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H h

H, h
Enthalpy. From the Greek enthalpein, `to heat.' Under conditions of constant pressure, the enthalpy of reaction (the enthalpy change in a reaction) is the heat generated. A lot of enthalpies are known by traditional names like ``heat of reaction'' (which is, in appropriate cases, the almost redundant-sounding ``heat of combustion'') and ``latent heat'' (``[latent] heat of fusion,'' ``[latent] heat of vaporization''). I don't know for certain why it's represented by a symbol aitch; your guess is as good as mine.

Following common practice in thermodynamics, the upper-case letter H represents the extensive quantity (enthalpy) and the lower-case letter h is used to represent one or another intensive quantity (a ``specific'' enthalpy: the enthalpy per particle or unit mass, say, in units of calories per mole or per gram, or whatever else is needed or convenient).

The enthalpy of any homogeneous system of energy E and volume V at pressure p is given by

E = H + pV .

Enthalpy is a useful quantity to define theoretically, and one that can be measured rather directly in experiments, for processes that occur in constant-pressure environments, if and pretty much only if mechanical work by volume change is the only kind of work performed on or by a system. In this case, the differential of energy can be written (with T and S the temperature and entropy) as

dE = TdS - pdV ,
dH = TdS + Vdp .

Note therefore that since volume is positive, increasing pressure under adiabatic conditions increases enthalpy. The exact differential for enthalpy yields some obvious identities in the usual way. (In particular, the equality of the two cross-partials is called a Maxwell relation.)

For systems in which other kinds of work W can be done, it is generally possible to represent dW by a sum of products of the form FdQ, where each F is a generalized force and each Q its conjugate (generalized) coordinate or displacement. (It is true that these may refer at the microscopic level to mathematical objects that are not ``real-valued'' in the relevant sense, but thermodynamics is about macroscopic variables, and them's real, so get a life.) One can thus define a generalized enthalpy by adding a product FQ for each force. This isn't a very common practice, but the obvious applications are magnetic and dielectric systems, and elastic systems under some constant nonisotropic stress.

Chemists now represent energy fairly uniformly by E, but physicists often use U. That is a helpful hint that you should be watching out for a different H, the Hamiltonian, described in an entry close below. If you see it, you are in the realm of statistical mechanics, which is basically the concrete microscopic foundation of thermodynamics. Another symbol-table conflict between thermodynamics and statistical mechanics is at p. This is less of a problem because stat. mech. p is the length of a vector p, and vectors have a distinctive font style, but nevertheless it is often convenient to represent pressure in stat. mech. by a capital P. (Just don't mistake it for the magnitude of the dielectric polarization vector, okay?) In statistical mechanics, the thermodynamic quantities one evaluates most directly are free energies. Moreover, constant-volume calculations are usually more convenient than constant-pressure. Hence, enthalpy and Hamiltonian symbols don't bump into each other very much, even though they describe the same physical systems.

Hamiltonian. The Hamiltonian is a function (in classical physics) or operator (in quantum physics) that yields the energy (as value of the function or expectation value of the operator) when evaluated for a physical system in a particular state. The Hamiltonian is fundamentally the generator of time translations. In plain language, the Hamiltonian determines how a system evolves from moment to moment. It all fits together so wonderfully that it's too beautiful for words, so you have to use mathematics instead.

What, you want to know more?! Look, it's been a long day. Why don't you see if you can figure something out from the FGR, cumulant expansion, Liouville, and RMT entries?

Hartree. A unit of energy equal to two rydbergs (Ry); 27.211 eV.

Hotel. 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).

You could try just saying ``aitch.'' It's different from the names of all the other letters.

Atomic symbol for Hydrogen. Most common element in the universe. Probably pretty common in other places as well. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool, where it was #1 on the Top Five List last time I checked.

Harlan Ellison has observed that the two most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

Hypothesis. Much of formal statistical inference consists of tests to determine whether it is plausible that two samples or measurements are drawn from a common statistical distribution -- that is, that they measure the same thing. The null hypothesis is this hypothesis of null difference, often designated as the proposition H0. Occasionally, the null hypothesis will be more interesting: if one is testing whether the difference between two samples is accounted for by some known mechanism, source, cause, etc., then the null hypothesis may be the proposition that the means differ by a given constant. Alternative hypotheses may be designated H1, H2, ...

Planck's constant. 6.62620 × 10-34 J-sec.

HectAre. One hundred ares. The are is the base metric unit of area; it equals 100 square meters. (It's easier to remember that a hectare equals one square hectometer.) A hectare is about 2.4711 acres.

[column] The consensus of sources, once corrected for numerical typos, appears to be that the Aurelian walls of Rome had a length of 18,837 m (or km, if you insist on reading the comma European style) and enclosed an area of 1373 ha (3393 acres).


HA, H.A.
Historia Augusta.

The Historical Association. ``The Historical Association is the voice for history ... bringing together and representing people who share an interest in, and love for, history. The Association was founded in 1906, and membership is open to everyone.'' (On the basis of what I have learned from the histories of unmoderated electronic fora, I must say that ``membership ... open to everyone'' can be a bad thing.) All of the Association's branches and regions are in the UK. ``H.M. The Queen'' is listed as ``patron.'' Shouldn't that be ``matron''? Ha-ha.

Housing Authority. The Wilmington HA got to ``ha.org'' first.

Humic Acid.

Hydrocephalus Association. ``HA''? What's so funny about it!? Oh sure, back before surgical shunt insertion became routine, congenital hydrocephalus could cause cartoonishly enlarged heads. Not as bad as a lifelong Senator or a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but more evident. And as in the other cases, it could cause severe intellectual deficits.

Hepatitis-Associated Antigen.

Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy. AIDS treatment introduced in 1996.

Hungarian Association for American Studies. HAAS is a constituent association of the EAAS.

Height Above Average Terrain. Refers to a broadcast antennas. It's a felicitous coinage, especially when misinterpreted as Swedish (HÅT).

Hardwood Agents and Brokers Association.

See also the Hardwood Manufacturers Association (HMA).

Hellenic American Bankers Association, Inc. ``[A]n educational and business association for Greek Americans in the financial services industry.''

HeAlth Behavior Information Transfer. ``HABIT is a monthly e-newsletter for those involved in the application of biobehavioral research via policy and practice -- including researchers, academics, health care providers and members of the public health community.''

Just the other day I was hanging out at Dee'S Donut Shop with my pals on the acronym police. Pops (a veteran on the force since the days of cast-iron punctuation) was lamenting bitterly: ``I can never get over how some people are always getting in trouble when it's really so easy to stay on the right side of the law! Sometimes all it takes is an And or a little rewording. Failure to obey sound acronym construction rules is so rationally inexplicable that it can only be a disease. Somebody ought to study that biobehaviorally.'' The bad guys think they're clever, but nothing gets past the men in pencil blue. ``Information Transfer'' for a newsletter? Who do these people think they're fooling? It's got recherché backronym written all over it.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.

The spelling of two or three words in Spanish. One word is a noun meaning axe, and is borrowed from the French hache with the same meaning, derived from a Franconian (i.e. Germanic) root that apparently does not occur independently in English. The diminutive hachette was borrowed in English (a hatchet is a small axe). [Another Spanish word hacha, if you want to count it, is the third-person singular, indicative present-tense form of the verb hachar, `to hew.']

A completely distinct Spanish hacha, now regional and rare, means `torch.' This word, like the Galician-Portuguese facha or facho, is thought to be derived from a variant form, probably fascula, of the Latin facula, `small torch,' diminutive of fax, `torch.' (It is less probable that the hard cee of facula would have evolved directly into a ch, though there are other possibilities.) The idea is that the -sc- in the presumed fascula would have arisen from confusion of Latin fax with fascis, `bundle,' since torches often consisted of bundles lit together at one end. (A similar conflation, or simply combination of meanings, occurs with the English term for a bundle of twigs or branches normally intended for fuel: faggot.)

That word fascis, in the sense of bundle, has another association with axes. In ancient Rome, the power of punishment was symbolized by a bunch of sticks of uniform length, bundled to form a cylinder surrounding an axe, with part of the blade protruding. Ceremonially, lictors carried these before superior magistrates as symbols of the magistrates' power. (In this context the word usually occurred in the plural, which is fasces in the nominative case.) The symbol was originally used by the Etruscans, and the Latin Romans kept the symbol after they booted their Etruscan rulers.

The Latin word fascis gave rise to the word fascio (plural fasci) in Italian, still in the sense of a bundle of rods or sticks. The fascio was again (but without the axe) adopted as a political symbol in late-nineteenth-century Italy, on the strength of the metaphorical notion that though individual sticks are weak, there is strength in unity. From the symbol, the political groups themselves came to be called fasci. The term was eventually monopolized by the party created by Benito Mussolini during and after WWI. For this rightist party, which drew some authority from the notion that it continued or restored ancient Roman tradition, the association with the ceremonial Fascis of Rome was also valued.

I should probably say something about the word axis, since that word was used by Germany and Italy to describe their political (from 1936) and military alliance (from 1939 and the start of WWII). The idea was that the alliance was a metaphorical common pivot or fulcrum, not that you could connect the two countries by a straight line. Later, Imperial Japan was added to the axis, geometry be damned. It turns out that just as Spanish has two kinds of hacha, with the sense of axe or hatchet prevailing, so English has had two words axe (also spelled ax), the same sense now prevailing. The other sense of ax was of axle or axis, derived from a common Germanic root (cf. modern German Achse) related through Indo-European to Greek áxôn and Latin axis.

See Hacksilber.

Randomly shaped pieces of silver, used as currency in the Near East for thousands of years before the advent and rapid adoption of coinage. There have been no Hacksilber finds in Greece, but a hoard of Hackgold, dating to the 8th c. BCE, was excavated in Eretria in the late 1970's.

(That Erétria was an Ionian colony on the Aegean island of Euboea, near the Attic coast. There is also a nearby modern town of a few thousands by the same name, and another modern Eretria on the Greek mainland, in western Magnesia. The similarity of the name Eretria to that of the country of Eritrea is very probably coincidental. The latter is derived from the Latin name of the body of water it has a coast on: Mare erythraeum, literally `Red Sea.')

But to get back to silver, that English-v/German-b correspondence works reasonably well for noninitial consonants, incidentally. In addition to silver/Silber, one can adduce carve/kerben, cleave/klieben, fever/Feber, give/geben, have/haben, heave/heben, knave/Knabe, live/leben, love/lieben, over/über, seven/sieben, and starve/sterben [follow link for discussion of a semantic shift here], etc.

Typically, this works for cognates going back to proto-Germanic. In many cases one can no longer make the correspondence because a necessary cognate is missing on one side or the other. For example, leave had cognates in High Germanic dialects at least up to 1000 AD (some may yet survive in local dialects), but apparently no straightforward reflex of these survived into Modern German. A cognate verb bleiben (`stay, remain, be left') did survive. This is a contracted (``syncopated'') form of a compound that would otherwise be written beleiben. English had cognates belive and beleave, but they petered out of use in the fifteenth century.

The same correspondence holds for loans from a third language, if they occurred early enough. The only such example above is fever, from the Latin febris.

High-Availability Cluster Multi-Processing. An IBM LPP that enables a cluster to function as a file server.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

HIV-Associated Dementia [complex]. Long entry under AIDS Dementia Complex.

Japanese: `underwear.' It sounds so dignified! It leaves awkward euphemisms like ``foundation garment'' crumpled in the gutter with a skid mark down the back. Breathe my exhaust. And although hadagi sounds like it might be related to hadaka (`nudity'), the parallel syllables come from different kanji; that's pretty typical for Japanese. For other examples, see the hageru entry not far down the page.

Latin for `this.' More specifically, it's the female form of hic.

Human Artificial Episomal Chromosome.

Heure Avancée d'Europe Centrale. French for `Central European Summer (i.e., Daylight-Saving) Time.'

The standard transliteration (in both Hepburn and Ministry of Education schemes) of two distinct but homophonous Japanese verbs. One means `go bald' and the other means `come off, peel off.' I count this an instance of a situation that is surprisingly frequent in Japanese: homophones with apparently related meanings, written with evidently unrelated kanji (and hence presumably based on unrelated morphemes). Native Japanese speakers don't find these coincidences surprising; their language has a high frequency of homophones generally, and some fraction of the time one must expect such coincidences. But look: sôzô means `creativity.' A different word sôzô, written with a different pair of kanji, means `imagination.' This just happened by accident? Sure.

Sometimes there is only a one-kanji difference, but one is still suspicious. For example, there is a two-kanji word fujin that means `woman, lady.' With a different first kanji that also happens to be pronounced fu, one gets a different word fujin that means `wife.' (The common final element -jin means `person,' as in gaijin.) If the second word fujin corresponded closely in meaning to the English word wife, then a famous punchline would go something like ``that was no fujin, that was my fujin! As it happens, this wouldn't work because fujin only refers to the wife of the speaker or the writer. The wife of the speaker is referred to by a sort of first-person version of the word: kanai. This is not the only instance in Japanese where the choice of noun carries the sort of person information that pronouns and verbs carry in European and Semitic languages. Japanese verbs are not conjugated for person or number, and Japanese personal pronouns are often omitted. (Also, it is perfectly acceptable in Japanese conversation to use one's own name instead of a personal pronoun equivalent to I or me [typically watashi].)

Often you have to suspect neologistic malice. It strikes me as needlessly inconvenient that the word for comet and the name of the planet Mercury are both suisei -- a coincidence because the sui morphemes arise from two unrelated kanji. I suspect that a certain element of mischievous choice is involved. It's hard not to suspect that there isn't some coy significance in the fact that fusai is the pronunciation of totally unrelated words meaning `married couple' and `debt.'

When you go beyond exact homophones to approximate homophones and similar words, the list of suspicious coincidences grows. Shujin, for example, has the meanings of `owner, master [or mistress, as the female form of master], husband.' Don't think too hard about that, but consider that with a different initial kanji one has shûjin, which means `prisoner.'

hagn, HAGN
Have A Good Night.

Private Korean cram school. It's also spelled hakwon. Hagwons seem to be the main employer of native English-speakers working in Korea as EFL instructors (if you're interested in this, see Dave[ Sperling]'s ESL Cafe).

Health Action International. According to HAIAP's page (visited in 2005) for HAI, it is ``an informal network of around hundred and sixty member organizations and individuals focusing on health, development, consumer and other public interests in over seventy countries.
Founded in Geneva in 1981, HAI's objectives lie on promoting rational use of drugs and ensuring regular availability of quality healthcare and safe and effective essential medicines of good quality to all at affordable prices. With four coordinating offices in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific, HAI carries out its work through advocacy, research, education, action campaigns and dialogue.''

If HAI is pronounced as ``high'' then it is a homophone of a Hebrew word meaning `life.' (That word is typically transliterated chai, but in European languages different aitch sounds are usually allophones with disjoint distribution.) Hai is also the standard transliteration of a Japanese word that means `yes.' (A lot of the time it really just means `I'm listening' -- sort of like ``yes, dear'' but for use in all social situations.) A more informal version is ihai. And be careful how you answer a question, if the question states a negative proposition.

Helicopter Association International.

Housing Affordability Index. The best-known HAI in the US is one computed and reported monthly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and described here. At least some state associations of realtors compute similar indices for their states. Note the word ``similar.''

A HAI is defined in terms of the ``required income to qualify for a conventional loan'' on a home purchased at the median price of houses being sold. The ``conventional loan'' is a 30-year (I think) fixed-rate mortgage with a 20% down payment. The mortgage payment is computed using the ``prevailing mortgage interest rate'' reported by the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) and by HSH Associates of Butler, N.J., for loans closed on existing homes. The ``required income'' is defined as 25% of gross income. The affordability index is defined as the ratio of median income to that ``required income'' for a mortgage on the median-price house. If you prefer, the index is one quarter of the median monthly household income divided by the monthly mortgage payment on a median-price house.

This is a very sensible measure of affordability, but its downfall is that people do not, at least collectively, behave very sensibly. If the median household or future household lived sensibly within its means and only sought a mortgage once it had saved up the 20% down payment, then it would indeed find ownership of a median-price home affordable if the HAI were high. (But rather higher than 1.0, perhaps, if they happen to pay taxes.) Since the savings rate in the US was negative for much of the housing boom, the median household probably did not save the necessary down payment.

One may defend the HAI by saying that, of course, it only measures the affordability of housing for sensible people who save up for a traditional loan. They may have the median income, even if they are not typical. (Hey: the median family doesn't buy a new house every month either!) That might be defending the indefensible, but I would like to go a little further and defend the fool who went ahead and bought a house he wasn't ready to afford, by taking out a nontraditional mortgage. Maybe he was a sensible individual living in an unsensible world.

Our poor fool would have noticed that the down-payment target was moving, and that his savings were not moving as fast as the target. At that rate, he'd never be able to own a home; he'd just be stuck on a treadmill paying increasing rent. Then it came to him: the only way to save up for a home was to make a high-return investment in... real estate! Would the numbers work? Well, he wasn't, like, a math whiz or anything, but the loan officer at the bank seemed eager for his business -- that's not hard to interpret!

Human Awareness Institute. Dedicated to making sure that we're all aware of humans, probably. Based in California, as it need hardly be mentioned.

Japanese, `yes' (ihai is approximately `yeah'). Hai sounds similar to the Hebrew word normally transliterated chai.

HAI Africa
Health Action International AFRICA. An NGO. It ``is a network of organizations and individuals involved in health and pharmaceutical issues. HAI Africa upholds health as a fundamental human right and aspires for a just and equitable society in which there will be regular access to essential medicines to all who need them.
HAI Africa actively promotes the concept of essential drugs, their rational and economic use through advocacy, research, education and action campaigns.'' What happened to the ``dialogue'' quoted at HAI?

Health Action International Asia-Pacific. An NGO; cf. HAI. It ``is a network of organizations and individuals involved in health and pharmaceutical issues. HAIAP upholds health as a fundamental human right and aspires for a just and equitable society in which there will be regular access to essential medicines to all who need them.
HAIAP actively promotes the concept of essential drugs, their rational and economic use through advocacy, research, education and action campaigns.'' Gosh, I could swear I read virtually the same words somewhere before.

``Rational'' is a loaded word pointed at pharmaceutical companies, not doctors. ``HAI promotes the rational use of medicines: that all medicines marketed should meet real medical needs; have therapeutic advantages; be acceptably safe and offer value for money.''

HAI Europe
Health Action International EUROPE. An NGO. ``HAI works to increase access and improve the rational use of essential medicines.'' They work closely with WHO. Their pages include the shibboleth term ``social injustice.''

HAI Europe is part of something called HAI, but there's no website for HAI, q.v.

Given the importance of English-language haiku in the cultures of geeks and the prosodically impaired, the absence of significant haiku content in this glossary is surprising. Until we have a chance to gin up a real haiku entry, here are some internal links:

Jowett of Balliol,
Windows error messages:

Futility. What
a stupid waste of time, eh?
Pointlessness: Causes.

As for external
links, you should have no trouble
finding Perl haiku.

Much more obscure are
the periodic-table
, don't you think?

HAI Latin America
Health Action International LATIN AMERICA. See AIS LAC.

Health Action Information Network. It's ``a non-profit non-government organization established in 1985 based in Quezon City, Philippines. It is involved in health education and research; and mainly works with community-based organizations involved in health and development.''

No. It's hare-brained. And it's probably a scheme.

hair of the dog that bit you
A morning dose of alcohol taken to relieve a hangover. Not homeopathy, really, because we're not talking about some highly diluted drink the morning after, we're talking significant nip, a shot of whiskey, with or without raw egg. A clinical report of two cases, men in their twenties, observed with gastrocamera, provides some supporting evidence (``remarkable calming of the stomach after ingestion''):
James R. Hoon: ``Hair of the Dog,'' JAMA, vol. 229, #2, pp. 184-5 (July 8, 1974).

A common variant spelling of hagwon in English.

Although both /g/ and /k/ sounds occur in Korean, the distinction is not phonemic. That is, they are allophones. The emic perspective is probably best understood in terms of Hangul, the featural script of Korean -- the standard script. Hangul is written in blocks designed to resemble Chinese Han characters (logographs), but each such syllable block can be analyzed in terms of component characters called jama, which may be deformed somewhat to fit the block. (I could have just called the jama ``letters'' and let it go at that, but I figured I'd make trouble instead.)

The system is called featural because the forms of the jama illustrate schematically (or at least try to) major features in the articulation of the sounds they represent. Thus, the symbol for g/k is shaped like a capital Greek gamma (but facing left) not for sentimental xenophilic reasons, but to represent the shape that the tongue makes, viewed from the side, in the articulation of a velar consonant. An extra line is added to this symbol to indicate aspiration and represent the related affricate /kh/, and a doubled form is used for a tensed or faucal version of the sound.

The velar stop takes voicing by assimilation, and so its sound in hagwon is indeed /g/. There are a variety of different Romanizations of Korean, with varying degrees and domains of acceptance de jure or de facto. Some use g to indicate voicing of the k/g character. Some use g preferentially for the k/g, even in cases where it is unvoiced, in order to save k (possibly with kk) for the other velars. In the latter case, hakwon is the appropriate Romanization.

Hardware Abstraction Layer. A component of DirectX, regarded as a ``driver,'' which directs the use of internal hardware like a graphics card.

Harold. Nickname form, though some (e.g. Hal Draper -- see V.I.P. entry) use it as the full name. The same is true of Harry, also a nickname form of Harold. In consequence, Hal, Harry, and Harold (and Harald, a variant) are sometimes used interchangeably. One thus has the situation of Harry being used as a nickname for someone whose given name is Hal, which might seem slightly odd to a foreigner named Peggy.

Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer (from the Kubrick and Clarke movie 2001). That the letters are a one-shift encoding of the letters I, B, M is strictly a coincidence.

In the movie, as HAL is being decommissioned by surviving crewman Dave Bowman, it says

I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. [Here HAL sounds a bit like George H.W. Bush.] I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a...fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992...
In Clarke's book, it was a 1997 model. The commemorations were held in 1997. [Clarke came out with a new book, 3001: The Final Odyssey. Cervantes was thinking of just this when he observed ``Nunca segundas partes fueron buenas.'' (Loosely: `Never were sequels any good.') However, as Arthur Clarke himself admits (NYTimes, 1997.04.01, p. B1), he likes attention. If he hadn't moved to Sri Lanka, we might have been spared another best seller, although we also would not have Kubrick's precious remark: ``Arthur Clarke? Isn't he a nut who lives in a tree in India someplace?'']

There's a pentium version of the story as well.

Language spoken by the Halaka People. This nation has no internationally recognized, politically independent homeland, and its precise origin is obscure, but it is dispersed throughout the world, and increasingly westernized. Indeed, native speakers are extremely rare.

The Halaka language has virtually no productive inflections. Although its phonology suggests a Slavic influence, Halaka is not an Indo-European (IE) language. Thus, the resemblance of its name to the Hindi word halka, (`lightweight') is probably accidental. [Note, however, that the first alphabetic writing system for Sanskrit, believed to have arisen from an Aramaic alphabet, was almost a syllabary, with the default that all consonants were followed by a vowel a : halka --> halaka (a common current pronunciation in the southern, Dravidian-speaking regions of India). Hindi is in the Sanskrit subfamily of IE languages.] There is also no apparent relation with the Hebrew halakha, `the path,' which conventionally refers to the totality of oral and written Jewish law. As the only extant member of its language family (Obnac), Halaka may in fact be called a language isolate.

Today, among an estimated 34 million i speakers worldwide (1990), there is already 85% literacy in the Romanized (i.e., Latin-character-based) orthography. A valuable and comprehensive Halaka <--> English translation dictionary was once available online, but Scott Bordelon apparently decided that the joke was getting old. It took a while for the dictionary to fade from search engine indices. Bordelon also submitted a translation of ``Silent Night, Holy Night'' into Halaka to a site that collects such things. It seems from the text that the grammar, idioms, and semantic fields of corresponding words of Halaka are identical to those of English, except that the word ``the'' is elided in translation. A great convenience, but very hard to rhyme.

I can't take it anymore! I confess! It's lies, all lies! But that translation dictionary was pretty good. I can't remember certainly any more, but I think you could input any English word or nonword and it would spit out an answer. (The same answer for a given input each time.) And the output Halaka words looked wordlike -- no three-consonant clusters, for example. So there must have been some general translation algorithm, but it was hash-like yet constrained.

There, I feel much better now. Please resume your suspension of disbelief.

You know, the path thing is a widespread pretense of religions. Just as in Judaism the law is called the way (halakha), so Christianity has John 14:6 (``I am the way, the truth, and the life''). Path imagery has been popular in Christianity, hence special use of words meaning traveler. (See, for one example, the book Pilgrim's Progress described at the V.F. entry.) Various actual pilgrimages are optional elements of Christian devotion, and in Islam a pilgrimage to Mecca is the obligation of every Muslim who can afford it. The English word Taoism comes from tao or dao, meaning `way,' which stands for the basic, eternal principle of the universe that transcends reality and is the source of being, non-being, and change. That would appear to about cover it. Buddhism has two major schools; the extant one is called Mahayana, Sanskrit for `great vehicle.' Followers of Mahayana dubbed the other school Hinayana, `lesser vehicle.'

Breaking News

It's back! The Halaka-English Global Translator is the index page of <halaka-dict.appspot.com>. Well, actually, it seems to have an entirely different vocabulary and phonology, and now there are inflections and a flag, but to judge from the about page, it's just as real and authentic as before. Gerpun!

This translator doesn't attempt to translate nonwords or regular plurals of English, to judge by a few experiments. So basically it just seems to be a pseudorandom mapping gated through a large English wordlist.

I think there might be some tweaking of individual translations. I suppose this is handled by running the map in advance and prestoring -- and tweaking -- the results in a database, but maybe it's done by exception-handling and most Halaka translations are coined for you by an invertible algorithm in real time. Of relevance is the fact that the translator tool is not perfectly invertible. In particular, Halaka na maps to putative English kil, but English kil is left untranslated into Halaka (possibly because it's the proper noun for a Korean car maker).

Useful vocabulary for tourists:

English                 Halaka            Analysis based on roots
-------                 ------            -----------------------
four                    ana               ...
fourteen                stapun            sta pun: is beer
twenty-four             klerburtur        kler bur tur: how no this
forty                   plamuh            pla muh: hello new
five                    staklo            sta klo: is of
fifteen                 stedrah           ste drah: meet stop
twenty-five             wagerphleklop     wa ger phle klop: big type hotel may
fifty                   muhe              ...
compute                 kiloborsti
computed                shpluklerna
handsel                 stigna
Cockney                 muhklo
McDonald                klerpla
Sahara                  natur
Saharan                 kiloklewa
Jesus                   shplukler
Elvis                   muhtur
visa                    whie
croissant               borstipun
souffle                 stagerwhi
Lancaster               imuhwa
Dorchester              klopweez
Manchester              plaphlegnaklah
Mancunian               splii
catalysis               muhklahphlekilo
catalyses               klokilo
analysis                borpla
analyses                kletur
Thomas English muffin   chai eingeleeza gnapla

HALoperidol Decanoate. Also ``HD.'' Used to treat schizophrenia.

Healthy, with a connotation of strong. Hale is a homonym of hail, a noun for ice-ball precipitation, and a verb meaning something like greet with celebration (or hope, in the case of a taxi).

[Football icon]

Tailback. See running back for discussion.

half-blind double date
The matchmakers don't have to wait to find out how it went. Then they're more surprised when they find out that they didn't like each other, but were just being polite. Naomi Wolf's latest book contains more poignant observations, but this glossary is cheaper.

[Dear reader: this entry is a bit of a long-term project under construction, accidentally published prematurely. Sorry about that. It doesn't appear to be much less intelligible now than it will eventually be or was before, so I'll just let it all hang out.]

Half an odd integer. A physicists' term for the quantum numbers of various angular-momentum-like observables. Obviously, half an even integer is also an integer. The point is to distinguish the numbers that are half-integers but not integers. (These are associated with fermions, q.v.)

There are a number of important angular-momentum-like observables, to be discussed below roughly in order of increasing abstraction. This material is normally covered at various different stages in a physics curriculum, so many readers will find that the going gets unfamiliar or tough rather quickly.

A system with a well-defined angular momentum or algebraically similar observable will have a ``good quantum number'' describing it. The most commonly discussed observables of this kind (with the usual variable designation in parenthesis) are

orbital angular momentum (L)
This is the ordinary angular momentum defined analogously with classical angular momentum in terms of position and momentum operators. The classical angular momentum vector L for a rigid body points along the instantaneous axis of rotation (direction according to right-hand rule). The rotation degree of freedom is bounded (I mean -- what goes around comes around) and, more or less as a consequence, the associated observables are discretely quantized. (I.e. the quantum-mechanical eigenstates of the operator do not take a continuum of eigenvalues. In fact, the spectrum (the set of eigenvalues) has a simple form: the possible eigenvalues of L2 are L(L+1) in the natural units (aitch-bar squared), where L is a positive integer. (Please attend this fact: boldface L here represents a vector. In classical mechanics, italic L its scalar magnitude. In the same way, p is ordinary momentum and p is its magnitude. In going from classical to quantum mechanics, one takes the vectors p and L into vector operators. Because it is an observable, it is certainly possible to discuss its magnitude -- we effectively just did so in the sentence preceding this parenthetical. However, it is inconvenient to use L in the classical way, because of confusion with the quantum number L. (In atomic physics, it is often written with a lower-case l.)

The vector components of L are noncommuting: rotation about one axis followed by rotation about a different axis is not equivalent to the same operations taken in the reverse order. Noncommuting variables cannot be in simultaneous eigenstates, ... you know, I think I may be losing the people who forgot what they learned in Quantum 101, sorry ... so angular momentum eigenstates are further classified by only a single component, usually chosen as along the z axis. In natural units, the allowed values of this angular momentum component (typically labeled lz or ml) are the integers between -L and +L inclusive (loosely: -L, -L+1, ..., L-1, L). Hence, for an orbital angular-momentum quantum number L, there are 2L+1 states.

This is a good point to return to the idea of ``good'' quantum numbers. Obviously this is a quantum notion, but it is related to symmetry, and symmetry is a more general notion. We say that a system is spherically symmetric if the equations that describe it look the same in any direction. A spherically symmetric mechanical system can rotate in any direction. Nothing can slow or speed such a rotation, since that force would require a description that was not spherically symmetric. (Believe me, this is a lot easier to say with equations than words.) Intuitively, something that rotates faster has more energy. In fact, for simple mechanical systems, [okay, looks like this part wasn't finished]

intrinsic spin (S)
This is always well-defined for any elementary particle. The original proposal of intrinsic spin was made by two graduate students, Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck, who proposed that an internal spin variable for the electron would explain some degeneracy anomalies (i.e., there seemed to be twice as many single-electron states as one would expect; kinda important if you want chemistry to work out). In order for this idea to work, there would have to be only two intrinsic-spin states. You can see (correctly) using the formula for orbital angular momentum that 2-fold degeneracy requires 2 = 2S+1 or S = 1/2. There is no way to derive a half-integer value from an angular momentum that generalizes classical angular momentum (as above).

Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck went back to their advisor and said they had second thoughts about their idea and preferred not to publish. He told them it was too late, he'd already sent their manuscript off. In those days, journal reviewers were not so nitpicky either, and the paper went to press. Their advisor (I forget who) consoled them: they were young -- they had the right to publish something crazy. As soon as the paper appeared, H. A. Lorentz pointed out that given the known bounds on the radius of the electron, the proposed value of spin represented an angular momentum so high that the surface of the electron would have to be moving faster than the speed of light (an obvious no-no).

There are other classical-picture objections, and the basic answer to them all today is: spin is an intrinsically quantum-mechanical quantity that happens to share numerous properties (including its general algebraic structure and a proportionality to magnetic moment) with orbital angular momentum, but does not arise from particle motion that has a classical analogue. It is handy to visualize it as the spin of a particle, but strictly speaking elementary particles have no geometric extent and don't spin. (I mean: in the underlying description, elementary particles are points. The real particles they describe, of course, cannot be perfectly localized -- this follows from the uncertainty relations. The picture gets trickier with string theory. String theories are formulated in more than the usual three space dimensions, but the excess dimensions are curled up very tight -- the distance that anything can move in those other directions is preposterously short, and when you move that far, you've just circled back to where you started. Anyway, in these theories fundamental particles are described by strings -- closed loops, in fact. The particles still have at least a codimensionality of three in the higher-dimensional space, so on any human scale it is reasonable to call them point-like.)

There are now many particles (fermions) known with spins (S values) of 3/2, 5/2, and higher. However, so far these are all composite particles or excited states of other lower-mass, more stable particles that have spin 1/2. Spin-S particles have states of well-defined z-component spin (labeled sz or ms) with spin angular momentum values from -S to +S. (I.e., -1/2 and +1/2 for spin-1/2; -3/2, -1/2, +1/2, +3/2 for spin-3/2, etc.) [I ought to talk here about Regge analysis, a great fad around 1960. On second thought: no I shouldn't.] The term half-integer normally modifies spin, which is to say total spin quantum-number rather than a component (``ess-sub-zee''). Therefore, in practice, the half-odd integer it refers to is positive.

Isospin (I)
Contracted from the older name for this concept: isotopic spin. As an aside here, I should mention that isospin, like angular momentum and all the rest

In outline, the idea behind this is simple: protons and neutrons are particles with similar mass, and since mass is energy, they have the same energy. Now as noted above, rotation symmetries yield finite numbers of degenerate states, corresponding to distinct values of the z component of angular momentum. Introducing a completely inventing a new spin-like algebras yield finite numbers of degenerate The idea had been around even before relativity, that particles are, as we would say now, ``excitations of the vacuum.'' rotational symmetry in three dimensions have

There's more (intrinsic spin of a collection of particles, total angular momentum, etc.), but that's for another day.

`I breathe' in Latin. The infinitive is halare. [That's mildly amusing in Spanish, where halar (< French haler; I haven't checked beyond that) means `to pull.']

The Latin verb is source of English words like halo and exhale. The Latin noun form halitus (`breath') is used medically and is identified as the basis of the word halitosis. The conversion of the u to o presumably is a feint in the direction of creating a Greek noun, but I'm not buying it: the ending `-sis' is Greek and the root is Latin, so halitosis is a barbarism. I'm sure we all agree.

In classical scattering, the differential scattering cross section can be computed as b db/d(cos(θ)), where b is the impact parameter and θ is the scattering angle. If b is not a function of θ -- i.e., if some angles occur for more than one value of impact parameter -- then the differential cross section is computed from all the relevant derivative expressions like the above, summed. Since θ is normally a smooth function of b, when this occurs there will be a turning point -- an angle where the above derivative expression diverges. That kind of (integrable, of course) divergence is called rainbow scattering. Another kind of divergence occurs when the scattering angle crosses zero at finite b. This causes a brilliant forward scattering called a halo.

When an atom or nucleus has nearly saturated its bonding, it often can bind one or a few last particles extremely weakly, in low-angular-momentum state(s). These few weakly bound particles are also called a halo.

The trivial nuclear example is deuterium, which can be regarded as a proton nucleus with a neutron halo (D = 2H = 1H + n). This sounds silly on its face: you'd figure that the neutron-proton separation would determine the only sensible definition of what is `inside' the nucleus, so that neither nucleon could be outside of it, on average. However, the rms internucleon distance is an astounding 4.4 fm, so most of the time the nucleons are outside the range of their interaction. Effectively, one should regard halo nuclei as those with some nucleons that spend much of their time more than about a fermi (1 fm) away from any other nucleons. The large average separation is a natural consequence of the just-bound nature of the deuteron. [The scattering-length concept makes this extremely explicit.]

A more intuitive example is 11Li, which looks like 9Li + 2n. [The numbers preceding `Li' should be superscripted. Upgrade your browser or don't complain if they're not. The number in this position next to the chemical symbol for an element represents its atomic mass number A -- the number of nucleons in the nucleus.] The core 9Li has its four protons and five neutrons in a radius of 2.5 fm. The two-neutron cloud in 11Li has a radius of 7 fm.

I think that 11Li marked the ``modern discovery'' of halo nuclei by B. M. Young, et al., reported in Phys. Rev. Lett. vol. 71. Afterwards, it became clear that the surprisingly large branching ratio for E1 decay of 11Be, reported by D. J. Millener, et al. Phys. Rev. C 28, 497 (1983), could be explained simply in terms of a neutron halo.

High-Altitude, Low-Opening. I.e., high-altitude jump (15K feet), low-altitude chute-opening. Paratrooper strategy for minimizing vulnerability in jump behind enemy lines.

High-Amount LockOut. A POS term meaning maximum allowed price. HALO's are defined to prevent the most eye-popping errors by operators (those who key in POS system data).

A word constructed from the Greek roots hals (`salt') and -oeidês (`form'). The word was coined by Berzelius to describe any simple metal halide salt.

The key salt in old black-and-white film was silver iodide, and so one film manufacturer in Rochester called itself Haloid. It later became Xerox.

Yes, yes, the city of Halle in Germany got its name from salt mines there.

An element in the penultimate column of the periodic table (the seventh column in the compact form of Mendeleev's original table). This is the group next to the noble gases. Going down the periodic table, the halogens are Fluorine (F), Chlorine (Cl), Bromine (Br), Iodine (I), and Astatine (At). (As a practical matter that's about it, but artificial elements created in miniscule quantities are crawling along the next period with increasing atomic number, so it's foreseeable that a new and practically irrelevant halogen will be named.

As is common in many element groups, the lightest element is a bit of an outlier. Hydrofluoric acid, although it is extremely dangerous and corrosive, is not the strong acid that hydrochloric and hydrobromic acids are at the same concentrations.

Sometimes hydrogen is given two locations on the periodic table: its usual place at the beginning (upper left corner) and also the spot just left of helium, which is to say just above fluorine in the column of halogens. This makes an obvious sort of ``electronic'' [atomic-level] sense: there is a single unoccupied state in the highest (and only) occupied level (1s). It also makes a bit of chemical sense, as there are hydrides -- simple compounds in which hydrogen has valence -1 like a halogen. Just don't call it a halogen. (And normally, expect it to have valence +1.)

halogen lamps
Halogen lamps are technically better known as halogen-cycle lamps. Quartz, quartz-iodine, and tungsten-halogen lamps are other names used.

Halogen lamps are incandescent lamps that use a halogen fill gas, usually iodine or bromine, and (as is essentially universal for incandescent lamps) tungsten filaments. Tungsten atoms evaporated from the filament react with the fill gas to form tungsten halide (i.e., tungsten iodide, tungsten bromide, etc.). This compound does not stick well to glass, but tungsten halide molecules adsorbed on tungsten metal react to deposit tungsten and evolve halogen gas. These facts result in the capture and eventual redeposition of tungsten on the filament. This is called the halogen cycle, and by reducing the effective rate of metal evaporation, it reduces the principal mechanism of lamp aging. (When a halogen lamp is operated at low power, tungsten halide accumulates on the bulb surface. Operation at full power re-evaporates the condensate, clearing the glass and regenerating the filament.)

During operation, the density of the vapor must be high enough to assure that the mean free path of a tungsten atom is much less than the distance between filament and bulb. This can require fill gas that is close to atmospheric pressure. At atmospheric pressure, the boiling point of bromine is 58.8°C, so bromine fill gas condenses as a fluid when the lamp is cold. (The Br melting point is -7.27°C.) Iodine has boiling and melting points of 184.35°C and 113.5°C. In a small quartz lamp I used to have, a thin brownish film and a hardened droplet or two would be left on the inside surface of the lamp after it cooled, and would slowly vaporize as it heated.

(Normally, incandescent bulbs have nitrogen, argon, or a mix as fill gas, at a low pressure that rises to about one atmosphere at normal operating temperature. Lamps of less than 40 watts typically are just evacuated.)

A little point that was elided above is that while tungsten halides do not react and bond to glass, they may simply condense. Hence, halogen lamps must be operated with the interior of the bulb at 500 degrees C or above. (This is just one very good reason to avoid touching a halogen lamp with your bare fingers.) For a long time, halogen lamps used quartz bulbs because quartz glass was the only kind that had the necessary high-temperature strength. (Nowadays there are some alternate glasses in use.)

At the high temperatures reached by quartz bulbs, some skin oils can penetrate and degrade the glass, making it porous, admitting air, and resulting in early failure. Don't let this happen. If you touch the quartz when it is cold, then before turning it on, clean it with a solvent such as lighter fluid. (I love this recommendation. Be sure to dry it off and put anything flammable away before you turn the lamp back on.) If you touch the quartz when it is hot, just scream.

halo orbit
In astronomy, an orbit ``around'' one of the Lagrange points formed by two objects, rather than around a single object. Halo orbits exist around the L1, L2, and L3 points; like these Lagrange points themselves, they are unstable, but a space probe can maintain the halo orbit for years with a small expenditure of fuel. A number of probes, such as SOHO, have used halo orbits around the Sun-Earth L1 point; at the L1 point itself, they would be much harder to communicate with due to the Sun being in line.

In the preceding paragraph, the word ``around'' is in scare quotes because the Lagrange point is not exactly at the middle of a halo orbit. If one switches to a rotating frame in which the two large-mass objects are stationary, then the halo orbits do periodically go around the axis connecting the two. And if the orbit is tight, then it is close to its corresponding Lagrange point. As the size of the halo orbit increases (as measured, say, by its average radius about the axis in this frame), its average position along the axis changes.

Highly Accelerated Lift Test.

Hot-Air-Leveled Tin. In electronic interconnect fabrication, HALT refers to the final step in the process of tin-coating copper strips. The copper strips are passed through a molten bath of tin (Sn). The tin wets the surface of the copper (Cu), and as the strip emerges from the bath the thickness of its tin coating is controlled by an air knife. The main alternative to HALT is HTD (hot tin dip). In HTD, the tin thickness is controlled by a mechanical wiper. HALT was introduced in around 1985; HTD is the older process, but I'm not sure exactly when it was introduced.

The melting point of tin is 232 °C. This is around the softening temperature of copper (m.p. 1083 °C), but the tinning is done in a quick reel-to-reel process, so the copper is hardly deformed. However, a thin layer of copper-tin intermetallic compound (primarily Cu6Sn5) forms between the metals.

Amateur Radio Operator. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Amateur Radio Club has a useful Home Page, with a callsign database server. We (SBF) also offer a list of Q-signs. The use of ``ham'' for amateur radio operator stems from the earlier use of ``ham'' for a bad actor.

An excessively emotive actor. Or more generally an amateurish or poor actor. The etymology is in the next entry.

The English word ham is descended from a proto-IE root meaning `crooked.' The earliest recorded senses in Old English, starting around 1000 AD, are for the back of a man's knee, hollow of the knee, etc. In the middle of the 16th century its sense was drifting upward, to the back of the thigh or to the thigh and buttock together. [For linguistic thoughts on the buttock, see fanny.] These senses of the word ham are not altogether obsolete, but they are now perhaps most often encountered in the fused compound noun hamstring, for either of the tendons that forms the back of the knee and attaches to the muscles of the thigh.

At least by the beginning of the 17th century, ham also referred to the hock of a quadruped. Now, it is obvious from an evolutionary standpoint, and even from any coherent anatomical viewpoint, that the hock of a quadruped like a hog, horse, or dog corresponds to the heel of the human foot. Hence, what is called the ``hamstring'' in these animals corresponds to the Achilles tendon in the human. However, these animals walk essentially on what correspond to the toes of the human foot. (Or on what corresponds to what is left of it. Although the ur-mammals had five digits at the end of each of their four limbs, most mammals today -- excepting primates and elephants -- have fewer. The horse went from three toes to one relatively recently, I think.)

By the middle of the 17th century, ham referred to the thigh of a slaughtered animal, especially cured hog thigh (salted and smoked, or salted and just dried), and that is the most common sense of ham now, of course. ``Ham hocks,'' a feature (or a bug) of soul food, are simply hog hocks.

Ham as a term for an overacting performer or a poor actor generally evidently arose as a short form of hamfatter, from a popular minstrel-show song originally in ``The Ham-fat Man'' (1863). By an association of amateurishness in acting with ``amateur'' in general (and there is the phonetic similarity), the word ham came to be used for ``amateur radio operator.''

I've come across a number of jokes that turn on an English-speaker in a restaurant in France asking for jam and getting ham (jambon in French). This never happened to me. Frankly, when I was in southern France I found that a lot of the restaurant help and shop clerks were Spaniards.

The Spanish word jamón (also meaning `ham') sounds closer to the English because the j was devoiced into an aitch sound half a millennium ago, but the word was obviously (yeah, there's evidence) borrowed from the French. The etymological trail of these j-words disappears back in Vulgar Latin, and it might or might not be related to the English word. And on the subject of vulgar language, Spanish has a slang term jamona that might be translated loosely as `juicy woman.'

HAM, Ham
A common abbreviation for Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. IMHO it's cool that this common abbreviation coincides with the common term for the kind of character who could chew up the scenery -- especially in the title role. (The etymology of this ham is explained not far above.)

One piece of evidence put forward by Stratfordians, though not the strongest, is that William Shakespeare named his son Hamnet (sic). [Stratfordians are those who hold the view that the plays attributed to William Shakespeare were written by the man named William Shakespeare, of Stratford-upon-Avon.]

A son of Noah. The other two were Japheth and Shem. They already had wives before the flood. For a long time, lasting into the nineteenth century, Christians reasoned that since all humans were descended from the three brothers, that the races of mankind could be correlated with that descent.

Heat-of-A{b|d}sorption Measurement.

Hybrid Access Method.

HAMilton Rating Scale for Anxiety. Hamilton Anxiety Scale.

Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah. Arabic, `Islamic Resistance Movement.' (Traditional semitic alphabets are essentially consonantal. In Hebrew and, I presume, in Arabic too, acronyms are based only on these consonants, with the vowels usually a sounds or based on a parallel with another word. One would expect the ``silent'' stop consonants at the beginning of the definite articles al to be ignored. For what it's worth, it looks like the alif at the beginning of the word Islamiyyah was also incorporated.

Hamas was founded in 1987, at the beginning of the first intifada or `uprising' against Israel. Hamas vows never (see jamás) to accept the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East, and engages in terrorism against Israelis essentially anywhere. It won a majority of seats in the January 2005 elections for the Palestinian Authority parliament.

HAMilton Rating Scale for Depression. Also ``HDS'' and ``HDRS.''

Nickname of jazz musician Lionel Hampton (1908-2002).

Host AUTODIN Message Processing System (MPS).

Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording.

Hospital-{ Acquired | Associated } Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Frequently also ``hospital-acquired MRSA'' and sometimes ``hospital-associated MRSA.'' There's a tiny bit more at the MRSA entry.

Hamwurst College
Jocular, sometimes affectionate name for Amherst College.

Handbook for Scholars, A
A little volume by Mary-Claire van Leunen. The revised edition, from OUP, was published in 1992. Van Leunen takes a very unhelpful attitude regarding the indication of changes in quotations. She insists that ellipses should only be used ``for omission from the middle of a quotation, not from either end.'' Wrong. The absence of an ellipsis at the end of the preceding quote allows you the reader to infer, correctly, that I have quoted to the end of one of her sentences. Conversely, an ellipsis at the end of a quote indicates that more material remains in the sentence, as in ``omission from the middle of a quotation....'' A scholar should care about the difference, and it is no fault to be informative.

Similarly, she condemns bracketing case changes. But when I quote her writing ``bracketing such changes looks not punctilious but weird,'' you know that this is only part of a sentence. Had it been the entire sentence my quotation of it should have begun ``[b]racketing such changes....''

She concludes, ``[p]roceed blithely.'' Don't.

Health And Nutrition Examination Survey. An extensive survey that collected measures of nutritional status of a representative sample of the U.S. population in 1971-1972. But they didn't ask me.

A manufacturer of underwear (that's ``unmentionables'' for men). They've also expanded into unmentionables, but that's probably not the way they would want to express it.

You know that count of entries at the thumbtabs page, that stands at about 16000 as of this writing? Well, even stupid entries like this one count toward that number.

Two out of three of us who discussed it at lunch a couple of years ago believed that the elastics on Hanes briefs had gotten weaker in recent years. (That's not a survey but an exact count.)

Here's another interesting thing about that thumbtabs page: we get dozens of visitors to that page every day who were looking for rock music guitar tabs.

German: `hemp.' One of only about three German words that end in nf, not counting compounds like hundertfünf (105).

Highly Available Network File System. A network file server from IBM that is NFS-compliant.

hang five
Curl five toes over the front edge of the surf board.

Hanks and Hodges
Reference to one of two works on personal-name etmologies, both by Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges, and both published by Oxford University Press:
  1. A Dictionary of Surnames, published 1988. (Special consultant for Jewish names: David L. Gold.)
  2. A Dictionary of First Names, published 1990.

Both are very useful books, but it pays to check them where possible, since a few entries, if not demonstrably wrong, can sometimes mislead. See, for examples, the pardo entry (for the Spanish and Portuguese surname Pardo) and the discussion of Hermann towards the end of the SN entry.

For other similar works, see Familienname and Reaney and Wilson.

Healthcare Association of New York State.

Hazardous Air Pollutant[s].


hapax legomenon
Greek: `once counted or said.' A word, term, or form of word that occurs only once in the available written record of a [dead] language. Dictionary meaning, restricted to words or terms, does not reflect broader usage, which also encompasses isolated occurrences of stories or ideas. Plural only modifies noun: hapax legomena. Philologists tend to just say `hapax.' The Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures contain altogether about a hundred hapaxes, whose meaning in many cases must simply be guessed.

Hispanic American Periodicals Index.

Household And Personal Products Industry. A magazine.

[Football icon]

happy feet
A quarterback (QB) is said to have happy feet if he jumps around nervously in the pocket. His feet may seem happy, but not he.

Hydrazine Auxiliary Propulsion System. NASAnese, of course.

Japanese: `heart-to-heart communication, gut-level communication.'

Harassment Training
It's training to help you increase sexual harassment, but it doesn't work the way you'd think. Instead of increasing it directly, by teaching you how to do it, it does so indirectly, by discovering it where you didn't suspect it was. In fact, by stigmatizing innocent behavior and getting people fired for having the misfortune to share employment with prickly scolds, it might be thought of as training in a kind of harassment. That kind of harassment, however, is not officially a bad thing.

Hard Hearted Little Beggar Boys Consume Noodles Or Fishes Near
Naples; Magnificent Albert Sings Pop Songs Clearly Around
Kitchen Cabinets Scandinavian; Titmouse Vindaloo Creates Many Fearful Complaints iN Curious Zones
Mnemonic for first few chemical elements (H -- Hydrogen, He -- Helium;
Li -- Lithium, Be -- Beryllium, B -- Boron, C -- Carbon, N -- Nitrogen, O -- Oxygen, F -- Fluorine, Ne -- Neon;
Na -- Sodium, Mg -- Magnesium, Al -- Aluminum, Si -- Silicon, P -- Phosphorus, S -- Sulfur, Cl -- Chlorine, Ar -- Argon;
K -- Potassium, Ca -- Calcium, Sc -- Scandium, Ti -- Titanium, V -- Vanadium, Cr -- Chromium, Mn -- Manganese, Fe -- Iron, Co -- Cobalt, Ni -- Nickel, Cu -- Copper, Zn -- Zinc).

Excellent sites to learn more: WebElements and Chemicool.

Currently, this adverb is used primarily in senses like `scarcely' or `almost not' or kaum (in German).

In origin, however, the word (heardlice in Old English) meant `harshly' or `bravely.' That is, it meant `in a hard manner' with an older sense of hard: `bold' or `forceful.' (The modern word hard may be said to preserve the ``passive'' senses of its etymon.) Use of the original sense of the adverb has been in a long-term decline; a more common expression of the idea is ``with difficulty.'' This sense still took pride of place in the hardly entries of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) and of Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (G & C. Merriam Co., 1913, edited by Noah Porter).

The `with difficulty' sense of hardly is hardly common at all. In fact, it's not hardly common: it's just plain rare. But it's not unknown, though I'm not sure if it's hardly unknown. Anyway, here's part of a paragraph that uses hardly in two different senses. In the second instance the different senses of the word are almost opposite, and the context is needed to make clear which sense makes sense.

... In the last quarter of the seventeenth century Cartesian science was indeed expounded in some of the colleges of France, and less widely elsewhere, but dissemination of the thought of Galileo, of Bacon, and of the exponents of the mechanical philosophy owed little to university courses. Occasional examples of a university teacher having a decided influence upon a circle of pupils--as was the case with John Wilkins at Wadham College, Oxford, and Isaac Barrow at Trinity, Cambridge--hardly vitiate the general conclusion that the activities of various societies, books, and journals were far more potent vehicles of proselytization, which is supported by many personal biographies. However stimulating the exceptional teacher, formal courses were commonly conservative and pedestrian: it is curious to note that the two greatest scientists of the age who were also professors, Galileo and Newton, seem to hav been singularly unremarkable in their public instruction. If the universities could produce scholars, they were ill-adapted to turning out scientists; the scientist had to train himself. Many who accomplished this transition regarded it, indeed, as a revulsion from the ordinary conception of scholarship. The learning they genuinely prized, in their own scientific disciplines, they had hardly won for themselves. It would surely be absurd to argue that Newton was less a self-made scientist than Huyghens, or Malpighi than Leeuwenhoek, because the former had attended a university and the latter had not.
[This is excerpted from pp. 6-7 of Rupert Hall's ``The Scholar and the Craftsman in the Scientific Revolution,'' in Critical Problems in the History of Science, ed. Marshall Clagett (Madison, Milwaukee, and London: Un. of Wisconsin Pr., 1969).]

hard water
Water with a high concentration of dissolved ions that precipitate soap. Almost always, that's calcium ion. ``High concentration'' means high compared to whatever one is used to -- you notice the difference immediately in the shower. In absolute terms, a convenient mark is 100 mg/l CaCO3 (calcium carbonate). It's worth noting that this description is nominal: one computes the ``dissolved CaCO3'' from the measured concentration of Ca. What is really in solution is mostly Ca2+ and HCO3- (bicarbonate) in an alkaline (OH--rich) solution (see pOH entry).

(There's also a relatively small concentration of dissolved CO3= ion. I actually had a student ask me once what the superscripted equals sign meant. It's a doubled negative sign. I might have written CO32- equivalently.)

Detergent and soap molecules all have basically the same structure: NaR, where R is a long-chain organic molecule. In traditional soap, the long chain is a fatty acid. (Explanation at the saponification entry. Detergent is usually sodium lauryl sulfate, where lauryl- is a twelve-carbon carbon chain extracted from plants, and the sulfate group on the end of the chain bonds to the sodium.

In the presence of nonpolar dirt, the nonpolar end of a soap molecule buries itself in the dirt and the polar Na+ sticks out where it can dissolve in water. In soapy water, microscopic droplets of dirt accumulate a highly polar surface this way, enabling them to dissolve in water and rinse down the drain.

Calcium ion interferes with this process through the following competing reaction:

Ca2+ + 2NaR --> 2Na+ + CaR2 .
The causes problems both sterically and through ordinary solubility chemistry:
  1. Sterically, the carbon chains tend to surround the calcium with nonpolar dirt in such a way that it has less exposure to the water it's supposed to dissolve in.
  2. In any case, calcium ion is less soluble in water.
The upshot is: soap scum. The problem is less bad with detergent than with ordinary soap. Clothes washed in hard water may develop indelible spots.

Another effect of hard water is to prevent lathering. Lathering is simply the formation of small soap bubbles, and ``soap bubbles'' are really just water bubbles. The role of soap is only to reduce the surface tension of water so the water can form the stable thin-film surface of the bubble. Soap converted by reaction with calcium just doesn't have the same surfactant effect.

Hard water arises because water supplies often come from underground water sources -- aquifers. An extremely common aquifer material is limestone, which consists mostly of calcium carbonate. That's the reason hard water comes not only with high calcium concentration but high carbonate concentration. That carbonate is associated with another hard-water problem: precipitation of calcium carbonate. Nowadays, people notice this first in their teapots: over time, carbonate rings form around the level where the water boils. It's not bad for you and you can't taste it (although you can certainly imagine that you can). It does look bad, though, and many people throw away perfectly good teapots just because they've accumulated an unsightly ring.


What you do is, fill the teapot with water above the ring level, and add lemon juice or vinegar or some other acid. (I suppose any cola would do too. Those are acidified by phosphoric acid, but the sour taste of the acid is entirely masked by the sweetness.) Cook it a little bit and the acid will dissolve out the carbonate. Throw out that water now and you have a clean teapot. For a bit more on acid and scale build-up, see the L.I. entry.

High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile. Often called HARM missiles for short.

Aljean Harmetz is an engaging and thorough historian of moviemaking. She wrote The Making of The Wizard of Oz and many other film-related books. She gets an entry here because one of her books is a source for information on Casablanca that's scattered around the glossary. The book was originally published as Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca--Bogart, Bergman, and World War II (NY: Hyperion, 1992). Subsequent editions (1997, 2002) were published by Hyperion using the original subtitle as title (The Making ...). Where explicit reference is made to the book, I have checked the updated edition published for the sixtieth anniversary of the 1942 movie.

How the English name Harold ends up being rendered (and written) in Spanish. One word that's a real pain to translate from English to Spanish is manifold, in any of its scientific or technological senses. I've suggested manifol. The Spanish congener of English standard is estándar.

haroset, haroseth
A sweet sort of chunky paste made of broken and crushed nuts and a bit of fruit pieces and kosher-l'pesach wine. It's part of the traditional Jewish Passover meal, the constant components of which all have explicit and standard symbolic values -- ``signifieds'' to use the pomo term filched from Ferdinand de Saussure. The signified of haroset is mortar. (The Hebrew slaves in Egypt were supposedly forced to use mortar without straw. This bit is probably true, but it was not a special hardship; Egyptian mortar never contained straw.) I believe it tastes sweeter than mortar, though not having tasted moist mortar, I'm not sure (see, however, the granola entry). Matzah is not supposed to symbolize drywall, but it's not supposed to taste especially good either. It's the ``bread of affliction.'' Unleavened bread was part of the Spring harvest festivals of many agrarian societies, way back when.

The Passover seder is somewhat technically demanding and confusing. A frequent error is confusing haroset with hreyn (Russian name, adopted in Yiddish, for horseradish, ``bitter herbs'').

Now I finally have the appropriate entry for Craig's ``symbolic disputation'' joke. Later.

High Accuracy Radial velocity for Planetary Searcher. There's no hyphen in ``High Accuracy'' for the same reason that the object of ``for'' is unclear: HARPS belongs to the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and is therefore named in Broken English.

HARPS ``is dedicated to the discovery of extrasolar planets,'' and it has discovered most of the smallest ones. It first went into operation in February 2003.

Harris Semiconductor
Once made a computer operating system called ``Vulcan''; yet still in business and even on the net.

Highway-Addressable Remote Transducer.

Harvard architecture
One of the non-von Neumann architectures for general computing machines (computers), in which instructions are just a kind of data. The term is conventionally used to refer to any von Neumann-like architecture which differs from a pure von Neumann architecture primarily in distinguishing instructions and data. In implementation, this means that data and instructions are stored in different memory regions, and that either separate buses or separate bits of a parallel bus are used to communicate instructions and data. The extra communication bandwidth speeds computation (duh).

Part of the reason for using Harvard architectures is to avoid the endless loops, file corrupts and other dangers that occur when instructions can modify themselves. There is a common notion that the von Neumann machine is somehow more powerful or capable of more general tasks than a Harvard machine. This is not true, since within any Harvard machine it is always possible to simulate a von Neumann machine which uses only the data memory. (Of course, it is also possible to simulate a Harvard architecture within a von Neumann machine.)

This entry is a mess because really, when one is talking Harvard or von Neumann architectures, one is usually discussing abstract machines, Kolmogorov entropy, and all that effete stuff about computability. So really the comments about implementation are otiose. I ought to go back and fix the entry, but I'm lazy.

When (and where) I was in grad school, people going for a Ph.D. in the Computer Science Department were really just doing an oddball sort of abstract mathematics. The joke went that the first time they ever used a computer was to word-process their dissertations. (This was before email.)

Harvard of the South
A popular epithet. It is possible to identify four distinct tiers of Harvards of the South.

In the top tier are old private liberal arts colleges that

  1. are known nationally although
  2. they do not have an NCAA division I football team, and
  3. are known to be ``known as `the Harvard of the South' '' by at least one dozen (12) people outside the South who are not either alumni of that school or their close relatives. (These people believe that this is the only school bearing that epithet.)

Strictly speaking, the first tier comprises only Duke and Vanderbilt, but considering that (a) they don't even have a decent basketball team and (b) my pal Marvin went there, I also include Rice University in the first tier. I further include the University of Virginia, so that if anybody tries to thin the ranks of the first tier, there will be another school that goes before Rice. To be fair, because of Rice's location (Houston) it is less well-known than Vandy (in Nashville, Tennessee) or UVA. If one were to judge by how freely and unapologetically the alumni use the epithet, then Rice would rival Duke. (Nashville, incidentally, is known by its inhabitants as ``the Athens of the South.'' This is discussed at the Athens entry, naturally.)

The University of Virginia, the only public university in the top HotS tier, was Thomas Jefferson's last hurrah. Joseph C. Cabell (1778-1856) was Jefferson's principal strategist and assistant in founding the university. In a letter of January 22, 1820, to J.C. Cabell, Jefferson worried that Virginians educated at Harvard would turn into ``fanatics & tories.''

In the second tier are schools with only a regional HotS reputation: Emory (discussed at the S.P.D. entry) heads this list, followed by Tulane and Ole Miss (University of Mississippi).

Schools of the third tier have a qualified HotS reputation. These are schools about which it is said that ``it is said that some people call it the `Harvard of the South'.'' The epithet is usually deployed ironically or in a way that can be defended as facetious if challenged. This group is rather ill-defined; since virtually no one is willing to claim baldly that one of these schools is the HotS, the entire charade is based on rumors of mis-overheard jokes. Most of these schools have to be identified as Foo College in Bar City, State_Name_Here. Many of the third-tiers are members of the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), particularly Centre, Millsap, Morehouse, and Sewanee (``University of the South''), and many of the remaining ACS schools qualify marginally (Davidson, Furman, Hendrix, Rollins, Trinity (TX)). Non-ACS third-tier HotS schools are Fisk, Hampton University (Hampton, Va.), Livingstone College of Salisbury, N. Car. (main claim to fame: ``W.E.B. DuBois once referred to Livingstone as the `Harvard of the South' ''), Wofford College (in Spartanburg, South Carolina) and SMU. (Also one McNeese State University -- sports reporting, you know.)

The fourth and lowest tier of schools have bureaucratically mandated HotS ``reputations.'' For example, according to this linked news item, ``UF [University of Florida, Gainesville] administrators have designated the school the `Harvard of the South'.'' I must have missed the announcement. UT Austin has also been called a HotS. Whether this was pursuant to an administrative order I do not know, but (a) I do know that they have tried to buy a reputation by recruiting top scholars (nothing wrong with that) and (b) I have been in Austin, and it does not feel even remotely like Cambridge.

To summarize: one way or another there are two dozen Harvards of the South distributed among the states that seceded to form the Confederacy. Of those eleven states, only Alabama does not claim to have a single HotS. If you enjoy devil-may-care honesty (and I sincerely hope you do) then you'll want to read this 1996 interview of Auburn University history professor J. Wayne Flynt. My man Flynt! He delivers a coruscating jeremiad that includes this:

I think the popular culture in Alabama has a perception of a limited future. In fact, recent polls indicate when Alabamians were asked "what do you envision for your children?" in terms of their future occupations, the single largest category of response was to be in fast food. The level of local support for education is so poor that (the population perceives) there is no future in this community; there is going to be a steady collapse of community to the point where it may be too late. This brings the question can it be collectively too late for a state, and I think the answer is yes.

Then the interviewer had the gonads to ask (reading from a list, I suppose), ``Who is responsible for the success of education in Alabama?'' His answer appears to be cut off, but it begins ``That's sort of like asking who's to blame for the problems.'' I think Neil Young was on to something.

Also deserving of mention: Baylor (at Waco, Texas), the ``Harvard of Southern Baptists.'' The riffs on this idea are endless. Your next stop on the tour of these riffs is the S.P.D. entry.

History of Anaesthesia Society. It's good to have someone remember what happened.

... has a vital rôle to play.
..., whom we are trying to marginalize.

Japanese: `chopsticks' (or `chopstick' -- Japanese nouns are not inflected for grammatical number). Disposable chopsticks are waribashi.

Hot-Air Solder Leveling. The most popular surface finish for SMT boards.

History of Australian Science Newsletter. The history of this history newsletter apparently peters out in 1995. Connected with AAHPSSS.

Highly Accelerated temperature and humidity Stress Test. Technique for reliability studies. Standard reference:

J. E. Gunn, S. K. Malik, and P. M. Mazumdar: ``Highly Accelerated Temperature and Humidity Stress Test Techniques (HAST),'' 19th Annual Proceedings International Reliability Physics Symposium pp. 48-51 (IEEE, 1981).

History of Australian Science and Technology. Guide at this site.

The HAmburger SYnchrotronstrahlungsLABor is a part of DESY. Their homepage, such as it was, is no longer.

Histone AcetylTransferase. HAT enzymes activate genes in the nuclei of cells by transferring acetyl ``tails'' onto histones. Histones are small proteins around which DNA coils to form structures called nucleosomes. Compact strings of nucleosomes form chromosomes. An added acetyl-group tail loosens the DNA coil, enabling its genes to be expressed. Histone deacetylases remove the acetyl group, reversing the process.

Regarding chromosomes: ordinary human cells have 23 pairs of them. Human germ cells, as they used to be called, or gametic cells (sperm and egg cells), are haploid: they have half the usual complement of chromosomes. Cells undergoing mitosis have double the usual complement just before fission, and red blood cells have no nuclei. (Although paired chromosomes are pretty common in the somatic cells of eukaryotes, there are various organisms which exhibit haploidiploidy: males develop from unfertilized eggs and have haploid somatic cells. You think that's weird, just be glad I don't define haploidization. Haploidiploidy happens with honeybees, but not with chickens. So the egg you had for breakfast was never going to hatch into a bird, since it wasn't fertilized.)

There are a number of genetic abnormalities in humans that involve unusual numbers of chromosomes (``aneuploidy''), and a few of these are not immediately fatal. The best known is Down syndrome (an extra copy, ``trisomy,'' of chromosome 21), which modern treatment has made quite survivable. (Strictly speaking, this only accounts for about 95% of Down cases. In the translocation type of Down syndrome, extra chromosome-21 genes are inherited via DNA that has translocated onto another chromosome.)

A number of aneuploidies involve the sex chromosomes. This page lists a bunch.

Read it here now. Eventually I'll scatter this stuff to more appropriate entries.

Hawai'i Association of Teachers of Japanese. An affiliate of the NCJLT.

hat size
US hat size is simply the average diameter of the head, computed as the circumference (in inches) divided by pi. Thus, a hat size of 7 corresponds very closely to a head circumference of 22 inches.

The Mickey Mouse ears atop the "Earffel Tower" (a water tower in the Disney-MGM Studios addition to Walt Disney World, created by Caldwell Tanks, Inc.) correspond to a hat size of 342 3/8!

``Hat size'' is also a ready euphemism for intelligence. (E.g., ``they don't publish chemistry textbooks in your hat size.'')

What is your problem? Do you need a separate entry for every slightly different word?! Don't waste my time! Everything you need to know is at the Hauptwort entry.

German, `noun' (i.e., noun substantive). The headword of this entry is a compound noun that can be analyzed as `head word.' Haupt is a cognate of the English word head, and alone that is what it means. It is approximately synonymous with Kopf. In compounds, however, Haupt is widely used in figurative senses like `main, principal, leading, chief.' Kopf can also be used figuratively or at least metonymically, but its compounds are less abstract. E.g.: Kopfarbeit is `brain work,' Phillips-Kopf is `Phillips head.' Der Kopfbahnhof is `the rail head; der Hauptbahnhof is `the principal train station.'

Amsterdam Hauptbahnhof is `Amsterdam Central' (Amsterdam Centraal in Dutch). In June 2005 I was able to google a grand total of three instances of Penn Hauptbahnhof, all serving as translations to German of `Penn Central Station.' Journalists, sensibly, generally avoid attempting a direct translation. Penn Central Station was the name given in various cities to the train station where the old Penn Central Railroad stopped.

The headword of an entry, in general, is das Stichwort. Der Stich is a cognate of `the stitch,' but is used for a wide variety of related penetrations -- `stab, dig, sting, pinprick.' You can think of Stichwort as `incised word.' German also has die Rubrik, and `unter der Rubrik ...' does still mean `under the rubric [of] ...,' but the word's meaning has drifted more decisively in German than in English, and now Rubrik itself primarily means `category' (figurative sense of rubric) and `[newspaper] column.' You could use s.v.

A headword, in the technical linguistic sense of a word that may be modified by an adjunct, is simply called a Nukleus in German.

Hepatitis-A Virus. Vide s.v. hepatitis.

The HAV nots are better off, and it is not good to give or to receive.

Help America Vote Act of 2002. Excuse me, but this is a humiliating name for any act of Congress. See also SVRS.

One mandate of HAVA was that every polling place have at least one handicapped-accessible voting machine by January 1, 2006. As of 2008, there are plenty of jurisdictions that are not in compliance, and the US DoJ has taken sued some states to court.


To purchase another of our fine products, insert more money.

have got to
A compound modal (that takes an infinitive predicate) meaning about the same as must or have to. Like must, it isn't very conjugable. If you have got to do something today, then tomorrow you would probably say that you ``had to do it'' (rather than ``had got to do it''). One may think of the word got as an intensifier for the compound modal have to. In fact, one usually encounters the contracted forms (I've got to rather than I have got to), and these seem to have about the same force as the no-got forms.

There was a popular BBC program (or programme, anyway) on the English language, and I think it was in a companion paperback called The Story of the English Language or something that I read the claim that the use of ``have got to'' began in Britain and was brought back to the US by American soldiers after one or another World War. This turns out to be at least partly incorrect.

The hypothesis of a British origin has the following plausibility: one might expect a verb following have in a compound construction to be in the past participle form. The past participle form gotten is preserved in American English, while got is used (as both past and past participle) in British English. Hence, ``have got'' in the sense of ``have received'' is common in Britain and rare in the US. Then again, ``I've got'' in the loose but common sense of ``have'' is common in the US, so this isn't very strong evidence.

In fact, however, the have-got-to idiom was in common use in the US at least as early as shortly after the Civil War, while it was apparently not in common use in Britain as late as 1909. My evidence for both claims (weak for the second) is in Sir William Butler: An Autobiography, which Lieut.-General the Rt. Hon. Sir W. F. Butler, G.C.B. wrote in the year before he died on June 7, 1910. The times he spent in North America included a period in 1866 when he joined the buffalo hunt in the Nebraska Territory. He describes this toward the end of chapter 6, and digresses thus:

    What impressed me most strangely about the men I now came in contact with was the uniformity of the type which America was producing--northern, southern, eastern, western, miner, hotel-keeper, steamboat-man, railroad-man, soldier, officer, general,--the mould was the same. `There has got to be' seemed to be the favourite formula of speech among them all, whether it was the setting up of a saloon, the bridging of a river, or the creation of a new State. `There has got to be' this railway, this drinking bar, this city, this State of the Union. Nobody dreamt, except when he slept; everybody acted while he was awake. They drank a good deal, but you seldom saw a man drunk, and you never saw anybody dead drunk. They sometimes shot each other, they never abused each other; they were generous, open-hearted, full of a dry humour, as manly as men could be; rough, but not rude; civil, but never servile; proud of their country and boastful of it and of themselves. That day and evening, and all the other days and evenings I spent at Fort Kearney, were the same--good fellowship, good stories round the festive board at night, hard riding and hunting all day over the glorious prairies.

It's probably worth noting that there is a certain celebratory tone in much of Butler's writing (particularly in his biography of General Napier), but he is not uniformly laudatory. The business about story-telling reminds me of some observations Gertrude Stein had in Wars I Have Seen (pp. 248-9). This is also an autobiography, like pretty much all of her books, and it was written after the liberation of France, and so also in the year or two before she died.

Gradually as the joy and excitement of really having Americans here really have them here began to settle a little I began to realise that Americans converse much more than they did, American men in those other days, the days before these days did not converse. How well I remember in the last war seeing four or five of them at a table in a hotel and one man would sort of drone along monologuing about what he had or had not done and the others solemnly and quietly eating and drinking and never saying a word. And seeing the soldiers stand at a corner or be seated somewhere and there they were and minutes hours passed and they never said a word, and then one would get up and leave and the others got up and left and that was that. No this army was not like that, this army conversed, it talked it listened, and each one of them had something to say no this army was not like that army. People do not change, no they don't, when I was in America after almost thirty years of absence they asked me if I did not find Americans changed and I said no what could they change to except to be Americans and anyway I could have gone to school with any of them they were just like the ones I went to school with and now they are still Americans but they can converse and they are interesting when they talk. The older Americans always told stories that was about all there was to their talking but these don't tell stories they converse and what they say is interesting and what they hear interests them and that does make them different not really different God bless them but just the same they are not quite the same.

For more on Stein on Americans telling stories in France, and an indication of how all her books are autobiographies, sometimes in two different senses, see the S.O.S. entry. The issue of American cultural homogeneity is touched upon at the 5-2 defense entry, in a quote from Everybody's Autobiography (by and about Gertie, of course).

William Butler's use of the word mold is reminiscent of ``the melting-pot'' metaphor of America, popularized by Israel Zangwill's play of that name. (In Act I: ``A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians--into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American.'') Zangwill's play was the hit of 1908, the year before Butler wrote. (The metaphor was used by others, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, in earlier but much less well-known instances.)

Person from the University of Iowa (UI). Originally, and more generally: anyone from Iowa. Plural: Hawkeyes.

Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbine. The usual sort of windmill.

HAZardous MATerials. Here's a database. Some MSDS's are online from Utah.

The Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (ChemTREC) emergency number is 1-800-424-9300.

HemogloBin. A coordination complex that binds oxygen for transport in blood cells. Unfortunately, hemoglobin binds carbon monoxide (CO) much more tightly (making COHb, q.v.). Recovery from carbon monoxide poisoning takes on the order of a day, but in many cases, various knock-on effects appear and persist after the CO is cleared from the Hb.

See the Hgb entry for a thought on the construction of this abbreviation.

The Commonwealth spelling of (Amer.) hemoglobin is haemoglobin.

Postal code for Bremen, one of the sixteen states (Länder) of the German Federal Republic (FRG). [Like most of the country information in this glossary, Germany's is at the domain code .de.]

The state of Bremen comprises two urban areas -- Bremen and its seaport city Bremerhaven. (The aitch might refer to Haven, `port' or to Bremen's history as a Hanseatic city; I don't know. The German word for port is Hafen, which would be pronounced the same if it were spelled Haven, and which is of course a cognate of the English word haven. Bremerhaven was founded very recently by European standards -- 1827, but spelling evolves.)

Bremerhaven is on the North Sea coast, Bremen is thirty-plus kilometers up the Weser River. All the land borders of the two cities are with the surrounding state of Lower Saxony (NI).

All together Bremen is the smallest Land, both in terms of area (404 sq. km.) and population (660,000 in the national census of 1987; 677,800 in the a local census for Dec. 31. 1996). Bremen was part of the old West Germany, and is Germany's second largest port after Hamburg (see HH).

[Football icon]

HalfBack. An offensive position in American football. See running back for discussion.

Hard Black. A pencil lead of medium hardness. Softer leads run B, 2B, 3B, etc. (up to about 9B); harder ones are F (presumably Firm), then H, 2H, 3H, etc. (up to about 10H). Other grading systems have also been used. See The Pencil by Henry Petroski.

In the same book he also explains that when pencils as we know them were first invented, they used unprocessed, natural graphite -- and the only known source of this with decent quality was a single mine at Borrowdale, near Keswick, England. This monopoly lasted for over 100 years.

HB, hb
Hardcover Book. Traditionally a clothbound book with thick cardboard covers. Cf. PB.

Horizontal Bridgman. One way to grow single crystals. Sounds like parthenogenesis or something. I don't mean that kind of ``single.''

hbar in HTML
It has been a vexation that hbar, probably the most frequently-occurring special symbol in quantum mechanics, has been unavailable in any fonts that one could expect visitors to one's website to have. The symbol finally has a home in Unicode, at U+210F, but most fonts still don't contain a glyph for it. (It does occur in the Apple Symbols font and in various Hiragino fonts for Japanese.)

I recommend using an alphabetic character from Maltese (U+0127; the letter name is ħe). Barring that, if you'll pardon the expression, there are other alphabetic characters. The version of Cyrillic alphabet used in Serbian has a small letter tshe (U+045B) that is similar. Both of these symbols have the form of a lower-case Roman letter aitch with horizontal bar through the upper half of the letter, and both are widely available in italic variants. When italicized, both would pass for ordinary hbar glyphs but for the fact that bar in hbar is a slanted stroke (upper right to lower left). Another option is Ogham letter ruis. This is less similar and less common, which is just as well: it's supposed to be at U+168F, and apparently is there on Mac fonts, but the Microsoft fonts I've checked have a grave-accented W there. Another approach is to use strike-through, but that generally puts a horizontal bar below the middle of the character line, so it looks pretty bad. Here are the approaches described:

(I use <del> because <strike> and <s> are deprecated.)

Another approach is to create the page in LaTeX (where one has \hbar) and use one of the standard conversions that generates gifs for all the formulae.

A normal minor (1.5% to 3.5%) component of total hemoglobin (Hb). Levels of HbA2 are elevated in various diseases.

An abnormal component of hemoglobin (Hb), common in peoples of West Africa. In a certain kind of situation this leads to sickle-cell trait and sickle-cell anemia. The trait seems to have survived because HbC also generally confers some protection against at least one tropical disease.

Vide AC.

Heir Buyout Company. Cash advanced to named heirs against the security of a probated estate. Sort of like those places that advance cash against an expected paycheck. Where's the company that will advance me cash (to pay off my gambling debts) against the relative security of my expected lottery winnings, as well as ``assume all the risk associated with lengthy estate closing delays, which sometimes can drag on for years''?

``Please be aware that our mailings are scheduled well in advance. Although your name will be removed from our list immediately, there may be one more solicitation which is already on its way to you.'' [In microelectronic hardware, this sort of practice is called vectorization or pipelining.]

Historically Black College or University. (The plural -- HBCU's or HBCUs -- should be expanded ``... Colleges and Universities.'') HBCU's are schools whose earliest instructional buildings were constructed of basaltic rock or black marble, obsidian in a pinch. Pitch is preferred as a roofing material, but I'm not sure about slate. Let me check and get back to you on this.

Morehead and Spellman, in Atlanta, are two HBCU's that are part of the Associated Colleges of the South. There's some history of Dillard University, an HBCU in New Orleans, at this AMA entry.

Heterostructure Backward Diode.

Helen Bader Foundation. ``The Milwaukee-based Helen Bader Foundation supports innovative programs that are making an impact on the lives of people throughout Wisconsin, the United States, and Israel. hbf.org is a resource for grant recipients, potential applicants, and the general public.''

A provider of health, property, and other insurance plans now formally known as HBF Health Funds, Inc., and known from October 1945 as The Hospital Benefit Fund of Western Australia. Western Australia, you will recall, is not just a part of Australia but a state, with its capital in Perth, which might be considered a metropolis more or less by default. The Metropolitan Hospitals Benefit Fund (MHBF) was established there on April Fools' Day in 1941. In 1944, members' coverage was extended to all hospitals in WA, which represented an enormous expansion, at least geographically. The em was dropped in recognition of that fact from October 5, 1945.

HemogloBin, Fetal. The largest fraction of fetal hemoglobin (i.e., of the hemoglobin in fetal blood), but normally less than 2% of hemoglobin in adults. Elevated levels in children and adults may indicate various blood diseases, including aplastic anemia, leukemia, and thalassemia (a class of hemolytic anemia).

Company originally named Hickory Business Furniture ``... organized in 1979 as a contract furnishings division of The Lane Company, Inc. of Alta Vista, Virginia.''

Hochbegabtenförderung, e.V. German: `Highly Gifted [child] Advancement,' a nonprofit group.

Hootie and the BlowFish. I wonder if blowfish is supposed to be plural.

Hørehæmmede Børns Forældreforening. When some automatic translation service makes a Danish-to-English option available, our partial omniscience will suddenly expand to enable translation of this acronym. For the time being, with no appropriate dictionary convenient, I can guess that this is an association for those who are born hearing-impaired.

Hoso-Bunka Foundation, Inc. ``[A]s its name Hoso-Bunka or Broadcast-Culture implies, [it] aims to promote the cultural and technological development of broadcasting and progress of radio, television and other telecommunications media. It was established by Japan's public service broadcaster, NHK-Japan Broadcasting Corporation, in February 1974 with an endowment of ¥12 billion [about USD 100 million].

(UK) House Builders Federation.

Hospital-Based Home Care.

Heartless Bitches International. I took a brief glance at the site, and it doesn't have anything to do with bionic puppies. In fact, they have their own idiosyncratic expansion of BITCH.

Ohhh -- I get it. It's the hard-to-get gambit, not-sentimental variation.

Helicoidal Bianisotropic Medium.

{ Her | His } British Majesty. The constitutional monarch of the triple scepter. This entry used to have a typo: ``consitutional.'' I do not regret any embarrassment that may have caused.

Human Body Model. One kind of HBM is used for ESD events. Actually, that's the only context in which I've seen the acronym used.


Home Box Office. A cable network that shows movies. They even make some.

HBO & Co. ``Currently one of the top providers in the $15 billion healthcare informatics industry ... design, sell, install and service a ... information systems for hospitals and health enterprises ... also sells, installs and services local area, wide area and value-added networks and ... staffs, manages and operates data centers, information systems organizations and business offices for healthcare organizations.'' ``HBO'' from the initials of the founders (1974 in Peoria, Ill.): Walter Huff, Bruce Barrington and Richard Owens.

High Blood Pressure.

Hit By (baseball) Pitch. While standing in the batter's box.

Heterojunction Bipolar PhotoTransistor.

Harvard Business Review.

High Burst Rate. We're talkin' data here, not groceries.

Holy Bible, Revised Version. Based on the KJV, and introducing only those changes required to improve accuracy. (In other words, a high value was placed on preserving the archaic majesty and literary beauty of the KJV's language.) Work officially began in 1879; the work was released to fans in 1881 (N.T.) and 1885 (O.T.). An alternative, revised American edition of this, the SARV, was published in 1901 and has been the basis for many further revised versions.

There ought to be an episode where Robin says ``Holy Bible, Batman!'' The defect of having an abbreviation HBRV is that it's bound to be misconstrued as standing for ``HeBRew Version'' sometimes.

Harvard Business School.

Sickle-cell HemogloBin (Hb).

Harvard Business School Publishing.

Hanks' Balanced Salt Solution.

Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor. Cf. DHBT. The idea of using wide-gap material was first proposed by Shockley (US Patent 2569347).

This page is about HBT's on Silicon (Si).

Hierarchical Block Truncation Coding (BTC, q.v.).

Hepatitis-B Virus. Vide s.v. hepatitis.

Hazardous Cargo. Abbreviation appears in the international red-circle-with-diagonal-slash on roads through populous areas.

Health Care.


H.C., HC
High-Capacity [bomb]. Technically, a bomb whose weight was 75-80% explosive (see CWR). Term used by the British during WWII both attributively (``H.C. bomb'') and nominally (``4000-lb. H.C.''). Informally they were called blockbusters.

High-speed Cmos logic. Infix on 7400-series SSI/MSI and other chips. (E.g., ``74HC381.'')

Host Controller.

Hot Carrier. A electron or hole with kinetic energy substantially greater than kBT, typically as a result of unscattered acceleration across a large voltage drop.

HealthCare Assistant.

Heidelberg Center for American Studies. Based at the University of Heidelberg, Germany's oldest university.

HepatoCellular Carcinoma.

Honolulu Community Concert Band. ``Providing musical enrichment to the people of Hawaii since 1973.''

High-Capacity Digital Service[s].

Home Care for the Elderly.

Hot-Carrier (HC) Effect[s].

Health-Care Financing Administration. Former name of the US government agency administering Medicare and related programs. It's now called the ``Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services'' (CMS).

``Centers.'' I'm sure there was a very good reason to use this word.

Health-Care Financing Administration form 1500. A uniform health insurance claim form used for billing services to Medicare and other insurance carriers. I suppose it's CMS1500 now, but I don't know.

Horizontal Center of Gravity. Trucking term. The horizontal position of the center of gravity (CG), measuring along the direction of motion of the truck.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. ``Pregnancy hormone'' that stimulates the corpus luteum to produce progesterone during pregnancy. hCG is also used to induce ovulation.

Historical Center for the Health Sciences. An outgrowth of the Michigan Digital Historical Initiative in the Health Sciences at the University of Michigan, and particularly focused on Michigan and UM Med. School documents.

Home Center Institute.

Human-Computer Interaction.

In 1992, the Greenville (S. Car.) Department of Social Services sent a termination notice to a former beneficiary. This stated in part:

Your food stamps will be stopped effective March, 1992, because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances.
Reportedly, the ``May God bless you'' was inserted at the keyboard by a sympathetic civil servant. I don't believe this answers all reasonable questions that might occur, however.

Under proposed welfare reforms now being considered in the House of Representatives under the Republican regime, the letter would have read ``Your food stamps have been stopped effective March, 1991, because we figure you'll be dead soon anyway. May the Market have mercy on your estate. If there is a change in your circumstances, we'll call you.''

Under terms of the 1988 Democratic Party platform (by all accounts, year of the last admittedly liberal US presidential campaign), the letter would have read ``Your food stamp allocation will be increased effective March, 1993, because you haven't been eating well. May a superior rational being, if you choose to acknowledge one, empower you emotionally. If you have any material desires, please allow us to fulfil them.''

Human-Computer Interface.

Health Care Industry Group. The Western New York region has a major concentration of health technology firms, most prominent among these being Wilson Greatbatch, known for pacemaker batteries.

Hot-Carriers (HC) In Semiconductors, Tenth conference. ``Nonequilibrium Carrier Dynamics in Semiconductors'' that time, it was in Berlin.

Stands for original name -- Hot-Carriers (HC) In Semiconductors, of conference now called ``Nonequilibrium Carrier Dynamics in Semiconductors.'' The eleventh conference was held in Kyoto.

High Court of Justice. The name in English of the Israeli supreme court.

Hardware Compatibility List.

Hydrogen ChLoride. A molecular gas at standard temperature and pressure, it dissociates to hydrochloric acid in water.

HydroChLoric acid. An acid stronger than nitric and weaker than sulfuric. Sold industrially as muriatic acid. See CU.

The strongest acid that any ancient civilization knew about was acetic acid -- the chemical which, as its name suggests, makes vinegar sour. (Follow the link for etymological details.) Acetic acid is not a strong acid. Over the course of centuries, mineral acids were eventually made and discovered. In 1824, the English physician William Prout demonstrated that the gastric juices of animals contain hydrochloric acid. (So much effort, and all that time the alchemists were carrying around little sacs of acid at the ends of their esophagi.) Prout's contemporaries were incredulous.

Hydrochloric acid was at the center of some confusion at the beginning of the nineteenth century. For details, see the remarks under oxygen in the technical misnomenclature entry.

Hypertrophic CardioMyopathy.

High-speed CMOS.

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research.

Hydrogen cyanide. Double-plus ungood.

Hydrocyanic acid. A weak acid, but this is not the cause of its fame.

Highly Conjugated NonCentrosymmetric (molecule).

Cyanic Acid. A colorless, poisonous liquid at room temperature.

Hexagonal Closest Packing (crystal lattice).

Hopi Cultural Preservation Office. Here is an extremely characteristic quote from the homepage:
``This Home Page is protected by copyright laws.
No material including images and text shall be reproduced without
the explicit consent of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office.''

Please visit.

House Concurrent Resolution.

History of Computer Science. They serve an ``HCS Virtual computer history museum.''

Hindu-Christian Studies List. Interesting the way the hyphenation works out. An electronic mailing list ``set up to create an avenue for easy electronic communication among members of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies [SHCS] and other interested scholars. The purpose of HCS-L is to provide a forum in which scholars trained in these traditions may exchange ideas and information on matters pertaining to their academic interests, research, and teaching.''

High Capacity Storage System.

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

High-speed CMOS logic with TTL-compatible logic levels. Infix on various chips, but especially on 7400-series SSI/MSI. (E.g., ``74HCT381.'')

House Committee on Un-American Activities. The more common acronym for this very well-known committee is HUAC. I suppose it's because ``huac'' is pronounceable and ``Committee of the House on Un-American Activities'' is unwieldy. FWIW, credit unions (CU's) were not common in the 1940's and 1950's. But Consumers' Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, was politically active (hint: union) and probably more prominent then than now. Just follow the link, already.

Hepatitis-C Virus. Vide s.v. hepatitis.

High-Capacity Voice (channel[s]).

Hilda Doolittle.

Haloperidol Decanoate. Also ``HAL-D.'' Used to treat schizophrenia.

Hard Drive. (I.e., hard magnetic disk, rather than floppy.)

Heavy Duty.

High Definition. Short for HDTV.

High Density (floppy disk). 2 Megabyte 3½ inch floppies; with the usual formatting they store only 1.4 Meg. They have a sensable hole in addition to the write-protect opening, to distinguish them from mere double-density (DD) floppies. You can cover the hole with some tape and have a high-reliability DD floppy.

Hitachi chip ID code.

Homosexual Dread. The secret fear that one may be homosexual. An old term replaced by homophobia in the seventies, as was HP, q.v.


HeteroDuplex gel shift Analysis. A short-cut method (indirect and incomplete) of measuring viral mutations.

Host Data Base View.

High Density Bipolar 3.

Holder in Due Course. Business-law term.

HydroDynamic Chromatography.

High Definition Compatible Digital. A Microsoft-trademarked name for something with no functionally substantive noun. ``HDCD-encoded CDs sound better because they are encoded with 20 bits of real musical information, as compared with 16 bits for all other CDs. HDCD overcomes the limitation of the 16-bit CD format by using a sophisticated system to encode the additional 4 bits onto the CD while remaining completely compatible with the existing CD format. HDCD provides more dynamic range, a more focused 3-D soundstage, and extremely natural vocal and musical timbre.''

Hard Disk Drive.

Hierarchical Data Format. A ``platform-independent data format for the scientific data storage and exchange'' from NCSA.

High-Density Fiber Bank.

Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire.

Human Development Index. A mathematical quantity defined to prove the speaker's point.

Hardware {Definition | Description | Design} Language.

High-Density lipoprotein. ``The good cholesterol.'' Notice that in The Wizard of Oz, there are two bad witches (East and West) and two good witches (North and South). Not just that, but the evil witch of the East gets killed so early that it's a non-speaking part. In blood cholesterol (really lipoprotein), you start out with one ``good'' which (HDL) and one or two bad whiches (LDL, or LDL and VLDL), and you can count your blood happy if there's only four times as much of the latter as of the former. There's also triglycerides, the winged monkeys of blood chemistry. All of this goes to show that, while in fantasy the odds are two to one in your favor, and you can expect help from farm workers, unemployed metal workers, and wild cats, in reality the odds are maybe 4:1 against you, and your doctor wants insurance identification (ID) in advance.

High-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol. This is an insult to intelligence, a forward insistence on stupidity, as if to say ``It's not good enough to pretend that lipoprotein is cholesterol, I need to encode my error in an acronym.''

``The Internet Doctor'' provides excellent (i.e. egregious) examples of its use, demonstrating en passant the inappropriate rigidity respecting numbers, the misspelling, and the credulity that are special charms of the information-like ASCII sequences found on the web. On the bright side, this page of advice is probably broadly correct, and does take the trouble to give incorrectly named quantites their correct units.

High-level Data Link Control. A network protocol originally from IBM; now the name for a family of similar protocols.

High-Density Microsome[s].

Handheld Device Markup Language.

Humpty Dumpty Physics. The physics of systems precariously far from equilibrium. Cf. HEP.

High-Density Plasma.

High Density Polyethylene (plastic). Probably still the most common plastic for bottles. Typically that white/translucent/matte plastic used in milk bottles and some water jugs. Code 2 in PCS. May be indicated by ``PE'' embossed on bottom of bottle.

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Also ``HAM-D'' and ``HDS.''

Hamilton Depression Scale. Also ``HAM-D'' and ``HDRS.''

High Definition Systems. An ARPA program to support development of display technologies.

High Data-rate Subscriber Line.

High Data-rate Subscriber Line with a 6 dB noise margin. Six dB represents a factor of two (presumably the 2 in the acronym).

Heat Deflection Temperature. One measure of the softening characteristics of polymers, described in ASTM test method D468-72. A plastic (i.e. polymer) bar of rectangular cross section is loaded as a simply supported beam. The load on the bar is adjusted to produce a maximum fiber stress of either 1.82 MPa (264 psi) or 0.455 MPa (66 psi). The center deflection of the bar is monitored as the ambient temperature is increased at a uniform rate of 2°C/min. The temperature at which the bar deflects 0.25 mm (0.01 in.) from its initial room-temperature deflection is called the heat deflection temperature at the specific fiber stress.

In order to allow rapid characterization (temperature increase between 1.8 and 2.2 °C per min.), the fiber is immersed in an inert liquid medium such as mineral oil. The buoyancy of the fiber in liquid is a negligible effect.

Heavy Duty Trucking. ``The Business Magazine of Trucking.''

Host Digital Terminal.

High-definition Television. In principle, and initially, HDTV was not intended to be very different from ordinary television, but only to have more lines per screen.

The technical problems in transmission and display are formidable, but some Japanese receivers, and some program transmission, were already in operation in Japan in 1990. At about that time in the US, the FCC put out a call for participation, to define the encoding and transmission schemes that it would make standard for the US. In the competition (to see whose idea the FCC would essentially adopt whole as the standard--as happened with NTSC), it became clear that the way to go was to have digital signal encoding, with substantial compression of the transmitted signal, often with only an image-modification signal sent. SECAM (the French color TV system) has been using storage of a full screen of data for years on traditional resolution, so by now the approach of storing and updating is not a significant technical hurdle (vide VRAM).

Hepatitis-D Virus. Vide s.v. hepatitis.

High Density Wavelength-Division Multiplexing.

Hall Effect.

Helium. Atomic number 2. Why heck, that's almost as low as you can get!

First detected as a line in the solar spectrum, hence the name. The Latin -ium ending was used -- instead of the Greek ending -on of the other noble gases -- because it was not known to be a noble gas when it was discovered and named.

The isotopes with one and two neutrons were once called He I and He II, respectively. They have rather different low temperature properties, essentially because He I is a composite fermion and He II is a composite boson.

Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool, where it was #5 on the Top Five List last time I checked (long ago).

The proceedings of the International Conference on the Science of Superconductivity, Hamilton, New York (1963), were published in Rev. Mod. Phys. vol. 36 (1964). One of the interesting articles there is K. Mendelssohn's ``Prewar Work on Superconductivity as Seen from Oxford,'' (pp. 7-12). He writes:

... Nowadays, it is not generally appreciated that one of the main reasons for making ... miniature liquifiers was the scarcity of helium gas, which had to be extracted laboriously from Monazite sand. The arrival of the first American helium from gas wells was an important event, and I went down to the Berlin Customs House to open the crate. But then the official wanted to open the cylinder too, to see whether it contained liquor. He only relented when I assured him that I should be most disappointed if it did.

As I was leaving the library after reading Keesom's paper [W. H. Keesom and J. N. van den Ende, Comm. Phys. Lab. Univ. Leiden, no. 219b (1932)], I had to duck a few bullets which were flying through the streets of Breslau, heralding the approach of Nazi rule, and it became clear that the cooling experiment would have to be deferred a little.

... I say `nearly all' laboratories, because the Russian colleagues who had signified their intention to attend failed to turn up. We were given the glib explanation that they were too busy to attend meetings. I was particularly disappointed because Shubnikov's group in Kharkov was carrying out work [L. V. Shubnikov, V. I. Khotkerich, J. D. Shepelev, and J. N. Rjabinin, Physik. ZS. Sowjet Union, Suppl., p. 39 (1936)] very similar to ours, but communications had been limited to exchanges of reprints with greetings scribbled on them. As it happened, Shubnikov was arrested shortly afterwards on charges from which he was to be posthumously exonerated twenty years later.

Postal code for Hessen, one of the sixteen states (Länder) of the German Federal Republic (FRG). [Like most of the country information in this glossary, Germany's is at the domain code .de.]

The state's area is 21,114 sq. km. Its population was 5,508,000 by the census of 1987, estimated at 6,031,000 for 1997. Hessen was part of the old West Germany; its capital city is Wiesbaden. Before the Federal Republic, Darmstadt was the capital of the state. IIRC, the Electrical Engineering and Physics Departments at UB have student exchange programs, each with a University in one of these two Hessian cities.

Hessen is one of those German proper nouns that used to have a slightly different form in English (Hesse), but whose German name is slowly being accepted as the standard English name. The best example of the phenomenon is the German name Frankfurt, which has almost completely displaced the older English equivalent Frankfort, q.v. As it happens, Frankfurt am Main is in Hessen State, 17 miles north of the smaller city of Darmstadt.

Hesse, of course furnished the largest group of mercenaries for the British effort against its rebellious North American colonies late in the eighteenth century, and German mercenaries generally came to be known as Hessians. A fly whose appearance was first noted at the time of the Revolutionary War came to be known as the Hessian fly in the US, and the American fly in Hesse.

During the Revolutionary War, Continental and state militia forces combined totalled about 20,000 troops, while British forces numbered about 42,000 regulars plus about 30,000 German mercenaries. US forces lost most of the major battles they fought, controlled none of the major cities, suffered disunity, mutinies, treasons, incompetent generals, bad cash flow and military supply problems and worthless government scrip. The British had some problems too, and they lost the war. What's this information doing here in the Hesse entry? Oh well.

Higher Education. Seems to be something of an official government acronym in Britain, as in HESA.

High Explosive. Powerful chemical (i.e., non-nuclear) explosive.

Hot Electron. A hot carrier (HC, q.v.) that is an electron.

Higher Education Act (of the US Congress).

Listening through headphones is a considerate and civilized way to enjoy music without disturbing those around you unless
  1. you have the volume turned up so high that the empty glass in front of you vibrates across the table, as you destroy your hearing ... requiring you to turn the volume up still higher;
  2. you tap and clap in approximate time to the music, and sing and hum along, so people wish they had the real music to drown out your library karaoke.

  1. Originally: something (instrument) that adorns the head.
  2. Colloquially: something that adorns the inside of the head.

A food adjective meaning flavor-abated or price-enhanced.

In the movie Sleeper, Woody Allen's character is the manager of a health food store who is accidentally put into suspended animation when a routine dental procedure goes awry, and defrosted by political dissidents in a totalitarian future. His reaction on sampling a particularly distasteful dish is to remark that it would have sold well in his health food store. (He is also offered unfiltered cigarettes as an effective tranquilizer by his physician hosts, who lament that in his day the healthful properties of double fudge and juicy steak had not yet been recognized.)

The June 1998 Atlantic Monthly has a story on how butter is no worse for you than margerine, and how it tastes great and is lined up to be the next olive-oil-style healthy gourmet food.

healthcare professional
In personals ads, this term has the specific meaning of `nurse.'

High Energy Astronomy Observatory. There've been three: #1 was launched aboard an Atlas Centaur rocket on 12 August 1977 and operated until 9 January 1979.

NASA's HEAO 2 was renamed the Einstein Observatory after making it into orbit. Good move.

#3 seems to have been the underachiever in the family.

History of Early Analytic Philosophy Society. What a neat acronym!

I read once that in ordinary conversation it's usually necessary to guess something like 30% of the sounds (more as you age). This morning, December 14, 2003, after spending a few hours offering my five-dollar bill to a refractory bill changer, I relented and put the five in the soda machine. In an experiment earlier this year, I had discovered to my horror that the soda machine returns dollar coins, so naturally I never put in more than a dollar over the price. But this day I was pleasantly surprised. Walking back into the library, I shouted at the guards:
Hey! Great news! The soda machine doesn't give those stupid dollar coins any more!
The older guy replied:
Yeah, they confirmed it!

He referred, of course, to the reported capture of former Iraqi dictator Sodam Achine.

My accent is also mentioned at the adult education entry. There's another entry that describes a pattern-recognition failure using the sense of sight, but you'll never guess what entry I stuck the story into.

High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center.

heated dish
A CATV receiving antenna with a heating element to remove accumulated ice and snow. If your dish is oriented to pick up signals from directly overhead, then you probably don't need this.

Heather Mac Donald's Law
As students' writing gets worse, the critical vocabulary used to assess it grows ever more pompous. [Definitive statement on p. 11 of ``Why Johnny Can't Write,'' in The Public Interest, #120 (Summer 1995), pp. 3-13.]

If you need heating, you don't have enough computers.

heavy holes
Compound semiconductor people throw around terms like this all the time without giving it a second thought.

heavy metal
In the human health context, heavy metals are transition metal elements in the sixth and heavier periods, which should be present only in small quantities. Like lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg), for instance.

In microelectronics, heavy metals are period-four and -six transition metals that are troublesome contaminants because of their electrical properties. Au (see Gold) and Pt are lifetime killers in Si. Fe, Cu, Ni, and Cr, in period IV, have atomic weights in the range 51 to 63, or about twice that of Si. They're at the top of the famous curve of (nuclear) binding energy, so they're rather common.

Because the conventional definitions of heavy metals include only transition metals, they exclude, amusingly, barium (Ba), whose name means heavy.

Heavy metal is a broad category of rock music characterized by electric-guitar amplifier distortion in the lots-to-huge range. Lyrics are often deemphasized but never absent. If they took out the lyrics, it would be a new kind of music that might be called Doo-Wop Scream. Some scattered other thoughts on heavy metal at the E.T.I. entry.

It was for an election of student representatives in junior high school that I first used one of those those walk-in gray, steel-construction voting booths. You know which ones I mean -- those curtained half-booths with flip levers that click clearly and a big red-handled lever that gives a solid ka-chunk as it registers your vote and pulls the curtain. If you're not strong enough to pull the lever, you've got no business voting. I loved those things. The popular model came out in 1960, based on a design originally by Thomas Edison. I've used a half a dozen different kinds of voting machine in the years since, and it's never felt as good. No wonder voter turn-out has declined: there's nothing to look forward to any more. Bring back the heavy-metal voting machines!

heavy water
Water in which the hydrogen atoms are of the deuterium isotope: D2O.

If you like to think in exotic terms, and when you consider that water is quite polar, you can think of a heavy-water molecule as two deuterons bonded to an O= ion.

High-Energy Booster (particle accelerator ring). See the SSC entry for an obsolete instance.

Header Error { Control | Check }.

Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa.
This a well-known Spanish saying which means that laws are made with built-in loopholes. A literal translation is something like ``the law made, the loophole made.'' The Italian version is evidently ``fatta la legge, trovato l'inganno.''

Higher Education Contribution Scheme. The system by which students pay for attending public tertiary education in Australia. An ICR loan scheme. (See the ``Going to Uni website'' if the link above is gone.) It sounds a rather inauspicious name.

HECS was introduced in 1989. Until then, Australian students paid no tuition fees. John Dawkins, Minister of Education in the Labour government at the time, argued that this constituted an unfair subsidy to the better-off families that sent students to college. Under HECS, each student is assessed a tuition obligation (initially it was AUD 1800 per year of study), and they have the choice of paying immediately or deferring payment. If payment was deferred, no interest is ever charged, although the obligation is indexed to consumer prices. (Actually, there is an effective charge for accepting the loan, because students who pay immediately receive a discount, but most students choose to defer.)

Repayment of the loan is keyed to income, and in fact functions as a kind of income-tax surcharge. Starting after the end of their period of studies, students are required to repay in amounts (called ``deferred contributions'' to the higher education system) that depended on how much their income exceeds a threshold of the average industrial wage (about AUD 30,000 in 1989). Contributions would be collected until the loan was repaid or 25 years had passed, whichever came sooner.

Health Employer Data and Information Set. A set of standard performance measures for managed health care plans, defined to allow comparison of such things as quality of care, access, and cost. CMS collects HEDIS data for Medicare plans.

N-(2)-(Hydroxyethyl)EthyleneDiamineTriacetic Acid. A complexing agent for Pd.

High-Energy Electron Diffraction.

The Scottish name for the HEFCE, to judge from this SCRE newsletter.

Higher Education Funding Councils for England.

Higher Education General Information Survey.

Heidelberg United Soccer Club
An Australian club founded by immigrants from northern Greece in 1958. Actually, the team has been through a few names in its history, and the current official name is the Heidelberg United Warriors. It's also known as ``the Bergers,'' and many of its fans still call it by its original name Megas Alexandros (or `Alexander the Great'). Oh how the mighty are fallen. Alexander was one of the founding members of Australia's National Soccer League in the 1980's, but it ended its 1994-5 season with the worst record in the NSL. In the off-season, claiming they were losing a million dollars a year, NSL cut Heidelberg, the Zebras (another Melbourne club with a losing record), and most controversially the Parramatta Eagles. They added Newcastle and the Canberra Cosmos, for a net decrease from 13 teams to 12.

Now, to tell you the truth, I don't give a rat's ass about Australian Soccer. Nothing personal: it's just that I'm an American, and Americans don't care about soccer. It's not unconstitutional for an American to care about soccer -- it's not even illegal in most states. It is merely impossible. I'm not sure whether it's a logical impossibility or a biological one, but it can't happen. (I did find the NSL administrative shenanigans exciting, though.) Yet you know that I wouldn't drag you this far through a glossary entry just because a Macedonian Greek soccer club in Australia is called Heidelberg United. (Alexander was in Fitzroy before it moved to Heidelberg.) That's why you're still reading. (Hello?!) There's got to be more entertainment value in it than that, and there is. So keep the faith, and read on.

Since it was dumped by the NSL, Heidelberg has played in the Victorian Soccer Federation. It won the Victorian Premier League championship in 2001, but the next year it fell to last place in the VPL and was booted down to the State League's first division. I don't know what that is, but in everything I've read so far (including the team's own sugarcoated history), the sentence that mentions State League 1 always contains the word ``relegated.'' Anyway, under current (2004) president Elias Deliyannis, the team has signed a number of former NSL players. It's pushing to win the State 1 championship in 2004 and bid for promotion back to the VPL for 2004/2005. (We actually have another VPL entry.) But it's been hard to find sponsorship. Deliyannis heard that Gotham City, a local business, had backed motor racing and netball in the past. (They've also supported kickboxing.) He approached the owner, who committed to a ``corporate sponsorship package'' of about $20,000. Gotham City is a South Melbourne ``institution'' (that euphemism comes up a lot) which promotes itself as Australia's only ``six-star brothel.'' This institution charges ``$240 an hour and an additional $30 for fantasies.'' (All amounts in Australian dollars.) Reporter Peter Desira broke the story.

Now you shouldn't worry that young children will be exposed to anything their parents wouldn't want them to see. ``There definitely won't be signs at the ground or on our shirts,'' according to Deliyannis. He understands that ``this has to be dealt with in a sensitive way.'' So what's in it for Gotham? Well, ``the owner believes he will get value by word of mouth...'' (my italics). Is that what Delyannis meant by saying that they were ``endeavouring to expose their business in a tasteful way''? This ``sensitive'' business can get pretty sticky. Wording is subject to alternative interpretations. ``It's a straight-out cash deal. There are no additional services offered, or asked for.'' Mm-hmm. The team website expresses great pleasure at all the attention. In an emailed announcement of the deal, the team urged fans to ``support the girls who support us.'' Athletic supporters, sure.

I really want to write about the NSL corporate gamesmanship that happened in 1995, but I haven't sorted it out yet. So instead, I'll explain that Elias is one of those names with a different form in the vocative. So if you're talking about Elias, that's what you call him, but if you're talking to him, it's Elia. Also, Delyannis looks like a Cypriot name (because of the -is) rather than a mainland name, but you never know.

Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, etc. To be fair to Paris, while she may trade on her celebrity, she does earn a living at it.

As long ago as 1997, a children's book was published with the title Duh - Heir Head: And Other Stories That Are Even Dumber than Dumb and Dumber, by Allen B. Ury. According to the publisher, it's ``packed with the air-headed action of a brainless gang of geeks, all the stories in this dud-namic new series serve up stupid in a very smart way. Characters bungle their way from story to story in this stupendous series, creating havoc and fun for midgrade readers--even the quick-witted ones.'' No, I don't understand where the pun comes in.

High-Energy Ion backscatter Spectroscopy. Or High-Energy Ion Scattering, which refers to the same thing. The acronym is mildly amusing, since heiß (heiss, if Rechtschriebung don't confront you), means `hot' in German.

Sure, he mighta' slept here, but the probability is exponentially, astronomically small. Here, on the other hand, there's very likely a picture.

He knows when you've been sleeping, he knows when you're awake...
What kind of fascist is this guy, anyway? Big Brother? Peeping Tom?

Header Extension Length. Not mentioned in my spam lately.

Spanish verb with the basic sense of `to freeze,' derived from the Latin gelare. It has a range of senses that substantially overlaps that of the more common Spanish verb congelar. I have a sense that in intransitive uses (when the verb's subject itself freezes) helar is more likely to be used without a reflexive suffix or pronoun than congelar would be. In other words, helar is more readily regarded as an intransitive verb. But this is a quantitative issue, probably subject to regional variations.

In metaphorical senses related to money (price freezes, freezing of assets, etc.), the usual verb is congelar.

Before the discussion to follow it should be stressed that when helar and its inflected forms are used nonmetaphorically as verbs, some solidification is usually implied. Thus, for example, ``esta noche helará,'' `tonight there will be frost' (not just cold). When fruit or plants are said to helar they have not just been chilled but gone hard. The only standard exception I can think of is in describing a person as freezing (i.e., suffering extreme cold), which may be considered either dramatic hyperbole or else a way to avoid some of the transferred senses of enfriar (`to cool, to make cold'). (Here one really must use the reflexive enfriarse, `to become cool, to get cold.' You probably also want to know that resfriarse is `to catch cold.')

The word for ice, hielo, is more evidently and straightforwardly related to helar than to congelar. (Helar is a stem-changing verb -- see hielo for details -- so the e/ie distinction is ignorable.) Perhaps that is why English terms related to ice (rather than freeze) seem preferentially to correspond to helar words. For example, helado, literally `iced,' means `ice cream.' (This is closer than it looks now; the original English term was iced cream.) Likewise, heladera is `refrigerator,' the technological descendant of an ``ice box.'' A congelador is a `freezer.' And heladera also means `ice cream woman.' (One who sells or makes it, not is it.)

A different word altogether, and not very common now, is helear, `to make bitter.' It's from hiel (`bile'), q.v.

HELlenic Association of American Studies. Of course, Hellas is Greece itself. There is such a thing as beeing too clever. HELAAS is based in Thessaloniki and was founded in 1990. It's a constituent association of the EAAS.

Helen of Troy
Parent company of Revlon and Vidal Sassoon. According to most reports, the original Helen had an illicit relationship with Paris. It was more than a brief fling. Paris, the capital of France (in Europe, a ``continent'') is historically associated with women's fashion. The poet Siegfried Sassoon made many classical allusions in his work. More about Ziggy at the DSO entry.

Helsingin Liiketalouden Ammattikorkeakoulu. Helsinki Business Polytechnic.


Pertaining to the period, or approximately to the period, from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE) to the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Peter M. Green's widely praised book about the Hellenistic era is entitled From Alexander to Actium. Actium, now called Akri, is a promontory on the coast of western Greece. A naval battle took place there on September 2, 31 BCE, in which the fleet of Octavius Caesar, commanded by Marcus Agrippa, defeated the combined fleets of Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius) and Cleopatra (Kleopatra VII). The lovebirds flew to Egypt. The next year Octavius pursued them there, and the city of Alexandria surrendered without a fight. Mark Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. Cleopatra's death marked the end of her (Ptolemaic) dynasty, and Rome annexed Egypt. (Although that was the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty, it wasn't the end of people named Ptolemaeus. The most famous such was the Alexandrian astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy, who flourished in the second century CE.)

The ``Hellenistic Age,'' by that or a similar name, is one of the more useful periodizations. After Alexander died, his generals competed for the pieces of the empire he had carved out of the western Asia and Egypt, and politically the region settled into a pattern that persisted until Rome's expansion overran it. Culturally, the period was marked by a diffusion of the Greek language, and Greek (Hellenic, as distinguished from Hellenistic) ideas and culture.

Aristotle died in 322 BCE, so the Hellenistic era begins with the end of the golden age of Greek philosophers. Although the Greek city-states declined precipitously in political importance, however, Athens maintained its preeminence as a center for philosophy.

Hemolytic anemia, Elevated Liver transaminases, Low Platelet count. A syndrome of unknown etiology, typically occuring in the third trimester of pregnancy. Here's a brief description.

There's a HELLP Syndrome Society, Inc.

Home Equity Line Of Credit.

Help Desk, help desk, helpdesk
Walk a mile in their tires.

Here are some purported reports from the field.

helpful hints
  1. When you've got the nut in the nutcracker, hold it inside a bag (a transparent bag with the unshelled nuts will do) to crack it, so the broken bits of shell don't fly all over the room.
  2. Don't just test your smoke alarm. If it doesn't work, replace the batteries.

That's enough for now. When you've memorized the list, you can come back and we'll have more hints.

  1. What, back already? Alright: if it smells bad and isn't cheese, throw it away. You save money in the long run.
  2. Remember that nut thing you memorized? Of course you do! Do that when clipping your toenails, too. But use a nail clipper instead of a nutcracker, and use a different bag.

helps prevent
Does not prevent.

Heat Exchanger Method (of growing [Si] crystal).

Earnest HEMingway, to you unhip people. Ahem.

Competently constructed clothing has hems; the bottom hem of a skirt is called a hemline. Until he was six, Ernest's mother Grace dressed him in girl's clothes. There is endless speculation on the effect. We literati are bored by it all. Heck, I don't mention it but two or three times in this glossary. (The other place I can find right now is this bit.)

HEMIspherical combustion chamber (in an internal combustion engine).

One-sided weakness, CNS-based.

A sixty-fourth note. The kind of word you can find framed and mounted in a museum of sesquipedalianisms. Ruth, a Cambridge ethnomusicologist, once mentioned (even while sitting next to yet another Brit music type) that it was an Americanism. I just noticed that the American Heritage Dictionary describes it as chiefly British. My patriotism is salved by the confirmation of my original belief that this lexical monstrosity belongs to the nation that gave the world rule by constitutional jesters. (Assuming the AHD isn't wrong here.)

A semibreve is a whole note. Wonders never cease.

History of Early Modern Philosophy. This is not a common abbreviation. In fact, the one example I could google has been updated away. However, I decided to put in this entry anyway as a sort of gentle suggestion. What happened was, I saw an announcement for the South Central Seminar in the History of Early Modern Philosophy and I was moved by the music of the two-word modifiers -- South Central Seminar, Early Modern Philosophy, Saint Louis University. The theme reverberates across the webpage -- the seminar is to ``be held Friday-Saturday,'' and they're interested in early modern ``(especially pre-Kantian)'' philosophy. If I go I'm taking my castanets.

Helicopter Emergency Medical Service[s] (EMS).

High-level Entity Management System. A network management protocol that was withdrawn while under consideration to be an internet standard, in favor of SGMP and CMOT.

High Electron Mobility Transistor (Japanese-proposed name for this device, which seems to have won out). Depletion-mode Field Effect Transistor (FET) in which the channel is the two-dimensional electron gas in a quantum well. In principle, one could have a high-hole mobility transistor, but in practice the III-V compounds from which these heterostructure devices have been made have much higher electron than hole mobilities.

Other equivalent names: MODFET (less common), TEGFET (rare), and 2DEGFET (not completely unknown).

A figure of speech in which and connects terms with similar or overlapping senses. The best examples typically aren't.

Helium-Neon (laser). Pronounced ``HEE-nee.'' [Note these are long vowels; in IPA, /hi:ni:/. For comparison, /hini:/, spelled hinny, is like a mule, but with parent genders interchanged: female donkey and male horse. These tend to be smaller, presumably because jenny uteri are smaller than mare uteri. This contradicts the spirit, if not quite the letter, of the ranking of kinds of sexual congress described at the beginning of the Kama Sutra.]

The laser has a nice green line at 543.5 nm.

HENRY, H.E.N.R.Y., Henry
High Earner who is Not Rich Yet. A marketing term that I've read was first used in Fortune magazine in 2003.

According to a July 2012 article in the Weekly Standard, ``Henrys run households with annual incomes between $100,000 and $250,000. There are about 21 million of them. Henrys make up the overwhelming majority of affluent consumers, who account for 40 percent of consumer spending--which in turn is 70 percent of economic activity.''

(I'm not endorsing these claims, just passing them along.)

Higher Education National (UK) Software Archives.

Highly-inclined Earth Orbit.

High Energy Physics. Same as EP physics. Cf. HDP.

Human Error Probability. I think that's a synonym for unity, but of course I'm probably wrong.

High-Efficiency Particulate Air. Used in ``HEPA filter,'' sometimes shortened to ``HEPA'' (implying filter). Filters going by this name have been common in electronic fabrication labs since at least the 1980's. In 2004 I heard a radio ad that expanded the acronym as ``High-Efficiency Particle Arrestor.''

Literally, inflammation or disease of the liver. Hepatitis is also thought of as a blood disease because of the liver's function in filtering the blood -- so signs of infection are most readily discerned in the blood. If it were strictly a blood disorder, however, it could be called a hematitis or anemia. [Cirrhosis is not a specific disease but symptom: liver fibrosis (replacement of healthy tissue by fibrous tissue with nonfunctional cells), which may result from any of many conditions, particularly malnutrition and hepatitis infection, although one tends to think of alcoholism first. Hepatocellular carcinoma is also associated with chronic hepatitis infections.]

More useful information can be found at the Hepatitis Information Network.

Although nonviral hepatitis occurs (bacterial hepatitis, hepatomas, and food poisoning that may be referred to as nonviral hepatitis), in current usage the unqualified term hepatitis usually refers to a viral liver disease, of which six (A, B, C, D, E and G) are common. (The corresponding viruses are typically called HAV, HBV, etc.; a namespace collision looms -- cf. HIV.) Viral diseases generally do not (except indirectly) respond to antibiotics.

Higher Education Price Index. An index of the prices of the goods and services typically puruchased by colleges and universities -- mostly trained workers. I.e., factor prices: the prices of the inputs to higher education.

High Energy Physics (HEP) Information Center. Link here.

Collective term for the seven pre-Viking Kingdoms of England: Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria, Kent, East Anglia, Essex and Sussex.

Hercules. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

A Greek goddess, one of the Olympians. She was a sister and the wife of Zeus, who frequently humiliated her.

Hadron-Elektron-Ringanlage. The English expansion that is given, to the curious but German-less, is ``Hadron-Electron Ring Accelerator.'' This is close, but Ringanlage is literally `ring site.' Anlage is used for work sites, and in this context the term `facility' would not be amiss.

High Explosive Rocket-Assisted Projectile.

herd of independent minds
A term coined by Harold Rosenberg to describe the group, of which he was a prominent member, that is known as the ``New York Intellectuals.'' Nowadays, the term is more often applied to university faculty, or more particularly and appropriately to liberal arts faculty or faculty at elite universities. The group Rosenberg referred to was generally anti-socialist and pro-American and knew it, in approximate contrast with the group it is now applied to. (Not to make any broad generalizations or anything.) Someday we really ought to have an entry for New York Intellectuals. Right now they only have another mention at the WWIII entry.

Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union. Merged with UNITE (the former ILGWU) in 2004 to form UNITE HERE, q.v.


heres ex asse
Latin legal term meaning `heir to the whole estate.' Dunno, sounds a lot like `trust-fund baby' to me. Read the article on heres from William Smith's A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1875). The work (or its Roman parts) has been made available on the web since the twentieth century by Bill Thayer.

Higher Education Research Institute. Part of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). They do US-wide assessment of the college experience, based largely on surveys like the CIRP and CSS (a matched pair!) and the new (instituted in 1999) YFCY.

A contraction of the personal name of Hernando Arias de Saavedra, and the name by which he is commonly known. The reference information on him that I can find without going to the (nonreference) stacks is sufficiently contradictory that I'm going to present it without prejudice:

According to R. Andrew Nickson's Historical Dictionary of Paraguay (Metuchen, N.J. & London: Scarecrow Pr. Inc., 2/e 1993), his years were 1560 to 1643, and he was governor of Paraguay three times: 1592-1599, 1602-1609, and 1615-1621. He was the son of Governor Martín Suarez de Toledo. [The current system of Spanish surnames did not become common until the mid-1700's. Arias was probably named after his mother or less probably a grandparent. The ``de Saavedra'' bit could be geographic or genealogical.]

According to Ione S. Wright and Lisa M. Nekhom's Historical Dictionary of Argentina (Scarecrow, 1978), his years were 1561 to 1634, and he was born in Asunción of Spanish parents. He was appointed lieutenant governor in Asunción in 1592, and then served three times as governor of the Río de la Plata area: 1597-1598, 1602-1609, 1614-1620.

According to the EUI, he was born in Asunción and was the first creole to hold [high] public office in [Spanish] America. He was governor of Argentina in 1591. The EUI doesn't give other dates, but says he governed the extensive province of the Plata for many years. It also explains that initially, his merits were not recognized by the Spanish court, and this caused him to be passed over in favor of Diego Marín Negrón (of whom I can find no other mention), but that Arias was allowed to succeed him on his death.

Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordinance. MIL STD 1385.

Higher Education & Research Opportunities in the United Kingdom. ``HERO is the official gateway to universities, colleges and research organisations in the UK.''

This entry is not about heroin but about heroin (the word). And it's not about the English word heroin, but about the Japanese borrowing of that word, which happens to be written heroin in romaji.

English has a word heroine that is currently pronounced identically with heroin in the major dialects. As it happens, Japanese has borrowed that word also. (Given the possibilities, it seems clear from the Japanese pronunciations that both words were borrowed from English rather than another language.) However, rather than borrow the same pronunciation, the Japanese simply adjusted the pronunciation of the word for hero that was also borrowed from English and written hirô. Hence, the English homophones heroin and heroine correspond to the Japanese heterophones heroin and hiroin, respectively.

I should add that Japanese is generally very tolerant of homophones. It is true that in most cases, native homophones are not homographs -- they are distinguishable in writing because they typically contain at least one different kanji. When words started to be borrowed from European languages, they originally had two written forms. One was a ``phonetic'' representation (which linguists prefer to call ``phonemic'') using the katakana syllabary; the other form, using kanji, was constructed in the manner of new native coinages. Eventually, the Japanese stopped constructing kanji versions and used katakana exclusively for new foreign (i.e., European-language, and eventually mostly English) loans. Homophones in foreign borrowings, therefore, are indistinguishable (are homographs), unlike native homophones. Nevertheless, I don't discern any great effort to avoid homophony. In fact, this entry was only constructed to support the entry for the Japanese suchîro, which represents a Japanese homophone pair borrowed from an English homophone pair.

Heron Mechanicus
A rara avis indeed. Found in Alexandria.

Heron's Formula
The area of a triangle whose sides have lengths a, b, c is

[ (s - a) × (s - b) × (s - c) × s ]½ ,

where s is the semiperimeter (a + b + c)/2, and in case it's not clear, the quantity in square brackets is being raised to the one half power -- square-rooted.

A term for a variety of chronic viral infections that cause recurrent skin sores.

[column] The Latin word herpes is derived from the Greek epsilon-rho-pi-eta-sigma [in beta code: e(/rphs, genitive e(/rphtos masc.] and originally referred only to herpes zoster (vide infra). The Greek term occurs at least twice in the Corpus Hippocraticum, viz. in the Prorrheticum (2.11) and in the fun-to-read Aphorisms (5.22). It is derived from Gk. e(/rphw, `to creep.'

Herpes simplex I and II
Viruses that cause oral, anal, and genital ulcers. It used to be that herpes simplex virus I (HSV-1) was much more common in oral ulcers, and HSV-2 more common in anal and genital ulcers, but perverted sex has mixed the two up some.


Herpes zoster
The virus that causes that shingles. The New Latin name combines the Latin word herpes (q.v.) which in origin referred only to shingles, and the Greek zoster, meaning `girdle.' You know, Aphrodite had a girdle that made her irresistible.

Higher Education Survey.

Higher Education Statistics Agency. (of the UK).

HEalth Sciences Communication Association.

Hot-Electron Transistor.

HETeronuclear CORrelation. NMRtian.

HydroxyEicosaTetraEnoic acid[s].

There ought to be a word like this meaning different spellings of the same word. (On the pattern of homograph, different words with the same spelling.) Cf. heteronyms.

An interface between materials of different bulk composition. A heterointerface and a heterojunction are the same thing, but if you talk or write of a heterojunction you imply that you're interested in its electronic transport properties, whereas using the word heterointerface suggests that you are concerned with other properties (mechanical, or electronic structure properties, say).

In its original sense, in both Greek and Engish, it was a grammatical term meaning `irregularly inflected.' I guess that's not such a useful word in ordinary English discourse. Instead, it is now mostly used in the figurative sense of abnormal or anomalous.

An electronic junction between materials of different bulk composition. Typically used to refer to semiconductor-semiconductor interfaces such as AlAs/GaAs, and to distinguish them from homojunctions. See also heterointerface.

A word that does not describe itself. Examples: monosyllabic, Spanish. Is ``heterological'' heterological or homological? Professor Gilbert Ryle, in an article entitled ``Heterologicality'' [first published in Analysis vol. 11, #3 in 1951; reprinted in Philosophy and Analysis (Oxford: Blackwell, 1954)], argued that we cannot rightly ask whether heterological is heterological. Hah! I just did it!

Words with identical spellings but differing in meaning and probably in pronunciation. If they differ only in pronunciation, they're likely just different pronunciations of the same word. If they differ in meaning only, then you'll probably get your meaning across more clearly if you call them homographs, it being assumed (unreasonably, to be sure) that different words with the same spelling are pronounced identically. If they do have different meanings and the same spelling and pronunciation, of course, they might not be homographs but simply different meanings of one word. How to tell the difference? We'll be examining that question eventually.

Highly Enriched Uranium. Cf. eheu.

Hepatitis-E Virus. Vide s.v. hepatitis.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Implicitly, an Internal Combustion Engine Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

Health, Education, and Welfare. A cabinet-level department of the US government, until it was split into a Department of Education (DoE) and Health and Urban Development (HUD). Since it doesn't exist'n'all, I've linked the HEW expansion to the Joe Bob Report instead.


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

Hardwood Floor[ing|s]. An abbreviation used in the real estate business. Some people really like it, and some people figure they'll only cover it with rugs or carpeting.

The shine on a hardwood floor can get scuffed away over time, or foam may get stuck to it from years under a carpet. Typically it's not so bad that you can't hire someone to come in and refinish it to look like new.

Do not mistake laminate for hardwood. Laminate is a kind of plywood sponge. A few hours under standing water, and the stuff begins to look like the Pillsbury Doughboy's syrup-streaked cousin.


Often what is referred to as Hartree-Fock is really only `Unrestricted' Hartree-Fock (UHF, q.v.).

High Field.

High Frequency. Band from 3 to 30 MHz.

Human Factor[s]. (A technical field, a journal and a professional society.)

Hydrogen Fluoride. Aqueous solutions of HF are used for dissolving silicon dioxide. Vicious stuff: at first dissolves unnoticed through the skin; a half hour later you are in agony as it attacks nerves and bone.

hexafluoroacetylacetonate. CF3COCHCOCF3. Also abbreviated hfac. Cf. acac.

Hydroxy Fatty Acid.

hexafluoroacetylacetonate. CF3COCHCOCF3. Also abbreviated hfa.


Household Finance Corporation. A NYC-area concern that gave I-think-it-was Phil Rizzuto a second career in TV testimonials. However, looking over the HFC materials mentioned in connection with Mrs. Pepper, I see that HFC, established in 1878, in fact had its headquarters at 919 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. HFC of Canada was headquartered on 80 Richmond Street West in Toronto. ``A consumer finance organization engaged in making consumer loans through branch offices in 29 states and Canada'' as of 1951. Are you bored out of your mind yet? Today, according to the website, HFC is part of the HSBC group.

Hybrid Fiber/Coax. The standard HFC architecture uses fiber to carry video from the headend or central office (CO) to the optical node serving a particular neighborhood, where it is converted to an electrical signal sent downstream via one of the (typically four) coax lines served by that fiber line. Each coax is multiplexed, so multiple individual customers have drops for packets. Multiple services (phone, video) are carried on the same coax and separated by a service unit at the customer site.

HydroFluoroCarbon. Many of these compounds have properties making them candidates to replace ozone-munching CFC's.

HyperFine Coupling Constants.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Made by hydrolysis of corn starch.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup 42. HFCS that is 42% fructose. Cheaper than HFCS-55, effective sugar substitute in a variety of products.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup 55. HFCS that is 55% fructose. A liquid very popular in soft-drink manufacture.

Human Factors Engineering.

(UK) Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Heterojunction Field-Effect Transistor (FET).



Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Since 1944, the HFPA has administered the Golden Globe Awards. These are annual awards for American movies and (since 1956) TV programs, second in prominence to the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards (for movies and TV, resp.). The Golden Globes are awarded on the basis of voting by journalists for foreign media who are based in California.

Hartree-Fock-Slater. An approximation of the Hartree-Fock method introduced by J. C. Slater, Physical Review, 81, 385 (1951).

Heat-Flow Sensor.

(Apple Macintosh) Hierarchical File System.

Hydrogen Forward-scattering Spectrometry.

hfs, HFS
HyperFine Structure. The consequences of hyperfine interaction. The hyperfine interaction is the residual interaction between the electrons of an atom and its nucleus. That is, the perturbation of the atomic spectrum by the electromagnetic moments and finite extent of the nucleus. The effect of finite extension is called isotope effect, but there are many other isotope effects that are principally atomic-mass dependencies of chemical and collective properties.

Human Frontier Science Program. International program supporting (mainly molecular) biology basic research. Main contributor is Japan.

High-Frequency-Structure Simulator.

In The Man with Two Brains (1983), Steve Martin plays Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr, the world's greatest brain surgeon. Steve Martin, who co-wrote the script, seems to have a thing about brains that are absent (The Absent-Minded Waiter, 1977; The Jerk, 1979) or misembodied (All of Me, 1984).

In Roxanne (1987) he plays C.D. Bales, the Cyrano de Bergerac character whose eloquence is borrowed by Chris McConnell, a pretty face in front of an empty skull, played by Rick Rossovich.

A number of Martin's routines have to do with pharaohs, whose brains were removed and stored separately during the embalming process.


Mercury. Archaically known as quicksilver. The symbol was constructed from the Latin hydrargyrum (water/liquid silver).

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

The Roman god Mercury, typically depicted with winged feet (depictions do often include toes, though), was the god of thieves and translators, so hermeneutics was named after him (his Greek name is Hermes), as have a number of newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury.

Hatters once used mercuric nitrate to soften and shape felt, poisoning themselves in the process. Hence the term ``mad as a hatter,'' immortalized by Lewis Carroll:

Heated Graphite Atomizer. Used in Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS).

HemoGloBin. This is an older abbreviation than the currently favored Hb. Using initials only of the main morphemes yields Hg or at best HG. That abbreviation was evidently avoided since it can lead to confusion with the chemical symbol for mercury (Hg), which also occurs in medicine.

Hansische Geschichtsblätter. Those are el's (lower case of LL) in the abbreviation, not ones. There're two of them to indicate a plural (Blätter instead of Blatt), just as ll. indicates the plural (lines) of l. (line). A German journal that might have been named `Hanseatic History Journal' in English. See Stuart Jenks's page of Tables of Contents of Historical Journals and Monographic Series in German for a complete table of contents, with Frames or without (deutsche Seite: Zeitschriftenfreihandmagazin Inhaltsverzeichnisse geschichtswissenschaftlicher Zeitschriften in deutscher Sprache).

Hercules Graphics Card.

Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis. Bacterial illness, first identified 1991, transmitted by deer ticks that also transmit Lyme. More rapid onset than Lyme, flu-like symptoms but no cough or nasal congestion. Only antibiotics known effective are tetracycline and docxycycline (or is that one?). Seems not to linger, but may be fatal. Has been fatal in cases where other medical conditions may have contributed to death.

Handling Gear. Protective clothing and tools for handling hazardous materials.

Hepatocyte Growth Factor.

``Human Growth Factor.'' I'm not sure, but I think HGF -- when it is interpreted in this way (and so doesn't stand for hepatocyte growth factor) -- is an error for hGH (below) or IGF (insulin-like growth factor), or a conflation of the two. (HGH stimulates the production of IGF-1, and, in a negative-feedback loop, IGF-1 inhibits hGH secretion by the pituitary.)

Human Growth Hormone. An endocrine hormone; the main hormone produced by the pituitary gland. See also ``HGF.''

Human Gene Mutation Database at Cardiff.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.

Human Genome Project.

Here's some other stuff that's related.

Hansische Geschichtsquellen. A numbered series that might have been named `Hanseatic History Sources' in English. See Stuart Jenks's page of Tables of Contents of Historical Journals and Monographic Series in German for a complete list of monographs (deutsche Seite: Zeitschriftenfreihandmagazin Inhaltsverzeichnisse geschichtswissenschaftlicher Zeitschriften in deutscher Sprache).

After a few years of publication under its original short title, the usual title bloat set in, and after 1897 it was known as Quellen und Darstellungen zur hansischen Geschichte (QDhG).

Mercury Selenide. A II-VI compound semiconductor. Bandgap is 0.3 eV; lattice constant is 6.082 Å.

Mercury Telluride. HgCdTe-based (MCT-based) materials and devices are currently most of the commercial II-VI market and are used primarily for IR detectors.

Bandgap is 0.15 eV; lattice constant is 6.373 Å.

Hepatitis-G Virus. Vide s.v. hepatitis.

Postal code for Hamburg. The second aitch in the code probably refers to the fact that it was a Hanseatic city, though in principle it might refer to the fact that it's a port (see HB entry for Bremen). Like Berlin (BE), Hamburg is both a single urban district (including, in Hamburg's case, two nearby islands) as well as one of the sixteen states (Länder) of the German Federal Republic (FRG). [Like most of the country information in this glossary, Germany's is at the domain code .de.] Hamburg is the second-largest city of Germany (after Berlin) and the second-smallest state (before Bremen). Its area is 755.3 sq. km. and its population (1,593,000 in the national census of 1987; 1,704,700 as of January 1, 1998).

Hamburg, Germany's largest port, is fifty-plus kilometers up the Elbe River from the coast, and traditionally benefitted from traffic along the Elbe in parts of northern Germany. During the period of the two Germanies, Hamburg in West Germany lost trade from those regions, which lay mostly in East Germany (GDR), and compensated to some extent by cultivating business with Scandinavia.

HH, hh
Heavy Hole. Explanation at LH (for light hole).

Hereditary Hemochromatosis. (Haemochromatosis in British spelling.) Learn more about it from the AHS. But go to the CDC's page on it first. The AHS page is half a meg in bytes and may take a while to load.

Home Health or Home and Hospital. Visiting nurses, that sort of thing.

HouseHold. Term used in polling. A ``union HH'' is typically defined as a household with at least one wage-earner who belongs to a union. A ``military HH'' might or might not include HH's with a veteran but no active military, depending on who's counting or reporting.

Hand-Held Assay.

Health Hazard Assessment.

Hispanic Health And Nutrition Examination Survey.

Health Hazard Assessment Report.

The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (DNA). Don't tell me the second aitch isn't capitalized in the title. The copy in my hands has the title in all-caps. We have more information about HHGTTG at the ebook reader entry.

Hubert Horatio Humphrey. Vice-president of the US under LBJ.

Ran for president in 1968 and lost a close election to Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN).

Remembered for saying that he would eat the paper the bill was written on, if the voting rights act of 1964 led to what we now call reverse discrimination or quotas, which RMN imposed by executive order.

There's a Herbert Hoover Highway in Iowa, but I haven't seen it abbreviated HHH.

Herfindahl-Hirschman Index. A measure of market concentration, defined as the sum of the squares of the market shares (in percent). Thus, perfect monopoly or monopsony has an HHI of 10,000 and a market shared equally by n competitors has an HHI of 10,000/n. The HHI has the natural property of increasing with any binary change in market share that is intuitively regarded as concentration: Any binary transfer of market share--i.e., any transfer of market share involving only two market participants, increases (decreases) the HHI value when market share shifts from the smaller to larger (larger to smaller) market participant. Moreover, any (general) change of market share can be decomposed into a sum of such binary transfers. However, more complex redistributions of market share are valuated by the HHI in ways that may not coincide with intuitive expectation. For example, a market dominated by four equal competitors has an HHI of 2500. If three of those competitors lose market share to a very large number of small businesses as well as to the remaining large competitor, the HHI may remain at 2500 with one large business holding almost half the market share.

In deciding whether to challenge a horizontal business merger (under section 7 of the Clayton Act), the DOJ and FTC consider various factors, including ease of entry and concentration trends in the relevant market, financial condition of firms (an unmerged company that soon fails will not prevent market concentration), etc.

Nevertheless, the starting point for analysis is the HHI. Under DOJ-FTC guidelines, a market with pre-merger HHI below 1,000 is regarded as unconcentrated, and the merger is unchallenged. Note that HHI < 1000 means that there are at least ten companies, and that no single company can have a market share exceeding 31.62%; if the pre-merger market is dominated by two companies (with market shares near 23.6%), their merger can double the HHI to near 2000.

If pre-merger HHI is between 1000 and 1800, the industry is considered moderately concentrated and will usually be challenged only if it is expected to increase HHI by 100 points or more.

A market with HHI exceeding 1800 is considered highly concentrated; mergers that increase HHI by 50 to 100 then ``raise significant competitive concerns.''

In any case where a leading firm has market share exceeding 35%, merger with a firm having as little as 1% share may be challenged.

All that said, since the 1980's there's been substantial shift in legal thinking on what constitutes monopoly power, with a deemphasis of raw size concerns and a greater concern with how markets work, and in particular on whether customers are deprived in some way relative to the prices and choices that would be available in a less concentrated market. Still, all those what-ifs are harder to measure than market share.

The formulation of the HHI implies that square of market share is a proper measure of market power. According to Metcalfe's Law, the value of a network varies similarly.

Head Honcho In Charge.

Hanging Head In Shame.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Located at UCSD.

H. H. Munro
Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916). Saki.

Ha-Ha, Only Kidding.

Headquarters and Headquarters OPerations.

Headquarters and Headquarters OPerationS.

Health and Human Services (U.S. Dept. of).

Higher Heating Value. The total energy released by combustion of a fuel. This includes the ``latent heat of vaporization'' of the water, which goes not into heating but into changing the state of water in the fuel. This is quite significant for wood fuel. The ``lower heating value'' excludes the latent heat, and is often a more appropriate measure of heating value for good reasons to be explained at the LHV entry.

For wood and natural gas, latent heat of vaporization is the most important component of the difference between energy released by a combustion and heating done by it. Of course, the thing most effectively heated by combustion is the exhaust gas, and the efficiency of a furnace is mainly a measure of how effectively the exhaust gas is cooled -- i.e., how much of the ``heating value'' is saved from direct loss to the environment in exhaust. (Some of the heating value is emitted as radiation during the reaction, and may never go into the reaction products.)

Hawaii USPS abbreviation. There are a government homepage and a searchable Hawai`i Homepage.

In the Hawaiian language, Hawaii is spelled Hawai`i. The opening single quote indicates the glottal stop consonant, the sound of ``tt'' in most Americans' pronunciation of ``cotton.''

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for Hawaii. USACityLink.com has a page with a few links.


Humanitarian Intervention. Sometimes the adjective characterizes the impulse better than it does the effect of the noun. Cf. HUMINT.

Hydrogen Injection. A part of various diffusion-furnace recipes. It's probably good to keep in mind that H2/O2 ratios between 0.04 and .75 are flammable.

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

German Jewish refugees in Latin America pronounced it ``HEE-ahs'' (i.e., as it'd be pronounced in Spanish if written jías).

High Birefringence.

Heavy Ion BackScatter[ing].

Heavy Ion Collision[s].

High (refractive) Index Contrast.

Hybrid Integrated Circuit (IC).

Hydrogen-Induced Cracking. That's cracking as in fracturing and breaking. Hydrogen refers to acid. Since acids dissolve metal, more or less, one is interested in HIC-resistant metals. One application is ``wet sour gas'' pressure vessels. Sour means acidic, and moisture is needed for an acidic gas (like H2S) to ionize and drive an acid-base reaction.

Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. The thirtieth was in 1997.

High-Intensity Discharge (illumination).

Spanish, `of noble descent.' (It also has the usual transferred senses of `noble' in the modern sense.) The only reason I mention it is because of the cool etymology. It's a contraction of hijo de algo, `son of something.'

Rev. Jesse Jackson used to go around (still does, for all I know) getting schoolchildren to repeat ``I am somebody.''

The word hijo (`son') comes from the Latin filius with the same meaning (source of the English word filial). (Interesting, and not really surprising, that filius is one of those words with a distinctive vocative form differing from the nominative: fili. For more on that, see the entry for Brute.) In Latin, a filius terrae, literally `a son of the earth,' is an expression meaning `a nobody' or `an unknown person.' A similar Latin word, filum (`thread,' compare English filament) became hilo in Spanish. For more on the f --> h sound shift, see the Spanish entry.

hidden layer
In a layered neural-net structure, any layer of neurons other than the final output layer or the initial input layer. The terminology presupposes a fairly simple architecture.

Spanish noun meaning `bile,' from the Latin fel (gen. fellis). Spanish also uses the Latin word bilis in its unmodified form, which yielded French, then English, bile. Strictly speaking, fel was a gall bladder, and bilis in Latin was the bitter fluid (bile) excreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. So say Lewis and Short at their bilis entry but not at their fel entry. It seems that at a very early point, the meanings became confused, and fel at least was widely used metonymically or just loosely for bile. Spanish preserves both terms in the common sense of `bile.' Before you panic that Spanish vocabulary has stolen a march on English, recall that English has the Germanic word gall (why isn't this a French word?). In fact, gall is cognate with Latin fel and Greek cholê, chólos. (The latter is the source of yet another English term, choler, which was popular into the eighteenth century and can still be found in classic literature. There, heave a sigh of vocable relief.) It might be that gall (Galle in Modern German) is cognate with yellow (gelb in Modern German). If so then gall is related to Latin helvus, Greek chlôrós, and the gall bladder was named for its choler, errr, color.

Okay, let's do some more on the Spanish words. There's a tendency for bilis to be used as a technical or physiological term. Thus, a gall bladder is una vesícula de bilis. Conversely, hiel is used in nontechnical Spanish usage, where it can mean `bile' in the narrow sense, or something bitter. The latter sense is implied by the verb helear, which means `to make bitter,' normally in the fairly literal sense of `adding a bitter ingredient.' It's not a very useful word, except possibly for Spanish-speaking karela-eaters (living in Kerala, I imagine). The common verb amargar (related to amargo, `bitter-tasting') means `to make bitter, to embitter' and is frequently used in metaphorical senses. Hiel is also used simply in the sense of `bitterness.' This is particularly common in belles lettres (or is that lettres bilieuses?).

There's a common proverb no hay miel sin hiel, literally `there's no honey without bitterness.' This can be compared with the English proverb, ``too many cooks spoil the broth.'' Well, I said it could be compared -- I didn't say it was comparable. Another one is ``No bees, no honey; no work, no money.'' The one I learned was ``el que quiere celeste, que le cueste,'' literally `he who wants light blue [the sky], let it cost him [work].'

Miscellaneous paragraphs follow. Sometimes you want to mention something, but you don't want to interrupt the flow, you know? And then it's too late.

Spanish nouns derived from Latin neuters generally become masculine. (There is no neuter gender in Spanish. The Inquisition, you know. And Opus Dei.) Quite interestingly, although fel is neuter, the derived noun hiel is feminine. These things befall in the best of families, but more often in linguistics than zoology. Perhaps the gender change was due to the influence of female bilis, or maybe el hiel (`the gall') just sounded too sing-songy.

There's an idiom sin hiel. If the phrase makes no sense in context, you can understand it as `excellent.'

Spanish noun meaning `ice,' from the Latin gelu. It's related to the verb helar, q.v. That verb undergoes a stem change (someday we'll have an ablaut entry, but today ain't someday), on the same pattern as pensar (`to think'). Compactly stated, all present indicative, present subjunctive, and imperative forms, except for first- and second-person plural conjugations, substitute -ie- for -e-. (Otherwise -- which is to say in first- and second-person plural forms, in periphrastic tenses, and in the rest of the synthetic ones -- there's no stem change.) Hence, hielo also means `I freeze.'


A pictographic system of writing used in ancient Egypt. Also, more recently, hieroglyphics have been discovered along the sides of European roads, some of which are quite old and have not been repaired since the late middle ages.

Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts. A community arts center and museum which I hear is ``located in the foothills of western Pennsylvania.''

HIgh FIdelity. Describes sound reproduction; ``high-fidelity'' sound has high fidelity to the original. Back in the 1950's and 60's, the days when vinyl and open-reel ruled, ``Hi-Fi'' was used as a noun for a record or tape player or a combined unit, maybe with a radio. We had a Grundig with three or four short-wave bands. Because it was an expensive piece of high-tech equipment, and most people weren't yet accustomed to paying more for less, it had to come in a monstrously large piece of wooden furniture that was mostly hollow.

``Hi-Fi'' as an adjective for sound equipment is almost as superfluous as ``electronic'' to describe a computer. The term was used by our parents to describe their status-competition toys. In the 1970's when we started buying decent equipment of our own, we discarded (i.e., the marketing people decided that we would discard) the now old-fashioned term Hi-Fi. The radio lost its speaker and output stage (amplifier) and became a tuner. The record player lost its amplifier and speaker(s) and became a turntable. You combined one or more of these items with an amplifier and a couple of loudspeakers and you had a ``component system.'' The components had different brand names on them. They started to come from Japan; soon they all came from Japan. A turntable that came in a single box with an amplifier (what an innovative concept!) was a stereo. Often the stereo came bundled with a radio tuner. In the seventies you could get an old-style combination: a stereo with radio tuner, plus eight-track or cassette or (rarer) both, in a ``compact'' unit.

In the late 90's or so, the old-fashionedness of the term now bleached out by three decades' lying in the cold sun of the linguistic scrap heap, ``Hi-Fi'' has been dusted off and pasted onto some CD players.

Since the download of high-fidelity audio data requires high bandwidth or patience, webpages now often offer a Lo-Fi option.

Heterostructure-Insulated Gate Field Effect Transistor. This seems to be a Honeywell specialty. About halfway between a MESFET and a MODFET.


high rate of speed
This is highly technical police language. I'm afraid you wouldn't be able to grasp it. You'd probably think it means something like `high speed' or `fast.' Yeah, right. Let me lay it on ya': it's traversing a given quantity of distance during a short interval of time, relatively speaking. You'll probably want to retreat to your cage and think it over a while.

high-ratio mortgage
A mortgage loan on a large fraction of the value of a property (i.e., a mortgage loan with a high L.T.V. ratio). In Canadian practice, where high-ratio mortgages are required to be insured, that is defined as a loan exceeding 75% of the lending value of the property.

To have your bike fall over to the outside of a curve. Noun and verb and unpleasant.

A neglected useful word with the meaning of ``is called by the name of.'' So instead of saying ``I am Red'' (which might be interpreted as ``I am red'') or ``I am called Red'' or ``you can call me Red'' (with even greater ambiguity) or ``my name is Red'' (a bit too formal), you can say directly, and without leaning on the passive voice: ``I hight Red,'' which has just the right tone (plus a bit of mystery right now). Obviously, it's a cognate of German heißen.

Chaucer made use of the verb substantially, Shakespeare rarely. Twain embraced it in his Tale of a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889). [The action in that story is set mostly in the sixth century, but the language is Modern English colored with bits of Elizabethan (Early Modern English) archaisms.]

Over the centuries, there has been considerable confusion regarding the conjugation of this verb, with the vowel wobbling about and the parts of the verb interchanging. For this reason, it is clear that the verb should now be regularized: hight, highted, (have) highted, highting. See also contemn and clepe.

C.R. Haines uses hight in his translation, for the Loeb Classical Library, of the correspondence of Fronto. Specifically, in the third paragraph of the first letter -- a somewhat chastising letter from Fronto to his former student Marcus Aurelius, designated successor to Caesar Pius. (In this connection, it's amusing to read the so-called Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. The first section is a list of acknowledgments, and around the middle of the list, Fronto has his paragraph and a carefully measured-out teaspoon of praise.) Haines uses the construction is hight [sic], so we may take the publication year of that volume (1919) as a convenient date marking the death of this verb, before its resurrection in this entry.

Very possibly, it is not accidental that the word occurs in this particular paragraph. The paragraph is about word choice -- beginning with Cicero's and going on to critique that of his correspondent Aurelius. According to Fronto (in Haines's English): ``Wherefore I commend you greatly for the care and diligence you shew [sic] in digging deep for your word and fitting it to your meaning. But, as I said at first, there lies a great danger in the enterprize [sic] lest the word be applied unsuitably [pause here and reflect] or with a want of clearness or a lack of refinement, as by a man of half-knowledge, for it is much better to use common and everyday words [volgaribus et usitatis] than unusual and far-fetched ones [remotis et requisitis], if there is little difference in real meaning.'' I am in perfect concord with this sentiment. The early Loebs are notorious for their archaic English. To judge by his 1889 work Christianity and Islam in Spain (756-1031), Haines was not normally quite so old-fashioned. (He did use shew and show verb forms in about equal numbers in the 1889 work, however, and by that time shew was distinctly a minority usage even among British writers. Then again, even in 2007 I know a Latin teacher in England who still writes shew.)

In the particular case of Fronto, however, the archaizing is probably appropriate, since he was deeply conservative regarding language and literature. Though born around 90 CE, he hated the modernism of people like Seneca, and only cared for the old republican writers. One even gets the impression that his praise of Cicero was grudging. Fronto's use of the variant volgaribus (see above) instead of the now-standard vulgaribus is probably an instance of his preference for old usages. (In the original manuscripts, of course, there was no graphical u/v distinction, so these words were written uolgaribus and uulgaribus.) At least, -uus nominatives could be and usually were written with -uos until the Golden Age (70 BCE-18 CE).

One thing obvious from Fronto's letters is that he liked to pile on the words, apparently to show off that he knew them. The reason that one obtains that impression is that, quite frankly, the supernumerary words often added little of significance and just reduced precision, accuracy, and overall correctness, so to speak.

High-TC Superconductivity
Also HTS and HTSC. Superconductivity at temperatures (i.e. below superconducting transition temperatures TC) much higher than, say, 30K. Superconductors with high TC were discovered by Alex Muller and George Bednorz of IBM Zurich in 1986.

An online introduction is available from Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston. The ORNL HTSC homepage (apparently this is technically the homepage for ``Superconductivity for Electric Power Systems'') is pedagogically useful as well.

Other useful information sites are SUPRAS and the Los Alamos server form for e-prints. There's also an electronic journal called High TC Update.

Spanish for `fig.' Pronounced like ego in English, except that the e is of shorter duration, the g is articulated at the epiglottis rather than the palate, and the o isn't rounded, but other than that it's all the same sounds.

The English word fig and the Spanish word higo are both derived from Latin ficus, and both show the revoicing of the cee. (The letter c in Latin is essentially a gamma that lost its voicing. If you think I'm gonna explain that one again, you gotta'nother thing comin'.) The eff and aitch sounds are closely related. This can be seen in Japanese, where the syllables associated with ha are hi, fu, he, and ho. (Note, though, that the eff there is bilabial, represented in the IPA by the character phi.) The eff/aitch similarity can be seen in English, where the original aitch-like /x/ or /ç/ sound still found in Scottish loch evolved into eff (rough, tough) or disappeared (high, nigh). In Spanish, a number of Latin initial eff's became aitches, and aitch is now silent. Other examples: hacer, `make, do,' from Latin facere; herir, `injure,' from ferire; hierro, `iron,' from ferrum; hijo, `son,' (cf. hidalgo) from filum; horno, `oven,' from furnus; humo, `smoke,' from fumus.

The word higo is used figuratively in Spanish to suggest something small, somewhat as in the English expression ``I don't care a fig.'' However, in Spanish it is used more, uh, figuratively, if you catch my drift.

{His|Her} Imperial Highness. Abbreviates the title used in English for members of the Japanese royal family.

Hi -- it's me!
Just consider the alternatives.

Heavy Ion Linear ACcelerator.

A genre of writing that comprises both fiction and nonfiction works. The name stands for HIgh interest and LOw difficulty. Hi-Lo writing is aimed adult-like readers with child-like reading ability. The ``high interest'' subjects of this genre are chosen to appeal to people who are beyond normal elementary-school age and likely to be bored by the sort of Dick-and-Jane narratives found in introductory readers. To be perfectly fair, a teenager who only reads at an elementary-school level is nevertheless likely to be more sophisticated than the average younger reader.

The lives of professional athletes are popular subjects of Hi-Lo. This strikes me as ironically appropriate, though there are, uh, many exceptions. Cf. El-Hi.

Health Information Management.

This is a German noun, and it can be translated into just about any European language by a single word, but for English you need two words: `sky' and `heaven.'

A German fish name roughly roughly translatable as `sky watcher.' It's the name of the family Uranoscopidae. The English common name is star-gazer, and German also uses a parallel name as a synonym: Sternseher.

High-altitude Missile Engagement Zone. Surface-to-Air missiles. See differential definition at the weapon engagement zone entry of the DOD's online Dictionary of Military Terms.

Heard Island and the McDonald Islands. See .hm.

Hindus In North America. A pun on the Hindi word hiina, `lost, abandoned.' There seems to be a penchant for irony in the construction of these initialisms. Cf. ABCD, NRI.

A forecast of past events or conditions based on events or conditions in the more remote past. The term is used primarily in weather and climate research, as a way to test predictive models. (Hence the alternate term backtest, although this term is preferred by econometric and market modelers.)

The making of hindcasts, q.v.

The Turkish word for `turkey.' Wonders never cease.

Babahindi is a `turkey cock,' and baba is one of the words meaning `father.' (Internationally, of course, ata is better known. Both words, along with cet [`grandfather'], have a scattering of generalized senses like `ancestor, forefather, elder.') There are many compounds beginning in baba, including babaanne (`paternal grandmother' -- so that's what the Beach Boys were singing about!), but a similar construction for any other bird does not seem to be common. For example, the peafowl is tavus, and the peacock and peahen are tavus kusu and disi tavus, respectively. (Please mark your screen with a cedilla under the s in kusu and in disi.) A drake is an erkek ördek (literally a `duck cock') and a gander is an erkek kaz.

A turkey buzzard (more commonly called ``turkey vulture'' outside the US) is a ``hindi akbabasι.'' I assume this is a loan translation rather than a coincidence; akbaba means `vulture.'

The offspring of a male horse and a jenny. Because a mare is larger than a jenny, mules tend to be larger than hinnies.

The History INTernational cable channel.

Hits (given up) per Inning Pitched. A baseball pitching stat. Cf. WHIP.
Hot Isostatic Press[ing]. I've actually read ``HIPing'' but not heard it.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Passed by the US Congress in 1996. Administrative reforms phased in 2000-2003. Also known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill, it was originally introduced with the intent of assuring some continuing health insurance coverage for employees immediately after they leave a job. In a concession to the insurance industry, an ``Administrative Simplification'' section was added, intended to save money by requiring standardized identification, diagnosis, and treatment codes, and standard electronic formats for records and transactions.

hip abductor
Whoa! I want everything back except the cellulite.

Highly Indebted Poor Country. As distinguished from a highly indebted rich country.

Heterogeneous Intelligent Processing for Engineering Design.

HIgh Precision PARallax COllecting Satellite. (Ordinarily, I might insist on a hyphen between High and Precision, but I'll let it go this time because (a) the satellite was also high and (b) it's a cool backronym honoring a great ancient astronomer instead of some odd mythical character.) Hipparcos, an ESA mission, was launched in August 1989 and charted stars until March 1993. Its ``main instrument generated the Hipparcos Catalogue of 118,218 stars charted with the highest precision. An auxiliary star mapper pinpointed many more stars with lesser but still unprecedented accuracy, in the Tycho Catalogue of 1,058,332 stars. The Tycho 2 Catalogue [based on a reanalysis of the original data using improved reduction techniques], completed in 2000, brings the total to 2,539,913 stars, and includes 99% of all stars down to [apparent] magnitude 11.''

That's almost 100,000 times fainter than Sirius, the radio satellite, errr, satellite radio. Oh, wrong Sirius! Seriously, it's Sirius, the Dog Star, 26 times greater absolute magnitude than our sun and a mere stone's throw away (8.6 ly). It's the brightest star in the night sky.

HIgh Performance Parallel Interface. ANSI defines
PHysical layer standard ANSI/X3.183-1991.
Framing Protocol, ANSI/X3.210-1992.
Link Encapsulation, ANSI/X3.218-1993.
Intelligent Peripheral Interface.
Switch Control, ANSI/X3.222-1993.
Disk Connections
ANSI/ISO 9318-3.
Tape Connections
ANSI/ISO 9318-4.
For a better list, with links, look here.

Government by horse, to judge from the Greek roots. Perhaps you were thinking of hypocracy.

hippuric acid
Also known as N-Benzoylglycine, benzoyl aminoacetic acid (and benzoylamino acetic acid), 2-benzamidoacetic acid, and phenylcarbonylaminoacetic acid. Various of those are official. Maybe it's easiest just to remember the Chemical Abstracts registry number (CAS 495-69-2). Okay, maybe not. In German, it's Hippursäure, Benzoylglycin, or Benzoylglykokoll. The interesting name comes from the Greek hippos (`horse') and ouron (urine). (The German word Säure, cognate with English sour, means `acid.') Spanish and French also have ácido hipúrico and acide hippurique, resp.

It's commonly found in the urine of herbivores and, as you can probably guess, it was first identified in the urine of horses. It's formed in the kidneys by reaction of benzoic acid with the amino acid glycine, and it's a way that herbivores get rid of excess benzoic acid in some plants. Hippuric acid normally occurs only in trace amounts in humans and carnivores.

      H           H
       \         /
        \       /
        /  ___  \
       /  /   \  \
  H---C  (     )  C---H
       \  \___/  /
        \       /
        /       \
       /         \
      H           C===O
           H---N     H
                \   /
                 \ /
                 / \
                /   \
               H     C===O

High-Impact PolyStyrene.

Health Information Resources.

HIgh-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer.

Keeps hedge trimmer in bathroom.

High-resolution Imaging Spectrometer.

Hospital Information System.

(US) House (of Representatives) Internal Security Committee.

Houston (Tx.) Independent School District.

How I Spent My Vacation. An 80-minute Tiny Toon Adventure movie. A work of art to judge by all eyewitness accounts.

Hispanic Heritage Month
Mes de la herencia hispana. I figured I'd mention it because of the novelty of its running from September 15 to October 15, instead of coinciding with a calendar month. Examples of the latter are collected at the awareness months entry.

Here's something geographically numb-brained from the US Census Bureau:

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15 -- Oct. 15). America celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

There used to be a Smithsonian Heritage Months page where, at least during Hispanic Heritage Month, you could find a link for ``evento calendarios,'' which was apparently intended to be Spanish. In Spanish, it means `calendars event' -- i.e., the event having to do with calendars. They've fixed that, but their bilingual stuff is still basically in English and translated English.

In passing, I should note that the homepage of ``Smithsonian Education'' is now set up with links based on who you are rather than on the information you want. The who-you-are approach works reasonably well for toilets, but the only thing it does well for information is insult. It's like the old ``Women's Section'' of the newspaper: tell us who you are, and we'll tell you what you want to know, dear. University homepages make the same offensive assumption. You want the Chemistry Department? Please tell us if you are staff, student, or money-ba-a-ah....err, heh-heh, alumnus/a/um.

The HISTory cable channel. Documentaries about WWII.

historical fiction
A composite material, with broken chunks of history embedded in an elastic matrix of fiction.

The etymology of this word has no more to do with his than that of the word calendar has to do with lend.

The term natural history ought to give you a hint of that. It comes from the Latin historia naturalis. That was the title of a sort of compendium of universal knowledge compiled by Pliny the Elder, and for him natura was a little more inclusive than our nature, which deserves its own entry, eventually. For now I'll just mention that like Linneaus in the eighteenth century, Pliny dealt not just with the animal and vegetable but also the mineral kingdom, both wild (as found `in nature') and domesticated (dyes and other technology), and also the weather, and other stuff. He really wanted to cram all knowledge into his encyclopedia, and at 37 books it is believed to be nearly complete, but curiosity killed that cat. He died in A.D. 79 when he went to investigate the volcanism of Mount Vesuvius, which erupted and covered Pompeii and Herculaneum. (He succumbed to toxic gases on the shore of the Bay of Naples.)

Histôria was a term borrowed from Greek, meaning `investigation,' so natural history is the investigation of nature. It was only gradually that the sense of the word historia (apart from special contexts like historia naturalis) became specialized to the investigation only of past human events.

The Greek histôria was based on the verb histôrein, `to inquire,' related to the noun histôr, `learned man.' No, no, his doesn't mean `man' here. (If anything, *-tor does; it's an element in archaic Greek men's names, such as Nestor, Hector, and Mentor in Homer, and in no women's names that I can think of. That would make story, derived from history, the more purely gendered term. Make of this what you will, but leave me out of it.)

Histôr is generally agreed to be a suffixed form *wid-tor of the common Indo-European root *weid-, meaning `to see.' The same root also led to the Greek words eidos (`form') and idea (`form,' `appearance,' and `idea'). (Hence Plato's ``idealism'' was his ``theory of the forms.'')

The University of Kansas serves a number of history resources such as the Virtual Library page for History and a linked Index of Resources for Historians. (That means that if you're not a licensed historian, you're not allowed to use them. Stay AWAY!)

history has shown
So I don't have to. Whaddaya mean ``please give examples''? It's history, it's facts -- you can go look 'em up! I don't have to tell you where to go (though I'm sorely tempted to).

HIStory of Technology Research Unit at Bournemouth University. This acronym has an unfortunuate resemblance to Minitrue.

Health Information Technology.

Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia, immune-mediated. Reduction in platelet count during heparin therapy (see UFH). Slight temporary decreases in platelet count are common (and self-correct) in the first few days of heparin therapy (both UFH and LMWH). This is not important, and usually not referred to as ``HIT.'' A thrombocytopenia mediated by an immune response to heparin occurs in up to 3% of heparin therapy cases. This more severe effect is HIT, and warrants immediate discontinuation of heparin therapy.

Hunter Information and Training program of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). It's getting dark-- I can't see! The mission of the HIT program is to promote the highest standards of safety, ethical hunting behavior and, wildlife conservation practices among Alaskan hunters. Alaska is the only state that issues licenses without requiring that a hunter education course be taken by the applicant.

If you've got the bandwidth.

Information about the director and occasional actor Alfred Hitchcock can be accessed through his entry the Internet Movie Database, as for others, and also at a dedicated Hitchcock homepage.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The virus that causes AIDS. Even the prime minister of South Africa believes this now.

At least two sets of strains are distinguished -- HIV1 and HIV2. HIV probably evolved from SIV, which induces symptoms more like HIV2. Cf. FIV.

HIV-tainted needles in gas-pump handles? A hoary urban legend; check out the UL entry.

One frequently encounters the usage ``HIV virus'' (an acronym-assisted AAP pleonasm). For clarity or emphasis, or for some unknown reason, ``HI virus'' is sometimes used. The spelling looks somewhat insensitively upbeat. On the other hand, it goes with the thoughtfully constructed adjective ``HI-viral.''

HIV positive. Infected with one strain or more of HIV. And it is a great strain.

Heavy-Ion-induced X-ray Satellite Emission.

Headphone Jack.

Any chance this guy is a distant relative of Max Headroom?

Heterojunction. Not Howard Johnson's, which is abbreviated HoJo.

Historical Jesus. The main frustration in attempting to extract historical information from the extant textual evidence (Christian testimony, Tacitus, Josephus, Talmud, etc.) is that the main weapon in the armamentarium argumenti is ``it seems reasonable to assume that.''

A lot of us nonbelievers are secretly hoping that he comes back anyway, just to hear him say ``No, no! That's not what I meant at all!''

Historisches Jahrbuch. A German journal that might have been named `History Yearbook' in English. See Stuart Jenks's page of Tables of Contents of Historical Journals and Monographic Series in German for a complete table of contents (deutsche Seite: Zeitschriftenfreihandmagazin Inhaltsverzeichnisse geschichtswissenschaftlicher Zeitschriften in deutscher Sprache).

History Journals Guide. An online resource created by Stefan Blaschke.

Hashemite Kingdom (of Jordan).


(Domain name code for) Hong Kong.

Here's the Hong Kong page of an X.500 directory.

The SAR entry has even less information about Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Dredging Corporation.

IATA code for Hong Kong International Airport, in Hong Kong. The largest airport in the world, with over 5500 doors, according to the entertainment portion of our in-flight program.

When I was there in August 1990, ground crew were eating lunch on the tarmac, in the shade of 747 wings.

Helsingin Kauppakorkeakoulu. Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.

Hong Kong (HK) Productivity Council.

Hong Kong (HK) Translation Society.

Hong Kong (HK) University of Science and Technology.

Henry Louis (Mencken).

High-Level Architecture.

Human Leukocyte Antigen. A protein on the macrophage cell surface that serves as a mount for displaying polypeptide fragments from broken-down viruses. Helper T-cells key on the peptides thus displayed (the epitopes) and activate B-cells (which generate antibodies to the free virus) and killer T-cells, which attack infected cells.

Horse-Liver Alcohol Dehydrogenase. (Not a joke.)

Handbook of Latin American Studies. A bibliography on Latin America listing works selected and annotated by academic scholars. Edited by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress. Published annually since 1935. In recent years, the even-numbered volumes have been dedicated to humanities and the odd-numbered volumes to social sciences.

History-of-Law (electronic mailing list). Sponsored by the ASLH.

Hydrophile-Lipophile Balance. Not yet another balance you have to try to achieve in your diet. This one is the responsibility of the emulsifiers. HLB is a measure of the relative attraction of an emulsifier for polar versus nonpolar liquids.

Hidden Line Hidden Surface Removal. A cosmetics technology? Not that I'm aware. The task of determining which lines and surfaces of a three-dimensional object should not be rendered in a computer-generated two-dimensional representation.

High(er) Level Language. A term of limited utility, including as it does both COBOL and C++.

Here's a list of computing languages with online resources.

High Level Language Application Programming Interface.

Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle. Like the Saturn V rocket. In this area the Soviets' space program had it all over us, with a large variety of Energiya rockets. I guess I'll put a link back here from the Satellite Power System (SPS) entry.

Habitation à loyer modéré. French more-or-less literally meaning `moderate-rent housing.' Equivalent to American `housing projects' or `low-income housing,' or British `council estates.' France had a big boom in HLM construction in the 1960's and 70's. Generally, these are high-rise apartments. See jeunes des banlieues.

Large blocks of rental units always seem to develop negative social connotations, and words associated with them become pejorative in various ways. Those ways vary among different languages and we'll visit that topic here eventually (for Spanish, English, and German).

HeadLine News. The sister-station of CNN. I was going to write that HLN is now a ``sealed acronym,'' but I realize now that it's actually a subtle XARA. (A XARA is A Recursive Acronym.) It's 2013, and since at least September of 2010, whenever I've read an expansion of HLN, it has been ``HLN, formerly known as Headline News.''

Properly, that should be written ``Hln, formerly known as headLine News.'' It's a wasted opportunity, of course. They should have called it TCNNFKAHLN (The Cable News Network Formerly Known As HeadLine News). And maybe they will. It seems to get some kind of rebranding every few years. It was launched as CNN2 in 1982, was Headline News 1983-1989, HN 1989-1992, Headline News again 1992-1997, CNN Headline News 1997-2007, and HLN since then. During the HN era and the first year or so of the HLN era, ``Headline News'' was regularly used appositively. Therefore, while it is fair to identify it as ``HLN, formerly known as Headline News,'' it is preferable, because ridiculous and accurate, to write ``HLN, formerly known as HLN, Headline News.''

For most of its existence, it has provided what ``headline'' implies: a condensed version of the news, repeated on a 30-minute loop. It was like the old WINS 1010 AM radio station in New York, which used to repeat, frequently: ``you give us twenty-two minutes, we give you the news.'' (Well it sounded like a comma splice.) The loop actually repeated exactly three times per hour, but they wanted you to show up early and hear the final two minutes of ads from the previous cycle. I would foil them by rehearing the weather report instead.

Since 2005, the once and future Headline News has shifted toward another kind of content strongly associated with headlines: tabloid programming. I believe they're now featuring two hours of Nancy Grace (``television's only justice themed/interview/debate show for those interested in the breaking news of the day'') twelve times daily. Notice that they say ``for those interested in the breaking news.'' Even they aren't claiming that it's always breaking.

Higher Layer Protocol Identifier.

Home Location Registry. (Or Register.) Permanent record of mobile network subscribers. Part of the cellular voice reference model.

Harvard Law School.


Hellenic Literature Society. You can receive a copy of their free fortnightly electronic newsletter, ``Greece in Print,'' as well as hard-copy promotional material, by sending a subscription request to GreekBooks@worldnet.att.net with your name and both your e-mail address and your home postal address. The HLS is a non-profit organization.

HindLimb Suspension. A procedure used for studying the effect on rat muscles of long-term ``unloading.'' Sort of the rat equivalent of enforced bed-rest.

High Loan-To-Value. An HTLV mortgage is one in which the principal on the loan is greater than the value of the property. HTLV mortgages are essentially renegotiations of the mortgage to refinance credit-card or other high-interest debt -- equivalent to a second mortgage.

High-Level Waste. An environmental management term. Cf. CEO, a business management term.

Heard and McDonald Islands, domain name code. An external territory of Australia in the southern Indian Ocean at about 5305' South, 07330' East. They are about 1,500 km north of Antarctica, 4,100 km south-west of Australia, and about 4,700 km south-east of Africa.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty.

Horace Mann School. According to the homepage, ``Horace Mann is a co-educational college preparatory day school enrolling students in Nursery through Twelfth Grade. Among the top independent day schools in the country, Horace Mann is best known for a superb academic program that draws talented young people from three states and as far away as 50 miles.''

Horace Mann, as you probably realize, is also the name of a person. Horace Mann (1796-1859) was an early advocate of free universal public education. He was known as the ``father of the American public school,'' but that's a lot of syllables; his friends probably called him ``Horace.'' (Even though ``Horace'' is disyllabic, it's practically as atomic as ``Paul.'') He was elected the first secretary of the Board of Education of Massachusetts when that was founded in 1837. The Horace Mann School traces its history back to the Horace Mann Lincoln School, founded in 1887 and described today at our HML entry.

Hardwood Manufacturers Association. Sponsors a Hardwood Information Center.

See also the Hardwood Agents and Brokers Association (HABA).

Hot Mix Asphalt.

HexaMethylBenzene. Don't you think you're overdoing the symmetry thing, here? That's it -- no more methyl groups, I'm full!

Heteronuclear Multiple-Bond Connectivities. NMRtian.

HeadMasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. A UK organization that represents the heads of independent schools. In Britain, ``independent'' schools are privately-run schools -- what are called private schools in the US and used to be called public schools in Britain. The government-operated schools (``public schools'' in the US) are ``state schools'' in Britain.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Canadian Ship.

Head-Mounted Display.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

HMDS, hmds

Hoof-and-Mouth Disease Virus. Note that the disease is not ``Hoof in Mouth.'' Cows, at least, are not that stupid.

High Magnetic Field[s]. There's a biennial HMF conference that began in 1972 at the University of Würzburg. Eight of the first 18 conferences were at that venue, so HMF is also known as ``the Würzburg Conferences.'' HMF18 was organized as a satellite conference of the ICPS 2008. As satellites go, it has a long orbital period; ICPS 2008 is in Rio de Janeiro, while HMF18 is in São Pedro, a small town 180 km northwest of São Paulo and 100 km north of Campinas. The conference is providing transportation from São Paulo International Airport and from Campinas airport.

Heavy-Metal Fluoride Glasses. Sounds like something old metal rockers would use to find their way around the nursing home, if they lived that long. See ZBLAN for more serious discussion.

Horse Media Group.

Human Menopausal Gonadotropin. Stimulates egg development. Clomiphene (common name Clomid) is also used clinically for infertility caused by inadequate egg maturation.

3-Hydroxy-3-MethylGlutaryl COenzyme A (CoA).

Hugh M. Hefner. Founder of Playboy Magazine (in 1953) and related enterprises. A pleasingly symmetric monogram.

Hub Management Interface.

Horace Mann-Lincoln School. A private New York City coeducational school founded in 1887 as an adjunct of Teachers College (TC). The official name was ``Horace Mann Lincoln Institute for School Experimentation'' (HMLI), although making anything official or regular is probably anathema. (I assume you know who Lincoln was. Horace Mann is described a little bit at the entry HM, the initialism preferred by the school in its current incarnation.)

HML was a progressive school, and after John Dewey joined the TC faculty in 1904, it only got more progressive. The school was also politically ``progressive.'' It may have had a limousine-liberal period, but eventually the student body came to be mostly red-diaper babies. The philosopher John Searle, who attended HML in the 40's, recalled in this 1999 interview that, as a mere socialist, he ``was sort of the class right-winger of the ninth grade.''

``The Horace Mann School for Boys moved to Riverdale in 1912, and during the 1940's, severed formal ties with Teachers College and became Horace Mann School. The HM School for Girls remained at Teachers College through the 1940's.'' I read somewhere that that closed in 1948, and that its old building is now New York's P.S. 125.

You could do worse than visit the HML entry.

Can't take a hint, can you?

Hidden Markov Model. Where did they hide it?

High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle. ` Humvee.' Replaced the Jeep.

Health Maintainance Organization. If they sold life insurance too, then they might have an incentive for you to survive. Visit the homepage of NCQA, the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

A brief explanation of the origin of the HMO can be found on the web.

Hückel Molecular Orbital (method, theory, whathaveyou).

If you can't enter the umlauted character in the text, write ``Hueckel'' for Hückel.

High-Performance MOS.

Heterostructure MOSFET.

Host Monitoring Protocol.

HyperMedia Presentation.

HexaMethylPropyleneAmine Oxime.

Heteronuclear Multiple-Quantum Correlation. NMRtian. Cf. Single same (HMQC).

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Railway Inspectorate.

Huber-Markov Random Field.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Ship. Most famous: the Pinafore.

The Historical Metallurgy Society.

{Her | His} (British, Royal) Majesty's Stationery Office. Similar in function to the US GPO.

High Molecular Weight.

Honduras domain name code.

H-NET, H-Net
Full name: H-Net, Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine.
``H-Net is an interdisciplinary organization of scholars dedicated to developing the enormous educational potential of the Internet and the World Wide Web. The computing heart of H-Net resides at Michigan State University, but H-Net officers, editors and subscribers come from all over the globe.''

Yeah, yeah, I'm sure they do a lot of fine stuff, but primarily they're known for setting up mailing lists for some of the more electronically halt and lame among humanistic and social scientific learned societies.

HIPPI Networking Forum. Here.

High NonLinearity Dispersion-Shifted (optic) Fiber.

Hughes Network Systems.

Holmium. A lanthanide or rare earth (RE) element. Its existence was predicted on spectroscopic grounds by Delafontaine and Soret in 1878. It was first isolated as an impurity [column] in erbia earth by Per Theodor Cleve, who named it after the Latin name of his native city, Stockholm. Perhaps the reason for the resemblance between that city's Latin name and Swedish name is the fact that the city was founded in the thirteenth century. On the other hand, for a long time the place was Christiana. Oh wait -- that's Oslo. Never mind.

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

Half-O. The name of a model railroad scale, 1:87. Half the size of O (letter O) scale, which was originally known as 0 (zero). HO is the most popular scale for model railroad and industry sets, although there is increasing enthusiasm for N.

High output... lamps, that is. VHO is Very HO.

Home Office. That is, an office at home. Some companies may well use HO as an abbreviation for their (non-residential) ``home office.''

A bricklayer's implement.

The (UK) Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act of 1979.

Highest Occupied Donor Orbital. HODO is to LEAO as HOMO is to LUMO. In fact, the HODO is the HOMO, in some approximation. In donor-acceptor complexes, the highest occupied state (a/k/a orbital) is (centered) on the donor complex and the lowest unoccupied state (the LUMO, if you've done that kind of calculation) is on the acceptor complex, so it's the lowest empty acceptor orbital (the LEAO). So HODO and LEAO are special cases, for donor-acceptor complexes, of HOMO and LUMO, respectively.

A farm implement.

Holographic Optical Element.

H-Net Network on Online Education in the Humanities.

Heteronuclear Overhauser Enhancement (NMR) SpectroscopY. Nuclear Overhauser Enhancement is NOE, but right now there's nothing there but pointers to related acronyms.

Hall Of Fame. What, you were expecting maybe ``House of Flatcakes''?

Henry Mitchell MacCracken, a chancellor of New York University, conceived the idea of a pantheon of great Americans, and coined the name ``Hall of Fame'' for it. It was founded in 1900 and built on what was then the uptown campus of NYU. It opened in 1901 with 29 inductees.

A surprisingly uninquisitive Dave Blevins did not even address the question of priority in his nevertheless interesting book Halls of Fame (2004). It's subtitled An International Directory, and in addition to a few he found in the US, he gamely listed HoF's in Canada and 17 other countries. (He counted ``more than fifteen countries.'' Maybe he was running out of toes, or maybe he just had a nagging suspicion that possibly the Irish Music Hall of Fame in Dublin, Ireland, is not in the UK.)

According to the back cover, more than 450 HoF's are listed. I'm not going to check, but here are some numbers I can compute easily:

Are there disturbing signs that America's famous lead in the HoF race is shrinking?

Blevin is also the author of UFO Directory International: 1000+ Organizations and Publications in 40+ Countries (2003).

History Of Geology. The Geological Society of America has a History of Geology Division (GSA HoG) and the UK's Geological Society (GS) has a SIG called the History of Geology Group (HoGG).

An animal that ignorant city-slickers are apt to call by the technically incorrect word pig, or a different animal altogether: a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The latter is also called a hawg or hogg. Regarding the latter of the latter, see the hogg entry. And speaking of entries...

In July 1995, a stray Vietnamese potbellied pig named Chi-Chi discovered a shiny black hog belonging to Walter Wyatt, in the yard of Wyatt's home in Key West, Florida. Excited, Chi-Chi mounted the brand-new hog's front tire and tried to mate with it. Okay, perhaps it succeeded in mating with it. Who's to say? Walter's wife Patricia witnessed the whole thing from her kitchen and called police. The 50-pound animal did at least $100 of damage to the object of his affections, scratching the paint and tearing the bike's fabric cover. It must've been hot.

According to animal control officers, state law requires all unclaimed strays to be neutered, and the owner, not identified in news reports, declined to claim him. Many locals, including the assault victim's owner, felt that the punishment was too harsh. I say the punishment fit the crime better than the victim did, but Walter Wyatt said, ``His crime is an alleged sex act against a Harley. We don't even know if that's a felony!'' A ``Spring Chi-Chi'' defense fund raised $300, and Wayne Smith, president of the Monroe County Bar Association, handled the case on a pro bono basis. ``The punishment could be death or what some males may consider a fate worse than death,'' said Smith.

What were the alternatives? A local motorcycle dealer said he might let Chi-Chi go hog-wild in his showroom, just to get it out of his system. ``Just a night's stay.'' One man offering to adopt Chi-Chi sent a letter to the Chamber of Commerce. It ended ``P.S. I have a broken scooter. It's his.'' Chi-Chi was fixed and retired to a local petting zoo.

Florida seems to produce a disproportionate share of animal-related weird news. For another example, read about the trouser snake at CREAMER. For more about potbellied pigs see NAPPA. Many NAPA distributors also carry motorcycle parts.

I'd like to mention that Key Lime pie was invented in Key West, but I can't think of a good excuse to do so. One of the factors in the creation of that confection was the widespread use of canned condensed milk there, at a time when it was less common elsewhere in the country. This must have been due to Key West's isolation. Isolation was probably a factor in the siting of the Agriculture Department's Animal Import Center at nearby Fleming Key. On July 26, 1989, six years to the day before Chi-Chi's case was heard in Key West, the Ag department officially admitted a herd of Chinese hogs after four months of tests at the center. The herd of 140 animals included three breeds: Meishan, Ming and Feng-Jing. They had been purchased by the University of Illinois and Iowa State University for breeding experiments. The breeds were described as ``unusually prolific''; their twice-yearly litters average 16 to 20 newborn, with a record of 33. They must suckle in shifts. Most U.S. breeds have litters of 10 to 12. (I couldn't bring myself to write ``only 10 to 12.'') I should probably also mention the nearby Bay of Pigs. Done.

History Of Geology Group. Details at the HoG entry.

Sheep. Sometimes I get the idea that the language has been taken over and is being made deliberately confusing by nefarious beings called Anglophones. Read about famous Anglophones who wrote in English at the item on Douglas Hogg.

Hard Of Hearing. Deaf or hearing-impaired. You have to be a little bit careful or sensitive in using these terms: there is an emotional disagreement about the best way to educate children who are profoundly deaf: immersion in a signing environment vs. heroic efforts to mainstream [lip-reading, ``Signing Exact English (SEE, q.v.), etc.]. Some terms to indicate partial hearing impairment are interpreted by those favoring a signing focus as indications of destructive wishfulness on the part of mainstreamers.

HOmonuclear HArtmann HAhn (variety of NMR spectroscopy). Not a joke. Don't insult me; I would have thought up something funnier.

Holocaust Oral History Project.

Howard Johnson's. I think they spun off the ice cream business a few years ago.

Head Of Line.

Hold the cheese.
Hold all of the cheese; I want it with no cheese. (This particular entry is for the edification of fast-food preparers everywhere. To encourage distribution, this entire glossary entry is placed the public domain. No, not the entire glossary.)

Also -- you know those double burgers with the pre-positioned cheese slice between the patties? Take it out or start over.

Also, when I say ``Taco Salad, hold the lettuce,'' yes, that means I want no cheese with it. Obviously, I meant ``hold the cheese'' and misspoke. ``It comes with cheese'' is not an acceptable response.

BTW, it's not necessary literally to hold the cheese, just don't put it on the food item.

Hold the onions.
This was a code phrase used in movies during the most severely repressive era of sexual-content censorship (after institution of the Production Code in 1934; the onion code was popular in the 40's). The idea was that a man would remember not to put anything on his breath that was unpleasant, or deleterious to romance, if he planned to do any heavy breathing in the near future. It was so well understood that it was a common joke on the radio. (More about leeks and legalities at the PTD entry.)

Time passed, and people forgot. In Waiting (chapter 9 -- see LBI entry), social scientist Debra Ginsberg actually went to the trouble of explaining, as if to a child, that ``a couple on a date early in their relationship will either both have garlic in their meals or request that it be entirely removed from their dishes.'' At least she realized that it could go without saying, that the latter group experiences less satisfaction.

Harvard OnLine Library Information System.

Holy Trinity
The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

Higher-Order Laue Zone (lines).

German, `wood.' A common surname. Surnames tend to preserve older spellings, so Holtz is also common. Lou Holtz was the Notre Dame football coach until the end of 1996, when he resigned ``because it was the right thing to do.'' It was the right thing to do because the AD wanted him out.

Wood seems somehow to be prototypical stuff. When you try to conjure up an image of nonspecific stuff, likely as not the image you conjure will be of wood or clay. That's my theory, anyway. I mean, if someone says ``a fish'' out of the blue, the mental image evoked is not likely to be of a barracuda or a zebra fish or even a mature flounder. You're more likely to imagine something that looks roughly like a cod. It's like that. For supporting evidence, see the HYLE entry. Another bit of evidence is in the fact that the German word Klotz, meaning `block,' is understood to mean a block of wood if the material is not otherwise specified. More about that word is now at the klutz entry.

Homeworkers Organized for More Employment.

Web weenie. Differs from ``cyberweenie,'' much as ``geek'' is a very different thing than a ``nerd.''


Homer search page
htgrep form for Homeric papyri.

Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. Mnemonic for the ``Great Lakes'' of North America. Lake Michigan is entirely in the US, but Lake Ontario, like the rest, is shared between Ontario and the US. It probably seems unfair, but as it happens, Michigan isn't really a whole lake. Michigan and Huron are two lobes of a single body of fresh water connected by ``Mackinac Strait,'' which is 3.6 miles across at its narrowest. Water flows through the strait in both directions. The areas of L. Huron (59,596 sq. km = 23,010 sq. mi.) and L. Michigan (58,016 sq. km = 22,400 sq. mi.) are computed by allocating some of the strait to each; their combined area far exceeds that of L. Superior (82,414 sq. km = 31,820 sq. mi.), which is popularly considered to be the world's largest fresh-water lake.

Lakes Erie and Ontario have areas 25,719 sq. km (9,930 sq. mi.) and 19,477 sq. km (7,520 sq. mi.), resp.

  1. Cloth woven by hand.
  2. You're looking for stuff about Norman Rockwell. Try the NYC entry.

Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital. Pronounced with long ohs [as in homozygous pronounced carefully, or as in (Joshua) Nkomo rather than, say, homonym] and stress on the initial syllable (/'houmou/). Lower-lying orbitals may be referred to as ``HOMO minus one'' (HOMO-1) ``HOMO minus two'' (HOMO-2), etc. See also LUMO and HOMO-LUMO gap.

Cf. (the less common) HODO.

It is a question of long standing whether the second e in the word ``homogeneous'' should be pronounced. A haiku inspired by Spam has settled the question definitively:
Ears, snouts and innards,
A homogeneous mass.
Pass another slice.

See also the navel entry.

Two words are homographs if they are written the same way. Since English spelling is not especially phonetic, there exist homographs with different pronunciations. Here's a list of heterophonic homographs that I can come up with offhand, plus some I added later: The pronunciation of the suffix -ate stressed or unstressed, or with a long or short vowel, seems (when the distinction occurs) typically to differentiate a verb (long or stressed a) from its homographic adjective or noun. In cases like celibate or differentiate, the pattern holds despite the absence of the verb or the rarity of an alternate form.

A junction between regions of the same bulk material which differ in the concentration of dopants. The paradigmatic example is the np diode, but a junction between As-doped and P-doped n-Si is technically also a homojunction. Cf. heterojunction.

A word that describes itself. Examples: polysyllabic, English. In this specific sense, homological has the synonym autological (entry under construction). In that sense, perhaps, autological may be preferrable, since homological is also a synonym of homologous.

The energy difference between the Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital (HOMO) and the Lowest Unoccupied Molecular Orbital (LUMO).

Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital, minus one. The orbital immediately below HOMO and immediately above HOMO-2. Parallel nomenclature in LUMO+1, etc.

Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital, minus two. Often when, in systems with an even number of electrons, you say ``HOMO minus one,'' you really mean HOMO-2. That's because in most approximations that use molecular orbitals, and to a very high degree of accuracy, orbitals come in degenerate spin pairs, and by ``minus one'' you mean down one level in energy. In the naming of orbitals this is just a book-keeping or nomenclatural convention problem, but in Hartree-Fock calculations, it's an issue! See the symmetry dilemma entry for moral guidance.

Honesty is the best policy.
Okay, fine. What's the second-best policy?

Margaret Carlson describes this as a joke ``[a]mong consultants'' in her March 27, 2008, ``Commentary'' at <Bloomberg.com>, entitled ``Hillary's Just Making It Up As She Goes Along.''

Japanese: `real, inner wish.'

Nitrous Acid. ``HONO'' is the structural formula, used as an abbreviation. If you like, you can regard it as an acronym with the expansion ``Hydrogen Oxygen Nitrogen Oxygen.'' The deuterated form is called DONO.

honors programs
In schools that have them, honors programs typically enroll about 5-10% of students.

hoofbeats, When you hear
... think horses, not zebras. A medical proverb, instructing one not to be too clever by half and imagine unlikely etiologies when common and more likely ones are available.

In the movie Duck Soup, which begins with a shot of ducks swimming in a bowl (IIRC), Groucho says

Gentlemen, Chicolini may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.

In golf, a ball is said to hook when it curves through the air toward the side the golfer has driven it from (viz., toward the left for right-handed golfer, and conversely). A ball curving to the opposite side is said to slice.

Informal name for the game of basketball.

A common circus trick is getting large cats to jump through hoops instead of eating the trainer. Metaphorically, ``jumping through hoops'' means performing pointless tasks for the satisfaction of someone you'd probably rather bite. It is the favorite metaphor of pre-meds and med students to describe the stuff they have to learn, or at least parrot, in order to get into and through medical school.

Anne wrote The Ultimate Sex Book. Grace was a mathematician who wrote the first implementation of COBOL and became the first woman admiral in the US Navy. Oh wait. That's Grace Hopper. Whatever. A lot of the stuff on the web on GH is bound to be a little distorted.

Since the 1830's.

Any flight under eight hours, according to the precise definition in one of Joan Didion's novels.

Hopeful Oats
A particularly self-deceived variety of wild oats, for sowing. Oh wait, maybe not. Could be Hope Floats. Those would be the MIA/POW cars in your Veterans Day parade. I suppose you could regard it as a complete sentence, with floats regarded as an intransitive verb, third person singular. Also a movie.

History Of Philosophy Of Science. Distinguished from HPS, q.v.

HOPOS also referred to ``[t]he History of Philosophy of Science Working Group ... an international society of scholars who share an interest in promoting research on the history of the philosophy of science and related topics in the history of the natural and social sciences, logic, philosophy, and mathematics. We interpret this statement of shared interest broadly, meaning to include all historical periods and diverse methodologies. We aim to promote historical work in a variety of ways, including the sponsorship of meetings and conference sessions, the publication of books and special issues of journals, maintaining an email discussion group, and the dissemination of information about libraries, archives and collections, and bibliographic information.''

The biennial meetings of HOPOS are also called HOPOS, or more specifically HOPOS '98, HOPOS 2000, HOPOS 2002, HOPOS 2004 (San Francisco), etc.

Between the time when I first put this entry in (around 2002) and today (2004), the ``working group'' has renamed itself ``The International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science,'' and slightly reworked its self-description with more formal and less personal wording. HOPOTH abideth within the membership of la FISP.

(And FISP is a member of CIPSH. It's like Russian dolls.)

Horologium. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

It's not what you think, you filthy-minded illiterate! Improve yourself, view these historical documents:

horology.com offers a comprehensive index of internet resources. There's also an Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS). Washington University hosts a museum wall of old clocks and a nice sundial.

If you ask scholars of eighteenth-century English literature (dieciochistas) what the greatest work of their period is, a large fraction will answer that it was Tristram Shandy -- Laurence Sterne's strange (``experimental''!) novel published in 1760. It has an extremely discursive style, even for its era. The book begins at the very beginning, with Tristram's conception, and a clock plays a pivotal role in that beginning.

Tristram's father made a very regular habit, the first Sunday night of each month, of personally winding a large house-clock that stood at the head of the back stairs. The book is written as a first person narrative, and it includes this delicately phrased report:

...it so fell out at length, that my poor mother could never hear the said clock wound up, -- but the thoughts of some other things unavoidably popp'd into her head, -- & vice versâ : -- which strange combination of ideas, the sagacious Locke, who certainly understood the nature of these things better than most men, affirms to have produced more wry actions than all other sources of prejudice whatsoever.

Shandy was conceived ``betwixt the first Sunday and the first Monday in the month of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighteen....'' By the workings of his mother's vice versa clause above, as they were doing the deed, she quoth, ``Pray, my dear, have you not forgot to wind up the clock?'' This untimely question disturbed his father, and in so doing it ``scattered and dispersed the animal spirits, whose business it was to have escorted and gone hand-in-hand with the HOMUNCULUS, and conducted him safe to the place destined for his reception'' thus damaging him for life.

In mid-June 2004, Blind River, Ontario, a town of 4,000 on the northern shore of Lake Huron, had a related experience: all the electric clocks gained about ten minutes per day against the eastern time kept in surrounding areas and by computers and VCR's in the same town. It eventually turned out that, in order to do some maintenance work, engineers of Hydro One (the power utility) had taken Blind River off the Ontario power grid and supplied the town from a local generator. That generator's frequency was slightly higher than the usual 60 Hz.

What, you were expecting some connection with Tristram Shandy? No. This story is only connected -- and that most tenuously -- with the dueling time zones entry.

German for `radio drama.' Literally, it is a compound noun correponding to English `hear play.'

Higher-Order Statistics.

History Of Science. An academic discipline not unrelated to HPS or HST. There's a link to useful stuff at HSTM.

Okay, a thumbnail description: history of science is historical inquiry (now ``interrogation,'' in the pomo term) designed to demonstrate that scientists are fundamentally self-deluded and irrational. Because the majority of in-fashion historians of science like science as much as they like scientists, HOS is increasingly externalist.

One of the interesting emerging research problems in this careful field of scholarship is ``the Science Wars.'' The circumstances of the Science Wars are the following: Working scientists (natural scientists, I mean) mostly ignore philosophy of science because it is of no use, and ignore history of science, as written by historians rather than scientists, because it is no good.

Time-out for an opposing opinion: Scientists dislike philosophy of science because it exposes their unthinking prejudices, and ignore history of science, as written by historians rather than scientists, because it is not Whiggish and so does not flatter scientists' triumphalist fantasy. We now return you to the regularly-scheduled rant.

People in HPS have difficulty understanding scientists' POV, because they think that what they're doing is useful (philosophers) or competent (historians). Occasionally, a scientist will notice the spew from HOS, point out that it's garbage, and possibly even trouble to explain why, even though the fact is essentially self-evident. The HOSers will respond by psychoanalyzing the offending scientist. Occasionally the story makes it into the newspapers. This is the Science Wars.

Okay, time for another fit of conscience. Philosophy is useful, though not usually in a practical way, because it attempts to answer the most fundamental questions thinking people have tried to make sense of. Unfortunately, science deals only in approximations. Often excellent approximations, but still not certain enough to hang a heavy philosophical argument on. For example, Newtonian mechanics is an excellent approximation for the reality the eighteenth century could understand, but the qualitative aspects of that theory bore only a partial formal resemblance to the quantum mechanics that replaced it in the twentieth century. So while Newtonian mechanics might be highly accurate in physical terms, in metaphysical terms it wasn't in the same universe, never mind close. Today's physical theories are much more accurate than Newton's and explain a much broader range of phenomena, but there is no reason to suppose that these accurate theories are anything but sand foundations for a metaphysical edifice.

As to HOS, well, a lot of it is garbage, and a lot of it is excellent. Because HOS is not itself a science -- that is, because it does not as a discipline integrate regular tests of theory against experiment, there is no very good way to cast off the ballast, and various ships in the HOS fleet are sinking under the weight of too much pomo freight.

Taking cognizance of the preceding information, you may or not be interested in the discipline's professional society HSS and the fact that the largest, oldest, and probably the best respected (within-field) HOS department in the US is the one at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), q.v.

Hours Of Service. That's hours of service of drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV's). You want to wake up a drowsy driver? Mention the FMCSA's proposed new HOS rules, that'll get 'im goin'. A perennial big issue for truckers.

Eye dialect for horse.

Hoss Cartwright
Nickname of character Eric Cartwright played by Dan Blocker (see IMDB entry) on the TV series Bonanza (1959-73). Middle son of Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) and brother of Adam Cartwright (Pernell Roberts, only until 1965) and Little Joe (Michael Landon, who later starred as father on the treacly Little House on the Prairie; see the IMDB entry, if you must).

The name ``Hoss'' suggested build or strength. Dan Blocker died of a pulmonary embolism following surgery at age 43 (1928.12.10-1972.5.13).

hot, HoT, HOT!
Helen Of Troy. A legendary person and a forgettable 2003 TV mini-series that uses the names of some characters from Homer's Iliad. Some plot elements also appear to have been inspired by that book. Helen of Troy is also the title of a 1956 movie. In this one, Brigitte Bardot (not yet a star) plays Andraste, a handmaiden to Helen. You know the joke about the millihelen, right?

Incidentally, if you're ever in the land of Heinrich Schliemann or anywhere else that German is spoken, you should be careful to distinguish phrases about the weather or environment, such as ``es ist heiß'' (`it is hot') or ``mir ist heiß'' (`it seems hot to me'), from statements about internal conditions like ``ich bin heiß'' (`I am sexually excited, I am in rut'). You wouldn't want your partner to get up and turn on the air conditioner -- it might get very cold in the room (das Zimmer), very fast.

History Of Technology, not. This cool acronym is avoided by professional historians of technology. Instead, they use STS and HST, always sticking science in there, as if some technologies were not in fact completely independent of or at least prior to science. Not serious enough, I guess. Have a little fun! At least the professional society is SHOT.

If you only have space in your library for one so-bad-it's-good book, please consider A Short History of Technology, copyright 1954 (details at self-published). It's not by professional historians of technology either; it's by Vice Admiral Harold G. Bowen and Charles F. Kettering. I have two bits of advice about reading it:

  1. Don't drink and read.
  2. Vacuum the carpet first. (You'll thank me when you're ROTFL.)

For a sample, read the first two paragraphs of Kettering's foreword:

This booklet is a short history of discovery and invention. It also is an explanation of how our country became the leading industrial nation of the world with the highest standard of living ever attained.

It tells how the nameless people of Western Europe by their own inventions, plus those acquired from the Arabs, improved the existing practical arts. The improvement continued until suddenly the mind of man became emancipated from most of the century-old ideas which had been holding him back and he became creative.

hot carriers, hot electrons, hot holes
Quasifree carriers in a semiconductor which are nondegenerate and whose kinetic energies are significantly greater than kT, where k is Boltzmann's constant and T isn't. If you have to guess what T is, it probably didn't help you to know what k is called.

Historians Of the Twentieth-Century United States. ``In June 2007 around 30 British historians of the US gathered at the Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) for an inaugural meeting for a new organization of historians of America in the twentieth century.'' That answers the first question: they did know that the acronym can be read as ``hot cuss.'' The second question is, how are they going to define ``twentieth century''? (Cf. BrANCH.)

hot Java
Hot coffee.

A web browser from Sun. Originally named oak.

hot Jupiter
Astronomers' term for a Jupiter-size planet orbiting its sun at a Mercury-like distance, preferably much closer. Large mass and close orbit both improve the chances of detection, and for both of the methods of detection in use (described at exoplanet).

hot links
Spicy sausage, usually pork. Cf. VSDL. (FYI, Landjaeger is pepperoni made with beef instead of pork.)

Harvard Of The South.

Higher-Order Thinking Skills. Something you can claim to have when you don't know anything useful.

Remember, you can't spell Hottentot without tent. Actually, you might as well forget it, because the approved term is Khoikhoi, that group's own name for itself, and the former term -- based on European settlers' efforts to imitate the click sounds of their language -- is deprecated (in the computing sense) as deprecatory.

Also, they apparently didn't use tents historically, but more permanent structures, despite practicing transhumance (moving their herds between winter and summer pastures). A west African friend told me (in 1982 or so) that people would ask him things like ``do Africans still live in trees?'' But he was still kind of hung up on the colonialism/neocolonialism thing, and it wasn't unknown for him to exaggerate. Also, he claimed that they don't live in trees. I could be more precise with the details, but I'd rather point out that he is now his country's UN ambassador [temporary ``permanent representative to the UN''] and leave his and his country's identities vague.

Once upon a time, there was an African King who kept several thrones hanging around in his grass hut palace. Then one day they all came crashing down. The moral: ``People who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.'' [This was once a widely told pun.]

hot tip
The business end of a soldering iron. Be careful.

The pronunciation of this English word is interesting: the verb has a voiced ess (i.e., a zee sound). Voicing of the final sibilant distinguishes noun and verb in some other instances. (This is sometimes marked by a spelling difference, as in advice (n.) and advise (v.), and sometimes not, as in use and use, similarly excuse.) The other words I can come up with that look like house and have common noun and verb uses, are grouse, louse, mouse, and souse. All have a consistent unvoiced final sibilant. (Touse, with voiced ess, seems pretty archaic to me, but it tended to be a verb...) There is, on the other hand, a tendency for -ouse words that function almost exclusively as nouns (lobscouse, spouse, titmouse) or verbs (bouse, espouse, (a)rouse, carouse), to have unvoiced and voiced ess at the end, respectively. But there's an exception, if you count the verb chouse, which may not be obsolete. Douse or dowse is trickier, since the voiced and unvoiced verbs, spelled either way, refer to different actions.

It is dangerous to try to draw conclusions in English based on spelling alone. The sound-spelling correspondences, er, correlations, depend very much on the origin. The etymologies of -ouse words, as it happens, are a bit varied and occasionally unknown. However, I think it is useful to consider all -ouse words as a group, because they tend to look Germanic and be interpreted as such. (Just as deacon, from Greek via Church Latin, is pronounced like Germanic beacon.) Anyway, I think that the pattern of voicing may have to do with assimilation of voicing in the final consonant of the verb inflected forms. That is, rouse, say, even if it have started with an unvoiced ess, could have gotten a voiced ess first in the frequent form roused. Later, the voicing would have jumped the vowel in rouses and also appeared in rouse, in an instance of psycholinguistic reasoning (in Sapir's sense). Nouns, and words that may be verbs but usually are nouns, would not have been affected. House is then exceptional in a consistent way: unlike most -ouse nouns, its plural has voicing in the root. That is, the first ess in the plural noun houses has a zee sound, just like the second and final ess. So it all pretty much hangs together, if one can explain why the first ess in houses is voiced, even though it's not voiced in similar collocations elsewhere. Probably has something to do with archaic plurals. Uh, yes, um... we'll leave this as an exercise for the reader.

Comments above about current pronunciations tend to reflect my own (typical mid-Atlantic) dialect. Pronunciations vary. AHD4 claims that blouse is somewhere pronounced with a voiced final ess. A regional variation related to house is in the name(s) Houston, q.v.


Housman, A. E. (Alfred Edward) (1859-1936)
In the introduction to his critical edition of Manilius, book v (1930), the famous poet and classicist wrote:
The first volume of the edition of Manilius now completed was published in 1903, the second in 1912, the third in 1916, and the fourth in 1920. All were produced at my own expense and offered to the public at much less than cost price; but this unscrupulous artifice did not overcome the natural disrelish of mankind for the combination of a tedious author with an odious editor. Of each volume there were printed 400 copies: only the first is yet sold out, and that took 23 years; and the reason why it took no longer is that it found purchasers among the unlearned, who had heard that it contained a scurrilous preface and hoped to extract from it a low enjoyment.

More at the A. E. entry.

A city in Texas whose name is pronounced about like ``YOU stun'' or ``HUGH stun.'' (I.e., as /'ju:st.n/ or /'hju:st.n/, where I've represented a short-duration shwa by a period.) There's a Houston Street in New York City; that ``Houston'' is pronounced essentially as ``house-ton'' (/'haust.n/). As I mention at the SoHo entry, I've heard that mispronouncing the New York name led to the exposure of a German spy in WWII, but I've never been able to track the story down.

High-Occupancy Vehicle. Term used for what is really better described as a vehicle that is somewhat highly occupied -- with more than one, maybe more than two riders. (Unless it's a motorcycle, I think.) Less-clogged HOV lanes are used by traffic-choked municipalities as an incentive to get commuters to buy life-size passenger dolls. In some movie I heard about, a guy desperate to use HOV lanes hired a prostitute off the street to ride with him. So the streetwalker became a passenger, a ho' fo' de HOV. Sounds perfectly natural.

There are proposals floating around to allow LEV's in HOV lanes.

Howard Dean, diplomat

How do you kiss?
``Softly, passionately and often.'' is the correct answer, according to an AP article (Greg Myre byline) on Russian female, American male matchmaking services. Now that I've given away the answer, they'll have to come up with something a bit more creative.

Howlin' Wolf
Stage name of Chester Arthur Burnett. A musician, he was born June 10, 1910, and died January 10, 1976. We have a little more information about him, or perhaps just a little more loquaciousness, at the smokestack lightning entry.

How Many Children Had Lady Macbeth?
A famous 1933 essay by Lionel Charles Knights, published in his Explorations. You're supposed to understand that the title question is an Early Modern English phrasing of ``How many children did Lady Macbeth have?''

Also the title of a (probably justifiably) unknown monologue (by Don Nigro, 1966) in which a woman describes how her ambition to play the role of Lady Macbeth has led to some funny and some sad consequences.

How short are you?
How short of discharge are you? How much time is left in your tour of duty? Military expression.

How stupid do you think I am?
You don't have to answer that.

How to crack your back.
Most people know how to crack their knuckles but not their backs. I discovered accidentally how easy it is:
  1. Sit to one side (i.e. next to the middle) of an old sofa. Ideally, the sofa should be dusty or have loose dry dirt on top, or have threadbare cushions filled with hardened, disintegrating old urea foam.
  2. Slap the middle of the sofa repeatedly.
  3. Without moving your legs/lap, twist your upper body sideways to lean down to face the center of the sofa.
  4. Sneeze involuntarily, surprising yourself.

This method may not be very repeatable, but you won't mind.

HomeOwners 3 Special Form. Industry-standard homeowners insurance. As far as I know, the absent apostrophe is standard too. The 3 refers to the three basic kinds of protection:
  1. Physical damage coverage. This pays repair/replacement costs for house, unattached buildings on the property, and personal property, and incidental expenses for temporary alternate housing.
  2. Liability coverage. Pays for liability you or your household or pet(s) may incur for someone else's bodily injury or property damage, or to defend in court against a claim of such liability, or both.
  3. Medical coverage. Covers the same group as liability, but pays medical expenses. The idea behind this is, say some knucklehead visits and walks into your door. The medical coverage part of your homeowners insurance is a kind of no-fault coverage that pays for an MRI scan to see if his brain cell was damaged. It's hoped that this will take care of sincere nuisances, up to a kilobuck or so. If that won't do, and knucklehead wants you to pay for an intelligence transplant or for mental anguish (oh! the embarrassment!), then he's going to have to sue or settle, and that's where liability coverage for bodily injury kicks in. He'll need to convince a court that it was negligent on your part to have a door, or demonstrate that he was not already stupid before the brain trauma suffered on your property. (And no, it's not hard to find donors for an intelligence transplant. Plenty of people have it and never use it.)

Helicobacter Pylori. A bacterium discovered to be extremely common in human stomachs, which promotes gastric ulcers. Until the mid-90's, when this was discovered, it was thought that stress and diet were the principal etiologic factors in gastric ulcer. One clue otherwise was the observation that ulcer symptoms decreased in some patients taking heavy antibiotic doses. Surprisingly, in the initial stage of HP infection, there is a temporary hypoacidity.

Hewlett-Packard. Named after founders William Hewlett and David Packard, cattle ranchers. Visit. You can get a quick guide to phone numbers and online stuff by fingering <@hp.com> (any username, or none, will do).

High Performance.

High Pressure.

High Purity.

History & Policy. ``A national [UK] platform for scholars to offer informed, accessible and constructive insights from recent historical research to assist policy makers and advisers.''

Translation: Speakers' Corner isn't protected from the elements. People so eager to foist their prejudices on the ruling elite that they spend years in graduate school learning to stitch together specious arguments need a published outlet for their ``insights.''

Home Plate. (Baseball designation.)

Homosexual Panic. The secret fear that one may be homosexual. Also HD. Today's politically correct position is that any objection to homosexuality is irrational and yet also dishonest. The idea that those expressing such objection are reacting to the secret fear that they are homosexual was a rhetorically useful pose (and probably also sincere; many people easily believe sincerely in whatever they see it as in their interest, however slight, to believe). Hence, HP was a convenient label for anyone opposing homosexuality. This ``opposing'' phrase is vague only today. In the 1950's, and perhaps largely until Stonewall, the ``opposition'' was general -- homosexuality being widely deemed immoral, illegal, disgusting, and sick. The label ``HP'' was applied primarily to the more vociferously or actively intolerant.

With the liberalization of attitudes that began in the 1970's, it became possible to stigmatize increasingly mild or circumscribed opposition to homosexuality. In this context, a term like HP implies an implausibly exaggerated emotion. Perhaps that contributed to the displacement of HP and HD by the term homophobia, which has the undeniable added advantage of sounding a bit like a clinical diagnosis.

HorsePower. One HP is approximately 745.7 watts, and exactly 33000 foot-pounds per minute or 550 foot-pounds per second. Also 9000 mile-pounds per day, or mile-stones per fortnight, in equally sensible units. Here you can see some of the genius and convenience of the English system of units: you can divide by 11 or 14 and still come out with a whole number of something. The horsepower unit was defined by James Watt (a bit on him at the W entry for watt).

A typical horse can do work at a rate (i.e., a power) greater than one horsepower for short periods of time, but not for long. Astro Boy has a strength of 100,000 horsepower!

Hot Pudding. In England, pudding is served hot. Isn't that weird? Okay, I admit it; I made it up (the acronym being ``hp''). I should probably also mention that pudding originally referred to minced meat stuffed and cooked in an animal's stomach or entrails -- sausage, in other words. Hence the euphemism pud.

``If you don't eat your meat you can't have any pudding!
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?''

Another food word whose meaning has drifted is sherbet. In the UK it still seems to be a fruit drink (now possibly from Kool-Aid-like powder) cooled with crushed ice (historically also with snow). In North America it refers to a frozen refreshment made from sweetened fruit juice, milk, and an agglutinant (egg white or gelatin). Like ice cream, it is churned while freezing, so the water crystals are small and the bulk opaque. In Australia, sherbet still refers to a beverage, but an alcoholic one -- mostly beer. There's a logic to this: like an iced drink, beer cools you off fast on a hot day.

Phosphine. [Pron. /fasfi:n/.] (You really shouldn't be looking here. My collating sequence has numbers after alphabetic characters. However, I'm a nice guy so I'll let you off this time. Or again. Whatever. You should have looked here.)

(UK) Health Protection Agency.

High Power Amplifier. Typically, the amplifier that feeds a transmission Antenna.

Head Peer Academic Coordinator.

Hand-held Personal Computer. Not HPC.

Heterotrophic Plate Count. A count of heterotrophic bacteria growing in some medium, nowadays usually quotable in units of bacteria per milliliter.

Microorganisms are called heterotrophic if they rely on other organic material for energy. This includes not only blue-green algae (now called cyanobacteria) but a variety of prokaryotes that perform biochemical feats unknown to (cave) man.

High Performance Computing. (Meaning High-Performance Computing, not performance computing at height.) Tomorrow's low-performance computing today.

Hydrological Processes and Climate. An Interdisciplinary Science Team (IDS) project of the ``Earth Observing System'' (EOS).

Health Physics Calibration and Acceptance Facility.

High Performance Computing and Communications.

High Performance Capillary Electrophoresis.

High Performance Computing, Communications, and Information Technology Subcommittee.

High Performance Computing Initiative. US Government program to foster development of the ``Information Superhighway.''

High-Performance Computing and Networking.

High Performance Computing Systems. A component of HPCI.

hper, HPER
Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. The acronym is pronounced ``hyper.'' Mary has a degree in that from Indiana University. She says it's ``basically PE'' [pronounced ``pee ee'']. Courses on different kinds of play (cognitive, structural, fun-play [uninhibited freedom to choose]), on play theory, etc. In class she would think: ``I'm paying money for this?''

Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

If you don't mind, I'll just sleep in today.

High-Pass Filter. A filter that transmits preferentially at high frequency. A lot of work at one time (1915-1955, say) went into designing electric-circuit filters with sharp transitions between frequencies allowed to pass and frequencies absorbed. In this context, one often aimed to approximate an ideal HPF, which would absorb perfectly all signals below a cut-off frequency and transmit without loss all signals above it. A low-pass filter (LPF) was analogously idealized.

High-Performance Fortran. An extension of Fortran 90.

Singapore-based Hutchison Port Holdings.

Hewlett-Packard Interface Bus. Cf. GPIB.

Hyperbranched PolyIsoPhthalEster. A class of polymers; the plural HPIPES occurs.

High-Power Laser.

High-Pressure Laminate. Decorative laminated plastic sheets which consist of papers, fabrics or other core materials that have been laminated at pressures normally between 1,000 and 1,400 psi, using thermosetting condensation resins as binders. I'm just parroting this information from the LMA's downloadable glossary, so you might as well go and see yourself.

HydroPeroxide Lyase. One of three enzymes important in the formation of volatile compounds in ripening fruit (see the LOX entry).

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (LC). Here's Perkin-Elmer's two cents. Here's some more from Virginia Tech.

H. P. Lovecraft
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). Author of gothic fantasies. He eked out a poor short life by publishing in trashy magazines, serving as a book doctor for inferior authors, and ghosting (how appropriate!). One of his ghost-writing gigs was for Harry Houdini.

Like Poe (and, less relevantly, Jim Croce), untimely dead and a posthumous hit. He has accumulated a cult, and spawned a USENET newsgroup (news:alt.horror.cthulhu). He liked to invent names with th in unlikely places -- e.g.: Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth, shoggoth.

High Plains Motocross Association, Inc. It was ``formed in January of 1993. During that year they held their first "Points" Series consisting of both Motocross and Supercross Races in a tri-state area including Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska. [They're also in Montana now.] The goal of the H.P.M.A. is to promote the sport of motocross and bring quality motorcycle racing to the Midwestern States.'' So what are they doing out in the Central Plains and Mountain West?

Houston Production Managers Association. Self-described ``vibrant group of advertising, marketing and printing professionals who plan, coordinate, produce and purchase commercial printing.''

2-HydroxyPropyl MethAcrylate. It's a water-soluble histology resin used for cytochemical applications.

HP Magazine
Home Power Magazine. Home burning down? Don't waste a minute! Complete plans for turning your refrigerator into a power generating station in 20 minutes! (30 minutes if thawing is necessary.)

High-Pressure MiniColumn.

HydroxyPropyl MethylCellulose. A group at U. Queensland uses this as a kind of gluten for their High-Temperature Superconductor (HTSC) spaghetti.

High-Performance Option.

High Pressure Oxidizer TurboPump. Part of the SSME.

Homogeneous Poisson Process.

High-Pressure Rinse.

Health Physics Society.

History and Philosophy of Science. An academic discipline. At its best, like others, an indiscipline.

Health Professions Schools in Service to the Nation. That nation would be the US. Those schools would also be in the US, unlike health professions schools in Liberia, Indonesia, and dozens of other countries which typically export newly minted doctors to the US and any other country where one can get rich as a doctor. HPSISN is a program launched in 1995 by the Pew Health Professions Commission to demonstrate service-learning.

Service-learning [sic] is an innovative form of community-based education. The word innovative in this and many other contexts describes any old idea and means `promoted by earnest do-gooders constituted as a foundation.' These organizations have a superior understanding of the best ways to perform various activities that they are not directly engaged in, because they have control over the money of a philanthropist who is spinning in his grave. As the saying goes, ``everything is easier for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.'' It's quite amazing that professionals could continue for decades doing their work in the same old ineffective ways, when simple changes, relatively inexpensive once they are funded by the federal government, are so clearly superior. This should not be interpreted, however, as an indication of incompetence on the part of those professionals. Rather, it is only what one would expect from organizations that seemed to function for so long despite the absence of strategic guidance from suits.

Foundation-like thinking also occurs in the private sector, where it is known as the Harvard Business School Syndrome -- the idea that a firm understanding of general business principles is sufficient preparation to run any industry or commerce. Extensive, detailed knowledge of a particular business is recognized as not merely superfluous but detrimental, because it leads to small-picture thinking.

Innovation in both public and private sectors requires ``buy-in.'' That is, previously benighted professionals must be gently guided to enlightenment in a collegial manner, or be eliminated.

High-Performance (data) Storage System.

History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science.

Home Pregnancy Test. Works by measuring hCG.



Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid. Occasionally Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular.

High Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC).

Hewlett-Packard (HP) UniX. One of the Unix flavors that survived the late-nineties shake-out. Pronounced ``aitch-pucks.''

Human Papilloma Virus. Causes Cervical cancer -- about 15000 new cases and 5000 deaths each year.

Human-Powered Vehicle. Like a bicycle or the Gossamer Albatross. Vide IHPVA.


You wouldn't want to be quartered in the head of a ship.

Helical Quantum Wire. A helical quantum wire has no superlattice bandgaps.

.hqx, .Hqx
Binhexed. File extension indicating that a (typically binary) file has been encoded (asciified) for transfer as a text file. (Macintosh standard.)

Heart Rate.

Hertzsprung-Russell? You probably want to see the entry for the H-R diagram.

But as long as you're here, why don't you have some tea and we can have a chat about the name Hertzsprung. The German word Herz (the t is just old-fashioned or variant spelling) means (and is cognate with the English word) `heart.' The meaning of sprung is a little less clear. It can mean leap, but it sometimes refers to a watch spring. The latter sense makes it fit right in with the preceding entry, but I think the proper interpretation is `sprung from the heart' or `leap of the heart.'

There are a lot of odder Herz- names that are common. Herzbach is `heart brook.' Herzberger or Herzberg is `someone from heart hill' or (what is implicitly the same) `heart hill.' Herzweig is written as a bit of a blend, constructed from Herz and Zweig. Hanks and Hodges offer `heart twig' as a translation, but I think this is slightly, unintentionally misleading. Zweig is indeed cognate with the English word twig, but German does not have a common term for anything larger, like the English word branch. Hence, Zweig covers the entire semantic and quantitative range from twig to branch. If anything, Reis and the diminutives Zweiglein and (rarer) Zweigchen edge in semantically from sprig towards twig (but don't hold me to that; translators must have license). So I would go with `heart branch.' Don't tell me this makes no sense; what is a Harzfeld? (I mean, what does `heart field' mean?) Oh yes, Herz can also mean strong or brave or hardy (from a cognate with the last) or deer (think hart), but these senses are not usually adduced to interpret compound names.

Here's an interesting biographical bit from Hanks and Hodges, s.v. Herz:

The Russian philosopher Alexander Herzen (1812-70) was given this surname because he was technically an illegitimate child, one born of the heart (vom Herzen). His father was Ivan Yakovlev, a Russian nobleman from a minor branch of the Romanovs, and he had married Alexander's mother only according to the Lutheran rite, which was not officially accepted.

Again we see how childhood trauma leads to adult pathologies like philosophy.

High Reflectance. A typical laser is a kind of resonant cavity in which light is reflected back and forth between two end caps. One end cap is called the optical coupler--it's at the side from which the beam emerges. The other end is designated the HR mirror, which for practical purposes should have as H an R as possible.

Hit Rate.

First initials of H. R. ``Bob'' Haldeman. With John Ehrlichman, a long- time friend and admirer of RMN who was brought down in the Watergate scandal.

HomeRoom. An American high school institution.

House of Representatives. A bill proposed before the House is designated by HR followed by a number, as for example ``HR1043'' or ``HR 1043.''

Croatia (Hrvatska) domain name code. Go here for Croatian language stuff. International code for telephone calling 385. Ariadne, ``The European and Mediterranean link resource for Research, Science and Culture,'' has a page of national links.

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

Human Resources. Sometimes Human Relations. Re-engineered name for Personnel Department.

Catbert is the evil HR director (redundant expression, I understand). Go in for your interview.

Human Reliability Analysis. A bad bet.

Hillary Rodham Clinton. Back when she was first lady, there used to be a site that featured her hair. Now she's junior senator from New York, and I notice that the URL belongs to a pornographic site. I imagine the new administration might have interestingly conflicted feelings about this.

Human Rights Campaign. The largest gay rights group in the US. Waved Matthew Shepard's bloody shirt for every buck it was worth, some years back.

Human Rights Commission. Saudi Arabia's governmental human rights organization. You can stop laughing now.

Hurricane Research Division. Part of the NOAA's AOML. The SBF has its own hurricane research division.

Human Resources Development Canada. An internal audit of this ministry in January 2000 began a bribes-and-kickbacks scandal that was still leading to arrests in December 2006 (I write in February 2007). The initial report concerned about 460 employment-related grants awarded over the course of two years, and the main problem found was poor record-keeping. The value of the programs affected ran to about a billion dollars, but it was only a billion dollars Canadian, so there's no need to lose one's head over the matter. There's a bit more about this at the HRSDC entry and this SEDERI entry.

This HRDC entry is a Canadian-government-related stub. If you want to help improve this entry, you're out of luck, because this isn't Wikipedia. But I'll try to bring it up to snuff myself after I sort out the sloppy reportage.

H-R diagram, HR diagram
Hertzsprung-Russell DIAGRAM. A temperature-luminosity diagram. A scatter plot on a log-log scale of luminosity versus inverse surface temperature (of stars). That is, a plot of logarithm of luminosity (ordinate) against negative logarithm of temperature (abscissa, temperature increasing right-to-left). The principal feature is the ``main sequence'' of stars, a narrow band of the diagram along which most (80-90%) visible stars cluster.

Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Norris Russell independently developed this kind of plot and discovered the main sequence early in the twentieth century.

Human Resources and {Skills|Social} Development Canada. The name, since about April 2004, of a ministry whose old name became tainted in a bribe-and-kickback scandal (see HRDC). It was somehow reorganized, then, and given the Skills name. In 2005, an umbrella organization was created, called Service Canada, to centralize various social services, and within Service Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada was combined with Social Development Canada into Human Resources and Social Development Canada.

High Resolution Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy.

High-Resolution Electron Microscopy. The HREM and Surface Structure Facility at Northwestern has a nice homepage.

The University of Michigan Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory has put a JEOL 4000EX HREM description online. So does the University of Melbourne Physics Dept.

Horizontal Ribbon Growth.

{His|Her} Royal Highness. As the case may be. In the UK. Never referred to as {His|Her} Royal Height. His Royal Arm (not Arms) Length (from nose to fingertip), on the other, uh, hand, once defined the yard. (``Once'' was, according to legend, in the reign of Henry I of England.)

High-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer.

Hughes Research Labs. Often appears in seminar announcements as HRL Labs.''

Holistic Resource Management. Pushing the cattle around more often so they don't overgraze any one spot. Labor-intensive.

High-Resolution Microwave Survey. Of the sky. Part of SETI.

HorseRadish Peroxidase. I didn't make this up. See for yourself.

Human Resource/PayRoll. Used attributively, as in ``HR/PR database.''

Health Resources and Services Administration. An agency of the Public Health Service (PHS) within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Heat Recovery Steam Generator.

Hormone Replacement Therapy. Most commonly: for menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Head Relative Transfer Function. The ``head'' here is the one at the end of a neck. The name HRTF is given to algorithms that simulate 3D sound by taking account of how the brain integrates information from two ears to compute sound source location. Since heads and speaker pairs vary, and since the left (right) ear listens in on sounds meant for the right (left) [this is called crosstalk], there's room for improvement. The best 3D effect is obtained with headphones.

High-n Rydberg (atom) Time-Of-Flight (TOF) (spectroscopy).

Heart-Rate Variability.

Human Rights Watch.

High-Resolution X-Ray Diffraction (XRD).


Harmonized System. An international convention for classifying imports and exports so that data from different countries can be compared halfway meaningfully. Implemented by the US in 1989.

Hartree-Slater. An version of Hartree-Fock-Slater approximation (HFS, q.v.). See Ingvar Lindgren and Arne Rosén,``Relativistic Self-Consistent-Field Calculations with Application to Atomic Hyperfine Interaction'' Case Studies in Atomic Physics.

Hassium. Atomic number 108.

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

Head Start. The HS program was created in 1965 under the Economic Opportunity Act. In other words, it's one of the original ``Great Society'' programs of the LBJ administration. (There's a bit more on the Great Society towards the end of the O entry.)

In FY 1998, over 822,000 children were enrolled in 48,000 Head Start classrooms. More information at the HSB entry.

Hebrew Studies. A journal of language studies.

High School. If obedience school teaches how to be obedient, then high school...?

High school is the last few years of secondary education. In most of the US, it is either the last four or the last three years. The latter is often called senior high school, to distinguish it from junior high school (JHS). Further discussion at the MS entry.

In Canada, all or many of the provinces used to offer secondary education through grade 13, and high school would typically be the last four or five years of secondary education -- grades 9-12 (culminating in what was called, in Ontario, SSGD), or 9-13 (SSHGD) for those continuing to university. (In at least one district, grades 7-8 were called ``senior public school.'')

Ontario, the last province to switch over to graduation at grade 12, did so at the end of the school year in Spring 2003. The students graduating from grades 12 and 13 in the high school class of 2003 were called the double cohort. Amazingly, based on original college entrance projections, this was not expected to be a logistical nightmare. Double the number of freshmen the first year? No problem! Twenty-five percent increase in enrollments and housing requirements one year, then a twenty percent decrease four years later? Sure!

High Speed. A light on some old external modems.

High Speed. As in ``H-S Photography.''

Holy Spirit.

Why does HS stand for Holy Spirit and not Holy Smoke or Holy Sepulcher? I don't know. No one knows. You can't understand it -- it's a deep mystery. You just have to believe.

Oh wait -- it can mean ``Holy Smoke''! It's a miracle!

Hydrogen Sulfide, chemical formula H2S. Smells awful; tarnishes silver.

[dive flag]

Handicapped Scuba Association.

Hardware System Area. Central memory addresses accessible by the system software but not directly accessible by application processes.

Health Savings Account.

Hegel Society of America. ``[A] learned society, founded in 1968, whose goal is to promote the study of the philosophy of Hegel and Hegelianism, its place within the history of thought, and its relation to social, political, and cultural movements since his time.''

Handbook of Space Astronomy and Astrophysics. The content is online as images, just inconvenient enough to make heavy users buy it.

HydroxySteroid Alcohol Dehydrogenase.

Hereditary Sensory & Autonomic Neuropathies.

Humane Society And Welfare (web) Ring.

Head Start Bureau, within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), administers Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

Early Head Start was established by the Head Start Reauthorization Act (1994) to assist poor families with infants and toddlers, particularly including children with disabilities, and pregnant women. It is a relatively small program (six hundred projects in FY 1998, serving 35,000 children under the age of three). Small programs for small children -- I think we've got a slogan here.

High School and Beyond. A large database for US education research. Another is NELS.

Hue, Saturation, Brightness. One coordinatization of color space.

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. ``The world's local bank.'' In other words, they bought your local bank (e.g., HFC).

Hampden-Sydney College. A selective four-year college for men, it was founded in 1775 (it's the tenth-oldest college in the United States). The big selling point is the absence of distractions. It has a zip code, but it seems to be located in the very middle of nowhere. ``Hampden-Sydney is six miles south of Farmville, Virginia, on U.S. 15. Turn west at State Route 133, bear right onto Route 692, and drive for one mile.'' Drive slowly and don't blink.

Heat Seal Connection/Cable. The cable is a flat polyester ribbon with metal traces on one side, which can be bonded to a number of substrate materials with the application of some combination of heat and pressure.

Health and Safety Commission. Its operational arm is the HSE (... Executive). The HSC/HSE in Britain is like OSHA in the US.

High-level Serial Communication Controller.

High-Speed (up to 52 Mbps) Communications Interface.


Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. As of May 1997, you can get the latest edition: vol. 96, for 1994. A lot of the Soviet journals poked along at this pace before they died around 1990.

Same as HSPh.

Oh look! It's Summer 1999 and there's already a BMCR review (it's 99.8.10) for volume 97 (1995).

High-Speed Commercial Transport.

You know, when we colonize Mars, the HSCT is going to be rail and rockets at first. Aircraft won't work until it gets an atmosphere.

High Speed Circuit-Switched Data. ``High Speed'' in the wireless telecommunications context: up to 57.6kbit/s.

Honestly Significant Difference. The HSD is used in pairwise comparisons of statistical samples taken under conditions to be compared. The HSD value is a bound to be compared to the standardized range statistic. (The standardized range statistic is just the difference of two sample means divided by the best estimate of the sample standard deviation. Confusingly, writers sometimes also call this figure of merit the HSD, whether it is significant or not.)

This simple test of significance was first defined -- as a formal test -- only by Tukey, (of FFT fame) in the 1950's. When the HSD value is exceeded, then the assumption that two samples are drawn from a common distribution can be rejected (at a stated significance level). When careless writers HSD for both HSD and standardized range statistic (ideally to be labelled Z), you can sometimes tell the real HSD from the use of a subscript indicating the significance level (typically HSD.05 or HSD.01).

The HSD bound depends on the number of degrees of freedom, the number of levels of the independent variable (essentially the number of different samples available to be compared), and the significance level (alpha, the acceptable level of type-I errors).

HSD values are computed without making any assumption about the form of the underlying distributions. Thus, Tukey's HSD test is more general than the widely used F test, which assumes normal distributions.

Homogeneous Surface-Diffusion Model.

Health & Safety Executive. Operational arm of the HSC (above).

HysteroSalpinoGram. X-ray examination of uterus and fallopian tubes. Since soft tissue is not imaged, contrast is generated by a radio-opaque dye injected through the cervix. Barium or some other heavy metal, I suppose.

Hebrew Scriptures (Harkavy). The Hebrew Bible (``Old Testament'') in the standard Jewish ordering of the books, translated into English. This is a modernized (1951) rewording of the Leeser Version of 1814, which in turn was based on the KJV. There are also a few paraphrases, so that Alexander Harkavy wouldn't feel that his talents had been wasted.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Check with MOLIS (acronym MOLIS expanded here).

Human-Systems Interface.

Hybrid Schottky Injection Field-Effect Transistor (FET). See
J. K. O. Sin, C. A. T. Salama, and L. Z. Hou, ``Analysis and Characterization of the Hybrid Schottky Injection Field Effect Transistor,'' IEDM Technical Digest, 222-225 (1986).

Hierarchical Sequential Interactive System. ``[A] prototype system for formal design verification'' according to the HSIS tutorial document. In fact, according to the HSIS Home Page, ``HSIS is not supported by the [UCB] CAD group any more. Instead, we distribute a new system VIS (Verification Interacting with Synthesis). Please check out the VIS homepage.''

The Health Sciences Library of the University at Buffalo. HSL is a Resource Library for the Middle Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. HSL offers a variety of services through its Information Delivery Service (IDS) and through HUBNET.

High-Speed Local Area Network (LAN). ``High Speed'' is 100 Mbps, ca. 1997 (using FDDI or CDDI). ``Local'' seems to be only in the sense of General Relativity; common HSLAN's are metropolitan networks (MAN's).

Health Sciences Libraries Consortium. A non-profit ``founded to promote information sharing among its members.'' Members in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York.

Humane Society for Larimer County (Colorado). Founded in 1974.

Home School Legal Defense Association.

Hardware-Specific (software) Module.

Healthy School Meals Resource System (of the National Agricultural Library). Meals and agriculture, schools and library -- a perfect fit.

Hierarchical Storage Manage{ r | ment }. Or Data Facility Hierarchical Storage Manager. We all pity you poor souls who still have to deal with an IBM 3081. 'Nuff said.

Hereditary Sensory Neuropathy. The next HSN utilizes a pathology of the central nervous system, and stupidity is indeed partly heritable.

Home Shopping Network. The leading TV distributor of dreck, if you don't count dreck programming. I get this TV channel free and I don't even have cable. The word exclusive (q.v.) is used with some frequency by your hosts at HSN. Why don't they mention QVC? (And if you don't know what q.v. stands for, after you follow the QVC link you can just scroll up to find out. All the convenience of TV, and you can't beat the price.)


Harvard Studies in (Classical) Philology. Same as HSCP, q.v.. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

Hydrogen SilsesQuioxane. An inter-level dielectric (ILD) with a low dielectric constant k between 3 and 3.5.

Heteronuclear Single Quantum Correlation. NMRtian. Cf. Multiple same (HMQC).

Hamilton Street Railway. (The City of Hamilton is near Toronto. In fact, it's between Toronto and Niagara Falls as the crow flies, if the crow prefers taking a dog-leg to flying over water.) HSR relies entirely on buses today, and hasn't run streetcars since 1951.

If you were so minded, you could regard the ``railway'' in the company name not as traditional but metaphorical, like the Underground Railroad which once passed through. Coincidentally, here's something from the letter mentioned at the streetcar entry: ``In spite of motorman's knee, as you may know, thirteen motormen escape every year from Rumania. Unfortunately they seek refuge in countries which have given up streetcars, so the problem is even greater than it was.''

Health Services Research. ``The journal is published bimonthly for the Hospital Research and Educational Trust by Health Administration Press in cooperation with the Association for Health Services Research.'' It's the official journal of that association.

History of Science Society.

High School Sports America. It ``is dedicated to recognizing and rewarding select student-athletes throughout the U.S. with scholarships. Select students will be [when?] good athletes, students, and citizens who exemplify the true meaning of student-athlete.'' This isn't really fair, you know -- it discriminates against poor students, poor athletes, and poor citizens. There should be a program that seeks out and provides assistance to students who are athletically, scholastically, or (not xor) civically challenged. (There's an alternate URL.)

``HSSA is dedicated to assisting today's student-athletes throughout the U.S. with educational funding needed to become the leader's of our future.'' The leader's what? Smart bodyguards?

Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada. Same as la FCSHS.

High School Science Honors Program.

High-Speed (up to 52 Mbps) Serial Interface.

Harry S. Truman. Haberdasher and US President.

Health and Safety Technician.

High-Speed Train. Refers to a particular model of British train, the world's only diesel-powered train to operate at 125 mph. Known to the general public under the brand name Intercity 125.

History of Science and Technology. Hmmm. Entry's kinda thin. Try HOS, HSS, SHOT, for a start.

Hubble Space Telescope.

History of Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine, and Mathematics. It sounds like one of the Parkinson principles in action.

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. Here's the WWWVL site.

The Humane Society of the United States.

Hue, Saturation and Value. One common coordinatization of color space.

Herpes Simplex Virus.

Heat-Sink Welding.

How Stuff Works.

Hat Tip [to].

Haiti domain name code.


High Temperature. Productive prefix.

High Tension (i.e., high voltage).

Horizontal Tab (EBCDIC 5, ASCII 9: <ctrl>-I).

``Let's do the Time Warp Agaaain!''
(Madness takes its toll.)

Hot Tip. Does not normally refer to a soldering iron.

Holy Trinity Brompton with St. Paul Onslow Square. No, I can't really parse that. It's ``a vibrant Anglican church in Knightsbridge, London.''

High-Temperature CVD.

Hot Tin Dip. In electronic interconnect fabrication, HTD refers to the final step in the process of tin-coating copper strips. The alternative is HALT (hot-air-leveled tin). HTD uses a mechanical wiper and HALT uses an air knife. The general process is described in more detail at this HALT entry.

Highway Trust Fund.

High Temperature Forced Air.

High-Temperature Gas-Cooled (nuclear) Reactor.

High-Test Hypochlorite. ``High-Test'' ... isn't that a gas?

In traditional terminology, moderately complex oxide anions had prefixes indicating the oxidation state of the base element. Hence, for example, the simple sulfur-based ions are

Name Formula

In the case of a nonmetal like nitrogen or chlorine that has a number of stable oxidation states, prefixes hypo- and per- are selectively applied as well:

Name Formula

Hope { That | This } Help{ s | ed }. Often used as a sign-off before email signature.

Humanities Text Initiative.

Head[line] To Kum. A specialized version of TK. (Also written out as ``Head to Come.''

The headlines of newspaper and magazine articles are normally not written by the original author of a piece but added by a copy editor or a headline writer. In the latter case HTK is a useful instruction from the copy editor to the compositor. Edited copy can be sent for composition even while the headline writer is still scanning the piece and thinking of a title. ``Composition'' used to be a time-consuming process involving highly-skilled Linotype operators who all lost their old jobs when new computerized equipment came in, but apparently HTK continued to have some utility. As recently as Sunday, March 8, 1998, the Chicago Sun-Times published a letters page where all the letters bore the title HTK (an oversight, of course).

Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

Hit-To-Kill. A kind of interceptor missile.

Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus.

High-Temperature Materials.

HyperText Mark-up Language. Sometimes said to be ``derived from SGML.'' Better said: falls within the constraints of SGML.

There are, as you've no doubt noticed, many tutorials. Perhaps you haven't seen this one on background, transparency and color from Mike Hutchinson.

This page is an artistic achievement in really bad HT mark-up; check it out!

There's actually something called the HTML Writers' Guild.

Back when I was a theoretical physicist, I tried to get a guild going. If I had succeeded, experimentalists would never be allowed to solve any problem more difficult than a three-by-three matrix inversion. I'm sure both experimentalists and theorists would have benefitted, but labor organization is hard in these times of down-sizing and reengineering.

High-Temperature Metal Matrix Composite (MMC). Like silicon carbide titanium and titanium aluminum titanate.

According to this page on official the website of the City of Toronto, ``[t]he name HTO represents the fundamental changes that will take place in the relationship between Toronto and its waterfront. HTO was created by a design team led by Janet Rosenberg + Associates Landscape Architects (Toronto) and Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes Inc. (Montreal), in partnership with the City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry & Recreation Division. The design is based on six elements or layers: ground planes, water, islands, expressive horticulture [that's where your plants talk back to you, no doubt], lighting, and beach furniture.''

Here is a relevant excerpt from The Profit of Kehlog Albran (1933-1927):

    woman stepped forward and asked, What is the strangest day?     Tuesday, the Master explained.

Further down the aforementioned webpage, there is the following explanation of the symbol HTO: ``The winning design team for Phase I consists of Janet Rosenberg & Associates Landscape Architects of Toronto and Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes Inc. of Montreal. Together they have created a design known as HTO. The name represents the fundamental changes that will take place in the relationship between Toronto and the waterfront.''

There is a relevant quote from some fourth-century desert monks, but I don't have it handy right now. I think that HTO might be expanded Harbourfront Toronto, Ontario, but that it normally isn't because mere words aren't pretentious enough.

TO is a widely used abbreviation for Toronto. Presumably the official form of the symbol is the one with the T subscripted rather than in a smaller font, and is intended to suggest water (H2O). Subscripts and small-caps are usually at least a little bit inconvenient, and sometimes difficult or impossible, to insert in a printed document, and one sometimes sees the symbol written HtO.

High-Temperature Operating Life (testing).

Human Thyroid PerOxidase.

Harvard Theological Review.

High Temperature Reverse Bias. Increased voltage magnitude, high temperature. A screening test for microelectronic circuits. Especially useful for MOS testing.

Hadamard-Transform Spectrometer.

High-Temperature Superconductors.

High-Throughput (medical, chemical, biological) Screening.

High-Temperature Superconductors.

High-speed Transistor-Transistor Logic.

http, HTTP
HyperText Transfer Protocol. See T. Berners-Lee, R. T. Fielding, and H. Frystyk Nielsen, `` Hypertext Transfer Protocol - HTTP/1.0.'' Work in Progress, MIT, UC Irvine (UCI), CERN, March 1995.

HyperText Transfer Protocol Daemon. The HTTP server process.

HTTP response codes
Three-digit decimal codes returned by an httpd in response to an HTTP request. All clients are expected to understand the general classes of response, indicated by the first digit:
refusal of service

In particular,

"OK" (requested document on the way)
"Moved Permanently" (redirect to another URL)
"Moved Temporarily" (redirect to another URL)
"See Other" (redirect to another URL)
"Not modified" (URL is not modified since last indexing)
"Authorization required" (login and password)
"Forbidden" (you have no access)
"Not found"
"Internal Server Error" (typically a bad CGI)
"Service Unavailable" (host is down or daemon isn't listening; connection timed out)
"Gateway Timeout" (stalled out)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (Alternate URL at the grandfathered-in domain <hebrew.edu>.)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Also HUB.

(Domain name code for) Hungary. Here's an FAQ.

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

Enrico Fermi did an estimate of the density of planets with life and intelligent civilizations, and came up with a sufficiently high humber that afterwards he became known for the question, ``where are they? Where is the evidence of alien intelligence?'' [Paradigmatic form of the quote, so far as I can remember right now.] I suppose I should mention that at the SETI entry. Anyway, in the 1940's and 1950's when he was active in the US, there were also a lot of prominent emigre physicists -- refugees -- from Hungary. Very intelligent people like John von Neumann and Leo Szilard and Eugen Wigner. (For others, see Hungarians In America. There I learned that Joseph Pulitzer of Pulitzer Prize fame was born in Makó, Hungary, and that Béla Bartók died in New York City, September 26, 1945.) So somebody answered Fermi's SETI question: ``they are among us, but they call themselves Hungarians.''

Actually, the somebody who gave this answer was Leo Szilard. See Is Anyone Out There?: the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence, by Frank Drake and Dava Sobel (Delacorte Pr., 1992), p. 130. I should probably have mentioned this at the France entry. Skits involving the Coneheads were a popular feature during the early years of Saturday Night Live, back when SNL was funny. The Coneheads were a family of aliens trying to fit in as an ordinary family in suburban America. To explain away any oddities that might raise the suspicions of their neighbors (but not their two-foot-tall, minuteman-missile-shaped bald heads, which everyone accepted as unexceptional), they claimed that they were from France. (At the time, this was considered so improbable as to be funny.)

One of the Coneheads' oddities was their use of stilted, unnecessarily technical language, which sounded like a bad translation from Latin.

Consume mass quantities!

(For something similar, if imagination and memory both fail, check the ISO 9000 Certification entry.) Another example was ``fried chicken embryos'' for fried eggs. This term was technically inaccurate. Hens lay eggs, fertilized or not. The eggs you buy in the store are from hens not serviced by roosters. They can't develop into embryos, and it's pretty obvious that they haven't. We also have an eggs entry.

Microsoft used to promote something called Hungarian notation, which is just as relevant to this entry as anything in the preceding few paragraphs. All Microsoft API's, interfaces, technical articles and excuses used these conventions, which were developed by Charles Simonyi. Basically, it's a convention governing the initial parts of the names of variables, functions, types and constants, classes, objects, and parameters. Here is where I'm going to place a table of the basic prefixes, if I happen to get around to it:


House Un-American Activities Committee.

I suppose they investigated people who didn't orient the pie slices to point at their stomachs before eating them. And people who play soccer.

Harvard University Art Museums.

Historically Underutilized Business. Federalese for minority- and women-owned firms. Come think of it, most large corporations are controlled by minority shareholders, but not in that sense.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Also HU.


How do they come up with this stuff?

Hospitals and University at Buffalo Library Resource NETwork.

Hebrew Union College. ``The Academic, Spiritual and Professional Development Center for Reform Judaism.'' Graduated its first class of Reform rabbis in 1883. They were fêted with an aggressively treif banquet (including clams, crab, shrimp, and frog legs). Most of the new rabbis succumbed to food poisoning. (Just kidding about the food poisoning. I mean, it coulda happened, but I don't know that it did.)

Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. Longer version of the name also abbreviated HUC. The appositive is useful clarification; without it, I'd probably have guessed it was a school of Jewish architecture. (They have a program in cantorial studies also.) There seems to have been a vogue in this sort of hyphenated name within the movement: cf. LBC-CJE.

Heads-Up Display. (As in displays for drivers of motor vehicles. That's `drivers' in the sense of human operators, not drivers in the sense of machines directly generating electronic signals to activate servos and such. Also, I mean `motor vehicles' in the sense of self-propelled conveyors of passenger(s), cargo, or both, and not animate carriers of a motor disease. And by `operators' I mean ....) The term is also used in computer games to indicate that status information (available ammunition, scores, etc.) is continuously visible on screen

(US Dept. of) Housing and Urban Development.


History in Universities Defence Group. A UK group. I believe the group conceives itself to be defending history against the shade of Margaret Thatcher. This is appropriate, since she is a historical figure, even a historic one.

Highway Users Federation. A dependency support group?

huge chocoholic
Okay, maybe not the best choice of words.

[Football icon]

Huge, Victor
A writer best known for The Halfback of Notre Dame. Something like that, anyway.

Above the main doorway exiting the computer cluster in Notre Dame's main library, a sign says ``LOG OFF LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY.'' You're supposed to get that joke too. What are you, stupid or sumpin'?

Vide promiscuous hugging.

HUMidity. It's not the heat.

I've asked around, and in Japanese there doesn't seem to be a common phrase that would translate ``It's not the heat, it's the humidity.'' That's a defect, because the (English) phrase is very appropriate to Japan.

human scale
The emblem of the 2004 Olympics in Athens was an olive wreath, called kotinos in Greek. This was the prize in those earlier olympics. (There were no second prizes, only winners and losers.) Officially, the wreath represented the four values of the 2004 Games: heritage, participation, celebration, and human scale. If those were answers on a multiple-choice test, the question would be: ``Which of the following does not belong?''

There is much confusion about the meaning of the term human scale. It is widely used to mean the dimension or length of a hand or a few feet. This is incorrect. Those are the scales of monkeys and horses. The human scale is interstellar; we just haven't arrived yet.

humane vents
Huh? Oh! Human Events -- the journal. ``Leading the Conservative Movement * Since 1944.'' So what is the late WFB's National Review, chopped liver?

humble physicist, I'm just a
Now there's a phrase you don't hear much.

Laura Fermi recalled that the physicist Leo Szilard said to Dr. Luria of the University of Indiana, who didn't know at what level to pitch an explanation of his work,

You may assume infinite ignorance and unlimited intelligence.

Laura once asked her husband Enrico (see FGR, fermi entries) why physicists were so arrogant, but I forget his answer. It's somewhere in her biography of him, Atoms in the Family.

Swedish site. Main site in Germany.

David Hume was a ``British Imperialist'' who died in 1776, the year of the US Declaration of Independence. Something like that, anyway. In his portrait you can see he's wearing a rug more fake than a duck decoy in mating season. Naturally, he made contributions to the philosophy of science (no, not in specie but in kind).

William Hume-Rothery (1899-1968) was a ``British Metallurgist,'' who did science, instead of just talking about it. The eponymous Hume-Rothery rules are an empirical guide to when two metals are sufficiently similar to be completely miscible (form a single phase at all relative concentrations). The rules are:
  1. Atomic radii no more than about 15% different.
  2. Pure metals have the same crystal structure.
  3. Atoms have similar electronegativities.
  4. Atoms have the same valence.

HUManitarian Emergency eVACuation.

HUMan-sourced INTelligence. ``Intelligence'' here is meant in the espionage sense; HUMINT is knowledge of an enemy (or opponent, or potential enemy, for that matter an ally that is not perfectly transparent) that is obtained by interviewing someone who knows. Cf. HI.

Originally one nickname for a military vehicle officially designated HMMWV. Eventually, Hummer became the official name of the civilian versions of that vehicle. In 2000, after GM bought the right to use the name, Hummer became the marque name, and the earlier class of civilian Hummers became the H1 model. In 2002, the H2 model went on sale, rather more affordable and nearly as rugged as the H1.

The other common nickname, now used exclusively for the military vehicle (HMMWV), is Humvee. Interestingly, a military version of the H2 is being considered by the US Army. The Humvee was originally intended as a combat vehicle, but has been used for noncombat missions.

humor, humour
One way to classify humor is into the categories of unintentional humor (e.g., amusing errors) and intentional humor (jokes). Behind the scenes here at The Glossary, we are working constantly to increase the intentional:unintentional humor quotient. Also, we're looking out for errors. Of course, since it's surprising and amusing that we would make any errors at all, these are instances of category I humor. We constantly check and double-check for any mistakes. We don't want any unintentional humor to go to waste, so what we do when we find mistakes is carefully mark them with a mental checkmark, so they become jokes. We've been doign [sic: intentional, ha-ha!] very well, take my word for it.

For slightly substantive thoughts on humor, see the kill the frog entry.

HUMan Resources Research Organization.

Onomatopoeia of what happens when someone tries to pronounce HMMWV, the US military's original official abbreviation of the vehicle which succeeded the Jeep (another modified initials sequence). Also informally called Hummer, but that name was later made the official name of the civilian versions. Built by AM General of South Bend, Indiana. (Plants in Mishawaka -- one town east.)

Hunter College
Well, really this is about Rose Hamburger, but there is as much on Hunter College as there is on any other topic other than Rose Hamburger. The daughter of a department store executive, Rose was born in Manhattan on December 29, 1890. Her maiden name was Rosenbaum, so I suspected that Rose was not her original given name, but a leaf a couple of branches further out along the family tree informs that it was.

Normal College had been established in 1869 as the Female Normal and High School, and held its first classes on Valentine's Day in 1870, regarded as the official founding date of the institution and its successors. Its name was changed to Normal College of the City of New York later that same year, but it was still a girls' school. (A normal school, incidentally, is a school that prepares students to become teachers. As secondary education became common, normal schools evolved into normal colleges, and in the middle of the twentieth century the term ``normal college'' was abandoned in favor of ``teachers' college.'')

In 1879, the length of the program of studies was expanded from three years to four. In 1888, the minimum age for admission, which had been raised to 14 in 1872, was raised again to 15, and Normal College was authorized to grant baccalaureate degrees. [The first B.A. was granted only in 1892. Possibly this is because students in the ``normal'' program were still earning teaching certificates. The ``classical'' (i.e., nonteaching) program of studies was only created in 1888.] Only later did the Normal College receive Regents accreditation and state recognition of its degrees (provisional in 1902, full recognition in 1908). Miss Rosenbaum graduated from Normal College in 1910 at the age of 19, with degrees in mathematics and music. (This implies that she finished in less than four years or was admitted before reaching age 15, or simply that graduation took place earlier in the year than admission. According to an article based on a 1995 interview, she enrolled in 1907. Then again, she explained that she never fulfilled her dream of becoming a concert pianist because her memorization skills weren't too good. (You're probably wondering why I'm providing this information. It's not for you. It's because someone else out there wants to know. Everyone has to wait his turn.) The first president of Normal College, Thomas Hunter, finally retired in September 1906. In the same interview she remembered his words from a speech he gave to an assembly there. That's another reason I distrust the 1907 enrollment date. In April 1914, the NY State legislature authorized changing the name of Normal College to Hunter College of The City of New York.

According to her obituary in the New York Times, Mrs. Hamburger was at that time the youngest graduate in the college's history. She was too young to obtain a teacher's license, so she accompanied her father and uncle to Germany. There she went to her first horse race (according to one news article, and contrary to another) and became hooked on playing the horses. Back in the US, she attended every Preakness Stakes from 1915 to 1988, or only 73 between 1915 and 1992, depending on which news report you want to believe. (Well, okay, the facts don't really depend on your beliefs. You can believe one story or the other, if you trust one of the reports. An obviously error-riddled transcript of a brief Bloomberg broadcast claims she attended every Preakness from 1918-1988, which could of course be true.)

Even after she became the first woman licensed in Baltimore to sell real estate (at age 47, in 1938), she still managed her schedule so she could make it to the track (Pimlico) almost every day. In 1975 she moved to New York to be near her adult children, and gave up selling real estate to become a rental agent for a Manhattan building, but eventually returned to selling real estate. She became a regular at Aqueduct (she also went to Belmont). She liked her work apparently only a bit less than her hobby; she finally retired in 1990. ``The market had been absurdly bad,'' was her comment on real estate, reported from her 100th birthday celebration at the end of that year, ``I miss it -- life is without a challenge.'' She focused on the track.

(Incidentally, Rose Hamburger's 100th birthday celebration was organized by her daughter Nancy Sureck. Mrs. Sureck is the founder of Centennial Celebrations, and has organized them for such institutions as the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall.)

She began to get a lot of attention after she turned 100. As part of the centennial celebration, Nancy arranged for a congratulatory letter from the Hunter College president. After that, she was the guest of honor at several college functions. A letter she wrote to the Daily Racing Form led to a wave of publicity when she was 100. Aqueduct held a race in her honor on December 28, 1992 -- the ``Happy 102d Rose'' purse, which she went to the winner's circle to present.

She came out of retirement to be a racing handicapper (``Gambling Rose'') for the New York Post, beginning work on her 105th birthday, and she later appeared on ``Late Night With David Letterman'' and other television programs. She died the following August. (In those days, the New York Post was also looking pretty terminal.)

A built-in csh command. Not unrelated to...

Hang UP. A Unix signal. Typically, you can send it to a process with kill -1 (that's a one).

Harvard University Press.

Hydrogen Uranyl Phosphate. Uranophosphoric acid.

I just read that hurling is a traditional sport in Ireland. How gross can you get!?

A extreme low-pressure (i.e., ``warm'') air mass whose structure is a single convection cell with a calm central ``eye.'' The ones that approach the east coast of North America form as tropical depressions in the mid-Atlantic, typically drifting first west across the Atlantic and then northward. (``Depression'' refers to the pressure.) They are typically categorized on a five-point Saffir-Simpson scale. In contrast to tornadoes, which last minutes and wreak destruction along a narrow path (funnel diameter at the ground on a scale as small as a hundred feet), hurricanes cause damage over a swath tens of miles (~ tens of kilometers) wide, and create heavy showers across a couple of thousand miles of seacoast. You can figure out a bit more about how hurricanes work by reading the entry on Buys Ballot's Law.

For a long time, hurricanes were given women's names (on the basis of a scrap of Shakespeare that I forget), but in the seventies it was discovered that this was sexist, and since then men's and women's names have alternated. Each successive tropical depression gets a name beginning with the next letter of the alphabet, and a typical hurricane season has half a dozen hurricanes. More on hurricane naming at the WMO entry.

A semantic and orthographic blend of husband and boyfriend. I guess boyband might've been less clear. It's not a very common word. Just now I had ``about 17,000'' ghits for hemidemisemiquaver and only ``about 494'' ghits for husfriend. Who knows? Maybe I'm misspelling it.

When I showed Mary the glossary entry for namorido (an equivalent but much more common Portuguese term), the best English translation she could come up with was ``rentee.'' The word she had in mind, of course, was Leo. Her nonce word for tenant points up an interesting problem with the word renter, which is that it refers both to the person who rents, and to the person who rents: lessor and lessee.

Famous husfriends include Kurt Russell (husfriend of Goldie Hawn), Steadman Graham (Oprah Winfrey) and Tim Robbins (Susan Sarandon). I've seen the complementary term gwife (for Goldie, Oprah, etc.). The word, or at least the five-letter string, appears to be common. However, it seems to be some kind of Welsh variable name (also gWife), and anyway someday it will be short for Google Wife.

Helsinki University of Technology. Called Teknillinen Korkeakoulu (TKK) in Finnish. See EDUFI for an overview of the educational system of Finland.

Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cell[s].

Heating and Ventilation.

High Vacuum. Low pressure.

High Voltage.

Heating, Ventilati{on|ng}, and Air Conditioning. `Heating Vents, Air Conditioning' has also been reported.

High VACuum.

High Voltage, AC.

If you're not sure which of these HVAC's you've got -- you don't want to go there.

Home Video Entertainment Events.

High-Volume Fly Ash (concrete). Concrete in which 55-60% of the portland cement is replaced by low-calcium fly ash, a by-product of thermal power plants. Developed by CANMET in the 1980's.

Hudson Valley Home Brewers.

Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

High-Value Target. For whom, I suppose you might ask.

HardWare. In the classic definition of Jeff Pesis:
``The parts of a computer system that can be kicked.''

At left, a portable calculator (this was hardware) is shown.

For information about ``hardware disease,'' see the cow magnet entry.


Hazardous Waste.

Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.



Hot Water.

HotWire. The term refers to a deposition method: source material is cracked near the deposition surface by nearby hot wire. Bypassing the ignition circuitry and starting the car motor by shorting power to the starter motor is also called hotwiring, but I've never seen ``HW'' used in that context.

Horrible Writers Association. Dedicated to finding something more productive to do with its members' lack of talent. Uh-oooh... Moaaannn. Bad guess. Turns out it's the Horror Writers Association. ``A worldwide organization of writers and publishing professionals dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. HWA was formed in the late 1980s with the help of many of the field's greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale.''

I'm speechless! I don't know what to say! Okay, I should probably at least mention Charnel House Publishing, though. I'll add more if I ever make it back here.

Hackensack Water Company. (In Northern New Jersey.)

Hot-Water natural Gas heating. See the HWO entry for nonusage information.

HTML Writers' Guild. Their website claims they're ``the first international organization of World Wide Web page authors and Internet Publishing professionals.'' They claimed over 50,000 members as of 1997.04.04, and over 150,000 as of 2003.12.07.

Half Width at Half Maximum. Half of FWHM.

Hot-Water Oil heating. That is, home heating by radiators, which in turn are heated by hot water, which in turn is heated by oil. Part of an abbreviation system that was in use in the Toronto area in the early 1980's. I have no idea how widely this system was used, but with the exception of two abbreviations (FAE and FAG, attested mostly in Ontario) it seems to be quite obsolete today. So what better reason do we need to explain the system here?

The abbreviations were three letters long. The first two letters were FA, GA, and HW, for forced air, gravity air, and hot water, respectively. ``Gravity air heating'' is convective heating. The third letter was G, E, or O, for natural gas, electric, or oil, respectively. HWO, HWG, FAO, FAG, GAG, and FAE, are attested (and the preceding list is ordered roughly from most to least common in the early 1980's).

HardWired Processor.

Height and Weight Proportionate. Personals ad abbreviation.

HandWriting Recognition (software).

Hazardous Waste (HW) Treatment and Processing Facility.

Hot-Wall Vapor Deposition.

Heat eXchanger.

[Patient] History. Medical abbreviation. Other common abbreviations of the same form: DX (diagnosis), Fx (fracture), Rx (prescription), SX (symptoms), TX (treatment).

Explanation of abbreviation at Rx.

Hydra. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

[Phone icon]

A circuit that converts between two-wire and four-wire telephone transmission.

Mixed SMT/PTH technology. Reasons for using hybrid technology include (1) using both surfaces of a PCB allows denser mounting of integrated SMT devices and solves cross-over problems, so much of the fabrication tooling for PTH is in place; (2) many power-application devices are available only in PTH packaging.

In The African Queen, Bogie explained:
``In order to steer the boat, you must be going faster than the river.''
In Casablanca, Claude Rains (as Captain Louis Renault) asks Bogie (playing Rick Blaine) why he came to Casablanca.
Blaine: ``My health ... I came to Casablanca for the waters.''
Renault: ``Waters? What waters? We are in the desert.''
Blaine: ``I was misinformed.''

Find equally useful intertextuality at the positive buoyancy entry. Actually, Casablanca is on the Atlantic coast. Also, the statement about relative velocities is poorly phrased. It is just that if your speed relative to the current is less than the speed of the current, then there are directions you can't go.

The Talking Heads song ``Once In A Lifetime'' includes the following lyrics which I haven't sorted out yet.
Water dissolving...and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
UNDER the water
Carry the water
Remove the water from the bottom of the ocean

This might have something to do with a power generation project.


Hydri. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation Hydrus.

International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry. ISSN 1433-5158.

The ancient Greek word hylê originally meant `woodland' and `[cut down] wood.' Even Homer used it in an extended sense to refer to the material or stuff out of which an object was made. Aristotle was apparently the first philosopher to recruit the word to mean `matter' in a more general sense.

It may be that at some point, the journal name HYLE was a backronym -- that is, they may have cooked up an expansion to coincide with the word. That's the only excuse I can think of for the fact that they always write the title in all-caps, but I haven't encountered any such expansion.

You can read the journal online for free, or you can pay money and receive a paper copy. According to their statistics, since 1999 their website has had about 1000 visits a month. Since 1999, the website you're visiting now has looked just as unsexy as it does now and has had about 500 visits a day. They should consider adding some llama humor. And canned beans.

(Time flies when you're having fun. During 2005, the HYLE website had between 10,000 and 20,000 visitors per month. I haven't been preserving a systematic record of SBF traffic, but 3000 daily visits was typical for 2006, so they're clearly gaining on us.)

A tool for managing mailing list archives. Full information at <hypermail.org>.

A nucleus containing at least one hyperon in addition to an ordinary nucleon. No hypernucleus is known to be or expected to be stable.

Any baryon that is not a nucleon. The only nucleons are the proton and the neutron, and all other baryons are more massive (yeah, we say ``heavier'') and unstable. (The free neutron is also unstable, but it's stable in stable nuclei.) So hyperons are all baryons heavier than the neutron, and all hyperons are unstable.

To review: fundamental particles that contain quarks are hadrons, and hadrons are of two types: mesons, which consist of quark-antiquark pairs, and baryons, which consist of three quarks. (Particles consisting of three antiquarks may be called antibaryons, since they're the antiparticles of baryons, or they may be called baryons, because one doesn't want to complicate the discussion of baryons with the sometimes extraneous distinction between particles and antiparticles.) Anyway, the only baryons one can make with only up and down quarks are the nucleons, so the hyperons are baryons with at least one quark other than these. Hence, one speaks of strange hyperons, which include a strange quark.

An underrated social lubricant.

Government by the low, to judge from the Greek roots. Perhaps you were thinking of hypocrisy.

In taxonomy, a name invalidated by inadequate description. In linguistics, a word whose meaning implies another inequivalent term, as scarlet implies red (but red does not imply scarlet, so the terms are not equivalent). Hyponymy is a kind of containment or partial ordering relation in semantics.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton.

The remarkable text in the block quote below is taken from the third edition of Watts' Dictionary of Chemistry (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1893). Henry Watts, B.A., F.R.S., died in the saddle, 63 pages into a work of about 3000, and the third edition was completed by M. M. Pattison Muir and H. Forester Morley (with help from an army of contributors). The two editors dealt with the inorganic and organic chemistry portions of the work, respectively. In his introduction, Morley necessarily dwelt on nomenclature issues. One paragraph reads thus:
  Hyphens are placed between each significant part of a name; absence of the hyphen usually indicates close connection between two groups of atoms: e.g., phenylethyl-urea is C6H5.C2H4.NH.CO.NH2 while phenyl-ethyl-urea is C6H5NH.CO.NHC2H5.

In the current IUPAC nomenclature, these are N-(2-phenylethyl)-urea and N-(2-ethylphenyl)-urea. Some things do improve. Morley's next paragraph is about ``Ambiguous Names.''

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford. Not a consortium, but a term used by high-school guidance counselors.

hysteron proteron
A figure of speech, or perhaps better said a class of figures of speech: any expression involving reversal of expected order. (The head term is Ancient Greek for `later earlier.' That is, the cart before the horse.) Spoonerisms and some syntax errors used to be considered part of this class of figures, but as well many grammatical and even logical expressions. Now hysteron proteron refers primarily to the interchange of two words in a sentence or two phrases in a construction.

The classical example of hysteron proteron is Virgil's moriamur et in media arma ruamus, `let us die and charge into the thick of the fight' (Aeneid bk. ii., l. 358). The unnatural order is here supposed to lend emphasis, but maybe it just helps the line scan. The English expressions ``head over heels'' (meaning ``heels over head'') and ``have your cake and eat it too'' (meaning ``eat your cake and still have it'') are examples frozen by convention. In French and Spanish one has main d'œuvre [main d'oeuvre if the special character doesn't appear in your browser window] and mano de obra, respectively. These literally mean something like `hand of work' and really mean something like `manpower,' in other words `work of hands.'

In The Merry Wives of Windsor, ``All his successors (gone before him) hath done't: and all his ancestors (that come after him) may.''

I.A. Richards (q.v.) was a hysteron proteron repeat offender; he made a habit of presenting various claims about subjects before stating what the subjects were. Languages like Japanese and Classical Latin, in which the verb in a simple sentence normally follows not only the subject but the object and most other sentence elements, can seem like prodigies of hysteron proteron to an English-speaker. I keep repeating the phrase hysteron proteron instead of using, say, a demonstrative pronoun for the term hysteron proteron, in an effort to assure that if you do remember the term hysteron proteron, you won't misremember the second word as the name of a common subatomic particle.

hysteron proteron
A logical fallacy: assuming as true, and using as a premise in argument, a proposition yet to be proved. This fallacy is obviously closely related to petitio principii, the original sense of `begging the question.'

HYpertext browser for TELNET-accessible sites. Also available in Spanish.

Hyvää syntymäpäivää
Finnish: `happy birthday!' English: `I can't stop gnawing my tongue!'

Vowel harmony only gets you so much.

HertZ. One inverse second. The SI unit of frequency. Usually implies circular frequency rather than angular frequency. When I was a kid people resented the intrusion of this new name for what everyone had always called cycles per second (cps), but it caught on. According to current SI rules, when the unit is spelled out rather than abbreviated the name is in lower case: hertz.

Herz is the modern German word meaning `heart.' Hertz is an older spelling of the same word, still common as a surname and a rental car company. The person honored by the SI unit is Heinrich Rudolph Hertz. He was the first person to succeed in generating and detecting the electromagnetic waves predicted by the electromagnetic theory of James Clerk Maxwell. In the process of doing this work, he observed that his detector was more sensitive to electromagnetic waves if it was exposed to UV light. This was the first observation of what is now called the photoelectric effect.

Historische Zeitschrift. A German journal that might have been named `Historical Journal' in English. See Stuart Jenks's page of Tables of Contents of Historical Journals and Monographic Series in German for a complete table of contents (deutsche Seite: Zeitschriftenfreihandmagazin Inhaltsverzeichnisse geschichtswissenschaftlicher Zeitschriften in deutscher Sprache).

Short for HanZi. A 7-bit data format for arbitrarily mixed ASCII and Chinese characters encoded in GuoBiao. The point of using seven bits instead of the standard eight is that this encodes within the printable-character part of ASCII codes, making email transmission possible. This is the same thing that's achieved by BinHex on Macintosh and Uuencode on Unix. See RFC 1843 of 9/95.

The civilian version of the Humvee. The vehicle that first bore Hummer as its official name. As of Summer 2002, it went for about $112,000.

First Half.

Second Half.

A version of the Chevy Suburban (1/2-ton and 3/4-ton trucks) with a body resembling the H1, manufactured by AM General and marketed as another Hummer model. As of roll-out in July 2002, it cost a mere $48,800 stripped, $55,000 loaded.

Hydrogen sulphate, ``vitriol.'' Dissolved in water, it dissociates and forms sulfuric acid. Also an oxidant.

Phosphine. [Pron. /fasfi:n/.]

A common abbreviation of Shakespeare's play The Life of Henry the Eighth.

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(But the ``Hold the cheese.'' entry is in the public domain.)