(Click here for bottom)

I i

Roman numeral for one. This is the one roman numeral that seems very natural. For the claim that Roman numerals are efficient for computation, see two classics-list postings: (I) and (II)

Immediate. A key on an AUTOVON phone, q.v.

India. Not an abbreviation here, just the FCC-recommended ``phonetic alphabet.'' I.e., a set of words chosen to represent alphabetic characters by their initials. You know, ``Alpha Bravo Charlie ... .'' The idea behind the choice is to have words that the listener will be able to guess at or reconstruct accurately even through noise (or narrow bandwidth, like a telephone). Hence, ``Indecision'' might be another fine choice, I guess, probably.


Interstate. A US system of limited-access high-speed roads (Autobahnen). Initiated in the 1950's as a kind of successor to the unlimited-access system of US routes. It was justified at the time, and in particular the federal subsidies for it were justified, by treating it as a part of military preparedness (for army movement of men and materiel) and civil defense (you know, getting away from A-bombed cities). I really ought to explain that at the Eisenhower Interstate System entry, but I don't.

Just as in the US route system, odd-numbered routes go (generally) north-south, and even-numbered routes east-west, but that system applies only to numbers below 100. Three-digit numbers refer to roads that bypass cities: e.g., 195, 295, 395 and 495 are used for bypasses around various cities on I-95. In contrast with the US road system, some of whose major roads were Rts. 1, 9, 22, 66 and 101, the interstate system tried to number the most important roads in multiples of five. Whereas the US route system started numbering in the Northeast (Rts. 1 and 22 go through New Jersey, 101 is California's coastal highway), the Interstate system starts numbering in the Southwest (I-5 and I-10 go through Los Angeles; I-90 and I-95 go through Boston),

USTravelGuide.com is oriented primarily to travel on interstates.

Alaskan, Hawaiian, and Puerto Rican highways that are part of the interstate system have the prefixes A-, H-, and PRI-.

Iodine. Halogen solid at room temperature. Atomic number 53.

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

Here, from his The Isles of Loch Awe (1855), pp. 343-4, is the poem ``Iodine'' of Philip Gilbert Hamerton (1834-1894):

There was a time when we were taught
The elements were only four;
The curse of old Saint Athanase
Might cling to those who dreamed of more.
But now we have enlarged our faith,
And Science widens all her range,
Till recent knowledge holds as truth
What erst had sounded false and strange.

But none of all our elements
Is half so wonderful as thee,
Strange extract of the golden weeds,---
Strange daughter of the eternal sea!
And of our sixty elements
Not one has properties like thine,
Thou mistress of the solar light,
O violet-fuming Iodine!

Oppressed by Nature's vastest forms,
Lie hid in many a mountain chain
Poor souls who dwell from year to year
In shadowed darkness of the brain.
For these thou hast a potent charm
That fills their hearts with health and light,
And makes a sunrise in the soul
That slept before in haunted night.

I've seen about the western isles,
Encircling zones of golden weed,
A wondrous spirit lurks therein---
By fire alone it may be freed!
An artist-substance that receives
Distinct impressions line for line,
More sensitive than painter's eye,
The wonder-working Iodine!

Appended to this is a note, quoting Septimus Piesse in The Mining Journal:

Iodine derives its name from a Greek word, signifying ``violet-coloured;'' but the transcendent beauty of the colour of its vapour requires further elucidation than simply saying that it has a ``violet hue.'' If a little iodine be placed on a hot tile it rises into a magnificent dense vapour, fit for the last scene of a theatrical representation. This remarkable substance was discovered by accident about forty years ago. At that period chemical philosophy was in great repute, owing principally to the brilliant discoveries of Sir Humphry Davy. So singular a substance as iodine was to Davy a source of infinite pleasure. His great aim was to prove its compound nature; but in this he failed; and to this day it is believed to be one of the primitive ``elements'' of the world we live in. The sea furnishes an inexhaustible supply of iodine. Whatever be the food of sea-weeds, it is certain that iodine forms a portion of their daily banquet; and to these beautiful plants we turn when iodine is to be manufactured for commercial purposes. The inhabitants of the Tyrol are subject to a very painful disease called goître, or cretinism; for this malady iodine is a perfect cure. Photography tells the whole truth without flattery; and the colours used in this process are only silver and iodine.

There's a semiannual Iodine Poetry Journal published in Charlotte, North Carolina. I don't know how the journal name was selected.

Island. (Also Is., Isl.)


Latin: inter alia or inter alios, meaning `among other things [alia]' or `among other people [alios].'

If you were paying attention back when et al. was being defined, you may have noticed that `other people' there corresponded to alii rather than alios. I'll explain this later if I get around to it.

Internal Affairs.

Intra-Arterial. If you're trying to open an IV line, this is a messy mistake. You'd figure it's a difficult mistake to make, but I've heard of an instance. In fact, it's common enough to have a common name, which is ``arterial stick.''

Iowa. USPS abbreviation.

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for Iowa. USACityLink.com has a page with mostly city and town links for the state.

Issuing Authority.

Initial Address Acknowledgment.

Israel Antiquities Authority.

Indian Academy of Aesthetic and Cosmetic Dentistry.

International Amateur Athletic Federation. The 23-member Council of the IAAF decides where the World Championships in Track and Field will be held.

International Association of Assembly Managers. It ``comprises leaders who represent a diverse [diverse!] industry--entertainment, sports, conventions, trade, hospitality and tourism. These leaders manage, or provide products and services to public assembly facilities like arenas, amphitheaters, auditoriums, convention centers/exhibit halls, performing arts venues, stadiums and university complexes.'' The Annual Conference and Trade Show is held in the Summer.

International Association of Assessing Officers. ``The majority of our members are property appraisers and assessment personnel who work for the government; however, membership is open to anyone, including individuals working in industry, academia, and the general public.''

Irish Association for American Studies. IAAS is a constituent association of the EAAS. This part of the alphabet soup is certainly rich in vowels.

Israel Association of American Studies. If you can only have one ally in the world, the US is a good choice. I remember back in the days of old Enver, when I explained to (my Israeli friend) Andy that after its bust-up with China, Albania no longer had any allies in the world. He was amazed (Andy, not Enver). How could they survive?!

This IAAS is an affiliate member of EAAS.

Internet Architecture Board.

Intel Application Binary Interface.

Information Analysis Center. (DoD term.)

Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.

Integrator And Calculator. Popular ending on early computer names. See Woz entry for list.

International Air Cargo Association of Chicago.

International Association for Computing and Philosophy. ``The IACAP exists to promote scholarly dialogue on all aspects of the computational turn and the use of computers in the service of philosophy.'' Cyclic waste, if you know what I mean. More horrors at the the relevant CAP entry.

IACAP also uses an expansion with of in place of for above. One of the first lessons of programming is to be consistent in the use of names.

International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. The three major business-school accreditation agencies in the US are AACSB, ACBSP, and IACBE, in order of diminishing prestige. IACBE is not recognized by the CHEA or by the US Department of Education. (No, I don't know what that would entail, but the fact entitles me to look down my nose at the IACBE-accredited despite my having no business credential whatsoever, so it's clearly useful.) As its name may suggest, IACBE accredits forms of business education that don't amount to business programs -- training academies that offer continuing-education business courses, and whatnot. And if you're taking wooden nickels, be sure they're authentic wooden nickels: like AACSB, IACBE has a ``membership'' that includes institutions that it has not accredited.

International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. Wassamatta you!?

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy. It's ``a professional, scientific, interdisciplinary organization whose mission is to facilitate the utilization and growth of cognitive psychotherapy as a professional activity and scientific discipline. In addition, the Association serves as a resource and information center for matters related to cognitive psychotherapy.''

International Association of Crime Writers. It also has an official Spanish name: Asociación International de Escritores Policiacos.'' It's interesting how the English words associated with this genre are less official. A roman policier in French is a ``mystery'' or a ``detective story'' in English.

Writing in his blog on October 25, 2004, Roger L. Simon, a former officer of the IACW, described it in passing as ``left-leaning.''

Integrated Access Device.

Inter-American Development Bank. Also abbreviated IDB (in English) and BID in Spanish.

International Association of Drilling Contractors. They only drill for oil.

This trade association was founded in 1940, and has gone by the initialisms ODC and AAODC.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. IADL's include cooking, writing and driving. Distinguished from ADL's.

International Atomic Energy Agency. If the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve glossary were a Francophone resource, we would list this entity as AIEA (pour l'Agence internationale de l'energie atomique).

International Association for the Education of Deafblind.

International Association of Equine Professionals.

Inter-American Foundation. In Spanish, this is expanded Fundación Interamericana, but the English-order acronym tends to be used.

International Astronautical Federation. Described here. It has 130 member organizations in 46 countries, and it holds an annual congress, but it doesn't seem to have its own website. Visit AAS instead.

Internet Address Finder.

Some other similar resources: Bigfoot.com || Switchboard.com || Peoplefind.com || WhoWhere.com || Yahoo People Search.

Islamic Action Front. Oh look, cool coincidence:

Israeli Air Force. For years I used to see it spelled out in English with the attributive noun: ``Israel Air Force'' but I see now that even the IAF's official website uses the adjective on its English pages. (The English name is not an exact translation of the Hebrew. I suppose that when there are two countries that use Hebrew as a national language, it may be more useful to make the country name explicit.)

(The FBI's) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. They have more than 213,000,000 fingerprints, and of those only about 127,000,000 are criminal.

International Association of Forensic Nurses. Based in Pitman, New Jersey.

International Association of Great Lakes Research. ``Your Source for Research on the Great Lakes and other Large Lakes of the World.'' Find out about testicular anomaly in lake trout.

Initiatives at Achieving Goals Outstanding. A charity based in South Bend, Indiana.

Normally one associates an awkward expansion like this with a lazy, half-hearted, or merely incompetent attempt to justify a backronym. That might be the case here; one need only make the reasonable assumption that the creator of the acronym liked the sound of the target word but didn't happen to know its meaning or associations -- with race, say. A part of literacy -- even cultural literacy -- is possession of an adequate vocabulary. Fortunately, the subject charity doesn't really aim to educate anyone. Instead, it focuses on building self-esteem in kids who are disruptive in school. According to itself, the organization has been very successful with these ``at-risk kids.'' Also, students in the program are paid for raising their GPA's and for ``every positive remark of improvement from a teacher.'' (This is fair to the kids whose parents teach them to stay out of trouble: since they're well-behaved already, they're probably not eligible for ``remarks of improvement,'' so why should they be paid?)

Please donate money to this charity so they can continue and even expand their work. Things will have to be much more broken before anyone does what is obviously necessary to fix them.

International Association for History and Computing. ``[E]xists to encourage and maintain interest in the use of computers in all types of historical studies at all levels, in both teaching and research.'' AHC is used productively, in the names of some of the national organizations (e.g., UK AHC, American AHC). It's also used for the international organization. So the IAHC is really a productive application of ``AHC'' for the AHC. Clear?

AHC has a mailing list: H-AHC, sponsored by H-NET.

International Association for Hydraulic Engineering and Research. As the initialism suggests, it used to be the International Association for Hydraulic Research. The organization used, and still uses the symbol IAHR/AIRH also. The impression I get from searching the web with ``Association Internationale de Recherches Hydrauliques'' and ``Association Internationale d'Ingénierie et de Recherches Hydrauliques'' is that not a lot of their business is currently conducted in French.

International Association for Hydrological Sciences. Nominally IAHS/AISH.

International Association for Hydrological Sciences/Association internationale des sciences hydrologiques. Try saying that one time fast.

Israel Aerospace Industries. Previously Israel Aircraft Industries.

Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. An affiliate of NAICU.

Intra-uterine Artificial Insemination Homologous (AIH).

International Association of Jews from Egypt. (Post-biblically.)

International Algebraic Language. The original name of Algol. See also Jovial.

International Association of Lighthouse Authorities. French AISM.

International Auxiliary Language Association. Promotes, disinterestedly studies, and promotes international auxiliary languages like Esperanto. History at the Interlingua site.

International Association of Lighting Designers.

I admit it: I'm bored.

International Association of Law Libraries.

Hi y'all!

Initial Address Message.


Interactive Ancient Mediterannean.

I am an award-winning author.
I have won an award you've never heard of for a book you've never heard of. Lucky you.

I am often asked
I wish someone would ask me. A rhetorical questioning.

Institute for Advanced Medical Education.

International Association for Management Education? You want ``AACSB -- International Association for Management Education.''

I am happy to know that I have touched your heart.
It was a small target.

Israel Aerospace Medicine Institute.

International Association of Music Libraries.

Institute for Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies. Based at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. ``An international body whose purpose is to initiate and promote research into the origins and developments of metallurgy and its culture-historical [been reading a little too much German lately, eh?] significance, from its earliest, prehistoric beginnings to recent times.''

Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Sciences. Old name of TechSolve, Inc., until late 2000. Under the old name, this nonprofit company was typically referred to by the acronym IAMS, which was occasionally confused with Iams, the pet-food company based in the Dayton area. In 2000, IAMS had also expanded into the Dayton area.

In 1986, I interviewed for a position in Athens, Ohio. When I came back I complained to my co-workers that it would be pretty uncool to work in a place named Athens. Paul K. commiserated. He said he once interviewed for a job in Dayton, Ohio. I asked ``Dayton was an ancient Greek city-state?'' I was just thinking lèse majesté. I didn't get the job. I wonder if the job Paul had interviewed for was at the University of Dayton.

IAMS, Iams
A high-end dog food. Pronounced ``I'ms.'' (You know: the plural of the contraction of ``I am,'' as the name suggests.) More information at the Eukanuba entry.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Assigns default port numbers to client/server protocols. E.g., 70 for gopher, 80 for http, etc. Here's a fairly extensive list.

I Am Not A Lawyer. But I've got a fatuous imagination; take my free advice.

International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV).

Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources.

[dive flag]

International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers.

International Association of Management. This is the nomenclatural equivalent of empty calories. The name contains only the kind of words I skip over when I'm trying to find out what it's about. ``Association'' ... ``international'' ... ``of'' ... I guess they're about management. I suppose that's substantive enough. See AoM/IAoM.

International Association of Orofacial Myology. ``[T]he professional and certification organization for the Orofacial Myology Practitioner. ...

``Orofacial Myology/Myofunctional therapy is defined as treatment of the orofacial musculature to improve muscle tonicity. It is the establishment of correct functional activities of the tongue, lips, and mandible, so that normal growth and development may take place or progress in a stable homostatic environment. It may include the treatment of parafunctional habits to eliminate noxious oral behavior patterns [I think this is where "digit habit" comes in]; or temporomandibular muscle dysfunction as it relates to bruxism/clenching, range of motion activities, or postural habits of the tongue, lips and/or mandible.''

Forum on Innovative Approaches to Outer Planetary Exploration 2001-2020. A workshop held in January 2001. A book of extended abstracts was published.

Independent Agrochemical Observer. A Danish organization rivaling the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve (SBF) in utility and scope.

International Airline Passengers Association (tm).

International Association of Ports and Harbors.

International Association of Progressive Montessori. Montessori is a common noun? Oh well, I guess we get the idea. Based in Spokane, WA.

International Association for Pattern Recognition.

Indoor Air Quality.

Infrequently Asked Questions.

I.A. Richards.

Indiana Association of Realtors.

Initial Address Reject.

Ivor Armstrong Richards. Is this padding, slumming, or what?

Illicit Antiquities Research Centre. In Cambridge, England. Mentioned here.

International Agency for Research on Cancer.

I.A. Richards
Ivor Armstrong RICHARDS. Born in 1893, he died afterwards. (That would be in 1979.) A twentieth-century college English teacher. He's been deemed pretty important in lit-crit circles -- important enough to merit a Wikipedia article and an I.A. Richards Web Resource.

Despite this, he's a lot of fun, so we'll be mentioning him at various places in this glossary, such as the Practical Criticism and mixed-metaphor entries, as well as the eventual Basic-English-related entries.

I have a big entry under development about this dude, but it might be years before I get around to finishing it, so let me at least mention the following: There's an old story about a small college that was considering expansion. If you're utterly out of the loop you may not have heard it, so I'll regale you with it now. The plan was to add one department: either physics, mathematics, or philosophy. The committee on expansion reported back to the trustees that the main difference among these was the cost of supporting research: physics professors need all sorts of expensive equipment, but mathematicians only need paper, pencils, and a garbage can. Philosophers don't even need a garbage can.

International Amateur Radio Union. Looks like a Japanese verb written in romaji, doesn't it?

International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses. I guess association is one of those fusty old collective nouns, like gaggle for geese.

Indicated Air Speed. Not the same as True (TAS).

Institute for Advanced Studies. The one in Princeton.

Institute of Alcohol Studies. Also visit IAST (next) and the Research Institute on Addictions (RIA).

Inter-American Studies. There's an M.A. program in IAS offered by the University of Bielefeld, Germany. It's a four-semester program representing ``a cooperation between Bielefeld's faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies, the faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology, and the faculty of Sociology [and nothing? I was getting into the rhythm!] and is a nationwide unique interdisciplinary project.''

I guess they study Inter-Americans, whoever they or we are. It's gotta be better than studying Interahamwe. Safer, anyway. Oh, here it comes!

``The M.A. takes up a double perspective that concentrates on the hemispherical interconnections between Anglo-America and Latin-America and in doing so follows a recent trend of research within the framework of transnational regional studies. Literary, cultural, and media studies as well as linguistics, sociology, political science, and transnational history are integrated to participate in an interdisciplinary dialogue. The social, cultural, historical, and political developments in the Americas (both in regard to their specifically national characteristics and to the processes of transnational integration) form the main focus of the course of studies. Current research paradigms related to questions of transnationality, interculturality, globalization, and concepts of World Society are the major theoretical guidelines.''

``The program is designed for students with a B.A. certificate (or its equivalent) in a related area of studies, and provides them with an individual specialization within the participating fields of studies which will qualify them as future experts in international cultural, social, and communicative processes. Proficiency in English and Spanish, as well as German are needed, but can be improved throughout the course of studies.''

Heck, the Bielefeld folks still haven't ``improved'' their punctuation skills. Incidentally, I imagine that Brazil is not meant to be excluded from ``Latin-America.'' Some writers in Spanish mean, and occasionally state, that by latinoamérica they mean only the former colonies of Spain. It reminds me of the old joke about who a Yankee is.

International Association of Sufism.

Improving America's Schools Act of 1994. It was a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). It was up for reauthorization in 1999 but quietly expired. It was succeeded by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002.

International Air Shippers' Association. I don't remember where I grabbed this acronym and its expansion, but if it ever existed it appears to be well dead now. See instead IATA and TIACA.

International Association of Seed Crushers. Based in West Sussex, UK.

I could've sworn I knew an elf (sorry -- an elvish person) by that name. Oh well, it seems we have entered the age of men. (Persons! Sorry -- I mean, ``the age of persons''!) IASIL is the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures. They publish an annual bibliographical listing of publications pertinent to Irish Studies; publications in a language other than English are accompanied by a translation of the title.

A popular maneuver in postmodern or ``theoretical'' discourse is to make unnecessary plurals as a way of ``transgressing narratives'' or something. The idea is that anything you might like to say is false, because it's not perfectly true, and it's not perfectly true because your narrative is only one of many equally true (i.e., false) narratives, blah, blah. Anyway, I don't think that's what's going on in the ``Irish Literatures'' of the IASIL expansion. I think the idea is to emphasize that the bailiwick of IASIL includes Irish literature in both English and Irish Gaelic. But of course, I am probably wrong.

International Association of School Librarianship.

International ASsociation of Mechanical Engineers. I kid you not. They even capitalize the first ess as we do, just so you don't wonder about any missing word. As written, it does seem to suggest a relationship with the (organizationally unrelated) ASME.

``The IASME is a non-profit scientific organization that promotes the Mechanical Engineering through Journals, Books, Conferences, Seminars, Workshops, Research Projects and Summer Schools. It was founded by WSEAS members in August 12, 2003 after a WSEAS successful conference in Crete, Greece.''

Institute for Addictions Studies and Training. Page temporarily down. Also visit the Research Institute on Addictions (RIA).

Integrated Access Terminal.

International Air Transport Association. They assign improbable three-letter codes, listed here, to airports around the world. Based in Montreal.

IATA collaborates closely with ICAO.

International Amateur Theater Association.

International Association for Technology Assessment and Forecasting Institutions.

International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A division (!) of the NYC-based National Television Academy (NATAS). ATAS awards Emmys. IATAS awards the iEmmys. NATAS and its regional chapters (dare I say ``divisions''?) also award Emmys, but they're much less glitzy and have been exiled to inferior broadcast surroundings.

International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language. Based in the UK.

I suppose one mustn't hold oneself hostage to the potential pranks of graffiti artists, but ``IATEFL'' is rather too easily modified to read ``HATEFL.''

Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The IATH was profiled in the May 1995 issue of Lingua Franca.

Illinois Association of Teachers of Japanese. An affiliate member of the ICTFL and the NCJLT.

International Automotive Technicians' Network. A group of about 23000 ``professional automotive technicians [at least four years' full-time work experience or current ASE certification] from 101 countries. The automotive professionals of this group exchange technical knowledge and information with other members from around the globe....''

Also offers a referral service.

iatrogenic infection
Infection acquired through medical intervention. Also referred to as a nosocomial infection. For more or less, see the autoinfection entry.

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes [sic], Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada. Their use of the unregularized spelling of employee is apparently traditional, and not some stupid idea they got from reading the Washington Post. Don't be surprised that your theater program regularizes the spelling.

International Association of Techological University Libraries.

International Astronomical Union. It was only founded in 1919, the year after the end of the Great War. It was formed in a merger of various preexisting organizations, one of which was already itself known as a union (the Solar Union). The IAU is a member of the ICSU.

International Astronomical Unit. An official value for the astronomical unit: 149.5978 Gm.

International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior. Founded 1922. See also Volcano Information Center (VIC).

In Accordance With. Looks like internetese, but on reflection you won't be surprised to learn it's military jargon.

International Water Association.

Ion Acoustic Wave. A plasma excitation.

It's A Wonderful Life. A movie directed by Frank Capra, released December 19, 1946. After you have memorized it, Robin's Web is a good place to continue the study of this great movie.

How significant is this movie? Karolyn Grimes played the youngest daughter of George and Mary (Hatch) Bailey. She had six minutes of screen time (out of a total running time of 129 minutes) and was listed thirty-third in the credits. Apparently her current career consists in making IAWL-related appearances and selling IAWL-related products. Visit her web site, <zuzu.net>.

IAWL's initial copyright period ended during the time when copyright terms lasted only twenty-eight years. The copyright holder could have an extension free for the asking, if the asking was done near the end of the initial period. (Later on, the copyright renewals became automatic, but that change did not affect works of IAWL's vintage.) Whoever had the responsibility of filing the request for extension reportedly forgot (or perhaps ``forgot''). If the copyright had been renewed, then it would clearly have been under copyright at the time that Sonny Bono's Egregious Bill To Extend Copyrights Obscenely In The United States Of America (not the official title) came into effect, and the film would have remained under copyright continuously and forever (new copyright extensions should be passed from time to time). Because the copyright was not renewed, it was widely assumed that the movie had passed into the public domain, and in the late seventies and through the eighties, IAWL aired on approximately every television station.

The rights to IAWL were originally held by Capra's company Liberty Films. Republic Pictures Corp. (NTA at the time) is successor in interest to Liberty Films. On June 14, 1993, Republic asserted that it owns the rights to (at least some of) the music in the film. (Republic acquired these exclusive music rights, which did remain protected, in a series of transactions with Warner/Chappell Music, Irving Berlin Music Co., Edward B. Marks Music Co. and Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. Inc.) Based on this and its ownership of the copyrighted short story upon which the movie was based, Republic has regained effective control over the distribution and use of the film and derivative products. I'm not sure that their claim has ever been tested in court, but the preponderance of legal opinion seems to be that they can make their claim stick. Their reasoning is based on (and their purchase of the music rights was motivated by) an April 25, 1990, US Supreme Court decision involving Alfred Hitchcock's ``Rear Window.'' The court ruled in that case that distributors of the movie were required to share rerelease earnings with the copyright holder of the underlying story on which the film was based. After a final cluster of independent broadcasts at Christmas 1993, Republic contracted an exclusive license with NBC.

In August 1995, Republic signed a joint marketing agreement for the film with cool, market-savvy heavy-weight...Borden, running Oct. 15-Feb. 29 (distribution began Sept. 19, 1995). It was the ``fiftieth anniversary'' of the 1946 release. That Winter, it peaked higher (#13) on the Billboard charts than the 1994 TV version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (#15) -- more authentic malice and greed, I guess -- but the next season Grinch was back on top. After Republic's aggressive protection and promotion of its movie, IAWL has dramatically declined in popularity.

Republic does not distribute a Colorized version. Video Treasures was one of the companies that did. The latter sued Republic in December 1993, challenging Republic's claim of sole ownership. On July 8, 1994, the suit was settled out of court, with VT acknowledging Republic's claim and Republic allowing VT to distribute a Colorized version until 1998. (Rights to that version had been acquired from Hal Roach Studios, which had been acquired by RHI Entertainment, which had reached agreement with Republic earlier in December 1993. Under the terms of that agreement, RHI ended the Video Treasures license in the U.S., as well as those with Gaga in Japan and Transvideo in Portugal.) Most of the 100 or so independent distributors of IAWL preferred to avoid litigation.

The late Stephen Jay Gould, a gifted science writer and celebrated Harvard professor, published a book in 1989 called Wonderful Life, describing radically new conclusions about the contingency and the rate of evolution. These conclusions, based on his graduate students' speculative reconstructions of fragile Cambrian fossils from the Burgess shale, would have been very important had they been correct. A fact not very clearly adverted in the book is that the hypothesis it promotes had never (as it has not since) achieved widespread acceptance, even among the gullible gaggle of paleobiologists. Gould's claim that the Burgess shale of British Columbia contained representatives of a large variety of exotic taxa (rather than a jumbled bunch of bits from rather ordinary phyla like annelids and arthropods, and the latter's apparent ancestors the velvet worms, still represented in 90 known living species) is no longer tenable, if it ever was, but his book remains in print. (Cue Marc Anthony's eulogy of Caesar.) Not that I have anything special against this specific book. Some of the minor errors in the book were not original with Gould, and anyway he was prolific and promoted ideas in other areas of his incompetence such as neoteny and intelligence measurement; his ideas are widely respected outside the scientific community to this day. IAWL was one of Gould's favorite movies; that's not a recommendation.


Instruction Buffer.

International Baccalaureate. ``The IB Diploma Programme is recognized internationally as a qualification for university entrance, while allowing students to fulfill the requirements of their national education system.'' The IB program was developed and overseen by the IBO. According to reports, it is academically rigorous, and generally sound in the sciences and math, but apparently the selection of great literature is only politically correct.

The use of ``bachelor's degree'' and related terms has evolved over time, and has evolved differently in different places. In Spain and Spanish America, the traditional sequence of titles is Bachillerato, Licenciado, and Doctor, corresponding to Latin Baccalaureatus, Licenciatus, and Doctor. At one time, the bachillerato was a sort of advanced high-school degree taken by students planning to go to college, equivalent to what is called the Abitur or Matura. (Graduation from nonacademic high schools might take place at age 16 or 17 -- i.e., a year or two earlier. Cf. the older Canadian system at the HS entry.)

Traditionally also, school courses in general education, general culture, liberal education or whatever you want to call it, were supposed to be taken care of in high school -- that is, with completion of the bachelor's degree. One entered college to pursue a specific career, and most courses were focused on that career and taken within the relevant department (facultad) of the university. The licencia was earned upon completion of coursework in that facultad. This traditional scheme is evolving irregularly toward a system more like the current American one, and a degree called the Maestría has been introduced.

Interpreter's Bible. In the original edition, there was usually one Bible book per volume of the IB. Cf. NIB.

IsoButyl Alcohol.

Israel Broadcasting Authority.

In-Band, Adjacent Channel.

Ion-Beam-Assisted Deposition.

I very bad.

International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society. Please, please: they've just got to hire William Hung to sing a theme for them!

International Broadcasting Bureau (of the US). VOA ventriloquism?

Independent Breweries Company. Root beer since 1919. The eighteeth amendment (prohibition) didn't take effect until 1920.

Inside Back Cover.

Integrated Broadband Communications.

Interdigitated Back Contact (solar cell). The idea is to avoid the trade-off between shadowing by the contact and series resistance. That is, in the usual geometry, a solar cell has a front contact that lies in the path of the light that's supposed to be absorbed and converted into electric power. If this front contact layer is thin, then it absorbs little light -- which is good -- but it then has a high sheet resistance, so more of the power generated in the cell goes into Ohmic heating of the front contact -- which you probably don't need me to tell you is bad. On the other hand, thickening the layer shades the device, reducing power generated while decreasing the fraction dissipated by the contact resistance.

IBC solves this by using what are lateral pn junctions on the back surface, defined by different implantations or diffusions into a high-carrier-lifetime bulk material.

International Business {Company|Corporation}.

Inuit Broadcasting Corporation.

ISDN Burst Controller.

Integrated Broadband Communications Network. Broadband ISDN.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease. IBD is not IBS, dammit! IBD refers to either or both of two chronic diseases that cause inflammation of the intestines: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Investors Business Daily. Was originally called ``Investors Daily.'' Instead of adding an utterly redundant word to their title, they might profitably have invested in an apostrophe.

Mirabile dictu -- they have!

According to this page, in March 2002,

``Founded in 1984 by William J. O'Neil, Investor's Business Daily is now America's fastest growing newspaper, boasting a daily readership of over 800,000. Designed to provide both concise and comprehensive coverage of business, financial, economic, and national news, Investor's Business Daily is highly organized and tightly edited to help you make the most of your time. This newspaper is a must have for all investors.''

Indian (i.e. Native American) Business Development Center. Vide MBDA.

Indiana Black Expo.

Ion-Beam Etch.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. In a piquant footnote to the history of the trade-union versus craft-union conflict, the Buffalo Jills joined local 41 of the IBEW in July 1995.

International Bicycle Fund.

International Boxing Federation. The youngest of the three credible international boxing title-granting and ranking organizations. Founded in the eighties with some idealistic notions of cleaning up the ``sport.'' The other two are WBA and WBC. When a promoter wants to stage a fight that is grossly inappropriate, or in order simply to claim that an ordinary bout is for some title, he can use the good offices of the genuine-sounding WBO or WBU.

International Business Forum. ``[P]rovides information about business opportunities in the international marketplace. It is intended for companies wishing to export or expand into foreign markets as well as for those interested to acquire products and services from other countries.''

Internationale Bodenkundliche Gesellschaft. German name of the International Society of Soil Science -- AISS in French, ISSS (main entry here) in English, SICS in Spanish.

I'll Be Gone, You'll Be Gone. The philosophy of pursuing an investment strategy focused on high short-term gains, even though the investments are high-risk, because in the long term one won't be around to have to take responsibility for disastrous losses. This philosophy was popular during the boom that ended in 2007-2008, among investment-company employees who were encouraged or required to make those risky investments. So you see, it wasn't their fault if they were left standing when the music stopped. Give me back my bonuses!


Notation in references (footnotes or endnotes): `in the same place' [bk., chap., pg., etc.] [Abbreviation of Latin ibidem.] Same remarks apply as for op. cit., for which it is an approximate synonym.

Internet (Bermuda) Limited. A member of CIX.

Israel Baseball League. The inaugural season features (I'm writing in the present tense because it's happening in the present) six teams each playing 45 games. The games have only seven innings and no extra innings: a tie is settled by a home run contest. The promoters must be soccer fans. The teams are Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, Modi'in Miracle, Netanya Tigers, Petah Tikva Pioneers, Ra'anana Express, and Tel Aviv Lightning. According to news reports, each team has one paid manager and two player-coaches. There are 15 Israeli players, and the rest are foreigners, who seem to be more like adult league players on a long Summer paid vacation than minor leaguers. I guess you have to start somewhere. Most of the 3112 fans at the first game (Modi'in at Petah Tikvah; June 25, 2007) were immigrants from the US and their children. (What, you were expecting Japanese expats and their children?)

Indiana Black Librarians Network.

Infinite Barrier Model.

Interacting Boson Model. For low-energy excitations of nuclei.

International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Current name of a company that was renamed ``International Business Machines'' by Thomas J. Watson, Sr., a salesman who got his start in Buffalo, NY. IBM has a corporate-issue glossy homepage. The Microelectronics pages are nice.

IBM made the greatest corporate contribution to literary criticism in the twentieth century.

IBM is still by far the largest computer company (counting HW, SW, and services together).

International Bluegrass Music Association.

Het instituut Beleid & Management Gezondheidszorg. Dutch, `The Institute of Health Policy and Management. Part of Erasmus University Rotterdam. They insist that the first i of Institute is in lower case in English as well as Dutch.

IBM Journal of Research and Development
View abstracts and feature article of recent issues. Has good review and tutorial articles, as well as regular articles. We have it (LC number TK7800.I14) in the library, but you could still subscribe or get further information.

International Bone and Mineral Society.

IBM Systems Journal
View abstracts and feature article of recent issues. I'm not very familiar with it. We have it (LC number TK7800.I14) in the library, but you could still subscribe or get further information.

IBM 650
A tube computer used in the late fifties, succeeded by the 700 series (see 704 entry below). It is best remembered for Donald Knuth's dedication of his Numerical Algorithms:
This book is affectionately dedicated to the Type 650 computer once installed at Case Institute of Technology, with whom I have spent many pleasant evenings.
For all I know that might be the first book dedication to a computer in history. (Francis Fukuyama dedicated his book The End of History, an expansion of a lecture he gave with that famous and enigmatic title, to the cpu that ran his word processor.) To run a program on the 650 required all the patience that love can give. It used a rotating magnetic drum for memory. Technically, that might constitute random access memory (RAM), since memory locations on the drum are addressed individually. However, the drum has to be turning to be read, and one has to wait for the drum location to rotate around to the head azimuth, so it's not really any faster than reading serial memory and discarding most of what's read. FOLDOC has an extensive list of the languages it ran.

IBM 704
A tube computer from early in the second half of the twentieth century. It incorporated RAM, in the form of magnetic core arranged in 36-bit words. A typical set-up had a cubic foot of magnetic core in a glass enclosure, for 32k words, a total of 144Kbytes. (In the store this would be about about ``1 Meg[abit]'' of RAM hardware. A vast improvement on the essentially serial memory (magnetic drum) of the IBM 650 that the 700 series superseded. FOLDOC has a detailed technical reminiscence.

IBM 709
A science-application version of the IBM 704.

Incurred But Not yet Reported. An event that may obligate an insurer is regarded as an IBNR claim. When reported it becomes an RBNS claim.

In-Band, On-Channel.

International Biological Program.

In-Band, Reserved Channel.

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Established as part of the Bretton Woods Accords in 1944, it became a specialized agency within the United Nations when that was established, but it is ``owned'' by its member nations. The IBRD and the IDA (International Development Association, fnd'd 1960) together are known as the ``World Bank'' (see WB). The World Bank is the largest provider of development assistance to developing countries and to ``countries in transition.''

Suppose your economy has been expanding briskly but steadily, but that a large economy in your vicinity (like Japan's say) has been stagnating for the better part of a decade. Suppose further that the Japanese government convinces your largest importer (the US, say) to strengthen its currency to avert a further Japanese economic disaster, and that the prices of your export goods become relatively unattractive (because your currency is pegged to the dollar). Your exports weaken, currency speculators see an opportunity to sell you short and bet against your currency until it cracks, your stock market crashes and you start defaulting on loans to your biggest creditor (Japan, whose banking system was already insolvent anyway). That's the good news: Japanese banks go on cooking the books, so in the long run maybe you just default on some onerous loans and your credit rating takes a hit (so capital becomes expensive). The real bonus is you have a decent chance of replacing your corrupt dictators with a brand new set of kleptocrats. Of course, this requires a little short-term pain, since well-fed children don't riot. Okay, maybe this isn't such good news. But here's worse: the World Bank comes to your rescue! In exchange for a sequence of short term loans, you hand over central management of your economy to the seasoned experts who have been fixing the Asian economic crisis for all these years.

It would be cool if IBRD were BIRD in French, but I haven't seen that used. I'll have to keep on looking.

International Berkeley Society. Founded in 1975, it ``holds meetings, conferences, and symposia, [I think that covers all bases] and publishes the results of scholarly research on both sides of the Atlantic [just two sides?] and brings attention and information, both old and new, about [sic] George Berkeley and his works.'' IBS is based at Texas A&M instead of the obvious place.

They say he ``is especially famous as the author of the philosophical theory known as `immaterialism'.'' That doesn't sound very substantial. He also ``made important contributions in the fields of philosophy, mathematics, and economics.'' Afaik, his most important contribution to mathematics was objecting that Newton's fluxions were not rigorously defined. That's exactly the sort of thing that philosophers would consider an important contribution. (In this case, it was. See this.)

But perhaps there was some interesting mathematics in his writings on vision. [On a quick look, though, A [sic] Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision (1709) has only the most elementary sort of geometric argument.] That brings us to physiology and... yes, medicine! What about George Berkeley's famous contributions to medicine? His most popular work was on that subject. [Most popular, that is, during his lifetime, and probably until the time that A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (1713) became regularly assigned college texts. Then again, can college texts truly be said to be popular? Give me 2000 words on that.] The work introducing his speculations on tar-water was Siris, Philosophical Reflexions and inquiries concerning the virtues of tar-water, and divers other subjects connected together and arising from one another (1744). Tar-water was the clear water drained off from a mix of pine tar and water after the (mostly insoluble) pine tar has settled. The diverse other subjects connected together and so forth are philosophical. The work went through a second printing in 1747, and in 1752 he published Farther Thoughts on Tar-Water. In 1753 he died.

On tar
Hail vulgar juice of never-fading pine!
Cheap as thou art, thy virtues are divine.
To shew them and explain (such is thy store)
There needs much modern and much ancient lore.
While with slow pains we search the healing spell,
Those sparks of life, that in thy balsam dwell,
From lowest earth by gentle steps we rise
Through air, fire, æther to the highest skies.
Things gross and low present truth's sacred clue.
Sense, fancy reason, intellect pursue
Her winding mazes, and by Nature's laws
From plain effects trace out the mystic cause,
And principles explore, though wrapt in shades,
That spring of life which the great world pervades,
The spirit that moves, the Intellect that guides,
Th' eternal One that o'er the Whole presides.
Go learn'd mechanic, stare with stupid eyes,
Attribute to all figure, weight and size;
Nor look behind the moving scene to see
What gives each wondrous form its energy.
Vain images possess the sensual mind,
To real agents and true causes blind.
But soon as intellect's bright sun displays
O'er the benighted orb his fulgent rays,
Delusive phantoms fly before the light,
Nature and truth lie open at the sight:
Causes connect with effects supply
A golden chain, whose radiant links on high
Fix'd to the sovereign throne from thence depend
And reach e'en down to tar the nether end.

International Builders' Show. An annual shindig sponsored by that NAHB.

Ion Beam Sputtering. A deposition method.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

To me, as I'm sure to many, it came as a revelation that the emotional disposition of internal organs could have serious health consequences. But why should we have been surprised? It's well known that repetitive stress can cause injury to the heart, and everyone has heard of Carping Tummy Syndrome (CTS). The legendary moodiness of the black lung is killing, and just one shot of testosterone has been known to make muscle's tone highly impertinent. These are organs with attitude.

But it's not just the bigger organs: research has shown that the aptly-named little gall bladder is full of bile, and the tiny appendix sometimes becomes dangerously inflamed. And that's not even the smallest. Within the ugly pancreas, the islets of Langerhans are lonely, and in the microscopic spaces where nerve processes whisper to each other, the serotonin levels themselves are depressed. This can ruin the mood of the entire organism.

Of course, it's natural to expect soft-tissue organs to show weakness, but there are even skeletal ``issues.'' I've heard reports of merciless ribbing. Pity too the alienation and desperate anomie of the dislocated shoulder. These problems are not rare. If rigid sternum were recognized as a disease, I'm sure it would be a pandemic.

It should be clear by now that these are not mere passing mood swings of the body, but persistent problems that must be regarded as full-fledged emotional or cognitive disorders of the feeling body. The ``funny'' bone, euphemistically so-called, is no joke, and the deviated septum should receive a wide berth. Yes, the wracked body just throbs with turbulent emotion -- from the in-groan toenail, past the glowering glomeruli and the violent spleen, right on out to the petulantly opposed thumbs.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Currently (2005) headed by James P. (`Jim') Hoffa. There's some historical information at the teamster entry.

International Baton Twirling Association. Founded in 1962 in the US. For similar organizations, see the majorette entry.

The Dynamic Twirlers Majorette Corps notes on its history page that it was ``awarded `Most Improved Corps 2004' for the second year running'' (I assume the first year running, they won it for 2003), and that this ``has NEVER been award[ed] to any other Corps two years running in the history of the IBTA.'' They say they celebrated this.

Indiana Board of Tax Review.

Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. Formed from the merger of the Illinois Central Railroad with the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, and is currently owned by the IC Industries. The merger took place in 1972, but as of 1990 the railroad still used IC and GMO reporting marks in addition to ICG.

The Illinois Central was chartered in 1851. It had its share of accidents. In 1900, it had a minor wreck at Vaughan, Mississippi. There was one fatality -- the engineer, John Luther Jones.

John Luther Jones was nicknamed after his home town -- Cayce, Kentucky. Wallace Saunders, an engine wiper, wrote a song about Casey Jones and the accident that killed him. The song became popular locally, and a couple of years later it was picked up and adapted by a song writer who was passing through Jackson, Tennessee. How much adapted is hard to know now, but the story has a Rashomon character -- every version is different, and the ballad tells a different story than the accident report or his widow recalled for an Erie Railroad Magazine reporter twenty-eight years later [also here], or than his fireman recalled fifty years later.

Find A Grave has found Casey's. The page points out that, though his widow years later used the spelling Casey in letters, John Jones himself used to sign ``Cayce.'' In the news article linked above and in railroad historian Bruce Gurner's interview with her at age 90, his wife is reported as giving Cayce as his place of birth, but according to an Encyclopedia.com article, he only moved there at age seventeen. That he worked as a telegraph operator there might help explain his nickname, but according to a possibly somewhat creative obituary of his wife, he got the nickname from her mother, who ran a boarding house in Jackson.

For a bit more on rail accidents, see the rail accidents entry.

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine.

In Charge [of].

Incremental Cost.


Information Center.

Initial Cell.

I & C
Instrumentation and Communication.

Integrated Circuit. First created by Jack Kirby at TI in 1958. Noyce and Moore independently invented a similar structure in 1959, using Fairchild Semiconductor (i.e. their) planar process.

Intelligence Community. A kind of echo chamber used to amplify the inaudible.

Intercultural Communication.

Interexchange (telephone call) Carrier. Better: IXC.

Internal Circumference. I don't know who else uses the abbreviation besides the makers of square cut (SC) rubber belts for VCR's.

International Conference. Productive prefix.

Interstitial Cystitis. A poorly understood bladder problem suffered by about half a million people in the US. About 80% of IC cases are among women.

Ion Chamber.

Ion Chromatograph[y].

Iron City. A famously bad beer and a Pittsburgh-area favorite. The initialism is used as part of the name of the light beer ``IC Lite.''

Stefan, a Mancunian friend of mine, explained to me once why bad beers are traditional favorites in old industrial regions. I felt sure I passed this along, but just in case I didn't: it's because workers need something to drink before they start their shift at the steel mill. That suggests that the beers are bad because they're weak (small beers). I'll have to investigate this. It will require experimental work.

i c
I see. Chatese. C n e.

International Communication Association. Cf. NCA.

International Cooperation Administration. One of several US agencies that took over Marshall Plan functions in 1953 or so. In 1961, it was absorbed into the newly formed Agency for International Development (AID).

Granted that the administration of cooperation may sound a bit heavy-handed, even if it essentially consists of giving away money. But if you want something with shake-down bad vibes, there is today a <http://www.co-prosperity.org>. I suppose it's intended to be ironic, but the humor is a bit thin.

International Council on Archives. Based in France (Conseil international des Archives); established in 1948.

International Cooperative Alliance.


Internet Classics Archive.


Acronym for both L'Institut Canadien Académique à Athènes and for L'Institut Canadien d'Archéologie à Athènes, of which it was the parent organization. The ICAA, at least, and possibly also the ICAA, is now defunct and has been succeeded by l'ICG.

In English, those ICAA expansions above correspond to `The Canadian Academic Institute in Athens' and Canadian Archaeological Institute at Athens,' respectively. A bit more at the CAIA entry.

International Civil Airports Association. Based at Orly Airport near Paris.

Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Inter-Campus Animal Advocacy Network.

Internet Cab (as in taxi). A web browser for the Mac that tells you whether a page viewed is various kinds of HTML-compliant.

International Capoeira Angola Foundation. Capoeira Angola, or Capoeria, is ``a blend of both martial art and dance, Capoeira is an acrobatic ritual that includes a distinctive musical repertoire and oral history'' according to a probably accurate email I received. Mestre Cobra Mansa, who was the Kellogg Institute's Visiting Chair in the Study of Brazilian Culture in 2005, is the founder of ICAF. Cobra is ``one of the foremost practitioners of Capoeira Angola.'' Notice that it is not just a blend of ``martial art'' (clever singular) and dance, but a blend of both.

Right now, of course, and especially with the ``oral history'' thing, this just sounds like cultural propaganda. However, it reminds me of a walk I took on the mall in Washington, D.C., in the Summer of 1985, give or take a year. There was some sort of cultural fair going on, and some guy was being piously announced as a practitioner of a venerable and highly authentic folk craft called ``rap.'' So I guess these things can progress from public-radio curiosities to mass-market abominations.

Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos. `Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Arts and Industry.'

International Centre for Antarctic Information and Research. At Christchurch, New Zealand (.nz).

International Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics. Sponsored by Laser Institute of America.

Integrated Customer Access Network.

International Corpus of [Medieval and] Modern English.


International Conference on the Ancient Novel. Hmmm. That's the link for the fourth conference, in Lisbon in July 2008. The third one was at the University of Groningen in July 2000. Do the math: if you miss this one you may be waiting a long time to present at the next. In case I neglect to update the link, check the Petronian Society Ancient Novel Page.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN determines policies that affect the international top-level domains.

ICANN has three ``foundations.''

ICANN has made an awful lot of people angry. ICANNWatch, for example, which offers a nice nontechnical tutorial.

I cannot vouch for their accuracy.
They are not accurate.

International Civil Aviation Organization.

ICAO collaborates closely with IATA.

International Congress of Applied Psychology.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing. The major annual conference sponsored by the IEEE Signal Processing Society. In 1996, the ICASSP conference was followed immediately afterwards in the same facilities by the ISCAS.

International Catastrophe Aversion Team. I have an aversion to catastrophe myself, but I think this name is one. Cf. CATO.

Interim Change Bulletin [NASAnese].

Interrupt Control Block.

Ionized Cluster Beam. A deposition method. Wait for this student's paper on a variant form of the method to load.

Institute of Contemporary British History. Part of the Institute for Historical Research (IHR) of the School of Advanced Studies (SAS) of the University of London. Sometime between Summer 2002 and the end of 2007, it became the CCBH (Centre for ...).

InterContinental Ballistic Missile. Note that a ``used ICBM'' is not exactly the same as a ``second-hand ICBM.''

Missile is an old word for missive, and is still sometimes used in that sense ecclesiastically. What I'm looking forward to is a short papal bull.

James Baron, who has been a regular contributor to the Classics list, alludes to the message-carrying capacity of missiles in his .sig, which concludes with

ICBM:   W 76d 45' N 37d 16'
(He doesn't leave the phone and email fields blank; I've done it to minimize nuisance.)

When physicists speak of the relativistic speed limit, they try to use precise formulations that allow for the movement of pre-constructed images at higher speeds. In order to exclude such apparent movement, one says that information cannot travel faster than the speed of light. (Keep in mind, however, that a brick through the window may be quite as informative without an attached note as with.) Interestingly, one way of demonstrating the contradictory nature of higher speeds involves regarding a missile as a message.

To be clearer: the mathematics of relativity does not directly exclude the possibility of faster-than-light travel (FLT). All it does is demonstrate that it is equivalent to travel backwards in time. Although there are a lot of other questions left open if one tries to incorporate FLT into one's understanding of the universe, the main reason for rejecting FLT is the kinds of logical contradictions that arise automatically with ``time travel.''

For example, suppose a sentinel fires a missile (probably not an ICBM, but maybe similar) at any intruder as soon as it detects one. If the intruder interacts with any form of radiation that travels superluminally (faster than light) -- that is, if the intruder is ``visible'' in radiation of that speed, then the message can arrive ``too soon'': if the sentinel fires soon enough, even a subluminal but still fast missile can destroy the intruder before the time that it sent the signal that was detected by the sentinel.

Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics. See also CBS.

I Can't Believe it's Yogurt! A chain of dessert shops. (Unless you've never eaten a meal before in your life, in which case the yogurt is an appetizer.) Do not confuse with ICTY or TCBY.


Illinois Classical Conference. A statewide organization of high school and college teachers of Latin and Greek.


Indiana Classical Conference.


Inter-institutional Collaborative Course. Name used by Sunoikisis for a teaching method it has developed. Sunoikisis is or is related to ``the Associated Colleges of the South Virtual Classics Department.'' (The name Sunoikisis is that of the alliance of Greek cities that revolted against the Athenian empire in the Peloponnesian War, in 428 BCE.) I.C.C. was described in the July 7, 2000 Chronicle of Higher Education.

International Code Council. ``Setting the Standard for Building Safety.TM''

International Cricket Council. The name since 1989 of what had been called the International Cricket Conference since 1965, before which it had been called the Imperial Cricket Conference, since its founding in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia, and South Africa. It's the international governing body of cricket, currently headquartered in Dubai.

The ICC Board is the primary decision-making body of the ICC. On February 8, 2014, a meeting of the ICC board in Singapore radically changed the ICC structure in ways that reflect the disproportionate importance of Indian Cricket, which is run by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India).

The proposals were approved by eight of the ten full member countries' representatives. (Pakistan Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket abstained in the vote, citing a procedural requirement for more time to discuss the amended resolution within their respective organizations. They pledged to further discuss the proposals, with the aim to achieving unanimous approval over the subsequent weeks.)

One headline change is the creation of a new five-member executive committee that makes recommendations to the ICC Board, which remains the decision-making body. The ``Big Three'' of India, England, and Australia (i.e., BCCI, ECB, and CA) are to have permanent seats on the executive committee.

If you're still reading, you're more interested in this stuff than I. BCCI generates 80% of the game's revenues, and the changes reflect that.

International Criminal Court.

Interstate Commerce Commission. Born 1897, died Jan. 1, 1996.

Interface-Controlled Crystallization.

ISDN Communication Controller.

International Conference on Consumer Electronics. Sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Society of the IEEE.

Interexchange Carrier Compatibility Forum.

The Internet Centre for Canadian Fashion and Design. ``The purpose of the INTERNET CENTRE FOR CANADIAN FASHION & DESIGN is to help create a united presence and global recognition for Canadian Fashion and Design on the World Wide Web. We hope you find this a useful starting point to all Fashion and Design sites.''

I Could Care Less. Email acronym for a common expression that means the same thing as the old expression it presumably (some dispute this) evolved from: ``I could not care less.'' Maybe it was a case of too much irony. For a similarly paradoxical expression, see the discussion of pois não at the ou entry.

I Couldn't Care Less. Email acronym. It may be difficult to tell from context which acronym is meant -- this one or the previous. Fortunately, when the other ICCL is used, this one is meant, whereas when this one is used, this one is meant.

Iowa Community College Online Consortium.

Inter-Control Center Communications Protocol. Data exchange protocol for the electric power generation and distribution industry. Governs communication among different utilities, between utilities and non-utility power generators, and among different systems withina utility.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

International Conference on Compound Semiconductors.

Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator. Mnemonic: In Cheney, Dick.

Also ``implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.''

International Classification of Diseases. Chapter V: Mental and Behavioral Disorders is a psychiatric manual like DSM. (Classification rules figure more prominently in mental illness, since so little is understood about etiology that one is largely stuck with classifying the symptoms.)

``ICD-9'' is the ``ninth revision of the ICD'' (meaning the eighth revision of the first ICD). As of 2003, we were still on the tenth, issued in 1989 and dated 1990. That's the longest we've gone without a new edition since ICD-1 in 1900. However, there's a separate ICD for Oncology, also bearing the title Morphology of Neoplasms. The three editions of that are dated 1975, 1990, and 2000. Also, in 2004, there was a ``provisional edition'' of selected five-character codes, modified in 2005. (Until ICD-9, the code characters were all decimal digits.) Looking at how the codes have been jumped around, I'm not so surprised that a few percent of my spam is email offers to help me code various tricky disorders. I have to admit that it's no less useful to me than the offers of all-natural breast enhancement.

International Code Designator.

Iterative Coordinate Descent. An approach to the extremization of a functional of many variables.

International Classification of Diseases, Adapted for Use in the United States. The ICDA based on ICD-8 was superseded by ICD-9-CM.

International Confederation of Dietetic Associations. The ICDA recognizes up to one national dietetic association per country.

Iterative Coordinate Descent (ICD) using Functional Substitution (FS).

Iterative Coordinate Descent (ICD) using Newton-Raphson root location.

Ion-Cyclotron Double Resonance. The conventional or original-flavor of ICR is now occasionally distinguished as ICSR. I think that in most cases you use the same equipment and just pay attention to a different signal.

International Conference on Defects in Semiconductors. In 1997 its #19 was in Aveiro, Portugal.

International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification. A version of ICD-9 used in the US. The ``Millennium Edition'' (2002) of ICD-9-CM is sixth [revised] edition. Cf. ICDA.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The largest investigative arm of the US DHS, and the one with the coolest acronym.

In-Circuit Emulator.

Institut canadien des évaluateurs. The Francophone AIC. I notice that, in order to foster national feeling, the website editors have used the same images for both English and French versions. That man in the reddish shirt definitely looks like he might speak French or English.

(UK) Institution of Civil Engineers.

Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. Spanish, `Costa Rican Electricity Institute.' State enterprise in charge of telephone and electric utility service. In a March 2000 speech, the Costa Rican president announced plans to privatize this into two separate entites -- a telecommunications and an electric power company.

Integrated Circuit (IC) Engineering (corporation). Homepage here.

Internal Combustion Engine.

International Corpus of English.

ice cream
A corrupted expression of the original term iced cream. Ice cream is about half air by volume. (The froth above the liquid in a glass of just-poured soda is often also roughly half air, but the bubbles are larger and the condensed component is all liquid.)

You probably came to the ice cream entry with the following question: what is there that is half air not by volume but by mass? That's a toughie. Maybe some soap bubbles. (I'll come back and say for sure after I do a calculation.) The specific gravity of air at sea level pressure averages around 0.00124. That's pretty high, considering. Even in the middle of a heavy downpour, nitrogen and oxygen gas constitute not just most of the volume (good news for animals without gills) but even most of the mass (good news for animals without hard-hats).

This just in from the dollar table: The Ice Cream Diet (NYC: Award Books, 1970), by Gaynor Maddox (borderline nomen est omen, there), author of The Safe and Sure Way to Reduce. Maddox is or was a member of the National Association of Science Fiction Writers. Wait, strike the ``Fiction'' bit. It turns out that on this diet you can only eat ice cream ``sometimes three times a day,'' and the servings are only a quarter cup each. I think I'll stay with the beer diet -- I get to read the scale through beer goggles.

iced cream
Cream that has been chilled to freezing. More precisely, it's an emulsion of milkfat in sweetened diluted milk, whipped and frozen. It's now called ice cream.

When my mother was a girl in Wroclaw, Poland (then Breslau, Germany), there was an Italian ices shop in town, with a very Italian name she doesn't remember. Her cousin Heinz Aaron went to work for his uncle, and with money from his first paycheck he took my mother out to try an Italian ice. That was 1935; they didn't have ice cream in those days. (Heck, she still remembers the times she ate chocolate.) Ice cream was a revolution. When it arrived, ices were history. Oh sure, they still have a bit of the market. Ice cream alternatives still try, too: fat-free ice-``cream,'' frozen yogurt... There's a reason why these presumptively healthier products don't stake out a very large corner of the market. The reason is a secret ingredient in fatty foods that makes them taste good. The secret ingredient is fat. Cream is mostly milkfat.

In German, ice is called Eis.

I mention Harvest of the Cold Months at the entry for traditional liquid measure. I'm going to have to have another look at that book.

International Federation of Chemical, Energy Mine and General Workers' Unions. Sounds menacing, duddnit? Ice 'em.

International Conference on Electrical Machines. First held in London, 1974. To be held 2-4 September 1998 in Istanbul in 1998.

International Conference on Engineering and Meta-Engineering. ICEYOURSELF!

ice queen
Fashion plate with rocks.

International Conference on Evolvable Systems.

Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation SATellite.

Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle.

Inertial-Confinement Fusion.

Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation. A UK commercial development bank for small businesses, founded in 1945. What the US SBA might have looked like had it created a part of the Federal Reserve. In 1973, it was made a subsidiary of Finance for Industry (FFI), later called 3i.

Over the years, ICFC has invested by a varying mix of measures: making loans and guaranteeing loans, taking an equity share (the venture capital approach, avant le lettre), and supporting management buy-outs.

IntraCollisional Field Effect. The failure of the common assumption that scattering cross sections are field-dependent, and the associated calculational approximations (fundamental calculations of scattering rates usually assume asymptotically flat ``initial'' and ``final'' potentials). See Robert W. Zwanzig, pp. 106ff, in Lectures in Theoretical Physics, edited by W. E. Brittin, B. W. Downs and J. Downs (New York: Interscience, 1961); John R. Barker, J. Phys. C 6, 2663 (1973).

International Committee of the Fourth International. They publish the WSWS.

I was able to track down one instance of the phrase ``National Committee of the Fourth International'' here, and it appears not to be a typo. It apparently refers to AQI.

Interagency Commitee on Federal Technology Transfer.

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Notice that we're not talking about ``free-trade unions'' here. ICFTU was founded in London at a meeting that began December 7, 1949. ``Free'' then meant essentially ``not government-controlled'' or not communist. I think there wasn't much opportunity to explore whether they were willing to accept unions aligned with communist (as opposed to Marxist or quite socialist) political parties in noncommunist countries, since these weren't interested in joining. But I have to look into that more carefully. The ICFTU also had problems with rightist regimes it labeled as totalitarian, which in some cases forbade their national trade union organizations from affiliating with ICFTU.

A reporting mark for the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. More information at the IC entry.


L'Institut canadien en Grèce. A/k/a the Canadian Institute in Greece (CIG) and also To Kanadikó Institoúto stên Elláda (KIE). CIG is the former CAIA, which changed its name in 2005 or 2006.

An Introduction to the Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages. By S. Moscati, publ. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz [Verlag], 1969.

A contageous fish disease: infestation by the protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. The disease name is just the short form of the protozoan name. In fact, it's short for the root meaning `fish.' Ichthyophthirius is a New Latin construct from Greek roots meaning `fish louse.' The disease is found in tropical marine and freshwater fish, and on Scrabble tablelands with or without a host. In fish, the disease is characterized by small white pustules on the skin and eyes. You're probably thinking ``Ick!'' As it happens, that's how the word is pronounced, and ick is also an allowed Scrabble interjection. You're on a roll!

All three major Scrabble dictionaries accept ich and ichs. Given the ck pronunciation, that's the expected plural.

German: `I.' English is unusual in capitalizing the first-person singular nominative pronoun. In German, in a personal letter, you (or You) normally used to capitalize the second-person pronouns, but I have the impression that this convention is tailing off.

The capitalized word Ich is a noun. All common nouns are capitalized in German, so Freud coined the noun by capitalizing the pronoun. Obviously, that wouldn't work very well in English, so instead we use the Latin pronoun as a noun: das Ich is `the ego.' Our superego is a calque (in Latin, of course) of Freud's Überich. For his Es (nominalized `it,' naturally also of neuter gender), we use id.

A German electronic music group formed in 1989 and dubbed itself ``Das Ich.'' Their music seems to involve a lot of body paint. Fronted by Stefan Ackermann (voices -- probably there's a good reason why this isn't ``vocals'' -- and lyrics) and Bruno Kramm (instruments and music -- probably there's a good reason why this isn't ``melody''), the group is regarded as one of the prominent founders of and contributors to ``Neue Deutsche Todeskunst'' (`New German Art of Death') a musical movement of the early 1990's.

InterCellular Hartree Approximation. A restricted Hartree approximation adapted [C. S. Lent and P. Douglas Tougaw, Journal of Applied Physics, 74, 6227 (1993); Tougaw and Lent, J. A. P. 75, 1818 (1994)] to QCA's.

International Conference on High Energy Physics.

International Conference on Hybrid Information Technology.

International Congress on Hyperbaric Medicine. The Foundation for the International Congress on Hyperbaric Medicine is based in the Netherlands. The first ICHM was held in Amsterdam in 1963. It was annual to 1965, then switched to a ``four year timetable which was felt to be more appropriate for a major international meeting.'' The four-year schedule lasted from 1969 (fourth meeting) to 1981. Due to increased interest, the ICHM has been triennial since then. The fifteenth ICHM: Barcelona, 2005. The closest the meeting has ever gotten to the Middle East is Moscow. For reasons unclear from any of the site's webpages, the homepage is illustrated with world map showing continental outlines and a red star near Kuwait.

The official newsletter is called Oxygen. I see that ahead of the Barcelona meeting, the title is given as Oxigeno, which I have a guess is Catalan for `oxygen.' (If it were Spanish, it would need an accent on the i.)

``Ichnology is the study of trace fossils, which preserve the activity of animals as recorded by their tracks, trails, burrows and borings.''

The quote is from Duncan McIlroy's introductory chapter of the book The Application of Ichnology to Palaeoenvironmental and Stratigraphic Analysis, of which he was editor. Remember that when you need a word with four consecutive vowels. It was Geological Society Special Publication 228, issued in 2004.

A lot of dictionaries give an older and more restrictive definition along the lines of ``the branch of paleontology which treats of fossil footprints'' (that's not a direct quote but a representative mash-up). This happens to be truer to the sense of the Greek ikhnos, `footprint.' The earliest instance of the word cited by the OED is from 1851.

Ichnologists distinguish ordinary animal fossils from the ones they study (``trace fossils'') by the retronym ``body fossils.''

International CHemistry Olympiad. A competition for secondary-school students. Each participating country sends four students under the age of twenty. The idea of the IChO emerged at the Czechoslovak National Olympiad in 1968, where observers from Hungary and Poland were present. (Not exactly an auspicious year for the chemistry between nations in exactly that part of the world.) These three countries participated in the first IChO, which took place in Prague, in 1968. In 1971, no IChO was held.

International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development. ``Rights & Democracy (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development) is a non-partisan organization with an international mandate. It was created by Canada's Parliament in 1988 to encourage and support the universal values of human rights and the promotion of democratic institutions and practices around the world.'' Based in Montreal.

``Rights & Democracy receives the majority of its funding from Canada's Overseas [officially International] Development Assistance [CIDA] Budget through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.'' (A pittance, actually: a bit over CAD 5 million in the 2000-1 and 2001-2 fiscal years. Still, it's ``on the International Labour Organization's [ILO's] Special List of NGOs.'' How'd they swing that?

International Congress of the History of Science. That's right: ``of ... of....'' I imagine this slight awkwardness reflects only an overly rigid translation of the French Congrès international d'histoire des sciences. Described as der Internationalen Kongreß für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (but abbreviated ICHS) in the German-language announcements.

The circular announcing the 22nd ICHS (ICHS05, in Beijing July 24-30, 2005) uses the English acronyms ICHS and IUHPS/DHS in the French- and Chinese-language sections as well.

International Conference for the History of Science in Science Education. FWIW, ``ICHSSE'' is pronounced in German as ixuh would be in English, and the German name of the letter x is likewise ``ix.'' So in German, at least, it's not an especially awkward acronym. In 2012, the 9th ICHSSE was hosted by the Institut für Physik und Chemie und ihre Didaktik (IPCD, `Institute for Physics and Chemistry and their Instruction') at Universität Freiburg.

Independent Colleges of Indiana. An affiliate of NAICU.

International Communications Industries Association, Inc. The organization's annual ``INFOCOMM International'' is held around June.

The International Community Interconnected Computing eXchange, a non-profit, scientific research and Educational Organization. They sponsor the PNC and use words like informatics, ``telecopier,'' ``telematics'' and ``telecommunities.''

International Conference on Image Processing. Sponsored by the Signal Processing Society of the IEEE.

International Court of Justice. Located in the Hague. Established by international agreement in 1945. Here's a mere gopher site.

[phone icon]

Inserted Connection Loss. [Telephone communications.] One cannot directly measure this with perfect accuracy, since one is (with luck) measuring small losses which test pad connections may contribute a significant fraction of. One therefore also defines terms like AML (q.v.) and EML (q.v.).

International Computers Limited. A single company formed by the merger of the largest British computer companies, at the urging of the Wilson (Labor) government in 1968. Amid much hand-wringing in 1990, ICL was bought by Fujitsu. This occurred at a time when many Japanese companies were looking for a way to have a domestic content or presence within Europe, in anticipation of an economically closed Europe under the EC's intensified European integration (to begin in 1992, I think it was). At the same time, the peak of the Japanese ``Bubble Economy'' made Japanese industry flush, and the liquidity was burning a hole in their pockets. In fact, however, Fujitsu already had a ten-year history of cooperation with ICL, which was mostly out of hardware design and had focused on business integration services since 1980.

They have a fairly forthright, yet still amusingly defensive, set of web pages.

International Coalition of Library Consortia. And of course, a library is a collection, so this is a coalition of consortia of collections. A first for me, and amazed they haven't conquered the world yet.

I see LC.

Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. ``[W]orking to reduce disaster deaths, injuries and property damage.'' In my own twisted mind, I'd prefer to think of them as the Institute for Catastrophic Loss, for short, but I guess you can't have everything.

Indiana Civil Liberties Union.

Interim Corrective Measure.

International Congress of Mathematicians meets every four years, unless there's a World War on, or too recently completed. The Congress of 1900 was the one where David Hilbert presented his famous list of 23 outstanding problems. Those were the good old days, when Mathematics had a program, and a hope of foundational certainty, that were pounded into the dirt by Gödel.

The 1998 meeting began on Roman Polanski's sixty-fifth birthday in Berlin, and ended in the same city, on the seventy-sixth anniversary of the day ``Tarzan of the Apes'' was published.

As these examples indicate, mathematics is not the irrelevant subject many believe it to be.

International City/County Managers Association. ``Creating Excellence in Local Government through professional management.''

International Conference on MultiAgent Systems. The second was in Japan.

International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films.

International Congress on Mathematics Education.

Interamerican Committee on Mathematics Education.

Integrated Coupling Migration Facility. Ideally, if it does what it's supposed to, then it should be transparent to the user. Let's hope, and I won't try to explain what I don't understand. Brought to you by IBM. The rest of this entry is left blank.

Institute of Condensed Matter Physics. The link is to one in Lviv, Ukraine, that is part of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Internet Control Message Protocol. A TCP/IP protocol for sending control and error messages about IP datagrams.

International Congress on Medieval Studies.

InterChange Network [node].

International Council of Nurses. Also (in French) Conseil International des Infirmières and (Spanish) Consejo Internacional de Enfermeras, abbreviated (CIE). Please don't complain to me about the sexual stereotyping -- I didn't come up with the translations. (I can't imagine why anyone would think of nurses as typically female.) Someone should do something about this terrible scandal.

The ICN is a federation of national nurses' associations. As such, its members are often grammatically female, because in Indo-European languages, abstractions typically are. When the ICN was founded in 1899, it was the first international organization for health care professionals. Its charter members were the national organizations of Germany (DBfK), the UK, and the US (see ANA). The current UK member of the ICN is the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), but that was not founded until 1916. Perhaps the original UK member of the ICN was the British Nurses' Association (now the RBNA), founded in 1887.

Iowa Communications Network.

International Conference of Nuclear Cardiology. This link is for ICNC 5, in Vienna, Austria, between May 2 and 5, 2001.

Interdepartmental Committee on Nutrition for National Defense. US government agency established in 1955 to assist developing countries improve the nutritional status of their people. Hmmm... that wording is a bit ambiguous, isn't it. We're not talking about A Modest Proposal here; US government proposals are usually not modest.

You know, in late 1998 the US proposed to give Russia up to a billion dollars' worth of emergency food aid. It took six months before that program could get under way, largely on account of Russian suspicions of US intentions. Apparently one of the concerns was that this was just a sneaky way for the US to support its own farmers. As far as I know, we never offered to ship them grain confiscated from farmers without compensation. (Must be on account of one of those pesky Constitutional rules.)

International Conference on Neural Networks.

International Conference on Network Protocols.

International Conference On Ecology and Transportation. ``Conducted every two years, ICOET is designed to address the broad range of ecological issues related to surface transportation development, providing the most current research information and best practices in the areas of wildlife, fisheries, wetlands, water quality, overall ecosystems management, and related policy issues. ICOET is a multi-disciplinary, inter-agency supported event, administered by the Center for Transportation and the Environment [CTE].''

Interviewed at the 2003 meeting in upstate New York, Nelson Hoffman of the Vermont Transportation Agency explained that putting up fences helped his state preserve its waning frog population: ``It's making sure frogs are fat and not flat.'' Sounds like he took a page from the Jesse Jackson book of rhetoric. It's not easy being green; join the rainbow coalition.

According to Bill Ruediger, of the USDA Forest Service, ``over 200 people a year in the United States are killed hitting or trying to avoid hitting large animals.''

International Committee for the History of Technology. ``[F]ounded as the Cold War was being waged with particular bitterness'' -- in 1968? Oh yeah, in-these-troubled-times, as usual -- ``between the nations of the Eastern and Western Worlds. The intent was to provide a forum where scholars of both sides might meet and communicate about matters of mutual interest in the history of technology.'' How splendidly evenhanded. Scientific meetings managed to achieve ``a forum where scholars of both sides might meet and communicate about matters of mutual interest'' without beating their breasts about it. Ah: ``Through IUHPS, ICOHTEC is associated with UNESCO [grrr, grrr], but it has always functioned as a fully autonomous body with its funding dependent on its membership.'' ... ``The rapid political changes that transformed the world since 1991 led to a restructuring of ICOHTEC as a society of individual members rather than national delegations. Members pay annual dues of $25 and institutions $100.'' So the national delegations were paying the dues?

Article 1 of Title I of the ICOHTEC statutes declares emphatically:

``The duration of this association has no set time limits.''
Bureaucracy, unlike mere skin-deep beauty, gets into the blood, breaches the blood-brain barrier, and systematically destroys language ability.

International Coalition of Optoelectronic Industry Associations. It's also unofficially known as the IOA (International Optoelectronics Association). A number of ICOIA members (national or regional industry associations) have acronymic names or at least regularly identify themselves by a standard initialism. Many of those are listed at the appropriate place in this glossary. An exception (because I don't so list it) is OpTech-Net, the German member.

The Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC). Another of those all-caps non-acronym nonabbreviation, like HYLE. They seem to be common in HSTM.

Here you can find icon icons.

Inductively Coupled Plasma. In AES.

Insane Clown Posse. A rap group (two guys, actually, plus infrastructure) with a somewhat cultish following. At some point the group members began to call themselves Juggalos (no e is added in forming the plural). More about this word at its entry.

ICP's sound is rap edging in the direction of rock, with melodies from the more advanced grade-school levels. The language is Detroit inner-city. (You know, like around Wayne State University.) The lyrics are poser violence with high school references. Members of the cult (viz. Juggalos and Lettes) actively seek each other out to hook up and sometimes even marry. Doesn't it occur to them that by the time they're a few years out of high school, this music will mean nothing to them? Eh.

The author of this entry took this quiz and earned a rating of ``TruE JuGGaLo/LettE ~ you know your icp shit. congratz. mmfcl'' on the first try. He also earned ``Bi Sexual-you like both men and women. you get the best of both worlds.'' on the ``Are you gay, strait or bi? ...Girls Only... (UPDATED...WITH PIX)'' quiz, but the pix were a let-down. This clown needs to get a life.

Institute for Cancer Protection. Previously named the American Health Foundation (AHF, q.v.).

International Conference on Persons. Shush! It's not polite to laugh.

IntraCranial Pressure.

I've got such a headache!

Try trepanation for relief.

Intrinsically Conductive Polymer.

International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems. It was held in Japan in 1996.

Official English initialism of the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies, which is normally referred to by its French initialism, CIPSH (q.v.).

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectro{meter | scopy }. Perkin-Elmer has some bibliographies on line.

Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry. Here's a bibliography from Perkin-Elmer.

Interexchange Carrier-Point of Termination.

International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors. (Held in even years.) In 1996, it was at the TU Berlin. (Proceedings published by World Scientific, Singapore.) Hmm, seems I missed a few years. In 2006, it was in Vienna.

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.

Who cares? Why don't they expand the acronym?

Oh. Am I embarrassed: turns out ICQ is a rebus for ``I seek you.'' It's chat software.

PowWow seems to be chat software too, but they pitch it as ``instant messaging and online community software.'' Yeah, whatever. Why all the obscurantism?

Income-Contingent Repayment. ``ICR'' is widely used as a noun meaning ``ICR loan.'' ICR's of this sort are a controversial form (or proposed form) of higher-education funding. Internationally, HECS is the best-known ICR program. This article by Alex Usher surveys ICR programs around the world.

Initial Cell Rate.

International Communications Research. It's listed here with a carefully compiled pile of pollers list we serve.

Ion Cyclotron Resonance.

International Committee of the Red Cross.

International Course on Rural Energy Planning. You what?

I crepitate.
I make a crackling sound. Maybe my lungs rattle, or maybe it's something else.

International Conference on Renewable Energies and Power Quality. Since ICREPQ'03 in 2003, ICREPQ has been held annually in some part of Spain's national territory. [I.e., in peninsular Spain or on a Spanish island such as Mallorca (2006) or Gran Canaria (2011).]

The official language of the conference is English (or inglés, which is similar), and the conference title is not translated (at least, the conference website's Spanish-language pages only give the title in English). I guess the plural ``energies'' in the title was intentional and not accidental, since it's not conventional for this context (in Spanish any more than in English). I have often seen the title rendered with the singular ``energy'' -- even in official correspondence -- but it seems unlikely that that could be the official title and that somehow the plural could arise accidentally on the main web page and other official material.

The topics of interest include the following energy sources: ``Wind Energy, Small Hydro Energy, Solar Energy, Photovoltaic Energy, Ocean Energy, Geothermal, Biomass,...'' (ellipsis in original). I find the list more charming as it is given in Spanish: ``eólica, minihidráulica, solar, fotovoltaica, mareomotriz, biomasa,...'' (These lists come from inequivalent pages -- i.e., one page is not a translation of the other -- so the omission of geothermal energy in the Spanish list probably just reflects its relative unimportance in this conference.)

It used to bother me, in principle, that these are called ``renewable'' energy sources, since when the sun eventually burns out, that's it -- it's all over. Then I realized that it's not called ``infinitely renewable'' or even ``indefinitely renewable.'' Of course, petroleum is renewable in the same sense; I prove it every time I refill my tank.

Ion Cyclotron-Resonance Fourier-Transform Mass-Spectrometry (FTMS, q.v.).

Ion Cyclotron-Resonance Heating. In plasmas.

International Committee on Radiation Protection.


Illinois Classical Studies. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

Incoming-Call Screening.


Institute of Classical Studies.

International Conference on Solar Electricity.

International Congress of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology.

International Contributions for Scientific, Educational and Cultural Activities.

The Israel Center for Social & Economic Progress. ``[A]n independent pro-market public policy think tank since 1984.''

International Conference on Solid Films and Surfaces.

International Center for Social Gerontology.

IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection. An individual sperm is injected into the cytoplasm of an egg. This is used when testicular sperm don't penetrate ova on their own. This may occur because the egg is allergic to the sperm (or vice versa).

International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. A part of the World Bank Group. I can't imagine what they do. As of 2012, fully one quarter of all cases handled by ICSID have been brought against Argentina. Argentina generally ignores fines imposed by ICSID.

International Conference on Society and Information Technologies.

Imperial College School of Medicine.

International Conference on Superlattices and Microstructures. Now called ICSMM, q.v..

International Conference on Superlattices, Microstructures and Microdevices. (Called ICSM until 1988.) An even-year conference that is a satellite of the ICPS, but which has also been held a couple of odd years in the US.

International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians.

International Conference on Signal Processing Applications and Technology.

Ion-Cyclotron Single Resonance. A bit of a retronym. ICSR is the conventional or original-flavor ICR. The upstart is ICDR.

International Council for Scientific and Technical Information. Since its website is served by the Canadian NRC, we get to find out the official version of the name: Conseil international pour l'information scientifique et technique.

International Council of Scientific Unions. That was the expansion when the ICSU was founded in 1931. ``Scientific union'' sounds a bit antiquarian to me, and though most of the ICSU's member organizations still go by ``International Union of <Foo>,'' I suspect that the mere mustiness of the expansion explains why the letters ICSU today are a sealed acronym, and the organization styles itself ``ICSU: the International Council for Science.''

Integrated CSS STAMIS.

Information and Communications Technolog{ y | ies }.


Institute for the Classical Tradition. ICT at Boston University is affiliated with the Department of Classical Studies there. The ICT is the North American base for the International Society for the Classical Tradition (ISCT) and the Boston University ANRW Research Center, both run in conjunction with the University of Tübingen. ICT also serves as the editorial offices for the International Journal of the Classical Tradition (IJCT).

International Conference on Thermoelectrics. A conference sponsored by the International Thermoelectric Society (ITS). Really, the conference gave rise to the society.

The original ICT was a biennial conference organized by K. Rao and held in Arlington, Texas, from 1976 to 1988. In 1989 it was held in Nancy, France, and it has bopped around in the usual international-conference manner since then. In 2012, the ICT was part of a joint ICT/ECT conference in Aalborg, Denmark (ECT is the European conference). This was deemed a success, and the 2015 meeting, again in Aalborg, will again be an ICT/ECT. A complete list of ICT's, past and planned, is served at the ITS website.

The 26th (in Jeju, Korea, June 3-5; organized by the KTS; 25 sessions and 222 papers) was typically and officially abbreviated as ICT 2007 and ICT '07. It was co-sponsored by the IEEE (I don't have to expand that) and CPMT (aw, come on, guess). Proceedings of ICT '96 through ICT '07, with the exception of ICT 2000 and ICT 2004, are available from the IEEE. Subsequent proceedings have been published as special issues of the Journal of Electronic Materials.

The International Center for Technology Assessment is actually abbreviated CTA.

The International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies & Applications.

International Congress on Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. The twelfth will be August 14 - 18, 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark (.dk).


Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Indiana Community Theatre League.

Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Also referred to internally as ``the Congress.''

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Do not confuse with ICBY.

Instruction Cache Unit.

Intensive Care Unit (in a hospital). Often modified (e.g.: SICU is for Surgical Intensive Care Unit).

The term that ICU expands has been translated into Spanish as ``unidad de cuidados intensivos.'' It's a bothersome translation. The cognates are close enough translations, but cuidados for care presents interesting ambiguities. The verb cuidar means `take care of,' but cuidado normally means `wariness, carefulness.' Of course, cuidado can also refer to the person taken care of.

I see you.

You see me. We both see too easily. Too easily to let it... Oh wait, wrong song. Or wrong word. Wrong something. I got it: ``the wrong word in the wrong song at the wrong time in the wrong place.'' I'm so impressively apothegmatic that I deserve to be your president. If this stuff interests you, and since the men in white coats won't be here for a while yet, and since you already recognized the John Kerry allusion, you should now meditate on Dr. John's ``Right Place, Wrong Time'' (1973).

(Incidentally, Dr. John's hit was written by Allen Toussaint. As Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in August 2005, about 25 thousand locals who didn't evacuate the city decided that the Superdome would be the right place to be, although the Saints' home opener wasn't for another week. Toussaint was there then.)

The International Centre for Underutilized Crops.

Dr. Johnson had a remark that was very much to the point, and fortunately Boswell was there to record it (Tour of the Hebrides, 5 October 1773):

A cucumber should be well sliced,
and dressed with pepper and vinegar,
and then thrown out,
as good for nothing.

``Established in 1992, [ICUC] is an autonomous, nonprofit, scientific research and training center. The Center addresses ways of increasing the use of underutilized crops for food, medicinal and industrial products, and also for environmental conservation. It provides expertise and acts as a collaborative institute for tropical, sub-tropical and temperate crop development. [And not subarctic? Where does that leave Minnesota, eh?] The ICUC operates through regional offices and works in close collaboration with national partners for sustainable technology development for products and marketing of underutilized crops.'' As centres go, this one doesn't sound very centric. They can't even seem to decide whether to spell it centererer or centrerere. But they have a headquarters, which I suppose is the center of the centre or something; in 2005, ICUC's headquarters relocated from the UK to Sri Lanka. This seems to be a popular itinerary for quixotic idealists, if Arthur Clarke is one. ICUC is now co-located with and hosted by IWMI at the latter's headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They got a broom closet with a special plaque. Okay, that's just a guess. ICUC and IWMI issued a joint statement in June 2005, announcing the move effective April 2005. This must have come as a shock to commuters in May.

The ICUC's idea of an underutilized crop seems to be mostly the sort I've been buying for 30 years in Oriental food stores from New York to San Francisco (but if you were stuck in Norman, Oklahoma, you'd have to drive all the way to Oklahoma City for this stuff). ICUC mentions taro, but oddly only in connection with New Zealand and Japan, as if it were not a major food crop in Africa. In Africa, the cucumber is widely used as a symbolic ``victim'' or sacrificial offering in traditional rituals. You were probably wondering what the point was of dressing the cucumber if you were only going to throw it out. (Yes, yes, taro is a larger part of traditional Polynesian diets, and common in Asia.)

The International Conference on Undergraduate Physics Education.

International Council of Voluntary Agencies.

In Case You Didn't Know. It's nice that phrase acronyms revert to the standard spellings of their component words, rather than being based on the texting abbreviations of them, else this might be NCUDN.

International Commission on Zoölogical Nomenclature. ``[T]he official body responsible for providing and regulating the system for ensuring that every animal has a unique and universally accepted scientific name. Its financial and management affairs are handled by the International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature (ITZN), a charity (not-for-profit company) registered in the UK.''

Somehow connected with the Natural History Museum in London.

Idaho. USPS abbreviation.

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for Idaho. USACityLink.com has a page with a few city and town links for the state.

Idaho is a community property state.

In the 1998 elections, colorful arch-conservative Helen Chenoweth won re-election to the US House despite admitting an adulterous affair with a former business partner. The same day, controversial Republican State Schools Superintendent Anne Fox lost her bid for re-election, but at the GOP election-night party, campaign supporter Mel Clarkson proposed marriage. She accepted.

And they say Virginia is for lovers.

In 1999, Chenoweth married her second husband, Wayne Hage -- a rancher at the center of Nevada's ``Sagebrush Rebellion.'' She retired from Congress at the end of 2000s, having served a self-imposed three-term limit. Hage died in June 2006 at the age of 69. On October 2, 2006, 68-year-old Helen Chenoweth-Hage was riding in a car driven by her daughter-in-law Yelena Hage, near Tonopah, Nev. She was holding Hage's 5-month-old son Bryan and not wearing a seat belt. There was a crash, and the two were thrown from the car. She was pronounced dead at the scene, but Bryan escaped with only minor injuries.


IDentification; IDentity document or card.

I don't know what the situation is now or had been before, but in the early 1960's, in Argentina, the national police issued the national personal photo-ID cards. The most prominent words on the card were ``Policía Nacional,'' and non-Argentines easily mistook it for the photo-ID of a member of the Argentine national police. In my case, however, the baby picture often gave it away.

When we went to get my passport, I guess we didn't bribe anyone, or enough. My mother and I stood in line for hours. After we finally reached the desk, and I did the fingerprint piano exercise, the little boy that I was found he had a sticky, inky hand, so he wiped it on the nearest cloth object, which happened to be the burrocrat's clean white shirt. When I think about it now, I wonder that my passport ever got processed.

Many years later, when I was stopped by plainclothesmen in Florence, I took the opportunity to get a good look at what a real police ID looked like.

They were looking for someone who had participated in a bank robbery in Naples. I have never been to Naples. When I was stopped in Florence, I already had never been to Naples. A fortiori, I had never participated in a bank robbery -- in Naples. The plainclothesmen realized that I was a stupid American without the wit to rob a bank, so I walked.

When the carabinieri stopped me in Rome, they weren't looking for anyone in particular. They just wanted to examine ID's. Stands to reason.

I didn't go to Naples.

Naples is famous for pizza, even though everyone knows that the best pizza is made in the US. Last summer, some people who don't have enough real worries of their own came to the US from Italy. They called themselves the Neapolitan Police, and they pronounced themselves dissatisfied with American pizza [ftnt. 13]. I don't think they even visited Chicago. Outrage turned to scorn when it was revealed that these ``Neapolitans'' were from Milan.

To put the matter as generously as possible, Milan is not famous for pizza. The truth is, they haven't even evolved the enzymes necessary to digest tomato yet. Milan is famous for judges. When there began to be a backlash against the Milan judges during the summer of 1995, I was pleased.

Of course, the Italian people are not lashing back at the Milan judges because they are offended at the slander of American pizza. Those Milan pizza judges were faux judges, judges manqués. They were trying to pass themselves off as Naples police, but Naples police have no legal authority in the US, even with impressive-looking Argentine ID. Nothing special against Italians, but taking a trans-Atlantic flight to pick up a pepperoni pizza is not considered ``hot pursuit.''

No, the Italian people are concerned because of an imbalance between the parliamentary side of government and the judicial side. In normal times, a politician first serves a number of years in parliament, and then a few years in an institution of the judicial establishment. A responsible politician in good health used to have a chance to be in and out of several coalition governments before being formally charged. Now, however, the time between holding office and facing prosecution is decreasing. Some politicians, for whom political office reportedly represents the only source of personal wealth, don't get enough time in office to steal an adequate legal defense fund.

It is a stunning turnabout: Put simply, the Italian people, who for years had more governments than anyone else in the world, now face the possibility of a shortage. They're already cutting back on elections. In contrast, Iraq just had an election even though they only had one candidate. Soon the only candidates in Italy will be those too stupid or fanatical to rob a bank in Naples, or too smart and dangerous to get caught.

Last Friday the thirteenth, October 1995, a judge in Milan announced that recent PM Silvio Berlusconi would stand trial on bribery charges. I can't say for certain whether he's guilty or innocent, but I do know this: he didn't bribe anyone, or enough.

It is the end: Ciao, Fini.

Flash! 21 April 1996: The Olive Tree wins! Eurocommunists finally get to learn all the precious secrets NATO had entrusted to 53 safe Italian governments over the last 48 years or so! Yet Italy is also back on track to status quo ante: less than two years since previous elections!

If, despite these portents, you nevertheless decide to visit Naples, visit the Campanian Society entry first. Oh, here's something: in the August 1997 issue of The Atlantic Monthly (they pay me extra to italicize the definite article), a travel feature, ``Napoli Ever After'' gets the following brief in the TOC:

Even people who have never visited Naples can list reasons (the grime, the crime) not to go. Those reasons no longer pertain.
Thanks anyway, I'll visit New York.

[column] Mmm, here's some old news from Italy. Back in 52 (I mean 52 BCE), Rome was in the grip of mob warfare. After the senate building was burned down, the senate passed an unprecedented law making Pompey, a former general, the single consul. Among other things, or inter alia, as they might say, Pompey made a law that after any consul or praetor's one-year term of office, five years had to elapse before he could become a governor. The reasoning was that this would allow sufficient time for prosecution of any crimes he committed in the first office before he assumed the second.

Some years earlier, Gaius Verres had, um, served as governor of Sicily. His one-year tenure was extended twice. He liked to say (1 Verr. 40) that he'd be able to keep the first year's profit for himself, pay his patrons (who wangled him the post) and attorneys with the profits of the second year, and have all the third (and most lucrative) year's profit available for [bribing] the jury. Maybe he should have tried a different approach. He was convicted in 70 BCE, thanks to Cicero's great prosecutorial performance. That chick pea was an unbearably principled fellow.

(Domain code for) Indonesia.

The movie ``The Year of Living Dangerously'' (1982) depicts Suharto's murderous rise to power in the 1960's. Mr. Suharto banned the film in Indonesia. He stepped down after major rioting in 1998, when the Asian economic crisis took its show to Indonesia. Mr. Suharto's successor, Abdurrahman Wahid, appointed a new national board of censors which decided that this movie did not have too much sex or violence, and which claimed it does not consider politics (although some of the censors recommended the blurring of slogans on some communist banners in the film, as well a female breast). Their decision came in time by a few hours for the movie's scheduled first public screening, the evening of Nov. 8, 2000, at the Jakarta International Film Festival. It was shown uncut (and I imagine, especially given the time constraints, unblurred as well).

Indonesia's new-business climate was ranked in a FORTUNE Small Business article in 2007 (Who in the world is entrepreneurial? by Geoff Lewis, published by CNN Money). The rankings compared 53 countries, and Indonesia was ranked 53rd -- least entrepreneurial. (The ranking was based on a simple metric that gave ``equal weighting'' -- it wasn't really clear what that meant -- to the 2007 data on measures from two annual reports. One was the World Bank's ``Doing Business'' report, which separately gauges the difficulty of starting and of operating a business in each of 175 nations. The other was from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), an annual study produced by Babson College and the London Business School. The particular measure from GEM was national rates of ``high-expectation entrepreneurship'' (by individuals who can get good jobs but become entrepreneurs because they see a chance to build substantial companies). Yes, I imagine this is hard to estimate accurately.

Independent (mass-market book) Distributor.

Infantry Division.

ID, I.D., i.d.
Inner Diameter.

Input diode.

The word you're trying to recall is anadiplosis.
Irvine Dataflow. A language described by Arvind, Kim Gostelow and Wil Plouffe at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), in 1978.


Latin: `it.' The standard translation of Freud's term Es (noun use of German pronoun meaning `it.') All nouns are capitalized in standard German, so capitalizing any other word (elsewhere than at the beginning of a sentence) usually forces it to be interpreted as a noun. (There are other exceptions. The principal ones are second-person pronouns, either familiar forms in personal correspondence, or polite forms in general. Vide ich.)

Of course, writers in English have from time to time independently used it (I mean it) as a noun, signaling the use by a determiner or adjective. There are also endless instances of ``an it,'' but here an is almost always the synonym of if, rather than the article. (You know -- ``an it please your worships,'' scrape, scrape.) Searching for ``the it'' in prose on the LION database, I find that all the modern instances either are instances of anacoluthon or really just mean ``the word it.'' I'm very happy about this, because if I don't find more occasions to use it, I'll never remember it (I mean the word anacoluthon, of course). A word pair that looks like ``the it'' occurs frequently in Old and Middle English, but the the is normally the word we now spell thee.

But poetry comes to the rescue. For example, A.R. Ammons published a poem in 1993 that mentions ``the it'' a number of times. He explains that `` `the it' is the indifference of all the differences.'' That sounds, encouragingly, somewhat -- let's say ``indifferently'' -- mathematical. In mathematics, terms are defined once. Everything else you can say about the thing defined, generally, either follows from the definition or is equivalent to the definition, if you've done your definition right. But Ammons also says that it (the it) is the finest issue of energy in which boulders and dead stars float. He says other things. The poem is called ``Garbage,'' and as the first lines make clear, the poem is self-referential (not to say self-obsessed).

James Broughton made good use of capitalization in ``Here's to It (A Metaphysical Drinking Song).'' His ``the It,'' also suffers from excessive definition, but at least the definitions rhyme. (E.g., ``It's a metaphysical hunting kit.'') The poem was apparently written in 1968. W.N. Herbert mentioned ``the it-iness'' of cities. Shouldn't that be ``it-ness''? It certainly makes better rhymes. Karl Jay Shapiro mentioned ``the it-ness'' of trees. Haven't any of these guys heard of the cooties?

Industrial Development Agency. In New York State, a municipal IDA is a ``public benefit corporation,'' and as such exempt from property tax. However, IDA-owned property remains subject to special district taxes. Come on -- it's New York! You gotta expect they'll find ways to tax you.

When an IDA in NY takes title to a property as part of a project (exempting that property from property tax), the project developer and the IDA usually enter into a PILOT agreement under which the developer pays the IDA for basic services. (I don't know how or if that revenue stream eventually makes it into the police and fire budgets, which are the usual basic services named.) The developer also pays the special district taxes.

International Dark-Sky Association. A bunch of ticked-off amateur astronomers. Since they oppose night-time outdoor lighting, it follows as night follows day that such lighting does not decrease accidents or crime. It's logic! Oh yeah, they've got some long garbage metastudies to prove these fallacies.

International Development Association. Part of what is officially only unofficially (though universally) known as the World Bank. More at the IBRD entry.

Integrated Database Application Programming Interface.

In-suit Drink Bag. [NASAnese.]

Inter-American Development Bank. Also abbreviated IADB, and BID in Spanish.

International Drag Bike Association. Vide goracing.com, VROOM!

Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

Integrated Display[s] and Control[s].

International Data Center supporting the Copacetic Test Ban Treaty, or something like that (CTBT). See IMS entry below for details and links.

IDC Access Method Services. The ``IDC'' is just the IBM product code for VSAM. Some IDCAMS functions can work with non-VSAM data sets.

Internet Device Control Protocol.

Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (DM, q.v.). Type-I diabetes. Also called juvenile-onset diabetes for its usual course, but it can first manifest at any age.

IDDQ, IDDq, Iddq
Quiescent Drain Current. As explained in the CMOS entry, one of the beauties of the CMOS design concept is that, apart from leakage, current is drawn through a gate only when it is changing state. Thus, the measurement of current (I) from the common voltage supply to the PMOS drains (VDD) in the quiescent (q) state is a sensitive test that a circuit is working properly. IDDQ testing typically uses a variety of input vectors to check for stuck-at behaviors. One of its advantages is that it can test for some errors that are invisible (do not affect final output) in a given set of test vectors.

Prof. S. Chakravarty, of the Computer Science Department at UB, is coauthor of a book on IDDQ testing.

Integrated Development Environment.

Integrated Drive Electronics. A standard electronic interface between a computer's data bus and its disks. When ANSI group X3T10 adopted IDE as a standard in 1990, it dubbed it ``Advanced Technology Attachment'' (ATA), a name by which it is not known.

The IDE standard was based on a 16-bit bus (the IBM PC's ISA, originally); each drive with a built-in controller. It was largely replaced by Enhanced IDE (EIDE, q.v.), which is obsolete.

Individual Development & Educational Assessment. The IDEA Center is based at K-State, which is in Manhattan, Kansas, so I think it certainly qualifies as a center.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

Institute for Development of Educational Activities.

Inter-college Dev. of Entrepreneurship Assn. I presume that's Inter-college Development of Entrepreneurship Association. I guess they work behind the scenes. Apart from the website, which had some traffic in June and December of 2002, there isn't much net sign of their existence.

International Debate Education Association. Affiliated with the AFA. There are other debating entries in this glossary. ``An Association of forensics educators from European countries seeking to establish an active tradition of forensics activities on that continent.'' Uh-huh.

It's sponsored by Soros's OSI and its over two dozen member nations are basically all the former Warsaw Pact countries and their fragments (and Haiti). It's a fine do-gooder idea, and they even have a ``Karl Popper debate format'' -- ``a three-person format developed specifically for this program to encourage teamwork and cooperation.'' (Famous people should have the sense to trademark their names so this kind of thing doesn't happen to them after they're dead. Hmmm, seems back in 1999 or so Pablo Picasso's last surviving son licensed the family name to Citroën for some van, and Marina Picasso, one of the artist's granddaughters, sought a permanent injunction against the licencing. I'll have to look into how that turned out.)

I imagine it won't do much harm, and if Soros wants to spend his money on these games, well, it's his money (now). But logical thinking is not the problem. These nations regularly produce ten-year-old grand masters who whup our ass in chess, okay? And formal rhetorical skills are not exactly hallmarks of the leadership cadres of the triumphant democratic West, either.

The problem of contending religions has only ever been humanely solved by tolerance, and tolerance is not logical, and not clearly defensible on principles, unless the principles are cooked in advance. Tolerance is merely peaceable and reasonable. On perfectly sound principles, it may be irrational. In that case, sound leadership requires noble hypocrisy and fluent dissembling.

Making a successful civil polity is a bit like making wine. It requires many small ingredients, as Soros understands, and balance which no one can impose, and it is not easily accelerated. A complete list of necessary ingredients would be long indeed, but I would name three that are in obvious short supply in the many countries that have free speech, free elections, an independent judiciary, and long-term ``instability.''

  1. General personal security
  2. Confidence in the law
  3. Good will

Oh, yeah -- that-all is opinion, my idea.

In the Defense of Earth and Animals.

idée fixe
Kenny Chesney had a hit with ``She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy.'' After his marriage to Renée Zellweger, he released a statement that said ``I may well be the luckiest man alive ... to be so in love with someone who is so perfect for me.''

Indiana Department of Environmental Management. That's what I said already!

A Latin word meaning ``Indiana Department of Environmental Management.'' Oh, that's not what it always means. That's just what it means here. Usually it means something different. But what it always means is `the same.'

The word idem is normally used in English scholarly texts to compress and make obscure a sequence of citations in successive footnotes or endnotes, and it is conventionally understood to mean `the same as the source immediately preceding, where source is understood as being specified up to the part -- typically a page number or page range -- that is indicated to be different here.' This is normally described as ``the same as above.'' Things are confusing enough as it is. If it could also mean ``the same as below,'' you might combine it with op. cit. to make a formidable illogic puzzle. Idem is often abbreviated id.

In Spanish, the word is used more widely in ordinary speech. Spelled ídem, it can mean `the same.' That's the same as lo mismo, but not exactly the same as el mismo or la misma, which are better translated as `the same one' (male and female forms, resp.). There are even colloquial phrases like ``ídem de ídem'' (a slightly mock-serious phrase, so it seems to me, meaning `just what was said before').

This is a premier example of dyslexic and thoughtless acronym neologism. Instead of calling itself MEDIA (``Materials and Equipment, Disk Drive International Association''), this group chose IDEMA (``International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association''), which sounds like a serious symptom. Their homepage is competently constructed, and it is no longer a sickly shade of green.

``Serving to promote the technological, manufacturing, marketing and business progress of the disk drive manufacturing industry.''

identifiers in PASTA
Because of the way that variables are scoped in the PASTA programming language, it is useful to have a lot of different identifiers. For this reason, PASTA reserved words are allowed as variable names. (However, variables that have the same name as a data type cannot be declared or explicitly cast on inexperienced compilers.) Also, PASTA identifiers are not just case-sensitive but font-sensitive; the standard IDE for PASTA is WordPerfect. See also PASTA----.

identity parade
The British term for what in the US is called a police lineup.

International Development Education Resource Association. Based in Vancouver, Canada. There ought to be one in Pakistan called Iderabad.

Israel Defence Forces.

Induced Dipole-Induced Dipole (interaction).

I did, did I?
``He maps spam, eh?''
``He won snow, eh?''
``He sports strops, eh?''

this is the kind of rhetorical question that you can easily work into an ordinary, if somewhat belligerent, conversation.

I did not set out to write an exposé
Oh no, quite the opposite! Just as was the case each time I set out to research my fifteen earlier books, I approached the subject with an open mind -- sympathetic, in fact -- and my editor's comment that ``going negative'' would quintuple my sales had no effect on me because, after all, the facts speak for themselves. No, I began with only a sensible, reasonable skepticism, and I was gravely disappointed. Buy this book and read all the juicy details now!

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. As explained on the IDIC page:
``The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity.''
``And in the way our differences combine to create meaning and beauty.''

-- Dr. Miranda Jones and Mr. Spock, ``Is There in Truth No Beauty?,'' stardate 5630.8

The IDIC has become a very special symbol (and lifestyle) to Star Trek fans. Designed by the late Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry, the IDIC symbol was worn by Mr. Spock in TOS episode, ``Is There in Truth No Beauty?'' Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations represents a Vulcan belief that beauty, growth, progress--all result from the union of the unlike. Concord, as much as discord, requires the presence of at least two different notes. The brotherhood of man is an ideal based on learning to delight in our essential differences, as well as learning to recognize our similarities. The IDIC symbol is a union of a plain circle and triangle, uniting to produce the beautiful gemstone in the middle. The circle represents infinite, nature, woman, etc; the triangle can represent the finite, art, man, etc.

IDIC remains the simplest, purest, most powerful idea in Star Trek, an idea that has clear implications for our own times.

If they say so, I guess.

The ``first interracial kiss'' (or perhaps the first black-white) on TV took place on Star Trek. Somewhere on the web, once, I read a recollection by George Takei (``Sulu'') of the the humility with which GR offered him what was rare in that day and still today: a role played by someone who simply happened to be Asian. Many (and to some degree all) of the episodes were morality plays about tolerance. Originally, the `emotionless' `logical' Spock character was supposed to be a woman, but there was too much resistance. Mr. Spock was, however, the child of a mixed marriage (human-Vulcan). ``Human'' is one of those old-fashioned words they used on Star Trek. It meant `terran.' Looks like Mr. Spock took after his dad. [But in this picture he is holding his hand as if giving a Jewish priestly (kohen) benediction. And he needs a shave.]

If it seems quaint or petty that an interracial kiss on TV was once a big deal, then it may be that you can thank Roddenberry for some of your effortless sophistication. The real heroism of Star Trek was his social daring, taking altruistic risks in a market governed by almighty ratings. If only more directors would make movies and TV shows that honored their progressive beliefs rather than pandering to popular tastes, the world would be a better place -- because people would get off the couch and do something. Hmmm... make that ``honored their progressive beliefs and didn't pander to popular tastes.'' I think the other experiment has already been done.

(Speaking of altruism... that interracial kiss was originally scripted to involve Uhura and some other character, but when Shatner learned about it he lobbied to be the guy in the scene.)

Individually Designed Interdepartmental Major. Pronounced ``I dim''?


A German word currently meaning `idiot' in all the usual English senses. The word is derived from the Latin idiota (one of those rare first-declension nouns of male gender). The Latin word meant `ignorant fellow,' and was derived from idiôtês in Greek, where it originally meant `ordinary man,' as opposed to a specialist. In other words, a `layman' in the loose sense. I can find no evidence that this earliest meaning was ever a normal sense of the derived word in any modern Western European language. In particular, I find no evidence of this sense for German in any of the dictionaries I have to hand, including the ten-volume Duden and the thirty-three-volume Grimm etymological dictionary.

I looked because of Der Streit der Fakultäten, Kant's most accessible and by far most amusing book (and his last, not counting posthumous stuff and stuff published for him by others during his last sickness). A fair translation of the title in context would be The Conflict of the [Academic] Disciplines. Somewhere in the three essays this book comprises (essays staking where the Philosophy Department's turf meets those of the Theology, Medicine, and Law Departments), he paraphrases some other discipline's protest as ``Sie heissen uns Idioten!'' [`You call us idiots!'] Presumably he meant that in the original sense. That's the trouble with learning too much: it makes your writing harder to understand.

The book is celebrated by Kantophiles as a heroic stand for freedom of speech in the academic context -- i.e., ``academic freedom.'' It does make a limited plea for freedom, but that is sadly modest, a reminder of the absolute monarchy under which it was written and eventually allowed (by one censor) to be published. This in 1798.

A ``nonce word'' is an invented word (like philosophunculist) with a sense that is obvious (from the putative etymology, say). The term ``nonce word'' does not cover the idiosyncratic, possibly idiolectical use of an ordinary word in an unusual but (by some) understandable sense. Perhaps we can say instead that Kant's Idiot is a nonce sense.

Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity. Refers to a kind of contract entered into by US government agencies that sounds like an option to buy. Maybe it's pronounced ``Aye, Dick'' and maybe not.

I plan to return to this entry at some point in time, and add some information.

I disagree.
I am slimier than pond scum. My pig-headed idiocy prevents me from admitting the God-given truth of your blazingly clear wisdom, and I'm going to be sanctimonious about it into the bargain. Bizarrely, I will also misinterpret your witty but courteous clarifications as vicious personal attacks upon my nefarious character, much though I deserve them. I fry gerbils alive for breakfast, but I prefer the taste of plastic and moist cardboard. I hate you. Die! Die! Die!

Newsgroup and listserv usage.

I Don't Know.

Well if you don't know, I can't help you. I mean, what are you saying here? Could you be more specific? Your paratactics are getting on my nerves. Scram!

I Don't Know But It Works.

Integrated Device Logic--a company name.

Interactive Data Language.

Interface Definition Language. Structurally similar to C++.

Integrated Digital Loop Carrier. Supersedes UDLC: Allows T1 carriers from loop carrier Remote Terminals (RT) to interface directly to the EWSD system, eliminating the need for the Network Office Terminating Equipment (NOTE) required with UDLC.

Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health. Look out! It's coming thi

Isotope-Dilution Mass Spectrometry (MS).

Internet Daily News. ``A free daily serving the Internet.''

Short for IDOMENEUS.

Information and Data on Open MEdia for NEtworks of USers.

I don't consider myself a vain person.
Other people consider me a vain person.

Interplanetary Dust Particle. This looks like a job for Space Janitor!

If you take a good look at the Milky Way (I won't say a good close look) from someplace within it but toward the edge (from earth, say), you'll notice that the very middle is not as bright as the edges. That's because of all the IDP.

IDPOL, idpol
IDentity POLitics. Often the politics of resentment. Is there a bit of this at this entry?

The International Development Research Centre (sic; it's written in Canadianese).

All-caps of Idrisi, an eleventh c. cartographer, whose name has been hijacked for a Clark Univ. project and GIS software that resulted. An extensive tutorial is available online.

Information Delivery Service or Information Dissemination Services. Both are used.

Investors Diversified Services, Inc.

Industrial Designers Society of America.

Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. In New Delhi, India -- ``an autonomous body to conduct study and research on problems of national security and the impact of defence measures on the economic, security and social life of the country.'' Social life?

Interactive Digital Software Association. A computer-games industry association.

Integrated Device Technology, Inc., a semiconductor electronics manufacturer. Most of their stuff is in Adobe Acrobat files.

Improved-Definition TeleVision.

Integrated Digital Terminal.

Interface Data Unit.

{ Intravenous | Injection } Drug User. The ``user'' referred to is normally an abuser, but the terms with ``abuser'' explicit are less common. In any case, an IDU is a self-medicator and a prime candidate for comorbidity. ``Intravenous'' is the I-word I always heard, but ``injection'' is more common in the medical literature. Maybe it's technically more correct, but I'm unaware of any common drug of abuse that is injected intramuscularly. The slang term is ``mainlining,'' right? (``Autopsy'' is another term common in medical research that mentions IDU's.)

I dunno
I am stupidly ignorant. (``I don't know'' written in eye dialect.) Frequently ironic in intention, if not in reception.

A book described at the manual transmission entry contains this exchange:

How far is it to Fairfax?


Does this road go to Fairfax?


Say, you don't know much, do you?

Nope ... but I ain't lost.

I once lived in Fairfax County, Virginia, but what this reminds me of is an experience I had biking in rural France.

I was on a language-related mission: I biked to the town of Condom to buy condoms, just so I could say I had done so. (I have done so.) You cannot imagine my chagrin, when after 25 km that I recall to have been all uphill, I whipped out my pocket dictionary and did not find this word. A protective amnesia has settled over the period when I learned the necessary vocable (preservatif). I do recall that it involved pantomime.

On the way back, after I got lost, I received directions in sign language. For example:

You are very far from Chateau de Bonas.

Universal sign language:
Repeat ``Chateau de Bonas?'' wide-eyed, slap forehead once.

I also encountered nasty little bicycle-chasing dogs, and also ruminants. The ruminants did not give very energetic chase, but they acted like they had never seen a bicycle before. Many of them trotted up to their fences to get a better look. French cows seem to be a different breed than American cows -- either more nearsighted, or more intellectually active (or both, conforming to stereotype as well as recent research on humans). The fences looked too flimsy to detain any seriously intrigued bovine. This concern became more acute over the last dozen km, which I had to walk on account of a flat tire, pushing the borrowed old cast-iron three-speed beside me, in the rain, in the dark (all uphill again!).

Because the road was narrow and I had no lights, after it got dark (I got back to Chateau de Bonas long after dinner) I would push over to the side of the road whenever I heard a car coming. Sometimes the car was one of those Peugeot Rattletrappes (I think Rattletrap is French for a `three-cylinder, two-stroke, zero-muffler engine,' but maybe it means `corrugated-tin roof resonator.') These were so loud and slow that I usually spent five minutes waiting for them to appear. For another Peugeot achievement in technologie hybride (that'd be moto/automobile-merdiquée hybrids), see the differential entry.

Back in the 40's or 50's, Vance Packard wrote an interesting popular report on studies of animal intelligence, issued under a couple of titles, one of which was Animal IQ. I understand that why dogs bark is an open and active research question. Presumably, why cows low is similarly unknown, but I suspect that they lack the intelligence to engage in very interesting communication. For evidence, read about ``hardware disease'' at the cow magnet entry. (Reports from England in 2006, however, assert the existence of distinguishable local ``accents'' in cow mooing, including something identified as a ``Somerset drawl.'')

InDinaVir. A drug used in the treatment of AIDS.

Because English spelling is only approximately phonetic, a few spelling rules and mnemonics have been invented to help one in remembering correct spellings. (Some others are mentioned further below.)

Probably the most famous rule is

``i before e except after c.''
This is useful, but even more useful is the more complete, but less well-remembered version:
``i before e except after c, or when pronounced as a.''

The latter rule takes care of neighbor, their, the heir/hierarchy confusion, and deity, for which a special mnemonic is given below. Some special cases are still left over (e.g., height), and while it is best simply to memorize many of these, some others are best regarded simply as diphthongs not covered by the rule (e.g., science, although words like conscience are trickier cases).

For more English spelling help, see this 28-rule list.

There is a similar, much less severe problem in German. Words with ``ie'' are pronounced in some cases, depending on the accent and the consonants following, like words with ``i.'' English speakers are taught to choose between ``ei'' and ``ie'' spellings according to the (English) sound of the second letter (d.h., ``ei'' for ``long i,'' ``ie'' for ``long e''). These spellings, which obviously represent literal transcription of diphthongs in earlier pronunciations, have an interesting history, because the old pronunciations they represent arose among German-speaking settlers in the ``east.''


Id est. The Latin phrase corresponding to `that is.' Cf. d.h., viz.

(Domain code for) Ireland.

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

Indo-European. A large language family that includes most of the languages of Europe and northern India. The name is taken from the two extreme ends of the region over which the language group had spread before the age of rapid European colonial expansion. By a similar reasoning, German philologists and linguists also call this the Indogermanischen language family, presumably since the languages spoken at the extreme NW end of the region are Germanic. One reason this usage is not so widely popular in English is that the adjectives ``Germanic'' and ``German'' are similar and may be carelessly conflated, whereas the respective German terms germanisch and deutsch are quite distinct.

Indo-European is the official language family of the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve. Nevertheless, we concede that Chinese is a major world language. Unix curses have also been uttered.

Industrial Engineer[ing].

The WWW Virtual Library has an Industrial Engineering index.

In Spanish, however, IE is Ingeniería Electrónica, which stands for `Electronic Engineering.' We`re everywhere!

LookSmart has a short page of IE links.

Information Element.

Japanese: `family, household,' roughly translated. Cf. seken. Do not confuse with similar-sounding iie (`no').

International Endometriosis Association. Old name of what today (2008) calls itself the Endometriosis Association.

International Energy Agency.

InterExchange Carrier. Between telephone exchanges.

I've seen ``International Electrical Commission.'' I presume that was its name when founded in 1906. Now it's the International Electro[-]technical Commission of the ISO. Preceding are sites in Chiba. You can get it from Geneva, Switzerland. It ``is the international standards and conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology.''

International Engineering Consortium. Mostly concerned with education of engineers for electronics and information industries.

ISDN Echo Cancellation. What happens if you forget to pay your bill again, before they even restore ISDN service from the last time it was cancelled. Probably.

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) / Commission Electrotechnique Internationale. Having the acronym spelled out in French like that is a material help to that large group of technically trained people who don't read English. I mean, conversely, if it were only in French, sure I'd be at a complete loss to know what it meant. I also appreciate the highway signs in Ontario; they allow me to see double and feel disoriented without DWI.

Of course, I'm just kidding. Everybody realizes that the only reason the acronym appears in two languages is to assuage British resentment of French cultural success. Look, in the twentieth century Britain was forced to give up a world-wide empire that extended to every inhabited continent, whereas France lost a much smaller area mostly restricted to Africa and Asia. And no amount of ``European plane'' window-dressing can disguise the fact that final assembly of Airbuses is in Toulouse. High fashion too takes off from the runways of Paris, not London, and no one eats ``British cuisine.'' Finally, France has completely outclassed England in the competition that matters most -- outrageous idiot intellectuals. The glory days of Karl Marx at the British Museum are long past. What can England answer to Sartre, Foucault, Derrida, Lacan? Benny Hill? Freud's granddaughter hosted an interview programme on the Beeb whose lame attempt to epater le bourgoise was using a bed for a couch. Oh, it's crushingly hard to be British these days, when your long-time rival is so triumphant.

IEC (System for Conformity Testing and Certification of) Electrical Equipment.

IEC Quality (Assessment System for Electronic Components). As you probably realized at the IECEE entry already, the IEC has a pretty bad case of logorrhea. You can see this in the longwinded suborganization names, and you won't be surprised to learn that they go in for stilted bureaucratese big-time (``who have need of,'' ``most economic and cost[-]effective,'' ``time delay,'' etc.).

Bus standard which follows HPIB. Just as GPIB does. Gives new meaning to the expression ``de facto standard.''

Improvised Explosive Device.

International Electron Devices Meeting.

International Electron Devices & Materials Symposium.

Institute of Electrical Engineers. British Organization similar to IEEE.

Interestingly, whereas Electrical Engineering degree programs in the US are accredited by an organization (ABET) separate from the IEEE, in Britain the IEE handles the job.

Institute of Environmental Education.

Integrated Electronics Engineering Center. At SUNY Binghamton (BU).

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Claims to be the ``world's largest technical professional society. A non-profit organization, ... promote the development and application of electrotechnology and allied sciences for the benefit of humanity, the advancement of the profession, and the well-being of [the] members.'' Visit the homepage.

Vide SMC.

IEEE standard
There's an IEEE Standards homepage.

IEEE Transactions in Electron Devices is a monthly. The next issue's preview is on the web. A publication of The Electron Devices Society.

IEEE 802.2
Connectionless operation is ``type 1,'' connected operation ``type 2.'' Always use type 3.

Independent Evaluation Group. Back in the 1980's, one IEG that was so designated was a panel of technical experts under the leadership of R. Joseph Sovie of NASA Lewis Research Center. That IEG was established by the SDIO Power Program Office to provide it with analyses and counsel regarding its own (the Power Program Office) activities.

Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers. Japanese Organization.

(Not to be confused with Interface Engineering Inc., Consulting Engineers.)


Israel Exploration Journal. Catalogued by TOCS-IN.

IEEE/IEE Electronic Library. Here.

Intensive English Language Institute (at UB). Founded in 1971. Changed name in 1995 to just ELI.

iEmmy, iEMMY
International Emmy. Conferred by IATAS.

Interactive Employment Network.

Instituto de Estudios sobre la Realidad Argentina y Latinoamericana. Spanish for `Institute for Studies of Argentine and Latin American Reality.' It was created by Fundación Mediterránea.

IERAL has a team of professional economists (I'm translating somewhat slavishly from this page) dedicated full time to research. The research is meant to contribute to the realization of a prosperous nation with a social configuration that offers equality of opportunity to its inhabitants and with an economy that is integrated, dynamic, and efficient that will assure a continuous improvement in the quality of life of all Argentines.

In other words, they're a think tank that will always be in opposition to the Peronist government. [Stop the servers, this just in: the conservatives won the Argentine presidency in November 2015! But the main Peronist party still holds a majority in both houses of Congress. Okay, back to your regularly scheduled entry.] This stuff is very easy to translate even if you have limited business experience. I suppose that the reason it feels like back-translation is that Latin American economists study in the US or at least from textbooks written in English.

They style themselves ``el IERAL.'' (There's ample freedom to use or omit definite articles with proper nouns in Spanish. To take a nonacronymic example where the article would be surprising in English, the country of Peru is frequently ``el Perú'' in Spanish.)

I haven't seen where, if at all, they explain the name of the parent organization, Fundación Mediterránea. Since this nonprofit was founded in the city of Córdoba, Argentina, on the initiative of 34 businesses from the province of Córdoba (in the difficult year of 1977), I suspect they mean mediterránea in the sense of `the middle of the land.' I notice also that they emphasize that they seek `a competitive, productive, and federal Argentina' (my emphasis in my translation). Since its founding, Argentina has experienced a struggle between centripetal (unitarist, bonaerense) and centrifugal (federal) forces.

Individual Education Plan. For a particular student's special needs.

Initial Enrollment Period.

Instantaneously Effective Photocathode.

ISDN Enhanced Power Controller.

International Electronic Packaging Society. Merged with ISHM in 1996 to become IMAPS.

Initial Enrollment Questionnaire. A questionnaire sent to those becoming eligible for Medicare, intended to determine if some other insurance coverage will pay any medical bills before Medicare.

International Earth Rotation Service. This is the international entity in charge of making the sun, moon and other celestial objects go around the earth about once every twenty-four hours. It's very important.

Don't believe me? Okay, it's in charge of deciding when to make time jump, as explained at the UTC entry. They also have a longer official name: International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service.

Illuminating Engineering Society. They seem to prefer IESNA these days as the regular noun form, but continue IES as an attribute noun and productive prefix.

Institute of Environmental Sciences.

Internet Engineering Steering Group. Executive committee of the IETF.

Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. You shouldn't get the wrong idea. It's perfectly okay for an attributive noun be modified by its own attributive noun. There's an IES Annual Conference in August.

Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (sic), one of seven institutes of FORTH.

Internet Engineering Task Force. A task force under the IAB. (Old IETF address still works.)

Inelastic Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy.

Intelligence Electronic Warfare.

International Elbow Working Group.

InterFeron. Also IFN.

IF, I.F., I.-F.
Intermediate Frequency. This does not refer to a specific frequency range, like RF. Instead it refers to a frequency chosen for use in intermediate stages of a radio or other tunable broadcast receiver -- hence, ``IF stages,'' ``IF amplifier'' .... As explained at the superhet entry, an adjustable frequency is generated (using a VFO) to be mixed with signals coming from an antenna. Discrimination (i.e., selection of incoming signal or station) is accomplished by filtering for a particular difference or sum frequency. In other words, you tune the receiver by adjusting the VFO so that its frequency, combined with the signal frequency, yields the fixed chosen IF.

Subsequent amplification may be conveniently performed at this frequency. This has the advantage that the frequency range of signal to be amplified is fractionally small (i.e., a small fraction of the IF). Within this narrow band, it is easy to achieve linear, frequency-independent amplification.

IF is not the final frequency because after amplification, the desired signal is extracted as deviations (AM, FM, or long story) away from a pure IF signal.

For information on the use of punctuated forms of the abbreviation, read the attributive noun entry.

International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulations. ``Bureaux'' is French for bureaus. This spelling is used to remind you that the IFABC is an international organization. ``Of'' is an English word meaning that internationalization (i18n) only goes so far, thank you. In French, the final ex is silent, unless the word is immediately followed by a vowel sound. Liaison! Like, you really needed to know this.

If information is nonnegative, then it probably won't hurt much to visit the ABC entry.

International Fund for Agricultural Development. Here's a gopher.


Institut français d'archéologie orientale du Caire. Name reported in English as `French Achaeological Institute in Cairo.'

International Foundation for Art Research.

Interrupted Feedback. Earphone in the host's ear which allows the engineer or other responsible person to confuse any host who appears to be in danger of making too much sense.

The comedian who smashes watermelons with a mallet on cable TV has complained that the ``brightness'' knob on most sets does not seem to work properly. (He should talk.) This is why.

International Federation for BodyBuilding and Fitness. I haven't been able to determine when the ``and Fitness'' was added to the name, but I estimate January 2005.

The IFBB was founded in 1946 by Ben Weider and his brother Joe. In January 1998, then-President of the IOC Juan Antonio Samaranch welcomed the IFBB ``into the Olympic family.'' (That doesn't mean it gets to be even so much as a demonstration sport at any Olympics. Cf. WBF.)

Bodybuilders have always been at the cutting edge (that's a pun, son) of chemical progress. Wayne DeMilia, who headed the IFBB pro division from 1980 until 2004 and oversaw such limited testing as was conducted, said in 2005 that ``everybody in bodybuilding takes drugs.''

``The problem, as the media is finding out now, is that testing runs two to three steps behind people coming up with new drugs and masking agents,'' he said. In addition, he noted that there are no effective tests for growth hormone or insulin, and masking agents for diuretics have grown more effective. Possibly most important, except for a few years in the mid-1990's, the IFFB didn't conduct off-season random testing of the bodybuilders. As the Olympics and such mainstream sports as football and baseball have learned [SBF is echoing news reports here; the SBF content-injector doubts that mainstream sports have learned very much], announced tests on the day of competition are unlikely to catch anyone who has been alerted. ``Let's be honest,'' DeMilia said, ``They're taking stuff that can't be detected.''

Ben Weider, CM, CQ, SBStJ, PhD, is still president of the IFBB as of this writing (2006). He is also a historian by inclination and publication, so the following is mildly amusing. In a 1999 interview (and elsewhere) he rhapsodizes: ``Getting bodybuilding recognised by the IOC was almost like making an impossible dream become reality. ... As Churchill said during the Second World War, it was a struggle of `blood, sweat and tears,' and a lot of perseverance.'' Of course, ``Blood, Sweat, and Tears'' is just the name of a rock band; everyone knows that WSC's famous phrase was ``blood, toil, tears, and sweat.'' It's evident that Weider wanted to include the toil concept, so it's amusing that the president (of an activity that is practically distilled toil) remembered only the bodily fluids.

L'Institut de formation bancaire, Luxembourg. A/k/a ``the Luxembourg Institute for Training in Banking'' and ``das Luxemburger Institut für Bankberufsbildung.'' The IFBL was set up at the beginning of the 1990's by the ABBL.

Independent Film Channel. ``Launched in September 1994, The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first channel entirely dedicated to presenting independent film, unedited and commercially uninterrupted 24 hours a day.''

Inside Front Cover.

Intellectual Freedom Committee of the ALA. It became the IFRT probably because, as I speculated at the LRRT, some furniture store had a fire sale.

InterFerential Current (therapy). A kind of E-STIM, q.v.

International Finance Corporation. Part of the World Bank Group.

Investment Finance Company.

Internet Fraud Complaint Center. ``The Internet Fraud Complaint Center ... is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).''

International Federation of Catholic Universities. Its pages are generally available in French and Spanish as well as English, but the php code likes to decide for itself which language you want to see. Find the language switch hidden at the bottom of the left-hand frame or follow our FIUC link to start in the other languages.

International Foodservice Distributors Association. Part of FDI -- Food Distributors International.

Institution of Fire Engineers. What, a hospital for pyromaniacs? A school for young arsonists? ``The institution is the international qualifying organisation and learned society for fire engineering and fire safety professionals.'' Sounds like they're working at cross purposes.

(Mexican) Instituto Federal Electoral.

Internships in Francophone Europe. Pardon? If you knew French, you could speak the native language of the fascinating people of one and two-half major European countries! But that's not all! If you order now, you also get... Monaco, at no extra charge!

Institut für Energiedienstleistungen GmbH. `Institute for Energy Services.'

International Federation of Esthetic Dentistry. ``The International Federation of Esthetic Dentistry was founded in 1994 by the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, the European Academy of Esthetic Dentistry and the Japan Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. Its purpose is to contribute to the progress and development of worldwide esthetic and oral health and to enhance communication between member organizations.''

The national organizations that are members of IFED are generally called academies. The British academy doesn't belong to IFED, but it's BAAD.

Maybe IFED could hire K-Fed as a goodwill ambassador. He's got a nice smile, and like the UN goodwill ambassadors his celebrity is mostly expired, and I hear he's available cheap.

Centro Internacional de Formación ``Aristides Calvani'' -- Caracas, Venezuela. Look, don't blame me: I don't make up the acronym, I just report it. In English that would be `the international center of the Aristides Calvani group.' They seem to study stuff. What kind of stuff they study might be indicated by the title of the book I got this out of, which they cosponsored: La Decisión: Aportes para la Integración Latinoamericana (`the decision: requirements for Latin American [economic] integration').

Identification: Friend or Foe. Military avionics.

IF and only iF. [Mathematics usage.]

Inverse Fast Fourier Transform (FFT).

International Federation of Gynecologic Endoscopists.

International Financial Institution. A generic term.

Institute for International Cooperation. An entity created by and for JCIC.

International Federation for Information Processing. Now has very clever pages that poop on Netscape for Unix. Too bad. The old homepage made it sound rather bureaucratic, and it was founded by the UN (UNESCO, actually). Oh well, probably somebody has to do this work, whatever it is, and good it's not me.

[Football icon]

International Football League. If it exist, then this must be its acronym. [I'm really sorry about this, but I had a strong desire to see the present subjunctive in use.]

Introductory Formal Logic. A first-year course that most university philosophy departments consider essential and most philosophy undergraduates consider difficult. Horrors -- it's as hard as math! Runaway, runaway! It's got symbols! Aieeee!

You think I'm kidding, that nothing could be as bad as dread Physical Chemistry? This article, written from a pedagogical point of view, uses words like fear and loathing, and urges that the courses be made easier so the students will show up in class (I exaggerate only a little).

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927 at an international conference; celebrates its 75th anniversary in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2002. As of May 2001, has 1622 members in 143 countries.

Do you realize that, if they had hurried up and founded it in 1901, they could be celebrating their centennial this year, instead of this awkward bis-jubilee next year. That would be cool. The ``and Institutions'' was not part of the official name until after 1976 sometime. It didn't just happen to be left unrepresented in the acronym.


International Forum for the Literature And Culture of Peace. Dr. Ada Aharoni, a Cairo-born Israeli poet, writer, and professor in Haifa, founded IFLAC, or ``IFLAC: PAVE PEACE,'' or ``IFLAC PAVE PEACE,'' in 1999. She is the IFLAC president (as of this writing, 2005), and also the founder, editor, and factotum of various such putatively worthwhile projects as the magazine Horizon Pave Peace. I don't know what it is about her and non-dirt roads. I do know that poetry will not bring peace to the Middle East. What is needed is a space race. Israel and Hamas will compete to see who can put a man (okay, okay -- or a woman) on Mars first. No extra credit for the return trip.

You know, I'm a poet too. There aren't any certification tests for poet. I'm a five-star black-belt poet with an iron cross, eagle ring, six olive clusters, and three large coconuts, and my poems can crush your poems without breaking a sweat.

On second thought, I think that another high-level conference is just the thing that will bring lasting peace. But only if the joint closing statement is carefully crafted to paper over the unresolvable differences.


Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association.

Instantaneous Frequency Measurement.

Intrapulse Frequency Modulation.

Interactive Facility Manager Assistant.

International Facility Management Association.

International Fire Marshals Association. Used to be called Fire Marshals Association of North America (FMANA).

InterFeroN. Also IF.

Identified Flying Object.

International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements. ``I-foam''? It sounds like something from DuPont.

If only I had spent more time at the office!
People often say that no one ever goes to his grave regretting not having worked hard enough. Setting aside that many regret poverty, there is the counterexample of Prince Felix zu Schwarzenberg. He was groomed by Metternich for diplomatic service, but for most of his life he practiced his eloquence only in the seduction of women. It was only during the revolutions of 1848 that he discovered the joys of work. Before he died in 1852, he remarked, ``If only I had worked harder!'' [Yeah, I'll try to track down the original.]

Instantaneous Field Of View (FOV).

Independent Feature Project. That's the expansion whenever an expansion seems to be given, but I'm not sure it's official. I would have guessed it was ``Independent Filmmakers and Producers,'' but IFP seems to have some unresolved emotional issues concerning the word producer. Their ``About IFP'' webpage is not very helpful, but perhaps the sort of people who would lionize Moore's Bowling for Columbine as a documentary are not the sort to be fussy about details.

Inkatha Freedom Party. Ruling party of KwaZulu in South Africa.

International Federation of the Phonograph Industry. They don't dwell on the expansion of their name. IFPI administers the ISRC system.

IFPI is affiliated with RIAA.

Initial Flight PLan.

Intelligent Flight Path Monitor. [Avionics still (1997) in development.]

International Federation of Philosophical Societies. FISP.

Income Fund Reimbursable. (UB bookkeeping item.)

Increasing Failure Rate.

Instrument Flight Rules. Vide IMC.

IFRAME, iframe
Inline FRAME. The <iframe> tag is like the <img> tag, but instead of inserting an image it inserts a floating frame, with content just like an ordinary <frame> tag in a frameset. Inline frames were at first supported only by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but they're part of the HTML 4 standard. Nevertheless, as of June 2001, I'm not aware of a platform on which even the latest Netscape Navigator release supports it. This page contains mark-up for one to appear at the right of this entry.

International Federation of Health Records Organizations. French name Fédération Internationale des Associations du Dossier de Santé

``A nongovernmental organization in official relations with WHO,'' who have this information sheet for the IFRHO.

International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations. ``IFRRO works to increase on an international basis the lawful use of text and image based copyright works and to eliminate unauthorised copying by promoting efficient Collective Management of rights through RROs to complement creators' and publishers' own activities.'' Gee, I hope it's okay to quote that.

InterFace Roughness Scattering.

Intellectual Freedom Round Table (of the ALA). Another one! Cf. EMIERT, LHRT.

IFRT used to be the IFC.


International Federation for Research in Women's History.

International Federation of Science Editors.

Internet Freeware Shareware Programming Languages for the Macintosh. A document now called Anopolis.

The Institue of Formal Social Sciences. A wonderfully stupid site, and apparently completely sincere.

``An Online Teaching And Reference Institute
of N U M E R I C A L Systematic Philosophy
Ideometry. A Natural Science
Tables of Prime Factors In Ideo-Quinary Numerals

You get the idea. If you poke around, you can read about ``Computer Aided Philosophy.''

Institute of Food Science & Technology.

International Federation of Social Workers.

Institute of Food Technologists. (Here's the same site via an alternate URL.)

International Fuel Tax Association.

Instruction-Fetch Unit. An element of computer architecture, and not of dog training.

Instituto de Física de la Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. `Institute of Physics of the Autonomous University of Puebla' in Mexico. Long form: ``El Instituto de Física 'Ing. Luis Rivera Terrazas' de la Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.'' (The institute is named for the engineer Luis Rivera Terrazas. There are two autonomous universities of Puebla.)

Irish Federation of University Teachers. (Cónaidhm Éireannach na Múuinteoirí Ollscoile.) ``The only dedicated trade union and professional association in Ireland that consistently defends traditional University values such as academic freedom and the need for pure research.''

If you can't say anything nice, don't.
That's how it goes, right?

ImmunoGlobulin. Certain classes of small proteins that function as antibodies.

In Geardagum. A scholarly journal of ``essays on Old and Middle English language and literature.'' The title is Old English for `in days of yore,' almost literally. The modern word yore comes from the O.E. geara; day comes from dæg, though here dagum is better understood as the dative of `times.' (The g in both cases represents yogh, a letter that was eventually replaced by g, y, and gh in various collocations. Note, however, that most gh's in Modern English arise from noninitial h's in Old English.)

Input Gate.

Inspector General. There's a bit of information on inspectors general at the RAT entry.

Interface Group.

Immunoglobulin A. A class of antibodies secreted by mucus glands in the gut, salivary glands, tear ducts, mammary glands, and colostrum. ``S-IgA'' is IgA from saliva. The IgA antibodies in milk lend some immune defense to a breast-fed baby; in this connection, see IgG.

Independent Grocers Alliance. Founded in 1926. Looks like a self-defense alliance for ``family-owned retailers'' against the big conglomerates. About 4000 stores in the US, another 400 in IGA International. Here's what their toilet paper looks like, on exhibit at VTPM.

Independent Grocers of Australia. [O]perating along the Eastern Seaboard and in South Australia. Over 2000 stores.

International Geosphere Biosphere Program. Here're sites in Sweden (IGBP Secretariat Stockholm) and in Germany.

Insulating-Gate Bipolar Transistor. The terms ``COMFET'' and less frequently ``GEMFET'' are used, as well as the unnecessarily ambiguous ``IGT.'' Basically, the MOS gate, when turned on, causes minority carrier injection, which modulates the high-resistance drift region required for voltage blocking.

Indiana Gaming Commission.

InterGovernmental Conference. A meeting of European Community (EC) member nation delegations for negotiation. Decisions must be reached by unanimity. The Stammtisch has successfully implemented this approach. Kissinger liked to observe that university faculty politics are vicious because they are petty (he put it differently).

An IGC met in Turin in 1996.

Institute for Global Communications. It claims to be ``the nation's only unionized Internet Service Provider.''

Institute of Global Cultural Studies. Located at the University of Binghamton (part of SUNY).

International Game Developers Association. As of 2003, the principal association for developers of computer games. Formerly known as the IGDN.

International Game Developers Network. Now called IGDA.

Immunoglobulin E. A class of antibodies that play a rôle in active immunity to worm parasites. Their inappropriate overproduction is associated with asthma and other diseases.

Institute of Global Environment and Society.

Insulin-like Growth Factor. This is not really my intellectual bailiwick, but there's spot more information on this at the HGF entry.

International Game Fishing Association.

Insulated-Gate FET. Really the same animal as a MOSFET, but in practice almost a complementary term. Whether the gate is metal or highly doped polysilicon (or anything else, although for commercial devices there is no anything else), if the gate insulation is oxide it's called a MOSFET. IGFET is now a rare term, so if anyone uses it they're either trying to be general or they're referring specifically to some gate insulator that isn't (silicon-, for all practical purposes) oxide.

The idea for an IGFET was patented in Britain in 1935. The first commercially successful IGFET's were Si MOSFET's, which became available in the later sixties (nMOS ROM and SRAM) once cleanrooms became clean enough to keep sodium out of the oxide.

Immunoglobulin G. A class of antibodies. The major immunoglobulin in normal human blood serum, and the only immunoglobulin that can cross the placenta.

Index-guided laser.

InterGalactic Medium.

Immunoglobulin M. A class of antibodies active against bacteria and foreign red blood cells. Their size prevents them from crossing the human placenta. An important detail.

Internet Group Management Protocol. A TCP/IP protocol for multicasting.


ignoratio elenchi
The name of the fallacy of ``ignoring the point [of the argument]'' or ``irrelevant conclusion.'' In Latin, elenchus is a pearl pendant worn as an earing -- a drop-pearl, as in Pliny's Natural History, 9.113 or Juvenal 6.459. So I guess ignoratio elenchi means `the ignoring (or the ignorance) of the pearl.' Oh wait -- there's a Greek word that would be transliterated elenchos. In neuter gender it means `reproach, disgrace, dishonor,' and in male gender it means `refutation.' Of course, the word is Latinized into the second declension, -os becoming -us. So ignoratio elenchi means `ignoring of the refutation.' Too bad, I preferred the `pearl.'

A special case is the non-denial denial.

Inter-Governmental Organization.

Integrated Global Ocean Services System.

Interior Gateway Protocol. A protocol used to communicate routing information between internet routers. This is not for header or other message information but for information about the internet path itself.

Insect Growth Regulator. Such hormones are used in pest control (preventing a chrysalis from maturing, for example). An advantage is that, if strategically deposited, these can be effective in small quantities. A disadvantage is that hormones don't differ all that much across the animal kingdom...

International Guitar Research Archives. Other links at the guitar entry.

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

Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Above-normal blood glucose levels normal, but too low to justify a diagnosis of diabetes. Previously called ``borderline,'' ``chemical,'' ``latent,'' or ``subclinical'' diabetes.

Institute of Gas Technology.

Insulating-Gate (bipolar) Transistor, q.v..

Integrated Telecom Technology.

International Geophysical Year. Cf. IHD.

Imperial Household Agency. A self-perpetuating bureaucracy nominally under the Japanese prime minister. Its principal tasks are to prevent any correct or unfavorable information about the Japanese imperial dynasty and its preposterous myths from becoming public, and to make the life of the Empress a living hell (from the time she becomes Crown Princess). They're also in charge of some protocol stuff. It cannot be proven that they call directly upon the services of the violent nationalists who threaten and harass anyone who publicly opposes the IHA's policies.


Institute for the History of Ancient Civilizations. At North East Normal University, Changchun 130024, Jilin Province, China. IHAC maintains its own library and publishes its own journal, the Journal of Ancient Civilizations (JAC, q.v.).

Okay, here's the information you've been waiting for: what's the weather like in Changchun? Thanks to a job posting, we can say that it is ``normally sunny, dry and clear'' but
Winter c. -25 to -10 °C
Summer c. 16 - 28 °C

Take a sweater.

For more information, see this posting on the Classics list.

I have great admiration for ...
... but I disagree.

I have great respect and admiration for ...
... but I disagree.

I have the greatest respect and admiration for ...
... but I disagree.


Inner Hair Cell. Supports a cilium in the cochlea. Listen to your inner hair!

International Humanitarian Cooperation. Development Aid.

Institute for Health and Disability. A network of programs for children and youth and their families, based at UMN. As of 2004, it seems to have changed its name or disappeared.

International Hydrological Decade. Cf. IGY.

International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Program.

Insensitive High Explosive.

Alfred Nobel's first great technical achievement was the invention of dynamite, a manageable form of nitroglycerine.

Inside Higher Ed. (Sic. There's no ucation in the official name.) A website for ``jobs, news and views for all of higher education.''

Interface Homme Machine. French -- a language in which, unlike English, adjectives generally follow the nouns they modify (significant exceptions: quantifiers, bien, mal).

`him' in German -- a language in which, unlike English, the letter aitch often follows the letter ai.

International House Of Pancakes. Originally a chain of breakfast A-frames with blue roofs. Nowadays they stack 'em under other architectures as well.

``I HOP'' may also express the idea that ``I am hopping [mad]!'' Today I ate at the local IHOP for the last time. I was served late, I had to ask three times for my drink, my order was taken and forgotten, then apparently taken incorrectly, and the food was unsatisfactory. At least I didn't have to wait five minutes to be cashed out, as happened on an earlier occasion.

You're probably thinking I should stop complaining and just get a life, but stop a moment and think: I am I really the sort of glossarist who would bore you with the petty irritations of my life if there were not some important larger point to be made? Would I just blather on about such stuff? What do you think?

Wrong! There is a bigger point here, and I'll make it eventually.

Once while waiting too long to be seated, I looked at the seating chart and noticed a management notice to the effect that employees caught hanging out at a certain nearby table would be dismissed. I guess management was never there when I was. For reasons beyond my ken, employees at that IHOP are particularly prone to haunting the place when they're off duty. Scratch that, generalize; they're particularly prone to being off-duty when they're there. The second-to-last time I ever go there, as I was beginning my meal, my waitress asked if there was anything I would want, as she was going on break. An off-duty co-worker sitting nearby razzed her, saying ``you just took a break!'' You probably think I'm making this stuff up. Your fall-back opinion is that it serves me right for going more than once. I guess I just thought it had to be a fluke, and another fluke, and... Really poor service is rarely a fluke; it's a management failure. Today among the off-duty personnel at nearby tables, I overheard one waitress complaining that the other day she figured out that she had only earned 4.5% in tips. I was tempted to tell her that that was probably right. (I actually checked discreetly to see who it was. She wasn't anyone who had ever waited on me, though of course I'd seen her around.) In the future if I want service this poor I can go to Denny's -- it's closer.

I can't say that all big restaurant chains have shabby service. Indeed, over the long run you imagine none can. But in the highly competitive restaurant business, chains exhibit the effects of management failure in interesting ways. To contrast, consider the restaurants in my area that are not franchises of some chain. They go out of business at an extraordinary rate, as I suggest at the pork rinds entry. But more to the point, on an individual basis they decline quickly. The suddenness is expressed in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (1949):

Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back -- that's an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you're finished.

Most retailing is like that; it doesn't matter whether the salesman travels to the customers like Willy, or puts up a sign and waits for the customers to come to him. What matters is that when you're being paid for a commodity, you're often competing on the basis of customer service. Restaurants -- prepared-food retailers -- can compete by offering unusual cuisine (don't tell me they can offer food that everyone likes more) or low price, or convenient location or speed. But it's not called ``food-service'' for nothing.

Oops! You made a mistake: you came here before I finished the entry. Say ``my bad'' and come back in five months.

Institut für Halbleiterphysik (Eng., `Semiconductor physics'). At Frankfurt (Oder).

International Hydrological Programme. A UNESCO program.

ISDN High-voltage Power Controller.

Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology.

International Human Powered Vehicle Association.

German, `her [fam.], their, your [formal].'

Institute of Historical Research. Founded in 1921 by A. F. Pollard. Part of the School of Advanced Studies of the University of London. As of early 2008, the institute housed three research centers:

International Hotel & Restaurant Association. Founded in 1946 in Paris, France, and moved to Geneva, Switzerland, in 2008. Its members include both national hospitality industry associations and hotel and restaurant chains.

International Hot Rod Association. A drag-racing association created in 1970. Vide goracing.com, VROOM!

International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. ``Sportsclub''? Is that anything like a clubbell?

Indian Health Service. ``[A]n agency within the U S Dept. of Health and Human Services [DHHS] ... responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. ... The IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for Indian people...''

International Handling & Storage Magazine. Published by IHSE.

Illinois High School Association. It's about athletics. ``The IHSA governs the equitable participation in interscholastic athletics and activities that enrich the educational experience.'' (Doubtless the use of a restrictive clause is intentional: if it doesn't enrich the educational experience, then it's governed by Bob the Bookie; inequitable participation is the responsibility of Felix the Fixer.) And don't wonder why they don't mention athletics or sports in the organization name. It's not necessary: they mention ``High School,'' so obviously it's all about sports.

International Handling & Storage Exhibition. Meetings in 2000, 2003, ...

International Humic Substances Society. ``[F]ounded in 1981 to bring together scientists in the coal, soil, and water sciences with interests in humic substances. IHSS has [as of early 2002] a membership of nearly 900 scientists.''

International Herald Tribune. For a while it was operated jointly by the New York Times and the Washington Post, but Pinch Sulzberger decided he needed to control this ultra-important trifle (``The World's Daily,'' available to sticks-in-the-mud throughout many places in Europe). In 2002, Pinch offered to buy the Post's share for $65 million, and threatened to launch an international edition of the New York Times if the Grahams (the family that owns most of the Post) didn't sell. The NYT took over at the beginning of 2003. I'm not sure when they began the practice, but the IHT masthead is now (2008) subtitled ``The Global Edition of the New York Times.''

Institute of Human Virology.

I... I. The Roman numeral representing the number two. It is often appended to indicate the second person in a line to bear a name. The line may be a sequence of monarchs of a given realm. A current example is Queen Elizabeth II of England. Note that the monarchs need not belong to the same dynasty: the first Queen Elizabeth, now referred to as Queen Elizabeth I, was a Tudor; Queen Elizabeth II is a Windsor. (I'm not sure to what extent the pope of the Roman Catholic Church counts as a monarch, but that would be a stronger example in recent centuries.)

Look, I know the following is disordered, but it might help you to figure things out until I do.

That briefly is the usual practice with ruling houses. A definite outlier is the House of Reuss, which has had a number of lines (e.g., younger and older Reuss-Plauen lines, and Reuss-Lobenstein) as well as extinctions. One is reminded of Candide's adoptive family and their precious quarterings. The Reuss Younger Line, is a dynasty that ruled a German principality from 1806 (founded with Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine) until 1918 (defeat of the German Empire). All the males of that house were named Heinrich, but they each got a serial number that was unique enough (counting restarted each century). Hence, the first member of the family to reign in the principality was already Heinrich XLII. If some later ruler of the principality had had the same number, then presumably he would have been Heinrich XLII the Second, or Heinrich XLII II, not to be confused with his cousin Heinrich XLIV.

This is a real entry, and not something concocted by Monty Python. All males of the House of Reuss have been named Heinrich since Heinrich I von Weida. Read some of the messy details here. The Reuss Elder Line followed the same numbering practice (and ruled a smaller principality that existed from 1778 to 1918), but was less fecund. Both comprised archipelagos of territory in Thuringia. They had the unimaginative names of Fürstentum Reuß <fooere> Linie, where <fooere> took the values ältere and jungere, resp. (`Principality of the Reuss <Foo> Line,' <Foo> `Elder' and `Younger'). The lines were also distinguished as Reuß-Greiz (elder) and Reuß-Gera (younger). There were a number of lines in the Reuss house, and a few extinctions.

The weird numbering of the Reusses (set aside the use of a single given name for all males) approximates the usual practice of assigning numbers to nonrulers. In the line of a common family, a ``Jr.'' is used to distinguish the son when a father and son have the same given names; II and III are used to designate bearers of a name in the second and third generations when three generations bear the same name. For an instance of 2.0, see the downtown Holland entry. The Romans used many given names that simply stated birth order. In this connection, see Septimus; for a related idea, read about Jefferson Finis Davis. You may not want to be reminded of Bush 41 or Bush 43.

Most names in English are specifically male or female, but it sometimes happens that a parent and child of opposite sex share a name. For example, I know a father and daughter Gene and Jeanne, though I don't know how they spell their names. Dale and Dana would be clearer-cut cases. Anyway, I've never encountered Jr. or II used in such a case, and it would seem odd to me, but you never know.

It occurred to me to write this entry when I learned of a Douglas MacArthur II who was the nephew of General Douglas MacArthur. There wasn't any remarriage involved. Captain Arthur MacArthur III and Mary McCalla MacArthur had a son in 1909 and named him Douglas Arthur MacArthur or something after Arthur's younger brother Douglas (who did not have a middle name Arthur), and this Douglas was known as Douglas MacArthur II. So far as I can tell without working too hard, Gen. Douglas MacArthur had one son, by his second wife, in 1938, and Douglas MacArthur II did not have a son.

Illegal Immigrant. This acronym is understood in Hong Kong, which exists entirely on its own border (sort of like a Julia set).

Impact Ionization.

Independence Institute. A Colorado think tank.

Ion Implant[ation].

Information Industry Association. How come I didn't know about this? A slow-down in production?

If I Am Right. The scientist in any of those 1950's monster-from-outer-space movies might have found this handy when talking to the military man. Cf. IMTIC.

Using IIAR too frequently can make you seem self-centered and dismissive of others' contributions. Therefore, be sure to also consider ``If You Are Wrong.''

I think the Beatles had a relevant song.

International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration.

You don't have to refrigerate ammonia. It keeps.

i.i.a.r.f.t., IIARFT
It Is A Remarkable Fact That. (I recommend against pronouncing the initialism as an acronym.)

In the foreword to their Sphere Packings, Lattices and Groups (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1988), J. H. Conway and N. J. A.  Sloane wrote:

At one point while working on this book we even considered adopting a special abbreviation for ``It is a remarkable fact that,'' since this phrase seemed to occur so often.

For a greater example of prescience, see the entry for ``Likes romantic walks on the beach.''

And for all you militantly descriptivist lexicographers out there, no, I've never seen the abbreviation given above, in either form, in use anywhere else... yet.

Independent Inquiry Committee. There are two kinds of IIC:
  1. IIC's funded and accountable to outside parties, with staffs and members, ultimately selected by outsiders, whose interests do not conflict with the goal of a thorough investigation and an accurate and complete report.
  2. Real IIC's.

Inter-IC (bus). A popular serial bus for low bit-rate communications (100 kbit/s) -- between IC's, as you may have guessed. It was developed by Philips Semiconductor in the early 1980's. Two lines wire-or'ed, (SDA, SCL) plus ground.

Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Identically Independently Distributed (random variables).

Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos. Institut Inter-Américain des Droits de l'Homme. Instituto Interamericano de Dereitos Humanos. Inter-American Institute of Human Rights.

Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Institute of International Education.

Imperialism and Identities at the Edges of the Roman World. A series -- yes, a series of conferences, not a one-off. IIERW 3: at the Petnica Science Center (Valjevo, Serbia) September 22-25, 2016.

Institute of International Finance, Inc. ``The Global Association of Financial Institutions.''

International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade.


Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas. The institute for philological research at UNAM.


Although four has been written IV more commonly than IIII for centuries, IIII is still a common form on clock faces. The accepted reason for this tradition seems to be that the size of IIII provides a better visual balance to VIII on the opposite side of the clock face. This also explains why nine is written in the more usual way (IX rather than VIIII).

IIII, VIIII, XIIII, XXXX, LXXXX, CXXXX, DCCCC, MCCCC were fairly standard in (Roman) Republican times. In early Imperial times, subtractive forms became increasingly common -- not just IX for nine but XIIX for eighteen, etc. There was evidently a long period during which both subtractive and additive forms were common. For an analysis of the epigraphic evidence see B. E. Thomasson ``Zu den Notis Numeralium in Lateinischen Inschriften,'' Opuscula Romana 3.1961, 169-178, in particular the table on p. 171.

Compound semiconductor[s], chalcopyrite[s] like CuInSe2. This (Cu-In-Se, called CIS) is the most studied instance at this time (2005), along with the alloys CuIn1-xGaxSe2 (written more compactly as ``Cu(In,Ga)Se2'' and also called CIGS) as well as Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 or CIGSS. The I-III-VI system offers direct-gap semiconductors with a broad range of lattice constants and bandgaps, so various I-III-VI's are being investigated for possible exploitation as photovoltaic materials. The CIS system also has good minority-carrier lifetimes, making it attractive for polycrystalline-film PV's.

(As the example suggests, the group-I elements are transition metals -- group IB in the most common traditional namings, or group 11 in the IUPAC numbering. Also as the naming and examples suggest, the group-III and -VI elements are main-group elements in the p-block: groups IIIA and VIA in the traditional American scheme, IIIB and VIB in the traditional European scheme, and 13 and 16 according to IUPAC. It's a lot easier to add obvious comments about the notation than to go and learn anything about the actual semiconductors.)

Same as I-III-VI.

A group compound semiconductor compounded of one or more elements from what used to be called group IIIA (mostly Al, Ga, and In) with nitrogen. Also written and pronounced ``III-nitride.'' The III-N's are a subset of the III-V's.

The International Institute of Informatics and Systemics.

Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. It was created as a State University by a 2007 act of the Delhi Government. (Yes, Delhi -- the capital of India -- is a state in its own right.)

Compound semiconductors combining an anion from group V [from nitrogen (N) on down] and a cation from group III [well, skip boron (B) usually, use aluminum (Al), gallium (Ga) and indium (In)]. Usually takes zincblende (ZB structure when grown epitaxially (MBE, MOCVD and variants). The stable bulk allotrope often has Wurtzite structure.

Compound semiconductors that are sometimes thought of as derivative of the III-V's, with a monovalent-divalent species pair replacing the group-III metal. E.g., LiZnAs.


Triumviri Rei Publicae Constituendae Consulari Potestate. Latin, `three men with consular power for the constitution of the republic.' Something like that. Whatever. Official name of the second triumvirate, about which we don't say much at the triumvirate entry. (It ought to be said about the Roman republic that at that point it hardly existed anymore except as an elaborate formality overlying the reality of the Roman Empire.)

This was the initialism that was at one time used by Institut canadien d'information juridique. Only available in French and English (the latter as CanLII).

IIM, iim
Institut Interculturel de Montréal/ Intercultural Institute of Montreal. You're probably wondering why they chose French and English names that can share a common abbreviation -- it seems to make too much sense. In fact, it looks like they were a tad embarrassed about the intercultural message one might draw from their splash page. In order to demonstrate their commitment to an ever-deepening understanding of cultural pluralism, they color-coded the second I of IIM and color-coordinated it with Interculturel and Intercultural, so you would be able to figure out which language was home. They can't help themselves.

IIM was created in 1963. As an entertainment input to those who would never think of learning about this organization and having a cynical chuckle or curl of the lip, I present their self-description. IIM is

a non-profit research and social action organization, dedicated to promoting an ever-deepening understanding of cultural pluralism, intercultural relations and social change. Its scope is local, national as well as international.

Although harmonius [sic] ethnic relations and cultural diversity are generally recognized as desirable, little is understood about the transformative possibilities they offer our pluralistic world.

iim is committed to exploring these possibilities in order to meet contemporary economic, ecological, social and civilizational challenges. These can only be met by a sincere search for wisdom and insight from each and every culture, through dialogue, understanding and cooperation.

The philosophy and practices of iim find their roots in the non-institutional and community sectors of our societies. The Institute's spirit has been one of engaging itself in a dynamic interaction between the public and private or the formal and informal sectors, without compromising its identity as a community organization.

International Ice Patrol. We're not talkin' little ice cubes here.

(US) Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982.

Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits.

IIRC, iirc
If I Recall Correctly. Occasionally ``... Remember ....''

Indian Institute of Remote Sensing.

Intelligent Information System.

Intelligent Intermodal Solutions. ``Intermodal'' as in intermodal freight transport. A product group from SAIC.

Internet Information Server.

Interim Interswitch Signaling Protocol.

Illinois Institute of Technology.

Indian Institute of Technology. Campuses all over India.

Indiana Institute of Technology.

Image Intensifier Tube.

Iowa Interpreters and Translators Association, Inc.

International Interconnect Technology Conference. It's sponsored by the IEEE Electron Devices Society. The thirteenth annual IITC: San Francisco, CA, June 7-9, 2010.

Two-Six (semiconductor). As in: compound of a IIb metal (viz. Zn, Cd, and Hg, in periods 3, 4 and 5, respectively) with a group VIa cation. The latter is usually S, Se, or Te. [The remaining two VIa elements are Po and O. Polonium is rare, and very radioactive (its most available isotope has a 138-day half-life by alpha decay; it self-vaporizes). Transition-metal oxides show a variety of interesting behaviors and phase transitions, but they're basically insulators. Pseudobinary alloys with Mn are also common ``II-VI'' materials.

A major motivation to study II-VI semiconductors is their broad range of bandgaps (from 0 in HgTe to wide in CdTe) and the demonstrated possibility of making MBE- and MOCVD-grown heterostructures as in the III-V system. (VCSEL's are popular structures.) They also have interesting magnetic properties [Dilute Magnetic Semiconductors are generally II-VI materials with low Mn (or Fe) concentration]. A variety of technological challenges, though, have so far prevented the practical fabrication of electronic and electro-optic devices out of II-VI semiconductors. These include difficulties in doping, instabilities in the epitaxial growth process, and rapid micromechanical degradation of optical devices during use (2.5-hour laser lifetimes were reported at an 8/95 II-VI conference in Edinborough).

There was an unofficial II-VI homepage, which is supposed to have moved to this new location, but I can't reach it.

A friend of mine (Dan) works for II-VI Incorporated, so I've put a link in. See?

Cleveland Crystals serves a list of properties.

There's a low-traffic UK-based mailing list for II-VI researchers called semiconductors-2-6.

International Journal of Adhesives and Adhesion.

International Journal of American Linguistics. At first blush, the title almost seems nonsensical.

International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence.


International Journal of the Classical Tradition. Tables of contents available on-line. Also catalogued by TOCS-IN. Official publication of the International Society for the Classical Tradition (ISCT).

International Journal of English Studies. A refereed journal published semiannually by the Department of English Studies of the University of Murcia in Spain.

International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching. A quarterly newsletter of about 40 pages, published online, written for and mostly by secondary-school teachers. (There are also a lot of articles by EFL teachers in East Asia.) Registration is necessary, and the email address you enter is used ``only to let you know when the next issue is available,'' but they don't confirm the addresses.... (The notification is probably handy, since there was a nine-month lapse in publication at one point.)

International Journal of Intelligent Systems.

It's just... Koming... umm... I wrote it on a scrap of paper; it's around here somewhere. Oh -- IJKM stands for the International Journal of Knowledge Management.

For practical purposes, in physics and chemistry, this is the alphabet of Roman letters for integer indices. If you need more, you should consider primed letters. Please don't use l or o.


International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. Catalogued by TOCS-IN.

International Journal of NeuroRadiology. Published by SILAN until the year 2000.

Initiativkolleg. German expression perhaps best rendered as `new program of studies.'

German words with the root Kolleg- are often faux amis of English words with a cognate root. The English word colleague does correspond to the German Kollege (female form Kollegin), but Kollege also means `counterpart, opposite number': interior ministers of different countries, though they might hardly be ``colleagues,'' are conventionally Kollegen (yup: the plural form).

German Kolleg usually refers either to a course of lectures or specifically to a Roman Catholic theological college. On the edge of similarity is the use of Kollegs or Kollegien (alternative plurals) for special secondary schools to prepare adults for university admission. I don't know much about them, but it sounds like an honest description of a junior college. Kollegialität is not exactly `collegiality' now but either `friendliness' or `loyalty to one's co-workers.'

Interchange Key. Used to encrypt DEK's for transmission within a message.

Dwight David Eisenhower's nickname. A Chicago expressway. A silver-dollar coin (40% silver, actually). ``Blue Ikes'' is numismatists' jargon for 1971 to 1978 uncirculated Eisenhower dollars in the original blue envelopes of issue. ``Brown Ikes'' are 1971 to 1978 uncirculated proof Ikes in the original brown boxes of issue.

Normally, Ike is the nickname of someone named Isaac.

Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. A catalog sales company for furniture, founded in 1947 by Ingvar Kamprad, who grew up on a farm called Elmtaryd, near the parish he later called home -- Agunnaryd (in Sweden).

There's a business hagiography by Bertil Torekull, Leading by Design: The IKEA Story {tr. Joan Tate} (New York: HarperBusiness, 1999). According to Appendix C, IKEA was registered as a firm 1941-1943. In 1941, Mr. Kamprad turned 15. That sounds about right. IK's cousin is quoted on his early years:

... He caught fish and crayfish and was adventurous and bold, stuffing the crayfish he'd just caught down the back of his long johns. He was like that.
That's probably pretty funny in the original Swedish, too [Historian om IKEA, (Wahlström & Widstrand, 1998)].

. Russian for `Space Research Institute' of the (`Russian Academy of Sciences'' -- RAS).

Illinois. USPS abbreviation.

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for Illinois. USACityLink.com has a page with mostly city and town links.

Ilyushin. Prefix for some Soviet aircraft (-62, -86, -96). Ilyushin was a designer, of course.

Informal Logic. Don't act so surprised. If there were no such thing, there'd be no point to labeling the other kind ``formal.''

il, IL

Intermediate Language. Vide MSIL.

(Domain code for) Israel. International telephone dialing code 972. Here's the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage.

iGuide is ``Your Guide to Israeli Internet.'' (I think by ``your'' they mean mine, but I don't object if you, dear reader, use it as well. Consider it yet another generous service of the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve.) Sponsored by NetVision.

A very useful feature, given the varying ways in which Jewish names are transliterated across different alphabets, is the phonetic-match name email address lookup provided at IBM Israel's Electronic phonebook.

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

You can see the Wailing Wall here, from the safety of your ergonomic chair.

International Llama Association.

International League of Antiquarian Booksellers / La Ligue Internationale de la Librairie Ancienne. The ABAA is its national association for the US.

ILlinois Association for Infant Mental Health. An affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

International Linear Algebra Society.

[Football icon]

Inside LineBacker (LB).

International Louis Braille Club.

Interleaved Bit-Map.

InterLayer (or InterLevel) Dielectric.

[phone icon]

Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier. Cf. CLEC.

Inelastic LEED.

International Lexical-Functional Grammar Association.

Short for ILGWU.

International Lesbian and Gay Association. According to the homepage, visited in March 2006, ``26 years of activism for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Communities around the world.''

Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization. To judge only from its stick-in-the-mud name, ILGO is an organization with an irrational and fanatical fear of trans-, bi- and other-sexuals, not to mention polygamists or polyamorists or whatever the fashionable term is. (Cf. ILGA.)

Is the organization name pronounced ``I'll go''? They've been trying to march in New York City's annual Saint Patrick's Day parade since at least 1991. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, which organizes the parade, denied them permission to march that year (as every year since), but they participated anyway as invited guests of then-mayor David Dinkins. They and he were pelted with nasty words and beer cans. I often wonder about these situations: is there a place where protesters who didn't plan ahead can exchange their empty bottles for acceptable aluminum projectiles, or are they reduced to relying on their verbal creativity?

International Ladies Garment Workers Union. What everyone wanted to know is whether there was a separate union for male workers. It must have been confusing. For whatever reason, the ILGWU is no more, the successor union is UNITE.

During WWII, domestic car manufacture was halted so production capacity could be devoted to war materiel, and gasoline and rubber were rationed (see also Jeep). Ford then sold its building on the northeast corner of West 54th Street and Broadway in Manhattan to the ILGWU. You can see a picture of the building on page B25 of the July 7, 2000, New York Times (first page of the Weekend Section), illustrating David W. Dunlap's article ``Street of Automotive Dreams'' (a mile and a half of Broadway, centered approximately on Columbus Circle).

The six-story Ford building was built in 1917 to designs of Albert Kahn, one of the foremost American architects of the century. It has a red-tiled hip roof, so you think you're in a lazy Mediterranean villa, get loose and careless, wander out onto Broadway and get flattened by a delivery van. Then again, maybe not. The building runs half a block along Broadway; UNITE has a twenty-foot-by-ten-foot elevator. Talk about feeling guilty for not using the stairs. The ground floor, which used to be a showroom, is occupied by UNITE-owned Amalgamated Bank.

On the northwest corner of the same intersection, mostly facing W 54th, there used to be a REO showroom. Now it's a deli.

Set a half a block back from Broadway, the old Automobile Club (ACA) building (1910) and its annex span the block from 54th to 55th. There was parking for about 1000 cars, and amenities included accommodations for chauffeurs and Turkish baths. Now the buildings house the Labor Department (NYSDOL) and the Hearst Corporation. Like a lot of Auto Clubs around the country, the one in New York became a local affiliate of the AAA and changed its name to reflect its diminished territorial ambitions (``Automobile Club of New York''). You know, New York is the ``Empire State.'' The Auto Club is falling down by having its headquarters in Garden City. New Jersey is the Garden State. In two hundred years, New York hasn't invaded Vermont. Oh, wait, there's something here. They also have a travel agency at 1881 Broadway (NW corner with 62nd Street), upstairs from the Bank of New York. That building used to house the Martin Cadillac showroom. Since property values drove the last dealership to Eleventh Avenue in 1985 (gee, that's 15 years ago already), that little AAA travel agency may be the last toehold of auto business on old Auto Row.

Gary's dad was in the furniture business for a while. When a new furniture store set up near his store, his son worried that that'd steal business. Gary's dad said that to the contrary, they wanted the furniture stores clustered together. It's better for business. Another thing, in the big fire, I guess the competition burned down too. People can make surprising jokes at their own misfortune, but it may be hard to remember them afterwards. I'm just typing here, it may come to me. Hmm. It'll have to be in a later revision.

A guy I sat next to on a plane was reading internal literature from his company, Discount Auto Parts. When he went to the bathroom, I learned that they don't worry about having stores in nearby towns. There's a synergetic effect: putting a new DAP store moderately near an old one actually increases business at the old store. Studies Show that. But maybe people go to the old store because they see ads for DAP and go to the one they already know. Maybe this steals business from the new store. Evolutionary biology is all about this kind of thinking, but this isn't an evolutionary biology entry, is it? No, I didn't think so.

Now Gary lives close to Mishawaka. (So do I, but to mention that here would interrupt the flow of the definition narrative, so I don't. Sharp glossarists like me don't miss a trick.) Mishawaka-area auto dealers are concentrated on a stretch of Grape Road where the speed limit is 40 MPH, and on the same road there are competing auto parts stores across the street from each other. In Elkhart, the auto dealerships are on Bypass Road. If you want to select a car, you wait until the dealers go home and then visit the dealers' lots with Rob, who knows more about the cars and isn't working on commission. If you don't know Rob, I guess you're out of luck, huh? When you've chosen a car (test-drive any former friend's model) you order on the internet, and the local dealer that wins the bid hates you. That's why the auto lots are protected by guards. At Bypass Road, after waiting politely for Rob to pause in his discussion of options, the guard asked if we knew where she could buy that yellow police tape for cordoning off restricted areas. Must've been for another job.

We're talking Indiana, here, okay? If you want to know where the dealers are out of state, try 11th Ave. in NYC or North Avenue in Westfield, NJ. This should be obvious. If Mishawaka were in Japan, it would be Mishakawa, and there would probably be other differences as well.

There's a computer type font named Mishawaka, too.

Influenza-Like Illness.

Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement. A program of the Division of Undergraduate Education of the NSF, supporting development of new or improved laboratory courses or experiments in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Most of the money goes into supporting equipment, under Instrumentation Projects (ILI-IP); a smaller part goes into nonequipment costs: Leadership in Laboratory Development (ILI-LLD).

Plural of ilium. Two will do.

Have you ever noticed how, when you buy a package of two or four chicken breast halves, they're all from the same side? They ``spoon'' better that way (here I suppose it would be enough to say they stack better), but it means that it takes two chickens to make one package of two chicken-breast halves.

Of or pertaining to the ilium. Cf. ILLIAC.

One of two very ancient epic poems by Homer, about whom all we know for certain is that he wrote this and another epic poem called the Odyssey. Or maybe not wrote but composed. Except that maybe two different people created the two epics. And they was blind (I'm getting confused), or at least that's implied in the Iliad. Cf. Illiad.

Here is the mythical genealogy, specifically the paternal line, that explains some of the names:

  1. Zeus
  2. Dardanus
  3. Erichthonius
  4. Tros
  5. Ilos
  6. Laomedon
  7. Priam

The region of Troy is called Dardania (see 2 above) and the legendary founder of the city is Ilos (5). The city is called after him or Troia after his father (4). Priam and his children have starring roles in the Iliad and in a variety of other works. A separate genealogy concerns another son of Tros, named Assaracus. The paternal line here goes

  1. Tros
  2. Assaracus
  3. Capys
  4. Anchises
  5. Aeneas
  6. Ascanius

The legendary mother of Aeneas, incidentally, was Venus. Aeneas is the star of Virgil's great epic which we call the Aeneid. I guess you could have figured that out yourself.

Each of the Homeric epics is divided into 24 books, although there is some question when this division was imposed. They're probably divided into 24 books because the Greek alphabet had 24 letters. The Aeneid is divided into 12 books, the first six modeled on the Iliad and the second six modeled on the Odyssey. The Aeneid begins with the words arma virumque cano, `arms and the man I sing.' One of the earliest plays (1894) of George Bernard Shaw was entitled ``Arms and the Man.''

Regarding that ``the'' there... (Say that out loud.) There is no definite article in Latin, so whether one should occur between the ``arms and'' and the ``man'' in English is a matter for the translator's judgment. (As the old saying goes, ``a translation is a commentary.'') Normally, new characters in a story are introduced with the indefinite article. (E.g., ``a priest, a minister, and a rabbi enter a bar.'') This is not a hard-and-fast rule, however. In many cases, the introduction of a character or situation implies others that no longer require an introductory indefinite article. (``The bartender says, `what is this, a joke'?'') There are other situations where one uses the definite article with the first mention of a subject. This usage carries the implication that you are already there or you already know this. It can have various effects on the reader, producing a sense of falling into an unfamiliar situation in medias res, for example, or a sense that the subject spoken of is so important or well-known as not to require introduction. For the Aeneid's opening halfline, many translations use ``the man'' or an equivalent expression. I happen to prefer that version.

One of the most recognizable scenes in Western art is Aeneas carrying his lame father on his shoulder through the burning ruins of defeated Troy, holding the hand of his son Ascanius.

The i line of the mercury spectrum, with a wavelength of 365 nm, was used for semiconductor photolithography starting in the 1990's. Cf. g-line.

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust.

The topmost and broadest of the three bones constituting one of the lateral halves of the pelvis. Plural ilia, adjective iliac. Cf. sacroiliac.

Latin name for the city of Troy, taken over from the Greek name Ilion. The nominative form of the adjective associated with this noun is Iliás in Greek, taken directly into Latin (long before accent marks started to be used in Greek; they have only rarely been popular in Latin), and this adjective has been used as the name of Homer's epic about Troy.

Romance languages derive the forms of their nouns from the Latin accusative or ablative singular form (final ems became silent in Vulgar Latin, decreasing the difference between accusative and ablative). Hence, in Spanish the epic is known by the title La Ilíada (that's right stress: on the second i) and in French as L'Iliade. Other languages followed the cultural lead of France: Iliad in English, Iliade in German, etc. The philhellenic movement and classical philology of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries led German scholars to prefer a direct transliteration of the original Greek names over the traditional Latin and Romance forms. Thus Ilias is now common in Germany, while Iliade is clearly antiquated. (A similar tendency exists among English classicists, though it has had a variable impact. For example, classicists often use Herakles for Hercules, but that usage has not become common. On the other hand, the Greek name Athena seems to have almost completely supplanted the Latin Minerva in common usage, as Odysseus has Ulysses to a lesser extent.)

Non-U word meaning sick.


InterLibrary Loan. Here's the online form for ILL at UB.

Institute Max von Laue-Paul Langevin. Okay, they didn't want to pony up for two institutes, so they named one after both of them. But clue me: von Laue is known for his work in X-ray diffraction, and Langevin for his stochastic work on diffusive transport, so the ILL supports the activities of the European Space Agency?

Ich liege lachend am Boden. `I lie on the floor laughing.' German acronym inspired by ROTFL, but not the most literal translation that would be understood. ``Ich kugele mich vor Lachen'' is a standard expression that can be fairly literally translated as ``I am rolling with laughter,'' but the expression ``ich kugele mich vor Lachen auf dem Boden'' and similar expressions seem to occur primarily on webpages that translate ROTFL.

I'll believe it when I see it.
I won't be looking.

ILLinois Institute for Advanced Computation. A series of computers designed and built at the University of Illinois. The FOLDOC entry mentions that its assembly language (by the same name) was listed in CACM 2(#5), p.16, (May 1959). Cf. iliac.

An ambitious but ill-fated member of the ILLIAC family. A SIMD machine. The main system, of which only a quarter was built, was housed at Moffet Field in California, a Naval Air station and site of NASA Ames research center. An unappreciative entry in FOLDOC has further gory details.


There's a Homeric poem called (in English) the Iliad. It's the one that Francis Ford Coppola did not desecrate for television. The movie Troy, with that pretty man Brad Pitt as Achilles, will have to do.

Writing in the classics list CLASSICS-L, Alice P. Radin recalls Herbert M. Howe thundering out the orthographic mnemonic:

The Iliad is not ill, nor is the Odyssey odd!

She has added that deities don't diet (but see ie entry), and solicited mnemonic help for the prophecy/prophesy dichotomy.

Actually, the Odyssey is odd. For that matter, there's probably an Otto somewhere in Ottawa.

The Homer and the Papyri website has

  1. Up-to-date lists of papyri pertinent to the Iliad and the Odyssey.
  2. A repertoire of variant readings contained in these papyri.

Here's something from Thinking to Some Purpose, L. Susan Stebbing:
A little reflection shows us that if what we are maintaining is false, then anything implied by what we are maintaining is false. I must, however, admit that I know a learned man who professed himself unable to give unhesitating assent to this contention.

I trust that the stupidity of Stebbing's contention is obvious to most people, whether or not they use words like contrapositive or converse. Nevertheless, an example may be amusing: the proposition ``animals with four legs are dogs'' implies that cats are dogs and that dogs are dogs. Since cats are not dogs, dogs are not dogs either.

Stebbing, according to the back cover of this book, lectured in symbolic logic at Columbia University in 1931-32, and was the author of A Modern Introduction to Logic. There's a profile picture of her on the back cover, showing that she at one time suffered from either nausea or some other dyspepsia. She was also at one time Director of Moral Science Studies at Girton and Newnham Colleges, Cambridge, and she was President of the Aristotelian Society, and also of the Mind Association.

According to the same materials, from 1933 she was Professor of Philosophy at the University of London. This prompts me to rush to the defense of my good buddies in philosophy. Apart from phenomenologists, ``political philosophers,'' postmodern ``philosophers,'' philosophers of science, Kantians, Hegelians, other continental philosophers, analytic philosophers, philosophers of language, and a small number of other exceptions, most philosophers are intelligent. The stupid quote at the beginning of this entry is not representative of the kinds of mistake that philosophers generally make.

I'll take your word for it.
I don't believe it.

I'll tell you what I'm gonna do.
Trademark phrase of Sid Stone, who had a regular segment as a pitchman on Uncle Milty's show.

ill-tempered problem
I'd prefer an ill-posed problem over that any day, but especially Friday.

Industrial Light and Magic.

Interim { Link | Local } Management Interface.

International Literary MarketPlace.

InterLayer (or InterLevel) Oxide. With the use of nitrides, this is no longer (as it was into the seventies) the only kind of interlevel dielectric (ILD).

International Labour Organization, the first specialized agency associated with the UN, although actually part of the (1919) Treaty of Versailles.

Instruction-Level Parallelism. VLIW and superscalar are examples.

Institute for Learning in Retirement.

Internet Legal Resource Guide.

Institute for Learning and Research Technology. ``[A] centre of excellence in the development and use of Information and Communication Technology to support learning and research.''

It's good they're only going for plain old excellence. You know the old saying -- ``better excellence is the enemy of good excellence.''

You know, when you think about it, excellent isn't an absolute adjective. Indeed, when you get right down to it, excellence is a very subjective thing. One man's ``fair'' is another man's ``excellent.'' This is a liberating thought, because it allows you to flatter with a clear conscience, i.e. without shame, or shamelessly, as the expression goes.

These thoughts are no reflection on ILRT, about which I know very little. Indeed, I've practically never heard of this internationally known center of excellence.

Institute for Latino Studies. Founded in about 1999. As of early 2002, the University of Notre Dame seems to be unique in the use of this particular name (no such luck with the name ``Notre Dame''). It's not like ``Institute for Theoretical Studies,'' which every Tom, Dick, and Harry University has.

There's a Puerto Rican & Latino Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut, and there are plenty of Institutes Of Latin American Studies, such as The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at UT Austin (LLILAS).

If I hadn't been on the ILS mailing list, I would have remained blissfully unaware of the following important event: the premiere on January 23, 2002, of American Family: the first drama series on broadcast television to feature a Latino cast.

American Family was created by Academy Award-nominated director Gregory Nava (El Norte, Selena). ``The series is about an American Family living in Los Angeles that happens to be Latino,'' says Nava. ``I wanted to create a show that will make the audience laugh and cry as it chronicles the daily struggles and triumphs of a family. American Family is about everyone's family.''

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. On one hand I suppose it is overdue. If you don't watch Univisión you might have the weird idea that the Los Angeles area is as Anglophone as whitebread 90210. On the other hand, the real problem with television is not that it fails to represent the real world accurately, but that it accounts for so much of peoples' limited understanding of the world that its knowledge lacunae become theirs. Of course, no one watches PBS, so the program is a nonevent.

Instrument Landing System.

A system for landing instruments, if the instruments are appropriately equipped aircraft.

Integrated Library System.

International Lyrics Server. They claim, as of December 1999, to have a database of 130,000 songs and lyrics for 60,000. This is not quite as many as it seems, since each cover of a song by a different artist, and each different release of a song by the same artist, is apparently counted separately. Not bad, but if you don't find what you seek there, try an ordinary web search engine.

International Lung Sounds Association. If it weren't for the Internet, I might have gone through life never even suspecting that this organization existed. The physics of wheezing, the spectroscopy of coughing, snore mensuration, diagnostic crackling ... this is great, why don't they cover this stuff in Physics 101?

Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. An act of the US Congress that punishes companies that invest more than twenty million dollars in either country.

Insect Lighting Trap.

International Lead/Zinc Research Organization.

The spelling of I'm (the contraction of I am) used in IM.

Contracted form of the German in dem, `in the.' For further enlightenment, you need to go to the inn entry.

Ice Massage. Ahem, ``a rapid cooling technique used to facilitate therapeutic movements in the rehabilitation process.'' A form of cryotherapy. More ice than massage. ``Wouldn't you like an ice massage?'' ``Oh, yes, I--Aaaiii!''

Individual Medley. A swimming triathlon or tetrathlon. The Olympics version is a tetrathlon: the swimmer is required to swim (equal distances each of)
  1. Butterfly,
  2. Backstroke,
  3. Breaststroke, and
  4. Freestyle.

This is the standard order. In the three-stroke medley, the butterfly part is eliminated. Each stroke (i.e., each style of swimming) is done for an integer number of laps. Freestyle must not be any of the previous strokes, but since it's a race, anyone who would repeat one of the earlier strokes could as easily be disqualified for drugging, since ordinary stupidity alone could not explain such a choice.

In a medley relay (in swimming), each of the different strokes is performed by a different swimmer. The order of the strokes is different then. If it turns out that there's an abbreviation for medley relay, then we'll make an entry for it and explain the order there. If it weren't for the Olympics, we would probably not be motivated to improve ourselves by acquiring this athletic knowledge. What we really need now is a ``muscular Christianity'' entry, but at least we have an entry for the word medley.

Injection Mo[u]lding. I suppose you could argue that this term describes intramuscular (IM) steroid injections used by many body-builders, but the usual context has to do with plastics. Here are some fantasy visions of an Injection Molding Machine. Related entry: flash, which I promise has nothing to do with the exposure of physique, molded or otherwise.

Input Method.

Inspection and Maintenance.

Amazing but true: in the state of Indiana, there is no automobile inspection. Not annual, not biennial, never. It's illegal to operate an unsafe vehicle, of course, but it'll have to be pretty bad before they stop you.

Instant Messaging. As long as you're not planning to think over what you're going to say, why not express it immediately and regret it sooner?

(Honesty compels me to admit that most IM-ing occurs in a guilt-free haze of unreflection. A shame culture without the shame.)

``Send an instant comment to me / Initial it -- with loving care!'' is a lyric from the Yes song ``I've Seen All Good People.'' (It seems to be about speed chess.)

Internal Medicine. A specialty. IM specialists are called internists.

IntraMuscular. Most vaccines are given intramuscularly.

The male plural ending in Hebrew (not to be confused with the generic dual ending -ayim). Corresponds to -in in Aramaic and Arabic, as in the well-known word fedayeen.

Illinois Medieval Association.

Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications at the University of Minnesota.

Interactive Multimedia Association.

Internal Mammary Artery.

International Midi Association.

image problem
The problem of truth interfering with the accurate presentation of façade.

Imagine an Ent.
Think of one of those mythical tree-creatures of J. R. R. Tolkein.

Imagine Ent.
A film studio.

Vipul: We haven't met. My name is Vipul. What's your name?
Al: I'm Al.
Vipul: How do you spell that?

Inhibiteur de la monoamine-oxydase. French for MAOI.

In My Arrogant Opinion. Modeled on IMHO. Possibly it was intended as a synonym by people who thought the aitch there stood for honest.

In most of the longer entries of this glossary, you could usually insert BTW somewhere along about the beginning of the second paragraph, and IMAO at the end.

Oh-wait-a-second... That wasn't an I, that was a lower-case el. They weren't being frank about their opinions, they were laughing!

Interactive Mail Access Protocol. See RFC Nos. 1731, 1732, 1733 and 1734 for the latest (IMAP4) and backward compatibility with IMAP2 and IMAP2bis.

The International Microelectronics And Packaging Society. Created from the merger of ISHM (hybrid microelectronics) and IEPS (packaging society) in 1996.

Instructional Materials Center[s]. Would a cemetery qualify? How about an automobile junkyard?

Instrument Meteorological Conditions. Which require flight under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Contrast with VMC and VFR.

Independent Montessori Consortium. This is a generic term; there are at least three such in the US. There are so many Montessori organizations that they collide in acronym space (cf. next entry).

International Montessori Council. Not the same as MCI. Those ``Montessorians'' sure are a clubby bunch. Enough international organizations so that everyone who wants to can be president of his or her own. How encouraging.

Integrated Mission Control Center (NASA).

International Multi-Conference on Complexity, Informatics and Cybernetics.

InterMetal Dielectric.

InterModulation Distortion. Also called ``intermod.''

Internet Movie DataBase.

All video purchase links at IMDb point to <Amazon.com>. This might owe something to the fact that Amazon owns the IMDB. Other places to search for videos are

  1. Facets.com
  2. Reel.com
  3. MoviesUnlimited.com

According to research published in Desirable Men, ``[o]ut of 20 activities listed that people typically do on dates, movies ranked as the most likely type of date to be cancelled. These results were ranked the same for both men and women.''

The last comment reminds me of research that shows men reporting significantly different frequencies of whatever with their wives than women report having with their husbands.

Input Method Editor.

Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center. ``Europe's leading independent research center in the field of microelectronics, nanotechnology, enabling design methods and technologies for ICT systems.''

(UK) Institution of MECHanical Engineers.

Impossible Missions Force. You know, with the disposable reel-to-reel. Maybe in the choice of acronym, they were making some kind of geopolitical statement about...

International Monetary Fund.

International Myeloma Foundation.

A form of IMAO encountered in chats.

IMF Loans
Iron Mountain Financial Loans. A California mortgage company whose name is based on a direct translation of its German owner's name (Eisenberg, I guess; cf. Audi). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sued to get IMF Loans to change its name.

International Medical Graduates.

Istituto di Metrologia ``G. Colonnetti,'' a Torino (i.e., in Turin, Italy).

I'm going 40 in a 30 zone!
It's okay, just pull over to let people pass.

In My Humble Opinion. [The humility here is usually putative, theoretical, or ironic.] Conceivably, the H might be expanded as `Honest,' but this kind of initialism is used principally to abbreviate common expressions, and the cliche using humble is apparently perceived to be more common. Cf. IMNSHO, IMNVHO, IMO, JMO, JMHO.

IMIpramine. A tricyclic antidepressant (TCA).

Israel Military Industries. In 2007, IMI had $575 million in sales. In a September 2, 2008, article in the Jerusalem Post, IMI CEO Avi Felder projected 2008 sales of $676m. The company was investing $85m in R&D per annum. I think that qualifies as ``research-intensive.''

International Medical Informatics Association.

imide, imido, imine, imino
Organic compound containing an aminic group double-bonded to a carbon. That is, either the group ==C==NH or --C(:NH)-- , or a related structure with the H substituted, appears in the structural formula. There is an involved system of organic nomenclature, which determines how these terms are used (usually the suffix or infix forms -imide and -imine or the prefix forms imido- and imino-), and by these rules the prefix -d- form should be used only for acidic groups, but that rule is not followed strictly. Vide polyimide.

IMagery INTelligence. [Military.] Not to be confused with the more prevalent Imaginary Intelligence.

International Municipal Lawyers Association.

Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit. A critical figure of merit for manned interplanetary missions, because a large fraction of the mission cost is lifting the spacecraft into earth orbit. As currently envisioned, such missions require spacecraft too massive for any single lift vehicle, so plans are generally to lift components of the vehicle into LEO and to assemble it there. (When NASA was actively researching a manned mission to Mars, the IMLEO's were in the range of 500 to 3000 tons, depending on trip times.)

Most of the vehicle mass is in fuel, so if fuel can be manufactured on the Moon, it becomes attractive to start from there, and IMLEO becomes smaller and less critical.

(US) Institute of Museum and Library Services. Brought into being by the The Museum and Library Services Act of 1996, which gives it the statutory responsibility to play Santa to libraries, museums, and worthy people with leadership potential.

International MultiModal Transport Association.

I'm no angel.
I'm an incorrigible devil. Trust me again.

Here's something on angel.

``I might steal your diamonds but, I'll bring you back some pearls.'' -- Fake pearls.

In My Not-So-Humble Opinion. Cf. IMO, IMHO.

In My Not-Very-Humble Opinion. Hard to tell which came first -- this or IMNSHO (which latter, FWIW , the glossarist encountered earlier). Evidently a development based on IMHO.

In My Opinion. Cf. IMNSHO, IMHO.

InterMetal Oxide.

International Maritime Organization. The UN's ``specialized agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships.''

International Meteorological Organization.

International Meteor Organization.

Imp, IMP, Imp
Current at Maximum Power. See MPP.


Abbreviation for Latin Imperator, as in ``Imp Vespasianus Caesar Aug'' for Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus. The Romans did not use a period to indicate abbreviation because that convention had not yet been invented. The Modern English don't have that excuse.

The whole eighteen cubits: He was named Titus Flavius Vespasianus at birth. (Titus was frequently abbreviated T.) On accession his title became Imperator Titus Flavius Vespasianus Caesar, and in August 69 C.E. he became Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus. The next year he accreted ``pontifex maximus'' and ``pater patriae,'' and by the time he died he was Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribuniciae potestatis X, Imperator XX, Pater Patriae, Consul IX. Of course, his pals just called him Max.

I really hope that the word imp is derived from this title abbreviation, but I fear it may not be, so I haven't dared to look it up. You'll just have to trust me on the etymology, and reason that it must be correct, since I wouldn't mislead you on a matter of this importance.

Interface Message Processors.

InterModulation Product. The word product here is practically a pun. An intermodulation product is a signal produced by (hence the product of) intermodulation. On the other hand, intermodulation arises from nonlinearity. An input signal processed through a nonlinear device yields an output signal that contains at least one non-unit power of the input. If the input has components of different frequencies, then the second- and higher-order powers of the input signal consist of second- and higher-order products of the input components. (That last ``products'' completes the pun.)

To take a simple example, if the input signal is proportional to sin(2πƒ1t)+sin(2πƒ2t) and the output signal is the square of the input, then the output is proportional to (sin(2πƒ1t))2 + 2sin(2πƒ1t)sin(2πƒ2t) + (sin(2πƒ2t))2. The second term is a second-order intermodulation term, which by a trigonometric product rule can be written as cos(2πƒ-t) - cos(2πƒ+t), with ƒ+ = ƒ1 + ƒ2 and ƒ- = |ƒ1 - ƒ2| the sum and difference frequencies, respectively.

A mischievous supernatural creature. The corresponding natural creature would probably be a computer bug.

Mysterious ingredient that enabled Pepsodent to claim whatever it claimed.

International Maritime Pilots' Association.

International Merchant Purchase Authority Card. A VISA card issued to government employees after training.

The English noun impact originally had a meaning similar to collision, and the earliest instance listed by the OED2, from 1781, is in a scientific text. The word has cognates in French and Spanish and probably every other Romance language; it is constructed from the past-participle stem of the Latin impingere.

In fact, the past-participle adjective was used as early as 1601 in a botanical context (Philemon Holland's translation of Pliny's Historia Naturalis) with the sense of ``forcefully pressed into (or against).'' That adjective has continued in widespread botanical and medical use, and is probably most widely known from the expression ``impacted tooth.'' It is not necessary or even common to add the English past-participle suffix -ed to a word that happens to be constructed on the basis of a Latin participle, and in fact the original form of the adjective impacted (attested as early as 1563) was impacte or impact. It seems that this was misunderstood as short for a hypothesized form impacted, and that there the trouble began. Perhaps if the word had been impactate, none of this would have gotten started. Holland should have known better.

In due course the verb impact was back-constructed from the misconstructed word impacted, and the verb was nouned to give the word we started out talking about two paragraphs ago. The scientific noun impact early on came to be used figuratively, as a colorful synonym of effect that implied a sudden or forceful cause.

Now that this history has been explained, we can get to the point of this entry, the casus belly-ache-us, so to speak. And that is, that people started using the verb impact, which was created to mean ``press into,'' in the new sense of ``have an impact on'' -- have a sudden, forceful effect on. This was popular business-speak in the 1990's, and I am pleased not to be hearing it any more. Adding new meanings to a word is legitimate and natural, but it is objectionable when the meaning is already well expressed by an old expression similar to the new one, as ``have an impact on'' expressed the new sense of ``impact.'' In its favor one might argue that the new expression is more compact, but in this case something else is going on: the new meaning of impact is impacting the old meaning of impact (in both senses). When a new sense is added to a word that has an older, still-active sense, the new sense ought to be sufficiently different from the old one that the context will generally make clear which sense is meant. Otherwise, the effect of adding a new meaning will primarily be to degrade the precision of the word. The only saving grace, if that's what it is, is that the new verb has the initial stress of a noun.

Interdisciplinary Model Program in the Arts for Children and Teachers. An influential late-sixties demonstration program, conducted in five very different (in SES) school systems.

Impacts of Study Abroad Programmes on Students and Graduates
Higher Education Policy Series 11, Volume II. By Susan Opper, Ulrich Teichler, and Jerry Carlson. Nice cover.

Impact Avalanche Transit Time (diode). [Pronounced as Cockney ``HIM, pat''.] Like the BARRITT diode, this has a negative AC resistance: current and voltage are about 180° out of phase.

Impending CRISIS
The title of a book (capitalization sic, at least on the spine) by Roger E. Herman, Thomas G. Olivo, and Joyce L. Gioia, published by Oakhill Press in Winchester, Virginia, in 2003. The ISBN-10 is 1-886939-53-5. Not to be catty or anything, but you know what a number like that means. Still, the acknowledgments mention two (2) people at Oakhill Press, although the ``editor'' seems to be someone somehow related to one of the authors and not to the publisher. In fact, it looks like at least 50 to 80% of the books published by Oakhill do not have Roger Herman as the or an author. Also, I estimate that the press published about two books a year between 2003 and 2010, so I guess you could say they're very selective and focused.

Anyway, the subtitle of the book explains the crisis that impended: ``Too Many Jobs, Too Few People.'' The authors' research uncovered the fact that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was predicting that by 2010 there would be 167 million jobs chasing 157 million qualified workers. My research in 2011 determined that, according to the BLS, total nonfarm employment (which is as much as the BLS tracks) in the US had peaked around 138.0 million in January 2008, and bottomed out around 129.3 in January 2010, less than a million below the lowest figure for 2003. But by May 2011, it had soared back up to a brief maximum of 131 million (prelim.).

A large sheet of paper, most often 23 by 33 inches.

imperial, double
See double imperial.

Imperium sine fine
Latin, `empire without end, everlasting empire, empire with boundaries at infinity, the Microsoft Reich.'

A Spanish verb that means `imply' and `implicate.' I've seen the English word implicate used as a falso amigo by at least one Spanish-speaker who meant imply.

importance of literature
It is a commonplace that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. It is less remarked that a similar truth applies to love of literature. The topic did come up in two or three of the interviews of Philip Roth's Shop Talk.

In one chapter, Edna O'Brien compares the Ireland of her youth and of the present (the interview was conducted in 1984): ``Ireland is very different now, a much more secular land, where, ironically, both the love of literature and the repudiation of literature are on the wane.'' Irony, like humor generally, is not to be explained. Therefore, we must simply disagree that this coincidence is ironic. She continues: ``Ireland is becoming as materialistic and as callow as the rest of the world.'' Ireland was also becoming one of the economic tigers of the EU, so perhaps now it has the prosperity to be less materalistic. Want makes hunger, you know. The notion of becoming callow is an interesting one, however, since callowness is immaturity or lack of experience. If you want irony, growing into callowness would be it.

Earlier in the interview, Roth raised the issue of writing from exiles of various sorts. Edna O'Brien made her home in London and wrote about Ireland. Ireland could boast, if that's the word, of exporting many great writers, among them Becket and Joyce. O'Brien: ``But you have to go if you find your roots too threatening, too impinging. Joyce said that Ireland is the sow that eats its farrow. He was referring to its attitude toward its writers--it savages them. It is no accident that our two greatest illustrissimi, himself and Mr. Beckett, left and stayed away, though they never lost their particular Irish consciousness. In my own case, I do not think that I would have written anything if I had stayed. I feel I would have been watched, would have been judged (even more!), and would have lost that priceless commodity called freedom.'' (I thought the ancient name for Ireland was Hibernia. Now I think I had that wrong; it must have been Claustrophobia.)

This writing-from-exile trope is a recurring one in interviews with O'Brien. (See, for example, this Salon.com Lit Chat item from 1995.) Naturally, the Roth interview included some discussion of the issues of exile and freedom facing Eastern European writers. I'll touch on that somewhere later. The Eastern European experience under communism is also fodder for the head topic of this entry.

improved performance
Some bugs in previous release are fixed and some new bugs put in place. The principal change is a modified user interface. This obscures the absence of any significant new features. It also obscures the location of old features that worked fine in the previous release. The old release will no longer be supported, because the new release is so much better (after another climb up the learning curve, of course).

Oh yes, and for your convenience, documents saved by the new release cannot be opened by the old one. So there's something the old version can't do.

im Quadrat
A German phrase equivalent to the English `squared' in its simplest arithmetical sense. So drei im Quadrat means `three squared.' It's also possible to say drei hoch zwei, which is akin to `three raised to the power two.' German has a verb quadrieren, `to square,' and it's possible to use the past participle as in English to say drei quadriert, but this is rather less common.

Literally, the phrase im Quadrat means `in the square.' (The im is the standard contraction of in dem. I think one only encounters the uncontracted form, as indem, when dem functions pronominally.)

The reason for this entry is to explain a pun. Ritter Sport, a line of chocolate bars made by Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG. They make a big deal of the square thing. One of their mottoes is ``Qualität im Quadrat.'' Which means, as you now understand, both `quality in the square' and `quality squared.' The German motto appears on the mostly-English packaging in the US, but they also used to include the nearly literal translation ``Quality in a square.'' Later they switched to ``Quality. Chocolate. Squared.'' Eh. At least it doesn't kill the frog, as I just did.

Infant Mortality Rate. Too high. Normally quoted in deaths during first year of life per 1000 livebirths. (Stillbirths don't count.)

Internet Marketing Resources. ``...offers the help you need to exploit the incredible opportunities the Internet offers to shrewd marketers.''

Has a good list of high-interest links.

Independent Media Review and Analysis. An English-language source for Middle East news.

Institut Minoru de Recherche Avancée. `Minoru Institute of Advanced Research.' An industrial R&D lab set up at Valbonne/Nice, France, in 1986.

Minoru is the given name, I believe, of Mr. Minoru Toyoda. The Toyoda family founded and controls Toyota and the associated keiretsu. (More on that at the Jabba entry.) The stupendously innovative ``idea of a global IMRA research and development network ... was championed by Mr. Minoru Toyoda, the Honorary Advisor to the All Aisin Group. Aisin is Japan's largest, and one of the world's top ten manufacturers of automotive related components.'' Somehow Aisin Seiki scraped up the funds, and the facility at Nice was the first one founded. Sites were added in Germany and the U.K., and the lot became IMRA Europe S.A. There's an IMRA America, Inc. -- it describes itself as ``a globally active company dedicated to the leading edge in ultrafast and short-pulsed fiber laser technology for commercial and research applications.''

Fermi spelled backwards. A suomafni electrical engineering term whose use is now thankfully largely discontinued. The respectable term is ``quasi-Fermi level.''

Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Infrastructure Management System[s]. Hansen is one supplier.

Intelligent Manufacturing System[s].

International Machaut Society. Machaut was apparently some historical musician/writer dude.

International Magnetospheric Study.

International Monitoring System. A global network of seismic stations. The organization with the authority to announce officially, ``Oh, big one!''

What may not be apparent is that the term ``monitor'' does not refer to the fact that the earth is being monitored. What ultimately is being monitored is compliance with the terms of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty (CTBT), article IV (``Verification'') of which established the IMS. Thus, ``monitoring'' includes (article IV [section B], paragraph 16) radionuclide, hydroacoustic, and infrasound monitoring as well as seismic monitoring, and may include such things as electromagnetic pulse (EMP) monitoring, as appropriate (article IV [section A], paragraph 11). The IMS is supervised and coordinated by the Technical Secretariat instituted by that treaty (Article II, Section D). The data gathered by the IMS is made publicly available by the International Data Centre (IDC).

A table of the stations comprising the IMS is on-line, but we were just desperate to add entries, so a fine selection of the three-, four-, five- and yes, even six-letter acronyms designating these stations are scattered among these pages. We also serve the list in alphabetical order.

Interpersonal Messaging System.

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering.

International Mathematics and Statistics Library. A software library of callable routines.

Independent Manufacturer Support Program.

Insertion-Mount Technology. You know: old-style leads through physical holes in the circuit board.

International Money Transfer.

Institute for Medical Technology Assessment. Founded in 1988 by Professor Frans Rutten (it and he both at Erasmus University Rotterdam). IMTA is closely linked with IBMG.

Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua. `Mexican Institute of Water Technology.'

According to this page, IMTA was created by a presidential decree on August 7, 1986, as an agency separated out of the then Secretaría de Agricultura y Recursos Hidráulicos, `Secretariat of Agriculture and Water Resources,' (SARH). In a presidential decree of December 28, 1994, IMTA was absorbed into the then Secretaría de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca, `Secretariat of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries' (Semarnap). Persuant to a presidential decree of October 30, 2001, IMTA is now (2004) a public agency operating separately from the federal government, coordinated by the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, `Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources.' (Semarnat). Whatever is unclear to you in the above explanation is probably unclear to me too.

Integrative Manual Therapy Association. Possibly defunct.

International Maitland Teachers Association. ``In 1992 I.M.T.A. was founded in Zurzach, Switzerland, by the teachers' group trained by G.D. Maitland, P. Wells and G. Rolf in Bad Ragaz and Zurzach, Switzerland.'' IMTA is trying to promote awareness of the Maitland Concept, which has something to do with ``the management of patients with neuro-musculo-skeletal problems.'' They are very trying indeed, since they say what it treats, what is at its center, tries to do, assesses, etc., but not what it is. ``[P]romoting awareness'' evidently means advertising. So far as I can tell without visiting a fourth level of pages, it's a European version of chiropractic, which is kind of amusing because another chiropractic organization is (or was) also IMTA.

International Management Teachers Academy. An annual two-week school run by CEEMAN.

International Map Trade Association.

International Maritime Transport Academy.

International Military Testing Association.

International Mobile Telecommunications Association.

International Modeling and Talent Association.

Irish Marketing Teachers Association. I would think that having one's own permanent website would be a useful marketing tool these days; I guess the IMTA is not interested in marketing itself. The main activity of the IMTA -- that I have been able to learn of -- is having an annual conference hosted somewhere in Ireland.

Irish Massage Therapists Association.

Irish Mathematics Teachers' Association. Founded in 1960.

If My Theory Is Correct. I've never seen the abbreviation in use, but it conforms more closely with sci-fi thriller usage than does IIAR. Also, pronouncing it as an acronym makes you sound efficiently time-conscious (``im-tick'') rather than stupid (``I are'') or pretentious (``my theory''). No lab coat required. Use it. Make it real.

International Mobile Telecommunications 2000. 2000 refers to the 2 GHz band (i.e.2000 MHz) allocated to it by the 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference.

Inertial Measurement Unit. A device that measures changes in orientation and velocity, widely used in aircraft and spacecraft.

At the time of the Apollo missions, the IMU, also called an inertial platform, had a gyroscope but no accelerometers: it measured only orientation. A New York Times article about Apollo 9 (on March 4, 1969; page 14) explained that the Apollo capsule's on-board computer took three kinds of navigational inputs: data from ground radar radioed up to the spacecraft, IMU data, and star and landmark sightings made by an astronaut with an electronic sextant. Actually, the way it worked was that the orientation of a star was typed into the console and the capsule reoriented itself. There was an ``alignment optical telescope'' (AOT) fixed to the spacecraft and oriented to view whatever the capsule was oriented to. The lunar module did not have an AOT.

The famous Apollo 13 crisis began 56 hours after liftoff when one of the two service-module oxygen tanks ruptured, and the second tank began leaking slowly. The leaking gas cooled on expansion into the vacuum, and the cooled gas condensed into a cloud many miles wide. This cloud surrounding the spacecraft was thin enough to see through, but just like earth's atmosphere it scattered sunlight and made it impossible to see any stars ... with one exception. As a desperation measure (much of what was done during the Apollo 13 mission fell under that rubric), the IMU was calibrated by sighting on the Sun.

Every NASA space shuttle has three IMU's in the nose cone, each the size of a breadbox. The shuttle can fly and land with just one, but you know -- redundancy. The agency's safety rules specify an early but not immediate end to a flight if one of the three fails. There have been IMU problems on at least five flights, but they mostly came late in the flight and had little or no effect on the flight schedule. In late November 1991, the No. 2 IMU aboard Atlantis, turned off early in the mission to conserve power, started giving faulty velocity readings some hours after being reactivated, and the mission was cut short by three days. In June 1991 and in April 1993, Columbia missions were delayed by an IMU malfunction.

International Mathematical Union.

If you hope to join this organization, there is one important question that you must ask yourself:

Am I a country?
If your most honest answer to this question is a regretful no, then dash your hopes; they won't take you. No wonder they only have sixty members.

Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation. Neonatal care term.

Israel's Media Watch.

3rd-order InterModulation. Intermodulation signal at a frequency of |2ƒ1±ƒ2|, where ƒ1 and ƒ2 are two frequencies of the input signal.

5th-order InterModulation.

7th-order InterModulation.

9th-order InterModulation.

INch. An inch is a twelfth part of a foot. Since most countries have succumbed to the metric insanity, the US is now the last, best hope for the survival of ``traditional'' or ``conventional'' units in the world. So an inch is now perforce an American inch. Fortunately, the inch is looking healthy here. Unfortunately, there is only a single standard for the inch length in the US, exactly equal to 2.54 hated centimeters (since 1959 by international conspiracy) everywhere, instead of a different local standard in each ZIP code.

The name of the inch comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ynce. This was a very early borrowing of the classical Latin word uncia. Both words meant `twelfth' (fractional part, not ordinal number) in general, and `inch' (twelfth part of a foot) specifically. In post-classical Latin, uncia also came to have the specific meaning of a twelfth of a pound. A twelfth of a troy or apothecaries' pound is still called an ounce (ultimately from uncia, of course, but via French) or something similar in various European languages. The sense of ounce was extended slightly to mean a subdivision of a pound or of a volume that weighs a pound, so we have the avoirdupois ounce, which happens to be a sixteenth part of an avoirdupois pound, and the fluid ounce.

Although German has Unze in the (now largely disused) sense of `ounce,' it seems that no Germanic language besides English borrowed uncia as a unit of length. It is typical that English reborrowed uncia and has two derived words. Since Romance languages developed from post-classical Latin, it was slightly harder for them to borrow uncia in the earlier sense. They typically use the word for thumb or a word derived from it. (E.g., in Spanish pulgar is `thumb' and pulgada is `inch.' In Italian and French the word for thumb also means `inch,' though in Italian one can also use dito `digit' for `inch.') The classical Latin word pulex (`flea') gave rise to similar-sounding words (e.g., Spanish pulga) for flea. The English word puce is derived from the French word for flea.

(Domain code for) India. I'm told this is the place to start.

There's an Indology mailing list, archives at <http://listserv.liv.ac.uk/archives/indology.html>; you can subscribe by sending the one-line message
Subscribe Indology

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

Indiana. USPS abbreviation.

``accessIndiana'' is the state's official website. USACityLink.com has a page with mostly city and town links for the state.

Here's a page of legal and legislative information served by the Indiana University School of Law -- Bloomington.

In 1868, Heinrich Schliemann tried to become a citizen of Indiana (a ``Hoosier'') so that he would be able to divorce Ekaterina.

Indium. Atomic number 49.

Indium is a soft metal at room temperature. This makes it especially useful in putting together waveguides. A typical waveguide system is composed of mostly straight lengths of copper waveguide, each length with a flange soldered to each end. The flanges have screw holes in standard locations, and the units are screwed together flange-to-flange. If you need a really good seal -- to maintain a vacuum or a particular gas at some determined pressure, say -- you probably need a sealant between the flanges. Indium does the trick: loop some indium wire on the face of one of the flanges and screw it tight. Of particular importance is the fact that indium, because it is a metal, conducts electricity. Hence, there is not a large impedance discontinuity at the join. (Indium is not a very good conductor, but the seal is thin and broad, so it conducts well enough.)

Learn other stuff at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Intelligent Network. Oh yeah?

Institute for Nautical Archaeology. It's at Texas A&M University.

Insurance Company of North America. ``ICNA'' wouldn't have sounded as good.

Intelligent Network Architecture.

Institute of Nautical Archaeology. Click here for the website of their Egyptian branch.

Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis. Neutron-irradiate sample; spectrum of emitted energies identifies content elements. Comparison with standard reference materials irradiated simultaneously allows determination of concentrations in sample.

Incredible Natural Abundance Double QUAntum Transfer Experiment. The NMRtians must be putting me on. In fact, they've set up a bunch of websites using this bogus acronym in a conspiracy to put me on. But the joke's on them: the joke has gotten out of hand and others are using it in all seriousness. Which is a shame because it probably doesn't really stand for anything at all. (A 2D technique.) Cf. INEPT.

inalámbrica, inalámbrico
Spanish adjective meaning `wireless.' From alambre, `wire.'

Institut National de la Langue Française.

Indium Aluminum Phosphide. A pseudobinary-alloy III-V compound semiconductor, obviously.

One of the common kinds of grammatical gender distinction is between animate and inanimate. Going by what I've read and heard, I'd say that languages with just a two-gender system are likelier to have animate and inanimate as the genders rather than male and female. Per mentioned that some Danish local languages have that pair of genders, and Basque makes the same distinction. It's been conjectured that proto-Indo-European had just the animate and inanimate genders. Female gender may have arisen to distinguish abstractions (as with -tio and -tas nouns in Latin, or -ung, -heit, and -schaft nouns in German). The association with female natural gender could have come later, when nouns with female natural gender were reassigned from the animate to the new gender. These kinds of changes happen regularly, and it's not often easy to tell why. In one reasonably well-studied instance I read about, it made some sense. A Caucasian language with a few noun classes had a set of polite endings only used with women of a certain age, and the courteous forms gradually became extended to all women and older girls, and came to function as a new noun class. (Expanding use of polite forms until they are no longer polite is, of course, very common.)

Anyway, it's always interesting to see what the exceptions to the natural gender assignments are. With ``natural gender'' in the usual sense (male/female grammatical gender), it seems that an enormously common exception is construing children as neuter. With animate/inanimate gender, I don't know enough examples to say what is common, but I can mention that in Basque, tables are construed animate, and I've heard that in Ojibwey (in some spelling; what used to be called Chippewa), stones are animate. I'll have to check into all of this stuff later. Right now I just wanted to get the entry in so I could quote the late Stanislaw Lem (d. April 5, 2006).

In the prologue to his Wysoki Zamek (1975), he ruminates on memory. Michael Kandel's translation from the Polish (Highcastle: A Remembrance, 1995) has this at page vi:

  I really don't know when it was that I first experienced the surprise that I existed, surprise accompanied by a touch of fear that I could just as easily have not existed, or been a stick, or a dandelion, or a goat's leg, or a snail. Or even a stone. ...

I guess now I need to explain one or another of the anthropic principles. Knowledge is inconveniently interconnected and never-ending.

Next page, Lem writes that ``For a while I firmly believed that my soul--or rather, my consciousness--was located four or five centimeters inside my face, behind the nose and a little below the eyes. I have no idea why.'' Could it be that he has a Japanese soul? I can't say I've studied this matter adequately, but in the US certainly and, I think, in the West generally, the gesture to indicate oneself is a closing of the fingers of one hand into a fist with the thumb pointing at one's chest or belly, typically acompanied by a slight motion of the hand or thumb towards the body. In Japan, the gesture is pointing with an extended index finger at one's nose.

Starvation, emaciation. Related to the word inane -- both have to do with some kind of emptiness. Cf. na czczo, MT.

Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública. Argentine `National Institute of Public Administration.'

Indium Arsenide, of course. This direct-gap, III-V compound semiconductor is attractive for its low conduction-band effective mass (0.023 of free electron mass). (Not only do light electrons imply a higher mobility, but they also give a proportionally long thermal deBroglie wavelength, and thus exhibit quantum behavior in larger structures.) Its bandgap varies from 0.42 eV at 15K to 0.36 eV at 300K. (The In-based compounds are the only ``narrow-gap'' semiconductors among the III-V's.) Its LO phonon has energy 30 meV, its dielectric constant has a static value of 14.55 and ``high-frequency'' value of 11.8.

Lattice constant is 6.058 Å.

in a silly way
An adverbial that sounds less silly than ``sillily.''

International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications.

in bed
Chinese fortune-cookie fortunes ``work'' if you append this adverbial of place to the end of them. A beautiful woman alerted me to this fact ... alas -- in a Chinese restaurant.


Iraqi National Congress. An Iraqi opposition group. Led by Ahmed Chalabi, 2002 darling of the nation-building faction in the US pro-war group. They have an organization emblem that looks a bit like a biohazard sign or a triskelion with very limber legs. Cf. SCIRI.

El Instituto Nacional Canadiense para los Ciegos. So clever! Hmmm. That doesn't... that just doesn't look right, you know? It might be l'Institut national canadien pour les aveugles. (In postmodern French, I believe that would be ``les aveuglettes et les aveugles.'' Hmmm... still doesn't work, though it reminds me a little of the mot attributed to Mark Twain, that someone who doesn't read ``has no advantage over one who can't....'') Cf. CNIB.

Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales. Argentine `National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts.' If only they'd used ``multimedia'' instead of ``audiovisual,'' the acronym would have looked like the feminine accusative form of a Latin adjective (Incus, a, um). Another important opportunity missed. INCAA is part of Secretaría de Cultura (see SCYC).

InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, pronounced ``inside.''

Misspelling of ``inclement.''

inclimate weather
Misspelling of ``inclement weather.''

International Nickel COmpany, Ltd. The company was founded on April Fool's Day, 1902. The kalends of April would seem to be less auspicious than any day but the ides of March, yet the company is still in business. Mostly in the business of nickel mining. Its main operations are in the area of Sudbury, Ontario, and on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. It seems to be a Canada-based company, but the International Nickel Company of Canada Limited was incorporated on July 25, 1916, as a subsidiary of The International Nickel Company (an American corporation listed on the NYSE since the previous September 23). The company, or the holding company or ``family of companies'' as I've seen it described, started using the trademarked name INCO in 1919. In 1975, Inco Limited became the new name of the International Nickel Company of Canada, Limited.

INCO-trademarked alLOY. You could also think of the name as representing ``Iron-Nickel-ChrOmium alLOY.'' Incoloy is the trademark for a class of alloys with roughly 20-40% iron, 30-50% nickel, and 20-30% chromium. (This is my impression without checking all the different named, actually numbered, Incoloy alloys.) Cf. Inconel

Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority.

incomplete multivolume works
Here's my small idiosyncratic selection from a vast catalogue of near-Borgesian Library-of-Babel proportions. No wait -- I take it back: I'll list them all... eventually.
  1. Encyclopedia USA: The Encyclopedia of the United States of America Past & Present
    It's a fifty-volume dictionary of American biography, bulked up with entries for items that are, to varying degrees, not people: the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Fort Abraham Lincoln, and Agriculture - Machinery. The first volumes were issued in 1983, and the project petered out the 1990's after 29 regular volumes and three supplementary volumes. For more detail, see Encyclopedia USA.

Unsuitability due to a failure to fit in harmoniously.

inconclusive., The scientific evidence is
unfavorable to us., The incontrovertible scientific evidence is
[Technical political terminology.]

This is an equal-opportunity disengenuousness, because no scientific evidence is ever conclusive beyond a metaphysical doubt.

INCO-trademarked nickEL-based alloy. I doubt that's an official expansion, but it's accurate enough. and Inconel, like Incoloy Inconel is the trademark for a class of nickel-based (50-72%) alloys with chromium (15-21%) and iron (5-8%). Perhaps the name is also intended to suggest ``incorrosible metal'' (the alloys are highly resistant to corrosion under various conditions). Cf. Incoloy

increasingly more
A rarely justifiable phrase that means increasingly or more.

``Existentially, for Sartre, each small difference in the x and y directions can be understood to be a choice, a project that discloses being by declaring the previous position to be a lack of being.''

I found that bit of hippogriff dander on p. 121 of Dorothea E. Olkowski's Postmodern Philosophy and the Scientific Turn (Indianapolis Univ. Pr.), and I had an urge to share.

INDependen{ ce | t }. From Latin roots meaning `not hanging-from.' Hence, German uses the calque unabhängig.

INDependent subway system. Constructed by the City of New York to provide routes that the then privately-owned IRT and BMT did not. Still used informally to refer to their routes. Cf. NYCT.

The initialism I.S.S. is now sometimes used to refer to the system before consolidation. I don't know what the practice was at the time. I suppose I could find out.

INDiana. Traditional abbreviation. Some links at entry for USPS abbreviation IN.

Indus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Investigational New Drug. If a new drug seems effective and safe after animal testing, a company developing it in the US files for an IND exemption to allow testing in humans. This application must include records of preclinical testing and a description of the proposed clinical trials. The application is usually about 2000 pages long.

Many people want to understand this word, and think that they would understand it if they knew what it means, but they're wrong. Indeed is not a semantic word but an aesthetic word. Suppose, for example, that you have a text line that is going to end in the middle of a word such as heteropolymerization, anthropolofragilistic, electrodisintegrations, photoelectrochemically, spectrophotometrically, or piezomagnetoresistances. If the word is pushed to the next line, it leaves the right margin gaping or big spaces between the remaining words, or both. In order to avoid committing an ugly hyphenation, one simply inserts the meaningless word ``indeed'' at any convenient place in the sentence, filling out the line in an attractive way. It serves the identical purpose in speech.

INsertion/DELetion polymorphism.

indelible insouciance
``I love indelible insouciance. It is such a total turn-on'' agrees Trudy, in an interview with Esquire -- The Magazine for Men (August 1977 ``Wild Kingdom'' feature). Trudy, a dyslexic real estate agent and self-described ``part-time sicko,'' is one of six ``real women'' interviewed by Mark Leyner, an author and editor of fiction.

The same issue of Esquire, Bruce McCall takes a whack at Golf.

Independen{ ce | t }.

I think this still counts as a solecism. The word dependant is more interesting.

Not dependent, or an independent person. And you thought the previous entry was dull.

Okay, then, let's inject some interestingness. German uses a total calque of independent: unabhängig -- literally `not hanging off.' Wow!

Spanish, `emancipate, make independent.' See the RU entry for a discussion of usage.

index verborum
Latin `index of words.' Term used for an index of one or more works giving the locations where almost every word can be found. It usually implies that no context is given as it is in an ordinary concordance (see KWIC entry).

Very important for heavily inflected languages is lemmatized entries. That is, entries for different forms of a word given together under a base form of the word as headword. This sort of intelligent lemmatization was expected in the traditional indices verborum. In other languages like, well, mostly in English, intelligent lemmatization has to do mainly with distinguishing homographs.

Industrial. For example, an ``indie rag'' for music is a publication read principally by music business insiders, as opposed to one of the glossy rags that cater to the prurient and puerile interest of consumers.

Indie is also a kind of rock music, related to grunge and goth, descended from punk, but all the categories are mixed up these days. NIN is an indie band. There's an indie music newsgroup: <rec.music.industrial>.

The words indigent and indigeneous look like they ought to be related, but their meanings suggest otherwise. In fact, their resemblance is almost accidental.

Indigenous is ultimately from the Latin indigena, `native [person].' This was constructed from indi- + gignere. The prefix indi- or indu- was an ancient (even for Latin) combining form of the preposition in. The heavily contracted gignere, in the passive, means `to be born.'

Indigent is ultimately from the past partiple (which provides the -nt) of Latin indigere, `to lack.' This was constructed from indi- (also) + egere, `to want.'

Intelligent Network Element.

Interoperable Network Event.

Get your tickets now.

Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Now INEEL.

Insensitive Nucleus Enhancement by Polarization Transfer. If the NMRtians hadn't come up with this, some (other?) chemists would have.

inert gas
Noble gas.

Internet with a couple of wires crossed.

International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. INES ranks events from Level 1, which indicates very little danger to the general population, up to Level 7, a ``major accident'' with a large release of radioactive material and widespread health and environmental effects.

INFant. Airline fare abbreviation. Smaller than a CHD, but they have a tendency to grow up, eventually becoming ADT's.

Typical speeds for tectonic plate movements are in the range of 1-10 cm per year. The most rapid collision, of the Indian Ocean plate thrusting against the Eurasian plate, is estimated at as much as 20 cm/y, and is raising the Himalayas on the order of 1 cm/y. Thumbnails and children grow at comparable rates. Something to think about the next time someone says ``geological time scales.''

My first flights, age 18 months, were in little propeller planes over the Andes, crossing the cordillera between Argentina and Chile. One time when we encountered an especially bad patch of turbulence, my mother pretended that we were on an amusement park ride -- Uuu-up!!! Doownnn! Wheee!!! The other passengers stared with wide eyes set in green faces. I have one word for those of you reading this now who were along with us for that ride: Chill. If we die, we die. If we live, the baby froths with drooly joy instead of bawling in terror.

Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces. Sounds like IMF, which is used more frequently and which many feel can also wreak devastation on noncombatants.

In Law: a minor. In traditional Modern English usage, a baby, a child too young to walk. In the earliest recorded Middle English use, however, and in contemporary Old French usage, it could refer to an older child. There is a report that this less restricted sense has come back into use in England recently (like in the last couple of hundred years or so).

In origin, the word comes from Latin meaning `nonspeaking,' hence a very young child. Very quickly, the meaning in Old French was extended to include a boy or youth, hence the military term infantry (unmounted soldiers).

The earliest recorded Middle English use is consistent with this contemporary Old French usage, and in England today, some schools for the early primary grades are called Infants' Schools. Nevertheless, the semantic field of infant has generally shrunk back toward its original sense.

Here's a scrap of wisdom from Dave Ramsey, a syndicated radio personality who dispenses Christian financial advice, makes appearances at churches around the country, and, I just discovered, has a personal finance column on foxbusiness.com called ``Dave Says.'' The column of June 12, 2012, was headlined ``My Wife Hid Massive Debt, Now What?'' This may be common. A guy I know at work made the same discovery a couple of years ago. Dave says
It's called financial infidelity for a reason. Really, it's the same kind of lying as sexual infidelity. It hurts and makes people angry on a lot of the same levels, and that's because it's a broken trust.

My instant reaction was that this made sexual infidelity seem a whole lot less serious. Plus which, only one spouse gets screwed.

in force
A law that is in effect is said to be in force in English, but en vigor in Spanish.

information interchange
These words are a sure sign that you're dealing with an industrial standards organization.

information hemorrhage
Memory loss rate so severe that intense study merely limits, but does not reverse, the damage. Summer vacation.

Usually a nonword. An English-like construct common among French- and German-speakers. It is also the very rare plural of the rare countable noun information meaning ``official document.''

Among French-speakers, informations is a faux ami. The French word information functions both uncountably, as in English, and countably, primarily with the sense `piece of information.' Given the sense of the countable use, the plural is very similar in meaning to the uncountable use. E.g., ``ces informations sont confidentielles'' means `this information is confidential.' However, it seems that the plural tends to be used in the sense of `news items.'

This situation in German is similar to that in French, with singular form Information and regularly-formed plural Informationen. The word is regarded as having been borrowed into German directly from Latin rather than from French; the first extant instances (I like to say that) date from the fifteenth century.

The plural (informaciones) occurs in Spanish, but the singular (información) is usually understood as uncountable. For whatever reason, the erroneous use of informations in English by people more comfortable in Spanish doesn't seem very common to me, and I know a lot more people whose native language is Spanish than whose native language is French.

I'm not going to research the situation in Russian, but I will mention that a Russian-speaking friend just sent me an email that included the phrase ``another info.'' (It could be due to one of his other languages, but those don't have as much absorbed Latin.)

A producer of RDB engines and associated programming tools. Founded in 1980 as ``Relational Database Systems, Inc.,'' it eventually adopted the name of its product line.

Their homepage is very focused to advertising and support, with little PR (i.e., little of interest that isn't closely related to their products).

informs, INFORMS
INstitute For Operations Research and the Management ``Sciences.'' (Informative quotation marks normally omitted.) An associate society of the AAES.

Here yesterday, go.com today.

Latin, `below.' Used in hoity-toity writing as well as this glossary to refer to discussion or text following later in the narrative or collation. Cf. supra, infra.

infra dig.
Usually written without the helpful period that indicates abbreviation, possibly because the expression is widely pronounced ``infra dig'' rather than infra dignitatem, the Latin phrase it abbreviates (meaning `beneath [someone's] dignity') (hey -- it's a dictionary entry; I'm required to get the full definition into a single sentence or die).

infrared divergence
A divergence at long wavelength. Most crudely resolved by an infrared (long wavelength) cut-off. Cf. ultraviolet divergence.

None of this is even remotely like Alexander's solution of the knotty Gordian problem.

Government boondoggle.

Spanish abbreviation for ingeniero, `engineer.' Sometimes used as a title, as Dr. is in English.

The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes. ING ``operates the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope (WHT), the 2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) and the 1.0m Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT) on behalf of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) of the United Kingdom, [brace yourself, the name ride becomes bumpier now] the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) of the Netherlands [duh], and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Spain. The ING is located at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma, Spain.'' They can't seem to settle on whether the definite article is or is not to be construed as implicit in the acronym, and they completely fail to take advantage of the opportunity for cutesy webpage headings like ``EngineerING.'' These people need to hire some talent from the English faculty pronto, before they go and make fools of themselves at some world-class astronomy conference.

Interstate Natural Gas Association of America. I probably have better things to do than add this entry.

Alloy semiconductor InGaAs (i.e., In1-xGaxAs).

Properties interpolate between those of InAs and of GaAs.

The particular alloy composition in InGaAs that lattice matches InP is In0.53Ga0.47As, for which

Effective mass m* = 0.041 m0
density = 5.5 g/cc
longitudinal sound velocity = 4.74 km/s
Deformation-potential constant Ei for acoustic-phonon interaction = 9.2 eV
Transverse elastic constant c12 = 39.56 GPa
Piezoelectric constant h14 = 254 MV/m
Lattice constant a = 5.862 Å
LO phonon energy = 34.5 meV
Static dielectric constant = 13.88
Optical dielectric constant = 11.34

See ``InGaP.''

Alloy semiconductor InGaP (i.e., In1-xGaxP).

Properties interpolate between those of InP and of GaP.

It might correspond to out-gas, but you probably heard ``InGaAs.''

Spanish for `engineering.' I always felt this word had one too many i's. It's interesting that the nie here is not written ñe, because the effect of the unstressed letter i is just to palatalize the en. I almost wrote ``...mainly just...,'' but I can't imagine anyone pronouncing ingeñería any differently than the head term.

I remember a conversation with a Polish colleague once, in which he was trying to get me to pronounce a Polish word that contained an en with an acute accent. This was evidently a palatalized en. I pronounced it that way, and he kept saying that I almost had it, but that palatalized en wasn't quite right. He was never able to explain how to correct it in a way I could understand, and I wasn't able to hear the difference. Looking into it now I think it may have been that Polish dentals t and d, as well as n, are articulated more nearly dentally (tongue against upper front teeth) than they are in English or Spanish (tongue just a little bit further back, against the gum).

In any case, I think that in Spanish there is really no difference between nie and ñe (in any dialect I am familiar with), but that historical spelling counts for something.

Spanish for `ingenuity, talent.'

Spanish for `ingenious.'

Spanish for `ingenuous.' But desingenuoso is a solecism. Use falso for `disingenuous.'

International Non-Governmental Organization.

My travel agent's given name.

Newspeak compound for `English Socialism.'


in. Hg
Inches (in.) of mercury (Hg). A unit of pressure equal to 25.4 torr.

Institut National de l'Image et du Son. L'INIS was (perhaps still is) ``the first screen training establishment in Quebec and the only French-language institute of its kind in Canada.''

For a more interesting and possibly nonexistent INIS, see FEMIS.

A small literary group, if one that included C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and J.R.R. Tolkien can be so called. It used to meet at the Bird and Baby.

Inklings is a clever name. On one hand, an inkling is a perceived clue or suspicion, but the word can be seen as a play on ink and the gentilicial ending -ling (hence meaning something like a printer's devil or more loosely anyone associated with writing).

The Inklings Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Lives, Thought, and Writings of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and Their Friends, by Colin Duriez and David Porter, was published in 2001 (St. Loius, Mo.: Chalice Pr.). Our library owns a copy but it's out, and I'm not going to trouble anyone with a recall just to satisfy your idle curiousity. But I will try to work up an Apostles entry. We do already have a Bloomsbury entry.

inlet invert
The invert of the inlet pipe. See invert.

Instantaneous Normal Modes. To explain, it's best to review normal modes:

The usual normal modes of a system are defined to describe deviations from equilibrium. In that case, the total configurational energy of a system with many degrees of freedom is expanded in increasing powers of a configuration-coordinate vector.
[More precisely, in powers of u = r - re , which measures the deviations ui (of particles labeled by i) from their equilibrium coordinates rei.]

The zero-order term is a not-very interesting constant. The first-order term is the dot product of the configuration coordinate deviation vector u with a constant matrix the represents a generalized restoring force. In equilibrium, the restoring forces vanish.

The lowest-order term that does not usually vanish is the second-order term, a constant matrix dotted with two copies of u. This constant matrix is called the dynamical matrix. Its eigenvectors are the normal modes. If the second-order approximation is correct, then it is possible to excite individual modes of the system independently. The frequency of oscillation of these excited modes (eigenvectors) is given by their corresponding eigenvalues, which in terms of the preceding description, for a system of particles of identical mass m, are mw2/2, where w (read ``omega,'' please) are the eigenmode frequencies. If the particles have varying masses, or the coordinates are not chosen as orthogonal Cartesian position coordinates, or the system consists of more complicated fundamental objects (extended objects with internal angular momentum, say), then a direct analysis of the potential energy function alone is not exactly appropriate. Instead one uses a Hamiltonian or Lagrangian formulation, and through equivalent steps arrives at a dynamical matrix whose eigenvectors again describe independent modes of harmonic oscillation and whose eigenvalues are the squared frequencies.

To be continued after dinner. (Not the most recent dinner.)

Institut National de Métrologie, Paris.

INternational MARine SATellite.

Contracted form of the German in den, `in the' (where the noun phrase is masculine and in the accusative case). I was surprised to see this in a 16th-century quote (something by Burkh. Waldis) in the Grimm. By the mid-nineteenth century, the contraction needed a gloss. In contrast, ins and im are very common today -- in fact, they're the unmarked form, because the uncontracted forms are either emphatic or use the definite article as a relative pronoun: `in that.' (These contract in das and in dem, respectively. The first corresponds to inn but for neuter nouns; the second functions for both neuter and masculine nouns but in the dative case.)

All the contractions mentioned are for singular or uncountable nouns. There are no corresponding in contractions for feminine gender or plural number, that I am aware of, but I've been surprised once already today, so you never know. (The preposition in governs only an accusative or dative object, depending on the sense.)

International Nonproprietary Name[s]. A kind of generic name; for a little bit on generic names, see the drug names entry. The official documents I've seen treat INN as both singular and plural form. (This is the approved convention for all modern foreign loans in Italian also -- plural identical with singular forms -- but it doesn't work so well in languages that don't mark articles for number.) They do the same thing with INNM, q.v.

Remember, you can't spell innate without inn.

The notion of innateness is an important one in philosophy, and the connection between philosophy and adult beverages goes back a long, long way. Socrates drank himself to death, and the great philosopher W.C. Fields is believed to have reasoned, ``Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer.''

inner child, your
A crybaby, if the truth be told. Quite possibly in need of a talk from your inner scold.

International Nonproprietary Name[s], Modified. Generally, INN are defined only for one compound of a pharmacologically active molecule. This molecule is often an alcohol or base, or an acid. As such, it is likely to form and break ionic bonds in water solution (i.e., in the gastrointestinal tract or in the blood) which do not ultimately affect the mechanism of their activity. (Acids form salts with bases, and organic acids form esters with alcohols.) However, different compounds of essentially the same drug may differ in bioavailability or absorption rate, and the different compounds have different molecular weights, which must be specified for proper formulation. Hence, INNM are defined. For example, the generic drug names (INN) oxacillin and ibufenac refer to active molecules that are acids. Oxacillin sodium and ibufenac sodium are INNM for the sodium salts of these acids. (It is a rule that the different INNM of a single INN should differ only in the name of the inactive moiety of the molecule.)

In Notre Dame,
A valedictory phrase I've seen used (by folks at the Indiana university) where ``Yours,'' or ``Regards,'' would have been more intelligible.

innovative family arrangements
Half a loaf, or making the best of a bad deal.

International Neural Network Society. There're also Japanese and European same.

In order to better serve its members.
In order to more profitably serve its cows.

I noticed it one day and didn't know how long it'd been there
Come on, people, we need a word for this concept, or at least a short phrase. I'll start the bidding with ``ne jà vu.'' Pas, I know, but it's meant to sound archaic...

only seems to have been definitively replaced by déjà in the twentieth century; the earlier word is attested at the beginning of the twelfth century; that little parasite on the a appeared in the eighteenth century. (The word is ultimately from the Latin iam. For details, see the entry for in the TLF.) The twelfth century is the time when Old French emerges in literature, and pas seems to have solidified its grammaticalization into a negative auxiliary not too long before, so the proposed expression is antiqued back at least nine centuries. (I'm not sure, but I think the conjugated form vu is not anachronistic.)

Indium Phosphide. A direct-gap III-V compound semiconductor. Lattice constant is 5.869 Å, bandgap 1.35 eV.

International News Photo.

INPEA Administrators Conference. Follow this link for INPEA.

A patient who may stay the night. Notice that in some languages other than English (such as French), the distinction between -mp- and -np- is nonexistent or inaudible. To speakers accustomed to distinguishing the phonemes only of such languages, in-patient and impatient may seem to differ only in the stress pattern.

Índice Nacional de Precios al Consumidor. Spanish: `national consumer price index.' The nación is Méjico. Elsewhere IPC is used, but ``INPC'' avoids an acronymspace collision with a stock index.

Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference. The seventh was in Moscow, ID, and Pullman, WA. So were the first through sixth! INPC is ``an annual topic-focused conference held in the Spring on the campuses of the University of Idaho and Washington State University. The conference is designed to encourage interdisciplinary cooperation and communication on philosophical topics that relate to research in a variety of domains.'' The sixth, held May 2-4, 2003, had the focus topic ``Explanation and Causation.'' I can't explain it and I don't know why. The seventh (April 30 to May 2, 2004): ``Knowledge and Skepticism.'' I don't know about that. The eighth (April 1-3, 2005): ``Time and Identity.'' Personally, I couldn't make it to that one. The ninth (March 31-April 2, 2006): ``Action, Ethics, & Responsibility.'' Who decided that the meetings should be at the beginning of April instead of the end? Was this a good thing to do?

Do not confuse this conference with the Northwest Conference on Philosophy (at the University of Portland in 2006 [58th annual meeting]).

Indiana Non-Public Education Association. I would have thought that ``non-public'' was used to include parochial and other religious schools that might not fit comfortably under a ``private'' school description, or else to include home-schoolers and non-public resources that they use. But the ``Welcome to INPEA'' begins thus:
As the voice for private schools in Indiana, INPEA makes sure we are at the forefront of all topics affecting non-public education.

I guess they just couldn't think of a better way to avoid an acronym that would be pronounced ``I pee.'' It doesn't seem to faze the intellectual property people. I would have preferred ``INdiana Private independent Or Denominational educational association.'' (Well, I didn't saaaay that I would have ``recommended'' it. I'm not that foolish.)

Clicking on the Resources item under the Services menu, the only ``resources'' listed is a printable standard form: ``Request for Waiver of Penalty for Loss of Instructional Day.'' It seems that a filing is necessary only if lost time is not recovered by rescheduling. It is also clear (see this ``state issue'') that a penalty is not assessed so long as the school corporation offers ``at least 180 student instructional days.'' There's a penalty not just for whole lost days but also for the loss of more than 120 minutes in a single day due to delay or early dismissal. Presumably this means school days shortened to contain less than three hours (grades 1-6) or four hours (grades 7-12) of instructional time, since a ``student instructional day'' consists of a minimum of five and six hours of instructional time in the respective cases. (It would reasonable, given the number of days in a year and hours in a day, to limit homework to a maximum of 43 and 42 hours per day, respectively, but this has not been done. It's probably too difficult to coordinate the different classes.)

Penalties are assessed as a pro rata reduction in the amount of tuition support provided by the state [Kind of a big deal the ``Choice'' (voucher) schools.] State accreditation also depends on meeting state minimums. There is an automatic waiver (for penalty and accreditation purposes) for days shortened by less than 120 minutes due to utility failure or weather, if the lost time is made up somehow, but there is no place on the form to request a waiver of penalty for the loss of, say, 110 minutes due to something else. I guess if there's a fender-bender in front of the school that delays the start by fifteen minutes, you should cancel two hours so you have a chance to escape penalties. (Just one idea!)

Anyway, it doesn't look good for a loss-of-instructional-day waiver to be the only, and therefore the featured, resource -- even during this monstrous winter (December 2013 through May 2014).

Indiana Non-Public Education Conference. An annual conference organized by INPEC.

International Network of Protein Engineering Centres.

Between fat-finger typos and Freudian slips, it's surprising this isn't a more common misspelling.

in progress
We've already thought about doing it.

in propria persona
As {him|her}self.

input pad
A padded movable portion of resistance-training (exercise) equipment, designed to be repeatedly moved with exertion. It's a portion of the equipment upon which the person exercising directly performs work. A machine may have a seat or bench, or fixed pads or surfaces, against which the exerciser braces himself or otherwise exerts force. If such a pad or surface is stationary, then apart from a little work done in compressing the padding, very little work is input to the machine through these non-input components.

input impedance
VIN/IIN and/or | dVIN/dIIN |. Input impedance on an amplifier or gate is generally intended to be high. The reason is that the output signal of the previous stage is generally encoded as a voltage, and an input stage with a high input impedance (i.e., resembling an open) has the smallest distorting effect on that signal. MOS capacitors have much higher DC input impedance than BJT's, and quickly after becoming commercially available they came to be used for the input stages of Op Amps. (The reason for using BJT for further stages is that MOSFET's do not have as great an amplification factor or current drive.) The input impedance of a loudspeaker is supposed to be matched to the output impedance of the last amplifier stage in order to maximize power into audio. Cf. output impedance.

INdian Rupee.

In retrospect, it was inevitable
I can think of reasons why what happened happened, and I can ignore reasons why what didn't might have.


Iesus Nazerenus Rex Iudaeorum. Latin for `Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.' The letter J developed out of the letter I, and for a long time some of the languages that distinguished it had a small problem locating it in their alphabetical order (collating sequence). Italian never really adopted the letter; so Biblical words that begin with J in English often have cognates beginning in Gi in Italian, to reflect the evolution of the initial sound from /j/ to /dZ/ (I write ``Z'' for the yogh symbol, used by the IPA to represent the voiced palatal sibilant whose sound scholarly English writes ``zh.'')

Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique. `French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics' (obviously not a verbatim translation).

Immigration and Naturalization Service. Smile when you say ``service.'' Laugh, even. A good person has made the U. S. Immigration and Nationality Act available on line.

The INS has a reputation for poor customer service, though I just phoned them and on just the second try they humored me with only mild contempt (of course, I'm not a ferinner). Among the many hypotheses to explain why they treat foreigners so shabbily, one that hadn't occurred to me before is simply institutional: they're part of the Justice Department (DOJ)! Most of their intradepartmental colleagues (see DOJ org chart) organize their entire thinking in terms of good guys and bad guys, while INS deals with ``us and them.'' The confusion is irresistible.

Contracted form of the German in das, `in the.' See inn.

Indian Navy Ship.

Information Network System. (NTT.)

Instituto Nacional de Saude. (Spelling probably off.) Portuguese `National Institute of Health.'

Indian National Science Academy.

Indian National SATellite.

Indium Antimonide, of course. Like InAs, this III-V compound semiconductor is attractive for its very low conduction-band effective mass (0.015 of free electron mass). Its bandgap varies from 0.24 eV at 15K to 0.18 eV at 300K. Its LO phonon has energy 23 meV, its dielectric constant has a static value of 17.54 and ``high-frequency'' value of 15.68.

Lattice constant is 6.479 Å.

(U.S. Army) INtelligence and Security COMmand.

Indian National Scientific DOcumentation Centre.

Insider's Guide to the Colleges, The
An annual publication with dimensions and weight similar to the World Almanac, ``compiled and edited by the staff of the Yale Daily News.'' A useful publication, and possibly an amusing one. The most interesting information it contains about admissions is that somehow its compilers and editors managed to be admitted to the ``selective'' or ``competitive'' or ``picky'' school that is Yale. (I'm sure there's a mathematically precise expression, like ``selective2.3:IV,'' but I don't plan to track it down.) I've only checked out the 2003 edition (which cost someone $18 new!), but at least you know I'm referring to the pre-Taliban era of Yale admissions.

The guide is apparently compiled from phone interviews with students at 300-odd colleges deemed worth profiling. They're vague on the interview methodology, but here's a clue to help you judge its accuracy. The clue is from their entry for the University of Notre Dame, which begins with this paragraph:

Not far off the interstate in South Bend, Indiana, a statue of a bearded man in flowing robes stands atop the library of the University of Notre Dame. ``Touchdown Jesus,'' as he is known to students, is representative of all that Notre Dame stands for--Catholic ethics, a rigorous education, and football.

Set aside a few minor flaws in this sentence -- the campus of Notre Dame is outside, not in, South Bend; the university has a number of libraries, though Hesburgh Library (the one with Touchdown Jesus) is the largest; the robe looks tightly wrapped and hangs vertically, so if ``flowing'' means anything, then this one isn't. But apart from the minor errors there is this boner: Touchdown Jesus is not a statue that ``stands atop the library,'' it is a part of a mosaic that covers most of the front of the building above the second floor. The building faces south toward the sacred football stadium, and Touchdown Jesus's line of sight is along the center of the field, from goalpost to goalpost. His arms are raised so it looks as if he is about to make the hand signal that football referees make for a touchdown.

I imagine a staffer at Yale was told that Touchdown Jesus is ``on'' the library and imagined the rest. It suggests the kind of misunderstanding that can occur in phone-it-in ekphrasis. I suppose one might argue that a zebra Jesus is somehow ``representative of ... rigorous education.''

The Insider's, or Not-so-far-outsider's, Guide to Colleges is written in the standard stilted style of undergraduates. Still, though better-written than the average freshman paper, it is filled with authentic-sounding local-informant quotes. So if you want to build up a taxonomy of undergraduate errors across the academisphere, this corpus has the advantage that you might at least be able to stomach it. Notes toward that taxonomy project:

  1. Nearest-noun concord: ``During the winter, going to the hockey games are a MUST!''
  2. Mixed idiom: ``a last-ditch resort.'' (Save me a rut.)
  3. Ill-considered qualifier: ``We're not just a bunch of NYU rejects.'' (CUNY turned us down too!)

Some people are under the misapprehension that insincerity is wrong and is considered wrong. This is a surprising misunderstanding that must be painful to live with. The confusion is probably due to the fact that when people discover insincerity (necessarily someone else's insincerity), they are often angry at the insincere person. But this is not the evidence it appears to be. Insincerity is universally accepted. It is the revelation of insincerity that is universally disapproved. To reveal one's insincerity, especially to the person one has been insincere to, is a sign of disrespect and hence clearly wrong.

In summary, insincerity is like nakedness. We're all naked underneath our clothes, but no one disapproves of this. Revealing our nakedness in certain public circumstances is what is offensive. Likewise, it is appearing insincere that is wrong.

But to appear to someone to be insincere to them is always and unconditionally wrong. It is therefore still wrong when one happens to be sincere. Moreover, mere sincerity does not guarantee the appearance of sincerity. Thus, one should take every opportunity to appear sincere, in order to be in practice and appear sincere even on the rare occasions when one is.

This entry doesn't represent original research. I'm just summarizing the communis opinio, the scientific consensus, so to speak. In other words, it is the truth that everyone appears sincerely to deny, except under the guise of ``humor.'' I mean that sincerely.

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made.

--Jean Giraudoux

(This is quoted in Murphy's Law Book Two: More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong (1980) by Arthur Bloch, p. 47. I don't consider that a very reliable source, and I haven't seen a French version.) Anyway, the philosopher George Burns liked to express the thought in so many words.

An instance of actual sincerity, when inconvenient or impolitic, is a gaffe. This was famously pointed out by Michael Kinsley in the New Republic sometime in the late 1980's, probably before 1987, probably in the TRB feature. Here's a link to the relevant Wikipedia page, but they only source derivative links. Oh wait, that's honesty. I'm sincerely sorry.

A verb meaning to spiral inwards, and a noun for an inspiraling trajectory. Both verb and noun seem to be used primarily by astronomers and astrophysicists. As you would expect, those who generally follow British spelling conventions tend to form the past and participle forms with a double ell (and those who don't tend not to).

Meteorologists also use the term a little bit. That reminds me that the reason we call the study of the weather meteorology, and use related terms like meteorological and meteorologist, is that Aristotle believed that meteors were the highest sublunary phenomena (known to him). Come to think of it -- he was right. And just to be sure he was right, the IAU has defined meteoroid to be the object that only becomes a meteor, and naked-eye visible in the sky, when it enters the Earth's atmosphere.

INdiana SPectrum of Information REsources. ``...Indiana's Virtual Library on the [i]nternet. INSPIRE is a collection of commercial databases and other information resources that can be accessed by Indiana residents using any PC equipped with an Indiana Internet connection and a Web Browser such as Netscape or MS Internet Explorer.''

[HIV/STD] Internet Notification Service for Partners Or Tricks.

You know, that bit about tricks could be a problem for a site that was supported by the government of a jurisdiction in which prostitution is, um, not to put too fine a point on it, uh, not, like, you know, legal. (Some things are just so hard to talk about that it's better to keep quiet and die.)

[HIV/STD] Internet Notification Service for Partners Of the Troubled, Los Angeles. I've taken the liberty of sliding that ``Of the Troubled'' in there, because the name as the website gives it only explains ``inSPLA.'' Anyway, it's like momma always told you: unsafe sex is like a box of cho - co - lates: you ne - ver know what you're gonna get. (I think that's from the lyrics of a Cheap Trick song.)

``The site was designed by Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc. (I.S.I.S.), and sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, with funding from the Los-Angeles-County Sexually Transmitted Disease Program.'' It seems like a good idea: ``In Los Angeles, there's an easy way to tell your sex partners you have HIV or another STD. Send them a free inSPOTLA ecard, ANONYMOUSLY or from your email address, right here.'' The only problem I see is that it doesn't help people who have casual sex, but only those who've gone so far down the path of lifelong commitment that they've actually exchanged email addresses. I mean, they'd practically already be married, if only it were legal. ``Partners.'' Committed partners who couldn't guess who might be sending them a you-may-have-caught-something-nasty notification (a ``dear John letter,'' so to speak). That could be a major share of the population, I suppose. But still I wonder what that ``OT'' is really about. Hmmm.

install fair
A part of intensive beta testing: users are invited to haul their own hardware to a testing site, where the software under test is installed. The term was apparently coined at Microsoft, which used the method for its Windows 95.

install fest
A party where more and less adept hackers get together to install Linux.

The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.

INternational STudent Exchange Programme. A program run by Singapore's Nanyang Technology University (NTU).

Euphemism for a certain kind of business. Early in the twentieth century, that business was typically a tavern. Nowadays, it's more likely to be a brothel. See an example at the entry for the Heidelberg United Soccer Club. I mean an example of the linguistic usage. No graphics.

insufferably hip
  1. Widely well regarded
  2. crap.

Insulators are things that don't conduct. An electrical insulator is a material that doesn't conduct (much) (direct) electric current. As a practical matter, the practical materials that fill the bill are solids in which the electrons are in filled molecular or macromolecular levels -- that is, molecular crystals and glasses, polymers of covalently-bonded atoms (exceptions exist, but on the whole it's hard to make a good conducting polymer), and undoped covalently bonded semiconductors (diamond, say). In the crystalline materials, a wide band gap is preferred because it keeps down the number of thermal carriers. In disordered materials, there may be an energy range of low electronic-state density, with mobility edges at top and bottom of the energy range that correspond to band edges. It can help if, as in silicon dioxide, electron-phonon coupling gives a polaron mass to at least one charge of carriers (the holes in silicon dioxide) to reduce their mobility.

There's a glossary of power-line insulator terms on the web. I use a couple of power-line insulators, well-washed with acid, as the closest I can get to traditional-style tumblers (see discussion at Bottoms up! entry) that I can get without blowing my own glass.

I looked down as I opened my car door and saw a piece of insulation on the blacktop. What was it doing there? How had it gotten there? Had it fallen out of my car?

It was pale yellow, about three inches wide and four or five inches long, almost a half inch thick, rounded at the edges -- it looked like weathered old urea foam. Most of the center was covered by a rectangle of some sort of white adhesive that looked shiny and hard. The adhesive had tiny green and red specks on it. I looked more closely, and I realized it was a Pop-Tart.

At least it hadn't fallen out of my car.

When I returned after work there was just a dark red gelatinous smear on the ground. The accumulated evidence, and subsequent research, suggest that it was a frosted strawberry Kellogg's Pop-Tart. Further research on this particular food item is described at this SPT entry.

In 1916 Albert Sharpey-Schafer, of Scotland, hypothesized that a substance existed that facilitated the passage of glucose from blood plasma into cells. He proposed the name insulin for this substance.

In the early 1920's, Frederick Banting and Charles Best, working at the University of Toronto (UofT) discovered that the pancreas produces a substance that could arrest the symptoms of diabetes (vide DM). They called that substance insletin, after the islets of Langerhans where it is produced (vide pancreas), but insulin was the term that stuck.

Insulin is a protein, so if it is taken orally it is broken down into its amino acids before being absorbed through the intestines. Thus, insulin must be taken some other way -- typically still by injection, as of 2003.

Insulin is what is known as an active transport agent: it interacts with structures in the cell and on its surface, with the result that glucose (see blood sugar) enters the cell much more rapidly than it would by mere osmosis (passive transport).

Later in the twenties, it was noticed that insulin is more effective if taken with yeast extract. This was the first hint of the existence of GTF, q.v..

insurance agents
``Be a man!'' said I. ``You are scared out of your wits! What good is religion if it collapses under calamity? Think of what earthquakes and floods, wars and volcanoes, have done before to men! Did you think God had exempted Weybridge? He is not an insurance agent.''
-- from H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds.

``Verily and forsooth,'' replied Goodgulf darkly. ``In the past year strange and fearful wonders I have seen. Fields sown with barley reap crabgrass and fungus, and even small gardens reject their artichoke hearts. There has been a hot day in December and a blue moon. Calendars are made with a month of Sundays and a blue-ribbon Holstein bore alive two insurance salesmen. The earth splits and the entrails of a goat were found tied in square knots. The face of the sun blackens and the skies have rained down soggy potato chips.''
``But what do all these things mean?'' gasped Frito.
``Beats me,'' said Goodgulf with a shrug, ``but I thought it made good copy.''
-- Harvard Lampoon, ``Bored of the Rings''

Tom Clancy is probably the most famous insurance agent in the world right now. He wrote his first book, The Hunt for Red October, in his spare time while working at his family's insurance agency. According to Be Your Own Literary Agent by Martin P. Levin (1995), he still puts in one day a week at the office.

Benjamin Lee Whorf, an unduly respected linguist-sociologist, was a fire insurance claims adjuster in Hartford, Connecticut, if memory serves (and it'll have to; 'cause I ain't lookin' it up).

INTeger. From the Latin meaning `whole,' used now to designate whole numbers. The positive integers (and occasionally the nonnegative integers) are called the natural numbers.

int is the basic type declaration for integers in C, and C is a pretty strongly typed language, so you better use it.

There are also type modifiers signed/unsigned, short/long, so C has essentially four integer variable types, five if you count char, and zero complex variable types. If you want a halfway graceful way to use complex numbers in C, you have to move to C++.

[Football icon]

INTerception. A football pass caught by a player on the defense. All defensive players are eligible receivers, but this does not give the quarterback (or other passer) any attractive additional options.

(Top-level domain code for) INTernational organizations. NATO, for one.

INTernational (unit). For an explanation of int- occurring as a prefix to metric units (e.g., intampere), see the ab- entry.

The Isaac Newton Telescope. A 2.5-meter telescope operated by an organization called the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) on behalf of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) of the United Kingdom and some other scientific sugar daddies. Isaac Newton, Isaac Newton... you're probably wondering why they keep repeating this name. He's some dead English Bozo.

Interoperability Technology Association for Information Processing. [Japanese organization; English homepage here.] ``Good interoperability of information processing requires not only product standardization with such official standards as ISO or JIS, but also by coexistence and harmonization with protocols comprising de facto standards. INTAP, with a global view of interoperability, is conducting the whole standardization project, from development of open interfaces, to establishment of integrated evaluation methods for conformance and interoperability tests.''

INternational council for TEchnical COMmunication. ``INTECOM stands for international co-operation between technical communication organizations aiming to improve technical documentation and communication. INTECOM represents appr. 26.000 technical communicators in twelve member organizations. The biggest one of those is STC in USA with appr. 18000 members. The German tekom is the biggest member organization in Europe and has appr. 2700 members.''

Integrated login failed.
You use different passwords for different systems? Why would you do that?

Inverse differentiation. Mathematica (i.e. Wolfram Research) sponsors a site that does integration. It will find a primitive, but you can't specify range of integration. It seems to be good at the tedious algebra in elementary integrals, but it can't recognize the integral definitions of Bessel functions... Don't give away your Gradshteyn and Ryzhik yet.

Name constructed as a contraction of INTegrated ELectronics. Just think, there was a time not too long ago (1985?) when this company was undercapitalized and IBM bought a share of it to prop up the company and assure a continued supply of the CPU's for the IBM PC.

Grove (the former CEO; vide Grove giveth and Gates taketh away, and following entry on Grove's Law) came out in fall 1996 with a book about the company's wild ride of the previous few years. Time magazine did a fawning puff piece on Grove in 1997 or so.

intellegent and sensative
... is the kind of person I'm looking for, a Lance a lot, but I can't seem to find them in the personals. No sens e of humer too.

intelligent and sensitive
Smart enough to know she's wrong, and smart enough not to tell her.

International Telecommunications Satellite Organization has web site.

A coalition of over 165 nonprofit US-based organizations that meddle do-goodishly overseas. Registered marque of the American Council for Voluntary INTERnational ACTION. Formed in 1984 from the merger of ACVA and PAID.

Latin: `makes a difference,' hence `concerns, matters, is of importance.'

I have nothing to say, but am uncertain of my right to remain silent.

Between grates. But I don't think that's what you mean. I think you mean integrate. Don't complain! Look, I'm only trying to help you sound less stupid than you are. You're such a, such an, oh, never mind.

The opposite of externalism, obviously. Like, ``duh!'' Wait, wait -- you don't want to follow that link. Follow this one...

Characteristic of or characterizing research in the history of science (HOS) that delves into scientific details.

Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer have been stars of the dusky HOS firmament ever since PUP published their Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (1985). In his paper at the 1991 Conference on Critical Problems and Research Frontiers in History of Science, Shapin declared that ``within a generation'' the externalist-internalist debate ``seems to have passed from the commonplace to the gauche.'' This was not wishful thinking. On the one hand, among scientists there is no debate because ``history of science'' that does not attend the details of the science is not taken seriously -- it is regarded as popularization literature at best. The facts on this hand are somewhat beside the point, however, since HOSers regard scientists, in the main, as mostly incompetent to study the history of their disciplines. I kid you not. For the same conference, Steven G. Brush was ``assigned'' (his word) the topic ``Should scientists write history of science?'' [His answer (briefly: yes) was published in Osiris, vol. 10, pp. 214-231.]

Shapin is right, rather, because the debate is over among the new generation of HOSers, though with a different conclusion. It is indeed considered in poor taste, among these, to criticize a colleague for any research deficiencies that may point to their ignorance of the underlying field.

(Shapin's paper, ``Discipline and Bounding: The History and Sociology of Science As Seen through the Externalism-Internalism Debate,'' was published in History of Science, vol. 30 (1992), pp. 333-369.)

An association of national socialist organizations, in some not very mild sense of ``socialist,'' typically equipped with an international headquarters and holding congresses.

  • The First International was the IWMA (q.v.), which lasted from 1864 through 1876. Founded by Marx and Engels, it was eventually taken over by Bakuninists.
  • The Second International was the Socialist International. Founded in 1889, it went very national during WWI, and was subsequently in opposition to the Third International.
  • The short-lived Second and a Half International was part of an attempt at reconciliation of the Second and Third (socialist and communist) Internationals.
  • The Third International was Lenin's International, the Communist International, eventually known as Comintern. Founded by Lenin in 1919, it was disbanded by Stalin in 1943.

internationally accepted

[phone icon]

Internet Phone
Software for using internet lines for voice communication. Available for Windows.

It's URL's seem to be aliases of the ``leadership'' organization UCAID. A faster internet for research universities, with some intelligent caching. Faster backbone called Abiline. So far it looks like more hype than money.

Internet Network Information Center.

Try here.

International criminal-Police organization.


A vertically centered dot separating words and abbreviations in an inscription.

interquartile range
The breadth of the two middle quartiles of a probability distribution. That is, the difference Q3 - Q1 between the bottom of the top quartile (Q3) and the top of the bottom quartile (Q1). (Gee, that has a chiastic zing to it!) For a distribution that is, loosely speaking, sparse, there may be some arbitrariness in the definition of the interquartile range. The two middle quartiles, of course, contain one half of the distribution weight. Note, however, that there may be (and almost always is, for smooth distributions) an interval containing the median that is narrower than the interquartile range and contains more than half the weight of the distribution. Abbreviated ``IQR,'' reminding you that it's not exactly smarts.

A rail pass sold to Europeans for travel in European countries other than their own. Cf. Eurail, Britrail.

In countries where civil rights are not protected, `to interrogate' is to torture an innocent victim until he or she is made to say whatever the interrogator wishes. In postmodern theory, `to interrogate' is to torture an innocent victim until it (the text) is made to say whatever the interrogator wishes.

Interstate Relations in Hell.
A classics seminar on March 16. Now that's a seminar I really want to attend! Oh wait -- that was just the email subject head. The full title is ``Interstate Relations in the Hellenistic Peloponnese: The Story Told by Inscriptions.'' Hmm, not so much. But if you're interested, you still have a couple of days to make it: it's at 5pm Thursday in the Founders' Library on the lampeter campus of the University of Wales. A presentation by Dr Ioanna Kralli, from the Ionian University, Corfu, Greece.

A word that means more than allusion, and therefore less.

In The City
This prepositional phrase occurs in, or is, the title of many rock songs. The Eagles and The Who each released a (different) song by that name. (See the Day Tripper entry for the Eagles' ITC.) Also Andrew Breath, Elastica, Hanson, Jam, Madness, and Xymox, but I wasn't going to mention them in the same sentence. In addition, many groups have released songs entitled ``<Foo> In The City.'' Here's a partial list:

Foo In The City
Artist Foo
Sheena Easton Back
Neil Young Crime
Marianne Faithfull Easy
Melanie [Safka] Garden
Gerhard Schöne Highlife
Nina Gordon Horses
Billy Idol Hot
Nick Gilder Hot Child
Bruce Springsteen It's Hard To Be A Saint
Vertical Horizon Life
RUN-DMC Livin'
Des'ree Living
Michael Bolton Lost
Tikaram Tanita Lovers
ELO Night
Allen Shadow Poet
Unbekannt Rain
The Replacements Raised
The Virus Rats
John Miles Stranger
The Lovin' Spoonful Summer
St. Lunatics or Nelly Summer
Shabazz The Disciple Terror
B Manning Workin' Hard

There is a group called ``Orphans In The City.'' Also, a Dutch group that usually calls itself by the Indian name (whatever that means) Maqtewék Moween has (with obvious good reason, I think) tried out some other names, and recorded as ``Friends in the city,'' at least in 2002. (Try http://www.moween.com if the previous link doesn't work.)

Joe Jackson released an album called Summer In The City, recorded live in New York (presumably some Summer), and six of its fifteen tracks are covers (mostly pop rock, but including Ellington's ``Mood Indigo''). The title track is first, a cover of the Lovin' Spoonful's classic.

(BTW, a little tip in case you want to track down lyrics or learn anything else about rock on the web: Netscape makes it easy to disable Javascript, and thus turn off much of the popup and popunder onslaught. If you use Infernet Explorer, you can't turn it off directly, so you'll have to install some other software to get it done. The preceding was written before pop-up blockers became standard, but it's an evolutionary arms race.)

Alice Cooper hasn't given up touring, but he has a regular gig as a syndicated DJ. There's a section of the program during which he answers email from fans and other listeners who write that they love his show. Around mid-October 2006, he received an email from a woman who said she had written a song. He read off the banal lyrics in a monotone and said he hated it. It was a song about going into the city. Alice said it had been done before, a large number of times. Listen to an expert.

in the weeds
A waiter is said to be ``in the weeds'' when he can't keep up -- when customers are being made to, uh, wait. I've encountered the suggestion that this is a confused variant of ``in the reeds.'' (The latter would be a jocular misunderstanding of the metaphor involved in saying that the waiter is ``swamped.'') One problem I see with this explanation is that one might expect the ostensible confusion to lead to the parallel use of both expressions (i.e., with reeds as well as with weeds), but it seems that only the weeds expression occurs in the relevant sense.

I had only ever encountered this expression in the restaurant context, until I read the following in a Los Angeles Times Opinion page piece (``Muslims -- India's new 'untouchables''' by Asra Q. Nomani, December 1, 2008):

What has irked me these last years is how the world has glossed over India's problems. In 2006, for instance, former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen, whose Cohen Group invests heavily in India, said the U.S. and India were "perfect partners" because of their "multiethnic and secular democracies." When I asked to interview Cohen about the socioeconomic condition of Muslims, his public relations staffer said that conversation was too "in the weeds." But, to me, the condition of Muslims needs frank and open discussion if there is to be any hope of stemming Islamic radicalism and realizing true secular democracy in the country.
(Boldface added for your convenience.)

Irish National Teachers' Organisation. (Chumann Múinteoirí Éireann.) It organizes primary-school teachers in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It's a member union of the ICTU. Cf. ASTI, TUI, and IFUT.

Not the same thing as in to. I'll just give an example of incorrect usage so you can figure it out for yourself. This is from the Politico website:
Like many of the most extreme figures from the 1960s[,] Ayers and Dohrn are [not, to any thinking person] ambiguous figures in American life.

They disappeared in 1970, after a bomb designed to kill army officers in New Jersey accidentally destroyed a Greenwich Village townhouse, and turned themselves into authorities in 1980.

They didn't actually turn themselves into authorities for another decade or so. (Bill Ayers, at least, became a respected educrat.)

INTernational Switch.

Inertial Navigation Unit.

The language of the Inuit. It's not a very inktuitive terminology, but then it's not English.

Inuktitut is spoken by the Inuit of central and eastern arctic Canada.

INner subURBS. Formed on the pattern of exurbs, but exurbs makes better etymological sense: ex- (`outside') + urbs (`city').

As of January 2006, inurbs has been getting a fair amount of press, and seems to be a recent coinage, possibly by Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL), who is concerned that since the 1990's, inurbs have been trending Democratic. That's how it looks right now, and it may well be an independent neologism, but I've seen inurbia used without definition in a paper dating back to 1976. (Exurbs and exurbia are long-established usages.)

INVerse, INVert, INVerter.

In semiconductors: situation in which doped material is forced by applied field to have free charge carriers of polarity opposite that for which it is doped. That is, when p-type material is in inversion, a large positive potential makes electrons the majority carriers, and inverted n-type material has majority holes. Inversion usually occurs at the edges of a bulk region.

For example, in a normally biased n-channel (p-channel) enhancement-mode MOSFET, p-doped (n-doped) material just beneath the gate is driven into inversion when the gate-source voltage VGS exceeds VTn (when -VGS exceeds -VTp).

Spanish `investment' or `inversion.' It's the noun corresponding to the verb invertir (`invest' (as in stocks) or `invert'). Obviously, inversión is cognate with the English noun inversion. Both are derived from the Latin inversio (gen. inversionis).

This word is used as a noun by civil engineers in North America, New Zealand, and Australia, and almost not at all in the UK. It refers to the bottom of the inside of a pipe. Thus, under normal operation, the depth of water (or, uh, whatever) in a septic tank is the vertical distance from the outlet invert down to the bottom of the tank. Since pipe thickness may vary, ``invert'' is a useful term for defining construction codes. The inlet invert of a septic tank (i.e., the invert of its inlet pipe) is typically required to be at least a couple of inches above the outlet invert.

It's useful to know the term ``invert'' so you can understand the report of the septic tank inspection. Also, if the contractor who did the inspection is (in the best possible interpretation) incompetent, knowing this term (and others like outlet baffle, inlet baffle, etc.) helps you produce a professional-sounding report of your own inspection for use in fighting with the title company. Then again, my agent, in commenting on the fiasco last year, said that (in the dozen or more years she'd been an agent) she had never had a client have to perform his own septic inspection (before me). So maybe you needn't worry about this, if you don't mind having a brand new septic tank with a major leak in it.

inverted siphon
This is a pipe whose height falls below the height of both of its ends. This situation is given a special name because it makes possible the use of gravity flow across a topographic depression.

In aqueducts both ancient and modern, an open conduit or channel will feed a closed channel (a pipe) that serves as a conduit. Ancient pipes sometimes passed beneath the surface of an open body of water. A nice feature of this is that the water pressure outside the pipe reduces the net stress on the pipe itself (i.e., the external pressure partly cancels the internal pressure). In the (pretty good) approximation that water is an incompressible fluid, this means that the stress on the pipe is the same everywhere below the surface that it would be if the pipe ran along the (external) water's surface.

Archaeologists normally use the term ``siphon'' for inverted siphon, since siphons were difficult to build before the invention of pumps. To prevent the imprecise conflation, hydraulic engineering in the US officially sanctions the nicely descriptive term ``sag pipe.''

To limit maximum pressure in a sag pipe, the Romans often elevated the lowest portion on a venter bridge.

Ancient sag pipes were commonly made of lead or terracotta. It is interesting that the Athenians, who had plenty of excess lead from their Laurion silver mines, used terracotta also.

Ante. See inversión.

invidious-comparison book titles
  1. My Kid's an Honor Student, Your Kid's a Loser, by Ralph Schoenstein. Recommended by Bill Cosby, despite the comma splice. Subtitled The Pushy Parent's Guide to Raising the Perfect Child.
  2. I'm Perfect, You're Doomed, by Kyria Abrahams. Another comma splice, so many parallels! Subtitled Tales from a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing.

invisible ink
Everyone knows about invisible ink -- it's ink that becomes visible only after some treatment. A very popular invisible ink, used to demonstrate the idea to children, is lemon juice. Lemon juice applied to paper is hard to see once it dries, but turns brown with heat that won't brown the paper it's applied to (much). This is easy to demonstrate using a fountain pen. (That's the traditional type of pen that is filled from an inkwell, one or two steps of technical evolution beyond the quill that one cut with a ``pen knife.'')

I rehearse these facts because a faulty recollection of them is the best explanation I can think of for the following true story.

On January 6, 1995, two Pittsburgh-area banks were robbed by a pair of armed men. One of the two, who had committed bank robberies alone the previous November, was arrested just six days later. His accomplice, MacArthur J. Wheeler, was identified by an anonymous tip and arrested the following April, less than an hour after a local evening news program broadcast pictures of him that had been taken by surveillance cameras.

When detectives went to arrest him and told him how he was identified, Wheeler protested ``But I wore the lemon juice. I wore the lemon juice!'' Someone had told him that applying lemon juice to your face makes you invisible to the camera. Though skeptical, he tested the idea with a Polaroid camera and was pleased to discover that he was nowhere in the picture. Detectives speculated that perhaps the film was bad, or that he made some mistake such as pointing the camera the wrong way. During the robberies, the lemon juice was burning his face and eyes, making it hard to see and forcing him to squint. They should have told him that after the robbery, they had heated the camera.

`Invited,' in Spanish. Invitado (feminine form invitada) is the past participle of the verb invitar, `to invite,' and in the usual way functions as an adjective. In a way that is much more usual in Romance languages than in English, the adjective functions as a substantive (i.e., noun), and so invitado is the standard word meaning `guest.'

You might wonder, then, whether it doesn't sound self-contradictory or at least awkward to say ``uninvited guest,'' which would have the direct translation ``invitado no invitado.'' Perhaps it is not happenstance that Spanish has a special word for this kind of guest: colado. (Yes, the female form of this is colada.)

International NonVolatile Memory Technology Conference.

Did that word evoke any thoughts? I invoke the sainted spirit of E.B. White and enjoin you to see the evoke entry.


involucrum tabacinum
Latin for `cigar.' Vide Nova Verba Latina, a Patre Josepho Maria Mir scriptum, Barcinone, 1969.

You should see the translation for motorcycle!

Illuminati New World Order. INWO is a trading card game in which every weird thing in the tabloid papers is true, and there are secret conspiracies everywhere. Each player represents a group of the Illuminati . . . the "secret masters" who were behind everything from the Kennedy assassination to the cancellation of "Max Headroom." The objective is to take over the world.

An Australian rock band. Pronounced ``In excess.''

(Domain code for) British Indian Ocean Territory.

Italian word for I. Cognate with Spanish yo, German ich, French je, and English I. Those Indo-Europeans sure got around.

For those who think the capitalization convention in English is a significant psycholingistic fact, here's some more fodder for thought: in a personal letter in German, one capitalizes the familiar second-person pronoun (Du, Dein, Dich, Dir -- `you, your[s], [unto] you, to you'). The familiar du-words in German are cognate with the English thou-words. In English, the familiar forms disappeared from ordinary speech and an undistinguished use of the formal you-forms became standard. Similar things are happening elsewhere. In Spanish as it is spoken throughout North and South America, the familiar plural second-person pronoun (vosotros) and the associated verb conjugations are virtually obsolete. The formal-familiar distinction survives in the singular, but I have heard mothers use the formal form of imperative to their toddlers.



Isolated Occurrence. Don't let it happen again!

Input-Output Adapter.

The International Optoelectronics Association. Formally the International Coalition of Optoelectronic Industry Associations (ICOIA, q.v.).

International Ostomy Association. ``We are an Association of Ostomy Associations [among them the UOA and UOAC], created to improve the life of Ostomates worldwide.''

Input-Output Block. See brief explanation in context at FPGA.

Institute of Biology.

``The Voice of British Biology.''

Bahhh! Bahhh!

Independent On-Line Booksellers Association.

Initial Operating Capacity. NASA acronym.

Input/Output Controllers. See EPICS.

InOrganic Chemicals. Term used by the water-treatment people.

International Olympic Committee. A private organization that stages the international olympics and promotes (by passivity, by a wink and a nod, and by opposition to effective measures) the use of doping among the world's premier athletes.

[Except for this paragraph, this entry dates back to the turn of the century. But not to worry: if anything interesting should ever chance to occur, we'll be sure to mention it here. As of 2006, though, there's been nothing. Sure, Samaranch promoted himself from whatever he was to whatever-he-was emeritus and éminence grise, and the Summer Olympics go to China in 2008. I hear that people will run and jump and so forth, and it's widely expected that some people will run and jump better than some other people will run and jump. The games are no longer of any real interest except to participants and their pharmacists.]

They've been trying for years to tap the advertising revenue potential of the world's largest dictatorship and ``His Excellency'' Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch (IOC ruler) gave an award for ``protecting the world's youth'' to the scumbag who ordered the tanks to roll on Tian An Mien, but pressure from human rights groups put the year-2000 Olympics in Sydney.

IOC rules prohibit athletes from writing journals during the games. They wouldn't want any competitors distracted by the thought of profit.

In a surprising development, in the year 2000 -- the centennial of the modern Olympics -- the Olympic games were not seen on US television. There were short snippets on the TV news, but NBC had bought the US broadcast rights and refused to allow anyone to see more than a few tantalizing glimpses. Their ``coverage'' consisted of interviews with coaches, inane commentary, human interest stories that weren't, drug scandal opinions, and a hunt for the venue of the next ``Survivor'' TV series.

Unaccountably, prime-time Nielsen ratings for NBC during the Olympics set record lows. I guess the NBC dogs in the Olympics manger are still scratching their heads over that, or whatever part of their anatomy they stuffed their brain into.

Integrated Optical Circuit.

Inter-Organizational Council for Accreditation of Postdoctoral Programs in Psychology. They had enough letters to choose from; you'd think they might've chosen a more distinctive initialism.

Inter-Office Channel.

Intelligence Operation/Command and Control Warfare.

Independent Order of Foresters. A fraternal benefit society that sells life-, accident- and health-insurance policies and annuities to its members. In other words, it's like credit union (non-profit membership organization) but for a set of financial products that are not so liquid.

Founded in 1874, based in Canada, has a million members in North America. Has a suit going against DLJ that I read about in Barron's, October 4, 1999, so I figured I'd do a couple of financial entries in the glossary.

Barron's sells for US$3.50, just like The New Republic, but TNR sells for CA$3.50 in Canada. This looks like a currency speculation opportunity -- buy TNR in Canada and resell in the US. Oh yeah, oughtta be BIG money in that racket.

IOF likes to refer to itself redundantly as ``IOF Foresters.'' They also point out that they're not involved [directly] in the forestry industry, they're not a secret society with ritual handshakes and passwords [that's what they all say] and they want your business regardless of sex or previous condition of wood-industry employ.

Israeli Occupy{ation|ing} Forces.

Internationales Olympisches Komitee. German for `International Olympic Committee.' The name could be mistaken for that of a track-and-field event.

Independent Online. ``Independent Online is a wholly owned subsidiary of Independent News & Media'' of South Africa.

Institute of Medicine. ``[E]stablished in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appointed professions for the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public.''

ISDN-Oriented Modular (architecture or interface).

Isle Of Man.

Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Cooperation.

International Organization of Medical Physics. Founded in 1963. Individuals become members automatically upon joining one of the adhering national organizations like the AAPM. I wonder if I could become a citizen of the United Nations that way.

IOMP publishes a biannual newsletter called Medical Physics World (MPW). Some books are published as the Medical Science Series by the publishing arm (IOPP) of the British professional physicists' organization (IOP), and it has two journals -- Physics in Medicine and Biology, and Physiological Measurement.

Extended IOM.

A nucleus with more or fewer electrons in the vicinity than protons inside. When ``vicinity'' is not sharply defined, neither is ``ion.'' In the gas phase, electrons bound to a nucleus are much closer, on average, than electrons which are not, so ``ionized'' has a clear meaning (cf. ``unionized''). In the solid state, electrons occupy band states not associated with unique nuclei, so it is useful to regard the solid as composed of ions and unbound (quasi-free or conduction) electrons.

[At long wavelengths, the electrostatic screening in a metal is due primarily to free electrons, so the screening length is comparable to the average distance between nearest-neighbor conduction electrons (see rs). As frequency increases, the effective screening length increases, so nearby conduction electrons see most of each others' unscreened charge. Hence, the electron gas in an ordinary metal has collective excitations arising from the long-range Coulomb interactions, so in thermodynamic terms it is not in the gaseous state but in the plasma state. The collective excitations are called plasmons.]

In a section of Harper's (July 1994; $2.95) on the proceedings of the annual Illinois State Fair Golden Gloves competition (16-year-olds), D. F. Wallace reported a new ion-based information system (IIS):

... Sullivano gamely rises, but his knees wobble and he won't face the ref. ... Hall shakes his gloves at the ceiling as several girls call his name, and you can feel it in the air's very ions: Darrell Hall is going to get laid before the night's over.

The son of Apollo and Creusa. He shouldn't be confused with any homonymic Ion, such as the rhapsode ridiculed by Plato in his dialogue of the same name.

The story of Ion (Apollonides) is told by Euripides in his tragedy Ion. It's not a tragedy in the modern sense -- it has a happy ending. In fact, it was a tragedy because Euripides offered it as such in that year's drama (413BC or so) competition. Even in those years, however, Euripides' Iphegina Taurica, Helena, and Ion were regarded as not exactly tragic tragedies. At least one commentator at the time, and later scholiasts, said such works were not worthy of tragedy, or comedic. In recent times, terms like ``tragi-comedy'' and ``tragic romance'' have been used.

Indiana Organization of Nurse Executives. It's an affiliate of the Indiana Hospital Association (IHA) and an affiliate of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE)

Hah! Snared it, oh yeah. Iowa and Illinois, you can just go see your family practitioner of proctology.

Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders. ``Ionl''? That looks like an Austrian-dialect diminutive of Ion! They're only IONL because Indiana was there first when someone shouted ``Namespaces, stat!'' What a humiliation for the AONE affiliate of the state where AONE has its headquarters (in Chicago, naturally)! It could be worse, though; Iowa lost the playoff round and didn't even score <ionl.org>.

Internal Organization of the Network Layer.

Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders. See this other IONL for the fictional play-by-play blow-by-blow.

See at the mercy of the ionosphere.

International Olive Oil Council. Organized under the IMF in 1959. Administers various international agreements, and has the power to perpetuate itself by extending the term of the 1986 protocol two years at a time. So far, they have seen the clear need to extend their own existence until 2000. What a surprise. That has got to be one of the silliest treaty provisions in existence. All organisms have an instinct for self-preservation, and that principle was demonstrated by C. Northcote Parkinson to apply to social institutions as well.

Acronym is COI in various Romance languages spoken in the countries where olives are mostly grown.

Institute Of Physics. The IOP is the UK professional society for physicists -- an approximate equivalent of the AIP. It publishes various journals and books through the IOPP.

Integrated Offload Processor.

Intergrated Offload Processor. Um, a processor of offloads grated in between, um, each other, probably.

Someone should do a study of the utilitarian aspects of misspelling and mispronunciation practices in acronyms (or initialisms, if you want to get precise) and their expansions.


IntraOcular Pressure.

Institute Of Physics Publishing. Publishing arm of the IOP. To judge from the URL's, however, one would guess that the IOP is an arm of IOPP.

International Organization of Pakistani Women Engineers. ``[P]rovides a forum for issues specific to women engineers of Pakistani origin.''

Let no one accuse the Stammtisch of focusing narrowly on its own parochial concerns.

Indian Ocean Region. Range of longitudes for geostationary satellites transmitting to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

International Rectifier Co. It may be that the O between the I and R is just a circle with a diode in it.

Independent On Sunday. The Sunday edition of the London Independent, but it sounds like an aspersion on the weekday edition.

Cisco Internetwork Operating System. The operating system of Cisco routers.

Inter-Organizational System[s]. An electronic commerce (EC) term.

Israel Oriental Studies. A journal.

International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. ``By the term cognate studies is meant the study of the ancient translations made from the Septuagint ("daughter versions") and the so-called apocryphal and pseudepigraphical literature circulating around the turn of the era.''

A feature of Modern Greek pronunciation: the convergence of many vowels to the sound of iota (English ``ee'', IPA /i:/). I'm sure I mention a couple of examples around here. One is the epsilon in beta; examples of upsilon iotization are given at the nu and ships entries.

Investor-Owned (power) Utility.

I owe you. A debt, or a marker or chit for that debt.

In Other Words. Email abbreviation.

International Office for Water. See IOW-OIE below.

A state name that looks like it could easily be an acronym. In contrast with, say, New Hampshire. You would think with a name this short, no one'd've bothered to come up with an abbreviation, but the USPS has (IA). Wouldn't IW have been less ambiguous?

International Office for Water / Office International de l'Eau.

Are you sure you didn't just hear Iowan?

Image Processing.

Impact Point. (Of ordnance.) Distinguished from aiming point (AP).

Information Processing.

Innings (of baseball) Pitched.

Inositol Phosphate.

Institute of Petroleum. International organization (oh, excuse me: organisation) based in England. Old URL looked impermanent, and sure enow, it now (April 1998) forwards to http://www.petroleum.demon.co.uk/, which does not appear to even be under construction yet (and still not in August 1999). However, the demonic site had changed its domain name from demon.co.uk to to demon.net; maybe it had something to do widdat. (The preceding enclitic is free for your enjoyment.)

Institut Pasteur.

Instrument Panel. (As in an automobile; don't know if usage is more general.)

Intellectual Property. Fondue heater, Saab, etc.

For information on Spanish intellectual property law, see this page of the Ministerio de Cultura.

Intelligent Peripheral. Most people with a boss feel this way and have some converse thoughts besides.

Intermediate Pressure. Term used, with HP and LP, in connection with triple-expansion steam engines.

Internet Protocol. Here's a little tutorial. Here's a longer one. This should transform the IP information to spherical trigonometric coordinates. This here as well. Visit this site to find out your IP address.

Ionic Product. Marble columns, right? Nope. The product of the concentrations of ions of a dissolved salt. If an ion appears multiple times in the salt formula (as in Na2SO4), then its concentration is raised to the power of its multiplicity (e.g., [Na]²[SO4]).

Can you say ``Law of Mass Action''? Sure you can!

Ionization Potential.

Ion Projection.

Iraqi Police.

(UK) Independent Pharmacists' Association. Held its inaugural meeting today.

(Okay, okay. Today was April 6, 2003. I thought they were called something quaintly antiquarian over there, like ``Chemysts.'')

International Phonetic Alphabet. One of the linguists who participated in the construction of the IPA was Henry Sweet. Henry Sweet was George Bernard Shaw's model for Henry Higgins in the play ``Pygmalion'' (which was made into the movie ``My Fair Lady''). One of my grade school classmates was named Janet Sweet; I don't know if she was related. I estimate the probability at more or less zero.

This is a very focused glossary; we give you only the essential information. Using these essentials, you are enabled to deduce the necessary contingent.

Matthew Sweet is a rocker.

A scheme has been developed for writing IPA in newsgroup postings. That is, using only seven-bit ASCII characters.

The A&R (Atene & Roma) entry has a bit of information or speculation on theta in the IPA.

International Publishers Association.

IsoPropyl Alcohol. (Modern systematic name: isopropanol.)

Independent Petroleum Association of America. They used to have a nice animated gif of a petroleum pump.

ISDN Primary-rate Access Transceiver.

Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield.

Imaging Proportional Counter.

Índice de Precios al Consumidor. Spanish: `consumer price index' (CPI). The Spanish expression makes explicit that the prices indexed are not ones paid for consumers (like finder's fees or commissions to salespeople, say). It's so good to have that cleared up.

Many Spanish-speaking countries (yes, the countries themselves speak Spanish) use the IPC initialism for an index corresponding to the CPI in the US and other English-speaking countries. There is often an official one published by the government, and often the official one can't be trusted. In many Latin American countries, the consumer price index has at various times been an exciting and vertiginous statistic. In Mexico, for a reason that is clear from the next entry, the CPI is called INPC.

Índice de Precios y Cotizaciones. Spanish: `index of prices and values.'

Spanish, like English, has various words whose meanings overlap precio or price. As in English, tradition affects which words are preferred, and it is difficult to articulate a consistent semantic distinction among the terms. FWIW, my feeling is that precio in Spanish tends to be used slightly less broadly than price in English. In particular, as I was growing up I don't think I ever heard my dad (who had been a company manager) use precios rather than cotizaciones for stock prices. Putting together my limited experience with some dictionary definitions and ghit data, I conclude the following:

Cotización used alone typically refers to a stock price (though cotizaciones can refer to other kinds of prices in the right contexts). It is therefore usually redundant to say explicitly cotizaciones de acciones, and this phrase is less common than valores de acciones (using the general word valores that is typically translated as `values' or, in financial contexts, `stocks' or similar instruments). The general term precios is also used in reference to stocks, almost necessarily by those less familiar with the specific term, so the phrase precios de acciones is roughly as common as the single word cotizaciones.

In Mexico, IPC with the given expansion is the principal index (based on 35 prices) of stocks that trade on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores.

Instructions Per (clock) Cycle.

InterProcess { Communication | Control }.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

International Professional Communication Conference. Sponsored by the IEEE PCS. Held jointly with SIGDOC since 2000.

Institut für Physik und Chemie und ihre Didaktik (`Institute for Physics and Chemistry and their Instruction') at Universität Freiburg, on Campus 1 in Freiburg, Germany. Their homepage displays prominently the words “Verstehen ist Menschenrecht” (`Understanding is a human right'). This is described as a shortened paraphrase of a quotation of the educator Wagenschein, and said to serve as the institute's motto. It reminds me of a comment of Dr. Johnson's (reported, as usual, by Boswell):
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

Next stop: increment entry. (You must click.)

InterProcess Communication Environment.

Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information.

. The IPCS sponsors the ISPC.

Internet PC User Group.

InterPupillary Distance. Alternate name for the pupillary distance (PD, q.v.).

International Periodical Distributors Association. ``[E]stablished in 1972 as an association of national distributors.'' Cf. the US publishers' organization MPA.

Let's see if I understand this: the Magazine Publishers of America represents a membership of companies that is about 25% international, but the International Periodical Distributors Association has no membership outside America that is worth mentioning. I guess the constant here is that one is implicitly discussing the US market, so the international publishers that sell in the US are publishers ``of America.'' On the other hand, from the perspective of the distributors of America, the extraterritorial origin of some of the periodicals makes them (the distributors) international. So happy I could clear that up.

International Public Debate Association. A major organization founded in 1997. We have other debating entries.

Integrated Programming Environment.

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

(UK) Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. Previously and briefly the IPEMB.

(UK) Institution of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and Biology. Formed in the 1995 merger of the Institute of Physical Sciences in Medicine (IPSM) and Biological Engineering Society (BES). It seems they changed the name again in 1996 or 1997, to become the IPEM.

L'Institut professionnel de la fonction publique du Canada. The English acronym for the organization is PIPSC.

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. We like the word university we so much that we use it wherever it makes sense we and then some we. Slightly more substantive information at the solecistic IUFW entry.

Implantable Pulse Generator. A cardiac prosthetic. It's kind of cute that here ``pulse'' is used in the extended sense of an electronic pulse generator, and again in the original sense of a heart's pulse.

The term IPG highlights a divagation in the extended sense of ``pulse.'' A characteristic aspect of a heart's pulse is that it is ``rhythmic,'' in ordinary terms, or approximately ``periodic,'' in technical language. (Well, it is until it isn't, of course.) But in electronics and physics, the temporal aspect that is emphasized is its brevity -- the idea that the pulse has a duration, and that the duration is short compared to the typical time between pulses. So a ``pulse generator'' in the lab is typically, though not necessarily, a one-shot (aka monostable multivibrator): it generates single pulses (in response to a trigger, possibly following a programmed delay). Let's not discuss ``pulsatory'' just yet.

They should implant the IPG within a pod.

International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.

Incipient Paranoia Index. Not endorsed by the DSM, but more exciting than REM.

Are you laughing at me?

Intelligent Peripheral Interface. For dealing with RAID and related compromises.

Intelligent Peripheral Interface. Part 3 of an IEC document that is still in working draft (here's a PostScript version) stage: ANSI/ISO/IEC 9318-3, ``Information technology - Intelligent Peripheral Interface. Part 3: Device generic command set for magnetic and optical disk drives.''

Information-Processing Language.

10	The name of a particular language.
20	Widely used(in the fifties).
30	Utterly historical.

(I don't know if that's what it looked like, exactly, but at least I spared you the shouting.)

Initial Program Load. Synonymous with boot(strap). Under IBM's VM operating system, the name of a command which you used to start your selected simulated operating system (typically CMS) in your virtual machine.

Internet Public Library. For more of the same, visit the etext entry.

Independent Particle Model. In nuclear physics, the simplest kind of shell model. This overview page of nucleus models has a link to an extended technical description (dvi).

Índice de precios al por menor. Spanish: `retail price index.' Unfortunately, a `wholesale price index,' índice de precios al por mayor, would also be abbreviated IPM.

Integrated Pest Management.

International Publishers Marketing. Many non-US publishers now have easily accessible on-line catalogs and even on-line shopping options. Unfortunately, it is not always straightforward to order internationally. For US book purchasers, simplifying the purchase is the main advantage of IMP (shipping is also faster from a US warehouse).

Integrated Platform Management System. Used in ships.

Information Processing and Management of Uncertainty. There's a biennial Conference on IPMU in Knowledge-Based Systems. The seventh was in Paris, 1998.

Interpenetrating Polymer Network.

InterPlaNet. As Dave Barry would say: I am not making this up. InterPlaNet is a networking standard that is supposed ``to form the backbone of a future interplanetary system of Internets... the standard would enable spacecraft communication and the sharing of information across the solar system. [As of 2007] NASA spacecraft carry telecommunications equipment that enable them to correspond with Earth, but these devices lack the ability to link with those on other spacecraft.'' A major issue is the existence of substantial irreducible signal transmission delays. At their furthest separation, for example, Earth and Mars are 20 light-minutes apart. As of February 2007, IPN was under joint development by NASA and DARPA, with the goal of having ``a well-functioning network between Earth and Mars by 2008.''

Ipng, IPng
Internet Protocol: Next Generation. Pronounced Eye-ping. Cf. ST:TNG. IPng currently refers to IPv6.

Initial Public Offering. First sale of stock (publicly-held shares in a private corporation; a form of debt).

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

International Phase of Ocean Drilling. I hear ``IPOD'' a lot these days. I must be surrounded by crypto-oceanographers.

Ideal Professional Park. Proper noun: a square parking lot surrounded by long, two-story buildings filled with the offices of practitioners of various medical specialties, at 2333 Morris Avenue, Summit, N.J.

To tell you the truth, I probably wouldn't have mentioned it, but I didn't want the other IPP entry to feel lonely. It's surprising the social skills you have to deploy in order to maintain a successful, happy, single-author glossary. It's like I tell the entries every day before work -- ``You are the glossary!''

Independent Power Producer.

Happy now? No?! Oh yeah, it's ``[i]it's as I tell the entries....''

Internet-Protocol Public Address.

International Philosophy Preprint Exchange.

The Institute of Physics and Power Engineering. Established by the Soviet Union on May 31, 1946 ``to solve scientific and technical problems of nuclear power development'' according to a temporarily defunct page. Further down the page, it turns out that 1950 marked the ``beginning of the activities concerning non-military applications of the atomic energy.'' On March 29, 1994, the government of the Russian Federation granted IPPE the status of a State Scientific Center (elsewhere described as a State Research Center).

International Primate Protection League.

Aren't there any other IPPL entries?

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilation.

Intellectual Property Right[s].

Iowa Public Radio.

Inches Per Second. Convenient unit for magnetic tape speed.

Instructions Per Second. Inconvenient unit for processor speed. Try MIPS.

International Primatological Society.

Indiana Professional Standards Board.

Information Processing Society of Japan. As soon as they've processed their homepage information into English, they'll probably change the name of the page the ``English'' link goes to from its current name of dummy.html.

(UK) Institute of Physical Sciences in Medicine. Defunct in 1995; vide IPEMB supra.

Internet Protocol (IP) Security Option.

International Prostate Symptom Score.

(Novell) Internetwork Packet eXchange.

Internet Protocol (IP) Version 4. The current version. Cf. IPv6 (vide infra). Uses 32 bits, written with periods separating the eight-bit numbers (0 to 255 in decimal) representing each of four fields. Since 232 is only about 4 294 967 296, there aren't even enough to give every living human his or her own subdomain. In fact, because of the hierarchical manner in which they are allocated, they're getting used up pretty fast. Hence IPv6, to be phased in over a few years.

Internet Protocol (IP) Version 6. Why should I explain it? And what do I know anyway? Let David Jacobs explain.

Oh all, right: 128 bits (2128 is about 3.402 823 692 09 × 1038, and now I really do mean ``about'') divided into 8 sixteen-bit segments. This time, the segments will be separated by colons. Since sixteen bits describe a number between 0 and 65535, this could get unwieldy; apparently another part of the plan is to prefer the use of hex notation, so the sixteen bits are each representable by four hexadecimal digits.

Inositol 1,4,5-TriPhosphate.

In-phase and Quadrature (90 degrees out of phase) (signals).


Intelligence Quotient. For months this said ``Inteligence Quotient.'' Duh. The same abbreviation stands for Intelligenzquotient in German. Cf. QI. The term occurs, appropriately enough, in the song ``Think,'' written by Aretha Franklin and Ted White, 1968. I think it's an octave from the I to the Q.

Here are some essay links presenting the politically incorrect side (i.e. it's not just nurture, but nature too) of a number of IQ-related issues.

It is common to norm IQ tests to a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 (``deviation IQ'', WAIS) or 16 (Stanford-Binet) or something else, but even that is nowhere near as straightforward as it sounds.

This seems like as good a place as any to place a link to Test Junkie.

In IAWL, Clarence is described as having the IQ of a rabbit. People all over Bedford Falls are clamoring for help, and this is the guy the heavenly authorities select to go down and answer their prayers. Oh yeah, he's got the faith of a child, too. He's been in heaven for two hundred years and he still needs faith to sustain his belief? Good one.

Guicciardini's ricordo C60 reads, in Domandi's translation,

A superior intellect is bestowed upon men only to make them unhappy and tormented. For it does nothing but produce in them greater turmoil and anxiety than there is in more limited men.

Guicciardini was evidently going by the maxim that a word to the wise is sufficient. Here is an earlier version of this ricordo (B115):

In this world it is undoubtedly true that men of mediocre mind have a better time, a longer life, and are in some respects happier than men of high intellect; for a noble mind is apt to be the cause of trouble and worry. But mediocre men participate more in brute animality than in humanity, whereas the others transcend the human condition and approach the celestial natures.

(Domain code for) Iraq.

It's an iqqy-stiqqy situation today. The rock group The B-52's recorded a song called ``Mesopotamia'' once, the title track of an album. Prophetic.

Just another software house. Ho-hum. I hope I remember to update this entry before I go there to interview for any job. Their corporate fact sheet doesn't explain how they dreamed up the company name, or what I-Q stand for.

IQ Earings
What, you wear them and you become smarter? That's stupid! Oh wait -- it said ``1Q Earnings.''

International Quantum Electronics Conference. Sponsored by the OSA.

Integer Quantum Hall Effect (QHE).

InterQuartile Range.

German abbreviation for im Ruhestand, `in retirement.'

Near InfraRed. Electromagnetic radiation with wavelength near to but shorter than visible wavelengths. Sometimes it is useful to have a precise definition. Vide infra

This entry isn't misalphabetized... it's near IR.


InfraRed, occasionally Infra-Red, rarely Infra Red. [From the Latin infra, meaning `below,' and English red. This is très barbaric.] The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum just lower in energy (or frequency) than visible light. This range of EM radiation is associated with heat radiation because the natural emission of light from a body at typical ranges of temperature is peaked in this part of the spectrum. There is also a historical reason for the association. The astronomer Sir William Hershel discovered IR light in 1800. He called it calorific rays (the story is sketched at the linked entry). The term ultra-red has also been used.

For ideal (``black body'') emission, the peak wavelength of the emission spectrum is given by Wien's Law (technically, this is one of Wien's two displacement laws, but today one regards his second law as a consequence of his first and the Stefan-Boltzmann Law). Wien's Law states that wavelength at maximum = 2897.8 µm-K/T. At (the standard, rather stuffy value of) room temperature (T = 298 K), this yields a wavelength just under 100 000 Å, compared to a typical optical wavelength in the vicinity of 5000 Å (500 nm).

Metals that don't have a color in the ordinary sense (as copper is red or gold is yellow) can be described as ``gray bodies'' in a technical sense. A gray body is one whose absorptivity or emissivity (they have to be the same in equilibrium) is not unity (as in a black body) but is independent of frequency. A gray body has an emission spectrum that is uniformly scaled down from that of a black body, so the location of the peak is still given by Wien's Law. So a gray body heated to 2500 K has a wavelength distribution peaked in the ``near IR'' with a significant amount of visible radiation mostly in the red. ``Near IR'' usually means wavelengths from about 800 nm to 1400 nm. The color tells the temperature, but little else. A grayish metal heated to 2500 K will have about the same color whether molten (as iron would be, since its melting temperature is 1808 K) or rock-solid (like tungsten, melting point 3687 K). (All this assumes the metal isn't burning; that nonequilibrium process emits light in a spectrum characteristic of the particular oxidation reactions.)

The Sun is a pretty good approximation of a ``black body'' in the technical sense; it only doesn't look black because it's white-hot. Its surface temperature is about 5780 K, which gives a peak wavelength of about 500 nm. If this distribution were sharply peaked, the sun would look green or cyan. In fact, the distribution is fairly flat within the visible range of the light spectrum, so sunlight is white. The Earth's atmosphere, however, preferentially scatters short-wavelength light (by what's called Rayleigh scattering). When we look directly at the Sun, we see white light minus the scattered component, so the sun looks yellow. When we look away from the Sun, we see scattered light, preferentially blue, the ``color of the sky.''

The radiation normally classified as infrared is everything between the visible spectrum (ending at red around 750-800 nm) and microwaves (1 mm). As that range covers more than three orders of magnitude, it is useful to break it up. Hence the conventional divisions in terms of wavelength λ --

  • Near IR (NIR): λ < 1.4 μm
  • Short-wavelength IR (SWIR): 1.4 μm < λ < 3 μm
  • Mid-wavelength IR (MWIR): 3 μm < λ < 8 μm
  • Long-wavelength IR (LWIR): 8 μm < λ < 15 μm
  • Far IR (FIR): 15 μm < λ < 1000 μm

Image Reconstruction. It's a rare first lady that doesn't need this before the end of the President's first term. In Britain, the PM's spouse tends to stay out of view, but the whole Royal family needs ER IR.

Inland Revenue. The British IRS.

You're probably wondering, ``well, if that's so, why don't they just call it the IRS''? Three reasons:

  1. Intergovernmental trademark (TM) agreements.
  2. On QWERTY keyboards (KB), S is just one fat-finger error from A.
  3. With the British penchant for seeing irony everywhere, too many taxpayers would notice that ``service'' is a bad joke.

They collect right out to the shore, I believe. A/k/a ``The Revenue.''

Institutional Research. Appears to be research into the administration of post-secondary education. Visit, for example, California Association for Institutional Research (CAIR) or the national Association for Institutional Research (AIR).

International Relations. In American universities, departments of political science, as it's called, usually recognize four major subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, IR, and Political Theory.

Investor Relations. Propagandizing the creditors.

(Domain code for) Iran.

The country Europeans used to call some such names as the English ``Persia.'' Strictly speaking, Persia is only a southern province of Iran. ``Persian'' does properly refer to the principal language of Iranians -- Parsi (Farsi). They preserve the distinction in the same way that most Spaniards speak Castilian and preserve the distinction between Español and Castellano.

You know, in English some people say ``Ih ron'' and some people say ``Eye ran,'' but nobody says ``Eye ron.'' This is good, because it would sound too much like iron, an element with isotopes at the top of the curve of nuclear binding energy.

Iran's main exports are oil, gas, and terrorism. It's hard to put a dollar value on the last item because Hezbollah and Iran's secret services have not boarded the financial transparency bandwagon yet. But since Iran mostly sells the first two and buys the last, it probably exports more hydrocarbon fuels than terrorism. If they cut back on terrorism exports, they could afford to spend money on other things, but perhaps there are traditional cultural reasons for maintaining the expense (for a historical perspective, see assassination, political). Iran is also the world's largest exporter of wild sturgeon caviar. I'm just amazed fish still survive in the Caspian.

Iridium. Atomic number 77. One of the platinum group metals.

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

Impulse-Radiating Antenna.

Individual Retirement Account.

El Instituto Riva-Agüero. It's an institute of advanced studies of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Escuela de Altos Estudios de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú), founded in 1947. It's named for José de la Riva-Agüero y Osma (1885-1944), ``one of the most notable Peruvian humanists of the 20th century.'' The focus areas of the institute are Archaeology, Popular Art and Culture, Law, Philosophy, History, and Language and Literature. The university also has a Centro de Estudios Filosóficos (`Philosophical Studies Center'). Ask me, this is overkill.

International Reading Association.

Irish Republican Army. ``IRA cease-fire'' used to refer to the interval between bombings -- however long it took to make another bomb. Now it means something completely different.

The IRA is generally believed to be funded by charitable contributions from Irish nationalist sympathizers in the US. However, they also have income from mafia-like operations in Northern Ireland and foreign operations like sharing their bomb-making expertise with FARC guerillas.

Technically, the IRA is only the PIRA (provisional same). It puts me in the mind of ``actual, existing socialism'' (communism).

There is something called Sinn Féin (pronounced ``shin FEIGN'') that is typically described as ``the IRA's political wing.'' Sinn Féin and the IRA are, you know, ``in contact'' ... they receive communications from each other, by some mysterious means. Séances, perhaps. So if Irish and British governments negotiate with the political group Sinn Féin, then Sinn Féin might be able to prevail upon the terrorist group (the IRA) to diminish its violence and even eventually to lay down its arms, so long as this can be done in a nonverifiable way. This kind of peace process is known as ``never negotiating with terrorists.''

In 2004, during an extended period of ``qualified cease fire'' observed by an independent monitoring commission (IMC), the government of the Irish Republic was negotiating with Sinn Féin for the IRA (not innocent Sinn Féin, of course) to renounce its ``criminal activities'' (as opposed to its other activities). Then, that December 20, someone staged a carefully planned robbery of Northern Bank, Belfast, taking away 26 million pounds -- one of the largest cash heists in history. The MO -- kidnapping a couple of bank employees and holding their families hostage -- was similar to that used in a series of earlier, less profitable crimes. Irish and Northern Irish police blamed the IRA. Feelings were hurt on many sides, so much so that harsh words were spoken in the aftermath.

In February 2005, after making its own independent investigation, the IMC also concluded that the IRA committed the bank robbery and the series of similar crimes that preceded it. Moreover, the IMC reiterated some claims it had made in its first report, published in April 2004, summarized by these, uh, bullets:

* Some members, including some senior members, of Sinn Féin are also members, including, in some cases, senior members of PIRA.
* Sinn Féin, particularly through its senior members, is in a position to exercise considerable influence on PIRA's major policy decisions, even if it is not in a position actually to determine what policies or operational strategies the PIRA will adopt. We believe that decisions of the republican movement as a whole about these matters lie more with the leadership of PIRA than with Sinn Féin.
* Within the PIRA some decisions follow a process of consultation with the membership initiated by the leadership.

In the usual measured language, the IMC ``note[d that although] Sinn Féin has said it is opposed to criminality of any kind it appears at times to have its own definition of what constitutes a crime.'' Ah -- it's always some little technicality that gets in the way of peace.

As of mid-March 2005, the bank heist and one other event have caused a sea change in public mood. The other event was the vicious murder January 30 of Robert McCartney, father of two. Nothing unusual in the event, but in the aftermath his sisters and girlfriend have mounted a public campaign to get the IRA to lift the intimidation (how do you say omerta in Gaelic?) preventing some 70 witnesses from admitting they saw anything. So effective has their campaign been that the IRA has made them a counter-offer (to execute McCartney's murderers), and other victims' families are beginning to take heart and publicly demand justice. There are even calls for Catholic and Protestant communities to come together against the terror.

Meanwhile, the political side-effects of the bank robbery have continued. The Irish government is saying, in effect, that it chooses to remove the scales from its eyes, and that Sinn Féin is the IRA. Pundits are urging the British government to make the same discovery. I dunno. Anyone who would believe that Sinn Féin is the IRA probably believed that the terrorist group Al Fatah (cofounded by Yasser Arafat) is the same as a liberation organization (the PLO, led by Chairman -- it sounds so sedentary -- Yasser Arafat). This is stupid: they're distinct organizations. One hand is not responsible for what the other is doing.


Irish Review of Antiquity.

Well, no, not really. Just a little academic classicist humor.

International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching.

Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique. Interestingly, the homepage gives the organization name in French, German (Institut für Radioastronomie im Millimeterbereich) and Spanish (Instituto de Radioastronomía Milimétrica). (The page title is in French.) The name is not given in English (how are we supposed to figure out what the page is about?!?), but the rest of the page conent is in English (oh). Almost none of the site content appears to be available in any language other than English (the actual facilities are located in France and Spain).

Instituto Argentino de Racionalización de Materiales. Among other things, it certifies electronic components, so its bailiwick is larger than it was when it received its name.

Intelligent Random-Access Memory (RAM). A semiconductor memory chip -- probably DRAM -- that also has a bit of processing power. See PIM.

Interview for the Retrospective Assessment of the Onset of Schizophrenia.

{ Internal | Institutional } Review Board. All hospitals and medical centers have them, many universities and colleges too, though they serve a different role.

Medical IRB's review incidents and accidents, and procedures and performance, possibly adjusting the latter to prevent the former from happening again. Post-secondary IRB's just meddle bureaucratically to prevent component divisions of the school from performing their assigned tasks. (E.g., they must approve the administration of any assessment projects by the assessment office, whenever the office wants to solicit data from students. The traditional name for this is ``a bone in your throat.'')

Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile. You know, it's that uncomfortable intermediate range, like the teen years: too long-range to be medium-range but not quite up to the ``intercontinental'' range. And of course, there's always the question of setting boundaries, of milestones and comings-of-age. Some say you're long enough to be intermediate at 2500 km, some say no less that 3000 km. You may think it's a quibble, but for the little country that's trying to play with the big boys, it's an issue.

And what's long enough to be intercontinental? The Red Sea separates Asia and Africa -- that's intercontinental, isn't it? No? You want 3500 km? Some say 5000 km?! 5500!!???

Information Resources Center (of the Special Libraries Association -- SLA).

Institute for Roman Culture. IRC is the acronym used for itself by an organization calling itself the American Institute for Roman Culture. They use a logo with an A above an IRC, and I'm going to consider AIRC their identifying acronym.

International Reply Coupon. This is sort of like a collect call: it's a convenient way for a person in country A to pay for a letter sent from country B at much more than the price of the stamp sold in B for the same purpose.

In late 1919 the Securities Exchange Company (in spirit the very opposite of the SEC) was founded in Boston. They sold notes redeemable after 90 days for 50% more than the amount invested -- and soon adopted the practice of redeeming them in 45 days instead. If you rolled them over immediately, the compounding should have led to an effective interest rate just above 2,580% per annum.

This was the classic ``pyramid scheme,'' in which previous investors are paid off (if not induced to reinvest) from the capital of new investors. This works as long as unliquidated plus new investments (minus what the scheme organizers skim off the top) grow at the appropriate exponential rate, but eventually the pyramid collapses. The organizers abscond or try to.

Of course, in the better schemes, the organizers give some more-or-less plausible explanation of how the amazing returns are generated. This 1919 scheme was one of the best (or perhaps worst) -- the president of the company was Charles Ponzi, and since that time pyramid schemes have been known as Ponzi schemes. How did Ponzi's company say it was earning all that money? By arbitraging IRC's (the putative subject of this entry). I am grateful to Mark for pointing out the connection and contributing the details (as well as for numerous other improvements to the glossary).

By the time the scheme collapsed 8 months later, the company had taken in $15 million, but its liabilities exceeded its assets by $3 million. One of the things that helped bring it down was that the Postmaster General pointed out that there were not enough IRC's in existence in the world for them to have been telling the truth.

See Ponzi Schemes, Invaders from Mars, & more Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Joseph Bulgatz (1992, Harmony, ISBN 0-517-58830-7).

Ponzi schemes are illegal. It seems like there has been a resurgence of them in recent years. One variant is the chain letter (``send $5 to the first five names on this list, add your name at the bottom and send to five friends, ...'') now experiencing new life in email. The amazing thing about this version is that it doesn't even pretend to be anything other than a pyramid scheme.

I saw a picture of Ponzi in an article on a perceived increase in investor suits and complaints to the SEC from victims of investment schemes (this was in the NYTimes, 1999.05.25, first business page). Ponzi looked like Milton Berle.

The other historic scam of 1919 is discussed at the WS entry. Insurance policies involve a kind of investment, and have been used as the basis for Ponzi schemes also. See the MEWA entry for an example. For more bunko scams, see the Brooklyn Bridge entry.

You know, in 2001 I received an email out of the blue from someone claiming to be a middle-level official in the former Zaïre. He had a lot of hard-to-explain money that was burning a hole in his mattress, and he needed my help to get it out of his war-torn country. Oh yeah, he got my name from some trusted common acquaintances. I can imagine that my help would have consisted of providing a bank account through which his money could be laundered, for which I would be handsomely rewarded, but first he would have needed a blank check so he could make the necessary transfers. Gee, it turns out that in fact, this scam often involves travel to far-off destinations (often Nigeria), where you can pay a lot of up-front money (for bribes, sometimes literally to launder money, etc.), with your cut for helping launder the money as the carrot. You've arrived in the country without a proper visa, and when the carrot no longer works, the stick may be literal, or it may be the need to bribe your way back out of the country.

That year (2001) was apparently a big one for this sort of thing, and others have been showered with a variety of generally similar investment opportunities. Don't jump at the first offer; those trusted common acquaintances will keep on selling your name. Not all of the opportunities came from <yahoo.com> mailboxes. There's a <yahoo.co.uk> as well, you know. Joining the bunko brigade recently are smaller free email services like TechEmail (which features ``Spam Detection/Blocking'' -- apparently effective only inbound) and alloymail. Oh, here's a dash of exoticism: an invitation to help launder Nigerian money from an Irish email address (eircom.net). For more heartening news on how business opportunities are dissolving the artificial barriers that separate us, visit the B&W entry.

The reason I was not bilked by this perfectly sensible-sounding transaction is that I am spotlessly honest, and I feared that this very believable scheme might require me to do something possibly slightly ethically questionable. You know what they used to say: ``you can't cheat an honest man.'' They used to say this because they preferred to confess dishonesty than stupidity. Forget 1919; this scam is so ancient it's the criminal equivalent of being held up with an arquebus. For a few links on this version see the 419 entry.

Speaking of ancient, in the 1930's when my father was a teenager in Chile, some guy tried to perpetrate one of the standard scams on him, I forget which. As my father (this is actually before he was my father, of course) ran off, ostensibly home for some money, he visited the police commissary. The bunko artist was well known to the cops, so they took the guy in and beat him up again. I guess that dishonest marks and police brutality are just unfair misfortunes that you have to average into the costs of an otherwise rewarding line of work.

It all basically comes down to yield: what fraction of potential marks falls for the scam. Data seem to be limited, so you may appreciate this semiquantitative quasireliable news. CNN reported on August 8, 2005, that Nigeria is cracking down on Internet scams. The report begins with some personal color -- a vignette of one Kele B., who has sent out ``tens of thousands'' of emails telling recipients they have won about $6.4 million in a British government ``Internet lottery.''

``Congratulation! You Are Our Lucky Winner!''

Kele reports that so far he's had only one response, from an American who paid more than $5000 in ``fees and taxes.'' So a yield below about 0.01% is sufficient return on investment to keep Kele coming to his local Internet cafe. Others are more successful, however. The current crackdown, which started in 2002, recovered cash and assets worth more than $700 million between May 2003 and June 2004, from a mere ``more than 500'' arrested suspects.

International Rescue Committee. An American NGO that provides relief, protection, and resettlement, for refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict.

Internet Relay Chat. A client-server protocol that allows multiple clients to ``talk to each other'' (send short, inane messages to strangers) through the server. Also ``undernet.'' Here are links to IRC FAQ's. The usual port is 6667.

This page lists a number of IRC servers and links to other information.

ichat is a netscape plug-in for chats.

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. I've seen an ad or two with the conclusion is an AA/EEO/IRCA/ADA employer.

Inter-Residence and Campus Businesses. A ``division of the Faculty Student Association, (FSA) the not-for-profit services corporation at the University at Buffalo'' (UB).

InfraRed CounterMeasures. Because target acquisition is often based on IR imaging, some effort to protect potential targets goes into emitting an IR signal that will overwhelm enemy IR imaging systems' detectors.

The Institute for Research in Classical Philosophy and Science. It ``is a non-profit educational corporation established in late 1983 by scholars at various academic institutions in Canada, Europe, and the United States. Its primary purpose is to enhance higher education and to promote research in both the sciences and the humanities, by fostering and supporting scholarly study concerning the history of the interaction between science and its interpretation in the various societies and language groups constituting Western and Near Eastern culture.''

IRCPS has in its care in Princeton what they call the Neugebauer Index. It's a microform version (actually microfilm and also fiche) of Otto Neugebauer's 26-thousand-plus file cards, available for research purposes only to scholars and institutions, along with a user's guide and directory.

IRCPS also has an electronic publication called Aestimatio: Critical Reviews in the History of Science. ``Aestimatio provides critical, timely assessments of books published in the history of what was called science from antiquity up to the early modern period in cultures ranging from Spain to India, and from Africa to northern Europe. The aim is to allow reviewers the opportunity to engage critically both the results of research in the history of science and how these results are obtained.''

Independent Research and Development.

Integrated Receiver/Decoder. For satellite TV transmissions.

InfraRed Data Association.

Image Reference Data Base.

IR divergence
Vide infrared divergence.

Institute of Radio Engineers (predecessor of the IEEE).

InfraRed-light-Emitting Diode.

Institute of Real Estate Management. ``Transforming Knowledge Into Value.'' Well ain't that specific. I suppose if you've got an informative name, you can go fuzzy on the motto. The web site's got value available in nine languages.

International Research and EXchange Board. A ``nonprofit organization founded in 1968 to administer academic and research exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union. Committed to education in the broadest sense of the word, IREX efforts have expanded both geographically and topically to encompass professional training, institution building, technical assistance, and policy programs with the Newly Independent States (NIS), Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), and Mongolia.''

Institutet för rymdfysik. Swedish `Institute of Space Physics.'

International Radio Frequencies Board. The institution that coordinates international agreements on radio and communication satellites, and on the jostling for space in the crowded electromagnetic spectrum.

Irish Rugby Football Union.

International ReproGraphic Association. The Annual Convention is in May. Hope they printed up enough fliers.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

International Republican Institute. ``Republican Party,'' in English or translated, is not an especially popular party name around the world. The R-word in the name is intended to be understood as the nonpartisan small-R republican, but it does happen to be the case that all the prominent officers of the IRI are associated with the Republican party in the US.

``The International Republican Institute ... was founded in 1983, as a nonprofit nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing democracy, freedom, self-government and the rule of law worldwide. IRI programs are nonpartisan and adhere to the fundamental American principles of individual freedom, equal opportunity and the entrepreneurial spirit that fosters economic development.

IRI was founded after President Ronald Reagan's 1982 speech before the British Parliament in Westminster in which he proposed a broad objective of helping countries build the infrastructure of democracy. Quoting the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he stated `we must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings.'

The Westminster speech led to the establishment of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) by Congress in 1983. The NED is a mechanism that channels congressional funds [``congressional''? so it's not ultimately coming out of my pocket?] to the four institutes: The International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). These organizations are uniquely qualified to provide technical assistance to aspiring democrats worldwide.''

I notice also that the names associated with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs are Democratic-party names. It appears that the IRI and NDI, whatever legitimately nonpartisan and arguably beneficial work they may be doing, are a bipartisan boondoggle.

InfraRed (IR) Interferometer Spectrometer. An instrument on the Voyager space probe.

Illinois Researcher Information Service.

Information Regarding Israel's Security.

Irish Interpreter, The
The newsletter of the Athletic Compliance Office of the University of Notre Dame, home of the Pugnacious Hibernians, or whatever. ``The newsletter is designed to keep Notre Dame's faculty, staff, alumni, and student-athletes up to date on the latest news concerning NCAA rules and regulations.''

Irish sports pages
The obituary notices. All I know about the usage is a comment by Joseph Epstein, in an August 16, 2010, valedictory (``Adios, Gray Lady,'' subtitled ``Joseph Epstein cancels his 'New York Times' subscription''). He wrote ``Most days now I do no more than scan the headlines on the front page, check the sports pages for the pitchers in that day's White Sox and Cubs games, then flip over to the Irish sports pages, as the obits have been called, to see if anyone I know has pegged out.''

Illinois Researcher Information Service / Online Periodical Service. ``A graphical interface to the OPS database of selected items from the Commerce Business Daily and the Federal Register.'' [It may be that your institution does not subscribe or subscribes only to the telnet version.]

The SGI unIX. I'll get back here when I learn what creative thing the first two letters stand for.

I'm back, but I haven't found out yet. I just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten, completely. Don't give up hope, sucker.

International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism at Hanazono University (Kyoto, Japan). According to the old homepage, discontinued in 1999, IRIZ is an academic research institution devoted to the study of Zen Buddhism. I don't know...it all seems so, un-Zen. They should at least acknowledge the futility.

Indy Racing League. Same as USAC. Founded in March 1994 by Tony George, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, completed its first season in 1996. In competition with CART, which in 1996 staged a ``US 500'' at the Michigan International Speedway on the same day as the Indy 500. (In the weeks before the race, it was looking like the race would be a joke, with a pick-up truck qualifying. In the event, the race was competitive and the crowd normal -- 350K -- although most big-name CART teams are staying out of IRL so far.) George is trying to keep the costs and speed of the race down, and give more American drivers a chance. He's also resisting the trend towards more Grand Prix-style (road course) racing.

In Real Life.

After visiting this glossary many years ago, my friend Steve commented that it was just like me, but concentrated. So IRL I'm like, diluted.

InfraRed (IR) Light Emitting Diode (LED).

International Recording Media Association.

Iterated Rippled Noise. Rippled noise (RN) is the sum of a random noise signal and a delayed copy of that signal. Iterated rippled noise is the sum of copies separated by multiples of a common delay. Audible IRN sounds like a buzzy tone: a tone with a pitch at the reciprocal of the delay, with background noise like the original noise signal.

Islamic Republic News Agency. An anagram of the country it ``serves.'' Cf. MNA.

International Registration Plan. Plan for streamlined registration for international trucking.

ISDN Remote Power Controller.

Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas. Spanish `Personal Income Tax.'

In Spanish, persona física is literally `physical person'; the term persona natural is equivalent. The terms are used in Roman law to distinguish a human from an artificial legal entity like a corporation, partnership, or estate. Any of the latter is called a persona jurídica. Other terms include persona moral (a translation of the Latin corpus morale) and various terms in legal theory that are generally less common (e.g., personal ideal). These are not entirely equivalent, but the distinctions are out of my bailiwick.

International Relations and Pacific Studies. A big deal at UCSD.

International Reliability Physics Symposium. Consponsored by the IEEE.

International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals.

Industrial Relations Research Association.

International Rice Research Institute.

Indian { Remote-sensing | Resources } Satellite.

(US) Internal Revenue Service. The on-line U.S. tax code is a Swiss mirror of the U.S. House of Representatives gopher.

Great icon.

International Rough Set Society. We'll hae nae moren yer lilly-livered, weak-tea-sippin' Fuzzy Sets! Arrr! Yill see whut comesenem! Arrrr!

Interborough Rapid Transit. The private company that built New York's first subway line, opened in 1904. The term is still used informally to refer to their routes. Cf. BMT, IND, NYCT.

Since the use of punctuation in initialisms has declined and can now seem old-fashioned, it is natural that the punctuated form (I.R.T.) has come to be used exclusively for the original private company, in contradistinction to the IRT lines within the current publicly operated subway system.

[Society of] International Railway Travelers. Sometimes ``IRT Society'' for short. ``The Society of International Railway Travelers is an international organization of sophisticated travelers who prefer going by rail.'' The society publishes a newsletter entitled The International Railway Traveler.

I [mis]Read That As. Email and newsgroup abbreviation. Used in uk.rec.sheds, at least. Cf. mondegreen.

Internet Research Task Force.

Indiana Romance Writers of America. We also serve an RWA entry.

(Domain code for) Iceland. In Icelandic (Íslenzka), Iceland (meaning ice-land) is Ísland. Iceland's parliament, the Althing is over a thousand years old, and the longest continuously functioning parliament in the world.

See the Vigdis Finnbogadóttir entry for more.

Iceland's long isolation and relatively small genetic pool (shrunk over years of isolation and especially during years of disease-reduced population) mean that family trees are very completely known, and significant deviations from the mean can be studied both genetically and clinically. In 1998 or so, after extensive and even acrimonious debate, a law was passed empowering one company to gather DNA samples from everyone on the island. There is a voluntary element in the study, but even those who opt out will not stay completely unsampled, genetically or otherwise, since everyone is related. Needless to say, there are worrisome bioethics issues.

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

Information System[s]. Ideally, one wants an intelligent information system (IIS). Desiderata would include:
  • If you ask, ``Do you know what time it is?'' it'll reply with an answer more useful than ``yes'' or ``now?''
  • If you ask, ``What's the name of that woman married the baseball player, Henry Miller, and was the first platinum blonde, and sang to the accompaniment of President Harry Truman's piano playing?'' it'll reply: ``You're either pulling my leg or you're totally culturally ignorant. Go waste the time of the IBM mainframe, I've got calculations to do.'' This is called queue management, part of efficient multitasking. You, on the other hand, were attempting to access fault-tolerant content-addressable memory.
For an example of an IIS, see an earlier entry. Yes, even if you've already read it. No, I insist. That's it, no bed-time story tonight. As punishment, you must work all the chapter seven problems in Jackson's E&M.

Interim Standard[s].

International Standard. This abbreviation is used by ISO, but the individual standards are named in the form ``ISO ###.''

Intrinsic Safety.

You can't fall off the floor.


Inverted Stepanov (crystal growth method).

Island. (Also I., Isl.)

Industry Standard Architecture (expansion bus). Computer communication bus standard used in most old IBM-compatible PC's, first introduced on the IBM PC-AT in 1983. The original standard was 8 bits, expanded to 16 bits in 1984, with a maximum speed of 8.3 MHz.

Institute for the Study of the Americas. ``The Institute for the Study of the Americas promotes, coordinates and provides a focus for research and postgraduate teaching on the Americas -- Canada, the US, Latin America and the Caribbean -- in the University of London.'' It was founded in August 2004 through a merger of the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) with the Institute of United States Studies (IUSS), both of which had been founded in 1965. Organizationally, the ILAS and IUSS were, and ISA is, within the School of Advanced Study.

Instrument Society of America. Nowadays prefers ``ISA, the international society for measurement and control.''

International Sociological Association. ``A non-profit association for scientific purposes. The ISA was founded in 1949 under the auspices of UNESCO.'' A member of ISSC, itself another UNESCO shop. You have to question the scholarship of an organization and a research discipline that willingly associates with something as infamously corrupt and blindly political as UNESCO. Then again, they probably benefit from increased access this way, so I guess it's okay. After all, they're sociologists -- they probably know all about dysfunctional groups.

``The on-going scientific activities of the ISA are decentralised in Research Committees, Working Groups and Thematic Groups, each dealing with a well recognized specialty in sociology. These groups bring together scholars who wish to pursue comparative research on a transnational basis and they constitute basic networks of scientific research, intellectual debate and professional exchange.'' This page lists the Research Committees, all 53 of them. Our glossary hosts some perfectly redundant information on RC33, but we'll be adding the all-important snide commentary as soon as time pressures permit.

InterSubstrate Alignment (microscope). Allows two (opaque) substrates to have patterns aligned on the inside (i.e. on the sides facing each other, that will be bonded together).

Israel { Securities Authority | Security Agency (Shin Bet) | Space Agency }.

Israeli Security Academy.

ISDN Subscriber Access Controller.

Institute for the Study of American Cultures. A group of ``diffusionist'' researchers. Diffusionists believe that since the initial colonization of the Americas (by whatever peoples at whatever times) there have been multiple intentional contacts between the Old and New Worlds (both across the Pacific and the Atlantic) previous the Columbus. This goes against the present orthodoxy of a social science called anthropology.

International Symposium on Autonomous Decentralized Systems (ADS). The third was in Berlin in 1997. The fourth was in Tokyo in 1999. The fifth was in Dallas, Texas in 2001.

International Surface Air Lift. Special shipping method offered by the USPS from designated US cities, for printed matter only: air mail to the foreign country, surface mail there. Cheaper than straight air mail service.

Indexed-Sequential Access Method. One of the two standard approaches to data storage in IBM mainframes. The other is VSAM. Both ISAM and VSAM are storage methods intermediate between completely sequential and completely direct accessing. An index stores entry points to a set of keys, but the keys do not specify record locations completely. Instead, keys specify particular blocks of records, and the records are stored sequentially within the block. (This sounds a lot like a hierarchical file structure with only two levels, except that it's organization within one file.) In addition to the obvious advantages and disadvantages in access time and directory size, there are also some utilities which take advantage of the data organization by sequentially accessing from a certain entry point on (``skip-sequential processing'').

The main difference between ISAM and VSAM has to do with how different data blocks are located on a physical storage device, and especially how blocks are extended physically when they are modified.

International Standard AudioVisual Number. Jointly developed by AGICOA and CISAC. (Ongoing work here.)

Internet Server API.

Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of Japan.

International School for Advanced Studies. (English of Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati.) In Trieste.

The International Society of Anglo-Saxonists. Founded in 1983 to further all aspects of Anglo-Saxon Studies. It has held a meeting in every odd-numbered year from 1983 on. Since 1987 (Toronto meeting), meetings in 4n+3 years have been in North America, 4n+1 years in Europe.

Indiana State Bar Association.

Information Systems Business Area.

International Standard Bibliographic Description.

Illinois State Board of Education.

International Satellite Business Network. Hughes tm.

International Standard Book Number[ing]. The ISBN system is used to assign a unique book to each assigned ten-digit number. (Some books end up with more than one number, so the ISBN isn't unique, though the book of an ISBN is unique. That's the nonambiguity you care want.)

The system was introduced into the UK by J. Whitaker & Sons Ltd. in 1967, and into the US by the R. R. Bowker Company in 1968. ISO standard 2108 specifies that the items assigned ISBN numbers may include ``printed books and pamphlets (in various bindings), mixed media publications, other similar media including educational films/videos and transparencies, books on cassettes, microcomputer software, electronic publications, braille publications and maps. Serial publications and music sound recordings are specifically excluded, as they are covered by other identification systems.''

What about websites?

The numbers have three coded data fields and one checksum character. The first field is a single-digit ``group identifier.'' It gives some indication of the country, language or geographic area in which the book was published. Group identifiers 0 and 1 are used for the ``English-speaking countries,'' including the Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.

The second field identifies the publisher or producer of the book, and the third field specifies a particular title (or revised edition) in that publisher's list. The first two fields together are the ISBN prefix.

The ISBN is all decimal digits, except for the checksum, which is either a decimal digit or the letter ex.

There are many tens of thousands of publishers in at least a couple of the regions. The US ISBN Agency alone had entered just about 100,000 publishers at the turn of the century. (Note that most of the organizations that publish at least one book or pamphlet, and thus need an ISBN, are not primarily publishers.) Some publishers have put out over a hundred thousand books. If the fields were of fixed length, they would require a total of at least thirteen digits, not counting the checksum. Most publishers, however, need only a few title identifiers, while the number of publishers that need very many title identifiers is also few. The ISBN is kept to ten digits by assigning short publisher identifiers to the few larger publishers, so they have more digits available for titles. Publishers that run out of numbers get an additional publisher number.

In the US, the separate fields in ISBN's are indicated by hyphen separation. However, certain patterns make it possible to recognize how long the publisher identifier will be, so in principle the hyphens aren't needed. In particular, the ISBN's beginning 00 and 01 are for two-digit identifiers of very large publishers, so they would hyphenate 0-pp-tttttt-c, where pp is in the range from 00 to 19 and tttttt is one of a million title numbers. ISBN's beginning in 02, 03, 04, 05, or 06 are for three-digit publisher numbers, 07 and 080 through 084 for four-digit publishers, and 085-089 for five-digit publishers and 09 so far for six-digit publishers. Other group identifiers use their own patterns (whereas 06 is for three-digit publishers, 16 is for five-digit publishers). There's a pretty obvious pecking order here.

Bowker offers more information. I just offer some examples from my personal library. This is a different pecking order. If a two-digit publisher hasn't managed to get a book into my library, there's a good chance that when you scrape the trash out of their list, they only publish as many worthwhile books as a three-digit publisher.

0-02	Macmillan (Free Press)
0-03	Harcourt Brace
0-06	HarperCollins (was Harper & Rowe;
	now has various imprints HarperFoobar.  Belongs to Murdock's News
        Corp.; took a big hit on author advances and returns of unsold books
        in 1996; summer 1997 rumors, denied, that division would be sold)
0-07	McGraw-Hill
0-08	Pergamon
0-12	Academic Press
0-13	Prentice Hall (Sunsoft)
0-19	Clarendon (Oxford University Press) (US site too)
0-201	Addison-Wesley
0-256	Irwin (Parent company Times-Mirror
	was acquired by McGraw-Hill in 1996)
0-226	University of Chicago Press
0-262	MIT Press
0-304	Cassell
0-306	Plenum
0-312	St. Martin's
0-316	Little, Brown
0-385	Doubleday (part of BDD)
0-387	Springer-Verlag New York
0-393	W. W. Norton
0-395	Houghton-Mifflin
0-412	Butterworths (Borough Green, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 8PH, England)
0-412	Chapman & Hall
0-415	Routledge
0-440	Dell (part of BDD)
0-442	Van Nostrand Reinhold
0-471	Wiley
0-486	Dover
0-521	Cambridge University Press (CUP)
0-536	Xerox
0-553	Bantam (part of BDD)
0-670	Penguin (Viking)  (US site)
0-671	Simon and Schuster (Pocket Books; Washington Square Books)
0-672	Adobe Press (publ. by Prentice Hall)
0-674	Harvard University Press
0-679	Vintage and other Random House imprints
0-688	William Morrow
0-691	Princeton University Press  (or here)
0-887	William Morrow & Co.
0-7139	Penguin, Ltd.
0-7503	Adam Hilger (UK IOP)
0-7645	IDG (``International Data Group'')
	(The ``...For Dummies'' books)
0-7821	Sybex
0-8014	Cornell University Press
0-8018	Johns Hopkins University Press
0-8020	University of Toronto Press
0-8052	Schocken Books
0-8053	Benjamin/Cummings (for years now a part Addison-Wesley)
0-8093	Southern Illinois U.P. (Carbondale and Edwardsville)
0-8162	Holden-Day
0-8176	Birkhäuser Boston
0-8186	IEEE
0-8194	SPIE
0-8306	TAB Books
0-8493	CRC (Chemical Rubber Company)
0-85274	IOP as well
0-86516	Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.
0-87819	CRC (Chemical Rubber Company) (older no.)
0-88029	Barnes and Noble
0-911014	NEO Press
0-912675	Ardsley House Publ., Inc.
0-937073	Center for the Study of Language and Information (Stanford U.)
1-56592 O'Reilly and Associates
	(also a German-language version)
1-57444 St. Luice Press, now part of CRC Press LLC.
2-226   Albin-Michel Paris
3-540	Springer-Verlag Berlin
3-7643	Birkhäuser Basel
90-277	D. Reidel Pub. Co.
981-02	World Scientific

R. R. Bowker is the sole US agent for ISBN International. Bowker also handles SAN. Irritatingly, Bowker uses the isbn.org domain as the website for ISBN in the US, and has a few pages of ISBN International content in a subdirectory. Here's something apposite:

The fact remains that in current bourgeois cinema, attention to visual information is total. That the disruptive nature of typographical errors in sub-titles is not noticed and corrected is a sign that it is not felt.
  This links it to a broad variety of other social phenomena, such as the method of speed-reading in which individual words recede and are replaced by a Gestalt comprehension of content, or the techniques developed for display advertising and product packaging (including mass market publishing) for the printing of information which, for any number of reasons (e.g., it is considered ``inessential'' such as the identification of the jacket designer, or possibly counterproductive to sales, such as a listing of chemical additives in canned foods), the producer does not wish the customer to read. In this sense the most revealing language in Noam Chomsky's Reflections on Language may well be the ISBN number on its rear cover, printed in a different direction and in a lighter color than the rest of that page's text.

Google the source for more serious nonsense.

The successor to the old ISBN (retronym: ``ISBN-10''). Every ISBN-13 begins with the digits 978, followed by ten digits that are not exactly the same as the digits of the ISBN-10, for your convenience.

Industrial Source Complex.

Inverse Symbolic Calculator.

Short-Circuit Current. The amount of current that a power source will drive when it is shorted. The maximum current a power source will drive. Cf. VOC; see FF or MPP for more complete discussion.


Independent Schools Classical Association. A UK organization.

International Society for Computer Aided Surgery.

International Symposium on Circuits And Systems.

International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project.

International Society for Cultural History. The meaning of cultural would be rather different if the last word were histology.

Interstitial-Cell-Stimulating Hormone. Also LH.

Ugly pronunciation of the German personal pronoun ich.

Industrial Source Complex Long-Term (model), version 2. Simulation code recommended by the EPA for modeling air-quality effects of site-specific emissions. The related short-term model is ISCST2.

International Symposium on Communications.

Industrial Source Complex Short-Term (model), version 2. Simulation code recommended by the EPA for modeling air-quality effects of site-specific emissions. The related long-term model is ISCLT2.


International Society for the Classical Tradition. Official publication is International Journal of the Classical Tradition.

Independent School District.

Information Systems { Debacle | Department | Division }.

International Centre for Sustainable DEvelopment of the Cement and Concrete Industry.

Integrated Services Digital Network. Dan Kegel has collected some online resources thereon. Hmmm. Not sure if that link isn't dead. How unusual.

ISDN uses pulse-code modulation (PCM) to digitize speech.

International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium.

Upside down PEPSI.

International Securities Exchange. An electronic trading system that began trading in the 500 most active options in 2000. By 2004 it was the largest US market for options on stocks and stock indices. I haven't figured out yet what the I-word in its name means.

Independent School Entrance Examination. A three-hour admission test for entrance into grades five through twelve. Actually three different tests going by a common name. ISEE Lower Level (candidates for grades 5 and 6), Middle Level (7 and 8), and Upper Level (9-12). Note that a single test suffices for 8th graders and 11th graders, while students in an equal four-year range at a lower level require two different tests. This makes all kinds of sense, and it's easy to lampoon, so I won't. It's not sufficiently challenging to my satirical abilities, and when you're not challenged, you're not interested. DIY. Administererd by ERB. Cf. SSAT.

International Sun-Earth Explorer. Probably pronounced in two syllables.

ISrael-Europe Research and Development Directorate. The official body that negotiates for EU funding of Israeli projects.

Every four years the EU doles out some 15 billion euros in research grants to over 30 member and associate states (the PA and Israel are member, mmm, states) through its Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, the world's largest R&D fund. Participating countries pay a serious membership fee, and in return they are entitled to submit an unlimited number of proposals in a broad range of fields.

During the fifth ``framework'' (1999-2002), Israel paid approximately US$160 million in dues and received a similar amount in awards. Israeli researchers submitted 2,900 proposals, of which 780 were accepted and funded. (Most of the funding went to physical sciences and engineering, particularly information technology.) You're probably wondering, ``why participate in this mass lottery?'' Why not cut out the middle-man? Just take the dues and distribute them directly in grants to Israeli researchers. The reasoning is that the process fosters useful contacts and partnerships with European firms and technology transfers from Europe. Marcel Shaton, director general of ISERD, is quoted in the 13 June 2002 Jerusalem Post as estimating that Israel's investment in the Framework program has yielded Israel's industries, including such bodies as the Israel Aircraft Industry, some billion and a half euros. It's not clear what period of time that covers, or how the number was estimated. It looks like one of those infamous estimates of ``spin-off'' benefits of research expenditures. And perhaps the head of ISERD is not a completely unbiased source for this information.

International Solar Energy Society.

Is everybody happy?
Trademark phrase of Ted Lewis.

International Science Foundation. A Soros foundation. Soros is the currency speculator and all-around crazy billionaire who goes around being charitable in the former communist countries. He published a book this year (1995). His ISF funds fundamental research in the former Soviet Union.

Iraqi Security Forces.

Ion-Sensitive Field-Effect Transistor (FET).

International Society for Philosophers. I don't know what it is about that preposition, but it seems to have become very popular in organization names in Britain. The country's government renamed a number of ``Ministries of'' to be ``Departments for,'' and here the philosophers are getting into the act.

Another difference between American and British for usage involves time intervals. We and they both describe continuing or recurring positive conditions with for. E.g., ``I've been in therapy for four decades.'' I mean ``positive'' here in the sense that a thing is described as happening rather than not happening. In America, but not in Britain, persistent negative conditions are now usually described with in. E.g., ``I haven't been in therapy in four decades.'' (But still ``I have been out of therapy for four decades.'') This distinction has a certain utility, because it effects a disambiguation: it is still meaningful to use for, but that might negate only the contrary statement. That is, to an American, ``I haven't been in therapy for four decades'' might simply mean that you took a break from therapy in 1998.

Well, detailed linguistic analysis is very much a part of philosophy. The ISFP is a sister organization of the Philosophical Society of England (PSOE). Membership in ISFP is free. It seems that ISFP was created primarily to promote and market ``Pathways to Philosophy'' products (awards, programs and learning materials) originally distributed and run in the UK by the PSOE.

Run by some of the same people: Philsophical Pathways newsletter.

International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases. The 13th was in 2004, and the 14th is in Toulon (on the French Riviera) in 2006.

is highly intelligent
Shares all my delusions precisely.

Japanese: `intuitive understanding.' Usually associated with higengo, `nonverbal communication,' but evidently makes some use of underlying cultural commonality.

International Society for Hybrid Microelectronics. Founded in 1967; merged with IEPS in 1996 to become IMAPS.

International Society for the History of the Neurosciences. Holds an annual meeting; 10th in 2005.

International Swimming Hall Of Fame.

International Symposium on High Performance Computing.

International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology. I'd like to buy a vowel, please. The society ``brings together scholars from diverse disciplines, including the life sciences as well as history, philosophy, and social studies of science. ISHPSSB summer meetings are known for innovative, transdisciplinary sessions, and for fostering informal, co-operative exchanges and on-going collaborations.'' In case you've never attended a technical conference of any kind whatsoever, let me just mention that the ``fostering ... exchanges and ongoing collaborations'' bit is true of all conferences.

International Society for the History of Rhetoric. ``The purpose of the [ISHR] is to promote study of the theory and practice of rhetoric in all periods and languages. The Society fosters inquiry into the relationship of rhetoric to poetics, literary theory and criticism, philosophy, politics, religion, law, and other aspects of the cultural context.''

The society publishes Rhetorica, a quarterly.

Illinois State Historical Society.

The (largely Hungarian) International Society for Hermeneutics and Science.

Inventory of Sources for History of Twentieth Century Physics. ``[A] computer database identifying almost a million relevant letters scattered in 35 countries.'' On-line demo. Six hundred dollars for real. Shucks, Borders didn't have a copy on hand for browsing. Published by TAPSHA.

Indian Standards Institution.

Indian Statistical Institution. Boy, if someone sets off one of those peaceful nuclear devices there, they're gonna have their work cut out.

Ice Skating Institute. In Dallas, Texas. It would be very cool if they put the tropical fishing institute in Anchorage.

Institute for Scientific Information. The compiler and publisher of citation indices of technical or scholarly articles, including SCI, SSCI, and A&HCI (Science, Social Science, and Arts & Humanities Citation Indices, respectively). The citations are indexed by article, there are various alternative search modes, and for articles since the 1980's sometime, the database now includes (searchable) abstracts, so these are excellent general-purpose databases. Only articles from 1975 on are on line. I remember as a graduate student sitting on the library carpet with those oversize paper editions (annuals and five-year cumulations) of the SCI dating back to the early 1960's. My legs would fall asleep.

International Student Initiative. Don Wehrung, director of the ISI at the University of British Columbia (in Vancouver), touts more than just the bargain tuition and living costs when he goes recruiting in the far-off US. He explains in an AP report of October 4, 2002:
We attract people who want the international experience but who aren't real adventuresome. Canada is a way to get international experience with the comfort level of English as the primary language as well as common foods and standards in accommodations.

Have I mentioned that in 2002, one of the few bright spots in McDonald's's generally stagnating sales performance was France, of all places?

The Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, estimates that enrollment at major [not sure what that means] Canadian schools by U.S. citizens has skyrocketed; increasing by at least 86 percent between 1999 and 2002! It now totals about 5000 students! What the AP calls ``a small but fast-growing number.'' They could be more precise and point out that it's about one thirtieth of one percent of total US college enrollment.

About 1600 of those 5000 are at McGill. In 1977, when my friend Rob visited his Long Island cousin there, the word was ``Shhh! Don't tell anyone how cheap it is!''

So it seems that the financial incentives that have increased American student enrollment by over 86 percent in three years have been in place for 25 years. Extrapolating that 23% annual increase (compounded annually) backwards, we can estimate growth by a whopping factor of 176 since 1977, when there must have been about 28.4 US students in Canadian colleges. In 1961, there was only one US student enrolled at a Canadian college (probably McGill). All other things being equal, in 2041 the number of US students in Canadian colleges will exceed the current enrollment in US colleges. What will happen to Division I-A football!?!?

Contribution to a future study: since the late 1960's, out-of-state students have constituted about one third of undergraduate enrollments at the University of Michigan.

(Yeah, yeah -- Mark Twain did this kind of analysis on the Mississippi River. I'm not sure if any of his assumptions were correct, but his arithmetic was unimpeachable.)

Inter-Services Intelligence. Pakistan's spying and ``operations'' agency. I understand it's an entirely independent branch of the government.

InterSymbol Interference.

Hmmm, well, there's some stuff that's sort of relevant at the PERL, Perl, perl entry.

Institut Supérieur d'Informatique et d'Automatique. A teaching arm of L'École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris.

International Student ID Card. It must be good for something, and it probably comes close to rhyming with AIESEC.

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. A comedy show on BBC Radio 4, broadcast (still, as of 2006) since 1972. Comparison with the next entry suggests the precipitousness of the decline in U.K. (now UK) punctuation.

I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again. A BBC radio program that ran from 1964 to about 1966, based around the earlier stage comedy Cambridge Circus. Both are part of the prehistory of ``Monty Python's Flying Circus'' that included John Cleese and Graham Chapman. For more scattered details, see The Pythons: Autobiography by The Pythons, (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Pr., 2003). Copyright in that book is in the name of the five surviving Pythons (John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones) and the estate of Graham Chapman.

For more herpetological humor (sorry, no pythons) read about what Ms. Creamer saw.

A goddess of ancient Egypt that eventually became associated with Aphrodite and Venus, though it's a rough fit.

Institute for Space Imaging Sciences. A joint project of the University of Calgary and (also in Alberta) the University of Lethbridge. The MoU that brought this ISIS into existence was signed on March 23, 2009, which may explain why I can't find a dedicated ISIS homepage as of mid-May 2009. (Various functions brought under the ISIS umbrella do have pages making the connection -- e.g., the Radio Astronomy Division of ISIS.) On March 27 the U of C posted a job description for a scientific programmer and planned to consider all applications received before May 1.

Integrated Standby Instruments System (for aircraft).

International Species Information System.

Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc. You've got to figure that, all other things being equal, viewing porn on your PC ought to be the safest sex of all -- even better than visiting the filthy local adult book store to rent a video. But that's not what they're about.

ISIS-Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to creating new and effective tools for reaching people with critical sexual health information. [They want to reach people with this critical information so they can get the info and bring it back to us?]

Based in San Francisco, California, we work locally, nationally and internationally. Our partners include governmental and non-governmental agencies, for-profit and non-profit corporations, and individuals.

Our highly acclaimed projects include inSPOT.org, an online STD partner notification system for gay and bisexual men, and STDTest.org, an online syphilis testing service for San Francisco residents. Read more about our current and upcoming projects here.''

Interdisciplinary Studies of Intelligent Systems at ND.

International Society on Infant Studies.

The Thames at Oxford. The river on which the Alice tales were spun.

Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics. Part of the University of Bremen.

Integrated Schottky Logic.

Irish Sign Language. Sign language used by the deaf in the Republic of Ireland.

Island. (Also I., Is.)

The Spanish word for `island' derived from the Latin insola (root of such English words as isolate, insulate and insular, but not insult). (The n missing from isolate was lost in Italy. Look for it along the coast of Tuscany. In French and Portuguese, with congeners île and ilha, respectively, even the ess of the Latin etymon was lost.) German adopted the word from classical rather than vulgar Latin, and preserved its original consonant structure more precisely with Insel.

The most interesting situation, however, is that of English. In Old English manuscripts, one encounters the word igland, where I have written g to represent the yogh. Yogh was a rune preserved when Irish missionaries introduced Roman script to Germanic England, and its pronunciation evolved in different ways, strongly influenced by assimilation and word stress, but basically it tended to disappear as a consonant. In initial position, ge- (also gi-) was a common prefix and a standard part of past participles, as it still is in German today. In English, however, the initial ge- (also gi-, ga-) was eroded to an initial vowel in words like afford, alike, among, enough (German genug) yesterday (German gestern). In final position it often evolved into a y (day and the suffix -y, cf. German Tag and -ig) or an h (bough, suffix -ly, cf. cognate German Bug, -lich). (Note that under the influence of Norman French, most post-vocalic h's came to be spelled gh. Note also that final g in German usually devoices, often into an aitch sound (actually /x/ or /ç/). I want to emphasize also that there was some attendant confusion. Once the ge- prefix had substantially disappeared as a marker of the past participle, infinitives were back-constructed that failed to remove the initial y- that remained. (Most famously, Spenser back-constructed ycleepe erroneously from yclept. Note, however, that just as in Modern German, ge- also occurred as a different sort of prefix, often with a meaning similar to Latin co- or com-, in some Old English verb stems.)

Anyway, coming back from that illustrative little divagation to the word igland, we realize that the natural development of that word in Middle English would have been into something like iland. That's what happened, in fact (yland is also found in Early Modern English). (In Dutch and East Frisian, eiland is still the standard form.) Come to think of it, that's how we pronoune it too. However, in this form it came to be associated with the word ile (also yle) from the Old French word ile, ille, spelled île in Modern French (remember?). Hence the occasional spelling ile-land. Along about the fifteenth century, in a Renaissance-inspired conniption of etymological spelling, the French started writing the word as isle. They recovered, but we didn't, hence the ess in isle and island (influenced by isle-land) despite the fact that there's no ess in the pronunciation. (Actually, the situation is a bit more complicated, because for a while there were Anglo-French forms with d, like idle.)

Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts. Its ``goal ... is to help build, sustain and renew a distinguished faculty in the arts, humanities and the social sciences, and to enhance the intellectual life on [the University of Notre Dame] campus.''


International Society for Late Antique Literary Studies. It's a loose scholarly organization. It has no formal membership structure, [that sounds so refreshing; I should join] no dues, [definitely!] etc. Its current [website browsed April 2016] members include some seventy scholars from around the world who study or have interests in literary activity, east and west, in the late antique period.''

You should visit the webpage because the mosaic illustrated by the background image. It shows two women wearing ancient bikinis and discombobulated expressions.

A body of land completely surrounded by water. Well, except on top, which can be pretty dry sometimes, and on the bottom. So really it's surrounded by water only around the edges.

The word existed in Old English as igland. It was a compound noun essentially meaning `water-land.' The first element in the compound ultimately is a cognate of Latin aqua, `water,' in the Germanic branch of Indo-European. The kw sound in Latin, represented by qu, corresponded to hw in Germanic (hence all those Latin qu- pronouns correspond to wh- pronouns in English and w- pronouns in German).

Well, that's enough for today. Tomorrow you can read the isla entry and see what happened afterwards.

Institute for Study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Institute for Study of the Liberal Arts (ISLA) was founded in 1993 primarily to sponsor the publication of a classical children's journal called Hereditas and to foster the study of the liberal arts. In May of 1995, the ISLA created two virtual academies: Scholars' Online Academy and Regina Coeli Academy, with full humanities and science curricula. Thus the corporation was reorganized and became the Institute for Study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences (ISLAS). The ISLAS works closely with Regina Coeli Elementary and Agnus Dei elementary online acadmies in developing distance-learning programs emulating the classical trivium-quadrivium model.''

Spanish for `islands'; plural of isla, w.v.

Indiana Shared Library Catalog.

International Special Librarians Day. I don't know when that is. Go ask at the reference desk and make someone's day.

Okay, here you go: it's the Thursday of National Library Week (didn't know we had one of those either, didja?). Yeah, I think I got the national/international stuff straight. National Library Week is promoted by the ALA. ISLD is promoted by SLA. Symbionese Liberation Army? Bad guess.

The International Society for Luso-Hispanic Humor Studies.

International Symposium on Low-Power Electronics and Design.

International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project.

Industrial/Scientific/Medical. A number of electromagnetic spectrum bands where the FCC permits (see Rules and Regs., part 18) unlimited radiation intensities. These include the microwave 902-928 MHz band, as well as 13.56 ± 0.00678 MHz, and its low harmonics. The latter are popular for RF plasma reactors.

Institute for Supply Management. Formerly the NAPM.

The organization publishes a journal called The Journal of Supply Chain Management. It confers certifications of Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M., since 1974) and an Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (A.P.P., a kind of junior C.P.M. instituted in 1996) on the basis of exams, experience, postsecondary education and continuing education (CE) hours completed.

International Solidarity Movement. The largest organization of human-shield activists in Palestinian-controlled areas.

InterStellar Medium. (That's explicitly interstellar but implicitly intragalactic.) The principal ingredient of ISM is nothing, followed closely by nothing, nada, zilch, zip, and zero. Eventually, at the level of about one baryon per cubic meter, comes hydrogen. It's also sometimes called interstellar matter.

Since it became clear that the stuff we can detect spectroscopically is a small fraction of the mass in most galaxies, that other stuff (whose presence is inferred mostly gravitationally -- from the fact that galaxies don't fly apart) has been called ``dark matter.'' The ordinary stuff we figure we understand (dust and gas) is what ISM currently refers to.

Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea-level Contributions. A ``scientific task group'' of GLOCHANT.

International Standard Music Number. Like ISBN. Cf. ISRC.

International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Idioma de Signos Nicaragüense. A sign-language creole developed from LSN by deaf students in Nicaragua. A boon for linguists.

The expansions of both LSN and ISN translate to English as ``Nicaraguan Sign Language'' -- in principle, the terms might be equivalent. (The L of LSN is cognate with ``language'' and ``linguist'' and derives from the [column] Latin term for tongue, while the I of ISN is cognate with ``idiom,'' ``idiot'' and ``idiolect,'' from a Greek root meaning personal or individual.)

Islamic Society of North America.

International Society for Neurofeedback and Research. This used to be the SSNR, q.v., before some other things.

International Society for Neoplatonic Studies. ``[A]n organization for the study of Neoplatonism in all of its aspects from the ancient world through the Renaissance and into the modern world.''

International Society For Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering.

Isn't that special.

Infrared Space Observatory. It was ``the world's first true orbiting infrared observatory.'' Launched by ESA in November 1995, it collected data until 1998.

In Search Of. [Singles-ad abbreviation.] I'm merely providing this information as a public service to the desperate. I don't read the personals, not me, oh no!

International Ship Operators.


International Standards Organization, but they insist that the short version of their name is the Greek word iso, in capitals for no particular reason, and their long English name is International Organization for Standardization. [Or maybe ``.. for Standardisation.'' There must be an ISO standard for its own name.] The ISO/IOS silliness should give you the (correct) idea that they'll go for dunderheaded pedanticism every time. These are the people who want to certify whether your business organization as a whole is up to snuff. Still, usually, the only thing worse than a bad standard is no standard at all. Visit their homepage or go directly to their standards index form. Be prepared to wait; remember that the Swiss invented cuckoo clocks. (Okay, maybe they didn't.)

In French, the name is Organisation internationale de normalisation.

Isothermal electromigration test. Specified as JEDEC standard JESD-61.

Internet SOCiety.

Inter-Union Satellite Operations Group. The ``Unions'' alluded to are constituent broadcast unions of the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU).

ISO Latin-1
The standard character set recognized by most hypertext browsers. Also known as ISO-8859-1 character set. There's a USENET FAQ available on the web as well as information from ISO itself. Introductions to HTML originally available from UTIRC and from NCSA include a complete listing and a partial listing, respectively.

A file that lists them completely with proper names for the characters, but which doesn't happen to display the characters, is also available. Some characters have HTML-specific escape sequences (``entity references''). These fall in three categories:

  • One small set consists of ordinary characters which appear on most keyboards, but which must be entered as escape sequences so that they appear literally, instead of being interpreted as mark-up. These are
    	" entered as ``&quot;''
    	&    "    "    &amp;
    	<    "    "    &lt;
    	>    "    "    &gt;
  • The second, larger set consists of ordinary alphabetic characters, typically with diacritical marks, that are not standard in English and which do not always appear on keyboards. It is easy to remember the diacritical-modified characters. These are all of the form ``&[]mark;''. For example, ``&Auml;'' is the code for an upper-case letter A with an umlaut: Ä. (The semicolon is necessary; the double quotes are just used here to set off the escape sequence). For all of the marked vowel characters, both upper- and lower-case forms are available (&auml; for ä). The available diacritical marks are
    `     ``grave''	for grave accent
    		(write ``&ograve;'' for ò, etc.)
    	on all vowel characters:
    '	acute	for acute accent
    	on all vowel characters and wye:
    ^	circ	for circumflex
    	on all vowel characters:
    ~	tilde	for tilde
    	on a few characters:
    "	uml	for diaeresis or umlaut
    	on all vowels and lower case wye:
    (Note that in the preceding, I have made approximate substitutions for the isolated diacritical marks. See below for more accurate but less readable representations.)

    In addition, there are some explicit ligatures and other special characters:

    Å	&Aring;  (Swedes type Aa)
    å	&aring;   or aa if the diacritical is unavailable.)
    Æ	&AElig;
    	(Actually a rune called the ash.)
    æ	&aelig;	
    Ç	&Ccedil;
        (Original to Spanish, but no longer finding much
        use in that language;* as Dave Barry has explained,
        it is actually a parasite living off of French
        words in English.  This demonstrates the need for
        tight import controls for perishable goods.)
    ç	&ccedil;
    Ø	&Oslash;
    ø	&oslash;
    ð	&eth;
        (It's a scandal that ISO Latin-1 has this
        character, which is used only in Icelandic
        and Quantum Field Theory, as well as µ, but not pi.)
    ß	&szlig;
    Þ	&THORN;
        (Another rune called the thorn.)
    þ	&thorn;
The third set of characters recognized by HTML browsers has entity references defined, although there is a proposed set of entities for these as well. For the time being, the safest way to reference these in HTML is by an escape sequence of the form ``&#x;'' where ``x'' is the decimal code of the character. You can include leading zeros if you want, and it won't read the number as octal (see 0 entry if this is unclear), but most of the useful x values are above 160 anyway. Following are those that I find useful:
-	045	(minus sign; wider than a mere hyphen;
	    the distinction is also expressed by the
	    terminology en-dash and em-dash.
	    Actually, this seems to be default for the dash
	    key binding.  If you want a hyphen it's ­ 173)
×	215	(times symbol, multiplication sign)
÷	247	(division symbol; also used in some
	    communities to designate a range:
	    2÷5 meaning 2,3,4, and 5)
±	177	(plus-minus)
«	171	(much-less-than, or open/left/begins
	    double brackets, or whatever)
»	187	(much-greater-than, or whatever)
¼	188	(one quarter)
½	189	(one half)
¾	190	(three quarters)

High finance:
¥	165	(Yen)
£	163	(Pound)

Low finance:
¢	162	(Cent)

Glam finance:
¬	172	(chip rake)

¡	161	(inverted exclamation mark indicates beginning
	    of exclaimed phrase)
¿	191	(inverted question mark indicates beginning of
	    interrogatory phrase.  An entry here
	    gives an example of this punctuation mark's utility.)
ª	170	(used to abbreviate ordinal numbers and a few
	    other words.  E.g., 1ª = ``primera'' [first;
	    agrees with female noun])
º	186	(used to abbreviate ordinal numbers and a few
	    other words.  E.g., 1º = ``primero'' [first;
	    agrees with male noun], Nº = ``Numero'' [number])

Small Latine, and lesse Greeke (Gk.):
µ	181	(mu)

[Yeah, that's it for Greek: it's pretty bad.  You can use
the ess-zet ligature for squat beta, and <I>v</I> (v) on
many systems looks more like nu than italic vee.  Really,
the µ is here for the metric system.]

®	174	(registered trademark)
©	169	(copyright)

§	167	(section mark)
¶	182	(paragraph mark; ``pilcrow'')

Base-four superscript numbering:
°	176	(degree symbol)
¹	185	(one)
²	178	(two)
³	179	(three)
¹°²	There: footnote #102 base-four (decimal 18).  See
	how well it works?  No?  Please, a civil tongue!

¸	184	(discarded cedilla*)
´	180	(forgotten acute accent)
·	183	(dot floating in middle of line)
¯	175	(macron; overweening hyphen floating at top of line)
¤	164	(exploding pipe; viewed end on)
			(supposedly it's a ``general currency sign'')
			(incidentally, here's a currency converter)
¦	166	(vertical line with cinched waist)

Extremely miscellaneous:
Ð	208	(Where is its lower-case kin?)

Format control -- coulda, shoulda been useful:
[]	[8]	(BS.  If this were operational a lot of
	    character-building options would open up)
[	]	[9]	(HT.  If horizontal tab were heeded
	    in all hypertext, not just in this preformatted
	    section, things would be a lot easier.)
[ ]	[32]	(SP.  Hypertext browsers insert single spaces
	    after full stops.  How crass.)
There's also...
Format control -- a sop to anal retentives: ``&nbsp;'' (equivalently ``&#160;'') for a nonbreaking space. This isn't universally implemented. As a demonstration, or as a test of your browser, I have a file full of nbsp's with a long line that can only be broken at two places, and a similar file full of 160's.

Here's something more official.

Strategies and structures to prevent unintended interactions among devices. This is an important issue for integrated circuits, since multiple devices are fabricated on single wafers of a semiconductor, a potentially conducting substrate is generally present. There are primarily two isolation problems. In bipolar circuits, typically consisting primarily npn transistors, adjacent devices would normally have their collectors shorted, and so they must be isolated by additional structures. In MOSFET devices, the ordinary arrangement of devices gives rise to junction isolation. (Under unfavorable conditions, these junctions may constitute a transistor: vide latch-up.) The problem of isolation then are: (i) small junction capacitance leads to a strong capacitive coupling between adjacent devices and (ii) metal leads may act as gate to MOSFET, with source and drain from different transistors functioning as source and drain of parasitic transistor. Common isolation strategies include ion-beam damage, junction isolation, ROI, SIMOX, and trench isolation (qq.v.).

Hawthorn wrote about isolation in the middle of the nineteenth century, but this was too early to have any effect on microelectronics development. It does no good to be too far ahead of your time.

ISO New England, ISO-NE
Independent (power) System Operator for New England. A non-profit, ``[p]romoting a healthy and competitive wholesale electricity marketplace in New England while maintaining the highest standards of reliability, independence, and fairness.''

A Fairchild ROI strategy that included not only a tub isolation but also an isolation of the base from the collector contact.

Isothermal electromigration test (ISO) using current contact Split into three lines of width equal to the line under test. John Sanchez suggested the change, I am confused why.

Hoary dictionary practice demands that a noun that has a singular form be defined in terms of its singular form, but I don't stand on ceremony. In fact, what Frederick Soddy defined when he first published the term was the plural isotopes. Here are his words from the original article in Nature, Dec. 4, 1913:
The same algebraic sum of the positive and negative charges in the nucleus, when the arithmetical sum is different, gives what I call `isotopes' or `isotopic elements', because they occupy the same place in the periodic table. They are chemically identical, and save only as regards the relatively few physical properties which depend upon atomic mass directly, physically identical also.

Soddy didn't have to point out that he had constructed his new word from iso- (`equal') and tópos (`place') because in those days everyone had studied Greek and Latin (and not enough of anything else) in high school.

Soddy referred to ``positive and negative charges'' because at the time, the nucleus was thought to consist of protons and electrons. Rutherford had only discovered the nucleus in 1911. (I.e., he inferred the existence of a compact positive charge at the center of the atom.) The neutron was only discovered by Chadwick in 1932. Since protons and neutrons consist of positively and negatively charged quarks, however, there's really no need to adjust Soddy's definition.

There are one or two piddling complications concerning the definition of isotope. Therefore, you should visit the nuclide entry, read what they are and forget them.

The name, capitalized thus, of ``a journal of literary nature and science writing.'' Judging only from past tables of contents and from the few previous items published on line, the ``science'' content is a bit thin.

ISO 3166
Country codes. There are three sets: two-letter, three-letter, and numerical country codes. Regularly updated, because history happens. Visit the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA). The two-letter codes serve as top-level domain for most Internet addresses in most countries. There are a few exceptions, mostly for the US. Also, the top-level domain for most national addresses in Great Britain is .uk rather than .gb, even though the two-letter ISO 3166 code is GB.

ISO 8859
8859-1  Latin-1: Western Europe (vide supra)
8859-2  Latin-2: Eastern Europe
8859-3  SE Europe and misc. others: Esperanto (uses circumflex where Czech
uses hacheks), Maltese (.mt), etc. 
8859-4  Scandinavia/Baltic (mostly covered by 8859-1 also)
8859-5  Cyrillic
8859-6  Arabic
8859-7  Greek 
8859-8  Hebrew
8859-9  Latin-5, same as 8859-1 except for Turkish instead of Icelandic
8859-10 Latin-6, for Lappish/Nordic/Eskimo languages

Roman Czyborra maintains a good page on ISO 8859. For more on font standards, visit this explanation. (It won't solve your problems, but it will help you understand what your problems are.)

ISO 9000 Certification
Kill me with bureaucracy, darling! Whisper sweet mission statements in my left or right external portion of auricular apparatus. Let us away to a planning meeting! Fill my spirit with precise longing, rapture my heart in subcategories!

``ISO 9000 comprises a series of internationally accepted [*] standards designed to assure customers of a quality management system resulting in the consistent delivery of a quality product. An entire company or any of its divisions, operations or product lines can be registered under these standards, which entail all aspects of the business as well as how the company manages and improves controls. Companies obtain ISO 9000 registration through an audit, which is performed by a registration body approved by an international certification organization.''

Christopher B. Jones writes

``My dream is to become the first person to have an ISO-9000 certified life. I am currently working feverishly to completely document all the procedures involved in living my life (42 megabytes so far). That documentation will be posted on this web site as soon as my lawyer verifies that it does not violate the Communications Decency Act [CDA].''

Cf. BFS-9000 and QS-9000.

At a party in the Summer of 2002, I mentioned ISO 9000 to the publisher of a stock analysis newsletter, and was pleased that he didn't know what I was talking about.

Intensive Supervision Program. An alternate-punishment program instituted by New Jersey in 1983. An independent preliminary progress report authored by Frank S. Pearson appeared in the July 1985 issue (vol. 31, no. 3) of Crime and Delinquency, pp. 393-410. Results looked promising. It was basically an accelerated, intensified form of parole for a highly select (300-500) group of convicts. Substantive stated motivations were effectively financial: more efficient use of existing reduction prison space and reduced costs. After three or four months of incarceration, program participants were released to a parole status that included a night-time curfew and relatively frequent meetings with the case manager. The program continues in 2001, and there's also a JISP. In the mid-nineties, the program grew to handle about 1200.

Internet Service Provider. Among these (and there are thousands), one distinguishes between access providers and presence providers.

If you need a presence provider for your business, you have the opportunity to pay big bucks for ISP evaluations. Here are some resources listing and/or evaluating ISP's, all offering some limited information free:

  • Inverse Network Technology. Note, however, that there is an apparent conflict of interest in the case of Inversenet, which also sells the kind of service it rates. Inversenet tends to evaluate dial-up data.
  • Keynote Systems tends to focus on latencies in the internet proper, and on backbones, rather than on the home user end of things.
  • Boardwatch Magazine bills itself ``guide to internet access and the world wide web.'' They've collaborated with Keynote on some research. Their list will help you locate a server convenient to you, but won't give you much in the way of benchmarks. (Boardwatch used to be at its own domain name boardwatch.com, and internet.com used to have its own separate list of ISP's; looks like they merged during 1998. Oh yeah: ``Just as the Internet access markets are highly dynamic, so is the Internet publishing business. We have had numerous changes at Boardwatch Magazine over the past several months. In June 1998 Mecklermedia bought Boardwatch, ISPCON and the Directory, and in November Penton Media, Inc. bought Mecklermedia. In the interim our Web site was integrated into the old Mecklermedia Internet com site. We had a little bit of an outdated system for collecting information in the past, and we have been migrating and updating our method to the new integrated site. This has been a painful and difficult process. It has worked to an extent, but it will work better. What we will be doing is updating our information on the Web as soon as we can.'')
  • ISPs.com has a somewhat smaller list of ISP's than does Boardwatch (4000 instead of 6000, December 1998), but the different set of search options may be useful. (And I don't know how much overlap there is.)

Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts. A BYU organization formed in 2002 or so from the merger of BYU's Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (CPART) and Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS).

International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry.

Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. The British SPCK first established a branch in India in 1710 or 1711. The ISPCK was established as an independent entity in 1958.


Israel Society for the Promotion of Classical Studies. Its yearbook is Scripta Classica Israelica (SCI).

Interactive SPELL-checker. On Unix.

International Society for Performance Improvement. The ISPI Annual Conference and Expo is normally in April.

Viagra hasn't put them out of business?

International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures.

International Society for Political Psychology. Somewhat left off-center.

International Society for QUAlity in Health Care.

Intersecting Storage Rings. A generic term, but since these babies are kind of expensive and don't run the sort of profit that would attract private investment, there aren't that many of them operating at energies that produce interesting science. Hence, ISR was used specifically for a collider at CERN that came on line in 1971.

International Standard Recording Code. The standard international identifier for a sound recording or music video recording (ISO 3901). It was devise to play a role for recordings only somewhat analogous to that played by ISBN for books (instead, compare ISMN). Each ISRC is a unique, permanent identifier for a specific recording, and can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC (possible on CD, minidisc, DVD, and VHS) makes it possible to identify recordings automatically for royalty payments. (Oh, goodie.) See the ISBN Users' Manual for an overview of similar international intellectual-property codes.

A distinct code is assigned to each original recording of a piece, but different distribution formats -- CD and cassette, say -- of a single recording share the same code. In any case, a typical physical medium will carry recordings of multiple pieces, each with its own ISRC. An individual ISRC consists of twelve characters in four fields:

  1. A two-letter country code. This identifies the particular registrar (national agency), not the registrant's country. (Multinational registrants may register in the country where they record or where they have their headquarters.)
  2. A three-character registrant code. Usually the registrant is the producer, but it may be a subsequent owner of the recording is sold before being registered. National agencies are encouraged to distinguish music video recordings from sound recordings by assigning two registrant codes for a single registrant to use separately for the two types of recordings. Each character of the registrant code may be any digit or (upper-case English) letter, so each national registrar can assign up to 363 = 46656 unique codes. Is that really enough?
  3. A two-digit year. Under versions of the standard prior to 2001, this ``year of reference'' was the year the work was recorded, and although there was a recommendation that years prior to 1940 not be used, that recommendation was not always followed. So in the years approaching 2040, Y2K-type ambiguity would be an increasing problem, but a fix is promised for a future version of the evolving standard. FWIW, the year of reference is now to be the year that the ISRC is allocated.
  4. A five-digit ``designation code.'' A serial number, left-padded with zeroes to make five digits, if necessary.

IFPI is the ISO-appointed international registration authority for the ISRC system. See their online handbook.

International Society for Research on Emotion! According to a moderately sedate email announcement, it is ``an interdisciplinary society which collects neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, economists and other researchers sharing an interest in the emotions. The annual conference generally involves 150-200 international scholars, and it stands as a unique opportunity to be updated on the latest in emotion research and interact with colleagues in an informal environment.''

Although this is not quite one of those webhomeless societies, its site is not frequently updated, so you may need to do a separate search for the annual meeting!

International Society for Research in Healthcare Financial Management

International Society for Rock Mechanics. Official French name Société Internationale de Mécanique des Roches.

Indian Space Research Organization.

Imaging Science Subsystem. It's part of the gear on board NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan.

``Gear'' -- I like that word. It isn't used enough. Phylacteries and rosaries should be located in the ``Religious Gear'' section of the supermarket.

Independent Subway System. Usage explained at the IND entry.

In-School Suspension. The gibbet in the auditorium, and other forms of exemplary punishment.

International Space Station. A boondoggle that orbits earth in a continuing elliptic quest for a meaningful mission. Participation by the Russian space agency, NASA and ESA. Funding mostly from the latter two, ability to boost big payloads into orbit mostly from the second, except after space-shuttle disasters.

Typically described as ``a vital stepping stone for ambitious future missions to Mars and beyond'' in the sense that the Canary Islands were vital to the 1492 rediscovery of America by Columbus.

Perhaps accurately described as ``the most complex and expensive engineering project ever attempted.'' Still a few little unresolved problems, like making it quiet enough to live in -- but don't worry, NASA stopped trying to keep these problems secret after The New Scientist broke the story in 1999, less than two decades after the initial designs. Since then, NASA has publicly admitted that there are problems with noise, so we can trust them now.

Ion-Scattering Spectromet{ry|er}.

Iron and Steel Society. Founded in 1974. Now AIST.


International Society of the Study of Argumentation. According to some people, at least.

International Space Station Alpha.

International Social Science Council. French Conseil International des Sciences Sociales. Another UN organization of organizations, this one under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

International Solid-State Circuits Conference.

First-generation Japanese-American. Pronounced approximately ``ee say.'' Singular and plural forms of the noun coincide, because Japanese does not inflect nouns for number.

International Society for the Study of European Ideas.

I had a Ghanaian friend who once said that the only thing the Americans ever invented was the atom bomb. This was a deliberate provocation, of course, but sometimes one likes to focus on the negative -- someone else's negative. At first blush, ``European Idea'' may include many things: representative democracy, perhaps, and mechanized genocide, indoor plumbing, and rifling. There are a lot of ideas, so ISSEI has to narrow its focus. The 11th conference of ISSEI, held in Helsinki in 2008, focused on just the following five narrow areas:

  1. History, Geography, Science
  2. Economics, Politics, Law
  3. Education, Women's Studies, Sociology
  4. Art, Theater, Literature, Culture, Music
  5. Language, Philosophy, Anthropology, Psychology, Religion
I hope they were able to find something to discuss.

International Standard Serial Number. The ISSN system is rather simpler than the ISBN system. Each ``key title'' is assigned a separate eight-digit ISSN. This is normally represented as two four-digit numbers separated by a hyphen, but that's just for readability. The ISSN is really just a seven-digit number followed by a one-character checksum which, like that of the ISBN, is a decimal digit or the letter ex.

International Society of Soil Science. (AISS in French, IBG in German, SICS in Spanish.)

A nonprofit, nongovernmental scientific society founded on May 19, 1924. A member society of the ICSU since 1992.

The national affiliate of the ISSS for the US is the SSSA.

International Student and Scholar Services, University at Buffalo Office of.

International Symposium on System Synthesis. I think it would be cool if they expanded it InSySySy.

I remember one day when I was eating lunch in the cafeteria that used to be in Norton Hall (next to Knox). It was one of those rare days when the Stammtisch didn't convene, and I sat at an otherwise empty table. A bunch of students sat down around me, and I forget how we got into conversation, but at some point the student across from me exclaimed in surprise bordering on alarm ``I've never eaten with a professor before!'' I tried to get her to chill, saying something like ``it's cool, it's cool,'' and she exclaimed ``I've never had a professor say `cool' to me before!'' Some people are very excitable.

Oh yeah, so InSySySy has been held every year since, like, 1988.

International Society of Skilled Trades.


Imaging Science and Technology [, The Society for].

Indian Standard Time. Five and a half hours ahead of UTC. (Most people still seem to refer to UTC as GMT, so IST = GMT+5:30. In email headers, UTC is represented by a space between the local time and a plus or minus sign following it.)

Pakistan, on India's northwest shoulder, keeps GMT+5. Bangladesh (old East Pakistan) and Bhutan, to the northeast, keep GMT+6. Nepal used to keep the same time as India, but doesn't any more; see dueling time zones about that.

Indiana State Teachers Association. Affiliated with the NEA. Has bright red shirts for sale to members that remind one of Indiana University, Bloomington.

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition. Not such a popular acronym as RISTA.

International Safe Transit Association. They haven't abandoned the expansion, but they do use one of those appositive appellations: ``ISTA - The Association for Transportation Packaging.''

The term ``safe transit'' makes a probably unwanted allusion to safe-conduct.

International Sail Training Association. What a lot of people call Sail Training International (STI).

International Seed Testing Association. I volunteer for sunflower-seed duty!

International Symposium on Technology And Society. At WPI in 2004 (June 17-19).

Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators.

Inter-Services Training and Development Centre. Created in 1938, it was the UK's first military agency specifically dedicated to combined ops.

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991/92. Pronounced ``Ice Tea.'' Also ``ITEA.''

Public Law 102-240, December 18, 1991. It includes the Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (IVHS) Act of 1991.

ISTEA was superseded in 1998 by TEA-21 (q.v.).

I still miss my ex,
but my aim is improving.

It Seems To Me.

I Seem To Recall.

Idaho State University.

ISU's roots go back to the Academy of Idaho at Pocatello, a state-funded boarding school at the secondary level established in 1902. Eighty percent of the students were from Pocatello, so maybe dormitory life was optional. In 1915, the academy became Idaho Technical Institute, and despite the name its orientation was shifted away from the vocational education that had originally been its main focus. It was empowered to offer ``instruction in such vocational, scientific, literary and technical subjects as will meet the educational needs of the students enrolled. Provided, that the course shall include two and not more than two years of college grade and such work below college grade as the conditions of the educational system of the State renders desirable.'' If that last grammatical-number disagreement is any indication, ``such'' was quite a bit. Pocatello representatives in the state legislature had to settle for this; they had pressed for a college, arguing that the University of Idaho at Moscow was too distant. In 1927, the institute became the Southern Branch of the University of Idaho; it became Idaho State College in 1947 and Idaho State University in 1963.

Illinois State University. ``Illinois' [sic!] first public university.'' Famous throughout the Normal, Illinois region.

Indiana State University. A/k/a ``Indiana State.'' It's located in Terre Haute, in the southeast corner of the state. Terre Haute is also the home of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. (Technically, the main campus of Rose-Hulman is just outside the city limits, but Terre Haute is in the mailing address.)

ISU has been in the midst of downsizing (it's called ``reprioritizing'') over the past few years. (See a brief article from February 2007 at Inside Higher Ed. According to a news item on ISU's homepage in April 2008: ``Criminology professor serves one year in Iraq.''

But seriously, the provost's office issued a report in January 2007 that called for eliminating the physics and philosophy majors. Karen Schmid, associate vice president for academic affairs, said that students could still pursue an interest in either field by majoring in liberal studies with a concentration in physics or philosophy. I can't speak for philosophy, but Schmid apparently knows something about ``science.'' She is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Visit her webpage. You can learn a lot from a face. She has a Ph.D. in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota.

So you see where the slippery slope leads. Once you concede that there is a thing that can legitimately be called a ``social science,'' it's just a short step or shimmy to ``family science'' and ``consumer science.'' (The FCS department has a program in ``Interior Design,'' but this is not yet directly called a ``science.'' For now it can only bask in the reflected glory of the department's absurd designation.)

By the time a report was submitted to the board of trustees (April 19, 2007), the recommendations had been scaled back: ``Plan under development with other departments to create Philosophical Studies program and reorganize academic unit'' and ``[c]reating Department of Chemistry and Physics, retaining, but restructuring Physics major....'' As of April 2008, neither of these pointless rearrangements had occurred.

International Skating Union. Established 1892.

Iowa State University.

Imager of Sprite, the Upper Atmospheric Lightning. I can't recall the last time I saw an appositive phrase contribute so much as a single letter to an acronym. ISUAL is part of the scientific payload on ROCSAT-2.

Independent Software Vendor[s]. A generic term like OEM, and not the name of any formal organization. The redundant ``Software ISV'' is seen.

German: in Sinn von, `in the sense of.'

International Scientific Vocabulary. Refers especially to words with no particular national origin.

Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Institute of Sound and Vibration Research. At the University of Southampton in England.

Illinois State Water Survey.

Inherently Self-X. X is some desideratum.

Iraqi Stock EXchange. Established in June 2004, replaced the pre-war, government-run Baghdad Stock Exchange.

Information Technology. UB held an IT Fair in March 1997.

Seven years later, I see this entry hasn't aged well.

In German, IT is expanded Informationstechnologie.

Nowadays people naturally association information technology with computers, but even before computers there was digital information technology more sophisticated than fingers. Data could be represented by holes punched in cards, and those cards sorted mechanically. You could even do computational data processing by mechanical means. For more on this, in connection with the Manhattan Project, see the calculator entry.

InfraRed Transmitter. I am one, and my friends aren't surprised that I'm an incoherent transmitter.

Integrated Telecommunications.

Intravenous Tabasco. Won't wake the dead, but might make'em sweat a little. Why did I think of this?

It is the neuter third-person singular personal pronoun. It is the form of it in both subject and oblique cases, but its's genitive. Okay, enough of that. If this glossary were too sensible, we'd be using the precious disk space allocated to this entry to tell you about nominal uses of it. However, for your convenience, this information is located at the id entry.

Therefore, we'll talk here about nominal uses of she, and finding them. If you search a convenient literature database for instances of ``the she,'' mostly what you come up with is ``the she-wolf'' and runner-up ``the she-bear.'' There's even ``the she-snake'' and ``the she-tatterdemalion'' (the latter in chapter 12 of George Douglas Brown's 1901 The House with the Green Shutters -- it's actually a very affecting scene).

Fortunately, I have an example ready to hand. In a letter to her sister Cassandra (May 12, 1801), Jane Austen wrote this:

I am proud to say that I have a very good eye at an Adultress, for tho' repeatedly assured that another in the same party was the She, I fixed upon the right one from the first.

(Domain code for) ITaly. A list of Italian WWW servers is available. Nikos.com offers a (US-based) page of Italian resources. E.S. Burioni Ricerche Bibliografiche sells books and information resources. LIBRI & Co. - Bologna is an antiquarian/first-editions bookstore. Here's an on-line Italian-English dictionary from Savergen.

Country code for international calls is 39.

In Vergil's name, there's an Italian search engine powered by Infoseek.

The soc.culture.italian newsgroup has an extensive FAQ.

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

[phone icon]

Indiana Telecommunications Association.

Industrial Truck Association. ``Industrial truck'' here is technical term for a different sort of off-(the-public)-road vehicle: ``established in 1951 to further the interests of the industry through cooperative efforts involving issues of common interest to manufacturers of forklifts, tow tractors, rough terrain vehicles, hand-pallet trucks, automated guided vehicles and their suppliers.''

Initial Teaching Alphabet. Please don't ask me yet why I've only seen it in lower case like that. Let's just take it one step at a time, okay?

Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

International Track Association.

International Trade Administration of the US Department of Commerce.

Information Technology Association of America.

Information Technology Association of Canada.

ISDN Terminal Adapter Circuit.

Is This A Great List Or What? Abbreviation common on MEDTEXT-L.

Information Technology And Libraries. A refereed journal (ISSN 0730-9295) published quarterly by the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA).

There's an awful lot to say about Italian, without prejudice to any other language, so I'm not going to try. I'm only using this entry to collect Italian words that end in a consonant, as I happen across them:

il, con, un, per, ex, brum [English brougham], budget, pallet, computer, (and computer graphics, computer musics, ecc.), smoking, sidecar, smog.

(It's interesting that the plural of the masculine noun pallet is pallets; most foreign loans are not inflected for number in Italian. In fact, in 2007 I saw an announcement of a Master in Studi Americani offered by the Università di Torino. Here you could argue that they prophylactically circumcised the formal plural. I just don't get ``musics.'')

Most of the final-consonant words are foreign loans, of course, and most of these are English nouns. English loans are pronounced approximately as in Britain. I was intrigued by how the words beginning in sm were treated, so I checked the pronunciations given for all 291 such words in Nuovo Vocabolario Illustrato della Lingua Italiana, by Giacomo Devoto and Gian Carlo Oli (Milan, 1988). With four exceptions, the initial s in these sm- words is voiced. Thus smithite, smithsonite, smock, smog, and smoking all begin with /zm/, to say nothing of the less obvious loans. (I think that smèctico, a variant form of smettico, probably counts among these non-obvious loans, or among foreign-influenced words.)

The four exceptions (initial /sm/) were all obvious loans: smart set, smash, smerdy, and smrti. Smrti is a Sanskrit term meaning `memory' or `tradition'; it is used in a technical sense in Sanskrit literature to refer to works or groups of works that have a sacred value even though they are not regarded as being of divine authority or revelation. Smerdy is a plural noun from Russian, dating back to the times before the tartar yolk, no wait, I mean the Tatar yoke. It designates field workers who constituted the lowest free social class of the time. The term is akin to the Lithuanian smirdas, `that stinks, is fetid.' This must be an evocative term in Italian, since, for example, the native word smerdato means `covered in shit.' Devoto and Oli don't mention it, but the word is also akin to the name of Smerdyakov, the servant of Karamazov père (what, you want the Russian word?) in Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. He is the son of a retarded girl called Stinking Lizaveta, who dies giving birth to him. I feel sure that something is lost in the translation ``Stinking Lizaveta,'' but I'm not personally going to sniff it out.

Italian, like English, is fairly easy-going about the adoption of foreign words. (French would be at the opposite extreme. German has been like French at certain times. Nowadays a lot of Germans complain that German has so much English it doesn't look like German; I think most of the loans will fall out of use without much fuss.) I'm trying to find a smooth transition here, but I can't, so I'll just say that I ran across a scholarly monograph in the series Materiali di Marketing dell'Arte. This one has a double-colon title; the second subtitle is La Nona sinfonia di Ludwig van Beethoven (capitalization sic). This is the platform for L'Economia dell'Arte: Una verifica empirica del modello teorico. It's edited and has substantial content by Aldo Spranzi, but all I'm interested in are the delicious barbarisms, like la customer satisfaction dell'economia dell'arte and cosa sono le teaching notes e a che cosa servono. [The italicization -- inapt word there -- implies that the phrase ``customer satisfaction'' is not yet considered to be naturalized, but ``teaching notes'' is. Wonders never cease.] BTW, it's focused on the modern Rezeptionsgeschichte, so there's nothing -- leastwise nothing substantial -- on Wagner's promotional efforts. (We mention a bit about this at the New Class entry.) One thing to keep in mind about the ninth is that it's an unusually expensive symphony to produce.

Hmmm. It looks like I was trying to say something about Italian after all. In that case, I should probably have started out by noting that Italian is not exactly a spoken language in the usual sense. Italian is song. It's possible to speak the words of the language, just as it's possible to speak the lyrics of a song, but in ordinary usage one simply sings. It was recently reported to me that there are three people in the world who actually dislike this song (I mean Italian). Well, it's a big world.

Incidentally, it's very difficult to shout Italian; what you find is that you're simply singing at the top of your lungs. (Now, perhaps, you can understand why I was so shocked about Berlioz.)

The melodies of Italian vary by region. The first time I was in a loud dining room in Rome, I realized where the rhythm of Argentine Spanish comes from. I mean bonaerense Spanish, of course. The characterustic (sic Spanish of Cordoba, Argentina, like the Spanish of some Mexicans, is sing-songy. This is something very different, involving the almost arbitrary imposition of a song on speech.

italiese, Italiese
Italian with a heavy admixture of English. The uncapitalized form is used in Italian (pronounced with stress on the first e). The word is derived from italiano and inglese. The word is capitalized in English. Rather parallel with franglais, Franglais.

Information Technology Association of New Zealand. FWIW, der Tanz is German for `the dance.' If you think in Germlish, the acronym looks a bit like `I dance.'

International Traffic in Arms Regulation. That's like, when arms regulations move across international borders, right?

Institut fü Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse. `Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis.'

Internationale Tourismus Börse. `International Travel and Tourism Fair' in Berlin.

Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. Unofficially, or ignorantly, or reasonably, called by the singular version (``Test''). A norm-referenced test. Harder than the California Achievement Test (CAT), another popular K-12 assessment tool.

International Trade Center, somehow related to UNCTAD and to GATT/WTO.

In The City.

Investment and Trust Companies.

International TeleConferencing Association.

Information Technology in Community Health.

Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Internal Terminal Emulator.

International Technology Education Association. Annual Conference and exhibits in March.


Iowa Tests of Educational Development. If you agree that there is a meaningful difference between written tests that attempt to measure aptitude and written tests that attempt to measure achievement (like CogAT), then ited is a typical achievement test.

ITER, Iter
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. That was the original expansion, now deprecated in favor of the idea that Iter is simply Latin for `the way.' (I've occasionally seen ITER expanded as ``International Thermonuclear Energy Research'' (or ``... Energy Reactor'') but those apparently were never official expansions.) ITER was originally set up in a series of meetings in the 1980's as a collaboration of the US, the Soviet Union, the EC, and Japan. The goal was to pool efforts and resources to develop fusion as an energy source.

Other countries have also participated and have been described as members, but their precise status is confusing. The initial agreement among the ``big four'' signatories in April 1988 contained what was known as the ``Canada clause.'' It said that ''[a]fter consultation with the other parties, each party may involve in its contribution to the conceptual design activities other countries which possess specific fusion capabilities.'' Canada's ``special capability'' is its tritium technology, obtained through the operation of the CANDU reactors used in nuclear power plants. (Visit ITERCanada.) Canada's participation became official in July 1988.

The next major ITER agreement (I am tempted to call it the next ITERation, but I've got too much class), concluded by about the same four partners (the USSR having been succeeded by Russia), was signed in Washington, DC, on July 21, 1992. (Also, in 1993 the EC became the EU.)

In October 1998, the US Congress refused to continue the US share of ITER funding, and the U.S. discontinued its membership. Canada stayed involved at some level. Next thing I knew, it was December 2003. The US was back in, but Canada's federal government found being a full participant or bidding to be the construction site too expensive, and officially pulled out Dec. 5, 2003. Also, South Korea and China were now members, on what terms I don't know. The six members met in Reston, Virginia, to decide whether to site in France or Japan. Commenting on condition of anonymity, a member of one of the delegations (not the EU delegation) explained that the US, Japan, and Korea favored the Japanese site, while China, Russia, and the EU favored the French site. South Korea was the most flexible, and may have abstained in some sort of vote, but the decision is apparently intended to be made by consensus, so some were quite pessimistic that an agreement could be reached, either by the next meeting in January or February, or at all. Reading a bit between the lines, it seemed that there would be some serious log-rolling negotiations (outsourcing some tasks in return for support, etc.).

Latin, `road.' It was and is used in transferred senses such as `route, way,' etc.

International Transport Workers' Federation.

Internet Task Force.

It Happened in Manhattan
Subtitled ``An oral history of life in the city during the mid-twentieth century,'' it was put together by Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer. This is a reference for an A.F.P. entry.

[phone icon]

Indian Telephone Industries.

Information Technology Industry Council. Formerly CBEMA.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Here's an explanation from the 2004 edition of IRS publication 17 (Your Federal Income Tax: For Individuals), p. 15:
The IRS will issue you an ITIN if you are a nonresident or resident alien and you do not have and are not eligible to get an SSN.

Use form W-7. See also ATIN.

It is felt that
I think that.

Institute for the Transformation of Learning. Promotes ``school choice'' (``vouchers'').

Iowa Trial Lawyers Association.

Contraction of it will or, rather less commonly, it shall.

One day I was tapping at the terminal talking with Joshi when he went ``wow!''

It was easy to guess that I hadn't done any sudden impressive feat of coding, and he quickly assured me that I would never guess what had amazed him. It turned out that in response to a request from him I had replied ``I shall.''

Istituto per la Tecnologia dei Materiali. In Milan.

International Twelve Metre Association. The whole nine yards, and more, once the page is constructed.

It's That Man Again. A popular WWII BBC radio comedy feature (ran from 1939 until 1949, when creator comedian Tommy Handley died). Written by Ted Kavanagh. Characters included Mrs. Mopp and Funf.

The judge who presided over the murder trial of O. J. Simpson.

Indium Tin Oxide. Material used in LCD's, because a thin layer of it is fairly transparent yet reasonably conductive.

Institute for Theoretical Physics. Wherever. There's a famous one in Trieste.

International Thompson Publishing co.

Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities.

Internet Traffic Report. Monitors ping delays and packet loss. Something nonintuitive: the ``index'' for a region measures its current speed compared to its own speed over the past seven days, so it can't be used to compare different regions. To compare different regions, use response time.

International Tenant Representative Alliance.

International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors.

Moore's Law times a couple of hundred. (I.e., broken out into component technologies and capabilities.) Looking ahead 15 years or so. No, it's not as mechanical as simply applying an exponential scaling law. One reason is that on a close-up view, technology evolves in discrete steps, transitioning as new capabilities become available or economical.

The ITRS is an assessment of semiconductor technology ``requirements.'' ``Requirements'' is an interesting word. Different technologies are required to advance in a loose coordination, in order to produce integrated-circuit performance improvements. But in principle and in fact, slack from any lagging technology is taken up by one or more alternatives. The Roadmap trieds to predict how the technology competitions will play out, and includes predictions about transitions between qualitatively different technologies as well quantitative changes. You can think of ``requirements'' as being what you as a supplier can expect to be required to supply if you want to stay in the business.

Research advances are almost a commodity: you want faster advances, you buy more research manpower.

The ITRS, updated annually, ``is a cooperative effort of the global industry manufacturers and suppliers, government organizations, consortia, and universities. ... It is sponsored by the European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA), the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), the Korean Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA), the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), and Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA). International SEMATECH is the global communication center for this activity. The ITRS team at International SEMATECH also coordinates the USA region events.''

A possessive pronoun, like ``her'' and ``his.'' Possessive pronouns do not get apostrophes (thus: ``ours,'' ``hers,'' ``theirs''). A pretty recent one, in fact. Back when all nouns had grammatical gender in English, hit and his were genitives. In Middle English, hit lost its initial aitch, but remained a possessive form. It is not until the around 1620 that it appears as a neuter personal pronoun and its (or it's, in that time) appeared as the corresponding possessive form. We may be seeing a similar transition now, with their frequently being used as a gender-neutral personal pronoun for people, and agreeing, albeit grumpily, with verbs in singular conjugation. Problems still occur however, due for example to the absence of a reasonable reflexive form.

A contraction for ``it is.''

Intelligent Transportation Systems. Called RTI in Europe. Called IVHS in the past.

International Thermoelectric Society. ITS -- a wonderful acronym. (It's a better pun spoken than written, as is often the case.) Really: if they create any subsocieties or SIG's whatever, those can be named on the pattern of...
  Abbott: ITS nano TES.
Costello: What's nano TES?
  Abbott: A nano TE is a thermoelectric made from nanostructured material.
	  Nano TES is the subsociety for nano TE's.
Costello: I know what a nano TE is, everybody knows that!  What I
          mean is, whose nano TES?
  Abbott: ITS.
Costello: Whaddaya mean, ``its''?
  Abbott: I-T-S!

The name is better than the motto: ``Promoting thermoelectric technology to mitigate global climate change.''

Attendees of the annual International Conference on Thermoelectrics (ICT) automatically become members of the ITS. Membership runs from the first day of the conference attended until the day prior to the next annual conference.

There's also a conference that's brand new (afaik, as of this writing): IOTEC (Inorganic and Organic Thermoelectrics). Like, as opposed to what? As of November 27, 2012, you can visit the official webpage for IOTEC 2013 - Harvesting Electricity from Heat -- Inorganic and Organic Thermoelectrics. ``Registration deadline December 15 / Agenda and more will soon be available here.'' Better hurry up and buy the pig in that poke, the conference is January 24. Oh! The pig is free and includes lunch. Can't look a gift pig in the poke. Better information in this pdf and this ITS page. It's sort of a one-day (9am-6pm) tutorial introduction consisting of ``plenary lectures.''

Intelligent Transportation Society of America.

IT sagas
It's a gas. And it's easier to reclue a crossword puzzle than to change a fill.

Its all over.
What is its ``all'' and what is it over?

It's a long story.
It would take a long time to drag the story out of me.

It's an honor to be appointed associate vice--
Stop right there. No it's not.

It's complicated.
It's simple{;|:} I don't want to talk about it.

Oh, here's a nice sample for study. On June 18, 2001, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for three hours with US reporters. He was able to make very clear his opposition to a US missile defense. That's really quite simple, because the burden of argument is clearly upon those who want to deploy it. Obviously, defensive weapons are dangerous and evil, and may provoke another arms race, whereas offensive weapons of mass destruction are recognized as ethical and politically stabilizing. It is really quite gracious of Putin to recognize these facts, and to come out for political stability and international arms balance, when so many of his countrymen have recognized that the old USSR's inability to keep pace in the arms race motivated the actions that eventuated in Putin's presidency. In any case, this is all very simple and Putin had no trouble, even though he communicated through an interpreter. All he had to do was to point to various moves available to his pieces in the chess game.

US reporters wanted to know if Putin and US President Bush, in earlier talks in Slovenia, had talked in detail about ``Iran and Russia's growing arms relationship with its leaders.'' The answer was yes, but Russia has a ``complex relationship'' with Iran. See, now if he had been translated as saying ``it's complicated,'' then that would have been a completely different story. Then one might be justified in suspecting that the entire complexity of the relationship consisted in Iran having cash and Russia having arms, and each wanting some of what the other has. Obviously it's not like that at all. It's a ``complex relationship.'' It's rocket science. I certainly can't figure it out. Probably the reporters have a clue, but they're not saying.

Chechnya was very simple: it was someone else's fault.

Intelligent Transportation Systems for Commercial Vehicle Operations.

It's easy; all you have to do is...
I saw someone do it once; the final step is...

It's life, Jim, but not as we know it.
In his last movie, Divine played Ricki Lake's mother.

It's no secret that...
Let us assume without evidence that...

It's not really about...
It really is about...

It's not the money.
It's the money.

[Football icon]

It's not whether you win or lose.
You have to win convincingly against ranked opponents, or your chances in the BCS calculus are poor.

International Technical Support Organization. Izzatso?

Internet Telephony Service Provider.

It's so important.
It's so important that what?

It's very quiet.
Either that or I've gone deaf!

[phone icon]

InterTandem Trunk. Telephone line connecting different tandem offices. Long-distance toll calls involve different tandem offices connected by one or more ITT's. (Pre-divestiture, ``tandem'' was ``toll.'') Cf. TCT.

[phone icon]

Part of official name of the company that used to be International Telephone and Telegraph.

Information Technology Training Association, Inc.

It takes all kinds.
It takes blithering idiots.

It takes all kinds.
Sure, but why couldn't it take them somewhere else?

(UK Higher Education Funding Councils') Information Technology Training Initiative. It(ti) sounds kinda smallish. Also, the original funding was in 1991 for three years. The purpose was to ``improve the availability of training materials for the use of IT in UK Higher Education Institutions,'' and the webpages have been moribund since 1998. Actually, it looks like they produced some useful stuff, and if you're still running, say, Microsoft Word 5.5, you may want to save the link. But from a general point of view, I think the ITTI region of acronym namespace may be considered available.

Institute for TransUranium Elements. ``The mission of ITU is to provide the scientific foundation for the protection of the European citizen against risks associated with the handling and storage of highly radioactive material. ITU's prime objectives are to serve as a reference centre for basic actinide research, to contribute to an effective safety and safeguards system for the nuclear fuel cycle, and to study technological and medical applications of radionuclides/actinides.''

International Telecommunications Union. Founded in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union. Now a specialized agency of the United Nations, apparently within the UNDP. (Here's an alternate ITU URL.)

International Telecommunications Union - Radiocommunication.

International Telecommunications Union, Technical Standards Section.

Independent TeleVision. The largest commercial television network in the UK, by viewership, number of regional licenses held (12 of 15), and various other measures. The biggest-budget commercial TV network in Europe.

Interactive TeleVision.

In-Transit Visibility.

International TeleVision Association. ``The Association for Accomplished Visual Communicators.'' No comment.

Independent TeleVision Service. Creates programming for public television (PTV) stations.

It was a dark and stormy night
When Snoopy (the renowned WWI flying ace in Peanuts) retired from his dogfights and turned his paw to pursuits of a literary nature, his efforts always began with these words. He was unconsciously plagiarizing this original:
It was a dark and stormy night and the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

This is the first sentence of Paul Clifford (1830), a novel by Edward George Bulwer (1803-1873). (He added his mother's family name at age 40, on inheriting Knebworth, ancestral home of the Lytton family. In 1866, he was elevated to the peerage in recognition of his depredations on literature, and became known as Lord Lytton. He is remembered as Bulwer-Lytton.)

That sentence has come to be regarded as a paradigmatic example of writing that is correct grammatically, in terms of spelling and syntax, but otherwise quite poor -- overwrought I would say, and perhaps a bit windy, possibly even with occasional violent gusts of excessive verbiage running down the page (for it is texts that are our context). It excites an uncontrollable urge to parody. An annual bad-writing contest is named in Bulwer-Lytton's honor or whatever (BLFC). I believe that academic writing is excluded from the contest, nominally on the grounds that it is nonfiction, and really to keep the number of entries to a manageable number and give regular people a shot at being the worst.

A note to our younger readers (those born since 1870): ``dark ... night'' is not a pleonasm. It is true that today, or better said tonight, the night (we exclude the twilight hours) is always dark relative to the day, and one night is as dark as another; in 1830, however, even in the great metropolis of London, street lighting was not so widespread or so bright (``the lamps that struggled against the darkness,'' were few and of ``scanty flame'') that one could not tell, as one can still do today (yeah, yeah, tonight) in many rural areas, the difference between a dark, new-moon night, and a night illumined by a full moon, bright enough to read bad novels by.

(People who resent being able to read bad novels out on moonless nights have clubs where they can complain about it to other people who feel the same way and are not sick to death of hearing them bellyache. The IDA is one such.)

It was never my intention to give offense.
I merely wanted to say things that are outrageous.

International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature (ITZN), a charity (not-for-profit company) registered in the UK that handles financial and management affairs for the International Commission on Zoölogical Nomenclature (ICZN).

Indiana University. This may refer to the Indiana University System or to IUB. There are countless campuses, but a mere eight main campuses:

International Unit[s]. A measure of the quantity of various nutrients, including vitamins A, D, and E.

Indiana University at Bloomington. Flagship of the IU system, q.v.

Indiana University Bloomington Advisor's Council. Normally just ``BAC.'' When I saw ``THANKS FOR 7 GREAT YEARS / WELCOME IUBAC'' on the marquee at the local Hampton Inn & Suites in early August 2003, I thought: sure, time to prepare for the new students at IU. (I didn't think ``oh cute -- Welcome yoo back.'') I didn't know what ``IUBAC'' stood for, but I figured it must have something to do with Indiana University. Read on.

International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen. Normally just ``BAC'' too. Before they let you view their home page, they want you to read a disclaimer, just so you don't get the idea that you could learn everything you need to know about laying brick and doing allied crafts by just reading. Hey -- it's a skilled profession!

Early August 2003: BAC Local Leadership Conference in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Long ago, Gary's in-laws (``the L's'' will be specific enough for this entry) hired a contractor to build a new stone fireplace in their home. Two guys were working at it, and as the L's watched they realized that the fireplace was turning out to look asymmetric: the two guys had different styles, and even though they were using stones from the same stock, the sides were different. So Mr. L said ``stop,'' but they didn't. Then Mrs. L said ``stop!'' The skilled craftsmen continued their work. Then together in unison Mr. and Mrs. L said ``stop!!'' I'm not sure when exactly the stonemasons deigned to pause, but it turned out that their deafness was principled: they worked for the contractor and took their orders from him (and not from a couple of clowns who happened to be paying for the work, apparently, and in whose house they were working -- maybe the L's should have said ``leave'').

The contractor did not charge for having the work redone. When two masons work together in parallel, they have to work together. In particular, they're supposed to trade places occasionally so their different styles do not produce different patches that are large enough to notice. Potentially, all work is skilled work. The trouble is workers with skills incommensurate to the work.

By the way, if you've been reading on since the previous IUBAC entry, the following may make sense. In late August, the marquee was changed to read ``THANKS FOR 7 GREAT YEARS / WELCOME BACK STUDENTS.'' Oh.

International University of Business Agriculture and Technology.

International Union of Biological Sciences. I would pronounce this ``yubs.'' Then again, I wouldn't design an acronym that would be pronounced yubs. Cf. yob.

Not to be confused with IUSB. Another initialism not to be confused with IUSB is UCSB.

Information Unit for Conventions ``provides public information and media services to a number of environmental conventions.''

Industry/University Center for Biosurfaces at UB.

Information Unit on Climate Change. Original name of IUC.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Now prefers to style itself ``IUCN -- The World Conservation Union.'' See also WWF.

International Union of CRystallography. A member society of ICSU.

iud, i.u.d.
Independent, uniformly distributed (random variable). More information at the entry for uid, which is the more common abbreviation, for some reason...

IntraUterine Device. A contraceptive device that functions by discouraging fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterine wall. Not real popular these days. In the US, as in many third-world nations, the most commonly used birth control method, apart from hoping, is sterilization. The Pill trails that, although it is the most popular method for the young.

Invented in 1909 by R. Richter.

Indiana University East. A/k/a ``IU East'' or just plain ``East.'' The group Head East had a hit with ``Never Been Any Reason.''

Anyway, East is part of the IU system, which has at least a couple of other campuses named for compass points. (They're IUN and IUS; nope, guess again.) East isn't located anywhere in particular, so if you're in Indiana and not located near any particular place, then there's a fair chance it's nearby. By ``particular place,'' I mean a place described by a proper noun (other than, like, IUE or Springwood Hall) rather than by latitude and longitude. By ``near'' I mean driving distance in a snow storm. YMMV. By ``fair chance'' I mean nonzero probability.

Oh, alright, IUE is at Richmond, Indiana, near Ohio.

International Ultraviolet Explorer (satellite).

International Union of Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers.

My mistake. There is no ``Indiana University at Fort Wayne'' so-called -- at least not currently. According to this page, ``After many years of offering courses at separate locations in Fort Wayne, Indiana University and Purdue University opened the combined campus ... in 1964.'' Hence the clunky name, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, abbreviated IPFW.

IPFW is part of the IU system, but is operated in cooperation with, and is administered by, Purdue University. At least they didn't go acronym-crazy like IUPUI. The original Fort Wayne was named after General "Mad" Anthony Wayne.

International Union of Geological Sciences.

International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science. One of twenty-six scientific unions belonging to the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). One that, as of early 2002, finds itself technically challenged in maintaining a web presence. The of-of name probably reflects the earlier dominance of French, in which language the name is Union internationale d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences. Cf. ICHS. Divided both organizationally and temperamentally into two divisions:

Division of History of Science of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS).

Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS).

Intelligent User Interfaces. A shell -- what more do you need? Oh, I get it: an intelligent interface for users. Users who are not necessarily intelligent themselves. Burden-sharing. Gottcha. Sure. I get it. (I was just acting confused.) Another international conference, cosponsored by ACM SIGART and ACM SIGCHI.

IntraUterine Insemination. One kind of ART: sperm get a free ride past cervical mucosa to a place in the uterine suggestively close to the fallopian tubes. After all that, absent special drugs half the stupid sperm will go up the wrong tube. See Woody Allen's ``Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask'' for a sad illustration of sperm intelligence and neurosis.

Indiana University at Kokomo. Part of the IU system. Yuk-yuk. Or yuck. With a little forethought, this could have been IUM (Mexico, just 25 miles north). Vermont and Peru are even closer.

International Union of Microbiological Societies. Yummms! ``Microbes in a Changing World.'' Yucks!

Indiana University Northwest. A/k/a ``IU Northwest.'' A regional campus, based in Gary, of the IU system.

Many years ago, flying back from Montreal to Chicago, I sat next to a hot little sociology professor. It turned out that she taught at IUN, and when I called her, she was impressed that I tracked her down (yeah, it was that long ago) and we set up a date.

There's no ``Indiana University Northeast,'' but there's an IUS, and if you want to go waaaaay east and south a bit, there's...

Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The name is a ruse to trick Pennsylvania students who are eager to go to school in exciting, exotic Indiana into staying in-state instead. Yup. (That's IUP with a consonantal I.) It's all explained at the SU entry.

I visited once just to say I had. (I also visited Princeton, W.Va., and Princeton, Ill., and bought tee shirts featuring the high school tiger mascot at both. I also bought condoms in Condom, in southern France.) I didn't buy a tee shirt (wink, wink) in the town of Indiana, seat of Indiana County of Pennsylvania. I mentioned the visit to a friend of mine who grew up in Maryland, and he told me that IUP is a big teacher's college, and that many of his high school teachers came from there.

They don't emphasize that on the website, but some of the 130 undergraduate programs of study, as of today (April 15, 2012) are Art Education; Business Education; Chemistry Education; Deaf Education; Early Childhood Education/PreK-Grade 6 and two Elementary Education majors (one is ``Urban Track''); Education of Exceptional Persons (wow, you gotta be pretty smart to teach geniuses, huh?); English Education; Family and Consumer Sciences Education (I think that might qualify you to teach home eck); French Education; Health and Physical Education; Mathematics Education; Music Education; Physical Education and Sport; Physical Education and Sport, Aquatics; Physical Education and Sport, Exercise Science; Physical Education and Sport, Sport Administration; Social Science Education, Anthropology Concentration; Social Science Education, Sociology Concentration; Social Studies Education, Economics Track; Social Studies Education, Geography Track; Social Studies Education, History Track; Spanish Education K-12; Vocational-Technical Education. I guess my friend was right. There are a number of majors that don't include the word education in the name, such as Engineering and Exercise Science (that's two separate majors).

I didn't know where any of my high school teachers had attended college, although I found out where my calculus teacher went to get his masters when he dropped a math course I was taking in my second year in college.

Institution for Utter Pretentiousness. English name of UIP, q.v.

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Pronounced ``you pack.'' ``I pack.'' ``We all pack, and if there's another `polite academic disagreement' at the next journal-club meeting, that won't be phenolphthalein-in-basic-solution on the floor.'' Pure and Applied Chemistry is the official journal of IUPAC.

International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. Surely a contender for the redundant university honor of most-redundant university name honors. It has 180 academic programs, too. There are easier ways to make the university acronym palindromic. And more euphonious, like UIU.

Gary tells me that he's never heard anyone pronounce ``IUPUI'' in any other way than as an initialism: ``eye you pea you eye.'' (Stress on the eyes, iirc.) Well yipee-eye-ay to that. He claims that after a bit of practice, it rolls easily off the lips, but I recommend a thin coat of vaseline.

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. It ought to be pronounced ``I irk.''

Indiana University Southeast. A/k/a ``IU Southeast.'' A regional campus, based in New Albany, of the IU system.

Inertial Upper Stage. NASA acronym. The capsule. It keeps moving by inertia; it has limited thrust, mostly for orientation (or for escape in the event of lower-stage failure).

Indiana University South Bend. Part of Indiana University.

Not to be confused with IUBS.

Institute of United States Studies. Part of the School of Advanced Study of the University of London from its founding in 1965 until 2004, when it was merged with ILAS to form the ISA (q.v.). US studies or American studies is a hot field in Europe. It got a Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) article in 2001 or 2002. This academic field answers the crying need for authoritative academic rationalizations for European elites' visceral resentment of America.

Implementation Under Test.

Impuesto a la Venta. Spanish, `sales tax.' Cf. IVA.

Intelligent Vehicle. Face it: the last thirty years have demonstrated that the vehicle is easier to improve than the driver.

IntraVenous. IV injections are what druggies call ``mainlining.'' In 1987, uphill from and in view of the Roman Colosseum, I found myself walking up the steps of a shooting gallery; the discarded syringes were thick on the steps, and if you tripped there you had to worry what you landed on. Occasionally, tourism becomes travel.

About 20 years later, stacked against the wall behind the clerk at a pharmacy in the US, I noticed boxes labeled ``BD Micro-Fine IV Insulin Syinges.'' I understand that people who are insulin-dependent typically inject themselves. I hadn't imagined that they were mainlining the stuff. It turned out that they aren't. The ``IV'' in ``BD Micro-Fine IVTM Insulin Syinges'' is the Roman numeral for four. (Another Roman connection!) BD used to sell a Micro-Fine IIITM. Just for alarming me, Becton Dickinson and Company, based in New Jersey, won't get its own BD entry.

Insulin-dependent diabetics normally dose themselves subcutaneously (SQ). It's what druggies call ``skin-popping.'' Other entries of interest: IA, IM.

Impuesto al Valor Agregado. Spanish, `value-added tax' (VAT). Also Impuesto sobre el Valor Agregado.

Incidentally, I have seen ``taxo'' as a Spanish translation of the English word ``tax.'' It's just about the ugliest anglicismo I know.

InterValence-band Absorption. Light absorption by the excitation of a hole from one valence band into a lower one. In a bulk semiconductor with a typical (i.e., non-inverted) band structure, IVA can occur in one of two ways: conversion of a heavy hole into a light hole, or excitation of an ordinary hole into the split-off band. This can be a significant effect in p-doped semiconductors radiated with sub-bandgap light. In heterostructures, the lh/hh degeneracy at k = 0 is broken and zone folding produces a number of additional transitions. In generally p-type material, quantum wells for holes can (with appropriate bias voltages) produce 1DHG's -- regions where the Fermi energy lies below the top of the local VBE. All of these effects can be used to increase IVA dramatically.

IntraVehicular Activity. E.g.: spilling coffee on the driver's lap.

I value honesty.
A personals-ad expression. Take a good close look at that picture. Hey -- that's Diana Rigg, circa 1966! I guess it's an approximation. Look, I said ``value honesty,'' not ``am honest.'' It means I value your honesty. In this world in which we live, it can't be all take-take-take. Somebody's got to be the sucker, and I nominate you.

You may think that people lie about things that are hard to check, like their precise income, or their juvenile delinquency. That's true, but my cousin Victoria discovered something else about personals ads: people tell obvious lies. That is, they don't just tell lies that might not be discovered (according to the rules of dating, this is allowed). Rather, they tell lies that their mere presence betrays, and which the liars must realize will be discovered. She made this discovery using the experimental method. She ran personals ads that mentioned her height (6 feet, and not one barleycorn more). Guys would reply to this ad, or she would reply to guys' ads (it was all very complicated -- this was in the days of newspapers), and one way or another she would be led to understand that her prospective dates were taller than she was. Then she would meet them, and standing in low-heel shoes, she would be looking down at them. See also recent photograph.

Inferior Vena Cava. The lower of the two blood vessels returning blood to the right atrium of the heart.

International Verilog HDL Conference.

Inter-Vehicle Communication.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Link here to the branch at UB.

I-V characteristic
A mathematical relation (usually a function) of current to voltage, or the plot of that relation. Also CVC.

Immobilienverband Deutschland. `Real Estate Federation of Germany.'

Internal Vapor Deposition.

IntraVenous Drug [ab]User.

Institutet för Verkstadsteknisk Forskning. Swedish: `Institute of Production Engineering Research.'

In Vitro Fertilization. The Latin phrase in vitro means `in glass.' The idea in IVF is that sperm and egg are likelier to meet and get together in a test tube than in the usual chancy environs. The fertilized egg is implanted in the womb.

Many customers are bothered by the conceptual aesthetics of this process. GIFT and ZIFT are a little better in that category, and also have slightly higher success rates.

The famous first human baby conceived by IVF was Louise Brown, born in Britain in 1978. In 1999, she was working in a daycare center. Asked if she would use IVF herself, she said she'd pass it up. That's very interesting, and she's the oldest woman you could ask the question of who has the experience of being an IVF baby, but she was a healthy twenty-one-year-old when asked. IVF is most famously, now, used by older couples that have difficulty conceiving. It's also used by younger couples who have difficulty conceiving, but that hasn't generated the same volume of politically pointed literature.

IVF was first introduced in the US in 1981. It is the most common ART (q.v.), accounting for about 70% of procedures.

Oh, good: here's a clarification of the politically fraught thoughts of Shulamith Firestone on reproductive technology.

Interruption voluntaire de grossesse. French, `voluntary termination of pregnancy.' Voluntary on the woman's part. A euphemism for avortement (`abortion'). Grossesse turns out to be the standard word for pregnancy in French, sort of reminiscent of the old euphemism ``big [or great] with child.'' Cf. comments on embarazo near the end of the TP entry.

Intelligent Vehicle-Highway System[s]. Now called ITS.

IVHS America
IVHS America? Noooo! It's the Intelligent Vehicle Highway Society of America. An NGO (``a public/private scientific and educational corporation'') working for safer, more economical, energy efficient, and environmentally sound highway travel in the US.

InterVehicle Information System. [Military.]

I-V line
IntraVenous (IV) tube.

{ Idaho | Indiana | Iowa } Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

International Vacuum Microelectronics Conference.

IntraVenous (IV) Pyelogram.

[phone icon]

Interactive Voice Response. You may have noticed that you no longer need a touchtone to deal with some PBX's.

Intramolecular Vibrational Redistribution (of energy).

Interactive Voice Services. Fancy public-address system. Generally less frustrating than, though possibly as irritating as, IVR.

InterValley Scattering. Transition of an electron or hole between different satellite valleys. (In common usage, this usually excludes generation and recombination processes.)

International VLBI Satellite. A joint USSR-ESA project.

I-V (versus) Temperature. Measurement of temperature-dependent I-V characteristics.

IntraVascular UltraSound.

IntraVascular UltraSound -- Virtual Histology.

Information Warfare.

Information Window.

International Workshop. Lexically productive.

Intensity-Weighted Average of Instantaneous Frequency.

International Water-related Associations' Liaison Committee.

I want to halve your baby.
Oh, that King Solomon -- such a kidder!

I want to tell you
I want you to suspend your critical faculties completely.

I wasn't talking to you
But you were listening to me.

It Would Be Nice If.

Illinois Watch Company. A watch manufacturer of the early twentieth century. Cf. IWC Co.

Implementation Working Group.

International Whaling Commission.

International Wildlife Coalition. Dedicated to serious partying! Then again, maybe not.

International Workshop on Critical Currrents (in superconductors).

Illinois Watch Case COmpany. A company distinct from and independent of the Illinois Watch Company (IWC), though they often did business. If you opened an IWC watch and saw ``IWC Co.'' inscribed on the inside of the case, that was not an AAP pleonasm. Instead, it was an indication that you had one of IWC's cheaper watches. For their better watches they used other cases not from IWC Co.

International Workshop on Computational Electronics.

The fifth (IWCE-5) was at Notre Dame in 1997. IWCE-7 was at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. My, how the time goes by. IWCE-10 was back in Indiana (Purdue University, in West Lafayette).

Internet World Exhibition.

Independent Women's Forum. ``... provides a voice for American women who believe in individual freedom and personal responsibility. We have made that voice heard in the U.S. Supreme Court, among decision makers in Washington, and across America's airwaves.

It is the voice of reasonable women with important ideas who embrace common sense over divisive ideology.

We don't pretend to speak for all women - but perhaps we speak for you.''

Internationaler Währungsfonds. German for `International Monetary Fund' (IMF).

InterWorking Function.

Inverse Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin (WKB). Used to extract a depth-dependent index of refraction. See P. K. Tien, R. Ulrich, and R. J. Martin, ``Modes of propagating light waves in thin deposited semiconductor films,'' Appl. Phys. Lett., 14 291 (1969); and J. M. White and P. F. Heidrich, ``Optical waveguide refractive index profiles determined from measurement of mode indices: a simple analysis,'' Appl. Opt., 15, 151-5 (1976).

Iowa World Language Association.

San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority.

International Water Mist Association.

The International WorkingMen's Association. The First International. As an early document served by marxists.org indicates, the group was also called the ``Working Men's International Association.''

International Workshop on Max-Algebra.

International Water Management Institute. ``IWMI is a non-profit scientific organization funded by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). IWMI's research agenda is organized around four priority themes covering key issues relating to land, water, livelihoods, health and environment. The Institute concentrates on water and related land management challenges faced by poor rural communities. ...''

Internet Weather Report. Really a traffic report: regular maps of internet packet latencies, as measured from MIDS offices in Austin, Tx.

International Water Resources Association.

International Water Ski Federation. It seems awfully generous of water skiers to have created a federation just for their equipment. On the other hand, the IWSF is based in Unteraegeri, Switzerland, so they probably have some spare time on their hands there for part of the year.

Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung. `Institute of Science and Technology Studies' located at Universität Bielefeld. They don't do scientific or technical studies; they study science and technology as social and intellectual phenomena, viewed from philosophical, historical, linguistic, sociological, and ethical perspectives. In principle, it's not entirely impossible that such studies could stumble on something that was nontrivial and true, but a more effective approach would simply be to pay scientists to not do scientific research.

Interview With The Vampire, a novel by Anne Rice.

Illinois Wesleyan University.

InterWorking Unit.

Industrial Workers of the World. A US labor organization. It and its members were known as the Wobblies.

Preamble to the IWW Constitution (1905):

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.

Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the earth and the machinery of production and abolish the wage system.

We find that the centering of management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever-growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping to defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the workers have interest in common with their employers.

These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.

Instead of the conservative motto, ``A fair day's wage for a fair day's work,'' we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, ``Abolition of the wage system.'' It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for the every-day struggle with capitalists, but to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.

All I want to know is, where does that leave us symbolic manipulators, eh?

The IWW never formally disbanded, but when the US entered World War I, most of its leaders were jailed under terms of the Espionage Act of 1917. History in a palindrome:

IWW ... WWI.

Still, the IWW never formally disbanded. In fact it still exists! You can visit their website.

Indian X-ray Astronomy Satellite.

[phone icon]

IntereXchange Carrier. A company that provides long-distance (inter-LATA) telephone service.

Nominally the International XAFS Society, but ``open to all those working on the fine structure associated with inner shell excitation (near edge and extended) by various probes (e.g. x-rays and electrons), and related techniques for which the data is interpreted on the same physical basis.''

If You Know What I Mean.

If You Know What I Mean, And I Think You Do. To be perfectly honest, the expansion is just my guess. I might be wrong, but I think I'm not.

If You Know What I'm Saying, And I Think You Do.

International Yacht Racing Union. What's this classy acronym doing here among the nerdy email abbreviations? Oh -- alphabetic order.

If You See What I Mean. Email abbreviation.

Russian, `News.' A leading newspaper of the Soviet Union (USSR) with Pravda, which means `Truth.' The saying used to go

There is no news in Pravda, and no truth in Izvestia.

I don't understand why it didn't go the other way around. Unlike Pravda, Izvestia has changed with the times and remains in business as Russia's leading liberal newspaper.

	I nternationalizatio N
	 |<-- 18 letters -->|
Cf. E13n, j10n, L10n, and las onces.

There's a Unicode and Internationalization Glossary online. [I.e., a glossary having to do with written-language internationalization.]

Oh! Look at this: it also works in British spelling:

        i nternationalisatio n
         |<-- 18 letters -->|
A truly i15d abbreviation. How touching. I think this magic also happens with e13n and L10n, but I don't have time to count letters.

We could do this more generally: L2e t2s. C2l, h1h?

For a very early (16 c. or so) application of this principle, see las onces entry.

The British thing reminds me: I have a lot of old British books, and for a long time they apparently thought it was fine to represent a 1 with a small upper-case I. It wasn't. And I don't recommend writing i18n with a capital i or L10n with a lower-case l. (Oh yeah -- it wasn't really an I or l, it was just a 1 that looked exactly like an I or an l. Right.)


Ion Implantation.

Integrated Injection Logic. ``Aye-squared El.'' Same as CHIL, q.v., and MTL.

Interstate route 80. Designated ``Ohio Turnpike'' in Ohio. I use it too much. How well do I know I-80? Last time I was at Vermillion service area, I thought: ``who moved that pinball machine''?

Interstate route 90. Designated ``Amvets highway'' along some of its length by various states. In New York, it's also known as the New York State Thruway, designed by Robert Moses, a man who never learned to drive a car. One trip, I hauled my car on a tow dolly behind my truck, and I got separate do-not-spindle cards for the two vehicles. At least they didn't give me a third one for the tow dolly -- all three made road contact.

Almost all of the New York section of I-90 is part of the New York State Thruway system, and most of the ``mainline'' section of the NYST is I-90. (Look, I'm trying to make this as complicated as possible, okay? And I'm getting help from the NYST, which also favors complexity and unclearly-defined names.) However, a quarter or a third of the system is designated by other interstate numbers or no interstate number.

A helpful ASCII map from Mark explains what happens around Albany:

                   | I-87
     I-90 = NYST   |(24)
                   |    \           state line
                   |     |               :
              I-87 |     | I-90          :
            = NYST |     |               :
                   |     |               :
                   |     |(B1)           :
                   |  BS     I-90 = BS   :  I-90 = MA Turnpike
                   |                     :
                   |                     :
              I-87 |                     :
            = NYST |

Numbers in parentheses are exit numbers; BS is the Thruway's Berkshire Spur. You can get a more metrically accurate color map from mapquest, but it won't be as clear what happens to I-90.

[ Top ]

[ A ][ B ][ C ][ D ][ E ][ F ][ G ][ H ][ I ][ J ][ K ][ L ][ M ][ N ][ O ][ P ][ Q ][ R ][ S ][ T ][ Þ (``thorn'') ][ U ][ V ][ W ][ X ][ Y ][ Z ][ Numbers ]

[ Thumb tabs and search tool] [ SBF Homepage ]

Oops! Overshot the pointers.

Space above was intentionally left free of glossary definitions so that links to bottom of document can appear at the top of the screen display.

© Alfred M. Kriman 1995-2017 (c)