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E e


Echo. 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).

I recommend ``Echocardiogram'' to avoid confusion.

Elohist. Refers to a component of the Pentateuch, and its supposed author. The other three major components, to the extent that agreement exists, are J (Jahwist), D (Deuteronomist) and P (Psalmist). E and J texts are concentrated in the early books, particularly Genesis, and distinguished by the use of JHWH (His name) and Elohim. The Deuteronomist uses both names. Stories with two tellings in the bible are typically attributed to two different authors.

Emitter. One of the two larger bulk regions in a three-terminal bipolar junction transistor (BJT). As an attributive noun, emitter also refers to the emitter-base junction [EB, (don't bother following the link)].

In broad qualitative terms, there is no difference between the emitter and the collector. Quantitively, the difference is that E is designed, and designated, so that the forward current gain alpha is larger (closer to unity) for common-emitter than for common-collector configuration.

Eta. The Roman-character transliteration of Greek requires certain compromises.

E, E-
Experiment. At Fermilab (FNAL), each proposal for the use of beam facilities is assigned a number corresponding to the order in which they are received, and formally designated ``Fermilab-proposal-<number>.'' (Here's a fairly complete list of the proposals. Perhaps the skipped numbers correspond to withdrawn proposals, or to numbers somehow reserved but not used.) Sometimes two or more proposals (or documents, such as letters of intent in support of associated projects) share a number, and a letter is appended for disambiguation. Approved projects (list here) are designated by the proposal number prefixed with E. Proposal 1a, submitted in June 1970, became E-1; it was a measurement of the charged and neutral interaction cross sections of the muon neutrino.

Other labs, such as Brookhaven (BNL), SLAC, and HERA, use similar designations. I noticed that an experiment at JLab had the designation E02-012; I think that's experiment 12 in experimental hall 2, but I haven't looked into it. (FNAL and BNL also have different areas, with names like Meson Area and Neutrino Area.) In the published literature, it is more common to refer to stable collaborations or to the major pieces of equipment they are built around, or to the areas where they operate.

Glutamic acid. An amino acid. More at synonym GLU.

Largest men's shoe width indicated by a single letter. Wider shoes are indicated by EE, EEE, etc.

You know, maybe what you need isn't wider shoes, but shoes that fit right. Not all feet are shaped the same. In particular, a minority variant on the usual shape has the widest part of the foot much further forward of the instep than is normal. If that's the case with you, the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve recommends that you try on some Clarks Shoes, founded in 1825. Okay, their shoes look a little too rugged for the most extremely formal wear -- if you're going to be uncomfortable, you might as well be uncomfortable from your neck all the way down to your toes. Clarks also sells very sensible shoes and sandals for women.

Clarks has been expanding, and now has its own outlets in Canada, in New Zealand, and in Australia (at least) as well as England (where they have become the #1 manufacturer and retailer of footwear). In the US, you have to buy them through a retail outlet that doesn't sell just its own brand. (The company homepage has a search engine to help you find the closest retailer that carries their shoes.)

According to the website, ``Clarks England is recognized by serious shoe lovers around the world for its commitment to comfort, authenticity and individual style.'' This statement accurately indicates their priority (comfort). The term ``individual style'' is widely recognized code for ``I don't care if other people think the shoes are ugly. Wince on, fashion victims. Sneer through your pain.'' Outside of shoe stores, most of the conversations I've had about Clarks shoes have been in Japan, where one is constantly getting in and out of one's shoes.

When I ran an AltaVista search on "Clarks shoes" in late May 1999, I got 214 hits. The same search in April 2004 garnered 35645 results. I believe that has more to do with growth of the web than of Clarks.

Around 1993 I heard about an English anthropologist who discovered that Celtic feet and Germanic feet are different, and has been very much in demand to identify skeletal remains. Something like that -- it's been a while.


East Africa.

Eastern Arctic. East of what!?

Easy Axis. Of interest to crystallographers and to the operator (cad) who looks at all the angles.

Economic Advisor. Entrail-reader.

Economic Analysis. Sooth-saying, followed by soothe-saying when in error.

Effective Action. In his famous Lectures, Feynman explains how the word action now refers to a different quantity than it originally did.


Electronic Antiquity. A classics journal. Alas, the modifier in the title reflects the mode of publication, not the subject.

Embedded Array.

Endometriosis Association.

Environmental Alternatives. Before you push your plastic bottles through their mail slot, wait! They're actually ``a non-profit corporation providing foster homes and group homes for children'' in northern California.


Epigraphica Anatolica. A classics journal.

The Episcopal Academy. A Christian ``college preparatory school for more than 1,100 boys and girls from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade in four units: Lower School at Devon and Lower, Middle, and Upper School in Merion, PA. The school was founded [in 1785] by the Right Reverend William White, first Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania. Among its charter trustees were leading citizens of Philadelphia and signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.''

``A nonprofit organization, the Academy is affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia and governed by a 32-member self-perpetuating Board of Trustees.'' (I believe that it's on account of the latter fact that it is ``independent.'')

Executive Agent. This acronym probably has a meaning as well as an expansion, but for now I can only give the latter. I had thought that by their very nature, agents had to be executive.

Executive Assistant. Like Administrative Assistant (AA).

Engineering Alumni Association. (So called at UB, at least.)


Ethylene Acrylic Acid.

Experimental Aircraft Association. There's also an unofficial (local club) homepage at Harvard.

Hellenic Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry. (English webpages here.)

EAA neuron
Excitatory Amino Acid neuron.

European Association for American Studies. Americanists are more like historians of science than epidemiologists. However much they may hate their object of study (viz. disease), epidemiologists do not contemn it.

The EAAS's constituent associations are

  1. AAAS (Austria)
  2. AEDEAN (Spain)
  3. AFEA (Ugh, France)
  4. AISNA (Italy)
  5. APEAA (Portugal)
  6. ASAT (Turkey)
  7. BAAS (UK)
  8. BELAAS (Belarus)
  9. BLASA (Belgium and Luxembourg)
  10. CSAA (Czech Republic and Slovakia)
  11. DGfA (Germany)
  12. HAAS (Hungary)
  13. HELAAS (Greece)
  14. IAAS (Ireland)
  15. NAAS (Finland and Scandinavia plus)
  16. NASA (Netherlands)
  17. PAAS (Poland)
  18. RAAS (Romania)
  19. RSAS (Russia)
  20. SANAS (Switzerland)

It would have made more sense to order the preceding list alphabetically by country, but the EAAS's list already does that. There's also one affiliate member: IAAS (Israel). The Israeli Association probably can't become a constituent member because then there would be two with the same initialism. You think that's silly? The Magen Adom (`Red Star,' the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross) can't be a member of the ICRC because its symbol isn't allowed. It seems that religious symbols are forbidden. (A red cross or a red crescent would be okay.)

Educational Activities Board (of the IEEE).

Echelons Above Corps. [Military]

Editors' Association of Canada/L'Association canadienne des rédacteurs-réviseurs.

Elkhart Area Career Center. Located next to a factory in Elkhart, Indiana.

European Association for Cancer Education. It publishes the JCE jointly with the AACE.

Énergie atomique du Canada limitée. (AECL in English. AEC in American, I guess. I was kind of expecting AEL.)

European AIDS Clinical Society.

Estrategia Alternativa de Desarrollo. Spanish, `Alternative Development Strategy.' (It's not the title of a particular one, so it is a common noun, but it seems generally to be capitalized.) Economic development is understood, as in the ``development'' that expands the D of UNDP (PNUD in Spanish). The initialism is typically encountered in the plural (EADs) -- Estrategias Alternativas de Desarrollo.

Euro-Arab Dialogue. An entity chartered in 1975. It was created on the initiative of France, to foster high-level discussions, on economic and political issues, between the EC (now the EU) and the Arab League.

The notes sounded by the ``open strings'' of a six-string guitar. (An open string is a string whose vibration frequency has not been increased by ``fretting'' -- by pressing it down against a fret.)

Mnemonic: ``Eddie Ate Dynamite. Good-Bye Eddie.''

The order of notes above is from lowest to highest in pitch, but from highest to lowest in distance from the floor. When you talk about moving up or down the fretboard (on the neck of the guitar), ``up'' means up in frequency -- downward toward the body of the guitar. Basically, guitars are upside down.

It's much less common, in my limited experience, to name a tuning by giving open-string notes in order of decreasing frequency. But apparently it's been done (probably just to confuse people). To be confused, see the EBGDBE entry.

And on the subject of upside-down guitars... It always seemed to me that it would be more efficient if you carried your guitar with its body up at your shoulders and the neck pointing down -- with the center of mass high, like a backpack. That way too, if you put your machine gun on the same strap, you could switch weapons by just sliding the strap half-way around and it would in position for immediate use. This might help to eliminate some of those people who think you could like to hear them try to play the suggestively titled ``Stairway to Heaven.'' Without the machine gun or some other counterweight, the upside-down guitar immediately sags down your back till its head hits the floor. (I think Johnny Cash made it work by shortening the strap, or being thick-chested, or both. Even so, the guitar head was at or below his knees. It makes me curious about the song ``Oh, Susanna.'' The original lyrics were written by Stephen Foster in 1847. What's with this banjo-on-my knee business? It sounds uncomfortable.)

Bon Jovi tapped into a powerful fantasy with ``Wanted, Dead or Alive.''

I walk these streets, a loaded six-string on my back.
I play for keeps, 'cause I might not make it back.

European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company. The conglomerate that has controlled Airbus Industrie since June 2000. Interesting that the conglomerate's principal business is not listed in the name.

Extended Air-Defense TestBed.

European Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.

EnteroAGGregative E. coli.

Experiment for Accurate Gamma, Lepton, and Energy Measurements. A device planned for the LHC. In 1992 the group that was planning it joined forces with the group planning ASCOT. The child of that merger is ATLAS

Expert Advisory Group on Language Engineering Standards.

East Asian Heartland.

European Association of Hospital Pharmacists.

East Asian Circulation Index.

(Business-)Enterprise Application Integration.

East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

English as an Additional Language. One of four categories defined by E. Judd for describing the function of English in different ``sociopolitical contexts.'' There will be a brief description at the entry for taxonomies of English language use.

English {is|as} an Asian Language. The title of various conferences and symposia sponsored by various organizations.

ElectroAbsorption Modulator.

Embedded Atom Method. An approach to describing interatomic interactions in pure metals and alloys that goes far beyond mere pair potentials. It's much too difficult for you to understand. You should just feel honored to have been in the presence of greatness, now go away. If you want to turn into a pillar of salt, look up the following:

M. S. Daw and M. I. Baskes, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 50, pp. 1285ff (1983); Phys. Rev. B, vol. 29, pp. 6443ff (1984).

S. M. Foiles, M. I. Baskes and M. S. Daw, Phys. Rev. B, vol. 53, pp. 7983ff (1986). The volume number is given incorrectly for your protection.

External Affairs Minist{er|ry}. Cf. FM.

European Automobile Manufacturers' Association. The official acronym is ACEA.

Emergency Action Notification. A component of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

European Article Numbering system. The organization promoting it is now called EAN International, to reflect the wide use of the system beyond Europe. EAN is sometimes also called the ``International Article Number.''

European Alliance of News Agencies.

See EAN (previous entry) and UPC.

European Association for Oral Medicine. ...and call me in the morning.

English for Academic Purposes. Normally designates a type of EFL program, typically for students planning university education in an English-speaking country. A more general term, almost ironically, uses the word specific: ESP. (Specific is a pretty general term.)

There's a Journal of English Academic Purposes, a quarterly published since 2002. And there's a British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes. Excuse me, I have to and change a fuse in my brain.

Extended Appearance Potential Fine Structure. A surface science technique.

Early American Pressed Glass.

East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes. An NSF program that ``offers U.S. graduate students in science and engineering a unique opportunity to study abroad with foreign researchers (in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, or Taiwan) for 8 weeks during the summer.''

Electron Affinity Rule. Electronic band alignment at semiconductor heterointerfaces are determined from the electron affinities of the two semiconductors. Proposal by R. L. Anderson [Solid State Electronics 5, 341 (1962)]. Doesn't work very well, but the problem is hellishly contentious.

Early Childhood Development Center
Nursery School. Day Care.

Early Modern English
Roughly speaking: Elizabethan English. Shakespeare. KJV.

Early Modern Period
Regulation time for the Renaissance. When the clock expired on the Early Modern Period, the Renaissance went into overtime.

Early Modern Philosophy
Montaigne to Kant.

ear muffs
Aftermarket accessory for cell phone, used for conversion from hand-held to head-set configuration. Allows wearer to keep hands in pockets of parka.

Electrically Alterable ROM. An EEPROM based on MNOS structure: instead of a control gate and floating gate, there is simply an insulating nitride later between gate oxide and the single gate. Bits are stored by F-N tunneling into the oxide-nitride interface, which functions as a floating gate.

Emergency Animal Rescue Service.

Emergency Alert System. US FCC's replacement for the old Emergency Broadcast System (EBS).

The voluntary AMBER alert system is now integrated with EAS. Originally, AMBER alerts were activated by sending a Civil Emergency Message event code to EAS equipment. This caused some confusion, so Child Abduction Emergency event code has been introduced, and all new EAS equipment installed since February 1, 2004, must be able to receive and transmit the new codes. Older systems are grandfathered in.

Each alert message has a header with a single event code. You're probably wondering how compatibility between older and newer systems will be negotiated. So far as I can tell, it won't be. The EAS system was incredibly poorly designed. (If, indeed, it can be said to have been designed at all.) Among its flaws is the absence of any explicit rule for how receiving equipment should handle invalid or partly invalid or unrecognized (including new) codes. Apparently no thought was given to how changes in the system might ever be implemented. To take the case of the added AMBER alert code, if a message is sent out using the new Child Abduction Emergency event code, older equipment will probably ignore it. Or possibly not. It may depend on whether the equipment is operating automatically, and it will depend on how the particular manufacturer interpreted the inadequate original technical specification. In order to make sure that older equipment gets the AMBER alert, one would also have to transmit the alert under the old Civil Emergency Message event code. There is no mechanism to prevent this other alert from being transmitted by the newer equipment as an old-fashioned civil emergency message. So the net effect of adding the new code is to multiply uncertainty with possibly no improved functionality.

European Association of Social Anthropologists.

European Association of Science Editors. A quarter of the membership is from other continents than Europe. EASE-Forum is their mailing. ESE is their bulletin.

Ecology of the Antarctic Sea-Ice Zone. One of SCAR's major programs.

European Association for the Study of Science and Technology.

Eastern (US) Association for the Surgery of Trauma. A natural XARA.

Eastern Ontario
Isn't 1735 a bit early for--oh! Easter Oratorio, by J. S. Bach. Never mind.

European Association of State Veterinary Officers. One of the four ``vibrant sections'' of the FVE. Funny how even the initialism has a collectivist (okay, a Russian) sound to it. It should have been ``EAStVO.''

easy to remember
A password attribute often equivalent to ``easy to guess.''

  1. Ingest. Begin the process of digestion.
  2. Corrode, or otherwise diminish a solid by reaction at the surface. [Diminish the original material, anyway. Until pieces start to break off, oxidation increases the mass of oxidizing metal. Vide Pilling Bedworth Ratio.]

Emergency Action Termination. A component of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

European Association for Theoretical Computer Science. I am not convinced that this is the most felicitous choice of acronym, given the pronunciation that suggests itself.

One of Scrabble®'s many gifts (another is coolth) to thothe who lithp, aktheptid by all three major Thcrabble dicthionarieth. (BTW, it supposedly means `easy.' Someone who visited Scotland during the twentieth century apparently claimed it was still in use there.)

Eating Primer
Hand-corrected version of the title of any schoolbook distributed (improperly, by assumption) with the title Latin Primer.

English for AViation. Cf. ESP, AVENG.

European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging.

Environmental Audio eXtension. Software that models echo/reverb and attenuation effects.

Since April 2003, the EAX 3.0 SDK has been available <creative.com>. By the time you read this they might be on to a later version.

European Association for Zoological Nomenclature.



Electron Beam.

When an electron beam impinges on a solid surface, it loses energy primarily by electron-electron interactions. In those interactions, the energy gained by electrons in the solid is often sufficient to ionize them; the electrons thus ionized are called secondary electrons (SE). The initially incident electrons, called primary electrons, can reëmerge from the solid surface with a large fraction of their initial energy; such electrons are called backscattered electrons (BSE).

The interactions of a primary electron with the solid are classed as elastic (energy-conserving) and inelastic (energy non-conserving). In the latter case, energy fails to be conserved in the sense that, while total energy is conserved, energy is transferred from one subsystem (typically the primary electron) to another (the solid).

It is important to recognize that the simpler processes one imagines are typically elastic. For example, if one regards the solid simply as a rigid electrostatic potential, then almost no energy is lost by the primary electron: the primary electron does lose some of its kinetic energy upon entering the solid, but this energy is stored as electrostatic potential energy which is completely regained when the electron rattles out of the solid at some other point.

It is thus clear that inelastic processes--and energy loss by the primary electron--require recoil--some movement of the electrostatic potential generated by the solid. There is a more roundabout intuitive way to see this, which demonstrates in a small way the unity of physical law. If energy is lost by the primary electron, then the energy lost must be taken up by the solid. Since the potential energy of the solid is determined by the positions of its constituents, it is clear that neither the potential nor the kinetic energy can change unless some part of the solid moves.

E. B. White was Elwyn Brooks White (1899-1985), but from his college days on he was known as `Andy.'

Emitter-Base. A junction in a bipolar junction transistor (BJT) between emitter (E) and base regions.

Encyclopaedia Britannica. By some measures, the best version of this is the famous eleventh edition (first half published December 1910; second half six months later). It is available free online in increasingly readable form (it is slowly being converted from badly OCR'ed versions. The modern online version is available mostly by subscription. (The beginnings of articles are available as a tease.) I can't quite put my finger on the reason, but the online edition of the modern EB feels anti-intuitive and hard to use. The information is scattered in packets that don't connect very well or form a coherent narrative. Kinda like this glossary.

The eleventh edition, on the other hand, is an object of veneration. They did get a lot of very good contributors, famous experts in their fields: out of 1500 contributors, 168 were Fellows of the Royal Society, 56 were presidents or secretaries of learned societies, and 47 were members of the British Museum staff. For ``an informal narrative designed to tell the general reader of the origins, development, trials, and triumphs of the great reference work,'' see The Great EB: The Story of the Encyclopædia Britannica by Herman Kogan (Un. of Chicago Pr., 1958).

From the title of Harvey Einbinder's The Myth of the Britannica (Grove Pr., 1964), you might expect a bit of muckraking, but it seems quite even-handed to me. Einbinder's judiciousness may be judged from his measured precís (on p. 57) of Kogan's book:

   This optimistic spirit was reflected later in the year [1958, marking the 190th anniversary of the first edition] by the publication of a full-length history called The Great EB, which presented an exhaustive account of the Encyclopaedia's growth and financial history. The author of this skillful exercise in public relations was Herman Kogan, a former Chicago newspaperman who was subsequently appointed Director of Company Relations for the Britannica. The early parts of his book were animated by a critical spirit, but the closing portion merely offered a glowing description of the Company's editorial and sales policies. Despite this defect, The Great EB is a useful historical work because it was compiled from the Company's private archives. It supplied a great deal of material for this [third] chapter--and its quasi-official character was emphasized by its publication by the University of Chicago Press. [By that time, the EB was published by the University of Chicago.]

If you don't already have access, or if you're cheap -- and let's face it, if you're using this glossary as an information resource, that's a possibility that can't be ruled out -- then you could visit The Catholic Encyclopedia, which is available free online.

Incidentally, I've decided to dedicate this entry to the memory of my cousin Rita Schaeffer, because she used to sell the Britannica.

Here's another family connection: back in 1984 or 1985, my cousin Rachel was a local winner (San Francisco) of the Scripps Speling Bea. Hard to believe we could be related, huh? Anyway, one prize she won was a Britannica. This sort of public relations co-promotion has long been a big thing for the EB. In the 1930's, for example, there was a popular radio show called ``Information Please,'' in which listeners mailed in questions to a panel of experts, and anyone who managed to stump the experts won a free copy of the Britannica.

Rachel's other big prize was the chance to compete in the National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., where I was working at the Naval Research Laboratory. (My presence in D.C. was never an important part of Scripps Spelling Bee promotions. Then again, it was never an unimportant part either.)

Anyway, she flamed out. (She didn't win, okay? It's not as easy as the Super Bowl or the World Series: practically all of the contestants lose; the system is rigged to generate disappointment. They have a team of warm, kindly matrons who escort the heartbroken young contestants off the stage as they go down. It's not like Olympic figure skating, where they televise the girls sitting with their parents to learn their scores.) At a family get-together afterwards, Mary (Rachel's mom) mentioned a school project Rachel was working on. She was supposed to report on a famous mathematician. (We won't get into how worthwhile I think such projects are for middle-school students. Let's just note that when Rachel grew up she became a lawyer, and leave it at that. Okay: and that she married an artist.) There was extra credit in it for her if she could report on a woman mathematician. Rachel had had trouble finding material.

Now, given the parameters of the problem, the two obvious solutions are Sofia Kovalevskaya and Amelia Noether. Kovalevskaya had the more colorful life, but I'm a physicist so I said ``Well, the name that comes immediately to mind is Emmy Noether.'' It turned out that Rachel had looked up and not found an entry for Noether in her prize Britannica. Generally, questions of who does and who does not get an entry, and how long the entries are, have long been a focus of criticisms of the EB (more about that later... possibly much later). In fact, Emmy Noether had been mentioned (too briefly) in earlier editions, and eventually she reappeared. For that year she just happened to have gotten edited out.

Incidentally, Hypatia of Alexandria and Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, are not obvious solutions of the problem stated above. They're just two other obvious solutions. The next two paragraphs finish the Rachel/Emmy story. You can skip them if you're only interested in information at least vaguely related to the EB.

I found a couple of obituaries of Emmy Noether at the NRL library. One was B.L. van der Waerden's obituary that I mention in the abacus entry. I translated (from German) whatever seemed useful of that. I also found a French obituary in some other math journal. [Hermann Weyl wrote an obituary in English that appeared in Scripta Mathematica, vol. 3, pp. 201-220 (1935), but I missed that. Back then we used computers for computing, not searching.]

My mother never heard about this until 2007. When I told her about the German translation, she said ``Of course, at the time you didn't realize that Charlie [my uncle, Rachel's dad] knows German.'' This is true: he's more fluent than I, but we communicate in English and I didn't know that he was a German-speaker until about 2005. About the other article, my mom commented ``Well, everyone reads French.'' Back in 1984 or whenever, I took the articles to the hotel where the family was staying, and Rachel said ``But I don't know French!'' I replied, ``Everyone reads French!'' We sat and I read the beginning of the French article with her, but I don't think she was immediately convinced. Anyway, she earned an A on that project.

Energy Balance. An approach to electronic device simulation. This may, implicitly, exclude lattice heating, in which case simulation with heating effects is designated Nonisothermal Energy Balance.

Electron-Beam Coating.

Extended Binary-Coded-Decimal (BCD) Interchange Code. A ``wasteful'' [eight-bit (one-byte)] alternative to the ASCII character codes developed by and for IBM. Cf.ASCII. Vide collating sequence.

Emotional and Behavioral Difficulty.

Electron-Beam Direct-Write.


Extraterrestrial Biological Entity. The Worst-Case Survival Handbook: Travel, tells you what to do whenever you meet one who keeps pursuing even after you firmly tell it (probably him) to leave you alone.

``Go for the EBE's eyes (if they have any); you will not know what its other, more sensitive, areas are.'' Hey, they don't call'em BEM's for nuthin' you know.

Ancient EBE's are illustrated here. More at the TTBOMKAB entry.

You want serious information on how to avoid a real disaster? Why didn't you say so!? Go to the ICLR entry.

German noun meaning `boar.' (You know -- a male swine, uncastrated. How long you been off the farm, boy?)

There's a surprising amount of disagreement regarding the etymology of this word. German and English Latinists generally seem to accept that it is related to the Latin aper (genitive form apri), which also means `boar,' and assume, perhaps without looking too deeply into the matter, that English boar is a related aphetic form.

The Duden Deutsches Universalwörterbuch (2003) identifies a MHG etymon eber, derived in turn from OHG ebur, ultimately from a hypothesized proto-Germanic *ebura. The Latin aper is identified as related, but further etymology is characterized as ungeklärt (`unclear'). I think the idea is that they expected to see more early cognates in other languages. (German-Latin contacts don't seem to go back far enough to account for a loan from one to the other.) With enough information one might reconstruct a proto-IE form, but other Indo-European languages turn out to have unrelated words for boar. In Ancient Greek, for example, the standard term was sŷs, a cognate of English swine (and German Schwein, etc.). (The word is perhaps most famous because swine is what Circe turns the men of Odysseus into, at least in Homer's version.)

On the English side, things don't get any clearer. The modern word boar evolved from Middle English bor and Old English bar. The OED2 remarks that related words are known [certainly] only in West Germanic, and offers only cognates beginning in b: Old English bar is identified with Old Saxon bêr (-swîn). The implication seems to be that a term like bear-swine, or just bear, was used to refer to adult male swine. Other cognates offered include Modern Dutch beer and Modern German Bär, which still mean bear. This is plausible, but it makes Latin aper (not mentioned) seem an odd coincidence. The OED2 does mention Russian borovu, meaning `boar.' The Germanic words related to bear do indeed seem not to have non-Germanic cognates, though that singularity doesn't require any particularly contorted explanation. FWIW, the Old English word for bear was bera.

Electron-Beam (EB) Exposure System. Possibly the one developed by Bell Labs [R. K. Watts and J. H. Bruning, ``A Review of Fine-Line Lithographic Techniques Present and Future,'' Solid State Technology, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 95-105 (May 1981).

The notes sounded by the ``open strings'' of a six-string guitar when it has the ``standard'' tuning. Note that these notes (I had to write that) are given in order from ``first'' to ``sixth'' string (counting as usual from the floor up, or from the palm of your left hand to the fingertips).

Mnemonic: ``Every Bible Gets Dusty After Easter.''

This is an abnormal order for describing guitar tunings. See the the more ordnance-oriented EADGBE entry instead.

The ancient Greeks had scales that divided the octave up in various ways, very likely prominently including our harmonic progression among them. However, their normal way of doing the do-re-mi was by starting at a high pitch and working down. (How uninspiring!)

Some left-handed guitar players play their guitars left-handed (i.e., they pick with the left hand and fret with the right). Jimi Hendrix is the best-remembered left-hand-playing guitarist. He strung his guitar so the highest-pitched string was at the bottom (closest to the palm).

Electron-Beam-Induced Current. See SC (specimen current).

Error bit.

EBITDA, ebitda
Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization.

A monolingual Spanish-speaker might have trouble deciding what to do with the ``td'' consonant cluster, but would probably end up pronouncing a word spelled ebitda very similarly to Evita. Evita Perón had something to do with EBITDA: she would regularly shake down businesses for contributions to her, ahem, charities. I'm not sure whether bribes count as taxes or just a cost of doing business.

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

Electron Beam (or e-beam) Lithography. For a picture, visit an EBL machine at the NSF Microelectronics Lab at UIUC. (Substantially higher resolution is possible than is mentioned in the figure caption.)

English as a Basal Language. A term in Moag's typology of English users (in our future entry for taxonomies of English language use).

European Bridge League. Zone one of the seven zonal organizations of the WBF. About half the WFL membership (counting players) is in this zone, which includes 42 countries that have even a toehold in Europe [e.g. Turkey (.tr)] right on out to the Caucasus [Armenia (.am)], and a couple that don't [Israel (.il) and Lebanon (.lb)].

Andorra (.ad), Armenia and the Faroe Islands (.fo) are member countries but don't have any player members. No country that reports members reports any fewer than four.

Evidence-Based Medicine. There's an EBM Journal, which is a sort of Reader's Digest of EBM research appearing in other medical journals. It used to have a companion EBM Journal édition française as recently as the 1990's some time.

Vide compass directions.

ebook reader
The earliest description of an ebook reader, that I am aware of, occurs in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (HHGTTG). That is the title of a fictional work of nonfiction, a vast encyclopedia that is a best-seller elsewhere in the Milky Way than Earth. HHGTTG was conceived by Douglas N. Adams and was the title of a BBC radio series first broadcast in 1978. The radio series also bore the HHGTTG title, as did a novel adapted from the first four parts of the radio series. (The novel was first published in London on Columbus Day 1979, or would have been if Columbus Day were celebrated there on the Julian calendar date anniversary of his first arrival at a Carribean island. But it's not.) The HHGTTG title was also used for various other, as the copyright lawyers say, derived works.

I characterize the fictional HHGTTG as a vast encyclopedia in conformance with its description in the novel of the same name. The title was inspired by the Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe, and I don't know how vast it was in original conception or in the radio series. The vast cult that developed around all things HHGTTG has produced experts who probably do know how vast etc. Anyway, in the novel, Ford Prefect's satchel contains ``a device that looked rather like a largish electronic calculator. This had about a hundred tiny flat press buttons and a screen about four inches square on which any one of a million `pages' could be summoned at a moment's notice.''

(The ``pages'' are those of the (fictional) HHGTTG, and it appears that those pages are themselves extensive documents, since a mere million of them would occupy ``several inconveniently large buildings'' if printed in ``normal book form.'')

A variety of ebook readers are now (2010) for sale on Earth -- pending its destruction to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

The Emphasized Bible. Not much like the Amplified Bible (AB). The EBR (1959) uses various sigla to indicate emphasis. A/k/a ``The Rotherham Bible,'' after translator Joseph Bryant Rotherham. Served as basis for the SNB.

Vide compass directions.

Experimental Breeder Reactor I. See AEC for a little context.

Electronic Brokering Services.

Emergency Broadcast System of the US. Soon to be replaced by Emergency Alert System (EAS).

Employee Benefits Security Administration. Part of the US DOL, EBSA ``is responsible for administering and enforcing the fiduciary, reporting and disclosure provisions of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).''

``The provisions of Title I of ERISA, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, were enacted to address public concern that funds of private pension plans were being mismanaged and abused. ERISA was the culmination of a long line of legislation concerned with the labor and tax aspects of employee benefit plans.''

Other aspects of ERISA (besides those tasked to EBSA, vide supra) are administered by the IRS (ERISA Title II) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (Title III).

Electron BackScatter Diffraction.

Electron BackScatter (diffraction) Pattern.

Electronic Benefits Transfer. Many supermarket check-out lanes have a small unit where the customer can pay with a credit or debit card. The device at one store I visited listed another choice: ``EBT.'' After the cashier expanded this for me, I asked, ``what's that?'' It's the electronic version of food stamps.

English Bridge Union. A rather specialized trade union in the construction industry. Let me just check that... Hmmm. I could have sworn that, well, okay... It seems that now it's ``a membership-funded organisation committed to promoting the game of duplicate bridge. It is also a National Bridge Organisation in its own right affiliated to the European Bridge League and the World Bridge Federation.''

European Blind Union.

European Broadcasting Union.

Epstein-Barr Virus. A herpes virus. Infects B-lymphocytes and causes infectious mononucleosis (mono).

European Board of Veterinary Specialisation. ``The EBVS organises veterinary specialisation on a European level.''

Conduction-band Energy. The value of the CBE level. Cf. Ev, Eg.

E. coli, q.v.

(Domain code for) Ecuador.

The country of Ecuador straddles the equator. In Spanish, equator is ecuador. In English, it is generally ungrammatical (or nonsensical -- take that, Noam Chomsky) to call the country the Ecuador, but in Spanish, definite articles operate differently. The country of Ecuador may be correctly referred to in Spanish as Ecuador or El Ecuador. In conversation, it sometimes causes confusion. The last time it happened to me, I was talking with a Peruvian woman, naturally enough.

It's hard to give a general rule on this. The country of Argentina is often la Argentina, but Chile is rarely el Chile. Perhaps it's to avoid confusion with the vegetable (chile in Spanish). I've seen el Chile for the country in legalese, but otherwise the instances generally turn out to refer to chili peppers or to things named after chili peppers. La Chile is occasionally used for La Universidad de Chile. Coincidentally, Chileans have the habit (unusual or unique in Spanish) of using definite articles before personal names: ``el Pablo'' for ``Pablo,'' etc.

El Salvador is special sort of weird case. With the article, it is clearly `the Savior,'' epithet of Jesus. Salvador alone is used as a given name like Xavier. In principle, San Salvador might be a `Saint Xavier,' but generally it refers to ``Santísimo Salvador'' (`most sainted savior' -- i.e., Jesus). The Catholic feast of Santísimo Salvador comemmorates the transfiguration of Christ at Mount Tabor. I'm sorry if I don't have the official English terms right -- this is cribbed from a Spanish page. There it is explained that the Central American town of San Salvador was founded in 1525 and elevated to the status of a city in 1548. In 1824, delegates from the area administered from San Salvador met in the city and founded a country, choosing the name El Salvador. I should probably mention this stuff at the El Salvador entry. Anyway, I don't think it's too common for Spanish-speakers to call the country just Salvador, but the short form does occur in English.

Edge Connector. (``Edge'' of circuit board.)

Electoral College. We've put all the discussion of this institution at the EV entry. (I know, I know -- this is a crazy, roundabout way to do things.)

Electric Carrier -. As in EC-3 (carrier #3).

Electron Capture. By a nucleus, resulting in the conversion of a proton into a neutron (and the emission of a neutrino). Proton-rich nuclei may decay by alpha emission or EC, or by fission. The likelihood of EC relative to alpha decay increases with nuclear size. It's mostly s-state electrons that are captured, and the more-tightly bound. EC can be detected from the associated X-ray emission cascade.

Electronic Commerce. Here's a virtual center for EC. Harbinger would like you to use its EC/EDI Jumpstation. Vide EDI.

This is a B-school case study of EC.

Emergency Coordinator.

Engineering Change.

Engineering Council. ``Created by Royal Charter in 1981, following the Finniston report, `to advance education in engineering, and to promote the science and practice of engineering for the public benefit and thereby to promote industry and commerce'.''


Esophageal carcinoma. Usually metastasizes early because the esophagus has no tunica serosa to contain the tumor.

EuroCity (trains). A system of international trains in Europe, using cars from the national railways involved. Replaced an earlier system (which had its own dedicated fleet) called Trans-Europ Express (TEE).

EuroCopter. Eurocopter S.A., of Marignane, France, manufactured (at least as of 2002) the EC 635 light twin-engine helicopter (for police and noncombat military use), the Super Puma, and the EC 350. Eurocopter is a wholly owned subsidiary of the European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Co., Amsterdam.

European Championships.

European Commission. One of the smaller parts of the European Union's (EU's) government. In an earlier dispensation, the EU itself was known as the...

European Community. An organization that changes its name again as soon as you learn the new one. It was the EC from about May or June 1987 all the way to late in 1993. Some of the more long-used names included EEC (European Economic Community) and ``the Common Market.'' Vide EU. Cf. EG.

Following the pattern, if you visited them at their former address <http://www.cec.lu/>, you were for a long time redirected to <http://europa.eu.int/welcome.html> which, you immediately learned, did not exist anymore, so please go to <http://europa.eu.int/index.htm>.

In order to confuse everyone, the EU now (2002)

  1. Refers to what was always called the ``Council of Europe'' as the European Council, though this is not to be abbreviated ``EC.''
  2. Has a ``European Commission'' (membership described at the EU entry), though this is not to be abbreviated ``EC.''
  3. Uses the phrase ``the European Communities'' (note plural) to mean ``the European Community, and Euratom,'' though this is not to be abbreviated ``EC.''
  4. Uses EC to mean European Community, but in a different sense than before. It turns out that the EEC, created by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, never really went out of business. It was however superseded. The EEC only governed ``matters relating to the free movement of people, goods, services and capital, transport, competition, tax, economic and monetary policy, trade policy, employment and social policy, culture, health, consumers, industry, regional development policy (economic and social cohesion), research, the environment and development.'' As such it merely ``forms part of the wider entity of the European Union.'' The EEC was renamed the EC by a provision of the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 (which was not turned down by the voters of any member countries whose governments did not hold a referendum on this wholesale surrender of sovereignty). Under a written European constitution being hammered out in 2003, member nations will give up even more self rule, to a European government answerable to no one.

There you have it. In justice virtually the entire EU is still and again the EC.

Electronic Commerce Association.

Engineering Computer-Aided Design (CAD).

Engineering Computer-Aided Design (CAD).

European Computing And Philosophy conference. Coordinated with IACAP.

e-card, ecard
An electronic postcard. There are a lot of electronic postcard services. This site lists 175 of them. Here's an eclectic list:
  1. Electric Postcard (from the MIT Media Lab)
  2. Sweet Briar College e-Cards
  3. Warner Brothers WeB cards
  4. Blue Mountain
  5. American Greetings (service subcontractor to Yahoo)

Not all ecards include music.

East-Central/American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. EC/ASECS ``held its first meeting in 1970, a few months after the inaugural meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS), of which it is an affiliate.''

Electrically Controlled Birefringence. [See I. C. Khoo and S. T. Wu: Optics and Nonlinear Optics of Liquid Crystals, (Singapore: World Scientific, 1993).]

Emirates Cricket Board. The governing body for professional cricket in the UAE, and the UAE's member of the ICC.

England and Wales Cricket Board. The governing body for professional cricket in where you would guess, and one of the ten full members of the ICC.

The governing body of Scottish cricket was founded in 1908. It was known as the Scottish Cricket Union until being renamed Canadian style in 2001: Cricket Scotland. Cricket is not sae popular up thair, and Cricket Scotland is not a full member of the ICC.

European Central Bank.

Ec. C.
ECclesiastical Council.
  1. 325
  2. Forgot, damn it.
  3. 431
  4. 451
  5. 553
  6. 681

English China Clays. The company officially changed its name to ECC, then changed it back (to English China Clays). So now instead of writing ``ECC (f/k/a English China Clays), the financial papers can go back to writing ``English China Clays (ECC).''

In late April 1999, ECC was acquired by the French metals group Imetal SA. Earlier in the year Imetal had purchased the Brazilian group Rio Capim Caulim (RCC) [or should that be ``RCC (f/k/a Rio Capim Caulim)''?]. By June Imetal was selling off some of its metal activities. On September 22 of that year, Imetal officially changed its name to Imerys and announced to no one's surprise that it would thenceforth concentrate on industrial minerals.

Erie Community College. Founded in 1946.

Error-Correcting Code.

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

Electronic Commerce Council of Canada.

European Cultural Centre of Delphi. In Delphi, Greece.


Short for Ecce Romani, a Latin schoolbook series. The title itself must mean `Behold the Romans,' or `Look! Romans!' or something of that sort. Frankly, as the first translation suggests it might, ecce was originally followed by a noun in one or another oblique case. A nominative form like Romani is not attested before Cicero, but I guess you can't go wrong with Cicero. Also, probably the best-known use of ecce is in the Vulgate, where Pilate says ``Ecce CENSORED,'' meaning `behold the man!' CENSORED is a nominative singular form (well, okay, what you see there IS A PARTICIPLE); the accusative form, which kinda sounds like it might be appropriate here, is hominem.

Here's a collection of useful bookmarks for teachers of Latin using Ecce. An attractive set of resources for the first two (of four) books of the Ecce series is served here by Dr. Melissa Schons Bishop. A list of common Latin textbooks is at the Latin school texts entry.

Electronic Counter-CounterMeasures.

Engineering Concepts Curriculum Project. CEE-sponsored and NSF-funded project ``to develop a high school course that would give the college-bound students who usually avoided science an interesting and accessible overview of basic scientific concepts.'' Initiated in 1963, it was based for most of its existence at Brooklyn Poly. By 1966, materials for a course called The Man-Made World (TMMW) were available for a pilot teaching project. Summer institutes were held to prepare high-school teachers to teach it. (Much of the development was done, or finished, at SUNY Stony Brook. Let me know how much and by whom.) A TMMW textbook series was published in 1971, the year that federal interest and funding began to dry up. (The summer institutes continued for another five years.) The course covered such concepts as modeling, feedback, stability, and analog and digital computers. The texts were not widely adopted, but in the 1980's it became one of the inspirations of the STS fad in science education.

One of the pilot teachers of the TMMW curriculum wrote in 2002:

TMMW was also unique in that a primary design criterion was that less is more. Project 2061 and other contemporary educational reform groups in the past ten years have also adopted the less is more approach. TMMW focused on major engineering concepts such as design and decision-making, modeling, systems analysis, and optimization.

A hungry fox passed below a fine bunch of grapes hanging high from a vine. After trying in vain to jump and reach them he gave up, saying to himself as he walked off, ``the grapes looked ripe, but I see now they are quite sour.''

Less is more indeed. At least, less is not proportionately less, if you do the triage properly.

Eastern Caribbean Dollar.

Electron Capture Detector[s].

Early Childhood Development Center. Because ``Center for Excellence in Nursery Scholarship'' is too blatant.

Early Childhood Development Center -- Notre Dame. Attended primarily by children of Notre Dame faculty and staff.

Early Childhood Development Center -- Saint Mary's College. Attended primarily by children of Saint Mary's College faculty and staff.

Electronic Chart Display and Information System[s].

A ``legal ECDIS'' is an ECDIS that conforms to standards issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and rules-of-use of appropriate national organizations (e.g., US Coast Guard -- USCG). Following these rules and standards gives the ECDIS the same legal standing that official government-issued nautical charts have historically had. (The more complete name is ``legal equivalent ECDIS.)

(UN) Economic Commission for Europe.

Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Early Career Fellowship. Awarded and funded by the Leverhulme Trust, ECF's are grants. ``Offering fifty per cent match-funding for the salary costs of three-year academic research position, the scheme enables early career researchers to undertake a significant piece of publishable work. Applicants must have a track record of research, but should not have held an established academic appointment in the UK.''

ExtraCellular Fluid.

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. ``A higher standard. A higher purpose.'' Yeah, yeah, but what about the parable of the workers in the vineyard?

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

European Council on Foreign Relations. Quoting from the front matter of an ECFR report (representing only its authors' views) of declining European influence at the UN (Sept. 2008):

The European Council on Foreign Relations was launched in October 2007 to promote a more integrated European foreign policy in support of shared European interests and values. With its unique structure, ECFR brings a genuinely pan-European perspective on Europe's role in the world:

ECFR was founded by a council whose members include serving and former ministers and parliamentarians, business leaders, distinguished academics, journalists and public intellectuals. Their aim is to promote a new strategic culture at the heart of European foreign policy.

With offices in seven countries, ECFR's in-house policy team brings together some of Europe's most distinguished analysts and policy entrepreneurs to provide advice and proposals on the EU's big global challenges.

ECFR's pan-European advocacy and campaigns work through the internet and the media to make the necessary connections between innovative thinking, policy-making and civic action.

ECFR is backed by the Soros Foundations Network, Sigrid Rausing, FRIDE (La Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior), the UniCredit Group and the Communitas Foundation.

ECFR works in partnerships with other organisations but does not make grants to individuals or institutions.

Here's something interesting from that report (p. 1): ``Europe has [also] lost ground because of a reluctance to use its leverage, and a tendency to look inwards -- with 1,000 coordination meetings in New York alone each year -- rather than talk to others.''

AVMA's Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates.

Meat! What a primitive food technology. I advise that you not get an education in this field, because pretty soon we'll be phasing out livestock.

ElectroCardioGram. Invented in 1887 by Augustus Desire Walker. I'm not sure that this shouldn't be in the Nomenclature is destiny entry.

European Commission Host Organisation.

What now -- sweets with crunchy little silicon chips? Oh wait, transposition error: e-cholocate... echo-locate. Sorry.


Echos Du Monde Classique
A journal that ceased publication at the end of 2000 and that was replaced by Mouseion : journal of the Classical Association of Canada = revue de la Société canadienne des études classiques.

European Court of Human Rights. A bit more information under the French acronym, CEDH.

Employment Cost Index.

Electronic Cataloging In Publication. A program of the US Library of Congress under which publishers generate the cataloging information that the Library of Congress used to produce itself. The publishers get speed (immediate cataloging information they can enter on the copyright page) and the LC gets its work done free, according to its own rules, by people who may not have to place a long-distance call to resolve any uncertainties. Presumably the British Library's CIP system is electronic too, now. The UK and China each publish over 110,000 titles a year, Germany and the US over 70,000. Japan, Spain, France, South Korea, Italy, and Russia are the only other countries that publish over 25,000 titles as I write this in 2001.

European Community Investment Partners.

European Council of International Schools.

See James D. Lester's ``Citing Cyberspace,'' Michael N. Salda's ``Citing Electronic Materials with the New MLA Guidelines,'' Nancy Crane's ``Bibliographic Formats for Citing Electronic Information'' [for the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA)], George H. Hoemann's ``Electronic Style Page,'' and Maurice Crouse's ``Citing Electronic Information in History Papers,'' which has a comprehensive bibliography.

Many content providers note that current MLA guidelines on electronic citations are inadequate. In addition to various pages above (particularly Nancy B. Crane's precis of her book with Li, and Crouse's page), see Beyond the MLA Handbook: Documenting Electronic Sources on the Internet by Andrew Harnack and Eugene Kleppinger.

European Court of Justice. While national and lower courts in the civilized world usually at least try to appear not to legislate, the ECJ has explicit power to issue regulations binding on the whole EU. Appointive membership, of course. Cf. ICJ.

Emitter-Coupled Logic. Another name, dating back to the days when separate research groups were introducing the design is current-mode logic (CML). That name could in principle include IIL, but as a matter of terminological history does not. Frequently also, the expression ``ECL logic'' is encountered.

ECL is based on an inverter that is essentially a BJT differential amplifier. ECL is a speed demon, but it's a power hog too, so its use is mostly restricted to SSI and MSI applications, AFAIK. That doesn't mean you couldn't make a computer out of it, though. In order to get maximum speed at available linewidths, the IBM-360/370® machines, as well as some Cray supercomputers of approximately the same era, used ECL and willingly paid the price. In the latter case, the price included water cooling.

The basic ECL gate is a differential amplifier comparing input to a reference voltage. The reference voltage used to have to be externally supplied in the earliest devices (ECL I family), but since then a bias circuit generates a bias voltage appropriate for a broad range of VEE. The outputs of the differential amplifier pass through emitter followers, which in addition to increasing output conductance also level shift so output voltages are aligned with input voltages.

With a single input, the complementary outputs of the differential amplifier function as an inverter and as a sharpened version of the input signal. However, the single transistor on the input side can be replaced by a number hooked in parallel. That is, wired together at collectors and emitters, to produce a device with one C, one E, and a number of B's (bases). This is a version of the wired-AND idea: any B that goes high draws current, and since the diff. amp. is essentially a current switch, that determines the output. Any low inputs essentially present a pair of reverse-biased diodes (the BE and BC junctions) in parallel, and are irrelevant. In this way it is very easy to construct multi-input OR/NOR gates.

A 50 kilo-ohm resistance (a pinch resistor is ideal, since accuracy is unimportant) connects each input base to the low voltage. This is a high-enough resistance to have small effect on connected inputs, but prevents any unused inputs from floating high. (An input pulled low, as noted, is essentially out of the circuit.)

The transistors in an ECL gate do not saturate, and as you probably realize, if you want to use them, they are very fast (to a great extent because ECL is a non-saturating logic family). In particular, the rapid fall and rise times give rise to ringing. The ringing can be minimized by proper termination -- that is, by attempting to impedance-match the inputs connected to an ECL output, balancing the load on complementary outputs can also reduce transients. In addition to this kind of fiddling, which is work for the logic-network designers, there is also a partial solution designed into the circuitry of the logic gate itself, as described next.

One of the bad things about ringing between the output of a device and its respective inputs is that it introduces noise into VCC at the output device. This propagates and can lead to interdevice interactions. The strategy for avoiding this sets the upper rail -- the high-voltage level for for the logic circuits -- to coincide with ground: VCC = 0. Then two separate grounds are used (i.e., two electrically distinct nodes are at ground voltage). One ground serves as VCC for the emitter followers and is noisy (due to the ringing). Another ground, which serves as VCC for the differential amplifiers, is quiet because it is locally isolated from the first ground. Among commercial logic families, this particular (double-ground) strategy is unique to ECL.

Note that, although one works between VCC = 0 and VEE = - | VEE |, one still generally uses ``positive logic.'' That is, logic 1 is the algebraically higher voltage value, although it is closer to zero. (One could also design ECL using pnp transistors instead of the standard npn. Then the collectors would be at the low voltage and one could have double grounds with a positive logic in a positive voltage range. No one in his right mind will ever do this with silicon, because pnp's are substantially slower than npn's.)

Digital Microelectronics by Haldun Haznedar contains more material than usual on handling hybrid circuits [i.e., on voltage-level shifting and buffering for current drive (the latter not an issue between TTL and ECL, I think)].

The following advice, from a posting of mine of 1995, is bound to be increasingly irrelevant, but anyway --

Do you really need ECL? Check first that AS-TTL (propagation delays like 1.5 ns) won't do. If you still need faster, then I think you need ECL 100K series (0.5 ns for low fan-out) or 10KH (1 ns). Power delay products are still best in Schottky TTL (SBTTL), but I presume you're willing to pay in power to get speed. Slew rate in 100K is limited to be even less than for Schottky TTL (to minimize ringing), but since the voltage swing is smaller in ECL the fall and rise times are shorter. What is your application?

English and Comparative Literature.

English as a Celestial Language. ``The Emergence of English as a Celestial Language'' was the title of a presentation by Robert C. Meurant at ICHIT'06. The abstract begins thus:
Given the emergence of English as a Global Language, and the probable eventual intensive human exploration and settlement of Space, what forces will likely shape the structural features of English as it expands into the Cosmos?

English Comprehesion Level.

Error-Correction Logic.

``If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times'' is not a general proposition.

(UN) Economic Commission for Latin America. Main offices in Santiago, Chile. See also ECLAC.

Various publications with statistical information from this organization are cited with an ECLA- prefix.

European College of Liberal Arts. Founded in 2000, it describes itself as ``Germany's first private liberal arts college.'' This claim may depend on some unobvious technical assumptions; see KU. ECLA occupies eight buildings in the old embassy quarter of the former East Berlin. As of 2006, it doesn't seem to offer an entire degree program or award degrees. Credits for coursework are awarded by Bard College in New York. The language of instruction is English. ECLA offers academic year, ``project year,'' and six-week ``International Summer University'' programs. Normally, I'd be inclined to make some catty remark here about innovative programs or maximizing real-estate utilization or something, but as I'm in an unaccountably generous mood, I'll just say that ECLA is different, and variety broadens the scope of freedom. (Yuck. I've gone saccharine.)

(UN) Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. See also ECLA.

Unvoiced final stops are hard to distinguish. This could be éclat. It would pretty much have to be, in fact.

Extensible (OO, C++) Class Library for Information Retrieval.

Extremely tasty oblong cream-filled pastry with chocolate syrup or icing on top. Serve chilled.

Success with pizzazz, roughly speaking.

External Cavity Laser Diode.

Environmental Control and Life Support System. NASAnese.

Electronic Counter-Measures. But wait! It gets worse: ECCM. Reminds me of the old Spy-vs.-Spy cartoons in Mad Magazine.

European Computer Manufacturers' Association. Issues standards.

Erie County Medical Center. Teaching hospital affiliated with the University at Buffalo (UB).

European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. There are those who claim that it doesn't matter whether an acronym is pronounceable. If it's short, sure, but what kind of convenience is there in saying ``Ee Cee Em Double Yoo Eff''? Do they call it ``Eck'umwoof''? I think they admit the inconvenience of this acronym when they suggest ``the Centre'' as an acceptable alternative.

Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. ECMWF was originally a project of the distastefully named COST.

Oh yeah, they have quite a reputation for accuracy, as these things go, but then their weather comes from the well-monitored Atlantic, and not the wide Pacific.

Enterprise Certified Novell Engineer (CNE). (Also E... C... NetWare E....)

Engineering Change Order.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

European Conference on Optical Communication.

European Council Of economics and FINance ministers. Or maybe european council of ECOnomics and FINance ministers. Who knows? The formal name is not ordinarily capitalized to indicate the acronymic extraction. ECOFIN is responsible for deciding EU legislation regarding tax harmonization, financial liberalization, and economic policy. The Council makes the final decision on most aspects of Emu.

Now that we're so used to e-neologisms like email and e-commerce, they ought to bury the name of this council.

E. coli
Escherichia coli. A bacterium prevalent in the GI tracts of humans. Has been a very popular host for recombinant DNA.

Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (non-Shiga toxin-producing E. coli) causes bloody or watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes fever. The varieties of the bacterium are classed in four major groups:

  1. Enterotoxigenic (ETEC): the most common cause of travelers' diarrhea (a/k/a ``Montezuma's revenge,'' etc.), and a common cause of food-borne disease outbreaks in the US. There are an estimated 80 thousand cases of ETEC in the US each year.
  2. Enteropathogenic (EPEC): primarily affects children in the so-called developing world.
  3. Enteroinvasive (EIEC): primarily affects children in the underdeveloped world.
  4. Enteroaggregative (EAgg EC): probably causes chronic diarrhea in AIDS victims.

Electronic COMmerce Promotion Council of Japan. (In English also.) See also EC, the more common generic abbreviation for Electronic Commerce.

ECOWAS MOnitoring Group. It would be more precise to say not ECOWAS but only the Anglophone ECOWAS countries. And mostly Nigeria, with sub-battalion-strength units contributed by Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, ... and Sierra Leone. (That ellipsis doesn't represent a long alphabetical list of gee countries... it's just a carefully calibrated comedic pause.)

ECOMOG differs from UN ``peacekeeping'' groups in that the UN only monitors ``peace'' after the fighting has stopped and until it begins again; this ``monitoring group'' fought its way into Liberia in 1990.

The Liberian civil war finally came to an end in 1996. In Spring 1997 or 1998, I met a new student at the business school who was from Liberia. I met him in the Oak Room. The Oak Room was a wonderful place to eat on campus, so naturally they had to ruin it. They were building new dorms on the south side of campus, and after progressively destroying the quality of the dining experience at the Oak Room, they closed it down and turned the building that used to house it into a cafeteria that serves cafeteria food. Finally, to add insult to injury, they created a replacement of the Oak Room on the rear end of the building, named ``Reckers.'' They have some story about who the Recker was that is ``honored'' by this, and since he's dead he can't complain, but we all know it's just a sly misspelling. The joint still features some of the worst pizza you never finished. Anyway, we got to talking, and he explained diplomatically that ``the international community'' ended the war in his country. I pointed out that ``the international community'' as a whole did nothing for Liberia; peace was made by its west African neighbors. He didn't disagree.

Environmental Council of the States.

(UN) ECOnomic and SOcial Council.

Exclusive Correlation SpectroscopY (COSY).

Economic Community Of West African States.

Effective Core Potential. Used to simplify computational chemistry by representing the combined effects of nucleus and core electrons on valence electrons. Intuitively, the ECP consists of the core-electron-screened nuclear potential plus terms which mock up the ``Pauli repulsion.'' Here's an essentially randomly selected site that includes some discussion of ECP's.

Efficient Cluster Packing.

Engineering Change Proposal[s].

Enhanced Capabilities Port.

Enhanced Capabilities Port/Enhanced Parallel Port.

Excessive CrossPosting. A category of spam.

Electronic Communications Privacy A t. (Etext of the act itself.)

[phone icon]

Electronic Coin Public Telephone. When cellular phones were first introduced, they were never expected to be so popular. Perhaps the popular affection for ECPT's can explain this.

Efficient Consumer Response.

Efficacité continuellement renouvelée.

This page in French, compared with this page in English, proves that the preceding French phrase is equivalent to ``Efficient Consumer Response'' (previous entry). It's just a happy coincidence that the acronyms work out to be the same. Cf. EDI.

Electron Cyclotron Resonance. There is also Muon Cyclotron Resonance (µCR).

Electronic Combat Reconnaissance.

European Congress of Radiology.

East Coast Racing Association. Vide goracing.com, VROOM!

European Computer Industry Research Center GmbH, Munich, Germany.

Electron-Cyclotron-Resonance-Heated (plasma).

Economic Cycle Research Institute.

Education Commission of the States.

The Electrochemical Society, Inc.

Exchange Carriers Standards Association. Now called ATIS.

East, Central and Southern African Federation of Food Science and Technology.

European Coal and Steel Community. This sounds like the granddaddy organization to the European Community (EC).

European Central Securities Depositories Association. ``[C]reated in order to find common solutions and establish common principles for cross-border activities for efficient and safe securities settlement within the European Union.''


ElectroConvulsive Therapy. Also ``electroshock therapy'' (EST) and ``Electric shock treatment,'' in decreasing degrees of ephemism. Still used to treat some extreme depressions.

During the US presidential campaign of 1972, Democratic vice-presidential candidate and senator Thomas Eagleton was `revealed' to have once undergone ECT as part of a treatment for depression. Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern's first public remark on the Eagleton news was that he supported his running mate ``one thousand per cent.'' After a quick uproar Eagleton was forced off the ticket -- so you see that eventually, ECT can be very painful and be a cause of serious depression.

It's hard to say that this `scandal' damaged the Democratic ticket's viability, since it was already in pretty bad shape. Sargeant [that's his first name] Shriver, married into the Kennedy clan and first director of the US Peace Corps (in JFK's administration), became the new Veep candidate, and the ticket avoided an electoral college shut-out by winning Shriver's home state of Massachusetts.

After the debacle, McGovern received a sympathetic letter from Barry Goldwater, who lost in a landslide to LBJ in 1964. Goldwater wrote ``If you have to lose, lose big!'' McGovern says that was the first thing to cheer him. Evidently, ECT can even lead to a contagious form of depression.

There's a story about Democratic presidential candidate Fritz Mondale, after his landslide defeat in 1984, asking McGovern how long it takes before one recovers emotionally from such a defeat. McGovern answered that he'd let him know whenever it happened to himself. (I'm a bit hazy on the details, this may have been about Mondale and Dukakis, although the latter's defeat was a landslide only in the electoral college.)

Abbreviates Latin et cetera, in principle, anyway. But it is better regarded (and not well-regarded) as a misspelling of etc.

Eastern Caribbean TELecommunications Regulatory Authority. (For St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines.)

Ethylene ChloroTriFluoroEthylene copolymer. (Allied-Signal Corp.: Halar®.) Properties similar to ETFE.

European Computer Trade Show. Held in London, around September (looking to Christmas). Corresponding US event: E3.

East Carolina University. In Greenville, North Carolina. It's further north and further east than any point in South Carolina, FWIW.

ECU, ecu
European Currency Unit. A unit of account used for bookkeeping purposes by various European international organizations. Specifically created by the EMS for the denomination of its debts and credits, and as a reserve credit in the EMCF. The ECU value was computed as a weighted sum (``basket,'' how quaint) of the currencies of EU members. The ECU went out of existence on January 1, 1999. Or rather, its ontological relationship to its component currencies changed, as did its name. Cf. the euro, described not at the euro entry but at the 1999 entry.

Episcopal Church USA. In other words, and officially, the ``Episcopal Church.'' Other members of the Anglican communion are called Anglican Churches. (But stay tuned -- change may be afoot.)

The British colonies that became the US were settled by an awful lot of nonconformists and non-British Protestants. Episcopalians were (by membership) the fourth-largest US religious denomination in 1776, representing 15.7% of church members (after Congregationalists, 20.4%; Presbyterians, 19.0%; and Baptists, 16.9%). A few decades earlier, Episcopalians had probably been a solid third, but Baptist membership grew during the first ``Great Awakening'' in the early 1740's. [These estimates and those that follow, except as otherwise noted, are from Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, in The Churching of America, 1776-1990 (Rutgers U.P., 1992).]

Until the Revolution, the Episcopalian or English Church enjoyed establishment status in some of the mid-Atlantic and Southern colonies, as the Congregationalists did in New England. After the Revolution, this advantage evaporated quickly for the Episcopalians and slowly for the Congregationalists. The Episcopalians presumably also lost members disproportionately in the emigration of loyalists. In the wake of the Revolution, religious toleration gave way to something much closer to religious liberty, and substantial competition in the religion market. There were big opportunities, because the largest portion of the population, a bit over 80%, were unchurched.

Between 1776 and 1850, the proportion of the population that belonged to some church doubled (from 17% to 34%, in Finke and Stark's estimate). This period includes the ``Second Great Awakening,'' a phenomenon of intensified missionary activity from the early 1800's to the early 1830's. Over this time, Christian denominations' market share also changed dramatically. (Adherence to non-Christian organized religions was negligible.) Methodism, which grew from a movement within the English Church to one outside it only in the middle of the eighteenth century, represented only 2.5% of the churched in 1776. In 1850 it was the largest denomination, with a 34.2% share of the religious market. Baptists also grew, from 16.9% to 20.5%. Catholicism, which started at 1.8%, grew to 13.9% largely on the strength of immigration. The number of Presbyterians grew faster than the overall population, but their market share declined (19.0% to 11.6%). The other two mainline religions also managed to grow also, though their memberships as a fraction of total population fell, and as a fraction of church members collapsed: Congregationalists to 4.0% and Episcopalians to 3.5%.

In the second half of the century, however, the Episcopal Church repositioned itself upmarket. At least, it came to be regarded as the most socially prestigious church in the US. In the process, it also recovered market share. Between 1850 and 1880, membership in ECUSA grew almost 80% faster than the US population (by a factor of 3.87 versus 2.16). [This is based on a comparison of old US census figures available here and church records available here.]

European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia. Now the ECVAA.

European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. Formerly the ECVA.

The European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine - Companion Animals. ``ECVIM-CA is a veterinary specialty organization which was established in June 1994 by the European Society of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ESVIM). The College was formed in response to a growing demand for specialized veterinary care for companion animals and a need to harmonize the certification of specialists within Europe. It was granted full recognition the EBVS (European Board of Veterinary Specialisation) in 2002.''

European Conference on Visual Perception.

Eastern Championship Wrestling. See this other (essentially the same) ECW.

Emergency Conservation Work (act of 1933). See CCC.

Extra-Cellular Water [space]. Water in an animal body that is outside of the cells, and the space occupied by that water.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (league). Originally a member of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), it was established in 1992 as Eastern Championship Wrestling. It withdrew from the NWA in 1994 and changed its name to Extreme Championship Wrestling. The rest, as they say, is history. By this they mean that it's boring. ECW flourished, or whatever, in the mid-1990's and went bankrupt in 2001. WWE bought the rights to the name and library in 2003, and now uses ECW as a brand of WWE events.

Edited by.

A primitive line EDitor in Unix that forms the basis of ex. It understands a limited regular expression syntax.

There's a restricted version of ed, called red (useful to allow editing capability to general or unknown users while protecting the server and its files), and a command-line version of ed, called sed.

Short for Edward. Allows Edwins to blend in inconspicuously.

Ed, ed
EDucation. Pronounced like the proper noun. Productive: `Board of Ed' (bored of Ed?), `Fizz Ed' (Physical Education), `Driver Ed,' (no relation to `Diver Dan,' the 60's children's program ... then again, maybe there is some), `Sex Ed.' If you were reading attentively, then you must have been surprised by the absence of a megaton-hilarious parenthetical comment following the last list item. Sorry, you'll have to buy the book.

Emergency Department. Some physicians have a hangup about the term ``ER.'' I should have explained that in detail when I put this entry in, because now I can't remember what the hang-up is, or if it was not just some joke, but it just seems to be that the general public prefers to refer to the ED (or EW) by ``ER.'' No one wants to visit erectile dysfunction. So visit this A&E entry.

Erectile Dysfunction. Difficulty getting it up. On Thursday, May 7, 1998, Bob Dole was interviewed on Larry King's radio program. Dole, then 74, had had prostate surgery in 1991. Larry King had also had the surgery. During a commercial break he asked Dole if he would be willing to answer a question on air about ED. Dole, the defeated 1996 Republican presidential candidate, ended up endorsing Viagra, a drug that had only been approved by the FDA the previous March 27.

ED is not the sort of medical problem for which one can find reliable statistics, so let's have a show of hands. Hmm, not a problem in this room apparently. Anyway, it is a problem for perhaps ten to twenty million men in the US. Since males are only about half of the population, and some of those are prepubescent boys, it's a problem for possibly as much as a fifth of the, um, at-risk population. Vide etiam saw palmetto.

Once upon a time, the medical profession generally held that in a majority of cases, ED was completely psychological. Viagra merely improves blood flow to the membrum virilis, so under that assumption it shouldn't be expected to help most men with ED. Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of Viagra, reported that 70 percent of participants in clinical trials experienced improved erections. At the

  • Li entry, there is a mention of Kramer's Listening to Prozac. Viagra is an even stronger demonstration of the book's thesis -- generally stated, that a successful therapy can tell us what the problem to be solved was in the first place.

    After he resigned from the US Presidency in disgrace, Richard Nixon consented to be interviewed for television by David Frost. During a break, Dick asked ``Well, David, did you do any fornicating over the weekend?''


    Electronic Design Automation. CFI gives you a place to start. Here's another.

    Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) has placed online a Glossary of Standards.

    Equal Diffusivities Approximation.

    Erbium-Doped fiber Amplifiers. More commonly EDFA.

    Electromechanical Digital Adapter Circuit.

    Electronic Design Automation Companies. An industry group.

    A Spanish noun, female, meaning `age' in most of the main English senses of that word. For example, la edad media means `the middle ages.' (Yeah, the grammatical number doesn't match. Tough.) De mediana edad is `middle-aged.'

    Estetik Dishekimligi Akademisi Dernegi. The g's are ``soft'' (somewhat similar to an intervocalic Spanish g; if it weren't trouble, I'd write the letters correctly with hacheks [inverted carets] on top). The letters s in the middle two words have cedillas underneath -- they have an esh sound. I suppose that if you need to be informed of these things, then you're probably becoming impatient to know what it means.

    Without further ado, then (don't complain; I went through a lot of grief for this entry), it means `Turkish Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.' That's the apparently universal translation, anyway. Or rather, it is the English name that is normally abbreviated EDAD in cosmetic-dentistry contexts. Some of the Turkish name -- the first and third words -- is pretty obvious. The second word in the Turkish name means `dental surgery.' So far, so good. The last word -- whose meaning is possibly not obvious to waggers of any Indo-European tongue -- does not mean `Turkish.' Despite the standard English version, it's pretty clear that there's no Turk or Turkish or national or patriotic or home or Turkey or even turkey in any literal translation.

    In fact, the last word seems redundant to me, but I don't happen to know Turkish. I do know that the Türk Akustik Dernegi is the `Turkish Acoustical Society' and that Bilimsel Arastιrmalar Dernegi is Turkey's `Association for Scientific Research,' and that there are a bunch of similarly named entities. Yet Akademisi Dernegi is a frequent collocation, to judge from ghits. It is frequently translated `Academy Society' or `Academic Association' (but never `Academic Society' or `Academic Association'). As this doesn't make sense in English, while I suspect the original makes sense in Turkish, I doubt it's an accurate translation. True bilinguals are avoiding the more fluent translations with Academic... I don't know what to think. In financial contexts, the word dernek means `corporation,' but it does not appear that our original means `Academy of Esthetic Dental Surgery, Incorporated.' I guess I'll try to track down someone who might know.

    Dr. Galip Gürel, the founder and current (2008) president of EDAD, is a noted auto racer. So I've read.

    Engineering and Design AG. (We explain AG.)

    Early Drama, Art, and Music. A series of volumes published by Medieval Institute Publications of the Medieval Institute at WMU.

    A town in Holland, founded in late medieval times, and a more recent cheese named after it.

    Energy-Delay-Area Product.


    Energy-Dispersive Analysis of X-rays. [Also Latin for `devourer,' as in Ovid's famous tempus edax rerum -- `time, devourer of things.']

    EDA2P, EDA2P
    Energy-Delay-Area2 Product.

    Energy-Distribution Curve.

    Error-Detecting Code. Formally the same code as error-correcting code (ECC), but as implemented in built-in self-test (BIST), it is used only for the detection rather than the correction of errors.

    Exceptional Driver Championship. An annual power-golf competition open to amateur golfers, which rewarded ``accurate power.'' It had a three-year run; see the WLD Champion entry for details of its demise.

    Export Development Canada.

    Expected Departure Clearance Time. Time when a flight can expect to receive departure clearance or a new EDCT. Issued formally as part of Traffic Management Programs such as a Ground Delay Program (GDP).

    Edited by (multiple editors).

    EDucation Doctorate. Also D.Ed.

    At the ed-school entry, I already typed in bibliographical information for a book by Koerner, so to save myself the effort of typing in any more, I'm going to use that as my only reference. According to information on pp. 180ff, for a long time the highest degree in Education was the customary Ph.D. ``But with the coming of progressivism and the `professionalizing' of school administration, pressures from the field against the rigor and alleged narrowness of the Ph.D. made themselves felt. What was needed, said the new educationist, was a `field-oriented' doctorate for educational administrators not concerned with original research but with practical school problems and with the application of research findings to concrete situations. With Harvard, California, and Temple University leading the way, a new doctorate to satisfy these demands was inaugurated, and by the end of the 1930's was solidly established in about 25 institutions.''

    The latest data available when Kroener was writing was from 1960-62. At the time, there were about a hundred US institutions awarding some kind of doctorate of education. A few of these still awarded only the Ph.D., and most of those awarding the Ed.D. also awarded the Ph.D. But by that time the Ed.D. had become the principal doctorate in Education: 1000 of 1500 doctorates awarded annually.

    Kramer argued that the theoretical distinction between Ed.D. and Ph.D. has evaporated in practice. He explained the role and the relative popularity of the Ed.D. in language you won't likely find on an ed-school's website. ``The reasons for the popularity of the Ed.D. are plain enough. It is an easier degree than the Ph.D. Course work for it is often entirely in Education (the Ph.D. used to be attacked as narrow!), it carries no foreign language requirements [that's not so distinctive any more], it usually carries no dissertation requirement, and control over it is usually vested entirely in the Education division of the university -- meaning that advisors from the academic departments are not invoved in the candidates' programs and that the doctoral standards of the arts and sciences division do not have to be met. At Teachers College, for example, the Ph.D. often requires, among other things, that academic faculty from Columbia University approve doctoral dissertations and participate in doctoral oral examinations. This creates onerous problems, for the University representatives often feel that they cannot in good conscience accept the low standards of either the dissertation or the oral exam, in contast to the Teachers College representatives[,] who are anxious to acccept both; on the other hand it is extremely awkward to flunk numerous doctoral candidates at that stage.... It did not take the Teachers College faculty or students long, however, to learn that it was much safer and easier to go the Ed.D. route, along which there were few encounters with the University faculty, with the result that Teachers College now gives 7 or 8 Ed.D.'s for every Ph.D.''

    I'm gonna put a link 'ere to MEng, but you unnerstan I'm not makin no commint or nuthin.

    Eddie Ate Dynamite
    Good-Bye Eddie. I mean, whaddaya expect? Mnemonic for the pitches of guitar strings -- EADGBE.

    A corresponding German mnemonic is Eine Alte Dumme Ganz Hat Eier (`an old dumb goose has eggs'). Observe the recurrence of the themes of stupidity, the GI tract, and the unexpected. Oh yeah, the aitch -- in German the tone B is represented by H, at least in part because the flat symbol not only resembles lower-case b (particular in the once-standard Fraktur-style fonts) too closely but is called by the name of the letter.

    Cf. Every Good Boy.

    From first string to sixth string of a guitar is two octaves, or twenty-four half-steps. If the pitch difference were exactly five half-tones between every pair of adjacent strings, then there'd be one half-tone in excess. Instead, there is only four half-tones separation between the fourth and fifth strings (G and B). (Thus, when the guitar is tuned to itself, the lower string at the fifth fret resonates with the higher string -- except when the B string is tuned to the G string: fourth fret.) One advantage of placing the deficient separation at the fourth string is that this way, every open string is part of the C-major scale and it is possible to step through the entire C-major scale without having to use any fret higher than the third.

    (For convenience above, I refer to the strings in order of increasing pitch -- the order in which they are named. Normal numbering for discussing guitar and probably all lute-family strings is in the opposite direction: upwards in position. So G and B strings are third and second. This information is repeated in slightly different words at the EBGDAE entry, so why don't you go there for a review?)

    Extended Datagram Delivery Protocol.

    One of three UK college entrance exam boards implicated in a grading scandal in 2002, headed at the time by John Kerr. More at the QCA entry.

    This kind of scandal could never happen in the US, because Edexcel sounds so much like Edsel that no one would use it.

    Environmental Defense Fund.

    Er(3+)-Doped Fiber.

    European Development Fund. This is not a fund for developing Europe. It's a European fund for developing countries. For now you can read something bland and informative about it at xrefer. Later, when I have more time, I'll write something cynical and true about it here. Charity? Maybe not completely.

    Erbium-Doped Fiber (EDF) Amplifier. (EDFA is also abbreviated EDA.) Since 1990, EDFA has been available commercially for operation ``at'' 1.55 µm (more precisely in the comventional or C band, 1530 nm to 1565 nm). They're usually pumped with 980 nm GaAs/AlGaAs lasers.

    Edge-Defined film-fed Growth. A process used for crystalline silicon growth.

    Electronic Dot Generation. Electronic control of spot size or intensity to produce halftones.

    Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system of the SEC.

    Enhanced Data rate for GSM Evolution. To achieve the 384kbit/s minimum speed planned for the next stage after GSM, which is UMTS.

    Eastland Disaster Historical Society. The Eastland was a Lake Michigan sightseeing boat based in the port of Chicago. It capsized in 20 feet of water, right next to the pier, and more than 800 people died. The disaster took more lives than any other single Chicago disaster, including the famous Chicago Fire.

    The sinking of the Titanic three years earlier is sometimes described as a contributing factor in the Eastland disaster: after it was learned that there weren't enough lifeboats on the Titanic, laws were passed requiring enough lifeboats for all passengers. The Eastland added lifeboats, evidently raising the center of mass.

    Electron Drift Instrument.

    Electronic Data Interchange. Usually refers to business communications and transactions. A proof that acronyms are more fundamental and universal, and less confusing than other words: in French, EDI is expanded as th'échange de données informatisées, even though the individual words don't mean the same thing as the words in the English expansion of EDI.

    Standards for EDI are ASC X12 and UN/EDIFACT, which are in the process of harmonization.

    Harbinger markets TrustedLink Enterprise -- EDI translation and communications software. It seems to be Windows-NT-based, but runs on the major non-PC Unix dialects as well as godforsaken IBM MVS. There's now even EDI/400 for the AS/400.

    Electronic Data Interchange Association. Harbinger offers ``United Nations rules for Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport. They comprise a set of internationally agreed standards, directories and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data, and in particular that related to trade in goods and services between independent, computerized information systems.''

    European Display Industry Association. Under the aegis of EECA, so I guess this isn't about peacocks or storefronts.

    Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Council of Australia (.au).

    Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Council of Canada (.ca).

    Electronic Data Interchange Format.

    Electronic Design Interchange Format.

    Vide UN/EDIFACT.

    Edison, Thomas Alva
    I think his parents gave him the moniker ``Alva'' in honor of some ferryman who did them a kindness. The Franklin Institute is more certain of its information.

    Edith, EDITH
    Estates Duties Investment Trust changed its name to Edith following the passing of a special resolution of the annual general meeting, June 23, 1982.

    Edith (let's use that name) was originally established to give shareholders in private companies a way to sell a part of their stake in more easily traded (UK) equity. Shareholders would exchange their shares for those of Edith. The trust held these shares as long-term investments. The Edith shares could then be sold to meet death duties and other liabilities. The trust limited itself to minority stakes and did not disturb control of the companies in which it invested.

    The trust was originally created by ICFC in 1952. (It was not on the London Exchange until 1962, but that wouldn't have prevented OTC sales of Edith stock.) ICFC held the largest minority share and continued to provide management for Edith. In 1984, 3i (which ICFC had become a part of) (re)absorbed it. (In 1999, 3i itself was taken public.)

    Edition is the noun corresponding to the verb edit. On this basis, one could expect edition to mean
    1. The act of editing.
    2. The result of editing.
    The former of these meanings is, rather obviously, covered by the gerund editing. The latter is essentially the technical one preferred by bibliographers (see this explanation), for whom an edition comprises
    1. ' All the books printed from a single setting of type.
    This usage is consistent with publishers' way of numbering reference works (see, for example, 11th entry), but it is not the usage familiar from the copyright pages of most books. In general, publishers use the term edition to mean
    1. An individual press run.
    This is what bibliographers call an issue. What a bibliographer would call the first issue of a new edition, a publisher would call a revised edition.

    The problem with all of this is that it's being overtaken by events. I set type in junior high school, and it's a messy chore. Things have been cleaned up and computerized quite a bit, but for the most part, one still somehow sets blocks of what will be printed, so the notion is still valid. The problems come when small changes become easy. In desktop publishing, the traditional notion of a bibliographic edition more or less evaporates. Books are still published using technology that resists incremental changes, but new technologies are chipping away at this (no, I can't name one off the top of my head, I read it somewhere), and of course, the capacity of desk-top publishing advances with (non-press) printer technology.

    editors at publishing houses
    Until I learn enough to generalize, this entry will be a collection of excerpts.

    From an interview conducted in 1975 or perhaps a bit earlier and published in Conversations with Elie Wiesel, p. 92. ``HJC'' is Harry James Cargas, the interviewer.

    HJC: It seems impossible that you could work with an editor.
    EW: I don't work with an editor. When I give a book to a publisher they don't change a word. To work with an editor is only an American institution. This is not so in Europe. There a writer must give the full book to the publisher. If he's not capable of doing that, he's not a writer--at least that was so in my time. Now it may be changed. America has influenced Europe, not the other way around. Here, when my book comes to the American publisher, it's already a finished product, simply to be translated [from French].

    [Wiesel's first work, the nonfiction Night, was written in Yiddish (the title, in transliteration, was Un di Velt Hot Geshvign, `And the World Kept Silent') and published in Buenos Aires in 1956 by Tsentral-Farband fun Poylishe Yidn in Argentine. The versions published in other languages are based on a French condensation that he wrote afterwards. As far as I know, all his novels and other extended writing has been done in French.

    Traditionally, at least in the US, you or your agent could sell a nonfiction book to a publisher on the basis of a more or less detailed proposal and either a chapter or your established reputation. Some nonfiction projects are suggested by editors to authors they'd like to have do them. Fiction is generally sold (and more usually not sold) on the basis of the completed work. Editors may request changes. The changes may be extensive.]

    From ``Forging a Bilingual Identity: A Writer's Testimony, by Ketaki Kushari Dyson [ch. 11 of Bilingual Women (1994), pp. 170-183], p. 177:
      A consequence of being well known in Bengal has meant [sic] that it has been easier for me to publish most of my English-language books from India also. Two books of poetry have been published from Calcutta and two academic books from Delhi. In India there are still no middlemen between authors and publishers, everything being done through informal personal contacts. As a result, I have never acquired the experience of dealing with an agent. Here [in Britain] even agents seem to have their agents, a situation that scares me. I have never registered with an agent. The case-history of the publication of A Various Universe, the book based on my doctoral work, may be of interest here. I sent it first to OUP here. Their reader was very enthusiastic and recommended some changes. I made the changes according to his suggestions and submitted the MS again. This time OUP sent the MS out to a new reader, who proposed some radical changes in the arrangement of material. The book would have to be totally restructured. I took the MS and gave it to Vikas at Delhi. OUP Delhi's general manager at the time, whom I knew slightly from my undergraduate days at Oxford, came to know of this, retrieved the MS from Vikas and decided, over a weekend, that he would publish it. In the end OUP Oxford took 500 copies of the first imprint for sale in Britain, but because my contract was with OUP Delhi my royalty on all copies sold was on the Indian price only.

    [The author was born in 1940; it seems this book, subtitled ``a study of the journals and memoirs of British men and women in the Indian subcontinent, 1765-1856,'' was published in 1978. Vikas Publishing House was founded in 1969.]

    English as a Daily Language. EDL ``is an out-of-classroom session with [BOSTON Life's] experienced bilingual and bicultural advisors who are proficient in teaching conversational English, US culture, and methods of communication.''

    English for Deaf Learners.

    Electronic Distance Measurement.

    (Workshop on High-Performance) Electron Devices for Microwave and Opto-electronic applications.

    Ed, Mr.
    The name of a famous talking horse. A descendent of Clever Hans, no doubt. But how soon people forget! Clever Hans was a horse who seemed capable of doing arithmetic. Asked a question like `what is four plus three?' Hans would respond by clomping a front hoof seven times on the ground. Hans could only perform this trick for his own master. It was a great sensation for a while. It was eventually discovered that Hans could do any computation that his master could do, and get exactly the same answer that his master would have gotten -- right or wrong. Hans was simply clomping until his master visibly relaxed. In 1996 an English police horse made international news with the same behavior (but it was reported credulously, as if the horse could do arithmetic).

    Engineering Data Management System[s].

    EDucation Network of Australia.

    edo, Edo
    There is a Japanese common noun edo, now obsolete, that meant `place facing an estuary.' The word is written with two kanji: the first, with a reading e, means `estuary,' and the second, with a reading do, means `door.' (So there's some alliterative coincidence. Go ahead, write a dissertation about it.) The word was applied as a proper noun to a village which eventually grew to become Japan's capital, Tokyo. That's Tôkyô in a more careful transliteration, from , meaning `east, eastern,' and kyô, `capital.' The official name is Tôkyôto, meaning `Eastern Capital City.' In this case, as indicated, the three syllables happen (it doesn't always work out that way) to correspond to the three kanji that make up the name. If you take just the last two kanji, you have Kyôto, meaning `Capital City.' Kyoto was the capital city before Tokyo.

    Historically, the name Edo has been transliterated as Yedo or the equivalent by some foreign visitors. For a bit more on that, see the yen entry.

    Extended Data Out/Extra Data Output (DRAM). Also called Hyperpage technology. Explanation here.

    Electronic Data Processing. Can you imagine doing it any other way now?

    Emotionally Disturbed Person.

    Energy-Delay Product.

    Ethylene Diamine Pyrocatechol.

    ED pathway
    Entner-Doudoroff pathway. From glucose to pyruvate and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate.

    Enhanced DRAM. It's faster.

    The Engineering Design Research Center. An NSF Engineering Research Center. They have chosen a homepage design in shades of blue.

    European Digital Road Map. Task Force EDRM was a project of the EU's DRIVE. (It was benchmark test task number 12, if that means anything to you.)

    ERIC Document Reproduction Service.

    The Electron Devices Society has a homepage. It's a member society of the IEEE.

    Electronic Data Services. Founded by H. Ross Perot, a big-eared person, in 1962.

    Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. An imaging mode for TEM that relies on analysis of X-rays emitted by the relaxation cascade of electrons ionized by the primary beam. By contrast, in EELS one examines the effects on the primary beam of the same inelastic events.

    Here's a description from Charles Evans & Associates.

    Enterprise Directory Service.

    Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. February 1986 mass demonstrations on Los Santos Ave. into Manila. The military was presented with the choice of disobeying president, kleptocrat and dictator Ferdinand Marcos or moving military tanks through a few hundred thousand civilians. Marcos fled and died in Hawaii in 1989. His refrigerated body was later brought back to the Philippines by Imelda.

    Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Computer. Sounds like what Ed brought for lunch, but would probably have given him heartburn. EDSAC I, commissioned 1949, was a general-purpose computer with 4500 vacuum tubes and a blazing half-a-megahertz reported clock frequency. With a 12-foot-by-12-foot, uh, footprint, it wasn't very portable either. Laptops had to wait a few years.

    SCHOOL of EDucation. A school that offers largely meaningless certification of the ability to teach secondary and lower-level students.

    Every few years, a fitful effort is made to improve the quality of US teachers. Just as a little reminder that this has been going on a while, here are details of a book I dug up during the excavation of a closet:

    The Miseducation of American Teachers, by James D. Koerner. With an introduction by Sterling M. McMurrin, former United States Commissioner of Education.

    I could tell you when it was published, but it wouldn't have the impact of the dust jacket. The author picture is a black-and-white passport picture of the squinting author in a 1962 haircut, the kind that causes your head to repel your ears. The price is $6.95. Okay, I'll tell you: copyright 1963. Mick Jagger turned twenty on July 26 of that year -- that's how long ago it was.

    Ah, but wait: here's a more recent title... Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America's Teachers (New York: The Free Press, 1991), by Rita Kramer. Time, at least, marches on.

    Silica-based EDFA. That is, Erbium-Doped Silica-Fiber Amplifier. This is just the usual EDFA -- the usual fiber is silica-based.

    Electric-Dipole-induced Spin Resonance.

    Electronic Digital Signal Cross-Connect.

    Eastern Daylight Saving Time. GMT - 4 hrs. Vide Daylight Saving Time (DST).

    Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid. A ``sequestering'' (i.e. chelating) agent in foods that prevents the metals it chelates from catalyzing fat oxidation (and dye breakdown). The metal is mostly erosion from food processing equipment. EDTA is also called Edathamil, Havidote, Edetic acid, and Versene Acid.

    Extended Definition TeleVision. Old term superseded by HDTV. See also ATV.

    (Top-level domain code for) EDUcational institution. (Also used as a second-level domain -- see .edu. entry.) With a few old exceptions, and no new ones, only US educational or ``educational'' institutions own .edu domain names. Exceptions are always more interesting than rules, so here are some exceptions: the Bangladesh (.bd) universities BUET and IUBAT, and UNC in Argentina (.ar). I seem to recall that the University of Toronto once used both toronto.edu and utoronto.ca domains, but only the latter is still in use. Sure enough, when I want to write the glossary entry, all their systems are down.

    Not just anyone can buy an .edu domain. You have to satisfy criteria set by EDUCAUSE, the sole registrar for the the domain. The US Department of Commerce awarded management of the domain to EDUCAUSE, or Educause, a ``university technology consortium'' in October 2001. Management is subject to a cooperative agreement with the DoC.

    Eligibility conditions are described at this page. Before Educause took over management, the domain was available almost exclusively to four-year colleges and universities in the US. By agreement with the DoC, all institutions that had an .edu domain as of October 29, 2001 were grandfathered in, and keep their domain names regardless of eligibility. In addition to the non-US institutions mentioned above, there were other exceptions such as the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy Press. A major expansion in eligibility, implemented shortly after Educause took over, was to community colleges, which are accredited by the same regional groups as the four-year institutions. By early 2003, about 7500 were assigned to about 6000 schools.

    A dreadful new expansion was announced February 11, 2003, to take effect April 15, 2003 (rather than the more appropriate April 1). After a period of public comment in which 95% of response was favorable (can you say ``parti pris''? sure you can!), Educause decided to extend eligibility to all schools approved by specialty accreditation organizations recognized by the US Department of Education. Bible Colleges, Beauty Colleges, Hair Design Institutes, the American Film Institute... all the riff-raff is welcome.

    Here's a list of riff, raff, and some other ``national institutional and specialized accrediting bodies that accredit institutions'' that will be eligible for .edu domains:

    • Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
    If you don't mind, I think I'll take a rest now.

    The .edu. sequence is used under the ccTLD's of many countries (e.g., Australia, Hong Kong, Poland, Taiwan, and various Latin American countries), that have adopted a hierarchical system of domain names. Generally it is the penultimate domain name element (i.e., as a second level domain): ufubar.edu.au, ...edu.hk, ...edu.pl, ...edu.tw, ...edu.ar, ...edu.co, ...edu.gt, ... .) Cf. .ac., .edu (the TLD).

    In the Canadian province of Ontario, .edu. is a third-level domain. For example, the Halton Catholic District has <haltonrc.edu.on.ca>.

    educate people
    Convince people against their better judgment. A favored activity of PIRGes and NGOes. To educate students is to convince people who have no better judgment yet. It's a favored activity of people paid to teach, and the students don't complain as much as when they're forced to learn geometry, chemistry, and similar reactionary political tripe that is of no utility in the real world anyway.

    Education in the US is a permanent disaster. It is notoriously in decline, and always has been. Extrapolating into the future, American education will explore negative or more negative territory. That should be interesting, and someday we may be able to include some interesting quotes about it from the future. For the time being, however, we'll stick to the past, slowly collecting unrepresentative quotes. Here's a relatively recent one -- the first lines of Bernard Iddings Bell's foreword to Mortimer Smith's And Madly Teach: A Layman Looks at Public School Education (Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1949):
    American Education is so defective in theory and practice as seriously to threaten the long continuance of the way of life to further which this nation was founded.

    A term that may certainly include kindergarten teachers and college professors, and which is conveniently taken to include vacuum cleaner salesmen and others who believe themselves to have some information to impart.

    EDUcation FInland. Web pages maintained by Finland's National Board of Education.

    European DMIS User Group. DMIS (q.v.) is the Dimensional Measuring Interface Standard.

    German elektronische Datenverarbeitung, `Electronic Data Processing' (EDP).

    Electronic Discrete (i.e. digital) Variable Automatic Computer. Built by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert in 1951, with some input from John von Neumann. The fundamental qualitative difference between this machine and ENIAC, q.v., which Mauchly and Eckert had finished in 1945, was the incorporation of von Neumann's ``stored program'' concept. The program executed by the computer was stored as data, rather than existing as wire connections (as in the ENIAC) or in an external read-only memory (punched movie film for Zuse's machines, punched paper tape for the Harvard [ASCC] Mark I).

    Edward Kennedy
    Better known as ``Duke.'' Edward Kennedy ``Duke'' Ellington. Some Kennedys really are royalty.

    Electronic Data eXchange.

    Energy-Dispersive X-ray analysis. Visit this description served by Christopher Walker.

    Energy-Dispersive X-ray Analysis (EDX supra).

    Electron-Diffraction X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF).

    Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy.

    e. e. cummings (1894-1962) had a thing about the upper case. His poetry was known as the nightmare of typesetters. `e. e.' stood for `Edward Estlin.'

    Electric Editors.

    {Electrical | Electronic[s]} Engineer[ing].

    The WWW Virtual Library has an EE index. LookSmart has a small page of EE links that does not include the SBF glossary.

    Environmental Education. It's easy: you can find pleny of ``facts'' on the web.

    (Domain code for) Estonia (Eesti). There's an English <--> Estonian Dictionary online. Here's an online network resource map.

    The Home Page of the Chair of Classical Philology, Tartu University, maintained by the electrifyingly named Ivo Volt.

    Men's shoe width greater than E and narrower than EEE. Cf. AA

    Employment Equity Act. The Canadian EEA defines ``members of visible minorities'' as ``persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.''

    European Economic Area. The EEA Agreement is a mechanism for coordination between the EU and the EFTA states (except Switzerland). Given the relative sizes, it amounts to a way of extending the sway of EU laws to a few non-EU countries.

    European Environment Agency.

    Employment Equity/Affirmative Action. As in ``the University is an EE/AA employer.'' Canadian and South African form of EO/AA. If I were some kind of troublemaker, I would note that if this expression is not redundant, then it suggests that ``Affirmative Action'' (AA, q.v.) represents something other than equity in employment. See also one of the EEA entries.

    Varian Corporation's EBES.

    European Economic Community. An obsolete name superseded by EC in late Spring or early Summer 1987. Already in 1985, however, the term ``European Union'' (EU) was being used not as a proper noun but as a economic and political goal. The German for EEC was EWG.

    Eurocontrol Experimental Centre. Air traffic control research.

    European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association.

    Emitter (E) Edge Dislocations.

    Also written ``triple-E'' (pronounced ``triple ee''). Eastern Equine Encephalitis. People can get this viral disease too; the frequency is low but the consequences are potentially fatal. As with most viral diseases, treatment consists of treating the symptoms and trying to keep the patient alive to fight off the illness on his own. There's a vaccine against EEE, for horses, effective for a year. There's no EEE vaccine for humans.

    Outcomes vary greatly -- roughly a third of people contracting the disease recover with no or minimal long-term consequences, a third survive with severe neurological damage, and a third die. Severity is said to vary between different outbreaks, however, and fatality rates as high as 70% have been reported. (It seems to me, though, that this apparent variation would be expected just from the small-number statistics and sampling bias.) Early symptoms are highly nonspecific (they include high fever, chills, stiff neck, headache, and fatigue); during the 2005 outbreak described below, roughly 250 people had been tested for EEE virus before there were three positives.

    Rates of infection tend to peak for a few years and then subside for a couple of decades. There was an outbreak in New England in 2004, following no cases in 2002 and 2003. In Massachusetts alone it infected four people and killed two in 2004 (there were also seven equine cases). It has killed two so far (I write on September 8) in 2005.

    It's transmitted by mosquitoes. The fraction of mosquitoes that carry the virus grows over the Summer, so infection rates tend to peak in September. The specific mosquito of concern is Culiseta melanura, which primarily gets the virus by biting birds.

    Also written ``triple-E'' (pronounced ``triple ee''). One size larger than double-E.

    Exchange Equalization Fund.

    Egyptologist's Electronic Forum. An electronic mailing list.

    ElectroEncephaloGram. A graph of various potentials (i.e. voltages) measured by probes attached to the skin on the surface of the head. Provides some general indication of brain function. [Less frequently `Electroencephalography.']

    External Environment Interface.

    IATA code for the airport at Eek, Alaska. It's almost 3500 miles from EEK to YOW!

    Onomatopaeia for a vocalization of alarmed surprise.

    In many cases, the sound represented by the ``K'' is an unvoiced glottal stop (the ``EE'' is choked off sharply). That's why ``EEP!'' may be virtually equivalent. The Semitic languages (at least Hebrew and Arabic) have alphabetic symbols for glottal stops; European languages generally manage without. Japanese uses a small version of a kana for tsu to represent the glottal stop at the end of eh or ah. Normally, the small tsu (called sukuon) is used to indicate a geminate consonant. For example, the kana sequence (ni, small tsu, po, n) would be transliterated as ``Nippon.''

    Of course, some people actually pronounce ``EEK!'' or ``EEP!'' with a /k/ or /p/. Killjoys.

    Standard designation of the Estonian (.ee) currency, the Kroon; its exchange rate was fixed at one eighth of a Deutsch Mark (DEM) when I first wrote this entry. When Germany adopted the euro, with an exchange rate of 1.95583 DEM = 1 EUR, the EEK became pegged at 0.06391 EUR, or thereabouts. I know approximately nothing about how forex works or how the peg is maintained or anything, but according to this site, the EEK has had many brief excursions from the 0.6391 target, as far down as 0.0620751 EUR and as far up as 0.6476409 EUR. (I'm writing in January 2010; it's around 0.063912 right now.) Check the currency converter entry.

    Just taking a wild guess, I suspect that ``kroon'' does not refer to human mating calls, but is a cognate of crown.

    Effective Early Learning.

    Entomology Environmental Laboratory. A building at Purdue's West Lafayette campus. They doubtless chose this acronym because calling a building by the name of a slithery bloodsucker with a ring of prehensile teeth is so much more appealing than any insect name. Also, ENTM was taken (for Entomology Hall).

    Early Entry Lethality and Survivability. [Battle Lab (BL).]

    Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy. In a TEM configuration, the energy spectrum of transmitted electrons is analyzed. Because the samples are so thin, the number of (deep) inelastic scattering events is small (on the order of one). The pattern of peaks can then be analyzed to obtain chemical composition data for the sample (vide electron beam interactions). (Also called PEELS.) Cf. EDS.

    Visit this description served by Christopher Walker.

    European Electronic Messaging Association.

    End of Evening Nautical Twilight. The time when the sun has sunk 12 degrees below the horizon. For any latitude further north than twelve degrees below the Arctic circle, or further south than twelve degrees from the Antarctic circle, there will be nights that consist entirely of twilight, q.v.

    Equal Employment Opportunity. This concept is considered at the EE/AA entry.

    (US) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. Kinda redundant, wooncha say? How about EOE?

    CMOS PLD's programmed with E²PROM switching arrays.

    Electrically Erasable PROM's. Like EPROM's, but erasable electrically. Also, while ``EEPROM's'' can in principle include EAROM's, the latter are obsolete and EEPROM refers to memories based on devices with geometries similar to the FAMOS structure: with a thinner thinox (100Å instead of 1000Å), F-N tunneling is used to charge a floating gate to store a bit.

    European Economic Review. A journal.

    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

    Electronegativity Equalization with S-Orbital Participation.

    EE Times - interactive.

    EEUU, EE.UU.
    Estados Unidos, Spanish for `United States.' (Note that the punctuation E.E.U.U. is incorrect; cf. E.U.) The adjective (and gentilicial noun) is estadounidense. Some Latin American countries have or once had Estados Unidos as part of their official names (see R.U.), but it would be a pedantic joke to call someone from one of those countries, such as a Mexican, an estadounidense. (For something completely unrelated, see the U.E. entry.)

    Early Extended Validation Integration Program. An FAA program, first implemented for the Boeing 777, to give ``out-of-the-box'' ETOPS clearance to a new plane, rather than waiting for a couple of years of domestic service experience.

    Edinburgh Engineering Virtual Library. At least in Knievel's case, there was a point.

    Engineering Foundation.

    Enhanced Fujita (Scale). An improved version of the Fujita Scale for categorizing tornado severity. Read about it in this document served by the NOAA.

    Equalization Fund.

    Essential Fatty Acid[s].

    Evanescent-Field Absorbance Sensor.

    Expected Family Contribution. To the cost of a child's university education. Back in 1975, my high school classmate Charles explained that this is based on a simple formula: value of family home divided by four equals EFC per year. Shortly after that time, college tuitions started to increase dramatically.

    Gerard tells me that there was an uproar in England back when the Thatcher government announced that the cost of room and board for university students would no longer be borne by the government (though of course tuition would continue to be `free').

    Explicit Forward Congestion Indication.

    Event Forwarding Discriminator.

    The news-source code for the principal Spanish-language news agency, used similarly to the AFP, AP, and UPI. EFE is not an acronym. In Spanish, the letter F is called efe. In 1939, EFE or Agencia EFE was founded as the successor of a news organization called Agencia Fabra. This, founded in 1919, was in turn a descendant of el Centro de Corresponsales (`Correspondents' Center') [or maybe Centro de Correspondencias (`Correspondence Center') -- my sources disagree], the first news agency in Spain. That first agency was founded in 1865 by Nilo Marí Fabra y Deas (1843-1903), a journalist and man of letters.


    A Spanish adjective meaning `effective,' also used as a noun meaning `cash.'

    That fact is so poetic that I should probably leave the entry at that, but I have to say that this reminds me of the English word practical. In India, the word is used primarily in the restricted sense of `financially pragmatic.' (I guess I already mentioned this at the ALARP entry. What, did you forget already?)

    Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but payment in full is even more sincerely appreciated.

    In Polish, forsa is slang for money, dough, bread, you dig? Various cognates of English force begin with forso-. This is certainly suggestive, but I have some more investigating to do.

    Electronic Frontier Foundation. Inter alia, they offer a ``Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet'' (ftp here), also known as EFF's (Extended) Guide to the Internet (http version here).

    EFF is at the forefront of the battle against net censorship.

    Evergreen Freedom Foundation. ``[A] public policy organization in Olympia, Washington, dedicated to the advancement of individual liberty.'' Seems to be concerned mostly with education and labor issues.

    Let's talk about efficiency, shall we? Good! Now that we've got that out of the way, I'd like to introduce a quote from Roman Jakobson's Science of Language. Please understand that ``Roman Jakobson's'' is part of the title, not an indication of direct authorship. Rather, the author of this book (with yellow matte paper covers) is Linda R. Waugh. On the eighteenth page of that book she introduces the topic of ``relative efficiency.'' I will skip the first sentence of that introduction, since it is clear that it conveys no useful information (clear, that is, once one has supplied the punctuation that makes it clear, clearly). She continues (on the same page, and into the next one -- page nineteen)
    To say that language is efficient is to say that in general its patterning is such that communication may take place -- but while the linguistic system is in general an efficient one (else how could human beings learn and use such a complex pattern?) it is also clear from the study of language itself as well as from language change, that the system is in certain respects not maximally efficient (or maximally simple or [maximally] economical). Language is efficient -- or else it would not survive and would be replaced by other, more efficient systems.

    Et, as the saying goes, cetera. I hope that Dr. Waugh found the study of efficiency in language rewarding as well as interesting (and how can one help but be interested in something so rewarding?). (And how else can one be rewarded except through interest?) But I doubt it.

    European Federation for Food Science and Technology.

    Edge-defined Film-fed Growth.

    Electric Field Gradient.

    Electronic Fuel Injection. Sexier than mere FI.

    English as a Foreign Language. This implicitly excludes those for whom it is also the mother tongue. If you want to exclude the illiterates, try ESL or ESOL (q.v.).

    EFL is pronounced `EE-ful.' Voice that and it's ``evil.'' Either way it may be awful.

    The acronym EFL is currently somewhat more common than ESL, but both terms are well known. If you make no semantic distinction between the two, and have no particular preference, then here is one reason to avoid EFL and use ESL or even ESOL. The initialism ENL stands for both English as a Native Language and English as a New Language. EFL is subject to a similar confusion: it is also used in the sense of ``English as a First Language.'' It's quite rare, but not rare enough. I've even seen joking (I think) instances of EFL expanded with fourth and fifth. Same problem with FLA: it's a dangerous world out there for acronyms.

    Many people do make a technical distinction between EFL and ESL, but it is not always the same distinction. A relatively common one is as follows: EFL tends to involve homogeneous classes, with students having a common language that the instructor may know and use to a (very) variable degree. ESL, in contrast, tends to refer to more heterogeneous student group, probably of foreigners taught in an English-speaking country. In this case, the instruction must evidently be more of an immersion.

    The terms EFL and ESL emerged in the aftermath of WWII, and the distinction between EFL and ESL arose out of the observation that English-language study in some situations was differed significantly from the familiar situation of school-study of foreign language in school. ``Foreign language,'' FL, and EFL referred to the familiar school situation. ``Second Language,'' SL, and ESL referred to situations in which the language being learned was somehow not foreign. The two main cases were of those learning English (a) as students in former British colonies and in the Philippines and Puerto Rico, and (b) as non-native speakers resident in English-speaking countries. Because the general situations of (a) and (b) were initially more relevant in Britain and North America, respectively, there arose a difference in usage on opposite sides of the Atlantic. This probably contributed to some of the confusion and ambiguity in the use of these terms.

    Lying behind the distinction between ESL and EFL are theories, well-articulated or not, regarding how familiar English is, and how it is used, when it is not an entirely foreign language. This is a subject of research, some of it good and empirical, and a very little bit of which will eventually be described at the entry for taxonomies of English language use. Both EFL and ESL are part of the taxonomies of Moag and Judd, to be discussed there.

    Electronic Fetal Monitor.

    Efficient Foodservice Response. ``[A]n industry-wide effort to improve efficiencies in the foodservice supply chain that links manufacturing plants to distributions warehouses to operators tables.''

    Electronic Forms Routing and Approval.

    Education For Sustainability. ``[A] lifelong learning process that leads to an informed and involved citizenry having the creative problem-solving skills, scientific and social literacy, and commitment to engage in responsible individual and cooperative actions'' according to Second Nature.

    The earliest mention of tree hugging that I am aware of -- the locus classicus, perhaps -- is the sixties song ``Draggin' The Line.'' In context, it appears to have a double meaning: simultaneously a celebration of nature (``diggin' the rain and the snow and the bright sunshine'') and a technique for aerial power- or communication-cable hanging that might be regarded as cable sustained by a sustainable problem-solving technique.

    Don't you hate these recursive extended metaphors? You don't?! Okay buddy, you asked for it: visit XARA.

    Effective Financing Statement.

    Electronic Frontier Society.

    Error-Free Seconds.

    Extended Feature Supplements. Software upgrades for SCO products, such as new device drivers or additional features.

    European Financial Stability Facility. It's a ``facility,'' see? The name demonstrates that it facilitates things in a regular way and that it's a reassuringly stable, solid thing, like a cement latrine. In fact, the inspiration of the EFSF is your solid, stable, non-tip-over-able bill changer. In an ordinary bill changer, you insert paper currency and coins come out. In other words, you put in something soft, fragile, and possibly quite ratty-looking, and you get something solid and hefty out. Except that with the EFSF you put in the government bonds of the least solvent Eurozone member countries, and you get out bonds guaranteed, sort of, by Germany and others of the currently more solvent Eurozone members.

    Extended Finite State Machine (FSM).

    Electronic Funds Transfer.

    Engineering Field Test.

    Electronic Funds Transfer Act.

    Electronic Funds Transfer Association. The conspiracy among ATM owners.

    European Free Trade Association. A smaller, less suffocating EEC-type organization founded at the end of 1959. I thought it disbanded when Sweden and Austria opted into the EU. But no: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland still belong. It is possible to travel through four different language zones without ever leaving EFTA: just start in Liechtenstein and head west (making a few judicious detours) all the way to Geneva in Switzerland. You won't even have to stop anywhere for customs at an international border. EFTA continues under the terms of the Stockholm Convention which set up EFTA (but Sweden of course does not).

    EFTA has also frequently been expanded European Free Trade Area. The German translation that I have seen is Europäische Freihandelszone, meaning `European free trade zone.'

    EFTA has various joint declarations on cooperation (JDC's) and bilateral free trade agreements FTA's. See also EEA.

    Energy-Filtering Transmission Electron Microscopy.

    Electronic Funds Transfer System.

    eftsoon, eftsoons
    Newt, newts that settled Oklahoma, now moved on to the Scrabble tablelands. Oh wait -- I just made that up out of whole cloth with 40% post-consumer recycled waste. It's actually one adverb with an optional final ess. Among the meanings it has evolved through, the one that occurred most recently (in purposely archaic writing of 1871 or later) is ``soon afterwards.'' (The ``soon'' part of the meaning was evidently inferred from the spelling of the word. While the word was in common use that had not been part of the meaning.)

    Japanese for FM (frequency modulation).

    EFaVirenz. An NNRTI used in the treatment of AIDS.

    Electric Fields and Waves.

    EuroFighter 2000. An aircraft proposal, not an animated action hero.

    Energy of the band Gap. (Normally the ``bandgap energy'' or just ``band gap.'') This is really a symbol rather than an abbreviation, but I have a few of those (symbols) in the glossary, and this is an important one. Quantitatively, Eg = Ec - Ev .

    Cf. Ec, Ev.

    (Domain code for) Egypt. Take a virtual trip to the pages of Egypt's Ministry of Tourism. ARCE/NC serves a page of links to select Egypt websites.

    German, Europäische Gemeinschaft. `European Community' (EC). Usage gradually superseded in the late 1990's by EU (Europäische Union).


    Exempli Gratia. Latin, `for example,' though `free sample' would not be a less faithful translation. Cf. f.i. and viz.

    Extended Graphics Adapter. A color-resolution available on IBM PC's and compatibles: any 16 out of 64 colors. Successor of CGA; now obsolete (at least in the sense of being unavailable on new machines); succeeded by VGA.


    ``Electricity-Generated Emissions.''

    Ethylene Glycol Ethers.

    ElectroGastroGram. A measure of peripheral nervous-system activity. Proposed as a way to increase the number represented by poly in polygraph. The idea is essentially that if you get a knot in your stomach when you realize that you are suspected of lying, then an EGG might detect your nervousness about being suspected of lying electronically and noninvasively almost as effectively as common sense can. The device will be most popular among people with no sense.

    The polygraph is an extremely effective technology. When administered on a person who is lying, a polygraph finding that the person is lying is correct over 90% of the time.

    ElectroGlottoGraphy. Say Aiiiii!

    The weight classes are:
    Class Minimum Net
    Weight per dozen
    Jumbo 30 oz.
    Extra Large 27 oz.
    Large 24 oz.
    Medium 21 oz.
    Small 18 oz.
    Peewee 15 oz.

    For all weight classes except Peewee, individual eggs are subject to a weight minimum: no egg must be so light that a dozen of the lightest would weigh less than one ounce below the minimum. Thus, for example, since a dozen of large eggs must weigh at least 24 ounces, the average weight of the eggs must be at least 2 ounces. Even the smallest eggs in the dozen, however, must weigh 24 -1 = 23 oz. per dozen, or 23/12 oz. apiece.

    When you think about this, it's an interesting situation. Suppose that you are a chicken farmer (not a ``chicken rancher''!) and your chickens lay eggs with a mass distribution that is smooth on the scale of twelfths of an ounce. In fact, for simplicity, assume that the distribution is constant. That is, loosely speaking, assume your hens lay as many 23/12 ounce eggs as 24/12 oz. eggs and 25/12 oz eggs, etc. It's a reasonable assumption. Consider now how you would try to meet market demand for large eggs. You start with all the eggs that weigh anything under 26/12 oz., because you can't put any of those in any higher grade, and you certainly don't want to put them in a lower grade and make less money. In order to make more dozens, you continue to use all eggs that weigh less, right down to 23/12 ounces, the legal minimum for an individual egg in that grade.

    By going down to the legal limit, are you being a greedy, conniving weasel (note the appropriateness of the metaphor)? Well, consider this: by using all of the eggs in the 26/12 to 23/12 range, and making the reasonable constant-distribution assumption, you can expect that the dozen carton of large eggs will have a total egg mass of 24.5 oz. Of course, the eggs are randomly distributed, and some of the cartons are going to end up with more than their fair share of lighter eggs. How often? Well the standard deviation about 24.5/12 or 50/24 oz., for a uniform distribution of width 3/12 = 1/4 ounce (from 23/12 to 26/12 oz.) is 1/sqrt(12) times the width, or about 0.0240 oz. Thus, the average exceeds the dozen minimum by 1.732 standard deviations (yes, in fact, by exactly sqrt(3) oz. if you take this kind of number seriously). This isn't really that much. Twelve is close enough to infinity for government work, so we can approximate the binomial probability distribution by a normal one, and we find that a few percent (you look it up in the tables!) are underweight. There are a bunch of things you can do about this, but you're on your own now because I'm bored.

    If you want to know all about breakfast, then you ought to visit the salt entry too. For more on eggs, see the Abe entry.

    It appears from the evidence of his diaries available here that Jean-Paul Sartre's earliest experiments in existential food involved the Denver omelet.

    If you're still hungry for more information about eggs, see the .hu (for Hungary) entry. See also the France-related egg-content-positive entries on French toast and love. You can probably tell a lot about a person from the way they like their eggs. I'll have 'em over hard.

    English as a Global Language.


    Einleitung in die griechische Philologie. [German, `Introduction to Greek Philology.'] (Stuttgart and Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1997). Pp. xvi, 773. DM 86. ISBN is 3-519-07435-4. BMCR review by James Holoka: 1999-04-01.

    Together with Einleitung in die lateinische Philologie (1996), edited by Fritz Graf, EGP replaces Teubner's Einleitung in die Altertumswissenschaft.

    Exterior Gateway Protocol.

    Exhaust Gas Recirculation. This is what used to happen, unfortunately, in aircraft with a smoking section. It gave a different meaning to the term pressurized cabin.

    Nowadays, afaik, tobacco smoking only occurs on private planes, and EGR is only used in its engineering sense. That refers to exhaust gas from an engine. This exhaust gas is hotter than the ambient air taken in. The elevated temperature of the exhaust gas represents a waste of fuel. One way to recover some of the loss is to run the exhaust gas through a heat exchanger (that's EGR) to preheat the fuel. In the case of gas turbines, EGR is used to heat the air after the combustion chamber has been filled. In either of these uses of EGR, compression of the fuel-air mixture is increased, hence increasing the work done by the engine.

    Come to think of it, the mechanical engineering sense was the only one that was ever common.

    Extended grep.

    Various kinds of (usually white) heron. Some of these live in symbiosis with hippopotami. I have no idea what good egrets are to hippos. Maybe they keep other, heavier potential riders off? Taxi-meter symbiosis?

    Energetic Gamma Ray ExperimenT. Energetic qualifies the gamma rays, not the exeriment, as far as I know.

    Electronics-Grade Silicon.

    Endovascular Grafting System. Polyester tube goes inside blood vessel, bridges section with aneurysm.

    Ethylene Glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl-ether)-N,N,N',N'-TetraAcetate. Equivalently, (ethylenedioxy)diethylene nitrilotetraacetate.

    (Domain code for) Western Sahara.

    National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council. Based in Portland, Oregon.

    Eye Health Council of Canada. Founded in January 1996 as ``a partnership between Canadian Optometry and the Ophthalmic Industry, dedicated to educating the public about the importance of quality eye health care.'' The national public education division of the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO).



    A Latin interjection meaning, roughly `alas!'

    Supposedly, heu is an equivalent interjection, but all the classicists I know seem to write only ``eheu.''

    Frequencies above 30 GHz.

    École Hôtelière de Lausanne.

    English Home Language. Shorthand expression used by many educational institutions to distinguish students who speak English at home from those who don't (non-EHL, NEHL).

    Emulator High Level Language (HLL) Application Programming Interface (API) from IBM.

    Extended Huckel Method. Crude method for constructing molecular orbitals: combining atomic orbitals and ignoring all electron-electron effects.

    ehp, EHP
    Electron-Hole Pair.

    Engineering Honors Program.

    Economic History Review. It's ``published quarterly and each volume contains over 800 pages. It is an invaluable source of information and is available free to members of the'' EHS. Really, what more could you ask? ``Publishing reviews of books, periodicals and information technology, The Review will keep anyone interested in economic and social history abreast of current developments in the subject. It aims at broad coverage of themes of economic and social change, including the intellectual, political and cultural implications of these changes.''

    Education and Human Resources. A directorate of the NSF.

    Ehrenfest's Theorem
    For a particle of constant mass m, described by position coördinate r(t) evolving in time (t), in a potential V(r), the classical time evolution is described by (what we call) Newton's equation:
    	m -- r = - gradV(r) .

    If we can ignore spin, the corresponding quantum mechanical motion is described by Schrödinger's equation. For this quantum mechanical motion, a consequence that can be derived from the Schrödinger equation is Ehrenfest's theorem, which states that

    	m -- <r> = - < gradV > .

    This does not mean that the average position obeys Newton's law, despite the resemblance. The reason is contained in a definition:

    A statistician is a person who, standing with his feet in ice water and her hair on fire [hey, (s)he's just an average person], will declare:

    ``On average, I feel fine.''

    In order for the average position <r(t)> to obey Newton's law precisely, it would be necessary for the right-hand side (r.h.s.) of the last equation (i.e., in Ehrenfest's theorem) to read -gradV(<r>) . Note carefully the ordering of operations: in Ehrenfest's theorem, gradV is evaluated first, then an average is computed; in the alternative version, the average of r would be computed first, then the potential would be evaluated at that averaged position. The computation of an average implies, speaking, the repeated evaluation of the quantity to be averaged.

    Temperature	-----------	Feeling
        hot		    Head	not fine at all
        ok		    Body	     fine
        cold	    Feet	not fine at all
    <Temperature> = ok		<Feeling> = not fine

    Ehrich-Schwoeble barrier
    The free-energy barrier experienced by an adatom diffusing on a crystal terrace, when it approaches a step downward from the plane it is on. (I.e., the energy cost associated with the reduced coordination of the adatom at an edge.) A corresponding barrier tends to reflect surface vacancies from the inside edge of a step. The magnitude of the effect varies -- in many metal surfaces, reflection from these edge barriers is perfect; in Ge grown at low temperatures (gotta get a reference here), there is a slight (1%) difference in diffusion upward and downward across terrace edges.

    The reflection barriers, combined with the increased probability of adatom binding at the inside (lower) edge of a crystal step between edges, lead to a growth instability: low-temperature growth is unstable against the formation of mounds, and becomes amorphous for sufficiently thick growth layers. Similarly, sputter etching can be unstable against the formation of deep pits.

    Economic History Society. ``The Economic History Society exists to support research and teaching in economic and social history, broadly defined.'' (This is in contrast with the Economical History Society, which exists to support research and teaching in all history, broadly defined, but on the cheap. You know -- silent approval, free grins, that sort of thing. A link? Are you kidding? Websites cost money!)

    ``The Society also acts as a pressure group working to influence government policy in the interests of history, alongside other societies, such as the Social History Society, the Agricultural History Society, the Urban History Group and the Association of Business Historians, and in concert with professional bodies such as the Royal Historical Society, the Historical Association, the History in Universities Defence Group and the Academy of Learned Societies in Social Science. In addition, the Society regularly liases with funding bodies such as HEFCE, SHEFCE, the AHRB and the ESRC.

    The EHS was founded in 1926, a good time to study a bad spot of economic history as it was happening. It's based in the UK and holds its meetings there, but ``is very keen to attract new overseas members as well as those from Britain.'' A subscription to EHS is included in the price of membership (GBP 21, as of 2004).

    EHS, EH&S
    Environmental, Health and Safety.

    Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea. If you have any trouble understanding the expansion, you're going to find the linked page rough going. For an alternative, see our UPV/EHU entry.

    Extra-High Voltage.

    Airline Carrier code for Aer Lingus. (From first two letters of country name Eire.)

    Electronic Installation.

    Electron Impact.

    Electron Ionization.

    Engineering Information, Inc. They produce Compendex.

    Enterprise Integration.

    Electronics Industries Association. A trade association; members are electronic equipment manufacturers; recommends standards. Founded 1924; based in Arlington, VA.

    Occasionally, as in CEG's homepage, the first word in the name is written ``Electronic.'' Perhaps this reflects the aversion of North American Anglophones for plural attributive nouns, and a misconstrual of ``Electronics'' as a plural. More likely, perhaps, is an unconsidered reflex that two plurals never follow each other. The problem is that ``Electronic Industries'' can include radio broadcasters and accounting firms, in which electronic equipment is a tool but not a product or the reason for creating the product. Any radio program is an electronic transmission. A radio program about VLSI is an electronics transmission. Everyone knows this, so why am I belaboring the obvious? If everyone knows it, then why doesn't everyone, to say nothing of the EIA/CEG, get it right?

    Enzyme ImmunoAssay.

    Equine Infectious Anemia.

    EIA's Consumer Electronics Group, representing U.S. manufacturers of audio, video, home office, mobile electronics, multimedia and accessories. They have a somewhat boosterish homepage, but what do you expect?

    Electronics Industries Association of Japan. EIAJ was roughly the Japanese counterpart of the American JEDEC or SIA. In 2000 it merged with JEIDA to form JEITA.

    EIA RS
    Earlier designation of EIA Recommended Standards documents, obsolete usage since about 1982. For a long time now, ``EIA RS-464'' has been simply ``EIA-464,'' etc.

    EIA U
    EIA Unit. A height unit for standard rack-mount equipment and frames, discussed in soporofic yet inadequate detail at the U entry. Let's go there now!

    Second-generation Enzyme ImmunoAssay.

    European Investment Bank.

    Excellence In Broadcasting (Network). The stations that broadcast the Rush Limbaugh program, an ironic comedy show starring Rush Limbaugh.

    Earned Income Credit.


    Equivalent IC.

    Engine Indication & Crew Alerting System.

    Enterprise Integration (EI) Corporate Management Council.

    Emerging Infectious Diseases.

    Engineering & Installation Division (of the USAF).

    Enhanced IDE. IDE is a disk-only small-computer interface. EIDE attempts to make up its deficiencies relative to SCSI without giving up IDE compatibility.

    EIDE hard disks have > 528MB.

    Electronic Interception and Direction Finding.

    Emergency IDentification LighT.

    Electronic Information Delivery System.

    Electronics Industry Data eXchange association. Electronics Industry trade association for its own use of EDI.

    Easily-Ionized Element.

    EnteroInvasive E. coli.

    Easily-Ionized-Element Interface Observation. Also the refrain in the children's song ``Old MacDonald.''

    Earthwide Internet Education and Information Organization. And on his farm he had some disks.

    Electronic Industries Foundation.

    Entry Into Force. Normally predicated of an agreement -- the EIF of an agreement is the taking effect of that agreement. The abbreviation seems to especially popular with the military, whether they're talking troop disengagements or arms procurement.

    European Investment Fund. ``[T]he EU specialized vehicle providing venture capital and guarantee instruments for SMEs.''

    Extended Interior Gateway Routing Protocol. A Cisco proprietary routing protocol for IP and ISO CLNS networks.

    Electronics and Information Industries Forum.

    English as an International Language.

    Employer Identification Number. Two digits, hyphen, seven digits.

    Equipos Industriales de Mantenimiento, Sociedad Anónima; (SA).

    Einstein said ...
    Someone told me that they heard that Einstein said ... .

    (Einstein didn't say ... .)

    Electronic Incentive Program.

    Enterprise Information Portal.

    Equipment Improvement Project.

    Electron, Ion, and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication.

    Equipment Identity Register. Part of the cellular voice reference model.

    Irish Gaelic name for the big island across the Irish Sea from Britain. Except that in Irish Gaelic, strictly speaking, it's Éire. By article four of the Irish constitution, it's also the name of a country (.ie) in ``the Irish language,'' i.e. Irish Gaelic. The country is also known as the Republic of Ireland. I think maybe there's a certain political edge or point to this naming business: to insist on a name for the country that is identical with the name of the island is to imply, uh, I'll have to think about this. Cf. FYROM.

    Although Irish Gaelic is the first official language of the country, most people now speak English. Gaelic is spoken mostly in rural areas, mostly along the west coast.

    Here's an official copy of the Irish constitution.

    EIRP, eirp
    Effective Isotropic Radiated Power. Often stated in dBW. Note that the FCC often issues broadcast licenses constraining the direction of broadcast from an antenna.

    Electronic Instrument System.

    Entry Into Service. Commissioning.

    Environmental Impact Statement.

    Executive Information System. Talk to the janitor, he knows what's going down.

    German, `ice.' More about Italian ice in Germany at the iced cream entry. The term Eis is now commonly used for ice cream. Cf. Eisen.

    Extended Industry Standard Architecture. A 32-bit data path bus compatible with the 16-bit ISA.

    Electronic ISBN. It's not a special kind of ISBN -- the version of a book sold in electronic form simply has a different ISBN than any printed version.

    German, `iron.' Eisenhauer is an old word for ironsmith (hauen, meaning `to strike,' is cognate with English `hew'). The sound of this German word can be closely simulated in English by pronouncing the name ``Eisenhower,'' which presumably explains why that surname is so spelled.

    Cf. Eis.

    WWII general, and US president 1953-1961. Vide Eisen.

    Eisenhower Interstate System
    The Dwight D. Eisenhower National (US) System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Called the ``Interstate System'' by people who don't want to overtax their lungs because they might have to say something again later today.

    More on the interstate system at I-.

    Eisenhower Network
    A collaboration intended to improve K-12 mathematics and science education in the US. Or at least slow the decline. ``Eisenhower Network'' is short for National Network of Eisenhower Regional Consortia and Clearinghouse. This is a perfectly sensible name when you know that the ``Eisenhower Network consists of ten Eisenhower Regional Consortia and the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse.''

    The awkward comprehensiveness of the longer name reminds me of Gulliver's report from the Academy of Lagado's School of Languages.

    The first Project was to shorten Discourse by cutting Polysyllables into one, and leaving out Verbs and Participles, because in reality all things imaginable are but Nouns.

    The other, was a Scheme for entirely abolishing all Words whatsoever; and this was urged as a great Advantage in Point of Health as well as Brevity. For it is plain, that every Word we speak is in some Degree a Diminution of our Lungs by Corrosion, and consequently contributes to the shortning of our Lives. An Expedient was therefore offered, that since Words are only Names for Things, it would be more convenient for all Men to carry about them, such Things as were necessary to express the particular Business they are to discourse on. And this Invention would certainly have taken Place, to the great Ease as well as Health of the Subject, if the Women in conjunction with the Vulgar and Illiterate had not threatned to raise a Rebellion, unless they might be allowed the Liberty to speak with their Tongues, after the manner of their Ancestors; such constant irreconcilable Enemies to Science are the common People. However, many of the most Learned and Wise adhere to the New Scheme of expressing themselves by Things, which hath only this Inconvenience attending it, that if a Man's Business be very great, and of various kinds, he must be obliged in Proportion to carry a greater bundle of Things upon his Back, unless he can afford one or two strong Servants to attend him. I have often beheld two of those Sages almost sinking under the Weight of their Packs, like Pedlars among us; who, when they met in the Streets, would lay down their Loads, open their Sacks, and hold Conversation for an Hour together; then put up their Implements, help each other to resume their Burthens, and take their Leave.

    Stop me if I've told you this one before...

    In Tokyo once, I looked on at the chance sidewalk encounter of two acquaintances. The men both bowed, then one bowed a tick lower, then the other insisted, rapidly bowing another tick lower. But no... This onedownsmanship went through a few iterations before they finally bowed their good-byes and moved on. Walking away, each man rubbed the small of his back.

    In 2003, total health spending in Japan was only 7.6% of GDP, as against an OECD average of 8.1%. Also, despite a steady decline (from 76% in 1975 to 54% in 2000), the rate of smoking among Japanese men remains very high (second in the OECD only to Korean men). Yet in 2003, Japan also had the highest life expectancy among OECD countries. I can explain this paradox: it's the exercise.

    I need a bobbing-toy entry.

    European Influenza Surveillance Scheme.

    Encoded Information Type.

    Engineer In Training. What you may be called, officially, after passing a test now designated the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE, q.v.). See also PE (exam) and National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), which administers the tests.

    Enhanced Interrogation Technique. A term whose use spares one the pain of deciding whether the technique is torture, or of saying so.

    Environmental Institute Task Force at UB.

    Japanese name for AIDS. It's not a coincidental similarity; the Japanese word, written in katakana, represents a domesticated pronunciation of the English acronym. Formally, at least, Japanese words can only end in a vowel or n, and most consonant clusters can't occur. A final vowel u comes closest to no vowel. (Thus, ball was borrowed as boru.) Hence, eizu is about as close as Japanese can come to the sound of the original, except perhaps for the missing consonant d.

    Whether and how reliably that missing consonant might have been inserted is a somewhat ticklish question because it may already be in there. The dental alveolar plosives of Japanese are affricates to a greater or lesser degree when they precede i or u. Thus, the t series of sounds (in the ``fifty-sound table'' of Japanese) is {ta, chi, tsu, te, to}. The voiced version of this, the d series, is represented {da, ji, zu, de, do}. The zu syllable is really a voiced version of tsu, and really does sound like dzu... to a degree. I just spoke with a Japanese friend of mine, and to my ear she does clearly pronounce a dz cluster for this syllable, but the d is very slight. On the other hand, she grew up in Hiroshima, and I have read of the dz pronunciation of z as a specific feature of the Tôkyô dialect. (Granted that the dialect of Tôkyô has increasingly been the dominant or standard one since the advent of television, it has not extinguished the use of local vocabulary and pronunciation -- the pitch accent in particular has resisted standardization.) From what I can recollect of other Japanese I have known, I do think a stronger d sound in ``zu'' is probably more common in people from Tôkyô. Until I've asked some other Japanese friends, I'll stick with that.

    It does happen that the s series of syllables, when voiced (i.e., when marked with the relevant diacritic), yields a z series {za, ji, zu, ze, zo} with a ji and zu graphically distinct from those in the d series. The ``zu'' in eizu is in fact written (in katakana) as a voiced su. That would appear to make much of the previous paragraph irrelevant, which is why I waited until this paragraph to mention it. But please read on.

    As a practical matter, Japanese make no distinction in pronunciation between the zu sounds of voiced tsu and voiced su (as likewise between the ji sounds of voiced shi [of the s series] and voiced chi). That's why their Hepburn Romanizations are identical. Indeed, it's a source of inconsistent kana spellings. Anyway, I specifically asked to hear eizu pronounced. More theoretically, it appears that Ancient Japanese did not have a consonant s, but only ts. Hence, the Japanese zu sound ultimately developed as much from tsu as from su. (This absence of an independent /s/ in Japanese is somewhat paralleled by the absence of /z/ in Ancient Greek. The zeta representated an affricate /dz/ or /ds/. The letter z is pronounced /dz/ in Italian today, and in German, which has done a lot of devoicing over the centuries, z represents the affricate /ts/.)

    Relevant, but too much of a burden for the previous paragraph: The voiced and unvoiced versions of Japanese consonants have historically been more like allophones than distinct phonemes. For example, a few centuries ago in Japanese, initial consonants tended to be devoiced, and the initial consonant of the second root in a compound tended to be voiced, etc. This accounts for many of the alternative pronunciations of individual kanji. English and German offer partial parallels or antiparallels. In modern German, for example, most final consonants are devoiced, and the initial s sound is always voiced (i.e., is pronounced /z/). Of course, local dialects offer exceptions and variants of these rules. In English the voiced/unvoiced pairs s/z and th/th (you can figure it out) were originally allophonic. While this is no longer generally the case, the -s inflections (as plural and possessive markers for nouns, and to indicate the third-person singular of nonmodal verbs in the present tense) are still voiced or devoiced according to the ending of the words they are attached to. (Generally, the voicing is assimilated: -s after a voiced consonant or vowel is pronounced /z/, even if the vowel is epenthetic, as in churches. Following unvoiced consonants, -s is pronounced /s/.) Aspiration of English stops is still completely allophonic, on the other hand, afaik.

    Economic Journal. The official journal of the Royal Economic Society.

    Encyclopaedia Judaica. Published in 16 volumes, 1971. Supplemented by yearbooks.

    Environmental Justice.

    Actually, I myself live in a toxic waste dump, but one of these years I plan to pass a vacuum cleaner over the accessible parts of the floor.

    I'm waiting for Commodity Justice to become fashionable. It's just a crime that I can't have the same stuff rich people have. It's having a negative impact on my well-being, in particular my affective state. That in turn compromises my immune system, increasing my susceptibility to many fatal diseases. I need a federal luxury-supplementation program to save my life!

    (And don't say you disagree. That's very stressful for me....)

    EJ, eJ
    ExaJoule. 1018 joules.

    Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy. It's philosophy, but it's not as bad as continental philosophy.

    European Journal of American Studies. ``The European Journal of American Studies is produced by the European Association for American Studies, a federation of national and joint-national associations of specialists of the United States (www.eaas.info) regrouping approximately 4000 scholars from 26 European countries. It publishes three or four issues each year. Each issue is either thematically composed or incrementally evolutive. It welcomes contributions from Americanists in Europe and elsewhere and aims at making available reliable information and state-of-the-art research on all aspects of United States culture and society. Contributions will be submitted to the approval of the editorial committee following specialized peer-review.''

    Enterprise JavaBeans.

    European Jewish Congress. Also Congrés Juif Européen. Its main offices are at 78 Avenue des Champs Elysées. In 2003, France has the largest Jewish community in the EU. The EJC is a branch of the WJC, and serves as the diplomatic representative in discussions involving the 2 million European Jews and their respective governments.

    Estimating (as well as defining membership in) the Jewish community is quite difficult, but 2 million is probably a fair estimate for all Europe. The largest Jewish community in Western Europe after WWII has been France, with 600,000 for decades. In apparent reaction to anti-Jewish violence that peaked in the Summer of 2001 but has continued, Jewish emigration to Israel (aliyah) rose to a level that has remained roughly constant (up to 2004, this writing) at about 2000 per year from France. This is most of the aliyah from western Europe as a whole.

    The UK comes in second with roughly 300,000, and most other western and central European countries have much smaller Jewish populations: 40,000 Belgium, 30,000 Italy, and down. The Soviet Union was once estimated to have a couple of millions, mostly in the European part, but many of these emigrated to Israel when it finally became possible to do so without risking becoming stuck in the USSR as a refusenik. About 700,000 emigrated from the USSR and the countries that succeeded it between 1989 and 1995, and current estimates of the largest populations are 450,000 for Russia, 300,000 Ukraine, 50,000 Belarus. However, these numbers continue to shrink rapidly...

    The exceptional case is Germany, where over half a million Jews lived before Hitler came to power, and where somehow there were 15,000 left by the end of WWII. By 1990, the Jewish population of reunited Germany had risen to 33,000. In a historic development, however, there has been a flood of Jewish emigration to Germany as part of a larger general emigration from the former Soviet Union. As of 2003, Germany had the third-largest Jewish community in Europe, with an estimated 200,000. In 2002, 19,262 Jews from the FSU settled in Germany. (In the same year, fewer than 10,000 emigrated to the US. Israel for the first time had fewer Jewish immigrants from the FSU than Germany did -- 18,878. This was down from about 44,000 in 2001. The decline, attributed to the Intifada, has continued, with the number down to about 10,000 in 2004.)

    European Judaism: A Journal for the New Europe is published biannually in association with LBC-CJE and the Michael Goulston Educational Foundation.

    European Journal of Mineralogy.

    Electronic Journals Online. OCLC's term for the online publications service it offers.

    European Journal of Operational Research.

    Eisernes Kreuz. German, `Iron Cross.'

    Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland. German, literally the `Evangelical Church in Germany.' In Germany, however, evangelisch means Protestant, and probably Lutheran (use evangelisch-lutherisch to be precise). Cf. Reformed.


    Epidemic KeratoConjunctivitis. The name of an infectious viral disease that is often epidemic. It is caused by adenoviruses of the Mastadenovirus family.

    ElectrocardioGram. [K is from the standard transliteration of the Greek word for heart, which begins with <kappa>.] Now much more commonly in English ``ECG.''

    ekisupato, ekisupâto
    Japanese for `expert[s].' The word is an English loan, obviously. The a in this word is long. That is, its duration extended, very roughly double the duration of a short vowel. This may be indicated by a macron over the a when that is convenient, or by a caret or circumflex over the a if that's all that's available, or by an IPA-style colon following the a if it won't confuse your reader. Often it's not indicated. Iirc, at least one of the names that is normally transliterated as Yoko is more precisely Yôko. (The a is lengthened to represent the sound of ``ar'' in the original. This use of vowel lengthening in English loanwords is very common.)

    Japanese for X-ray[s]. The word is half-transliterated and half-translated from English. Ekkusu represents the letter X, and sen represents `ray' or `rays.' This sen is a kanji that is normally translated `line,' but which is also used in expressions for light beams (kosen) and the proverbial (in Japanese as in English) ``ray of hope.'' In Chinese, X-ray is translated in a similar way, with a kind of transliteration of X and using a Chinese word for ray this is typically translated into English as `light.' (It's pronounced something like ``kwan,'' iirc, but looking up the pronunciation of a Chinese hanji starting from an English word that contains it is inconvenient. I'll just wait until the next time I chat with the Chinese friend who, err, ahem, I'll update this resource just as soon as I am able to contact our Chinese-language expert.)

    There are, of course, other kinds of ray, translated by other Japanese terms. (For example, the fishy ray is an ei.) There are also other kanji with a reading sen. One sen is legal tender that you could toss on any Scrabble counter-top. It's worth its own entry.

    Another Japanese word for X-ray is rentogen, after the discoverer. In German, X-rays are still called Röntgenstrahlen, but in Japanese almost as much as in English, the eponym has fallen out of use. Rentogen looks like an anagram of the alternate German name spelling Roentgen, but it's not so cute. ``Rentogen'' is the Romanization (according to the system of James Hepburn) of the Japanese spelling, which consists of five katakana characters.

    English as a Kitchen Language. In a PowerPoint presentation entitled ``The inner, outer and expanding circles: A reconsideration of Kachru's circle model for world Englishes,'' Roland Sussex at one point contrasts ESP with EKL. The latter seems to be his own coinage; it seems to me that EKL would be a particular ESP, but PPT slides are not very articulate. Kachru's is a well-known taxonomy of English use.

    Electronic Key Management System.

    Eta Kappa Nu. Electrical Engineering Honor Society.


    A written description of a work of art. Like Keats's ``Ode on a Grecian Urn.''

    A former monetary unit of Equatorial Guinea. The Equatorial Guineans must have realized that having a currency that foreign bankers could pronounce would be a great boon to their economy, and quite sensibly switched to something else. (What is it now, the Equatorial Guinea guinea?) On the other hand, it's still legal for all three major Scrabble dictionaries. It's whatchamightcall a ``ten-dollar word.''

    Earliest Known Use.

    Eastern Kentucky University. Founded in 1906.

    ExoAtmospheric Kill Vehicle. For ballistic missile defense.

    E & L
    Educational and Library (books).

    Name of the twelfth letter of the English alphabet.

    Human infants can normally hear and distinguish far more sounds than adults can. As they learn language, they lose the ability to distinguish any two sounds, but they gain the ability to identify quickly what phoneme (i.e., which domain of sounds regarded as equivalent within the language) a sound corresponds to. In other words, they learn phonemics rather than phonetics. (More on that at emic.) A famous example is the r/l distinction: speakers of European languages typically distinguish at least one arr and at least one el sound. In contrast, Japanese and Chinese who do not, as children, learn a language that makes such a distinction tend to find it difficult to hear the difference.

    For emphasis, let me restate this in contrast to a common misconception: It is well known that native speakers of Japanese and Chinese have difficulty learning to pronounce the r/l difference if they learn, say, English late (by late I mean no earlier than about 12 years of age). Many people think that this is fundamentally a difficulty in sound production, but that is not entirely the case: it is apparently at least partly a difference in brain wiring for language perception. Nerve connections in the infant that would have developed to process the difference have atrophied or not formed, and the brain capacity has been utilized differently. This happens to all speakers of all languages -- the only difference is that the particular set of abilities discarded and reinforced is different, according to the language[s] learned. For example, speakers of English have difficulty hearing the difference between aspirated and unaspirated sounds (b and bh, for example, in Hindi transliteration) or the difference between the sh sounds more carefully transliterated ``sh'' and ``shch'' from Russian. There are native speakers of German -- from some regions -- who don't distinguish between the ch of ich [/i:ç/ in the IPA] and the ch in German Bach [/bax/ in the IPA].

    Some people learn to pronounce the r/l distinction reliably as adults, even without learning to hear the distinction reliably. This is the hard way, but sometimes it's the only way. (I know one such person well. From her speech I mightn't have realized that she can't hear the difference. When she hears a new word that contains an arr or el sound, however, she has to ask which sound it contains in order to know how to pronounce it.)

    ElectroLuminescen{ce | t }. Producing light under the influence of a charged current (beam). `EL displays' are one kind of Flat Panel Display, but the term is ambiguous in principle, since CRT's use a flat layer of EL phosphors to turn a cathode ray (electron beam) into a visible point of light.

    el, El
    ELevated train. Usage in New York and other cities. In New York, ``el'' referred to an early elevated light rail system. Later, some parts of that system were integrated into the subway system. The original elevated lines were too light to carry the subway trains, so even where parts of the old el system remain in use, it's a different set of rails and cars. The term el may have been used for a while to refer to the stations or railway corridors of the old el system, or loosely to the service that replaced them, but today the term ``elevated subway'' is widespread for the elevated lines that run in the boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.

    Chicago usage is a bit different; see L.

    In December 1931, New Masses published (pp. 16-7) Langston Hughes's ``Advertisement for the Waldorf-Astoria.'' Hughes explained in In The Big Sea, (pp. 320-1) that the poem was ``modeled after an ad in Vanity Fair announcing the opening of New York's greatest hotel. (Where no Negroes worked and none were admitted as guests.)'' It's a bit of a downer, as poems go. Not upbeat at all. Here's an excerpt:

    Don't you know they specialize in American cooking?
    Ankle on down to 49th Street at Park Avenue. Get up
    off that subway bench tonight with the evening POST
    for cover! Come on out o' that flop-house! Stop shivering
    your guts out all day on street corners under the El.

    (I encountered an instance of the `L' spelling, also with a New York flop-house context, in a book from 1947. It's described at the L entry.)

    Allen Ginsberg's ``Howl'' begins

    I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
    dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
    angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
    who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
    who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
    who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,

    (The meter has been described as Whitmanesque; according to Ginsberg, ``[i]deally each line of 'Howl' is a single breath unit.'') Well, the first part of the poem was typed out ``madly in one afternoon'' in 1955 in San Francisco, where Ginsberg had been living since the previous year. But I think elevated trains (not counting the later BART system) are the one of the few forms of mass transportation San Francisco lacks, and until 1953 Ginsberg had spent most of his life in Patterson, New Jersey, and in New York City. It's not entirely crazy to adduce Ginsberg's poetry cautiously as evidence of linguistic usage. A personal acquaintance who influenced Ginsberg (particularly between 1948 and 1953) was William Carlos Williams, who urged Ginsberg to write in a more colloquial American idiom. Williams wrote an introduction for the first edition of `Howl.'

    Although ``Howl'' made a big splash and Ginsberg a lot of money, the poem ``Kaddish for Naomi Ginsberg (1894-1956)'' is considered the better of his two greatest works. Kaddish is the name of a kind of doxology, which is recited (mostly in Aramaic) in a few versions at various points during Jewish services. One version (most of the full text, minus a sentence or two) is the ``Mourners' Kaddish,'' the characteristic prayer recited by immediate family of the deceased. I worked with a guy (David) whose family knew Allen Ginsberg's family back in the 1950's. David's mother objected to ``Kaddish,'' saying it was all true, but one shouldn't write it. (Naomi Ginsberg, Allen's mother, died after a long emotional decline through mental illness.) Always the bridesmaid. I know by email and have met in person someone who was once called a Stalinist, in print, by Noam Chomsky. (The journal did not publish his reply, though perhaps Chomsky's politics can be regarded as generally self-refuting and rebuttal superfluous.) Alas, always at least a couple of degrees of separation. I have a couple of letters from Albert Einstein...written to my late great uncle Fritz (mentioned at the ZNR entry).

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti knew Allen Ginsberg at first hand. In 1956, Ferlinghetti's recently founded City Lights Books published Howl and Other Poems. United States Customs officers and the San Francisco police seized the edition and charged Ferlinghetti with publishing an obscene book. The court case, which ended in acquittal in 1957, established Ginsberg's national reputation. But Lawrence Ferlinghetti had already established his own reputation as someone who wrote poetry that mentioned the el. His 1955 work, ``20,'' began

    The pennycandystore beyond the El 
               is where I first 
                                     fell in love 
                                                     with unreality

    But the poem of Ferlinghetti that is all about ``the El / careening thru its thirdstory world / with its thirdstory people'' is ``12.''

    Living in the nearby suburbs in the 1960's and 70's, and listening to news radio regularly, I never heard of any `el.' 'El no!

    Robert Kelly (b. 1935) mentioned ``the El'' in at least a couple of poems, including one from 1981, but he's so preposterously prolific that it can't be very significant. In ``Skies'' (copyright 1992, Black Sparrow Pr.), he uh, sang

    ...in 1946 when he walked, not cold but certainly tired, all the way home from Fulton Street, at first under the el and then the open spaces where Sunrise Highway starts, then the other, smaller, older el on Liberty Avenue, where these city streets, smirched with scabby snow, felt clean and wonderful and...

    Ah, poetry!

    You know, if you look up poetry on the basis of just about any nonaesthetic principle, you find a lot of really bad stuff. In 1974, I think, Daniel Hoffman (b. 1923) wrote ``Stop the Deathwish! Stop It! Stop!'' There he mourns the loss of once-useful knowledge:

    is there many a man around who knows
    by rote the dismantled stations of the El,

    Later he observes that by then, ``about as few use rhyme as wigwag....''

    The El is habit-forming. Of the poets and poetasts mentioned above, all with the possible exception of Ginsberg mentioned the el in at least two works, as have Angela Jackson, Jerome Rothenberg, and Constance Urdang.

    In Spanish, un elevado is, in a traffic context, `an overpass.'

    English Language. See EXL for more specialized terms.

    Experiential Learning. This is a technical term (educant) used by people who sincerely believe they are rendering a useful service. EL courses ``offer activities that engage the learner directly in the phenomenon being studied, but don't provide a service to the community and may not give students planned interaction with community organizations or individuals. For example, students in a class addressing environmental issues might be assigned to test water samples in a nearby lake.'' Somehow I don't think they consider chemistry lab experiential. It's classroom-based, so it's dry, abstract, and disengaged from reality. Cf. CBL, CBR.

    Emergency Liquidity Assistance. A service that the European Central Bank (ECB) provides to banks in the Eurozone.

    Emulated Local Area Network.

    Ethernet Link Access Protocol.

    elastic limit
    The magnitude of strain beyond which the relation between stress and strain ceases to be linear. This is never a precise point, because linearity is approximate. However, often there is a significant kink or bend in the stress-strain plot, which can be identified as the elastic limit. Also, all materials under tensile (``pulling'') stress eventually either break or deform (rearrange microscopically so that when applied forces are removed, the material relaxes back to a different shape than previously). The elastic limit is a kind of marker for this effect as well: for strains much beyond the elastic limit, deformation or catastrophic breakdown (breaking) occur.

    elastic tape measure
    Life is full of compromises. In soft goods as in software, if you want user-friendly, you may have to give up a little accuracy.

    Extremely Low Birth Weight (LBW). Newborn weight less than 1 kilo (2.2 lb.). A ticket to the NICU.

    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    English Literacy Development.

    ELectron DOuble Resonance. Isn't that in Middle Earth somewhere?

    elected tyrants
    Many national leaders have been elected to office after first gaining power, or attempting to gain power, by extraconstitutional means. There doesn't seem to be a good or accepted term for the phenomenon, making it hard to track down instances. So I'm collecting some instances here.

    I haven't encountered or invented a good term for the phenomenon or for persons so elected, but I think of them as ``elected tyrants.'' Here I understand the word tyrant in the original sense of the word tyrannos. As explained at the linked entry, the word originally meant `usurper' -- someone who took power by irregular means (usually by force or menace). This did not necessarily imply that the ruler was widely unpopular or generally ignoble. Holinshed wrote of the historical Macbeth:

    To be briefe, such were the woorthie dooings and princelie acts of this Mackbeth in the administration of the realme, that if he had atteined therevnto by rightfull means, and continued in vprightnesse of iustice as he began, till the end of his reigne, he might well haue béene numbred amongest the most noble princes that anie where had reigned.

    The term ``elected tyrant'' is bound to be interpreted at first blush as equivalent to ``elected dictator'' -- someone elected to hold dictatorial powers. Too bad. ``Usurper'' sounds a bit too monarchial. The entry's gotta have a head term.

    The question of legitimacy, and whether authority is duly constituted, is a very difficult one to address in the general case. Broadly, I agree with the careful wording of Jefferson, that governments derive ``their just powers from the consent of the governed.'' Consent expressed through free elections to offices defined by agreed law, however, confer a higher order of legitimacy than does the sullen or fearful resignation of those without hope of overthrowing hated rulers. For this entry I limit consideration to the modern era, so I needn't puzzle over the Roman Senate's endorsement of every Caesar proclaimed by the Praetorian Guard.

    Jefferson's formulation implicitly contains a vague notion of majority or plurality, since universal consent rarely occurs (unless one lowers the bar of ``consent'' to ``absence of active resistance''). Modern constitutions vary in how they deal with the absence of majority agreement. It may be considered an unsolved problem. For my purposes, someone who comes to power by legitimate (or constitutional) means, either by direct election or by an indirect election that voters understood beforehand to have the effect of putting a winner in power, is ``elected.''

    Within the modern era, I also ignore elections rigged by, say, systematic miscounting or exclusion of legitimate candidates. This can be a fuzzy line to draw, since not just an election but an entire electoral system is often rigged by limits on free speech and free assembly. My interest is in situations where the electorate had a real opportunity to reject or punish tyrants, and did not do so. Neither do I condemn such popular choices generally. The election of an executive is a blunt instrument for the expression of popular will, and voters compromise.

    Tyrants (in the sense of this entry) often atempt to ``legitimate'' their rule ex post facto, by changing the constitution and whatnot. Like I care.

    This entry will be visibly under construction. For any missing details, you know how to search.

    • Argentina: Juan Domingo Perón. Col. Perón was part of a successful military coup in May 1943, and subsequently served in cabinet positions. Opponents within the military forced his resignation (he was by then Vice President and Secretary of War) on October 9, 1945; soon afterwards he was arrested. He was released on October 16, after mass demonstrations organized by the CGT (the main federation of unions). (On the 25th, he married Evita.) On February 24, 1946, he was elected president for the first time. After some changes in the constitution in 1949, he was reelected in 1951. A civil war in 1955 pushed him out of office. (Civilian supporters and opponents of Perón both had some of the military on their side. The tanks had different colors of paint splashed on them so the sides could tell each other apart. A few hundred noncombatants were killed and injured in this little war, including a filled school bus, if I remember correctly.) The effort to remove him started in June, and he left in September. Over the next 18 years there was a succession of military governments, interspersed with short-lived civilian ones. The last military takeover of the 1960's took place in 1966, and in a March 1971 palace coup within the military government, Gen. Alejandro Lanusse came to power. He decided to restore ``institutional democracy'' (democracia institucional, as they called it, as opposed to democratic government by milicos) in 1973. There were calls for Perón's return, but his participation was forbidden. Héctor José Cámpora ran with peronist support and was elected on March 11, 1973. He resigned from office on June 13, clearing the way for new elections in which Perón ran with his third wife (Isabelita) as running mate (in the English political sense). They won, he died on July 1, 1974, and she was ousted in a military coup on March 24, 1976.
    • Chile: Augusto Pinochet.
    • Germany: Adolf Hitler.
    • Ghana: Jerry Rawlings. One ``minor mutiny'' against the military government in 1979; released from prison and made leader of a coup two weeks later (June 4); relinquished power to elected civilian government in September 1979; overthrew that same government Dec. 31, 1981; headed military governments of Ghana continuously until 1992, when he allowed elections. In the November 4 elections, he was elected president with 59% of the vote. He became the president of Ghana the following January 7, and went on to become the first president to serve out the entire term for which he had been elected. He was reelected in December 1996 with 57% of the vote, against 40% for John Kufuor. Kufuor was elected president in December 2000, and reelected in 2004. (An interesting feature of his career is that the coup that put him in power took place two weeks before elections, scheduled a year before, that were planned to return the country to civilian rule. He allowed the elections but announced that civilian rule would be delayed while he cleaned house.
    • Nicaragua: Daniel Ortega Saavedra.
    • Paraguay: vague recollection, have to check.
    • Venezuela: Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías. Hugo Chávez led a failed military coup in February 1992. He was imprisoned, then pardoned and released in 1994. In 1998 he was elected president for the first time.

    election against the will
    That sounds like the way I often feel in early November, but that's not its legal meaning. ``Election against the will'' designates the right of a surviving spouse to override the what is stated in a decedent's will and to take a certain state-designated percentage of the assets.

    election day
    US national elections, and, for convenience, many other elections, are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. We won't give the proof, but it turns out that this formula prevents election day from falling on the first of November. When election day was set by Congress in 1845, they wanted to avoid conflict with the day that many merchants balance their books from the preceding month (October, in this case). It's been suggested that they also wanted to avoid holding elections on November 1 because it is All Saints Day (you know -- the religious festival celebrating the end of Halloween). Tuesday is supposed to be preferred because it gives people in outlying areas time enough to trudge to the polls without having to start on Sunday. November because harvesting is allegedly over for the year, but travel is still not impeded by snow. FWIW, apple harvesting in New York and New England runs through about the middle of October.

    None of this explains why it wasn't the second Wednesday in November, but there you go -- it has to occur on some date.

    election month
    The period of weeks, following election day, during which battalions of lawyers for the contending candidates battle to determine who won the election.

    electrical appliances, simple, and the Athanasian Creed
    In A Certain World (1970), Auden explained the success of Behaviorism:
    Of course, Behaviourism ``works''. So does torture. Give me a no-nonsense, down-to-earth behaviourist, a few drugs, and simple electrical appliances, and in six months I will have him reciting the Athanasian Creed in public.

    electrical banana
    is goin' to be a sudden craze; is bound to be the very next phase. They call me Mellow Yellow! Apologies to Donovan. LSI implementation apparently beta-tested for Woody Allen's ``Sleeper'' (1973). Then again, maybe it's a stealth plug for his movie ``Bananas'' (1971). You will doubtless be fascinated to know that this glossary also has a banana plug entry.

    Another point of comparison between the two movies is that the Woody character in Sleeper was named Miles Monroe. That doesn't sound like a comparison, does it. Just wait, I wasn't finished. The name Monroe recalls James Monroe, fifth president of the US. Whether one is thinking of American history or not, the first person with the given name Miles that one is likely to think of is Miles Standish, a ship captain best remembered for not getting the girl. In Bananas, the Allen character is Fielding Mellish. Mellish suggests nebbish, a Yiddish word for an earnest, ineffectual loser. As you know, the -ish ending in English, like -like, contains the idea of approximation. It may thus imply imperfection, or failure to achieve.

    ``Miles Davis''? He's history.

    Certain unusual first names convey a certain sense of aspiration. This is manifestly clear in the case of names commemorating a famous person (e.g., George Washington, John Wesley, Martin Luther, Henry Fielding). Foreign names, and names more commonly occurring as surnames, also have this effect. Depending on how things play out, such a name may have an inspiring or even a demoralizing effect on the bearer, and may convey prestige, pretentiousness, or some other impression. A given name Fielding, followed by Mellish, will suggest to some a pretentious hope unfulfilled. In the movie, Fielding's parents still hope that he'll become a surgeon like his father, even though it is clear to others, such as a patient, that his ideal career path may lie in other directions.

    The Woody Allen character doesn't measure up to his name, just as the little tramp, Charlie Chaplin failed to measure up to his ill-fitting clothes. A name is an identity: what you are called is in some measure who you are. Whether the power of names was deemed mystical or psychological (I'm lapsing into freshman-essayese here, aren't I) names have long been manipulated as tools of personal growth (forgive me, you know I didn't invent that phrase). Often the name change is minor. For example, a nickname may be substituted for the formal version of a name. James Earl Carter, Jr. used ``Jimmy'' from the beginning of his political life. He apparently never had his name legally changed to Jimmy, so in 1976 he was obliged to go to court to assure that his name appeared as Jimmy Carter on the national presidential ballots. The original name was particularly infelicitous after 1968, as the murderer of Martin Luther King, Jr. was James Earl Ray. (Some questionable history anent political nicknames and their advantages here.) Other ways to make a minor change include having a new name that is an extension or apparent modified version of the original (e.g., Abram to Abraham) or a change of emphasis (Thomas Woodrow Wilson to Woodrow Wilson).

    Major name changes are also associated with major turns in a person's life. John Rosenberg abandoned his wife and kids and changed his name to Werner Erhard. I suppose this may have been convenient. He invented the name Werner Erhard after reading an article on West Germany in Esquire magazine which mentioned Werner Heisenberg and Ludwig Erhard (then the FRG economics minister). He later went on to found est.

    I'm going to type Werner Erhardt here for people like me who can't remember the exact spelling, so they'll get a prophylactic hit on the search engine. And Jack Rosenberg for good measure.

    In MST3K, there was a character named Dr. Lawrence Erhardt (yeah, with a final tee). An FAQ explains that Josh Weinstein came up with the name on the basis of Werner Erhard, with Lawrence chosen for its pretentiousness. JW thought it had an evil ring. What, he was thinking maybe of Lawrence Welk? (And-a one and-a two, Ig-or!) Josh Weinstein was one of the original creators of the show, writing and doing the voice of Dr. Larry Erhardt and some other characters in the first two seasons. Larry Erhardt disappeared abruptly when JW left, and was eaten by a giant spider in a later episode.

    He was credited as J. Elvis Weinstein. If your name is Joshua and you think that's too pretentious, you can use Josh, a homonym of a word meaning kid, joke.

    Josh Phillip Weinstein played a hippie in Mars Attacks! (1996). This is also a science fiction piece, a spoof of 1950's alien-invasion movies. What is it about that name?

    I am not going to spell out why I am reminded of John Aristotle Phillips, but he's mentioned in the CANDU entry.

    More on names at the Nomenclature is destiny entry. More on bananas at the potassium (K) entry. More on Woody Allen's Sleeper at the health entry.

    (Charlie Chaplin's screen pants were too large, but his jacket was too tight. Look for my Ph.D. dissertation on the deeper significances of this.)

    Once on MST3K, the robot companion Tom Servo remarked ``Emby Mellay? That's not a name, it's a bad Scrabble hand!'' What is that, a reverse rebus? Eye dialect hits the big time!

    Electric Prunes
    A California rock group that came out with ``Mass in F Minor'' in 1968. The lyrics were in Latin. I don't think it's been reissued on CD; you'll have to look for it in vinyl. They're probably good for electric constipation.

    electroless plated
    Precipitated onto a surface without need for current to reduce the metal oxidation state.

    The drift of ions in response to an electric field. This is particularly a problem at Al/Si ohmic contacts, where the effect increases the diffusion of Si atoms into the Al. Since the Al/Si alloy has a higher resistivity, the alloy has even higher fields, increasing the effect. Eventually, electromigration can lead to catastrophic breakdown.

    See what the HP Journal has to say about it.

    A corona-charged photoconductor film is selectively discharged by exposure to a light pattern, and the electrostatic pattern is then developed by fusing of pigmented plastic particles to paper. The basic idea in xerographic copying (image reflected by mirror from illuminated scanned segment of document) and laser printing (image created by direct raster scan of photoconductor by laser).

    electrostrong unification
    A Google search on "heavy quark system" on January 28, 2013, yielded 137k ghits.

    Edge-emitting LED.

    Elastic LEED.

    Elevator being serviced.
    Service technician visited this month.

    Elevator out of order.
    Some bone-head who can't tell the difference between ``FAN'' and ``STOP'' called this one in.

    Eclectic Literary Forum. A magazine from Tonowanda, New York.

    English as a Lingua Franca. Pidgin.

    Extremely Low Frequency. 30-300 Hz, which is indeed low for radio communication. The range is used for communication with submarines in deep ocean. The idea for ELF communication was part of Tesla's vision of a world in which not only signals but usable power were transmitted by air. The wavelength at ELF is comparable to the altitude of the bottom of the ionosphere; ELF waves use the earth and the ionosphere as the sides of a waveguide.

    Equal-Level Far-End CROSSTalk.

    El-Hi, elhi
    ELementary and HIgh School, or ELementary to/through HIgh School. Primary and secondary education, or pretertiary. ``Prepostsecondary,'' suggesting ``preposterous,'' has been reported. ``El-hi'' seems to be used primarily the book trade, as in ``El-Hi publishers.'' US book sales totaled $24 billion in 1999. Of that, elhi sales constituted $3.42 billion.

    English Language Institute at UB.

    Electronic Libraries Programme. What're these guys thinking? -- They have a toybox that features ``EEVL'' followed by ``CAIN''!

    ELectronic INTelligence. No, not computers: Intelligence in the sense of espionage product. Also, ELINT is the name of a particular ELINT code. Cf. EW.

    Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay. Method for measuring the quantity of a dissolved substance. An antibody to the substance is developed and produced in quantity. Accurate measurement uses an enzyme that binds to antibody complexes formed when antibodies are added to solution.

    A book entitled Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses was ``released'' by the University of Chicago Press on January 18, 2011. An online article based on the book (I don't think it quite qualifies as a review) was published the same day in Inside Higher Ed. One of the authors is Richard Arum, a professor of sociology and education at New York University, and he is quoted as saying that the problems outlined in the book should be viewed as a moral challenge to higher education. Students who struggle to pay for college and emerge into a tough job market have a right to know that they have learned something, he said. ``You can't have a democratic society when the elite -- the college-educated kids -- don't have these abilities to think critically,'' he said.

    This made me laugh out loud. Another thing you can't have in a democratic society, or any other one, is an ``elite'' that constitutes a quarter of the adult population.

    Current meaning accurately defined here as ``what I've never been taught, can't be bothered to learn, and probably couldn't even if I tried, so am determined to screw up thoroughly for everyone, and you in particular.''

    Eli the ice man
    Electronics mnemonic:

    Voltage (E) in an inductor (L) is ahead of current (i) [by 90° of phase].

    Current (i) in a capacitor (C) precedes voltage (e) [by 90° of phase].

    English-Language Learner. This term is used in language-acquisition research to distinguish students learning English as a second language. Occasionally it must occur to researchers that students whose first language is English (EO) are also learning English, in some sense. That's the sense that always occurs to me, but terms like know and learn are necessarily vague.

    The measurement of light-polarization rotation by matter.

    The Cardona group has a 500-word introduction.

    ELM, Elm
    ELectronic Mail or Easy-to-Learn Mail program, a message user agent (MUA). Freeware. A daughter or step-daughter code is Pine.

    This faq is associated with the comp.mail.elm newsgroup.

    ELectrochemical MicroAnalytical System.

    Embedded Local Monitor Board.

    Electric Light Orchestra. A rock band. One of those with a ``<Foo> In The City'' song title.

    Epitaxial Lift-Off.

    ELODIE, Elodie
    A ``cross-dispersed échelle spectrograph permanently located in a temperature-controlled room in the first floor of the 1.93-m telescope building'' at OHP. It's hard to find an expansion of this acronym, if that's what it is, and I've checked technical articles going back to 1996. In French texts, the instrument's name is sometimes written in all-caps and sometimes not.

    Élodie is also a common-enough woman's name in French. From its Visigothic roots, it can be interpreted to mean `foreign riches.' My understanding is that the correct spelling uses initial É and not E, but the instances I can find instantly, of the personal name, all use plain E.

    I find this apparent coyness about acronym expansions irritating. It occurs with acronyms in all languages I've had any substantial experience of, but Francophones seem to take greater liberties in divorcing acronyms from their expansions. See, for another example, fémis.

    The newsiest application of ELODIE has been in the successful search for exoplanet. In 2006, it is being succeeded in this role by SOPHIE. Sophie is also a woman's name, but this SOPHIE has an unobscure expansion.

    Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

    European Language Resources Association.

    Energy Loss Spectroscopy. Usually EELS

    Equidistant Letter Sequence[s]. From such mundane concepts can grow major controversies.

    Ethical, Legal and Social {Implications|Issues}. Is it right that I should have a separate entry for this term, given the entries following it? Am I breaking any laws? What do people think about this? How will this decision impact mankind in future centuries?

    Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications.

    ``The National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Program was established in 1990 as an integral part of the Human Genome Project (HGP) to foster basic and applied research and support outreach. The ELSI program funds and manages studies related to the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic and genomic research, and supports workshops, research consortia and policy conferences related to these topics. The ELSI program at NHGRI is the largest supporter nationwide of ELSI research.''

    This reminds me of the line attributed to LBJ (regarding FBI director-for-life J. Edgar Hoover), that it was ``probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.'' (This appeared in the NYTimes on October 31, 1971; I have no idea whether it's accurate.) For more LBJ mots, apocryphal and canonical, see the Veep entry.

    ELSI, ELSI in Science
    Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Science. A project of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The ``ELSI in Science program is a pilot project designed to stimulate discussions on the implications of selected areas of scientific research. These modules probably will be most useful to educators and students at the middle school through high school level. However, we hope that other visitors will find the information interesting and useful as well.''

    Emergency Locator Transmitter. A system that automatically transmits a distress signal from a crashed or downed plane. The systems are meant for planes other than commercial passenger aircraft operated in controlled airspace (since the latter are continually tracked anyway). Thus, the main beneficiaries are the operators of small private planes. They are also the main opponents. Reminds one of motorcycle helmet laws.

    The first systems, mandated by many countries in the 1970's, transmitted analog signals at 121.5 MHz.

    New digital systems under development will transmit digital bursts of information at 406 MHz.

    English Language Teaching. This term seems to be Commonwealth English, like one-off.

    Sometimes the term is used rather loosely. For example, the University of Manchester offers an M.Ed. in ELT. My personal experience is that when I took a cab from the Manchester airport, the driver understood me but I did not understand him. I had more success in the shops in town, and a friend of mine is a Mancunian/English bilingual, with a smattering of ancestral Ukrainian. Well, in case you had any doubt, this information is useless.

    English Language Teaching Management. And you thought the last entry was useless.

    Expendable Launch Vehicle. NASA acronym.

    projekt elvis wants you to propose an acronym expansion for ELVIS. Hint (?), they are (or maybe just were) a project group concerned with virtual, scientific-technical laboratories on the internet.

    Go to their site and hear the music for ``Your Teddy Bear'' sounding like it's being played by an Oktoberfest accordion.

    English as a Language of Wider Communication. One of four categories defined by E. Judd for describing the function of English in different ``sociopolitical contexts.'' There will be a brief description at a future entry for taxonomies of English language use.

    A deep trap in GaAs. See G. N. Martin, A. Mitonneau and A. Mircea, ``Electron Traps in Bulk and Epitaxial GaAs Crystals,'' Electronics Letters 13, #7, pp. 191-193 (1977).

    Pressure studies by George Samara demonstrated that EL2 is an antisite defect.

    Earnest Money.

    Electricity and Magnetism. See EMag.

    Electromagnetic, electromagnetism.

    In 1998, popular Senator and war-hero Daniel Inouye ran to represent Hawaii for a seventh term. It's hard to find anyone in his or her right mind to challenge in such an election. His Republican opponent was someone named Crystal Young, who has said she has been disabled since having electromagnetic needles implanted by Shirley MacLaine. Shirley MacLaine has denied the allegation. I'm not sure exactly what role this allegation played in the campaign, but Inouye was reelected with 79 percent of the vote. (Young had 18 percent.) Inouye raised $981,000 to Young's $37.29, demonstrating that Young was able to get a whopping factor of 5994 more votes per dollar than the incumbent. Newsface logic: Obviously there was a groundswell of disaffection with Inouye.


    Electron Micrograph. The result of doing electron microscopy of some sort.

    Element Manager.

    Emerging Market[s].

    Engineered Material[s].

    Environmental Management.

    Name of the letter that looks a lot like M or m. Nickname of a woman named Emma or Emmeline, especially an aunt.

    A dash or space as long as the font is high. From the movable-type tradition that the capital em was set on a square cross-section.

    Early Middle Ages.

    Electron Microprobe Analysis.

    Electronic Messaging Association.

    Epithelial Membrane Antigen.

    Ethylene-Maleic Acid (copolymer). A polyacid. Another polyacid is PAA.

    A fondness or mania for buying. The word is less common than what it describes. The word is a straightforward adaptation of the Latin emacitas (on the model of the very many words that underwent -tas > -ty via French). That Latin word in turn was constructed from the emacem, `fond of buying,' from emere, `to purchase.' (Or `to buy' -- I just thought I'd mix it up a little there.) This is a useful word because it is not well-known and encapsulates something you might want to get off your chest without being understood.

    The word emacity is occasionally defined as a fondness for bargains. There's really room here for two words, as some people like a bargain because it allows them to buy more, and some because of the good feeling it gives them buying something that they mightn't otherwise feel any desire to buy.

    Editor MACroS. Vide GNU. Most people who use it use it exclusively for editing, but it can do a lot besides. Perhaps that's why it also has the folk acronym expansions ``Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping'' and ``Emacs Makes A Computer Slow.'' The latter conforms to the GNU recursive acronym expansion standard. Pronounced ``EE-max.'' There's an Emacs Implementations and Literature FAQ.

    Electricity and Magnetism. Difficult fundamental course material taught to Electrical Engineering undergraduates in one or two semesters, usually in the junior year. Pronounced as a word, with the initial E stressed and long. There is a special vocabulary to describe the experience of taking this course.

    Code Phrase Meaning
    I hated the course!
    I took the course.
    I loved the course!
    We weren't required to actually master any of the material, so the instructor just came in and chatted about stuff.
    It was easy but boring.
    I'm confused. We're talking about Electronic Circuits 101, right?
    The book wasn't written for humans!
    It was a standard textbook that's been used by tens of thousands of students.
    The book wasn't written by a human!
    The author understood the material.
    The book was really, really terrible!
    I hated the course, but the instructor is my advisor.
    The TA's did a really bad job!
    I hated the course, but the instructor is my advisor and he wrote the textbook.
    The instructor assumed that we knew all kinds of obscure mathematics!
    The syllabus assumed we remembered mathematics taught in the prerequisite courses.
    The course was harder than P-Chem.
    I'm a chemistry major. I took this course by mistake.
    This course wasn't any harder than P-Chem.
    I'm not a chemistry major. I'm just bragging that I took P-Chem anyway.
    I aced the course.
    The number of students who understood even less than I did was too large to fail en mass.
    I hated the instructor!
    The course had an instructor.

    Cf. anticline entry.

    Electronic MAIL. Also e-mail, E-mail, and other forms. Normally I would include these inferior orthographies on the head-word line (i.e., unindented above this paragraph), but I've been alerted that many people feel strongly about the hyphen, so I left them off just to jerk your chain, particularly if you're writing German.

    In the Yes song ``I've Seen All Good People,'' Jon Anderson repeatedly sings

    Send an instant comment to me.
    This was in ``The Yes Album'' of 1971, so they were evidently ahead of their time. The ``move on back two squares'' suggests some sort of GUI as well.

    Email is a poor medium for finding out that someone has died. Okay, maybe there's no good medium for communicating such information, if it can't be in person, but I'm still in shock. (Don't worry, it probably wasn't anyone you knew.)

    Here's some useful information that is almost certain to be of no use to anyone who reads it here first: There are servers that provide webpages via email. One of these is at the address agora@dna.affrc.go.jp. For example, the two-line message (in the email body, not the subject line)

    will return an email copy of this page. (You can do it on one line also. It's slow; don't be alarmed if the first response to your request is a help file). There is a 5000-line-per-request limit; this is no constraint if you request one of the ``small'' glossary files (e.g.: <SBF/E03.html>, <SBF/S12.html>, <SBF/Z.html>), which are typically about 1000 lines long. Many of the full-letter combined files (including <cgi-bin/A.cgi>, <cgi-bin/C.cgi>, and <cgi-bin/S.cgi>) are in the 10,000-line range.

    Send the message

    for full instructions anytime.

    The word mail is an uncountable noun. A countable unit of mail is usually described by a more restrictive term like letter, postcard, parcel or package. Some people feel that email should likewise be exclusively uncountable, but there is no convenient, concise, generally accepted accurate term meaning `email message.' Therefore, following common usage, I also use email countably in that sense. Similar issues occur with the French courriel and mél (deprecated).

    EMAIL in German. The hyphenated spelling is preferred, since Email would be a homograph with an existing word.

    French: `enamel.' Plural form émaux.

    In her novel La maison de Claudine (1922), Colette wrote

    C'est seulement une fois que je vis, un matin, la cuisine froide, la casserole d'émail bleu pendue au mur, que je sentis proche la fin de ma mère.

    Tooth enamel is émail des dents and about 95% mineral matter.

    Some Old French spellings of the word had an ess: esmal (ca. 1140) and esmail (1260). The word is ultimately cognate with the English verb smelt. The Old French word is presumed to have entered English in Anglo-French forms *amil, *amail. The common attested form was ultimately amel, which did not become obsolete until the eighteenth century. Enamel was originally a verb like encrust, describing the placing of amel (and in the other example, originally precious-metal crust). The verb eventually took over the sense of the noun, as if the verb enamel had simply been a verbed noun. Something not too different happened with embroidery (French broderie).

    German, `enamel.' This entry is just here so you don't get the idea that the previous one was some kind of massive missprint. Surprisingly, this German noun is female, even though the French original is male.

    German spelling is fairly reliably phonetic. However, foreign loans, particularly from French, preserve something like their original pronunciation until (more like unless) naturalized. Educated speakers are not being pretentious but merely correct when they pronounce Restaurant with a final nasalized ``aw.'' Some dictionaries offer a phonetic transcription with the ng nasal, which is not too far wrong and which probably corresponds to less well-educated speech. In Swedish, restaurant is spelled restaurang. Reflecting the French pronunciation, Email is pronounced the way a native word spelled Emai would be.

    email bankruptcy
    A condition declared by those suffering hopeless email-reply indebtedness. You don't need a court's permission. You just declare yourself email-bankrupt, ask forgiveness for all the email replies you owe, and start over with a blank slate. Seven minutes later, no one even remembers you were ever in their email debt.

    email, free
    Many organizations were offering free web-based email accounts in the late 1990's. By 2008 the thing seemed to have shaken out a bit. Here's a very partial list of companies offering free email accounts as of mid-2008.
    • Eudora (Now redirects to Lycos Mail, 3GB free storage.)
    • Gmail (Google mail. Google got into the free email business into 2004 -- relatively late, but they were far from being the first search engine also -- and they have grown fast. As of April 2008 they had 101 million email users, according to the research firm comScore Inc., and had gained over 30 million users over the preceding year. Google offered 1 gigabyte of free storage per account when they entered the market; as of June 2008 they were offering over 6 gigabytes.)
    • Hotmail (One of the first such services, still among the most popular; now owned by Microsoft. Comes with 5 GB of free storage.)
    • hushmail (touts security)
    • Mail.com
    • MixMail (Spanish-language service from ya.com. Ya means `already.')
    • RocketMail (In 1997 Yahoo bought Four11 Corp. for $80 million. The rocketmail domain was part of the acquisition, and rocketmail users at the time of the acquisition were allowed to keep their existing accounts and email addresses. Shortly after the acquisition, Yahoo started offering free email accounts assigning addresses in the yahoo.com domain. As of April 2008, according to the research firm comScore Inc., Yahoo was the email market leader, with 266 million users worldwide. [Microsoft, whose final offer of $47.5 billion to purchase Yahoo was rejected at the end of that month, was a close second at 264 million users.] With so many accounts, new subscribers have been finding it harder to come up with satisfactory userids. To address this problem, Yahoo began to register new addresses under the rocketmail.com and ymail.com domains around noon PDT on Thursday, June 19, 2008.)
      You know, a Notre Dame running back named Raghib Ismael was nicknamed ``Rocket Ismail'' for his speed. He went hardship. I recall that at the time he said that he valued education and planned to finish his degree, but I haven't seen him around campus. He played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) for a while, for the Carolina Panthers 1996-1998, and signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 1999. Cowboys owner Jerry Johnson said ``We've been criticized internally, as well as externally, about our speed situation, and he addresses that.''
    • RocketIsmail (when I edited this entry in July 2000, this domain name wasn't taken -- for free email or anything -- but it looked like tabnet.com might be holding it for ransom. Checked back June 2008: it's free; it's just not there.)
      Raghib's brother Qadry is nicknamed ``the Missile.'' One of the now less common meanings of the word missile, still preserved in cognates like missal and missive, is message or letter. More about rockets at the V-2 entry.
      The US Postal Service (USPS) sponsored bike racing teams; Lance Armstrong was their big star.
    • TechEmail (``now partnered'' with Everyone.net, which isn't free)
    • weed mail (what, all the good names were taken?)
    • Yahoo (As of Summer 2008, it is also registering email addresses in the ymail.com and rocketmail.com domains, under the same terms and with the same features as addresses in the yahoo.com domain. When Yahoo started offering email accounts in 1997, they came with 3 megabytes of free storage. As of 2008, they offer ``unlimited'' storage.)
    • Zap Zone Network (ZZN).

    A large number of internet organizations offer free email as a sideline or as a way of delivering their service or advertising. These are sometimes restricted to an interest group or region, and a lot are just using services provided by the major providers listed above. Some examples: BMX (byke.com, used to be ZZN-powered), britannica.com, CNN ("powered by" mail.com), gURLmAIL (according to terms of service, ``[u]ser verifies that she is at least 13 years of age,'' but not that that ``she'' is female -- possibly because that would be illegal; partly run by WhoWhere, which owns Mail.com), Let's Go Mets Email - Official Email of the New York Mets, Wong Faye (don't ask me, free email seems to be one of the exciting features that pop star web sites can offer; "powered by outblaze").

    What can you do with all these free email addresses? You can go to ACrushOnYou.com, register under some pseudonym, and have a message sent to some guy that someone has a crush on him. He has to visit the site and try to guess who (i.e., what email address) sent this secret-admirer note. There's no ``I give up -- who was it?'' button.

    What's in it for the victim? He learns a lot about himself. Take me, for instance. After the most obvious addies (I'll allow myself to use such ugly slang on this occasion because stress seeks release in profanity), and then the most desirable (``has she recently changed email address?'' I wonder in a hopeful panic), I next tried those of all the cute women I have good reason to believe hate me, and finally the lesbians. I still haven't tried the ones I'm really (I mean really) not interested in. Uh-oh, but now the heavy Angst begins: is it my girlfriend, testing me with a forged addy? Do I have to mention this to her or lose her trust and more important privileges? If it isn't her, will I screw things up worse by mentioning it? Who is the opportunity I am passing up? Is it just some guy, like on alt.singles.sex.on-usenet-transvestitism-is-just-a-cryptic-userid-away?

    (No, I haven't used gender-inclusive language. Mutatis mutandis, I suppose.)

    Okay, now I've started on the undesirables/inappropriates. When the cgi takes a long time to reply (``X Sorry you guessed incorrectly''), I wait with increasing horror that this time I'm loading that feared large data chunk. Still no hint from the GF pro tem.

    In one of Kurt Vonnegut's stories, the hero wins a cosmic prize (a combination cattish pet and self-cleaning crock pot) and then tries to find his way back to his real world by visiting various possible worlds in order of decreasing probability. Finding his own world uncongenial, he continues on to worlds of negative probability. I'm going to start guessing random email addresses. Eventually I'll make up my own new TLD's. Who knows? I might win a cosmic prize.

    [A similar (prize-winner/spacetime-traveler) plot device is used in a 1972 TV mélange of Vonnegut bits called Between Time and Timbuktu. There the prize is better motivated -- a nebbish wins a trip into the good ol' chronosynclastic infundibulum by writing the best jingle for some Tang-like product (I mean a product sleazily joint-marketed with space exploration).]

    Incidentally, a good way to learn about more potential free email addresses is to read the return addresses on your spam. Of course, the more email addresses you have, the more spam, and the more spam...

    French: `enameling' (the act of enameling or the result).

    French: `to enamel.' As you can probably guess, I really like this word.

    French: `he who enamels.'

    French: `she who enamels.'

    German, `to enamel.' A more common word is the past participle (used as an adjective) emailliert, `enameled.' (The double-el in all conjugations of this verb is pronounced as a palatalization.)

    Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

    European Menopause and Andropause Society. Let's see menopause is from meno-, short for menses, `menstrual discharge,' and means the cessation or end of menstruation. Similarly, then, andropause means the end of the man. Oh, I get it.

    embarrassment of riches
    In French, this would be embarras de richesse. The concept is so foreign to the American language that it has to be translated to be understood. For more on wealthy foreign embarrassments, see the last story in the TP entry.

    embedded system
    A computer built into a product that is not a computer. When even toothpicks and soda cans are computerized, this term will be an obsolete synonym of ``machine'' and ``tool.'' Now spatulas...

    Executive MBA.

    European Molecular Biology Conference. Not the sort you would attend. ``Negotiations between the EMBO Council, EMBO members [scientists; ca. 1000 as of 2002] and government representatives [led] to the establishment of the European Molecular Biology Conference [a formal ``Agreement''] in 1969.'' Twenty-four members in 2002.

    European Molecular Biology Laboratory. (Laboratoire Européen de Biologie Moléculaire, Europäisches Laboratorium für Molekularbiologie.)

    EMBL Enterprise Management Technology Transfer GmbH. It is an affiliate and the commercial arm of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). ``EMBLEM, established in 1999 identifies, protects and commercialises the intellectual property developed in the EMBL-world, from EMBL-alumni and from third parties. EMBLEM facilitates and accelerates the transfer of innovative technology from basic research to industry by working closely with industrial partners spanning the biotech, ITC and mechanical/electrical engineering markets to develop new diagnostics, drugs, therapies and machines and devices.''

    European Molecular Biology Organization. ``[E]stablished in 1964 with the aim to promote molecular biology studies in Europe.''

    A finely ambiguous term, meaning `excessive plumpness' or `stoutness,' from French literally meaning `in good shape.' See Rubenesque.

    Au Bon Pain is a chain of bakery/cafes.

    To conceal with foliage. A great place to do this is in the lush Scrabble forest.


    Echos du monde classique/Classical Views. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

    ElectroMagnetic Compatibility.

    ElectroMagnetic Control.

    Ensemble Monte Carlo (simulation method).

    European Mathematical Council. An informal organization. See the EMS entry.

    Export Management Companies.

    Electron-Multiplying Charge-Coupled Device.


    Échos du monde classique/Classical Views. ISSN 0012-9356. Currently edited at the Memorial University of, uh, the, you know, the school in St. John's, NL. Let me get back to you on this. The journal is published by the University of Calgary Press. Articles in French or English, with abstracts in both languages. One of the two official scholarly journals of the CAC/SCEC (as recognized by a constitutional amendment of 1997). Original title, when founded in 1957, had ``News and Views'' instead of ``Views.''

    Master of Ceremonies. Also ``MC.''

    European Monetary Cooperation Fund.

    em dash
    A dash that is one em long.

    Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

    European Medicines Evaluation Agency. Licenses drugs in the EU.

    emergency candies
    Ah, just what I needed! Hmm. Nmm. More waxy than chewy. ... Not very sweet, either. Pttheh! Tastes like soap-on-a-rope. Wrapper has misspelling, too.

    For other information about emergency candies, read the warning under Medical Calorie (a subhead of the calorie entry).

    Inducing, or that which induces, the generation of technicolor yawns.

    Not to be confused with the emic-etic distinction.

    ElectroMagnetic Fields. A few years ago a field worker (sociologist) noted that leukemia patients' homes tended to be near electric power substations or high tension lines more often than houses generally. This has blossomed into a simmering health scare. The effect, if real, is small enough to be in the noise of most studies.

    ElectroMotive Force. In 1820, Hans Christian Oersted announced his discovery that an electric current exerts a force on a magnet. This discovery was the first indication to scientists that electricity and magnetism were related phenomena, and it immediately made ammeters possible -- it gave intellectual and practical impetus to the study of electrical (from that time electromagnetic) phenomena. A few years later, Michael Faraday discovered a force that complements this: when a wire carrying a current is moved through the field of a magnet (by movement of either the magnet or the wire) a force acts on the carriers in the wire. This force generates an ``EMF.'' ``Induced EMF'' nowadays is the name we use for an integral of the electric field along the wire, generated in this way. (This is not a ``force'' in the usual mechanical sense. The mechanical force and the electrical quantity are closely related. I may explore this a bit later.) In my own restricted experience, ``EMF'' usually just means ``induced EMF.'' This raises the question of what EMF means when not (explicitly or implicitly) qualified by ``induced.'' The answer today is that it is some similar line integral of the electric field. In the absence of a time-varying magnetic field, however, this can usually be called a voltage, or at least a ``potential difference.'' (I'll try to get into that in a future version of this entry.)

    The term ``electromotive force'' in its original sense was much closer to what we would call a force today. (Almost coincidentally, since the meaning of ``force'' has also evolved since then.) The term (forza elettromotrice in Italian) was first introduced by Alessandro Volta (1745-1827). I think that would have been in 1800. At the time, it really referred to the force acting on charge. However, notions were a bit fuzzy at first, with ongoing arguments at some point over the question of whether electric forces acted on wires or on an ``electric fluid'' inside the wires. (Of course, at this point electromotive force had nothing to do with magnetism and induction.) The English term occurs at least as early as 1824 (in the Encyclopedia Britannica (Suppl. IV). When Maxwell introduced his famous equations, he used ``electromotive force'' in almost the same way. It essentially meant electric field, which is force per unit charge. Unfortunately, in his famous textbook (An Elementary Treatise on Electricity he started to use the term electromotive force in the sense of a voltage. That was certainly an influential book, and it is at least partly to blame for our confusing current usage.

    This entry is in the process of repair. It had one major blunder and one minor error. Those are both already patched, but usually when I screw up like this I try to atone by thinking and maybe researching a little bit and improving the entry further. In this case I'll probably have to distribute contents to a shorter EMF entry and a new induced-EMF entry. For now, the rest of this entry implicitly refers to induced EMF.

    Back in the 80's, there were special commands for ``parking'' (moving into a position safe for transport) the magnetic heads (read and write) on floppy disk drives. Nowadays, those commands are executed automatically in a normal shut-down. If power is lost unexpectedly, then the energy stored in rotational kinetic energy of the disk and rotor part of the drive are recovered as EMF and used to park the heads.

    Excuse Me For Butting In. Shouldn't that be XMFBI?

    EMFM, emfm
    ElectroMagnetic FlowMeter.

    ElectroMagnetic Gun. Various schemes have been studied. Rail guns seem to have been an outgrowth of the late Gerard K. O'Neill's efforts to develop tools to lift construction material into orbit for a space station, as part of a space colonization vision. Now that there's access to the powerful Russian Energia rockets, rail guns are probably even less cost effective.


    ElectroMyoGra{m|phy}. Measures the speed of propagation of the electric signals associated with muscle contraction. Carpal tunnel syndrome might be associated with a latency at the wrist.

    Boy, I hope this isn't how electroglottography (EGG) works.

    You can read more on electromyography at the On-line Medical Dictionary.

    Externally Mounted Gun.

    Electron MagnetoHydroDynamics (MHD).

    ElectroMagnetic Interference. Distinguished from electrical noise.

    Intracultural (or occasionally endogenous) as opposed to etic, which refers to the cross-cultural (occasionally exogenous). This popular social-science terminology is loosely abstracted from the distinction between phonemics and phonetics.

    Roughly speaking, phonetics studies speech sounds as such, whereas phonemics studies speech sounds within the framework of understanding of a particular group of speakers. One might identify phonetics and phonemics as objective and subjective, respectively, but this is not quite accurate. The range of sounds that are represented in English as ``the sound of the letter p'' constitute a single phoneme. From a phonetic perspective, however, one may distinguish unaspirated /p/, which is pronounced at the ends of words, and aspirated /ph/, which occurs in the initial position (medial p pronunciation depends on speaker dialect and adjacent sounds within the word). People whose first language is a European tongue other than Greek tend not to be specifically conscious of aspiration, but the difference is easy to detect manually, so to speak:

    Hold your hand a few inches from your mouth and pronounce the words in and pin. If you speak an ordinary dialect of English, you should feel a puff of air (the aspiration) from the initial p. You will not feel a similar puff from the unaspirated final p in nip.

    Aspiration typically is phonemically distinguished in languages of the Indian subcontinent, and is typically indicated in transliteration by the addition of an aitch. Thus dharma and Boddhisatva, etc. Semitic languages also generally make a distinction. In the Ashkenazi (roughly the Northern European) pronunciation of Hebrew, not surprisingly, much of the distinction was lost. (In particular, the aleph and ayin are indistinguishable.)

    For further examples, see the el entry.

    A social-scientific concept -- the distinction between categories constructed, recognized or validated by a society, and those of an external observer. This generalizes the distinction between phonemic and phonetic sound categories. More at the emic entry.

    Ethnic Material and Information Exchange Round Table (of the ALA). Cf. FLRT.

    ESCON Multiple Image Facility.

    Early Money Is Like Yeast. ``Emily's List'' is a donor network rather than a political action committee. That is, rather than give money directly to candidates, it recommends a list of candidates to its members, who make their own contributions. Its focus is to elect pro-choice, Democratic women to state and national offices. Network members pay $100 every two years (who would pay $50 for the odd years?) and pledge to write at least two checks (to different candidates) per year, of at least $100 each. In return, they receive the list, along with two-page profiles of the recommended candidates.

    Incidentally, the plagiarism of a Tony Blair speech by Senator Biden of Delaware isn't the only instance of trans-Atlantic PIP theft. The British Labour party created its own Emily's List and named it ``Emily's List.'' For US Republican or conservative versions, see RENEW.

    Stage name of the rapper Marshall Bruce Mathers III.

    Evangelism and Missions Information Service. Based at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton College. Publishes EMQ.

    emitter follower
    An output buffer; a common way to get some current drive. If an output has a voltage level determined by current through a load resistor, then the output impedance is ordinarily no less than the load resistance. The simplest way to improve (lower) the output impedance is to hook the output to the base of an npn, the collector to VCC, and under appropriate conditions the emitter just follows the base voltage, decreased in the amount of the BJT on voltage, about 0.7 V for a Si transistor. The follower is sometimes used simply for its voltage shifting. In ECL it provides level shifting and isolation of the current switch from noise in the output stage.

    ElectroMagnetic Launcher. See the EMG (EM Gun) entry supra.

    Element Management Layer.

    English as a Missionary Language. It understand it uses horizontal expressions.

    [phone icon]

    Expected Measured Loss [in telephony]. Equals the sum (we're talking dB's here) of ICL (q.v.) and test pad losses. This is to be compared with AML.

    Early Modern Literary Studies. ``... (ISSN 1201-2459) is a refereed [electronic] journal serving as a formal arena for scholarly discussion and as an academic resource for researchers in the area. Articles in EMLS examine English literature, literary culture, and language during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; responses to published papers are also published as part of a Readers' Forum. Reviews evaluate recent work as well as academic tools of interest to scholars in the field. EMLS is committed to gathering and to maintaining links to the most useful and comprehensive internet resources for Renaissance scholars, including archives, electronic texts, discussion groups, and beyond.

    Exempt Market-Makers.

    Expanded Memory Manager.

    Electronics Manufacturing Management Information System (MIS).

    It may be a wasteland, but it's a heavily decorated wasteland. The Emmys were first awarded in 1949. More about the various Emmys at the entry for ATAS, which awards the (US) Prime Time Emmys.

    The name Emmy is derived from Immy, nickname image orthicon tube. The variant Emmy was used because the award statuette looked more like woman (albeit a winged one) than a vacuum tube. You can read a longer version of the story at this page sponsored by NY-NATAS.

    The HowStuffWorks website has some pages explaining ``How the Emmy Awards Work.'' They work? I didn't know! What kind of ``achievement'' were they supposed to honor, exactly?

    EMOtional. Refers to emotionally charged punk rock music.

    Smiley, like ``:-)''. From emote + icon.

    emotional ATM
    Someone in a relationship who just keeps giving.

    Early Medieval Period.

    Early Modern Philosophy. Roughly, European philosophy from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, ending with Kant.

    ElectroMagnetic Pulse.

    Electron MicroProbe.

    Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (biochemical pathway).

    English for { Maritime | Medical | Military } Purposes.

    Euro[pean]-Mediterranean Partnership. What's this? I never heard of it! They even had a Barcelona Declaration in 1995 (it established a European-Mediterranean partnership for peace, stability, prosperity, human development and cultural exchange), with actual signatories and an EMP ``methodology of engagement with and inclusion of the South.'' No one told me!

    Excessive MultiPosting. A category of spam.

    Spanish, `hoity-toity, conceited, arrogant.' Less commonly, `elevated to an advantageous social position.' Cf. vanidad, orgullos.

    Variant spelling of employee that the Washington Post used to get on its readers' nerves (which has its own variant spelling), and to demonstrate its arrogance.

    EMP pathway
    Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway. From glucose to pyruvate.

    empty creditor
    A term coined by Prof. Henry Hu (of the University of Texas law school) to describe a creditor that acts as if it doesn't have an interest in a debtor's survival. Empty creditors act this way because they don't, in fact, have such an interest. We're talking mostly about commercial debt here -- the debtors are companies in trouble, and the amounts are best expressed in scientific notation. The creditors are insured against loss -- by credit default swaps (CDS's), say. If, as is typical, the insurance pays only if the debtor goes bankrupt, then the creditor has no incentive to accept a debtor's out-of-court offer to restructure the debt. This forces debtors into bankruptcy, which is expensive and a lot more dangerous for debtors than renegotiating their loans out of court.

    The term has also been extended to sovereign (i.e., government) debt, particularly in the context of the ongoing ``euro crisis'' and prospective default of Greece and other countries. The situation with sovereign debt is somewhat different, of course. There is no bankruptcy court that a country can be forced into (CDS's pay on ``default''), and a country has options that a private debtor does not. (The usual option is ``printing money,'' but a country can also force restructuring by changing the law governing the debt contract. It has further leverage against empty creditors because the definition of the ``default'' that triggers pay-off of a CDS may be affected by the country's laws.)

    Evangelical Missions Quarterly. ``A professional journal serving the missions community.'' Published by EMIS.

    I don't know if it's a heresy, merely, or an entirely new gospel, but an article in volume 40, number 2 (April 2004) was entitled ``God Can Even Speak through Meetings.'' The same wild-eyed provocation artist, John C. Kerr, has a more thoughtful-seeming piece in the same issue: ``Could Poverty Be a Blessing?'' This is pretty subversive stuff. I mean, by the very title he's planting the seed of the idea that poverty might not be a blessing. What is he, crazy? What is a mere sixty years and ten [or twenty-five years and ten (2003 est.) -- he's writing about Zambia] against eternity? Better to starve now: a cadaverously skinny camel has a better chance of making it through the eye of a needle (lightly greased, of course).

    Educable Mentally Retarded. Executive material.

    Electronic Medical Records. Plural because it mostly occurs attributively, as in ``EMR system.'' Epic Systems, based in Wisconsin, has been the dominant EMR company in the U.S. health care market. They are, however, a sort of IBM of EMR systems: they sell big systems to big customers -- academic medical centers, large hospitals and health systems. Smaller hospitals, medical groups and crusty old independent physicians use EMR's from smaller vendors such as PracticeFusion and AthenaHealth.

    The spiffy new term for EMR is EHR. Stay tuned.

    Electron Magnetic Resonance. A synonym of Electron Spin Resonance and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance. Follow the latter link for further links (and yeah, maybe some info.)

    Excimer Mid-range Raman-shifted Laser Device. Oh, clever.

    WHO (World Health Organization) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. Other regional offices are listed at the AFRO entry.

    European Materials Research Society.

    ElectroMagnetic Susceptibility.

    Electronics Manufacturing Service. Some examples: Sanmina, Celestica, Elcoteq. In principle, an EMS does not design the electronics it manufactures. (For more on that, see ODM.)

    In practice, turning designs into products might not seem so straightforward, but it's been common for a while. There are ``foundries,'' places like MOSIS that will take chip designs and reliably turn them into chips. (Back in the eighties when these foundaries first got going, they were relatively cheap. If you were doing microelectronics research in a university, you could source the pedestrian, industry-standard parts of your work from MOSIS and focus on the cutting-edge stuff you meant to specialize. No longer -- at least no longer cheaply.)

    An EMS usually manufactures in large quantities and may provide consumer packaging. A foundry produces small quantities (and for the price, you wouldn't want large quantities).

    Electron Momentum Spectroscopy. Visit this description served by Christopher Walker.

    Element Management System.

    Emergency Medical Services.

    European Mathematical Society. Created at the instigation of the ESF, which noted the absence of a specifically Europe-wide mathematical society. After a period of informal existence as the EMC, it was established on October 28, 1990. EMS is incorporated and based in Helsinki, where EMC was based. The EMS has both individual and organizational members. Unlike other mathematical societies such as the IMU (which has only organizational members), several different mathematical societies in one country can all belong to the EMS. This ``provides for flexibility and avoids political controversy.''

    European Monetary System.

    Event Monitoring System.

    Expanded Memory Specification.

    The Environmental Molecular Science Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Actually, it's down the hall.

    Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory of the ORD of the USGS.

    Éducation manuelle et technique. French: `manual and practical education,' in other words `vocational education.' On second thought, ``manual education'' sounds a bit dodgy. How do you educate a hand? It must be training: VET.

    Emergency Medical Technician.

    English as [a] Mother Tongue. When you spell it out like that, it looks vaguely lewd. You should know, and avoid, a term that might mean the same thing sometimes: ENL. Cf. EFL, ESL, and ESOL.

    In Yiddish, mama lashon is a common and somewhat shmaltzy term meaning `mother tongue.' I guess Yiddish azoi Mama Lashon'' would be the term corresponding to ``English as a Mother Tongue.''

    External Mass Transfer Control.

    ElectroMagnetic Transient Program. A standard code for real-time simulation of power systems including single-phase and three-phase balanced and unbalanced circuit modeling, various equivalent-circuit models for T-lines and transformers, and time-dependent models for simulating circuit breakers, lightning arrestors, and faults. One version of the code is called Alternate Transient Program (ATP). The user interface is considered a dog.

    Eastern Mennonite University. ``Mennonite'' sounds like a great name for a mineral.

    Eastern Michigan University.

    Electric Multiple-Unit train. E.g., a subway train. Designates a passenger rail car with its own electric motor, when this is part of a multiple-unit (MU) system.

    Emu, EMU
    European Monetary Union. Starting in 1999. As late as 1997, it looked like few EU economies would meet the criteria set by ECOFIN for entry into Emu, but they did. Now was that a good thing?

    Flightless bird second in size only to the ostrich. It lays big green eggs.


    Egregiae Memoriae Vir. Latin, `distinguished memory of the man.'

    European Medical Writers Association. Affiliated with the AMWA (you can guess or look here).

    End Node.

    The name of the fourteenth letter of the English alphabet.

    One half the width of an em, the traditional width of the letter en in movable fonts.

    San Antonio Express-News. Shares a website with TV station KENS-5, a CBS affiliate.

    Electrically Neutral Atom. Three words to say one. Normally, an atom is understood to mean an unionized (i.e., electrically neutral) atom. Otherwise, you call it an ion. To be exceedingly fair, the term ENA is used -- ah, let's not be overly fair. ``Electrically neutral'' means neutral.

    French École Nationale d'Administration. A state-run factory for cloning new French civil ``servants,'' known not quite jocularly enough as énarques. It is significant that Nicolas Sarkozy, who was elected President (a fifth-republic office akin to elected dictator) in 2007, is not an énarque.

    enabling technology
    A technology that suffers from a lack of glory, or a perception of weak job opportunities, and taught by an engineering department that is experiencing consequent diminishing enrollments which leave it vulnerable to restructuring.

    A common strategy in propaganda or PR for such a technology and its department is to shine in the reflected glory of some technology that is currently sexier. For example, did you know that copper plumbing is an enabling technology for computers? It's true: without indoor plumbing, computer programmers would die of thirst or water-borne diseases.

    To enact is to put into practice. Hence its formulaic use today ``to enact law.'' Sports writers and other illiterates write ``enact revenge'' when they mean ``exact revenge.''

    Egyptian National Agricultural Library.

    Vivid imagery.

    Emergency News Center.

    You don't know what an enchiridion is? Shame on you! It's a handbook or manual. In short words of one or two syllables, it's about the same as a vade mecum.

    Oxidation under the edges of an oxide mask (usually silicon nitride).

    [Football icon]

    When a defensive lineman crosses the line of scrimmage and fails to get back before the center hikes the ball to begin play.

    A word borrowed from the late Latin encyclopædia, which in turn comes from egkuklopaideía. The latter is considered to be bad Greek -- a misreading of the standard Greek phrase egkúklios paideía, `encyclical education' (more on this below). The alleged solecism occurs in manuscripts of Quintilian, Pliny, and Galen. I suppose the emphasis on mss. is to suggest that this was too gross an error for those authors themselves to have made. Xenophon wrote a fictionalized account of the life of Cyrus the Great, and it was known as the Cyropædia (Kuropaideía in Greek): `Education of Cyrus.' I'm not qualified to pronounce on the acceptability of the alleged pseudo-Greek egkuklopaideía, but perhaps you are. As Fox News says, ``we report, you decide.''

    The Latin spelling, of course, is preserved in the Latin titles of various long-established encyclopedias like the Encyclopædia Britannica, (EB), Encyclopædia Londinensis, etc. It's also preserved because monkey see, monkey do (it's an important principle of spelling standardization). For example, I have before me (actually to the left of the keyboard) a ratty copy of How To Clean Everything: the Encyclopaedia of Home Care. It was first published in the US in 1952, but my 1972 British edition has ``corrections'' copyrighted by the British publisher. I wonder if a respelling of encyclopedia was one of the corrections.

    The practice of giving encyclopedias Latin names when approximately no one knows Latin is a great opportunity for mischief, often of the literally barbarous kind. There is, for example, an Encyclopedia [sic] Americana. The EB is now divided into a Propædia, Macropædia, and Micropædia. The EB people have also put together an inferior Spanish encyclopedia called Enciclopedia Hispánica, which includes a volume called Temapedia (at least both roots are Greek) and one whose spine writhes with the words ``DATAPEDIA y Atlas.''

    In German, the letter c when followed by a letter other than h has had the sound value /ts/ for at least a couple of centuries. (That's why the Scottish ancestor of Immanuel Kant had to change his name from Cant.) The letter z has the same sound value, and during the twentieth century, spellings in z replaced those in c. Thus Encyclopédie, borrowed from the French, was initially spelled Encyklopädie in German and later Enzyklopädie. [Of course, c still occurs in German. It is part of the symbols ch, ck, sch, dsch, and tsch, to say nothing of Nietzsche, and it persists in unnaturalized spellings like Camping, Décolleté, and decrescendo, and incompletely naturalized words like decodieren and Ressourcen. (Even words with unnaturalized spellings obey native German capitalization conventions and may have altogether unnatural naturalized inflected forms.) By common agreement among the governments of German-speaking nations (and cantons), naturalized spellings will be encouraged. Some new approved spellings, however -- like Dekolletee -- rather tear the envelope than push it.]

    Encyclopedia USA
    Full title:
    Encyclopedia USA: The Encyclopedia of the United States of America Past & Present
    This is a weirdly ambitious project begun before the internet imploded the market for reference books. It's the first specimen in my, err, our entry (that of the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve glossary -- online, you'll have noticed) for incomplete multivolume works. However, the level of superfluous detail got out of hand, and -- with uncharacteristic mercy to compulsive readers of that entry -- I've given Encyclopedia USA its own entry. Your loss.

    Encyclopedia USA was published by Academic International Press (fnd'd 1964). All the volumes are thin and small -- each almost exactly 250 pages long, and 6 in. × 9 in. I'd like to give you a flavor.
    The first volume, published under the editorship of R. Alton Lee in 1983, went from AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Act) to Agriculture - Machinery. It included entries for three Abbeys: the illustrator, painter, and muralist Edward Austin Abbey (1852-1911); the poet Henry Abbey (1842-1911); the apparently unrelated theatrical manager Henry Eugene Abbey (1846-1896). The longer entries have named authors, so we know Phillip Drennon Thomas wrote the page-long item for Edward, but not who wrote the quarter- and half-page entries for Henry and Henry Eugene.

    There are 28 Abbott entries (all short) and a long entry for Abbott and Costello (Lou doesn't get his own entry). There are entries for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (long) and Abraham Lincoln, Fort (short), but not, of course, for Lincoln, Abraham.

    There are 53 Adamses (or so -- I'm not going to double-check). Most of the entries are biographies of people or government agencies, and there are a few for named (or nicknamed) laws (Abominations, Tariff of; Act Concerning Feme-Sol [sic] Traders; three other acts I never heard of either -- AAA I'd forgotten since eighth grade). There are a number of abstract-noun headwords, including the last nine (Agriculture; Agriculture -- Conservation; Agriculture -- Country Life...). I'm sure my selection would have differed. If I too were to include three Agnew entries, one would certainly be for ``disgraced vice-president Spiro T. Agnew.'' That's the standard formula, and no, he doesn't have an entry in Volume 21: Detente to Dixon, Willie James. By that point (1995), the editor was Donald R. Whisenhunt. I may fill in some more details later, but a couple of dedicated students are sleeping at a table in the reference reserve stacks by this encyclopedia, and I prefer not to disturb them.

    Oh look: I don't need to disturb them! The publisher has a webpage specifically for this encyclopedia. ``Encyclopedia USA should be viewed as the serial Dictionary of American Biography uniquely expanded to all aspects of American life--especially cultural life--to serve the broad spectrum of readers and libraries.'' They offer ``Three volumes, 750 pages annually. Cloth. $42.00 each. Index Volumes $55 eac.'' If you're thinking of subscribing, do note that the last regular volume [29: Everybody's Magazine to Fanning, Tolbert] was published in 2003. The third supplement came out that year also. As of 2012, Whisenhunt is still retired and AIP is looking for a replacement.

    Advertising in the back of the first volume indicated that the original plan was for fifty volumes, just like the other encyclopedias in the Academic International Reference Series:

    • The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History 50 vols. (Back then, you know, ``Russian and Soviet'' implied that history was probed more than half a century back -- into the period preceding the Soviet Union.)
    • The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet Literature 50 vols. (Now, of course, ``Soviet'' is the more historical term. Or at least ``Russian'' is the more current term.)
    • Military-Naval Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union 50 vols.
    • Encyclopedia USA. The Encyclopedia of the United... 50 vols.
    • The International Military Encyclopedia 50 vols.

    The website now mentions ``Fifty or more volumes plus indexes and supplements when complete.'' They envision a day when it might be complete? I estimate that 100 volumes would make more sense, or only the very most important Williamses could make it in.

    Okay, one of the students is awake again, so I don't feel like I'm skulking around trying to steal a laptop. The supplement series is up to volume 3, ending with an entry for Ashmore, Harry Scott. Full details aren't up on the website yet (maybe I'll check again in 2020), but I can tell you that the three supplements so far (or ever?) were all published in 1997.

    A couple of Agnews were added in the supplements, and Spiro got his. He had died in 1996, and a cursory survey suggests that biographical entries have to wait until the biographees are dead.

    Egad -- they've got the entire list of entries right out there on the web! Like this. They're stealing my thunder! How am I supposed to keep a non-profit, nongovernmental, unsponsored, non-charitable online reference work afloat with mock advertisements if I'm going to be undercut by moribund publishers of incomplete encyclopedias of outdated information?

    End of History?, The
    Francis Fukuyama's famous article appeared in National Interest, no. 16 (Summer 1989). The question mark was gone when the book (a best seller) came out (The End of History and the Last Man). Its principal premise was that the ideological evolution of mankind had reached an end with the universal triumph of Western liberal democracy. To write a book like this is to creatively imagine a premise that is the very embodiment of unimaginativeness.

    Here's something interesting, the interpretation of which I do not suggest is immediate: Fukuyama was a student of Allan Bloom's at Cornell and a graduate student in comparative literature at Yale, where he studied under Paul de Man.

    en dash
    A dash that is one en wide. Sounds just like em dash, unfortunately. Fortunately, copy editors write their instructions.

    Electron-Nuclear DOuble Resonance. I haven't looked around much for web resources; try this.

    East NorthEast. Vide compass directions.

    There's a Van Halen song from 1983, appearing on their 1984 album, with a refrain that sounds like ``NMR'' (British accent) or ``enema.'' It's ``Panama'' (title and chorus). For related considerations, see the mondegreen entry (or the deconstruction entry).

    One line in that song is ``I can barely see the road from the heat comin' off.'' This refers to the wet, shimmery, or mirror-like appearance that hot roads can have. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:

    [two-lane highway]

    As is clear from the foreground, the shoulder of the road is bounded on the outside by grass in sandy soil. The lighter colors of the soil and grass mean that it both absorbs and emits radiation more slowly than the black road surface. The leaves of grass also function as cooling fins, promoting cooling by conduction to, and convection in, the air. The combined effect is that at the end of an August day (like that on which I took this picture), the grass is pretty much at the temperature of the air, but the road is much hotter. The optical effect is clear in the distance, where the grass seems to rise above and over the road (see especially the grass on the left side). The car in the distance appears to be floating on air. In fact, the apparent flat bottom of the car is also an illusion: it's a reflected image of the top of the car.

    The illusion has to do with the fact that the refractive index of air is not quite unity (the vacuum value). Warm air is less dense -- more like a vacuum, say -- and its index of refraction is lower, closer to unity. This causes reflection. The air layer is smooth, so reflection from it produces a mirror effect. What one sees in that mirror depends on what is beyond it. It may be darker and look like a wet spot or, as in the picture, it may be a lighter-colored hazy sky that looks like it ends below ground level. Since the warm air that produces the effect is lighter than the surrounding air, it is buoyant; with a hot-enough road, the air moves visibly and produces a shimmering effect.

    Technically, the reflection off hot air is total internal reflection (i.e., reflection by a region of low index of refraction back into a region of high index). The effect is very simply described by Snell's law, that for a beam of light traversing a change in refractive index n, at angle THETA relative to the direction of index change:

    n×sin(THETA) is a constant.

    Total internal reflection occurs because sin(THETA) cannot increase beyond 1, so a decrease in n cannot always be compensated by an increase in THETA.

    You can use these facts, with some obvious approximations, to estimate the temperature of a reflecting road surface. Suppose you're on a long hot road, with no trees in the distance, so you can tell where total internal reflection appears. You can measure this distance from road markers, odometer, or speedometer and elapsed time. Call the distance L, and the height of your eyes above the road surface h. (It doesn't matter if you're on a long steady incline -- h should be the normal distance of your eyes from the road surface, and probably doesn't change much on an incline.) Then, if you're on earth, L is probably much larger than h, and sin(THETA) is about 1 - 0.5 (h/L)2.

    The index of refraction of any atmospheric gas is pretty close to unity, and the first correction should be proportional to 1/T, so say
    n = 1 + c/T.
    We now write
    n1×sin(THETA-sub-1) = n2×sin(THETA-sub-2),
    where the subscript 1 refers to you and subscript 2 refers to the road. When total internal reflection begins, sin(THETA-22) is exactly unity. Substituting the quantities discussed for the other sine, and retaining only the lowest-order terms,
    2c/T2 = 2c/T1 - (h/L)2.

    Hmmm. Looks like we could use some extra information here. The value of c, f'rinstance. Let's say that for air in the optical range of wavelengths, c = 0.08K. Alright then: The road temperature T2 is given by T2 = 1 /( 1/T1 - (h/L)2/0.16K). Thus, if the temperature in the car (which determines the apparent direction of the line of sight) is 25 degrees Celsius, or about 300K, you're at 1 m height and the mirage begins at an apparent distance of 100 meters, the road surface is at 369K or 96 degrees C, about hot enough to boil water. Good thing tires are vulcanized.

    Japanese for `energy.' The g is pronounced hard because the word borrowed was Energie, the German cognate of energy. If the Japanese word had been borrowed from English, the head term of this entry would have read something like eneruji.

    End-Notched Flexure (specimen).

    Meyers-Briggs personality type (MBTI) that has alphabetic priority: Extroverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging. (As opposed, respectively, to Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving.)

    The Keirsey Temperament and Character Web Site offers to categorize you. The trouble with its character sorter (a very good name, BTW, in that it doesn't imply ``testing'' and the associated possibility of failure) is that most multiple-choice answers are caricatures of mature thought.

    Electronic NewsGathering. I'm told that this is what TV news reporters do, as demonstrated by the fact that a Canadian TV series of that name (ENG) is set in a TV station's news department. I dunno -- seems to me that what TV ``news'' ``reporters'' do is not substantially more electronic than what newspaper reporters do. What is characteristically electronic about TV news is the dissemination.

    Empty-Net Goal[s]. (Soccer.)


    EU technical term for appeasement.

    England in Transition
    Hi there! For your convenience, I've made an entry out of what would otherwise be a reference somewhere else in this glossary. For those of you who have just arrived here by following a link from another entry: Welcome!

    England in Transition: Life and Work in the Eighteenth Century is a little Pelican paperback (a Penguin imprint) by M. Dorothy George (née Gordon, so she didn't have to change her monograms). As the cover explains, it's a ``social history of England immediately before the Industrial Revolution, describing vividly the evils as well as the attractions of the so-called `Golden Age.'' The book evolved out of a series of BBC broadcast talks that the author gave in 1930; the book was published in 1931 and republished with additions in 1953.

    (You'll want to know that on my copy (1953), the print along the binding is upside down when the book is laid face up.)

    Angular momentum given to a pool ball by a player of a game, in order to, or at least with the effect of, affecting its trajectory (especially after collision with another ball or the rail).

    When I was working at Fermilab (1977), I used to spend my free time at the recreation center conducting experiments on the mechanics of collisions of hard spheres rolling on felt-covered slate. (I was that dedicated.) Once I asked a British fellow experimenter there what they called english in England. ``Spin!'' he replied angrily. I did not.

    At least he didn't give me the look. Most Englishwomen and some Englishmen apparently learn the look in school. The look is a physiognomic achievement at the cusp of disdain: just enough directed attention to express contempt, but not so much as to suggest the target is worthy of attention. I am usually too impressed to be offended. For more on this kind of stuff, see the swarthy entry. (I mean the entry for the word swarthy.) For ruminations on dourness, read my cri de coeur at the SHS entry.

    For other yrast national skills, see pen spinning.

    I used to have a link here to the image archive at Washington University in Saint Louis, where there was an image named <the_look.jpg>. The archive is long since defunct, but you can do a Google image search for the_look.jpg and find a selection. Click the link! Haven't you figured it out yet? I have no idea which, if any of these, I originally had in mind.

    For yet more abuse, FPT.

    English speaker
    Most speakers who are English are English speakers, but most English speakers are not speakers who are English. What a difficult language! I'll never understand it. (I would prefer to use the term English-speakers. There isn't much justification for this, except that hyphenation is sometimes used to indicate a different relationship between two words than they would have if not hyphenated, and that there's even less justification for using a hyphen when English is what the speakers are rather than what they speak. It doesn't seem that my view has many active adherents, however.)

    Equivalent Noise Input. What I'd like to do to the upstairs neighbor.

    Electroless Nickel/Immersion Gold. In that order: we're talking microelectronics fab.

    Equivalent Noise Level.

    English as a Native Language. Contrasted with English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Unfortunately, among the manifold synonyms of EFL is ``English as a New Language'' (next ENL entry). Ghits suggest that ENL in the ``native'' sense represents a distinct minority of usage (1:40, say). Rarer in absolute terms, but not likely to produce the same absurd confusion, is EMT (``English as a Mother Tongue'').

    English as a New Language. So far as I have been able to determine, this is yet another synonym of EFL, ESOL, and ESOL. It's just a matter of time before these people use up all the 3LA's and 4LA's beginning in E and ending in L.

    ENL, however, has the unfortunate property of being something close to its own antonym: see the preceding entry. ENL in the sense of the current entry seems to be especially common (though probably not prevalent) in Indiana.

    Enhancement-mode, n-type MOSFET.

    Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer. The first fully electronic digital computer, made starting in 1943 by J. Presper (``Pres'') Eckert (1919-1995) and John W. Mauchly. It weighed 30 tons and fit in a 30' by 50' room, but it was 1000 times faster than standard mechanical calculators then in use. The US Army contract for its construction was for the computation of artillery shell trajectory tables, but it was programmable and was used for atomic bomb design as well. The Smithsonian Institution had a section of the machine on hand (picture here) for the Institution's Information Age exhibit in 1992. (A permanent photographic record of the exhibit is served here.)

    The machine was planned for use in WWII, but it wasn't completed until 1945 (I think it was unveiled on Valentine's Day 1946). It was succeeded by the EDVAC.

    The FOLDOC entry for ENIAC is now extensively footnoted, and seems to have settled on what exactly was von Neumann's contribution to the ENIAC/EDVAC project.

    Environmental News Network.

    European Neurological Network. Practically nothing to do with ENNS infra.

    European Neural Network Society. Distinct from International and Japanese same.

    English National Opera.

    The surname of washed-up rock musician Brian Eno, who once had a top-40 hit with ``The Seven Deadly Finns.''

    Effective Number of Bits.

    Enterprise Network Roundtable. A group of users that provides feedback to the ATM Forum.

    The Eastern NeuroRadiological Society. Founded in 1989. Not Eastern as ``wisdom of the neuroradiologists of the ancient Orient,'' but Eastern as in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, the District of Columbia, and the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

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

    ENemy Situation Correlation Element. I don't know what this means, so let's shoot it.

    École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris.

    A Spanish word that is not enseñar. Although ñ is easy for Anglophones to pronounce, many either ignore or are ignorant of the n/ñ distinction, and come to grief. Like the woman I know who wished someone ``¡Feliz ano nuevo!'' She told me she got an odd look from the person she greeted thus. (She had wished the person a `Happy new anus!') I don't think any other minimal pair can top ano/año for unintended shock or humor value, but fwiw, enseñar is a very common word with meanings like `teach' and `indicate.' The verb ensenar is practically an antonym; it means `hide.'

    In the form of a sword. The adjective is used primarily in biology, and is typically said of leaves, but there is also the term ``ensiform cartilage,'' also referred to simply as ``the ensiform,'' for an appendage of the sternum.

    École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son. A widely used but probably unofficial acronym for La fémis (see FEMIS). It's a reasonable acronym and it follows the pattern of other state-supported or state-run post-secondary schools in France. Those are good-enough reasons to abjure it; on a besoin de mystère!

    El Niño Southern Oscillation.

    École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de Bretagne.

    Bretagne here refers to Brittany, not Britain. By Brittany I mean a place, not a person.

    A tree-like being encountered in JRRT's Lord of the Rings. Cf. entwife.

    Evening Nautical Twilight. The time from dusk until EENT (sun 12 degrees below horizon), q.v.

    Otorhinolaryngology. Not one ee, and the only tee comes before the first en. How do they come up with these crazy acronyms?

    [BTW: an otorhinolaryngologist deals with the health of throat, ears, and nose. These are connected.]

    Extrovert, iNtuition, Thinking, Judging. One of 24 = 16 categories, based on four bipolar variables, which definitively categorize the human animal. Too bad Jane Austen and Henry James didn't have this useful tool -- their novels would have been so much more insightful.

    The scheme was created by a couple of geniuses (see MBTI) who based their work on the limpid writings of Karl Jung.

    German word meaning `release [as from prison]' or `discharge [as from a hospital or employment or military service].'

    It used to be more common in English to say that a firearm ``discharged,'' where now we'd say ``fired'' (or misfired'') or ``went off.'' In Spanish, the verb disparar describes the action of various things that shoot or are shot, including gunmen, guns, and projectiles of various descriptions (incl. soccer balls).

    1. Noun, with stress on first syllable, meaning ``entryway'' or ``act of entering.''
    2. Verb, with stress on second syllable, meaning ``put into a trance.''

    The mot was first reported by Jack Malvern in the London Times, July 9, 2002, as coming by way of Baroness Williams of Crosby. British Prime Minister Tony Blair recalled that he and presidents Bush and Chirac (US and France, resp.) had been discussing the decline of the French economy. Bush confided to Blair that ``the problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur.'' The next day, Lloyd Grove reported in the Washington Post's Style section (in the regular The Reliable Source feature) that Malvern had it second hand from someone who heard the baroness use it in a speech. Blair's director of communications and strategy, Alastair Campbell, denied the original story and denied that Blair told such a story to the member of the House of Lords, and suggested that if she used it in a speech, Williams must have been joking.

    A week later, in the July 17 Daily Telegraph (London), Andrew Marr wrote about poor neglected Gore Vidal:

    He has not only perfected the dry narrative style that I call sardony, but has the grand cadences of the old East Coast aristocracy, now rarely heard. His best story, I thought, was passed on by a friend, who says that Mr Bush, after a tense phone call to Paris about the stand-off on trade, slammed down the receiver, turned to his aides and complained: "You know the trouble with the French? They don't even have a word for entrepreneur."

    That was practically the last time the story was provenanced in any way. Marr's story, incidentally, was a ramble entitled ``Why I was a bloody mess over Brown's spending review notebook.'' Brown was Gordon Brown, and the following year, the Diary feature of the Glasgow Herald claimed that they had reported it some months earlier as ``told by Gordon Brown at a showbiz reception where he informed a fellow Scot of a G7 meeting at which French president Jacques Chirac bemoaned the economic climate adversely affecting France's competitive edge. A listening George Bush turned to Tony Blair and murmured: `The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur.' ''

    I couldn't find that report, but I did see that in the Herald of August 1, 2002, Dr. Ian Morris, replying to a letter in part

    I agree with Iain Scott about entrepreneurs and like the comment made by George W. Bush. The French are backward compared with America. They do not even have a word for entrepreneur. Apocryphal?
    That was the first published instance I found that apparently treated the remark as a joke by rather than on Bush, a Harvard MBA (1975).

    It was amusing to see in a fawning puff piece on Sir Terence Conran (by Ginny Dougary in the September 14 London Times) how he ``heartily disapproves of Blair's support of the Bush administration, snorting with derision at dubya's gaffe, `The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur,' and is maddened by the two leaders' response to terrorism.''

    By the end of the year, the quote had received the imprimatur of the Oxford Dictionary publishers. It didn't just make their list of 100 top quotes of 2002; it was quote of the year.

    Ha! But English doesn't have a native word for dirigisme, so there!

    This French word means `contractor.' What French word means `entrepreneur' is turning out to be a difficult question to answer. I checked my Larousse de poche (which is all I have handy now) and it gave a Gallic shrug (i.e., it didn't have an entry for this word on the English-to-French side). I put it in the Altavista Babelfish text-entry form, and that made an unusual hand gesture (i.e., it answered with three question marks; you have to concede that would be a very unusual hand gesture). This is highly unusual. Normally when Babelfish encounters a word it can't come up with a translation for, it simply leaves it untranslated (this works quite well for proper nouns and technical terms). This is even the case when you give it a single French word that is not an English word, and ask it to translate that word from English into French. (At least that's what happened when I tried a few examples just now.) I guess they don't want to embarrass Mr. Bush and be ``punished'' (clarification deep inside the WI entry).

    Oh wait -- it was a font problem. Babelfish translates ``the entrepreneur's enterprising contractor'' (in English) as l'entrepreneur entreprenant de l'entrepreneur. This is fun! ``The female entrepreneur's enterprising contractor'' becomes l'entrepreneur entreprenant de l'entrepreneur féminin! Let's try ``male prostitute'' ... prostituée masculine. I don't think so. I may have to find a more reliable informant.

    Oh great! I found another French translation dictionary in the house. Taschenwörterbuch der französischen und deutschen Sprache (the sixth revised edition, 1911 -- back in the day when Herr Professor G. Langenscheidt actually controlled the Langenscheidt press. This dusty tome translates Unternehmer (English `entrepreneur'; take my word, I checked the Duden Deutschesuniversalwörterbuch) as entrepreneur. With the translation of English enterprising as entreprenant, the evidence is beginning to accumulate: French does have at least one word meaning entrepreneur: the word entrepreneur. However, the French word has a broader meaning than the same string literal in English, so French may not have a word specifically meaning the same thing as the English word entrepreneur. I'm guessing it doesn't have a common one, unless something shows up soon. In summary, entrepreneur is entrepreneur, but the French word goes a little heavy on the je ne sais quoi. Once again, dubya's enemies have misunderestimated his superior linguistic prowess.

    German: `developmental biology.'

    A tree-like being rumored but not encountered in JRRT's Lord of the Rings. Cf. ent.

    Entzuendung, Entzündung
    German noun meaning `inflammation.'

    Eastern New York Occupational and Environmental Health Center. ``[O]ne of eight regional occupational health clinical centers established by the New York State Legislature in 1988.''


    Typical materials: KTP, KD*P, LiNbO3, LiTaO3.

    [phone icon]

    End (Telephone) Office. These are connected to individual subscribers through a number of local loops. Local calls are typically those involving different subscribers with the same EO. (Before divestiture, these were called class 5 offices. Smaller class numbers corresponded to higher levels of the switching-office hierarchy.) Cf. TCT.

    The bandwidth for local calls is much larger than for longer-distance calls. Thus, there's little point to a 19.2 modem unless you're dialing up a nearby computer. Make that a 33K modem. No wait, better 56K, yeah. Oh, is DSL available in our area now?

    English Only. The initialism isn't used as an imperative, as far as I know. It's a common shorthand, used by ed researchers and school staff in the US, for students (usually pre-college students) whose native language is English. The designation is not entirely accurate, since many ``EO'' students are bi- or multilingual to some degree, even before formal instruction in a foreign language is begun. The contrastive term is ELL.

    It's probably not fruitful to examine the precise implications of either term. The reality is that the terminology and the research associated with it are usually based on certain approximations or ethnic assumptions. In many contexts, EO and ELL are really just neutral-sounding ways of saying non-Hispanic and Hispanic, or something like it. What ``Hispanic'' means is similarly approximate. You'd like to think that these approximations or stereotypes are recognized as such by researchers, but I have reasons to doubt it. One reason is that published research frequently fails to explain how the grouping was done, as if this were unproblematic. Another reason is personal experience. For example, a friend of mine was apparently awarded funding (for study in a graduate psychology program) at least partly on the basis of his self-description as Hispanic. When he showed up to start school and they discovered that he has white skin and speaks without a foreign accent, some on the faculty felt they had been deceived. They had apparently wanted and expected someone who looked and sounded ``Hispanic.'' They were certainly deceived -- by their own ignorance.

    Essential Oil. Oil distilled from a plant part. ``Essential'' in the sense that it contains the essence of the odor of the plant. In fact, the fragrance is probably a large number of esters that distilled out with the oils. Essential oils were traditionally used in perfumes and soaps, but it's a lot cheaper to use artificial fragrances (FO's).

    Executive Order. Frequently misspelled E0.

    End Of Address. ASCII 02 (CTRL-B). ASCII character is also used for STX.

    Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action. As in ``the University is an EO/AA employer.'' A Canadian and South African form is EE/AA. ``Equal'' -- that sounds kinda mathematical. It's probably a very carefully defined term. Now ``affirmative action'' -- that sounds a bit political. Don't you wonder what politically daring things the glossarist has written at the AA entry?

    Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

    Executive Office Building. Part of the White House complex; within the fence but separated from the White House West Wing by a small street.

    Explanation Of Benefits. From your health care provider; a list of repairs performed, and such.

    Embedded Operations Channel.

    Emergency Operations Center.

    End Of Course. North Carolina (see NCDPI) has a specific use for this term: ``The North Carolina End-of-Course Tests are used to sample a student's knowledge of subject-related concepts as specified in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and to provide a global estimate of the student's mastery of the material in a particular content area. The North Carolina End-of-Course tests were initiated in response to legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly -- the North Carolina Elementary and Secondary Reform Act of 1984. ... [S]tudents enrolled in the following courses are required to take the North Carolina EOC tests: Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, English I, Geometry, Physical Science, and Physics.'' Since 2006, EOC tests are also administered in Civics and Economics (treated as a single subject area; don't ask me why) and U.S. History. On the same page, I saw EOC used in the sense of EOC test, and I've seen an NC schoolteacher refer to EOC courses (courses subject to EOC's). There are limits on the class sizes of EOC courses.

    End Of Discussion. Email usage modeled on EOM.

    Explosive Ordnance Disposal. That is, the disposal of UXO.

    Equal Opportunity Employer. I've seen ``Equal Opportunities Employer'' in British ads (directed to a trans-Atlantic labor market), which reflects the British tendency to use plural forms for attributive nouns.

    The alternative EEOE is very useful if you're trying to even up your line lengths with a nonproportional font.

    Errors and Omissions Excepted.

    That's excepted, not accepted!

    Emergency Operations Facility. I've also seen ``Emergency Operating Facility.'' A facility of the US EPA for handling environmental emergencies. The EOF, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and one or more Emergency Relocation Sites (ERS) are under authority of the EPA Emergency Coordinator (EC). The Director, Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (CEPPO), also serves as the EPA EC.

    Emergency Operations Facility. Since TMI, the NRC has required each nuclear plant licensee to operate an EOF, satisfying various location, habitability, and other requirements, for ``continued evaluation and coordination of all licensee activities related to an emergency having or potentially having environmental consequences.''

    End Of File.

    ElectroOculoGra { phy | m }. Measurement of eye movement.

    Earth Orbital Injection.

    End Of Interrupts.

    Electro-Optic InfraRed.

    Ethnikí Orgánosis Kipriakoú Agónos. Greek for `National Organization of Cypriot Struggle.' Terrorist group first organized ca. 1955 by Col. Georgios Grivas of the Greek Army, and supported by Archbishop Makarios III. The goals of EOKA were departure of British troops and union with Greece. They also fought with their Turkish Cypriot counterparts. Makarios eventually announced he would accept independence for Cyprus rather than union with Greece, and in 1959 Grivas disbanded EOKA in exchange for a general amnesty of its members. The British left in 1960.

    Grivas later commanded the Greek Cypriot National Guard until he was recalled by the Greek government. In 1971 he secretly reentered Cyprus and created EOKA B to restart the struggle for unification. Grivas died in January 1974 and Makarios officially proscribed EOKA B in April. That Summer Makarios was ousted, and Turkish troops invaded and partitioned the island.

    End Of Life. Not a navel-gazing exercise, but the communication satellite people's term for that moment, about ten to fifteen years from placement, when a satellite runs out of the fuel it uses to stabilize its orientation. Other, non-rocket scientists use the term.

    End Of Line. As far as I know it refers only to digital representation of text. The acronym is apparently not attested in the railroad or nightclub context. In the case of more risky linear behaviors (powder cocaine, high-wire), the phrase itself might be morbidly equivocal. Cf. BCNU.

    English as [an|the] Official Language.

    Electro-Optic (EO) Modulator.

    End Of Message. ASCII 03 (CTRL-C). ASCII character is also ETX.

    Equations Of Motion. Time-evolution equations.

    Explanation Of Medicare Benefits.

    You could wait that long to get a clear EOMB.

    East Old Norse.

    Equal Opportunity Program.

    English for Occupational Purposes. One ESP.

    Enhanced Oil Recovery.

    European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer.

    Earth Observing System. NASA project.

    Electrical OverStress. See what the EOS/ESD Association has to say.

    Electro-Optic[al] Sampling.

    EOS, eos
    Equation Of State.

    EOS/ESD Association
    Electrical OverStress (EOS and Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Association. On the web here.

    End Of Tape. That's magnetic tape, young feller. Serial recording media from the age of dinosaurs.

    End Of Thread. Email usage that may be regarded as modeled on, extending, or reinterpreting EOT.

    End Of Transmission. ASCII 04 (CTRL-D).

    Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum. Latin: `Letters of Obscure Men.' The title of a work by Ulrich von Hutten that is one of the landmark events in the history of slumming. It's a satire of the intellectual ferment as the Renaissance was coming to Germany in the sixteenth century.

    Eastern Province (of Saudi Arabia).

    Electronic Publi{cation|shing}. Literature distributed on a medium that can only be accessed electronically -- disks and discs of various sorts, and inter- and intranets. According to the BISG (q.v., it's beginning to have a significant imapct on paper publishing volume. September 26-27, 1997 there was a conference SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING AND COMMUNICATION IN THE ELECTRONIC ENVIRONMENT at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.

    Elementary Particle[s] (physics). Same as HEP.

    Emulation Program.

    European Portuguese. Portuguese as spoken in Portugal as contrasted with Brazil. Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique, Angola, and some smaller former colonies in Africa (see this detailed page), but only minorities speak it as a first language. It seems that the long-term prospects are good only for some Portuguese creoles in isolated places. In Asia, the largest concentrations of Portuguese speakers are in Goa and Macao, and the number of speakers is declining rapidly in Goa.

    Back in 1994 or so, I met an incoming EE graduate student from Malawi (.mw), who was surprised I had heard of his Parameceum-shaped country. Under the generally benevolent dictatorship of Hastings Banda, that southern African country was politically nonaligned (in contrast with the most prominent members of the Nonaligned movement, which were aligned against the West). Malawi also happened, unusually for the region, to achieve national self-sufficiency in food. Eventually you're going to wonder -- why am I telling you this at the EP entry? Go ahead, wonder. Once the soccer team of this tiny nation beat the Egyptian national team, sending Egyptians to their atlases in droves, at least in the imagination of Malawians.

    Malawi's neighbors were all, sooner or later, Soviet clients in the Cold War. They received advisors, and various kinds of aid and advanced technological equipment. Many southern Africans, particularly those who received scholarships to Russian universities, must have learned Russian. At the college in Malawi attended by the EE student mentioned above, it happened in the early 1990's that there was a need to get a translation of a Russian technical manual. They called around to cities in the various neighboring countries, but couldn't find anyone who claimed to know Russian.

    Evoked Potential.

    Extended Play. Designates a phonograph-record format. The last gasp of the dying phonograph tradition (vide LP) just before pop labels shifted to CD.

    Extended Play. Refers to slowest speed used with VHS videocassettes. EP is also called SLP for Super Long Play.

    EicosaPentanoic Acid.

    Enhanced Performance Architecture.

    (US) Environmental Protection Agency.

    They apparently have a ``Green PC'' program, and are pushing for a goal of less than 30 W power consumption for a computer in stand-by mode. I haven't tried to track this down.

    Environment Protection Authority. A government agency in some Australian states, including Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia.

    Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee.

    (US) Energy Policy ACT of 1992.

    The moon's age in days at the beginning of the calendar year. In other words, the number of days by which the last new moon precedes the beginning of the year. A standard parameter for church-calendar calculations.

    (US) Economic Policy Board.

    Error Protection Code.

    European Passive Component Industry Association. Under the aegis of EECA. Passive electronic components.

    EPCOT Center
    Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow (theme park at Disney World (WDW). Some of the alternate expansions: ``Experimental Polyester Costumes Of Tomorrow'' and ``Extremely Profitable Corporation Of Today.''

    EnteroPathogenic E. coli.

    I thought this entry would go well in here, between the one preceding and the one following.

    Okay, okay: epenthesis is the insertion or the development of a letter within the body of a word. It typically refers to such letters arising between the components (bases and affixes) of a word. Examples include the Latin words monitor and monstrum. Both have the stem of the verb monere (`to warn') and a suffix. The first suffix, -tor, is a well-known agentive ending, here attached with an epenthetic -i-. The second suffix, with the sense of `accomplishing' or `with,' has as its simplest forms -ter, -tra, and -trum (in masc., fem., and neut., resp.), obviously following a first-second declension pattern. The epenthetic -s- was common following n, e, or i. (Demonstrate is derived from monstrum, the latter in the sense of `portent.')

    Epenthesis also, less frequently, refers to insertions elsewhere than between the component morphemes of a word. Epenthesis in the dead (yes, dead) languages is noticeable primarily through spelling. In living languages, epenthesis may more often refer to sounds rather than letters. A good example of both of these points is athlete pronounced as ``athuhlete.''

    Of or pertaining to epenthesis.

    Here are some examples of epenthetic consonants:

    1. Congolese, Togolese
      I can't find another instance in English of an -ese adjective ending immediately preceded by an epenthetic l. All the most common -lese adjectives, as well as the less common I can find, are constructed from nouns or adjectives ending in l: Senegalese, Nepalese, Cinghalese/Sinhalese/Singhalese, Marshallese, Tyrolese (Tyrolean is much more common), Bengalese (Bengali is much more common), Angolese (Angolan is much more common), legalese, journalese, novelese, officialese.
    2. Balinese, Faronese, Javanese, NASAnese
      Apart from these, -nese adjectives associated with peoples or regions are typically formed from nouns that end in n (Bhutanese, Cantonese, Ceylonese, Japanese, Milanese, Nipponese, Pekinese [Pekingese], Sudanese, Taiwanese) or by shortening of the source nouns to roots that end in n (Chinese and Indo-Chinese, Guyanese, Veronese, Viennese). Lebanese would count as a more extreme instance of the latter case. The construction of Faronese involves some shortening, of course (Faroe Islands), but I'm not sure if the lost e represents a change in pronunciation of the vowel. I suppose one might argue that Javanese is really constructed from the adjective Javan. If so, it would represent a different kind of exception, in not being constructed from a noun as is usual.
    3. aileron
      This is constructed in the French from aile (`wing') and the diminutive ending -on.
    4. demonstrate, monster
      The -s- was inserted in Latin; see epenthesis.
    5. agiotage, egotism, egotist
      The -t- comes from French, where its insertion seems to be modeled on pairs like ballot and ballotage (the t is silent in the first word but pronounced in the second). For an unusual instance that is somehow of German origin, see terrariatology.

    The -s- in prosthesis, incidentally, is not an epenthetic consonant. The words prosthesis and prothesis, although they share some meanings, have different initial morphemes.

    Employees' Provident Fund.

    École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The German name is ETHL. Only in English is the country given explicitly -- `Swiss Federal Institute of Technology' (once again proving the suppleness and superiority of this language).

    Entrails of the Pepsi Generation. Continuation of a zine that was called Profuse Discharge.

    Sexually attracted to young teenage boys. Let's put it this way: this is not a term people use to express alarm at the sexual precocity of their middle-school daughters.

    A genus of low evergreen shrubs that grow in very hardscrabble lands (in a word: deserts), and also in the Scrabble tablelands.

    But this isn't just useful in Scrabble,® you know. Late in the nineteenth century, S. Nagai extracted an alkaloid (2-methylamino-1-phenylpropanol) from Ephedra vulgaris, naming it ephedrine in 1887. (The initial extraction yielded too little of the chemical for much analysis. Nowadays the preferred source is E. sinica.) Another common alkaloid in many Ephra species is pseudoephedrine.

    An alkaloid (2-methylamino-1-phenylpropanol) originally extracted from ephedra, q.v. The name of the drug is spelled the same way in French, Ephedrin in German, and efedrina in Spanish. There's a slight coincidence associated with the name, particularly in those languages that use a ph spelling for an etymological phi.

    The name ephedra of the plant source was coined on the basis of the Greek ephédra, `sitting upon,' from epí (`upon,' in various senses) + hédra (`seat, base'). [I think that's because it's a squat plant, but I'm not sure. It would be unpleasant to sit upon.]

    Anyway, ephedrine is a stimulant that in some of its pharmacological action resembles adrenaline. The name of the hormone adrenaline comes from the fact that it was first extracted from adrenal glands. The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys (renes in Latin), hence the name. By a similar etymology, the adrenal glands were also called suprarenal glands, and adrenalin called suprarenin. In addition to these Latin constructions, there is a Greek one, from epí (`upon,' remember?) + nephrós (`kidney'), whence epinephrine.

    In other words, epinephrine and ephedrine have similar action and similar names, but the name similarities are mostly accidental. The initial e's come from a common root epí, though this is almost arbitrary. The ``ph'' in ephedrine represents aspiration from the second word applied to the pi of the first (with the iota elided before the initial vowel of the second word), while the ``ph'' in epinephrine is from the Greek word for kidney. The ``ine'' is the only noncoincidental element: it indicates that the substances are alkaloids, and many pharmacologically active substances are alkaloids.

    Actually, the chemical structures of ephedrine and epinephrine are somewhat similar as well. The epinephrine entry has my ASCII art for both the epinephrine and ephedrine molecules.

    European Procurement Handbook for Open Systems.

    Effective Pair Interaction[s].

    EPItaxially grown material. [Pronounced ``EHpee.''] Implicitly: grown epitaxially on single-crystal material, so as to be single-crystal as well.

    Expanded Program of Immunization. Immunization program of UNICEF.

    European Packaging and Interconnection Industry Association. Under the aegis of EECA. Electronic packaging; not cardboard.

    It's been suggested to me that the acronym should be EPIIA, and that in that case the acronym is misalphabetized. Maybe it should be, but contrariwise it isn't, so it's not. That's logic.

    Electronic Privacy Information Center, established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values.

    End Poverty In California. A Depression-era movement based on Upton Sinclair's proposal that the state of California take over idle factories and farmland, and have these be operated by workers' cooperatives. The movement's plan was to get Sinclair nominated as the Democratic party's candidate for governor in the 1934 election (which it did) and elected governor (which it didn't). A Governor Sinclair could hardly have implemented his proposed program, given the constraints of the US Constitution and the California legislature. In any case, many less-radical Democrats voted for Commonwealth Party candidate Raymond L. Haight, who won 13% of the vote, and Republican Frank Merriam won with 48% of the vote. (Sinclair won 37% of the vote.)

    Enhanced-Performance Implanted CMOS. Seems to be a TI tm for CMOS.

    Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator. A mechanistic crop simulation model. There was a cluster of articles using the EPIC model in the April 15, 1992 issue (vol. 59, nos. 1-2) of the journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.

    European Photon Imaging Camera. Oooh! Photons! Write it up! Give me a thousand column-inches!

    • Old short answer: tennis elbow.
    • New short answer: cell-phone elbow.
    • Long answer: Painful inflammation of the muscles and soft tissues around an epicondyle. You know what an epicondyle is, don't you? No? Then how do you expect to understand this definition?! An epicondyle is a projection on a bone above a condyle serving for the attachment of muscles and ligaments. I suppose now you'll want to know what a condyle is. It's a round bump on a bone where it forms a joint with another bone. It should have meant ``a knitted garment with a multicolored diamond pattern,'' but that was taken.

    Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System. It's a widely-used ``set of software tools and applications which provide a software infrastructure for use in building distributed control systems to operate devices such as particle accelerators, large experiments and major telescopes. Such distributed control systems typically comprise tens or even hundreds of computers, networked together to allow communication between them and to provide control and feedback of the various parts of the device from a central control room, or even remotely over the internet.''

    ``EPICS uses Client/Server and Publish/Subscribe techniques to communicate between the various computers. Most servers (called Input/Output Controllers or IOCs) perform real-world I/O and local control tasks, and publish this information to clients using the Channel Access (CA) network protocol. CA is specially designed for the kind of high bandwidth, soft real-time networking applications that EPICS is used for, and is one reason why it can be used to build a control system comprising hundreds of computers.''

    English Program In Korea. Specific name of an EFL program (mostly for primary and secondary schools) run by the Center for In-service Education at Korea National University of Education. It's a lot like the army: you're employed by the national government, which provides housing (though this is also common for foreigners who work for a private hagwon); after a brief period of basic training (10 days), you are ordered out to a posting (you're allowed to state a geographic preference that KNUE is allowed to take into consideration); you get special hardship pay (100k KRW/mo.) for working in an outlying province or a rural area, and there are special incentives for re-upping after each one-year tour of duty. Actually, what it's most like is a civil service with foreign employees -- in many countries, superior officers of the civil service post lower-ranking employees to different areas as they deem appropriate (or vindictive, as the case may be).

    The name given to artificially synthesized adrenaline. The name epinephrine was constructed as a Greekish calque of the Latinate adrenaline. Both imply an alkaloid (typical sense of -ine) originating in glands adjacent to (ad-, epi-) the kidneys (renes, nephrós).

      H---O           O---H
           \         /
            \       /
            /  ___  \
           /  /   \  \
      H---C  (     )  C---H
           \  \___/  /
            \       /
             C-----C     O---H
            /       \   /
           /         \ /
          H           C     H
                     / \   /
                    /   \ /
                   H     C
                        / \
                       /   \ 
                  H---N     H

    For comparison, here's ephedrine. The linked entry also goes into excessive detail (for your convenience, of course) on the etymologies of these similar names.

          H           H
           \         /
            \       /
            /  ___  \
           /  /   \  \
      H---C  (     )  C---H
           \  \___/  /
            \       /
             C-----C     O---H
            /       \   /
           /         \ /
          H           C     H
                     / \   /
                    /   \ /
                   H     C
                        / \
                       /   \ 
                  H---N     CH
                      |       3

    Obviously, both of the molecules above are optically active. If you think I'm going to try to represent the stereoisometry, you must be doing drugs.

    Electrons Per Incident Phonon. A kind of quantum efficiency or yield for photoemission.

    Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon.

    Electronic Press Kit. An hour or so of short soundbytes of actors answering cream-puff questions and clips from the movie or TV show being p -- promoted.

    English as Primary Language.

    English Premier League. Officially, the title is Barclays Premier League. Barclays is the ``Official Title Sponsor.'' If they want me to call it that, they're going to have to sponsor me directly. It's typically referred to as ``the Premier League'' or ``the Premiership.'' EPL is distinctly a minority usage; it occurs in reporting by scattered foreign sports news sources like the Washington Times, the Australian Associated Press, the Malay Mail, Bernama (``The Malaysian National News Agency''), The Standard (Hong Kong), This Day (Nigeria), and the South Wales Echo. (Well, it is foreign. Wales isn't English, see?) It stands to reason: you insert the locative where it's less likely to be understood implicitly. I can't explain why EPL has occurred in reporting in The Star (Sheffield). A reporter from elsewhere, perhaps.

    English Proficiency Level.

    Erasable Programmable Logic Device. A PLD programmed using EPROM switching arrays. These come in ceramic packages. Essentially the same PLD's are available in cheaper windowless plastic packages, in which the same floating-gate can be programmed only once. These are called one-time programmable(s) (OTP).


    E Pluribus Unum
    Latin: `From Many One.' UB is having a series of conferences on diversity by that name. The next one is E Pluribus Unum II.

    Electron Probe Microanalysis.

    Empirical Pseudopotential Method.

    Electron Probe MicroAnalysis. Same as EDX. Visit this description by Christopher Walker.

    ErythroPOietin. A glycoprotein secreted by the kidneys that stimulates the production of red blood cells. The name is derived from the earlier term erythropoiesis for production of red blood cells (erythrocytes, from Greek roots for `red' and `cell'), using the Greek root poíêsis (`creation'). EPO was one of the hematopoietic cytokines whose genes were cloned and which became available from many labs in the mid-1980's. It was originally used to treat anemias, but also quickly came to be used to enhance performance in endurance-sport competitions. (People who enhance their performance in some other way than by taking EPO probably regard EPO-doping as a form of cheating.) In this application, it is normally given in injections over a 6- to 8-week period. The synthetic hormone is easy enough to detect in blood tests, but tricky to distinguish from the endogenous natural version. It is possible, even too easy, to overdo EPO-doping, because it ultimately makes blood viscous. Between 1987 and 1990, 20 Belgian and Dutch bicycle racers not apparently in poor cardiac health died from nocturnal heart attacks.

    European Patent Office Others here.

    Traditionally, an eponym is a person whose name is (at least supposed to be) the basis of the name of a thing. Romulus is the eponym of Rome, Amerigo Vespucci, God help us, is the eponym of America. Notice that conventional usage makes the person, and not the person's name, the eponym. That sounds a bit jarring etymologically, but eponymist (attested around 1860) didn't catch on, or at least didn't stay caught on. Having the term refer to the person rather than the name does offer some more streamlined constructions, allowing us to say, for example, that the late Sam Walton is (not normally ``was'') the eponym of Walmart.

    Note that eponymus is not the adjective eponymous but rather the Latinized version of the Greek noun epónym (which meant `eponym'). It seems to me that one encounters the adjective eponymous most often in connection with literature: an eponymous story is one named after one of its characters. This usage doesn't make clear whether the eponym is the source of the name or the thing named, so one can expect many people to get the relationship backwards.

    An eponym is a name-giver; another kind of name-giver (or usually name-giving) is antonomasia. In antonomasia the name of an exemplar (positive, or negative, or neither) is given to similar entities. An eponym is given to one or many different entities that are usually not similar to the eponym but rather the creation or gift of the eponym.

    The practice of accounting for names (esp. places and nations) by positing prehistoric eponyms. If one is accounting for belief in a god, then the same practice is called euhemerism.

    There's an online biographical dictionary of medical eponyms at <whonamedit.com>. That's fortunate, because our eponyms entry hasn't caught fire the way our Nomenclature is destiny entry has.
    Saint Audrey (d. 679)
    Saint Etheldreda (Æthelthryth, if you can pronounce it). Known more pronounceably as Saint Audrey. Her problems probably began with the fact that her father was named Anna. When you're king of East Anglia, I guess anything goes. [For sad confirmation of this statement, see random nonsense in the Stark Effect entry.]

    The confused daughter, Ætheltherrrrrr ... Audrey, was married for three years but claimed the marriage was never consummated. That guy died. Probably of embarrassment. Then she married Ecgfrith [sic], and refused to consummate the marriage, but instead entered a double monastery founded by her aunt Æbbe. A double monastery is a place to which men and women can retreat to avoid each other together. This in itself is a bit like marrying and then joining a monastery.

    I think maybe she was just afraid that with a name like Ecgfrith, her second husband, who became king of Northumbria, would continue for another generation the cycle of nomenclatural violence.

    Eventually, she founded her own double monastery on the island of Ely and became abbess there. After she died the monastery held an annual ``Saint Audrey's Fair,'' where they sold low-quality lace neckties (please visit the completely irrelevant bowtie entry).

    It was said that in her youth, Audrey had liked fancy necklaces. It was also said that it was her habit of wearing fancy necklaces that led to the throat tumor that killed her. This was in the days before modern medical diagnosis. This was also in the days before modern advertising. Then again, I don't know -- maybe there was an insinuation here that you should wear really cheap neckwear if you don't want to die of a throat tumor. Or maybe Audrey liked fancy neckwear because it hid an ugly tumor that eventually killed her. All this is lost to history. Maybe you probably think I'm making all this stuff up. Just the speculations.

    This shlock lace they used to sell was called Saint Audrey's lace, or perhaps Saint Audrey lace (using the attributive noun rather than the possessive form), and became shortened in speech to 't Audrey lace. Eventually, 't Audrey was taken as a general modifier, becoming our word tawdry.

    Lázló J. Biro and Georg (György) Biro. I'm not sure why one brother's name is normally given in German.
    Invented the ball-point pen in 1938. Eponymous because in Argentina (.ar) at least, one word for ball-point pen (negligible further information at this entry) is birome, presumably from an old trademark.

    Thomas Bowdler
    Published The Family Shakespeare in 1818, containing nothing ``unfit to be read by a gentleman in the company of ladies.'' Verballhornung. performed a similar service, if that's what you'd call it, for German literature.

    Charles Cunningham Boycott (1832-1897)
    As reeve for property of Lord Erne in County Mayo, he was one of the first targets (in 1880) of a project that Charles Parnell originally called ``social ostracism.''

    Louis Braille (1809.01.04-1852)
    Blind from the age of three. He invented his raised-dots system in 1829. Because French doesn't use the letter w, the systematic progression of dot patterns goes smoothly from u and v to x, and the w has an unexpected pattern.

    James Thomas Brudenell, seventh earl of Cardigan (1797-1868)
    The British general who led the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean war. They should have named some kind of pointless, misguided bloodletting for him, but there's competition for that, so he got a sweater.


    Caius Iulius Caesar
    Softened up the republican form of government of republic, so that his successors became dictators in all but name, and Caesar came to mean `emperor.' The word was borrowed by German in close to its original pronunciation (Kaiser). In the Russian etymon (Tsar), the /k/ sound of the ``c'' has evolved into the /ts/ of earlier vulgar-Latin pronunciation.

    Bartolomeo Eustachi (1510-1574)
    Discoverer of the eustachian tube. Because the eustachian tube is soft, it tends to function as a valve. It happens to work as a one-way valve, releasing pressure in the middle ear (since the air there has nowhere else to go, it expands into the eustachian tube and opens it up. When pressure in the middle ear is low, however, there is no complementary mechanism to force open eustachian tube and pressurize the ear. As a result, the ear drum (tympanum) bows inward and hurts. That's why descent in aircraft can be much more painful than ascent. Use [dive flag] the Valsalva or Frenzel maneuvers, described at this diving page on barotrauma.

    It has been suggested that news of this tube, first published in 1564, gave Shakespeare the idea of the poison-in-the-ear murder method in ``Hamlet'' (first performed no later than 1602).

    Gabriele Falloppio (1523-1562)
    He discovered the human oviduct, which conducts eggs from the ovary to the uterus. He called it a tuba, meaning trumpet, which correctly suggests the funnel shape of this extension from the ovary (there are two, one for each ovary). However, the sense of the word was misconstrued, and it came to be called the aquaeductus Fallopii and now Fallopian tube. Fallopian tuba would be closer (and more colorful). He often has the honor of being named in lower case.

    He made a number of other contributions to anatomy, mostly human. (He did some lion dissections and disproved Aristotle's contention that lion bones have no marrow. Great: it took two millennia to get that far.)

    Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738-1814)
    As a deputy in the Estates General, he proposed mechanized decapitation to the Constituent Assembly in 1789. He promoted it as fast and therefore humane. It was adopted in 1791, in time for the bloodbath. It was fast and therefore efficient. Similar equipment had been used previously in Scotland, Germany and Italy, but nowhere so much. Here's some more extensive information. There's an article here on capital punishment, transcribed from the Catholic Encyclopedia, that contains some information on guillotines. [One might expect this item, because it is transcribed from a text not on the notoriously inaccurate internet, to be a bit more accurate. I really can't judge for the guillotine data, but the comments on capital punishment among Jews in this same article is somewhat confused for being based only on texts canonical to Christians, and ignoring the well-known legal material contained in the Talmud.] (Note also that Biblical names are apparently in Douay transliteration, which some may find unfamiliar. Not exactly a surprise.)

    The feminizing e was reportedly added, incidentally, to make it rhyme with machine. Is this supposed to mean that it would have been too flip to make it rhyme with machin (`gadget')? More likely both -ne's just helped the scansion. Since I haven't heard any of these songs, I couldn't say whether the added e on Guillotin just makes the in sound to rhyme, or whether, as the French do in many songs, they pronounce the final e as well.

    Arnold Henri Guyot (1807-1884)
    Swiss-born American geologist and geographer. A guyot is a submarine mountain with a flat top -- an island manqué, or a failed island.

    Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803-1882)
    Invented the ``Patent Safety Cab'' in 1934. These came to be called Hansom cabs or occasionally just hansoms. He was also an architect.

    Yaakov ben Isaac
    As this patriarch's name evolved into Modern English, the initial /j/ (``wye'') sound evolved into the English ``J.'' (For Jacob, son of Isaac.) In some other languages, however, the initial sound did not undergo a shift, but the /k/ became vocalized into /g/ or (the more glottal) /[gamma]/. Thus, we have the Spanish town name Santiago (Saint Jacob) and Shakespeare's Italian villain Iago. Crossword puzzles often pretend that ``Iago,'' by metonymy, now means villain. I pretend the same thing, allowing me to place entry here.

    A common nickname for people named Santiago is Chago. Just a phonetic skip and a jump from Iago and Chago is Diego. This was deformed into Dago in English, a derogatory word for a Spaniard, Portuguese or Italian.

    Ancel Benjamin Keys
    K rations named after him. (Yeah, it's a marginal case of eponymy.)

    Mikhael Timofievitch Kalashnikov (b. 1919)
    The gun is officially called the AK-47. Both his late wife and his gun were named Kalashnikova. It was his baby -- I don't know why they didn't call it Kalashnikovna.

    John Loudon McAdam (1756-1836)
    Pioneered improvements in road construction. Remade British roads using crushed stone bound with gravel, and raised with a crown (road center higher) for improved drainage. The `mac' in `tarmac' is from his name. `Tarmac' was originally a trademark kind of tarmacadam (crushed stone and gravel with tar binder). Maybe you should visit The World Famous ASPHALT MUSEUM.

    Charles Macintosh (1766-1843)
    Patented in 1823 a method of waterproofing garments announced by James Syme (1799-1870), after which Syme regularly gave lectures on clinical surgery. I don't have all the details on the situation, but it may have to do with the fact that outside the US, patents are issued to whoever applies first. Then again, maybe they were friends. Macintosh developed the method further, and coats so treated came to be called mac[k]intoshes.

    Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
    Aw, you already know the story.

    But do you know the dénouement? In order to prevent American soldiers (doughboys) from contracting stomach illness from unpasteurized milk, in WWI France, officers warned the troops not to drink the local milk. One soldier who explained his refusal of milk profered by one farmer found that he was speaking to a grandson of Louis Pasteur. (I heard this story very long ago, so it might be beer that the soldier refused. This strikes me as implausible.)

    The AEF entry might be of some related interest. Proceeding on an osculating tangent, we note that Walter Matthau served in France during WWII (in a unit commanded by Jimmy Stewart). Matthau had a couple of years of high school French, so he was the interpreter. One day, when they were stationed near Lille, he walked into a place that seemed to be open for business, to buy a meal. [I guess K-rations didn't cut it. K ration is almost an eponym itself.] He was told that they didn't serve food to Americans, but he could buy a beer.

    [Observe that René Magritte (1898-1967) was born in Belgium, and Max Ernst (1891-1976) near Cologne. Could we have a surrealist triangle here?]

    So Walter bought a beer and a pretty young person approached and asked if he would buy her a beer. Walter asked if she was thirsty. This is the kind of fool persiflage you engage in if you spent too much valuable high school time repeating La plume de ma tante and similar rubbish. When she invited him to sleep with her, he said `perhaps' (``all this in French,'' as Walter pointed out to Jay Leno). I admire the courage of Walter Matthau in revealing such profound imbecility to a national audience. However, as he had failed to note upon entering, this was a brothel, so the pretty person did not take offense.

    As a flustered Jay Leno pointed out, the fastidiousness of the establishment in not serving food to American soldiers was puzzling. Perhaps Walter should have taken a third year of high school French.

    Henry Shrapnel (1761-1842)
    English artillery officer; inspector of artillery from 1804. Invented the shrapnel shell.

    During the Great War (WWI), my grandfather (an officer of the Kaiser's army) was strafed while taking a nap. His ration book was tucked in his cap, which he was using for a pillow. After the attack, his ration book was in tatters.

    Éttienne de Silhouette (1709-1767)
    As French Finance Minister in 1759, Silhouette attempted to stanch the hemorrhage of the royal budget by curtailing the lavish spending of the court. For his trouble, he got opprobrium and the boot. By a kind of antonomasia, his name, associated with parsimony, was given to a kind of featureless black outline-drawing notable principally for cheapness.

    For another person whose name became associated with cheapness, vide Audrey supra. For an earlier French Finance Minister who also contributed to the ultimately (1789) fruitless efforts to stabilize royal finances, see Bullion. It may be their failure that was chiefly responsible for making an eponym of Guillotin.

    Alessandro Volta
    Discovered the electrochemical cell. He's got a regular entry elsewhere in the glossary, mostly about coincidental (i.e., noneponymous) occurences of ``Volta.''

    Electronic Point-Of-Sale.

    A low-molecular-weight organic liquid resin containing epoxide groups. An epoxide group is a three-membered ring of two carbons and one oxygen (obviously, the group attaches via one of the carbons). Epoxy glue comes in two tubes. One is the resin in monomer form, probably with a solvent to improve flow properties and reaction speed, and a curing agent such as DETA (typically also in solution). Instructions call for the two to be mixed. When this is done, the curing agent (the polymerizer) rects with the oxygen to open the epoxide groups and produce cross-links between different monomers.

    Enhanced Parallel (data communication) Port.

    Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen. Authors of an article on the ``reality'' of conjugate variables in quantum mechanics.

    Ejército Popular Revolucionario. Mexican Revolutionary Popular Army, that made its first appearance in Spring 1996.

    Electron Paramagnetic Resonance -- same as ESR.

    Here's some instructional material from Virginia Tech.

    A web resource that keeps a list of links to some EPR sites is the EPR/ENDOR Research Group at Northwestern University.

    A web resource concerned with spectrum databases is in Bristol.

    The NIEHS provides a Spin Trap Database.

    Ethylene Propylene (copolymer) Rubber. When you consider another EPR, as well as XPS and XPS, you begin to think there is some collusion between polymer chemists and spectroscopists. There is, but it's such a tightly held secret that not even the conspirators are aware of its existence.

    Electric Power Research Institute. In Palo Alto.

    e-Print archive
    At <http://arXiv.org/>. Has been hosted by LANL, now to be hosted by Cornell University.

    Erasable Programmable ROM. This term is used instead of RAM (for RWM) to indicate that the write process is more involved than the read process. Except in EEPROM's and Flash PROM's, erasure usually involves exposure to UV light. (Hence the alternate name UVEPROM). There are special boxes for this, but maybe you should tell your boss that if he wants the project done faster, he should send you to the Caribbean, where the bright sun speeds the erase stage. The UV light excites electrons out of the electronically isolated floating gates. A decade without UV will begin to do the same thing.

    Earnings Per Share.

    Electrical Power System[s].

    eps, EPS
    Encapsulated PostScript.

    Eumetsat Polar System.

    European Physical Society; there're two servers-- Lausanne and Amsterdam, with somewhat different contents.

    Expandable PolyStyrene. Also, ironically as it must seem to some EPS members, this is also written (XPS). (cf. XPS).

    Enhanced Private Switch-Controlled System.

    Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Services.

    Experimental Process System Development Unit.

    Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) {Format | File}.

    Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) Interchange.

    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. One of the UK's seven research councils. The research councils report to the Office of Science and Technology within the Department of Trade and Industry.

    Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, ``a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of spinal cord injured veterans residing primarily in New York, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and Connecticut.''

    Enemy Prisoner of War.

    Electronic Properties of Two-Dimensional Systems. In 1997, #12 is in Tokyo. Abstract receipt deadline May 16, 1997.

    Encephalization Quotient. A measure of brain size normalized to body size in such a way that an EQ of 1 implies a brain size consistent with the average of relevant comparison animals of the same size. Precisely, it is
                  log[ brain mass ]
        EQ == N * ----------------- ,
                  log[ body mass ]
    where N is chosen so = 1.

    Don't ask which logarithm. It doesn't matter, because

                 log b
        log b =  -----
           a     log a
    for any positive a, b and c.

    However, units do matter; so long as the unit you use is always smaller than the smallest brain mass, the EQ is positive and changing units does not change the ordering of EQ values, but magnitudes of EQ differences are essentially meaningless.

    Used by Harry J. Jerison: ``Issues in Brain Evolution,'' in R. Dawkins & M. Ridley, eds. Oxford Surveys in Evolutionary Biology, 2, pp. 102-134 (1985).

    No expansion, precisely. The term ``emotional intelligence,' coined in 1990 by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, is often abbreviated this way to indicate some parallel with IQ. Before 1990, EQ stood for Educational Quotient.

    The Utne reader also calls it E-IQ and offers to compute yours. (No thanks, I just don't feel good about this.)


    European Quantum Electronics Conference. Sponsored by the OSA.


    Equipment Qualification List.

    EQuity Liability.


    The Electronic Industries Quality Registry.


    EQues Romanus. Roman cavalryman -- specifically a knight, member of a distinct order in the Roman commonwealth, between the senate and the plebs.

    Equuleus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    equally as
    This collocation of words rarely occurs in the speech or writing of any person sensitive to English. It is a graceless substitute for the following:
    1. as
    2. just as
    3. equally [sometimes in a different construction]

    Confusion among these may have given rise to the ugly combination that is the head term of this entry.

    To take a typical example (do not say this):

    * The new politicians are equally as corrupt as the old politicians.

    Instead, prefer any of the following:

    The new politicians are as corrupt as the old politicians.
    The new politicians are just as corrupt as the old politicians.
    The new politicians and the old politicians are equally corrupt.

    Yes, that's prescriptive. And while you're at it, elide one of the politicians.

    A solecism. The word equipment is uncountable in English. I can't recall any instance where a native speaker of English ever found a good reason to use it countably. (Cf. informations.) Equipment is approximately equivalent to gear -- it is tools, typically for a common, understood purpose. Not that you asked, but I've also never encountered ``equipment'' used as the name of the action of equipping.

    Emitter Quantum Well. In an HBT, a quantum well between emitter and base.

    ElectroReflectance (spectroscopy).

    Elizabeth Regina. `Queen Elizabeth' in Latin. You were expecting maybe Elisabetha? No. The reason is suggested here and confirmed here. Or was, when the University of Washington Classics-List archives were still in existence. If I have a spare week this year, I'll try to retrieve the relevant files.

    There's an entry on IR that refers to the British royal family and introduces the concept of ``ER IR.'' The ER meant there is not the one defined in this entry but the one defined in the next.

    Emergency Room (in a hospital). Also the name of a popular television series set in a hospital. ER is widely used metonymically for the whole Emergency Ward (EW) or Emergency Department (ED).

    Endoplasmic Reticulum. If you don't know what it is, then you can suppose it's about the same as Kurt Vonnegut's Chronosynclastic Infundibulum (the spelling wobbles).

    Environmental Restoration.

    ERbium. One of four different elements named after one puny village. [The others are Terbium (Tb), Yttrium (Y), and Ytterbium (Yb). Ytterby is in Sweden.] Atomic number 68. A rare earth (RE) element.

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

    (Domain code for) Eritrea.

    Event Rule. Model used in one approach to the design of asynchronous logic circuits. See, for example, C. J. Myers and T. H.-Y. Meng, ``Synthesis of timed asynchronous circuits,'' IEEE Trans. VLSI Systems, vol. 1(#2), pp. 106-119 (June 1993).

    Explicit Rate. A field in the RM cell header. It specifies the cell rate to be used over a virtual connection (VC).


    Family-member suffix in Indo-European. Some of this remains in Latin and Greek: mater and mêtêr, respectively, for `mother'; pater and patêr for `father.' [Okay, in the Greek words preceding, the first or only eta has an acute accent. Distinguishing eta and epsilon is much more important that indicating accents, which weren't even introduced until Byzantine times. Hence, in transliterating the Greek, I use the standard Roman-character representation of eta -- a circumflexed e (ê). ISO Latin-1 doesn't include characters with with multiple diacritics, so I do without the acute accent on eta. I do all this without explaining it (even parenthetically) in order to make the entry read fluently and not interrupt the line of argument.] Greek also has thugátêr, `daughter.' This -er survived rather sturdily into Germanic: mother, father, daughter, sister, brother, in English; the corresponding Mutter, Vater, Tochter, Schwester, Bruder in German, as well as Vetter, `[male] cousin.'

    For information on sibling words in Latin, see the germanus entry.

    Earned Run Average.

    Electronic Research Associates. A fifties company that was bought by Remington-Rand, became part of Univac, then Unisys.

    Equal Rights Amendment. A constitutional amendment stating something like ``equality of rights under law shall not be denied on the basis of sexual identity.'' The one proposed for the US constitution consisted essentially of that and a second paragraph of boilerplate to the effect that Congress had a right to pass laws pursuant to the aims of the preceding paragraph. A lot of people believed that the law consisted of a laundry list of specifics, such as that public restrooms must be unisex. A lot of people who knew better wondered how the law would play out when it reached the courts. In the end, the amendment came close to the number of state ratifications needed, but fell short as time ran out. A couple of states tried to rescind their earlier ratifications, which was certainly a constitutionally uncertain area, but these deratifications were moot, since there weren't enough ratifications even if those states were counted in the ``for'' column.

    Along the way, ERA's were incorporated in a number of state constitutions. In New Jersey, ratification of the federal ERA was put to a vote and failed, but a state ERA was passed into law (i.e., amended the 1947 state constitution) by the legislature.

    The ERA is often called the ``ERA amendment.'' See the AAP pleonasm entry for more examples of this sort of thing.

    Explosive Release Atmospheric Dispersion. Name of a particular program endorsed by the EPA for modeling air dispersion of radionuclides following an explosive release. Cf. MACCS for nonexplosive release.

    Electronic Residency Application Service. ``...brought to you by the Association of American Medical Colleges [AAMC]! ERAS is a service which transmits residency applications, and supporting credentials from medical schools to residency program directors using the Internet...''

    (NASA's) Environmental Research Aircraft Sensor Technology.


    Greek muse of lyric poetry and mime. Thoughtful combination there.

    Exploratory Research for Advanced TechnOlogy. (Japanese government program.)

    Education Records Bureau.

    Engineering Review Board.

    Electronic Research Collections. ``[A] partnership between the United States Department of State and the Federal Depository Library at the Richard J. Daley Library, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The Government Printing Office [GPO], which is responsible for the national system of federal depository libraries, officially recognizes this unique partnership as the first electronic partnership agreement between an executive agency and a depository library. This partnership began in 1994. ...''

    Engineering Research Center. A bunch have been funded by the NSF, but the term was widely used by other organizations before the NSF.

    {Engineering|Electronic} Rule Check. A feature on CAE systems.

    Environmental Research Consortium.

    Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.

    European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics.

    Endoscopic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography. The new improved Supercalafragalisticexpealadocious (sp.?).

    Elastic Recoil Detection.

    Energy Research and Development Administration. A US government agency that was absorbed within the Department of Energy (DoE). See AEC entry.

    Environmental error Record Editing and Printing program. That's the environment of an IBM system, okay? So don't start with your environmental cover-up conspiracies.

    ElectroRheological Fluid. A fluid whose flow properties change under the influence of electric field. Usually, the change is toward greater viscosity in greater electric field, an effect (the ``Winslow Effect'') discovered serendipitously in 1940 by Dr. Willis M. Winslow. It is generally believed that the stiffening is caused by the formation of rigid chains of aligned dipoles. Accordingly, ERF's are typically suspensions of polar droplets in insulating nonpolar matrices, as for example milk droplets suspended in chocolate. ERF's have been proposed for microprocessor-controlled shock absorbers and robot actuators. The Winslow effect typically weakens with increasing temperature, one of the reasons these smart fluids do not have a significant market application.

    Emergency Response Facility. Part of the apparatus mandated by the US NRC for operating nuclear plants.

    Symbolic function name for the error function. Cf. erfc.

    Symbolic function name for the complementary error function.

    erfc(x) = 1 - erf(x)

    Unit of energy in the cgs metric systems, a derived unit equal to 1 cm2g/s2, or 10-7 joule.

    ergative case
    A grammatical case used to mark the agent of a transitive verb. This case is only identified or distinguished in ergative languages (q.v.), where the ergative case is not, or not always, the nominative case.

    ergative language
    In simplest terms, a language in which the subjects of intransitive verbs are treated grammatically in the same way as the direct objects of transitive verbs. What in English would be considered the subject of a transitive verb (or perhaps the agent of the action described by the transitive verb) is in what is called the ergative case. The subject of an intransitive verb is in what is called the absolutive case. As you recall (you read the first sentence of the entry, right?) the absolutive case is used for direct objects too.

    Probably the best-known example of an ergative language is Basque. Many of the languages of the Caucasus are also ergative, and this is one of the hints that has motivated attempts (so far generally inconclusive) to locate the apparent language isolate Basque in a common family with Caucasian languages.

    Besides ergative, there are two other major kinds of case languages: accusative (like Indo-European languages generally) and active. Active languages focus primarily on agency and pay little direct attention to whether a noun phrase is functioning as subject, object, or predicate nominal.

    Earthquake Research Institute. At the University of Tokyo.

    Eridanus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

    Epsilon Eridani is a main sequence star like the Sun, but slightly younger, cooler, and fainter. The star is a mere 10 ly away. Because of its proximity and similarity, it has been a popular subject of science fiction; it has featured in the writing of Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert, and in the television series Star Trek and Babylon 5.

    Since 1998, evidence has been accumulating for a planetary system somewhat resembling ours. By November 2008, when it had the nearest known planetary system outside our own, evidence was announced suggesting that it has an Earth-like planet. That rocks! Enough of these wishy-washy Jupiters.

    Educational Resources Information Center. A FirstSearch database. Select it on the second screen once you've entered FirstSearch, or visit AskERIC at Syracuse University.

    The genus of plants called heath. Erica is Latin, and it looks like L... okay, it looks like English, but a proper noun and not a common noun in English. But the OSPD4 claims it's English meaning `a shrub of the heath family.' (I don't think they mean to claim that the heaths constitute an entire family in botanical taxonomy.) All three major Scrabble dictionaries accept both erica and ericas, and all reject ericae.

    ERIC/Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools.

    Environmental Research Institute of Michigan.

    Employee Retirement Income Security Act (of 1974). See EBSA.

    Extracellular signal-Regulated protein Kinase.

    Echo Return Loss.

    ER lamp
    Ellipsoidal Reflector LAMP. A kind of incandescent lamp. ER lamp bulbs are usually (perhaps always, I'm not sure) similar to R lamps in material construction (i.e. blow-molded with an aluminum or silver reflecting film evaporated on). Sometimes the term ``R lamps'' is used loosely to refer to both R lamps and ER lamps. In the strict sense of the term that excludes ER lamp, an R lamp has a bulb with a parabolic reflecting back surface.

    As the name implies, however, an ER lamp has an ellipsoidal reflecting surface. The filament is placed at the nearer focus of the ellipsoid. Light reflected from the bulb back converges to the further focus outside the bulb. Depending on the distance, this makes an ER lamp either a spotlight or a floodlight.

    (European) Exchange Rate Mechanism.

    Explicit Rate Marketing. What -- you mean they're actually gonna tell me what they're really gonna charge me for the call? How novel! Go on -- you're kidding!


    European Radio Message System. This acronym was presumably designed to be evocative of Hermes, the Greek god of thieves. In many European languages, aitch (`H') is silent.

    Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment. Also referred to by masculine third person pronouns.

    The story of this device begins at the UK Ministry of the Department for the Bureau, where someone long ago had the following brainstorm: some people like fairground cuisine but are not so keen on green vegetables, whereas some other people feel vice versa. Therefore, a cotton-candy-and-asparagus pudding would please everyone! For some reason this idea was never implemented, but it inspired similarly bold outside-the-cranium thinking elsewhere.

    What eventually spilled out, in 1957, was the idea of Premium Bonds. A financial instrument ideal both for people who like to gamble and those who like to invest in a safe source of reliable income. The idea is that the bonds pay by lottery, with winnings that average out to an interest rate of 3% per annum, (3.25% from August 2005 on), tax-free. ERNIE determines the lottery winners. The randomness of ERNIE and the Premium Bond draw is certified by the Government Actuary's Department (GAD). Shouldn't that be the Electronic Government Actuary's Department (E-GAD)?

    Effective Radiated Power.

    Enterprise Resource Planning. That's business enterprise, not Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701).

    As you can probably guess, when I first entered this entry I had no idea what ERP is, only what it stands for. I still have no idea, but it appears that our university has contracted with some company ``as the University's enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor to replace our administrative systems.'' [It turns out they meant administrative information systems.]

    Event-Related (electroencephalographic) Potential.

    Emergency Response Planning Guidelines.

    ERR, Err
    A common abbreviation for Shakespeare's play The Comedy of Errors.

    Equipment Restoration and Renewal. Sometimes the gods of acronymy smile down without acrimony. ``The Office of Research is pleased to continue the Equipment Restoration and Renewal (ERR) for the 2006-2007 academic year. This program is designed to provide University funds to restore or replace equipment required for current research and other scholarly activities.''

    There are no errors in this glossary, just jokes you don't get.

    error latency
    Delay between the appearance of a logic fault and the time that an error is detected. The two broad categories of built-in self test (BIST) differ qualitatively in this respect:
    • on-line BIST tests circuits while they operate; the error latency is typically short for those faults that can be detected at all.
    • off-line BIST tests circuits during distinct test intervals during which normal function is suspended. Then memory latency is essentially the time between tests.

    error propagation
    In statistical analysis there's something called ``propagation of errors.'' This is the calculation or estimation of standard deviation (or similar measures of uncertainty or variation) in derived quantities, based on known or estimated errors in source quantities from which they are derived. In almost the simplest case, if y = ax + b and the constants a and b are known, then the error in y is a times the error in x, by any reasonable definitions of error (e.g.: standard deviation, average deviation, range, interquartile range). Propagation of errors normally assumes linearity and typically assumes that the errors in multiple sources are independent. That isn't what I wanted to write about at all, but I haven't written a propagation-of-errors entry, so I figured I should get some of that out of the way.

    I wanted to write about how errors propagate in society, sort of as rumors do. The phenomenon has been studied in the context of science citation -- citations of nonexistent papers are recycled in subsequent papers by authors who, uh, don't have access to the original literature. Name misspellings in citations sometimes also appear too coincidental to be explained as independent random events. Studies of the error-propagation phenomenon usually rely on a serendipitous natural experiment, so when one stumbles upon such a natural experiment, one should take advantage...

    Yesterday (2005.11.14) I stumbled in this way upon an error in the generally quite accurate Encyclopædia Britannica. In the Micropædia article on Karl Jaspers, the title of one of his late works (1949) is given as Vom Ursprung und Zeit der Geschichte, with translated title The Origin and Goal of History (1953). The German word Zeit means `time,' and represents an error for Ziel (`goal'), which would coincide with the translated title. The error seems to have crept in during the fifteenth edition, which has copyrights in every year from 1974 to 1994. In the 1982 printing, Karl Jaspers rates a main entry in the Macropædia (``Knowledge in Depth''), and the title is given correctly. By 1994, he's been demoted to the Micropædia (``Shitty Little Factoids'') (okay, literally ``Ready Reference''). His entry has been slightly reworked, and in particular he's gone from being ``[t]ogether with Martin Heidegger... one of the two most important representatives of the German-speaking world in the Existential movement'' to being just ``one of the most important Existentialists in Germany.'' His picture is smaller, and they've mangled that title.

    I reported the error immediately through Lin (one of our reference librarians), but no change was made even to the online edition, so this was an ideal moment to google together a study. An unrestricted search on Jaspers and the correct title found 717 pages. (The number fluctuated between 714 and 718 over the duration of the study. Propagate that error.) Of these (usually) 717 pages, 475 were in German, 194 were in English, and 115 were in Chinese (mostly simplified script). Yes, Google includes some pages in searches on more than one language. No, I didn't know there were so many Chinese existentialists, but it seems that many virtually identical pages were counted separately. In contrast, the next-largest hit counts were 47, 46, 35, 26, and 23 for...

    (Don't you want to at least try to guess?)
    Russian, Japanese, Dutch, French, and Spanish, among the languages Google attempts to identify.

    Now for the fun part: a search on Jaspers and the Zeit version of the title (again an exact-phrase search) yielded 25 hits, or 21 if pages with the word Britannica (all counted against English) were excluded. Among the 21 were 2 German pages (served for an American university course), 3 English pages, 0 Chinese pages, 12 Russian pages (mostly copies or adaptations of one page) and a Korean translation of the EB article (there were 8 with the correct title in that language). The few remaining hits seem to be accounted for by translations of that one Russian page into Slovenian and maybe some other Slavic languages.

    What I conclude from all this is that most people can spell better than I can, that few people read the Encyclopedia Britannica, and that Karl Jaspers is dead. The EB agress with me on the last point. When I run into a better experiment, I'm going to cut and copy most of this entry over into an ``error nonpropagation'' entry. Null results are a nullity.

    I checked back in May 2007 and found a kind of improvement: there are more ghits (40 or 41) because the EB is packaging this content in a greater variety of pages, but fewer other sites are propagating the error. Two of the ghits are for this glossary, which makes clear that the Zeit version is an error, and only nine ghits outside the EB propagate the error uncritically (so far as my Russian and Chinese guessing ability allows me to say). The rest (and most) of the incorrect pages are served by the EB, which 16 months later is increasingly isolated in its error.

    I'd like to take credit for this progress, such as it is, but the experience suggests that I shouldn't have had the error reported to EB. Also, the number of sites with the correct title has declined to 655; this suggests that there has been a slight decrease in global interest in Jaspers, and that this decrease has been (not surprisingly) greater among those who don't read German.

    Emergency Relocation Site. I don't really have much to say about this. See this EOF entry.

    Evaluated Receipts Settlement. Payment on receipt of goods or services rather than of invoice.

    Electronic Reservation Services Provider.

    European Rail Traffic Management System.

    Earth Resources Technology Satellite.

    E. R. T. W.
    ENGINEERS RULE THE WORLD. A little message posters put in their dot sigs when they want to make sure they're obnoxious, or forget.

    Earth Return Vehicle. In his famous speech of May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy threw down the moon-shot gauntlet: ``This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.'' That ``returning him safely'' business has always added to the complexity of the missions. I suppose it would look bad if we sent terminally-ill cancer patients or willing suicides up. Oh well.

    The second-most human-habitable planet in the solar system appears to be Mars. Among enthusiasts of manned space exploration, the most popular plan for a manned Mars mission is ``Mars Direct,'' developed primarily by Robert Zubrin. In this plan, a Mars habitation module and ERV are launched using a commercial launch vehicle. This payload is sent to Mars two years before the first manned mission. While on Mars, an autonomous chemical factory powered by a nuclear reactor manufactures propellant, oxygen, and other resources necessary for the crew's survival on Mars and return to Earth. (Really, they should just find people who wouldn't want to come back. You think that'd be hard?) The Mars Direct plan further envisions a second habitation vehicle and ERV to be sent around the time of the first manned mission, as part of a continuing program and as a back-up if a problem develops with the first ERV and habitation. The habitation units could be linked up to provide the basis of a future museum and gift shop.

    In the Mars Direct plan, the same vehicle that must carry the resources for a months-long return journey to Earth must also be landed on and lifted from the Mars surface. A more energy-efficient approach called Mars Semi-direct was developed to avoid the costs and difficulties of landing and relaunching the ERV, using a method somewhat resembling the Lunar Orbiter/Lander pair of the Apollo missions. In Mars Semi-direct, the ERV remains in orbit around Mars and only a Mars ascension vehicle (MAV) is landed on Mars, intended to lift the intrepid but homesick humans up to the ERV. Fuel for the MAV is supposed to be manufactured on Mars. In the Hybrid Direct plan, the MAV takes extra fuel for the ERV up as well. I think they should also manufacture some gold and bring some of that back. It might stir up some interest.

    Einsteinium. Atomic number 99.

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

    (Domain code for) Spain [España]. Here's an on-line Spanish-English dictionary from Savergen.

    The principal language of Spain is Spanish. Speaking loosely in Spanish, the language is often called español, which really refers to the people and country. In educated usage, the language is called castellano, `Castilian,' referring to the northern provinces where this language originated. Since you're reading about Spain in an English-language reference, there's a possibility that you are a Brit living in Spain. ``Have you logged into www.BritsCentral.Com lately[?] The Search Engine dedicated to Brits living in Spain.''

    Electron Spectroscopy.

    Elementary School. The one before Middle School (MS) or Junior High School (JHS).

    End System.

    Errored Second.

    And speaking of errors... Systematic US spelling reforms, mostly instituted by Noah Webster, call for certain final consonants normally doubled (before suffixes that begin in a vowel or wye) in Commonwealth spelling not to be doubled. For words of two syllables or more, the consonant is doubled only if stress falls on the final ultima (the final syllable). Hence occurred and demurred, but, uh, I can't think of any penult (second-to-last syllable) examples ending in arr just off-hand.

    Expert System.

    The German word for id. The word used by Freud, in fact. The word es is normally the nominative pronoun meaning `it,' but the capitalization indicates that it is a noun. More about that at the id entry.

    Of course, es is also capitalized when it is the first word of a sentence -- typically when it represents the subject of an indicative sentence.

    It's worth pointing out that the he/she/it pronouns distinguish natural gender, while the corresponding German er/sie/es pronouns have traditionally distinguished grammatical gender. Thus, for example, an inanimate object (with certain rare traditional exceptions like a ship) is ``it'' in English. In German, on the other hand, an inanimate object is referred to as er, sie, or es, depending the gender of the noun used to describe it.

    Similarly, a girl in English is always ``she'' (female natural gender) whereas ``ein Mädchen'' (`a girl') is ``es'' (neuter grammatical gender). Most nouns describing adult humans have the same gender grammatically as naturally, so for speakers of English and western Romance languages (which have no neuter), the jarring from this kind of German usage may be infrequent. In fact, the principal exceptions to natural gender for nouns describing humans are diminutive forms like Mädchen (literally `young maid'), which are generally neuter. There has been some drift in usage in recent decades, and many Germans now refer to people by pronouns corresponding to their natural gender, regardless of the grammatical gender of the nouns first used to refer to them.

    My mother is a native German-speaker, and I remember that when I was growing up in the US, my father and I would often become exasperated by the ambiguity introduced when she would refer to multiple instances of he and she (actually el and ella, since the conversation was usually in Spanish). It occurred to me that over-reliance on personal pronouns might be a specifically German habit, and that Germans are prone to it because the occurrence of neuter gender makes pronoun-space collisions less frequent. In 2007 I read a lot of fairy tales by Clemens Brentano. These were written around the beginning of the nineteenth century, so for purposes of analyzing German usage, there is a bit of a diachronic problem. Nevertheless, FWIW, I found that Brentano has a slight occasional tendency to use pronouns ambiguously. Not enough to confuse the attentive reader, but enough to make him uncomfortable. Okay, maybe it's my problem.

    One of those very important two-letter words in Scrabble.® All three major Scrabble dictionaries accept it.

    According to TWL 2006, it is one spelling of the name of the nineteenth letter of the alphabet. Another is ess. The regularly formed plural of each word is accepted. See also ar.

    You know, all this ``accepted'' business reminds me of the famous ``Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons.'' That's one fraternity, in principle, but the free masons and the accepted masons are two different groups. ``Free masons'' were like wildcat stonemasons or independents: actual ``operative masons,'' members of a masons' guild, who worked on the building of cathedrals in Europe. When the market for cathedral-building crashed in the seventeenth century or so, the guilds kept up membership by accepting ``speculative masons'' -- nonmasons, not to put too fine a point on it. These were the ``accepted masons.''

    Embryonic Stem (cell).

    Education Savings Account.

    ElectroStatic Analyzer.

    Electronic Security Association. A generic term used by the National Alarm Association of America (NAAA). See the NAAA document on its ESA program. It's mostly text, but instead of scanning it or something, they made gifs out of the paper document, so you can have the pleasures of fax right on your own monitor.

    Endangered Species Act.

    Enterprise Systems Architecture. Includes VM/ESA, VSE/ESA and MVS/ESA. (IBM trademarks.)

    Entomological Society of America.

    European Space Agency.

    Esaki diode
    See tunnel diode.

    Equivalent Standard Axle Load.

    Equivalent Standard Axle Load KiloMeter[s].

    Enhanced Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) Simulation code.

    European Society for Artificial Organs.

    Electricity Supply Board (of the Republic of Ireland).

    European Savings Bank Group.

    Electronic Stability Control. Still at this writing (January 2005) a standard or optional feature on a small fraction of vehicles sold. Different motor-vehicle manufacturers use different names for it; here are the most common names used in the US in the 2005 MY:
    • AdvanceTrac: Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln.
    • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC): BMW, Mini (owned by BMW), and the Ford-owned makes Jaguar, Land Rover, and Mazda.
    • Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC): Volvo (also Ford-owned).
    • Electronic Stability Control (ESC... this entry!): Honda (but not Acura).
    • Electronic Stability Program (ESP): Audi, DaimlerChrysler (incl. Jeep), Hyundai, Kia, Saab, VW.
    • Porsche Stability Management (PSM): one make only, and I'm going to let you guess which one that might be.
    • StabiliTrak: most American GM models (incl. Saturn; not available on any Hummer).
    • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC): Nissan and Infiniti.
    • Vehicle Dynamics Control System (VDCS): Subaru.
    • Vehicle Skid Control (VSC): Toyota and Lexus.
    • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA): some Acura vehicles. Acura uses a number of different names, ostensibly to represent meaningful differences.

    Environmental Stress Cracking.

    ESCape. A keyboard key or signal traditionally indicating that the current level of interpretation should be escaped. For example, in the vi editor, pressing the escape key terminates the text-entry mode and returns one to command mode (i.e., terminates the interpretation of data as literal character data). The function of the escape key is also explained as an alt-mode, a key for entering an alternate mode. Of course, if you're already in command mode in vi, pressing escape just causes a message ``Already in command mode'' to appear. So the ``alt'' in ``alt-mode'' is not democratic, and there is a preferred direction to ``escape'' in.

    Appropriate to its function, the escape key has a keyboard equivalent of ^[ -- i.e., control-left-square-bracket. It still works for me on a Unix box, but generally I don't know how much luck you'd have with that key combination nowadays. (The programmer of an application has substantial freedom to determine what keyboard input it recognizes and how, and might in fact have to go out of his way to have it recognizes control-character sequences.) The main utility of knowing the sequence is that if you encounter an old instruction to press ^[ to escape, you'll know to press the escape key if that doesn't work.

    On ancient teletype machines that I used in the mid-1970's, the escape key was labeled ``HERE IS.'' There's a xeroxlore picture dramatizing the use of the escape key to escape the clutches of a computer gone crazy. (``Nobody move! Okay, Tom, sloooowly reach over and press...'' or something like that.) Trying (and failing) to locate an online copy of it, I found other stuff.

    European Society of Cardiology. Also Société Européenne de Cardiologie.

    Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis. [Pronounced as word, final letter a shwa, rather than as a mere letter sequence.] Also called XPS, at the entry for which there are tutorial links.

    Based on the phenomenon (discovered by Hertz in 1887; explained by Einstein in 1905 with the introduction of the light quantum hypothesis) that light irradiation of solids can cause electrons to be emitted. The energy spectrum of emitted electrons yields information about the density of occupied states. Further information can be gained from single-crystal samples by measuring as a function of angle and polarization. Qualitatively similar things are done with UV light instead of X-rays, in UPS.

    Enterprise Systems Connection (ESCON) Director. Hardware managed by ESCM.

    European Society of Cosmetic Dentistry. It's a member of IFED.

    ES cell
    Embryonic Stem CELL.

    Enterprise Systems Connection (ESCON) Manager. Software that controls the ESCD.

    European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.

    Enterprise Systems (ESA) CONnection.

    Edible. Your ten-dollar word for today. When it becomes necessary to be polite about your host's cooking, you can say ``this is just esculent!''

    As you probably recall, Scrabble® tile values were originally pegged to the dollar, to avoid the extreme deflationary pressures observed in, say, Monopoly®. Indeed, esculent is not just a ten-dollar word but also still a ten-point word. (But steer clear o' them pinkos and reds -- they'll give you 100% and 200% inflation in a single jolt.)

    Electronic Software Distribution.

    Electron-Stimulated Desorption.

    ElectroStatic Discharge. You know: polyester carpeting and rubber soles. It is worth knowing that some items, like high-precision or low-noise Op Amps, may be damaged but not completely knocked out by ESD. Therefore, just checking that it ``still works'' is no guarantee that it still conforms to specs. There's an EOS/ESD Association.

    The Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus (UAF ) maintains a page on red sprites and blue jets, some of the more spectacular atmospheric discharge phenomena.

    The Engineering Society of Detroit.

    Enhanced Small Device (interface).

    Electronic System Design Automation.

    Earth and Space Data Computing Division [of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)].

    European Security and Defence Policy.

    Enhanced Small Disk Interface.

    ESD plastic
    ElectroStatic Dissipative plastic. It would be a bit strong to call these ``conducting plastics,'' since plastics with resistivities as high as 1012 ohm-cm may count as ESD plastic.

    Entry-sequenced data sets. Vide VSAM.

    Vide compass directions.

    European Science Editing. Bulletin of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE). ISSN 0258-3127.

    Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Initially passed in 1965 as part of LBJ's Great Society spending orgy, it was repeatedly reauthorized. The 1994 reauthorization was called the Improving America's Schools Act (IASA). After being allowed to lapse in 1999, this was succeeded (great word, that) by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. This act was a cornerstone of Harvard-MBA George Bush's ``compassionate conservative'' election platform. In other words, it was part of the fiscally responsible conservative Republican spending orgy.

    European Society for Environmental History. ``ESEH aims to promote environmental history in Europe, by encouraging and supporting research, teaching and publications in the field.''

    Environmental Scanning Electron Microscop{y|e}. ``Environmental'' refers to the fact that the sample can be examined in gas environments (10 torr is typical) rather than only under high vacuum. This makes possible the imaging of volatile, moist or oily materials such as biological tissues. The use of conductive atmospheres such as water vapor makes possible the imaging of insulating samples which would otherwise charge (and distort/degrade the image). The vapor-tolerance of the systems makes possible the study of samples at high temperature.

    Here are some images of everyday objects, taken at Ann Arbor. (They were really there for a while; then you had to follow the instructions: update the links by changing ``www'' in the tiff URL's to ``www-personal,'' then they moved them again. Really, who needs to be jerked around?)

    Here's an Aussy site.

    European Seminar in EthnoMusicology. Annual event. The tenth, in 1994, was the first to be disseminated electronically.

    European Science Foundation. Founded in the mid-1970's.

    Exchange Stabilization Fund.

    Extended Superframe Format. Vide FDL.

    Extended Superframe Format Data-Link. Vide FDL.

    Epitaxial Silicon Film[s] on Insulators. That's silicon-on-spinel or silicon-on-sapphire (SOS), according to a first-page footnote to ``High-Density Static ESFI MOS Memory Cells,'' by Karl Goser, Michael Pomper and Jenö Tihanyi: IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, vol. SC-9, #5, pp. 234-238 (October 1974). I think this term is synonymous with the modern (lo, these 25 years later) term SOI (silicon on insulator). Anyway, who still uses spinels?

    Enhanced Service Gateway.

    Experimental Sheet-Growth Unit[s]. (Sheets of silicon for solar panels.)

    Environment, Safety, and Health.

    Name of the sound typically represented by sh in English, and of the symbol used to represent that sound in the IPA. That symbol is the ``long ess'' common in manuscript and print documents of the 17th and 18th centuries. (It looks like an eff with the short horizontal line missing or shorter. You know -- ``in Congrefs affembled'' and fuchlike. The division of labor between it and the other lower-case ess glyph varied over time, between different western European languages, and between different printers and writers of the same language. It continues in use today as the integral sign. See also shilling.)

    European Society for the History of Science.

    Electron Spectroscopic Imaging.

    ElectroSpray Ionization.

    ElectroStatic Interference.

    Enhanced Serial Interface.

    Europäisches Software-Institut. German meaning ... [translation is left as an exercise for the reader].

    European Semiconductor Industry Association. Under the aegis of EECA.

    Every Situation is Different.

    To paraphrase Tolstoy's claim about families: it is only every unhappy situation that is different.

    Electron-Stimulated Ion Emission.

    Effective Series Inductance.

    Effects Screening Level.

    English as a Second Language. ESL is occasionally pronounced `eassel' (i.e., as `easel' with an unvoiced sibilant).

    A synonym or near synonym of ESL, depending on whom you ask, is EFL. (See that entry for discussion; it can even be an antonym.) There are many other similar terms. The initialism E<foo>L, where <foo> is any short alphanumeric string chosen at random, has a fair chance of being synonymous with or at least related to ESL. See our EXL entry for an extensive partial list. The contrastive term I recommend is EMT.

    There are no very common acronyms for English as a third or fourth or further language. I think the ordinary sense of ``second language'' probably subsumes any language beyond the first as ``a second language.'' As someone for whom English is my principal, my most fluent, technically my third language, and not my favorite language for poetry, I find the existing terminology somewhat beside the point. If you want to be contentiously pedantic about it, use ESOL (q.v.).

    Electrically addressed Spatial Light Modulator (SLM).

    Electronic Support Measures. Think Electronic Counter-Counter-Measures (ECCM).

    Escuela Mecánica de la Armada. `Naval Mechanical School.' Infamous as a concentration camp or prison, and as a base for torture and counterinsurgent activities, during Argentina's Dirty War. (``Infamous'' after the war. During the war you didn't ask dangerous questions.)

    European Society of NeuroRadiology.

    European Southern Observatory. It's located in Malta. No? Okay, it's located in Chile. They have a 3.6-meter telescope at La Silla. La silla means `the chair.' It is etymologically unconnected with English sill.

    English {to|for} Speakers of Other Language[s]. Cf. EFL, ESL. Contrast EMT.

    Typically pronounced `EE-sol.'

    The misc.education.language.english newsgroup offers an FAQ.

    European Space OPerations Centre of the ESA. I know ESOP must stand for something else, because one company proudly lists it as a component of its retirement plan, and the company is not in Europe. Ahhh! It must be

    Employee Stock Ownership Plan. A ``federally-qualified employee retirement program that allows employees to benefit as the company grows and profits increase.'' So what does it allow employees to do as the company shrinks and losses increase? Why is this called a ``benefit''?

    Trying to track down something I'd discarded somewhere in the SBF glossary, I noticed that there were at least nine (9) files with hits on the word brain. So immediately I thought of the esophagus, another important organ, and discovered that no file contained that word. The problem is now corrected.

    Endless Snorts Of Stupid Laughter.


    Education Support Professional. I knew that! Bus drivers, school nurses, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, secretaries, janitors, computer techs, tutors, guards, cafeteria staff, bus drivers, foodservice personnel, and bus drivers.

    The noun professional refers to someone who is paid to do something on a regular basis. The adverb professionally (as in ``professionally done'') means `as if, even working for the government, you could actually lose your job or a pay raise for really screwing up too much.'

    Back in the mists of medieval time, the nouns professional and professor were related. They referred to people who had an unusually high degree of education, and whose work required some degree of abstract thought. Since higher education was intimately connected with theological and clerical education (whence clerk, in the business sense), these involved solemn professions of faith. What professors and professionals professed was their faith. I profess physics.

    Electronic Stability Program. It's magic! (Oh, alright Mr. Clarke: it's indistingishable from magic.) One synonym of electronic stability control. For other synonyms, see the ESC entry.

    Encapsulating Security Payload provides confidentiality for IP datagrams by encrypting the payload data.

    English for Specific Purposes. Collective term for programs of targeted EFL instruction. Common examples include EAP, business English, medical English, and English for computer support personnel.

    European Studies Program.

    Extended Self-contained PROLOG.

    Extra-Sensory Perception. You knew that! And I knew that you knew it. Isn't that spooky?

    Milan Kundera seems to have been of two minds about ESP; CSICOP is not.

    A Japanese guitar-maker. Hah! You didn't know that.

    No, it's not in alphabetical order. It's in surprise order. You're gonna tell me that you can't find what you're looking for because the definitions aren't alphabetized? If you already know how the definitions should be alphabetized, then why do you need to look it up, huh? Oh, just a hunch, sure.

    V. Spanglish.

    V. Spanglish.

    Expurgated Scrabble Players Dictionary. Pejorative and accurate term for OSPD3 and OSPD4.

    Escuela Politécnica del Ejército. That's the expansion of ESPE gives on its own website, and what appears on its emblem. That makes it Ecuador's `Army Polytechnic School.' Other sites linking to it quite reasonably give the letter ess its own word: Superior.

    Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. ESPN is the leading sports programming network in the US. In February 2004, it was charging cable companies $2.61 per month per household, reportedly highest in the (nonpornographic?) cable industry. It was set to go up. It must have, too, but it's not my problem.

    European (EU) Strategic Programme for Research in Information Technology, established in 1984. Since then, the mixed-case Esprit has come to be used.

    Eco-Socialist Review. It's not easy being green and red.

    {Effective|Equivalent} Series Resistance.

    Emergency Sun Reacquisition. Where is it? Where'd it go?!! Eclipses are so scary. Nighttime too.

    For a serious explanation of this NASA initialism, see this SOHO entry. Then again...

    It's too late.
    She's gone too far.
    She's lost the Sun.
    She's come undun...

    from ``Undun,'' by the... I'll let you guess who.

    Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate.

    EISCAT Svalbard Radar. [``EISCAT'' stands for European Incoherent SCATtering studies of the sun-earth interaction as observed in the atmosphere.]

    Electronic Summary Report. Term used by Crosstarget software.

    Electron Spin Resonance. Please see more at synonym EPR.

    English Speaking Residents Association. A support organization of native-English-speakers in Israel. The acronym is typically written and pronounced Ezra.

    Economic and Social Research Council. One of the UK's seven research councils. The research councils report to the Office of Science and Technology within the Department of Trade and Industry.

    End-Stage Renal Disease. Kidney failure severe enough to require lifetime dialysis or a kidney transplant.

    European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. At Grenoble, France.

    Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. Sells GIS code.

    Extrapyramidal (psychiatric) Symptom Rating Scale.

    Electronic Switching System. A series of telephone-system switching systems manufactured by Western Electric for AT&T:
    • 1ESS: ``Number 1 ESS'' introduced in 1966. Analog switching (ferrite cores) under digital control.
    • 2ESS: ``Number 2 ESS'' introduced in 1967 or 1968. Downsized version of 1ESS.
    • ...

    Environmental Stress Screening.

    Name of the letter which is number 19 in the English alphabet. For difficulties with ess, see AUTOBIOGRAPHY. For difficulties with Scrabble, see es.

    Latin, `be, exist.'

    European Society for the Study of English.

    ``The Society is a European federation of national higher educational associations for the study of English. The Society endeavours to reflect the cultural and geographical diversity of Europe in its institutions.
    The aim of the Society is to advance the education of the public by promoting the European study and understanding of English languages, literatures in English and cultures of English-speaking peoples.'' Hence, many ESSE members are EAAS members as well.

    A brand name used by Standard Oil of New Jersey by 1941, and still used by its current corporate descendant, ExxonMobil. The name is constructed from the names of the initials of Standard Oil. The name was created to solve a brand problem that was brought into being by the break-up of the original Standard Oil in 1911. The US government deemed Standard Oil monopolistic, and in a landmark action broke it up into seven regional companies plus scattered other bits, so the result was not horizontally and not (immediately after the break-up) too vertically integrated.

    Each of the seven regional companies was allowed to use the brand name Standard in the states of its region. Each did so, at first, because ``Standard'' still had a lot of residual cachet. On the other hand, the companies were supposed to compete outside their own regions, and to do this each had to use another name. ``Esso'' was deemed too close to ``Standard,'' but Standard Oil of New York allowed Standard Oil of New Jersey (``Jersey Standard'' for short) to use the brand in its region (New York and the six New England States). By 1941 Jersey Standard was using ``Esso'' there, in its own region (the District of Columbia, West Virginia, and the Atlantic seaboard states from New Jersey south to South Carolina, minus Delaware), and in states where it acquired the rights (Delaware, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana). In other states, Jersey Standard used either ``ENCO'' or (less often) ``Humble.'' See the Wikipedia entry for further details, including the international picture.

    `Eating disorder' in German.

    Eastern Standard Time. GMT - 5 hrs.

    ElectroShock Therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT, q.v.).

    The Elizabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys.

    Endoscopic ScleroTherapy. For variceal bleeding. Cf. TIPS and see a 1994 study.

    English for Science and Technology.

    (Werner) Erhardt Sensitivity Training Seminars. Toilet training for adults. Information about Werner Erhardt's name can be found in the electrical banana entry.


    est., EST

    European Science and Technology Assembly.

    A Spanish word usually meaning some sort of `pointed [or tapered] stick.' It can be a thick piece of wood for use as a club, a branch cutting planted to make a tree, or a pointy stick -- a stake. In fact, it is probably a cognate of stake. The likeliest source of the word is Gothic, *stakka.

    Estaca is also the word for an annual point on a deer's antler, and for a long (30-40 cm) nail used to join beams. See also destacar.

    estate planning
    In The Song of the Harper, (ca. 2650-2600 BCE, tr. William Kelly Simpson), it is written:
    Remember: it is not given to man to take his goods with him.
    No one goes away and then comes back.

    English Short Title Catalogue. It ``lists over 460,000 items [as of late 2006], published between 1473 and 1800, mainly in Britain and North America, mainly, but not exclusively, in English, from the collections of the British Library and over 2,000 other libraries.'' It's available free on line from the British Library.

    A kind of acronym used by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (S.T.C.). More information -- oh! oh! my grieving heart! the words, they overflow romantically! -- at this Col entry.

    Electrical STIMulation therapy. A treatment, mostly for pain, consisting of current pulses passed through the skin. How and even whether it works is not entirely clear. This sounds a lot worse than intended, but E-STIM has also been reported to be effective for toilet training.

    E-STIM is referred to by two other common terms and their initialisms: interferential current (IFC) and transcutaneous electric [nerve] stimulation (TENS). When the two are distinguished, IFC refers to E-STIM using pulse frequencies of 4 to 5 kHz, while TENS uses frequencies around 20 to 200 Hz. Addled discussions that I have seen on the web suggest that some of the people involved in this therapy are so ignorant they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a wall outlet.

    The Spanish name of Stockholm.

    Spanish for `stupid.' (Male form of noun and adjective.) After all the hype (this entry is linked from both the Retarded and SABI entries), I feel I ought to write something more, but I can't come up with anything intelligent. I guess I'll just mention that estúpido is a pretty good pun on es tupido, meaning `he is dense' or `he is thick.' In Spanish tupido also has the same transferred sense as in English, of having a head filled with something heavier and less nimble than gray matter, although the sense may not be uniform across dialects. The only imperfection in the pun is that the accentual stress in tupido is on the penult, while in estúpido it occurs on the antepenult.

    ElectroStatic Voltmeter.

    Experimental Safety Vehicle[s]. Cars with added safety features other than more competent drivers.

    European Society of Veterinary Cardiology.

    European Society of Veterinary Clinical Ethology.

    European Society of Veterinary Dermatology. Moo to you too! Doc, my skin feels leathery.

    European Society of Veterinary Endocrinology. ``ESVE is affiliated with the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ECVIM-CA) and the Society for Comparative Endocrinology (SCE).''

    The European Society of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

    European Society of Veterinary Neurology.

    European Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology.

    European Society of Veterinary Ophthalmology.

    European Society of Veterinary Orthopaedics and Traumatology. Ya gotta help me, doc -- I can't trot!

    European Society of Veterinary Pathology.

    European Society for Vascular Surgery.

    ElectroSlag welding.

    Es war einmal...
    The standard first words of fairy tales (Märchen) in German. Functionally, though not literally, equivalent to ``Once upon a time there was...'' You're probably wondering precisely how frequently this phrase is used, as opposed to near equivalents like ``Es lebte einmal'' (`There once lived'). Here's what you should do to satisfy your quantitative curiosity: go to <http://www.wispor.de/>. That website has a collection of opening lines for the stories of They're in alphabetical order except for H.C.A., whom I list last because so many of his stories (particularly the Kunstmärchen -- the ones he made up himself) have unhappy endings or, as I like to think of it, are unfinished.

    In Italian, stories begin with ``c'era una volta.'' Giambattista Basile (born ca. 1575, died Feb. 23, 1632) wrote fairy tales in Neapolitan. The majority of his tales began with ``dice ch'era na volta'' (`it is said that there once was').

    East Division of the Society for Women in Philosophy.

    Eastern Time. EDT or EST, depending on the time of year.

    It turns out that Eastern Time is a single time zone, whereas Eastern Standard Time (EST) is actually two. That was part of the argument that the new business-friendly governor of Indiana, elected in 2004, made in his pitch for the state to get with the program and adopt Daylight Saving Time. He claimed tht Indiana lost business because out-of-state companies were baffled by our practice of switching time zones twice a year. (From EST to EST in Spring, and then back again to EST in fall, he means. My problem is that I forget to advance my clock by zero hours until Tuesday. You can imagine how late that makes me on Monday.) The change was pushed through; see DST.

    Electronics Technology.

    Electronic (airline) Ticket. Traditional tickets are like theater tickets or certificates of ownership -- tokens demonstrating purchase (or assignment) and usually seat reservation. If you lost your ticket it was a major hassle to get a new ticket issued. An electronic ticket is more like a payment receipt. The only thing you need to get a boarding pass is personal identification and your confirmation code, also called a ``record locator.'' The electronic record of your ticket purchase plays the role that the traditional ticket used to. It's inevitable that people will refer to the paper receipts as ``electronic tickets,'' but logically the ticket is the computer record.

    EndoTracheal Tube. Uh cuhn spugh!

    Entertainment Tonight.


    Latin and French: `and.' Etymologically, it's related to German und and English and. (The t was nasalized, that's all. With the nasalization, voicing of t into d was natural.) Dutch en is a natural development, as illustrated by English eye dialect " 'n' " (in the same way Yiddish has un instead of und). I guess the Nordic words (och in Swedish, og in Danish and Norwegian) developed separately from a Germanic word meaning `also,' like German auch. What do you mean ``What do you mean `I guess'?''? I mean, I'm not gonna look et up. I just bought Peter Bergman's Concise Dictionary of 26 Languages (NYC: Bergman Publishers, 1968), and if I can't figure it out from that, tough.

    It dovetails kind of nicely that in Basque, ta and eta are the words for `and,' so between these two ancient languages, they've got et, eta, and ta covered. Yes, I do remember that ETA has another meaning in Basque, but that entry isn't ready yet.

    Anyway, the Latin et became, uh, et in French, though in most of the common Romance languages that evolved from Vulgar (i.e. common) Latin, it lost the consonant and ended up being pronounced /e/ or /i:/. Disappearance is always a hazard for unvoiced final stop consonants. (In Spanish, although the standard word is y, pronounced /i:/, the word e is used before words beginning in the /i:/ sound. Similarly in Italian, ed substitutes for the standard e to avoid vowel hiccups.) Most Slavic languages use some closed front vowel also. If you speak any of these languages, this probably seems very natural. Certainly within the pragmatic school of linguistics, one expects a very common word with the meaning and to be simple and monosyllabic. Still, that leaves options. Open back vowels seem to predominate in Germanic languages. Just staying in Europe, Finno-Ugric languages have somewhat unexpected consonants (from an SAE POV): és in Hungarian and ja in Finnish. Going further afield, Swahili uses na, Japanese to, Indonesian dan. Bergman lists ve for Hebrew, but this isn't quite right. In Hebrew, this ``word'' generally does not occur in isolation. Instead, it is attached to the word following it. There always is a word following it. You can probably figure out how that happens. So `and' in Hebrew is really v', or vee followed by a shwa transitioning into the next word. (Except that the vee used to be a semivowel or glide more like w. Over time, and by various paths, that one Semitic character has evolved into the letters f, i, j, u, v, w, and y in the modern Roman alphabets. The Arabic cognate is normally transliterated wa, but the pronunciation of Arabic varies substantially across the Muslim world. Turkish has ve; I suppose this is a borrowing from Arabic, rather than a coincidental usage in the central Asian origins of Turkish.)

    By the way, v' also serves a function in Hebrew verb conjugation: it indicates action continuing a narrative. Sort of like `and then' but not so stylistically obtrusive. The construction is called ``the vav-consecutive'' (in English). We engage in a complementary kind of aspect marking in English when we use the past perfect (e.g., ``he had gone'') to indicate that action took place at a point earlier in the context. It is relatively difficult to translate between distant, syntactically disparate languages. The King James Version (KJV) of the Hebrew Bible is regarded by many as coming closest in English to the spirit of the original Hebrew. Now you understand why you encounter so many ``And he'' thisses and ``And he'' thats.

    Anyway, getting back to the conjunction use of Hebrew v', we see that it's sort of intermediate between an independent word and a prefix. The distinction is in fact fuzzier than it may at first seem, because it is almost a matter of convention. To take an example in English, inasmuch as is two words in American and frequently four words in British. Some writers recognize no semantic distinction between in to and into, and if the fools have their way this will become the rule in English. Another example is given in the et al. entry below. (Hint: you just saw it.) When a word is systematically attached to other words, but is conceived of (and may sometimes occur as) a separate word, then it is called an enclitic. This term is generally applied to core utility words like conjunctions and prepositions, rather than to words like nouns that may occur in compound nouns. To reemphasize, these distinctions are essentially conventional. To take the example of Japanese, particles are attached to words to indicate case distinctions and something of the idea in the the/a distinction (-wa/-ga, but the correspondence is imperfect). One could regard the particle -no as a postposition equivalent to the English preposition of, one could consider it as a systematic genitive ending, or one might consider it as an enclitic. Or again to take the case of Romanian, definiteness and indefiniteness (a vs. the) are indicated by noun affixes. Are these enclitic articles?

    In Semitic languages, which pioneered the use of alphabetic writing (based on the acronymic principle), vowels are not normally written. This makes a certain amount of sense in those languages, because most words are based on three- and some two-consonant roots. The vowels determine variations in sense and part of speech, and can to a very great extent be determined contextually. [In Hebrew, at least, this picture is complicated by the presence of consonantally equivalent alternate spellings that are used to hint the vowels. Also, the Bible and books meant only for children are written with vowels (``pointing'').] The situation involves a lot of unconscious or barely conscious guesswork, like that in construing English homographs like lead or read. Psychometric studies have shown that fluent readers of Hebrew take longer to get through texts that are more vocalically ambiguous, all other things being equal.

    I mention the business of Semitic spelling because it is connected with another difference that has disappeared. Hebrew and other Semitic languages are rather hard to read for the reasons just explained. Although a few consonants have word-final forms, most do not. With vowels present, itisnotsodifficulttoreadwithoutwordspacing, but without the vowels, wrd spcng s bsltly ncssry. (You probably had the most trouble there with bsltly; it needs an initial vowel. And wouldn't you have been lost without the wye?) (To take the previous no-word-spacing example without vowels: tsntsdffclttrdwthtwrdspcng.) So Semitic languages are written with spaces between the words, and always have been. For a very long time, by contrast, Greek and Latin, with explicit vowels, were written without word spacing. It makes the distinction between enclitics and ordinary words somewhat theoretical.

    Gee, there are still a few languages in Bergman's book that I haven't covered. Oh, yes, Esperanto! When Isaac Zamenhof (Doctoro Esperanto) designed his language, he tried to choose a small number of roots that would be very recognizable (to speakers of European languages), and he also tried for a kind of linguistic affirmative action -- to have every (European) language somewhat represented. Neither of these motives explains why he chose kaj as the Esperanto word for `and.' This is the Ancient Greek word kai spelled with a consonantal i. (The pronunciation of the original Greek has evolved into ke', according to Bergman.) Kai is one of those words that reminds us of just how much of an odd-ball Greek is among the European members of the Indo-European language family. Or is it? It turns out that Latin has another word meaning and, spelled que, which occurs as an enclitic on the preceding word. (Those who had trouble earlier, figuring out why Hebrew v' always had a word following, may want to take a breather here.) For an example of the use of que, see the SPQR entry. You might think that the Latin enclitic -que is related to kai, but because of the way the regular phonetic shifts went from IndoEuropean, it is clear that it's related to the Ancient Greek and enclitic -te. Sanskrit has an etymologically related and word (not enclitic), ca.

    (Domain code for) Ethiopia. See the CIA Factbook entry for Ethiopia.

    Ethyl. Productive, in such abbreviations as EtOH (Ethyl Alcohol), AcOEt (Ethyl Acetate).

    Extra-Terrestrial. Title of a Steven Spielberg film that launched the career of another generation of Barrymore.

    ElectroThermal Atomization. The name and approximate activity of a Basque separatist organization.

    English Twirling Association. Founded in 1980. There are others: see majorette entry.

    Estimated Time of Arrival.

    Ether-Toluene-Alcohol. A heady mix.

    Ethnic Theme Associate. University staff responsible for advancing the designated ethnic theme of a house (university residence). Cf. ATA, FA.

    Euzkadi Ta Azkatasuna. The name of a terrorist organization. `Basque Country and Liberty.' An old saying among philologists is that a translation is a commentary. (This phrase has various forms and alleged authors.) Let me comment. Euzkadi is a Basque word meaning `Basque country,' used pointedly to refer to it as a political entity. Hence the song ``Nafarra, oi Nafarra, Euzkadi lehena'' (`Navarra, oh Navarra, the first Basque Country'). Basque language is euzkara, and two forms of the root related to this word, euzkal- and euzko-, are used to form compounds. Azkatsuna, `liberty,' is related to the verb azkatu, `to loosen, untie, unfasten, liberate.' An alternative form of ta (`and') is eta, so ETA is a sort of two-sided XARA.

    In Spanish, at least, an ETA member (of either sex) is called an etarra.

    Event-Tree Analysis.

    [phone icon]

    Extended Total Access Communication System. An analog cellular phone standard.

    Exclusive TAilored Correlation SpectroscopY (TACSY).

    End TAG.

    Eta Kappa Nu
    National Electrical Engineering Honor Society.


    et al.
    Latin `and others,' from et (`and') and al., which abbreviates a plural form of alius. In principle, the gender should be determined by the implicit noun. But it's not always clear which particular noun is meant, even though which ``others'' are meant is clear enough. In practice, therefore, if al. is expanded one uses the neuter plural alia for inanimate objects (even though the actual objects may have a definite non-neuter gender) and the masculine alii for people, and, I suppose, cats.

    Electronic Tools and Ancient Near Eastern Archives. ETANA describes itself as ``a cooperative project of: American Oriental Society | American Schools of Oriental Research | Case Western Reserve University | Cobb Institute of Archaeology at Mississippi State | Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago | Society of Biblical Literature | Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University | Vanderbilt University | Virginia Polytechnic and State University.'' The interesting question is: are those vertical lines between the names FIFO's, or are they OR's?

    Cf. Abzu.

    etaoin shrdlu
    A letter sequence inserted by linotype operators, which effectively meant ``something else.'' Linotype machines, described briefly at the lede entry, were used to typeset text one line at a time. They were fast and convenient, but they didn't have a back-up key so that the operator could fix an error. If there was an error in a line, the whole line had to be discarded. The text etaoin shrdlu was often inserted to alert the compositor to discard the line. I don't know what they did if the error came at the end of the line; write it at the beginning of the next line, I suppose.

    The particular sequence of letters was one convenient for the linotype operator to insert: it was made by typing the first two columns of letters on the left end of the keyboard. Sometimes three or four columns would be used. (The full 26-letter sequence was etaoin shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkqj xz.) Letters on the keyboard were arranged in something approximating their frequency rank in the language, with the more common letters at the left as in the qwerty arrangement (q.v.) on typewriters. On French linotypes, the corresponding sequence was elaoin sdrétu.

    Sometimes the compositor messed up, and etaoin shrdlu ended up in print. Here's the first paragraph of an article ``On Bowling Alleys'' in the New York Times of October 30, 1903, page 10:

       Many close bowling contests were decided
    last night in the bowling tournaments
    with which New York abounds. The best
    score of this season, and practically that
    of this year, was 264, the highest individual
    score. This was an excellent showing and
    g vaet ehthmbe f :egCnda etaoin shrdlu dlu
    gave them the benefit of a doubt afterward.

    (The lines are justified in the original, but I can't be bothered to reproduce the effect here.) That was the earliest instance I found of the twelve-letter sequence, in an archive of the Times dating back to 1857. Between 1903 and July 2, 1978 (the last issue composed on a linotype machine), there were instances in 141 documents (articles, display ads, or classified-ad pages) -- about two per year. The sequence etaoin alone appears in 527 documents in the same time period (the first on September 3, 1895), and shrdlu in 538 (first on October 31, 1894). So it seems the usage became common, at least at the Times, not long before 1894.

    There were a number of clearly intentional instances of the six- and twelve-letter sequences, including a few dozen after the switch to cold-metal printing. Also, Shrdlu occurs as the given name of a man in at least one article (1998). Possibly this reflects the popularity of names like ``Etaoin Shrdlu'' that have occurred in fiction since at least 1923. The earliest intentionally published etaoin shrdlu in the NYTimes is apparently in ``Grade-Crossing Decision,'' a poem published in a collection of light verse: ``The Times in Rhymes by L.H.R.'' (November 26, 1927, p. XX5). There, the two lines ``Etaoin shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkqj / Z&$&??¾¼½@cETAOINshrdBAM!!'' are used to represent what happens when a train hits the vehicle of someone who makes a poor one (grade-crossing decision).

    End of Transmission Block. In ordinary conversation, ``ETB!'' might be used to mean ``End of Transmission, Blockhead!'' Note the comma.


    Abbreviates Latin et cetera, `and the rest.' Used after the elements of a list or sequence incompletely specified. Sometimes better translated `and so on.' It often used to be written ``&c.''

    The word et means `and.' It's included in the Latin phrase so that you will appear stupid by saying or writing ``and et cetera.'' The word cetera is the nominative plural of ceterum, `[the] other.' At one time, like Caesar, it was written with an ae: caetera.

    Anna and the King of Siam was the title of a novel by Margaret Landon, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on it. A movie version was released in 1946, with Rex Harrison in the role of King Mongkut. Rex ... King ... okay, I guess they gave the casting a moment's thought. The London theatrical premiere in 1951 had Yul Brynner (1915-1985) in the King role, and he reprised it for the better-known 1956 movie, which was denominated with the grammatically cheery ``The King and I.'' A memorable little moment in the play and movie occurs when the King delights in the utility and sophistication of a new term that he has learned, which in his airy way of using it expresses his royal dignity: ``et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.'' Yul Brynner enunciated it with the loving elocutionary care of Henry Higgins.

    Most anglophones today pronounce cetera as two syllables (cetra or cet'ra). The Turtles (in case I'm old, let me gloss that as a 1960's rock group) had a hit with a song called ``Elinore'' that had lyrics that... well, let me just point this out: the chorus ended ``you're my pride and joy et cet'ra.'' It's used to rhyme, sortah, ``bettah.''

    Don't mind me. I'm just prattling on until I have an ecc. entry ready. No one likes dead air. Better to say something stupid quickly than be silent. How else would you know if the server was still up? Something might've happened. A crash, a cosmic lexicographic kerthwump, etc.


    Elementary (-school) Teachers of the Classics.

    Export Trading Companies.

    Extended TechniColor. A composite-particle scheme for dynamical symmetry breaking, an elaboration of technicolor (TC, q.v.). You wouldn't know it from the names, but both these schemes have gravitas big time.

    Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature. It ``is based at the University of Oxford. So far [text harvested from website January 2006] it has made accessible, via the World Wide Web, more than 350 literary works composed in the Sumerian language in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) during the late third and early second millennia BCE.

    The corpus comprises Sumerian texts in transliteration, English prose translations and bibliographical information for each composition. The transliterations and the translations can be searched, browsed and read online using the tools of the website.''

    Economic and Technological Development Zone. In 1984, the PRC opened fourteen coastal cities to international trade and investment and made twelve of them ETDZ's. In subsequent years, more ETDZ's were created, with the original model loosened. For example, the Shanghai Pudong Modern Agricultural Development Zone, established in 1994, was one of the first EDTZ's devoted to technologically advanced agricultural production and development. The zone was intended to introduce mass production systems for fruits and vegetables, flowers, and aquaculture, with Shanghai as the target market.


    EnteroToxigenic E. coli.

    Eternal City, The
    An epithet for the city of Rome. The epithet evidently refers to the traffic jams. By some sort of celestially convergent coincidence, Rome was founded in exactly 1 A.U.C.

    etext, e-text
    An ordinary text, not originally written for the web, that is now available online. (Not to be confused with ebooks.) Some major freely available collections and listings of collections are at

    It may be that the best books online are free.

    European Technology Facility.

    Exchange-Traded Fund. A fund that mirrors the stocks that make up a stock index. An example is discussed at the CBOE entry.

    Ethylene TetraFluoroEthylene. (du Pont: Tefzel ®.) Properties similar to ECTFE, but the absence of chlorine is a presumptive environmental advantage.

    Pronounced ``'Ay Tay Hah!'' Stands for Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (`Swiss Federal Institute of Technology'). Has the twentieth century's most famous scientific alumnus.

    The modern systematic (IUPAC) name for the only stable compound with the formula C2H4. The shortest alkene:
    H      H
     \    /
     /    \
    H      H

    Earlier name was ethylene, q.v. and you'll notice that it's that name which is still used in the common names of various established chemicals, such as EAA, ECTFE, EDP, EDTA, EGE, EPR, ETFE, EVA or EVAC, EVOH.

    Fortunately, ``ethylene'' doesn't have a distinct meaning in the new nomenclature.

    Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Lausanne, known in the language of instruction as EPFL. Eidgenössishe means `confederated, federal,' but in context typically implies Swiss (.ch), the way Bundeswhatnot implies German. I wonder how well this works with fédérale in French.


    et hoc genus omne
    Suave, sophisticated, and savvy (i.e. Latin) way to say `and all them sort.' Hmmm. Wait a second, it's in the nominative. I guess then it's `and all they sort.'

    Traditional name for ethene, q.v.

    Ethylene is the name still used by the food industry, which recognizes ethylene as an important factor in fruit ripening. See some discussion in a posting on the classics list, prompted by discussion of the Uva uvam quote. Sorry about the typos there (misspelled Latin and miscounted chemistry).

    Oh, here's something: about 11 AM on July 6, 1999, at a Pan American Banana Co. warehouse near downtown Los Angeles, an explosion collapsed the roof, shattered nearby car windows, and shot flames 100 feet into the air, starting a fire that took a hundred fire fighters and one and a half hours to put out. One man was found dead in the warehouse, five were injured. A bottle of ethylene-based ripening gas was found in the building, but there were also reports of a propane leak.

    Natural gas, which is mostly methane, and almost all methnae and ethane is odorless. It has a characteristic odor only because a sensible perfume is added to it. Ethylene has a slight sweet odor, but I guess that may not be noticeable in a fruit stall.

    Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.

    Outta this world, man.

    Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. A phrase meaning additional earth intelligence. We could use some. Title of a Blue Öyster Cult tune. It's the fourth track on the ``Agents Of Fortune'' CD. According to tunes.com, it's also on
    • Blue Öyster Cult -- Some Enchanted Evening (1978)
    • Blue Öyster Cult -- Extraterrestrial Live (1982)
    • Blue Öyster Cult -- Career of Evil: The Metal Years (1990)

    I hadn't realized that they had adopted that stupid diaerisis (Umlaut) affectation. The music defines you as heavy metal. Ideally, you should have a pansy name like Kiss and completely overwhelm it with your metal mettle.

    I bought ``Agents Of Fortune'' because it was on sale for $10. It's okay, it has a five-minute version of The Reaper.

    This entry is beginning to remind me of a diary. Of course, if you were my dear diary, you'd learn that I made this latest purchase at Meijer. And so you have! Spooky, ain't it? Speaking of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence and diaries, here's something Franklin Pierce Adams wrote in his diary [January 7]:

    Reading the tayles of how C. Mackay is wood-wroth that his daughter hath wedded I. Berlin, I was reminded of a night last June, when G. Seldes the journalist came to my room in the Hotel Russie in Rome, and said, Do you know who this Mackay girl is? And I said Yes. And he told me that he had a cable from his journal, to the effect that the Vatican was considering at that moment the granting of a dispensation. And at that moment the band in the courtyard began to play, ``What'll I Do?'' and whether the Vatican was deliberating then none of us ever found out, but as I thought of the days when I. Berlin was a singing waiter on the Bowery, I thought it was dramatick enough.


    This entry is from 1926!

    Vide emic.

    To whiten a plant by keeping it out of the light.

    English Teachers in Japan. An organization for teachers of English and for English Language Teaching (ELT) in Japan.

    English as a Third Language. A rare term, but not so rare that I am its inventor.

    Extended Three-Letter Acronym (TLA). Unwisely used in place of the much less common XTLA.

    ElectroThermoMigration. Electromigration accelerated by high temperature. In principle, nothing distinguishes this mechanism from electromigration, since electromigration is usually accelerated by increased temperature (it usually obeys the activated behavior in Black's equation). The term is used to refer not to a different mechanism but to a different situation: failure that has been caused by electromigration accelerated by a temporary increase in temperature. This was a problem during burn-in of old junction-isolated (JI) NMOS LSI, assisted by parasitic bipolars (base across isolation region) and causing failure in about a second.

    Electronic Territorial Management System.

    Education, Training, and Military Operations.

    Electronic Tandem Network.

    EThaNolamine. Productive abbreviation.

    Earth-To-Orbit. NASA acronym.

    Electronics Technology Office of ARPA.

    European Theater of Operations. A term used by the Allies in WWII for the general European region of military engagement. Given the existence of the term MTO, I suppose this implicitly meant Northern European region. Cf. PTO. Mel Brooks, who served in the army then, has made the probably-not-too-original observation that it had ``lots of operations and very little theater.'' I guess it depends on what you count as high drama.

    Every Tub its Own Bottom. Well-known expression among Harvard administrators, referring to the autonomy of the various faculties within the Harvard Corporation (structure described here). The autonomy largely extends to finances, with alumni donating to their individual schools rather than the university as a whole, so the Divinity and Education schools are impecunious, and the Medical and Law schools rich.

    The Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Science Database. I don't know what the acronym stands for. Hmmm...

    Ethyl Alcohol (OH). This is the old-style terminology; the modern name is ethanol. Good stuff, if you can handle it. Most people prefer it in water solution with an appropriate selection of impurities, mostly esters, that can be discerned by the olfactory apparatus.

    Here's a hint from Desirable Men, p. 119:

    ... Like Renee, if heavy drinking has created problems in the past, pay attention to where you meet your men. Is it in a bar? ...

    You know, I think I may have met this Renee!

    Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

    Electron-Trapping Optical Memory. Optical storage (RWM) developed by Optex. Previous optical disks were one-time-writable, using heat pulses to cause optically detectable material degradation. ETOM uses light excitation to make a reversible modification in the electronic configuration.

    ETOM is written by using a high-energy (i.e., high light frequency) laser to excite electrons from one impurity level to another (for example, from Eu to Sm impurity levels in a metal sulfide insulator). The written datum is metastable, but because the impurity levels are local and spatially separated, the lifetime of the metastable state is long. Read-out is by detection of light emitted in recombination, when relaxation of the excited state is stimulated by a lower-energy laser light (which cannot excite electrons out of the deeper level). Since read-out is destructive, the standard read-out procedure includes a rewrite. For commercial distribution of copyrighted material, however, rewriting may be disabled.

    The first implementations of ETOM store digital, but not binary data. Each memory location (defined by etching of a glass substrate which supports the doped metal sulfide) will store a digit of multilevel logic, with the different digits encoded by different shallow/deep trapped-electron fractions. Six levels are planned for initial implementation; thirteen levels have been demonstrated.

    Extended Twin-engine OPerationS. FAA designation of over-ocean flights far from possible emergency landing strips, in which the possibility of engine failure in a twin-engine plane represents a heightened risk. ETOPS certification is not normally given to a new passenger aircraft until it has been in regular domestic service for at least a year.

    Electro-Thermal Passive InterModulation distortion. When referring in unabbreviated terms to the phenomenon itself, rather than when expanding the initialism, one simply writes or says ``electro-thermal distortion.''

    End-of-Treatment Response. Falling off the wagon, probably.

    Estimated Time of Repair. Cf. infra.

    External Throughput Rate.

    External Time Reference. Cf. supra.


    Etruscan. Language and person of Etruria, early on absorbed by the expanding Roman empire. (The Roman Republic, at the time.)


    What happened to the Etruscan entry? I could have sworn we had one; the Etruscan language is one of the oft-recurring themes of Stammtisch deliberations. Some of the words that can be traced back to that so-far-mostly-undeciphered language are haruspex (see chitlins), mantissa, and probably also person and parson. The Romans adopted their alphabet pretty much whole from the Etruscans, who got it from ``Western'' Greeks. (The southern part of the Italian peninsula, as far north as Naples -- a bit south of Etruria -- was colonized by Greeks. In Latin the colonized area was called Magna Graecia -- `greater Greece.' Magna Graecia included part of southern France.)

    The Etruscans were crazy about the alphabet -- they would decorate their homes with it. It must have been like living in a grade-school classroom. The Etruscans lived in Etruria, a region whose precise boundaries were always determined by the most recent war, and machinations for the next, but roughly speaking it was Tuscany.

    The Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden serves extensive page of Etruscology. I know it's fairly legitimate, but a word like ``Etruscology'' reminds me of ``thinkology.''

    L. Deroy argued in 1975 that the words letter and liter are derived from Etruscan etymons. (See Deroy L.: ``Lettre et litre, deux mots d'origine étrusque,'' LEC vol. 43, pp. 45-58.)

    Educational Testing Service. Company that dominates nationally standardized testing in the US. Based in rural New Jersey (Hopewell or Lawrenceville or thereabouts) it has a mailing address in high-rent Princeton.

    Elmwood Taco and Sub. On the NE corner of Elmwood and W. Delevan. That would be in Buffalo, NY. I'm not even sure they're still there. Also, they don't (or didn't) use ``ETS'' as an acronym, AFAIK.

    Emission Trading Scheme. The carbon-emission cap-and-trade scheme proposed by the Australian government. As of June 24, 2009, it is a bill in the Senate that looks to pass or fail narrowly.

    Environmental Tobacco Smoke. ``Second-hand smoke.'' Cheaper but not as tasty.


    et seq.
    Latin, et sequitur -- `and the following.'

    European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

    East Tennessee State University. In Johnson City, which I reckon is in the eastern part of the state.


    et sim.
    Latin phrase meaning `and similar.'

    End of TeXt (transmission). ASCII 03 (CTRL-C). Cf. STX. ASCII character is also EOM.

    Estado Unido. Spanish: `United State.' It's not the name of any particular formal entity, but the plural, Estados Unidos, is the standard Spanish for `United States.' It is abbreviated EEUU. Cf. U.E.

    European ... what? Union?!! Try this site as well. They've got three capitals, they may as well have a number of unique central pages. For the membership see EU-6 et seq.

    It appears that the unofficial plan is eventually to treat EU as an abbreviation not of European Union but of Europa, Europe, etc. I haven't seen HBE (for the Eurosceptical ``Holy Belgian Empire'').

    It has always seemed to puzzle Europeans, why it is that Americans have such a negative attitude to government per se. Following WWII, the US government sought a way to foster improved understanding between our peoples. Therefore, the US encouraged European governments to form a united Europe, under the Council of Europe and other organizations, culminating in the present European Union. The purpose of the European Union is to create a bureaucratic superstructure for the alignment, coordination and general fettering of Europe that it is hoped will ultimately liberate Europeans from their callow and dangerous faith in government, and allow them to commune in a higher cynicism with Americans and many ex-Soviets, who have already achieved enlightenment, if not exactly Nirvana. Europe is a slow student, but the lesson proceeds apace (vide 1999).

    (Actually, the only flaw in the plan was that the European government was supposed to be an open democratic system, with public deliberations of the legislature, separation of powers, accountability, due process, curbs and limits to prevent abuses of power, that sort of thing. Fortunately, the implementation has been more along the lines of an French-style elite-run dirigism, with real power exercised by committees answerable to no one. And they can always try again after their next really big war.)

    Upon further research, it turns out that the US efforts in this direction began before WWII. The earliest published suggestion of a union of European states (as opposed to an empire) appeared in 1814: De la réorganisation de la société européenne. The author was Henri de Saint-Simon, who was probably recruited by the CIA when he served as a captain of artillery at Yorktown in 1781. Obviously, he was part of a ``sleeper'' cell. How else explain his staying in France during the terror and willingly appearing for internment at the Palais de Luxembourg (input hopper for the guillotine)? From 1808 on he was destitute. They say he was supported by ``friends,'' but detailed records do not survive. Where did he get the money to publish in 1814, eh?

    The fifteen members as of 1997 were Austria (.at), Belgium (.be), Denmark (.dk), Finland (.fi), France (.fr), Germany (.de), Greece (.gr), Holland (.nl), Ireland (.ie), Italy (.it), Luxembourg (.lu), Portugal (.pt), Spain (.es), Sweden (.se), and United Kingdom (.uk).

    Israel, Morocco, and Turkey want to join too, but the current members prefer to recruit new members in Eastern Europe, where a slightly larger fraction of prospective member nations have names beginning in the second half of the alphabet. Turkey, with its very favorable lettering, in 1997 squandered its immediate chances with constitutional and democratic activity which a European perspective regards as political instability. In any case, before too many new member states come on board, there has to be a restructuring of the voting schemes, which now give each country, of whatever size, an equal vote. (The policy-making body, the European Commission, is not exactly one-country-one-vote. Every country has a right to have one commissioner, but the five largest countries have two.) The EU resembles the US government under the Articles of Confederation, and they need a New Jersey Plan. Constitutional decisions were postponed for five years at a June 1997 summit. At a December 2000 EU summit in Nice, France, host Jacques Chirac (President of France) introduced proposals to partially weight voting power by population, and eliminate the automatic right to a commissioner on the European Commission). The reaction of the smaller states ranged from accusations of ``an attempted coup d'état'' (reported reaction of the Portuguese PM) to ``unprintable'' (Dutch PM). The constitutional convention of 2003 adjourned without agreement also. This left the expansion situation in such disarray that I'm eventually going to have to completely rewrite this entry.

    In the meantime, the Nice summit resulted in a ``compromise'': the larger countries will give up their extra commissioners in 2005, and the smaller members will retain their single commissioners until there are 27 member nations, at which time they agree to a ceiling of fewer than 27 commissioners, to be rotated among smaller states. In other words, for the medium-to-long-term future, the EU will be even less representative than it has been.

    You know, there's an EU FAQ that only has a ``Basics'' section, but that's eight parts long. They can't help themselves.

    When the EU was still called the EC, it was EG in German. Now in German it's Europäische Union, so the German abbreviation is EU, just like the English. See? Acronym alignment; brotherhood of man is sure to follow shortly.

    There are signs everywhere of an emerging common European culture. A minor example is British Prime Minister Tony Blair heeding his French constituency in seeking a monetary union that the overwhelming majority of British voters are opposed to. Oops. I wrote this before 2002-3, when Blair backed (with word and deed) the US invasion of Iraq, against French and German opposition. But more telling, surely, are the hints from popular culture. Here's a random one in a People magazine article on the Tom (Cruise) and Nicole (Kidman) break-up saga (February 26, 2001). Kidman's close friend, Australian director John Duigan, explains that ``Tom is very much rooted in American culture, and Nicole moved around much more as a child and enjoys spending time in places like Europe and, obviously, Australia'' (glossarist's italics). Spending so much time in places-like-Europe, she must speak fluent Europeanese.

    Oh, look: January 30, 2004, filming began in Toronto on The Interpreter. The title character works at the UN (interpreting between American and European? is that possible?) and overhears an assassination plot. Kidman plays the title role. This is wonderful: she gets to use all that international savoir faire and Europeanness that she picked up as a child.

    Kidman had wanted the role for a long time. I'm not sure when she actually signed on for it, but she did so without reading the script. It seems that there were some changes from when she first heard about the project. In the original version, which had been kicking around Hollywood since the mid-1990's, the plot involved Mmm-mmm-can't-use-the-M-word terrorists from a fictional Near Eastern country. Obviously, this idea lacked plausibility, so rewrite was called in and fixed it by inventing African terrorists from the fictional republic (republic!) of Matobo. (Matobo happens to be the name of one of Zimbabwe's national parks, but the only way the writers could have known that was if they'd been aware of the Internet.) As producer Kevin Misher explained, ``we didn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way.'' That's probably why they wanted to make a movie about the UN. (After all, every progressive person understands that by a special kind of political alchemy, the UN, operated by the corrupt, representing the illegitimate, stands entirely above politics.) Some good might actually have come of filming in the UN, but unfortunately they only filmed on weekends, so they didn't interrupt the work of the organization.

    Director Sydney Pollack was desperate to film on location at the UN. One reason was evidently the prestige of being the first to film there (Hitchcock used sets for the UN scenes in North by Northwest). Another was the cost; the budget was a paltry $80 million, and as construction of a general assembly hall replica was under way in Toronto, it was discovered that it would be very costly to get a manufacturer to make curved fluorescent bulbs in the curved shape of the desks. So says IMDb, but I find it implausible on multiple levels. Anyway, a deal was eventually done with Mayor Bloomberg to allow filming in New York if all filming was done in New York, with New York crews.

    They did manage to preserve a Mid-East connection: about 15 minutes into the movie, ``Silvia Broom'' (Nicole Kidman) gets a phone call supposedly speaking a (sub-Saharan) African language. The voice on the other side is actually the automated no-such-number message in Israel.

    Actually, it occurs to me that maybe Tom is not very much rooted in American culture.

    Europium. Atomic number 63.

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

    Os Estados Unidos da América. (Em português, naturalmente. Em inglês: United States of America.)

    EU Border Assistance Mission. A ``third-party mechanism'' at the Rafah Crossing Point between Gaza and Egypt. An incoherent name, an inauspicious acronym, and a toothless agreement (November 23, 2005). EU-BAM provides a formal and imaginary assurance that some weapons will be prevented from entering Gaza through Egypt. Well, I just noticed that Yuban coffee is still on the market -- so it seems a stupid name alone is not fatal.

    Extended Unix Code.

    EUropean Conference on Applications of Superconductivity.

    U.S. Armed Forces EUropean COMmand.

    European Union Constitution Treaty. The EU Constitution of 2005, plus lip gloss.

    [dive flag]

    European Underwater Federation.

    Transitive: To posit the apotheosis of some historical person (whether now known or not) as the origin of (belief in) some god. (The god is the usual object of the verb.)

    Intransitive: To interpret belief in a god, and stories and traditions about the god, as based on the apotheosis of some historical person.

    From euhemerism, from Euhemerus, a 4c. BCE Greek philosopher. For a related idea not involving gods, see the eponymism entry.

    Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada Europeo-Americana. Published in Barcelona, Spain, between 1905 and 1930: 70 vol., 10 volumes of appendices, and one or two supplementary volumes issued every one or two or three years since 1934. (The 70 volumes are really 72, since ``volumes'' 18 and 28 each consist of two separately-bound parts. A similar thing happened with the OED: it was originally planned that the first complete bound edition would be issued in ten volumes, but as the project work progressed, the later volumes grew in size. Ultimately, volumes IX and X were bound as two half-volumes each.)

    Many of the earlier volumes of the EUI do not have modern copyright notices and do not indicate copyright year. There seems to be some uncertainty concerning the original dates of publication, with different catalogs listing 1907 as the earliest year of publication. The encyclopedia was originally published in Barcelona by Hijos de J. Espasa, Editores (`Sons of J. Espasa, Publishers') and some volumes bear a colophon with the words Encicopedia Espasa. Later it was published by Espasa-Calpe, S.A., of Barcelona and Madrid, and eventually of Barcelona, Madrid, and Bilbao.

    On the title pages, it promises etymologies from Sanskrit, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic, indigenous American languages, etc., and versions of most words in French, Italian, English, German, Portuguese, Catalan, and Esperanto. Counting up to the year-2000 supplement, it occupies eight meters of shelf space. It fully deserves that word that English reference works used to brag with, if they dared: ``compendious.'' It's a bit out of date, and the Suplemento yearbooks (or multiyear books) are very inconvenient. Let me put it this way: it's a mess, and it's a treasure.

    A brand of pet food (including dog food). One of the two main brands of the premium pet food maker Iams Co., based at Dayton, Ohio. (I think it's really within the city of Vandalia; mailing addresses aren't law, you know.) The other main brand is Iams. Iams was purchased for US$2.3 billion in August 1999 by Cincinnati-based Procter and Gamble. The next month, the Saatchi agency, which handles many accounts under the P&G umbrella, was chosen to handle Iams. Iams has increased its profile since then (or else I've been more sensitive to its presence).

    ``Eukanuba'' is a registered trademark, but ``Eukanuba'' (pronounced ``YOU can OO buh'') was a slang expression in the nineteen-forties or so, an interjection meaning `Great!' A Spanish word with the same meaning is macanudo, and that's a brand of cigar.

    English as a Useless Language. Gee, I've found it kind of handy myself on occasion. Okay, more seriously, if that's possible: a certain A. Chan published an article with the title ``EUL: English as a useless language'' in vol. 5, iss. 3 of English Review, pp. 22-34 (2003). The only widely catalogued journal that is published nowadays with the title English Review was at volumes 13 and 14 in 2003, and does not list the article. All I know about the article is what I have seen on a few webpages like this one. Chan is apparently concerned with economic utility. It seems that his point, or one of his points, is that empirically in the post-WWII period, there is not a strong correlation between a nation's success and the English-language proficiency of its citizenry. Gee, I think I'll study Cockney.

    End User License Agreement. A contract in which the software vendor disclaims any responsibility for the software to work, and the purchaser promises not to reverse-engineer the code or in any other way find out why it doesn't work.

    Euler's Constant
    See C. (I had to say that.)

    eulogise, eulogize
    The only printed dictionary I can reach immediately without getting up is the Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary. Hey man, it's OSPD4 -- the latest edition! We spare no effort or expense. It says here that it means ``to praise highly.'' Well, the OSPD usually gives only as many meanings per word as are necessary to justify the accepted inflected forms, even if there are other meanings. But that's okay, because we can use our etymological skills to fill in the gaps. Obviously, -logize comes from the Greek logizein or some such, meaning `to use words or reasoning.' Therefore, to praise highly is to use EU words or reasoning. Sometimes, anyway.

    European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

    European Unix NETwork. (Unless it stood for European UNix nETwork.)

    EUropean Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition. Held every year-and-a-half. Every four years or so, it and the two other large PV conferences are held jointly as the WCPEC.

    1. 1994 part of WCPEC-1
    2. 1995 October 13-20 (Nice, France)
    3. 1997 June 30-July 4 (Barcelona, Spain)
    4. 1998 part of WCPEC-2
    5. 2000 May 22-26 (Glasgow, UK)
    6. 2001 October 22-26 (Munich, Germany)
    7. 2003 part of WCPEC-3
    8. 2004 June 7-11 (Paris, France)

    Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

    Standard currency symbol for the euro, created in a nonstandard way. (It uses EU as a country code and implies an abbreviation R for the currency name euro.)

    Eurail, Eurailpass
    Marketing name covering a series of passes sold to non-Europeans traveling to Europe, enabling them to pay in advance, and without regard to distance, for travel on various national and private railways (mostly) in western Europe. The name does not refer to any agency actually operating trains in Europe. It has been easy to confuse with Europass (entry below). Cf. Britrail, Interrail, Selectpass.

    Yer WHUT???!!!

    EURopean Academy for Standardisation.

    EUropean REsearch Co-ordination Agency.

    There's a story about Archimedes taking a bath while he was pondering how to measure the volume of metal in a finished crown (the point was to determine the precious metal content -- if the artisan kept some of the precious metal given him for the crown and made up the weight with a nonprecious metal, the average density and hence the volume would be off). It occurred to him (sitting there in the bath) that the water displaced when the crown was submerged in a container of water would equal the volume of the crown (but, being liquid, would be easier to measure). This displacement law is now called the Principle of Archimedes. The story goes that he was so excited by this discovery that he ran naked from the bath shouting ``Eureka!'' [`I have found it!']

    For historical, aesthetic, and hygienic reasons, the euro information in this glossary is mostly at the 1999 entry. We reserve the rest of the space in this entry to tell you that ``euro'' is the ugliest name ever heard of for a unit of currency, according to a thorough independent investigation conducted for SBF. [Further investigation is focused on finding a European language in which some declension of euro (eurin, say, based of course on the root EUR, q.v.) is a homonym of the same language's word for urine.]

    Latvia helped enlarge the EU by joining in 2004. It was originally scheduled to adopt the euro in 2008, but the Latvian language does not have a diphthong eu. Moreover, the Lettish name of the continent is Eiropa, and they have been calling the euro ``eiro''. As of January 2006, the Latvian government was insisting that that's what it's going to call the currency, while the ECB and other EU bodies are insisting on the, let's call it ``single spelling.'' The Latvians are rather sensitive about language integrity and independence.

    Anyway, something came up. Actually down: the Latvian economy. They took a bailout from the EU in 2008. Unsurprisingly, they couldn't meet the convergence criteria and were not in a good position to cook the books so as to make it appear that they did, and as of 2012 they're targeting 2014 as the year they'll join the euro if it still exists and has that name.

    Once I stopped at a motel in Ohio and the desk clerk had an accent. (Okay, that always happens, but the rest of the story only happened once.) I asked him where he was from, and he said ``Letvia.'' Of course he was Russian. I'm depositing this bit of personal testimony here in lieu of a detailed report on the near-death experience of the Latvian language under Soviet rule and rather more-literal-than-usual Russian occupation. In 2010, I asked the cashier at a local Walgreen's what her language was, volunteering that it sounded Slavic. ``Oh no, I speak Russian!'' I didn't pursue this line of conversation. It wasn't really relevant to the entry.

    WHO (World Health Organization) Regional Office for EUrope. Well, at least one upside of a collapse of the euro currency would be a reduction in namespace collisions with this clever acronym portmanteau. (Based on other regional-office acronyms listed at the AFRO entry, it appears that R represents Regional, though standing alone it might represent the third letter of Europe.)

    This is the eurobeat entry, see? The word occurs in some lyrics of a rock song. Does that mean it has to have a meaning? Come on. There's a Wikipedia entry for Eurobeat, but I think you could make stuff like that up out of whole cloth, even whole Emperor's-new-clothes cloth, and no one would be the wiser. Except maybe those who doubt that George Clinton and Earth, Wind, and Fire ever did disco music.

    The name looks like an ironic comment on the pretentiousness of the euro- prefix, and it is, but the irony escapes or is ignored at his own peril by Michael Chow, the creator of this restaurant.

    ``In 1997, Michael Chow, the founder of the internationally renown[ed] MR CHOW, chose a landmark 1929 Mediterranean building in Westwood [just south of UCLA's main entrance on Wilshire Boulevard] to open a restaurant featuring his two favorite cuisine[s], Italian and Chinese. After 2 years of construction, EUROCHOW opened in June 1999. Mr. Chow designed every detail of the white on white interior including the 25 feet tall obelisk constructed with pure solid white marble pointing up to a 55 feet high dome, which is lit with a fiber optic lighting. His vision in opening EUROCHOW was to feature a unique, international dining experience based on authentic Italian and Chinese food in a beautiful, theatrical space with a personal, energetic service team.''

    The fusion possibilities must be interesting -- Noodles, Won Ton and Meat Sauce, etc.


    ``One of the most important aims of EUROCLASSICA is to make pupils and students aware of the European dimension of Classics.'' (Italics are courtesy of your helpful glossarist.)

    Read that over. I'm sure it contains some important food for thought.

    US dollar-denominated accounts at banks and other financial institutions outside the US are said to be in eurodollars. The term dates from the time when most such accounts were in Europe, but the term is now used -- apparently unironically and unselfconsciously -- for accounts anywhere outside the US.

    The countries that have adopted the euro as their only currency. For a while now (2011), it has been better known as the euro zone, q.v. m

    A rail pass sold by and to the same people as the Eurailpass (earlier entry), but covering fewer countries. From 2003, the Europass was discontinued in favor of the Eurail Selectpass.

    European military presence
    Sometimes I wonder if there's a European military presence in Europe.

    EUROpean Second Language Association.

    Idle European rich kids. According to a Time magazine article I read around 1980, they measured wealth in ``units'' of 100 million dollars. Now it must be in 100's of megaeuros, I suppose.

    Eurozone, euro zone, Euro zone
    A common synonym for Euroland. (Much more common than Euroland, in fact.) As a description, I think it should be ``euro zone,'' but as a proper noun a hyphenated or single-word form is fine. For some reason, when I first wrote this entry the hyphenated forms seemed to me to have been most common, but painstaking research based on a couple of Google searches suggests that the head terms are now (2011) predominant. It may be a historical term before long.

    Pejorative acronym for the European Union (EU) meant to emphasize what used to be called its ``democracy deficit,'' a blend of EU and USSR.

    Explained here.

    Placental mammal.

    European Unix Users Group.

    Extreme UltraViolet (UV) (light frequency regime). Approaching the X-ray regime.

    Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Explorer (satellite).

    The six original members of what became the EU. Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

    The first nine members of the EU before it was called the EU (see EC). The original EU-6 plus Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, which joined in 1973.

    This once stood for the first ten members of the EU (avant la lettre): the EU-9 plus Greece, which was adopted in 1981.

    The original twelve members of the EU. The EU-10 plus Spain and Portugal, which joined in 1986.

    EU-15, EU15
    The current (2002) fifteen members of the EU. The EU-12 plus Austria, Finland, and Sweden, which joined in 1995.

    ThIs is where the EU-6 entry would be if I were following the silly collation order I selected initially, wherein digits are treated as if they were letters which follow z. Look here.

    You're looking in the right place, which is the wrong place, as I imply in the previous entry. The wrong place which is the right place is here.

    Ah, what the heck! It's Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

    Ein Verein. German, literally: `a group.' Designates a nonprofit group duly registered with the appropriate authorities for tax-exempt status.

    Electoral Vote. Every state has a number of votes in the Electoral College equal to the total number of seats it has in the two houses of Congress (i.e., two plus the number of representatives in the House).

    A constitutional amendment gives Washington, D.C., three Electoral College votes; this equals the number of its Congressional representatives (one in the House and two Senators). (The electors participate in selecting the President and Vice President by having their votes counted. DC's three congressional representatives participate in the federal legislature by talking. This is what is normally called disenfranchisement.)

    The constitution does not specify how electoral votes are to be allocated. Like most other aspects of the voting process this has been left to the states to decide. All states do this by means of an election in which voters technically vote not for a presidential-vice-presidential ticket, but for electors committed to vote for one of the tickets. In all except two of the states a plurality or majority of the vote for a ticket means that the entire delegation of electors for that ticket is sent to the electoral college. That is, winner takes all electoral votes, state-by-state. Maine and Nebraska, the exceptions, allocate their very few electoral college votes more or less proportionately. The (mostly) winner-take-all nature of EV assignment makes it easier for the winner of a popular majority to lose in the electoral college (to say nothing of the person who wins a mere plurality).

    Since the 1940's or 50's, polls have shown consistently that Americans would like the Electoral College system replaced by direct election of the president.

    Of course, it rarely happens that someone who wins the popular vote loses in the Electoral College. It's more-or-less a historical curiosity:

    In 1876, Democrat Samuel Tilden won 4542785 popular votes and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes won 4288548 popular votes , but Hayes won by a single vote in the electoral college, 185 to 184.

    In 1888, incumbent Grover Cleveland received 5,534,488 votes, 90,596 more than his opponent, Benjamin Harrison, although Harrison won with his 233 electoral votes against Cleveland's 168.

    In 1888, Grover Cleveland won the popular vote but Benjamin Harrison won the most electoral college votes and the presidency.

    In 2000, Al Gore won a plurality of the popular vote (51.0 million to 50.5) but George W. Bush won in the electoral college (271 to 266). A lot of people blame the Supreme Court for short-circuiting the recount process and giving the election to Bush. Studies in 2001 and 2003, however, indicated that in a recount battle, Bush would probably have won a plurality in Florida (and hence the election). It will, of course, never be possible to know certainly. Bush's winning margin in Florida was less than a thousand or two (537, in the ``final certified'' results) out of about six million votes cast.

    If each state were allocated votes in the electoral college equal to the number of its representatives in the US House (rather than a number equal to representatives plus senators), and if D.C. had a single EV, then the vote counts of 2000 would have led to a Gore victory in the Electoral College, 220 to 215.

    A distant third place in the Florida electoral race went to Ralph Nader (Green Party, 97,488 votes), fourth place to Patrick J. Buchanan (Reform Party -- just a name, okay?, 17K votes), followed closely by Harry Browne (Libertarian Party, 16K), and others totalling 7K votes. Votes disqualified for one or another valid or invalid reason (hanging chad, felon lists, etc.) numbered a couple of hundred thousand.

    When Nader announced his independent run for the presidency in 2008 (in February on MTP, as usual), he was still denying that he had been a spoiler in 2000. He said that [surveys have estimated that] if he hadn't run, 25% of his vote would have gone to Bush and 38% to Gore (and most of the rest would have stayed home). The amusing thing is that if you ``do the math,'' the numbers Nader uses in his own defense convict him.

    The vagaries of absentee-ballot voting are among the numerous problems that a close election brings out. One of the issues I never heard mention of was demonstrated in a TV news item. Shortly after the election, a couple of election workers were sorting through some of the estimated 3000 absentee ballots sent from overseas (due by November 17, ten days post-election). One worker held in her hand an envelope from exotic France. TTBOMM, she exclaimed ``look, this one is postmarked 12-10-2000 -- it's impossible!'' Disqualified, of course. I imagine she was no less uninquisitively surprised by ballots dated 13-10-2000, 14-10-2000, etc., from the 190 or so countries that use the weird date ordering.

    Electric Vehicle. Some of the earliest automobiles, at the turn of the twentieth century, were electric vehicles. Eventually, apart from some specialized vehicles (golf carts, warehouse vehicles, etc.), the overwhelming majority of production wheeled motor vehicles ran exclusively on internal combustion engines. Environmental and economic concerns have motivated development of electric vehicles, the idea being that power for transportation can be generated more cleanly and more efficiently off-board. At the turn of the twenty-first century various electric vehicles are in production and in development. I sound like a Science Improves Our Lives short film from 1962. Where did I put my slide rule?

    Electric vehicles provide multiple benefits for this glossary, because we can add not only an EV entry but also entries for the three main variants: BEV (batteries), FCEV, and HEV (hybrid).

    Electron Volt. One electron volt is the amount of electrostatic energy gained or lost by an electron or other unit charge moving across a potential difference of one volt. Equal to 1.60219 × 10-19 joule, or 0.16 aJ. A convenient unit for energy of various microscopic (hole or electron in moving in electronic device; energy of individual molecule in chemical reaction) processes.

    Probably the most commonly unremembered conversion factor among spectroscopists in materials science is that between eV and wavenumbers (``inverse centimeters,'' cm-1 often disconcertingly abbreviated ``centimeters'').

    Oh, you want to know? I thought you just came to the glossary for the laughs. Okay.

    1 meV = 8.0667 cm-1
    1 cm-1 = 0.123 97 meV

    The second number you should remember: it's the numerical value of hc in units of meV-cm. Howa bout that!?

    Electric Vehicle.

    Expected Value. I've seen this used in management texts.

    Valence-band Energy. The value of the VBE level. Cf. Ec. Eg.

    Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate copolymer.

    Extra-Vehicular Activity. NASA term. So far, spacewalks and moonwalks.

    Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate Copolymer.

    EVALuate. A command in various (3GL) programming and scripting languages. Evaluation of an expression, however, involves executing the commands it contains, and the typical language can be thought of as consisting mostly of control statements and evaluation statements. From this perspective, the typical evaluation is a command execution, and the value returned by the evaluation is a ``side effect.'' Thus, for example, evaluation or execution of ``i++'' has the effect of incrementing i by one unit, and has the side effect of returning the incremented value of i. An explicit assignment like ``a = ++i'' has the effects of incrementing i and assigning its preincremented value to a. The side-effect of this evaluation is to return true or success or the new value of a or whatever the language designer decided for that language in that context. But I might have this completely backwards.

    Obviously, with that much evaluation going on, evaluation is the default action. Thus, the command eval is usually used to execute commands in the shell -- to execute ``system calls.'' That's what eval does in Javascript, and therein lies a security leak.

    According to this 19 July 2002 report by the BBC, Yahoo.com chose a crude way to deal with this. Starting at least as early as March 2001, HTML attachments in mail received by users of its web-based email system were automatically scanned and modified, with the character string eval changed to review. You know: s/eval/review/g.

    Hence, HTML-formatted mail containing the words medieval or evaluate end up with medireview or reviewuate. Other changes:

    Don't these guys know any zero-length regular-expression atoms? (Don't they even know the difference between mocha and espresso?) Why didn't they use the more conventional insertion approach (s/eval/evVIRUSFILTERal/g)?

    The July 2002 article reported that Google lists over 600 sites using "medireview". I think they meant pages rather than sites. When I checked on August 4, 2003, google claimed 1330 pages with that word. The top hits are to pages that use the term in direct reference to Yahoo's crude fix, but a lot of them are just instances of text that was quietly mangled by Yahoo and not caught. The legend lives on. As of December 2, 2008, medireview boasts 2880 ghits.

    evaporated milk
    A concentrated milk made by evaporating out a lot of the water. Cf. condensed milk.

    EndoVascular Aorta Repair. One of the two main kinds of operations to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm. (The other is ``open [aorta] repair.'')

    Enhanced Versatile Disc. Essentially an alternative DVD format developed in the PRC starting in 1999. It was developed by Beijing E-World Technology Co. Ltd., using video-compression technologies licensed from On2 Technologies, an American company. The initial purpose of developing the alternative appears to have been simply to avoid having to pay royalties for the existing format. Initial roll-out, strictly for bleeding-edge early adopters, was in time for the 2003 golden sales period. (You know -- Christmas, Saturnalia, Epiphany, Hannukah, Kwanza, New Year's, Chinese New Year, Whatever.)

    Enterprise Value versus Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. A measure used to evaluate equities.

    Evelyn is a name that was given to both boys and girls as recently as the beginning of the twentieth century, but nowadays it is almost exclusively given to girls. There is no spelling differentiation, so far as I know, unless you count Eveline -- which people I know tend to pronounce differently. For information and speculation on the pronunciation, see the homograph entry.

    The Evelyns are a prolific tribe, to judge from entries in this glossary. Here are entries that feature them:

    • CHANDID (for Evelyn Hu)
    • DtB (for Evelyn Keyes)
    • Nomenclature is destiny (as that's rather a long entry, you'll want to go directly to the EVELYN Waugh and Richard Evelyn BYRD items)
    • Pepys (for John Evelyn; I imagine the surname indicates the existence of a male ancestor named Evelyn; if that's not good enough for you, you can visit our nonexistent customer service department for a complete refund)
    • Voltaire (for Evelyn Beatrice Hall; that full name has a fairly unambiguous gender, but she wrote under the pseudonym Stephen G. Tallentyre, using an initial for the first name)

    [Football icon]

    even front
    See odd front.

    Please observe closely:
    • ``everyday'' is an adjective (like quotidian),
    • ``every day'' is a noun phrase and an adverbial of time.

    Here are some examples of correct usage:

    1. WalMart advertises ``everyday low prices.''
    2. WalMart advertises ``everyday low prices'' every day.
    3. Every day I save more money by not shopping at an expensive store instead of not shopping at a discount retailer.
    4. Every day brings new opportunities to save.

    In examples 1 and 2, everyday modifies the noun phrase ``low prices.'' The low prices are everyday prices (not limited-time sale). You can tell it's an adjective because it modifies a noun.

    In examples 2 and 3, ``every day'' is an adverb of time. It describes the time of the action indicated by the verb (advertising, thinking). In example 2, it comes after the verb, where the object of the verb might go. But the object, the thing advertised, is low prices; ``every day'' is when the advertising takes place. In example 3, the phrase comes before the verb save. But the subject here is I, and ``every day'' is when I save.

    In example 5, the subject of the sentence is ``every day.'' That's an ordinary noun phrase -- the noun ``day'' modified by the adjective ``every.'' What that subject does is bring opportunities to save. Look, if you can't get this straight, at least try to get into the habit of saying quotidian as often as possible, preferably every day.

    every day
    And what will you have today? Did you find everything you were looking for? Let me call one of our associates to assist you. Please see our entry at everyday today.

    Every Good Boy
    ... Deserves Fudge, Does Fine, Digs Foxholes. Mnemonics for EGBDF, the lines of the treble clef. Cf. FACE and Eddie Ate Dynamite.

    Professional musicians are apparently very good at saying everygoodboydoesfine to themselves under their breath up 150 times per minute.

    A quantifier used to guarantee the falsity of any statement. See special case, next entry.

    A personal pronoun meaning `I, me,' where the person referred to is unimaginative.

    Everyone knows that...
    I believe that ...

    Longer analysis:

    In principle, a true statement beginning with the words ``everyone knows'' could be constructed. In practice, statements beginning thus are false in two ways, because
    1. It is not true that...
      and, in the usual way that ``Everyone'' statements are false,
    2. Not everyone believes that...

    Spanish, diminutive form of the name Eva, so yes, Evita is ``little Eva.'' Also in Spanish, the name Evita is homonym of evita, meaning `avoids' (cognate with English inevitable). Spanish Eva is equivalent to the English woman's name (and the biblical character) `Eve.' The famous Argentine Evita was also the wife of a famous man.

    Near the end of the film musical Evita, Madonna sings to a crowd ``I am Argentina!'' As it happens, that phrase in Spanish can be indistinguishable from ``I am Argentine.'' That is, the phrase [yo] soy argentina, with argentina as a predicate adjective functioning as complement to the (usually implicit) yo (`I'), sounds identical to [yo] soy Argentina, with Argentina as a predicate nominative [the country, (.ar)]. Of course, other possible expressions are less ambiguous.

    A famous instance of confusion between adjective and noun complements with a copula occurred when John Kennedy said ,,Ich bin ein Berliner.'' [Meaning approximately: `I am a jelly doughnut.'] Cf. Danish entry.

    You can hear samples from JFK's speech in the Steppenwolf song ``The Wall.'' One soldier in the mercenary army of Kennedy biographers is Christopher P. Andersen, who has published Jack and Jackie: Portrait of an American Marriage (1996), Jackie After Jack: Portrait of the Lady (1998), and (with Bob Loza, rarely acknowledged) The Day John Died (2000), a biography of their son John F. Kennedy, Jr.

    One boy who evidently took JFK for a model in more than one facet of his life was Bill Clinton. [See Christopher Andersen's Bill and Hillary: The Marriage (1999).] I only mention all this here because Andersen has churned out a book with the title American Evita: The Hillary Clinton Story (William Morrow & Co., July 2004). A member's online review for the Book of the Month Club comprises this sentence: ``What an insult to the original Evita!'' (Did you know that you have to be over 18 to join the Book of the Month Club?)

    At Amazon.com, a semiliterate reviewer (solecism rate two or three per sentence; ``12 of 17 people found the ... review helpful'') wrote of Andersen's JFK-Jr. book that he ``personally enjoyed the novel.'' At least he didn't call it ``Christian Andersen's fairy tale.'' One thing that bothers me about celebrity-gossip inventories like Andersen's is that I can't tell how many of the stories are true. To give him due credit, Andersen can't either.

    Oh by the way -- more on Spanish diminutives at the ppp entry.

    You're almost there! Just a couple of entries more to go, and you will reach the evoke entry!

    A celebratory cry associated with ethyl alcohol. There are others.

    Ethylene-Vinyl alcOHol. I suppose the ``OH'' stands for the hydroxyl (-OH) group that makes an organic compound alcoholic. There is no etymological connection between that oh and the oh in alcohol, which is ultimately derived from Arabic.

    The words evoke and invoke are frequently confused. Here is a mnemonic to keep them straight: evocation is implicit, and invocation is explicit. That's right, the prefixes e-/ex- (`from, out of') and in-/im- (`in, into') cross. If your words call forth something that you do not explicitly name, then your words ``evoke'' that something. If you explicitly name something as authority or support for your claims, then you are ``invoking'' that something.

    Hint: You'll never guess. Answer here.

    Error-Vector Propagation. P. J. Roache's name for marching methods applied to elliptic partial differential equations. Technically, direct marching is unstable for elliptic equations, but as a practical matter the error may be small. Moreover, the rate of growth of the error is small if the cell aspect ratio is small -- i.e., if the step size in the marching direction is small compared to the grid size in the transverse direction(s).

    Executive Vice-President.

    Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, in Tacloban City in the Philippines.

    Elektrizitätswerk. German: `power station.'

    Electronic Warfare.

    Emergency Ward.

    National Educational Writers Association. ``The Education Writers Association, the national professional association of education reporters [in the US], was created in 1947 to improve education reporting to the public.'' (Source: meta-tag description content on earlier version of home page.)

    Ewald sphere
    A sphere in reciprocal space, of radius equal to the magnitude of the wave vector of a diffracting probe particle. The idea is that in an X-ray microscope or TEM, coherent diffraction is dominated by photons or electrons (respectively) that only scatter elastically from extended potential structures (like the periodic lattice). In elastic scattering, the probe particle energy, and hence momentum magnitude, is conserved, so the final (i.e. scattered) momentum lies on the surface of the Ewald sphere.

    Engineering Workforce Commission.

    Electric Wiring Component Application Partnership.

    Environmental Working Group.

    Europäische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft. German: `European Economic Community' (EEC, q.v.).

    German, `eternal, everlasting, never-ending.' You probably get the idea. Hence die Ewige Stadt, `the Eternal City' (Rom?); das ewige Licht, `the eternal light' (in a Jewish sanctuary) or `the Sanctuary Lamp' (in a Roman Catholic church); die ewige Suche nach Frieden, Gott, dem Heiligen Gral `the eternal search for peace, God, the Holy Grail'; auf ewig, `for ever.' On the other hand, the word has some unexpected (to an English-speaker) applications: ewig und drei Tage, `for ever and a day' (drei is `three'); der Ewige Jude, `the Wandering Jew.'

    English as a Working Language.

    English as a World Language.

    European Women in Mathematics.

    The EWM was founded and held its first meeting in 1986. Meetings were annual until 1991, and have been in odd years since then.

    Exponentially-Weighted Moving Average.

    Electronic Warfare Officer. Point-and-click to launch.

    European Workshop for Open Systems.

    NEWaRk International Airport, airport code.

    Engineering WorkStation.

    Excite for Web Servers.

    Elektronisch Wählsystem digital.

    Vocalization of disgusted aversion.

    A line editor in Unix based on ed. (A strict superset, as far as I know. I think of ex as standing for Ed eXtension, but that's not official as far as I know.)

    The visual editor vi is a kind of extension of ex. Its commands are not exactly a superset, since it works in a different fashion. Rather, where ex would prompt the user with a colon, in vi the user types a colon from command mode in order to enter a single ex command (or command sequence, separated by pipe symbols, as is normal for ex; the semicolon functions like a comma in defining line address ranges, but redefines the current line for the second element).

    One can switch into the ex editor from vi by typing a capital Q from command mode. One can switch from the ex editor to the vi editor by typing the command ``vi'' at the colon prompt. This is a useful fact for vi users to keep in mind for when they fatfinger the A command (``Append'': enter insert mode, appending text at end of current line) or the W command (move to the next boundary between whitespace and nonwhitespace).

    EXample. Plurals exx. and exs.

    (Possibly the local telephone) EXchange.


    The name of the letter written x. This is derived from the Greek letter chi, which had an aspirated k sound in Greece (/kh/). On the Italian peninsula, however, its sound evolved to a /ks/ sound.

    Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure. More recently also called XAFS. Using intense X-ray sources available from synchrotrons, one can study the fine structure of the X-ray absorptivity close to an absorption edge. This structure, with appropriate and rather non-trivial analysis, gives information about the distribution of nearest-neighbor distances to an atom whose edge is examined. The widespread and glaring absence of the acronym SEXAFS to refer to synchrotron EXAFS (which is the only kind there is anyway) is a demonstration of the lamentable lack of marketing savvy afflicting the physics market sector.) Oops! I just found out that there is a SEXAFS. Never mind!

    There's an International XAFS Society.

    This here is advice for teachers in science and engineering who need to write exams, so nobody else look.

    Rule #1: Don't make ``interesting'' problems. You'll always regret it. The students will just resent you and them as difficult, quirky, and irrelevant. ``You didn't cover it'' because it should be possible to solve any problem on the exam as in life by applying a plug-in formula. ``Interesting'' problems require sequential reasoning, and you won't know how to grade students who made a glorious error at the beginning but might have known how to do the rest if they hadn't blown that.

    Crossed Electric and Magnetic fields: E x B.

    Something that once was but no longer is a catheter. Not a very common word, but not very hard to understand. At least you wouldn't think so, and I didn't either, until the other day.

    I was just sitting there, minding my own business lunch, overhearing a conversation about marriage and, or versus, civil union. It was a pretty typical deep conversation, and as such had bogged down in connotation and denotation, and definitions of God and god and good and civil, and solipsism and linguistics and stuff. As you can imagine, I was fascinated by my lunch. Then suddenly, the conversation took a medical turn -- ``when the pope speaks excatheter.'' I guess it was a noisy room. He must have said something like ``when the pope speaks about excatheters.'' But why would the pope speak about excatheters? I mean, I've read that he hasn't been well, but still... And why was this inserted into the conversation? It is really a deep mystery.

    The Stammtisch Beau Fleuve is Committed To Excellence. Indeed, no one questions that we have achieved excellence consistently in the past, that we currently achieve excellence with regularity, and that in the future we will undoubtedly continue to achieve greater excellence than ever before. In fact, no one can legitimately question our excellence, because our status is such that we define the very meaning of excellence in the field of Beau Fleuve Stammtisch. Although this is a field of great generality, we are generalists in a very specific way, defining the generalist specialty with such specificity that we generally dominate it. No one can compare with us. We have no competition.

    Send money now so that we can achieve more excellence. Send as much as you can and pledge more -- excellence increases nonlinearly! Considering how much excellence we have accomplished with so little money, we would clearly give excellent value for money -- indeed excellent excellence for money -- if we got any money at all.

    If you send enough money, we may even reengineer or reinvent the Stammtisch, get ISO 9000 accreditation, acknowledge our contributors.

    Excellent choice, sir!
    I've come to realize that I -- your SBF compiler -- have unfailingly impeccable taste in cuisine. I know this because waitpersons in all restaurants are always impressed by the choice I make from the menu. Sometimes they explicitly compliment my choice, often they merely smile in mute admiration, frequently they repeat my order in respectful tones.

    It's almost embarrassing. Fortunately, these restaurant associates adopt a similar attitude to anyone who accompanies me, so they will not feel shamed at having their connoiseuristical inferiority made too obvious.

    Send money so that we can achieve more excellence. Send as much as you can -- excellence increases nonlinearly. Considering ... oh wait, that was the last entry.

    Here's a little excerpt from Jessica Mitford's ``You-All and Non-You-All,'' a bit of slumming described as part of the U and non-U entry. The excerpt has nothing to do with the restaurant part of this excellent entry; I can't imagine why I even bother to mention it. Mitford is touring the South in 1961 or so, as that region is slowly yielding to the majority view (in the rest of the country) that racial segregation must end.

    Last day in Louisville. No fair using taxi drivers for copy, but this one's an exception. She's a rugged, strong-looking woman, build of Marie Dressler. I ask her what she thinks of all the sit-ins. ``All for them!'' she calls out gaily. Goes on to...
    tell a heart-warming story. Mitford never explains why it is fair to make an exception for a woman with the build of a Marie Dressler. Possibly of interest: In the US, where she was naturalized, Mitford spoke with an accent that had been Americanized only during her adulthood in Washington, D.C., and Oakland, California. In other words, even in Louisville, Kentucky (which, as she was reminded there, is not ``really'' the South), her politics was probably inferable from her accent.

    exception-handling in PASTA
    Programs written in PASTA handle exceptions by crashing.

    exception that proves the rule
    This is a proverbial expression whose original sense is now so generally unknown that a misunderstanding is hardly even suspected. In its original sense, the word prove was understood to mean ``test.'' So, for example, to ``prove'' yourself in battle was to test yourself in battle. In some circumstances, proven then, as tested now, meant not just tested but tested positive, or passed the test. (I mean, consider the alternative, if you fail the battle test.)

    A rule inferred from a small sample is uncertain, and if the sample is large but homogeneous, that is not much better. An exception -- not to the rule but to the homogeneity -- makes a good test (``proof'' in the old sense) of a rule.

    Here are the earliest examples of the expression that I am able to find:

    1. Coningsby (1844), by Benjamin Disraeli. In vol. II, bk. V, ch. vi, we have this:
      Mr. Rigby retired into his library: the repose of the chamber must have been grateful to his feelings after all this distraction. It was spacious, well-stored, classically adorned, and opened on a beautiful lawn. Rigby threw himself into an ample chair, crossed his legs, and resting his head on his arm, apparently fell into deep contemplation.
      He had some cause for reflection, and though we did once venture to affirm that Rigby never either thought or felt, this perhaps may be the exception that proves the rule.
      He could scarcely refrain from pondering over the strange event which he had witnessed, and had assisted.
      It was an incident that might exercise considerable influence over his fortunes. His patron married, and married to one who certainly did not offer to Mr. Rigby such a prospect of easy management as her step-mother! Here were new influences arising; new characters, new situations, new contingencies. Was he thinking of all this? He suddenly jumps up, hurries to a shelf and takes down a volume. It is his interleaved peerage, of which for twenty years he had been threatening an edition. Turning to the Marquisate of Monmouth, he took up his pen and thus made the necessary entry.
      ``Married, second time, August 3rd. 1837, The Princess Lucretia Colonna, daughter of Prince Paul Colonna, born at Rome, February 16th. 1819.''
      That was what Mr. Rigby called ``a great fact.'' There was not a peerage compiler in England who had that date save himself.
    2. More to come.

    A dimer that is bound (i.e. that exists as a dimer) only in an excited state. A less fancy way to describe this is as an unstable or transient dimer, but the situation is interesting spectroscopically and has some technological applications. If the metastable state is stable enough (if it has a long-enough lifetime), then it produces a feature in the fluorescence spectrum. (Typically, of course, this has an energy width greater than ℏ/τ, where τ is the excimer lifetime).

    The first published report of an excimer was by Förster and Kasper in 1955. (References are listed in chronological order at the end of this entry.) The term excimer itself was introduced by Stevens in 1961. Many of the early excimer studies involved the fluorescence of monomers in solution. In this situation, excimer fluorescence has a concentration dependence that distinguishes it from ordinary intramolecular components of fluorescence. The intensity of ordinary fluorescence is theoretically linearly proportional to the amount or concentration of the fluorescing species. (This assumes a dilute solution and an excitation intensity low enough not to cause bleaching, among other things.) The same is technically true of excimers, but their concentration depends on the concentration of nearby, initially unbound monomers that may be bonded by light excitation. Hence, the intensity of excimer fluorescence varies as the square of the monomer concentration. Experimentally, these dependencies are rather muddied out, but one finds at least that the specific fluorescence intensity (or fluorescence ``yield'') of excimer bands increases with concentration, while that of monomer bands does not. (The monomer-band intensity may decrease parasitically with increasing concentration, as more relaxation takes place through an excimer relaxation process.) An excimer normally forms by the interaction of an excited monomer with an unexcited one, rather than by direct absorption into an excited state, so the absorption spectrum is insensitive to concentration.

    Much of what can be said about dimers in general applies to excimers. In particular, although it is usual to think of the two parts of a dimer as being separate molecules or atoms, and although that is by far the most common case, it is also possible for the parts of a dimer or excimer to already be bonded elsewhere to a common molecule. The fluorescence yield of intramolecular excimers is essentially independent of concentration. However, there are other features of excimers that can lead to an identification. For example, monomer and excimer bands are quenched to different degrees by dissolved oxygen. Another characteristic of excimers is that the excimer band appears as a diffuse shadow of the monomer band, shifted to the red by an energy that depends on the particular bonding species. (Early research concentrated on excimers formed by aromatic hydrocarbons. These all had similar bonding energies, so the excimer fluorescence peaks were about 6000 cm-1 to the red, and similar lifetimes.)

    In a thesis at the University of Michigan (``Energy Transfer and Quenching in Plastic Scintillators,'' 1963), Fumio Hirayama used such general features to identify what seemed to be distinct monomer and excimer bands in the spectrum of polystyrene in liquid solution. The relative intensities of the two bands were independent of polystyrene concentration, so he concluded that the excimer was formed intramolecularly. A common way to sort out the structural origin of different fluorescence features is to study series of similar chemicals. Hirayama published such a study in 1965, reporting an interesting ``n = 3'' rule: excimers formed between phenyl groups separated by chains of three (single-bonded) carbons.

    In the strictest sense, a dimer consists of two identical parts. In practice, this identity is loosened to a greater or lesser degree. At least, the identity is usually only chemical. (For chemical purposes, different nuclear isotopes are rarely important except in the case of hydrogen, or else in separation processes, as with uranium hexafluoride, purposely designed to amplify the small difference.)

    As you can see from the reference list, there's a bit more to come. The entry is under construction. Most of what is currently scheduled to come has to do with names for things like excimers with dissimilar parts. The specific term ``mixed excimer'' was introduced for this and withdrawn in favor of ``exciplex.'' The term excimer is also widely used in a loose sense for exciplexes as well as excimers in the strict sense.

    1. Th. Förster and K. Kasper: ``Ein Konzentrationsumschlag der Fluoreszenz des Pyrens,'' Zeitschrift für Elektrochemie, vol. 59, pp. 976-980 (1955). [First published report of an excimer.]
    2. B. Stevens: ``Evidence for the Photo-association of Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Fluid Media,'' Nature vol. 192, pp. 725-727 (Nov. 25, 1961). [Text associated with a presentation at the Fifth European Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, Amsterdam, May 1961. Introduced the term excimer.]
    3. Fumio Hirayama: ``Intramolecular Excimer Formation. I. Diphenyl and Triphenyl Alkanes,'' Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 42, pp. 3163-3171 (1965).
    4. Michael S. Walker, Thomas W. Bednar, and Ruifus Lumry: ``Exciplex Formation in the Excited State of Indole,'' letter to the editor in Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 45, pp. 3455-3456 (1966). [First appearance in print of the term exciplex, which Walker and Lumry introduced in a paper presented at the American Chemical Society Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa., March 1966.]
    5. J. B. Birks: ``Excimers and Exciplexes,'' Nature vol. 214, pp. 1187-1190 (June 17, 1967). [A review article. Birks had earlier introduced the term ``mixed excimer,'' and in this article advocates for the alternative term exciplex.]

    excimer laser
    A laser that relies at least partly on transitions among electronic states of an excimer. In all cases I am aware of these are excimers in the gaseous state, and the excimers are really exciplexes -- excimers in the loose sense. The exciplex usually involves a noble-gas atom and a halogen atom. Excimer lasers have medical applications in eye surgery (see PRK and LASIK entries).

    EXecutive CouncIl for Modeling and Simulation. I don't know if the i really comes from council, but at least the acronym is pronounceable.

    A web search tool.

    Not available elsewhere, for some reason. For example, Suzanne Somers appears from time to time on HSN to hawk her own line of jewelry. It's an HSN exclusive. It's not even available yet at SuzanneSomers.com. (But it's coming... ``We are working every day to bring you more products. The jewelry is coming! The SomerSweet is coming! The SomerSweet Chocolate Truffles are coming! The hand-bags are coming! The pajamas are coming!'' ``Stay tuned for Easy and Convenient Shopping exclusively at SuzanneSomers.com!'') So I guess the HSN exclusive is just a temporary exclusive. I didn't know that could happen. It's as if they want to distribute their products to as large a group of consumers as possible, instead of discerning customers like me. I didn't realize the profit motive was at work.

    Suzanne Somers writes, ``As you know, I will not put my name on a product unless I truly believe it works. I have beauty products, fitness products, weight-loss products, books, tapes and more!'' This is the woman who decided to forego chemotherapy for her breast cancer, in favor of Iscador, a homeopathic product made using missile tow. Oh wait, I guess that's mistletoe.

    At IMDb, you can read about Suzanne Somers's achievements as actress, miscellaneous crew, producer, composer, writer, and television guest. Apparently the HSN stints are not ``notable guest appearances.''

    EXecutive COMmittee. We didn't used to have an entry for this, and now we do. As you can see, we're making progress already. That should be enough for the next quarterly report.

    EX-CONvict. Someone who was once convicted, but isn't being convicted now. Typically, of course, the term is applied to convicts who have been released from incarceration, but ``ex-incarcerates'' doesn't cut it.

    executive coach
    A person who coaches executives and that sort. If you are an executive, what can a coach do for you? Lots! A great deal! A coach shows you how to execute, helps you to discover your own potential and exceed it, how to expand the expression of your capabilities and leverage all of your synergy, helps guide you to greater achievement, success, fulfillment, acquittal, sexual satisfaction, triumph, humiliation of your enemies, and deification. It's not just for athletes any more.

    EXtended Energy Loss Fine Structure. A spectroscopy that complements EXAFS. EXAFS is good for studying structures involving atoms of high atomic number; EXELFS is good for low atomic number.

    exercise equipment
    Buy it at garage sales. It's like new.

    Oh yeah, Suzanne Somers (see exclusive entry above) has put her prestige on the line for FaceMaster, Torso Track, and ThighMaster. She worked in comedy, right? That would explain the machine names. If you order her Somersize motivational products, then maybe when you sell the FaceMaster, Torso Track, and ThighMaster, they won't be like new any more. Also, if you buy her skin care products, you will look as cute as she.

    Okay, more serious information about exercise machines is at the mirrors entry. See also dumbbells.

    ex-im, ex/im
    EXport-IMport. Sometimes it is semantically convenient to have this short form to use in speech, since the phrase ``export-import'' is a slang euphemism that can mean smuggling and virtually any other illegal activity.

    EXport-IMport Bank of the US.

    Did the context for this term sound, like, scientific? Did it involve, maybe, a retired guy referred to as an ``ex/im'er lazer''? Possibly what you heard was excimer or excimer laser.

    Hey -- it's okay, everyone makes the same mistake!

    exit poling
    Left or Right. A Venetian stage direction.

    We use EXL here as a generic acronym (cf. OXR) to represent acronyms with expansions of the form ``English [as [a[n]]] <foo> Language[s].'' Here is a list of X's and their eXpansions (the <foo>s) that our research has uncovered:
    1. Additional
    2. Basal
    3. Celestial
    4. Daily
    5. Foreign (also First, and Fourth and Fifth)
    6. Global
    7. Home
    8. International
    9. Kitchen
    10. Missionary
    11. Native
    12. Official
    13. Primary
    14. Second
    15. {to|for} Speakers of Other
    16. Third
    17. Useless
    18. Working
    19. 1st
    20. 2nd

    EL itself is used for English Language, not English as a Language.

    EXit Message. Good-bye.

    A snippet of RNA that EXits the nucleus as a part of the m-RNA. Also the DNA that codes for that RNA.

    James J. Exon. US Senator (D-Neb.), 1979-1997, previously governor of Nebraska. A hawk whose military-strategic philosophy dovetailed (had to say that) with his political interest in protecting funding for the SAC, headquartered at Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base. Some of his Senate colleagues tagged him ``Mr. SAC.'' (Other nicknames were ``Jim,'' and ``Big Jim.'') As one of the shrinking number of Democratic defense hawks, he served as a negotiator between the Reagan White House and Congress. Many were surprised by his support, possibly pivotal, for the Comprehensive Ban on Nuclear Testing.

    In his final year in the Senate, he was the leading sponsor of the indecent Communications Decency Act.

    A planet orbiting some other star than the sun.

    Exoplanets are normally detected by their effects on the light reaching us from the stars they orbit. Two effects have been used in this way. The first is a periodic frequency shift: when a planet is in orbit about a star, a more precise description is that the star and the planet are in orbit about a common center of mass. Thus, unless the system's angular momentum is aligned with our line of sight, the star has an oscillatory radial velocity, giving rise to an oscillatory Doppler shift in its spectrum. The first exoplanet to be discovered was 51 Peg B, detected in 1995 from this kind of signature, found in data collected with a spectrometer called ELODIE.

    Over the next decade, well over a hundred planets were discovered by this approach. Another approach, with half a dozen or so planets to its credit, depends on detecting the intensity change that occurs when a planet transits the star it orbits. This is the idea behind WASP. Both approaches require large exoplanets in tight orbits: ``hot Jupiters.''

    EXtension OutSide.

    European (Space Agency) X-ray Observation SATellite, operational 1983-86.

    expat, ex-pat
    EXPATriate, in the noun sense only. Someone who (usually voluntarily, unlike an exile) lives away from his home country for an extended period, without exactly emigrating, but rather as a permanent foreigner. The term is not normally applied to students, refugees, criminal fugitives, or diplomats.

    The term has probably been more common in British than American English, but in the first half of the twentieth century there was a whole tribe of well-known American artist and writer expats in France. The 1960's brought a smaller group of political expats to France, and (as elsewhere) Vietnam deserters and draft evaders.

    A crutch for those who lack imagination.

    experientia docet
    `Experience teaches' in Latin. That's why no one ever learns from experience alone: you need to learn Latin first. Cf. fabula docet.

    Someone who agrees with the speaker.

    Someone who's been doing it this way for so long, he's confident that his ignorance is not a problem.

    What, a professional belly, exotic, or lap-dancer? An enzyme that breaks down experteose? I give up.

    Not expertise. Expertise is the possession of specialized knowledge, the quality of being an expert, maven-ness. Expertese, on the other hand, is the language used by experts. Since experts need not be experts in speech, expertese may be an inexpert speech, or inexpert expert speech, er, whatever. Expertese describes all aspects of the speech of experts, including not only jargon but verbal tics, the medical we, and Humpty-Dumptyish language maneuvers like those exampled further below.

    Expertese as defined here is probably not a very common word, since, afaik, I was the first to coin it. On the other hand, it does occur as a rare (say 0.01%) misspelling of expertise, so we've got a leg up. I coined the word so I would have an entry in which to deposit the following, from Sound and Spelling in English, a thin paperback (61 numbered pages) first published by Chilton Books in 1961. The author was Robert A. Hall, Jr., a professor of linguistics at Cornell University. (Professors at Ivy League universities are generally regarded as experts in their fields -- ex officio, so to speak.) The expertese I want to quote is from pp. 6-7:

    ... A set of graphemes which stands in more or less one-to-one relation with the phonemes of a language is an alphabet, and any such set may be said to be more or less alphabetical, depending on the closeness of fit between its graphemes and the phonemes they represent. In this connection, by the way, we avoid using the term phonetic to describe the way a language is written, because phonetic, in linguistic analysis, refers to the raw material of speech-sound. All languages, because they are spoken, are by definition phonetic, and it is nonsensical to say, for example, that ``Italian is a more phonetic language than English,'' when what we really mean is that the spelling system of Italian is more nearly alphabetical than that of English.

    ``When I use a word,'' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ``it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'' At least Professor Dumpty didn't presume to redefine what a word should mean when others used it.

    [One of the more contentious issues of public debate in which this kind of expertese plays an important role is intelligence testing. Over time, IQ testers have modified what they mean by intelligence. The change has been well-motivated: the earliest intelligence testers conceived intelligence to be innately determined, but it became clear that nature and nurture interact to produce any intellectual ability that may be measured. It is experimentally difficult to quantify any innate ``aptitude,'' so now intelligence is regarded professionally as an aspect of ``developed ability.'' Conventional usage, on the other hand, still considers intelligence as something like ``aptitude to learn'' or ``ability to think,'' and tends to make an assumption that this is innate (regardless of the degree to which it may be heritable, or possibly damaged by accidents).]

    There are other forms of expertese that depend on an unfair and agonistic reading of putative non-experts' assertions. Here's a bit from Étienne-Louis Boullée, in his Architecture. Essai sur l'art, composed no later than 1793 [p. 49 in the edition of Jean-Marie Pérouse de Montclos, (Paris: Hermann, 1968)]:

    Qu'est-ce que l'architecture? La définirai-je avec Vitruve l'art de bâtir? Non. Il y a dans cette définition une erreur grossière. Vitruve prend l'effet pour la cause... Il faut concevoir pour effecteur... L'art de bâtir n'est donc qu'un art secondaire, qu'il nous paraît convenable de nommer la parte scientique de l'architecture.

    This is quoted by Simon Varey (see book details at the Acknowledgments entry) with a good translation, I think his own:

    What is architecture? Am I to define it, with Vitruvius, as the art of building? No. There is a gross error in this definition. Vitruvius mistakes effect for cause. One must conceive in order to realize. The art of building is thus only a secondary art, which it seems reasonable to call the scientific part of architecture.

    Right -- as if Vitruvius thought architecture consisted in building ugly piles of rubble under an active volcano, since he didn't say otherwise. Vitruvius might be accused of articulating poorly what architecture is. What philosophasters don't get (or avoid explicitly noticing) is that this is far from not knowing what it is.

    exploratory committee
    A committee ostensibly constituted to help a prospective candidate for political office consider (``explore'') the possibility of running for an office. As such, it is an entity formally recognized in US campaign-finance law. In practice, an exploratory committee is essentially an announcement that the nominally prospective candidate has in fact decided to run, but doesn't want to announce the fact directly. Having given an indication of interest in the race, the candidate is more certain to have his name included in early polls. If the polling or early fund-raising at this stage goes very poorly, it is still possible to pull out without admitting that one was ever in the running.

    Today I came to work and nonchalantly revealed a pink part of my body that I always cover except when showering and which I never display in public. That's right: I put my watch on the other wrist.

    exponential notation
    A representation (also called scientific notation) of real numbers in a form like 6.4 × 104. The representation of positive real numbers is unproblematic: these are represented in a form a × bc where a, b > 0 and where b and c are integers. The base-b logarithm of this number is c + log(a)/log(b). It is convenient to let c take any integer value; then a may be chosen to lie between 1 and b (c is then called the characteristic and log(a)/log(b) the mantissa). I could point out that the exponential function has an essential singularity at the origin of the complex plane, but that's just a bit of overkill for high-school level material. Let's just assume you remember how to write zero and multiply by minus one.

    Incidentally, to avoid clunky constructions, when I discuss the range of a in this entry, I use the word between in a semi-inclusive sense, as illustrated in the following important special case:

    Engineering notation is a special case of base-ten exponential notation in which c is chosen to be a multiple of 3 and |a| lies between [1,1000). It happens to coincide with the mental organization of numbers into thousands, millions, billions, etc. That's American billions.

    Prefixes added to the metric system since the original (1793) milli-, centi-, deci-, deca-/deka-, hecto- and kilo- were eventually aligned with this factors-of-1000 idea. [In 1795, the prefix myria- was added (cf. myriad below). It represented a factor of 104 and was abbreviated my- or ma-. Combined prefixes such as decimilli- (dm-) for 10-4 and hectokilo- (hk-) for 105 were also widely used. By 1874, mega- and micro- were used in the cgs system. In 1960, it was decided to have names only for integer powers of 1000, allowing only the four exceptions in the 1793 set, so both myria- and the combined prefixes were declared obsolete. The prefix myrio-, abbreviated mo-, was created unofficially to represent 10-4, by analogy with myria-. Probably the less said about it the better.]

    There are other ways to do things that may seem equally reasonable. One corresponds to the system that uses a word like milliard or a term like ``thousand million,'' and has billions, trillions, and so forth that are the second, third, and so forth powers of a million.

    In the days before the ability to express millions and billions of anything had any utility, the number ten thousand (10,000) got its own non-compound name in many European and Asian languages. In English the word was myriad. Cf. lakh and crore.

    In computer memory, floating-point numbers are normally stored in the equivalent of exponential notation. The most common standard is IEEE 754, which uses a base of 2 and a values less than 0.5 (decimal). Perhaps this treatment of the mantissa (even before IEEE 754 was promulgated) is what led some computer programs to have a default form of exponential notation for printing in which a was between 0.1 and 1.0 (for positive numbers).

    Back in a wilder and woolier day when every new product defined (or planted) its own ``standard,'' different manufacturers designed machines with other bases than two. The IBM 360 used hexadecimal representations (base 16ten), and many have used decimal representations (base ten, you've heard of this? see BCD). Ternary (base-three) systems are of sentimental interest, and have been widely studied at the theoretical level. A particular attraction is that balanced real-number representations (using digits with values +1, 0, and -1) make rounding and subtraction more elegant.

    The deepest implementation of electronic ternary computing was in the Setun computers designed at Moscow State University in the late 1950's and early 60's. As near as I can make out (this seems to give the most complete picture in English), these were essentially ternary arithmetic logic units, memory, and I/O units attached to essentially binary logic units. The ternary units were based on ordinary binary hardware: that is, they used binary-coded ternary (two bits per ``tryte'' -- three-valued digit). The ALU was a fixed-point processor, but there was a normalization instruction that apparently sort of patched this, and the machine code included a multiply instruction but no divide. But it was all very elegant. The output device used an exotic mix of base-nine and base-three digits. Various shallower implementations of ternary arithmetic have been created: ternary emulator programs made to run on the usual sort of computer. At the device level, high speed is achieved by various techniques that depend on the binary (i.e., on/off) interpretation of voltage or curent levels. It's not clear that there is any ternary analog of this within semiconductor technology, though Josephson-junction and quantum computing are another story. As long as the underlying technology is binary, it looks like there will always be substantial waste in implementing ternary logic over it.

    You know, we're only now finally getting to the interesting stuff that motivated me to write this entry in the first place. It's a paragraph in O.P. Jaggi: A Concise History of Science including Science in India (Atma Ram & Sons, 1974), p. 305:

       Aryabhata expressed high numbers by means of syllables. He could do so since ancient Indian phoneticians had devised a phonetic alphabet which included 15 vowels, 25 stopped consonants (k-m) and eight other letters (y-h). Aryabhata used the stopped consonants to represent the number [sic] 1-25 when they preceded the vowel a and high decimal powers of these numbers (up to 1016) when they preceded other vowels. The letters y-h were used to represent the number 30-100 [i.e., 30, 40, ... 100]. Thus while ta represented 3, ti stood for 300 and tu for 30,000.

    Obviously, we have a base-100ten system here. The syllables were used in little-endian fashion to build up any integer within a large range (e.g., ta ti represented 303). As described by Jaggi, this system provides too many ways to represent certain numbers, since only 9 vowels, and usually 11 stopped and 7 nonplosive consonants, would suffice to cover the same range. The Wikipedia article on Aryabata cipher (browsed May 2007) seems to agree on the nine vowels, but it still has multiple representations for numbers (including most of the largest precise ones). Then again, the bug is a feature if you want to interpret any Sanskrit text as a number.

    I don't want to give the wrong impression: systematic positional representations of numbers, as well as various kinds of zero, were in use long before this (ca. 500) system of Aryabhata, and his doesn't even make essential use of the positionality. However, his system seems most specifically to anticipate exponential notation. In a commentary on Aryabhata's work, Bhaskara created a decimal representation, with zero, that had a unique representation. I'll have to find out how similar his name really is to the word bascaro.

    Special supermarket check-out lane for people who can't count and for people experimenting with new forms of payment secured with exotic forms of ID.

    I used to think that the people waiting in front of ``seven items or fewer'' signs with overflowing carts were just brazen folk who wanted to shave a minute off time-to-car. Then I realized that couldn't be the case, because express lanes don't move any faster than the regular lanes.

    This stuff is important to single men, who always buy things in threes. We go in to buy one thing, and notice three others (we forget to buy what we came for, but we'll get it when we come back for something different). One of the things we buy is frozen pizza. Usually we get stuck behind five women with fourteen items each (``fifteen items or fewer'' lane), paying with rubbers, uh, rubber checks. Of course, some of the bar codes refuse to scan. This is not accidental: women enjoy shopping, so they like to prolong the experience as much as possible. They sneak stuff into the women's room and deface the bar codes, I'm sure of it.

    Men prefer to dash in and out, get it over with as quickly as possible.

    Shopping is like sex.

    EXampleS. One plural of ex.

    EXTension. The extension of a phone number.

    EXTernal Action SErvice. The diplomatic service of the EU under the new constitution of 2004 or so.

    Perhaps you're looking for our entry on
    filename extensions
    Netscape extensions (to HTML).

    An approach to the history of science (HOS) that can be characterized as externalist (next entry).

    Characteristic of or characterizing research in the history of science (HOS) that takes a broad view rather than getting into the grubby little details. This is an especially attractive approach if you can't understand the details or think they're grubby. And since you already understand how a scientist's grubby little mind works, the details of science are really not just boring but superfluous.

    Discussion continued at the internalist entry.

    In German-speaking countries, at least until the middle of the twentieth century, a professor with a regular appointment -- i.e., with tenure -- was ordinarius (`ordinary' meaning `regular,' in this context). A professor with a tenuous appointment, rather than a tenured one, was extraordinarius -- (`out of the ordinary' in the sense of an irregular appointment, sort of a dis-appointment). The term served indifferently to cover a range of indignities for which US universities today have a richer vocabulary (instructor, one-year temporary appointment, post-doc, adjunct professor, visiting professor).

    A word used by science reporters to mean `surprising to a total science ignoramus like me.' Cf. SWAGGER.

    In Life on the Mississippi (1874), Mark Twain wrote this:

    In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oölitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of alderment. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

    Darrell Huff quotes this passage to end his classic How to Lie With Statistics (New York and London: Norton, 1954), citing it as a telling condemnation of inappropriate extrapolation. It is true that extrapolation can be taken too far, and that literally. However, the first problem with Twain's passage is not the extrapolation but the premise. The baseline is evidently the length of the lower Mississippi some time before 1700, which can't have been known very precisely. What this really demonstrates is a problem of error propagation.

    I think that the most popular extrapolatio ad absurdum -- and one based on reliable data -- used to be the one about telephone operators in the US. I can't find it immediately, but this paper provides data sufficient to reproduce it. In the second decade of the twentieth century, the number of telephone operators roughly doubled to 200 thousand, while the population only increased by 15%, to 105.7 million. Thus, the fraction of the population employed as operators was 0.2% in 1920, but had been increasing at a rate of 5.7% per year. At that rate, by 2033 or so, the number of operators would exceed the population. Because of the baby boom, of course, that never happened. For a little more of this sort of nonsense, see the newspaper and ISI entries.

    extra virgin
    Designation on some olive oil. Interesting concept.

    For that matter, there are surgeons who work for a Saudi royal clientele, who specialize in repairing hymens. It's a popular form of elective surgery in Japan too.

    Well, I read that the technical spec for the extra virgin designation is ``less than one percent acidity,'' which is meaningless. Oh, here we go: According to the standards promulgated by the IOOC, ``free fatty acid is less than 1.0% (% m/m in oleic acid).'' Now we're talkin' -- always state the units. A second requirement is that ``peroxide value is less than or equal to 20 (in milleq. peroxide oxygen per kg/oil).'' Oils that satisfy those technical specifications are further assessed by an organoleptic panel, which conducts a blind taste tests, considering fruitiness, bitterness and pungency. If at least one third of the panel approves, the oil can be certified as extra virgin.

    In order to make sure that the oil presented for certification is the same as the oil sold, the certification authority takes a fatty-acid profile of the tested oil (essentially a chromatography plot: mole fraction or similar measure versus molecular weight) as a finger-print for comparison with random testing of marketed oil.

    Low acidity is achieved by careful handling to avoid premature bruising, and oil extraction the hard way -- by cold pressing. Heating and repressing yield more oil that is more acidic and gets a lower-grade designation (``virgin'' or ``pure'').


    Grotto of Ephesus (The). The test of chastity. E. Bulwer-Lytton, in his Tales of Miletus (iii.), tells us that near the statue of Diana is a grotto, and if, when a woman enters it, she is not chaste, discordant sounds are heard and the woman is never seen more; if, however, musical sounds are heard, the woman is a pure virgin and comes forth from the grotto unharmed.

    extreme partisanship
    The following is from a New York Times blog posting entitled ``The Rantings of a P.T.A. Mom.'' It was posted by Sandra Tsing Loh on September 9, 2008. (Loh is secretary of her children's PTA, but the title is also an allusion to Alaska governor Sarah Palin. In a widely viewed speech she made the previous September 3, when she accepted the G.O.P. vice-presidential nomination, she noted with pride that she had originally entered public as a PTA mom.)

    The text I've highlighted in bold below was the original motivation of this entry; the rest is for context. I think she's serious.

    As usual, Bruce Fuller and Lance Izumi, my fellow Education Watch contributors, make some fascinating points, none more startling to me than Lance's casual throw-away that Barack Obama sends his children to private school. As a rabid public school Democrat, I crumpled in despair at the news.

    Look, I am not in politics, I get no money from foundations, I do not get invited to lecture on third world eco-sustainability on luxury cruises. I have no highly placed blue-state friends and I will soon be a divorced woman because my die-hard Democratic husband will not brook any dissent, public or private, about our party.

    Fair enough, fair enough, but here's the thing: I do not know why Barack and Michelle Obama cannot send their children to a nice public school in Hyde Park. You understand that I am a bit unstable this election season (I voted for Hillary) and I do my research by erratically Googling from home. ...

    EXecution Unit. An element of computer architecture, and not of prison architecture, that I know of.

    EXamples. One plural of ex. The use of duplication to indicate plural was once quite common, but now it's almost a singular occurrence.

    Ernst & Young, LLP. Also referred to as ``Ernst.'' Accounting (and financial advice) firm. One of the Big Four.

    European Young Leaders Council. ``[A] two week exercise based on the principals of Six Sigma and the Fifth Discipline.'' The management training-and-cheerleading field is notorious for language incompetence, and this tiny example is typical.

    The program is a business activity of SigEx, and there's a ``SigEx Fellowship Program'' which appears to be a product promotion in the form of a lottery. SigEx was founded by Frédéric Artru and Christopher M. Cantell. A fine example of self-reverence occurs at paragraph three of the grant application guidelines:

    The conception of the [SegEx] Foundry came about with the meltdown of the telecommunications industry. This meltdown can be explained by Cantell's Law that states, ``Time value approaches zero.'' This means that over time, products lose their value and without additional services and technology advancement, they will eventually become obsolete.

    What the word ``means'' means in the preceding paragraph is interesting. In a first approximation, ``means'' here means ``doesn't mean,'' since there is no reason why ``time value approaches'' should mean ``over time, value approaches'' even in the most abased forms of business English. One might try to improve the definition of ``means'' in this instance to ``is incoherently phrased with the intention of meaning,'' but that may not quite give the writer enough credit for realizing his intention. A common technique of prophets is to take an ordinary idea (``some commodities become cheaper in real terms'' is an ordinary idea) and express it obscurely or incomprehensibly. By ``discovering'' or explicating the meaning of this expression or riddle, the prophet can achieve the illusion of wisdom.

    The SigEx Fellows Program has an address on Primrose Path, in the US state most associated with underwater-land swindles. I learned about it through spam.

    The phrase ``keep an eye on you'' sounds kind of icky, if you think about it too anatomically.

    eye dialect
    Nonstandard spelling used to indicate or suggest... something. In the first place, nonstandard spelling can indicate or suggest nonstandard pronunciation -- colloquialisms, dialectal variants, idiosyncracies, etc.

    Sometimes eye dialect indicates pronunciation that may be all-but-standard in large communities (e.g., assimilation of ``don't you'' into ``dontcha'' or ``doncha''). Often the nonstandard spelling does not indicate a nonstandard pronunciation (e.g., ``enuff'' for enough). To a degree in the first case, and usually in the second, eye dialect is a way of suggesting that the person whose speech is represented is un- or poorly educated.

    European Year of Languages. Better known as ``2001.'' It was jointly sponsored by the Council of Europe and the European Commission ``to promote multilingualism and a greater languages capability across Europe. It was celebrated in 45 countries ....'' Maybe 2000 should have been the European Year of Counting, I don't know. Here are 14 more related entries.

    Einstein-Yang-Mills-Higgs. See YM (for Yang-Mills).

    Einstein-Yang-Mills-Higgs. See YM (for Yang-Mills).

    E-Z, EZ
    Easy rebus. Dontcha think?

    The US IRS and the revenue agencies of many states use EZ as a suffix on form designations to designate simplified versions. For example, the basic IRS filing form for personal income taxes is the 1040. The 1040 EZ is a simple version of that for people with only the more common and ordinary sources of income. The 1040A is something intermediate.

    { Empowerment | Enterprise } Zone. Government designations for various sorts of zone which receive special tax credits, loan guarantees, and other incentives intended to encourage private investment and development.

    The name of a prophet, and the pronunciation and more common spelling of this acronym.

    I'm sure there are many E0, but we're not defining any of them at this moment. But you might not be out of luck. Perhaps you misread, or someone miswrote, EO.

    English as a 1st Language. A transparent acronym in the context of all the other EXL's, yet it is much less common than the essentially synonymous EMT. On the other hand, EMT avoids possible confusion with EIL.

    Ethanol 10% by volume, the rest gasoline (whatever that is). E10 is what has traditionally been meant by the term gasohol in the US. Such an unambitiously small fraction of alcohol is not much of an answer to tight or politically volatile gas supplies, and E10 has been promoted or imposed not for economic but environmental putative reasons.

    E13n, E13N, e13n
            E uropeanizatio N
             |<--       -->|
                13 chars.
    We here at SBF effect our own e13n by using the Internet to make our acronym glossary available throughout Europe. We generally expand German acronyms in German, Spanish acronyms in Spanish, ktl. How much more Europeanized can you get? So here we go:
      French:   E uropéanisatio n
                 |<--       -->|
                    13 chars.
      German:   die Europaeisieru ng (die13ng -- hey, I tried.)
                   |<--       -->|
                      13 chars.
    Canadian:   E uropeanisatio n (Canada -- that's pretty close to Europe)
                 |<--       -->|
                    13 chars.
    I understand that the British often use Canadian spellings, but checking the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) I see only the American spelling for this word.

    See also i18n, j10n, L10n, and las onces.

    I suppose that some may be unaware that the OED -- somewhat idiosyncratically for a British dictionary -- eschews -isation spellings. For their benefit...


    English as a 2nd Language. The usual acronym is ESL (S for second). Although their expansions are equivalent, I don't think the acronyms can be regarded as equivalent. ESL has a history of use, and has been a part of theoretical discussions of language acquisition since at least 1947. ESL is contrasted with EFL, evoking a semantic distinction between English as a second versus a foreign language that has been discussed frequently and even thought about. (The distinction depends to a significant extent on the special global role of English today, and so is not entirely inherent in the SL/FL distinction.) E2L, on the other hand, is more likely to suggest only the L1/L2 (first/second language) distinction.

    For more of these, see the EXL entry.

    Electronic Entertainment Expo. European analogue is ECTS.

    End-to-End Encryption.

    European 3. In 2004-5, that referred to a group consisting of the UK, France, and Germany that was attempting to negotiate a deal that would allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons without ever violating the treaty that forbids them to acquire nuclear weapons. Something like that. They evidently succeeded, at least for a couple of years.

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