS cells are similar to MIS cells, but the conductor might be, say, ITO.

    Configuration Interaction (CI) including Single excitations only. Cf. CID, CISD.

    Continuous (fuel-) Injection System.

    Corporate Information System[s].

    CuInSe2. Copper indium diselenide. Also called copper indium selenide. The band gap is 1.04 eV at room temperature, and it is one of the ``other'' popular semiconductors for PV's (besides silicon). It has a high absorption coefficient for solar radiation, and laboratory efficiencies have been measured approaching 20% -- rivaling silicon solar cells. Part of its attraction is that polycrystalline films of CIS make decent solar cells, whereas polycrystalline silicon is problematical. (The principal problem is that dangling bonds and other traps reduce the minority carrier lifetime.) Variants of CIS are the alloy semiconductors CIGS and CIGSS. All are part of the class of semiconductors classed I-III-VI (q.v.).

    Customer Information System. Good-bye privacy.

    Information Service Industry Association of R.O.C. I don't know what political or linguistic considerations are behind the acronym-expansion mismatch. [It's rare (and often ambiguous) to construct a Latin-character acronym as an initialism of logogram romanizations.]

    Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Auteurs et Compositeurs. (`International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers.')

    Complex Instruction Set Comput{er[s] | ing}. The typical CISC microcontroller has on the order of 100 instructions, many quite specialized and rarely called. The speed advantage of being able to use such specialized instructions is traded off against the slower over-all performance for the average instruction, which may be quite common. The instructions in a CISC tend not to be very systematic in syntax or action. In contrast with the complementary approach, RISC, CISC uses fewer commands per task, uses a greater variety of commands, and the individual commands run more slowly.

    Configuration Interaction (CI) including only Single and Double excitations. Cf. CID, CIS.

    Centro Informazioni, Studi ed Esperienze.

    Computer and Information Science and Engineering. NSF category.

    (UN Convention on) Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

    Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies. ``... provides a source of information and research for issues affecting Canada. Includes press releases and summaries of publications.''

    Comite International des Sports Sourds. French, `International Committee of Southpaw [Lefty] Sports.' Yeah, that's it. Yeah, that's it. I said, THAT'S IT! What's the matter, can't you hear me?

    Cf. WGD.

    Community-Integrated Service Systems.

    Computer, Information, and Systems Sciences, and Engineering. An interesting list: you wonder about the hasa/isa relations of "Computer". I suppose it must be a default method of the Sciences class, at least. Either way, the paper submission deadline for CISSE 2006 has passed or is past. (CISSE is ``The Second International Joint Conferences on Computer, etc.'' but CISSE is overloaded, and the ``Conferences'' wrapper appears to take a scalar context.)

    Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information.

    Circumstellar Imaging Telescope.

    Court Interpreters and Translators Association, founded 1978. Now called NAJIT.

    Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora. Tropical timber trade is a hot issue. A mahogany dresser?! You envirocriminal! (Here's the text of the convention.)

    Confederation of Indian Textile Industry. (Sic: no definite article.)

    A quartz mineral. Quartz is transparent and takes its color from impurities. Citrine is a orangish brown to yellow color from Fe3+ (details and relation to amethyst explained at amethyst entry. Since citrine can look like topaz (a different mineral), and since topaz is a precious gem, citrine has been sold under a dozen creative names (like ``yellow topaz'') that try to finesse the difference. Citrine is also sometimes considered a semiprecious gem. I think somebody should take over the musical terminology and call it a semidemiprecious gem. Small pieces of quartz are also sold as ``Cape May Diamonds'' and such. Where are the guardians of trade truth when you need them? (Hint: see the CW entry.)

    Communication[s] Interface Unit.

    Crime in the United States. ``An annual publication in which the FBI compiles volume and rate of crime offenses for the nation, the states, and individual agencies. This report also includes arrest, clearance, and law enforcement employee data.'' The main report that people think of when you mention the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR).

    In the detailed city-by-city (``agency'') tables, you can see that if one year there were no murders and the next year there was one, it was counted as a 100% increase in the murder rate. You can't blame them for using a nonzero baseline, I guess.

    Civil Engineering. You're very welcome I'm sure.

    Georgia Tech hosts the WWW Virtual Library section. LookSmart has a small page of CivE links that does not include the SBF glossary. We're not offended, heck no!

    civil law
    A system of over-the-counter legal remedies that protect large helpless corporations and the rich from outrageous attacks by the presumptious poor.

    Civil War Battle Reenactment
    The reenactment of a Civil War battle in which the confederacy prevailed. A wonderful demonstration of the power of denial.

    Commercial Internet eXchange.

    Celebrity Justice. A regular program on the WB channel. Their website is laid out a bit like a news site, but it's more attractive and interesting because all the stories have graphics, and the text isn't cluttered with prissy little qualifications just because they don't happen to know something for absolutely certain. Also, they help to right the gender imbalance in the news, Whereas men seem to dominate the so-called ``hard news,'' when I last visited the CJ website (April 24, 2004), I saw no pictures of men (just the Olsen twins, Courtney Love, Michael Jackson, and Anna Kournikova).

    Chief Justice.

    City Journal.


    The Classical Journal, published triannually by CAMWS. Catalogued by TOCS-IN.

    Canadian Jewish Congress.


    Corpus Juris Civile. Alternate spelling of CIC (q.v.), using the modern letter J that was developed in medieval times to represent the consonantal phonemic value of I.

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Under the terms of the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986, the JCS is an advisory organization only, not an executive. The act identifies the CJCS as the senior ranking member of the Armed Forces and also gives to the Chairman some of the functions and responsibilities previously assigned to the corporate body of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In effect, the JCS is a consultative body that is the main source of advice to the CJCS; the CJCS synthesizes and transmits this advice (as well as any other he has deemed appropriate to seek out within the military) as principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council.

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. A rare but ``invariably fatal'' and rapidly progressive disease: death usually follows within half a year of initial clinical symptoms. Characterized by premature dementia in middle age and gradual loss of muscular coördination. Named after the psychiatrists Hans Gerhard Creutzfeldt and Alfons Maria Jakob, who were the first to describe it (in the 1920's). For a long time it was believed to be caused by some unidentified virus, but efforts to isolate such a virus were unavailing. Now it is believed to be caused by prions, but that opinion is not universal. The mechanism of transmission is also unknown (setting aside some cases of tissue transplantation from infected individuals). There is little or no direct evidence that the meat of diseased animals is a vector. In particular, rates of the disease appear to be the same among vegetarians and nonvegetarians. There is, on the other hand, a variant of this disease, called variant CJD or new variant CJD, that is believed to be contracted by eating meat of diseased animals. The original CJD may now be referred to as ``classic CJD'' to distinguish it from this.

    There's a Jakob-Creutzfeldt virus (JC, q.v.), but it does not cause CJD.

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob Erkrankung. German for CJD.

    Council of Jewish Federations. (I'm not sure about the link.)

    Center for Jewish History.

    Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Languages with very non-European character sets.

    Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

    Canadian Jewish News.

    Columbia Journalism Review. Their homepage points to Pulitzer stuff and gives their masthead and current contents.

    College of Judea & Samaria. Graduation ceremonies are held just before Rosh HaShana (the New Year of the Jewish calendar).

    Calvin Klein. Calvin and Calvin Klein are trademarks of Calvin Klein Trademark Trust (CKTT).

    Cook Islands domain name code.

    Creatine Kinase.

    Canadian Kennel Club.

    Cabibo-Kobayashi-Maskawa (matrix). Kobayashi and Maskawa generalized the Cabibo-angle idea to mixing that involves more than two quark flavors.

    Calvin Klein Trademark Trust.

    CathodoLuminescence. Send an electron beam into the material and look at the light emitted. Photoelectric effect in reverse.

    (Domain name code for) Chile.

    Chilean saltpeter is sodium nitrate (NaNO3); ordinary saltpeter is potassium nitrate (KNO3). Ordinary saltpeter has a diuretic effect and at least a reputation for reducing libido in male humans. Before you go off thinking up lascivious etymologies, recognize that peter comes from the root for `stone.' [More on ordinary saltpeter at the P (phosphorus) entry.]

    In March 2003, an editor for the New York Times op-ed page, Mr. Tobin, invited Boris Johnson, a Tory backbencher in the UK House of Commons, to write about the Iraq war. Johnson wrote the op-ed for the New York Times, and then he wrote an editorial about writing the op-ed for the New York Times for The Spectator. (Johnson is editor of that magazine.)

    Tobin was very enthusiastic about the piece, but a few changes were necessary. ``Labour'' became the ``Labor party,'' and ``Rummie'' for Rumsfeld was considered a bit too undignified for New York Times readers. Oh, and a few other things. Johnson had written about US lobbying efforts for UN resolutions, including something to the effect that one doesn't make international law by giving new squash courts to the President of Guinea. (You don't?) This was changed to ``the President of Chile.'' Explanation: ``Uh, Booris,'' said Tobin, ``it's just easier in principle if we don't say anything deprecatory about a black African country, and since Guinea and Chile are both members of the UN Security Council, and since it doesn't affect your point, we would like to say Chile.'' (To be perfectly fair, the President of Guinea was dying of kidney disease -- for all I know he may be dead by now -- and from credible reports was being very statesmanlike. OTOH, Guinea held the rotating leadership of the Security Council at that time, for whatever little that's worth, and Chile was merely a member. In fact, Chile's opposition was firm, and for this Chile was widely expected to pay a price in future American disfavor -- to get the stick rather than the carrot, or squash racket.)

    Johnson's op-ed mentioned Tony Blair. Jayson Blair (also having something to do with accuracy in the NYT) is mentioned at our CSPI entry.

    For something on Chile's politics, start at the Concertación entry.

    Chlorine. Atomic number 17. Lightest non-weird halogen.

    Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

    A chlorine.net site is under construction, but I don't know what/who it'll be about.

    Collaborative Learning or Cooperative Learning.

    Computational Linguistics. This here is a good site. Or maybe that should be ``that there.'' Oh well, as Leibniz would have said: ``calculemus.''



    California Library Association.

    Canadian Library Association. Cf. ALA.

    Catholic Library Association.

    College of Liberal Arts. Grrr. Commune of Leftie (pinko) Artists.

    Collegiate Learning Assessment. A three-hour tour, er, test.

    It is reputed to measure critical thinking and analytical reasoning, which presumably demonstrates that ``critical thinking'' is not a fraud. The instrument is administered -- it's like a therapy, see? -- to freshmen and seniors, and colleges can take credit for the measured improvement. About 120 schools use it, but for some reason nearly all of them keep the results a secret.

    Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales. Spanish, `Latin American council on social sciences.'

    Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Archivos de Imágenes en Movimiento. Spanish: `Latin American Coordinator [coordinating group] of Motion Picture Archives.' (Note: imágenes en movimiento is not the usual way to describe motion pictures, but not as strange as the literal translation `images in movement.' One might prefer the `archives of the moving image.') The acronym is more felicitous in English. Claim means nothing in Spanish, and is pronounced like climb in English.


    CLassical And Medieval Studies. Or maybe it stands for CLAssical and Medieval Studies. Whatever. ``The Classical and Medieval Studies program at CSU [Cleveland State University], known throughout the University as CLAM, is an interdisciplinary major program leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree.'' Its focus is on societies where Latin was the dominant language. (No, I'm sure they don't mind if you study Greek also.)

    As of January 2003, Cleveland State seems to be the only university that has adopted this tasty nomenclature. However:

    C.L.a.M., CLaM, CLAM
    Corso di Laurea in Culture e Tecniche del Costume e della Moda. Italian, `BA [program] in Cultures and Techniques of Costume and Fashion.' Offered at the University of Bologna -- Rimini Branch, by -- get this: the faculty of literature and philosophy. (See the end of the Ph.D. entry for some ruminations on this.)

    Chesapeake Lighthouse and Aircraft Measurements for Satellites.


    CLassical ANTiquity. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

    Campus Labor Action Project. A student group at the University of Notre Dame that is agitating (as of 2006) to improve compensation for unskilled workers employed by the university.

    Wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple. Sells software for their machines.

    CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer.

    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

    Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme. ``An unincorporated association of Public Sector Authorities.'' (Sounds enough like a corpus or legal person to me, but one of the most important of legal fictions is that various entities are not bodies before the law. This is important because it limits the liabilities of the entities' members, or rather of those who would be their members.)

    ``CLASP is a [knowledge-based] organisation committed to improving the efficiency of the whole building process for the benefit of owners and users.'' They are ``Britain's number one public sector designer of permanent building systems and refurbishment solutions.''

    A building system is what idiots like you and I tend to think of as one or more buildings. (Idiots like I would never have thought of writing ``like I,'' but ``you and me'' always invites reflection.)

    Class E baseball
    In 1943, many minor-league baseball teams and whole leagues were shut down for the duration, but war production brought a large influx of workers to two port cities on Lake Superior. A four-team league called the Twin Ports League was created there, comprising the Bays of Superior, Wisconsin, and the Dukes, the Heralds, and Marine Iron of Duluth, Minnesota. The league was unsuccessful and disbanded in mid-July after 34 games.

    The Duluth Dukes were the one team that had existed before 1943. They played their first games in 1934, and except for 1943, they were part of a Northern League that was founded in 1932 and foundered in 1971. There is and there had been other minor leagues with the same name. Until 1962, when the classification scheme was changed, each Northern League has been a Class D league. That was the lowest classification used by the minor league association (the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues -- NAPBL), with the single exception of the Twin Ports League of 1943, which was designated Class E.

    In 1946, the Northern League resumed operations after its wartime hiatus of 1943-1945, and the Duluth Dukes came back, playing their home games at Wade Municipal Stadium (``the Wade''). The Dukes had a 45-80 season in 1955 and disbanded. (The 50's killed a lot of minor league teams; the third Northern League was unusual both in being founded during the Depression and in surviving the 50's only to go down in 1971.)

    Wade stadium has had better longevity than the teams that played in it. For the next year (1956) the Northern League created another team to play there. It was called the Duluth-Superior White Sox and was affiliated with the Chicago White Sox major-league team. This was replaced in 1960 by the Duluth-Superior Dukes, which was affiliated exclusively with the Detroit Tigers from 1960 to 1964, in a co-op arrangement with the Chicago Cubs in 1965, and then exclusively with the Cubs from 1966 to 1970, their last year.

    A visit to Wade Stadium is reported to have been one of the things that convinced Miles Wolff to create the modern Northern League, an independent minor league. The Duluth-Superior Dukes were resurrected in 1993 as a founding member of that league, and played in the Wade until their final season in 2002.

    According to Italo Calvino:
    A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.
    According to Mark Twain:
    A classic is a book everyone wants to have read and no one wants to read.
    According to actual usage:
    A classic is yesterday's cool, in need of a facelift of some sort, like Classic Coke, perhaps. The New York Times had an article by Brooks Barnes on June 11, 2008, reporting from Los Angeles below the title ``Beloved Characters as Reimagined for the 21st Century.'' Among the prospective fictional victims is Mickey Mouse, who is still generating $5 billion annually in merchandise sales, despite his reportedly increasing irrelevance:
    ``I love classic Mickey, but he needs to evolve to be relevant to new generations of kids,'' Robert A. Iger, Disney's chief executive, said in an interview.


    Classica et Mediaevalia
    Don't ask me what it's about; I can't even guess. It's a Danish journal.

    Someone who studies (in) the field called Classics. Note that while many things may be classics in the general sense (supra), the academic discipline of Classics (infra) construed singular, is concerned principally with the ancient Greek and Roman world, also known as ``Classical Antiquity.''

    Beau David Case, a professor at Ohio State (OSU), used to keep a list of classicists with homepages, back when that was a manageable task.


    Here is a quite comprehensive list of electronic resources compiled by Maria C. Pantelia.

    You don't have to subscribe to the Classics mailing list in order to enjoy or otherwise experience the contributions of its members, you can visit its recent (since July 1998) hypertext archives. Frequent posters are often referred to by their initials, but those abbreviations aren't listed in this glossary.

    One person I know, who got the usual ineffective English-language instruction as a student in Japan, watched children's television when he first came to the US as a way to improve his English. You could visit a page listing Greek and Roman Classics for Children.

    Classics and Commercials
    Classics & Commercials: A Literary Chronicle of the Forties, by Edmund Wilson, © 1950. First published by Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, Inc., reprinted by Vintage, 1962. The latter paperback edition is the one I quote from in a few entries of the glossary. So far, it's mentioned in entries for
    1. obscure allusions
    2. vitamin

    Edmund Wilson was widely regarded as the greatest literary critic of his day. Yeah, whatever.

    An electronic mailing list for those interested in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual issues in the classics. Maybe that should be or Bisexual. I haven't seen the charter. You can read recent posts at hypertext archives and no one need know. Oops, I hadn't been keeping up: it was ``the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered classics list,'' and it was retired. ``Its managers had managed it for many years and needed a rest. It has been superseded by a new list, lambdacc.''

    Clausius-Mosotti-Lorentz-Lorenz Equation
    A formula, developed independently by the first two and the second two named individuals, which gives the average dielectric constant of a composite of two materials. Can be derived if a number of approximations are made, particularly that the composite consists of identical ellipsoidal inclusions of one material in a matrix of the other.

    Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend. It's so nice to see that people are still into handicrafts and natural materials. It gives me the same warm feeling I got when I noticed how many personals ads seemed to mention Black and Decker.

    Constitutent-Likelihood Automatic Word-tagging System. ``Part-of-speech (POS) tagging, also called grammatical tagging, is the commonest form of corpus annotation, and was the first form of annotation to be developed by UCREL at Lancaster. Our POS tagging software for English text, CLAWS (the Constituent Likelihood Automatic Word-tagging System), has been continuously developed since the early 1980s. The latest version of the tagger, CLAWS4, was used to POS tag c.100 million words of the British National Corpus (BNC).''

    Configurable Logic Block. See brief explanation in context at FPGA.


    Cass Lake Bena High School. You're from the class of '78? You want this CLHS entry.

    Cass Lake Bena Schools. ``The Cass Lake Bena School District [ISD#115] is located in the city of Cass Lake, Minnesota, which is on the Leech Lake Reservation, home of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.''


    Cambridge Latin Course. A set of introductory texts and supporting materials created by the Cambridge School Classics Program (CSCP). Teachers at every level seem to find the focus on reading and translating to be a bit of a grind eventually, and the material explaining grammar too late or too little, so there's a large after-market trade in suggestions and materials. There's an active <yahoo.com> mailing list for teachers who use the CLC: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CambridgeLatin/>. Here's an independent list of relevant bookmarks.

    Teachers tend to feel that the order of presentation of grammatical topics in CLC is mixed up. The vocabulary introduced in CLC is far larger than is required for the GCSE's that UK students take at age 16. Some teachers consider this a problem.

    The use of CLC in North America is supported by the NAACP. Surprising, isn't it? Oh no wait -- I think that should be the NACCP.

    CLC and the Ecce Romani program are similar in approach and level of difficulty, and seem to be the two most popular Latin text sets in the US. Distinguishing features: the stories in Ecce are more domestic, whereas CLC focuses on political, military, and religious or cultic topics.

    For the basic blue-state/red-meat distinction among Latin texts, see the OLC entry. Many texts besides CLC, Ecce, and OLC are in wide use. A more comprehensive list of texts can be found at the Latin school texts entry. (Go ahead: see if you can find it! Hint: click on the link.)

    Campus Life Council. The Observer, a campus newspaper (see the ACP entry) published a news item about the Notre Dame CLC on Tuesday, January 31, 2006. It began thus:
        With half the academic year behind them, members of the Campus Life Council (CLC) examined the purpose and scope of their existence at Monday's meeting -- the first since Christmas break.

    The accompanying photograph shows a couple of participants in the meeting looking a little bit down, but certainly not as downcast as this suggests.

    Canadian Labour Congress. Bilingual acronym is CLC-CTC.

    Capillary Liquid Chromatography.

    Cholesteric Liquid Crystal.

    Ceramic Leadless Chip Carrier (q. v. for further information). Some confusion is occasioned by the occurrence of a similar-sounding PLCC (q.v.) in which ``L'' stands for leaded. Cf. CLDCC.

    Canadian Labour Congress -- Congrès du travail du Canada. Ca. 2,300,000 members in a country (.ca) of ca. 31,000,000.

    If you want to see the awkward consequences of explicitly gendered language, compare the English and French on their bilingual start page. In most European languages with sexual gender, the male form has traditionally been ``unmarked'' and the plural male form has implicitly been inclusive. Thus, for example, Spanish amigos usually means `friends' and not `male friends.' Amigas is used for `friends' only when all of them are female. Similarly the first-person plural pronoun (English we, us) is nosotras when we are all female, nosotros otherwise.

    The politically correct view is that this gender asymmetry is unfair, and explicit gender balance is necessary. Hence, on the CTC-CLC page we see first travailleuses et travailleurs (`female workers and [male] workers') and then travailleurs et travailleuses. Oh so delicately balanced and ... ladies first. What?! What did I say?

    The rot spreads. Here's an example from German. The principal German-language electronic forum for history of science is the DGGMNT-sponsored Oldenburg Mailingliste. The mailinglist homepage explains that it is for ``der Kommunikation zwischen Wissenschaftler/-innen'' (`communication among scholar/-ettes,' if scholarette rather than scholar were the feminine form of scholar). For worse, see VIAL.

    By the way, the corresponding, higher-traffic English-language HOS mailing list is MERSENNE. As of 2004, these are both basically just announcement lists, primarily for conferences and jobs.

    Culturally and Linguistically Diverse. I think they mean different. That ASHA sees a need for this qualified sense of diverse sheds an interesting light on the sense of the unqualified term as normally used.

    Ceramic LeadeD Chip Carrier (q. v. for further information). Mnemonic assistance: the expansion of CLDCC has one more D than that of CLCC.

    Continuing Legal Education. State bar associations set requirements on the number of CLE credits lawyers must get in order to continue practicing. Loosely, people use CLE to mean ``CLE credit.'' A lot of private companies have sprung up to offer CLE's. A lot of them are worthless; prefer conferences, but choose them on the basis of the hotel accommodations.

    clean-room class
    A ``class 100'' clean room has no more than 100 particles 0.3 microns or larger per cubic foot of space.

    Council on Licensure, Enforcement And Regulation. Self-described as ``the premier international resource for professional regulation stakeholders.'' It was conceived in the 1970's ``as a resource for any entity or individual involved in the licensure, non-voluntary certification or registration of the hundreds of regulated occupations and professions. Since its inception, CLEAR's membership has included representatives of all governmental sectors, the private sector, and many others with an interest in this field.''

    [phone icon]

    Competitive Local Exchange Carrier[s]. Telephone exchange. The local Bell (ILEC) still owns the cables, but the CLEC offers a competing service over them. CLEC's, like ILEC's, are often just called LEC's.

    The local baby Bell does not have a monopoly on local service, but they'll have little incentive to stop acting like a monopoly if you continue to act as if they do and are. Visit the relevant Business.com pages to see how many options you have.

    In the US, real competition among local service providers began after passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (enacted and signed February that year). That act was intended to increase competition in both local and long-distance phone service, by specifying how CLEC's could function and how ILEC's could also compete in long-distance service. The act also deregulated cable TV rates and included among its provisions the widely detested CDA, q.v.

    A golf club. I imagine it's an onomatopoeic name for golf clubs (putters, obviously) of a certain heft, from back in the innumerate nonstandard times. Just the other day, Gary stated ``you really have no interest in golf, do you.'' I was about to point out that I have entries in the glossary for various golfic or golfological terms, but he clarified ``I mean you have no interest in playing golf.'' That's right.

    Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange.

    Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics. Three held annually, sponsored by OSA. Pronounced /kli:ou/ (``KLEE-owe''). There's now also a CLEO/Europe.

    CLEO is sometimes written Cleo, and occasionally participates in the AAP pleonasm ``CLEO conference,'' but most people I know who go to CLEO know better. CLEO used to be called CLEOS -- Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optical Systems.

    Short for CLEOpatra. The famous Cleo was Cleopatra VII.

    College-Level Examination Program. ``CLEP is based on the premise that some individuals enrolling in college have already learned part of what is taught in college courses through noncredit adult courses, job training, independent reading [and what about all those National Geographic specials, huh?!] and study, and advanced high-school courses.''

    Earn College Credits for What You Already Know!

    As of 2001, there were 34 separate CLEP examinations.

    Call by the name of. A rare word, but it was good enow for Shakespeare, and it's good enough for me. Actually, concordances show the bard used it a handful of times, and parts (verb forms of) yclepe a couple of times. Chaucer used clepe extensively. Moving a little further back in time, however, a dictionary of thirteenth-century English that claimed to be quite comprehensive (Coleridge 1863) gives the general sense `call,' and offers clipie as its preferred spelling.

    A really useful word, and one which should be reintroduced into common use, is hight.

    Compact Low-Emission VEhicle for uRban transport. (Those capitals represent the official derivation of the name. Obviously, it should really be Compact Low-Emission VehiclE for urban transpoRt, but we won't insist.) It's a motorized tricycle with an aerodynamic-looking aluminum-and-plastic body and chassis. It's one of those high-morality vehicles: short-ranged (200 km), slow, and feeble, so you can't do anything an MEP wouldn't do on camera, EU-funded, university-designed, compressed-natural-gas-burning... you know the routine. (The project, or the funding request, was begun at the Institute for Motor Vehicles at TU Berlin; a European consortium was formed in 2002, funded under the Fifth Framework Programme of the EU Commission. At the roll-out in April 2006, much of the hoopla went to the University of Bath, England. The elegant web pages have text that looks like it was outsourced to Romania.)

    It's a two-seater, but to reduce the front-end surface area (to about one square meter) the passenger sits behind rather than beside the driver. Also, in order to reduce the length and weight of the vehicle, the legs of the rear-seat passenger have been removed. The designers are hopeful that ``with the backing of a major manufacturer, it could be on sale within five years for around'' GBP 5000 (USD 9000), to people who lack the coordination to ride a bike. BMW, which provided some backing for the project, is thinking of manufacturing it if, as expected, the EU imposes CAFE-like standards.

    Most people, when they learn the name of this car, think it's a reference to (or a dig or whatever at) the Smart (not I, because I'd never heard of the Smart). The Smart vehicles have all been four-wheelers and have demonstrated their continuing viability by failing in the marketplace ever since 1994. Recently, however, demand at six-month-waiting-list levels has been achieved by reducing production. The Smart was originally intended to be high-tech, innovative, you-know-that-routine-too. It never quite worked out that way. Clever was in fact designed to reduce emissions mostly by brute force: punier vehicle, ergo punier emissions. The target was to design a vehicle with half the weight, power, front-end surface area, and emissions of ``the smallest and most economical mass-produced vehicles (for example [the] Smart Diesel).'' (Those are given as 800 kg, 30 kW [40 HP], 2.2 m2, and 100 g of CO2 per km. The Clever is supposed to weigh about 400 kg empty, develop 15 kW, and emit 60 g/km. It's just too bad they didn't cut the number of wheels in half, too.)

    The most touted and probably the most galling feature of the Clever design is an electronically computed tilt mechanism that leans the vehicle into turns. The idea is that because its profile resembles a motorcycle's, it's top-heavy and prone to tip over, but because it's a tricycle in an egg, it can't be intelligently maneuvered like a motorcycle. The designers call the computed-tilt feature ``fun.'' It's not fun. Fun can be a characteristic of things that you do. The things that are done to you are fun only for the engineer and the mad scientist.

    California League of High Schools.

    California Lutheran High School.

    Cass Lake High School. Well, FWIW, here's a link for the reunions of their class of 1978.

    Just look around you, people! What do you see? That's right, tons -- literal megagram units -- of CLHS entries. So what are you going to do from now on? Louder -- I can't hear you! That's right, you're going to use CLBHS.

    Center Line High School. In Center Line, Michigan.

    Central Lafourche High School. In the town of Mathews [sic? sic], right smack dab in the middle of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana.

    As a veteran of visits to high school web sites, I have one piece of advice: have something to do while you're waiting for the page to load. Knitting a decorative headscarf for your garage would be a good project.

    Chautauqua Lake High School. Officially ``Chautauqua Lake Central School'' -- CLCS, but we're not doing CLCS today. (I think it's on the schedule for May 22, 2007.) So far as I can tell, the Chautauqua Lake Central School District has two school buildings: a high school and an elementary school. The ``middle grades program'' (grades 6-8) is in the lower floors of the elementary school.

    As I was clicking around trying to figure that stuff out, I was thinking that I was really wasting my time big time. But I actually learned something moderately important. The middle grades program has a wonderful facility of which everyone can be justly proud, with so many computer labs you trip through them on your way between classes. On the other hand, it is stated as a matter of pride that ``students learn Spanish or French,'' as if that were not a meager selection.

    Christ Lutheran High School. In Davenport, Iowa.

    Chung Ling High School. In Malaysia.

    Clear Lake High School. For the Lakeport Unified School District in California. Their ``links page'' is their real homepage.

    Common Lisp HyperSpec.

    Concordia Lutheran High School. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, which we mention elsewhere. Institutions named Concordia are usually Lutheran schools, so they could just have called the place ``Concordia High.''

    Cypress Lake High School. Part of the School District of Lee County, Florida.

    Call Level Interface.

    CathodoLuminescence Imaging.

    Command-Line Interface. Cf. CUI, GUI, WYSIWYG.

    Command-Line Interpreter.

    Commission[s] locale[s] d'information. Local information committee[s].

    Complete Line Interface Circuit. Generally, that's a unit with SLIC (Subscriber Line Interface Circuit), CODEC (coder/decoder) and assorted other goodies depending on application.

    Apparently the most common spelling of a slang term for kilometer, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to use one of the less common spellings which begin in k.

    Web server request logs.

    [Telephone] Calling-Line Identification.

    clinical breast exam
    Oh, ``clinical.'' No wonder the insurance won't reimburse me for services rendered. But I'm the lowest-cost provider!

    clinically proven
    Yeah, we had a clinic once that couldn't prove the superiority of our products. They obviously weren't very competent. So we hired a different research outfit -- much better results since then. Very scientific.

    C-Language Integrated Production System.

    Council on Library and Information Resources.

    CLImate VARiability and Predictability. A ``core project'' area of WCRP.

    Computer-aided Learning In Veterinary Education. A <CA-> acronym, made less odious by suppression of the trite vowel.

    Consolidated Link Layer Management. (That's for the ATM Link Layer.)

    CLocK signal or voltage level.


    Classica et Medievalia.

    Component Library Management System. Part of the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) environment.

    ConnectionLess (CL) Network Access Protocol.

    ConnectionLess (CL) Network Protocol.

    ConnectionLess (CL) Network Service.

    Chief Language Officer. A CXO roughly 50 times less common than the one immediately below.

    Chief Legal Officer. The preferred term for the Tribal Chief of Police. (It's preferred by me.)

    If there's only one company lawyer, then I suppose either she or one of his bosses is it. (Sorry, my Chief Language Officer has not authorized me to use the singular ``their.'') We have a short list of CXO's that nevertheless probably manages to include some CXO's that you don't need to be aware of, so visit!

    Collateralized Loan Obligations. Introduced by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in Spring 2000 to provide an alternate source of credit to small businesses. (The Japanese central bank long ago lowered interest rates to stimulate the economy, but banks did not respond by significant increase in loans.) In the CLO system, banks offering new loans to small businesses turn around and resell the credits to trust banks. These trust banks transfer their rights to companies that issue bonds, with the rights as collateral, and sell them to institutional investors. The loans are backed by the Tokyo Credit Guarantee Association, which sets credit-worthiness requirements on the companies applying for the loans.


    The Roman goddess of sewers.

    Find one here.

    Do not attempt a piecewise translation of this word. The suffix -wise in English only happens to be spelled and pronounced in the same way as the adjective wise. The suffix means something like way or manner and is cognate with the German -weise. Likewise, ``likewise'' has nothing to do with like wisdom. In German, clockwise is ``Uhrzeigersinn.''

    For Spanish, there is really no one-word translation; if you want a precise translation, it might be ``según las manecillas del reloj.'' In most contexts, ``hacia la derecha'' (to the right) will do. Many years ago in Argentina (back when this was still an industrially advanced country), my father bought a product with instructions that had been translated rather literally into Spanish from English (or possibly from Japanese by someone rather more familiar with English than Spanish). The instructions featured the phrase ``reloj sabio'' fecklessly attempting to modify a verb. That phrase (as well, for that matter, as the formally poetic ``sabio reloj'') means `wise clock.' Cf. pole.

    Common Lisp Object System, an OOP built into Common LISP.

    closed channel
    A liquid channel in which the liquid is completely in contact with the channel wall. This is opposed to an open channel (q.v.), in which a free surface is open to gas or vapor. The water pipes in ordinary indoor plumbing are closed channels, and fluid flow in a closed channel is also commonly called pipe flow. The bang you may hear when you shut the faucet is called water hammer.

    Roman aqueducts used open channels except in inverted siphons; urban distribution was in narrow pipes usually operated as closed channels.

    closed shop
    A closed shop is a workplace in which only members of a (particular) union are hired. This differs from a union shop, in which new hires are required to join a union. The two terms are naturally conflated, since in both cases one can say that ``union membership is a condition of employment.'' The Taft-Hartley Act (``The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947''), passed by a Republican-dominated Congress over the objections of labor unions and the veto of President Truman, included among its provisions the outlawing of closed shops, but not union shops. Since closed shops are no longer legal, there has been some meaning creep. Also, now that the provisions of the act have been long accepted, union leaders no longer refer to it as the ``Slave Labor Act'' (in public, anyway).

    You might suppose the distinction is minor, but it's not. Closed-shop labor contracts give unions the right to control who may join them, and thus who may work. Union-shop contracts require the union to admit all hires. The union may, however, expel a member for cause. In that case, however, so long as the member continues to pay union dues, or service fees (see agency shop), the union is forbidden to make any effort to affect the employee's job status. (Discussions of race discrimination in employment tend to focus on employer racism, but unions were also an interested party. The Taft-Hartley act limited their power to act on their interest.)

    The Taft-Hartley Act also forbade secondary boycotts, strikes in jurisdiction (representational) disputes, certain kinds of featherbedding, and union contribution to political campaigns. It gave the president the right, for strikes in key industries (transportation, energy) to impose a ``cooling-off'' period requiring strikers to return to work for sixty days, and required union officials to take an anti-Communist oath.

    In the years following the passage of this act, many states passed ``right to work'' laws banning union shops as well. There are 21 such states as of 1997.

    The Taft-Hartley law also banned the direct employer deduction of union dues from pay, but that is now a negotiable matter, and common.

    Of course you know the noun closer -- one who closes (it's the standard name for a class of employees at fast-food restaurants). You also know its homograph, with unvoiced s, the adjective closer, comparative of close. There's a third word closer that is widely used in linguistics. It refers to vowels, and it means ``more closed'' -- it's the comparative of the adjective (the past participle) closed.

    Here's something, uh, closely related: The Mexican presidential election of 2006 ended up as a close race between the PAN and PRD candidates.

    During the election-night coverage, reporters often used the expression ``elección cerrada,'' which literally means `closed election.' This usage, while not exactly un anglicismo, doesn't make a lot of sense except as an English-influenced expression. At least one reporter I heard used the expression ``elección acercada,'' which means something like `approached election' [an election brought closer together]. It's difficult to make a loan translation of the English term ``close election'' because close has a particular set of acceptions that do not coincide in a single word in Spanish. The closest approximation (you will pardon the expression) of the adjective close in English is the word cercana in Spanish, but ``elección cercana,'' means `nearby election.'

    There are, of course, various ordinary Spanish expressions for a close race or election. The head of IFE called the election ``estrecha'' (`narrow'). Rough equivalents are apretada (`pressed') and reñida (`[closely] fought').

    Cell Loss Priority.

    Country Liberal Party (of Australia).

    Cell Loss Ratio.

    Common Language Runtime. I've seen this described as ``a platform for compiling, debugging, and executing .NET applications.'' So it's very clear that it's a Windownese term, and moderately clear what CLR is for, and what it in some sense does, but I have no idea in what sense it is a platform.

    Central Laboratory of the Research Councils. ``[O]ne of Europe's largest multidisciplinary research support organisations.'' Naturally, it's not exclusively European, and it's not central either. (According to an earlier version of the homepage, it operates from three ``sites: Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire [near where Lewis Carroll was born], Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire [nothing to do with the Rutherford Labs in Cambridge], and [now without marquee space on the homepage] Chilbolton Observatory in Hampshire.''

    When you try to visit the CLRC page, you reach what looks like the CCLRC page instead.

    Claude Lévi-Strauss. For your convenience, we have distributed our information on this person in the following entries:
    1. downtown Holland
    2. fishing
    3. floating signifier
    4. FU
    5. LS
    6. OWI
    7. Pittsburgh

    ConnectionLess (CL) Server.

    Continuous Linked Settlement [system]. A system for settling foreign-exchange (FX) transactions. The system was developed by the CLS Group founded specifically for that purpose in 1997. The system, as finally introduced in 2002, is a service CLS Bank International (``CLS Bank''). CLS Group has two main operating companies: CLS Bank and CLS Services. CLS Services provides technical and operational support to CLS Bank.

    By the end of 2003 CLS had been adopted by all the world's biggest banks, and was settling more than half of the dollar-value of daily foreign-exchange transactions.

    The 70 or so banks and other financial institutions that support CLS account for a substantial majority of cross-currency transactions, but as of the end of 2003, only 11 currencies were eligible for CLS settlemen: Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Danish krone, euro, Japanese yen, Norwegian krone, pound sterling, Singapore dollar, Swedish krona, Swiss franc and US dollar. Additional currencies are to be added. The Hong Kong dollar, New Zealand dollar, and the Korean won are due to become CLS Bank ``eligible currencies'' in 2004, once the full CLS Bank and regulatory approval processes have been satisfied and the technical implementation completed.

    Cf. RTGS.

    Cracked Lap Shear (specimen).

    Critical Legal Studies. Oh, it's just an abomination and a tragedy, a travesty and a shame. Once upon a time, legal studies was clear-minded and rigorous, and never at odds with any lawyer's notion of what the law ought to be. Alas.


    ConnectionLess (CL) Service Function.

    A piece of strength-training equipment that is basically an asymmetric dumbbell -- a weight in a form resembling a club, baseball bat, or bowling pin. They're traditional in India, as kettlebells are traditional in Russia, and so in English they've traditionally been called Indian clubs. The term clubbell is a trademark registered by one ``Guru Sonnovavishnu,'' no wait, ``Coach Sonnon,'' for a brand of Indian-style clubs made of polyurethane and steel (instead of wood like the traditional sort). As with kettlebells and Nordic Track and all the rest, extremely optimistic claims have been made. Just remember: anything you don't use is just as effective as anything else you don't use. See also dumbbell.

    Club Med
    Club Méditerranée, S.A. A Paris-run chain of vacation villages. Starting in 1950 with a village in Majorca catering to working-class French families, it has expanded to over a hundred villages today, located not just off the southern coast of Europe but on all continents that are not Antarctica, and a couple of cruise ships.

    In the 80's, Club Med had the reputation of a modern Bacchanal. Today it is best known as a useful basis for plays on words that rhyme with bed.

    Some further information can be found at the G.O. entry.

    I regularly meet people who are surprised to learn that Hard Rock Cafés are a real chain of, well, night clubs, let's say (though I've eaten breakfast at one) and not just a figment of an overactive tee-shirt maker's imagination. So that probably makes two things you learned today. I don't run with a very fast crowd, I guess.

    Compensated Laser Ultrasonic Evaluation.

    Color Look-Up Table.

    Central Limit Theorem. Everyone's favorite excuse for assuming a ``Normal distribution.''

    California Language Teachers Association. The California affiliate of SWCOLT (the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching), which is in turn a regional affiliate of ACTFL (the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages).

    Canadian Library Trustees Association (a division of the CLA). Cf. ALTA.

    Cryogenic Linear Temperature Sensor.

    There was a movie by this name in 1995, starring Alicia Silverstone. To tell you the truth, I'm, well, I don't really know a thing about this movie. But it's mentioned in a growing number of entries, currently including

    Constant Linear Velocity. See CAV for context.

    Commercial Light-Water (nuclear) Reactor. Light water is water in which the hydrogen is the frequently-occurring (no neutron) isotope.

    Calendar Manager. Sun Microsystems Open Windows application. Named so as to sabotage .login files of the unix faithful who use cm.

    (Domain code for) Cameroon.

    CM, C.M.
    Order of Canada, Member. One of three levels of membership in the Order of Canada. Well, not just any of the three levels. ``Member'' is sort of the ``no-frills'' honor (``honour''). Honorable, but not very honorable. Honorable mention, so to speak. Also-ran. Faint praise. I mean, thanks a lot! Sure! You can keep your insulting little compliment!

    More details are collected at the CC entry, not because that's the highest level, though it is, but because it's the funniest. But having ``Member'' be one of three ``different levels of membership'' is kind of amusing too, so we'll have to think of something to say here as well, eh?

    Carat. I suppose M stands for Mass or Measure.

    c.m., cm, CM
    Center of Mass. Weighted average position of the mass in a system. By construction, the momentum of that system is zero in any frame of reference using the center of mass as origin. Therefore also center of momentum.

    Also called center of gravity (c.g.), since a uniform gravitational field applies torque on the system as if the total force were being applied at the center of mass.

    c.m., cm, CM
    Center of Momentum. The frame of reference in which momentum is zero. More commonly ``center of mass.''

    Relativistically, momentum is not mass times velocity. It is a fundamental quantity, like position, and the easiest way to define it classically is to say that it is the quantity that satisfies

                        v = -- ,
    where E, v, and p are energy, velocity, and momentum. You want a formula? Okay, with c as the speed of light,
                       p =  ----------------------- ,
                              /                2
                             / 1 - (v/c)

    but when you work with relativistic particles, you stop thinking in terms of velocity, since the speed is always pretty close to c.

    CentiMeter. Defined in the US to be exactly
                    ---  in.
    This is exact, whereas the original and less practical definition of the centimeter was one billionth (10-9) of the length of the quadrant of longitude between the equator and the North Pole that passes through Paris. Whenever the Seine flooded, everyone had to recalibrate; it was just a nightmare.

    To be fair here, it's worth noting that a lot of effort had already been put into mapping the Paris meridian in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, in order to test Descartes's hypothesis that the earth is elongated. (It's not, of course; centripetal acceleration flattens it, as Newton predicted.)

    For photons in the vacuum, there is a simple proportionality between wavenumber (i.e. wavevector magnitude) and energy. Thus, inverse centimeters, a wavenumber unit, is also used as an energy unit. I mention it here, since the unit is sometimes sloppily called ``centimeters'' for short. Physicists also often use the term ``finite'' to mean nonzero (as in ``finite-temperature Green's function''). A quantity and its inverse are usually interchangeable measures of the same thing, and anyway you can usually tell which quantity is meant by the units (oops!).

    Central Memory. AKA ``main memory'' and ``primary memory.'' During the sixties, core. Nowadays RAM, whatever you call it.

    Check Mail. Standard unix code to report whether there is any mail in a user's mail spool, and whether any of it is unread.


    Classica et Mediaevalia. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

    Common Mode. Vide DM.

    Composition Modulation. Term used in nanostructures defined by epitaxial growth, and possibly by lateral segregation processes like island growth.

    Conductance Measurement.

    Configuration Management.

    Core Memory. Contains instructions and data for immediate execution and processing.

    CounterMeasures. Think Spy vs. Spy.

    Curium. One element of the Vatican bureaucracy (Curia). (You probably didn't know that the Pope's closest advisors are called the Curio cabinet. It would be odd if you did know it, since it's not true.) Also one element of the periodic table. Context usually allows the thoughtful reader to determine which is meant.

    The element has atomic number 96, it's an actinide. They couldn't abbreviate it Cu because that was already taken for copper.

    Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

    Although the element itself is your typical silvery metallic, most of its (trivalent) compounds are yellowish. In the sixties, there was something called ``I Am Curious Yellow.'' This makes sense, because the two most common valences are three and four. If the tetravalent compounds were yellowish, then it would have been ``Curic Yellow.''

    Cylindrical Mirror. Different focal lengths for light beam displacement in different directions from the lens axis. [Sort of does the same thing to light that a quadrupole magnet does to a charged-particle beam, except that the quadrupole magnet focuses along one direction and defocuses in the orthogonal direction.]

    Calcium Magnesium Acetate. It has a CAS registry number (76123-46-1), and on a quick thoughtless glance it looks like an organic salt, but CMA isn't the name of what anyone would call a pure chemical substance. It's a mix of calcium acetate and magnesium acetate (CaAc2 and MgAc2 -- that's Acetate, not Actinum!) in comparable amounts.

    In 1950, about a million tons of salt (NaCl) were used for deicing US roads. By 1970, the figure was close to 10 million; with weather-related fluctuations, the figure has stayed there since then. [Or at least until 1988; my information comes from Highway Deicing: Comparing Salt and Calcium Magnesium Acetate (1991). It was Special Report 235 of the Transportation Research Board of the US National Research Council.] In 1980, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the US identified CMA as a possible replacement for salt. Salt is cheap and CMA is less so; the motivation for using CMA is the hard-to-quantify environmental cost of salt use. The FHWA had considered a variety of other chemicals and rejected them due to high cost, low availability, properties making them unsuitable for application (they were gaseous or not water-soluble) or other undesirable properties (they were corrosive, flammable, or toxic). The only two items not ruled out were CMA and methanol (not flammable enough for ya'?). Methanol is particularly effective at low temperatures, but CMA was chosen for continued development ``because of its greater environmental acceptability,'' and handling and spreading characteristics similar to salt.

    The bottom line on CMA is that it still costs about $2000 a ton, versus $30 a ton for NaCl, and is needed in equal or slightly larger quantities. Calcium Chloride costs about $300 per ton. The FHWA has also been pushing CMAK.

    Canis Major. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Centre de Mathématiques Appliquées of L'École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris.

    Cleveland Museum of Art.

    Comparative Market Analysis. An effort to estimate the market price of a real estate property by studying the prices fetched by comps (comparable homes: similar nearby properties that sold recently). Some effort is made to correct for different amenities, terms of purchase, etc.

    Realtor.com offers a quick-and-dirty computerized version of a CMA that it calls a ``Community Market Analysis.''

    Cooperative Marketing Agreement. Flintstones glasses at MacDonald's, or Burger King, or one of those. It really burns that fast-food restaurant's name into your memory.

    Country Music Association, which gives the Country Music Awards (usually in September). Different from the Academy of Country Music (ACM), which gives its ACM Awards (traditionally in April). Could get downright confusin'.

    Cover[ ed | ing ] My Ass. Internet usage.

    ``Cover[ ed | ing ] My Arse'' in Commonwealth usage.

    Crystal Meth Anonymous.

    Cylindrical Mirror Analyzer.

    Cerebellar-Model Arithmetic Computers.

    Calcium Magnesium Acetate with some potassium (K) as well. Typically referred to as Calcium Magnesium Potassium Acetate or Calcium Magnesium Acetate Potassium Acetate blend. The initialism is a vast improvement, which is more than one can say for the substance itself (a variant on the CMA idea).

    Combat Mission: Afrika Korps. A game in the Combat Mission video-game series.

    Connection Manager Administration Kit.

    Congestion Management and Air Quality. A US program which funds air-quality improvement projects. CMAQ funds are allocated to states in proportion to the population in areas that do not meet NAAQS levels, weighted by severity of air polution.

    Computer-based Modeling and Analysis System.

    Consejo Mundial de Boxeo. Spanish, `World Boxing Council' (WBC).

    Cosmic Microwave Background. Characterized by a temperature of 2.73 K.

    Center for Market-Based Education.

    CarboxyMethyl Cellulose.

    Cast Metal Coalition.

    Claremont McKenna College.

    Colorado Mountain Club.

    Communications and Mobile Computing.

    Communications Management Configuration.

    Computer-Mediated Communication.

    Coulomb-Mohr Criterion.

    Critical Micelle Concentration. This is not, as you might suppose, the concentration of micelles at some critical point. Instead, it is the concentration of surfactant molecules in solution, above which micelles spontaneously form.


    Computer Moiré Deflectometry.

    Center for Media Education. ``[A] national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of electronic media, especially on the behalf of children and families.''

    Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

    Component Management Entity.

    Continuing Medical Education.

    In 1998, I saw a lead headline so inane that it convinced me to buy the local rag (The South Bend Tribune). It was a report that the King of Thailand had collected another utterly meaningless and unmerited honorary degree, and with this had pulled ahead of the hometown favorite (retired long-time University of Notre Dame president Father Hesburgh -- more at this PLS entry) in the unofficial competition to see who could collect the most such honors before dying.

    Further down the front page was less important news. It seems that a physician was lost overboard on one of those ``in-service cruises'' -- sugar-coated CME. Contributing to his fall may have been disorientation from pain medication for a fall he had suffered earlier during the cruise. And -- the name was familiar. Where had I seen that name before? Egad, that was my physician!

    I have found that weird news comes in clusters. Another memorable cluster was in August 1979. That was the time of the dirt-granola incident. Up near the tree line, we entertained ourselves reciting translations of Jabberwocky into neo-Spanish and similar languages. But it wasn't the camping trip that was weird, and it wasn't my visits to the Moonies and the Scientologists before and after the trip. It wasn't the Fresno Gestalt. It was coming back to civilization and encountering news. There was an Aeroflot jet at JFK that waited three days for permission to take off. Bolshoi dancer Alexander Godunov had defected, and Soviet minders had escorted his wife (ballerina Ludmilla Vlasova) onto the plane. The US government refused to allow the plane to leave until they could be sure that she was on board of her own free will. (Things didn't work out so well professionally for Godunov, who had been a star in the Bolshoi. He died in 1995, age 45, of unspecified ``natural causes.'' There were continuing rumors of Vlasova's ambivalence about the separation, but after the fall of the Soviet Union they did not reunite. BTW, for details of my Scientology expedition, see the Cosmo entry.)

    There was more.

    Coronal Mass Ejection.

    California Music Educators Association.

    Continuing Medical Education Association. (There's a related commercial site.)

    Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. The group of countries with ``centrally-planned economies,'' as the expression went (and also centrally controlled, in theory), aligned with the USSR. CMEA was officially established in January 1949 to coordinate the economic activities of communist states and to maintain Soviet hegemony. Umm, okay the Soviet hegemony bit may not have been official. In the West, CMEA was better known as COMECON. The original group was all-Europe: In addition to the USSR, the members were Bulgaria, Romania, Czechoslovakia (CSSR), Poland, (from February 1949) Albania, and (from September 1950) East Germany (GDR).

    Good ol' Enver Hoxha pulled brave little Albania out of the sphere of Soviet influence and out of CMEA at the end of 1961, but it continued to be a member, nominally. Yugoslavia, which also pulled out of the Warsaw Pact, was an associate member of CMEA starting in 1964.

    Mongolia was added to CMEA in June 1962, Cuba only in 1972, and Vietnam in 1978. The organization was formally dissolved at a meeting in Budapest on June 28, 1991.

    CMEA-7, CMEA (7)
    Council for Mutual Economic Assistance -- 7 European members, not counting Albania or associate member Yugoslavia. In the West, CMEA was better known as COMECON.

    Churches for Middle East Peace. Asking both sides to stop the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent civilians, whether by suicide bombings or by targeted attacks on suicide bomb factories.

    Chip-Matched Filter.

    CoMoving Frame. Most convenient frame to compute the Robertson-Walker, among other things. Also the most flattering reference frame in which to weigh oneself.

    Cross-Modulation Factor.

    Centre for Metropolitan History. Part of the Institute for Historical Research (IHR) of the University of London.

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A Canadian Crown Corporation which administers the National Housing Act. CMHC services include insuring high-ratio mortgage loans for lenders.

    Center for Mental Health Services. Part of SAMSA.

    Canis Minor. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Cell-Mediated Immunity.

    Coded Mark Inversion.

    Computer-Managed Instruction. The ``instruction'' is of students, not to the machine. It just means (or perhaps meant, by now) education assisted by computerized record-keeping. Like CAD, CAM, CAE, etc., this is one of those terms that is losing its utility, as the time is upon us when anyone would wonder that any task should be done without the aid of a computer.

    Continuous[ly] Measurable Improvement.

    CWI Multimedia Interchange Format.

    CMIF EDitor.

    Correct Me If I'm Wrong. Email usage.

    Common (network) Management Information Protocol.

    Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. Coupled models of ocean and atmosphere, applied to a common set of data. Cf. AMIP (atmospheric modeling only, but note that water surface temperature data are an input -- you can't ignore three quarters of the earth's surface, but you can try to avoid having to model it).

    Common (network) Management Information Protocol / Common (network) Management Interface Services. OSI network management protocol/service interface created by ISO for the management of heterogeneous networks.

    Common (network) Management Interface Services.

    Common (network) Management Information Service Element.

    Caribbean Microfinance Ltd. A Trinidad-based microfinance institution that ``aims to contribute to social and economic development in the Caribbean. Through the sustainable provision of microcredit, CML plans [as of August 2001] to establish its operations in St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and Guyana.''


    Classical and Modern Literature. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

    Chemical Mark-up Language. An XML-based mark-up developed by Peter Murray-Rust at Nottingham.

    Current-Mode Logic. Synonym for ECL (which see -- that's the entry with the mosty; actually, it's adapted from something I wrote as a newsgroup posting, but either way it has the mosting). (It's a good thing these forced rhymes are more fun to write than to read, or they'd never be written at all!)

    Capability Maturity Model. A Systems Engineering effort to standardize QA processes, along the same lines as SEI levels 1 - 5.

    Ain't that grand?


    Centre for Metaphysics and Mind. It's based in the School of Philosophy at the University of Leeds.

    Coordinate Measuring Machine[s]. Inspection equipment, basically. CMM programmers ought to know CATIA, and CATIA speaks DMIS (Dimensional Measuring Interface Standard).

    Computer Maintenance Management System[s].

    Conceptual Model of the Mission Space. Maybe you can make sense of this.

    Cache Memory Management Unit.

    Comité Mercosur de Normalización (in Spanish) or Comitê Mercosul de Normalização (Portuguese).


    Classical & Medieval Numismatic Society.

    Central Moneymarkets Office.

    Collateralized Mortgage Obligation. CMO's are derivative securities issued against expected income from mortgages. They generally were (still are?!?!) sold in tranches with differing characteristics. For example, if the mortgages of a particular tranche can be paid off early, then it is sensitive to interest rates (pre-payment increases with a decline in interest rates, lowering the tranche value, and conversely).

    [Image: CMOS inverter]

    Complementary MOS (logic circuit). Look, I don't care if you pronounce it ``SEA moss'' or ``SEA mahss'' (i.e., using the ``o'' of American hot in MOS). Just so long as you don't use a really stupid pronunciation (like the radio announcer guy who pronounced it with the ``o'' of most), you can still be my friend.

    CMOS is a kind of semiconductor logic using gates with complementary PMOS and NMOS parts, designed so that power dissipation is near zero when the gate is not switching.

    A CMOS inverter (mislabeled ``transistor'') is illustrated at right. On the right side within the diagram is a p-well, in which an NMOS transistor has been fabricated. On the right side is a PMOS transistor, fabricated directly in epi material that is n-doped. Not shown are connections between different electrodes or terminals that are made with metal deposited over the silicon. In particular, the drains are joined and their value is the inverter output, while the sources of NMOS and PMOS are connected to the lower and upper voltage rails in the circuit, respectively. In the case shown, the input voltage is low, so the NMOS (on the right) is off. A low voltage applied to the PMOS gate turns it on, although current flows in the channel only to the extent that the gate attached to the output of the inverter has low input impedance.

    [Image: CMOS inverter cross section, more realistic]

    Illustrated at left is a more realistic version of the same gate. The especially thick regions of oxide are ``thickox'' typically grown by oxidation with steam. It is intended to be thick to assure that metal interconnects on the oxide do not ``turn on'' as transistors any regions in the silicon. The transistor gate (metal deposited by PVD or polysilicon typically deposited from silane by CVD) is usually grown over a thin oxide layer (``thinox'').

    The transistor gates in this instance are made of polysilicon (silicon deposited by CVD; because it is deposited over a disordered surface -- the oxide is amorphous -- it too is disordered). The polysilicon is heavily doped to place the effective location of the charge electrostatic plate that is the gate as close as possible to the silicon wafer. From the substantial overlap of transistor gates with the source and drain regions, it appears that a self-aligned process was not used.

    The above diagrams are side views. Below is a SEM image of a small segment of a (metal-gate) CMOS gate array (details at source, from Notre Dame Microelectronics Lab). (See gate entry for two meanings of ``gate.'')

    [What it is]

    CMIP Over TCP.

    Canadian Mind Products. I'm sorry, but my sense of neighborly, vicarious patriotic embarrassment is overwhelmed by my sense of humor. Whether you agree, disagree, or quibble with them, you ought to be amused by such homepage claims as ``President Bush is risking the future of all multicelled life on earth. He has already invaded Iran and...'' [page visited 2006.04.22]. A set of link buttons on that page is illustrated with small images -- a coffee cup for Java, a small Rodin's Le Penseur for ``Deep Thoughts,'' etc. The politics link is illustrated with a US flag, and this fairly reflects the content, though there is an angry little bit of CanCon too. The site appears to be the product of a lone mind (I've seen ``loon'' -- is that the Canadian spelling?), Roedy Green's. The poor fellow should move on south so he too can sport one of those ``Don't Blame Me -- I Voted for [losing Democratic candidate]'' bumper stickers. Come on -- you know you want it!


    Catalogue of Mythographic Papyri.

    Chemical Mechanical Polishing. The acronym has been verbed. Principal parts (and only parts, this being English): CMP (pronounced ``cee em PEE''), CMP's or CMPs or whatever (I've actually only heard this stuff; it may be jargon without a fixed written form), CMP'd, CMP'd (the past participle is a very common verbal adjective), and CMPing or whatever. I like that. <sounds like>``He can't come to the phone -- he see 'em peeing in the clean room.''</sounds like>

    Here they were. They published, I don't know what. Probably something technical. According to this site, on ``February 29, 2008, CMP Media LLC (also referred to as CMP Technology) became United Business Media LLC. At that time, four technology divisions were also established: Everything Channel, EETimes Group and TechWeb. [That's sic.] Much of the content, including lists of brands and marketing services, which were formerly part of the CMP.com web site, can now be found on these four [plus quam sic] division web sites.''

    I still don't know what the sealed acronym CMP stood for. Perhaps some personal initials. Maybe I'll look into this in 2012, when they celebrate their first anniversary.

    Cytidine MonoPhosphate. See XMP.

    Certified Medical Practice Executive. An MPE certified by the ACMPE.

    Caisse Maladie Régionale.

    Cell Misinsertion Rate.

    Clinical Microbiology Reviews. Published by the ASM.

    Colossal MagnetoResistance. Ninety-percent reduction in conductance from zero-field value observed in alloy manganite perovskites. Alloys of Lanthanum [a rare earth (RE)] with an alkaline earth--Ba, Ca, or Sr: Lax(Ca, Sr, or Ba)1-xMnO3. Vide R. von Helmholt et al., PRL, 71, 2331 (1993) and S. Jin et al., Science 264, 413 (1994). Cf. GMR.

    Don't blame me; I don't make these terms up, I just record'em. Mostly.

    Common-Mode Rejection (ratio). The measure is more commonly abbreviated CMRR. [CMRR = DM gain / CM gain.] Cf. PSRR.

    Comprehensive Microbial Resource. Served by TIGR.

    CMR International
    Centre for Medicines Research INTERNATIONAL.

    Common-Mode Rejection Ratio. [CMRR = DM gain / CM gain.] Cf. PSRR.

    Clinical Magnetic Resonance Society.

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Previous name was abbreviated HCFA.

    Clay Minerals Society.

    Compact Muon Solenoid. One of the main instruments of the LHC. ``CMS'' is also used to designate the collaboration for designing, building, and maintaining it, and for analyzing the data it collects.

    Conversational Monitor System. IBM uses this term for a VM OS that doesn't sound particularly conversational.

    Coulomb Mutual Scattering. Long-range Coulomb scattering between between mobile charge carriers in nearby conductors. First discussed theoretically by Peter J. Price, Physica (Amsterdam) 117B, 750 (1983). A kind of viscous current drag was predicted. The experiments are kind of difficult, because of the length scales needed to get appreciable drag. Early observations were in GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructures. The first observation was of electrons in a 2DEG dragged by current in a 3DEG -- P. M. Solomon, P. J. Price, D. J. Frank, and D. C. La Tulipe, Phys. Rev. Lett. 63, 2508 (1989). The effect was subsequently observed between 2DEG's:
    T. J. Gramila, J. P. Eisenstein, A. H. MacDonald, L. N. Pfeiffer, and K. W. West, Phys. Rev. Lett. 66, 1216 (1991); Surf. Sci. 263, 446 (1992).
    P. M. Solomon and B. Laikhtman, Superlattices and Microstructures 10, 89 (1991).

    A number of mechanisms besides CMS can contribute to current drag, such as the van der Waals interaction, according to theoretical work by A. G. Rojo and G. D. Mahan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 2074 (1992).

    Conductor-Metal-Semiconductor-Resistor (structure).

    Council of Medical Specialty Societies.

    Characterization, Monitoring, and Sensor Technology.

    Cadmium Mercury Telluride. [CdxHg1-xTe, a II-VI alloy compound semiconductor. More common equivalent is ``MCT.''

    Condensed Matter Theory.

    Philip W. Anderson, emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University (and my Ph.D. advisor) writes the following on a research-interests page at the department:

    I am a condensed matter theorist, a field in which I played the role of a major agenda-setter for 40 or so years (in fact I believe a colleague and I named the field in 1967 when we named our group in Cambridge--before that it was `solid state theory').

    He also comments that he invented the ``Higgs'' boson in 1962 and named the ``spin-glass'' phenomenon in 1970. It's interesting that he mentions only in passing (among ``earlier interests'') the fields he left his own name in (with ``Anderson model, Anderson localization'') and the work for which he shared the Nobel prize in 1977.

    Country Music Television. It belongs to Viacom, which belongs to MTV.

    Connection ManagemenT. An FDDI process defined by the HIPPI standard.

    Carnegie Mellon University.

    Founded by the steal magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. (Oh, was that supposed to be spelled ``steel''? Sorry.)

    In the sixties, another industrial baron -- Andrew Mellon -- was a great friend of the president of the University of Pittsburgh. Apparently that president spent big time (stadium construction, that sort of thing) in anticipation of a big donation from his friend. Then it seems they had a falling out of some sort. Andrew Mellon took his munificence across town to the old Carnegie Institute, now CMU. The U of Pitt, in debt up to its academic eyeballs, ended up becoming a public university.

    I heard this story from a guy who was post-docking at U Pitt in those days; for a while until the state bail-out, he had trouble cashing his paychecks.

    Chemical Mass Unit. The atomic mass unit, according to the definition favored by chemists, back when chemists and physicists used different definitions. Read the details at this amu entry.

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities District. CMUD is used as an abbreviation for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, a government department that provides water and sewer services in City of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. I hope that's pronounced ``see mud.'' See COLON.

    Commercial Motor Vehicle.

    CytoMegaloVirus. A herpes virus that people with AIDS are susceptible to. Most commonly infects the retina and can lead to blindness. Can infect other organs.

    Colegio de Médicos Veterinarios de Puerto Rico. `College of Veterinary Physicians of Puerto Rico.' It seems to be affiliated with the AVMA on the same terms that US state veterinary medical associations are affiliated with the AVMA.

    CoMeX (commodities exchange) market of the NYSE.

    CMX Company writes and sells real-time multitasking operating systems for microprocessors and microcontrollers, C compilers and other software. I doubt that the initials stand for anything reasonable.

    Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK. The four ``colors'' used in four-color printing. Cyan (also called ``process blue''), Magenta and Yellow pigments are the subtractive primaries. Also CYMK, which is a common order to print the words
    on a proof copy for control purposes.

    CaN. A highly useful chat contraction.

    Cellulose Nitrate. Also called celluloid. Quite flammable. In fact, in a slightly different form, the same material is called gun cotton. Also, it's available in an inflammable formulation. Amazing, huh? Why'd they ever switch to putting movies on some less magical material? Ping-pong balls are cellulose nitrate impregnated with camphor.

    (Domain code for) China. The PRC.


    Latin, Gnaeus. A praenomen, typically abbreviated when writing the full tria nomina. Abbreviation dates from before the end of the 3 c. BCE, when the letter G was introduced to indicate a voiced version of C (which was originally always hard, like a K). Similar situation with Gaius (C.). Also used, less disconcertingly but less commonly: ``Gn.''

    Copy Network.

    Cranial Nerve. A non-spinal nerve that pokes through a hole in the skull.

    Canadian Nurses Association. How are we feeling? Would we like to read the French version (Association des infirmières et infirmiers du Canada)? There, there.

    Certified Novell Administrator. Novell's entry-level certification, awarded for passing a competency exam based on either the NetWare 2.2, 3.11 or 4.0 systems. Passing this cuts no mustard toward obtaining a CNE.

    Certified Nurse['s] Assistant. The form with the possessive ``nurse's'' appears to be much less common. Pronounced C-N-A, and not necessarily possible to distinguish aurally from ``cee and ay.''

    A young woman I know worked as a CNA in nursing homes or extended-care facilities for a number of years. I once asked her if she ever worked in an Alzheimer's ward. She said she did -- once. The patients were too vicious for her. And this is from a woman whom I once saw calm a raging sea of women desparate to use the one women's room during a Saturday-night bar rush at Myrrh's. Wow.

    A couple of years ago she completed an accelerated course (15 mos., I think it took) to become an LPN, at the same time that she was working as a CNA and also waitressing a couple of shifts a week at Myrrh's (down from a regular schedule, before she returned to school). Ahh, to be young again and not need sleep.

    She came back to work at Myrrh's recently, to catch up on old times and to help pay her mortgage. But basically the latter. I asked her how her work had changed since she became an LPN. She explained that when she was a CNA, she basically fed the patients and took them to the bathroom, but that now as an LPN, she basically supervises the CNA's to see that they feed the patients and take them to the bathroom. So basically, I said, she used to be an orderly but now she supervises orderlies. She basically agreed. If I interview her again and get a better handle on all this, I may spare you some basicallies.

    Common-Neighbor Analysis.

    Council for National Academic Awards.

    Certain ``National Banks.'' Here's a partial accounting:

    Commercial-news NBC. Don't these people know anything about branding? The CNBC home on the web is now ``MSN Money.''

    Cancer. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Computer Numerical Control (of machinery or manufacturing).

    Condensation Nucleus Counter. Counts condensation nuclei.

    Centro Nacional de Coordinación Antiterrorista. Spain's `National Center for Antiterrorist Coordination.' Corresponds to the US NCTC.

    Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. (Historical entry. More history at ND entry.)

    Could Not Duplicate. Same as NFF, q.v.

    Certified Novell Engineer. (Also Certified NetWare Engineer.) A ``professional qualification awarded to you by Novell.'' Sounds like the educational equivalent of shopping only in the company store. Could be, this is what happens when grade inflation makes university degrees meaningless. Cf. MCSE.

    If you aspire to greater LAN's, you can become an MCNE.

    Corte Nacional Electoral. Literally the `National Electoral Court' of Bolivia, though I've seen it described as the ``National Elections Service.'' This is not inaccurate: among its duties, it certifies party compliance with election laws (required for parties to field candidates in elections), apportions public funds to the parties for campaigns (based on their showing in previous elections), administers the actual election and vote-counting, levies fines for noncompliance with electoral laws, certifies the results, etc. It is the careful design of the electoral process, centralized for efficiency and run by a group of respected Bolivian personages, that accounts for the smooth functioning of Bolivia's democracy.

    Centre National d'Études Spatiales. France's `National Center for Space Studies.'


    Classical and Near Eastern Studies. A common combination, and sometimes a department name, as at U. Minnesota.

    Centre National d'Études des Télécommunications. Centre de R&D de France Télécom.

    Cost Not including Freight charges. Cf. CIF.

    Compressed Natural Gas. Try Digel.

    Okay, a little more seriously... CNG has been proposed as clean-burning alternative automobile fuel. As of 1996, there were a couple of thousand fleet vehicles running on CNG in the New York City area, and under a hundred thousand CNG vehicles nationwide.

    Ordinary gasoline engines can be modified to run on CNG, but it costs $5K to convert a gasoline car to CNG, or $3K to build it with CNG capability, because of the pressurized tank and fuel lines. Ford was the first major US motor-vehicle manufacturer to offer ``factory CNG'' (i.e., factory-installed CNG-capable engine).

    Corporate Network Group.

    Coalition for Networked Information. ``... dedicated to supporting the transformative promise of networked information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity.''

    Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Like many or most truly pan-Canadian organizations, this one has a bilingual acronym. The Spanish for CNIB is INCA.

    A nematocyst. Less cryptically, it's the nettle cell of a coelenterate (jellyfish, hydra, sea anemone, etc.), containing a chemical and a release mechanism to sting and incapacitate prey or predator (or at least discourage a predator).

    This word has an intriguing Scrabble status: cnida (with its plural cnidae) is accepted by the OSPD4 and SOWPODS, but not TWL98. I haven't checked OSPD3; if it's not there (i.e., if it's new in OSPD4) then it may be in the second edition of TWL. Somebody ought to look into that in 2006.

    Center for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval.

    Confédération Nationale (i.e., French) du Logement. (Alternate page here.)

    Certified Nurse Midwife.

    Customer Network Management.

    Communications Network for Manufacturing Applications.

    Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. More material, unreasonably enough, under the postal code MP.

    Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores. Spanish `National Commission of the Securities Market.'

    Cable News Network.

    Cellular Neural Network. Proposed by L. O. Chua and L. Yang, in IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, 35, #10, pp. 1257-1290 (Oct. 1988). It's also expanded with ``neural'' replaced by or slash-compounded with ``nonlinear.''

    Composite Network Node.

    Cellular Neural Networks and Applications. An international workshop sponsored by the IEEE. The Fourth biennial workshop was in Seville in 1996.

    Carbon-Nitrogen-Oxide (cycle). A cycle that produces isotopes of C, N, and O in stars by hydrogen burning. This is distinguished from the process of Helium burning, Carbon burning, and successively O and Si burning which occur in massive stars.

    {Chief | Command} of Naval Operations.

    Cyano-substituted Poly(p-PhenyleneVinylene) (PPV).

    China National Petroleum Corp. PetroChina is a subsidiary of CNPC.

    Conseil national du patronat français. `National Council of French Employers.' At its national general assembly in October 1998, it changed its name to something more aggressive (translated `Movement of French Enterprises,' see Medef) and set out a program demanding government reform and greater labor-market flexibility. It makes you realize that having a road to Hell that's paved with good intentions is no use if you can't grab the steering wheel and head in the opposite direction.

    Canadian Nurses Protective Society. ``The Canadian Nurses Protective Society ... is a non-profit society, owned and operated by nurses for nurses, that offers legal liability protection related to nursing practice to eligible Registered Nurses, by providing information, education, and financial and legal assistance. CNPS' assistance is available free of charge to those nurses who are, or were at the time of an occurrence, permit holders or members in good standing of one of'' ten member territorial or provincial nursing associations, as of October 2001.

    Carrier-to-Noise Ratio.

    Change Notice Request. You want it when?!

    CarboxyNitroso Rubber.

    Conseil national de recherches Canada, ``the principal science and technology agency of the Canadian federal government ... [w]ith 16 research institutes located in eleven major centres across the country... .''

    CNRS, C.N.R.S.
    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.

    Central Nervous System. ``CNS depression'' is not ``depression'' -- it may include drowsiness, euphoria, amnesia, fatigue, and decreased REM sleep.

    Cognitive NeuroScience.

    Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance.

    College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Albany.

    Center for National Security Studies.

    Committee on [US] National STATistics.

    Carbon NanoTube. A roll, or co-axial rolls, of graphene.

    Cholesteric-Nematic Transition.

    Le Conseil des Normes de télévision par câble (du Canada). English CTSC.

    Central Nucleus Thermal Deposition.

    Congress for the New Urbanism. A ``Chicago-based non-profit organization that was founded in 1993. We work with architects, developers, planners, and others involved in the creation of cities and towns, teaching them how to implement the principles of the New Urbanism.'' That quote is from a long-ago visit to their old web content. They eventually took their new urbanism to a new urbs, and at some point their homepage header explained that they were a ``San Francisco based non-profit organization that works with architects, developers....'' Aren't you fascinated? No? I think that the city where a congress for the new urbanism is based probably says something about that organization. Now they don't say anything prominent about where they're based. Maybe they moved to the suburbs like everyone else? Nope, their mailing address is a downtown Chicago office. Here's the text from an old version of their about-us page:

    The Congress for the New Urbanism views disinvestment in central cities, the spread of placeless sprawl, increasing separation by race and income, environmental deterioration, loss of agricultural lands and wilderness, and the erosion of society's built heritage as one interrelated community-building challenge.

    We stand for the restoration of existing urban centers and towns within coherent metropolitan regions, the reconfiguration of sprawling suburbs into communities of real neighborhoods and diverse districts, the conservation of natural environments, and the preservation of our built legacy.

    On a June 2007 browse, I learned that ``CNU is starting to form chapters.'' Maybe they could put together a whole book. They have ``a number of local groups working toward chapter status.'' The interest group for Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia uses the attractive name of Cascadia. Well begun is half done.

    Central New York.

    Rebus for ``See in 3D'' [three dimensions]. an interactive viewer developed by NCBI for molecular structures retrieved from its Entrez

    An alternative viewer for some of the same data (all of the same structures) is the 3DB Browser made available by Brookhaven for its Protein DataBase (PDB, q.v.).

    Carbon Monoxide.

    After a mob burned his chapel and sacked his house in Birmingham, scattering his papers, his library, and his scientific instruments in the street, Joseph Priestley moved to London. His three sons encountered social difficulties in England, however, and emigrated to Pennsylvania, where they established themselves as farmers on the Susquehanna. He eventually followed them there, leaving behind a married daughter. For a while before he left, Southey and some even more eminent English poet (whose name I really shouldn't forget) played with the idea of going along with him.

    Priestley settled in a village near Philadelphia that was originally envisioned as a haven for similar exiles. It was close to his sons' farms, and he helped them out in the fields a couple of hours a day, living in a village near Philadelphia. He continued his preaching, and formed a Unitarian congregation where Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were both occasional members, and he wrote his vast History of the Christian Church. He also continued his scientific research, and discovered carbon monoxide.

    [Phone icon]

    Central (Telephone) Office. Really the same as the local office (LO).

    Mark Twain's Tale of a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, first published in 1889, tells the story of an accidental time traveler from New England in 1879 to the England of King Arthur (sixth century). There the Connecticut Yankee (Hank Morgan) becomes known as ``Sir Boss,'' and introduces various improvements (eventually suppressed by religious baddies). The following is from chapter 41, after he has married Sandy (whom we mention also at this V2 entry).

        In my dreams, along at first, I still wandered thirteen centuries away, and my unsatisfied spirit went calling and harking all up and down the unreplying vacancies of a vanished world. Many a time Sandy heard that imploring cry come from my lips in my sleep. With a grand magnanimity she saddled that cry of mine upon our child, conceiving it to be the name of some lost darling of mine. It touched me to tears, and it also nearly knocked me off my feet, too, when she smiled up in my face for an earned reward, and played her quaint and pretty surprise upon me:

        ``The name of one who was dear to thee is here preserved, here made holy, and the music of it will abide alway in our ears. Now thou'lt kiss me, as knowing the name I have given the child.''

        But I didn't know it, all the same. I hadn't an idea in the world; but it would have been cruel to confess it and spoil her pretty game; so I never let on, but said:

        ``Yes, I know, sweetheart--how dear and good it is of you, too! But I want to hear these lips of yours, which are also mine, utter it first--then its music will be perfect.''

        Pleased to the marrow, she murmured:


        I didn't laugh--I am always thankful for that--but the strain ruptured every cartilage in me, and for weeks afterward I could hear my bones clack when I walked. She never found out her mistake. The first time she heard that form of salute used at the telephone she was surprised, and not pleased; but I told her I had given order for it: that henceforth and forever the telephone must always be invoked with that reverent formality, in perpetual honor and remembrance of my lost friend and her small namesake. This was not true. But it answered.


    The Classical Outlook. Not a Weltanschauung but a quarterly, (ISSN 0196-2086; LC no. PA 2001 .C5693) published out of Oxford (Ohio, not England) by the American Classical League (ACL). At least as of 2002, it is the most widely circulated Classics journal in North America.

    CO continues the earlier journal Latin Notes (LC no. PA 2063 .L34 ; before the days of ISSN's -- why don't they define these things retroactively for recordkeeping purposes?). [The supplement is LC no. PA 2063 .L348, as I'm sure you're relieved to learn.]

    CO even continues the volume numbering of Latin Notes, picking up at vol. 14 in fall 1936. When the latter was discontinued, it published eight numbers a year. CO was originally a monthly, which also meant eight issues a year. In 1978, however, it became a quarterly and alternated with the new quarterly ACL newsletter (ISSN 0196-2086). [I may have the ISSN's switched.], which has since been a semiannual and a triannual. You can learn so much interesting stuff from on-line library card catalogs.

    The article ``Latina Resurgens: Classical Language Enrollments in American Schools and Colleges,'' appears in CO vol. 74 #4 (Summer 1997), pp. 125-30.

    CO, C.O.
    Class Of. As in ``C.O. '03'' for the class of 1903 or 2003.

    Cleveland Orchestra.

    CObalt. Atomic number 27. In the first period of transition metals.

    Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

    (Domain name code for) Colombia. Also for Colorado, in the second-to-last position: <foobar.co.us>. Also for commercial sites (.co).

    Terrorist groups in Colombia kidnap fewer than 3000 people each year, using the ransom to finance their insurrection. Back in the 1970's, Argentine guerrillas used a similar strategy but concentrated on rich pay-offs for foreign businessmen. The resulting war, when joined by the military dictatorship that deposed Isabelita Perón, was called la guerra sucia. That's usually translated `the dirty war,' though perhaps `the filthy war' might better convey the moral tenor of sucia. One revenue stream available to various warring parties in Colombia today (see AUC) is cocaine -- growing, refining, and trafficking.

    All wars must be financed. Wars against the Congolese government based in Kinshasa [the old Zaire, (.zr)] are funded by stealing from diamond prospectors. (Diamond is a common African mineral that is kept in short supply by the deBeers cartel to maintain a profitable world price. During a diamond market crash early in the twentieth century, deBeers managed to buy up most of the south African mines. Since then, discoveries in Russia, Australia, and elsewhere have been handled with a certain amount of judicious bribing or market-sharing arrangements. Lately, however, multiple wars in southern Africa have been making it increasingly difficult to stifle supply. In 1999, deBeers hit on a brilliant strategy to deal with this situation: they would become the supplier of ``clean diamonds'' -- diamonds not being used to fund some war.)

    The IRA's activities are funded by charitable contributions. During the cold war, many armies were secretly and sometimes not so secretly funded by the major contending powers and their better-off clients. Usually this was in the form of government grants (not so called) of money, arms, training, etc., or loans (to be repaid in something other than money). Communist regimes liked to shake down their subjects for voluntary contributions to fraternal liberation movements. Subsequent developments demonstrate that there is no shortage of funding sources -- though of course, who pays the piper calls the tune. Regional interests (did you know that Syria can actually grow enough food to feed its surviving population?) and rich private investors have picked up the slack.

    COlorado. USPS abbreviation.

    The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for Colorado. USACityLink.com has a page mostly of Colorado city and county links.

    Combined Operations. British term for amphibious military operations, or military operations requiring a high degree of coordination between land and sea operations. There's an extensive Combined Ops WWII memorial site on line.

    Commanding Officer.

    (Domain name code for) COmmercial site: e.g <foobarre.co.uk>. Also for Colombia and Colorado (.co).


    Correctional Officer. Standard and inaccurate name for a prison guard.

    Carbon Dioxide.

    CO2 laser
    Powerful laser in the IR, has lines around 10µm, or 0.124 eV (alright, alright: the dominant 10P(20) line is at 10.6µm and 9P(20) is at 9.54µm).

    COenzyme A.

    Canadian Organisation for the Advancement of Computers in Health or Choosing Outcomes and Accommodations for CHildren. An anonymous, randomly self-selected IM correspondent from the Detroit area, self-described as an ``executive coach,'' guessed these in a few seconds when asked if she knew what the origin of ``coach'' was.

    From the Hungarian noun köcse. (The word for the vehicle, invented and first manufactured in the town of Kocs.) In English, the noun was verbed, to coach meaning to drive [the horses of] a coach, then nouned back into the person who drives the horses, then extended to describe the person who drives another kind of animal.

    In some Spanish-speaking countries, such as Argentina, car is coche (masc.). In others, like Mexico (.mx), car is carro, although coche may be used as a `marked' synonym (like ``motor car'' in English). ``Carro'' sounds weird to Argentines, to whom carro only means `cart,' of the unpowered variety. It might be an Anglicism (Sp. carro < Eng. car), like the Chilean use of gallo (`rooster') to mean `guy' (pronunciation of the Spanish word would look like guy-oh in English eye dialect).

    The vehicles making up a passenger train are variously called cars, coaches, or carriages, depending on what decade and region one has boarded. In strict Leftpondian usage a ``coach'' is the ordinary kind of passenger car, approximately equivalent to Rightpondian ``second-class carriage.'' Second class in Britain was formerly called third class and is now called standard class.

    In earlier Leftpondian usage, trains were also called ``the cars.'' Although it was always common to say ``on the train,'' for many years the phrase ``on the cars'' was used as well. The most recent instance of this usage that I can find is in a poem Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) published in his Smoke and Steel (Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1920). In other words, every occurrence I can find is out of copyright! I'm not going to go overboard on this and quote two entire books of Artemus Ward between here and the COAI entry, but maybe I will include Sandburg's poem:

    Aprons of Steel
    Many things I might have said today.
    And I kept my mouth shut.
    [SBF glossarist comments: not me!]
    So many times I was asked
    To come and say the same things
    Everybody was saying, no end
    To the yes-yes, yes-yes,
        me-too, me-too.
    [Gertrude Stein noticed that between WWI and WWII, American men learned to converse. See the have-got-to entry.]

    The aprons of silence covered me.
    A wire and hatch held my tongue.
    I spit nails into an abyss and listened.
    I shut off the gabble of Jones, Johnson, Smith,
    All whose names take pages in the city directory.

    I fixed up a padded cell and lugged it around.
    I locked myself in and nobody knew it.
    Only the keeper and the kept in the hoosegow
    Knew it--on the streets, in the postoffice,
    On the cars, into the railroad station
    Where the caller was calling, "All a-board,
    All a-board for .. Blaa-blaa .. Blaa-blaa,
    Blaa-blaa .. and all points northwest .. all a-board."
    [Cf. North by Northwest.]
    Here I took along my own hoosegow
    And did business with my own thoughts.
    Do you see? It must be the aprons of silence.

    Council Of Australian Governments. It's good to stick together.

    Cellular Operators Association of India.

    Clowns Of America International.

    Customer-Owned and -Maintained Equipment.

    Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment.

    Computer Operations, Audit, and Security Technology. A laboratory for computer security research in the Computer Sciences Department at Purdue University. Focuses on ``real-world needs and limitations, with a special focus on security for legacy computing systems.''

    Coast Highway
    The highway along the Pacific coast that is not the P.C.H., whatever that is.

    coat hanger
    Emergency back-scratcher.

    COAXial. A coax transmission line consists of two parallel cylindrical conductors with a common center line. This configuration is chosen to minimize radiative losses and interference. This ``coax'' is pronounced in two syllables, like the letters in the word it abbreviates, but stress is on the first syllable: ``CO aks.''

    See also balun.

    Persuade. One syllable, many words.

    This is either the past tense of the ordinary verb coax, or else it means to have done something with coaxial cable. Yih! Maybe it means to have axed in a coordinated manner! In a transferred sense, it might mean to have agreed to fire an employee. Responsible responsibility is diffused responsibility. At least safe responsibility is.

    Central Obrera Boliviana. `Bolivian Worker Central.'

    Chip On Board. That is, directly--not chip on package on board.

    Close Of Business. End of the (local) Business Day. An outmoded concept based on the industry-home dichotomy of the second wave, and rooted in the natural cycles that governed the first wave.

    College Of Business.

    Male swan.

    College Of Business Administration. Yesterday as I was walking past the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame, a deliverywoman asked me if I knew where ``Coba 203'' was. ``Coba'' was what people called the building until last year (2000), when Network Appliance executives Tom and Kathy Mendoza's humble munificence changed its name. ``Coba'' is still what they call it. I don't know what it costs to buy a plaque on a park bench, but if you want to confuse delivery people, you have to shell out. The individual wings of the building all have their own names too. Let's face it, the Romance languages building will be named after some priest, but it looks bad if the Business School doesn't have Big Alumnus Gift written all over it.

    Update 2004: it's now ``MCoB'' or ``MCB.'' Here's a webpage all about vision and ``The Mendoza's Contribution.'' Don't think of all the mispunctuations as errors. Think of them as streamlined, impacting business communications. Leverage the synergy!

    COsmic Background Explorer.

    Cobo Arena
    I don't have much to say about Cobo Arena except that it's not Cobo Hall, though it's nearby and opened in the same year (1960).

    Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center
    Described on its website as ``Michigan's World Class meeting and convention facility.'' Throughout its website, the facility is referred to as COBO Center, and never (that I could detect) as Cobo Center. The Cobo Center opened in 1960; it was named after Albert E. Cobo, who was mayor of Detroit from 1950 to 1957.

    Cobo Hall
    Widely used and comfortably wieldy name for what is officially the Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center.

    COmmon Business Oriented Language. Hackers and aspiring nerds despise this revolting language, but historically, it has been the most-used ``higher-level'' programming language. I'm tempted to point out that the great power of this language arises from the fact that accountants can learn COBOL more quickly and more willingly than C++ hackers can learn accounting. In other words, COBOL is a language for the kind of people who would rather fill in IRS forms than crossword puzzles. There, I pointed it out. Couldn't help myself. Sounds right, too.

    Because COBOL has been used for so long on IBM mainframes with a variety of data structure options, this code may not be very portable. The solution has generally been to run the legacy COBOL code on back-end mainframes, and have these accessed via web-based interfaces (running on whatever). Some people insist that this is an entirely flexible approach, and it might be if the original author of the COBOL programs was a visionary.

    A Computerworld survey of 352 readers (self-selected respondents, I assume), published in 2006, included the following item: ``What programming languages do you use in your organization? Choose all that apply.'' Here are the listed results:

    67%  Visual Basic
    62%  Cobol
    61%  Java
    55%  JavaScript
    47%  VB.Net
    47%  C++
    30%  Perl
    26%  C
    23%  C#
    15%  ColdFusion
    13%  PHP
     7%  Fortran
     5%  PL/1
     5%  Python
     4%  Pascal
     2%  Ada
    Of those respondents who said their organizations used COBOL, 55% said that at least half of their organizations' internally-developed business application software was written in COBOL, and 58% reported that it was still being used to develop new business applications.

    These numbers suggest that COBOL is in good health and has a strong future, but most people agree that it is simply in a very slow decline. There are few programmers who can write new COBOL code. Many of those old guys probably died of heart attacks during the Y2K fix-it orgy. The old code is going away very slowly as conversion becomes necessary, and like the fixing of Y2K bugs, it is being hindered by the decreasing numbers of people left who still read the old code. Managers typically claim that it doesn't make economic sense to rewrite the code yet. At United Airlines, where my friend Rob used to work, this was called ``mining the gold'' or something. (I.e., amortizing the investment.)

    Like FORTRAN's, COBOL's original language definition was written in a hurry. The first COBOL compiler was released in 1960.

    Here's a perfectly characteristic fact about COBOL: it has a long list of reserved words. By my count of appendix A in Gary D. Brown's Advanced ANS COBOL with Structured Programming (Wiley, 1977), the number was 426, ``although'' as Brown warned (p. 35), ``individual compilers differ slightly from this list. New reserved words are constantly added as COBOL is expanded, and a program that compiles properly today may not compile properly tomorrow.'' He went on:

    Only 85 reserved words contain the hyphen, and so it is common to use a hyphen in names to reduce the chance of inadvertently selecting a reserved word. However, more of the newer reserved words contain hyphens. No reserved word currently begins with a numeric character or the letter X [or Y, for that matter]. Hence 9TOTAL-AMOUNT, XTOTAL-AMOUNT, and TOTAL--AMOUNT would be relatively safe in never being reserved words, but this technique results in ugly names. Perhaps the best technique is to select meaningful names and then, if in doubt, check the name in Appendix A.

    These wonderful variable names had to fit between columns 12 and 72 of the punch card, apparently, although statements could be continued naturally from card to card, if the card-break was part of the spacing. (A hyphen was used in column 7 (with a quote beyond column 11) to continue a string literal (``alphanumeric literal''). The minus sign was the same character as the hyphen; ambiguity was avoided by requiring spaces around the sign when it functioned as the binary operator. (Of course, better programming style employed the SUBTRACT reserve word.) Unary minus was unambiguous because variables could not begin with a hyphen (``procedure names'' and ``data names'' could consist entirely of decimal digits).

    There's an FAQ for COBOL.

    Michael Neumann's extensive list of sample short programs in different programming languages heroically includes one COBOL program. The obvious question that arises when anyone writes a COBOL program, even for mere ``demonstration'' purposes, is whether the act is morally excusable. The question is not addressed in any of the current cybermorality links at this page by the Michael Neumann who professes philosophy at Trent University.

    Hard as it may be to believe, it is actually possible to calumniate COBOL: cf. SNOBOL.

    An ESPRIT project to develop techniques and tools for integrated design of hardware and software. Although the ``prime contractor'' is German (here), this is a European project and there is a collaboration with a Spanish institution (UPM). In Spanish, cobra is `charge[s],' in the sense of `bill for payment.' I want to suggest that these people use dictionaries before they pick their sexy acronyms, but I'm beginning to think this kind of naming is intentional: cf. COST and the next entry.

    Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The ``reconciliation'' is between the House of Representatives, where budget bills must first be introduced, and the Senate. The reconciliation is worked out in closed-door meetings between negotiators chosen by the Senate majority leader (I think; could it be the President pro tem?) and the Speaker of the House. Major committee chairmen are typically chosen for negotiation, and the main sponsor of a bill is left to cry at the carnage. Bismarck said that no one should see the process by which sausages or laws are made. Well, I can stomach sausage. Reconciliation negotiations can get especially interesting when the two branches of Congress are controlled by different parties, but even in other sessions the tempers of the two chambers usually differ enough to generate some heat.

    The final agreements worked out in budget reconciliation are almost always late, and Congress is about to adjourn, and the final write-up, many inches thick, is distributed hot off the photocopier about an hour before the vote. This is where the pork goes in. Once, around 1990 I think it was, the Secretary of Defense (DoD) submitted a budget request that had continuations of old pork slashed. It was the only year in recent memory that Congressional appropriations exceeded the budget request. From the numbers involved, one may reasonably estimate that about 20-25% of the Defense budget is pork. All the pork reappeared in COBRA, and the executive branch hasn't tried that stunt again. Reagan came into (and even continued in!) office railing against ``waste, fraud and abuse'' and vowing to balance the budget by eliminating these. He ran massive budget deficits by raising defense spending without decreasing social spending. Towards the end of his term, it was becoming popular among commentators to argue that there really was very little honest-to-God WF+A -- most of the budget is transfer payments (not counting off-budget self-funded insurance systems like social security) salaries and ... procurement. Right.

    Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985. For lack of imagination, ``COBRA'' is the name given to a set of health care protections hammered out in conference in 1985. If you have medical or dental insurance coverage as an employment benefit, then when you leave your employment, COBRA requires that you be offered the opportunity to continue that coverage for up to 18 months after leaving that employment, so long as your previous employer continues to offer its current employees coverage and so long as you don't begin to be covered by a new employer's group plan (unless the new employer has a thing about ``pre-existing conditions''). Don't miss a payment, or you're out. COBRA coverage also ends when Medicare eligibility begins.

    You'll be formally notified after the termination date of your insurance under the terms of your prior employment. (The notification comes maybe a month, sometimes two months, after the formal termination date of the health insurance.) If you take advantage of the offer, you have to pay all the monthly premiums since the termination, and your insurance coverage holds without hiatus. It's a kind of grace period, but the initial coverage premium can be a kind of ``sticker shock.''

    HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO NOTE: You might assume that, since your old employer has a group of regularly employed and therefore generally healthy people in its ``group,'' that it is able to get a good insurance rate. Yes but: You may not get the benefits of that rate, because you are not part of that group. The law requires you to be offered the same kind of insurance, but it does not require that your premium equal the old premium (paid by you and by your employer on your behalf). Call around. If you're a young non-smoker in good health you can get a better deal.

    There's a lot I've left out, especially about disability issues and dependent coverage.

    This part of COBRA 1985 became 29 U.S.C. §§ 1161-1168.

    Central Office (CO) Connection.

    COC, CoC
    Chamber Of Commerce.

    Contaminant[s] Of Concern. Cf. COPC.

    Reminds me of the British slang expression ``to cock up'' [approx. equiv. Amer. ``to screw up'']. I suppose it might be ``to caulk up'' -- the vowels in some common pronunciations of these two words tend to interchange between British and North American dialects. The standard illustration is caught and cot.

    cock-a-doodle doo
    Onomatopoeia of a rooster's crow. In German I've seen kikeriki (in Schlarrafenland), very similar to the Spanish cucurucú. My Serbian friend Vladimir taught me kokoda (stress accent on first syllable and last syllable extended).

    On a bus tour of Jerusalem, I met Eliza Doolittle, speaking in her own voice. I said: ``you're from London.'' She asked ``'ow'd you naow?''

    Cocktail Party Effect
    This is so much fun to say, that the acronym is not used. It's the ability of animals, particularly party animals, to be selectively attentive to one sound source amid many interfering sounds. Early research: E. C. Cherry, ``Some experiments on the reception of speech, with one and with two ears,'' Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 25(#5), pp. 975-979 (Sept. 1953). It's hard to do this with a hearing aid.

    See also A. S. Bregman: Auditory Scene Analysis: The Perceptual Organization of Sound, (Cambridge and London: MIT Pr., 1990).

    Word-COunt and COncordance generator for Atlas.

    A tree of the Central American genus Dalbergia, or its wood. The wood is hard and dense, and has a yellow or reddish yellow color that darkens to a yellowish brown on drying. You may have noticed that many of the prized woods, with names common enough to be regarded as common nouns by all three major Scrabble dictionaries, are hard red woods that grow in the tropics. This is more than just a trend. Tropical woods are critical to the luthier; researchers have sought alternatives, but for some parts of a guitar, there are no good ones. (And for the benefit of those who are combing this glossary as a form of Scrabble cross-training: the plural form is cocobolos; cocobola and cocobolas are also accepted.)

    Customer-Owned Coin-Operated Telephone.

    Consultation On Church Union. Some people think that's CUCU.

    1. Cash On Delivery.
    2. Charge On Delivery. [Mail sent with more than just postage due.]
    3. Collect On Delivery. [Terms for freight.]

    Chemical Oxygen Demand.

    Concise Oxford Dictionary.

    Connection-Oriented Data.

    { Craze | Crack } Opening Displacement.

    Children Of Deaf Adults. Often implicitly -- Hearing Children of ....

    COmmittee on DATA for Science and Technology.

    NIST makes available on line ``The 1986 CODATA Recommended Values of the Fundamental Physical Constants,'' an article by E. Richard Cohen and Barry N. Taylor in Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards, vol. 92, pp. 85-95 (1987).

    Codec, CODEC
    Coder-decoder. An ADC and DAC combined for PCM or other modulation scheme.

    CoDel, CODEL
    COngressional DELegation.

    code share
    A code-share is one passenger airline that code-shares with another carrier, so that the flights of one are code-shared with the other: listed as part of the other carrier's schedule or system.

    Within the US, the most common code-sharing is asymmetric: a number of independent regional carriers will code-share with a better-known national carrier. The various regional carriers, typically flying twin-engine propeller planes like the Saab 340B (SF-340B) or commuter jets, will code-share with Foobar Airlines, tag their fleets and personnel as ``Foobar Express,'' and provide short-haul service between regional airports and national airline's hubs.

    Internationally, and particularly between North America and Europe, code-sharing arrangements are common between American carriers and European ones.

    Coded Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplex[ing] (OFDM).

    (U.S. Army) Corps Of Engineers.

    Council Of Europe. Dozens of members. A steady second-tier manufacturer of words.

    Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis.

    coed, co-ed
    CO-EDucational. A school (most often a college or university) in which men (or boys) and women (or girls) are taught together. This was an innovative idea once. Since most of the institutions which instituted this ``co-education'' had been all-male, the noun co-ed then referred to a female student.

    At the beginning of 2005, a new magazine was launched with the title Co-Ed, self-evidently aimed at male college students. The February 2006 issue had advice on how to score during spring break. It included useful insights, such as the observation that one reason a woman may turn you down is that she can't sleep with everyone. Damn! Those girls must have been indoctrinated at the YWLS.

    coefficient of concentration
    Gini coefficient.

    Coefficient Of Friction. The ratio of friction force to normal force. Two kinds of coefficient of friction occur commonly in the analysis of rigid mechanical systems: sliding and rolling. ``Normal'' above means perpendicular to the sliding surface or perpendicular to the interface between roller and rolling surface. On a level surface, ``normal'' is vertical and ``normal force'' is weight (minus lift, if any). The friction force exerted is tangential, and opposes the force exerted externally to effect sliding or rolling.

    The coefficient of sliding friction is different for two surfaces moving or not moving relative to one another, and these are distinguished as dynamic and static coefficients of friction, respectively. The dynamic coefficient is smaller, so it takes a little more push to get things moving. The friction analyzed in rolling motion does not involve any sliding of surfaces past each other -- rolling friction refers to non-slipping motion of a wheel or roller. Standard formulas do not distinguish dynamic and static COF of rolling motion: they normally refer to dynamic friction and are equally accurate for static friction for small normal forces. When normal forces are large, deformation of surfaces is nonlinear and eventually inelastic, and friction is no longer described by a simple coefficient. (The possibly nonlinearly deformed surfaces referred to are the load-bearing surface and the roller or the sliding surface of the load.)

    Drag in a fluid is also a form of friction. At low velocities, it varies quadratically with the velocity of motion through the fluid. I'll get a coefficient-of-drag entry in here eventually.

    Change Of Frame Alignment.

    Container On Flat Car. Looks like TOFC (trailer) minus the wheels and stuff.

    Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing.

    C of E
    Church OF England. Huh. It's unusual to use the word ``church'' in reference to Islam. Oh wait -- they mean ``the established church.'' The one no one attends.

    Come to think of it, back in the 1970's NOW distributed a pamphlet called ``Revolution: Tomorrow Is NOW.'' That pamphlet proposed (among many other things) a public veil-burning to ``protest the second class status of women in all churches.'' Well, there you go.

    Common Object File Format. Used for the output from the link editor and the assembler. The Chip Directory hosted by has Sun's description of the format. Apparently of somewhat limited interest at this point, given that it was only used on SunOS 4.0x and earlier operating systems for 386i machines.

    coffee break
    I was amused to receive an advertisement listing ``Desayunos, Coffee Break, Almuerzos, Cenas, Alojamiento.'' The native Spanish terms have the meanings `breakfasts, lunches, dinners, lodging.' (I don't think that use of the singular for the borrowed term reflects any very deep reflection.)

    Consortium On Financing Higher Education. A group of private, selective institutions.

    Calculated Optimum Fixed Tuning.

    Conduct-Of-Fire Trainer. Fire as in ``when you see the whites of their eyes.'' Concentrate your fire. Aim for the biggest, most vulnerable, and most immediately dangerous targets. (True, not the same things. Ask your COFT.)

    Council Of Governments.

    Covenant Of the Goddess. Visit, lest they put a spell on you! In fact, don't even joke about it! Don't even think about joking about it! Don't even...

    A neopagan religious group.

    COGnitive Abilities Test. A standardized exam first published in 1971. David Lohman, a psychology professor at the University of Iowa, helped revise it in 2002. This test attempts to measure ability independently of curriculum -- it's an ``aptitude'' test. Cf. ``achievement'' tests like ited. The College Board has maintained its dominant position in testing students for US schools by carefully gauging the way the achievement-aptitude wind was blowing, and trimming its sails accordingly. SAT The achievement/aptitude argument is the most aged and weary debate in testing. I'm going to bed.

    Council On Governmental Ethics Laws. It's ``a professional organization for government agencies, organizations, and individuals with responsibilities or interests in governmental ethics, elections, campaign finance, lobby laws and freedom of information.''

    The economic use of heat byproduct (``waste heat''). The simplest example of cogeneration is space heating. Electric generation by various combustion engines typically produces an exhaust gas too cool for economic use for further generation, but warm enough for local distribution for heating. This isn't exactly ``generation,'' and I suspect this was not the first sense of the term. The other standard example is the use of waste heat from a primary process not principally intended for electric power production (a chemical manufacturing process, say) to generate electricity.

    Cogeneration doesn't even have an entry in the online OED (as of 2005) and already it's gained a new acceptation. Dictionaries that do have an entry generally qualify the primary process as ``industrial,'' and traditionally it has been thought of as a stationary process. Since the mid-1990's, however, as fuel cells have been regarded as an increasingly credible power source for motor vehicles. Before we discuss that, however, let us take a long look back across the sweep of history, shall we? You wouldn't think I had other things to do, from the leisurely pace of this entry. Let's go back in time (entry to be continued).

    Oh, alright: cogeneration in the fuel-cell context means use of waste heat from the fuel cells to chemically crack or otherwise preprocess the loaded fuel into a form usable by the fuel cell.

    Church Of God In Christ. An evangelical protestant denomination.

    Council On Graduate Medical Education.

    COGNate [word]. [A word] having a common etymological root [with another]. In German, linguists use the term verwandt[e Wort], although this literally has the more general meaning of `related [word].' For a related word, see calque.

    In this glossary, ``Cognard'' stands for a series of volumes which bear the general title Adhesives and Sealants, edited by Philippe Cognard (Elsevier, 2005). The books in this series have double-colon subtitles, and the second colon reads ``Handbook of Adhesives and Sealants Volume <foon>.'' (I have seen foon values 1 and 2.) This naming is a bit unfortunate, because Handbook of Adhesives and Sealants is the title of an important one-volume on the same subject (A&S) by Edward M. Petrie. Cognard should have named his series the Armful of Adhesives and Sealants. It's projected at eighty or ninety chapters divided among seven or eight volumes, each about 350-500 pages long. In the introduction to the first volume, he estimated reasonably that ``the scientific and technical knowledge [the volumes would contain] may become obsolete after 10 years or so.''

    The whole naming thing is confusing, so let me try to reproduce in HTML what the titling looks like on the cover of volume 2:

    Adhesives and Sealants

    General Knowledge,
    Application Techniques,
    New Curing Techniques

    Handbook of Adhesives and Sealants
    Volume 2

    Judging from the copyright notice at the beginning of each chapter, it appears that ``Handbook of Adhesives and Sealants'' is the official title of the series. I strongly recommend Petrie's Handbook. (For some thoughts on the differential analysis, see the bonding surface entry.)

    cognitive dissonance
    A wonderful term invented by Leon Festinger. See, for example, his A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (Evanston, Illinois: Row, Peterson, 1957).

    What -- you want to know what it means, too? Haven't I done enough? Oh all right.

    COördinate GeOmetry. Geographers' acronym.

    Council On Governmental Relations. An association of research universities. Here is a surprising statement from the homepage:
    Its Washington office is located in the District of Columbia.

    Cognitive { Science | Scientist }. Cognitive scientists are the bait-and-switch artists of psychology. They advertise for one study and perform another. It's not illegal because they pay the human subjects, and the only people cheated are those who think one-sided blind testing is enough to guarantee validity.

    Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation.

    Council On Hemispheric Affairs. Founded in 1975, it's ``a nonprofit, tax-exempt independent research and information organization [that] was established to promote the common interests of the hemisphere, raise the visibility of regional affairs and increase the importance of the inter-American relationship, as well as encourage the formulation of rational and constructive U.S. policies towards Latin America. In 1982, COHA's board of trustees voted to expand its mandate to include monitoring Canadian/Latin American relations.''

    CarbOxyHemoglobin (Hb). Hemoglobin with carbon monoxide (CO) instead of oxygen or nothing. CO is about the same size and shape as oxygen (O2), so it can chelate to the heme quite well. Better, in fact, than oxygen itself, with an affinity ratio of 200 or 250.

    Carbon monoxide accounts for ``accounts for greater mortality and morbidity than all other poisonings combined.'' The half-life of COHb in the blood is 4-5 hours. The usual treatment includes use of a nonrebreather mask supplying 100% oxygen, which reduces the half-life to about an hour. Subsequent to this, depending on a number of factors, hyperbaric oxygen treatment may be used. This reduces the half-life of COHb to about a half hour, but that appears (a) usually not to be too important, since patients tend to present rather late, when COHb levels are in fact already low, and (b) the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen appear not to arise from reduction of COHb levels. This is not too surprising, because delayed and persistent symptoms are not well or completely explained by COHb.

    Typical initial symptoms, acute in the medical sense, are headache, dizziness, and nausea. These effects appear to be explained by hypoxia due to CO binding to Hb. Recovery from the acute symptoms is usually rapid (if it occurs at all), on the scale of a day or two. (Currently, there are no methods for recovering from fatal CO poisoning.) In a large minority of cases, estimated at anywhere from 14% to 40%, there are longer-term neurologic symptoms such as memory and learning impairment and (less often) movement disorders. These may appear immediately, but typically follow an asymptomatic period of a day to as much as three weeks. The incidence and severity of effects (generically called ``delayed effects'' even if they are observed early) tracks loosely with duration of exposure and severity of the acute symptoms, whether the victim went into coma, etc. These symptoms are typically more persistent, lasting over a year in many cases. The mechanisms proposed to explain these neurological symptoms are more varied and more complex than straightforward hypoxia.

    Gaseous product of anaerobic heating of coal. A fuel.

    Nickname for cocaine, a controlled narcotic substance in the US since early in the twentieth century. Before then, it was a common ingredient in medicines, like the cough remedy that became the soft drink Coca-cola. In arty/intellectual circles, it was explored as a recreational and mind-expanding drug. (For example, Aldous Huxley wrote The Doors of Perception out of his cocaine experience.) Sigmund Freud had great hopes for cocaine as clinical treatment to cure opium addiction, and wrote an effusively enthusiastic piece (Über Coca, I think was the title) on cocaine. He was later disappointed when a good friend failed to be cured of his opium addiction by cocaine.

    A soft drink. Coca-cola was originally formulated as a cough and cold remedy by an itinerant salesman from Atlanta, Georgia. The name reflects the component ingredients: extracts from the coca leaf and the kola nut. The creator did not get rich; he eventually sold the formula to someone who knew how to market it.

    There's a museum, I think it is, and they sponsor scholarships for high-school seniors.

    Setting of Dickens's Hard Times. Modeled on Preston.

    Conflict Of Interest. Strictly speaking, this refers to a single agent with conflicting responsibilities or interests. A magistrate who owns stock in a company that appears as a litigant in his court, for example, has a prima facie conflict of interest and should recuse himself. Associated concepts: ``the fox guarding the henhouse'' or ``chicken coop,'' and ``who pays the piper calls the tune.''

    Conseil oléicole international (French) or Consejo Oleícola Internacional (Spanish). `International Oleic Council.' Formal English name is International Olive Oil Council (IOOC, q.v.).

    Chemical Oxygen-Iodine Laser.

    Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral. Something in the Dominican Republic. You're probably wondering just what it is that they orient and investigate. Me too.

    COunterINsurgency. It makes ``coin-op'' punny.

    coinage metal
    The stable elements in the periodic-table column containing gold [namely copper (Cu), silver (Ag), and gold (Au)] are sometimes called ``[the] coinage metals.'' The fact that nickel (Ni), aluminum (Al), and many other metals have been used in coins confuses no one, nor does anyone seem to be particularly worried about whether roentgenium, one period below gold, should be called a coinage metal. (It's rare, but its stablest isotope, 280Rg, has a half-life under 4 seconds, so it might not make a very good long-term investment.) Cf. noble metal.

    The occurrence of the same condition in two entities, or the simultaneity of two events. A common alternative sense of coincidence is of a coincidence in the original sense only if arises by chance. In physics, coincidence counters and coincidence tests are used precisely because they are unlikely to occur by chance.

    COmmon INterest Seeker, an application developed by KCD that helps users to locate other information workers with similar interests.

    Try this page of useful links.

    An illegal program of the intelligence-gathering and disruption run by the FBI in the 1960's and early 1970's.

    Coconut-husk fiber.

    County Option Income Tax. It's an Indiana thing. The state of Indiana gives its counties the option of levying an income tax (within certain bounds) on those who live or work there who are required to pay Indiana state income tax. (I think that there's a single county that opts not to levy it.) The Indiana state personal income tax forms include sections for this. Each filer or surrogate must compute separate COIT components for workplace and principal domicile.

    Compassion Over Killing. Founded in 1995. A grassroots organization. Funny how grassroots organizations tend to be headquartered in grassroots sorts of places like Washington, DC.

    ``COK'ed and loaded'' is not their motto, AFAIK.

    COLeridge. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (b. October 21, 1772, d. July 24, 1834) was usually called Coleridge or Col. One would think this might have been a bit ambiguous, since he was the youngest of ten children, but by the time he was nine his father had died and he was sent away to a London charity school for children of the clergy.

    Whatever he may have been called as a child, he was never known as Sam. His wife Sara (neé Fricker) called him Samuel, and he eventually got a legal separation from her. [Part of the strain on their marriage was that he'd fallen in love with Sara Hutchinson, who afaik never called him Samuel.]

    He seems rather to have liked his initials. He often signed his work ``S.T.C.'' or ``Estese.'' As a scholarship boy at Cambridge starting in 1791, he ran up debts to 150 pounds on wine, women, and opium. To escape his creditors he enlisted in the army in 1793 using the pseudonym ``Silas Tomkyn Comberbach.'' One imagines that during the Napoleonic wars, the standards for new recruits must have been allowed to slide a bit.

    S.T.C. is remembered today (remember?) for his poetry. He spent a lot of time with Robert Southey, who even before he died was beginning to be remembered as a truly overrated poet. William Wordsworth and Col collaborated on Lyrical Ballads (1798), a work which kicked off the Romantic movement, unfortunately. In 1817, Col published Biographia Literaria, a book about everything. [I shouldn't neglect to mention that in Hebrew, kol means `all, every.']

    Columba. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Cost Of Living. Beats the alternative.

    Carbonated beverage like Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola, usually distinguished by a brown caramel color, originally made with Kola nut.

    College Of Liberal Arts.

    Cost-Of-Living Adjustment. When a COLA is built into a transfer payment, to be determined or triggered automatically by a measure of inflation, the transfer payment is said to be `indexed' (to the cost of living). I think Brazil was the first country to go in for indexing in a big way, in response to very high inflation in the 1970's. There is a consensus among economists in the US that the government measures of inflation are flawed in such a way as to systematically overestimate the inflation rate by 1% per year. (Price surveys take no account of sales or improved product, and make belated and limited adjustments for the mix of products purchased.)

    Spanish noun meaning `glue' and also `tail' or `queue.' Also the 3rd pers., sing., pres. conjugation of the verb colar. As a verb, cola means `it glues,' although pega, which also means `hits,' is the more common verb to use in this sense. The verb also means `it strains,' but only in the limited sense that could be expressed more precisely and more awkwardly as `it performs the function of a colander.'' I imagine that the English noun colander is cognate with the Spanish verb colar, but I don't plan to look it up. The drink name piña colada literally means `strained pineapple.'

    Sounds like the bite of a loan shark, but it's performed by a surgeon: excision (usually just part) of the colon.

    Coleridge 1863
    This is how I'm referencing a useful little dictionary of Middle English by Herbert Coleridge, late secretary to the Philological Society at the time the work was published in 1863 (by John Camden Hotten, at Piccadilly in London). If my aim were to increase Internet latencies, I would always refer to it by its full title: A Dictionary of the First, or Oldest Words in the English Language: from the Semi Saxon Period of A.D. 1250 to 1300. Consisting of An Alphabetical Inventory of Every Word Found in the Printed English Literature of the 13TH Century.

    It was republished by the Gale Research Company, Book Tower, Detroit, in 1975.

    Corrosion Of Lead and Lead-tin Alloys of organ PipeS in Europe. The name of an EU-funded research project and the problem it addresses. Across Europe, organ pipes are corroding from the inside, developing holes that destroy their tones and lead to organ failure. (Sorry, no one can resist that pun.) According to this Jan. 1, 2004, article in Nature (following page here), the problem seems to be caused by acetic acid released by new oak components in the bellows and wind chest. Wood parts have been replaced repeatedly since the instruments were first built in the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, but it appears the problem is now exacerbated by central heating, which increases the rate of acid exhaust. The problem is found in church organs from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal, in pipes made with low concentrations of tin (1.5-2%). In the UK, where tin was cheap (the continent's main source of tin was Cornwall), organ pipes were made with higher tin content (up to 20%) and COLLAPSE has rarely been a problem.

    collateral damage
    The hospital on the second and fifth floors of the ammo dump building.

    collating sequence
    Collating sequence is essentially the computer equivalent of alphabetical order. When character data is sorted alphabetically, the default in most utilities is to order them in increasing numerical order of their binary encodings. In ASCII, for example, s (ASCII 59) precedes t (ASCII 60) because 59 < 60. The committees that create these character encodings are not intentionally cruel, so collating order for simple alphabetic data that is all upper case or all lower case is always the same as alphabetical order. (This excludes special characters such as vowels with accents, which are generally shunted off to upper reaches of the coding.)

    The behavior of the dominant scheme ASCII differs significantly from that of one-time contender EBCDIC, however, when upper and lower case characters both occur, and when there are numbers and special characters (punctuation and other anger characters in cartoon comics balloons). (ASCII and EBCDIC also have somewhat different control character locations, though both place these in the low end of the encoding. However, there isn't much interest in alphabetizing or collating non-printing characters.) In ASCII, the collating scheme is (most) special characters, numbers 0-9 (Okay! Okay! They're ``Arabic numerals,'' O pedantic one), then upper-case characters A-Z, then lower-case characters a-z. In EBCDIC, it goes specials, lower case, then upper case, then numbers. Now you know why upper-case file names precede lower-case file names in Unix ls output.

    There was once a character set that had upper and lower case interleaved, so the collating sequence was AaBbCc, etc. This is pretty weird, unless you happen to want a sort to order items alphabetically in the normal sense of the word.

    An advantage of big-endian date formats like yy.mm.dd is that alphabetizing -- i.e., using ordinary collation order -- is equivalent to ordering chronologically. Of course, this is true for two-digit year representations ``yy'' only if the range of dates does not include the turn of a century. Hence the Y2K bug. Within a millennium, ``yyy'' would suffice, but computers weren't around in 1900, so the solution to the Y2K bug in many cases consisted largely of converting yy notation to yyyy notation. You're probably thinking that this is bleeding obvious, and I shouldn't waste your time. But let me tell you, I remember actual people -- not just corporate and small-time spammers and con artists -- who went around trying to sow profitable panic about this.

    [column] ``JAGSort is a web-based application that alphabetically sorts Ancient Greek words in their proper order. Text can be entered in the BetaCode or GreekKeys standard, and the output is provided in alphabetical order or in original order assigned with an alphabetical ordinal. This application is suited for sorting indices and providing databases comprising Greek text with an alphabetical sort field.

    (JAGSort is built upon the abstraction of ancient Greek built into the Java and Ancient Greek API package. As further translators are built for the JAG package, additional encoding schemes, in particular Unicode, will be supported. The underlying code is in Java, but for performance purposes, this resource uses the CGI method and therefore runs on the server through a shell script.)''

    In Spanish, ch, ll, and rr were traditionally treated like individual letters of the alphabet immediately following c, l, and r, respectively. Thus, for example, calle was alphabetized after calzar. Acceding to pressure from ``Europe,'' the Academia de la Lengua changed the rule, so alphabetization is now by character rather than phoneme.

    Gary alleged today that this glossary is like an enormous stream of consciousness. What poppycock! How could a stream of consciousness flow in alphabetical order? That would be a joke, like Stephen Wright's comment. (``I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.'') Oh yeah, you might want to take a quick look at the KWIC entry.

    At Martin's (``count on us for service and savings'') the other day, I saw an aisle that had cereal, cookies, and crackers. What a concept -- alphabetical product shelving! Shoes near shinola! Peanuts near peas! This'll work, sure.

    I'm sure I mention this elsewhere, but in Spanish both ñ and the letter pairs ch, ll, and rr are traditionally treated as the equivalent of ordinary single letters, so the alphabet includes the sequence ``... k, l, ll, m, n, ñ, o, p, ....'' At the urging of the EU, the Real Academia de la lengua española has condoned the alternative of alphabetizing by single letter (e.g., aro, arroz, artista; instead of aro, artista, arroz). This is the thanks Spain gets, after giving Europe and the world the gift of the cedilla. It's just shameful.

    The traditional Spanish collation scheme is also used in outline-type lists. There's an example in Mario Ferreccio Podestá's El Diccionario Academico de Americanismos. (It's not really a dictionary, only -- as the subtitle explains -- pautas para un examen integral del diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española.) The table of contents (indice) lists 8 modos formales de la imputación implicita. You don't really need to know what that means or what they are. I mention it because the modos are labeled thus:


    Another language with a number of two-letter symbols treated as single alphabetic entities is Welsh. Here's alphabetical order for that language:

    a, b, c, ch, d, dd, e, f, ff, g, ng, h, i, j, l, ll, m, n, o, p, ph, r, rh, s, t, th, u, w, y

    You're probably wondering how the language can do without such essential letters as k, q, v, and z. Here's how: the words for kangaroo, kilogram, kilometer, quarrel, quarter, vinegar, and zoo are written cangarŵ, cilogram, cilomedr, cweryl, chwarter, finegr, and . (All of these nouns are masculine, except for sŵ, which may be masculine or feminine. If you were trying to guess the gender of a random Welsh noun, masculine wouldn't be a bad guess.)

    From finegr and sŵ, and from the well-known fact that ll represents an unvoiced l, you've already realized that Welsh uses doubled consonants to represent unvoiced versions of the corresponding single consonants (except, of course, that dd is the voiced version of th, and though there's no ss, si represents the esh sound that arises from palatalizing an unvoiced s). See how fast you're catching on?

    Of no practical utility.

    collector syndrome
    The malady of accumulating more pets than one can care for.

    In the US, the word college is used in a general way and in some specific ways. In general, it refers to a post-secondary educational institution. So ``went off to college,'' which contains a suggestion of distance, means something like ``left to live near a college or university'' and probably attend classes occasionally. ``Attended college'' means enrolled in a university or a senior or junior college, probably in the expectation that after the payment of some amount of tuition, a receipt (called a ``diploma'') will be issued.

    Specific senses of the word college usually mark a college as in some way inferior or subsidiary to a university. For example, an individual college that is not part of some larger university usually does not award graduate degrees, while any university usually has at least some masters programs. Many universities are organized into colleges (e.g., the College of Arts and Sciences of the University New Bigstate at Isolated Village, the Graduate College of CUNY, Rutgers College of Rutgers University). Some of the more pretentious universities (Princeton comes to mind) call their dormitories ``residential colleges.''

    From the time that the first universities were established in the Middle Ages at Paris and Bologna, colleges were subdivisions of universities. That has been the case generally for degree-granting institutions of higher education in Europe. The one prominent exception I am aware of, of an Old World college that was never part of a university, is the renowned Gresham College whose success eventually led to the creation of the Royal Society of London. Gresham College, however, does not matriculate students or award degrees. Nevertheless, perhaps this was the example that led to the different use of the word college in the US. Either that, or an unwonted modesty.

    We mention Red Brick universities at the pseudonym entry. Th Red Bricks come moderately close to being the English institutions equivalent to free-standing American colleges. There isn't much of a college/university distinction in Japan. For now such discussion as we have of that topic is at the rejârando-ka entry.

    It may be that some vocational institutes call themselves colleges now, or that ``beauty colleges'' do not require a high school diploma for admission, so ``post-secondary'' may be a soft part of the definition of a college. College and university accreditation is not a function of government in the US, and the federal government is involved with post-secondary education in somewhat roundabout ways, so college and university do not suffer from much from official definitions, and are as loosely defined as any other ordinary nouns.

    I'll discuss such institutions as colleges of physicians only after I cover animal-group names (a shrewdness of apes, an exaltation of larks, a school of fish, etc.). I will point out, however, that schools of fish were originally called shoals of fish, and ``school'' was just an error for ``shoal'' that caught on.

    college admissions
    They will rarely admit the truth. See the SAT entry.

    college algebra
    High school algebra.

    They are sort of middlebrow: ``graduate school'' means MD, other medical, Law, B-school.

    collegiate dictionary
    A substantial abridgement of a good dictionary. Tells you s.t., doesn't it.

    The attempt to put two or more mutually impenetrable [``incompossible''; look it up in the I's] objects in the same place at the same time. For example, name-space collisions occur in a file structure when there is an attempt to give two files identical names. Message packets are said to collide on a communication line when they overlap or when they come so close to each other that it is no longer possible to extract one or more of the original messages. Buses avoid collisions by allowing only one connected device at a time to transmit on any given data transmission line.

    Automobile collisions often occur when two egos attempt to exercise simultaneous sovereignty over the same time-dependent stretch of road. When the collision involves a large number of egos, Bunte Illustrierte many years ago used the wonderful term Massencarambolage. I hope that the etymology of this term has something to do with ¡Caramba!

    In his very popular Worlds in Collision, the professional psychiatrist Immanuel Velikovsky advanced his theory that steady planetary orbits arose only in historical time, and that various mythological and biblical stories are descriptions of events involving planets which interacted electromagnetically. Despite the many glaring, um, difficulties with his theories, Velikovsky's books are still good for a laugh.

    Juxtaposition of words. I really also ought to say something here about collocation methods in the numerical solution of partial differential equations, but for now I'll be satisfied with giving the standard spelling of the term. This (double-el) spelling of the co-location word is also a variant spelling (perhaps 10% of instances) of colocation in the sense relevant to servers.

    COntrolled Limited MObile (communication system).

    COrrelation (NMR) spectroscopy for LOng-range COuplings.

    Spanish, `to place.'

    An arrangement in which you connect up your own server computer on the premises of your Internet service provider (ISP). Cf. collocation.


    Columbus's name in Spanish. Hence a place name in many countries of Latin America.

    The largest and best known of these is the city of Colón, founded in Colombia in 1850. It is situated in what was known as the bahía de Limones (literally `Bay of Lemons'). It was built on the swampy low island of Manzanilla (`Chamomile'). It was an unhealthy place, but it has a deep, if unprotected, natural harbor. The port was connected to the mainland by an artificial isthmus created for the Panama Railroad to reach Panama City. (For the significance of this, see the golden spike entry.)

    The settlement was originally called Aspinwall, after William H. Aspinwall (1807-1875), one of the railroad company's founders. The name was only changed to Colón at a later date, by a legislative enactment. The name had been suggested by Dr. Mariano Arosemena Quesada to honor the memory of the discoverer, who sailed into the bay in 1502 (on his fourth and final voyage of discovery). I tell ya, it used to be a lot easier to get your name in the encyclopedias. As the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada explains, the foreigners (``extranjeros'' not further specified) continued to use the name Aspinwall (the EUI neglects to explain that this was its original name, and that English was the common language of the city). In 1890 the government returned-to-sender all mail addressed to Aspinwall, and that was the end of that.

    Also at some point, the name of the bay changed its grammatical number, becoming Bahía Limón (Limon Bay in English). The bay, protected by breakwaters, serves as a waiting area for ships about to enter the Panama Canal.

    Colón has, of course, been a city in the Republic of Panama since that became independent of Colombia in 1885. It is the capital of the Atlantic-coast province surrounding it (also called Colón).

    According to the EUI, the city plan of Colón is a modest imitation of that of Philadelphia (the one in Pennsylvania, I assume, and not, say, the one in Jordan). Also according to the EUI, the northern part of the city, with the railroad offices, was called Wáshington, and the southern part, built by the French canal people, was called Cristobál Colón. Yes, if true that is quite odd: a district with a name meaning `Christopher Columbus' in a city whose name means `Columbus,' in the country named after Columbus. The situation at the beginning of the twenty-first century is that Colón and Cristobal are twin cities, with Cristobal something of a suburb grown up around the portworks built by the US in the former Canal Zone. How all this aligns with the older areas, I'm not sure.

    Mercury column. A term used in eighteenth-century English for the column of mercury in a thermometer or barometer. The word is a naturalized form of the French colonne, obviously from the same Latin word columna that became column in English. Cf. colonnade.

    A tubular candy, brown on the outside, sold in Japan. Cf. BM, Pocari Sweat, and Skor. Our central list of these misbegotten names is at the coprophagy entry.

    A tubular organ, brown on the inside. The large intestine. Learn about 3D Virtual Colonoscopy. Cf. BM.

    A row of columns supporting an isolated long structure -- typically a decorative entablature, or a utilitarian aqueduct. Cf. this colon.

    Remember, you can't spell colony without colon.

    Kind of a big topic. For now, I'll mention that L'Oréal Art and Science Foundation sponsors some prizes for artistic or scientific work in the field of color.

    Over time, I think I'll collect a few items here that I want to mention in a future color entry. At least you'll have some hints if you want to do your own research. Color terms in Homer are particularly puzzling, and a perennial topic of discussion. On the classics list, back in the days before it could be embarrassing to participate, I once posted a summary of earlier discussion on that topic. (The links from that post are to a defunct archive. Sorry.) At the end of the nineteenth century, as experimental psychology and departments of psychology were first coming into being, the problems of color perception were an important initial area of study. Later, the sociologists and amateur linguists got into the act. One of the most respected and cited works along this line is Berlin and Kay's Basic Color Terms (1969). It is intellectually sloppy starting from page one, but the authors don't manage to disprove the claims they make. Their basic claim is that there is a universal sequence in which color terms are initially added to a language.

    The Latin word color (gen. coloris) was a masculine noun. The Spanish noun color is also usually masculine. This is consistent not only with etymology but with the morphological pattern (see LONERS). However, the Real Academia asserts that, at least for the principal sense, it is also (but by implication less often) treated as feminine. I thought the female use was pretty rare. I was shocked by the color entry of Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española (1611, with manuscript supplement in 1615), where the author (Sebastián de Covarrubias Horozco) treated the word as feminine in almost all instances. I suppose this shows what a sheltered life I've led, but after all, aren't we talking about sex?! (BTW, Covarrubias doesn't bother to state the genders of words explicitly, but his definitions are more discursive than is currently the standard style, so in any moderately long entry the gender of the head term will probably be indicated by ordinary agreement.) Googling suggests that currently, color is feminine in roughly 5% of occurrences.

    Corominas y Pascual indicates (or Corominas and Pascual indicate -- I can do it either way) that ... eh, why paraphrase when I can do as much harm by translating?

    The gender vacillated until the classical era [sixteenth and early seventeenth century, say] (and still today in rural and poetic usage), the feminine attaching itself above all to the acception `facial coloration' (Quijote, II, ch. 10, etc.; general in the middle ages) but also, to a lesser extent, in the general acception (e.g., las colores de las flores [`the colors of the flowers'] Lope, Marqués de las Navas, v. 2134; common in the middle ages: Berceo, Loores, 85c; J. Manuel, Conde Luc., 30.1; but already masculine in J. Ruiz, 288b).

    It seems also that certain idioms have standardized on female color. There's a colloquial expression ``comerle la color a algien,'' which literally translated means `eat the color of someone from him [or her].'' Some time ago I saw this described as a Venezuelan idiom meaning `to be unfaithful to, cheat on.' Looking around now (late March 2007, if it should matter), it becomes clear that the expression is most popular in Chile, and that it has a broader range of meanings. The various meanings taken together suggest that the action described drains the color from the face of the victim. Thus one meaning is to cuckold, but more generally it is to embarrass someone by taking something that belongs to him, figuratively to eat his lunch. (Or hers.) If you prefer literalness in translations, then the idiom involves a specific kind of causing someone else to lose face.

    Oh yeah, the noun means `color,' essentially. For more on the meaning, see the coloreado entry.

    A Spanish adjective meaning `red' and `colored,' not to mention the figurative meanings. The more common modern word for red is rojo, but there are collocations and applications that conventionally use colorado. Dialectally (in Argentina, at least), for example, Colorado is used as a nickname for a redhead, and a red horse is described as colorado.

    Another example is political: leftist ``red,'' for example, is preserved in parties and persons called colorados, like the Uruguayan Partido Colorado, whose flag is a red field with a golden sun in the upper left. (A similar golden sun appears in a similar position in the national flag of Uruguay.) Of course, such names can become fossilized. The colorados today are social democrats, and in the 1999 presidential elections they were essentially the centrist party, between the blancos to the right and Frente Amplio coalition on the left. The blancos, `whites,' are the Partido Nacional or (original name) Partido Blanco. Since the nineteenth century, the colorados had been the dominant party in a two-party system, and the blancos the dominant conservative party, usually in opposition. Things have been changing rapidly, however. In the elections of 1999 the FA emerged as the largest party in the legislature (~40%) and forced a run-off in the presidential election. In the latter, the blancos supported the colorado candidate, who won. The two parties maintained a legislative alliance for a few years. Strategically, it was a bad time to be in power: a Brazilian currency devaluation, an Argentine economic collapse, and outbreaks of foot-and-mouth in the beef industry all contributed to major recession. In the 2004 elections, the colorados received about 10% of the vote (in legislative and presidential elections), and the FA won the presidency and absolute majorities in the legislature. I guess you didn't need to know all that, or that the left wing of the Partido Blanco, still and again the dominant conservative opposition, is now to the left of much of the Partido Colorado.

    While color, has had a fluctuating gender and a roughly constant set of meanings, the related verb colorado has fluctuated in sense. (There could hardly be any argument tbout the gender; the female form is colorada, and the plurals are formed by adding ess.) The gender fluctuations (is that kinky ¿or what?) of color have a slight basis in Latin: the original word is of the third declension, so it gives no morphological clue to its gender. (To be fair on both sides, however, this is not a common source of confusion. Most male and female third-declension Latin nouns preserve their gender through the evolution into Spanish.)

    The word colorado has a better alibi in Latin, but I jus realized that I can pretend that this entry is complete now, and come back and augment it later. You won't complain.

    There is a similarly confusing red word in Russian. The standard word meaning red (krasn'ii) was once used in the transferred sense of beautiful, eloquent, fine, etc. These senses are preserved in various common compound terms and names, but otherwise it is now archaic to use in these senses. The plaza called Red Square was named in this way. Saint Basil's Cathedral was originally described as beautiful (krasnaya, in the appropriate inflection), and the adjective became attached to the square it was on.

    What did I just get finished telling you!? You did? Oh, sorry. Colorear and colorar are two Spanish verbs meaning `to color.' They're derived from the Latin colorare. In Italian, oddly, the Latin -are verb became an Italian -ire verb, which was borrowed into Spanish by 1613 as colorir. The three verbs have similar ranges of meaning, evidently with regional variations. However, colorar, and more especially its passive participle colorado (like `colored'), uniquely preserves the specific sense of `turn red, color red' that occurred in Latin. In his 1611 dictionary (details at color), Covarrubias states flatly that colorado means la cosa de color rojo (`the red thing'), though this probably does not rule out the sense of colored. For color in the senses of mascara and lip colorant he makes the color red (rojo) central to the definition. The current dictionary of the Real Academia gives [in translation] `colored' as the first sense of colorado and `colored red' as the second sense. I think the second sense is falling in importance. Then again, I would never have guessed that prieto (generally narrow, straitened, dark [like a narrow alley, I guess]) would mean simply black in Mexican.

    colored houses
    The ``Foo House,'' where foo is a color, is often the name of the national presidential mansion. I guess the pattern began with the White House (US). The Casa Rosada (`Pink House') is the Argentine presidential mansion, and the Korean one is called the `Blue House.' (No, I don't know how that goes in Korean.)

    John Edwards, who ran for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination in 2004, born in Seneca, South Carolina, lived in a pink house as a newborn, but the family moved to a larger house across town during his first year. I'm not sure the house was pink when he lived there. You want to know more.

    At the time of his death, ex-president Chester Alan Arthur's estate included something on New York City's Sixth Avenue, above Central Park, known as the Red House property. Slim pickin's, I know.

    Here are links to various buildings and places named the equivalent of ``<Color> House'' in some language (possibly even English), where <Color> is, you guessed it, a color word:

    COnceptual Learning Of Science.

    A surgical procedure for making an artificial opening into the colon through the abdominal wall, and the name of the opening itself. See UOA. Colostomies are now commonly widely performed on elderly patients who have had a colectomy for colon cancer. It was originally most common for dealing with the congenital absence of the anus in new-borns (see POC).

    Combat Observation Laser Team. An [information] acquisition asset.

    COLumbite-TANtalite. Mineral found in eastern Zaire (the Belgian Congo, that would be ``the `Democratic Republic' of the Congo'' now).

    A good tantalum ore. The use of tantalum capacitors in cell phones is being blamed for driving an illegal, militia-financing coltan boom in DRC that is endangering gorillas and World Heritage sites.

    column decoder
    Vide bit line.

    Campaign for Open Media. Is that like open-source data storage? Sort of. It's a South African NGO, defunct since it merged into FXI in January 1994.

    Certified Orofacial Myologist. The certifying organization is the IAOM, q.v..

    Coma Berenices. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Component Object Model. Object model for Microsoft Windows.

    COMmercial. An international top-level domain (TLD). Early in 2001, ICANN agreed that Verisign could keep its monopoly as .com registry until 2008.

    Continuation Of Message.

    Remember, you can't spell combat without C-O-M-B.

    Remember, you can't spell combat without ... why are you groaning?

    Eventually this entry may be better organized, but for the time being I'll just put in place some of the content:
    1. Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders, first published in 1936, makes mention of the comb-over concept in chapter 3. Captain Arthur Hastings, O.B.E., who is frequently Dr. Watson to Hercule Poirot's Sherlock Holmes, describes a visit to Poirot by Chief Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard:
          ``Well, I never,'' he exclaimed. ``If it isn't Captain Hastings back from the wilds of the what do you call it! Quite like old days seeing you here with Monsieur Poirot. You're looking well, too. Just a little bit thin on top, eh? Well, that's what we're all coming to. I'm the same.''
          I winced slightly. I was under the impression that owing to the careful way I brushed my hair across the top of my head the thinness referred to by Japp was quite unnoticeable. However, Japp had never been remarkable for tact where I was concerned, so I put a good face upon it and agreed that we were none of us getting any younger.
      The second paragraph is pretty much in character for the captain, and touches on certain clichés of the comb-over phenomenon, particularly the sensitivity of the combers-over and their delusion that the strategem is not, so to speak, transparent. The only important aspect not very clearly referenced (perhaps because it follows or is obvious) is the fact that almost everyone who does not use one regards the comb-over as ridiculous and ugly.
      Inspector Japp's ``the what do you call it'' is ``the Argentine,'' as Argentina was known. (Ukraine was similarly once quite systematically referred to as ``the Ukraine.'')
    2. In May 1977, Frank J. and Donald J. Smith, of Orlando, Florida, were granted US Patent No. 4,022,227: ``Method of Concealing Partial Baldness.'' This link is to the USPTO's own record. If you want to see the associated images without using the USPTO's browser plug-in, see it at Google Patents.
      It is unclear to me what part if any of this patent was not, ahem, covered under ``prior art.'' Comb-overs are most often done from one side only, so maybe that's it. The claims of a patent are generally separable, so it is safe to claim too much and let the chips fall where they may if an infringement case reaches court. It is my understanding, from an interview with the ``inventors'' that I once read, that at the time of the patent filing (1975) the Smiths (such an appropriately unoriginal surname!) had been planning to market some associated hardware, but later abandoned that project. This would presumably be the ``object'' mentioned in claim 3 (but evidently not 4):
      3. A method as in claim 2 wherein after the hair from the back of the head is folded over the bald area, an object is placed over the hair and hair from a first of the sides is brushed over the object, and after the hair from said first side is folded into place the object is placed over the hair and the hair from the second side is folded over the object.
      4. A method as in claim 3, wherein said object is a person's hand the hair spray is applied after the hair from said first side is folded into place and again after said second side being folded into place.
    3. After Japp has left, Poirot coughs and says ``You know, Hastings, there is a little device--my hairdresser is a man of great ingenuity--one attaches it to the scalp and brushes one's own hair over it--it is not a wig, you comprehend--but--'' The captain is not intrigued by the possibility, to say the least.

    Come as you are.
    Come after spending three hours to achieve a casual look.

    COMECON, Comecon
    COMmunist ECONomies. An unofficial name for the CMEA member countries or the ``CMEA (7)'' members (seven European countries, including the USSR).

    Commonwealth Edison. A Chicago-area electric power utility.


    Institute (also Centre) for Classical, Oriental, MEdieval and Renaissance Studies.

    Comparative Molecular Field Analysis. Used for QSAR.

    COnductivity-Modulated FET. A class of devices that includes IGFET's and power bipolar transistors.

    There are two main ways to be comfortable: like a chair and like a person sitting on the chair. In Spanish these two meanings are distributed to two different adjectives: confortable (like the seat) and cómodo (like the seated). The different associated meanings of be are also distributed -- to the verbs ser and estar, respectively. Thus:
        Spanish                          English
    La silla es confortable.         The chair is comfortable.
    La persona esta cómoda.          The person is comfortable.

    comic nose
    An anagram of economics. One of the useful data on this page.

    Here at home (i.e., in the SBF glossary) recent expansion has regrettably separated this (comic nose) entry from the common cold entry.

    COMINT, comint
    COMmunications INTelligence.

    Consortium Of MInority Resources. Or maybe COnsortium of MInority Resources. Or maybe the O in the acronym COMIR is not defined as coming from a particular one of the O's in its expansion. I wish I'd had that thought twenty-thousand-odd acronyms ago, when I was first establishing the style conventions of this glossary. Oh well, maybe next time.

    According to COMIR,

    Over the last several years a number of organizations (NGOs, INGOs as well as IGOs) have been engaged in the development of online resources to facilitate the exchange of information, to support minority initiatives and to advocate minority rights in the region. These organizations have adopted various strategies to collect and disseminate information. These strategies often result in overlapping efforts and parallel projects. Thus is seen the necessity of cooperation and coordination between various organizations engaged in the development of online resources, networking and dissemination of information on the issues of minority rights, multicultural politics and ethnic relations in Central and Eastern Europe, and in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

    COMIR is an Internet-based cooperative project that aims at promoting the free flow of information and dialogue in the field of ethnic relations, multicultural politics and minority rights. COMIR aims to establish a clearinghouse of information and activities relevant to Europe (OSCE region) to support democratic governance of multiethnic and multinational societies. To this end, COMIR develops and promotes virtual libraries, mailing lists, a database of full text documents, training materials, etc. Major initiatives include a Virtual Library, coordinated mailing lists, a meta-search engine across founders' web sites, a Minority Rights Practitioners Resource Pack, a best practice database, curriculum development and advocacy training.

    See also BAN.

    In the immortal words of Dave Barry, ``I am not making this up.'' ``Comitology'' is an EU term for ``a process in which the Commission, when implementing EU law, consults advisory committees of experts from member states.''

    It's well known that a comma added or subtracted can radically alter the meaning of a sentence. (Especially when a comma is subtracted that isn't there in the first place, but let's not go there.) Probably the most common such alteration is a switch in the status of a clause from restrictive to nonrestrictive, or vice versa. [I'm working on an example, okay?]

    Omitting a comma can also cause a subordinate clause that modifies an entire main clause to modify a single word instead. Consider, for example, this sentence from our But seriously folks... entry:

    I didn't write back asking for proof, which demonstrates that I am a clueless moron.

    Sentences whose meanings are reversed by omission or addition of commas are rarer, but they're not too hard to construct.

    The countable noun command is an instruction that is expected to be obeyed, and performed without regard to the performer's personal preference. Commands are sometimes phrased in ways that do not reflect accurately the power relationship between the commander and commanded.

    The words request and instruction are also used, particularly in computing, since computers don't yet have what we think of as volitional preferences (but then there's HAL). For more thoughts along these lines, I firmly encourage you to see the kill -9 entry.

    In Ack-Ack, ``Tim'' Pile remembers his early years in the Army...

    I did not remain long at Topsham Barracks. In the following January, while on Christmas leave, I received a telegram: ``Would it be convenient to you to embark for South Africa 30th January.'' This was my first experience of official letters; later on I began to understand their underlying significance. I even understood that the displeasure of the Army Council--which I received at a much later stage in my career--was not nearly such a fearsome thing, anyway, after on