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N n

kNight. The kind that moves gimpy across the chessboard. See more complete information at Kt.

Abbreviation for metric prefix nano-, representing 10-9, or one (American) billionth.

Back when most of my work was in nanoelectronics, I named one of my Sun workstations enano. It was a pun.

Nematic. A liquid-crystal phase with orientational order and no positional order. If you ignore molecule orientations, the phase is a liquid. Usually in this context, molecules are treated as if they had the symmetry of rods: orientation is characterized by the direction of the long axis of the molecule. (Strictly speaking, it is possible to have a further orientational ordering, associated with rotations of molecules about their major axes. In practice, however, phase diagrams usually involve transitions to different kinds of ordered liquid crystals, such as smectic and cholesteric, as well as to crystalline and liquid phases.)

Newline escape sequence. See the LF entry for equivalences, the B (programming language) entry for etymology.

Newton. Force unit in MKSA or MKS system. 9/40 of a pound, in sensible units. 105 dyne, in older approved units.

Usage note: units named after people are not capitalized, but their symbols are. Hence, N abbreviates a unit that is spelled out as ``newton.''

1 N = 1 kg m/s2

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

When people say ``as free as the air,'' they're talkin' nitrogen, 78%, and that can go for as little as pennies on the cubic foot.

Gallium Nitride (GaN) has been used to create blue lasers, so now [I think I entered this entry in 1995] full-color flat-panel displays and area illumination based on compound semiconductors are anticipated. When people talk about the danger of material shortages that might result, they're not talkin'bout nitrogen.

Nonideality factor in semiconductors. Simple semiconductor device models (like the Ebers-Moll model) typically contain voltage-dependent factors of the form exp(qV/kBT), arising as ratios of Gibbs factors. The fit of measured characteristics can often be substantially improved by inserting a fudge factor in the argument of the exponent: exp(qV/nkBT).

Although this is essentially a phenomenological correction, it does have some theoretical justification, in a slightly more complicated approximation than that which yields the standard Ebers-Moll equations. If transport across the depletion region is modeled as taking place in two stages, then n = 2 is obtained as a limiting case. Usually the two theoretical approximations serve as bounds on the empirical fit: the nonideality factor lies between 1 and 2. For good Si devices, n in the range of 1.1-1.3 provides a good fit for high voltages, and 1.6-1.8 fits well for low voltages. (The transition between these regions is moderately sharp -- taking place over less than half a volt around 0.65 V -- so there are regions where constant-n is a useful approximation.)

Schottky barrier diodes with low-to-moderate doping, dominated by majority-carrier conduction, are nearly ideal (1 < n < 1.03). Space-charge layer recombination (essentially the ``more complicated'' mechanism described above) and hole injection from the metal can both increase n. Interfacial effects and other cruddy parasitic stuff can also raise n.

The large-n limit is ohmic behavior. As the doping on the semiconductor side of a Schottky is increased and the space-charge layer correspondingly shortened, quantum tunneling comes into play and is said to raise n. This is not so mysterious: a highly-doped Schottky (i.e., a metal contact to highly-doped semiconductor) is simply (precious word, that) an ohmic contact.

See also A and A0.

Nonmetal. Click M for metal. (Dial M for Murder, or else this number.)

North. Vide compass directions.


November. 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). November is a good choice.

Number of neutrons in a nucleus.

Number of anything. E.g., number of elements in a sample population, number of elements in a finite universe (in the statistical sense of the term), number of terms in a sum.

Avogadro's Number. The number of whatever in a mole.
6.022137 × 10²³ .

Until well into the twentieth century, calculations used Loschmidt's number instead, to get around the fact that the atomic hypothesis was not universally agreed to have been conclusively demonstrated.

N-acetyl-Aspartate. A brain chemical.

(Domain name extension for) Namibia. In 2006, Namibia became the world's largest maternity ward so that all of Angelina Jolie's children could be born in the third world.

You'd suppose the adjective form corresponding to Namibia would be Namibian. But FWIW, they have a bi-weekly (issues on Tuesdays and Fridays) Afrikaans-English newspaper, based in Walvis Bay, called the Namib Times. It was founded by Paul Vincent in 1958 as a bi-weekly trilingual newspaper. He sold it in 2002 when his health started failing. At the time of his death in 2004 it was the country's second-oldest newspaper.

Narcotics Anonymous. On the pattern of that obscure organization ``Alcohols Anonymous,'' I imagine that this must be a twelve-step program for drugs that have come to the terrible realization that they are narcotics. For the benefit of anonymous Francophone narcotics, here's a link to Narcotiques Anonymes (Québec).

National Association.

Network Analyzer.

Next Address.


NA, N.A.
North America.

NA, N.A.
Northanger Abbey. Title and one of the main locations of a novel by Jane Austen.

In chapter 5 of William Cobbett (1925), G.K. Chesterton makes an observation about NA that it was very characteristic of him to make:

We should think it rather odd if a profiteer had a country house that was called The Cathedral. We might think it strange if a stockbroker had built a villa and habitually referred to it as a church. But we can hardly see the preposterous profanity by which one chance rich man after another has been able to commandeer or purchase a house which he still calls an Abbey. It is precisely as if he had gone to live in the parish church; had breakfasted on the altar, or cleaned his teeth in the font. That is the short and sharp summary of what has happened in English history; but few can get it thus foreshortened or in any such sharp outline. ... The romantic reactionary at the end of the eighteenth century might not often find the Bad Baronet in a castle, but might really find him in an abbey. The most attractive of all such reactionaries, Miss Catherine Morland, was not altogether disappointed in her search for the Mysteries of Udolpho. She knew at least that General Tilney lived in an abbey; though even she could hardly have mistaken General Tilney for an abbot. Nor was she wrong in supposing that a crime had been committed by that gentleman in Northanger Abbey. His crime was not being an abbot. But Jane Austen, who had so piercing a penetration of the shams of her own age, had had a little too much genteel education to penetrate the shams of history. Despite the perverse humour of her juvenile History of England, despite her spirited sympathy with Mary Stuart, she could not be expected to see the truth about the Tudor transition. In these matters she had begun with books, and could not be expected to read what is written in mere buildings and big monuments. She was educated, and had not the luck to be self-educated like Cobbett. The comparison is not so incongruous as it may seem. They were the four sharpest eyes that God had given to the England of that time; but two of them were turned inward into the home, and two were looking out of the window. I wish I could think that they ever met.

NA, N/A, n.a.
Not { Applicable | Available }. When you need both senses, make a distinction by using either d.n.a. (does not apply) or, if applicable, n.d.a. (no data available), or both.

Numerical Aperture.

Nurse Anesthetist.

Chemical element abbreviation for sodium (q.v.). The most common alkali metal in the earth's crust. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool, where it was #3 on the Top Five List last time I checked.

National (US) Academy on Aging. You might not want to graduate from this academy, but it looked like the academy itself might expire. At least its name had been looking badly. The academy survives with the help of a couple of lexical prosthetics implanted in the name: see NAAS.

(To ``look badly'' is not a comment on visual acuity but an expression meaning to ``look bad.'' It seemed to be common back in the 1960's and 70's, mostly among the frail elderly. Presumably it was an overcorrection among those who'd been taught that verbs are modified by adverbs, without recognizing the accepted exception of copula and seem-type verbs. Other common expressions of this sort were ``look poorly'' and ``feel badly'' (i.e., feel sympathy or guilt). Of course, the -ly was added by these kindly elderly folk because they knew that the -ly changes adjectives into adverbs.)

N-Acetyl Aspartate. Found mainly in neurons, and measurable by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

National Aeronautic Association.

National Amnesia Association. I think someone forgot to create this organization. So this entry shouldn't be here (or here).

National Apartment Association. A landlords' association. Many of the local affiliates are named something like Apartment Association of [your area here], but there are also the AOBA in metro DC, various PMA's.

National Aphasia Association. ``[A] nonprofit organization that promotes public education, research, rehabilitation and support services to assist people with aphasia and their families.''

a*pha*sia (uh-fay'-zhuh) n. An impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words, usually acquired as a result of a stroke or other brain injury.

See also Alicia Courville's Speech Disorders page.

Related useless entry: AA for Academy of Aphasia.

National Archery Association. The national governing body for US Olympic archery. It changed its name to USA Archery and or US Archery, but never came up with a good abbreviation, so one still sees ``NAA'' a lot, in use as if it abbreviated the new name.

National Amnesia Association. I think someone forgot to create this organization.

Neutron Activation Analysis. The way this works is, you stick the sample in a nuclear reactor, where it is bombarded by neutrons. Some fraction of the nuclei absorb a neutron, or maybe two, and become unstable (i.e., radioactive). Light elements typically decay by emitting an electron--that is, a neutron emits an electron and becomes a proton, the atomic number (Z) increases by one while the atomic mass number (A) stays constant. (The atomic mass decreases by a small amount.) Detection of the electrons gives information about the kind and relative numbers of atoms originally in the sample.

National Alarm Association of America.

National Association of Arab Americans.

National Association of Air Ambulance Services. A UK charity with a web presence that seems to evacuate rapidly.

National Association of Automotive Buyers and Vendors. Frequently misabbreviated NAAVB.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. When the NAACP was founded in 1909, ``colored people'' was a euphemism. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then, and ``colored people'' has drifted across the semantic spectrum to become an odd sort-of dysphemism. I've heard black people use it facetiously. You have to give the NAACP credit (backbone points) for not changing the expansion or at least sealing the acronym, let alone changing the name altogether.

At its annual convention in 2007, the NAACP held a mock funeral to ``bury the N-word.'' The mock funeral was itself mocked as a sign of the NAACP's irrelevance and miredness in the past. That year also, the NAACP cut a third of its staff to close a $3 million budget deficit.

North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation. It's a green Christmas in Bureaucracia.

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.

The usenet newsgroups soc.support.fat-acceptance and alt.support.big-folks have lots of FAQ material.

North American Association For Exports To Eastern Europe.

NAAFI, N.A.A.F.I., Naafi
Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes. ``Serving the [UK] Services.'' Also written naffy. ``HM Forces' official trading organization.'' A private not-for-profit organization that ``provide[s] community support to members of the British Forces and their families,'' bringing ``retail and leisure services to some strange and exotic places around the world.'' Evidently something like a British USO, but they make it sound like the PX. Until January 1, 1921, it was the Navy and Army Canteen Board.

National Association for the { Advancement | Acceptance } of Fat People? You're probably thinking of NAAFA.

North American Academy of Fitness Professionals.

National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance.

North American Agreement on Labo[u]r Cooperation. Part of NAFTA.

National Association for the Advancement of Perry Mason. Name of a Raymond Burr fan club and its quarterly newsletter, based in Berkeley, Calif. Like Burr, it's gone now. It was run by Jim Davidson for a decade.

National (US) Ambient Air Quality Standards.

National Academy on an Aging Society. Well, it's true that the vast majority of individual Americans are getting older, and it's true that the average age of Americans is increasing, so in that sense the society as a whole is aging, but the latter facts do not follow from the first one. If there's an up-tick in fertility or immigration, will they have to change the name aging?

North American Association for the Study of Obesity. It seems they've been deemphasizing the expansion and prefer the irritating appositive style (example next paragraph). Anyway, they're not promoting obesity.

``NAASO, The Obesity Society is the leading scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity. Since 1982 NAASO has been committed to encouraging research on the causes and treatment of obesity, and to keeping the medical community and public informed of new advances.''

Maybe you were thinking of the NAABV, or maybe that's what you actually heard.

North American Air Working Group. Something set up in 2002 by the CEC Council. The CEC (Commission for Environmental Cooperation) was created by the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) which is a part, or a dimension or wing-strut or something, of NAFTA. The NAAWG is charged with providing guidance to the Council and facilitating future cooperative work on issues related to environmental air quality.

To discover someone in the commission of a forbidden act.

National (US) Association of Broadcasters.

New American Bible. Published in 1970. You call that new?

North American Broadcasters Association. ``North America,'' in this unusual instance, meaning North America -- at least from Mexico to Canada, and points in between.

National Association of Burmese (cat) Breeders.

[Football icon]

National Association of Basketball Coaches.

North American Bengali Conference (Banga Sammelan). An annual conference held in North America to celebrate Bengali culture, with ``international'' (i.e., subcontinent-based) and ``domestic'' (North American) performers. For many years it's been held the three days from Friday through the first Sunday in July. They don't seem to have a regular website, but for at least a few values of yy, the URL for the year 20yy has been <http://www.nabc20yy.org>.

North American Bridge Championship.

NABC's, still often informally called ``Nationals'' even by many Canadians, are held thrice annually. They're called the Spring, Summer, and Fall NABC's, and they open in March, late July, and late November -- at different cities in the US and Canada. The 2006 NABC's were successively in Dallas, Chicago, and Honolulu. This list illustrates two decided tendencies in the siting that are apparent from the venues for 1997 to 2012:

  1. The ``Spring'' NABC (sometimes technically in late Winter) is generally in an inland city. (Vancouver, in 1999, was the only solid exception.)
  2. Every year since 2006, and infrequently before then, the Fall championship has been scheduled for a major city that is (a) a seaport or (b) close to Disney World (which is on Seven Seas Lagoon).
Well, they do try to spread them around. The ACBL website serves lists of NABC's past and future.

The main sessions of play (afternoon and evening) usually run 10 days, from a Friday until the second following Sunday. In addition to the major championships that give the tournament its name, lesser games are offered that are suitable for all levels of player; there are morning and midnight games for those who want even more. Consequently, these are the largest bridge tournaments anywhere, except for those involving simultaneous play at many sites.

NABC 2002
North American Bengali Conference (Banga Sammelan) 2002. July 4-6 in Atlanta, Georgia. The twenty-second Banga Sammelan.

The twenty-first was held in Lowell, Massachusetts, July 6-8, 2001.

NABC 2007
North American Bengali Conference (Banga Sammelan) 2007. It's the twenty-seventh Banga Sammelan, the weekend of June 29 to July 1, at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Conference hotels (with negotiated special rates) are the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the Courtyard Marriott (across Jefferson Avenue E from the Renaissance Center), Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Downtown Detroit, and the Doubletree Hotel in Dearborn. When you call for reservations, particularly if you want to stay at the Renaissance Center Marriott, make very sure they understand that it's for your 2007 conference. The 2008 Spring NABC (North American Bridge Championship) is scheduled for March 6-16 in the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

North American Bengali Conference (Banga Sammelan) 1999. July 2-4 (Friday to Sunday) in San Francisco, California.

National Association for Business Economics.

National (US) Association of Biblical Instructors. Name used from 1923 to 1964, explained at AAR entry.

Originally called the National Biscuit Company.

National Association of Black Journalists. What kind of insensitive journalistic hacks would say ``Black'' when the New York Times insists on ``African American'' (sometimes even for African non-Americans)?

As I've noted somewhere, if you mention ``Tolstoy'' to a Russian or Ukrainian, he's apt to reply ``which one?'' as if Leo (i.e., Lev) had not earned one-name default status as much as Shelley has. I haven't encountered the same thing with Vladimir Nabokov, but just in case: the author of Lolita, Pnin, Pale Fire, and many other works was Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (1899-1977). His father, involved in the 1917 provisional government, was Vladimir D. Nabokov (1869-1922).

NABR, Nabr
National Association for Biomedical Research. Founded in 1979 to keep the animal rights activists from crippling medical research.

(Canadian) National Advertising Benevolent Society. ``The National Advertising Benevolent Society is a non-profit organization that was established to assist people in the advertising industry and related businesses who need help due to illness, injury, unemployment, substance abuse or financial difficulties.''

Network Access Control.

Network Access Corporation.

NitroAromatic Compound. NAC's are an important environmental contaminant at old military sites, with the principal NAC being TNT. TNT is known to be toxic (mutagenic) to many plants and animals. It's truly a miracle substance.

North Atlantic Council. Highest governing body of NATO.

(US) National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics. Nobody can ever remember what this acronym stood for. In fact, when it was set up by congressional legislation in 1915, it was just the Advisory Committee on Aeronautics. The ``National'' was just conventional.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union put into orbit the world's first artificial satellite. It was an 83.6-kg (186-lb.) metal sphere named Sputnik (Russian for `traveler'). Apart from going around the planet once every ninety-six minutes, it performed only two memorable actions: send out a lonely-toy beep, and send the West into a hysterical panic.

On October 1, 1958, NACA was succeeded by NASA.

It is probably fair to mention, in advance of further details, that the US space program suffered a number of embarrassing failures between those Octobers, but that they were the failures not of NACA but of the unprepared Navy program initially selected to carry out the effort.

National Association for Campus Activities. ``[A] member-based, not-for-profit association composed of colleges and universities, talent firms and artists/performers, student programmers and leaders, and professional campus activities staff. We are a clearinghouse and catalyst for information, ideas and programs promoting a variety of college and university activities, from leadership development to student programming.''

National Association of Child Advocates. ``They educate decision makers...'' Right.

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. ``[Their] mission is to set a new national standard on providing loans to low and moderate income people and those who are considered to be subprime borrowers.''

Nepalese Academy of Cosmetic Aesthetic Dentistry.

North American Computing And Philosophy conference. Coordinated with IACAP.

North American Council of Automotive Teachers. It ``is the ONLY international organization devoted to teachers and trainers of automotive technology and its related fields.'' It was difficult when we were first starting out. You can't imagine how hard it can be to get even the simplest idea into a cylinder head, or ``block head'' as we used to say. They never made skulls that thick. Open 'em up and it's obvious that they're basically just ``air heads.'' Ain't nuthin' under the hood. There was constant pressure to ``pass them along.'' If we held them back a year, it would discombobulate the whole assembly line. Things have gotten a lot better since they started putting computers in there.

(Canadian) National Arts Centre / Centre national des Arts (canadien).


North American Cambridge Classics Project. A group that promotes and supports the use of CLC Latin-teaching materials in the English-speaking bits of North America.

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Not a popular job, but someone really must do it.

National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

German preposition that in typical contexts is translated `after,' `to,' or towards.' If these seem contradictory, think of chasing after something.

The same word functions as a postposition meaning something like `according to [the object of the postposition].' See m.A.n. for an example.

Need for ACHievement. A term of art among psychologists.

Shows how much they know. Ask any advertising professional: image is everything.

German, `post-war period.' Usually the post-WWII period.

German: `last name.' German names have the same standard order as English names, so a last name in German is also a family name (Familienname). Vgl. Vorname. Cf. tria nomina.

German, `appendix.' From nach, `after' and trag, root of the verb tragen, `to pull' or `to drag' (the cognate).

I'm not trying to create a German-English dictionary or anything, but I figured I'd add this entry because of the charming imagery of the word. Eventually I may even give a translation.

(Canadian) National Arts Centre Orchestra. Keep reading.

National Arts Centre Orchestra Association / L'Association de l'Orchestre du Centre national des Arts. A volunteer organization whose mission is to support and promote the National Arts Centre Orchestra. I don't really have to point out that ``National'' here means Canadian.

National Association of College Stores. Sponsors CAMEX.

National Association of Convenience Stores.

(Japan) National Center for Science Information Systems of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. There's an OLCC for Japanese libraries.

National (US) Accreditation Commission for Schools and Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Original name of ACAOM.

National Association of College and University Business Officers. ``National'' in the sense of ``American,'' uh, by which of course I mean US. There's also a Canadian analogue called CAUBO/ACPAU. Not too surprisingly, the issues that face college and university business officers differ substantially among different countries. Enteric conditions seem to be more uniform, and the corresponding organization for food services administrators (NACUFS) uses a more expansive notion of ``national.''

That reminds me, in the Summer of 2005, the Royal Shakespeare Company is touring with Euripides' Hecuba. They're doing an English version by the poet Tony Harrison. Vanessa Redgrave stars. The last offering in a season of tragic plays, it should have been the climax. Reviews have been tepid. I'm not surprised. In this self-absorbed century, people -- even actors -- have a very selective ability to empathize.

Gesundheit! Oh look, there's an expansion: National Association of College and University Food Services. ``National'' here means ``the US, Canada, and abroad,'' but the six defined regions cover the US, Mexico, and most provinces of Canada. (Mexico, the US, and Canada are all nations.) There's also an independent organization called CCUFSA.

NACUFS sponsors an annual ``National Culinary Challenge,'' and the winners receive American Culinary Federation medals. The six finalists are required to prepare four portions of an original hot entrée, with side dishes and sauces to balance the plate so that the center of mass is within one centimeter of the center. Okay, I added the words after ``plate.'' Contestants (``culinarians'') have seventy-five minutes to prepare the meal and present it to a panel of ACF judges. In the 2005 competition, it had to include lamb.

National Association of College and University Residence Halls. ``National'' here means `Mexican, US, and Canadian.' NACURH has a bunch of regional associations that carve up the map of North America and give it labels that look vaguely like a Scots Gaelic declension: CAACURH, GLACURH, IACURH, MACURH, NEACURH, PACURH, SAACURH, SWACURH.

National (US) Association of Clean Water Agencies.

na czczo
Polish, `on empty, on [an] empty [stomach].' Is it really just a coincidence that this phrase is pronounced like a stuttering of nacho?

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide.

Oxidized form of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD).

No { Apparent | Acute } Distress. Emergency-care usage. I suppose that if distress were acute, it would be apparent, but implication doesn't run the other way, so NAD and NAD are not synonyms. Oh dear.

North American Digital Cellular system. Defined by TIA/EIA IS-54, ``Cellular System Dual-mode Mobile Station-Base Station (BS) Compatibility Standard,'' Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), May 1992.

Narcotics And Dangerous Drugs Information System.

What, no ``other''? So narcotics are not dangerous drugs? That explains a lot.

Reduced form of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD).

North American Digital Hierarchy.

National Atmospheric Deposition Program.

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) Phosphate.

Reduced form of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADP).

National (US) Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages. That URL doesn't look very permanent; visit NCSSFL if you encounter difficulties.

North Atlantic Deep Water.

Scots English for `not, no.'

National Academy of Engineering. ``[E]stablished in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers... .''

National Aeronautical Establishment (of Canada).

National Association of Evangelicals. The largest conservative Protestant group in the U.S. Founded in 1942. Motto: ``Cooperation without compromise.'' On March 6, 2000, the NAE changed its bylaws to allow member denominations to also belong to the liberal NCC. See related information at the NRB entry.

In 2006, not even 80 months after the NCC co-membership decision, headlines read ``Rev. Ted Haggard leaves National Association of Evangelicals after male escort claims he paid him for sex for three years.'' Now, without reading the sordid article accompanying this headline, I can hazard a guess who was the ``he'' that paid, and who the ``him'' that got paid. (``Allegedly''! ``Allegedly''!) But it's not as clear as it would be if they were of different sexes. Things would be a lot clearer 99% of the time if we simply assigned everyone randomly at birth to one of 100 distinct grammatical genders, and referred to them by 100 corresponding distingishable third-person singular personal pronouns. Slime molds do something like that.

National Aerospace and Electronics Conference. There was one in Dayton, Ohio, 13-17 July 1998.

Sponsored jointly by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society (AESS).

``NAECON is the premier national forum for the exchange of specialized aerospace electronics and related information. It includes a strong technical program featuring high-quality papers and tutorials, extensive exhibits of the latest technology and applications, and discussions of the latest trends in the area. The theme of this year's conference is `Technology --A Bridge to the Future' [some people think that just because the president of the US uses a meaningless phrase, it's eloquent] and emphasis will be placed on technology development and application of new technologies. NAECON should be of interest to all military, commercial, and academic members of the aerospace and electronic community.''

(US) National Assessment of Educational Progress. It shows taht we is stoopit. But suppose you already knew that. Would the NAEP tell you anything you didn't know? Possibly. Education research is usually pretty bad stuff, and the NAEP is the stuff of ed research.

There are, first of all, methodological questions. A school's participation in the NAEP is voluntary, and half the schools selected to participate choose not to. In other words, what we know about the participating schools is that they were in the half of schools, roughly, that chose to participate. After you've controlled for the controllable factors like SES (socio-economic status), race, etc., you still have a skewed sample. If you try to compare poor districts with rich, for example, on the ``low-SES'' side of the comparison you probably have a relatively small fraction of schools whose administrators for some reason feel confident or competent enough to allow participation. On the ``high-SES'' side, you probably have a more representative sampling of rich districts. Thus, you compare best-of-the-worst, putatively, with typical-of-the-best. In effect, you weaken the apparent or poorly ``measured'' effect of all factors that really are effective.

There are also political reasons to be wary of NAEP data. Here, for example, is a footnote (#73, p. 219) from a chapter in The Black-White Test Score Gap ed. Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Pr., 1998). The chapter (6) is ``Why Did the Black-White Score Gap Narrow in the 1970's and 1980s?''

Dramatic changes starting in one particular year also raise the possibility that changes in sampling procedures or participation rates could be distorting results. One conceivable ``explanation'' of the trend data is that black adolescents' scores are overestimated in 1988 for some reason. When the 1986 NAEP results for reading looked inexplicably low, the Department of Education suppressed them, even though focused investigations never found methodological problems that might explain the decline. The 1988 scores for black 17-year-old students look abnormally high, and the black reading decline after 1988 would be negligible if this single data point were eliminated. However, this is not true for thirteen-year-olds, whose reading scores show a steady decline after 1988. Errors that affect only blacks and not whites in 1988, affect blacks of all ages in 1988, and affect black thirteen-year-olds after 1988 appear unlikely.

(My emphasis.)

Here are some excerpts from a Heritage Foundation Report entitled Critical Issues: A New Agenda for Education, ch 3 ``The Growth of the Federal Role in Education,'' by Eileen M. Gardner. The relevant text concerns programs under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Title I provides federal aid to counties for compensatory (remedial) education for educationally disadvantaged students from low-income families. Gardner writes:

Studies assessing the effectiveness of Title I consistently have shown that the goal of the program has never been achieved. Yet Congress steadfastly has resisted efforts to eliminate it. By 1969, however, clear signals were reaching Capitol Hill that Title I was failing to live up to its expectations. Results of congressionally mandated evaluations showed that federal budget officials did not view the program as cost effective; educators complained of red tape, excessive regulations, and unwieldy bureaucracy; and parents of eligible children complained they saw little change in the quality of their children's education. Most telling, perhaps, the achievement test scores of the children served were not significantly better than their non-Title I counterparts. The small improvements they did make proved temporary.

She cites some of the research supporting her claims, and continues (I don't know quote how archly or facetiously the word ``oddly'' is meant)

Oddly, these data had no noticeable effect on Congress's views of the program. High levels of funding continued. In fact, by the early 1980s, public policy was forcing researchers to distort data. A prime example is a 1982 report by the congressionally mandated National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)9 on the reading, science, and mathematics performance of American youth during the 1970s. No grade levels were given; no standardized tests were used. Performance on subjective ``exercises'' created by ``specialists'' determined ``achievement classes.'' ``Lowest'' and ``highest'' were insufficiently defined. No objective criteria for reclassification from one group to another were given. Vague data for Title I eligible schools were given, but Title I students were not identified.

[Ftnt. 9: ``Reading, Science and Mathematics Trends: A Closer Look,'' National Assessment of Education Progress, December 1982.]

Contradictions were unclarified. On the one hand, students within Title I eligible schools were reported to have increased their representation in mathematics and science in the highest achievement class at age nine and to have decreased their representation in the lowest achieving math class at age seventeen. However, a separate chart dividing groups into lowest and highest achievers showed that the lowest achievers at ages nine and thirteen significantly improved in reading but made no significant progress in math (nine and thirteen) and science (nine). At seventeen, the lowest achievers had declined in math, as well as reading, and had made no progress in science.

National Association of Environmental Professionals.

National Association of Elementary School Principals. Their annual National Convention and Exhibition is in April. Cf. NASSP.

National Abortion Federation. The ``professional association of abortion practitioners'' in the US

Uh-ohhh: It looks like I missed a period! What will I do!?!?

National Association of Female Executives.

North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers.

Slang version of NAAFI.

Spanish equivalent of English naphtha in all of its meanings. The common word for gasoline in some Spanish-speaking areas (e.g., Argentina). Overall, bencina (`benzene') is more common.

North American Free Trade Agreement. Among Canada, US, and Mexico, took effect January 1, 1994. Diane Gates compiled a useful list of links.

Among Union opponents: ``No American Factories Turning out Anything.'' (``American'' here used in the sense of US.) In Spanish, TLCAN.

A jealous protectionism of jobs unites all nations. Under (US) federal law, a work visa cannot be issued until it is certified, in this case by a state's Labor Department, that no American is willing to take the job. Thus, when a nightclub in Stuart, Florida wanted to hire a foreigner for an $11/hour job as an exotic dancer, it had to place an ad asking prospective US applicants to send a résumé to the Bureau of Workforce Program Support at the state's Department of Labor. (The ad appeared the week of April 11, 1999; it ran in the Palm Beach Post.)

Paid a wage up front to dance?

Is the state of Florida qualified to make this certification? My friend Mike, a solid-state physicist, had a job bartending nights at a club in Maryland. The proprietor explained to him how to decide whether a girl was a good dancer: If people bought beer, she was a good dancer. [Girl is a technical term here, okay? A term of art. I've been in a bar where the dancing girls happened to be male, although they didn't seem to be. You gotta be careful, you never know what you'll pick up.]

A concern for the AFL-CIO: there are more cheap-labor countries on the mainland of North America (N. Amer., q.v.). Good news for the AFL-CIO: NAFTA will not be expanded! Bad news: FTAA.

Numerical Algorithms Group, Ltd. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sounds like a picturesque medieval Japanese town, but really stands for National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators. Compare Nara and NARA. What the hell, visit the alternating current entry too. It has some information on Niagara Falls.

National Assessment Governing Board. ``[A] 26-member board established by Congress in 1988 to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The ``Board is composed of state, local, and federal officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public.'' Not surprisingly, it's findings are completely at variance with the evident precipitous decline in student achievement that is before the noses of all educators.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. In addition the US government website (preceding link), another source of information is this page at the University of Arkansas.

National Association of Graduate and Professional Students.

Numerical Algorithms Group Users Association.

National Association for Girls and Women in Sports. One of six national associations within the AAHPERD.

I guess they noticed that the letter sequence N - A - G has poor associations. Their logo just has ``GWS.''

National Association of Home Builders. They have the HOME page, as they put it.

National Association of Home Care.

North American Hunting Club.

National Association of Hispanic Firefighters. They have an official seal with the words ``bomberos unidos'' surrounding a firehat in the middle. See the first miga entry for some relevant comments.

(UK) National Association of Head Teachers.

1 Heath Square, Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1BL. Cf. NUT.

To be head, or naht to be head -- that is the question.

British `head teacher' is American ``school principal.''

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

National Aging Information Center. A service of the Administration on Aging (AoA).

North American Industrial Classification System. NAICS, developed jointly by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, replaces the SIC in the US, slowly.

National Associa--
tion of Indepen--
dent Colleges and Univ[ersitie]s

The District of Columbia and about three-quarters of the states have an affiliated organization. Some of the state organizations (Iowa, Louisiana, Washington, and Wisconsin) have names of the form <State Name> Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Unfortunately, there is only one NAICU member school in Hawaii (Chaminade).

National Association of Independent Colleges and University State Executives. ``NAICUSE is composed of the leaders of state associations representing independent colleges and universities.''

National Association for Information Destruction. ``[T]he international trade association for companies providing information destruction services. Suppliers of products, equipment and services to destruction companies are also eligible for membership. NAID's mission is to promote the information destruction industry and the standards and ethics of its member companies.''

The word national in the name is now used in the common sense of international. There are member companies in Australia, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Germany, Guam, Ireland, Singapore, the UK, and in the US, where the organization was founded.

North American Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Project. That name sounds just the teensiest bit retributive. If I were you, I'd mind that due date strictly.

Non-arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. According to a statement released by Pfizer, Inc., in May 2005, this is the most common acute optic nerve disease in adults over age 50. I'm not sure how significant this is, after all the qualifiers. An ischemia is a local blood shortage. ``Local'' in the sense of being limited to a particular body region, organ, or tissue. It typically arises from a problem in a particular blood vessel -- vasoconstriction, thrombosis, or embolism.

I can't decide whether this entry should end on the line ``if you keep on doing that you're going to go blind!'' or some other.

The National Association of Installing Partners. It ``was formed by a team of sales, installation and service professionals with decades of experience in the low voltage industry.'' Their site has resources both for consumers and ``low voltage professionals.'' I think that's wonderful.

A word that means `playing card' in Spanish. Juegos de naipes are `card games' and jugar [a los] naipes means `play cards.' In Portuguese, naipe means `suit' of cards.

Non-Accelerating-Inflation Rate of Unemployment. ``Natural'' rate of unemployment, although there's nothing especially natural about stability.

National Aging Information Center.

National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. Its newsletter has a digital edition called Proteus. They sponsor an unmoderated mailing list called COURTINTERP-L. NAJIT was founded (1978) as Court Interpreters and Translators Association (CITA).

Negative AcKnowledge (character). ``What? Hello? Is someone there?''


In digital communication, a NAK is a way to indicate that an expected data packet was not received within an expected time, or that it was found to be corrupt (typically because a checksum didn't check out). A NAK is effectively a retransmission request, like ``Wie bitte?'' NAK has been verbed; to NAK is to send a NAK. The use of NAK and ``negative acknowledge'' has led to the retronym ``positive acknowledge.''

Naked Babe and the Cloak of Manliness, The
A 1947 essay by Cleanth Brooks, on Shakespeare's ``Macbeth.'' Sounds at least R-rated today.

(US) National Agricultural Library. ``... part of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is one of four National Libraries in the United States.''

Network Adaptation Layer.

NATO Allied Long-Lines Agency.

Allied Van Lines does long-haul OTR moving, but that doesn't seem to have anything do to with NALLA. Oh, well. I was just trying to be helpful.

interNational Association of Lighting Maintenance COmpanies. I think that sometimes, you should just bite the bullet and change the acronym along with the name. Short-term pain, long-term gain.

The National Association for Law Placement.

(US) National Air Museum. There couldn't be much to see there unless they've got some smog on display. Hmmm, it seems someone had the bright idea of evacuating some of the displays... the NAM only existed from 1946 to 1966; since then it's been the National Air and Space Museum (NASM).

National Apostolate of Maronites. ``National'' here presumably means Lebanese.

National Archaeological Museum. There's one in Athens, appropriately enough. The entire stewardship of archaeological treasures in Greece is a disaster, because it's under the jurisdiction of a Ministry of Culture that is simultaneously very jealous of its power and totally underfunded. If you find something that looks ancient on your land, the only sensible thing you can do is dig it up and hide it under your bed. If you tell MiniCult about it, they'll just immediately rope off your land so you can't disturb it, and spend the next decade or so with the cataloguing of your site sitting in their in-box. Eventually, they'll collect the artifacts and put them in storage awaiting analysis in the indefinite future. The NAM has about the sort of confused web-absence that you would expect from such a system. Here's the ministry's pitiful English page for it.

(UK) National Army Museum.

National Art Museum. There's one in Bucharest (Muzeul National de Arta Bucuresti). The UN has upwards of 170 members, so I imagine there are other NAM's.

National (US) Association of Manufacturers.

Network Access Machine.

Network Assessment Model.

NonAligned Movement. An organization created to épater le bourgeoisie. Founding heroes included Jawaharlal Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah (co-chairs of founding meeting in 1961), Josip (Broz) Tito, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Fidel Castro, and Enver Hoxha [socialist and ``socialist'' leaders of India, Ghana, Yugoslavia (host of 1961 meeting), Cuba, and Albania, resp.].

Oh, alright, technically, it was created to find a third way, not aligning with either of the two post-WWII power blocs (US and USSR). Sure. The locus classicus of the ``moral equivalence'' fallacy. [To be excruciatingly fair, Yugoslavia, China, and Albania did follow alternate paths toward the end of socialism, independent and opposed to the USSR.]

With the end of the Cold War and with emergence of some NAM members from poverty (typically through exploitation of their resources by the West), the pretense that this organization has unity or meaningful purpose is often threadbare, but it must continue to exist (this is a universal law of C. Northcote Parkinson). In service of its continued existence, it continues to achieve prodigies of hypocrisy. Perhaps that is its purpose.

You can read online an address by the Prime Minister of India at the XII NAM Summit at Durban on 3 September 1998. About half of the speech is devoted to the issue of rolling back nuclear proliferation. The position is very easy to understand if you simply understand that there are good guys and bad guys. The bad guys are all the countries that have nuclear weapons, and nothing that the bad guys do is ever even remotely progressive. The good guys are the countries that are working so hard to ban the bomb. Most of the good guys have no nukes, but some, like, uh, India, have tested peaceful nuclear devices. India is still with the good guys, though, because India's heart is in the right place. India was forced to develop its peaceful devices by military threats from unnamed neighbors. This is in contrast with the bad guys, who only developed nuclear weapons because they want to destroy the world and harm the environment. Ditto Pakistan. Others coming soon.

There doesn't seem to be an official NAM site. This one from the government of South Africa looks relatively official. Let's try this one for the XIII NAM Summit in early 2003.... Oops: ``[an error occurred while processing this directive].''

Number Assignment Module.

Nunavut Association of Municipalities.

National Agri-Marketing Association. Based in KS, and by that I don't mean K Street.

Japanese noun meaning `name.' It's not a loan from any European language. It's normally written with two kanji.

National (US) Association of Mortgage Brokers.

National (South African) Agricultural Marketing Council.

National (US) Association of Medical Communicators. Medical Communication is a booming subfield within the Human Communications discipline. Doctors and medical students are being trained in effective communication with patients, honing their rhetorical art on simulated patients (SP's). However, that's all largely irrelevant to this entry, because NAMC is an organization for journalists and others who report medical news to the public.

National (US) Association of Minority Contractors. It ``is a nonprofit trade association that was established in 1969 to address the needs and concerns of minority contractors. While membership is open to people of all races and ethnic backgrounds, the organization's mandate, `Building Bridges -- Crossing Barriers,' focuses on construction industry concerns common to African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans.'' They apparently also serve women contractors.

``Covering 49 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, NAMC's membership base includes general contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, manufacturers, suppliers, local minority contractor associations, state and local governmental organizations, attorneys, accountants, and other professionals.'' Organizational funding comes from membership dues, federal and state government grants, and private-sector grants and contributions.

I wonder if Vermont is the state where they have no members. In the last debate among Democratic Presidential aspirants before the Iowa Caucuses in 2004, Rev. Al Sharpton sharply criticized former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean for not having any blacks in high positions in his administrations in Montpelier. (I forget the wording.) Former Senator Carol Moseley Brown, who was in the presidential race just to rehabilitate her reputation, defended Dean against Sharpton. In the aftermath of this debate, Sharpton's poll numbers plummeted from 1% to 0.1%. Moseley Brown dropped out of the race, mission accomplished, throwing her support to Dean. Dean's poll numbers slid, and he fell from front-runner to a disappointing third-place finish.

Afterwards, Dean gave a rousing, animated we-will-not-give-up speech to his supporters and campaign workers. The speech was televised, and apparently people over the age of about 25 thought it was a little too animated. He didn't look presidential enough. Throughout 2003, the man looked like he was ready to burst with anger at George W. Bush, and now they notice that he's emotional? What a bunch of uptight honkies. The next week, there was a debate ahead of the New Hampshire primary. Dean actually felt it necessary to spin his performance in that televised pep talk, implying none too subtly that he'd been condescending to his young supporters. Sharpton was consoling, pointing out that if he (Sharpton) had spent the money Dean had spent, and gotten 18% of the vote, he would still be in Iowa celebrating. Apparently some candidates are in the race only to place or show. After the debate, Dean's poll numbers began to rally from his post-Iowa low, but Sharpton's soared immediately, from the neighborhood of 0.1% to the threshold of those heady single-digit heights. With just another factor-of-ten bump, Sharpton could be a contender for third place. See the MOE entry for an explanation of why these numbers are meaningful.

Seriously, Dean needs to find out about fitted shirts. For any given sleeve or chest size, these are available in a number of different neck sizes. Here's a picture of an angry Howard Dean pointing his finger: Furrow-browed Bibi Netanyahu pointing finger

Wait a second. That's Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli PM and current (2004) finance minister, angrily pointing his finger. Here's a picture of Howard Dean angrily pointing his finger: Furrow-browed Howie Dean pointing finger

National (US) Association of Mothers' Centers.

National Association of Minority Contractors of Upper Midwest. Yes, ``Upper Midwest'' is treated as a proper noun with no article. It's a euphemism for Minnesota. There's apparently a separate NAMC chapter for Wisconsin.

National Association of Minority Contractors of WIsconsin. As of January 2004, their webpage is funky. AWOL, in fact.

National Alliance for Membership Development. Since 2003 a division of the ACCE, q.v.

National Association of Membership Directors. In 2003 it merged into ACCE, q.v.

National Association Majorettes England. Sic. I am convinced that this organization is not a put-on, based on this page (which very reasonably includes an exoteric preposition in the name) and this other one (now defunct), and the fact that they even appear to have their very own official webpage. As you can imagine, however, tracking down information about this organization on the web is no joke.

``All I want to know is, What's the name of the guy on second?''

``That's right!''

Are you nuts? Good, then visit our majorette entry.

The association was formed on the 6th of January 2002. This new association was born out of the desire for an association for majorettes that would give a broad range of events at regional competitions with qualified judges and also the opportunity of representing England at European and World Majorette Championships, and at the same time keeping their identity as majorettes. At the end of each competition year we hold our National Championships from which we select the England Team for that year.

Name [sic] is affiliated to the National Baton Twirling Association under whose umbrella we are able to take part in the European and World competitions.

NAME's webpages are on N.B.T.A. England's site, but they appear to be somewhat distinct organizations, just as baton twirling and, uh, majoretting appear to be somewhat distinct activities.

German: female `namesake,' literally `name sister.' Cf. Namensvetter and name twins.

German: male `namesake,' literally `name cousin.' (Vetter is a male cousin; Cousine is a female cousin.) Cf. Namensschwester and name twins.

N. Amer.
North America. In Spanish: Norte América.

name twins
Two people with the same name. That's a precisely vague definition, because the meaning is not sharply delimited.

Biological twinning is something that normally has to be arranged before birth -- usually in the first couple of days after conception, in fact. Name twins can be made at any time, by marriage and other mechanisms. Jeff Gillooly, husband (1990-1993) and partner in crime of Tonya Harding, changed his name to Jeff Stone in 1995, over the in-court protests of many of the people whose name twin he became.

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

National Association of Maritime Organizations. ``The National Association of Maritime Organizations (NAMO) is comprised of maritime-related organizations throughout the United States. NAMO represents its members in all matters on a national level that affect foreign or domestic waterborne commerce using U.S. ports.''

A Portuguese word that is a blend of namorado and marido. Namorado is `boyfriend' (a parallel construction in English would be `enamoured [one]'). Marido is `husband.' As the frequency or normativeness of marriage has declined, there was apparently a felt need for a way to refer to a long-term male companion or father-of-her-children or significant other or something. Maybe what used to be called common-law marriage. Hence the blend.

Usually, this kind of blend is made possible by the fact that past participles of -ar verbs like amar (`to love') take an -ado ending, while other (-er, -ir) verbs take an -ido ending. In this case, however, the situation is a little bit different. The noun marido comes from the Latin adjective maritus. (Yes, it's ``maritus, a, um.'' The neuter form maritum is necessary for the sense of `paired, closely joined.') Anyway, there was a Latin verb maritare which was derived from the adjective, rather than the other way around. Portuguese also has the derived verb maridar, though it is much less used than various synonyms like casar. (Regarding this interesting word, see this CASA entry.) Very rare is the verb's past participle (p.p.) maridado (Latin maritatus).

The verb morrer (`to die') has both a regular and an irregular p.p. form, roughly like English `die.' In a decent approximation, one may say that the regular and irregular forms correspond: regular morrido with `died,' and irregular morto with `dead.' Portuguese also has words na (a preposition contraction meaning `in the' and a personal pronoun), but it's syntactically difficult to arrange a na morrido collocation to pun on namorido. Namorido still sounds kinda pungent, but then, slang is supposed to. I propose namorto for whatever semantic opportunities may befall.

As I've been writing and researching this (sure, in that order), I've found the the comparison of Portuguese and Spanish enlightening, or somewhat instructive, or at least, well, never mind, it's going in.

The Spanish congener of Portuguese namorado is enamorado, but it is rather more marked and dramatic than `boyfriend.' It's more like `enamoured one' in English. Naturally, then, enamorido (analogue of Port. namorido) would not be a very compelling neologism. Just last January, Laura mentioned a term that now fills that semantic slot in Argentina, but I forgot it. Sorry. The word na is only an archaicism in Spanish, derived from the even more archaic enna for en la, corresponding to the modern Portuguese contraction na.

Except for those referring to words beginning in n, all of this entry's statements about Portuguese also apply to Spanish, with the following adjustments:

  1. There are various slight pronunciation differences of the words spelled identically in the two languages. Most have to do with vowel qualities. The greatest difference is that the d in Portuguese sounds like an English d, whereas the Spanish d (in all contexts above) is pronounced like the voiced th in English them.

  2. Maridado in Spanish is merely quite rare, rather than very rare. Sounds like meat, I know. The vocable tends to be used in food discussions, in the somewhat bian sense of `accompanied' (fancy fast food: ``fish accompanied by chips''). The gastronomical sense also occurs (but is very rare, of course) in Portuguese.

  3. There are slight and increasing differences between the use of morrer in Portuguese and its congener morir in Spanish. The spelling difference represents a phonemic difference, and the r and rr of standard Portuguese correspond reasonably closely to the r and rr of Spanish. However, so far as I know, not being able to pronounce the rr properly (r is easy) is generally regarded as a speech defect throughout the Spanish-speaking world, whereas there are places in Brazil where the distinction is muted and in some contexts disappears.

    Like Portuguese, Spanish has two past participles for this verb. They are morido (for Port. morrido) and muerto (for morto). In Spanish, however, the use of morido has been steadily losing ground to muerto, so that now muerto is used in constructing all analytic conjugations. (This is especially so, that I know of, in Argentina.) A somewhat similar situation within English is that of some old adjectives like brazen, flaxen, leaden, leathern, and silvern. These special adjectives have largely given way to the attributive use of the corresponding nouns brass, flax, (do you even know what that is?) lead [the metallic kind], etc. (Of course, brazen survives in its transferred sense.) Other such adjectives -- golden and wooden spring to mind -- have fared better. So morido vs. morrido. So it goes. In functional terms, verbs make a closer analogy (lit/lighted). In some cases in English, strong forms are displacing the more modern weak forms. Don't tell me ``that makes sense.''

The irregularity of Port. morrer (and Span. morir) has a simple cause, somewhat similar to the cause of the oddity associated with maridar. In all these, an original Latin adjective was carried forward into Romance along with a verb from which it was not derived. At all stages of evolution, the verb also had a regularly derived p.p., which could be used as part of an analytic verb conjugation or as an adjective. (A little useful terminology: a verb form (normally a participle) used as an adjective is called a gerundive, just as a verb form (also normally a participle) used as a noun is called a gerund.)

In the etymology of marido and maridar, a Latin adjective maritus gave rise to a verb maritare. In the case of morto and muerto, the adjective and irregular p.p. is derived from the Latin adjective mortuus, which is in fact a regularly formed p.p. of the Latin verb morior. This is, however, a deponent verb. (Cue disquieting drumroll.) The verbs of modern Romance languages all use verbs that function more or less like active (i.e., nondeponent) verbs in Latin. (Cue disquieting sound effects.) Something had to happen, and something did, but different things in Portuguese and Spanish. The Spanish verb morir, like most cognate verbs in Romance languages, is derived from the Vulgar Latin active verb morire. (Cue monkeys.) A small number of Romance varieties constructed an active verb from moririor. The latter was an alternative form of the deponent, archaic but well-attested, that disappeared in the classical Latin of Rome; it evidently persisted in places. It is presumed that the rr in Portuguese morrer arose from collapse of the unstressed syllable -rir-.

This entry is what Wikipedia would call a stub, the sort of thing that painfully ambushes your toe. It's a twisted stub, and one day when I want to put off grading again I'll extricate the mori- material and create a new entry. Maybe by then I'll have some idea how moririor, a third-conjugation verb like morior (I think), gave rise to -er verbs in Portuguese and some obscure dialects.

I'll be sure to note that morto and muerto, in the respective languages, function as irregular p.pp. of matar -- yes, matar, `to kill,' as in matador. In Spanish, for example, instead of saying that a man was ``matado por la justicia,'' (`killed by [the legal instrumentalities of] justice') you say he was ``muerto por la justicia'' (`dead by justice' -- a marked construction, somewhat like our `put to death'). Imagine: we still don't have a defective-verbs entry!

Exactly how the semantic load is distributed between the regular and highly irregular participles of matar and cognates, however, varies a great deal. It is intriguing that Basque has a complete identity between matar and morir: its verb hil means both `to die' and `to kill.' ``Hil da'' means `he is dead,' while ``hil du'' means `he has killed.' Du and da mean `he has' and `he is,' resp. They are the respective forms of ukan and izan, as an atheist God is my witless, er, witness. These are the auxiliaries of all transitive and intransitive verbs, respectively, even if the transitive verb (like kill) doesn't happen to be taking an explicit target at the time. I'm dying; take me to the Camptown Races. (For enlightenment, see this DD entry.)

Incidentally, although it's not obvious from the orthography, the Portuguese verb morrer is a stem-changing verb like Spanish morir: the normally close o changes to an open o in the third person and the second-person singular of the present indicative. Something happens in the imperative too. The stem change is more extensive in the conjugation of Spanish morir, but apart from the stem change and the past participle, the verbs are basically regular. You wanted to know.

When all that's out, there'll be plenty of space to talk about Italian inamorata and the fact that wife in Portuguese and Spanish is not marida but esposa (that's right: `female spouse').

National Association of Mortgage Planners. Really, the only reason I put in this entry is because NAMP and NANP sound so similar. You are reading the dairy of a bad glossarist. I mean the diary of a mad glossarist.

[Phone icon]

Narrow (band) Advanced Mobile Phone Service. Proposed cellular phone protocol. Cf. AMPS.

National Academy of Neuropsychology. It's not a number either, or too or something.

Not A Number. (Widely used in programming languages to represent the result of division by zero.)

Nurses Association of New Brunswick (Canada). In the French-Canadian language, that's Association des Infirmières et Infirmiers du Nouveau-Brunswick (L'AIINB).

Not AND. The logic function (or gate) whose value (or output) is the negation (inversion) of the AND of its arguments (inputs).

North American Nursing Diagnosis Association. It's now ``NANDA International,'' though since it already was, I think they should have become ``NANDA Intercontinental.''

NANDA also designates a general-purpose taxonomy of nursing diagnostic terminology. There are a bunch of these ``standardized nursing languages.''

NANDrOlone. A steroid used by athletes.

SI prefix for 10-9. From a Greek root for small. A midget or dwarf is nanos in Greek (and enano in Spanish). The prefix is abbreviated with the single letter n.

North American Network Operators' Group.

North American Numbering Plan. ``Mask'' for telephone numbers in the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, over 20 Caribbean countries, developed by Bell Telephone in the 1940's. Originally, all numbers were of the form NIX-NNX-NNNN where I=0-1, N=2-9, X=0-9. This allowed switch software to recognize area codes from the second digit. The introduction of cellular phones, and the stupid policy of assigning a large block of (ten thousand) numbers to any company, led quickly to the exhaustion of the mere 160 area codes allowed under the original system, so a new scheme has been replacing the original: NXX-NXX-XXXX. Now there is no numerical difference between area codes and local exchanges, so you have to enter an initial 1 to alert the switching software that the next three digits are to be interpreted as an area code.

It's virtually impossible to pronounce NANP so it sounds different from NAMP. NANP is administered by ...

North American Numbering Plan Administration. Administers NANP.

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

National Association of Orthopaedic [sic] Nurses. The ``[sic]'' is not part of the name. It's just a way of pointing out `Look! Commonwealth spelling!'' Sic means `thus' in Latin. ``National'' means US in NAON. It's based in Pitman, New Jersey. Founded in 1980. ``Members are the `backbone' of NAON.''

You also want to celebrate International Orthopaedic Nurses Day! Hey -- any excuse for a party. Just don't throw your back out.

North American Olive Oil Association.

N-Acetyl Penicillamine. Used to treat mercury exposure.

National Academy Press. Guarantees that all those well-intentioned but worthless and boring studies sponsored by the US National Academies (see NAS) will find a publisher. What's the matter, won't Jossey-Bass take'em?

Network Access Point. They're basically the places where the parts of the internet ``backbone'' are joined, but what?is.com will be happy to tell you about them in better detail. So will any of the four NAP's themselves:

Keynote, which monitors ISP performance, finds that they are a major bottleneck.

National Automotive Parts Association. An auto parts distribution system that was founded as a retailers' cooperative in 1925, it was down to a cooperative of just three members before Genuine Parts Company (founded in 1928) bought NAPA Hawaii. As of this writing (2006), Genuine Parts operates 58 of NAPA's 69 distribution centers. Quaker City Motor Parts of Pennsylvania operates the rest.

National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. An umbrella organization for minor leagues, founded in 1902. It was renamed Minor League Baseball (MiLB) in 1999.

Minor leagues were classified into A, B, C, and D levels from 1902 to 1911. A top level of Double-A (or AA) was added in 1912, and a level A1 was inserted between A and AA in 1936. In 1946, the top two levels were renamed: A1 became AA and AA became Triple-A (a/k/a AAA).

There was also one league that was Class E for one year: the Twin Ports League in 1943, discussed at the Class E baseball entry.

The lower classifications B, C, and D were eliminated after 1962. Since 1963, the lowest classification has been Rookie League. There are also Winter Leagues (a generic term for leagues that play in the off-season; their names usually include ``Winter League'' or ``Fall League'').

North American Product Classification System. Under development within NAICS.

National Association of Private Enterprise.

National (US) Association for Physical Education in Higher Education.

The National Alliance for Photonics Education in Manufacturing.

National Association for Public Interest Law. ``shaping and promoting the next generation of public interest lawyers.''

Northeast (US) Association of Pre-Law Advisors. Name uncomfortably reminiscent of NAMBLA (no I don't have an entry for that). For other US regional pre-law advising organizations, see the list at (chuckle) SWAPLA.

You want the ID entry, really.

National Association of Purchasing Management. Now the ISM.

North American Potbellied Pig Association. ``Located in the United States, NAPPA is the oldest potbellied pig service organization in the world, offering education and information about the pet pig.'' I dunno -- Wally, who had the office next to mine at ASU, had a pet like that, too. He regarded it as a pet, though it was just an ordinary hog, and when it was full-grown he had it slaughtered. (I recently met a woman who grew up on a farm in Michigan, and she explained that on a farm you eat your pets. I don't think every farmer's daughter would put it that way, and I doubt farm families eat cats or dogs. She tries to be provocative; I guess claiming to eat one's pets is a standard provocation.)

Remember: for hog accessories, NAPPA; for hogg accessories, NAPA.

Negative-Acting Proofing System. I guess I've cleared up that question!

North American Patristic Society. The name is often written with plural ``Patristics'' as the third word, but officially it's singular. Their newsletter is called Patristics. I dunno. It seems to me that the adjective is patristic, and the noun is patristics. The organization name ought to use the attributive noun, because the society itself is not patristic. I think I'll sleep on it.

Hmm. It seems to have been a consistent spelling error by their original homepage wizard. It's ``Patristics'' after all.

Oh yeah, ``The North American Patristics Society is an organization dedicated to the study of the history and theology of early Christianity.'' They publish The Journal of Early Christian Studies.

NAPS used to hold a members-only session at the annual APS, but in 1980 they went off on their own, and today (2004) they hold an annual meeting in Chicago in May.

National (US) Association of Realtors. The NAR periodically computes and publicizes an ``affordability index'' which is simply the ratio of median income divided by the median mortgage payment (determined for the same intervals -- monthly income divided by monthly payment, let's say). At the peak of the housing bubble in 2006, the index was at 1.08; at the end of 2008, as the bubble is bursting or rapidly deflating, the index is at 1.42. They don't actually find out what the median mortgage payment is. They take the median price of houses being sold, stir in some assumptions such as 20% down payment, and compute an idealized sort of mortgage payment corresponding to the median house.

National (US) Association of Rocketry. Co-sponsors TARC with AIA. When we start colonizing places at higher elevations, they can think about merging with the other NAR.

The historic capital of Japan. Inland from Osaka.

National (US) Archives and Records Administration.

National Association of Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies. ``NARA was founded in 1978 to serve as the trade association to represent the interests of Medicare-certified rehabilitation agencies and multidisciplinary rehabilitation businesses that treat Medicare patients. The majority of the 250 members are Medicare Part B providers that contract with long term care facilities for one or more of the three primary rehabilitation services, which are physical therapy (P.T.), occupational therapy (O.T.) and speech language pathology (S.L.P.).'' (Pathology is a service now?) I think NARA originally stood for just ``National Association of Rehabilitation Agencies.''

National (US) Abortion and Reproductive rights Action League.

That name turned out to be a foe paw, I think it's called. In particular, the word abortion doesn't have very positive associations, so those who favor it also favor a circumlocution when one is possible. ``Choice'' is the choice euphemism, and the right to abort is ``rights of pregnant women.'' Eventually (possibly as late as 2004 or 2005), they sealed the acronym and started going exclusively by ``NARAL - Pro-Choice America.'' This business works in both directions (the anti-abortion side favors ``pro-life,'' since everyone is pro-``pro'' and anti-``anti''), and maybe I'll have more to say about it after I cook up a shibboleth entry. Cf. NRLC.

The original expansion mentions abortion and ``reproductive rights''; I'm not sure what all the other rights are. NARAL has made it clear over the years, however, that it regards as a violation of those rights any law requiring a pregnant minor to have a parent or guardian's approval to have an abortion. NARAL's conception (ooh, sorry) of ``reproductive rights'' seems to include mostly non-reproductive rights.

Back in Argentina in the 1950's, my father worked in management for a conglomerate that had, among its businesses, a very large drug store. There was a strike by unionized employees, which put the pharmacists in a difficult spot. So the pharmacists came to work but stayed out of sight, and management personnel manned the counters. A fellow came in acting somewhat diffident, and didn't make it clear what he wanted. The pharmacist guessed and told my father to ask if the man wanted ``píldoras para bebé'' (`baby pills'). ``¡Para NO bebé!'' came the reply. So my father was instructed to dispense two large enteric-coated pills of ginger extract as an abortifacient.

National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Alternate URL: <grammy.com>.

NARCotics agent. Law officer working on drug-law enforcement. Most applied to DEA agents. Pejorative as well as slang, so I don't think the finer distinctions among different law enforcement agencies are punctiliously observed.

Nashville Amateur Radio Club.

National Association of Regional Councils. A ``nonprofit membership organization serving the interests of regional councils and metropolitan planning organizations [MPO's] nationwide [US].''

``Today, regional organizations include not only regional councils of governments--or COGs--but also regional transit, sewer and other public authorities, regional chambers of commerce, regional studies institutes, regional civic organizations, regional faith-based groups and regional leadership forums.''

If etymology were semantic law, then narcotic would be a synonym of soporific.

National AIDS Research Foundation. Founded in Los Angeles with a quarter million dollar donation from AIDS-sufferer Rock Hudson and the support of his friend and sometime co-star Elizabeth Taylor. NARF was incorporated in August 1985 and merged the next month with a similar organization (AMF) to form amfAR.

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.

Naturally-occurring or Accelerator-produced Radioactive Materials. Traditionally in the US, both of these have been regulated only by the states, with no federal regulation (apart from federally-run facilities). Cf. NORM.

Neuropathy; Ataxia; Retinitis Pigmentosa. Symptoms that define (and whose acronym names) a mitochondrial syndrome.

narrow fabric
Any textile fabric not wider than 45 cm (about 18 in.). The narrow-fabric industry considers its bailiwick to include ``ribbons, laces, cords, tapes, labels, webbings, wicks, elastics, ropes, straps, trims, fringes and lanyards ... crafted out of different kinds of materials such as leather, cotton, satin, velvet, polyester, teflon, rubber, jute, nylon, fiber glass and also beads.'' They serve a helpful short textile-terms glossary. ``Smallwares'' is sometimes used as a synonym of ``narrow fabrics.''

National Alliance on Schizophrenia and Depression.

National Adult Reading Test. Used as a measure of pre-morbid intelligence of psychiatric patients. This is on the (in some cases now statistically confirmed) assumption that the pronunciation of irregular words is unaffected in various clinical disorders and that performance is highly correlated with general intellectual ability. It is also necessary to ascertain whether NART scores are correlated with other measures used in clinical diagnosis of psychiatric patients, such as BPRS and SANS.

National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers.

National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. ``[A] non-profit, educational organization dedicated to affirming a complementary, male-female model of gender and sexuality.'' Needless to note, they disagree with the majority or official view of the psychological community that homosexuality is not a disease or disorder requiring treatment as such. ``NARTH is a member of Positive Alternatives To Homosexuality (PATH).''

Hardly any.

n-ary, N-ary
Having n (or N) arguments or parameters. Term used to characterize functions used in a computer program. Usually only the explicit arguments are counted, and counting is by name (i.e., an array passed as such, whether by name or by value, counts as a single parameter). If you spend a lot of time worrying about this, you probably need to get back to coding.

More at the 0-ary entry.

During the Democratic party's presidential nominating convention in 2000, nominee Albert Gore was suddenly overcome by sexual passion and completely spontaneously decided to give his wife Tipper a long wet movie kiss on prime time television, thus completely inadvertently proving that while his economic program was pure Clinton, he was obviously faithful to his wife (unlike some other people). Al must think that Tipper is quite a number. And Al invented computer functions. He probably also wrote that song about Tipperary. (Sorry. The song just kept going through my mind as I optimized the entry; I had to find some excuse to squeeze it in.)

[column] The Greek root for the number one is hen-. Another song, written by Murray and Weston in 1911, was covered by Herman's Hermits for the US market in 1965. The words came out

I'm Hen-ary the eighth I am
Hen-ary the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She's been married seven times before

The aitch is silent. The lead singer Peter Noone -- ``Herman'' -- is a Mancunian half-heartedly faking a Cockney accent. (Incidentally, his surname is pronounced ``noon'' -- a single syllable.)

In Greek (ancient and modern), the aitch sound is not indicated by a separate alphabetic character but by a breathing mark or spiritus placed over an initial vowel. Originally, there was only a rough-breathing mark; the absence of that mark indicated smooth breathing. Later a smooth-breathing mark (an inverted rough-breathing mark) was developed to indicate the same thing. This was not an improvement; the tops of the letters are cluttered enough with tiny illegible accents.

The rough breathing mark can also appear over the rho, where it roughly (sorry again) indicates aspiration. Aspiration on unvoiced plosives is indicated by a change of letter (kappa to chi, pi to phi, tau to theta). In Latin transliteration, all four aspirated consonants have the aspiration indicated by an aitch (rh, ch, ph, th), but initial rough breathing on a vowel is indicated by an initial aitch (as in hero, herpes, etc.). Farsi (the Persian language) also has that distinction in the arr sound, which is often indicated in English transliteration by r versus hr. (With a fricative, the aspiration is more or less simultaneous with other elements of articulation, so it's not surprising that when explicitly indicated, the feature has appeared both before and after the base letter.)

National Academy of Sciences. A ``private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters.''

They've been proliferating, diluting their prestige among National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, and an Institute of Medicine. The thin end of the wedge was economists, then other social ``sciences.'' It was downhill from there. The same thing happened with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton (IAS). When it was started by the Bambergers, partly as a haven for ``European scientists'' fleeing fascism, it was mostly physicists and mathematicians. Today it's mostly historians and social scientists.

National [US and Canadian] Airspace System.

National Association of Scholars. The ``only academic organization dedicated to the restoration of intellectual substance, individual merit, and academic freedom in the university.'' Sister organization of the Canadian SAFS.

Nerve Attenuation Syndrome. Something half the world's population is suffering from in 2021, in the movie Johnny Mnemonic (JM).

Network Access Server.

Network Attached Server. A server specialized to file-serve.

New American Standard Version of the Bible. A revision of the SARV, whose entry is the one to see.

Numéro d'Assurance Sociale. French, `Social Insurance Number' (SIN). Canadian equivalent of the Social Security Number (SSN) in the US. Unlike the SSN, it contains a 1-digit Luhn checksum.

(US) National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Need Another Seven Astronauts. Gallows humor after the Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. I suppose there must have been someone with the poor taste to revive the joke after the loss of the Columbia in 2003.

Netherlands American Studies Association. A couple of Dutch-university associations of students in American Studies are VASA and USA.

American Studies was established at the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) in 1947, the same year that Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave his famous speech (June 5, at Harvard) proposing elements of what came to be known as the Marshall Plan. NASA (the Dutch NASA) was founded in 1977, at a conference at the Agnietenkapel of the Universiteit van Amsterdam.

North American Securities Administrators Association.

Here are some of their tips for not getting taken (from back in 1989, when fraud was not universal).

National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. Trying to prevent people from getting too high.

NASA jargon.

Network Analysis and Systems Application Program. disaster in 1986.

New American Standard Bible.

Nebraska Association of Student Councils.

National Association for Scientific and Cultural Appreciation. I'm pleased that the nation of which they are -al is the UK. We're more than well-supplied with this stuff (Atlantis, astrology that works, 666 taken seriously, etc.); it's good to spread the manure, and equanimity in the face of flaming eccentricity is something the British do rather well. (I can only wish it were unusual, but it's far enough out of round to be incontestably eccentric.)

NASCA says it ``is an organisation devoted to areas of science that are otherwise poorly covered.'' It puts one in mind of things better covered, to say nothing of honored, in the breach.

National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing. Cf. VASCAR, NHRA.

I beg the reader's indulgence, but since I have a NASCAR entry and a Spam entry, I can't resist drawing a connection. In a townhall.com column September 10, 2004, Jonah Goldberg ridiculed US Democratic party presidential candidate John Kerry for slumming, in so many words, like a candidate campaigning for votes:

``Who among us doesn't like NASCAR?'' Kerry asked not too long ago, about as convincingly as a French chef lauding Spam.

National Association of Securities Dealers. On July 30, 2007, NASD changed its name to FINRA and changed its Internet domain from <nasd.com> to <finra.org>.

NASD as ``market of markets''
In the late 1990's, the NASD had the idea that it would become a ``market of markets.'' In 1998 NASD reached agreement in principle to purchase of the Amex, completing the deal that year or the next. They also tried to buy the PhilEx but couldn't reach an agreement.

The anticipated synergies did not materialize and the business model was abandoned. On January 24, 2002, NASD put the Amex up for sale. I still have to check on the current status of that.

NAtional (Japanese) Space Development Agency. NASDA was created on October 1, 1969, by passage of the National Space Development Agency Law. It doesn't seem ever to have been called anything like ``National Air and Space whatnot'' -- they evidently just wanted an old-fashioned pronounceable acronym.

National (US) Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

NASDAQ, Nasdaq
National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. A virtual stock market founded in 1971. Virtual in the sense that there is no geographically central trading floor--transactions are conducted and recorded by phone and other electronics. Has surpassed the NYSE in average daily volume. Tends to list more technology stocks. In March 1998, there was news of negotiations to acquire the AMEX. Mmm, let me get back to this entry, I haven't read the newspaper in years.

Stocks listed on the NASDAQ are analyzed by the NSG (NASDAQ Stock Guide?) which is not affiliated with NASDAQ.

[dive flag]

National Association of Scuba Diving Schools.

National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. ``Dedicated to licensing well-prepared, safe and wholesome educators for our nation's schools.''

``Well-prepared, safe, wholesome'' ... this sounds like lunch. How about learned, demanding, effective?

National Association for Self-Esteem. A darn useful and important organization, if they do say so themselves. For an alternative, research-backed opinion, see the floccinaucinihilipilification entry. Looks like a real donnybrook! But it's an easy call. I mean, who you gonna believe -- a bunch of behavioral ``scientists'' or a self-appointed committee of educrats?

National Association for the Self-Employed. Vide etiam SBA, AHBA and CENA.

Neutron-Accelerated Soft-Error Rate (SER). Empirical methods of predicting long-term reliability require some form of acceleration, since time-to-market is much less than installed life.

North American Science Fiction Convention. A NASFiC is held in North America in the occasional year when Worldcon is not.

New-Age Sensitive Guy.

Nash Rambler
We really ought to have a Nash Rambler entry.

Okaaaay! Well started is half done.

Nash was one of the companies that merged (as part of Nash-Kelvinator) into American Motors (q.v.) in 1954. The Rambler was Nash's most successful line at the time, and much of the early marketing effort of AMC was bent on leveraging the Rambler product and name. They rebadged Ramblers for sale by Hudson dealers in 1954; later the separate marques were dropped and all cars sold by AMC were called Ramblers. That happened in 1958. The same year there was a joke pop song in 1958 about a guy driving a Cadillac (in the 1950's this was a luxury car rather than your grandfather's pimpmobile) and a guy driving a ``little Nash Rambler.'' The story is told from the point of view of the guy in the Cadillac, who describes a race in which the Rambler driver is trying to show him up. The song was ``Beep Beep,'' by The Playmates, and it was on Doctor Demento from time to time. Choose a lyrics page for it from among these.

National Academy of Social Insurance.
``America's only private, non-profit, non-partisan resource center made up of the nation's leading experts on social insurance. Both in the United States and abroad, social insurance encompasses broad-based public systems for insuring workers and their families against economic insecurity caused by loss of income from work and the cost of health care.

The Academy's scope includes such social insurance systems as Social Security, Medicare, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, and related social assistance and private employee benefits.''

It must be frustrating to be an expert in a field where everyone has a politically motivated opinion.

North American Serials Interest Group. The eleventh annual NASIG conference held in 1996 in New Mexico.

National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs. ``North America's [see National entry] only professional organization specifically devoted to fostering study of less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) through self-instructional principles developed for an academic setting.''

Sorry, I don't read Polish. (See the Polish entry for even less information.)

National Association for the Support of Long Term Care.

National Academy of Sports Medicine.

National Association of Schools of Music.

National Air and Space Museum. (Was NAM until 1966.)

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

NAtional (Malaysian) SMI Consultative Center.

National (U.S.) Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators. They use the acronym SMSA for State Motorcycle Safety Administrator[s], feigning blithe unawareness of the fact that that acronym has already been claimed by the Census Bureau.

National Association of School Nurses, Inc.

National Association of Sports Officials.

Native American Student Organization. If they followed the usual ``Student Association'' naming convention, it could lead to some confusion.

National (U.S.) AeroSpace Plane.

National Association of Sales Professionals.

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. It's a professional organization for ``student affairs administrators, faculty and graduate students.''

National Association for Sport and Physical Education. One of six national associations within the AAHPERD.

North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.

North American Spine Society.

North American Society for Sport History.

National Association of Secondary School Principals. Cf. NAESP.

North American Society for the Study of Romanticism.

North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.

NPOESS Airborne Sounder Testbed.

National (US) Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

Too long to pronounce as an initialism, but how to pronounce ``LGC''? My best guess at the spoken form, until I am informed otherwise: ``Nasal Gee Cee.''

National Association of Science Writers. Science journalists, but you could be forgiven for the misunderstanding.

National Association of Sexual Workers. This organization doesn't seem to have a web site, possibly because it doesn't exist yet. Perhaps you were thinking of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW below). In 1994, some researchers in California published ``National Survey of Social Workers' Sexual Attraction to Their Clients'' (in vol. 4 of the journal Ethics and Behavior; authors were Ann Bernsen, Barbara G. Tabachnick, and Kenneth S. Pope). It was actually a pretty boring article; if they ever want to sell a script they're going to need stories, not just numbers. Maybe a crib from US presidential candidate Jimmy Carter's 1976 Playboy interview (``I have committed unethical countertransference in my heart'' or whatever it was he said). And the numbers themselves need to be jacked up.

The article was subtitled ``Results, Implications, and Comparison to Psychologists.'' The first word there reminds me of a comment in an article by one R. Shankar, ``Statistical Mechanics of Random Systems--Exact Results'':

I will mainly be giving results and not many proofs. For those of you who are disappointed by this, I promise a later talk where I will give lots of proofs with no results.

[I have an incomplete citation source for this. I guess it was Ramamurti Shankar of the Yale Physics Dept., on or near page 446 of, I think, ``Disordered Systems'' (that's probably a section title if it's correct) in a 1989 book from IOP Publishing.]

National Association of Social Workers. (Alternate URL here.) Their Code of Ethics, adopted by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised by the 1999 NASW Delegate Assembly, is now available in Spanish. This whole code-of-ethics thing seems to be a big deal for social workers. Oh yeah, see the previous NASW.

The California Chapter doesn't use a distinctive initialism; they just refer to themselves as ``NASW-California Chater.'' If they used NASWC or something like that, they could have had their own entry in this glossary. See SW entry for related entries. I know two professional social workers. Judging from this experience, the range of intelligence of people in the field is vast.

National Association Of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers. According to this page, the ``NASUWT is the largest teachers' union in the UK.'' The organization's acronym evidently dates back to the union of two earlier unions. I suppose they failed to come up with a more wieldy name because they got hung up on the contemporary awkwardness of ``schoolmistress.'' The acronym is now pretty well sealed; on the homepage, ``The Teachers' Union'' appears in lieu of an acronym expansion.

Network Address Translator.

National Air Transportation Association.

National Appropriate Technology Assistance Service.

National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. NATAS is not the same as ATAS, q.v. I was just about to ask, what's with this ``and Sciences'' shtick? But it seems NATAS is preferring the shorter ``National Television Academy.''

As of 2004, NATAS is having a hard time figuring out how to make internal hyperlinks that work at the natas.tv site linked at the begining of this entry. They seem to have a number of independent, equally official sites. Try the slow-loading emmyonline.org or natasonline.com instead.

National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

National Association of Teachers of Further and Higher Education. ``Higher and Higher Education'' would have conveyed the same idea more and more perfectly. The organization was founded in 1904 as the Association of Teachers in Technical Institutes. The silly NATFHE moniker was adopted in 1976. In December 2005, members of NATFHE and AUT voted overwhelmingly to merge, the amalgamation taking place officially on June 1, 2006. NATFHE members were especially keen on this (95.7% of voting members, as opposed to only 79.2% of voting AUT members), evidently because the merger would entail getting rid of the silly name. The new union is called the University and College Union (UCU).

[Football icon]

An adjective used in organization names, to mean
  1. American -- as in `National Football League' (NFL).
  2. Not American -- as in `National Football Conference' (NFC). Cf. AFC.
  3. Canadian -- as in `National Hockey League' (NHL).
  4. Of the US and Canada -- as in `National Junior Classical League' (JCL). You actually find some people who think that ``American'' can be used without qualification in Canada to mean ``North American'' or ``Canadian and/or of the US'' or some such. That might be logical, but it might also be inconvenient. Anyway, it doesn't work that way, other than in proper nouns for continental (or so) organizations.
  5. Any-old-countrian -- as in the 100+ `National Contract Bridge Organizations' members of the WBF (details here), which is to say
  6. International -- as in NAID or NWR.
  7. Quondam country (adj.) -- as in TNN.
  8. Of England and Wales (but not all of Great Britain, let alone the UK) -- as in NUT. London-born Kingsley Amis went to live in South Wales in 1948 (he got a teaching position at the University of Wales, Swansea), and he commented in his Memoirs that people there then made no distinction between England and Wales. They thought of themselves as living in England. (And presumably they used ``Englishman'' as a synonym of Briton, q.v.) These people spoke no or little Welsh, and many of them had short histories in the place. Amis noted that the culture was different further north and (of course) in rural areas, though I don't recall any comment specifically regarding the senses of ``England'' and ``English'' there.

A ``national of'' some country is a citizen of that country (not necessarily very carefully construed).

In the context of Northern Ireland: of the opinion that it should become part of the Republic of Ireland. I.e., pro-Union-with-the-Republic-of-Ireland. Cf. unionist.

Ireland is predominantly Roman Catholic, and the UK (the union that unionists favor union with) is predominantly, or nominally, or by default or something, Protestant. (Too, the UK monarch has something to do with the state church, which is Protestant.) It happens that many of the Irish leaders in Ireland's struggle for independence from the UK were Protestant. Be that as it may, the partition of Ireland was approximately along religious lines. The parts of Northern Ireland where nationalist parties poll well are predominantly Catholic, and those where unionists poll well are not. In loose but accurate terms, the conflict in Northern Ireland is between religious communities. This is not to say that the conflict in Northern Ireland is about religion per se, any more than the 1960's civil rights struggle in the US was about skin pigmentation per se. Nevertheless, in both cases the grievances, perceptions, goals, etc., are strongly correlated with social identity, broadly defined. However, in the last few days I've added a couple of potentially inflammatory entries. (Ha! Try to find them!) Thus, like the news media, I will prefer to ignore the religious subtext and write as if the N.I. conflict were some sort of unmotivated abstract dispute about value-neutral national alliances.

This word has a range of meanings, but in my experience, European bien-pensants regard it as a very bad thing, almost synonymous with fascist, whereas many American academics seem to use it in a looser and less sinister sense similar to patriotic person.

National Semiconductor

An Israeli bimonthly published in Hebrew since 1988, now under the aegis of ACPR and available online in English. The periodical's name is typically block-capitalized in English transliteration. The Hebrew name of the journal means `path.'

An adjective and noun ultimately derived from the Latin nat-, past participial stem of nasci, `to be born.' It's been drifting semantically all these centuries, and now generally implies that the thing so described (as native) is original to some context stated or implied. Hence the term ``native-born,'' whose etymological sense might be something like `born born,' specifies that the sense in which someone is native to a place is that he is, as we used to say not too long ago, ``native to'' the place.

I thought we should have a Return of the native entry, so here it is.

NATional Labor FEDeration. A cult. See longer entry for the shorter acronym NLF.

National (US) Association of Theatre Owners. It's known as ``the other NATO.'' Europe isn't even close to being one of their theaters of operation. The ``theatre'' in the name is not a misspelling or an indication that they have mostly Canadian or any live theater. It's just pretentious.

National (US) Association of Travel Organizations. During the 1950's, this association conducted a campaign ``to change the observance of certain major holidays to Mondays'' (in the words of James L. Bossemeyer, NATO's executive VP, in his article ``Travel: American Mobility'' for the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 313, (1957), pp. 113-6, the source also for the next paragraph).

Specifically, the plan called for the ``observance of Presidents' Day on the 3rd Monday in February, Memorial Day on the 4th Monday in May, Independence Day on the 1st Monday in July, and Thanksgiving Day on the 4th Monday in November.'' Bossemeyer claimed that ``[t]he plan has drawn enthusiastic support from the majority of individuals to whom it has been adequately explained.'' The individuals who did not support it were evidently deemed not to have suffered an adequate explanation (see educate people).

North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They provide some funds for transatlantic research collaborations, and to organize NATO ASI's. Apparently they have some other activities as well.

I just picked up a copy of NATO: A Bleak Picture (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977), by S. Vladimirov and L. Teplov. (The translator is not named. I detect a pattern here; read about Trotsky's book.) Concluding the introduction, at p. 25 they explain:

  The aim of this book is to reveal the true nature of the North Atlantic bloc--from the time it was set up to the present day--to demonstrate both the futility and the dangerous nature of its activities. The book also outlines a broad programme of measures which are the only alternative to NATO policy.

I'm afraid the arguments are too subtle to summarize.

National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.

NATO(-subsidized) Advanced Study Institute. Usually held in Italy in the summer, in my experience. Eligibility to attend, back when that was an issue, was based on work affiliation, so during the Cold War, Vietnamese nationals conducting research in France attended. So I heard.

This is one of those words that has had so many meanings over time that if all of them were regarded as possible senses in current use, the word would be almost useless.

The earliest sense (judging from a quoted instance dating to 1581) given by the OED is that of ``[a]n expert in or student of natural science; a natural philosopher, a scientist,'' marked as obsolete. I first encountered this in the ``Historical Introduction'' at the beginning of A.E.H. Love's A Treatise on the Mathematical Theory of Elasticity. On page 4 of the fourth edition (1934) there is this paragraph (of which only the part up to the word ``besides'' is relevant to this entry):

  Except Coulomb's, the most important work of the period for the general mathematical theory is the physical discussion of elasticity by Thomas Young. This naturalist (to adopt Lord Kelvin's name for students of natural science) besides defining his modulus of elasticity, was the first to consider shear as an elastic strain13. He called it ``detrusion,'' and noticed that the elastic resistance of a body to shear, and its resistance to extension or contraction, are in general different; but he did not introduce a distinct modulus of rigidity to express resistance to shear. He defined ``the modulus of elasticity of a substance14'' as ``a column of the same substance capable of producing a pressure on its base which is to the weight causing a certain degree of compression, as the length of the substance is to the diminution of its length.'' What we now call ``Young's modulus'' is the weight of this column per unit area of its base. This introduction of a definite physical concept, associated with the coefficient of elasticity which descends, as it were from a clear sky, on the reader of mathematical memoirs, marks an epoch in the history of science.

The OED quotes the second sentence above up to ``besides'' from the first edition (1892), in which Lord Kelvin was identified as Sir William Thomson. [Thomson was made Baron Kelvin, of Largs in the County of Ayr, only in the same year 1892.] The OED does not quote Thomson s.v. Its quotations for this sense of the word are from the years 1581, 1605, 1654, 1686, 1726, 1752 (publ. 1777), 1795, 1813 (publ. 1846), and 1892. It might be that in some conversation with Love, Thomson used the word naturalist in a way that had become rare, and that Love mistook his usage for a neologism. Some word was needed, but during the nineteenth century the word scientist was coined -- probably by Whewell by 1840, though possibly by someone else as early as 1834 -- and quickly became popular. William Whewell was a highly successful neologist.

A weekly science magazine.

Nature's Way
The hit song ``Nature's Way'' appeared in a studio version in Spirit's second album, ``The Family the Plays Together'' (1968). One particular repetition of ``it's nature's way'' is intoned like the start of a sneeze. At the end of the song, muffled coughs are heard in the background.

Northern Arizona University. In Flagstaff.

Net Asset Value.

Norton AntiVirus. Antivirus software for Windows machines that was top-rated by PC magazine from 1997 to 2002. I don't know about 2003 because I'm writing the entry in 2002.

NAVE Automatic Virtual Environment. Developed by the Georgia Tech Virtual Environments Group. Like CAVE, but completely PC-based and cheap (a mere sixty kilobucks). See also BNAVE.

In 1975, R. F. Autry was awarded Canadian patent 997,608, entitled ``production of meat snack product.'' The patent was for ``a flat edible dried bar snack having good shelf life and comprising upper and lower layers [kinda makes me nostalgic for ISO 9000 Certification] of an edible collagen film and a thicker center layer of meat emulsion.'' The coatings (upper and lower, above and below; also left and right or front and back -- see below... I mean later on here) are intended inter alia to
  1. contain soft meat emulsions during extrusion,
  2. act as a barrier to oxidation, and
  3. restrain fat leakage.

``A typical formulation for the emulsion [is] 120 lb. chuck tenders, 60 lb navels, 1.7 kg salt, 1 kg dextrose, 250 g black pepper, 100 g red pepper, 90 g mustard, 90 g coriander, 70 g nutmeg, 50 g garlic, 100 g curing mixture, and 100 g starter culture.'' Double-plus yummy. (But it needs way more spices.) ``The emulsion is placed on an edible collagen film about 1 mil thick, covered with another collagen film, and rolled [I think this means flattened with a roller] to a thickness of about 0.25 inch. The sheet is placed in a smokehouse or drier, and heated initially at a low temperature and high humidity to allow the starter organisms to function.'' What is their function, exactly? ``Eventually, a temperature of 150 °F is put in effect for 30 min. When the moisture content falls below 20%, the sheets are rolled and cut into the shape of candy bars and packed. A smoking step can be applied during drying. It is not clear whether the texture of the finished product is similar to that of a typical jerky.'' It isn't entirely clear why they need much of an ``upper'' layer.

The quotes above (including the metric-transition-era units, and the absence of the word ``cook'') are taken from the chapter 18, ``Meat-Based Snacks,'' of Snack Food Technology by Samuel A. Matz (p. 232; see the snack food entry for bibliographic details). It occurs to me that Metzger is German for `butcher,' and that Metzger and Matz bear as close a relationship to each other as navels and most people's unconsidered notions of meat or even of mats of meat emulsion. Yummy. Evidently, ``navel'' is a sort of meat-industry synecdoche for um, less commercial cuts of carcass.

Currently there's some more navel content in the entry that follows this one, and there likely always will be. There's also a bit at the orbit entry.

navel exercises
In Japanese, heso-ga cha-o wakasu [literally: `navel boils tea'] is an idiom meaning one is extremely funny. Perhaps the definition is recursive in a Zen sort of way. This puts innies and outies in a whole new light, and may go some way to explaining why the obese should be particularly jolly, despite all we imagine we know about ``cholesterol.''

This entry is part of the Japanese belly information ring. Next stop: seppuku.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society. Animal-rights activists tend to be vegetarians.

North American Vegetarian Society.

People often become vegetarians for moral reasons (cf. other NAVS). Perhaps you are attracted to moral persons. Alicia Silverstone is a North American and a vegetarian (or maybe a vegan; I'll have to remember to ask her next time I have a chance).

According to Desirable Men, Chapter 27 (``Dating the Second Time Around''), p. 195,

Two basic kinds of salads are available in almost every restaurant: Caesar salads and garden salads.

Further on: ``Hostesses of most restaurants are extremely helpful during off-peak hours. ... You may ask, `What is an easy food item to eat?' ... Be honest and let her know that you will be there on a date and don't want to make a fool out of yourself.'' (This is a juicy morsel of advice-book wisdom, inviting comment, but I'm not going to bite.)

Chapter 24 is ``Graceful Exit Lines.'' Here are a couple from p. 175:

(I know the second one worked for Michael Corleone.)

I happen to think that real grace is making ``Mr. Wrong'' think not meeting again was his idea. Here's a graceful exit-stimulation line for that purpose:

If that doesn't work, just promise to call.

For more one what to eat and what not to eat on a date, see these entries:

  1. Hold the onions.
  2. LBI

It's becoming increasingly hard to believe, but the original impulse to create this glossary came from a desire for my microelectronics students to understand those elements of my lectures that might require a level of English fluency not commonly acquired by ESL engineering students. But it's all good: some fraction of engineering graduate students finish up their degrees and, perhaps after a stint as slaves on the fab line to convert their visa status, go on to open a restaurant with the word Tandoori in the name.

Short title of the CBS TV show ``Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service'' that debuted in 2003. This is what we call an ``Acronymic AAP: Acronym-Assisted Pleonasm.'' For 2004, the initial word Navy was lopped from both the short and long titles, cruelly depriving us of a prized opportunity for exaggerated whining.

It was created by Donald P. Bellisario, creator of JAG, it fills JAG's old time slot, and its main characters were introduced in a special episode of JAG late in the previous season. For people who liked that sort of thing, this is the sort of thing that they will like. Some fastidious types assert that technically it is not a spin-off because none of the previous season's regular JAG cast got a regular part in Navy NCIS.

I don't know how Donald got the extra el in his name -- the Spanish name is Belisario. I see two possibilities. One is that the name is Italian. More likely, however, is that he was so happy with the first el, he figured he'd go with that and do the same thing again. Go with your strength. Do it again. Like JAG and NCIS, or Navy NCIS.

I think that Bellisario needs to be liberated from the endless cycle of violence investigation. That's my pretext, as they say, for mentioning Polisario, which is also known as the Western Sahara Liberation Front. They've been trying to break into prime-time news since 1975, with little success in the US.

The lead character of JAG is officer Harmon Rabb, former Navy fighter pilot. The lead role in Navy NCIS is a naval officer played by Mark Harmon. It's a good thing we're all so smart, or we'd have trouble keeping the different shows straight.

National Association of Water Companies.

Naval Air Warfare Center. It used to be called the Naval Air Development Center. That kind of unexpected honesty really spooks me. Cf. DoD.

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. Part of NAWC.

National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. Also, and probably officially, NAWCWPNS.

Naval Air Warfare Center WeaPoNS Division. Also, and probably unofficially, NAWCWD.

National-American Wholesale Grocers' Association. I don't know a website for this organization, but it's part of FDI -- Food Distributors International, so try that.

New awk.

Neues Ausbildungszentrum bei HARTING. `New Training Center at HARTING.' More specifically, at HARTING Technologiegruppe. Harting is a surname, apparently of the founder of the business, but they like to capitalize it.

Chemical symbol for niobium. A period-4 transition metal, atomic number 41, named after Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus. The element was earlier known as columbium and had the symbol Cb. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Narrow Band.

Neutral Buoyancy.

Postal abbreviation for the province of New Brunswick in Canada (.ca). Capital: Fredericton. That's right, no k. They spell everything a little bit funny up there. Must be the latitude.

Where is Old Brunswick?

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are known as the Maritime Provinces, or the Maritimes. At the time this nomenclature arose, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador could not be included among maritime provinces of Canada because it was not a province but a separate entity (as explained at the NF entry). If you wanted a definition that works today, you could say that the Maritimes are those provinces all of whose territory is within 300 km or 200 mi. of an ocean coast. The Atlantic Provinces (Maritimes plus NL) would have a corresponding definition with 300 mi.

[column] The 6th Annual University of New Brunswick Ancient History Colloquium is scheduled to take place in Fredericton, NB, on 20 March 1999. The conference is entitled: GREEKS ON THE APPIAN WAY: PROGRESS, DECLINE OR STAGNATION. This link is to the first announcement. Further information will appear on the departmental homepage for Classics & Ancient History at UNB.

Other things probably will happen in NB in 1999, but we're pretty selective.


Nota Bene. Italian, `Note well.' Not Latin, as claimed in this somewhat shorter list of abbreviations, and also by the O.E.D. It merely happens that nota bene has the same meaning in Latin, but that's pure coincidence.

National Basketball Association.

National Business Aviation Association. I could have sworn it was the ``National Business Aircraft Association.'' Maybe it was. The NBAA represents ``corporate planes.''

In September 2007, outgoing FAA administrator Marion C. Blakey spoke to a group of aviation executives at the Aero Club. He warned them that ``[a]irline schedules have got to stop being the fodder for late-night monologues. And if the airlines don't address this voluntarily, don't be surprised when the government steps in.'' According to an AP report, the US DoT estimated that only 70% of US flights had arrived on time the previous July. And my mom's flight from Vancouver was delayed by over two hours yesterday, so this is a serious problem that's hitting home! Blakey advocated pissy little steps like transitioning from 1960's-era radar-based air traffic control systems to satellite-based technology. However, this would cost the commercial airlines $15 billion in new equipment (instrumentation, not necessarily new planes) and would cost the FAA itself 15 to 22 billion dollars, and the result -- according to Blakey -- would only be to reduce delays by about 20%, and to reduce noise for 600,000 people. That's 600,000 people net, and there seems to be more resistance from those who would get more noise than push from people who would get less.

David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association (which represents US commercial airlines) had a number of comments in reponse. Among other things, he observed that in 1970, when Congress established the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, there were 2,500 commercial airplanes and 1,800 corporate jets in the US, and that at the end of 2006, 8,000 commercial airplanes and 18,000 corporate planes were operating 40,000 to 50,000 flights per day in US airspace. He also said that commercial jets made up 40% of air traffic in the congested Northeast. In her own remarks, Blakey had commented that corporate aviators should also be prepared to chip in. I'm going by a news report, so I don't know if ``chip in'' were her precise words. I imagine that the cheaepest way to chip in would be to increase spending on Washington lobbyists. What Blakey had in mind was that ``Flying to and from wherever you want whenever you want is not a free utility. You need to expect to pay for it.''

National Black Bookstore Week.

National Broadcasting Corporation. Parent company is GE.

The fall 2003 season was not all that NBC hoped it would be, and less. According to NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker:

Some of our programs just sucked.

(It can't have been the fault of management.)

In 2007, NBC failed to fire William Arkin.

Not Backward-Compatible.

Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical. An ``NBC suit'' is one intended to afford some protection against NBC hazards.

Cf. CBS.

National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. ``Promoting Quality Counseling Through Certification.'' (Also used for National-Board-Certified Counselor.)

National Book Critics Circle. I'm not sure if this organization has any existence beyond the awards it gives out each year.

NBC Special
In 46 years (to the end of 1996) Bob Hope has done 286 TV specials for NBC. ``Special''?

National Board Certified Teacher. A teacher certified by the NBPTS.

NBA Development League. A/k/a NBA D-League. I guess it's something like NCAA basketball without the ``student-athlete'' hypocrisy.

National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.. ``[A] private, non-profit, non-partisan organization engaged in quantitative analysis of the American economy.''

National Business Employment Weekly. Published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) company.

Non-Bank Financial Institution.

National Board of Medical Examiners. Related: United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

NonBonding Molecular Orbital (MO). Wallflower orbitals; they don't have to mix and move up (ABMO) or down (BMO), you know.

No, this is not a compass direction. It's an abbreviation of the name of a movie.

National (contract) Bridge Organization. The terms national and country are occasionally used in other than the precise political sense. For example, the WBF's page for the Central American and Caribbean Bridge Federation (visited December 2006) explains that ``The members of the Central American and Caribbean Bridge Federation are the National Federations of the affiliated countries. Currently, the CACBF comprises 24 member countries, totalling 1,811 registered players, as follows...'' Among the 24 ``member countries'' are Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Netherlands Antilles, and the US Virgin Islands (140 members), none of which is an independent country. District 9 of the ACBL includes the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, so there's probably a complicated deal there. District 9 has a bit over 1000 members and comprises four ACBL units: 102 (contiguous pieces of Florida's Sarasota and Manatee counties), 219 (the Florida panhandle, from Jefferson County west), 240 (Florida's Seminole, Brevard, Orange, Osceola, and Indian River counties), 243 (Broward County, Florida) and 128 (the rest of Florida, plus Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands). I swear, just writing the names of Florida counties gives me PTSD (the initial trauma having been the 2000 election aftermath). Bermuda also has some odd kind of deal going. Probably counterclockwise.

An interesting omission is Belize, which is an independent country. (It is normally regarded as a Caribbean nation, like Trinidad and Tobago, and not as a Central American country. There's some history behind this.) Belize has plenty of bridge players and has had a few local clubs over the years; I suspect they mostly join the ACBL.

Name-Binding Protocol.

National Basketball Players Association. ``National'' as in ``National Basketball Assocation'' (NBA).

National Broadcast Pilots Association. It is ``an organization for pilots and crew members flying Electronic News Gathering aircraft for both television and radio as well as those companies directly involved in making aerial news possible. We are committed to enhancing safety for all ENG crew members through better communication with each other and the local authorities. The association was formed in 1984 by Leo Galanis with the goal of having all ENG pilots talking to each other while working in close proximity. The NBPA now has members in most of the major markets as well as other countries.''

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Since the 1980's, there have been continuing efforts to reform and improve the quality of teaching in the US. Some reforms are changes in teaching practice dictated by education bureaucrats, about which this glossary entry will be tactfully silent. Some reforms involve increasing remuneration for teachers; it takes special talent to make this idea fail, and -- all other things being equal -- good teaching follows good money.

A very common reform has been to tighten up teacher certification. In principle, this ought to work by providing excluding the least able entrants to the teaching profession or forcing them to improve. In practice, teaching reforms have coincided with a teacher shortage, so that whenever teacher cert has threatened to keep significant numbers of incompetent teachers out of classrooms, states have issued emergency credentials, circumventing the reform. One benefit of teacher testing has been to demonstrate, by the low standards that the tests impose, just how serious the problem is. For references, see

William A. Firestone, S. Rosenblum, B. D. Bader, and Diane Massell, ``Recent Trends in State Education Reform: Assessment and Prospects,'' Teachers College Record, vol. 94, #2 (Winter 1992), p. 254-77.

Diane Massell and Susan Fuhrman, Ten Years of Education Reform: 1983-1993 (New Brunswick, NJ: Consortium for Research in Education, 1994).

NBPTS certification is valid for ten years. Application for certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards requires a $2,000 fee, as of the 1999-2000 school year. That rises to $2,300 beginning in the 2000-2001 school year. Federal funds provide $1,000 toward the application fee for those teachers who complete the process, but not all do. The hoops one is to jump through require 200-400 hours of effort, by estimate of the NBPTS. Many states offer to defray the cost or guarantee wage increments to those successfully certified (NBCT's) and/or those who mentor applicants. The National Education Association (NEA) offers loans as a member benefit for those seeking national certification.

National Bureau of Asian Research. The ``National'' refers to the US. It's based in Washington. That would be Seattle, Washington. That Washington is closer to Asia, so the bureau has convenient access to Asians who can do whatever sort of research it is that they do.

Nitrile Butadiene Rubber. A butadiene and acrylonitrile copolymer.

National Bureau of Standards. Now the NIST.

Near-Ballistic Transport.

Nationaal Bureau voor Toerisme. Dutch `National Board for Tourism.' It appears that this and the VVV are part of the ANVV.

National Baton Twirling Association. The world body that NBTA is affiliated with is the GA.

National Business Travel Association.

N.B.T.A. England
National Baton Twirling Association -- England. Sometimes also called NBTA UK. Founded in 1982.

NBTA Europe
National Baton Twirling Association -- Europe.

The National Baton Twirling Association is the biggest European Association for twirlers and majorettes. It is dedicated to promoting an interaction between twirling countries. The association aims to encourage active participation in twirling countries in Europe, to strengthen the movement internationally and to stimulate the stage of European and World events. Membership is open to all those countries who have an association and organise their own National Championships. Membership is also open for those countries who want to found an association for twirling and/or majorettes in their country and are looking at the possibility to become members of NBTA-Europe. They can ask NBTA-Europe for help to organise it. The member countries are interested in partaking in high calibre European and/or World Championships. When a country is accepted as a member of NBTA-Europe they are allowed to represent their country under the name of NBTA-(name of the country). NBTA-Europe is member of the Global Association for twirling and majorettes.

Yeah, that does seem to suggest that some people regard twirlers and majorettes as not quite equivalent sets. Let me know when you figure it out.

NBTA France
National Baton Twirling Association -- France.

N.B.T.A. Norway
Try NMF. National Baton Twirling Association -- England. Sometimes also called NBTA UK. Founded in 1982.

N.B.T.A. Scotland
National Baton Twirling Association -- Scotland.

[Football icon]

National Champion[s[hip]]. NCAA division I-A football does not have a playoff system. Instead, a perpetually controversial ranking (see BCS) determines which teams are eligible to meet in the major Bowl games. A true National Championship is a pipe dream. Those willing to settle for less than true (the official ``mythical national championship'') can go by the winner of the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona (where the first- and second-ranked teams play each other) or, particularly if the first-place team loses, the final poll rankings.

National Coarse. One of two US standards (the other is NF) for screw dimensions. Speaking of standards...

Various places are generally recognized as the standard-setters for various specialized productions -- particularly food. Virginia is the name to conjure with if you're conjuring glazed ham, Boston is the place for baked scrod, etc. (see the .ca entry for more examples). Boston is also known for well-educated taxi drivers, the same way Bhutan is known for piano players (see the ABPT entry). Haven't you heard this one already? Oh well, for archival purposes, then.

The cabbie picks up a fare at Logan International Airport, and as they're headed for the hotel the passenger asks ``do you know where I can get screwed around here?'' As the driver seems stunned, the passenger continues ``what's the matter, hasn't anybody asked you that before?'' The cabbie replies ``sure, but I never heard the regular form of the past participle before.''

Network Channel.

New Carpet[ing]. An abbreviation in real estate listings or CMA's, according to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying and Selling a Home (5/e, 2006). I've never seen this abbreviation, but I know less about this stuff than the authors (Shelley O'Hara and Nancy D. Lewis). Normally I would just count ghits, but there are abbreviations used internally in the real estate business that don't show up very prominently on the Internet. I could probably get a reliable second opinion from my agent, but she's a resource I'd rather not waste on idle questions. (I've also never seen HF, NF, NR, PA, PO, or
(Domain name code for) Nouvelle-Calédonie (a/k/a New Caledonia). I don't know anything about the place, but I think it would be cool if they were a major manufacturer or consumer or whatever of chalcedony, about which I don't know anything either. There's a local government site.

No Chord. An indication on guitar music that only the chords should not be strummed in that section.

I guess if you got here by following the link from the guitar entry, then the entry so far has been something of a disappointment. I should add something to make it worth your while. I'll point out that music for guitar is written on an ordinary (G-clef, treble-clef) staff, but the pitches represented by notes on the staff are shifted by an octave for convenience.

No Connection. Pins available for future expansion. Or pins not wired because standard package has more pins than you need.

NC, N.C.
Normally Closed. Switch and relay designation. Also describes museums in Rome. Cf. N.O..

NC, N.C.
USPS and conventional abbreviations for North Carolina. (The USPS abbreviation uses no periods.)

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

See also the Mo. entry for an interesting folk-etymological connection.

Numerical Control or Numerically Control[led] (machinery or manufacturing).

The term doesn't refer to the Jacquard loom, as you might suppose.

NC is understood to exclude computer numerical control (CNC). To the operator, NC and CNC machinery seem much the same: both read a stored program (originally on punched tape, subsequently on magnetic and optical storage media). In NC machinery, the instructions are read and performed directly. In CNC machinery, the program is input to a dedicated computer. CNC machinery may collect data and communicate with other machines and computers over a network.

National (US) Candle Association. Most of the computers I have ever bought are now obsolete, but candles keep on burning.

National Cattlemen's Association. A common name (maybe the old name) of the NCBA.

National Cathedral Association. A membership organization associated with the Washington National Cathedral (WNC).

National Command Authorities. The US President and Secretary of Defense or their duly deputized alternates or successors. See the J (for Joint) entry.

National Communication Association. Former official name, and still the main name I heard used until 1997, was SCA (S for Speech). Cf. ICA.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The group that accredits the University of Notre Dame.

National Collegiate Athletic Association.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Football.

National Coalition of Alternative Schools.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools? You want the NCA.

North Carolina Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus. A membership organization of NC-destination marketing organizations.

(Irish) National College of Art & Design.

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug information. A ``service'' of SAMHSA.

Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (CAM). Not the same as NgCAM (q.v.).

National Center for Atmospheric Research (in Boulder, CO).

National Center for Asphalt Technology.

National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Founded in the mid-1950's. As of the year 2000, fewer than a dozen states mandated NCATE accreditation and most teachers' colleges were not NCATE-accredited.

Whereas law, medicine, and other professions are largely self-regulated (in the US) by organizations of practitioners, the teaching profession (at elementary and secondary levels) is mostly externally regulated, by the states. In most states, licensing requirements for individual teachers are set by state education agencies and state boards of education. Similarly, most states have their own agencies to accredit teacher training institutions, rather than use NCATE.

National Certification Body. The IECEE has developed a CB Scheme to give manufacturers an expeditious and cost-effective route to certification by NCB's.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The association for national cattlemen with a beef, I guess. Why not NCA?

National Cooperative Business Association.

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Formerly a division (DBDDD) of the environmental health center (NCEH), now a center of its own. (One of the CDC's component ``Centers.'')

New Caledonia Bridge Federation. I don't know why it's not called something like la Fédération de Bridge de Nouvelle-Calédonie. By whatever name, it's one of the four NBO's comprising the South Pacific Bridge Federation (SPBF -- Zone 7 of the WBF).

Neighborhood Capital Budget Group. An NGO for the neighborhood known as Chicago.

National Center for Biotechnology Information.

National Center for Biomedical Ontology. Alas, that's not a typo for oncology. At inception in 2005, it is part of the National Centers for Biomedical Computing and funded by an NIH grant of $18.8 million.

National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

National Certification Corporation. It's a US nonprofit corporation ``that provides a [note the indefinite article] national credentialing program for nurses, physicians and other licensed health care personnel. Certification is awarded to nurses in the obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing specialties and certificates of added qualification are awarded to licensed health care professionals in the subspecialty area of electronic fetal monitoring.''

National Citizens Coalition. ``For more freedom through less [Canadian] government.'' Founded by Colin M. Brown in 1967.

National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. A group founded in 1892, consisting of legal scholars and lawyers who draft model laws. These have no legal force as such, but their adoption by state legislatures simplifies interstate commerce by establishing uniformity. State legislatures often adopt these model laws only in part, but even that has the effect of clarifying and sequestering the statutory differences among states. The first uniform law was the Uniform Negotiable Instruments Law, completed by the NCC in 1896. By the early 1920's it had been adopted in whole or in part by every US state (then in existence). Over 200 model laws have been issued by the NCC, the most ambitious being the UCC.

Note that even when the letter of the law is the same in different states, court interpretation may differ, just as British common law is subject to differing interpretations in the jurisdictions where it holds. Indeed, the accumulated variety in the latter is the reason that the ALI (q.v.) publishes its Restatements.

National Council of Churches. Standard shorthand for National Council of Churches of Christ, which is also abbreviated NCCC (q.v.).

NCC-1701 was (is, will be, whatever) the Starship Enterprise, commanded by Captain James T. Kirk. James is a gospel and Kirk means church. There's a Captain Kirke in Wilkie Collins's novel No Name. For a little more about Collins, read through the entire long Septimus entry. Hang in there! You're bound to find something.

Navajo Community College.

Network Control Center.

Non-Campus Countries. For the most part, these are countries that participate in the University of the West Indies (UWI) but do not host a campus. As of 2004, there are twelve such countries. In addition UWI has a ``special relationship with the Turks and Caicos Islands, so that they are considered one of the NCCs.''

National Christian Counselors Association.


North Carolina Classical Association.

National Cervical Cancer Coalition.

National Council of Churches of Christ. Includes ``mainline'' churches of the US, representing about 50 million churchgoers. The organization is widely regarded as more liberal than its rank and file. An ecumenical body comprising 36 Orthodox and Protestant communions, and 140,000 congregations.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Part of the US government's CDC.

National Center for Computational Electronics.

NATO Command, Control and Information System. Vide C3I. See? WhaddItellya?

National Capital Citizens with Low Vision. Washington, D.C., affiliate of the CCLVI.

National Council of Community Mental Health Centers.

National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform. Based in Washington, D.C. Founded by Emma Holder in 1975.

National Credit Counseling Services.

Numerical Control Computer Sciences.

North Carolina Central University. An HBCU.

A Constitution class starship, first lauched from the San Francisco Fleet Yards in 2245, captained by James T. Kirk, a stiff ex-Shakespearean actor, starting in 2265. Unnerstand? NCC-1701-A through NCC-1701-D were a refit and successors. There's a locally served shrine. Look at this dedicated site for more. Cf. NC-17.

Negotiable Certificate of Deposit.

Nonlinear Circular Dichroism. For a measurement technique based on this, see J. B. Stark, W. H. Knox, and D. S. Chemla, Phys. Reb. Lett. vol. 68, pp. 3080ff (1992).

National College of District Attorneys. ``America's school for prosecutors -- the education division of NDAA'' (National District Attorneys Association). That's very nice, but I was looking for Justice League of America; don't they have like a superhero summer camp or anything?

National Cancer Data Base (of the ACS).

National Climatic Data Center.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. It's ``the agency charged with implementing the State's public school laws and the State Board of Education's policies and procedures governing pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education.''

National (US) Community Development Services, Inc. They conduct large-scale funding campaigns for nonprofit organizations. It does not appear that NCDS itself is a non-profit.

New Chemical Entity. In the US, the first point at which the FDA becomes officially involved in the development of a new drug is the ``NCE submission.'' A pharmaceutical company submits data on an NCE to the FDA, so that the FDA will permit the company to go forward with animal testing to determine any desirable and undesirable effects. Companies usually file a patent application at this time or before; the patent application takes about two years. You wonder just what you can legitimately report to the FDA or include as claims on a patent application, if you can't yet have conducted even animal experiments to determine any desirable effects of the drug.

I haven't sorted out yet whether NCE is a term for any new chemical for which an NCE submission is made to the FDA, or a classification for only those compounds which the FDA has approved for further research. Given the catch-22 logic of the process, it probably is required to mean both.

NormoChromatic Erythrocyte. An etymological barbarism intended to mean normal-colored red blood cell. Cf. the merely amusing PCE.

National Catholic Educational Association.

Northeast Consortium for Engineering Education. Offices in Virginia. Northeast what?

National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. An NSF center at UB.

[Football icon]

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Based in Clemson, South Carolina, which used to have a good football program. Creates examinations in the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE); these are administered by state boards which use them to certify engineers. (Specifically, by an entity that is typically called the [State] Board [of {Examiners|Registration}] for [Architects,] [Professional] Engineers and [Professional] [Land] Surveyors'' or something else. There's an alternate site.] Thank God for the tenth amendment, huh?) States and Territories (``other jurisdictions'') differ in their requirements, much as state bar associations. For example, some allow a PE in one field to ``practice'' in any field.

The exams themselves appear to be rather easy; few will quit working to study for them. In point of fact, passing the test demonstrates the ability to do something right, and secondarily to know which things one is likelier to be able to do right. (I.e., picking the right answer to a question like ``Do eight of the following twenty-four problems.'')

This board certification is of very variable utility. From the point of view of the individual professional, board certification is vital if one wants to put out a shingle and practice as an independent consultant. It is least important for the employee in a corporation, where, depending on the field of engineering concerned, state (or other jurisdiction) requirements can be satisfied by having one PE who can ``sign off'' on work done by a non-PE.

The exams are woefully behind the times, but board accreditation is not very coincidentally unimportant for fields of engineering which are progressing most quickly. A measure of the depth of the mud they stick in, perhaps, is the fact that many of the state boards lack email addresses.

National Center for Environmental Health. One of the ``Centers'' that the CDC comprises.

National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health. A research center of Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute.

National (US) Centers for Environmental Prediction.

National Center for Environmental Research.

National Center for Education Statistics. Of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).

[Football icon]

National College Football Awards Association.

National Center for Farmworker Health.

National Communications Forum.

National Conversion Factor. A conversion factor between local and national average medical procedure price ranges.

Northern California Golf Association.

A useful hint fer furriners: G is ``gee,'' J is ``jay.''

National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis. There are three, funded by the NSF: center at UB.

National Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Founded in 1938, changed name in 1946 to ACGIH, q.v.

National Center for Genome Resources.

National Coalition for the Homeless.

National Center for Higher Education. On Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

National (US) Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

National Council of the Housing Industry.

North Carolina History of Medicine? Oh, very good! It's not that, but it's very close. N stands for Northern, and there's a Durham in there (see CHMD). It's the Northern (England) Centre for the History of Medicine.

National Coalition for Haitian Rights. ``[S]eeks to promote the rights of Haitian refugees and Haitian-Americans under U.S. and international law, advance respect for human rights, the rule of law, and support for civil and democratic society in Haiti.'' Unsurprisingly and lamentably, they're not having so much success in Haiti (.ht) as in the US.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program.

National Cancer Institute, part of NIH.

Network Channel Interface.

National (US) Charities Information Bureau. This was apparently absorbed by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), which merged it with its Philanthropic Advisory Service (PAS). Or something like that. Anyway, the website that's left to go to is Give.org of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Or you could give to me.

National Center for Infectious Diseases. Part of the CDC.

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

National Criminal Justice Association.

National (US) Council of Japanese Language Teachers. There were 24 regional affiliates (state and multistate associations) when I checked in 2008.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Sponsored by the US government.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2002.


(US) National Committee for Latin and Greek.

National Conference of Lieutenant Governors.

National (US) Commission on Libraries and information Science.

National Council for Languages and International Studies. ``The member organizations of NCLIS-JNCL are united in their belief that all Americans must have the opportunity to learn and use English and at least one other language.'' It seems like a modest goal.

National Center for Lesbian Rights.

National Council of La Raza. Interestingly, one thing that distinguishes Hispanics or Latinos is the fact of not comprising a single race. I first heard ``la raza'' used by Mexican-Americans in California, and there it made a little bit of sense, but NCLR professes to represeent all Hispanics in the US.

National Concrete Masonry Association.

Non-Community Mediterranean Countries. Mediterranean countries that are not part of the EU, once called the European Community (EC).

National Center for Montessori Education. In Norcross, GA.

National Center for Manufacturing Sciences.

National Council Nonprofit Associations.

New China News Agency. Xinhua. Many of the reports are accurate.

No Conservatives Need Apply.

National Council of Negro Women.

Non-Commissioned Officer. A noncom, q.v. The term ``commission'' is military usage.

National Coming Out Day. October 11. Back before mondayized holidays, Columbus Day was celebrated October 12. That was a kind of coming-in day (it commemorated Spanish landfall in the New World). NCOD is not celebrated during the Gay and Lesbian Pride Month of June. See more under that month at the Hispanic Heritage Month entry.

National Coördination Office for HPCC.

National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages. If you can pronounce the acronym you're ready to take advanced-level Nahuatl. Read the LCTL entry, written in the most commonly taught second language.

National Center for Ontological Research.

``Ontology is a fast-growing branch of computer and information science concerned with the development of tools and theories designed to improve the integration and processing of data and information from heterogeneous sources. In response to the needs expressed by a variety of government and industrial bodies, the University at Buffalo and Stanford University have established the National Center for Ontological Research (NCOR), which is designed to serve as a vehicle to coordinate and enhance ontology research through the establishment and dissemination of best practices in ontology development and use.''

Feynman is sniggering in his grave. After all, it's not his tax money. You can't take it with you.

(US) National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan.

Netware Core Protocol. (Novell.)

Network Control Point.

Network Control Program. Implemented the ARPANET host-to-host protocol.

Network Control Protocol. The original host-to-host communication protocol of ARPANET, superseded by TCP/IP.

National (US) Center for (US) Policy Analysis. ``[A] nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. The NCPA's goal is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector. Topics include reforms in health care, taxes, Social Security, welfare, criminal justice, education and environmental regulation.''

National Collegiate Paintball Association.

(US) National Capital Planning Commission. According to itself, it ``provides overall planning guidance for federal land and buildings in the National Capital Region, which includes the District of Columbia; Prince George's and Montgomery Counties in Maryland; and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties in Virginia, including the cities and towns located within the geographic area bounded by these counties. Through its planning policies and review of development proposals, the Commission seeks to protect and enhance the extraordinary historical, cultural, and natural resources of the nation's capital.''

Sometimes expanded ``National Capitol Planning Commission.'' Its most prominent work has to do with the Capitol Mall in DC. (It seems that the Capitol Mall is officially the National Mall, so it is just the Capitol mall.)

Non-Critical Phase Matching.

National Center for PhotoVoltaics. Part of NREL.

National Committee for Quality Assurance. ``[A]n independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to assessing and reporting on the quality of managed care plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMO's). They've been running an accreditation program for managed-care plans since about 1991.

National Cash Register. Purchased in 1995 by AT&T, now called ATTGIS.

The original cash register was invented by James J. Ritty in 1879. It was not a convenience, but a way to record transactions and foil larcenous bartenders in his Dayton, Ohio saloon. ``Ritty's Incorruptible Cashier'' became the basis of the National Cash Register Company.

George F. Will wrote about this in his 6 April 1989 column. The column is reprinted in Suddenly (Free Press, 1991), pp. 177-9.

There's a US patent #271,363 issued 1883.01.30 to J. Ritty and J. Birch, for a ``Cash Register and Indicator.''

National Catholic Reporter. ``The Independent, Lay-edited Catholic Newsweekly.'' Considered left-of-center.

No Carbon Required. A kind of multisheet paper form that duplicates on lower sheets what is written above. It used to be common to do this by interleaving forms with carbon paper. NCR forms use a microencapsulated dye precursor on the underside of each sheet (except the bottom). Under pressure, the microcapsules (1-20 microns in diameter) rupture and release the transparent dye precursor. This darkens on reaction with a chemical coating or impregnation of the lower sheet. Typically, the transparent-to-dark reaction is an acid-base reaction: the precursor a base and the sheet below acidic. So you can probably erase the copy by applying a strong base, and if you don't erase it, the unneutralized acid will eventually burn the paper.

NCR paper was invented at the company that became NCR Corporation. Microencapsulation was first devised in 1950 by Barry Green, a research scientist at the National Cash Register Company's labs in Dayton (see the NCR entry). On June 30, 1953, he and Lowell Schleicher, another NCR researcher, applied for a patent for the microencapsulation system that is used to produce today's carbonless paper.

NCR paper sheets have a standard sequence of colors:

  1. white (top sheet)
  2. canary
  3. pink
  4. gold

Here's an article on microencapsulation in general, from Technology Today, Summer 1995.

National Cooperative Research Act of 1984.

National Court Reporters Association.

North Carolina Restaurant Association.

National Coalition for the Recruitment of Electrical and Computer Engineering Students.

National Court Reporters Foundation.

National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.

National Cartoonists Society. I wonder if they offer jihad insurance.

Not Clinically Significant.

National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

First funded by NSF in 1985. One of four NSF-funded Supercomputer centers, along with CTC, PSC, and SDSC). Participates with these in MetaCenter.

Generates freeware like NCSA Telnet and Mosaic (the creators of the latter took their degrees and went off to found Netscape). Conducts HPCC research locally. Grants supercomputer cycles to academic researchers.

Nebraska Council of School Administrators. If you happen, for some unfathomable reason, to reside outside of Nebraska, you might find the AASA homepage more relevant. Of course, if you're not a school administrator or an administrated school, you might find that a bit dry as well.

(US) National Council of State Housing Agencies.

NanoCrystalline SIlicon.

National Conference of State Legislatures.

National Certified School Psychologist.

National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education. Based at Teachers College, Columbia University.

National Council for Social Studies. ``National'' in the sense that it has ``members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 69 foreign'' nations. Founded in 1921.

National Council for State Supervisors of Foreign Languages. Cf. NADSFL, ACTFL.

National Conference of Synagogue Youth. Founded in 1954; sponsored then and now by the Orthodox Union (OU).

Nottingham City Transport. The Nottingham bus system, integrated with the tram system, NET.

In the late 80's, when I went to visit a relative living at a senior facility in Nottingham, the NCT driver got out and walked behind the back of the bus to point out exactly where it was. Well, it struck me as unusual.

National Cable and Telecommunications Association. Formerly the National Cable Television Association. Founded in 1952. Don't worry if you missed it, it'll be on again tomorrow.

National Cable Television Cooperative. ``A programming and hardware buying cooperative, NCTC represents more than 1,000 independent cable operators, their 6,500 individual systems and more than 14 million subscribers [across the US].''

(US) National CounterTerrorism Center.

North Carolina Theatre Center.

National Council of Teachers of English. Co-sponsored with the International Reading Association a much-pilloried 1996 document titled ``Standards for the English Language Arts.''

The NCTE Annual Convention is in November -- every year.

Sponsors NCTE-talk, an electronic mailing list.

Network Channel Terminating Equipment.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

The NCTM was founded in 1920 to defend high school mathematics education from educational reformers. The organization's web site fudges this. Here is how their mealy-mouthed ``NCTM at a Glance'' begins:

Here is how C. M. Austin, the organization's first president, explained the motivation in Mathematics Teacher, vol. 14 (Jan. 1921), p. 1:

During [the preceding decade] high school mathematics courses have been assailed on every hand. So-called educational reformers have tinkered with the courses, and they, not knowing the subject and its values, in many cases have thrown out mathematics altogether or made it entirely elective.

There's a simple reason why the NCTM fudges its history: the enemy captured the fort.

NASA Commercial Technology Network. ``Welcome to the NASA Commercial Technology Network (CTN)! -- the online resource for moving technology from the lab to the marketplace.''

NonCooperative Target Recognition. You would have thought it went without saying.

National Competitive Technology Transfer Act of 1989. This might be the official bloviated name of the Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA), I dunno.

National Credit Union Administration. The ``independent federal agency that supervises and insures 7,329 federal credit unions and insures 4,358 state-chartered credit unions. It is entirely funded by credit unions and receives no tax dollars.''

Nerve Conduction Velocity.

No Customs Value.

US Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association.

National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues.

North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

National (US) Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association.

No Children under 17 allowed (to see movie). Cf. NCC-1701.

``This Film Is Not Yet Rated'' (2006) is a movie about the movie ratings system overseen by the MPAA. It received a rating of NC-17 because it includes explicit footage from many films that received an NC-17 for sexual content.

Naturopathic Doctor. Sounds like M.D., looks like a fatfinger typo of M.D., but ... find out more from their association.

Navigation Display. [Avionics.]

Neodymium. For years I thought it was `neodynium.' Danm!

Atomic number 60. A Lanthanide (rare earth: RE). There's some relevant historical information at the Di (didymium) entry. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

North Dakota. USPS abbreviation.

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for North Dakota. USACityLink.com has a page with mostly city and town links for the state. You're probably thinking: ``What `city'?''

n.d., nd
{Not Dated | No Date given}. Loneliness among the footnotes.

Not Detectable. Like night life in North Dakota.

[Football icon]

Notre Dame. Inter alia this is the name of a university in South Bend, Indiana. They have a famous football team whose name is an ethnic slur (pugnacious Hibernian). There are a number of Notre Dame domains on the Internet.

When Gilles, visiting the US from France, went to buy a ticket from Boston to South Bend, Indiana, the travel agent gave a knowing smile and said ``ah, football.'' Sure: physicists come from all over the soccer-playing world to South Bend, Indiana, so they can see the Irish play college football. And for kicks, they also take in a computational electronics workshop. I understand that there's a Notre Dame in France too, but that it's not a football powerhouse. (``Hunchback'' -- that must be French for `linebacker.' What does ESPN have to say about this? ``hunchback is not a valid Keyword.'' But ``Harry Potter'' is.)

The full formal name of the university is ``University of Notre Dame du Lac,'' or so I had thought. The university is aggressively beyond the city limits of nearby property-tax-hungry South Bend, and the post office serving the campus uses ``Notre Dame'' like a municipality name. But perhaps this is less of a fiction than I thought. According to the 1922 edition of The New International Encyclopædia (see the education subhead of the Indiana entry, volume 12, p. 94) there were three institutions of higher education under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church at the time: St. Mary's College and Academy for Women, University of Notre Dame at Notre Dame, and St. Meinrad College at St. Meinrad. It begins to look like Notre Dame might be a legitimate place name here. This is important, so I'll have to be sure to sort it out. In fact, it's very important, so I'll have to proceed very carefully and slowly, next year at the earliest (I need to calm down).

Nuclear Disarmament. The campaign for nuclear disarmament (CND) introduced the ``peace symbol'' at least as early as 1958. It is an abstracted superposition of the flag semaphores for the letters en and dee. A posting by Terry Chan to <alt.folklore.urban>, archived here

National Dance Association. One of six national associations within the AAHPERD.

Interestingly, their abstract symbol is very similar to the international symbol for biohazard.

National Dental Association. An organization of Black dentists in the US and the Caribbean.

Nepal Dental Association.

New Drug Application to the FDA.

No Data Available. Sometimes it's useful to have this abbreviation available to use instead of NA.

NonDisclosure Agreement. The AAP-assisted pleonasm ``NDA agreement'' has been observed in speech and writing.

National Dental Assistants Association. It's ``the auxiliary arm of the NDA dedicated to serving the thousands of minority Dental Assistants in the field today.''

National District Attorneys Association.

Nebraska Dental Assistants Association.

Nondirectional Radio Beacon. For air navigation.

National Data Buoy Center. Part of the National Weather Service within the US NOAA. ``NDBC designs, develops, operates, and maintains a network of data collecting buoys and coastal stations.''

Negative differential conductance. Differential conductance is
	-- .
Evidently, NDC is equivalent to NDR.

Normalized Device Coordinates. Physical device coordinates, translated and scaled to be device independent. (Typically each coordinate ranges from 0 to 1, or from -1 to 1.)

Non-Denial Denial.

Notre Dame (ND) Drum Line. Fascinating the stuff you can learn from the backs of tee shirts.

NonDestructive Evaluation.

NonDestructive Evaluation (NDE) Facility.

New-Data Flag.

No Defect[s] Found. Same as NFF, q.v.

Neodymium Gallate. Laser substrate material.

National Dental Hygienists' Association. It's associated with the NDA.

NonDestructive Inspection.

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. Your tax dollars at work aggrandizing politicians you thought you'd managed to vote out. Explanation at the entry for the IRI (corresponding Republican feed-trough).

Network Device Interface Specification.

Naked Dancing Llama. ``Put simply: He's cheaper than psychotherapy, and he also licks people's faces.'' More on llamas at our own llama entry.

Network Database Language. Standards: ANSI: X3.133-1986 ISO: IS 8907:1987

National Digital Library Federation. Same as the DLF, but with a name clarifying that it's a US endeavor, see?

Nigerian Democratic Movement. It appears that they don't have a web site yet.

Nonfat Dry Milk.


National Disaster Medical System.

Netware Distributed Management Services. (Novell.)

A progressive think tank and advocacy organization. NDN here is a sealed acronym. This NDN, created in 2005, is the successor of the New Democrat Network (following).

New Democrat Network. Sounds a lot like the old DLC. The NDN ``is guided by the belief that there is a better set of solutions to our challenges then what is being offered in Washington today. It is the fundamental premise of NDN that we can and must do better -- as a political movement, as a political party, and as a nation.'' Why does this sound so unobjectionable? Because it doesn't contain any specifics. You can read the specifics on this page. Those specifics don't contain any specifics either, but there are six of them. Eventually I'm sure they reach the point of saying something that someone could object to or agree with.

Actually, you may have to do a bit of searching on the site now: ``This website contains the archive of the material of the New Democrat Network, a political action committee from 1996-2002 and a non-federal political committee from 2003-2006. It also contains information from NDN PAC, which was a federal political action committee from 2003-2006. You can visit the New Democrat Network's successor organization, NDN, at www.ndn.org, NDN's think tank for politics, New Politics Institute, at www.newpolitics.net and NDN's Blog at www.ndnblog.org.'' (The quotes are not strict; minor punctuation slips were repaired. Yes, I mention it because it's relevant; sloppy writing, like sloppy dressing, may indicate sloppiness in other things. Also, FWIW, the about page at the NDN site says that ``the New Democrat Network ... operated from 1996 through 2004.'')


No Dogs Or Philosophers Allowed. Despite the expansion, not a backlash against cynicism. Diogenes is its favorite philosopher. NDOPA is described by its creator and host Ken Knisely as North America's premier philosophy television program, which it may well be.

In the 1980's, Knisely taught (``worked as a philosopher'') in a public-school program for gifted children in Richmond, Virginia. NDOPA began as a live call-in program on a public-access channel in Richmond. One of Knisely's students, Summer Schultz, originated the show's name. She liked to go barefoot in warm weather, and one day as she was about to enter a 7-11 to buy a Slurpee (a federally noncontrolled addictive substance that is a known risk factor for brainfreeze), she was stopped by a sign that said ``No Dogs or Bare Feet Allowed.'' Unfortunately, this made her think. She reflected on how the great thinkers throughout history had similarly been treated as pariahs. I guess she must have felt pretty strongly about going barefoot.

National Democratic Party (of Germany). The extreme rightist political party probably better known by its German initialism NPD.

National Democratic Party. The Egyptian government's political party. That is, the political party that controls Egypt. This sounds deceptively like ``ruling party'' in a place like France. How can I put this? Egypt is a nominal and formal democracy.

Neutron Depth Profiling.

New Democratic Party. A just-don't-call-it-Socialist-Party, like British Labour (particularly in that party's Foote-loose days). The most leftist of the major Canadian political parties. More at the NPI entry. Don't complain that its politics is not obvious from its name; in Argentina, the more conservative of the two major parties is called the Partido Radical. And in France, the Parti Radical is a centrist party. (The latter's name is a legacy from its days as an anticlerical party, back when there were still a few Christian clerics in France.)

The NDP was created in a reorganization of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in 1961.

Non-Departmental Public Body. Non-departmental in the sense of not being within the administrative structure of a government ministry, err, department. Public in the sense of being established and funded by the government. A term apparently created by UK officialdom to replace an earlier official term: NDPB's used to be called Quangos officially, and are still called Quangos. Here's an exhausting list of NDPB's that share turf with Defra.

Novell Distributed Print Services.

Negative differential resistance. Differential resistance is
	-- .
Evidently, NDR is equivalent to NDC.

Two kinds of NDR have standard names: N-type and S-type. These simply refer to current voltage characteristics (CVC for short) whose shapes resemble the capital block letters N and S, respectively. In N-type NDR, the current rises to a maximum, falls, and then rises again. The current is a function of the voltage, although there is a range of currents for which voltage is undetermined. In S-type NDR, the current is not a function of voltage, but the current is function of voltage. Thus, voltage initially increases with current, then falls, and rises again. Notice that in N-type NDR, the differential resistance stays finite, following a +,0,-,0,+, pattern, while the differential conductance diverges (following a pattern +, +inf., -inf., -, -inf., +inf., +). Notice also that, since CVC refers to the I-V plot, and NDR is a most appropriate measure for V-I plots, it might make more sense to speak of N- and S-type NDC. Setting aside the strictly semantic issue, however, the important consideration for convenience and comprehensibility is whether one can deal with a function or must deal with a mere relation (and with infinite derivatives). For this reason, devices like tunneling diodes, which exhibit N-type NDR, are described by I vs. V graphs, while plasma tubes, which exhibit S-type NDR, are represented with V vs. I plots.

Regions of NDR can be unstable; a device in circuit follows smoothly whatever segment of the CVC it is on, until that segment becomes tangent to the load line (this occurs only in a region of NDR), and then follows another segment of its CVC. (The CVC has an overall positive slope, while the load line has a negative slope. Thus, there is always at least one intersection point -- as is physically reasonable: a solution exists. Also, there will in general be an odd number of intersections, except when the load line is tangent to the CVC. At the point of tangency, a stable point and an unstable point are approaching and in effect annihilating; the number of intersection points is changing by two.)

In N-type NDR, hysteresis loops are followed clockwise; in S-type NDR, counter-clockwise.

Norddeutschen Rundfunks. `North German Broadcasting.'

National (US) Defense Research Committee.

Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory.

NonDestructive Read-Out. A mode of old-style magnetic core memory read-out. Cf. DRO.

(Novell) NetWare Directory Services.

Notre Dame (ND)/Saint Mary's [College] (SMC). Productive suffix, as in LNDSM, GLNDSMC.

North Dakota State University. It's in Fargo, which sounds like a comment.

National Debate Tournament. There are other debating entries in this glossary.

NonDestructive Testing. Try link resource from ASNT (American Society for Nondestructive Testing).

Nondestructive Testing Association in New Zealand.

(US) National Defense University.

(Indiana, US) Notre Dame University. See the ND entry for other NDU websites.

North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

National (US) Drinking Water Advisory Council.

Not Diagnosed Yet. Acronym used by the army. During the war in Viet Nam, ``NDY nervous'' usually meant battle-fatigued, what in WWI was called ``shell shock.''

Neodymium (3+)-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet laser. 1.064 micron wavelength. Pronounced ``Neodymium yag.''

High-power 532 nm cw is available commercially in packages where high-power AlGaAs (850 nm) pumps Nd:YAG, and its 1064 nm output is frequency-doubled in an nonlinear optic crystal. Doubled and tripled frequencies are typically used to pump dye lasers. Quadrupled-frequency is also available.

n e, ne
Chatese for any.

Oh how clever. Like qq in French.

Nebraska. USPS abbreviation.

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

Chemical element symbol for NEon, a noble gas. Atomic number 10. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

That's noble, you letch, not nubile.

Network Element.

The term is used in the Telecommunications Management Network (TMN) model for just about any component of a subject telecommunications network, including switching systems, circuits and terminals, other than the TMN itself. They're the things the TMN manages.

New England. Some English find amusing the number of tiny places in the US that are named after much larger cities in England (e.g. Plymouth, London). In 1995, the combined population of six small states comprising New England was 13.3 million, when the population of England was about fifty million. I keep thinking up increasingly useless things to know.

There's also a Plymouth that is, or has been, the capital of the Caribbean island of Montserrat, 350 mi. ESE of Puerto Rico. In 1995, the volcano that brought the island into existence came to life itself, and the capital and harbor has had to be abandoned, like more than half of the island.

(Domain name code for) Niger. Landlocked sub-Saharan former colony and current neocolony of France. Not likely to be confused with Nigeria (.ng).

NorEpinephrine. A catecholamine distributed from the locus coeruleus of the brain stem.

NorthEast. Vide compass directions.

National Education Association. An industrial union of primary and secondary school educators and administrators. The largest union in the US, with 2.4 million members as of 1998.

National Endowment for the Arts. An agency of the US government.


Near Eastern Archaeology. A quarterly publication of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) since 1998, continuing the earlier Biblical Archaeologist (BA). See AASOR for other publications of ASOR.

Negative Electron Affinity. NEA semiconductor surfaces are predicted and to some extent confirmed to be good photocathodes. [See ``NEA Semiconductor Photoemitters,'' John S. Escher, ch. 3 of Semiconductors and Semimetals, vol. 15, 1981.]

NorthEastern Anthropological Association.

NEA-AK, NEA - Alaska
National Education Association - Alaska (AK). One of the state affiliates of the NEA.

NorthEast Air Defense Sector.

New England Association for Health-care Philanthropy.

The study of newborns. This word is quite rare compared to its synonym Neonatology. So rare that an unqualified web search for it mostly turns up plays on genealogy that parallel E-mail (gE-nealogy, E-nealogy, etc.). Cf. ECOFIN, neology.

Expert pet breeders value pure breeds best. But these often fail to thrive, whereas mixed breeds thrive and are popular. The same seems true of words. The fastidious lexicographer might disparage automobile, electrocution, sociology, and television as misbegotten Latin-Greek half-breeds, but it looks like these words will be with us for a while.

National Electronic Accounting and Reporting (system).

Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous. A robot spacecraft that's visiting 433 Eros, an asteroid about 25 by 9 by 8.8 miles in size. It did a flyby, within 2500 miles, on December 23, 1998. The goal is to study it from a low orbit for about a year and then land, but technical problems have delayed the attempt until the next close approach in May 2000. Now I read that ``mission will be completed February 6, 2000.'' Maybe they decided it would look too bad if they had too many fatal crash landings in a row.

NEAR was the ``first low-cost Discovery mission.'' It used COTS components, less-than-optimal reliability, that sort of thing. The risk is that even when low-cost missions are cost-effective, spectacular failures like the Mars lander disappearance will erode public support.

National Engineering Aptitude Search+. ``[A] self-administered academic survey that enables individual students to determine their current level of preparation in `engineering basic skills subjects' (applied mathematics, science, and reasoning). The NEAS+ encourages tutoring and mentoring.'' It's a JETS program.

NorthEast ASECS. (ASECS is the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.)

The word you've been looking for: cattle of the genus bos. You know: ``cow or bull.'' The scare quotes are because traditionally, sheep, goats, hogs and horses are all cattle, and cow and bull are generically the adult female and (uninterfered-with) male of many animal species. Neat is the plural and singular form (cf. ships entry).

The place that English-speakers are most likely to encounter the word neat in this acception is Shakespeare's ``Julius Caesar,'' in the neat first scene, spoken by one of the mechanical men:

I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork.
This is spoken by the second commoner, who, in respect of a fine workman is but, as you would say, ``a cobbler.'' As you recall, before the ``surgeon'' sentence, he said
Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters, but with awl.

The recover wordplay might be difficult to recreate in another language -- German, say. However, the much of the wordplay here turns on the word awl, and the German word for that happens to be its cognate Ahle. German also has alle -- an adverb and indefinite pronoun with uses overlapping those of `every' and (the cognate, of course) `all' in English. So this is a very translatable bit of wordplay. I was curious how it worked out, so I checked all the Germaned Shakespeare I could find in the library. No luck. Here's what I did learn: the first translator of Shakespeare into German was August Wilhelm Schlegel. His translations made Shakespeare very popular in Germany. There have been many translations since then, but Schlegel's are so much the default that I have seen many editions of his translations, at most minimally reworked, that don't even bother to mention his name. It is reported, however, that the Schlegel versions now account for only a minority of German Shakespeare performances. (To be precise, one should note that the task of translating Shakespeare into German was eventually completed by Ludwig Tieck, Tieck's daughter Dorothea, and her husband Graf von Baudissin. But Schlegel did do the Julius Caesar.) I did find some incomplete Shakespeare translations by others, but no Julius Caesar.

I've read differing opinions on the matter, but at least according to some, Schlegel was most accepting of the bard's puns. Certainly in this same scene under discussion here, Schlegel was resourceful. For example, the wordplay between the precise and loose senses of cobbler is fairly reproduced by having the cobbler say that he does patchwork. (``Die Wahrheit zu gestehn, Herr, gegen einen feinen Arbeiter gehalten, mache ich nur, sozusagen, Flickwerk.'') Similarly, the first quoted item above becomes:

Im Ernst, Herr, ich bin ein Wundarzt für alte Schuhe: wenn's gefährlich mit ihnen steht, so mache ich sie wieder heil.

Here the pun on recover is translated with a pun one could imagine the bard himself using in its place: the cobbler makes old shoes whole again. (In German, heil is `unhurt,' cognate with English heal and hale. Also, heil is an old-fashioned way of saying `whole.' It's found in Bible translations, which dates it roughly to Shakespeare's time.) But the bit preceding this, with the awl pun, Schlegel simply skipped. It's just barely possible that Schlegel translated from a version that didn't include that line -- I'll have to look into this.

One Sunday in the Summer of 1982 or thereabouts, William Safire's ``On Language'' column in the New York Times Magazine was about the language of ordering mixed drinks. One of the terms mentioned was neat, meaning pure, unadulterated (sc., with water: undiluted). It reminds me of Dr. John Snow and the Broad Street pump. Read about it here. (That's an external site. I didn't write it. I know better than to write ``drunk'' for drank, even in this context.) The brewery workers were unharmed.

It turns out that this sense (pure, unadulterated fluid) dates back at least to the sixteenth century. In the twentieth century, according to the OED (June 2005 draft revision), it was extended to mortar -- neat mortar being made from cement and water only, and no sand. In fact, the adjective is widely used for fluids (particularly solvents and polymer resins) in chemistry and in chemical industries. It's a useful word because it doesn't mean quite the same thing as pure or unadulterated. These words are contrasted to impure -- they imply that the adulteration is dirty or generally undesirable. Also, ``impurities'' would generally be present in small quantities at most. Neat does not imply either of these things. It is used in situations where admixture may often be desirable, and in substantial amounts. (It is also used in situations where admixture generally does occur, and gives one a way of emphasizing that one is discussing properties of the pre- or un-mixed fluid.)

The adjectives neat and net are ultimately from the Latin nitidus. The root was widely borrowed from Romance into Germanic languages; in German, nett means `nice' and netto means `net' (the adjective, opposed to brutto, `gross').

NEbraska Agriculture Technology Association.

New England Anti-Vivisection Society. Founded in 1895. Doesn't seem to have anything organizationally to do with NAVS.

Literate English-language abbreviation for Nebraska. Links at USPS abbreviation NE.

Nonisothermal Energy Balance.

The German transliteration of a Yiddish word. Yiddish is written in Hebrew characters. Very roughly 10% of Yiddish is Hebrew words, which are written in the traditional, if not especially consistent, standard Hebrew orthography. Because of the different phonology, the non-Hebrew component of Yiddish is written using different letter-sound correspondences than the Hebrew. The range of variation in Yiddish pronunciation (among native speakers, never mind people who pick up a few mispronounced words of it) is sufficiently large that a consistent phonetic orthography is impossible. FWIW, Yiddish was officially standardized around 1938. Anyway, Yiddish is basically a Middle High German with a lot of loanwords from Slavic (in the dominant eastern dialects) or French (in the western ones) in addition to Hebrew, and it's within the range of regional German languages, so the fairly phonetic German spelling provides a convenient mode of transcription. I guess the specific thing I'm trying to say here is that the ich at the end of the head term here is pronounced like the German pronoun ich, and not like the English noun itch. (Nebbich is of Slavic origin, BTW.)

The word, however spelled, is fundamentally an interjection, an expression of pity or resignation, as if to say ``oh well, what can you expect?'' It is also used as a dismissive noun, to describe a nullity of a person, someone who can't be expected to amount to anything, someone to be half pitied and half contemned, though there is no suggestion of malign intent.

An English word derived from the Yiddish word nebbich, used as a noun. It has the same meaning as the Yiddish noun: a person pitiful for lack of ability or drive, someone understandably unsuccessful. This isn't quite the same as a ``no 'count,'' because a no 'count is likelier to be considered lazy. Also, a nebbish is not the same as a shlimazel. A shlimazel is just habitually unlucky.

The esh sound in the English word is an approximation to the ekh sound in the original word, but the esh sound is also common in Yiddish. The people I have known who were native speakers of Yiddish, or of German, Spanish, or any other language with an ekh sound, have tended not only to pronounce the word more correctly but also to use it primarily as an interjection. Those who use the esh pronunciation also use it only as a noun. This gave me the impression, at one point, that there were two words: the noun nebbish and the interjection nebbich. This is almost true, and if the latter pronunciation were able to survive, it might even become true.

Network Basic Input/Output System.

Northeast by East, Northeast by North. Vide compass directions.


Latin for `cloud.' Term used for various astronomical objects. See discussion at Messier catalog (``M###'') entry. Also the name of a Science Fiction ``writing'' award, probably in honor of the turbidity of the writing.

National Economic Council.

National Electric Code.

National Electric Conference.

Near East Consulting.

Nippon Electric Company.

Not Elsewhere Classified.

National Educational Computing Association.

National Educational Computing Conference. Cf. NECA.

New England Confectionary COmpany.


New England Classical Journal.

neckware and neckwear
Neckware is generally worn on the neck, hence the ambiguity. The -wear term is much more common, however, even in collocations with ``bridle,'' ``yoke,'' and ``dog collar.''

Yeah, I'm kidding. But there's nothing really incorrect about the entry, apart from the conceit -- or the variant opinion -- that ``neckware'' is not simply a misspelling of ``neckwear.''

New England Cable News. A 24-hour regional news network.

NorthEast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. One of the five regional affiliates of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Try the host at Dickinson College (in Pa.) if the first link of this entry doesn't work.

According to an email announcement from the executive director in February 2004, NECTFL is

... a 50-year-old association of language educators at all levels and in all instructional contexts. NECTFL publishes a bi-annual refereed journal and holds a conference every year in the spring. For the next five years, we will be in New York at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. ... About 2,500 people attend the conference, from 40 states and 15 countries around the globe. ...

NEC 9801
A series of 386/486 machines once popular in Japan. Loosely PC-DOS-compatible OS. In 1990, the `DualStation 386SX/16' from AST was the first ``dual compatible Japanese NEC 9801 standard and U.S. DOS standard computer.''

National Endowment for Democracy. ``National'' meaning US; ``for Democracy'' everywhere. For some interesting observations on this obviously worthwhile entity, see the IRI entry.

[dive flag]

Network of Egghead Divers.

Noise Emitting Diode. All kinds of diodes can be used in this mode, where a high applied voltage triggers a single sharp ``crack'' or ``pop.'' Existing models do this once and enter a permanent ``off'' state.

National Enrollment DataBase.

New England Educational Assessment Network.

National (US) Energy Education Development. ``The mission of the NEED Project is to promote an energy conscious and educated society by creating effective networks of students, educators, business, government and community leaders to design and deliver objective, multi-sided energy education programs.''

National Electrical Engineering Department Heads Association.


I put the corrugated-cardboard `sun-shade' in backwards. I always do -- I'm an idiot.

Needles to say
A pointed but implicit spelling self-criticism.

National Engineering Education Delivery System. A ``digital library designed for engineering faculty and students of all ages with links to online learning materials in engineering and related areas of science and math.''

need to communicate
I hear a lot about the ``need to communicate.'' Couples counseling, business seminars, they're all into that communication thing. Can we talk? Look, I'm willing to concede that there is often a need to communicate. But there is often also a need not to communicate -- to leave unsaid that which should not be said or which would cost the sayer, to not talk over what one person does and another person won't understand. Why don't I hear more about that, huh? Huh?

Not in Education, Employment, or Training. A neat abbreviation used in employment demographics.

nefarious perversion of science
Scientific demonstration of something the speaker wishes were not so.


negative gas pressure
Perhaps you heard an expression like ``minus six torr.'' That's short for ``one-millionth (10-6) torr.'' Practical ultrahigh vacuum pressures range down to around ``minus eleven torr.''

negative logic
Any electronic implementation of logic in which a low voltage levels represents True, and a high voltage level represents a False. In the early (pre-IC) days of digital logic, this was widely used and made intuitive sense in terms of switching logic: ``True'' meant connected to ground. False meant disconnected, so that in many circuits, the voltage level for False was much less well defined than that for True = ``1'' = gnd., though it was generally positive.

Negative logic is very unusual these days. The choice is essentially arbitrary, but with switching logic rare, the confusion of ``1'' = 0 volts might be decisive. Note that what matters is the relative position of the voltages, not the absolute voltage. Thus, standard ECL, which for noise reasons does use ``1'' = VCC = 0 volts = ground, is a positive logic because logic ``0'' is at a lower (a negative) voltage. Cf. positive logic.

G.K. Chesterton's William Cobbett (1925) begins with a chapter that he originally planned to title ``The Neglect of Cobbett,'' but which later events induced him to call ``The Revival of Cobbett,'' how prematurely I don't know. He comments there ``that it is not until the first beginnings of the revival that we ever even hear of the neglect. Until that moment even the neglect is neglected.'' (I'm not claiming this is true, as Chesterton did, but perhaps you'll agree that it displays some cleverness.)

National Endowment for the Humanities. An agency of the US government.


The New England Institute. With a name like that, it ought to be
  1. an institute in New England with a very broad mission or
  2. an institute dedicated to the study of New England or
  3. an institute dedicated to the study of a new England.

In fact, according to its homepage, ``[t]he New England Institute is an initiative ... [much verbiage excised] ... [for] cognitive science and evolutionary psychology.'' I learned about this institute in a conference announcement that began ``[t]he New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology (NEI) invites papers...'' Obviously, the original naming of this institute was highly incompetent.

neither would nor could
Here are a couple of typical instances of this construction:

Here's an atypical one, with the word neither functioning as a pronoun, that might cause the non-native reader some difficulty. From Whittaker Chambers's Witness (1952), referring to himself and Alger Hiss together in the third person:

Neither would nor could yield without betraying, not himself, but his faith; and the different character of these faiths was shown by the different conduct of the two men toward each other throughout the struggle.

Incidentally, Virginia Woolf's ``Mrs. Dalloway'' was a Clarissa also. According to the Census of 1990, Clarissa was the 744th most common name for females in the US.

New England Journal of Medicine.

National Employment Lawyers Association. The <BLINK> tag on their page hurt my eyes. Will they help me sue my employer for this?

NorthEastern Lumber Manufacturers Association. ``Established in 1933, [it] is the rules writing [nonhyphenation sic] agency for Eastern White Pine Lumber and the grading authority for Eastern Spruce, Balsam Fir, Spruce Pine Fir (SPFs) species grouping and other commercially important eastern softwood lumber species.''

National Education Longitudinal Study. A large database for US education research. Another is HSB.

National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Non-Equilibrium Molecular Dynamics.

National Electrical Manufacturers Initiative.

NorthEast Modern Language Association. It has a reciprocal membership agreement with PAMLA.

NanoElectronic MOdeling project. Prime contractor TI Nanoelectronics Group in Dallas.


Latin: `no one.'

Jules Verne gave the captain of the submarine in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (more at the chelys entry) the name Nemo. The motto or something of Scotland is Nemo me impune lacessit.

Nuclear ElectroMagnetic Pulse. The EMI to end all EMI.

Has referred, in particular, to the electromagnetic pulse generated by nuclear blast. A few years and many events ago, in a climate of feeling called the ``Cold War,'' one of the panics of the West was fed by the thought that even a ``small'' nuclear attack might disable defense systems by EMP, and that solid state systems were more vulnerable to EMP than vacuum tube electronics. Fears increased when a North Korean fighter pilot defected to Japan with his plane, of the model called Foxbat in the West. It turned out to have some vacuum tube electronics on board.

NanoElectroMechanical System[s]. Just like MEMS (q.v., but on the scale of 10-100 nanometers rather than 1 micron (1000nm).

National Emergency Number Association. ``NENA's mission is to foster the technological advancement, availability, and implementation of a universal emergency telephone number system.'' The particular number they have in mind is 911.

Spanish, `girl.' Synonym of niña.

A personals ad abbreviation. So rare it's probably just an intelligence test. Might mean `Never Engaged, Never Married,' but I wasn't moved to ask.

NorthEast Normal University (China).

[column] Their Institute for the History of Ancient Civilizations publishes a Journal of Ancient Civilizations.

My impression from this and one or two other cases is that much of the trade in scholarly journals about classical antiquity is conducted on a barter system -- the classics department or other entity to which the main editor belongs trades free subscriptions to its own journal for free subscriptions to those of other institutions.

Near-Earth Object. Stuff that comes too close for comfort. Read up on your NEO basics NOW, before it's too late for you to do anything about it! (The introduction is offfered by NASA's NEO Program.)

The act of coining a new word or (less often) phrase. More often, the new word (or perhaps phrase) coined.

A less-common word meaning neologism. Cf. nealogy.

Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. In Rootstown, OH.

National Exit Poll.

Needle Exchange Program.

New Economic Plan. Introduced by Lenin. Either it didn't work, or it wasn't tried. Okay, okay: it was a brief period during which the program of nationalization and collectivization was slowed and to some degree reversed.

Noise-Equivalent Power. The integral of the noise region of the power spectrum.

National Electric Power Authority. In Nigeria. See -- bunko spam is good for something. It's educational. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get educated at the lowest possible cost.

National (US) Environmental Policy Act.

(PRC) National Environmental Protection Administration. The PRC's highest (ministerial) administrative authority in environmental management. Since 1998, its name is more usually translated as State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).

NEPAD, Nepad
NEw Partnership for Africa's Development. The sense in which this is supposed to be a partnership is that both sides contribute something to Africa's development. The West contributes more money and African governments contribute better governance. You know, this is very reasonable, and it shows a very generous and enlightened attitude about where responsibility lies for the disaster and tragedy that is Africa today. The West has a track record of providing money, and African governments have a record of providing governance. To those who complain that the governance provided has been inadequate, there is the ready answer that the money provided has been insufficient. Indeed, those least disposed to credit this argument would have to admit that with African governments as immoral and incompetent as they are, no amount of aid would be sufficient.

I hope that NEPAD is pronounced ``knee pad,'' because it fosters thoughts of the situations, or postures, that require the use of a knee pad.

New England Regional Association of Language Laboratory Directors.

Natural Environment Research Council. One of the UK's seven research councils. The research councils report to the Office of Science and Technology within the Department of Trade and Industry.

Norm Evolution in Response to Dilemmas. A project that ``is part of the Democracy, Ethics, and Genomics Research Project at the University of British Columbia. Go take one of their surveys. Unlike most such surveys, it seems to have question-answer sets that are mostly (about 80%, in the survey I took) carefully thought out.

Scholastically successful, socially awkward. Cf. wonk. The term first appeared in the literary corpus of Dr. Seuss, as noted in PC magazine (say around 1988) by John C. Dvorak.

NEgative Resistance Field-Effect Transistor. The NERFET and CHINT are different modes of operation of the same device.

National Employee Rights Institute.

National Energy Research Supercomputer Center at LLNL.

Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application. The NERVA program was initiated in 1961 by the joint AEC/NASA Space Nuclear Propulsion Office. The main contractor was Westinghouse. Aerojet General Corporation also took part, and LANL, which had performed the earlier KIWI research on NTP, participated in a consultative role.

National Eutrophication Study.

n.e.s., N.E.S.
Not Elsewhere Specified. The most lawyerish-sounding abbreviation in engineering.

Network of Emerging Scientists. ``NES was founded as a vehicle for open discussion and level-headed activism regarding national science policy, scientific infrastructure, science education, and a number of other issues like immigration that not only concern emerging scientists but also may affect their employment and funding opportunities.''

It was founded (around 1996) because for years, major science advisory organizations kept foreseeing a coming shortage of scientists, yet newly-minted science Ph.D.'s kept seeing a job shortage. I stopped by the website in 2005, and it looks like it's been moribund since 1999. My theory is that this occurred because science Ph.D.'s keep seeing a job shortage.

Non-English-Speaking Background. Usage seems restricted to Australia and New Zealand. Used attributively, as in ``NESB parents.'' This nicely manages to express the idea that the parents may or may not speak English, but that it is probably not their first language. It also avoids including any notion of immigration or foreign status; this is useful if there may be native-born NESB people. Contrast the infelicitous ``LEP.''

New England Science Center. Not exciting.

New England Small College Athlectic Conference.

NorthEast States (of the US) for Coördinated Air Use Management.

Ignorance or agnosticism. It is perhaps appropriate that no one is really sure how this rare word should be pronounced, and that no one is willing to assert that any of the many pronunciations used is wrong.

The word can also be written inscious.

National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service.

NorthEast Sustainable Energy Association.

National (US) Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. This private organization would like to help you meet them.

NorthEast Snowstorm Impact Scale. A scale developed by Paul J. Kocin of The Weather Channel (TWC) and Louis W. Uccellini of the NOAA/NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). The scale is based on snowstorm records primarily from 1950 to 2000 (or from 1950 to 2003) and ranks snowstorms from 0 to 8 (or 1 to 5, apparently in a later version), according to the paper of Kocin and Uccellini linked above (or according to a news report on TWC, broadcast November 29, 2003). ``Impact'' refers to disruption along the Northeast Urban Corridor that extends from southern Virginia to New England. (In contrast, hurricane and tornado scales indicate destructive rather than disruptive power.) Storms rated 1 are common. Storms rated above 4 are the kind that people remember as ``the blizzard of [some year].''

The following is from the second act of Thorton Wilder's play ``The Skin of Our Teeth'' (1942). Antrobus is the inventor of the wheel (Act I), etc.

ANTROBUS: Oh, that's the storm signal. One of those black disks means bad weather; two means storm; three means hurricane; and four means the end of the world.

Later in Wilder's play, unnoticed by anyone but the audience (to the best of my recollection), the storm signal progresses to four discs.

National Educational Television.

No Electronic Theft Act. An ``Act'' in the sense of US Congressional action, not an act in the sense of an action that might be a theft. I hope the distinction is clear.

Nottingham Express Transit. As of 2002 NET was, in the mathematical sense of the qualifier, an improper net, in the same way that an empty set is an improper subset of every set (and every set is an improper subset of itself). Put a little more directly: NET had no lines. The first line went on-line March 9, 2004. Alternative link: <thetram.net>. The trams are integrated with the bus system, NCT.

The first time I went to England, I visited London, Cambridge, and Nottingham, in that order. Coming out of the train station at Nottingham, my immediate reaction was ``Oh wow! Life-size!'' (Well, the taxi area was cavernous, but I was not misled.)

A collection of mathematical software, papers, and databases.

A file listing parameters extracted from a circuit schematic.

New England Trail Riders Association. You need a really big netra, if you want to catch a mothra!

NET-based grassROOTS support. (Parodic dysphemism: ``nutroots.'') As everyone recognizes, the left and right engage in the political equivalent of ``asymmetric combat.'' A prayer vigil for choice is about as likely as a sit-in for lower capital-gains taxes. Likewise, though the left and right both use the net, they do so differently.

Both sides use it to state and sometimes argue for their positions, but rebuttal and refutation seem to be more popular with the right, and meta-analysis more popular with the left. Politically selective match-making sites seem still to be a specialty of the right -- you might argue that it represents a demographic political grand strategy. Organizing and raising money for (immediate) off-net political activities seem to be a specialty of the left. So netroots in practice are usually netroots on the left. Marshall Wittmann, a conservative (Republican) activist in the 1990's and a senior fellow at the Democratic Leadership Council as of 2006, seems to be the one who coined the description ``McGovernites with modems.'' See Kos.

Netscape Extensions
Netscape has taken the liberty of implementing its own HTML extension proposals, much as DEC implemented extensions of Fortran on compilers for VAXen. Everyone does this who can.

Charlton Rose has made available a tutorial on Netscape Frames.

Netscape 6
``This page works correctly in Netscape 4 (any release) and in Internet Explorer 4 and up. If you have reached this page, you are either using Netscape 6, or are not using a Java enabled browser. To download Netscape 4, click here.''

Progress marches on, but this entry will remain encased in amber.

Network Outrages!
Heading on a list of times and sites, posted on the computer-lab doors. Oh, just noticed they used the alternate spelling: ``Network Outages!''

German: `net' (as opposed to gross). Used pretty much like the English word: as an adjective applied to weight and to monetary amounts, and as a noun (capitalized) implicitly referring to the same quantities. (Of course, historically these were not so different, as for a long time money was defined in terms of standardized weights of precious metals; vide Hacksilber.) See also grosso, `gross' for a usage note.

German for `new.'

NorthEastern University. So nu -- also NU.

Neuphilologische Mitteilungen
The title of a major journal of modern-language linguistics.

Any journal which aspires to international standing is well advised to become accessible to a large audience. Even among linguists, the Finnish language is singularly inaccessible, and this journal is published by a Helsinki linguistics society. In consequence, the official title has never been in Finnish. On the other hand, when the journal was founded at the end of the nineteenth century, no one pretending to be a linguist could fail to know German; researchers working in German were probably the largest group of linguistics scholars. So it was very reasonable to name the journal in German. Also, Swedish was a very widely used language in Finland at the time, so Finnish linguists would have found it relatively easy to learn other Germanic languages. In fact, Swedish was at the time a very important language in Finland -- in many respects more important than Finnish. Let's talk about that.

During the height of Viking activity in the eighth to the eleventh centuries, Swedes settled along the southwestern coast of Finland. Starting in the twelfth century, Russia began to be an independent military power, and Finland became a battleground between Russian and Swedish empires. In a series of religious crusades and other wars, Finland came increasingly under Swedish control until, in 1323, the Treaty of Pähkinäsaari established a border between Russian and Swedish spheres of influence. (Separated by a fuzzy line running from the eastern part of the gulf of Finland, through the middle of Karelia and thence northwest to the Gulf of Bothnia -- there, does that help? Any line that manages to separate two spheres, whether of influence or anything else, is bound to fuzzy or otherwise differ in some way from a classical Euclidean line.) Anyway, the Finnish tribes were now all in Swedish territory, and the area that would become Finland was administered by Swedes under a few different kinds of Swedish governments (over time), enforcing Swedish laws. Finland was a rural appendage that Sweden controlled, something vaguely like Ireland to the British Empire. During the height of Swedish imperial power in the seventeenth century, the Finnish upper classes became increasingly integrated into the Swedish kingdom's clerical and governmental classes, and came increasingly to speak Swedish.

Sweden's imperial power declined sharply during Charles XII's reign, at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Finland became for Sweden a kind of buffer territory. Over the course of various Russian occupations and Swedish-Russian wars in that century, Finnish leaders (i.e., Swedish-speaking officials of the Swedish government, mostly of Finnish origin by the middle of the century) began to see greater benefits as a Russian than as a Swedish frontier province, and thought they might achieve greater local autonomy under Russian domination. (``Finlandization'' is older than you thought.) In 1809, the Finns negotiated a peace with Tsar Alexander I in which Finland became a grand duchy under his throne, with a Russian-chosen administration. Finland prospered and grew under this conservative administration. There's more to know about this, and you can know some of it by reading it elsewhere.

Since this is an entry about a linguistics journal, I'm going to twist this history back around to a discussion of language. The Tsar... Look, I happen to be in the middle of writing this entry. I'm just saving my work so I can go and take a leak. I'll be back before you know it, because I won't save my work again until after I've been back for a while. The main thing is, Swedish was the language of education and the educated classes when the journal was begun, so German and other Germanic languages were natural second languages for the founders of the journal. I think I said something like that before, in the early days of this entry.

So the journal was named in German, and the title was written in a slightly daring irregular font, described immediately below as herausgegeben vom Neuphilologischen Verein in Helsingfors. In subsequent forms, the title page has caused some confusion. (Starting with the 1938 edition, ``Helsingfors'' has been ``Helsinki.'')

The journal got off to a slightly bumpy start. Originally, it was intended to be published in eight issues per year. These were not numbered but dated, the fifteenth of a month. The first year (1899) the issues were dated 15/1 (11 printed pp.), 15/2, 15/3, 15/4, 15/9-15/10, 15/11-15/12. (Except for the first issue, each was 8pp. or, for the double issues, 16 pp.). The second year started with a double-size triple issue 15/1-15/3 (16pp.), then 15/5 (22 pp.), 15/9-15/10 (12 pp.), and 15/11-15/12 (18 pp.). So people got nine issues for their 4 FIM that year (in 68 pp.). This extravagance could not go on, and sure enough, the first issue of the third Jahrgang begins with a letter `To our readers' (An unsere Leser) describing the inauspicious financial circumstances under which the century was beginning; 15/1-15/3/1901 (32 pp.), 15/4-15/5 (36 pp.), 15/9-15/10 (25 pp.), 15/11-15/12 (26 pp.).

When the journal was founded, no educated European could fail to know French, and so the contributions were about equally split between French and German. The following observations about languages occurring in the early issues are based on a quick scan rather than a thorough study. It's not clear whether there was an official policy about languages or just some reasonable expectation. In any case, the first contribution in a third language was an English-language review (by a Swedish-surnamed Finn) of two German English books: Grammatik der englischen Sprache and Lehrbuch der englischen Sprache, pp. 21-22 of the 15/5 issue. Most reviews were in French or German regardless of the language in which the books themselves were written (e.g., Ny-islandsk lyrik, oversoettelser og studier af Olaf Hansen, published in Copenhagen, was reviewed in German), but some of the other English books reviewed got English-language reviews. The fourth language to be used was Danish, in two letters from Karl Verner, published in the 1903 issue of 15/9-15/100 (pp. 91-109 -- page numbering became consecutive through the year after 1902). The first letter is full of linear algebra and seems to have to do with physical rotations by multiples of 15 degrees, and the second is full of drawings of machinery. The issue has a fold-out chart of calculations. It's all about technology for studying phonetics, one century ago.

You get a spooky feeling looking through those early issues. There's a review of yet another new edition of Johann Peter Eckermann's Gespräche mit Goethe in den letzten Jahren seines Lebens, of works by Henry Sweet and Victor Hugo...

The first article other than a book review to appear in English was Anna Bohnhof's lead article in the 15/4-15/5/1903 issue: ``The Mystery of William Shakespeare'' (pp. 39ff). It begins

      In 1848 a certain Mr. J. C. Hart of America threw out some doubts about the authorship of Shakespeare's plays in a book, called The Romance of Yachting, whether in joke or in earnest we do not know. This gave rise to the theory that Bacon was the author of Shakespeare's plays. A controversy began, which has lasted until the present day and will last while »good and sound knowledge will putrify and dissolve into a number of subtle, idle, unwholesome and vermiculate questions, which have indeed a quickness and life of spirit, but no soundness of matter or goodness of quality», as Bacon says in his Analysis of the Abuses of Learning.

I have reproduced the quotation marks as they appear in this article and in all articles, regardless of language. It's a sickening precursor of the ugly C++ cin usage.

For 1904 they gave up the calendar-date scheme and started numbering the issues. I'm going to have to look more carefully to see if I can find any sign of the revolt in Finland that coincided with the 1905 Russian revolution.

The history of Finland in the twentieth century is reflected rather oddly in this journal. For example, the greatest Finnish upheavals associated with WWI and the Russian revolution were in 1917, yet in 1916 there was no volume, and volume 18 began in 1917 with the following notice (in number 1-4):

A nos lecteurs
      Pendant toute l'année 1916, la publication de notre revue a été arbitrairement suspendue. Gràce au nouveau régime qui règne maintenant dans notre pays après le rétablissement de a constitution de la Finlande, nous sommes heureux de pouvoir continuer notre oeuvre modeste dans le domaine de la philologie moderne.
      Mai 1917.

La Rédaction.

German for `neo-romanticism.' A neo-romantic [writer] is ``ein Neuromantiker,'' and his writing is neuromantisch. Funny how the base word is the movement in German and the adjective or practitioner in English. Well, maybe not side-splitting funny, but at least wan-smile funny, okay? Yeah, yeah, puzzled-look funny, knitted-brow, whatever. [Actually, the -ik ending in German often corresponds to -ics in English (e.g., Physik is `physics'). So it's really just an instance where English happened to go with romanticism rather than romantics. Just don't get me started on chiropractic.]

I only put this entry in because it caught my eye. If you're not expecting it, even if you're reading about the popular writer Ludwig Fulda (whose only connection with nerve-neuro-anything was that he committed suicide in despair in 1939), you start reading neur... and you expect something like Neuritis or Neurom (`neuroma'). (FWIW, neu Rom is ungrammatical, but das neue Rom is `the new Rome,' an epithet currently applied mostly to the US. ``Das neue ROM'' is the ROM update. ``Der neue Roman'' is `the new novel,' which looks a bit redundant in English. Etymologically, of course, it's something like ``the new romance.'' ``Der neue Römer'' is `the new Roman.') The initial ambiguity of the word Neuromantik reminded me of unionized, though I can't find quite as perfect a homographic situation along those lines for neur-. Of course, if you stare at even an innocent word like ``neoromantic'' for too long, that starts to look weird too -- especially if your eyes start to go and you start seeing ``necromatic,'' which looks like the worst of necromancy, necrophilia, and movie Draculas combined.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil that ``he who fights with monsters might take care that in so doing he not become a monster. And if you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes into you, also.'' [If the tenses, verb aspects, and grammatical persons seem jumbled there, don't blame me. I'm just being faithful to the original: ``Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehen, daß er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein.'']

neurotransmitter amines
Amines mediate perhaps 5% of neurotransmission, but they are the best understood or most easily studied part of the process. Known neurotransmitters include acetylcholine, dopamine (relevant to Parkinson's and schizophrenia), norepinephrine and serotonin. [The famous antidepressant or ``mood brightener'' Prozac is a serotonin-specific re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI).]

never ever

never ever ever

never ever ever ever
not that I can recall, offhand.

never ever ever ever ever
I'm ten years old. How old are you?

Never forget that...
Just take my word for it that...

A favorite locution of Nixon (RMN), along with ``Remember:'' and various trite football analogies.

Another popular rhetorical tool along these lines is the more schoolteacherish ``when you consider that...''

New Class, The
A component of the classless society. You remember the classless society: the workers' paradise. Anyway, the New Class was the class of the classless society, so to speak -- the elite. Eventually it was called the Nomenklatura. This is all in English; I have no idea what it was called in Russian.

Alright, let's get to work and take this entry to the next level. The head term was coined by the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin around 1870. You know, this would be a good place to say something about Bakunin. Nowadays, I imagine that Bokonon is better known than Bakunin, because more high-school students are required to read Kurt Vonnegut's 1963 sci-fi novel Cat's Cradle than are required to know very much about Europe, such as the fact of its existence. Vonnegut's Bokonon invents a new religion to distract the people of the island of San Lorenzo from their miserable lives. ``What is sacred to Bokononists? Not God; just one thing: man.'' I imagine there are some analogies between Bokonon and Bakunin. Eh.

The novel is about the end of the wold. Oh no, the end of the world! It turns out (for the purposes of this fiction) that at room temperature, liquid water is thermodynamically unstable -- supercooled. (That is, even though it's cooled below the true ``freezing point,'' so that a solid phase is thermodynamically more stable than the liquid phase, it's still liquid because its molecules haven't happened to jump through the microscopic metaphorical hoops necessary to make the transition.) That (fictional) thermodynamically stable solid form of water at room temperature is an allotrope of ordinary ice called ice-9. The kinetic barrier to formation of a crystal of ice-9 is so high that it hasn't happened naturally on the earth's surface yet. A scientist has created it, however, and eventually it is accidentally released into the ocean and seeds the sudden crystallization of the oceans. This isn't really a spoiler because Vonnegut tells you right at the start of the novel that the world will end and pretty much how.

As a matter of fact, water does have a number of allotropes. The usual hexagonal form stable at moderately low temperatures and ordinary pressures is called Ih in a notation introduced by P.W. Bridgman. There's another low-pressure form that is cubic, designated Ic. This form is kinetically favored at very low temperature: under the appropriate conditions, it forms more readily than ice Ih. Nevertheless, it is probably not stable. It's hard to determine. Other forms are assigned higher Roman numerals -- II, III, .... The numbers assigned to stable phases go up to about XII or XIII, as best I can recall, but exclude IX. The reason is that there is a form that was originally numbered IX (a solid form that occurred below room temperature), but which was later discovered to be metastable, so it doesn't appear on a chart of stable allotropes. (None of these solid allotropes is stable at anything like room temperature and ordinary pressure. I seem to recall that ``ice 9'' was used in another scientific context besides a water-ice allotrope, but I can't recall where.)

So there is an ice IX, but, like many of the observed phases, it is metastable: thermodynamically disfavored. The apt (or at least scientifically ironic) choice of the number nine to designate the dangerous allotrope is unlikely to be coincidence. Kurt Vonnegut had an older brother who became a physicist. Cat's Cradle, like much of Kurt Vonnegut's work one way or another, is autobiographical; the narrator of the story has an older brother who's a scientist also.

[Kurt's older brother Bernard was a well-known meteorologist who discovered that silver-iodide smoke could seed rain. See his sole-authored paper, ``The Nucleation of Ice Formation by Silver Iodide,'' Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 18, pp. 593-595 (1947). The premise of Kurt's book is a ``phase-shifted'' version of this, if you will. I also recall a paper of Bernard Vonnegut concerning the wind speed required to pluck the feathers from chickens, but I haven't tracked it down yet. The closest I can come up with is D. Keller and B. Vonnegut: ``Wind Speeds Required to Drive Straws and Splinters Into Wood,'' Journal of Applied Meteorology, vol. 15, pp. 899-901 (1976).]

Let's talk about Bakunin. Okay, I'll talk about Bakunin, you listen. Back in 1843, Richard Wagner became Kapellmeister of the Royal Opera in Dresden (patience -- we'll get to Bakunin!). Come 1848, when revolutions roiled the European continent (but failed to jump the Channel -- another of those kinetic barriers, I suppose), Wagner publicly positioned himself on the left, and that year also he met Bakunin. For various reasons, among them that it was center of the publishing industry, Saxony had a somewhat anomalous political situation in the Germanies, so revolution (and its suppression) came late there.

Dresden is the capital of Saxony. Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war there when the city was fire-bombed near the end of WWII, and he survived the firestorm in Schlachterhaus Fünf. He draws on those experiences in a book whose title is the translation of this designation: Slaughterhouse Five. See also L.T.I.

It's very hard to believe today, but Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was rarely performed in the years after his death in 1827. (All of Beethoven's late works were neglected, but the Ninth required a large number of instrumentalists and vocalists.) Wagner attended a poor performance of it in Dresden, and then in Paris in the Winter of 1839-40 he was inspired by a brilliant performance given by the Conservatoire orchestra. Partly by using cost-saving measures such as employing volunteer extras, Wagner overcame objections to the cost and staged a performance of the symphony in 1846.

In 1849, Wagner staged another performance of the Ninth Symphony. At the end of March that year, Bakunin was in the audience for the final rehearsal. (He was also at the time on the run from the police of many different countries, so attending a rehearsal rather than a public performance had advantages.) After the rehearsal, Bakunin approached Wagner and said that ``even if all music were lost in the approaching world fire, they should risk their lives for the survival of that symphony.'' (The quotation marks enclose my translation of ``...sie sollten, wenn beim nahen Weltenbrand auch alle Musik verlorenginge, für den Erhalt dieser Sinfonie ihr Leben wagen.'') As it happens, the Dresden Opera House, though not quite the whole world, burned down the following May 6.

Well, you know: Dresden, fire, and ice. It struck me as an interesting bunch of connections. Incidentally, the verb wagen, which I translated as `risk' above, is etymologically unrelated to the English word wager (from Anglo-French). Instead, that noun is related by a torturous route that I won't trace to the noun Wagen, which is cognate with the English wagon. (Cf. the VW entry and footnote 31.) The surname Wagner means carter or wagon-maker.

Wagner took part in the Dresden uprising in May, and when it was put down he narrowly escaped arrest with the help of Franz Liszt. He went into exile, spending a few years in Zurich, Switzerland. (He was amnestied in 1862.)

Gee, I almost forgot about the New Class. Bakunin coined the term and used it with something close enough to its current meaning. This is moderately impressive, considering that no Marxist revolution had ever yet taken place to provide empirical evidence. (Though frankly, 1789, 1830, and 1848 provided some good clues to 1917.) (I ain't talkin' Sudoku here, BTW.) Look, I don't really know anything about this. Let me quote some experts, such as Lawrence Peter King and Iván Szelényi, authors of The New Class: Intellectuals and Power (U. Minn. Pr., 2004). At some places, this book looks like a bad translation from the German, so it must be really well-researched. King and Szelényi write on page vii (you didn't expect me to delve deep into the actual text, did you?):

Bakunin accused Marx of advancing a theory that was actually a project by the intelligentsia to exploit the working-class movement. By pretending to represent working-class interests, intellectuals sought to establish themselves as a new dominant class after the fall of capitalism and the propertied bourgeoisie. History did not follow Bakunin's forecast: while intellectuals in the first Marxist-inspired revolution, the Russian Revolution of 1917, did play a formidable role, soon after their victory not only were they squeezed out of power positions by the Stalinist bureaucracies, but many of them perished in the Gulag.

But though he foresaw to some degree that socialism on Marxist principles would be dictatorship by a new elite, Bakunin was not the person directly responsible for the vogue this term eventually had in the 1950's and 60's. That vogue stemmed from a book entitled The New Class by the Yugoslav communist Milovan Djilas.

In his memoir Life in Dark Ages, Ernst Pawel mourned ``the loss of an entire generation of potential [Yugoslavian] leaders'' during WWII. Writing around 1993, as Yugoslavia was breaking up and Bosnians were being used for target practice, he speculated that this loss ``contributed much more decisively to the current crisis than those hoary `primitive tribal hatreds' reflexively invoked by pompous pundits simulating omniscience.'' (Despite this mocking stance, Pawel makes clear throughout the book that primitive tribal hatreds were very real and could readily become violent.) He continues:

   Perhaps the most representative figure of this truly lost generation is Milovan Djilas, now at eighty-two an unhappy and powerless but still keen observer of the political scene. Born in Montenegro--his ``land without Justice''--in 1911 and already a dedicated Communist in high school, he came to Belgrade in 1929, enrolled in the liberal arts faculty of the university and soon gained the reputation of a charismatic firebrand. In 1933 he was arrested, brutally tortured and sentenced to three years in the Sremska Mitrovitsa penitentiary, which at the time already hosted the elite of the Communist party. On his release he was elected to the party's clandestine Central Committee and became its most notoriously doctrinaire member, the Saint-Just of the proletarian revolution. During the years of Partisan warfare he was Tito's chief lieutenant; after the victory he became Tito's vice president and most likely successor, indisputably the second most powerful man in postwar Yugoslavia.

(Some paragraphs following this seem to be poorly researched or at best interpretively phrased, so I'll free-hand from here.) In the early 1950's, after the break between Tito and Stalin, Djilas started publishing articles demanding reform of the party and the government. This was especially easy for him to do because propaganda was part of his portfolio. Generally speaking, this is called ``giving a man enough rope to hang himself.'' He created a journal called Nova Misao (`New Thought'), in which his own articles were increasingly unorthodox. His criticisms, particularly in a series of articles for the journal Borba from October 1953 to January 1954, led that January to his expulsion from the government and removal from all party positions. He later resigned from the party, though he always continued to regard himself as a communist. He also got a chance to experience how Sremska Mitrovitsa was operated under the new regime.

I should probably say a bit more here about the ideas of Djilas on The New Class, but given the odds against your having read down to this point, I'll just stop abruptly.

New Criticism
A movement or tendency in literary criticism, dominant beginning in the 1930's. (Doesn't sound so ``New'' anymore, eh?) The movement is rather loosely defined -- so loosely, in fact, that there are essentially two loose definitions: broadly loosely defined, and narrowly loosely defined, or vice versa. (It's a good thing you came here for an explanation, because no self-respecting reference work would dare to confuse you with the truth.)

Narrowly defined, the New Criticism was a movement in American literary criticism, dominant in the 1930's and 40's. The core group of New Critics labored in the American hinterlands, influenced by T.S. Eliot, I.A. Richards, William Empson and others on the East Coast and in England. (Don't ask ``what others?'' -- I'm typing just as fast as I'm finding out.) Broadly defined, the New Criticism was a movement in Anglophone literary criticism that included many of the ``influences'' on the narrow group, and was dominant from the 1930's to the 1960's. I'm focusing first on the narrowly defined group because that's how I happened to start out.

The movement got its name from the title (The New Criticism) that John Crowe Ransom used for a major essay on poetry, published in the journal New Directions in 1941. It seems everything was New.

Ransom's title reveals a reliable feature of New Critics: they focused their studies narrowly on poetry. It could be hard to tell whether they viewed poetry simply as paradigmatic, or simply forgot other forms of art literature altogether. This prejudice was not unique to the New Critics, but common to many of the critical approaches to literature that arose around that time in Anglophone academe. Richards's Practical Criticism is a parallel example: only a few sentences into the preface does IAR indicate, in passing, that the literature whose criticism is discussed in the book is all poetry. (By the 1960's, the pendulum had swung to the opposite extreme. As the celebrated charlatan Jacques Derrida would write in De la grammatologie in 1967, ``Il n'y a pas de hors-texte.'' This is typically translated `There is nothing outside the text. N'ya-n'ya.' By implication, everything is a text, and equally worthy of being misunderstood by academic critics. On the other side, we should note that Derrida's rhetorical stance amounted to the claim that there was nothing inside the text either, since it could be twisted to mean anything and hence nothing. Incidentally, ``de la grammatologie,'' can be translated `all about grandmother.' Also, when I say that Jacques wrote this in ``De la grammatologie,'' I don't mean as a marginal comment or graffito or anything: I mean it was part of the text -- it had to be, after all. Page 227, to be precise.)

Some of the most important New Critics were

In case you were wondering, they're listed in diminishing order of how long they lived. Looks like lit professor ain't a bad gig.

(Working, working. Don't complain that the content is incomplete. The content is always incomplete. Rejoice -- yes, I think rejoice is the opposite of intransitive complain -- that I'm rushing out all this content before it's all polished and shit, and at the risk of great personal embarrassment, just so you can have another source to plagiarize your term paper from.)

New Democrats

Network-Extensible Window System. A PostScript-based window system from Sun.

Pronounced by some with two syllables (e.g., neewis) to distinguish it from Usenet news[groups].

The meaning of this word is no news to you. I just want to point out that the word new has been used as a noun since at least the time of King Alfred. The use of the plural in the sense of novelties, and later in the current common sense of reports of events, arose in the 13th or 14th century, apparently under the influence of the parallel Middle French nouvelles or perhaps the Latin nova. News and words with similar meaning and construction are very natural developments from adjectives like new, and similar developments have occurred independently in Dutch and Arabic.

At the time that the word news arose in English, most people were illiterate and acronyms were rare. The story about the word news being an acronym of ``North East West South'' is untenable, a coincidence that works only in English, and in fact silly.

Here is a short, somewhat idiosyncratic list of online news organizations or sources:

USENET newsgroup, q.v., or a similar electronic forum.

It's funny how certain ideas seem to be in the air at some times, for no evident reason. Then again it might be coincidence. In January 2006, the death of the newspaper was again on the collective editorial mind. That month's issue of Commentary had a piece by Joseph Epstein entitled ``Are Newspapers Doomed?'' (He doesn't quite answer the title question explicitly, but he seems to think the answer is yes.)

On January 7, Michael Kinsley had a light-heartedly pessimistic ``Op-Ed'' column on the same topic in the Washington Post. (Op-Ed in scare quotes because I don't consider a column an Op-Ed if it's by someone on the editorial staff of the newspaper whose ``Op-Ed'' page it appears on.)

Here's an example of probably nonlinear extrapolation from that article:

The trouble even an established customer will take to obtain a newspaper continues to shrink, as well. Once, I would drive across town if necessary. Today, I open the front door and if the paper isn't within about 10 feet I retreat to my computer and read it online. Only six months ago, that figure was 20 feet. Extrapolating, they will have to bring it to me in bed by the end of the year and read it to me out loud by the second quarter of 2007.

new tenure
Term for post-tenure review (PTR, q.v.), to distinguish it from ``continuing tenure,'' the good old days.

New Wave economist
An economist (i.e., an entrail reader who specializes in economic sooth-saying) who believes that ``we have finally managed to tame the business cycle, and [that] big booms followed by equally big busts are history'' in pretty much those words. New Wave economists refer to the bad old days before the taming of the economic cycle as the Old Wave world. Edward Yardeni, a New Wave economist, coined the wave terminology back in the late 1980's, before the economic slow-down that began in 1988 or 1989. During the 1990's, the number of New Wavers (or whatever they came to be called) grew steadily. It's bound to grow again dramatically once the 2002 or 2003 recovery gets some traction.

The previous group of economists who believed that the business cycle could be tamed (but believed this for the wrong reasons, as we now all realize) were the Keynesians (the followers of John Maynard Keynes). Keynesians believed that the economy could be fine-tuned by fiscal policy -- deficit-based government spending to increase in bad times and decrease in good times. Okay, in very good times. In very, very good times. Eventually, anyway. When Nixon announced that he was a Keynesian, you had to know the jig was up. Today we believe in monetary policy.

In Euroland, they believe in everything -- fiscal policy, monetary policy, and fairies. When the French and German economies stall, the French and German governments rack up big deficits (fiscal policy). They don't play games with the currency, because that's controlled by the European Central Bank (ECB) in order to assure stable growth (monetary policy). Before they could join the the euro, countries had to demonstrate the fiscal discipline that would allow a common currency to work, by meeting certain ``convergence criteria.'' In order to make sure that countries continued to exercise fiscal discipline after they joined, penalties are imposed on a country that fails to keep its budget deficit in check (fairies).

New Year
I almost admire people my own age (early geezerhood) who can manage to get excited about this ``event.''

New Year's resolutions
The trouble with New Year's resolutions is that people too often choose only unattainable goals. It's important to include some more modest resolutions, resolve to do things you were going to do anyway, or not start doing things that you weren't going to do. These are confidence-builders. They make it possible to say that you kept at least some of your resolutions. For example, in 2003 I plan not to smoke in the shower, and to lose weight overnight, every night. Also: no shelling hazelnuts with a fish-scaling knife. (Not that anybody would be fool enough to try that. On second thought, see 419.) Also: always have plenty of band-aids in the bathroom cabinet.

Okay, now: let's build on these successes with a more challenging resolution. When I'm striding at a healthy but unhurried pace toward a door ten yards away, and some jerk decides to hold it open for me, I will not rush appreciatively to minimize the time he or she stands there holding it. Instead, I will immediately slow down and grab my hip, and start limping in obvious pain. They want to do a good turn, let 'em put in the hard time. Give 'em value-for-money: do the whole steppinfetchit routine. (And if they grab my elbow to help me along, I'll whack'em with my pocketbook. Must remember to pre-deploy brick.)

Stepin Fetchit used to say about his stage act (not his demeaning turns in the movies) that just getting to center stage was half the act.

Also, if you do decide to resolve to lose weight in the new year, resolve big. Failing to lose five pounds is embarrassing. For the same amount of effort, you can fail to lose fifty pounds, which is heroic.

Somewhere in the glossary I have a list of good ideas. When I find it, I'll place a link to it from here. Until I do, I'll mention here that it's a bad idea to go shopping in a supermarket (Meijers) or hardware store (Menards) wearing a red polo shirt, unless you want to have lots of short conversations with strangers.

In early 2006, there seems to be a greater number than usual of stories in the media about people crowding the gyms on account of their resolutions to get in shape. Some of it is seasonal: Men's Fitness magazine has a smattering of articles on things like adjusting your routine to deal with January crowding, and on designing a home gym, since this is the month you're likeliest to decide to do it. Both stories are in the February 2006 issue (``display until January 31'') also eventually mentioned at the mirrors entry.

The Observer, student newspaper for Notre Dame and Saint Mary's, had a front-page article on January 19 entitled ``Campus gyms see new year influx,'' with slugline ``Motivated exercisers flock to the Rock, Rolfs at spring semester's outset.'' The Rock (nickname for the Rockne Memorial Building, named for legendary chemistry professor Knute Rockne) and Rolfs Sports Recreation Center (named after a donor, I think) are said to be experiencing a flood of ``resolution-makers and fitness faithful.'' (It's a Catholic school, but the Church gave evolutionary theory a general nihil obstat in the 1950's or 60's). The director of RecSports reports that the first 6 to 8 weeks of the Spring semester are the busiest time of the year.

Near-Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure. A spectroscopy used to determine the orientation of molecular adsorbates on single-crystal surfaces.

NEXt GENeration. A reasonable adjective but a bad name, because on deployment, it becomes the CurGen. Cf. A (for Advanced).

From ``NEXt GENeration.'' A maker of Intel clones until January 16, 1996, when it was absorbed by AMD in a stock swap. NexGen had been the first out with a Pentium clone, but they spent 1995 in red ink.

NexGen was supposed to continue as a wholly-owned subsidiary, but I don't know what kind of distinct existence it maintained. What would have been their Nx686 was marketed as the AMD-K6, next generation in AMD's Superscalar uP series. As it happens, at midyear 1997, AMD reported that it would not be able to meet K6 production targets, not long after engineers had told stock analysts that ``yields had been all that they had hoped for'' (as reported in the 8 Sept. 1997 issue of Semiconductor Business News). [column] Studying the Delphic oracles would have taught the ``analysts'' how to interpret such an ambiguous report.

I'm not sure if it's the same company, but a NexGen with the same URL is now (2004) in the consumer electronics retail business and also offers related services.

NexGen MWS
NEXt GENeration Missile Warning System. According to a pre-award solicitation notice released May 23, 2004, NexGen AWS is a joint project between the Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) joint program office managed by Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the Air Force's Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) program office (US government agencies).

NEXt-generation (Doppler) RADar for weather surveillance. Also called WSR-88D.

This interesting page from the US National Weather Service gives a contemptibly foolish explanation of Doppler radar, if you realize that the word ``phase'' is not a synonym of ``frequency.'' (I.e., if you remember high-school physics.) [It is possible to measure the phase shift of a scattering wave, if there is no frequency shift. That is essentially what a hologram does.]

Near-End CROSSTalk. Cf. FEXT, vide crosstalk.

next number in the series
There are infinitely many fairly simple series with a run of initial zeroes of any length you choose. For example, the series whose nth term is (n-1)(n-2)(n-3) has terms 0, 0, 0, 6 (starting at n=1).

I have more to say, but it's also obvious.

ne 1, ne1
Chatese for anyone.

Cf. qq1.


National Fine. One of two US standards (the other is NC) for screw dimensions.

National (US) Formulary.


NewFoundland. NF used to be the postal abbreviation for the Canadian province of Newfoundland. After the province name was officially changed to Newfoundland and Labrador (italics not required), and at the request of the provincial government, the postal abbreviation (technically ``postal symbol'') was changed to NL.

Newfoundland and Labrador is not (and was not) one of the ``Maritime Provinces.'' Not even two of the ``Maritime Provinces.'' You have three guesses left. (Warning! Spoiler information at the entries for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.)

The provincial capital is St. John's. Let's petitition some government to make St. John's's the official possessive form of St. John's. I have no position on whether St. John's should be alphabetized among the SA's or the ST's. On May 29, 2002, the Board of Regents of Memorial University of Newfoundland, in St. John's, recommended to the provincial government that the name of the university be shortened to Memorial University, but as of 2004 I haven't noticed any change in usage. Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec are Canada's two easternmost provinces. Don't people think these things through in advance?

There isn't enough humor in this glossary, so I'll repeat here something that made me laugh at an (I hope) not-entirely-serious page.

A determined contingent of Newfies, thickly muscled from pushing houses down dirt roads to kickstart their furnaces, heavily fueled their boats and quietly embarked upon a vacation.

(Yeah, there was more, but that was the funniest part.)

New Furnace. An abbreviation in real estate listings. There's a more interesting mention of furnaces in the preceding NF entry.

No Feet (on PEZ dispenser). Term of art among Pezheads. See relevant entry from the local copy of Chris Sharpe's unofficial PEZ FAQ.

Noise Figure.

NonFiction. On May 7, 2000, I checked out the USA Today best-seller lists based on a sales survey (this is immunized against volume orders). Of the top sellers (hardback and paper together), 19 of the top 50, 18 of the next 50, and 19 of the following 50 (i.e., ranked 101-150) were nonfiction.

If I had to guess, I'd say that 38% of book sales by volume are nonfiction.

Barnes and Noble, which used to discount books on the New York Times best-seller lists, now makes up its own best-seller lists as well, and also mixes fiction and nonfiction. Does this trend away from a fiction-nonfiction distinction signal the approaching collapse of the commitment to truth and civilization, or does it herald the dawn of a more nuanced and mature understanding of the radical ambiguity of language?

(Domain name code for) Norfolk Island.

National Forensic Association . Sponsors of the oldest national (US) open individual events tournament for colleges and universities. Their championship tournament is held each spring.'' Affiliated with the AFA. There are other debating entries in this glossary.

No Further Action.

National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Based in artsy Miami, Florida. Founded in 1981 as a nonprofit arts organization. (This was a good move, because the arts aren't very profitable for most performers.) See ARTS.

National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services.

You know, abstracting can be done well or badly. Chemical Abstracts is done much better than Physics Abstracts, and they are correspondingly much more heavily used (and more expensive). This isn't just my opinion, you know, this is my professional second opinion. Of course, the situations are not simply comparable. It is rather harder to organize physics abstracts than chemistry abstracts, because chemistry papers can always ultimately be categorized by the substances they study, and there is no comparable principle for physics papers. Also, there are many more chemists and chemical engineers than there are physicists.

National Federation for the Blind. ``Founded in 1940,'' it ``is the [US's] largest and most influential membership organization of blind persons. With fifty thousand members, the NFB has affiliates in all fifty states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and over seven hundred local chapters. As a consumer and advocacy organization, the NFB is considered the leading force in the blindness field today.''

North Fiji Basin.

[Football icon]

National Football Conference. One of two subdivisions of the NFL.

Near-Field Communication. A comm technology standard for contactless-card technologies, for starters.

National Football Conference Youth Ministry. Wait-- that's not it. Let me look this up. Okay, it's the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. That's not so easy to parse, when you think of it.

(UK) National Foundation for Education Research.

National (Australian) Framework for Education and Training Arrangements for Rural Health Services. Sounds vaguely nefarious.

National Football Foundation. A US organization that runs the College Football Hall of Fame. For many years the Hall was located in downtown South Bend, Indiana, a couple of miles southwest of the University of Notre Dame. I recall reading news reports from time to time that the Hall wasn't doing very well financially, and was considering gracing some other city. Late on Tuesday, September 22, 2009, reliable reports surfaced (since confirmed) that the Hall would move to Atlanta. You've heard of Atlanta? They have a great college football tradition? Oh well, Cooperstown never had a great baseball tradition, apart from its HoF.

The College Football Hall of Famewill be moved from South Bend to a site across from Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, on a piece of land to be donated by the Cathy family, founders of Atlanta-based Chic-fil-A.

No Failures Found. Designation of components returned from the field and reported defective, which subsequently appeared to operate correctly in the laboratory. Generally synonymous with CND, NDF, NTF.


A gravestone witticism so popular that it was even given in abbreviation: Non Fui Fui Non Sum Non Curo. Latin for `I did not exist; I existed; I do not exist; I don't care.' Learn more from Lattimore: Themes in Greek and Latin Epitaphs, p. 85.

North Fiji Fracture Zone.

National Federation of Independent Business. A US group that has registered a trademark on ``the voice of small business.''

Niagara Frontier Industry Education Council.

National Foundation for Jewish Culture.

[Football icon]

National Football League. (There's also an ESPN site.) Governing body of US football; formed from the merger of the NFC and the upstart competitor AFC. As the individual teams in different ``leagues'' of professional baseball now do, the individual football teams play regular-season games against teams both in and out of their own conference. There is a playoff system with separate playoffs for AFC and NFC, and a final round called the Super Bowl, designated by roman numerals and celebrated with virgin sacrifices, between the AFC and NFC champions. After two weeks of intense hype, the game is usually an anticlimax won by the NFC.

Jersey number ranges in the NFL:

Quarterbacks, kickers, and punters.
Running backs and defensive backs.
Receivers and tight ends.
Linebackers and defensive linemen.
The rules are bent as necessary, if the numbers in some category are exhausted.

In 1991, Cecil Adams answered a question regarding evolution in man. Here is some of the answer (the full answer is at The Straight Dope):

As for whether our genes are accurately reproduced, you silly goose, the genes always accurately reproduce. Except sometimes. On the latter occasions one of several things results: one, monsters-- that is, grossly malformed babies resulting from a genetic mistake. Years ago most monsters died, but now many can be saved. This has made possible the National Football League. ...

(US) National Foreign Language Center. At Johns Hopkins University.

[Football icon]

NewFoundLanD. An abbreviation what people used before The Great Punctuation Shortage Cf NF

[Football icon]

National Football League Players Association.

The National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, Inc.

[Football icon]

National Football League Referees Association. The referees' union. At the time of the lock-out of 2012, there were 121 of them, but the contract (that as of this writing appears likely to be) approved to end that mess includes provisions for an unspecified number (but say 20) of additional zebras ``for training and development purposes.''

National (US) Foreign Language Resource Centers.

No First Name.

Teller, of the famous Penn and Teller comedic magic act, was born Raymond Joseph Teller (on St. Valentine's Day 1948). He legally changed his name to Teller. On his driver's licence, NFN appears in the space for his first name.

Near-Field Optics. The ``International Conference on Near Field Optics, Nanophotonics and Related Techniques'' is also abbreviated NFO.

Near-Field Optical Microscopy. Definitely see NSOM.

NonFarm Payroll. The ``NFP number'' that economists refer to is the ``nonfarm payroll employment'' figure reported monthly by the US BLS.

Not For Profit (organization). Sometimes known as a 501 (c) 3 organization, after the relevant section of tax law.

National Fire Protection Association.

National (US) Flat-Panel Display Initiative (DoD-funded).

(US) National Film Preservation Foundation.

Nueva Fuerza Republicana. Spanish: `New Republican Force,' a Bolivian political party founded in 1994 by retired army captain Cochabamba Manfred Reyes Villa.

New FRoM. Equivalent to the command

% frm -s new

That is, returns data only for email messages with status ``new.''

Network File System. A scheme to share files in storage media physically controlled by one machine (the NFS server) among different machines. Originally designed by Sun for use in LAN's. Scheme is perhaps overtaxed as presently used. Maybe AFS is better. Maybe we just need 100× our current bandwidth.

National Federation for Specialty Nursing Organizations. According to its homepage, it's ``an organization comprised of 35 specialty nursing organizations representing the interests of approximately 400,000 individual specialty nurses.''

Let's try that again, shall we?

It is composed of 35 specialty nursing organizations.

Therefore, it comprises 35 specialty nursing organizations.

There, now: that wasn't so bad, now was it? Gooood.

Based in Pitman, New Jersey.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Buses in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY. Light rail from downtown to the Main Street campus of UB. Operates Buffalo International Airport, which is thoughtfully situated just on the northern edge of the snow belt.

NelFinaVir. A protease inhibitor used in the treatment of AIDS.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

National Geographic. A magazine and a TV channel.

NG, ng
(Usenet) NewsGroup.

There are three common nasal consonants represented by individual characters in the IPA. The two that are obvious to an English-speaker are en and em, represented /n/ and /m/ (or by [n] and [m], if you're into that sort of distinction). The third is the ng sound. If you really need to have this sound explained, then I probably can't help you. I will point out that the articulation of ng is similar to that of n, but with the back of the tongue raised against the back of the palate, instead of the tip of the tongue against the front.

In the IPA the ng sound is represented by a non-ASCII symbol that looks like a lower-case n, but with the second stroke extended below the line like the descender of a letter j. On the other hand, most languages that have the sound and which use an alphabet script avoid using a separate symbol for it. The earliest instance of this situation is probably Greek. In Greek, two successive gammas (not a digamma!) represent the ng sound. Thus for example, our word angel comes from the Greek word spelled ággelos (`messenger'). The Greeks further recognized that the nasal consonant preceding kappa (unvoiced version of gamma) and chi (aspirated version of kappa) was also sometimes an ng, and represented these by an extention of the double-gamma representation: gamma-kappa represented the consonant pair that occurs in most native English-speakers pronunciation of think, and gamma-chi the nasal sound in a typical reporter's pronunciation of ``Nkomo,'' perhaps. A more native example of the gamma-chi sound which works for some Anglophones is income, since most speakers aspirate the c, but for some the n is just /n/. (And in case you're wondering, Greek didn't have an aspirated gamma sound. I should also note that the chi pronunciation I refer to is the Classical Greek. On the Italian peninsula, the chi was eventually pronounced /ks/, and became our letter ex.)

[Note that throughout this entry, by ``g sound'' I mean what is usually called a ``hard gee'' (not a ``soft'' or ``sweet gee''); in other words, the consonant in the word go.] An ng sound arises naturally from a kind of slurring-together of n with g or k: Since g and k stop consonants are articulated at the back of the mouth, it is less effort to pronounce an ng than an n before the stop. The income example above is an example of this, though English spelling doesn't show it. That is, in + come --> income represents an instance of n + k --> (ng)k. Greek spelling makes this change more visible. For example, the name pancreas was constructed from Greek pan + kréas, `all flesh.' The many compounds that include a pan prefix usually use a Greek letter nu, but pancreas is written págkreas.

The Greek practice of writing gamma-kappa for what we represent by ``nk'' works so long as there are no words that actually have a g-k consonant cluster (like rug-cutter). If there were such words, they were probably rare.

It goes without saying that English spelling does not have a general rule for indicating the n/ng distinction. As usual some general patterns hold imperfectly. In particular, a final nk or ng is fairly certain to imply the presence of an ng. Also, when the letter en precedes a k or g sound (uncle, anger, ankle, banquet, anxious, etc.), it usually indicates an ng, although dialects differ, and not entirely systematically. It is important to observe, however, that ``ng'' may or may not indicate the presence of the stop consonant. For example, ringer and ringlet have no g sound, but Ringo, ingot, and English do. (The difference is noticeable in the German word English, which has no g sound.)

(As a sidelight on the Greek double-gamma practice: in the Korean Hangul script, two g's together represent a harder gee sound, something conceived as lying between /g/ and /k/, even though that is really a voicing difference.)

(Domain name code for) Nigeria. The oil dictatorship and former British colony. Not to be confused with landlocked Niger (.ne).

Nigeria.com says it's ``the premier Nigerian website on the Internet.''

No Good.

[Football icon]

Nose Guard. A defensive position in American football. Faces the Center (C), who as I have noted, takes an offensive position.

National Governors' Association.

National Grocers Association.

New Generation Air Traffic Manager. Is that, like, new since Reagan fired all the controllers who went on strike back in 1981?

National Governing Body. Typically refers to an organization, like USATF (track and field) or USAV (volleyball), that administers competition in an amateur sport.

Nice Guy, But ...

In Beast of Burden (off the 1978 Some Girls album; lyrics written with Keith Richards), Mick Jagger sang

There's one thing, baby, I don't understand:
You keep on telling me I ain't your kind of man --
Ain't I rough enough?
Ain't I tough enough?
Ain't I rich enough?

(It's so nice Mick didn't lose touch with his ordinary-guy roots.)

New Graduate College. New wing of the Graduate College, the residential college (local name for a dorm) at Princeton University. There's a semi-abstract statue of a reclining fertility goddess up by the 3000 entries, done in tea-kettle black-enamel on cast iron. When someone put a bra on it, it suddenly looked quite obscene. Elsewhere there's a structure of the sort that Buckminster Fuller called a tensegrity -- a structure held together "by tension forces only." More precisely, it's a structure composed of tubes that do not contact each other, but held rigid by wires ("you can't push a rope," the saying goes). The one at the NGC is made of nearly stainless steel.

Cf. OGC.

New General Catalog. Of stellar objects. Look here for images.

Numismatic Guarantee Corporation.

NGC 6543
The Cat's Eye Nebula.

Neural-Glial Cell Adhesion Molecule (CAM). Part of the Immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily.

Next Generation Digital Loop Carrier.

Non-Governmental Development Organization. A subcategory of NGO, q.v.


National Greek Exam. (Classical Greek -- mostly Homeric and Attic; see Greek entry for clarification.) Sponsored by the American Classical League (ACL) and the Junior Classical League (JCL). Primarily for high school students in the US and Canada. Not a requirement for admission to anyplace I've heard of, just an academic competition. There are other exams sponsored by the same organizations, in Latin (NLE) and mythology.

(UK) National Grid For Learning. A ``... portal [that] brings together a vast and growing collection of sites that support education and lifelong learning.'' It's in the gov.uk subdomain, so it's government-sponsored. What does that mean anymore? Here it means that the vast and growing is selected preferentially from the .uk domain.

Next Generation Internet. Wait up! Wait for me! I'm almost caught up to the Previous Generation Internet!

Next Generation Network.

Non-Governmental Organization. A civic or public advocacy organization.

Refers to any of the charitable and not-so-charitable organizations which volunteer their real or imagined expertise to the public and the public's governments. It also refers to organizations, some of them the same, which generate, transfer, or administer humanitarian and other aid. E.g.: Greenpeace, The Tobacco Council, NOW, ... NGO's are a twentieth-century realization of the Platonic ideal of government proposed in his Republic. Their variety and disagreements raise an issue not much considered by Plato: in the day of the philosopher-kings, which shall be the king's philosophy? The scientific take on this question -- the way science keeps itself honest and on-track -- is: ``how will you measure it''? The sociological terminology is: ``how do you operationalize it''? The political form is: ``who counts the votes''? Luis Alvarez once said:

There is no democracy in physics. We can't say that some second-rate guy has as much right to an opinion as Fermi.

The term NGO also refers to organizations, some of them the same, which generate, transfer, or administer humanitarian and other aid, such as MSF and ICRC.

Spanish for NGO is ONG.

Generally speaking, NGO's are organized as nonprofit corporations, so they are also NPO's. The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at CWRU offers Master of Nonprofit Organizations (the ``MNO'' -- sounds a bit too alphabetic) and Executive Director of Management degrees, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management (this really doesn't sound so good). If they're so good at this nonprofit management stuff, why do they have to charge tuition?

Related acronyms (mostly for subcategories of the generic NGO):

(Japanese) National Grassland Research Institute. I was surprised to learn Japan had grassland. Oh, no wait: a usually reliable source says it doesn't, and NGRI's mission is to figure out how to get Japan some grassland. Hmmm, this is sounding ominous. And everyone was wondering why that dynamic new prime minister is putting so much political capital into removing the constitutional restrictions on Japan's military...

Narrow Gap Semiconductors and Systems. It ``is the main conference in the field of Narrow Gap Semiconductors including low dimensional carbon systems such as carbon nano-tube and graphene. It is held every two years with around 150 attendees.''

Non-Gonococcal Urethritis. Inflammation of the urethra not caused by gonorrhea infection. Term often refers to urethritis similar to that caused by gonorrhea but caused by Chlamydia trachomatis and occurring as a common early symptom of chlamydia among males.

The monetary unit of Bhutan, introduced in 1974 and pegged since then to be equal in value to one Indian rupee. In other words, it's worth about two cents of an EU euro or a US dollar, but it's worth 11 points in Scrabble® (all three major dictionaries).

Natural Gas Vehicle. See IANGV.

Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Partnership.

One one-hundredth of a kwacha (ZMK), the official currency of Zambia. As of early 2006, 1 ZMK is itself worth less than one thirtieth of a US penny, but the ngwee has held steady at a value of 9 Scrabble® points (it's in all three major dictionaries). Ngwee is also the plural form. Or perhaps the singular has never been observed.

N.H., NH
New Hampshire. USPS abbreviation.

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

Northern Hemisphere. Climatological usage.

National Humanities Alliance. ``...was created to unify public interest in support of federal programs in the humanities. The Alliance is the only organization that represents the humanities as a whole -- scholarly and professional associations; organizations of museums, libraries, historical societies, higher education, and state humanities councils; university and independent centers for scholarship and other organizations concerned with national humanities policies. The Alliance is strictly nonpartisan.

The NHA homepage was first webpage that I noticed had an extra &nbsp; at the end of each sentence to assure proper spacing!

Cf. Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), corresponding advocacy organization for social whutzits.

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Necesidades Humanas Básicas. Spanish, `basic human needs.' This would be a great initialism for texting. It's already used in academic economic literature.

National Hurricane Center. Part of the National Weather Service of the US.

National Hurricane Center / Tropical Prediction Center. Seems to be the same as the NHC.

National History Day. National History Day is not a national history day. It's not even a today-in-US-history site. It's usually a bad sign when an organization chooses a misleading name and then offers to enlighten you. It's the intellectual equivalent of a protection racket (but see the Ulam quote at the abacus entry).

``National History Day is not just one day, but a yearlong education program that makes history come alive through educator professional development and active student learning.'' NHD is an educrat's idea of a useful site. Its main feature is that you get to see a lot of webpages that are refreshingly free of unfamiliar information before you have to face any page containing historical stuff. Its principal sponsor is The WWII Channel.

National Health Law Program.

National Human Genome Research Institute. Part of the US NIH.

New Hampshire Humanities Council. It's ``a private non-profit organization that strengthens New Hampshire by providing free public humanities programs in its communities.''

Native Health History Database. Sponsored by UNM, just like NHRD, q.v.

New Hampshire Historical Society. Founded in 1823, it's ``an independent, nonprofit organization which receives no operating support from the State of New Hampshire.''

Nippon Hosou Kyokai. `Japan Broadcasting Corporation.'

National Historic Landmark.

National Hockey League. There's also an ESPNet site. Hockey is like bear-baiting on ice-skates, but with some other animal.

National here means, or certainly at least originally meant, Canadian. In fact, although a majority of the teams play in the US, a majority of the players are still Canadian, despite the influx of Russians.

One little-appreciated unfortunate consequence of hockey is Tim Hortons coffee. There's no justice: a lockout by the owners cancelled the entire 2004-5 season, but Tim Hortons coffee poured on. (Tim Horton was a hockey player. There was only one of him and his last name was spelled without an ess.)

Amazingly, the most successful hockey players move efficiently and spend much of their time not attacking other players. Fortunately, these facts have not been widely noted. Hockey is regularly touted as a down-to-earth sport played by regular blue-collar sorts of guys. (Senator John Kerry did inestimable damage -- I can't estimate it, can you? -- to the sport's reputation during the 2004 presidential primary campaign in New Hampshire, when he put on skates and a Bruins jersey and played a scratch game with some firemen.) I think that ``regular guys'' are people who go to the race track in hopes of seeing a gruesome accident. On the other hand, my friend Paul ate with the Canucks one day because they were staying at the same Toronto hotel as he was. But that was back when the average NHL player earned under a million dollars. (In 2003, the average NHL player earned 1.79 million USD.)

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The other general class of lymphoma is simply called Hodgkin's disease.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of NIH). See also the Fedworld entry for NHLBI.

National Hockey League (NHL) Players' Association.

National (US) Historic Preservation Act.

National (US) Health Policy Forum.

Non-Homogeneous Poisson Process.

New Hampshire Public Radio.

National Housewives' Register. Old name of National Women's Register.

National Hot Rod Association. A drag-racing association. Vide goracing.com, VROOM!

Native Health Research Database. ``Native'' here means ``Native American.'' For precision: ``American Indian, Alaska Native, [AI/AN] and Canadian First Nations populations.'' Sponsored by UNM, just like NHHD.

Next Hop Resolution Protocol. (Serious entry; not a Warner Brothers joke.)

(UK) National Health Service.

(US) National Highway System. Evidently, system does not imply systematic. The different expansions assigned to NHS in the US and in the UK seem to reflect a difference in national priorities.

National Honor Society. ``The National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are the nation's premier organizations established to recognize outstanding high school and middle level students. More than just an honor roll, NHS and NJHS serve to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character (and Citizenship for NJHS). These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since their beginnings in 1921 and 1929.''
``... NHS and NJHS chapters are found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. Territories, and Canada.''

(US) National Head Start Association.

(US) National High School Association. ``[A]n inclusive organization committed to facilitating improvement in student learning and educational practices. Our purpose is to provide opportunities for professional growth and dialogue among high school educators and other advocates of quality education.''

National Health Service Corps.

National Highway Traffic Safety Admministration.

New Hampshire Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

NonHazardous Waste.

Network Interface.


Name in Modern Greek and some other languages (e.g. Serbian and Croatian) of the Greek letter nu (It resembles an italic vee). Pronounced like that word that cannot be heard, pronounced by the garden-loving knights of Monty Python. (In case you're some kind of cultural illiterate, that means it's pronounced like English knee.)

A good rule of thumb, if you're trying to guess the modern pronunciation of an ancient Greek word, is to change all the vowels to a long ee (/i:/ in IPA). This is called ioticism.

Hi -- it's ni again. Many languages seem to have ``neither ... nor'' constructions. German, like English, couples different words in the construct: ``weder ... noch.'' Spanish uses the same word: ``ni ... ni.''

(Domain name code for) Nicaragua. If you like variety in your disasters, it's hard to beat dictatorship, war of liberation, communists, Contra war, earthquake, hurricane.

Chemical element abbreviation for NIckel, a light, ferromagnetic transition metal. Period 4, atomic number 28. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Nickel has an interesting rôle in the formation of contacts to GaAs. A eutectic alloy of gold and germanium (at a surprisingly low 12% Ge) can make a good contact at a point, but it tends to bead on the GaAs surface. In practice, one makes a Gold-Germanium-Nickel contact: starting from the semiconductor surface, one deposits a layer of germanium (say a micron), a layer of gold of about equal thickness, and a layer of Nickel. When the temperature is raised above the melting point of the AuGe eutectic, gold and germanium mix, by forming a melt beginning at their common interface. The liquid AuGe mix, however, does not bead, presumably because it wets the Ni surface. The small concentration of nickel dissolved into the gold-germnanium melt apparently also improves the ohmic contact.

The oldest ancient iron artifacts found in Egypt have high nickel content, apparently because they were made from meteorites found on the ground, rather than from mined iron ore.

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

Lower Saxony is the second-largest state, with an area of 47,611 sq. km. Its population was 7,162,000 by the census of 1987, estimated at 7,845,398 for Dec. 31, 1997. Okay, what time on Dec. 31? You know, a couple of hundred people are born and die in that state every day. The very best census data are considered to be accurate at no better than the 1% level. Seven pretended digits of accuracy are purely otiose.

The West German state of Lower Saxony was stitched together in 1946 from a bunch of older states. The capital is Hanover, which is spelled Hannover in German.

NI, N.I.
Northern Ireland. This bit is about the ni. hierarchy of USENET newsgroups.

National Income Account.

National Institute on Aging. Part of the US NIH.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Part of the US NIH.

NATO Industrial Advisory Group.

(Japanese) National Institute of Animal Industry.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, part of NIH.

Northern Indiana Association of Psychology. They've got a shingle on US 33/Bus. 31/S.R. 933, northbound from South Bend, a couple of miles from Michigan.

National Industries for the Blind. ``Our mission at National Industries for the Blind is to enhance the opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment.''

The New Interpreter's Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. In this new edition of an old, somewhat apologetic standard reference, each volume covers at least two Bible books. Cf. IB.

No Independence Before MAjority Rule. Also No Independence Before Majority African Rule. The expansion without ``African'' is probably preferable, since the minority being distinguished from the African majority was white and European in origin, but insisted on its African identity.

The European colonial powers granted or conceded independence to their African colonies starting in the 1950's and accelerating in the 1960's. The process was largely complete when Portugal granted independence to Angola and Mozambique in 1975 and 1976. South Africa was somewhat exceptional. Initially settled by the Dutch, it finally came completely under British control in 1910. Very quickly, and in significant measure due to the efforts of Jan Christiaan Smuts, a Liberal government in Britain soon granted a high degree of local self-government to South Africa in 1910. At the time, it was mostly taken for granted by whites -- i.e., by the British and by white settlers -- that South Africa would be governed by whites. South Africa would consist of a black African colony (or colonies) within the territory of an independent European-style nation. Not everyone agreed; the African National Congress (ANC) was founded in 1912.

Despite majority opposition, the minority-rule arrangement must have looked like it had long-term stability. Majority rule did not come to South Africa until the 1990's. Many whites in neighboring Southern Rhodesia (the country now known as Zimbabwe) wanted a similar deal. It wasn't unreasonable for them to suppose they could tough it out indefinitely. They probably saw the US and Canada as proofs of principle that a European presence and eventually -- with the help of immigration -- a European majority could be established over a large territory originally controlled by a non-European majority. (In Latin America to this day, European elites govern some countries with autochthon majorities.) One could also imagine a smooth transition to majority rule in the distant future. The white minority in Southern Rhodesia had a virtual monopoly on modern weaponry, and a history of putting down insurgencies since the 1890's.

Southern Rhodesia had been taken over by stages into the British Empire, starting with agreements that Cecil Rhodes made with local chiefs in the late 1880's to allow mining. In 1953, Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia were combined with Nyasaland (now Malawi) in a Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Under pressure for majority rule in Northern Rhodesia, the federation was dissolved at the end of 1963, and Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on October 24, 1964. (After that time, Southern Rhodesia was simply called Rhodesia.) Following the dissolution of the federation, and as the UK moved to grant independence to Northern Rhodesia, the white minority administration in Southern Rhodesia also sought independence under its existing arrangements. This was opposed by the British government, which was formally committed to a policy of NIBMAR.

NIBMAR had been promoted by African, Asian, and Caribbean members of the British Commonwealth for years before the Rhodesias split up. British PM Harold Wilson resisted. Eventually, at the July 21, 1961, Commonwealth conference in London, he accepted a draft resolution formulated by Canadian PM Lester Pearson. Nevertheless, he continued to offer Ian Smith, leader of Southern Rhodesia, deals that fell far short of NIBMAR. They were not enough for Smith, at least in the 1960's, and on November 11, 1965, his administration unilaterally declared independence (see UDI).

National Independent Bookstore Week. Is that like a memorial day?

Either an alternate spelling for nybble, or what to do to savor a snibble.

The name for a golf club from back in the days of wooden shafts, before the clubs became standardized and numbered. It is ``like'' a 9-iron in the sense that it has a loft angle comparable to that of a 9-iron. That is, the face of the club is about 40 degrees away from the vertical. (More precisely, that's the angle of the shaft relative to the plane of the face of the club at the point where it contacts the ball.) In the early 1960's, 9-irons had loft angles in the low 40's. However, modern clubs are ``standardized'' primarily in the sense that they are mass produced. Nothing prevented club manufacturers from collectively reshaping the clubs over time, and by the beginning of the twenty-first century, the loft angles of 9-irons were typically in the upper 40's.

Even taking a 9-iron with the same loft angle as a basis of comparison, the clubs differ in other ways: they have different blade shape and face curvature, and the lie angle of the niblick is smaller because it was intended to be hit with a squat, side-winding swing rather than a modern upright swing. See our ye olde golfe clubbies entry for little more.

National Institute of Corrections. An agency of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) of the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Network Information Center.

Network Interface Card. An internal card for a computer slot, which handles communication between a personal computer and a high-speed net (ethernet, cable modem, or DSL). Also known as a DNI.

Newly Industrializing Country. Playing catch-up.

National Institute of Circus Arts. A ``national arts training institute that offers Australia's only Bachelor of Circus Arts. The course is accredited by Swinburne University of Technology and the institute is located at its Prahran campus. The course attracts applicants from across Australia and the world and entry into the first year is highly competitive.''

National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. A UFO research organization. Founded in 1957, headed by Maj. Donald Edward Keyhoe USMC (1897-1988), influential in the 1960's.

A night-cap? Don't mind if I do. Aaeeeeiiii!!!

A city on France's Côte d'Azur. Specifically, it is on la Baie des Anges, less than ten miles west of Monaco. The street running along the beach has the names Promenade des Anglais and Quai des États-Unis. Awww, how... sweet.

National (UK) Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Many people regard this as a rather ironically-named bad guys' organization in the NHS. (Cf. N.I.C.E.)

National (US) Institute For Consumer Education.

National (US) Institute of Ceramic Engineers. The organization is referred to in sentences as ``the NICE'' (just like ``the ASPCA'').

National (U.K.) Institute of Co-ordinated Experiments. The bad guys' organization in That Hideous Strength (1945), the final volume of C.S. Lewis's ``Cosmic Trilogy.'' From the P.O.V. of Lewis, N.I.C.E. might be regarded as an ironic name, since N.I.C.E. is actually evil. Lewis likes to play around a lot with the significance of names. However, I think the case of N.I.C.E. mostly just counts as false advertising.

There doesn't seem to be an official overall title of the series or trilogy or whatever. Unofficially, both ``Cosmic Trilogy'' and ``Space Trilogy'' have been used. The first and second books take place mostly on fictional stand-ins for Mars (``Malacandra'') and Venus (``Perelandra''), respectively. The third takes up as much shelf space as the first two combined and takes place mostly on the Earth (``Thulcundra,'' the ``Silent Planet'').

The first two novels [entitled Out of the Silent Planet (1938) and Perelandra (1943)], have as their principal bad guy a Dr. Weston. He's a renowned physicist. Ransom kills Weston in Perelandra. (Alright: technically he kills Weston's body, which Weston's moral weakness has allowed to be taken over by the Un-Man. So the killing would be okay even if it weren't already okay because Ransom kills in self-defense.) Dr. Elwin Ransom is the hero of all three novels and a professor of philology. In the third book he is called Fisher King.

You know, C.S. Lewis novels come out pretty badly in a comparison with the Catholic Church's persecution of Galileo. At least the Catholic Church made a distinction between what it thought were Galileo's motivations and the effects of his ``errors.'' Lewis makes his star scientist a kidnapper and murderer to begin with, and he goes morally downhill from there.

Nickname for Nicholas and slang for the devil. If conflation of the devil and Saint Nicholas amuses you, visit this other entry.

British slang about equivalent to swipe, in the sense of steal.

Short for nickname, particularly on IRC and similar electronic fora.

Nick and Jess
You've probably seen this phrase for years as part of the captions that line your escape route (``check-out aisle'') from the supermarket. The story was basically that they were together apart or apart together, or in transit between these conditions. They're celebrities. Neither has completely discarded his or her surname: they're Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. I think that the surname Simpson originally meant ``son of a simpleton,'' but I don't know a good mnemonic for Lachey.

As celebrities, by definition they're mostly famous for being famous, but they had to become famous (i.e., boot-strap the process) by doing something else first. Jessica's something else was being a ``singer,'' which nowadays means something like ``cute dancing lip-syncher.'' Nick is also a ``singer,'' but I think he became a celebrity through his connection with Jessica. CD's are issued with their names, and possibly they even perform. Somebody seems to buy the CD's, though I'm not sure if this is listening music. It might be more like those recognition gifts that you get when you contribute to public radio: an emblem of your contribution, but not necessarily a thing of any practical value.

A ferromagnetic metal (Ni) and a US 5-cent coin made from a zinc alloy. Five of just about anything. Another coin that would be worth five pennies today is the shilling.

Nickel coins in other denominations, such as three and ten cents, have also been issued by the US.

[Football icon]

nickel back
The fifth back in a five-back football formation.

A misspelling of the verb (!) nickel that is accepted by all three major Scrabble dictionaries.

Nick's Patio
Two soups are made each morning, and both are usually available past the next midnight. One of the soups may 86 in the small hours, and by that time it may be wise to prefer the salad anyway. Most years, I've noticed that GFS switches suppliers for iceberg lettuce around December or January, and the salad in local restaurants improves noticeably. (This is the kind of fine, sensitive observation that makes most people tingle with ennui. I shoulda beena poet.)

Croutons (crunchy brown right square prisms of deep-fried bread, very popular) are available on Tuesday and Sundays. Research for this entry is ongoing, and in fall 2004 they shuffled the options a little bit, but I wanted to share our findings in real time.

I wasn't sure, so one time I asked Mario (the third-shift cashier-and-seater for most nights) whether he pronounced his name ``Mario or Mario?'' He answered no, he pronounced it ``Mario.'' It's a good thing we didn't conduct that conversation in ASCII.

Near-Infrared (NIR) Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer. Homesite here. Technical description this page.

NATO Integrated Communications System.

Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District. Trains from Chicago, IL, to South Bend, IN. Cf. Metra.

Neonate Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A likely destination for ELBW newborns. That probably about does it for useful related information in this glossary, but the Apgar score entry might amuse some of you sickos (sickoes?).

National Institute on Drug Abuse. They're against it. Part of NIH.

National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research. Part of the US NIH.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Part of the US NIH.

Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (DM, q.v.). ``Adult-onset'' or type-II diabetes.

Network Information Discovery and Retrieval.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. It's part of the -- whoa! Part of the US Department of Education (under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, a charge of the Undersecretary of Education), not part of NIH.

National Intelligence Estimate. I'd say 100, shortly after the obligatory periodic renorming.

Oh wait -- it's a technical term. It's used by the US CIA (the CIA based in DC, not the one in NY), intended to mean ``Estimation by National Intelligence Service'' (capitalization for impact and prestige only) and actually meaning ``opinion of a single memo-writer, based on analysis that consists of ignoring data that contradicts opinion.''

New International Economic Order. On May 1, 1974, the UN General Assembly, at the end of its Sixth Special Session, adopted by consensus two resolutions entitles ``Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order'' and ``Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order.'' As my Uncle Fritz would have commented, they were printed on very good paper.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of NIH.

Non-Ionizing Energy Loss.

Nielsen ratings
The rating is the number of homes with the program tuned in, expressed as a percentage of all homes with televisions, whether or not they are in use. The share is the percentage of televisions in use tuned to a program.

National (US) Ignition Facility. The ``ignition'' contemplated is of controlled fusion. The main NIF project is a 192-beam 1.8 MJ laser. As of early 2006, NIF was 80% complete and on schedule for full operability in mid-2009.

The Green Scissors lobby (``Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending'') has a scientifically ignorant protest against it on line.

(US) National Interagency Fire Center. In Boise, Idaho, where there's another way to bake potatoes. NIFC is generally not in favor of ignition.

Notation Interchange File Format. A standard digital format for the representation of standard musical notation. An open standard.

New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.).

National Institutes of Health.

Not Invented Here. As in ``NIH syndrome.'' Interestingly, then, since the NIH syndrome is a mental problem, it should be a matter for the NIMH. The NIH syndrome is the prejudice that the company has all the relevant expertise and should ignore outside tinkerers and dilettantes. For example, on the advice of its expert panel, the Telegraph Company (which later became Western Union) turned down Alexander Graham Bell's offer to buy the rights to the telephone for $100,000. The in-house experts realized that it was an unreliable, unpromising toy that could never be made to work over long distances and that no one would ever want anyway.

A trivial logical corollary of the proposition that what was NIH is no good is the proposition that if it is any good, then it was invented here. This is the fundamental intellectual reflex of the Microsoft Corporation.

They used to give prizes. I don't remember who ``they'' were, but they gave up the domain name. Oh! I know what to do! Go over to The Internet Archive and paste the URL (http://www.gii-awards.com/winners.htm) into ``The Wayback Machine.'' Ah-hah: NII stands (stood?) for the National Information Infrastructure. The site featured Vice President Albert Gore, and was abandoned some time in 2000. Didn't we have an election that year?

Net International Investment Position. The NIIP of a country is the value of foreign assets owned by its residents minus the value of its assets owned by nonresidents.

National Industrial Information Infrastructure Protocols.

National Institute of Justice. A ``component'' of the US Office of Justice Programs (OJP).

I have before me a physical copy of a research report entitled ``The Sexual Victimization of College Women.'' Naturally, I was greatly disappointed that it lacked any racy anecdotal data or illustrations, but it seems to be a fair-minded study by disinterested researchers. (Yaaawn.) See here, the first paragraph of the Conclusions bends over backwards to be balanced. It begins

The sexual victimization of college students has emerged as a controversial issue, pitting feminist scholars who claim that the sexual victimization of women is a serious problem against conservative commentators who claim that such victimization is rare and mostly a fictitious creation of ideologically tainted research. ...

It's too bad the scholars don't have any feminist commentators to lend them any moral support. It sure must be lonely on that half of the political spectrum. Further, when you consider that there are apparently no scholars on the conservative side of the argument, it's surprising that government-funded researchers bravely pretend that they can continue to regard the contending sides in the debate as intellectually or even morally equal. Of course, this was a scientific study, so any bias on the part of the researchers would be irrelevant because it could not possibly affect the study at any stage. I mean, contrariwise, if it could affect the study, then it wouldn't be very scientific, so it didn't. That's logic.

You can download your own PDF version or ASCII text file from a listings page at the NCJRS.


Greek goddess of victory; 20th century godess of footwear.

A charitable organization that raises money by selling sneakers made in Korea at many times their cost of manufacture, and which donates much of the proceeds to individual professional athletes or to the athletic programs of `amateur' university athletes as ``advertising royalties.''

A noun that means nothing. That's not as strange as it sounds. It also functions as an adjective and adverb.

The name of cities in southwest Michigan (on the Saint Joseph River, and on the Indiana border) and in northeastern Ohio. Both cities were named for Hezekiah Niles (1777-1839). He achieved fame as the editor of the Niles Weekly Register, which he published from 1811 to 1836, and which was one of the most influential magazines of the US in its day. I can't think of any locality that was named for anyone else famous only or primarily for his work as a journalist or commentator.

The Niles in Michigan is close to where I live, so it's mentioned at various entries in this glossary. Ring Lardner, a nationally famous writer, was a native of Niles. A scrap of his writing, and indications of how he is commemorated, can be found at this GF entry. Niles is part of the loosely defined region known as Michiana, but that entry doesn't say much about Niles itself. Until Indiana adopted DST, Michiana was split through the middle by a kind of time zone boundary, and that's how Niles gets a mention at that entry. Pokagon was a nineteenth-century Indian chief in the area. There's some local color from the Depression era at the entry for ``Shave and a haircut, two bits.'' Southwestern Michigan College has a campus in Niles, and that's what this SMC entry is about.

Niles is also the name of a township in Cook County, Illinois, comprising northwest suburbs of Chicago. It's not known definitely how it got its name, but it was established in 1850, the year after the Niles Register finally ceased publication. The Village of Niles gets its name from the township; it's scrunched into the southwest corner of the township. (``Village'' was descriptive when Niles was incorporated in 1899 and it had a population of 500. The population was estimated at almost 29,000 in 2007. The village of Skokie (population 63,348 in the 2000 census) was incorporated as Niles Centre in 1888. The center of the township does in fact lie within it. The spelling was changed to Niles Center around 1910, and in 1940, to avoid confusion with the Village of Niles, it was renamed the Village of Skokie.

There is a Town of Niles in Cayuga County, New York (pop. 1,208 in the 2000 census). It was carved out of the Town of Sempronius (founded 1799).

There's a Niles Canyon in the San Francisco Bay area of California. There was a town of Niles in that canyon. I suppose the name dates from around the time of the gold rush of 1849, or not long after, so it was probably named after Hezekiah Niles or his Weekly or both as well. Another possibility is that it was named after one of the eastern Nileses by someone who came from there. The town of Niles eventually joined the towns of Centerville, Irvington, Mission San Jose, and Warm Springs to form the city of Fremont, and each of these is still an identifiable district of Fremont. Here's a link to the Niles district of Fremont, California.

National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness. ``In the 21st century, the successful institutions of higher education will be those that are learning new ways of communicating with and motivating faculty, staff, administration and students.'' Whoa, NILIE! And here I thought it would be the ones with the best football programs. ``By conducting research on leadership and institutional effectiveness using specialized surveys, NILIE assists institutions in developing strategies that improve student success through collaborative leadership.''

National Institute of Metrology. There's one in China, so-called in English.

Nuclear Instrumentation Module (an electronic instr. standard).

National Infomercial Marketing Association. ``In August, 1990, nine industry leaders formed the National Infomercial Marketing Association, an organization whose objective was to ensure that all infomercials met the very highest standards of excellence and credibility'' ... wait for it ...``attainable.''

``[O]fficially changed its name in May 1994 to NIMA International.'' Also now represents television shopping companies and short-form direct response marketers. Oh joy.

``To eliminate confusion, NIMA International would prefer to be referred to as, `the association that represents the worldwide electronic retailing industry.' Please do not refer to NIMA as the National Infomercial Marketing Association.'' You could call them vermin, if only that weren't unfairly insulting to rats.

Not In My Back Yard. This acronym is not likely to appear on signs carried by protesters at the town council meeting, despite the admirable degree of compression. The term is used, instead, as the name of a situation or an attitude. The situation is that certain necessary or desired facilities (dumps for nuclear and other waste, community-based homes for the slow, low-income housing) are inconvenient or unwelcome no matter where they are sited. (The ultimate logical conclusion of seriously avoiding the NIMBY situation is BANANA.) The attitude is ``I don't care where you put it, so long as it's [NIMBY]!'' Depending on how you view the merits or reasonableness of the objection, the acronym is either sympathetic or pejorative. (It's usually a pejorative noun.)

Nim Chimpsky
A play on the name Noam Chomsky; a chimp who was taught a human sign language. To what degree he learned, or could have learned, is the subject of controversy. Chomsky has also been a subject of controversy.

Noam Chomsky's nonpolitical thoughts are less controversial. Widely though not universally accepted is his position that the ability to use language is uniquely human, with the proviso that true language has an indefinitely productive grammar: a user can apply linguistic rules to express new thoughts with old words. (New to him, her, or it, at least.) Chomsky is a philosopher, so he shuns experiment and reasons from what he supposes he might find if, God or Whatever forbid, he ever tried an experiment. Others are not so constrained.

The first modern tests to determine whether a non-human animal could learn to produce a human language were conducted with chimps and spoken languages. (Produce, that is, as a communication of the ideas the language is intended to communicate, and not as parroted speech.) In the 1930's, W.N. and L.A. Kellogg raised a baby chimpanzee named Gua together with their own infant son Donald. The project began when Gua was 7 or 8 months old and lasted 9 months; Gua never learned to speak because they tried to teach her English instead of Purtuguese. Okay, joke, but still she never learned to speak. In the 1950s, Keith and Cathy Hayes adopted a female chimp, Viki, and tried to teach her to speak. After three years, she was able to speak three words: mama, papa, and cup. She never learned to say her own name, but that was probably because of the irregular spelling. She also had a heavy whispery accent. Planet of the Apes, this wasn't.

These experiments were not considered successes. Since primate vocal apparatus is substantially less versatile than human, however, it was plausible that the failure of those experiments did not reflect any cognitive deficiency in primates, but just physical impediment. In 1966, R. Allen Gardner and Beatrice Gardner at University of Nevada, Reno, began the first experiment to teach a primate a non-vocal human language. Their Washoe project (named after Washoe County, Nev.), was intended to teach American Sign Language (ASL) to a chimpanzee they named Washoe. Washoe learned over a hundred signs, used them individually in semantically appropriate ways, and apparently even taught a number of them to an infant she adopted. She has been less reliably credited with more sophisticated achievements, but the question remained whether she ever grasped any elements of grammar. She used words together that might be interpreted as compounds (water and bird for swan; I don't know that the bird wasn't near water) and collocations that might be regarded as sentences except that there was apparently no consistent syntactic pattern to the collocations. A subsequent project of Francine Patterson, begun in 1972, taught a female gorilla named Koko to sign hundreds of ASL signs and to understand words of spoken English. She apparently notices rhyme in English and has constructed a number of what seem to be compound nouns.

In order to address more sharply the grammatical question raised by the earlier primate-ASL studies, Herbert S. Terrace began the Nim project. The subject of the study, Nim Chimpsky, was born in 1973 and raised and socialized like a human infant. Nim appeared to learn American Sign Language, and by age four had mastered a 125-sign vocabulary. In the end, however, Terrace was not convinced that Nim had really mastered language. After analyzing more than 20,000 different combinations of signs produced by Nim (this study was far more intensively videotaped than the earlier ones), he concluded that Nim signed mainly to obtain particular rewards and that most of his signed combinations were unoriginal imitations of those uttered by his human teachers, rather than original sentences demonstrating a constructive understanding of ASL's grammar. Terrace wrote an article on the experiment for Psychology Today in 1979: ``How Nim Chimpsky Changed My Mind.''

In the appositely named movie Bananas, Woody Allen plays Fielding Mellish, a nebbish upon whom ill-conceived consumer products are tested. His parents wanted him to become a surgeon like his dad. In one scene, he visits his parents in the operating theater (mom is an OR nurse), and they try on the spot to involve him in the family business. Parents, natural and adoptive, often see their children with eyes blinded by love and hope. Read this ``chat'' with Koko and see what you think.

National Institute of Mental Health (Administration: Rockville, MD; Research Facilities in Bethesda, MD and St. Elizabeth's in DC). Conveniently located, if you see what I mean.

There's a Gopher directory as well as a homepage.

NIagara-MOhawk. Electric power utility in western New York.

NIckel-MOlybdenum-VAnadium. A popular strong material for generator rotors.

One day, after I hung up the phone, my office mate Nobu asked for the meaning of a word I had been using repeatedly. I didn't recognize it in his pronunciation, despite the fact that Japanese and Spanish phonemes are not very different. He wrote out the headword above in romaji. ``Oh,'' I said, ``you mean no importa'' [`it doesn't matter']. Cf. tsuh cay, sin embargo.

National Institute of Metrology (Thailand). It's striking how much more compact the Engliosh pages are. Oh -- different information!

Nine Inch Nails. A nihilistic indie rock band whose site has banners advertising health insurance.

The group name is normally abbreviated with the second en inverted, so the initialism is not just a palindrome but reflection-symmetric. If they didn't mess with the second en, it would be rotation-symmetric (C2 symmetry) instead. There's only an unofficial site yet, but you could try one of the newsgroups: (alt.music.nin) (alt.music.nin.creative) (alt.music.nin.d) (rec.music.industrial).

By the time you read this, their official site may finally be up. Or maybe it's come down already and I missed it.

A backward capital en looks like the Cyrillic letter normally transliterated I. Korn, a metallic punk band out of Southern California, also writes its name KORN with a backwards ar. I have just one link to say about this: ABBA.

A backward-facing ar looks like the Cyrillic letter normally transliterated ia or ya. Toys'R'Us does the same thing as KORN with its ar. Maybe you want to go to SeaRs. (Sounds like ``See youse'' if you've got the accent.)

National (US) Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke.

Used to indicate purity. E.g., ``five nines'' means 99.999% pure. (I.e., 0.001% = 10 ppm impurities.) Only slightly less common are expressions like ``three nines seven,'' meaning 99.97% pure.

No Income, No Job or Assets. Disqualifications for any sane mortgage; conditions for an initially interest-only loan, with negative amortization and an initial teaser rate. No longer available, I hope.

Niño, El
The (Christ) Child. Name for a meteorological phenomenon that involves higher water surface temperatures in the Pacific. The phenomenon is persistent on year time-scales, and the change from normal to El Niño conditions first becomes noticeable very roughly around Christmas, by fishermen off the coast of Peru, who gave it its name.

National Intelligence Officer.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Neuroleptic-Induced Parkinsonism.

Numismatic Indexes Project. Frank Chlebana offers an alternate search form.

National Infrastructure Protection Center. You have to question the competence of an organization without the sense to define an index.html page. Aww, shucks -- it's just the FBI, no wonder. So they moved from the old URL and didn't leave a forwarding link. Good move. Cover your tracks.

``Established in February 1998, the NIPC's mission is to serve as the U.S. government's focal point for threat assessment, warning, investigation, and response for threats or attacks against our critical infrastructures. These infrastructures, which include telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, water systems, government operations, and emergency services, are the foundation upon which our industrialized society is based.''

National (US) Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulation.

National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research. A DoE facility run by BDM-Oklahoma. Partly privatized in 1996.

Near-InfraRed. Usually spoken as ``near eye arr.'' Remember, in your best schoolmarmish voice, to say ``near I am!'' See the IR entry for the ranges of the common named regions of the IR spectrum.

Network Information Retrieval. Heck, I do it every day.

NI Railways. ``Rail services in Northern Ireland.''

An act of 1933 that allowed companies, subject to government approval, to join in industrial councils which were allowed to do the things that were illegal under antitrust law (set prices, control production). The act required all members to allow unionization of and engage in collective bargaining with their employees. The law was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935, as being in violation of the Interstate Commerce clause.

NI Railways
Northern Ireland Railways. Also ``NIR.''

``Northern Ireland Railways was founded in 1968 to operate the railway services of the former Ulster Transport Authority, which in turn had taken over the three private railways (Great Northern Railway, Northern Counties Railway and Co. Down Railway) in Northern Ireland between 1948 and 1957.''

National Investor Relations Institute.

National Intramural Recreation Sports Association.

Netherlands Info Services BV. Dutch news (ANP) in English, but most of the website is accessible by subscription only.

Network Information {Service | System}.

New Israeli Shekel. The current (2004) currency of Israel. One hundred agorot equal one shekel. The NIS went into circulation in September 1985, replacing the shekel that had been in circulation from 1980. Before 1980, the national currency was called the lira (pound).

The old shekel suffered through a hyperinflation that reduced its value against the US dollar by a factor of 250 over the six years it was in circulation. One NIS was an exchange for 1000 old shekels.

Second-generation Japanese-American. Pronounced approximately ``knee say.'' Singular and plural forms of the noun coincide, because Japanese does not inflect nouns for number. See first-generation entry for some complicating thoughts.

National (US) Information Standards Organization.

National (US) Institute for (college and university) Staff and Organizational Development.

National Information Services and Systems in the UK. They serve a list of professional bodies in the UK.

National Institute of Statistical Sciences. ``NISS was established in 1991 by the national statistics societies and the Research Triangle universities [in North Carolina] and organizations, with the mission to identify, catalyze and foster high-impact, cross- disciplinary research involving the statistical sciences.''

National Institute of Standards and Technology. Used to be NBS. A part of the DOC. Also try this page.

National Invitational Tournament. This tournament used to be in direct head-to-head competition with the NCAA basketball tournament, trying to get participation by many of the same schools, in the same way that different post-season college bowl games used to compete for the same football teams (before the devising of that brilliant solution known as the BCS). Now the NIT just goes after the teams that didn't get a bracket in the NCAA tournament. There's also a WNIT, although that works somewhat differently.

Not In The Latest Explorator. The Explorator is a weekly internet bulletin consisting of web links to archaeological news. It usually comes out on Sunday morning. In compiling each edition, David Meadows often comes across items that are not appropriate to Explorator but which nevertheless fall within the very broad range of topics considered appropriate for the classics list (an electronic mailing list for the discussion of classical antiquity and anything else that participants have the audacity to pretend is related to classical antiquity). When he published Explorator, David Meadows often also posted those links to those items separately, to the classics list. (I think that practice pretty much ended during the shot-put blow-up in October 2003. He wants you to read his rogueclassicism blog instead.) The subject heads used to begin with the words ``Not in the latest Explorator'' but this has been abbreviated to ``nitle'' since May or June 2003, around the same time that Meadows stopped using the a.a.h.i.h.l.n.o.o. abbreviation.

SiO2 layer underlying nitride layer in ROx process. Rôle in LOCOS is to mask Si during removal of nitride. Vide stress relief oxide.

Usually refers to silicon nitride.

There's a center devoted to this stuff, even though I was sure the Stammtisch had resolved all questions on the topic last Friday.

Network-Independent Transport Service.

Network Interface Unit.

Northern Illinois University. There is no Northern I[^s]* University, where I[^s]* is Idaho, Indiana, or Iowa. But for the last, see UNI. Cf. SIU.

New International Version (of the bible).

No Intelligence Value. Of no use to spooks.

Northern Ireland Women's Coalition. A political party organized a couple of months before the June 1996 vote for representative delegates to all-party peace talks. The term coalition was chosen by the party to emphasize (sorry: emphasise) that it is neither political nor a party.

After all, Aristotle said only that Man is a political animal. (What a beast! Emphasis added; italics, and English for that matter, were more than a millennium away.) Or did he? This is a common translation, but it is clear in context that he meant that man is a social animal. Same problem with his `Poetics.'

Normal Incidence X-ray Standing Wave (surface science technique). See XSW.

National ISDN-1.

National ISDN-2.

N.J., NJ
New Jersey. USPS abbreviation uses no periods. The ``Garden State.''

Probably the thing that first-time visitors to New Jersey find most surprising is that it is uninhabitable. This is especially surprising when you consider that it's the most densely populated state of the US, but in fact, that's one of the reasons. New Jersey is actually populated by human guinea pigs who are exposed to every available chemical pollutant. It's not a coincidence that two of New Jersey's biggest industries are chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Another reason that New Jersey is uninhabitable is the road system. It's illegal for roads anywhere in the state to be straight for a distance exceeding half a mile. And although the state has an approximately convex shape, the shortest distance between two points in it is usually by a path out to New York or Pennsylvania, around, and back in again.

New Jersey is not a community property state, but for real estate property it sort of works like one.

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for New Jersey. USACityLink.com has a page with mostly city and town links for the state, including -- ohmigod! -- my home town has a home page. And another! And yet another. This is spooky (and not just because Charles Addams was born and raised in Westfield). When you leave your hometown you want it to remain constant, preserving old folkways -- churning butter by hand, hand-cranking the car, dial phones, rubbing sticks together to start the fire for dinner, that sort of thing.

(There's now an ``official homepage.'') Even my old Boy Scout Troop has a web presence! What is the world coming to?

A much more comprehensive list of towns, libraries and counties is served by New Jersey Communities OnLine.

The latest color scheme for automobile licence plates in New Jersey has a background that starts out white at the bottom and shades smoothly to yellow at the top. This represents smog. (Ohio has white plates shading to reddish browns at the bottom. This represents rust or rich earth and, on recent nonfarm vehicles, makes it easier to distinguish them from Ontario plates for people who can't remember which name is longer.)

In Spanish, New Jersey is normally called Nueva Jersey, where the first word (meaning `new') has its usual Spanish pronunciation. The second word is pronounced neither in English nor according to Spanish rules applied to the English spelling. Instead, it is pronounced in a Spanish approximation of the English. In my dialect of Spanish, for example, which has a zh sound (for ll and most y), ``Jersey'' is pronounced as if it were spelled ``Llersi.'' In other words, not a single consonant or vowel is the same. (The first vowel in Spanish is more open than in the American pronunciation and also has no r coloring. It sounds even further from the British vowel. The r is articulated differently, the s is unvoiced, and the i is more clipped.)

This naturalized pronunciation is used even by Spanish-speakers who are perfectly fluent in English. And that is very natural, but possibly not as some may imagine. An English-speaker who gratuitously pronounces naturalized French words or place names in French sends a signal (possibly not the one intended). Pronouncing France as ``Frrrawnce'' may send the signal that one knows French, and may be received as a signal that one is a pretentious twit. Pronouncing Paris as ``Paree'' is (or was, a mere 80 years ago) an affectionate affectation, a suggestion of fond memories. I don't think that the Spanish pronunciation of Jersey as described in the previous paragraph has much to do with these social phenomena, because for Spanish-speakers, English and the English-speaking lands have never had the kind of intellectual cachet or romantic associations that French and France, respectively, have had for English-speakers. (Granted, the US today has prestige in certain things, but it's not the kind of prestige that rubs off on anyone who happens to speak English.) The reason one uses a Spanish pronunciation of Jersey is either (a) one can't produce an English pronunciation or, (b) more interestingly, it is more comfortable not to switch phonemic systems.

The letter j in Spanish is pronounced like the English h, so one might expect a naturalized spelling to develop. One has: Nueva Yersey. (This spelling implies a final diphthong. For comparison, a common and fairly faithful naturalized Spanish spelling of English okay is okey.) But Yersey seems (from ghits) to be about a hundred times less common than Jersey, and I haven't seen it in major references. Even the English Channel island Jersey and the clothing material jersey have their English spelling in Spanish. In Portuguese, New Jersey is ``Nova Jersey.''

I can see a couple of reasons why Jersey was assigned a feminine gender in both Portuguese and Spanish. Morphology does not offer a firm guide, but I suppose that a final /i/ sound in a toponym suggests the standard feminine -ia ending. (For comparison, Italy is Italia in Spanish, and Turkey is Turquía.) Moreover, the Latin name of the largest English Channel island is Caesarea, which is feminine. (Jersey is widely supposed to be a corruption of this, but there is an alternative etymology I can't find right now, which has the advantage of explaining the -sey in Jersey and Guernsey as a common Germanic or Celtic morpheme. The Latin name of Guernsey is Samia.) For a more problematic case, see NY.

New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association.

New Jersey Art Therapy Association.

New Jerusalem Bible. Published in 1985, a revision of the first English-language ``Jerusalem Bible'' (TJB) of 1966. The English-language Jerusalem Bibles followed earlier French versions (1956, rev. 1973), and were in part simply retranslations from the French (though these were ``checked carefully'' against the Hebrew and Greek, of course). These are all Roman Catholic Bibles and include the Apocrypha. The prose is accessibly flat-footed. Like most translations still, it is intended to be read not primarily as literature but as doctrinal nonfiction, and to this end the NJB contains some interpretive notes. The NJB incorporates some formatting innovations over TJB: a single column of text and poetic passages lineated as verse; bold section headings. The 1956 French basis, popularly known as La Bible de Jérusalem, was prepared by the Dominican Biblical School in Jerusalem. I doubted that it had anything to do with Jerusalem; now I shall burn in Hell for eternity.

National Jewish Coalition. Now the RJC.

National Journalism Center. They're in favor of ``objective journalism,'' as everyone is. Sponsored as they are by Young America's Foundation, their notion of ``objective'' coincides with the MSM's notion of ``nutty right-wing.'' NJC has an amusing little graphic with a small rogues gallery captioned ``NOT NJC Grads.'' The pictures are of Peter Arnett (whose journalism career ended badly at CNN in 1998, and then re-ended badly at NBC in 2003), Stephen Glass (whose journalism career ended badly at The New Republic), Jayson Blair (whose journalism career ended badly at the New York Times), and Dan Rather (whose newsanchor career ended on rather a sour note at CBS).

On its website, NJC has a practice of indicating in bylines the time that a reporter participated in NJC's internship program (I think that's it), the way colleges tag graduates in their alumni newsletters (e.g., ``Greg Myre (NJC spring '83)''). In an archive of articles with no other date information, this can be disorienting.

Not Just Cows. A ``guide to internet resources in agriculture.'' Very different from TUCOWS.


New Jersey Classical Association.

The NJCA sponsors an e-mail list ``to offer New Jersey classics teachers a forum to discuss and share news about classics, school programs, questions and ideas.'' Subscribe by sending a blank email to <NJCA-subscribe@topica.com>.

The NJCA fall meeting in 1997 was on November 8, at the Newark Museum. John Bodel of Rutgers gave the keynote address, ``Putting Roman Artisans in Perspective,'' and Susan Auth, Curator of the Classical Collection, gave an introduction to the collection. I suppose. That was the agenda anyway.

The fall meeting in 1999 was Saturday, October 30. It was held at the High Technology High School in Lincroft -- appropriately enough, since its focus was on the use of computers and the internet.

Research demonstrates that girls named ``Virginia'' are at increased risk of becoming high-school Latin teachers active in their state classical associations. There is no need to panic -- most girls with this name grow up to lead normal, fulfilling lives. Watch out for early warning signs, however, such as going by the nickname ``Ginny.''

National Junior College Athletic Association.

National Jewish Council for the Disabled. Seems to be sponsored by NCSY.

National Jewish Coalition for Literacy. ``The National Jewish Coalition for Literacy is a coalition of 17 national Jewish agencies and organizations and 37 local community affiliates committed to help all America's children learn to read by the end of 3rd grade. NJCL's affiliates mobilize and train volunteer tutors of all races and creeds who offer one-on-one help in public schools.''


National Junior Classical League. A group for high school students of Ancient Greek, Latin and anything else to do with classical antiquity. Main entry at JCL.

National (US) Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council.

National Junior Honor Society. Sort of a junior varsity to the National Honor Society (NHS, q.v.).

There's really no place you can insert the word junior in National Honor Society and have it mean what it's supposed to mean and nothing else.

National Jewish Law Students Association. Founded in 1983.

New Jersey Online.

Non-Judicial Punishment. US military term for discipline imposed administratively, without a court-martial.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center. In Newark. You can probably guess whether that's the Newark in New Jersey or the one in Delaware from the pronunciation. (The one in Delaware uses an ay sound rather than a shwa in the second syllable, and the word has correspondingly more even stress.)

National Jewish Population Surveys.

New Jersey Paleontological Society. ``[F]ormed in 1991 for the educational and scientific pursuit of Paleontology and related Earth Sciences.''

New JPS (version). A Jewish Bible translation (into English) published in 1988 by the Jewish Publication Society. Cf. JPSV.

New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. It ``was created by the New Jersey legislature in 1971 and is the governing body which oversees the operations of Continental Airlines Arena, Giants Stadium [more at the striKe entry], Meadowlands Racetrack,'' the final resting place of Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa (unmarked), ``Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., Atlantic City Convention Center, Historic Boardwalk Hall and the Wildwoods Convention Center.''

Continental Airlines Arena used to be called Brendan Byrne Arena at the Meadowlands, after Governor Brendan Byrne, who aggressively promoted New Jersey tourism and pushed the construction of the Meadowlands complex. The arena was financed by bond issues. The budgetary achievement for which Brendan Byrne was better known was getting New Jersey an income tax. I remember a lot of grumbling when Meadowlands Arena, already completed, was renamed for Byrne. When Continental paid to put its own name on it, it was a largely unresented bit of sports meretriciousness.

Some readers will be surprised that New Jersey managed without an income tax until the early 1970's. Most states did without an income tax until the nineteen-sixties. One of the big federal-government ideas of the 1960's was Revenue Sharing. The idea was that state revenues, based principally on sales taxes, were regressive or at least not progressive. Also, due to the regressive base and other causes, state revenue dipped more sharply in a recession, while state expenditures, more heavily weighted to social services and transfers, increased more at the same time. Finally, since states must balance their budgets (on paper, anyway), they have a harder time than the federal government to square the decreased revenue and increased expenditure. Revenue Sharing was direct federal funding of state expenditures, intended to address all these problems.

New Jersey Transit. To judge by ghits, if you see ``NJT'' it is rather more likely to refer to New Jersey Transit than to the New Jersey Turnpike. However, many misguided people (possibly a majority) abbreviate the New Jersey Turnpike by NJT rather than NJTP.

New Jersey Transit is an operator of commuter trains mostly connecting the New Jersey suburbs and New York City. (A lot of the lines stop in Hoboken; from there you take a PATH train or ferry into the city.) They also have a line connecting Philadelphia with Atlantic City. I'll play it safe and not characterize further -- here's a route map as of May 6, 2002. You can get between Philadelphia and New York by transferring between SEPTA and NJT in Trenton. (I doubt you'd be wanting to stay in Trenton. If you want to stretch your legs, get off at Princeton Junction and take the spur to beautiful Princeton. That spur figures briefly in the Rebecca Goldsmith book mentioned at the trivial entry.)

New Jersey Turnpike Authority. A New Jersey government agency that operates the New Jersey Turnpike (NJTP) and the Garden State Parkway (GSPW).

Neighborhood Junior Tennis Program. ``[A] non-profit organization located in Sylmar, California. Founded in 1992 by six childhood friends, NJTP provides low-cost group and private lessons to children in our neighborhood.''

New Jersey TurnPike. The NJTP and the Garden State Parkway (GSPW) are operated by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA).

The NJTP logo consists of lettering and a polygonal frame in white against a green background. Large letters T and P appear in the middle, offset but overlapping, with smaller letters N and J positioned as bookends, and TURNPIKE in tiny caps running between the N and J, across the middle of the TP. Something like this, though the large TP is thicker:

                        TTTTTTPTT     P
                            T P       P
                            T PPPPPPPP
                            T P              J
               N    N  T U R N P I K E       J
               NN   N       T P              J
               N N  N       T P         J    J
               N  N N       T            JJJJ
               N   NN                    

It suggests NTPJ, probably abbreviating the word Nturnpikej. Whoever designed this apparently didn't understand how logos should work. He must have wondered why IBM didn't use the more symmetric BIM. To give the devil his due, however, the logo does suggest the general northeast-southwest direction of the Turnpike's main line, through the diagonal offset of the large letters TP and the conforming shape of the frame (an irregular hexagon with opposite sides parallel, made by cutting the upper left and lower right corners of a rectangle). Also, the letters are crowded together and haven't moved in at least forty years, which is a fair description of rush hour traffic. Okay, maybe that's not a good thing. But it does at least strongly suggest that the officially preferred abbreviation is NJTP (which helps avoid confusion with NJ Transit).

P. Simon and A. Garfunkel have described research (counting the cars on the NJTP), and reported a surprising finding: ``They've all come to look for America.'' Maps are available at rest areas (called service areas), which are named after famous unknowns.

(That used to say ``...after obscure luminaries.'' It was a better oxymoron if one attended the original literal senses of the words, but morons like you, dear reader, just didn't ``get it.'' We had no choice but to abase the vocabularary. After all, we wouldn't want to do anything to make anyone feel inadequate.)

New Jersey TurnPike Authority. Reasonable but unofficial abbreviation; use NJTA.

North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. (The Turnpike Authority is the NJTA. Why can't you people follow instructions!?)

New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Natural Killer. Evocative name of an indiscriminate (well, okay: ``nonspecific'') lymphocyte.

Not Known. I suppose it's not surprising this acronym isn't more widely used. If patterns hold, those more likely to need it are less likely to know it.

No Known Drug Allergies. Notice the crucial qualifier.

National Kidney Foundation.

New King James Version. The inspired beauty of the KJV language, but with modern spellings and verb conjugations.

Northern Kentucky University.

Narodny Komitet Vnutrennih Del. USSR `People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs.'

(Domain name extension for) Netherlands. This means low-lands (you know -- nether, low?) but English ``Low Countries'' and the corresponding French Pays Bas refers to Belgium (.be) and Luxembourg (.lu) as well.

Country code 31 for direct-dial phone calls.

In 1839, Thomas Hood wrote that ``Holland...lies so low they're only saved by being dammed.'' I also quote the incorrigible punster at a Boyle.

National Laboratory.

``Welcome to my National Laborratorrry,'' says Uncle Frankensam. ``I have crreated a beautiful monsterr!''

National League (of baseball). The ``National League of Professional Base Ball [sic] Clubs'' was formed in New York on February 1, 1876. The older of the two component leagues of North American Major League Baseball (MLB). The one that still does not use the designated hitter.

Natural Language. When people explicitly specify natural language, they're often about the business of NLP.


New Line. See LF.

Postal abbreviation for the Canadian (.ca) province of Newfoundland and Labrador. For a bit of history, see the entry for the earlier postal abbreviation NF (official to Oct. 21, 2002; usable at least for six months afterwards).

The capital of Newfoundland and Labrador is St. John's; it's the only provincial or state capital in all of the Americas with an apostrophe in its name. (FWIW, the province of New Brunswick has a Saint John County which consists essentially of the port city Saint John and a few miles of coast on either side.)

Norfolk Landscape Archaeology. A Gressenhall-based organization that records and maps finds in Norfolk (a county in England). The NLA's staff includes 20 archaeologists. More archaeological objects are found in Norfolk than any other county in Britain; in 2004 there were over 27,000. All members of the reserves are required to maintain a metal detector in good working condition and ready for immediate use. One sentence in this paragraph is false.

This is probably the ideal entry at which to point out that the UK spelling of artifacts is artefacts.

National (UK) Library for the Blind.

National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. It was formed in 1916 in Chicago as the National Retail Lumber Dealers Association.

National Learning Corporation. ``You've come to the right place to search for your test preparation books.'' (To tell you the truth, I hadn't realized that I'd misplaced them.)

Many study guides and cram courses are available for the well-known admissions tests and professional licensing exams, but NLC seems to be the organization that helps one prepare for civil service exams. For example, I have before me C-1727 of its Career Examination Series (CES): Assistant Supervisor (Elevators and Escalators) Passbook. (Plastic bound -- lies flat for study ease!)

They also have supervisor and foreman volumes for elevators and escalators. It's no wonder they claim their passbooks (R) are ``Preferred By More Test Takers.''

I got my copy of Assistant Supervisor (Elevators and Escalators) Passbook (copyright 1991) off the discount table at Borders. It had been reduced from $29.95 to $15.00 to $1. This time they skipped the 75%-off stage. I also picked up a bunch of decade-old conference proceedings from Springer-Verlag for a buck apiece. I couldn't resist, Springers are usually very dear. Soon you'll be reading entries like BIER, which I found on page 566 of Computer Aided Systems Theory -- EUROCAST '91 : A Selection of Papers from the Second International Workshop on Computer Aided Systems Theory, Krems, Austria, April 1991 Proceedings, F. Pichler and R. Moreno Díaz (Eds.), published as volume 585 of Springer's Lecture Notes in Computer Science Series (originally $111.95, now priced to move at $1). I'm not putting this down -- half the publications in my CV are older than this.

One thing the Springers and the NLC's have in common is that they didn't require a lot of effort on the part of the publishing house. The NLC thing looks like fuzzy photocopies of typed pages, with bold sans-serif headings applied separately (the tape backing shows through). The Springer volumes were prepared by the contributors, each set of notes in its own font. Springer has some really excellent professional books in mathematics and physics, but their business in conference proceedings is pure slumming.

I also picked up How To Run For Public Office And Win : A Step By Step Guide. It started out at a price intermediate between the NLC and the big Springer volumes -- $54.95 -- but at a buck it was clearly the worst deal. It's the thinnest of the three (ca. 85 pp., about a third the page count of the Elevators volume and a tenth that of the EUROCAST '91 volume). It has the best font, and pictures, but the grammar is not all there. It's not as technically sophisticated as the book for Assistant supervisors (Elevators and Escalators) either. On page 79, the candidate learns that being drunk at a public gathering with reporters is definitely a bad idea. Still, perhaps the authors know their readership.

You'd figure that there ought to be a ``Running for Public Office for Dummies'' book, but a search at Amazon.com yields only

Books Search Results: we were unable to find exact matches for your search for "Dummies public office".

Close matches for this search: Would you like to search again?

I notice that NLC's database search brings up links to Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, but not to Borders.

It may be that for partial matches, Barnes and Noble has a better algorithm than Amazon.com (or worse, depending on what you seek). A search on ``Dummies Public Office'' there turned up books on Public Relations, Public Speaking, and Successful Presentations in the for-Dummies series, and a similar search yielded a nice assortment from the Complete Idiot's Guide and Pocket Idiot's Guide series.

JACKPOT! Additional out-of-print titles yields biographies of FDR and Woodrow Wilson.

Borders was mentioned in an article I read in CHE recently (July 20, 2001 issue). It turns out that 2000-2001 was a cruddy year for university presses. The fiscal year ended in June, and hard numbers are either unavailable or embarrassed secrets, but nobody met sales targets and most presses lost money. In recent years Borders had boosted UP distribution by carrying a lot of their titles, but no more. I'll be keeping an eye on those bargain tables.

National Library of Canada. French: Bibiothèque nationale du Canada.

National League (NL) Championship Series. Used to be best-of-five, back when each league of Major League Baseball (MLB) consisted of two divisions (NL East and NL West in this case). Then, it was played between the two division winners (the teams with the best regular-season records in their respective divisions). The winner of the series, the NL champion team, would go on to meet the AL champion in the World Series.

After an expansion and a reorganization in 1995, there are three divisions, and the NL champion is determined in an NL playoff series that consists of two rounds: the NL Division Series (NLDS), best-of-five, followed by the NLCS, best-of-seven.

The American League champion is chosen the same way (ALDS, ALCS).

If you need a review, all of the preceding information is repeated with slightly different wording at the LCS entry.

National League Division Series. The first round of the NL playoff series of Major League Baseball (MLB), explained in the NLCS entry above. Four teams are paired in best-of-five series to determine which two teams go to the NLCS.

The teams that meet in the NLDS are the winners of the three divisions (East, Central, West) and one wildcard team. The division champion is the team with the best W-L record in its division. (The division championship is called the penant, and competition for this, heating up toward the end of the regular season, is called the penant race.) All regular-season games count equally in determining the division champion, whether the games are against an intra-division rival, a team outside the division but in the same league, or in another division. (For a long time before the reorganization into 3+3 divisions, there were no interleague games during the regular season apart from the All-Star game.) The wildcard is the team with the best record among the remaining teams -- i.e., the second-place team with the best record.

If, at the end of the regular season, two teams are tied for first place in a division or two second-place teams (possibly in the same division) have identical records, then a single play-off game to determine the division champion or league wildcard. I don't know what happens when three or more teams are tied this way. We've come pretty close to having three or more potential wildcards since the 1995 reorganization.

[In (American) football, there are fewer games and schedules are much more rigid, so ties are broken by formulas, in which games count differently depending on whether they were played against opponents in or out of the division, etc.]

Home field advantage in the division series and the championship series are both determined by the same rules:

  1. The wildcard team never has home-field advantage.
  2. Priority among division champions is determined on the basis of regular-season won-lost record.


National (US) Latin Exam. Sponsored by the American Classical League (ACL) and the Junior Classical League (JCL). Primarily for high school students in the US and Canada. Not a requirement for admission to anyplace I've heard of, just an academic competition. There are other exams sponsored by the same organizations, in Classical Greek (NGE) and mythology.

(The URL has varied a bit; make sure you're using the correct one. It moved to <http://nle.aclclassics.org> on April 22, 2002.)

National Library of Education.

Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. Requires all packaged foods to carry labels with nutrition information. There are a fair number of exceptions, and the FDA has authority to make exceptions and additions, even on a regional basis. You could read a summary of the act, part of the extensive legislative information resources here.

National Labor Federation. Also abbreviated NATLFED. Not what you'd expect: Followers of the late Eugenio (`Gino') Perente-Ramos (b. Gerald William Doeden; d. 1995, age 59), who are estimated to number in the hundreds, sometimes call themselves the Provisional Communist Party or the National Labor Federation. As you might imagine, they're not affiliated with anyone I am aware of.

Their indoctrination scheme involves cutting people off from their friends and family and

forcing them to fill out unending amounts of completely meaningless paperwork!

I know I'd crack. They also collect illegal firearms.

Source: NYTimes p. A1, 1996.11.13 Here's an article from a few days later. Part of an unsympathetic trove.

National Lung Health Education Program. A Denver-based nonprofit.

National Law Journal.

Native-Language Kid Talk. One strategy for the FLES classroom.

National Library of Medicine, part of NIH. Also searchable from Achoo.

National Lumber Manufacturers' Association. I see evidence that they were in existence in 1915 and 1964, and various times in between. I haven't figured out what happened to them, but I know they didn't become the NLBMDA.

Next-to-Leading Order. The second nonvanishing order of contributions to some calculated quantity. Preceded by LO (more discussion there) and followed by NNLO.

NonLinear Optics. Here there's a listing of nonlinear indices of refraction.

Natural-Language Processing. That is, unnatural language processing. The NLP term is usually expanded without the hyphen, because semantic details like negation will be dealt with during a later phase of research. A brief online history is available. See ``Progress in the Application of Natural Language Processing to Information Retrieval Tasks,'' The Computer Journal, 35, #3, pp. 268-277 (1992).

An Annotated list of resources on statistical natural language processing and corpus-based computational linguistics is served by Christopher Manning.

National Livestock Producers Association.

Newfoundland and Labrador Publishers' Association.

Network Level Protocol ID.

Near Letter Quality. Back around 1985, dot-matrix printers were the affordable option for hardcopy output from personal personal computers. (The business alternative for printing on letter-size paper was daisy-wheel printers. Laser and ink-jet printers were futurama.) If I remember correctly, eight-dot matrices (8 dot positions per line, covering the range from the bottom of the descenders to the top of the risers) had been standard, and 23-dot matrices were coming out. The latter could give you ``NLQ'' at low speed.

Nationaal Lucht- en Ruimtevaartlaboratorium. Dutch: `National Air- and Space-travel laboratory' (official English: ``National Aerospace Laboratory NLR'').

Noise Level Reduction. I think that's a good thing. A good thing. Can't you hear me? I SAID IT'S A GOOD THING.

National Labor Relations Act, passed in 1935 after the NIRA was found unconstitutional. Established the NLRB. Major amendments were the Taft-Hartley Act [which is more or less chapter seven of title 29 (Labor) of the US Code (29 USC 7)]. the Landrum-Griffin Act (1959) [chapter eleven of the same title (29 USC 11)]. The Taft-Hartley Act is officially the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, and the Landrum-Griffin Act is the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. The Taft-Hartley Act is described in this glossary at the closed shop entry.

Originally, in keeping with the intentions of the Democratic Congress and President (FDR) that brought it into being, the NLRA did not allow public-sector unions to bargain collectively for their employees. In 1962, President Kennedy's (JFK's) executive order 10988 extended this privilege to postal workers and some smaller categories of federal employees.

National Labor Relations Board. Agency that administers the NLRA.

Narrow-Line Radio Galaxy. See RG.

National Library of Scotland.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (Part of the US Library of Congress.)

Network License Server. For site-licensed software.

Not Later Than. Frequently interposed between ``RSVP'' and a date.


National (US) Latin Teacher Recruitment Week. Sponsored by the ACL with some participation by the APA. The first one: March 3-7, 2003.

``Throughout North America there is a serious need for Latin Teachers. Each year, for lack of teachers, existing programs are cancelled, thriving programs are told they cannot expand, and schools that want to add Latin are unable to do so.''

Northeast Louisiana University.

NanoMeter. According to international standards, this word should normally be in lower case, sentence-initial capitalization aside.

Ten angstroms.

See next entry.

n-m, N-M
Neiman Marcus. I learned this in a chat room, as I was dying of boredom. N-M itself uses ``NM.''

If Neiman were pronunced according to English spelling, uh, rules, the first syllable would be pronounced like the English words nay and neigh instead of like knee. (In German it's like English nigh.)

A search on the words pronunciation and pronounced at the n-m website only produced the information that Nambé, which ``creates simple, elegant designs in metal, porcelain, and crystal'' that are not inexpensive, was ``[c]hristened for a tiny New Mexican [next entry] village near Sante Fe, where the company was founded in 1951, is ``pronounced nom-BAY.''

N.M., NM
New Mexico. USPS abbreviation.

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

New Mexico is a community property state.

The westernmost ``New'' state.

Noise Margin. A measure of the noise tolerance of a logic gate. Usually a voltage noise margin is meant, but for some kinds of logic (e.g., I²L) a current noise margin is more appropriate.

National Medical Association.

National Mining Association.

Network Management and Administration. Say, man.

Network Monitoring and Analysis. Say, mon.

National Materials Advisory Board. It is clear from their under-construction homepage that this is an organization which holds meetings. Part of the NAS.

National Museum of the American Indian. Part of the Smithsonian Institution.

NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods.

Nationale Maatschappij der Belgische Spoorwegena. Flemish name of Belgian National Railway. French name is Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Belges (SNCB).

New Muon Collaboration.

National Muscle Car Association. A drag-racing association. Vide goracing.com, VROOM.

National Missile Defense. A surface-launched ABM system proposal kicking around the US government since the mid-90's.

NeuroMotor Disease.

Nuclear Medicine Department at UB.


National Materials Exchange Network. Network communication resource to enable the recycling of industrial materials and waste by putting in contact the people for whom a material is poison with those for whom it is meat. Won an NII award.

Norges Musikkorps Forbund. Well, they've got a ``hjelp'' page, but not an English one. It looks like the name means `Norwegian Marching Band Association.' According to this page served by NBTA Europe, NMF is the NBTA Norway.

National Marine Fisheries Services. A division of NOAA.

Noise Margin (NM) -- High.

National Mental Health Association.

National Mental Health Association of Georgia.

New Mexico Highlands University.

National {Measurement|Metrology} Institute.

(Australian) National Measurement Institute. NMI (not ``the NMI,'' apparently) was established on July 1, 2004, formed from the National Measurement Laboratory (NML), the National Standards Commission (NSC) and the Australian Government Analytical Laboratories (AGAL), and continues their work.

Nautical MIle[s]. Defined to be exactly 1.852 kilometers.

The most convenient universal property of ``1.852'' that I can think of is that 8, 5, and 2 are lined up on decimal keypads. Hmmm. Maybe there's more. The meter was originally defined to be one ten-millionth of the distance from the North Pole to the equator along the meridian through Paris. In other words, the length of the quadrant through Paris. (Some people thought it would make sense to measure longitude away from this meridian; I can't imagine what they might have had against a zero meridian through London.) There was a big scientific project to determine this distance, although they didn't actually go to the North Pole or the equator. If no one had measured the exact distance to the pole, I guess we'd never have learned the speed of light, so this must have been an important project. Let's suppose that the measurement was accurate, and that the earth is spherical to a good approximation. In that case, the 10,000 km is the distance corresponding to 90 angular degrees of lattitude, 90° of longitude measured at the equator, or 90° measured along any great circle on Earth's surface. That would mean that 59.9952 nmi would correspond to one degree, or about one nautical mile to one minute of angle. Come think of it, one nautical mile per minute of angle was the original definition.

Since one inch is defined (now) to be 2.54 cm, an ordinary (i.e., a universal American) mile is 1.609344 km, so 1 nmi = 1.1507794 mi., approximately.

If you came to this entry as part of the ``Meter Definition History Tour Package,'' I'm afraid I have some bad news. Combs with suspiciously sharp teeth were found in the carry-on baggage of tourists at the next few entries, so as a precaution the tour will proceed directly to the current definition, described at the entry for c, the speed of light.

NanoMagnet[-based] Logic.

(Australian) National Measurement Laboratory. Some time before 1983, when CSIRO was created, NML became an entity within its Division of Physics, at Sydney. On July 1, 2004, its staff, facilities, and functions were incorporated into NMI when that was established. At least until the transition is complete, the old website is useful.

Network Management Layer.

Noise Margin (NM) -- Low.

(UK) National Maritime Museum.

National Motorsports Marketing.

National Marine Manufacturers Association. I guess that settles it, then: marines are made, not born.

New Mexico Military Institute. ``Founded in 1891, NMMI is a co-educational, residential, college preparatory high school and two-year junior college in a military setting, located in Roswell, New Mexico.''

Roswell, eh? Hmmm. Military? Mmm.

National Mail-Order Pharmacy.

[Image: N MOSFET schematic cross section]

N-channel MOSFET, and any of the logic families based on it (which differ primarily in the nature of load in the gates--depletion nMOS transistor, enhancement nMOS, or resistor). ROM is most simply implemented in nMOS logic (see next entry, nMOS ROM).

Pronounce it carefully (``EN moss''), it about rhymes with MNOS.

The two main types of ROM based on nMOS are NOR and NAND. NAND is denser, but for a given set of design rules its access time is longer and grows more rapidly with the number of rows. NOR is less dense but has shorter access times. NOR memory can be programmed much later in fabrication, as described at the PMP entry.

In both memory types, each row (or ``word line'') is a conducting strip serving as a common gate for all the transistors in that row -- one per column, or bit line (vide BL). In NOR memory, all memory locations -- all transistors -- of a bit line are connected in parallel, like the drive of an nMOS NOR gate. In NAND memory, all transistors of a BL are connected in series.

Network Management Protocol.

NATO Military Representative (to SHAPE).

Neonatal Mortality Rate. The number of neonatal (first 28 days of life) deaths per thousand livebirths.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Typically, this refers to the absorption resonance of spin-split nuclear energy levels. Note that, since the gyromagnetic ratio is inversely proportional to particle mass, at any given magnetic field the nuclear/nucleon magnetic moment is on the order of a thousand times smaller than the atomic/electronic resonance frequencies. Thus, with EPR resonance at microwave frequencies, NMR is at radio frequencies.

NMR became the basis of an important new medical imaging technology in the 1980's. However, the word nuclear seems to have spooked a number of people, because what was originally called ``NMR imaging `` became ``MRI.'' (Then again, see preceding NMR item.)

Here was some instructional material from Virginia Tech.

The University of Florida offers the electronic journal Magnetic Resonance, which it apparently also calls its NMR Information Server. They also serve some reference links. UCB also serves a page of links.

There's a newsgroup.

Here's some more.

Here's a historical bit served by Varian.

There's even an NMR acronyms library.

There's a Van Halen song from 1983, appearing on their 1984 album, with a refrain that sounds like ``NMR'' (nonrhotic British accent) or ``enema.'' It's hard to tell accents in song. For personal reasons, I prefer to think it sounds like NMR. It's ``Panama.'' For related considerations, see the mondegreen entry: deconstruction.

Actually, the band sang it with accent on the final syllable (actually a long high note), so it sounded more like the pronunciation of the name Panamá in Spanish.

New Members Round Table (of the ALA). This is your first round table, huh? Well, there are others, like SRRT.

National Medal of Science. According to the American Society for Engineering Education [ASEE], ``...established by Congress in 1959 as a Presidential award, has recognized 362 of America's leading scientists and engineers. The evaluation criteria is based on the total impact an individual's work has had on the present state of physical, chemical, biological, mathematical, engineering, behavioral or social sciences.''

Dang! If I had known about this desirable award, I would have worked at least 40% harder to find a cure for cancer!

Network Management { System | Station }.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome.

National Medal of Technology. According to the American Society for Engineering Education [ASEE], ``...established by Congress in 1980 as part of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Act as a Presidential award, has recognized 108 individuals and eight companies whose accomplishments have generated jobs and created a better standard of living. Their accomplishments best embody technological innovation and support the advancement of global U.S. competitiveness.''

Ny MediaTeknik. Swedish for New Media Technology, probably. But wait...

[Phone icon]

Nordic Mobile Telephone. This site gives one company's not disinterested description. A standard developed by Nordic Post and Telephone Administrations. Less efficient than GSM but provides wider coverage for sparsely populated areas like, uh, Sweden!

New Mission Terrace Improvement Association. Mission Terrace is a neighborhood located in south central San Francisco. NMTIA is a volunteer organization dedicated to local issues.

New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Network Management Vector Transport. Management protocol for SNA-based (IBM) network management systems.

A unix program for browsing newsgroups.

Nearest Neighbor.

Network Node.

Neural Net[work]. A network of nonlinear nodes patterned to mimic features of biological neural systems. Back in the 1980's and even to this day, for all I know, unimaginative researchers would churn out neural net papers by the bushel, each one a slight perturbation of a thought different from the next. A guy I knew who got his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering had a long list of conference publications from this sort of industry. Normally one would be proud and happy to have many publications before the doctorate, but he actually omitted a number of his papers because he found them embarrassing and expected that they would be looked askance by prospective employers. Of course, there were also a few worthwhile papers in the field. One NN paper that I haven't read is ``Use of neural networks to predict roasting time and weight loss for beef joints,'' Food Service Technology, vol. 1, #1, pp. 53-59 (2001).

Nucleon-Nucleon (interaction).

Vide compass directions.

National Network for Early Language Learning.

Northern New England Philosophical Association. Founded in 1974.

Nonlinear Negative FeedBack. I said STOP!!! (Cf. IUBAC.)

National NeuroFibromatosis Foundation, Inc.

Network-to-Network Interface.

National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

UB's Health Sciences Library (HSL) (q.v.) is a member.

Next-to-Next-to-Leading Order. The third nonvanishing order of contributions to some calculated quantity. Preceded by LO (more discussion there) and NNLO.

Next-Nearest Neighbor.

Mortgage, spelled so as to defeat spam filters. More at the REFINANCE YOUR VIAGRA entry.

National Newspaper Publishers Association. ``The National Newspaper Publishers Association, also known as the Black Press of America, is a ... federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers from across the United States [and the Virgin Islands]. Since World War II, it has also served as the industry's news service, a position that it has held without peer or competitor since the Associated Negro Press dissolved by 1970. ...''

The NNPA was founded in 1940 as the National Negro Publishers Association and adopted its current name in 1956. Most of the member newspapers are weeklies.

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Sure, it's real. A lot more real than the money you will realize helping a conman team to launder NNPC secret funds.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Usually written NPT.

(USENET) Network News Reader for IBM CMS.

Non-Nucleoside Reverse-Transcriptase Inhibitors.

Non-Native Speaker (of English or some other language).

Number Needed to Treat. The number of people who have to take a treatment in order for one person to benefit directly. (A treatment, for the purposes of this definition, is understood very generally: receiving a vaccination, following a particular diet, and following a particular drug regimen all qualify as treatments.) The specific term abbreviated by NNT has apparently been promoted by epidemiologists since 1988.

The idea is that many preventive treatments (see above) are prescribed for healthy people who aren't likely to suffer the malady being ``prevented.'' In this case, it was conventional to distinguish absolute and relative risk reduction. If p0 is the risk without the treatment (that is, the probability of contracting the disease or what have you, over a specified period of time, yadda, yadda, yadda), and p1 is the risk with the treatment (taken over a specified period and/or in a specified dose, yadcetera), then p0 - p1 is the absolute reduction in risk, and this quantity divided by p0 is the relative reduction in risk.

[One of the more important yaddas is that in a properly designed clinical study of a drug's effectiveness, p0 is determined for a control group that receives a placebo, and whether a study participant is in the control group or in the group receiving the test drug is determined randomly. I think that maybe what you can buy at organic-food stores is the placebo diet: same unappetizing flavor, but none of the putative health benefit.]

The relative reduction in risk is always larger than the absolute; it seems more impressive and so is supposed to be favored by pharmaceutical companies in their public advertisements and promotional literature. If p0 is quite small, then the absolute risk is smaller, but the relative risk reduction can sound pretty good. For example, if a drug reduces the risk from 0.02% to 0.01%, then the absolute risk reduction is 0.01%, but the relative risk reduction is 50%. As the absolute risk gets small, the value of taking the drug decreases while the relative risk reduction may remain impressive. Apparently, the absolute/relative distinction was too often glossed-over. The NNT was defined to avoid that. It is the reciprocal of the absolute risk reduction, something like the odds of having a benefit from the drug. In the example presented, the NNT is 10,000. In other words, one needs to treat 10,000 in order for one treated person to benefit. In ordinary terms, the odds of benefitting are 9999 to 1. This is something a physician can explain to any patient.

Network News Transfer Protocol.

N number
A partial abbreviation of Number NUMBER, and so, to be brief, a redundant pleonastic pleonasm redundancy, forming part of many that we occasionally call, for short, acronym-assisted AAP pleonasms. Some popular examples:

Vide compass directions and North by Northwest.

Chemical element abbreviation for Nobelium, At. No. 102, a transuranide element and perhaps the most blatant bid for a Nobel prize in the history of chemistry. As it turned out, the researchers who claimed to have found element 102 in 1957, on the basis of a ten-minute half life, and who gave it this name, had not found it (it soon became clear that no 102 isotope had such a half-life). The next year it was really discovered at Berkeley by A. Ghiorso, T. Sikkeland, J. R. Walton (not the same Walton as the Cockroft-Walton Walton), and G. T. Seaborg. When the dust finally settled in 1967, the Berkeley group graciously recommended that the name originally given be kept.

Learn less interesting stuff like density, chemistry and all that rot at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

NO, N.O.
Normally Open. Switch and relay designation. Cf. N.C..

Whaddya mean, ``normally open''??!!!

(Domain name code for) Norway. They somehow manage to have two national languages; vide bokmål (s.v. bok).

A member of EFTA; like Iceland it has stayed out of the EU.

Here's the Norway page of an X.500 directory, but you probably can't access it.

A Japanese particle that has roughly the effect of apostrophe-ess in English: it creates a possessive. Somewhat equivalently, it has the effect that casting a word into the genitive case has in inflected languages like German or Latin.

Like Japanese particles generally, it is written using the hiragana syllabary. Those who study Japanese as a foreign language usually encounter mnemonics to help them learn the roughly 100 basic kana (hiragana plus katakana) symbols. Here's a good one for the hiragana no if you already know Hebrew. (The following paragraph is reproduced as image content below, which may help if your browser does not display the non-Latin characters properly.)

The Hebrew word for of is שׁﬥ (transliterated ``shel''). The first Hebrew letter (on the right, since Hebrew is written RTL) is shin. The modern cursive form of shin is [IMAGE: A curve with the topology of a printed letter e, but rotated about 45 degrees counter-clockwise, and with the straight line and sharp bend rounded.]. The Japanese particle -no does not mean `of' (or shel) exactly. It means 's, so it follows the possessor and precedes the possession. However, Japanese is now written left-to-right. If you read it right-to-left, like Hebrew, a phrase with -no will have the possession-of-possessor order. So naturally the cursive Hebrew shin should be flipped over to produce the hiragana no: の

Here's a png of the preceding paragraph:

[Interestingly, the word shel has undergone a semantic evolution similar to that of de (loosely `of') in Latin. In Classical Latin the genitive case was used for simple possession and attribution, and the use of de was more restricted. In Vulgar Latin, the case distinctions broke down or went away, and de came to be used more generally to mark the possessive. Somewhat similarly, Biblical Hebrew frequently can indicate possession with suffixes that mean `my, our, your,' etc., whereas Modern Hebrew makes do with ``shel.'']

Not Our[s]. Publishers' abbreviation: Not Our publication. Gives a whole old meaning to the old feminist line, ``Which part of no don't you understand?''

There's a Laurel-and-Hardy movie where Ollie rhetorically asks Stan Laurel (the generally sheepish one) if he knows how to spell ``not.'' Stan spells it out in response: ``en, oh, ott.''

In Italy, the Laurel-and-Hardy movies were long-ago dubbed using bad accents (i.e., the accents of Anglophones with poor ability to pronounce Italian). Even today, the Anglophone accent in Italian is known as lorelenardi.

Which part of ``no'' don't you understand?

(The definition was once a tone-setting feminist slogan.)

US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [Inauspiciously, perhaps, this is pronounced ``Noah.'']

No Observed Adverse Effect Level. Sounds like the level corresponding to the dose labeled MTD.

New York Online Access to Health, is available in Spanish as well as English, so you can read it twice, like road signs in New Brunswick, Canada.

(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatories.

Nederlands Omroepproduktie Bedrijf. `Dutch Broadcast Production Company.' See NOS.

Nobel Prize for Edison and Tesla
Neither Thomas Edison nor Nikola Tesla ever received a Nobel Prize, but there is a well-known story that at least one of them was consulted privately by a representative of the Nobel committee (unofficially, of course), and that one of them refused to accept the prize if he had to share it with the other, in consequence of which the prize that year went to Dalén. The story is probably apocryphal, though it's not possible to disprove it altogether. Many years ago when this was discussed on the Classics List, an official with the Nobel Committee was consulted and insisted that there was no record of either Edison or Tesla having been recommended for a prize, but this doesn't rule out the possibility that they were considered, and consulted, informally.

Here is a relevant, if loose, parallel: during a scientific conference in 1938, Enrico was approached informally regarding the Nobel in physics for that year (the story is told Atoms in the Family). He was told that he was being considered for it. Because he was an Italian national, and because the Italian government had put in place some stringent laws on the movement of currency (and given the rules on collecting the prize within a certain period after the award), there was a question whether an award at that time might not be inconvenient to the awardee, hence the consultation. Fermi said it would be okay, and the following November it was announced that he had won. (The Fermis took the opportunity of the trip to Sweden to emigrate to the US.)

The 1919 edition of the Encyclopedia Americana, in its evidently rather poorly edited article on the Nobel Prizes (in vol. 20, accessible as a Google ebook), lists the laureates from 1901 to 1914 in the five categories. (The ``Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics'' had not yet been invented.) The only American to receive the Nobel Prize in physics during that period, as the listing correctly indicates, was Albert A. Michelson. Following the listing, there is this paragraph (my comments are in square brackets):

From the list it is seen that six Americans were awarded prizes: Elihu Root [1912] and Theodore Roosevelt [1906] for their labors in behalf of peace; A. Carrel in medicine [1912; listed as French in the preceding list, apparently correctly, though he did work in the US from 1904 to 1912, and the work for which he was awarded the Nobel was done at the Rockefeller Institute]; Prof. Theodore Richard of Harvard University in chemistry [1914]; and A. A. Michelson [1907], Thomas A. Edison [nope] and Nikola Tesla [nope] in physics. [As this is seven names, they presumably meant to mention Carrel in some oblique way.] No awards were made in 1914-15. In 1916 the prize for literature was awarded to Verner Heidenstam, Sweden. In 1917 the peace prize was awarded the International Red Cross of Geneva. No 1918 prize was awarded. In 1918 Theodore Roosevelt, with the consent of Congress, distributed his prize among war charities. Consult Mosenthal, "The Inventor of Dynamite" in the Nineteenth Century (1898); `Les Prix Nobel' published annually at Stockholm. [Many of the WWI-era Nobels were awarded in the years immediately following the war.]

Nobel Prize in Literature
According to Nobel secretary Horace Engdahl, quoted in October 2000, consideration for the prize has ``no geographical or political concerns.''


``Noble'' is a qualifier applied to two groups of elements that compound little, or less than one would expect: the noble gases and the noble metals.

noble gas
An element with no partially-filled shells. To be precise: here a shell is all of the electronic states with a given principal quantum number n. The nth shell has 2n2 states, and the noble-gas element in the pth period has all shells filled up to that with n = p, so the noble-gas element of the pth period has atomic number Z = p(p+1)(2p+1)/3. The known ones, with stable or long-lived isotopes, are
  1. He (helium)
  2. Ne (neon)
  3. Ar (argon)
  4. Kr (krypton)
  5. Xe (xenon)
  6. Rn (radon)

They (mostly Xe) do form a small number of not-very-stable compounds, as well as some plain unstable compounds called excimers. Another way that noble-gas atoms can be bound chemically is in endohedral fullerenes -- fullerenes with nonbonded chemical species inside. The common notation for a Xe inside the standard 60-carbon fullerene is Xe@C60 (and it's a tight fit; He@C60 rattles around).

The closed electronic structure makes atoms of these elements chemically very unreactive -- hence the adjective ``noble''. They are also commonly called ``inert gases'' and ``rare gases,'' but these terms are better thought of as descriptions than names. The term ``inert gas'' can be ambiguous because it (and ``inert atmosphere'') are sometimes applied to non-oxidizing gases or to gases that are nonreactive in a particular situation (including nitrogen, carbon dioxide and even hydrogen, depending on context). The term ``rare gas'' is of questionable accuracy: helium, the lightest noble gas, is the second-most common element (at least of normal matter) in the universe, even if it is relatively rare on earth. Argon is 1% of the atmosphere by volume.

Another consequence of the spherically symmetric and ``rigid'' electronic structure is that their mutual van der Waals interactions are weak, so they have very low boiling and melting points (hence ``gases'').

[In fact, 4He does not even have a solid phase at ordinary pressure for any temperature. It undergoes a transition from a normal liquid state to a superfluid phase at 4.3 K. The superfluid phase is a sort of macroscopic equivalent of an atomic ground state: just as quantum mechanically, an atom in its ground state cannot lose energy even though it has positive kinetic energy, so the superfluid fraction of helium-4 does not lose energy by fluid friction. Yes, that's oversimplifying things a bit. For reassuringly normal behavior, raise the pressure to 26 atmospheres, and helium-4 solidifies just below 1 K.]

The noble gases are the group of elements in the rightmost column of standard periodic tables: group 8A in the sensible CAS group numbering traditionally used in the US and 18 in the stupid IUPAC compromise group numbering adopted in 1985.

noble metal
The noble metals are a variable group, paradigmatically including gold, that resist oxidation in air at high temperatures, and resist dissolution (also an oxidation) by strong acids.

Resistance to oxidation arises from multiple causes, but these can be broadly classed as thermodynamic and kinematic. Thermodynamics determines whether the oxidation is energetically favorable, kinematics determines how fast a thermodynamically favored oxidation will occur. Many metals, including gold and such non-noble metals as the pure metal aluminum and the alloys called stainless steels, form a thin but dense layer of oxide that prevents further oxidation. Hence oxidation of the bulk is prevented under conditions where it might be thermodynamically favorable.

Kinematic factors can depend dramatically on the oxidants and nonmonotonically on their densities, so they're a bit tricky to quantify. If you want a simple guide to just how noble an element is, thermodynamics is a better bet. In particular, I recommend the reduction potential, since I have a list of reduction potentials of common metals handy:

Reduction Half-Reaction Standard Reduction Potential (volts)
Au+(aq) + e- --> Au(s) +1.83
Pt2+(aq) + 2e- --> Pt(s) +1.19
Ir3+(aq) + 3e- --> Ir(s) +1.16
Pd2+(aq) + 2e- --> Pd(s) +0.99
Hg+(aq) + e- --> Hg(s) +0.80
Ru2+(aq) + 2e- --> Ru(s) +0.8
Ag+(aq) + e- --> Ag(s) +0.80
Rh3+(aq) + 3e- --> Rh(s) +0.76
Cu+(aq) + e- --> Cu(s) +0.52
Bi3+(aq) + 3e- --> Bi(s) +0.32
2H+(aq) + 2e- --> H2(g) +0.00
Pb2+(aq) + 2e- --> Pb(s) -0.13
Sn2+(aq) + 2e- --> Sn(s) -0.14

(Many of the metals listed have other oxidation states; I have given the reduction potentials for half-reaction from the lowest positive oxidation number.) Positive reduction potentials essentially correspond to oxidizing agents rather than reducing agents. Metals with positive reduction potentials do not react with ordinary acids to yield hydrogen gas. (Sulfuric acid is another story -- it's not just a strong acid but also an oxidizing agent.) Generally, more positive reduction potentials mean higher resistance to oxidation. Hence, a reasonable definition of noble metals might be those with reduction potentials above a particular value.

A better-defined group of elements including gold is its column of elements in the periodic table, sometimes called the ``coinage metal.''

A choice in which the decision is obvious, and the obvious decision is sometimes correct.

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. ``New Orleans Seminary'' for short. In Louisiana.

National Oil Company. Something like Brazil's Petrobras or Saudi Arabia's Aramco: government-owned or government-controlled petroleum producers. In other industries, such companies are sometimes known as ``national champions.'' NOC's are distinguished from the multinational ``supermajors'' BP, ConocoPhillips, Exxon, Total, Shell, and Chevron. In the 1950s, 85 percent of global reserves were under the control of the big oil companies. Today, 90 percent of the reserves are being exploited by NOCs and the sovereign governments that own them.

Network On Chip.

Network Operations Center.

An old Scottish form of nought.

National Organization of Catechists among Hispanics. ``Catechists''? Is that anything like ecdysiasts? Feline ecdysiasts? ``NOCH has been a leader in the Catholic religious formation for Hispanics in the United States since 1986. In the light of the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church, NOCH is committed to the catechetical ministry for Spanish speakers of all ages.'' Hmmm... ecclesiasts, then. Sounds close enough.

Spanish: `night.'

``Good night'' in Spanish is buenas noches, literally `good nights.' I have no idea why. ``Good day'' can be done with either number: buen día or buenos días.

North Ottawa Community Health System. It's not what (or where) you might think. ``We offer all the traditional hospital services as well as a variety of outpatient services, comprehensive home care, clinics and educational programs. Our technology and convenient location provide quality medical care to residents of the West Michigan Tri-Cities and surrounding areas.'' It's based in Grand Haven, Michigan.

no comment
A self-contradictory remark. The logical difficulty with this comment is similar to that identified in ``Free Will,'' a Rush song: ``If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.'' It's a pretty stale observation (about ``no comment''), though perhaps not as stale as the comment itself. What the world seems to need is a few relatively novel ways of no-commenting. Someone somewhere ought to try just pursing his lips. (You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow.) At the off the record entry (which is on the record and published in this glossary), we examine recursive comment-masking mechanisms.

If making no comment by not commenting is too difficult for one's spokesman, perhaps the solution is to have no spokesman (spokesperson? spoker?) at all. As of 2007, Senator Hillary Clinton has a number of spokers. One is her Senate spokesman, Philippe Reines. Commenting in May on two new biographies of Clinton, Reines asked ``Is it possible to be quoted yawning?'' (``Aw-oouahhh''?)

In Joseph Heller's Good As Gold, the hero electrifies (it's a metaphor, okay?) a White House flack by coining the original phrase ``I don't know.'' Later, a presidential spokesman deploys this work of rhetorical art during a press conference, and everyone is stunned. I'm working from memory here, so some details may be off.//


Nominal Operating Cell Temperature.

National Oceanographic Data Center.

Noder Dame
You mean Notre Dame?
Nawtr' Dahhhm, mebbe?

Network Of Excellence. May be pronounced No E. It's not quite up there in the exalted ranks of COST and other very ill-conceived acronyms, but it may earn ESPRIT an award for sustained achievement.

Nuclear Overhauser {Enhancement|Effect}. Used in Heteronuclear Overhauser Enhancement (NMR) Spectroscopy (HOESY), NOESY (next entry) and other -OESY's.

Nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE) and Exchange (NMR) SpectroscopY.

NOtification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation ACT. (It's anti-retaliation as well.) Signed into (US) law on May 15, 2002. Laws already existed to protect government employees, former employees, and job applicants from discrimination and from retaliation for whistle-blowing. [The term ``whistle-blowing'' is used loosely in this context. One case brought to light in hearings on the bill involved an EPA scientist who was punished for a memorandum she had written over ten years earlier and which had eventually, without her knowledge, been given to the House Science Committee (which of course had a perfect right to it).] Existing laws already imposed rules on government agencies' dealings with their employees (and former employees, etc.) and provided for compensation to whistle-blowers when those rules are violated. What the No FEAR Act does is intended to do is increase agencies' ``accountability'' in two ways: (1) most noticeably through ``notification'' -- agencies are required to publish quarterly reports relating to their compliance with anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws, and (2) most stingingly through the ``reimbursement'' clauses: any monetary settlements won by plaintiffs under these laws are taken out of the budgets of those agencies.

[Football icon]

NO Football Parking, $6
Huh? Oh! I guess that was ND Football Parking. Never mind.

NOrth HOllywood. Also NOrthHamptOn -- at least the one in Massachusetts. I didn't make this up myself.

National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council. ``NOHVCC, as a national body of OHV recreation enthusiasts, develops and provides a wide spectrum of programs, materials and information, or `tools,' to individuals, clubs, associations and agencies in order to further a positive future for responsible OHV recreation.''

Nation of Islam.

Notice Of Intent.

There used to be an advertising campaign for a cigar: a heart attack waiting to happen -- a sedentary suit, unconcerned by his BMI, planted on a plush leather chair -- would issue the stirring ad slogan: ``We're gonna getcha.'' He meant that you couldn't resist becoming a White Castle cigar smoker. As if their tobacco were addictive or something. Hah! Usually, when somebody smiles confidently and says that ``we're gonna getcha,'' it's not a friendly smile. The we refers to less retiring persons who have been delegated the task of ``getting you,'' possibly with some discretion as to how they instantiate or ``concretize'' the relatively vague thr-- er, promise.

This is a meaty topic. I'll fill in some more stuff later.

Oh wait -- I think it was White Owl cigars, not White Castle. Whatever.

`We' in Italian.

Back when I worked at Arizona State University (ASU), one of our Japanese post-docs, Nobu, took a short vacation in Mexico and returned with a dusty, impressively old-looking tome. He explained gleefully that the vendor had sold it to him cheap because it was old. Nobu didn't happen to know Spanish, so he asked me to read some and tell him what the book was about. I found it difficult to understand, like medieval Catalan or... something. As you can guess from the entry in which you're reading this story, it was actually Italian. However, since I had this idea fija (`idée fixe' in English) that it was just ``really weird Spanish,'' the nickel didn't drop for a minute or so. We went to Rita (a grad student from Sardinia), who confirmed that it was (fairly modern) Italian. I don't remember what the book was about.

A somewhat related story about Enrico Fermi and his sister and a physics book is retold by Laura Fermi in her biography of her husband Enrico, Atoms in the Family. I'll try to put that in here later.

I was reading an Italian mystery last year (I picked up a bit of Italian since my time at ASU) and having trouble with one longish and idiom-laden sentence. Then, as I walked through the library not far from a small group talking in polite library tones, I distinctly heard one of them say noi -- a word that, afaik, doesn't occur in any western Romance language other than Italian. I rushed back to where I was sitting and got the book. I approached them and asked (in English) for help. They said they'd try, but soon admitted defeat. When I tried to discuss the problematic text with them, it turned out they didn't know Italian... We continued the discussion in Spanish. I wanted to know ``¿¡qué palabra es `noy'!?'' It turned out that what I had heard (which would be written ``noy'' in Spanish) was a slurring of ``no oí,'' Spanish for `I didn't hear.' Precisely.

I suppose that as they had been speaking in somewhat hushed tones, it was natural that one of them should have said it, and said it a bit louder than usual. That's my excuse. For a related story involving Nobu and no and n', see the nimporta entry.

In communications, there's a technical distinction between noise and interference. Interference is deviation from desired signal that is caused by influence between two communication channels in the same (e.g., crosstalk between two phone lines) or different communication systems. Noise is deviation caused by sources external to communication systems (e.g., lightning).

Net Operating Loss.

Florida State University Seminoles. School teams name.

no less than
And not much more than, you can be sure.


Noli sistere!
One way of saying `Don't stop!' in Latin. Somebody emailed to ask, so I figured others would want to know. On the other hand, I figured you wouldn't want to know so badly that I should put in an entry under the translated head term. I mean, you're bound to get around to it eventually if you don't stop reading the glossary. Oh, I'm a riot, I know.

Some of you more inquisitive readers are probably wondering why this particular phrase. It doesn't look like a take-home exam problem. I was not vouchsafed this information. I provided the Latin translation on a don't-ask-don't-tell basis. Furthermore, the resemblance of the Latin verb sistere and the English word sister is purely coincidental, and does not reflect any special message tailoring on anyone's part.

Hmm -- I can see that some of you more inquisitive types just won't give up. You want to know ``well then, what was the sex of your email correspondent''? Look, you must realize that if I start giving out detailed information like that you'll be able to guess the identity of the person who made the query. Then, given your filthy imagination, you will probably go and destroy this probably-innocent coed's reputation. Therefore I vow to tell you nothing about my correspondent unless you drag it out of me.

It's important to know that there's a singular-plural distinction even in the imperative. If she had been commanding more than one person to not stop, she would want to say Nolite sistere! I provided this information just in case (JIC). Things have been known to get kinky at that school.

BTW, there are other verbs that translate `stop,' and slightly milder ways of expressing an imperative (specifically, by using the ``jussive'' sense of the subjunctive; `may you not stop').

National Outdoor Leadership School.

Natural Organic Matter. Before 1828, this was the only kind.

Neutrino Oscillation MAgnetic Detector.

nom de cyber
A pseudonym used in cyberspace. The term is jocularly modeled on the old French tag nom de plume. (That means `pen name'; see the penknife entry for more.)

nom de internet
A pseudonym used on the Internet. The term is jocularly modeled on the old French tag nom de plume, and appears, sadly in my opinion, to be more common than nom de cyber. I mean, if you're going to be barbarously absurd, do it with a panache.

nom d'internet
A pseudonym used on the Internet. The term is jocularly modeled on the old French tag nom de plume. It's less barbarous than nom de internet, so I'm pleased that it's less common too.

nom d'ordinateur
A French term meaning `computer name.' It seems to occur (in French) primarily as a reference to the name of a computer, and not to a name one uses with a computer (username or pseudonym or such). Cf. nom de cyber.

Nomenclature is destiny
I first encountered this idea in Roger Price: ``The Roger Price Theory of Nomenclature,'' The Bedside Playboy, pp. 286-293. The Bedside Playboy, incidentally, was edited by Hugh M. Hefner -- evidently an extraordinary man: bon vivant, businessman, editor, philosopher, publisher, restauranteur, and roué. This volume of selections from his illustrated literary journal was published by, of course, HMH Publishing Co, Inc., in 1963 (see also V.I.P.), when the prevalent Weltanschauung still had a conceptual niche that could be filled by a word like ribald. Roger Price also made lasting contributions to civilization. He and Leonard Stern created Mad Libs, mentioned at this ad lib entry.

In his nomenclature essay, Price was concerned with the direct psychosocial consequences of certain names; how these exert an irresistible force on one's fate. For example: ``Cora has good posture and a severe hairdo.'' He notes that, as a 1920's Roger, he had been destined to a life of near-sighted studiousness and giving the class oration at high school commencement. (In clear confirmation of his prediction, these things had in fact already come to pass. My own research has determined that Norberts are at high risk of becoming dix-huitièmistes. See also our advisory on Virginia at the NJCA entry.) Price failed to adduce another strong piece of evidence for his hypothesis: the well-known cases of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Woodrow Wilson, and Werner Erhard (the est guy), who changed their names and their lives. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. (A bit more on Woody and Werner at the electrical banana entry. BTW, Mad Libs came into the world as Roger Price was in the kitchen carving a banana. Bananas have the highest humor content of any tropical fruit.)

The meanings Price was concerned with had little to do with the original meanings of the names -- their etymologies. If you want to know about given-name etymologies, the site to visit is Behind the Name. See also IncompeTech's NameDB.

Here's a link to a nice collection of author names apposite to the titles of books they wrote.

Not really appropriate to this entry, but I don't have another place to list them right now, are The Funny Name Server and Name of the Month. See also the Kabalarian Philosophy Home Page (``Teaching the Principles of Mental Freedom''). The Kabalarian Philosophy is similar to the idea of this entry, but they seem to be in dead earnest, so I concede they might be a lot funnier. On the other hand, we are informative.

This glossary entry is concerned with names that have an evident meaning, whether that is the same as the original meaning or not, where those names have operated magically, molding their bearers so that the names would come to be ironic commentary.

[column] One way or another, the idea that the meaning of a name affects its bearer has a classical provenance:

Nomen est omen
occurs in a battuta of a comedy of Plautus. (Persa 623 ss.)

Paul N. ``RED'' ADAIR
A daring firefighting specialist. The nickname ``Red'' he had from childhood, for the fiery color of his hair, before he started wearing his trademark red overalls. He was the most famous pioneer in capping oil-well fires and blowouts, both on land and off shore. Oil-well fires are noisy, and he became noticeably hard-of-hearing. He earned the nickname ``Hellfighter'' for his exploits. In 1968, a movie called ``Hellfighters'' was made starring John Wayne as ``Chance Buckman,'' the red-overalled Adair character. Red Adair was a technical advisor for the film, along with a `Boots' Hansen and a `Coots' Matthews who also have no other movie credits.

A senior vice president at Horizon Media, a company that buys ads. He was named Advertising Age 2002 Media Maven, and in 2005 he was ranked the #3 most quoted executive in Advertising Age's annual 'Media Talk' listing.

Georg AGRICOLA (1494-1555)
The surname is a Latin word meaning `farmer.' The subject of this subentry was a German physician who wrote several works on mineralogy and metallurgy. You might ask, ``how is this any more noteworthy than a German physician who wrote several works on mineralogy and metallurgy and was named Georg Landwirt [`George Farmer']?'' It's more noteworthy because it's not common for Germans to have Latin surnames. When medieval and early modern Germans have been known by Latin names that are not essentially their German names translated, then one could expect the name to be chosen to make some point (e.g.: Paracelsus). The point here, if there was one, seems wildly off-target.

Agricola's most famous work, De Re Metallica, was published in 1556, when he was already sleeping with the minerals. Yes, that was a lame joke. We know -- we're experts at that sort of thing. We only included it here because we want to expose you to every kind of humor (diverse humor includes differently-abled humor, ha, ha). Otherwise, we'd have written that it wasn't about the rock group. That would have had you ROTFL, because it puns both on Metallica and rock group. (It would have. It hasn't because of the timing. We know. Another thing about timing: Georg Agricola was a near contemporary of Paracelsus, another physician. Paracelsus was the first great champion of medicinal chemistry. The novelty of Paracelsus's idea might be inferred from the fact that Agricola, a physician interested in chemical processes (in mining and metallurgy) wrote little or nothing about medicinal chemistry. Then again, Agricola wrote only what he knew; Paracelsus went beyond what he knew and so was able to say a great deal (pretty much all of it nonsense, alas).

Oh wait -- his name was German: Georg Bauer. (Bauer meant `peasant'; in Latin translation he gave himself a free upgrade.) So his books were actually by Georgius Agricola -- the mixed German and Latin is sloppy and misleading. Hmmph. Oh well.

De Re Metallica was Englished by Herbert Clark Hoover (an engineer who became famous as organizer of relief efforts in Europe after WWI and later became president of the US) in collaboration with his wife Lou Henry Hoover. (And look, if a girl gets Henry as her surname, how much sense does it require to avoid giving her a name like Lou as well? People surnamed Henry should be able to see this coming and make appropriate preparations.) The Hoovers also collaborated on an English translation of the De Architectura of Vitruvius Pollio.

There's a Georg-Agricola-Gesellschaft, e.V. (founded in 1926), but it's not primarily about him. It's ``zur Förderung der Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik'' (`for the advancement of the history of the natural sciences and technology').

Under her byline, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article on Americans not getting enough sleep (``Waking up grumpy is Zzz factor,'' November 8, 2007).

A borough in Warren County, New Jersey. It's the first municipality you notice upon entering the state (on I-78 from Pennsylvania). Okay, it's not actually the first one you pass through. Harry Zikas, Jr., was elected mayor there in 1999, at 21 the youngest mayor in New Jersey. After his reelection in 2003, he said ``I will ALWAYS keep Alpha priority one ....'' (I know it doesn't look promising now, but I swear to you that this is a very exciting subentry.)

Alpha was founded because of the high quality and quantity of limestone deposits found there. The limestone attracted the cement industry, which flourished in the early part of the twentieth century. Alpha was incorporated in 1911 and is named after the Alpha Portland Cement Company.

I should probably clarify the ``first municipality you notice'' thing. It has to do with geometry, but the details will have to wait until the next time I'm east-bound in that area. I really want to clear this priority thing up and find out which is the real alpha town, but all I can tell you now is what I witnessed the last time I left New Jersey on I-78. Near the 3.8 mile marker, there's a sign announcing that you're entering the township of Hopatcong. Then, just 0.4 miles later: ``Entering the Boro of Alpha.'' But wait-- at the 2.8 MM, ``Entering the Twp. of Hopatcong.'' I didn't realize I'd left. But Alpha comes roaring back! Again after just 0.4 miles: entering Alpha. Things quiet down. At 1.8 miles, no Hopatcong riposte, 1.4 miles, 1 mile, looks like Alpha is going to take it to the finish line. But wait! At 0.8 miles -- Hopatcong! The tension mounts! Help me, Dashboard Jesus, I can hardly steer! At 0.6 miles, 0.5 miles, Alpha is silent. It's 0.4 miles, still haven't seen a sign, 0.3 .... The bridge is coming into view, still no new entering sign. Is this it? Just before the bridge -- I see a sign! A SIGN! Hang on tight -- it's gonna be a cliffhanger! At 0.1 miles, just feet from the shore, I see -- ``Entering... the town of Phillipsburg''! Gasp! It's over! It's alll over!! Oh my heart! Omigod! Ohh--mega!

(For those of you who sincerely care: I-78 bypasses Alpha in a semicircle around the south. It avoids the residential streets but goes through a couple of arms of the roughly star-shaped incorporated area.)

It's the American Medical Association or something.

Markeith AMBLES
An American football player. He was a highly recruited high school player out of McDonough, Georgia. When he arrived at USC in 2010, he was the #3-rated receiver in the country. He played in the first four games for the Trojans as a true freshman, but was declared academically ineligible for the rest of the season (or, in case it's not the same, was suspended for academic reasons, according to other reports). How do you get into academic trouble just one month into your freshman year? ``Maturity issues,'' they say. He left USC either voluntarily or ``voluntarily'' in November but returned in January. He was punished and almost kicked off the team in April for being a no-call-no-show. In August he was declared academically ineligible to play in the 2011 season and he soon left USC for good.

Not editorializing or anything, but this whole student-athlete charade is unfair. No one asked Einstein to run a minimum 5-second 40, did they? So this guy is a wide-receiving genius -- why should he have to stay awake through a bunch of boring lectures just to play farm-team football for scraps and peanuts, under the tyranny of well-compensated coaches (guys who lacked the skills to earn a hyper-rich retirement in their playing years)?

Anyway, Ambles meandered around the no-TV-coverage backwaters of college football for a while (places -- like Arizona Western Community College -- that are so little-known they might be fictitious) before reemerging in 2013. In April it was announced that he had signed with the Houston Cougars, to arrive on campus (there isn't much irony content in this entry; all this detail is just due diligence and digging for ironic dirt) in the summer, able to play immediately and with two years of eligibility remaining. The Cougars play in the Big East, and Ambles, teamed with WR Deontay Greenberry, should give them one of the best receiving groups in that conference.

Amatore, Amadori, etc., now used as surnames, are versions of a common given name borne by various medieval saints, many of them martyrs. The original given name was the Latin Amator, meaning `lover,' implicitly of God. Scott Amedure suffered and died for a different kind of love.

Jonathan T. Schmitz, a waiter in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, agreed in 1995 to appear on the Jenny Jones talk show, where he was told that he would learn the identity of a secret admirer. When the show was taped in Chicago on Monday, March 6, he learned that his acquaintance Amedure was the secret admirer. According to Jim Paratore, president of Telepictures Productions (which produced the show), ``We observed nothing confrontational or any signs of embarrassment between any of the guests before, during or after the taping.''

On account of adverse publicity or whatever, that show was never aired, but it was screened by the jury in Schmitz's trial for the murder of Amedure the next year. During the show, Amedure outlined his sexual fantasies about Schmitz, which involved ``whipped cream and champagne'' and focused on Schmitz's ``cute, little hard body.'' All members of the jury agreed that they observed signs of embarrassment. (Schmitz was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison. The conviction was overturned on appeal, and confirmed in a second trial, where the original sentence was reinstated.)

Schmitz said later that he thought he had handled the situation well and was putting it behind him. The following Thursday morning, however, Schmitz found a note attached to his apartment door. The note ``contained sexual references,'' as they say. (That makes me think of C++, but I'm pretty perverted.) In reaction, Schmitz bought a 12-gauge shotgun and five rounds of ammunition, and drove to Amedure's Orion Township, Michigan, mobile home. There he confirmed that Amedure had written the note and then shot him twice in the chest, allegedly. I like to add ``allegedly'' because it shows that I'm being careful to cover my ass. Don't want to be provocative.

Head coach of the Galaxy (an MLS team) of Los Angeles, Ca.

If he had gone into track and field, he would have been a natural for the javelin throw. Instead, he went into bike racing and had some success, taking the Tour de France (sounds like a touristy thing) a few times (seven, a broken record). Oops, scratch that: he won it zero times. In mid-career, he got testicular cancer but beat that too. Now he's the poster boy for more comfortable bicycle seats.

Interestingly, there's another, unrelated guy with the same name -- Lance Armstrong -- who also races or raced for the USPS team, though not as successfully. He would get regular autograph requests. (You wouldn't think it'd be a likely mistake for fans to make, since he's a black man and the famous Lance Armstrong is a blonde, but I guess the name is everything. Or maybe we've finally achieved the true ``color-blind'' society!) Knowing the post office, they probably get each others' mail as well. Evidently there's something about the name that predisposes one to bike race for the post office.

I don't believe in Peter Pan,
Frankenstein, or Superman.

-- ``Bicycle Race'' (Queen)

Daniel ARrEOLA
A police officer who left his job as a result of sexual misconduct. In Mid-November 2009, he and fellow officer Adam Fisher (I'm still thinking about this name) resigned from the Glendale, Ariz., police force after Police Chief Steve Conrad notified them that he planned to fire them. Fisher and Shannon Godina, a police records employee, had been conducting an affair, and Fisher would visit Godina's house when he was supposed to be on patrol. An investigation into this found that Fisher and Arreola were doctoring time sheets and sending ``sexually and racially offensive'' messages to other officers in Glendale. The actual messages were not quoted, but we can take the quoted description at face value, since nowadays there's always someone eager to be offended by anything, you pervert.

Before the officers resigned, Godina had confessed to having had sex with Fisher ``on the clock'' (kinky!) three to five times in 2008 and was fired, possibly without the option of resigning instead. In her confession, she also volunteered that she wanted to leave her post at the records office to become a police officer. Now that she's out of the records office, it would be harder for her to change her own employment records (not to mention time sheets), and her termination from this job might be a problem if she does try to become a police officer somewhere. Maybe she should change her name, or at least its termination. I suggest changing -ina to -iva.

No wait: according to a news report, ``Police say Godina confessed to having sex with Fisher because she wanted to leave the records office and become a police officer.'' Now I get it: she really didn't have the opportunity to resign, so she had to get herself fired. She should sue the police department for violating her thirteenth-amendment rights.

Darius was the name of a couple of important Persian emperors, and Darius A. Arya is the name of an American archaeologist. Well, I guess Darius (like Cyrus) is still a common enough given name in Iran.

There's a Swedish surname Asplund, with the meaning `aspen grove.' I don't know where the extra h came from, but Carl Hjalmar Asplundh came from Sweden in 1882 and worked as an accountant in Philadelphia. After he died in 1903, Carl's second son Oswald took up work as gardener and later founded a landscaping and tree surgery business, employing his three younger brothers as tree trimmers as they worked their way through college. Those brothers, Griffith, Lester, and Carl Hjalmar (junior) founded the Asplundh Tree Expert Co. in 1928. This history is cribbed from that company's website's history page. According to itself, in 2006 ``Asplundh is the world's leading vegetation management company, with over 28,000 employees serving utilities and municipalities in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.''

And on the subject of surprising final aitches, don't forget Jean Anouilh.

This is the name of an unexpectedly aptly named song on Ashlee Simpson's debut album. But before we get into that, I want to point out that Ashlee is an artist, a musician, a creator (creatrix?). As a mere indication of both her musical acumen and ability, here is an unsparing and perceptive self-critique that she allowed to be published. About burping the alphabet, she commented ``[m]y worst letter is S. It is a closed consonant and at the end when I am out of wind.'' But she's also fair: ``... my favorite letter is G. It is an open consonant and it is at the beginning when my wind is strong.'' Modestly, she concedes that her older sister ``Jessica burps the alphabet better than me. She has better wind and she is a much louder belcher.'' (Thanks, sis.) Maybe Ashlee should discuss this with her singing coach. I hear that if you control your voice just so, you can conserve your wind so as to make it through a longer piece. Then again, maybe a natural singing talent doesn't have to worry about that breathing stuff.

Well, I guess I'll tell you more about it later. Right now I feel a sore throat coming on.

HARRY BAALS [Picture of Shelley Long and Ted Danson on the set of Cheers, 1984; Britney Spears was a very young girl then.]
Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1934-1947 and 1951-1954. Fort Wayne was named after (and apparently by) General ``Mad'' Anthony Wayne. The actress Shelley Long is from Fort Wayne.

The image at right shows Shelley Long and Harry Baals on the set of the NBC show ``Cheers'' in 1984. Shelley Long is the one to the left. Hmmm. I think maybe the guy with her is actually the actor Ted Danson. I guess I don't have a picture of Harry Baals. I can't honestly say that bothers me very much.

Also not shown at right is Britney Spears. Why do I mention Britney Spears? The reason I mention Britney Spears, and Britney Spears images in particular, is that if you have (or even just mention) pictures of Britney Spears on your web page, you can increase your hit count. This is what's called ``shameless promotion.'' It's nothing special, and I didn't invent it. I should probably mention Brittany Speers as well -- it'll rank high in searches on the misspelled name. If you want to know how to spell her name (it's an odd variant), go to Britney's record producer's official webpage and see Britney Spears's name written in big letters. They also have pictures of Britney's album covers.

December 2, 2001: I just checked on Google: the ``Brittany Speers'' thing hasn't worked so well -- this page only ranked thirteenth out of ``about 193'' (most of those unintentional mispellings). I'm going to type it in a third time now and see what happens: Brittany Speers.
Oh yes: nekkid.

It's obvious that you just can't get enough of this stuff. Go see the Alana Miles entry.

April 14, 2002: We're up to third of ``about 706.'' YES! (Google is trying hard to help steer people to pages with the name spelled properly, but we know you're looking for us.) And we'll also try to get you with brittany spears.

As the AP had it, ``Jolee Bacon really sizzles when it comes to hog-calling.'' This was the lead in an item datelined Sept. 22, 2008, Lewiston, Idaho. On Saturday the 20th, she had taken first place in the hog-calling competition at the Nez Perce County Fair. The Northern Idaho woman has raised several champion hogs for 4-H contests. She won over the crowd as she started her call with ``a few loud snorts and a long, drawn-out `sooey'.''

Houston Astros first baseman, as of this writing (2004 postseason).

Lauren BAIER Kim
A reporter for the Wall Street Journal -- it publishes financial news, dontchaknow. Baier is pronounced ``buyer.''

Harvey R. BALL
Harvey R. Ball (July 10, 1921 - April 12, 2001), an ad executive, was the person with the strongest claim to having invented the smiley face -- the simple, circular yellow face with an ear-to-ear grin and no ears (smiley).

In 1959, Mr. Ball founded an advertising and PR agency in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1963, one of his clients, State Mutual Life Assurance Company of America, asked him to help with the reassurance of workers in the wake of a merger. According to Ball's claim, corroborated by issues of the Worcester Times & Gazette of that time, and by State Mutual Life company records, that was the beginning of the smiley face. It stands to reason: the meaningless smiley originated as a meaningless feel-good PR gesture substituting for a substantive assurance of continued work or placement and transition help? Oh well. State Mutual Life is now Allmerica Financial Corporation. Ball recalled that he was paid $45 for his artwork and never applied for a trademark or copyright. At least he wasn't fined.

According to the AP, the smiley's popularity peaked in 1971, when fifty million smiley buttons were sold. In 1999, the USPS issued a smiley-face stamp. Who says there isn't a distinctive American culture?

In 1989, Charlie Alzamora stepped forward to dispute Ball's claim of priority. You wouldn't think, by that time, it would be anything that anyone outside the post office would want to claim credit for. Alzamora, by then program director for New York radio station WMCA (AM 570; I don't think it had religious programming in those days), told the New York Times that a happy face with a slightly crooked smile was developed by the station in 1962 as a promotion for its DJ's. The face, with the slogan ``the WMCA good guys,'' was printed on thousands of sweatshirts distributed by the station.

They say that success has a thousand fathers, but failure is an orphan. This must be an exceptional case.

A page 3 girl. It's about the hair. Yeah, that's it.

Joseph ``Jose'' BANKS
When Banks was arrested on September 4, 2008, the FBI described him as one of the most prolific bank robbers in Chicago history, accusing him of holding up at least 20 banks.

Well, you may have a little money in a piggy bank, and you may add to it, but you're supposed to wait before you get it out. Margaret-Eleanora Banks, known as Peggy, was 22 in 1745, an orphan living with her brother. At the time, she and Harry Grenville already planned to marry, but her fortune was a mere 5000 pounds. They didn't marry until 1757, by which time her sister had died unmarried, doubling Peggy's fortune by the terms of their father's will. (Harry Grenville, as governour of Barbados, had also improved his own circumstances.)

BANNING, California
A town of 25,000 an 85-mile drive east on I-10 from downtown Los Angeles. (Pass Ontario, CA, along the way.) In December, 2002, a lesbian student at Coombs Middle School there sued the Banning Unified School District. She had been banned from gym class for over a week because administrators felt that other girls would be uncomfortable getting undressed in front of her. The plaintiff, 14 at the time of the incident, is being represented by lawyers of the ACLU and the NCLR. She claims that she felt ``humiliated and denigrated.'' Is it okay to use that word again?

In an interview with Reuters, she explained that ``It's fine if they're uncomfortable but it's still discrimination.'' But apparently it's not fine if she's uncomfortable.

Host of the TV shows ``Truth or Consequences'' for 18 years and ``The Price is Right'' for 30 years. I'd like to say that that makes him something like a carnival barker, but his role was not so full-throated. So that's not the excuse for this entry.

He's a vegetarian and very active animal-rights advocate. He co-hosted the 1986 PATSY awards with a dog named Mike.

Son of Serafín Baroja. The given name Pío is the Spanish form of the Latin name Pius (meaning `pious'). The surname Baroja is not likely to be related to Baroque (barroco in Spanish). It does, however, suggest Hebrew vocabulary related to piety. Words with the same consonants in Hebrew (b,r,kh) are various conjugations of `bless' and related words. (For example, the noun for benediction, transliterated into Spanish, is barajá. A common boys' given name in Hebrew is Baruch, `blessed.' ) Actually, baraja is a Spanish word also: barajar is `to fight, stir [as a pot], mix [especially cards -- i.e. shuffle].' The origin or the word is unknown. See also baraka.

When you consider the position of the hands, barajar naipes (`to shuffle cards') resembles Christian prayer. Maybe the Spanish word comes from the Arab-speaking Muslim world, as playing cards themselves did. (Okay, Corominas y Pascual reject an Arabic origin, which proves that if barajar has an Arabic origin, they're wrong.) Arabic, another Semitic language, has a cognate of the Hebrew root. The same Arabic word was adopted into Swahili, a Bantu language of coastal East Africa. Although Swahili is the native language of only a minority of Bantu-speakers, it is widely used as a commercial lingua franca. US President Barack Obama is the son of a Kenyan, and his first name means `blessed.'

It's plausible to speculate that Baroja is a ``New Christian'' name -- i.e., a surname of (Roman Catholic) Spaniards descended from converted Jews. It is much more probable that the name is simply derived from the place name Baroja (annexed to the municipality of Peñacerrada in the province of Álava). The name of Álava is derived from Basque and means `intermountain region.' Interestingly, however, Álava is a homophone of alaba (`[he] praises') except that the stress in the latter word is on the penult. Serafín Baroja, a mining engineer (born 1840 in San Sebastián), was a writer of popular cantos in Basque (lyrics that various others later set to music). I don't have to tell you what Serafín means and that it's derived from Hebrew, do I? Good.

Pío, also born in San Sebastián (Dec. 28, 1872), like his father had a practical profession but is remembered for his artistic work (novels and literary essays, mostly). He became a physician and practiced for two years in Cestona, but that life was too dull and he moved to Madrid. There he tried his hand at various businesses, and successfully established a bakery with his brother Ricardo (a painter and self-taught engraver). You don't need to know this, but then you don't need not to know it either. All you really need to know you learned in kindergarten, so stop reading and get back to work.

The first sentence of his Memorias is

Yo no tengo la costumbre de mentir.
(`I am not in the habit of lying.') This may suggest to sensitive persons like me that he was an unselfaware scold. Referring in the memoir to the publication of El Árbol de la Ciencia in 1911, he noted that he put in it his concerns as a physician and as an amateur philosopher. He adds that this novel ``es el libro más acabado y completo de todos los míos, escrito en el tiempo que yo estaba en el máximo de energía intelectual.'' (That `it is the most finished and complete of all my books, written at the peak of my intellectual energies.')

The title El Árbol de la Ciencia is an obvious allusion to the Biblical ``tree of the knowledge of good and evil,'' so right there you've got your nomen-est-omen money's worth. (The title is the traditional, now archaic, expression of `The Tree of Knowledge.' See árbol entry for details.) The novel follows one Andrés Hurtado. Hurtado sounds like it ought to be related to huerto, `garden' (< Latin hortus), and therefore stand as another reference to the Garden of Eden. Then again, maybe not. Hurtado is a common surname in the Spanish-speaking world, so common that one never thinks of its meaning: `stolen' or `hidden.' Hanks and Hodges suggest that ``the reference was probably to an illegitimate offspring, whose existence was concealed, or to a kidnapped child. (Portuguese has the equivalent surname Furtado. Both surnames are the past participle of a verb -- hurtar, furtar -- ultimately derived from the Latin fur, `thief.')

Let's take a closer look at that novel, then (and let's call it Tree, which rhymes with brevity). The book follows Hurtado from the beginning of his medical education (hey -- write what you know). Paragraph three is this sentence:

Por una de estas anomalias clásicas de España, aquellos estudiantes que esperaban en el patio de la Escuela de Arquitectura no eran arquitectos del porvenir, sinó futuros médicos y farmacéuticos.
[`By one of these classic anomalies of Spain, those students waiting in the courtyard of the Architecture School were not architects to be, but rather future physicians and pharmacists.']

It turns out that the general chemistry class for first-year students in medicine and pharmacy was taught in an old converted chapel, and that the entrance to that was via the Architecture courtyard. I mention this not because it is interesting in itself, but because it is not interesting in itself. It's not unusual in any large educational institution for classroom space to be taken where it can be found; to find in this some indication of Spanish singularity suggests a limited experience. It's too bad, because the novel fairly bursts with broad assertions about national and regional character which I wish I could pass along in good conscience. Instead, I shall have to pass them along with a bad conscience.

Yes, I will finish this entry, honest. Where did I put the book???!!

I found the book! Maybe later I'll use it.

Baroja is considered an important influence on Ernest Hemingway and on John Dos Passos. Hemingway is said to have adopted the ``spare realism'' of Baroja. This sort of thing is always relative. Cervantes was celebrated in part for his unwordy style. Look, not to take anything away from Cervantes or even Baroja, but Spanish as ordinarily spoken and written is often verbose and embellished and wordy. Any competent writer of any century who wants to maintain his readers' interest must write more tersely than average.

Henry Randall BASKETT III
As a high school athlete in Clovis, New Mexico, he lettered in football and track as well as basketball. And at the 2000 state track meet in Albuquerque set the state record of 7 feet in the high jump. Nevertheless, he pursued a career in football. He was hired by the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 and as of 2009 has played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts.

Michael BEER
Author of Taste or Taboo: Dietary Choices in Antiquity (2009).

Security coordinator for the 2002 Indianapolis 500. Spectators may bring coolers no larger than 14 inches wide and 14 inches high. If there's no length restriction, that could pack enough beer. You can also bring a ``small backpack.''

Charlotte BEERS
She's a CEO of Ogilvy and Mather. (That's neither here nor there; it's in Chicago, and it's ``an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency.'')

Beers has been quoted as saying that ``I had my first kiss while I had a bottle of Coke in my hand. Coca-Cola isn't about taste; it's about my life.'' Take it from an ad executive, I guess.

Wallace BEERY
He was born Wallace Fitzgerald Beery, and used his real name as an actor. He won an Oscar for the eponymous lead role in a boxing movie entitled ``The Champ'' (1931). To capitalize on that success, MGM starred him in a movie with the unfortunately suggestive title of ``Flesh'' (1932). Implausibly, a movie poster describes him as a svelte ``200 lbs. of flesh and muscle.'' I guess the stipulation means that they're not counting the gut. The movie was directed by the great John Ford, who refused to take directing credit or whatever. It's a movie about the great Polokai, king of the beer-hall wrestlers. He's also a novelty or gimmick of a waiter: he carries a beer barrel to your table to fill your mug. Read more here. In a still from the movie that you can see here, Polokai (Beery) drinks from a mug about as wide as his own mug and almost as long as his upper arm.

[Phone icon]

Alexander Graham BELL
When I was a kid, I thought it was called ``Bell Telephone'' because a bell rang when there was a call.

Ladan and Laleh BIJANI
Bi- is a Latin prefix for `two,' and jani is the nominative plural form of janus. Janus was the name of an old Italian deity with two faces on opposite sides of one head.

In Farsi, Ladan means nasturtium and Laleh means tulip. Ladan and Laleh were twin sisters born in Tehran on Jan. 17, 1974, conjoined at the head (two brains, joined skulls). They made headlines (sorry about that) around the world when they underwent an operation to become separate.

They took their gamble at the Raffles Hospital in Singapore. The operation began at 10 AM Sunday, July 6, 2003, with one team removing a vein from Ladan's thigh and another spending a reported six hours to saw through the skull. The vein was needed for grafting into Ladan's brain; conjoined, the twins shared one vein). On Monday evening, 32 hours into the operation, the grafted vein had blocked. This was not immediately fatal -- presumably because their circulatory systems were still joined and apparently because there were a number of collateral blood vessels. It was decided to continue the operation, and around noon on Tuesday they were separated and placed on separate operating tables. Then blood vessels in the bases of both of their brains burst, and despite strenuous efforts both died -- Ladan after 2 hours and Laleh 90 minutes later.

The preceding paragraph is the most coherent account of the operation that I was able to reconstruct from a review of press accounts at the time. There were a number of conflicting and even incomprehensible reports at the time, which I'll try to sort out later.

In a July 10 Op-Ed for the New York Times William Safire wrote: ``In the 19th century, Chang and Eng had no such choice, and lived out their lives as sideshow curiosities, often called monstrosities, though they managed to father 22 children. [SBF: I guess they spent a lot of time in bed.] In our time, two famed Iranian sisters, ...29-year-old law school graduates whose brains were linked in the womb... found a hospital in Singapore and a score of neurosurgeons willing to carry out [their] decision to risk their lives for physical independence.''

Alexis de Tocqueville, writing about the French monarchy, observed that when a regime tries to reform itself, it can trigger a revolution by kindling hope in those who had despaired: ``Patiently endured so long as it seemed beyond redress, a grievance comes to appear intolerable once the possibility of removing it crosses men's minds.'' The French revolution was also known for the separation of heads, by a procedure invented by one Doctor Joseph Ignace Guillotin.

The Bijani sisters returned to Iran in separate coffins.

In French, billet doux means `love letter.' I was tempted to suppose that the surname was adopted (or imposed, like Faux-Pas-Bidet), but so far as I can tell Billetdoux got his name from his parents in the usual way. [I might mention that François is the Old French form of the word français, `French,' but this is not exactly unusual. I can't think of any place for which a remotely similar naming phenomenon is common. Okay: Brittany (a part of France!), Norman (via France), Israel, and Judith (essentially the female form of Judean).]

According to the 2005 Encyclopedia Britannica, Billetdoux was a ``French playwright whose works, linked with the avant-garde theatre, examined human relationships and found them doomed to failure.'' Love it.

His daughter Raphaëlle Billetdoux is a novelist and scriptwriter. A Virginie Billetdoux acted in various movies between 1974 and 1980 (mostly French, but the 1980 was Spanish), but that's as much as I know about her.

A food columnist for the New York Times. Until January 2011, he wrote a weekly food column called ``The Minimalist.'' He also blogs or blogged a few times a month at NYT's Diner's Journal.

The surname Bittman arose in a few ways, but as it happens, none of them seems to be related to the English word bite or bit. Edward Schneider also contributes to the Diner's Journal blog, and schneider literally means `cutter' in German. (Yeah, yeah, a less literal translation would be `tailor.' Picky, picky! Go pick at your food.) Maybe this Schneider should have his own subentry, but yesterday he blogged about pork-stuffed cabbage: ``A batch lasts through several meals, even when we have company to help eat it, and perhaps that is why I don't need to make it more frequently than I do.'' Ahem. And perhaps he should follow this train of reasoning a bit further.

A prominent white supremacist. Among other things, he became Grand Wizard of the KKK in 1978, after the resignation of his friend David Duke from that position.

Joseph BLACK
Although he is best remembered today for his discovery of latent heat, his first published scientific work was his M.D. dissertation (1754), a chemical investigation of magnesia alba -- `white magnesia.'

Milk of magnesia is a white suspension of magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2) in water, used today as an antacid and mild laxative. Magnesia alba is magnesium carbonate (MgCO2). It's a mildly basic salt, rather than a base like milk of magnesia, so it's not very useful as an antacid, but it was a popular laxative at the time of Black's historic study.

Not that it has aught to do with any of this, but Joseph Black was a Scotsman born in Bordeaux. (That's in France, okay? My amusing observations are more amusing if you know enough to be mildly surprised.) His father and maternal grandfather worked there as factors (in the wine trade). Once in Procter Hall (the graduate college dining hall at Princeton University) I asked an economics Ph.D. student I was talking with what she was doing her dissertation on, and she said something like ``factors in widget production,'' although it wasn't widgets but something I've forgotten, lo, these 25 years later. So I said, approximately, ``oh, I know -- don't tell me -- factors are uh, uh... commissioned commercial agents!'' I was heartbreakingly pleased with myself for knowing this bit of economic arcana, but I hadn't guessed what she meant. She just gave me the look. On another occasion, in a different food service facility (The Debasement Bar, downstairs from the dining hall) a different economics graduate student (name withheld because I don't remember it) gave me a virtually identical look, and then explained it with the memorable words ``I can have any man I want here.'' [Believe me: I would not, could not, make this up.] She obviously understood the law of supply and demand, even if she could not recognize intellectual enthusiasm. So perhaps the factors woman's look meant the same thing -- it was in the same toxic male:female ratio.

And the point here is about mathematics. At the time it didn't occur to me to associate any mathematical sense of the word factor with economics, because economic behavior, like all human behavior, seems too slippery to make any very sophisticated mathematical analysis appropriate (I was right, of course). Joseph Black is remembered as the father of modern quantitative chemistry. (It's also said that he weighed the guineas his students paid to attend his popular courses.)

Arthur BLANK
Mr. Blank is the owner of the Atlanta Falcons NFL franchise as of this writing, around the time of a USAT article published November 13, 2017: ``Jerry Jones taught a lesson by fellow owners: He's not as powerful as he once was,'' byline Nancy Armour, whom I commend for understated punning. She wrote:

Blank has mastered the art of speaking volumes by saying nothing. On Sunday [2017.11.12], as he and Jones stood on their teams' respective sidelines before the game, Blank made no effort to welcome Jones to the swanky new stadium that Jones all but designed.

``[A]ll but designed'' here refers to the fact that Jones pioneered the use of swanky stadiums (now typically subsidized by local governments blackmailed by the threat of franchises moving elsewhere) as a revenue tonic.

``That's rare,'' Jones acknowledged, when asked about the lack of pleasantries. ``I've had games where I didn't visit for whatever reasons, but it's rare.''

Gosh I feel so sorry for that poor rich man.

Chris Blank is either a writer for the Associated Press, or a typo in the byline of ``Fired aide to ex-Mo. gov runs for gov's dad's seat,'' which went out on September 2, 2010. Here's the first line: ``It's been three years since was fired [sic] after pointing out that his then-boss, former , [sic ] and others in Blunt's administration should not be deleting [oh yeah] certain e-mails because they belonged to the public record.'' I wouldn't normally think it necessary to mention this, but the comments in square brackets are mine, and did not occur in the original article. Sic is a Latin word meaning `thus,' used to indicate that an oddity in quoted text is from the original, and not the fault of the quoter.

The man fired was Eckersley, 33 (first name not stated). Now he's running ``for a seat long held by [Roy, Matt, or perhaps Scott] Blunt's father, outgoing U.S. . [sic].'' Also: ``It is ironic how the whole thing has played out,'' Eckersley told at [sic] his campaign office in , [sic] the Blunts' hometown. ``But what a great story to come full circle and show that not only can a whistleblower stand up and make a difference ... [explicit ellipsis too... this story's got it all... missing] (but also) take that experience and pack it up and take it to . [Sic.]''

One paragraph begins with a comma: ``, the head of the political science department at in Springfield, said he thinks....'' In the old days, these lacunae might have suggested that the author (Blank) had neglected to insert appropriate TK's or or . I suppose what happened here was that the missing text was incorrectly marked up, although there aren't any stray tags visible in the source.

Mildred and Robert WOODS BLISS
A philanthropic couple who in 1920 acquired a woodsy property in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. called Dumbarton Oaks. ``The name combines a reference to the original [from the last time the glaciers receded, presumably] great oaks on the site, several of which are still standing, with the eighteenth-century name `Dumbarton,' taken from the Rock of Dumbarton in Scotland.'' Twenty years later they conveyed the estate, including gardens, a nineteenth-century ``Federal-style'' house, and their collection to Harvard University. It's a long way from D.C. to Cambridge; I'm pretty sure ``convey'' here does not mean physically transport. Whatever. So Harvard now uses Dumbarton Oaks [column] as a research resource (CHS) in Byzantine studies, the history of landscape architecture, and pre-Columbian studies. The collections of Byzantine and pre-Columbian art and the rare books and prints relating to the gardens are on public display.

To those who are more concerned with post-Columbian civilizations, Dumbarton Oaks is best known as the site of high-level discussions among the major WWII Allies that led to the creation of the UN. These were officially known as the ``Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization'' and better known by the short (I believe unofficial) name of ``Dumbarton Oaks Conference.''

Author of a 2011 story collection entitled Power Ballads.

If I weren't hewing to alphabetical order, I would have put this little item right after HARRY BAALS's.

Vocabulary word for this lesson: bob.

John Stough BOBBS
Bobbs performed the first gallstone operation in the U.S. -- in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1867. For this he was honored and burdened with the epithet ``father of cholecystectomy.'' Aww, thanks, guys, you shouldn't have, really. When my former roommate Dennis graduated from medical school, I gave him a self-tightening vice-grip and a single disposable lab glove, and a card that noted that he had passed a great milestone, and that this was far better than passing a great gallstone. Okay, kidney stone. Whatever.

He reported the surgery (``he'' Bobbs, that is) to the Indiana State Medical Society in May 1868. He was at the time president of its surgery section. In fact, he was a founder and first secretary of the Indianapolis Medical Society in 1848, and was instrumental in organizing the Indiana State Medical Society the following year. [I don't know whether he was wind-instrumental or string-instrumental or what. I'm basically just quoting a brief memorial by Charles A. Bonsett, M.D. (MS Word doc here).]

The nomen-est-omenicity that accounts for this sub-entry of the glossary is the relevance of ``bob'' (doubtless ``bobb'' in some antient spelyng) to Bobbs' calling and fame, but I only put this in so as to amortize the lucubration required for my great kidney stone witticism. See bob or the Loreena BOBBITT item above if you don't get the ``bob'' connection.

There is a lack of consensus regarding the precise vital dates of John Stough Bobbs. Most agree that he was born on December 28, 1809, but according to Find A Grave, it was December 22. And while most sites that mention it give his date of death as April 12, 1870 (probably based on each other, with the original date guess arising spontaneously as a quantum fluctuation), Dr. Bonsett and Find A Grave agree that it was May 1.

Usain BOLT
He does it from the starting line.

Jay BonanSINGa
Well, the interviewer on the radio repeatedly pronounced his surname ``Bona-SINK-uh,'' and I'm going with that. He's the author of The Sinking of the Eastland: America's Forgotten Tragedy (Kensington Publishing, 2005). It's not entirely forgotten -- there are annual commemorations and a dedicated historical society (EDHS, q.v.). But, as tragedies go, the fame of this one is underproportionate to the number of lives lost -- 800.

An Italian oncologist known for his research on the treatment of breast cancer. In Italian, buona donna means `good lady' or `good woman.' (Bona is a dialectal variant of buona.)

Her mother Cher played the title role in the movie Chastity. Chastity Sun was born on March 4, 1969; the movie was released on June 24. She was known by the nickname ``Chas,'' but never changed her legal name. In 1993, she recalled that ``at school, guys would come up to me with dictionaries and read me the definition of chastity.'' I guess they weren't trying to pick her up in any sense of the term. I wonder if this happens to girls named Faith or Serenity.

In 1995, confirming years of tabloid-press rumors, Chas ``came out'' in a cover story in The Advocate (the oldest and largest now-LGBT publication in the US). I suppose, in principle, that a lesbian may be as chaste as anyone else. Nevertheless, chastity is a traditional conservative notion, and out-of-the-closet lesbianism isn't.

Is having a lesbian daughter some kind of occupational hazard of Republican pols (like her late father Sonny Bono, former US Vice President Dick Cheney, and Alan Keyes), or is it just statistical chance? In her 1998 book Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families, wrote that, "as a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I'd look at other girls my age and feel perplexed by their obvious interest in the latest fashion, which boy in class was the cutest, and who looked the most like cover girl Christie Brinkley. When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was gay.'' At the time, her father was not yet a politician, but he was when she came out.

More recently, Bono has been saying something slightly different. Eventually Ms. Bono underwent gender reassignment surgery, keeping the same girlfriend for a while as she (Chas) and then he (now Chaz Salvatore Bono) did so. Gosh, the things people will do for a chance to compete on Dancing With The Stars. Maybe the parents tempted fate, word-playing around with the Sun/Sonny thing. Anyway, he's been saying now that he knew from an early age that he was born in the wrong body. I swear, after the next gender change, I may have to start taking these self-discoveries with a grain of salt.

During the Soviet era, much of Russia was closed to outside visitors, perhaps especially those from bourgeois democracies. One area that was off-limits was the Kamchatka-Kurils region (the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Kuril islands). (This region is reportedly now called the ``Russian Far East,'' though it seems unreasonable to me to exclude eastern Siberia from that designation).

The Kamchatka-Kurils region is seismically very active, and therefore of particular interest to seismologists around the Pacific rim. Jody Bourgeois is a professor in the professor in the department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, and she has been studying the Kamchatka-Kurils region. (Here's an article on her research, from a UW house organ.)

This is the surname of a writer of engineering textbooks. I'll look up some of his work later. For now I'll quote Douglas Richman, a UCSD virologist. In 1993, analyzing the frustration widely shared by scientists at the media's impatience with ambiguity (easily explained by rich ignorance peppered with stupidity, ISTM), he said ``[t]he trouble is, a balanced scientific presentation is intrinsically boring to the public.''

[Cue the falling calendar tear sheets to indicate the passage of time.]

Well, I checked some library catalogues, and it turns out that the Borings are an industrious tribe. Nose-to-the-grindstone type of folk, as you'd expect. So far, though, I've only found historians, a theologian, a probate lawyer (hmmm...looks promising), an agricultural entomologist, and a psychologist. I will keep digging.

[Cue the tick-tock sound to indicate the passage of time. Use some echo-chamber effect to make it sound a little ominous, build to anticlimax. Why are you reading this? These are the editing directions!]

You know, I think I was just confusing Dull and Boring. (But if you think I was just confusing, dull, and boring, why are you still reading?)

Well anyway, here's some of the Boring fare I found:

  • Current Probate Decisions and Legislation, by James L. Boring and Alan F. Rothschild, (Chicago, Ill.: American Bar Association, 1995). I suppose if you stand to inherit some loot, it may be interesting. Dickens made an interesting story (Bleak House) out of a Court of Chancery case that lasted until... well, I won't spoil the story, but let's just say it was a case of rather poor rich estate planning. I didn't know that sort of case could be ``thrown out'' of court. Also in the story, someone goes up in smoke. No -- literally! An instance of SHC.
  • M. Eugene Boring has made a career in translating theological works. In 2005, Baker Academic published Apostle Paul: His Life and Theology, his translation of a book by Udo Schnelle. In 2002, Westminster John Knox Press had published Boring's translation of a book by Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter: The Quest for the Plausible Jesus. Wake me when someone comes out with The Plausible Santa Claus.
  • Fire Protection Through Modern Building Codes by Delbert F. Boring, James C. Spence, and Walter G. Wells, (Washington, D.C.: American Iron and Steel Institute, 1981). Not a protection against SHC, though.
  • Literacy in Ancient Sparta by T. Boring (Leiden, 1979).
  • Managing Insect and Mite Pests of Texas Small Grains, by Emory P. Boring and Carl D. Patrick, (College Station, Tex.: Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Texas A&M University System, 1994).

Author of a thin picture book. The protraits aren't original; he borrowed them from Federal reserve notes and other currency. Specifically, he reproduced some portraits from currency (like Ben Franklin's from the $100 bill, described as ``a US dollar'') in oil on canvas and printed these on recto pages of the booklet, with a dozen or so unrelated words arranged artistically (sideways and in half-inch-high letters) on the facing pages. It's a keeper: the library can keep it on the dollar table, as there don't seem to be any takers.

Robert Boyle made a number of important early discoveries in chemistry, and is best known for his work in the theory of gases. The irony of his name has not escaped wits before me. Thomas Hood once suggested to the Duke of Devonshire that ``Boyle on Steam'' would make a fine sham volume in a library. [See Bon-mots [sic] of the Nineteenth Century, edited by Walter Jerrold (London: J. M. Dent, 1897), p. 88.]

Boyle discovered that for a fixed quantity of gas at a constant temperature, pressure and volume vary inversely, publishing this fact in 1662. A mere quelques années plus tard (1676), the Frenchman Edme (Peter) Mariotte also discovered this law. For this reason, we all call it la loi de Boyle-Mariotte.

Lawrence BRAIN
A psychiatrist who counsels affluent teenagers throughout the Washington metropolitan area.

Walter Russell BRAIN
A British neurologist, created the first Baron Brain in 1962.

The north-central German city of Braunschweig gave its name to a couple of foods. One is a yeast-dough cake with brown-sugar icing; it's still popular in Denmark, where it is known by the name Brunsviger. The other is a very homogenized smoked liver sausage. Loosely, therefore, it's like a cold hot dog. In fact, considering what's allowed to go into hot dogs, one would probably prefer a Braunschweiger to a Frankfurter. Still, it's not recommended that you eat it raw directly by biting the end of it.

In October 2002, a 35-year-old man in Braunschweig was arrested for kicking his pet and biting it on the nose. He was reprimanded, and the dog, a black and white husky crossbreed, was put in a shelter to await a new owner. Considering that this was a classic case of man bites dog, it's surprising how little coverage this story received. Even the newswires didn't bite.

[Braunschweig is known as Brunswick in English. Both names are derived from the personal name Bruno (related to brown). The second part of the name (also spelled -wich in various English place names) comes from a widely-used Indo-European root for a collection of houses. The Latin reflex is vicus, `village, row of houses.']

Arthur A. BRIGHT, Jr.
Author of The Electric-Lamp Industry -- Technological Change and Economic Development from 1800 to 1947, (New York: MacMillan Co., 1949) and various shorter works on the same subject.

Cameron BRIGHT
Second-billed star of a dim 2006 movie with the title of Ultraviolet. They don't call it black light for nothing, I guess. Or they do call it... Ah, never mind. (I think this movie starred Milla Jovovich's abs. Anyway, their owner got top billing.)

Bright's birth name was Cameron Douglas Crigger. (Wait, don't tell me -- problem was, there was already someone registered with the SAG under the name ``Cameron Douglas Crigger,'' right?) Anyway, he took his stage name long before he was cast in Ultraviolet. His first lead role was in the movie Godsend (a 2004 release starring Robert De Niro, Greg Kinnear, and Rebecca Romijn), filmed in 2002, when he was nine. Bright's first acting work (it was in a commercial) was when he was six. That was also his name in Ultraviolet -- Six, a nine-year-old boy.

TMI yet? I don't know when Ultraviolet was filmed, but on the evidence of the semi-final product, editing needn't have taken long. There was some delay, however, because the studio was unhappy with the original version, which they saw as ``too emotional.'' They butchered it down from 120 minutes to 88 and achieved a PG-13 rating, and on release, March 5, 2006, Bright was a couple of months past his own 13th birthday.

Jovovich played Violet Song Jat Shariff; her role got the lion's share of the proper proper-noun nouns, but even that name includes ``violet'' and ``song.'' Dramatis personae include a Detective Cross and Detective Breeder. (To say nothing of Six. We don't want to mention ``BF-1'' either. Oops, too late!) If poor judgment is conserved or nondecreasing, then we should all be grateful that they concentrated so much of it into this one disposable movie. The thing was written and directed by Kurt Wimmer, who also created ``Gun Kata'' (a ``unique blend of gunfighting and martial arts'') for his previous film, Equilibrium. It is said that Jovovich used a more ``authentic'' version of Gun Kata in this movie, relieving me of the need to invent such a claim for your amusement.

But maybe, as Wimmer and many of his fans believe, this was a far better film before the studio's complete re-edit. Do we have any other evidence regarding Wimmer's brightness level? Yes we do! While on the set, Kurt Wimmer asked Milla Jovovich to punch him so he could get a feel for the intensity she was putting into her action sequences. For several days afterwards, Wimmer directed the film with a literal black eye. Thank you, Milla.

Y'know, back there where I wrote ``TMI,'' I thought of my friend Fu, a naturalized US citizen. He's originally from Shanghai. Casting for this movie was done in Hong Kong; filming was in Shanghai and perhaps also Hong Kong. I suppose Shanghai is to Hong Kong what Vancouver is to Hollywood -- a convenient and less expensive filming venue up north along the Pacific. Cameron Bright was born in Victoria, BC, and as of 2013 -- so far as <imdb.com> knows -- still lives on Vancouver Island. As I shouldn't have to remind you, this item is all about Cameron Bright and his name. Insert your own Shanghai joke here:
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk:-)
When he went to register to vote (in Missouri), Fu took his US passport as ID, and the registrar, or recorder, or whatever the idiot's title was, wouldn't accept it as proof of age because it didn't state his age (only his date of birth). Perhaps there was some confusion as to the reason, but it's not the first time I've heard of election officials in the US refusing to accept a US passport as ID.

Remember that anecdote. The next time you're on TV doing election-night analysis and have a weird result from ``bell-wether'' Missouri, this will explain it no matter whither the wether wandered off to.

Calvin BROADuS
The name of the, uh, entertainer -- yeah that's it, entertainer -- who performs as Snoop Dogg. He is the host of the ``Girls Gone Wild'' video series, in which young women (``amateur girls'' is the enigmatic technical term I see in the spam that gets through my filters) bare their breasts at cameras and later sometimes sue the distributor of the videos (Mantra Films Inc., owned by Joseph R. Francis). Repeat 84,000 times: ``What is informed consent?'' Informed consent apparently consists of a sign posted in the video shooting area that says ``By entering, you consent to the use of such film [sic, possibly misreported] and your image in a commercial film product.'' Court records in a civil suit brought in Louisiana, settled on July 21, 2004, indicate that some of the apparently drunk naked girls are not of legal age to drink.

The videos are advertised on late-night television and sold by mail-order and also what might be called mail-disorder. Also in July 2004, Mantra Films agreed to pay nearly $1.1 million to settle FTC claims that the company shipped video tapes or DVD's to people who had not ordered them, then billed these ``customers.'' (It's a lot like sample issues, free!)

As part of the settlement, the company pays more than $548,000 to people who received the materials and returned them but were not reimbursed for shipping costs. Money is due at least 84,000 victims. Mantra has gotten off too easily so far; there should be triple indemnity for fraud, and damages for harassment and emotional distress. As a society, we are sometimes not nearly litigious enough. As of August 2004, racketeering and other charges are pending against Francis in Florida.

A prominent Canadian family whose wealth is based on patriarch Samuel Bronfman's business in distilled spirits. Bronfman is a Yiddish word meaning `distiller' or `liquor merchant' (from the word bronfn, `brandy.') Some of Samuel Bronfman's ancestors must have been in the business, but his immediate ancestors were not. His father, who had become wealthy as a tobacco farmer in Bessarabia (then part of Imperial Russia, now of Moldova) discovered that Manitoba is not good tobacco-growing country and went into other businesses (not including the brewing or wholesale distribution of alcoholic beverages).

(The Bronfman family is associated with Seagram's. It should be noted, however, that Samuel Bronfman actually founded a liquor distributor, Distillers Corporation Limited, in 1924. The company later acquired Joseph E. Seagram & Sons and took over the Seagram name, so it is incorrect to say, as some do, that Bronfman founded Seagram. Even Seagram didn't found Seagram. The distillery was originally founded in 1857; Joseph E. Seagram only became a partner in 1869, then sole owner in 1883. He died in 1919 and his heirs sold it to Bronfman in 1928. Starting in the mid-1990's, Seagram's assets were sold to various other companies, and the Seagram Company Ltd. went out of business in 2000.)

The founder of Australia's Green Party, and currently (2008) its leader. (To be precise, what he founded in 1972 -- with a first meeting in his living room -- was the United Tasmania Group, which is described as ``Australia's first `green' party.'' The official name of the party is now the Australian Greens.) This party is widely described as the ``world's first `Green' party.'' I guess that means it was either the first political party in the world to make environmental issues the central part of its platform, or the first to be founded with the intention of making environmental issues the central part of its platform. This may be, but by the time Bob Brown first assumed elective office in 1983, as a member of the Tasmania state parliament, many other issues were in the mix. In his first term, he introduced a variety of private member initiatives, including bills for a freedom-of-information act, ``Death with Dignity,'' a lowering of parliamentary salaries, ``gay rights legislation, banning of the battery-hen industry, whatever that is, and a ``nuclear free Tasmania.'' I guess the last two count as green in a strict sense.

Cleveland BROWNS
In the seventh and eighth games of the 2001 season, this NFL team was beaten in overtime on plays by opposing players named Brown. On November 4 in Chicago, Bears safety Mike Brown returned an interception for a TD that beat Cleveland 27-21. On November 11, the traditional Veterans' Day, Pittsburgh kicker Kris Brown scored a field goal in OT to lift the Steelers to a 15-12 win.

After the 1945 season, the NFL-champion Cleveland Rams became the first pro football team to move to the west coast, becoming the LA Rams for 1946. Also in 1946, one of the most successful competitors of the NFL was created in the AAFC.

Paul Brown was already a college coaching legend when Art ``Mickey'' McBride, founder of the AAFC Cleveland team, hired him to be the first coach and named the team after him. Paul Brown was a great innovator, and one relatively innovative thing he did in 1946 was to hire a couple of brown-eyed players.

``Brown-eyed'' is a coy way of saying dark-skinned. I think this is clear enough in Murray McLauchlin's ``Brown-Eyed Man'' and in Chuck Berry's ``Brown Eyed Handsome Man.'' It might count as something like an in-joke, since I don't think I've ever heard any white people use it, unless Van Morrison counts. He was quoted in books published in 1996 and 2006 to the effect that the title was originally meant to be ``Brown-Skinned Girl'' (reflecting the fact that it was ``a kind of Jamaican song'') and that he absentmindedly changed the title to ``Brown Eyed Girl,'' not noticing he had done so until after recording it. He apparently didn't explain how he happened to change the chorus to match the mistaken title. The explanations are a bit confusing. The 1996 book is entitled Inarticulate Speech of the Heart. Look, I like the song, and I think the word ``eyed'' works better musically, but songs associated with Jamaica seem to induce linguistic lapses. For another example, see the ``Louie, Louie'' material under Mojo Risin, Mr.

(I can't think of any convincing evidence for my claim at the beginning of the previous paragraph, so I guess it's time to switch the subject with an irrelevant personal anecdote. When I was filling out the application for my first driver's license, I asked a guy filling out his own form next to me what color my eyes were and he said ``hazel.'' Eventually I had a look at my eyes in the mirror and decided that they were brown. Well, they are mostly white, but the iris is brown. When people say ``eye color'' they normally mean iris color, unless they're talking about jaundice or bloodshot eyes or something. Also, when people name colors, there's a certain amount of context. To the guy I asked, who was black, ``brown'' was probably the color of his own eyes, while mine, being lighter, required some other term -- hence ``hazel.'' But they're not as light as those that I would call hazel, so I think of them as brown, and I changed that. I also remeasured myself and raised my height a half an inch the last time I renewed, and I think somewhere along the line I may have changed my middle initial. Someday when I go to renew my license I'll probably be arrested for stealing my own identity.)

Paul Brown coached the Cleveland Browns from its first season in 1946 to 1962, when the third owner (also an Art M. -- television executive Arthur B. Modell) fired him at the end of the season. One of greatest running backs of all time, fullback Jim Brown, played his entire career (1957-1965) at Cleveland. Paul and Jim were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and 1971, resp.

Paul Brown later went on to be majority owner and first coach (1968 to 1975) of the Cincinnati Bengals, whose home field today is in ``Paul Brown Stadium.''

Coauthor, with Irene M. Franck, of The VNR Real Estate Dictionary (Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1981).

Charles Francis BRUSH
An inventor of electrical devices, including a generator and an electric arc lamp. (All electric generators before Tesla's had brushes.)

His name evokes that of John Bunyan (1628-1688), a preacher who wrote an allegory that became the second-best-selling book in the English-speaking world (after the Bible). The title was The Pilgrim's Progress. John Buchan, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was also a popular writer, but he achieved high sales volume more by being absurdly prolific than by preeminence. Today, he's possibly better remembered as the Scottish Unionist politician John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, who served as Governor General of Canada from 1935 until his death in 1940. Either that, or as the author of Thirty-Nine Steps, which was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Anyway, it seemed reasonable that his memoir, published posthumously in 1940, was titled Pilgrim's Way: An Essay in Recollection. It was well-known to be a favorite, if not the favorite, book of JFK. I was surprised to learn that Pilgrim's Way was the title only in the US, and that everywhere else in the English-speaking world it apparently bore the title Memory Hold-the-Door (I'm not absolutely certain what the hyphenated expression means, because it seems never to have been a very common expression for a door-stop) with no subtitle. (The text of the US edition doesn't seem to have differed from that of the other published edtions; even the spellings were unchanged. However, the US edition, from Houghton-Mifflin, had no illustrations. The editions published in London by Hodder & Stoughton had ten full-page plates made from photographs.)

Pilgrim's Way as I shall continue to call it, refers often to pilgrims and pilgrimage. It alludes to and often simply evokes Pilgrim's Progress, and no wonder. Here is a paragraph from chapter I, recalling Buchan's childhood. (The phrase ``people the woods'' below seems to mean something like `provide personalities to think about as he grew up in a woodland area near the Firth of Forth.')

One other book disputed the claim of the Bible to people the woods--The Pilgrim's Progress. On Sundays it was a rule that secular books were barred, but we children did not find the embargo much of a penance, for we discovered a fruity line in missionary adventure, we wallowed in martyrologies, we had The Bible in Spain, and above all we had Bunyan. From The Holy War I acquired my first interest in military operations, which cannot have been the intention of the author, while The Pilgrim's Progress became my constant companion. Even to-day I think that, if the text were lost, I could restore most of it from memory. My delight in it came partly from the rhythms of its prose, which, save in King James's Bible, have not been equalled in our literature; there are passages, such as the death of Mr. Valiant-for-Truth, which all my life have made music in my ear. But its spell was largely due to its plain narrative, its picture of life as a pilgrimage over hill and dale, where surprising adventures lurked by the wayside, a hard road with now and then long views to cheer the traveller and a great brightness at the end of it. John Bunyan claimed our woods as his own. There was the Wicket-gate at the back of the colliery, where one entered them; the Hill Difficulty--more than one; the Slough of Despond--various specimens; the Plain called Ease; Doubting Castle--a disused gravel-pit; the Enchanted Land--a bog full of orchises; the Land of Beulah--a pleasant grassy place where tinkers made their fires. There was no River at the end, which was fortunate perhaps, for otherwise my brothers and I might have been drowned in trying to ford it.

In 1640, Richelieu forbade local mints from issuing any but low-denomination coins, and simultaneously introduced a standard gold coin, the Louis d'or. (Cardinal Richelieu was from 1624 until his death the chief minister of French king Louis XIII's government. He was famously successful at this job.) Charles Bullion was the long-time finance minister under Richelieu and hosted the new coin's introduction. [For another French finance minister, see the eponymous Silhouette.]

Don't confuse Charles Bullion with the powerful and more interesting Duke of Bouillon. The duke and his duchy straddled the border of the Bourbon-Habsburg battlefield. In 1642, as the Cardinal was slowly dying, Bouillon took part in the treason organized by the marquis de Cinq Mars. It failed, and Bouillon was in the soup. After negotiations with Richelieu, he ended up ceding the fortress capital of Sedan to the crown, more-or-less in exchange for his own life. [For another pair of names involving oui and non, and for the example set by a renowned mathematical physicist of how one should deal with those odious sniveling cretins who conflate them, see the Liouville entry.]

But perhaps I should mention that Sedan was of some broad military and consequently political significance later on. On September 1, 1870, German armies (of the Second Reich) under Bismarck's leadership broke through French defenses at Sedan, forcing the capitulation of Emperor Napoleon III. This led to the overthrow of the ``Second Empire'' (the Second French Empire, by a counting that not too unreasonably excludes Charlemagne's) and its replacement by the Third Republic in 1876. The German victory in the Franco-Prussian war established the new European order that would prevail until WWI.

On May 15, 1940, German armies (Third Reich this time) broke through the French defenses of the Meuse and surrounded Sedan. Once the full extent of the defeat became clear, it was simply a matter of time until France sought an armistice. Hitler dictated the terms, which became known on June 20 and were signed on June 22. In after years it became popular to claim that Marshal Pétain staged a coup that overthrew the Third Republic, but it is more accurate to say that the National Assembly ratified its own suspension and the end of the republic on July 10, 1940.

The Fifth Republic was created in 1958 as a constitutional republican government of, for, and by Charles de Gaulle, but has progressed into a benevolent dictatorship of the bureaucrats, all eager to become Eurocrats. If the Fifth Republic lasts until 2033, it will surpass the Third Republic as France's longest-lasting experiment in democracy. I write this in 2003. A lot may happen in 30 years, and a lot may not.

A lawyer who has represented Canada 3000. Details at the John GROUND subentry.

An archaeologist. See the 1QIsa entry for an example of his important work in caves. Not to be confused with Fergus Millar, the Roman Historian. What is it with this ``Millar'' business, anyway?

David M. BUSS
A professor of psychology at the University of Texas, his books include Sex, Power, Conflict (1996), The Dangerous Passion (2000), and The Evolution of Desire (1994; 4/e, 2003). His studies show, among other things, that women prefer to marry up (``hypergamy'') and are happier if they do. You don't say! Men who surf the web probably have better marriage prospects than those who don't. You may now kiss the bride.

A US Agricultural Research Service scientist who specialized in flavor chemistry. Co-editor, with Roy Teranishi and Fereidoon Shahidi, of Flavor Chemistry: Trends and Developments (ACS, 1989). [And other stuff, I'm sure, but that was what came to hand. In this particular instance, all three editors have surnames ending in the same vowel, sort of as if all three were flavor adjectives. The only Teranishi I know, however, elides the final vowel in the name -- standard Japanese practice.]

Richard Evelyn BYRD
Richard Byrd was a US Navy pilot who became famous in 1926 for flying to the North Pole (from a base on Spitsbergen, a Norwegian island far above the Arctic Circle). It seems certain now, especially based on relevant diary entries made public in 1996 (Byrd died in 1957), that Byrd went more than 75% of the way to the pole but lied about reaching it. Nevertheless, the resulting fame (particularly in America, where his claims were generally believed) brought him private financing for other aviation feats, and he left the service in 1927. (He returned in 1940 and reretired in 1947 with the rank of Rear Admiral.)

If only his name had been Bird, he would have made it 100% of the way to the North Pole. (Actually, he was born in Winchester, Virginia. So perhaps the relevant criterion is whether he was an authentic member of the illustrious Byrd family of Virginia. See FFV if this does not compute.)

A composer who escaped the confines of traditional music. We have a bit about him at the copyright entry.

Geoffrey CANADA
An ``educator and activist'' based in Harlem (the one in New York City). It may not seem like a very noteworthy fact that he's not ``based in'' (I don't know what this means, really) Canada, but it's weird to read about him (``when Canada was in Los Angeles'' and parking was at a premium, ``Canada agreed to be interviewed by [filmmaker Davis] Guggenheim, but still had his doubts''). Maybe he was forced to emigrate when ``smart'' online forms made his life a bureaucratic nightmare. (Cf. this AB.)

As it happens, one way that he's based in Harlem is that he founded and runs a charter school there. But he's originally from the South Bronx. I learned this from a PBS TV program created and hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The particular episode I saw was focused on the genealogies of Canada (evidently a major undertaking) and Barbara Walters. It turns out that Canada had ancestors who were surnamed Cannaday when they emerged from slavery. His earliest traceable ancestor with that name was the son of a slave woman on a plantation owned by a man named Cannaday in Franklin County, Virginia. Circumstantial evidence and available genetic evidence suggest that the surname is justified by parentage as well as plantation of origin. ``Cannaday'' is evidently a variant form of the common Irish name Kennedy. I'll try to remember to learn something about the name now that I'm back home in Indiana.

On the opening day of CSWIP 2005 (the conference website seems to have vanished), Cheshire Calhoun was scheduled to deliver the plenary address, entitled ``Losing One's Self.'' I'm afraid I missed it, myself -- I mean the lecture -- but I imagine everything went off as planned.

``How do you know I'm mad?'' said Alice.

``You must be,'' said the Cat, ``or you wouldn't have come here.''

Alice didn't think that proved it at all; however, she went on ``And how do you know that you're mad?''

``To begin with,'' said the Cat, ``a dog's not mad. You grant that?''

``I suppose so,'' said Alice.

``Well, then,'' the Cat went on, ``you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.''

``I call it purring, not growling,'' said Alice.

``Call it what you like,'' said the Cat. ``Do you play croquet with the Queen to-day?''

``I should like it very much,'' said Alice, ``but I haven't been invited yet.''

``You'll see me there,'' said the Cat, and vanished.

Mr. Carabine was the Chief Classification Officer, Kingston Penitentiary, Ontario. (He had a contribution to the section on Utilization and Coordination of Treatment Facilities in Prison in the 1957 conference mentioned at the binding entry.) His contribution starts on page 128 of the English Proceedings and one ``F.F. Carabine'' has a contribution to the companion French Rapport. I guess I never appreciated the magnitude of the French animus against W. The English side gets in its digs by dropping the hyphens in J.-C. LaFerrière and the like. I bet you never realized how much orthographic inside baseball is played in these meetings.)

Anyway, I thought it interesting that someone named Carabine should have gotten into the corrections business. Carabine is an alternate English spelling, and the standard French spelling, of carbine (i.e. carbine rifle).

A writer on motorcycling. He was the author of a little volume (26 pp.) Motor Cycling for Beginners in 1979 (from EP Publishing), and just three years later he published Advanced Motor Cycling (27 pp., from A & C Black Publishers Ltd.). He also wrote for the English magazine Motorcycle Monthly, at least in 1978.

George Washington CARVER
He chose to make his career at Tuskegee Institute, where he spent a lot of time contemplating peanuts. Had he chosen Buffalo, the destiny of jelly composite sandwiches would have been quite different.

Vocabulary word for this lesson: arachibutyrophobia. (Meaning: `fear of having spiders get into your butter,' I think, but be sure to check at the granola entry.)

I guess that when I wrote this subentry, I must have thought that there couldn't not be some ironic connection between his name and some aspect of his research into peanut products. I still feel that way, but I haven't discovered it yet (unless you count the fact that of all the peanut products he came up with, none was peanut butter). That's how it is sometimes.

Stacey CASE
A tee-shirt printer and musician in Toronto, who came up with the idea for the Pillow Fight League (PFL). PFL contestants or participants or athletes or whatever fight in costume.

Stacey is a guy. On New Year's Eve 2005, his band played a bar in Toronto. The act that followed his was a mock pillow fight put on by a local burlesque troupe. Women from the audience came forward hoping to participate. An idea was born.

Johnny CASH
What can you say? It was his real (i.e., birth) surname, but it didn't do his father a lot of good. More information s.v. KFC. See also the Johnny PAYCHECK item below.

James A. CASHIN, M.B.A., CPA
A professor of accounting at Hofstra University, and Editor-in-Chief of Handbook for Auditors (McGraw-Hill, 1971, reissued 1982), which finally, finally, was published as Cashin's Handbook for Auditors (McGraw-Hill, 1986), a revised edition co-edited with Paul D. Neuwirth and John F. Levy.

For a number of Schaum's outlines in accounting, Cashin collaborated with Joel L. Lerner, M.S., P.D., once chairman of Faculty of Business at Sullivan County Community College. [One that is ready to hand is Schaum's Outline of Theory and Problems of Accounting II, (McGraw-Hill, 1974). There were subsequent editions in 1981, 1989 (by which time he was retired), 1994, and 1999, not counting translations into Spanish, French, and Chinese, so you might say he cashed in, or amortized the original investment of effort. Not to mention Principles of Accounting, (McGraw-Hill, 2001) ``based on Schaum's Principles of Accounting I.'']

The New York Yankees had the most expensive roster in baseball from 1998 to 2012. (In 2013 they were reportedly overtaken by the Dodgers.) Brian McGuire Cashman has been (as of 2013) the Yankees' general manager since 1998. The GM job includes, among other things, negotiating player contracts with the players and their agents.

Two presidents of the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame du Lac -- the one in Indiana). The first was Rev. Fr. John W. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., president 1905-1919. The second, Rev. Fr. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., was president 1946-1952. They weren't genetically related in any known way, but the junior one worked as a secretary for the senior one when he was university president. When John W. retired from the presidency, he gave John J. a parting gift of a full scholarship to Notre Dame.

Roger W. CAVES
Editor of Encyclopedia of the City (London and New York: Routledge, 2005).

P.C. Cheng
A former colleague of mine in the Electrical Engineering Department at UB. His name came up in connection with some research at the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve one lunch, and I remember Jack saying something like ``he's an electrical engineer and you call him `P.C.,' and you don't think that's funny?'' No.

Charles Waddell CHESTNUTt
The first African-American fiction writer of note. Born in Cleveland in 1858 to free black parents, he was certainly ``black'' by social definition. Phenotypically, however, he apparently didn't look any more black than Sam Clemens. To judge from a black-and-white photograph, even Hazelnutt would have been an ironic name.

A zoologist who studied reproduction and development. He's actually best remembered (he lived 1869-1954) for his work on regeneration of limbs, but it's slightly harder to tie that specific topic in with ``manning'' and ``child,'' especially as the phenomenon occurs primarily in simple animals.

The author of
Father and Son: A Biography of Senator Frank Church
The Devil and Dr. Church
Entertaining Angels
Everyday Miracles
The Seven Deadly Virtues
A Chosen Faith
(with John Buehrens)
God and Other Famous Liberals
Life Lines: Holding On and Letting Go
Lifecraft: The Art of Living for the Everyday
The American Creed: A Biography of the Declaration of Independence
Bringing God Home: A Spiritual Guidebook for the Journey of Your Life
Freedom from Fear: Finding the Courage to Love, Act, and Be
So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State
and editor of
Continuities and Discontinuities in Church History
The Essential Tillich
[Paul Tillich was a famous theologian]
The Macmillan Book of Earliest Christian Prayers
The Macmillan Book of Earliest Christian Hymns
The Macmillan Book of Earliest Christian Meditations
One Prayer at a Time
Without Apology: Writings of A. Powell Davies
The Jefferson Bible
Restoring Faith: American Religious Leaders Answer Terror With Hope
The Separation of Church and State: Writings on a Fundamental Freedom by America's Founders.
So he's destroyed veritable forests in the process of writing various church-related (and Church-related) books. I cribbed most of this list from the also-by page in So Help Me God, so help me God, and that's what inspired me to center the titles. If I hadn't chosen to pun on his given name, it would have been a much shorter entry.

Carol P. Christ was born a Lutheran (well, close enough -- they believe in infant baptism, don't they?) and eventually became a priestess of Aphrodite. She has written extensively on women's spirituality and feminist theology, and has taught at various universities. Christ, of course, is a loan of the Greek christós `anointed [one].'

I became aware of Christ (I like to write that) because of a coincidence of titles. The classicist Peter Green wrote The Laughter of Aphrodite: An Historical Novel about Sappho (Murray, 1965). Carol P. Christ wrote a collection of essays called The Laughter of Aphrodite: Reflections on a Journey to the Goddess, (Harper and Row, 1987). Another coincidence involving Carol P. Christ is that Carol T. Christ is a prominent academic (a scholar of Victorian literature).

Of the University of Colorado at Boulder, presented Sed Sine Nominibus Res Notavit: The Stylistics of Military Campaign Narrative in Latin Historiography at the 1997 APA meeting.

I mention this Churchill here because the most famous man he shares a surname with is also known for his military campaigns and his narrative stylistics. There is also a connection between Winston S. Churchill and Latin; the former was famously defeated by the latter.

Ironically enough, the same university (UCB) is famous for another Churchill, also quite combative. In July 2009, after years of litigation, it seems they were finally able to make Prof. Ward Churchill's firing stick.

A defense attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. Most criminal cases that go to trial end in conviction on at least one count. Clemency, therefore, is much sought. Andrew Clemency was in the news on June 28, 2012, when his client Michael J. Marin, 53, collapsed in the courtroom and died within minutes of being convicted of arson.

Video of the scene went viral. Shortly after the jury's verdict was read, Marin covered his mouth with his hand, which seems natural enough, and appeared to press the palm toward his lips, which does not. He seems to have taken a suspected second pill surreptitiously as proceedings continued, and he took drinks from a drink bottle that I don't think TSA would have allowed. The possibility of suicide by poison pill was immediately suspected, but toxicology results won't be back for months from this writing.

The charge on which he was convicted was felony arson of an occupied structure, which carries a penalty of from 7 to 21 years in prison. The structure was his own mansion, occupied by himself. Marin, a retired Wall Street trader, had tried to raffle off the mansion earlier, but the raffle had been deemed illegal. At the time of the blaze he had $50 left in the bank, thousands of dollars in delinquent debts, and a $2.3 million balloon payment coming due.

He climbed down a rope ladder from a second-floor window of the burning house, wearing scuba gear. (SCUBA, as you may learn at its entry, stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, but it evidently works in smoke as well as under water.) The house was described as ``engulfed in flames,'' and was later found to have begun at four separate ignition points, and firefighters ``were forced to assume a defensive mode after learning that no one was in the house,'' according to a Phoenix New Times article August 27, 2009, about a week after Marin's arrest. It does appear that an occupant was endangered, even if it was the setter of the blaze himself.

A mountain climber who had reached the summit of Mr. Everest, and a former Wall Street trader whose art collection included 18 original Picasso works, Marin seems to have been a more imaginative and ambitious planner than the average person. I suppose the timing of the fire (before dawn on July 5, 2009) may have been part of a calculation based on the Independence Day work load of firefighters. (Fortunately, at the time of the fire the art works and various other valuables were at a modest home Marin had in nearby Gilbert -- about 10 miles from where I used to have a modest home in Tempe.)

The case went to trial when plea-bargain negotiations broke down. A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said that a sentence of somewhere between 10.5 and 21 years in prison would have been sought after conviction. Experts quoted in news reports said that, based on comparable cases (similar and worse crimes were cited) this would have been a relatively harsh sentence, and that a plea bargain would have resulted in a lighter one. Of course, in plea bargaining the prosecutor's office has to factor in the possibility of an acquital, whereas in sentencing a judge does not. Had there been one I, for one, am certain Clemency would have asked for a certain clemency.

In 2005, Phyllis Cleveland was elected by the fifth ward to serve on the Cleveland City Council.

BILL Clinton
The text of a legislative act is a bill, and as governor of Arkansas and president of the US, Bill Clinton exercised great if technically indirect influence on bills. Every US president should be a Bill or Billie. If this rule had been in effect since the beginning, it would have eliminated all or almost all of our worst presidents. Of course, it would also have had the side effect of eliminating the likes of Abraham Lincoln, but who's to say that the more experienced William Seward would not have done as well? If the rule had been in effect in 2015, it would have winnowed the field of 22 or so prospective ``credible'' candidates for 2016 down and focused attention on the smaller and more manageable subfield of 0 who might be truly qualified for the office.

A US Air Force captain from Meridian, Mississippi. In the Summer of 1990, Coats volunteered for a posting as a NORAD quality-control evaluator at the DEW Line, on the outskirts of Tuktoyaktuk (``Tuk''), a village of 800 Eskimos in the Northwest Territories of Canada, on the Arctic coast. His commanding officer told him: ``For 20 years I've been threatening to send lieutenants to the DEW line. You're the first guy I've known who has asked for it.'' Coats considered it the least among evils, since he had to fulfill a career requirement of at least one ``remote posting.'' Tuktoyaktuk is 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle, in the ``banana belt'' (as opposed to the eastern Arctic, which is really cold). It's ``an unseasonably [is that the right word?] warm day'' (above freezing) in the Summer of 1991 when a reporter for the Washington Post interviews him, but Captain Coats is wearing a (single) parka. ``You'd have to be crazy to come here for the weather,'' he notes.

Author of The English Dictionarie, or an Interpreter of Hard English Words, first published in 1623. This would be unexceptionable, except that the OED2, instead of defining the verb irrumate, gives only a quote from Cockeram's dictionary (and he defines it, um, backwards).

Lester Lloyd COKE and Michael Christopher COKE
Father and son respectively. Their Jamaica-based family business (according to various criminal indictments) is drug smuggling (and the usual concomitants, such as arms trafficking and political manipulation).

Marilyn COLON
The way CMUD explained it, it was all the result of people in neighboring houses pouring grease down their drains. It sounds innocent enough, but it built up over time and clogged the sewer line. Evidently, this closed space accumulated flammable and even explosive substances (methane, I imagine). Finally, one very bad day in February 2006, ``[w]e heard a thump,'' said Marilyn Colon. There was apparently a discernible moment's pause before her toilet exploded. ``Feces, urine, oil...it went all through the house,'' said Colon.

This reminds me that the main sewer of ancient Rome was known as the cloaca.

Published The Joy of Sex in 1972. Wished people remembered all of his other very important work, research, political activity and poetry and stuff.

In 1974 he published More Joy of Sex and in 1991 The New Joy of Sex. Similar titles coming soon to a glossary entry near you.

Captain James COOK
On Sunday, February 14, 1779, he and four of his men were killed in a confrontation with Hawaiian natives at Kealakekua Bay. Their bodies were left on the beach and taken away by the Hawaiians. The next week, when the explorers (and invaders -- stress according to your political, uh, tastes) attempted to retrieve at least the captain's remains, they were informed by native priests that he had been given a chief's disposal; his bones had been burned and were kept by the Hawaiian King. The priests denied that he had been eaten. Most of the large bones were eventually returned, with burn marks and great solemnity, and a known hand injury was regarded by the ships' officers as positive identification. (It did turn out that some of the bones had apparently been distributed elsewhere.) The ribs and vertebrae were never returned. Some arm bones said to be of one of the marines were also returned. The Europeans early on received seven or eight pounds of rotting (deboned) thigh said to be Cook's, but they were also later informed that the flesh of his deboned body (which was not returned) had been salted and preserved. Apart from the thigh meat, no other flesh was recovered.

The preceding summary is based mostly on The Voyages of Captain James Cook, copyright 1999 by Richard P. Aulie. Part of this is available online from the Captain Cook Society (CCS). What really happened is controversial, which probably means that if I read something else I'll only get confused.

Of course, ``Hawaii'' is a Hawaiian name. When Captain Cook discovered the islands in 1778, he named them the Sandwich Islands (after the Earl of Sandwich).

Cookworthy (1705-1780) was an English chemist who developed and patented (1768) a process to make fine white porcelain from raw materials available locally (especially if you lived in Cornwall). Even using ``China clay'' imported from China or America, the best porcelain manufactured in England was not comparable to that made in China, but Cookworthy's work changed that. [So I've read. On the other hand, I seem to recall reading in House Beautiful (a nineteenth-century classic) that the best china was from France, and that England was only good for stoneware. However, my copy of the book is at home.)

Edward DRINKER Cope
A nineteenth-century ichthyologist. More generally he was a paleontologist and a prolific taxonomist of vertebrate paleontology, but he was also active in ichthyology and herpetology, and for this part of the glossary, that's the salient fact. If you break up herpetology into the study of amphibians and reptiles, then two thirds of his living-creatures work involved creatures that live all or much of their lives in the drink.

Juan Carlos Córdoba Ocana
The given name of a Mexican outlaw who went by what you might call the nom de guerre ``El Furcio.'' If all the world's a stage, then that name explains why this player has had his exit.

A cornerback for the NFL's Buffalo Bills, who drafted him in 2008. At the University of Akron he played free safety and cornerback.

Matthew R. COSTLOW
An analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy and a Ph.D. student in Political Science at George Mason University, at the time that he contributed ``The Cost of the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal: Not Scary'' to the RealClear Defense website.

Don Hernán CORTÉS
The conqueror of Mexico, born in 1485 in Medellín, in the Spanish province of Extremadura. His parents were both of noble descent (that don means `sir'), but his family was in reduced circumstances. A weak and sickly child (okay, I admit this isn't relevant), he was packed off at age 14 to Salamanca. [This implicitly means to the great university at Salamanca. Salamanca's fame was such that it became an antonomasia for higher education. There was even a saying, still recalled today in its archaic expression -- Lo que Natura non da, Salamanca non presta. (`What nature does not give, Salamanca does not lend.' More loosely: Human garbage in, human garbage out.) Anyway, back to our story.] The intent was for young Hernando to study law, but after two years he returned home without the university having bestowed the slightest mark of recognition of accomplishment. (``[S]in ... el mas pequeño lauro universitario,'' as the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada puts it.) [You know, I was about to characterize Salamanca as the great medieval Spanish university. As it happens, the modern era began precisely in 1500, so Hernando just got in under the wire. Renaissance? What Renaissance?]

Not to keep you in suspense any longer, the reason that Cortés is listed here is that he came from a noble family and studied law, and his name means `courts' ... almost. Actually, his name means `courteous'; courts would be cortes (no accent; accentual stress on penult instead of ult). In Spanish as in English, the words for courtesy (or courtly behavior) and courtesan were derived from the word for court. The enciclopedia has listings for some individuals with the surname Cortés and somewhat fewer with surname Cortes. And I've seen the name of this particular conquistador written every which way, final ess or final zee, accent either way. Look, we're going to stick to the court angle; I really don't want to get into what happened in Mexico. There was both diplomacy and mayhem involved.

Incidentally (or ``BTW'' as we net-savvy cool people say), the names Hernán and Hernando are versions of Fernando (in Spanish) and Ferdinand (English). One of the major sound shifts in Spanish was for eff to become aitch. More about that at some other entry, maybe Spanish. For stuff about the similar-sounding name Herman, see SN.

In 2006, 2007, and 2008, Kent Couch has flown east by lawn chair from Bend, Oregon. The lawn chair was suspended by about 100 brightly-colored helium-filled party balloons, and carried east at about 20 mph by prevailing winds.

The stunt, or the experience, is modeled on the 1982 flight of Larry Walters, who was three miles above Los Angeles when he surprised an airline pilot, who radioed the control tower that he had just passed ``a guy in a lawn chair.'' Walters paid a $1,500 penalty for violating air traffic rules.

Others have emulated Walters, but none has had a more appropriate name.

As of March 2009, she was the US Consul General in Florence, Italy.

Margaret Smith COURT
The dominant women's tennis player of the 1960's, although she was Margaret Smith until 1966. At some point she was successfully courted by a Mr. Barry Court. She must have liked the name. She retired in 1966, married and started a family. With Barry's encouragement, she came back in 1970 and immediately won the Grand Slam (singles titles at Wimbledon plus the U.S., French, and Australian Open tournaments) all in that year.

On June 24, 1999, Ms. Creamer was working as a clerk at Bird World Pet Shop (of Panama City, Florida), which also sells other animals than birds. A coworker noticed that the top was off one of the snake cages, and a man standing nearby was acting strangely. The man, James Lawrence Collison, eventually got a chance to tell police his side of the story. According to the report, ``he saw the snakes loose in the store and caught them and placed them into his pocket for safekeeping until he could find an employee.'' Each of the snakes was about three or four feet long.

The coworker saw a boa constrictor's head pop out from under Collison's shirt and called Ms. Creamer. Speaking to reporters later, she said ``it was hilarious. He kept saying he wasn't taking anything, but those snakes were just moving around and one was under his shirt, and he was doing all kinds of strange things and trying to keep it in there.'' Then the snake in his trousers poked out of his pocket. It was a milk snake. Ms. Creamer called 911.

But Mr. Collison was just a piker. On November 21, 2009, a man was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport with 15 live lizards strapped to his chest -- two geckos, two monitor lizards (monitor lizards!) and 11 skinks.

John Dominic CROSSan
Active in Historical Jesus (HJ) research and a prominent member of the Jesus Seminar. Author (among many other books) of The Cross that Spoke, in which he reconstructed a ``Cross Gospel,'' supposed to have preceded the passion narrative (PN) found in Mk 14-16. He argued that this Cross gospel was later incorporated into the canonical gospels and the noncanonical gospel of Peter.

Joseph CURL
On a Monday in 2012, many hours after April Fools's Day had ended even in Hawaii, US Pres. Obama made a number of surprising statements regarding the Supreme Court's review of health care legislation he had signed two years earlier. The following Wednesday and Thursday, his press flunky (that's the neutral, official term, right?) Jay Carney was besieged by White House reporters wanting to know how former University of Chicago constitutional law instructor Obama's unprecedented attack on the Supreme Court could be squared with a minimal understanding of US constitutional law. Instead of simply saying that The Great Orator was speaking without a teleprompter and could therefore not be expected to be coherent, let alone correct, Yale graduate Carney tried to argue that Mr. Obama clearly meant what he clearly didn't say.

Finally, veteran CBS reporter Bill Plante offered the generous suggestion that ``He made a mistake, and you can't admit it.'' At 74 years of age, Mr. Plante hasn't much to lose and can afford to scratch thin skin. After some more Carney stammering and reporter ridicule, Plante said ``You're standing up there twisting yourself in knots.'' At the end of the week, former White House reporter Joseph Curl wrote a column for the Washington Times entitled ``Carney is twisting himself into knots.'' I thought the juxtaposition of that title and that byline was cute. I hope you did too.

Rose Marie CUTTING
Author of Anaïs Nin: A Reference Guide (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., n.d.). Nin (1903-1977) was an unimportant scribbler who was held in extremely high regard by enough people to be something of a nuisance. She was best known for a preposterously long diary that she published in six volumes after vast yet inadequate cutting.

GRAY Davis
The 37th governor of California, serving 1999 to 2003. Long-time Democratic-party apparatchik. In the haze of history, he was Gov. Jerry Brown's chief of staff. (That was when the latter -- formally Edmund Gerald Brown, Jr. -- was California's 34th governor. Jerry Brown also went on to become California's 39th governor in 2011.) In Time magazine's Viewpoint column (August 11, 2003), Joe Klein wrote:
The standing joke about Davis is that his personality reflects his name, but Gray is darker than that.

(That's the only joke I can think of that contrasts two parameters of color. See HSV.) Joe Klein also wrote a best-selling book about a politician (Bill Clinton) who is not colorless, although he (or who even) was described as the first black president of the US. (I guess this eased the way for Mr. O'Bamaugh, our first black Irish president.) The book, published anonymously until the authorship was discovered by text analysis, was entitled Primary Colors. That puns at least a couple of ways, since the story focuses on Clinton's primary campaign in 1992. Coincidentally or not, it was in the (2002) primary that Gray Davis was darkest, spending a reported ten million dollars in the Republican primary to help defeat the person who would clearly have been the stronger opponent to Davis in the general election (LA mayor Richard Riordan).

Jefferson FINIS Davis
The tenth and last child of Jane Cook Davis and Samuel Davis. First and last president of the Confederate States of America (CSA). (He had a cousin named Jefferson C. Davis who played some less important role in Alabama history during that time. It seems the family wasn't very thoughtful about naming.) There was also a Jefferson Columbus Davis, not a relative, who during the Civil War rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Union Army. I'm going to have to sort some of this out eventually.

For another terminal name, see ENDE.

It was not uncommon to give the name Finis to the last child in a family. Sometimes I imagine it was given by mistake. Sometimes the mother's death in childbirth certified the name. Jane Davis survived the birth of her son Jefferson in 1808 and lived until 1845. But she was born in 1760 some time, so the name was not unreasonably chosen. Jefferson Davis (named after Thomas Jefferson, of course) dropped the Finis in his twenties.

Dr. Kevin M. DE COCK
De Cock was Director of the HIV/AIDS department of the World Health Organization in December 2006, when exciting news about circumcision was announced. In studies being conducted in Kenya and Uganda, it was found that (male) circumcision cut new HIV infections in heterosexual men by about 50%, confirming an earlier South African study that found a 60% decrease. All three studies were cut short when it was decided that it would be unethical to deny the clear benefits of circumcision to the uncircumcised study participants (the control groups).

A specialist in infectious diseases, De Cock's professional publications had often concerned condoms to some degree. However, until news reports quoted him in connection with the circumcision studies (in a BBC item: results a ``significant scientific advance,'' but ``[m]en must not consider themselves protected'') he had never achieved public prominence that was ironic commentary on the entirety of his two-part surname.

Before his appointment to the WHO position, in March 2006, De Cock had severed, sorry, served for six years as Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Kenya. Thus, it may be that he has some professional connection with US NIH-sponsored studies in Kenya and Uganda. I just don't know yet. However, the nomen-est-omen significance of the results already obtained is so striking that we've decided to cut short further investigation and release this sub-entry now.

Charles DE GAULle
He had a lot of gaul, and he ruled Gaul. (Some, possibly even he, thought he liberated it.)

In October 2005, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), then recently resigned from the post of majority leader of the US House, was indicted on charges of money laundering in 2002. In 2008 the DA who originally brought the charges retired. The case finally came to trial in 2010. He was convicted in November and sentenced in January 2011 to 3 years in prison and 10 years' probation. As of January 17, 2011, he's out on bail pending appeal.

Della Chiesa is a surname meaning `of the church' in Italian, and Giacomo Della Chiesa served as Benedict XV (1914-1922).

CECIL B. DeMille
As a given name in modern times, Cecil represents a transferred use of the surname of a noble family that rose to prominence in England during the sixteenth century. That Cecil is an Anglicization of the Welsh given name Scissylt, possibly a Celtic form of the Latin Sextilius, from the Sextus, `sixth.' (Back and forth between given and family names. Sextilius was a gentilicium: a family or clan name [see tria nomina]. It was presumably derived from Sextus, a given name (praenomen) for the sixth boy.) Sextilis, on the other hand, was the name of the month preceding September (Latin for `September,' in case you were wondering) until 27 BC, when it was renamed mensis Augustus in honor of Augustus by Augustus.

None of that is of any interest, which is why I wanted to get it out of the way first. Cecil was also occasionally used as a given name in the Middle Ages. In that time, it represented the English form of the Latin Caecilius, an old Roman gentilicium. The popularity of this name in Medieval Europe is probably due to the fact that it was borne by a minor saint of the third century, a friend of St. Cyprian.

More to the point, however, Caecilius was originally derived from the byname Caecus, meaning `blind.' Cecil B. DeMille was one of the most successful filmmakers of all time so far.

A reporter with the Herald Sun newspaper of Melbourne, Australia. The Sun published his greatest scoop just two days before Valentine's Day 2004. But this part of the glossary is just bursting, so why don't you read all about it at the Heidelberg United entry?

Dictionary of GENETICS
I don't know if it's because of the meaning of the word genetics or for some other reason, but the following can't be mere coincidence. A book entitled Dictionary of Genetics (``including terms used in cytology, animal breeding and evolution,'' which I count as only the colon of the title) was published in 1948; it was by Robert L. Knight. A book entitled A Dictionary of Genetics came out in 1968; it was by Robert C. King. I'm sure if only King hadn't gone on doing revised editions, one of the appropriately qualified Robert Kaisers would have been willing to do the honors for 1988.

He has worked as an actor and as an ADR artist, and he is credited with composing the original music for Little Boy Blues, a 2005 short.

Engineering Dean at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (UMI) as of fall 1996.

Rose Friedman, widow of Milton Friedman and a like-minded economist, is the former Rose Director.

See David SPADE.

An accountant, bank auditor for the Perry County Bank in Perryville, Ark. Participant in a Dec. 14, 1990 afternoon meeting at which he and the bank owner, Robert M. Hill, made an illegally large contribution to William J. Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial campaign and urged (this is the point where most readers fall asleep) Clinton to appoint Hill's partner in the bank, Herby Branscum, Jr., to the Arkansas State Highway Commission. That appointment was made, and on July 2, 1996, Mr. Dollar was a witness in a trial of Mr. Hill and Mr. Branscum. They were not charged with bribery, but certain kinds of fraud and misappropriation. The defendants were acquitted of the most serious charges (conspiracy, misapplication of bank funds, and making false entries to bank records), and the jury hung on the rest. A mistrial was declared on the latter charges, and a retrial was not sought.

(In retrospect, this looks like a possible instance of prosecutorial abuse. The case in which the charges were brought was one that prosecutors in the office of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr stumbled across in 1994 while focused on other issues. It was always clear that charges were threatened and brought in order to put pressure on the defendants to cooperate with Starr's investigation; prosecutors were always eager for a plea bargain. Of course, investigators' guesses about facts they cannot prove are part of what they use to decide whether witnesses are cooperating.)

Led an April 18, 1942, air attack on Japanese home territory, bombing mostly Tokyo, with single-plane missions originally planned for Nagoya and Osaka. Here's a page on the raid, served by the US Naval Historical Center.

Residents of Tokyo, feeling secure from enemy attack, did not take seriously the air raid drill that coincidentally had been scheduled for that morning. The drill ended at noon, about the time that the Doolittle party arrived. From the ground, many assumed the planes were part of the drill, until the bombs exploded.

In terms of damage to military targets, the raid did indeed do little. In terms of morale on the Allied side, and fear and misjudgment on the enemy side, it did a great deal. Doolittle, decorated and promoted, went on to do a little acting in other theaters of the war.

The story of the raid is told in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, by Capt. Ted W. Lawson (Random House, 1943). The first paragraph reads

I helped bomb Tokyo on the Doolittle raid of April 18, 1942. I crashed in the China Sea. I learned the meaning of the term ``United Nations'' from men and women whose language I couldn't speak. I watched a buddy of mine saw off my left leg. And finally I got home to my wife after being flown, shipped and carried around the world.

(For a similar contemporary use of ``United Nations,'' see the VOA entry.)

Oh, alright -- he goes by Robert D. Drain. He's a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge. In his court in Lower Manhattan on October 11, 2005, proceedings began regarding the ``petition for relief'' of Michigan auto parts maker Delphi Corp. (spun off by GM a few years before) under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy laws. We have more on unusual judge names.

A humorist who makes comics. But he doesn't draw them. Other people drew them -- mostly not as comics but as non-comic illustrations. Drew only draws them from an archive, adding cartoon-balloon content (sometimes adding cartoon balloons too) to make them funny. (I just have to link well; I don't have to be clear. Apologies to Don Henley.)

This item might work better if Drew had stopped not drawing comics. Someone please let me know when that happens.

Duke Nukem FOREVER
Duke Nukem Forever is the sequel to the video game (a first-person shooter) Duke Nukem 3D. Forever is almost how long it took to appear. Duke Nukem 3D came out in 1996, and Duke Nukem Forever was announced in 1997. Normally, one might have expected the sequel to come out by 2000. It was available to play at the 2010 Penny Arcade Expo (in Seattle, Sept. 3-5). PAX 2010 had already sold out its 150,000 or so admission badges when the announcement was made. There was a very long line of people waiting to try out DNF. (Fill in your own joke here: ____________________forever.) DNF will go on sale in 2011.

Raymond W. DULL
Wrote a very popular mathematics handbook; first edition 1926, second edition 1941. I have before me the third edition, 1951: 56 chapters, 1041 sections, xx+822 pp., revised and edited by Richard Dull, Raymond's son, partly based on material developed by his late father. The book is entitled Mathematics for Engineers. Here is the first paragraph of the first edition preface:
    This treatise on mathematics has been prepared primarily for engineers. In this we would include (1) engineers who want a quick and convenient reference, (2) engineers who have grown somewhat rusty in their mathematics, and (3) engineers who feel the need of a text for the study of mathematics.

John DYE
He died, January 10, 2011. Of course, we all expect to be dying someday, but he was only 47. He was an actor, but Dye was his surname at birth. And he is best remembered for his role on the TV show ``Touched By an Angel,'' where he played the angel of death Andrew.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, as of May 2013.

Executive director of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., as of May 2013.

Coauthor, with Olive A. Fredrickson, of Silence of the North. The book is the story of Fredrickson's very difficult life in the Arctic wilderness. It was made into a movie of the same name that was released in 1981.

Elizabeth C. ECONOMY
Economy is (as of this writing, June 2010, and since at least 2006) a Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies at the US Council on Foreign Relations, and has published on environmental and development issues.

Bob Edwards is an NPR Radio program host, and he's written a couple of books about other radio personalities: Fridays with Red: A Radio Friendship (2000), and Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism (2004). Red Barber was born Walter Lanier Barber. Somebody please suggest an edifying radio personality subject to Mr. Edwards.

Bob EGGelton
See the Nigel SUCKLING subentry.

I guess that Atom is more likely to be the Armenian form of Anthony than to have any relation to atom, from the Greek meaning uncuttable. (Atom Egoyan was born in Egypt to Armenian parents, and raised in Western Canada.) He is a director, scriptwriter, and actor, sometimes all three in the same movie. Like the early Woody Allen minus the jokes. Like the later Woody Allen. A lot of Egoyan's movies are autobiographical and feature his wife (sometimes playing his wife, as in ``Calendar''); ``A Portrait of Arshile'' features him, his wife, and his son. Some of his movies are entitled ``an Ego Production.'' Woody Allen's movies used to feature his current love interest, often as his on-screen love interest.

``The Sweet Hereafter'' (1997; director and scriptwriter): 112 minutes


Archaeologist who found a necropolis in Alexandria. (Alternate site here.)

Michael ENDE
Author of a children's book entitled The Neverending Story. (In German, die Ende is `the end.')

Marginal case: see the fellow van den Ende (`of the end') in the He entry.

For another terminal name, see Davis.

A spokesman for the Episcopal Church (the US member of the Anglican Communion).

Another name-appropriate church spokesman: GOODNESS.

Christopher ENGLISH
A professional translator who attended Oxford and Moscow Universities and has worked as a translator and teacher in the USSR, US, and Kenya. As of 1998 he was working in Zimbabwe. As a verb, the word English means to translate into English, as English did many of Gogol's works (including Dead Souls: A Poem, mentioned at the Russia entry).

A professor of literature at the University of Pennsylvania.

He was the inspector general of the US Department of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2004 (and of the US State Department from 2001 to 2003). As of 2009 he is the director of the Aspen Institute's homeland security program.

Home of Brenda Phenis. She and seven others were arrested on August 21, 2001, on charges of rigging a promotional game sponsored by McDonald's. The scam was organized by a security employee at the company that produced the tickets and game pieces for McDonald's. The conspiracy would recruit shills to pose as random winners and kick back most of their winnings to the organizers. McDonald's (which was involved only to the extent of cooperating with the FBI in catching the bad guys) ran various games over six years, with prizes ranging from a free drink or order of fries to cars, vacations, and ``a million dollars'' (over time) in cash. The games were a great success for McDonald's in a mature, saturated market (there may be something on this at the KFC entry), typically giving sales a temporary 5% fillip each time. The games were based on familiar themes such as the 1996 Summer Olympics, the TV program Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and the board game Monopoly. ``Go To Jail.'' Eventually, at least 21 co-conspirators were charged, but they were scattered around the country to make things look legit, and I'm not aware that they came from places that were so aptly named.

This is a television actor whose real name is Jon Dalton. He appeared in the 2003 CBS reality show ``Survivor: Pearl Islands.'' Casting actors in a ``reality show'' would not appear to be strictly according to Hoyle, but I guess it's okay because they're real actors (as opposed to ordinary people, who wouldn't be qualified to appear in a reality show because they're not real actors -- they're only acting like actors playing the role of ordinary people).

Fairplay earned his place in this glossary at the Fox Reality Channel's Really (yes, really) Awards on October 2, 2007. Danny Bonaduce (age 48) was on stage when Fairplay (33) walked on uninvited and made a ``derogatory statement,'' according to the police report. Fairplay jumped on Bonaduce and ``wrapped his arms and legs around the suspect and thrust his pelvis into the suspect's body'' while the audience booed. The ``suspect'' was Bonaduce, who threw Fairplay over his shoulders.

Fairplay was a survivor but he landed on his face, and he said later that he underwent 2½ hours of dental surgery. Poor baby! He said he had only given Bonaduce a hug, one of his signature moves as a performer. Moves in what kinds of movies, I wonder. The DA's office declined to prosecute, citing insufficient evidence of intent to injure, and the fact that Fairplay ``initiated contact and acted offensively.'' Bonaduce's ``actions fell within the realm of self-defense,'' according to Deputy DA Jeffrey Boxer, who needs another apposite turn in the public eye to earn a glossary subentry of his own. Why is the WWE sitting on its hands?

Bonaduce was a child star on ``The Partridge Family.'' In 2005 he starred in the reality show ``Breaking Bonaduce,'' but that's not how this one worked out.


Christopher FARAONE
Professor of Classical Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. Faraone is Italian for `Pharaoh.' As of this date (2001.02.23), Christopher A. Faraone is chair of the Classics Department.

Stop me before I adopt again! Fourteen children, not counting Woody. (Mía is `mine' [belonging to me] in Spanish and, give or take an accent, in some other Romance languages as well.)

A business that does septic-system work. (I saw a billboard advertisement for them, traveling southbound on SR-33 in Pennsylvania in November 2009.) The adjective faul in German is a cognate of the English word foul, with a similar range of meanings. The noun Stick is a dialectal form of Stück, meaning `piece.'

[Yeah, there's a verb sticken usually meaning `embroider,' cognate with English stitch. Note that stecken (meaning `put'), the obvious cognate of the English verb stick, is (at least now) a regular verb, so there are no stem changes into stick....)

Here is something I read in The Red Orchestra: The Anatomy of the Most Successful Spy Ring of World War II, by Gilles Perrault {tr. Peter Wiles} (Simon & Schuster, 1969), p. 6.
By 1929 there were three thousand rabcors [workers operating as amateur press correspondents] in France, some of them employed in state arsenals or in factories where war materials were manufactured. The ostensible purpose of their contributions to the Communist press was to denounce the poor working conditions to which they were subjected, but they could hardly do so without supplying bits and pieces of information about the work itself. The more revealing articles were never published. They were passed to the Soviet embassy in Paris, which forwarded them to Moscow. If a given rabcor seemed well informed on a subject of really worthwhile interest, an agent would call and question him until a complete picture had been built up.

This highly profitable organization functioned with undisturbed efficiency for three whole years. In February, in 1932, a denunciation was laid before the French police. Despite this lucky break, it took the superintendent in charge of the case -- a man with the disquieting name of Faux-Pas-Bidet--more than six months to dismantle the network. His reports are unsparing in their praise of the spies he was endeavoring to track down. ...

Now, as the author of the French original well understood, Faux-Pas-Bidet is more than a merely disquieting name. An approximate English equivalent might be `Misstep-Chamberpot.' It is an exceedingly unlikely sort of name. Author Perrault seems to suggest that this is the person's real name, possibly his hyphenated last name. If he knew the real name and deliberately withheld it, that would be a bit disingenuous. If he didn't know the real name, then it probably means that his comments on the reports are second-hand. If he knew that this is the man's real name, then it's hard to square with what Trotsky wrote in his 1930 autobiography (Moia zhizn), recalling events of 1916 and 1918.

Here is an English translation by, umm, it's not clear. It was published by Pathfinder Press in 1970, and it has an introduction by Joseph Hansen -- an admiring reminiscence of his days on L. D. Trotsky's staff during the last years in exile in Coyoacán, Mexico, with a few little jabs at Trotsky's biographer Isaac Deutscher. Trotsky lived another eleven years after finishing his autobiography, and he had a secretariat that regularly translated his work in a sequence of multiple drafts critiqued in detail by Trotsky (see the obvious entry), so perhaps the translation was a team effort by his staff.

For much of his life, Trotsky was an inconvenient foreigner seeking safety and freedom away from a Russian dictatorial government (Tsarist, which he sought to overthrow, or Soviet, which he at one point had at least the second-greatest role in preserving). In 1916, Trotsky was dumped at the Spanish border by the French police. He traveled to Madrid, where he was soon arrested. One is struck by the bourgeois courtesy of the French and Spanish police that L.D. describes. Like a number of other communists who suffered at the hands of the GPU, he also used the old Tsarist secret police as a standard of incivility against which to castigate others by invidious comparison. On the way from Madrid to Cadiz, he asked the agents escorting him how they had come to capture him so quickly. They readily volunteered that a telegram from Paris had alerted them to a dangerous anarchist (sic) in their country. Trotsky writes

     In all this the chief of the so-called juridical police, Bidet-``Fauxpas,'' played an important part. He was the heart and soul of my shadowing and expulsion; he was distinguishable from his colleagues only by his exceptional rudeness and malice. He tried to speak to me in a tone that even the Czar's officers of the secret police never allowed themselves to assume. My conversations with him always ended in explosions. As I was leaving him, I would feel a look of hate behind my back. At the prison meeting with Gabier [a French socialist L.D. met while under house arrest in Madrid], I expressed my conviction that my arrest had been prearranged by Bidet-``Fauxpas,'' and the name, started by my lucky stroke, circulated through the Spanish press.

     Less than two years later, the fates willed me an entirely unexpected satisfaction at M. Bidet's expense. In the summer of 1918, a telephone call to the War Commissariat informed me that Bidet--the Thunderer, Bidet!--was under arrest in one of the Soviet prisons. I could not believe my ears. But it seemed that the French government had put him on the staff of the military mission to engage in spying and conspiracy in the Soviet republic, and he had been so careless as to get caught. One could hardly ask for a greater satisfaction from Nemesis, especially if one adds the fact that Malvy, the French minister of the Interior who signed the order for my expulsion, was himself soon after expelled from France by the Clémenceau government on a charge of pacifist intrigues. What a concurrence of circumstances, as if intended for a film plot!

     When Bidet was brought to me at the Commissariat, I could not recognize him at first. The Thunderer had become transformed into an ordinary mortal, and a seedy one at that. I looked at him in amazement.

     ``mais oui, monsieur,'' he said as he bowed his head, ``c'est moi.''

     Yes, it was Bidet. But how had it happened? I was genuinely astonished. Bidet spread out his hands philosophically, and with the assurance of a police stoic, remarked ``C'est la marche des évènements.'' Exactly--a magnificent formula! There floated before my eyes the figure of the dark fatalist who had conducted me to San Sebastian: ``There is no freedom of choice; everything is predetermined.''

     ``But, Monsieur Bidet, you were not very polite to me in Paris.''

     ``Alas, I must admit it, Mr. People's Commissary, sorry as I am. I have thought often of it as I sat in my cell. It does a man good sometimes,'' he added significantly, ``to get acquainted with prison from the inside. But I still hope my Paris behavior will not have any unpleasant consequences for me.''

     I reassured him.

     ``When I return to France, I will change my occupation.''

     ``Will you Monsieur Bidet? On revient toujours à ses premiers amours.'' (I have described this scene to my friends so often that I remember our dialogue as if it took place yesterday.) Later Bidet was allowed to go back to France as one of the exchange prisoners. I have no information as to his subsequent fate.

(At this point, L.D. returns to continue the story of his passage through Spain. I'll mention some of this at the Cuba entry, eventually.)

In his entire major-league career in the US, Cecil (pronounced with a short-e, as in Cecil B. DeMille) Fielder played first base in 905 games, third base in 7, and second base in 2. Well, I guess that at least counts as fielding. He was a designated hitter in 535 games, and he did play in the outfield in one game for Toronto. He left Toronto after four seasons to play the 1989 season with the Tigers of Hanshin in Japan's Central League. For the next few seasons he played with the Tigers of Detroit. Cecil's son Prince has been a first-baseman and occasional designated hitter in his own major-league career. (He's in the NL, so opportunities to be DH are limited.)

Blake Fielder-CIVIL
One-time husband of troubled singer (that was the standard description) Amy Winehouse. I haven't followed his story very closely, but when I first wrote this bit, in early February 2008, he was in jail awaiting trial. He had first been charged with intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm on pub landlord James King, June 20, 2007. In November 2007 Fielder-Civil was arrested on a charge of trying to pervert the course of justice in that case. (He was alleged to have offered King money to drop the allegation against him and flee the country. Reports varied regarding whether King had accepted the bribe. In the US, at least, it is often relatively easy to earn conviction on such ancillary charges, and the penalties can be more severe than those for the original crime, even if there was no original crime. Just ask Martha Stewart.) I don't know what ever came of those charges.

There were no charges against Fielder-Civil or against Winehouse arising from their alleged violent fights in August 2007, but there was periodic drama afterwards. When Amy Winehouse died in July 2011, he was in prison at the beginning of a 32 month sentence for burglary and possession of an imitation firearm. He was denied release to attend the funeral.

He was released at the end of July 2012, and a few days later overdosed and was hospitalized, spending more than a week in a coma. His mom claimed that he hadn't been able to have his phone in prison, and that on his return home he came across an old handset with messages from Amy, including one in which she said she'd like to be godmother to his son Jack -- born in spring 2011. This, his mom claimed (according to the Daily Mail, anyway) pushed him over the edge. It just goes to show what I've always said: voicemail is the source of all the trouble in the world. But the thing that strikes me about this whole knot of people is how family-oriented they are. I mean that all most sincerely. Or almost sincerely. Their parents are always being quoted in the tabloids about how it was someone else's fault, and now we have this godmother thing.

It turns out that the coma that got Blake hospitalized was only due to an alleged drug overdose, and he came out of it. He gave an interview to The Sun after being released (from the hospital, that is). He said that he had been relieved to learn from the coroner's report that Amy hadn't died of a drug overdose, because it was he who had introduced her to drugs. I'm sure he meant alleged drugs.

Manager of Toledo farm team (triple-A) who was named hitting coach of the Detroit Tigers on Oct. 9, 2002.

Mr. Fieri is a celebrity chef, or at least a restauranteur with a TV gig. Here's an excerpt from a report in the NY Daily News:
The Food Network star, known for his creative facial hair, over-the-top personality and love of diner food, was attending a bash at New Orleans's Second Line Studios when bouncers denied him entry beyond the velvet ropes, Us Weekly reports.

Fieri responded by causing a scene, bystanders said. He was then ejected from the venue.
``He didn't have the right bracelet, and nobody in New Orleans knows who anyone is,'' one partygoer explained.

The Italian surname Fieri is simply the plural of the surname Fiero. In principle, the plural is supposed to indicate a noble family, but the frequency of -i names is suspicious. The word fiero is cognate with the English word `fierce.' That's also what it means in Spanish. In Italian it means that and more. The principal senses now seem to have to do with pride. It means either `proud' or `disdainful.' Ultimately, these f-words are derived from the Latin ferus, meaning `wild animal.' (Source also of the English word feral.) For something about f-words describing not-very-wild animals, see the ferrous entry.

Pontiac FIERO
A car sold in the 1984-88 model years. It was a mid-engine sports car with a lightweight, magnesium-alloy engine. The car had a famous tendency to catch fire. You might have thought, after the disaster that race cars had with lightweight magnesium-alloy wheels, that a lesson would have been learned. I just wish I hadn't just told you the real meaning of the word fiero above.

A food inspector in NYC. An article on food inspection in the May 22, 1969, New York Times, on page 49, quoted Weems L. Clevenger, director of the New York district of the FDA, to the effect that 65% of all food imported by the US entered through the port of New York City. The article included a picture with this caption: ``Peter Giambalvo, holding jar, and David Figman, drawing samples from barrel, prepare to make test of olives newly imported from Spain.'' The scene is on a quay with rows of barrels on their sides; the men are wearing hardhats but no safety glasses. From the splatter on the side of their barrel, it seems part of the test was sqeezing the olives to bursting. (Well dammit, I'm sure on some other days he tests figs. I don't give a f... if you believe it or not!)

Dr. Bernard FISHER and Dr. Roger POISSON
According to a report in the New York Times, 4 April 1994, (page A12) Dr. Fisher is [was?] the world's authority on the treatment of breast cancer. Someone found something fishy in the work of Poisson, and Fisher was removed from the headship of his study group amid accusations that he suppressed evidence of scientific fraud (falsified data) by Dr. Poisson. A cause célébrée in Canada.

Need I point out that poisson is French for `fish'? Of course not, that would be an insult to your learnedness, your sophistication.

This entry is under reconstruction.

Florida is director of the University of Toronto's Martin Prosperity Institute. He was interviewed by Kurt Badenhausen (German for `bath houses'; I hope he wasn't taken to the cleaners) for Forbes. The title of the resulting article was ``You Are Where You Live.''

Coeditor with S. Hutton of Newton and Newtonianism: New Studies (#188 in the series Archives Internationales D'Histoire des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas, from Kluwer Academic Publishers).

From time to time I have looked for a good pretext for putting something in this glossary about former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, and as you will see below, I still haven't found one. But this is an emergency, so we're temporarily lowering our editorial standards.

In May of 2014, Rob Ford was still mayor of Toronto, but was in rehab. He was either in rehab for an alcohol problem that leads him to make mistakes like smoking crack cocaine while someone takes video of the event, although he doesn't have a crack addiction, or else he was in rehab for various addictions. His stories vary in each retelling -- not because he's trying to put a bad picture in the best light possible given the evidence that has already come to light, but because -- because he's a natural-born entertainer, that's it.

Anyway, on May 20, Ontario Provincial Police stopped his SUV (hey -- an acronym: gimme credit). It was a black Escalade: a Cadillac! An arrest was made on charges of ``impaired driving and driving with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.'' That is more loosely described as ``0.08% blood alcohol concentration'' [by weight], since the specific gravity of blood is only slightly above that of water -- typically no more than about 1.06. The overformal description of the alcohol concentration is in striking contrast to the informal ``driving and driving'' locution, which is unusual in legal language.

Now where were we before getting off on that interesting tangent? Oh yeah -- the SUV. The driver arrested for drunk-driving the Ford Cadillac was Lee Anne McRobb, apparently someone the charming Ford met while in rehab. Ford himself was reportedly not at the wheel or even in the vehicle at the time. A day later, Rob's brother Doug Ford said he'd never heard of the woman before, and that he was having trouble getting in touch with his brother. However, McRobb was never charged with theft of the car. (I'm not saying she should've been!)

Reporters also spoke with Rob Ford's lawyer, whom they surely have on speed-dial. The lawyer, Dennis Morris, was evidently giddy with relief at the novelty of hearing about lawbreaking his client was connected with but not guilty of: ``This is all news to me. I know nothing about it, but I wouldn't know why I should, because he's not involved in any way!'' I see no reason to disbelieve that his further elaboration of these comments was rendered unintelligible by his giggles.

Doug Ford is not just the then-mayor's brother. He is also a T.O. councillor and the campaign manager for his brother. The emergency I mentioned earlier involves Doug.

As one or two of my fellow Americans might be aware, later today (October 19, 2015), a federal election will be held in Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, is campaigning with Rob Ford. This would be something like Jeb Bush reaching out to Donald Trump for his support and the votes of ``Trump Nation,'' if Trump were a notorious crack-head instead of a notorious every-day-is-a-bad-hair-day-head. (Yes -- reaching out. Harper held the Fords tight at arm's length. A cynical balancing act. I'm not trying to be judgmental or anything, okay? I don't have a Labrador retriever in this fight.)

Meanwhile, Justin Trudeau leads the Liberal Party, whom polls (which history suggests are more accurate than a coin flip) tout to come out on top in today's contest. Justin's famous dad overcame baldness, but Justin's own hair has also been in the news in the final days of the campaign. No time to discuss that almost equally important matter now.

This glossary is many people's main source of news about Canada, so it was imperative that I further crush the following recently broken news. In a CTV News interview on October 15, Doug Ford recordedly said the following:

You know something, I'm tough on crime too and I think it's essential. I know one thing, it wasn't Stephen Harper sitting around a table smoking a joint at a dinner party like Justin Trudeau was, so I find it pretty hypocritical.

I am torn on this. On the one hand, I think it's wonderful that he thought of using the word ``hypocritical.'' Also, the idea of a single individual ``sitting around a table'' is very girthful, more like Rob or Doug than Stephen or Justin. And maybe he did suggest, equivocally, that ``crime [is] essential.'' I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one. On the other hand, Doug's use of the word ``like'' is just another nail in the coffin of ``as.'' Well, at least everyone had a good laugh.

A future episode of this entry will mention that Henry Ford founded the original Cadillac company.

Biologist who gathered DNA evidence (Y-chromosomes) all-but proving that Thomas Jefferson knew his slave Sally Hemmings extremely intimately. This research was published in Science two days before the midterm US elections of 1998, which were widely interpreted as a referendum on actions taken and to be taken regarding President William Jefferson Clinton, who had been demonstrated, using DNA evidence, to have known one of the White House interns extremely intimately.

MEGAn Denise FOX
Another of her nicknames, besides Mega Fox, is Foxy Megan. In 2008 she was voted ``the sexiest woman in the world'' by readers (perhaps the term is meant loosely) of FHM, despite having a literary but ugly tattoo on her right shoulder. (It reads ``We Will All Laugh At Gilded Butterflies.'') Fox is her maiden name; maybe the next fox is a cousin.

Tommy FOX
Around 11 pm on Wednesday, October 1, 2008, Tommy Fox was driving home from his job in Dover, Tennessee, when a beautiful red fox ran out in front of his (Tommy's) GMC Jimmy and got run over. Tommy got out and picked up the fox, figuring he'd take it home and cut off the tail to keep as a souvenir. He'd have been better advised to perform this operation in the field, or to have been driving an honest pick-up instead of an SUV.

As he drove on, Tommy Fox heard the fox reviving in the back seat. He looked around for a way to keep the fox from biting him, and as he was thus distracted, his SUV crossed the centerline, went into a ditch, and flipped over (and stopped). One Fox suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene; another fox was found dead in the SUV. I guess we know who was wearing a seat belt.

The precise cause of death of the fox was not determined. Dale Grandstaff, a wildlife officer with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, explained to the Leaf Chronicle (an appropriately sylvan name) that fox tails ``are real bushy and pretty and thick this time of year.'' He also explained that foxes don't like to be caged, especially when they are alive, according to the deadpan report in the Leaf Chronicle. (The story was also reported on <FOXNews.com>.)

Vivica A. FOX
Just do an image search. Yeah, it's her real name.

A professor at the University of Edinburgh, he edited The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French (1995).

The surname is pronounced identically with ``freebie.'' Mr. Freeby is involved in charitable fundraising through raffles and auctions in the Mishawaka-South Bend area of Indiana, serving as a public spokesman and auctioneer, among other things. In March 2008, for example, he was involved in House Raffle 2008, a benefit to raise money for the Healthy Family Center and Women's Care Centers of the SJRMC. Well sure, you have to buy a ticket. But if you win, it's as close to free as you're likely to get.

Chief Marketing Officer of Ben and Jerry's, the ice cream manufacturer, from 2001 to 2004. On December 1, 2004, he assumed the position of CEO, which is expanded ``Chief Euphoria Officer'' at B&J.

Sigmund FREUD
In German, the verb freuen means `to make happy,' and there are various related words. Die Freude is `the joy.' (The surname is related, but in a nonstandard dialect or an archaic spelling.) Freud, of course, tried to help people whose principal complaint was ~ sowieso ~ unhappiness.

(FWIW, Sigmund is a popular old name meaning `defender of victory.' This doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but the folks who came up with it are no longer around to explain what they had in mind. I imagine one could come up with obscure connections to psychoanalysis, or with connections to the obscurity of psychoanalysis, but I won't. There comes a point where, if you're willing to accept any tenuous connection, then the fact of a connection existing becomes insignificant. It's like the freshman exercise of discovering the phallic symbolism of everything that isn't perfectly spherical: if everything except a basketball is ``phallic,'' then ``phallic'' is meaningless.)

A city in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg. The city name can be translated as `Happy Town.' (See FREUD above.) On March 21, 2008, a woman driving on a street in the Freudenstadt area skidded in the snow and rammed a tree. The car was totaled, but the woman walked away unhurt. News reports credited her own homemade birthday cake with cushioning her landing and saving her life. As a bonus, I imagine, she doesn't have to eat the cake. News reports listed her age as 26, but in the circumstances, they should at least have clarified whether she had just turned 26, or was still 26 going on 27. Police also credited the airbag with helping to protect her. I want to see pictures of this. Where was she carrying the cake?

This is a German name formed, as was typical of Germanic given names, as a compound of two parts. The -rich, related to English -ric and -rick, and Scandinavian -rik, and means `ruler' of some sort. It's cognate with German Reich and reich (`rich'), and other words you can think of, and is probably derived from Latin rex (`king') or Celtic rix or both. The first part is related to the modern German word Frieden, which means peace, so the name appears to mean something like `ruler of peace.' In fact, both etymologically and historically it means something a bit different.

The modern German word Frieden comes from the Old High German word fridu, which meant something like `protection or shelter from armed attack.' Consider the kind of world, 1500 years ago, where it was handy to have a compact word for this concept. Are we better off now? Give me 500 words by tomorrow. Anyway, the only extant English words related to this root seem to be belfry (originally a kind of shelter for besiegers or besieged) and afraid (from the cognate Late Latin fridus, fridum). (The Latin word pax, similarly, meant not only `peace,' in various senses of the English word, but also `pact.'

The irony, if you chose to see it that way, is that this name that (now at least) suggests peace was popularized by the highly successful Holy Roman Emperors Friedrich I Barbarossa (there's some stuff about him at the linked entry -- you just gotta drill down, as the suits say) and his grandson Friedrich II. There is a certain aptness in the name, however, because international politics in the Middle Ages was a game of shifting alliances and frequent treacheries, and what the alliances offered and the treacheries withdrew was often protection from armed attack. The first two Kaisers held the title 1154-1190 and 1220-1250. Both Friedrichs played the game quite successfully, and the subsequent popularity of the name Friedrich in German, and its adoption in other languages, is laid to their success.

Charles and Stephanie FROMM
A couple who were fined $300 for hosting Bible studies in their home without obtaining a special permit. They live in the city of San Juan Capistrano -- in storied Orange County, California, of all places. A religious legal non-profit group, the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) has taken up their cause, saying the fine was a violation of religious freedom. Fromm (in German, like frum in Yiddish) means `pious.'

Cathy Salcedo, a spokeswoman for the city, stressed that local authorities were not trying to prohibit home Bible study, but that the Fromms had transformed a residential area. Their Bible study group meets on Sunday mornings and Thursday afternoons with up to 50 persons, ``with impacts on the residential neighborhood on street access and parking.'' Brad Dacus, an attorney for PJI, said the Fromms live in a semi-rural area and have not caused any parking problems for neighbors.

A director (as of 2006) of McKinsey & Company, Inc., United States/Boston Office. Fubini's specialty is post-merger integration. He's done a lot of this as leader of the firm's Worldwide Post Merger Practice, so he's been involved in multiple integrations. He must have considered interchanging the order of integration.

The famous mathematician Guido Fubini (1879-1943) is known for theorems about multiple integration. Specifically, he proved theorems concerning the conditions under which interchanging the order of integration does not change the result of the (multiple) integration.

Executive vice president of Kraft Foods, Inc. (as of April 2000), and president of the company's Maxwell House and Post Division. The Maxwell House Division sells Maxwell House, Yuban, and General Foods International Coffees brands; the Post Division offers Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Pebbles (that's a brand of cereal, not the contents, I'm pretty sure). Through a licensing agreement, Maxwell House also markets and distributes Starbucks brand coffee in grocery stores.

On April 17, 2000, she delivered Skidmore College's Harder Lecture (named after F. William Harder).

President of the Racecourse Owners Association (ROA).

A furlong, I don't have to tell you, is an eighth of a mile.

The furlong was supposed to represent a reasonable distance for an animal to pull a plow before taking a rest, and hence is a fairly appropriate measure for horseraces.

Sandra GAL
In November 2011, GolfDigest.com inaugurated an oddly unisex Hottest Golfer contest. The selection process was based on some sort of match play. Unlike the LPGA or, for practical purposes, the PGA, this contest was apparently not sexually segregated. Gal, 26, won the final playoff in January 2012 to become the Hottest Golfer. She won by a large margin -- won it running away, you might say, but for this sport and this context I'd say she won it ``walking away.'' Sandra Gal had won her first LPGA title in the 2011 Kia Classic.

She actively recruited voters on Twitter for Golf Digest's contest. That seems pretty unsportsmanlike to me. A downright Mulligan, frankly. Mr. Rickie Fowler, her competition in the final round, seems to have taken it in stride.

FWIW, Gal is German, and not Gal is not an ordinary word in the German language (but see gal and GAL).

Luis García DE LA HUERTA
In 1790, García published Discurso físico-anatómico sobre las plantas [`Physical-anatomical discourse on plants']. García's full surname, García de la Huerta, means `Garcia of the [Kitchen or Herb] Garden.'

[Huerta comes from the Latin hortus, `garden.' The gender flip was presumably intentional -- it's a standard way to indicate a slight shift in meaning. The male gender of the Latin original is preserved in the Spanish huerto, `orchard.' It's not certain whether the word orchard itself is also derived from hortus (as the first element in a compound with the Germanic yard).]

Morton S. ``Mort'' GARSON
In 1974, he composed the electronic music score for the 18th Annual Grammy Award-winning Best Children's Recording of The Little Prince narrated by Richard Burton. Okay, ``the little prince'' is more of a diminutive man than a boy (garç), exactly, but the following tips it in, since garson is sort of an English spelling of the French word.

Garson was born (1924) in New Brunswick, and that is the only province of Canada that has (since 1969) bilingualism written into its provincial consitution. Roughly a third of 'Wickers are Francophones, and New Brunswick has the closest balance between English and French of any Canadian province or territory. In all the rest, French or (usually) English is overwhelmingly more common than the other. (This is true somewhat differently in Nunavut: a large minority speak English at home and a majority speak an Inuit language. Or ``speaks,'' if you prefer.)

A coach in Notre Dame's Strength and Conditioning Department.

James Paul GEE
An education professor at the University of Wisconsin, who concludes (presumably on the basis of the sort of ``research'' that is done in ed schools) that the latest generation of video games (i.e., from around the turn of the century; ``Rise of Nations,'' ``Age of Mythology,'' "Morrowind,'' and ``Grand Theft Auto'' are praised -- what about AoW?) are in some ways more educational than time spent in the classroom. (Perhaps this result is slightly dependent on what clown is standing at the front of the room.) He's written a book called What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy.

In a July 9, 2003, CNN/Money article by Chris Morris, Gee is quoted explaining that there ``was a push to put thinking principles in schools in the 1980's,'' but that ``... in the 90s, though, we made a real return to 'skill and drill' and we lost this way of having people think in complex ways. ... Games recruit a deeper way of thinking.'' (One of these days when I'm feeling appropriately low, I will add an entry on ``critical thinking skills.'' For now let me just say, ``the blind leading the deaf.'')

In German, gern means `glad' and `gladly,' and reich means `rich' (or `richly') and also functions as a suffix meaning `-rich' or `-ful' (the cognate -voll has similar meaning). I haven't checked yet to see what meaning this surname was understood to have, but one could interpret gernreich as `joyful' or as `happy to be rich.'

Rudi Gernreich (1922-1985) was a famous, controversialist designer of clothes, and ``joyful'' seems like a fair description. Playful might be better. I don't know how rich you can get making clothes only a model would dare to wear. In 1964, he came out with the monokini, a one-piece topless bathing suit intended to be worn by men or women who had shaved off all head and body hair. From the posed pictures of that time, it seems clear that it was easier in those days to find models, female as well as male, willing to pose topless than any models willing to shave off all their hair. The monokini was the centerpiece of Gernreich's famous UNISEX Project. (Well, the idea of ``unisex'' clothing was famous, his UNISEX Project less so.)

She first appeared on television in 1953. From what I recall of TV image quality even in the 1960's, she probably appeared ghostly at the time, but so then did everyone else. (Her first ``notable TV guest appearance,'' according to IMDb, was on ` ``Studio One'', a dramatic ``anthology series'' that ran 1948-59. She appeared on May 18, 1953, in an episode entitled ``The Laugh Maker.'' This was one of four episodes starring Jackie Gleason, and as of mid-2004, all of the comment on this series at IMDb is about these).

Alice Ghostley is best remembered for her role on the long-running TV show ``Bewitched'' (1964-9, the Dick York era, and 1969-72, the Dick Sargent years). There she played ``Esmerelda'' from 1969 to 1972. She had an earlier guest appearance there, 1966, as the klutzy maid Naomi in episode 53: ``Maid to Order.'' The Esmerelda character, which appeared in fifteen episodes, was a bumbling witch.

(I've also seen the character name with the more usual ``Esmeralda'' spelling, but I couldn't account for the widespread use of the triple-e spelling if that had not in fact been used in the credits.)

Dana Gioia is reportedly a poet and, as of November 2007, chairman of the US National Endowment for the Arts. In Italian, gioia means `joy.' For anyone in the US who appreciates poetry, these are anything by joyful times. Most people who think they write poetry have the notion that poetry is maudlin bad prose set with a ragged right margin. Rhyming, to say nothing of rhyme schemes, cramps their ``style.'' But they don't have an aggressive objection to meter -- they are simply nescient.

Three well-known US authors died in 2007 -- Kurt Vonnegut, William Styron, and Norman Mailer. The AP sent out a chin-scratcher on this for November 15, 2007. The item included the intriguing observation that ``Vonnegut was the American Mark Twain.'' This was attributed to Mailer's literary executioner -- sorry, that's executor. For the first time ever, I actually felt a little sympathy for Mailer.

Gioia was quoted in the article on the subject of Vonnegut's greater popularity: ``First of all, Vonnegut's funny, and humor has a broad appeal.''

A Norwegian professor of statistics, probably. Well, maybe just possibly. I did find an intriguingly titled article (``Unusual Solvent'') by a J. Gjessing (who works in Sweden) and P. J. Tomlin in the British Journal of Anaesthesia [vol. 49, no. 9, p. 954 (1977)].

More recently, one Just Gjessing wrote a review of ``Resource Communities, Settlement and Workforce Issues'' for the Dutch publication Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie [vol. 81, no. 5, p. 393 (1990)]. As of this writing (July 2001), JG is a professor emeritus at the Geography Institute at the University of Oslo.

I originally read about the statistics professor Just Gjessing in a statistics book and figured it was probably a joke. From this entry in a Science Jokes page, it seems at least to be a very popular joke.

As of May 2016, he's the Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (He's not the actual foreign minister; that hat is worn by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.) He has held a variety of positions in many Israeli governments, most of them diplomatic or advisory. This item is here in case he ever gets the Finance Ministry portfolio.

Yeah, in 2009 he debated South African Justice Richard Goldstone. (The subject was the U.N. Gaza Report, of which Goldstone was lead author; the venue was Brandeis University.) That doesn't meet our exacting standards for irony.

Michael GOLD
Author of a 1930 memoir of growing up on New York's East Side. It went through eleven printings in that year alone: Jews Without Money (New York: International Publishers). Nazi Brown Shirts broke into the home of a German friend of his when she was translating a chapter of the book, and they had a laugh about it before arresting her (for her politics). Gold's book itself is a bit less... edifying, as we say, than Harry Golden's memoirs (mentioned at the yard sale entry).

Paul M. GOLDbart and Nigel GOLDENfeld
Editors, with David Sherrington, of Stealing the Gold: A celebration of the pioneering physics of Sam Edwards (Clarendon, 2004). If the front matter of the volume explained the title of the book, I missed it.

Robert J. GOOD
A Stammtisch member. That is, a member of the alpha chapter of the SBF.

Executive Director of the NHLPA during the NHL lockout that began in 2004. For years the NHLPA, Bob Goodenow at its head, insisted that a collective bargaining agreement that contained a salary cap was absolutely unacceptable. In February 2005, in a desperate last effort (and not quite the first effort) to salvage a severely truncated season, the union proposed a $49 million soft cap (teams to be taxed for exceeding it). The owners immediately made a counteroffer of $42.5 million. Negotiators for the two sides met two days later and were somehow able to avoid bridging the difference. It seems there was no deal that was good enough for both sides. (Enow is an older variant of the word enough. It's just a little short.)

NHL Commissioner Gary BETTMAN will eventually get his own subentry. Business is a kind of gambling, but in the short term the lockout was a sure thing: the league knew what it wouldn't spend and what revenues wouldn't come in, and on balance the loss was smaller than it stood to be if there was a season. (Yeah, yeah: there was the unrealized loss of franchise value, but that represents an estimate of long-term profitability, which was going down the toilet anyway.) Until Bettman gets his, just let me note that everybody who ever cared became disgusted with both sides in the dispute. I don't want to disappoint my fans, so I'll eventually find a way to line up with the general view that both sides deserve blame. It won't be hard.

Spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. (As I write this, Summer 2003; who knows how long Goodness will last?)

Another name-appropriate church spokesman: ENGLAND.

On August 1, 2008, the New York Times ran a story on its front page entitled ``In Strangers, Centenarian Finds Literary Lifeline.'' It was about Liz Goodyear, 101 at the time. Either the NYT was kicking off a celebration of Slow News Month, or it was taking a (front) page from its superior rival, the Wall Street Journal, which has historically put non-newsy or off-beat stories on the front page. (This particular idiosyncracy seems to have subsided slightly in the Murdoch regime.) Sure, we're talkin' below the fold, but still...

It seems that all her years have been good, in retrospect: ``I think I only remember the amusing things; I don't remember any depressing things,'' Ms. Goodyear said in an interview. ``I think I just put them out of my mind. I know everybody has things that they want to forget, but I dont even have to forget. I just dont remember.''

Fullback at the University of Notre Dame, class of the year 2000.

Edward GOReY
His illustrations were not gory at all, yet the aptness of his name is undeniable. See the What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die page.

Gorey's middle name was St. John. Didn't St. John lose his head?

Billi GOSH
Vermonter Billi Gosh attended (was going to attend, anyway, according to the AP item mentioned below) the 2008 national convention of the Democratic party as a ``superdelegate.'' That's someone who attends ex officio. She (or whatever -- the article didn't indicate) had declared herself (or whateverself, mutatis mutandis) as a supporter of Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidential nomination. Gosh was quoted in an AP article on superdelegates that went out February 22, 2008:
``As superdelegates, we have the opportunity to change our mind, so she's just connecting with me,'' Gosh said. ``I couldn't believe she was able to fit in calls like that [in]to her incredibly busy schedule.''

Gosh, that's super!

Shigeki GOTO
A professor in the Department of Information and Computer Science at Japan's Waseda University. He has written a number of textbooks on LISP and PROLOG. These languages lacked goto at a time when most languages had goto.

A schoolteacher of Abraham Lincoln.

Burleigh GRIMES
He was a professional baseball player from late in the 1916 season until 1934. His nickname -- it seems that all ballplayers had nicknames then -- was ``Ol' Stubblebeard.'' Maybe he acquired this nickname in his later years; early pictures show him cleanshaven. Anyway, the beard isn't what got him into this section of the glossary.

Grimes was a pitcher who threw the spitball. In 1920, major league baseball banned the spitball, but grandfathered-in seventeen established spitball pitchers. Grimes was only 26 at the time, and he was the last of those to retire, making him the last pitcher in the bigs officially allowed to throw that filthy pitch. (I wish I could add that he was burly too, but according to this online Baseball Almanac stat sheet, he was 5'10" and weighed 175 lb.)

Head of Tetra Laval, probably the world's largest liquid-foods packaging company. Grosskopf means `large head' (in German).

The connection here is not just with ``head'' but with ``liquid-foods packaging'': the German noun Kopf, meaning `head,' and the English word cup, meaning `cup,' are both early borrowings of the Latin cuppa, meaning `cup.' It is supposed that in German, the word came to be used metaphorically, the skull or head being a sort of receptacle for the brain. (For more on the food angle, see the BRAINIAC entry.) A likely story, sure. Maybe the medieval Germans did what the Scythians were reputed to have done, and made cups out of skulls no longer serving (one hopes) their original owners.

There's a further fluid-container connection, which you'll probably regret my mentioning, but it's all in service of a pun. The most common kind of pathologically large head (back before this was reliably diagnosed and treated) was hydrocephaly (physicians now prefer the term hydrocephalus), called ``water on the brain.'' This is an intracranial accumulation of CSF, usually caused by spina bifida or some other ventricular block. Hydrocephalus in infants can cause rapid skull expansion and a small face. In adults, with the skull not able to expand, neurological dysfunction may be a greater danger, but the really extreme intellectual deficits occur with a pathology known as a ``swelled head.''

A man whose surname can be parsed to mean about the same thing as Grosskopf was Robert Grosseteste. He was a scholar at Oxford in the first half of the thirteenth century, remembered today (especially thanks to the encomia of Roger Bacon) for his early advocacy of the experimental method in science. He was also a philologist -- a careful one by the standards of his time -- and he wrote on a wide variety of scientific, philosophical, and ecclesiastic topics. He was a renaissance man somewhat avant la lettre. I suppose you might say he had a capacious mind.

A judge of the Ontario Superior Court. On Thursday, November 8, 2001, he granted temporary protection from creditors to the airline Canada 3000. The next morning before dawn, the airline grounded its fleet. (We have a list of other interesting judge names.)

In court the airline was represented by Bill Burden, who explained that the airline was suffering under the weight of ``a downturn in the economy and we've got the events of Sept. 11 and most recently the [decline] of the Canadian dollar, [which] affects this organization's ability to pay some of its American lessors.'' Canada 3000 had indicated that same Thursday that it would continue flying.

LUCIO Gutiérrez
In 2000, he led a rebellion that forced Ecuadoran President Jamil Mahuad out of office. Two years later, Gutiérrez was elected president on a populist, anti-corruption platform. Starting in December 2004, when Congress restructured the nation's Corte Suprema de Justicia, replacing 27 of its 31 justices, there were growing, and increasingly violent, street protests demanding the resignation of essentially the entire government (all three branches). In early April 2005, former (ousted and exiled) president Abdala Bucaram reentered the country, leading to intensified protests. The situation came to a head on April 19 and 20, in a rapid cascade of events whose precise sequence I haven't sorted out yet. Opposition members of Congress became convinced that President Gutiérrez had to be ousted immediately, and they met at the downtown offices of CIESPAL to do it.

Constitutionally, the legislators ought to have followed an impeachment procedure. Given the exigencies of the moment, however, they followed the creative suggestion of Congressman Ramiro Rivera, who moved that since Gutiérrez had not complied faithfully with the responsibilities of the presidency, he was effectively absent. Thus, acting under the clause of the constitution allowing Congress to replace a president who abandons his responsibilities, they declared the office vacant. Debate took less than an hour, and the vote was 62-0. (The full Congress, the country's unicameral legislature, has 100 members.) Congress replaced Gutiérrez with the vice-president (who had come to be a political opponent of the president after their ticket was elected). In 1997, when this sequence of brief governments began, President Bucaram had been ousted for ``mental incapacity.'' The details in this paragraph don't really have much to do with the anyone's name, but I find them amusing and you should too.

Meanwhile, ex-president Gutiérrez ordered ex-president Bucaram out of the country. Adm. Victor Hugo Rosero (did the country run out of Spanish names?), head of the joint chiefs of staff, announced that the armed forces were withdrawing their support for the ex-president. That evening, Gutiérrez abandoned the presidential palace by helicopter, and there were conflicting reports of where he was seeking political asylum. Acting Attorney General Cecilia Armas issued an arrest warrant for Gutiérrez for his alleged role in violently suppressing the recent violent protests across the country. (Cecilia is the female form of Cecil, a Latin name meaning `blind.' Armas is just Spanish for `weapons.' The Attorney General heads the ministry of justice. Justice is traditionally represented as a woman wearing a blinder and carrying a sword. She also carries a pair of scales, which I suppose could serve as a blunt instrument.)

The only reason I put this subentry in is that Lucio is an Italian given name pronounced in that language as lucho is pronounced in Spanish. The Spanish word lucho means `I fight' or `I do battle,' and many news reports described President Gutiérrez as ``embattled.''

The successor of Gutiérrez, his former vice-president Alfredo Palacio, didn't make to the palace that day. He and a large number of congressmen were stuck in the CIESPAL building where the Congressmen had held their vote earlier. (It's a lovely building, by the way, and there's some irony in the name.) The building was surrounded by protesters, who chanted ``Acabamos con el presidente, ahora vamos por el Congreso!'' (`We're done with the president, now we're going for the Congress!') Amid chants demanding the dissolution of Congress, congressmen who tried to leave the building were attacked and pelted with heavy objects.

All these events took place in the nation's capital, Quito. One doesn't usually think of it in this context, but the word quito in Spanish means `I take away.' (I suppose that to an ignorant Anglophone, it looks like it means `I quit.') In a country on the Equator that is named for it, perhaps these names should be taken seriously.

Look, this list is beginning to get long, why don't you visit the 99 entry for more information.

A professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Notre Dame.

Douglas C. Hall is a member of the Devices and Materials Group (DMG). In the analysis of electronic devices and materials, it is general practice to distinguish two fundamental kinds of simple signal: sinusoidally varying in time (alternating current -- ``A. C.'') and constant in time (direct current -- ``D. C.'').

A useful probe of conductivity properties is the Hall Effect, named after its discoverer Edwin C. Hall. The Hall effect is frequency-dependent, although the low-frequency Hall effect is substantially constant and most directly useful for determining carrier density in ordinary conductors. Hence, one often distinguishes DC Hall effect and AC Hall effect.

Just down the hall from D. C. Hall's office is that of Alan Seabaugh -- A. C. Seabaugh. Between their offices is that of Robert L. Stevenson.

H. E. HALlam
Author of ``Saltmaking in the Lincolnshire Fenland during the Middle Ages,'' Lincolnshire Architectural and Archaeological Society, New Series, v. 8 (196), pp. 85-112. Hals, combining-form halo-, of course, is Ancient Greek for `salt.' Hmmm, well, FWIW, Hals is German for `neck'...

Well, he was certainly learned. Although he is best remembered outside the legal profession for his strong support of free speech, he earned a spot on our list because he applied his learning to the economic analysis of torts. He was the Richard Posner of his day, but a better writer and more influential. Here is some of his opinion in United States v. Carroll Towing, 159 F.2d 169 (2d Cir. 1947). The case involved a claim for damages incident upon a boat-owner's failure successfully to secure his vessel at harbor.
[T]he owner's duty, as in other similar situations, to provide against resulting injuries is a function of three variables: (1) The probability that she will break away; (2) the gravity of the resulting injury, if she does; (3) the burden of adequate precautions. Possibly it serves to bring this notion into relief to state it in algebraic terms: if the probability be called P; the injury, L; and the burden, B; liability depends upon whether B is less than L multiplied by P: i.e., whether B < PL.

The judge was usually referred to as ``Learned Hand.'' (We have more on unusual judge names.) Learned Hand had a less-well-known cousin, also a judge, named Augustus Noble. Over the course of many years they served together on two different courts. They probably enjoyed a situation requiring them to be called by more than just their surnames.

The surname is evidently intended to suggest the phrase ``hasse den Teufel'' (`hate the devil'), just as the more common surname Hassenpflug is understood as ``hasse den Pflug'' (`hate the plow,' nickname for a lazy farmer). Oscar Hassenteufel is a Bolivian jurist. (We list other unusual judge names.)

He was appointed to Bolivia's highest court (la Corte Suprema de Justicia) at the beginning of 1993 or thereabouts, and became president of the court (something like chief justice) in mid-1999. At the beginning of January 2001, he resigned for health reasons. He explicitly denied that his resignation was due to political pressure or any other reason; over the last two months of 2000, he had been the target of criticism from his colleagues, for his lenience with the Consejo de la Judicatura, an administrative and disciplinary body subordinate to the Judiciary.

Since at least July of 2001 (last checked July 2005), he has been a member of CNE.

Well, if the verb were haste instead of hasten, then the surname would mean ``hastenings.'' In an article posted to the web at 12:28 PM EDT, June 28, 2012, Michael Hastings reported that ``CNN News Staffers Revolt Over Blown Coverage'' (yeh, that's the article title), a couple of hours earlier. It wasn't about anything that happened on a basketball court (the NBA finals ended days before) but in the US Supreme Court. The CNN ``team'' judged incorrectly, as they heard the beginning of the majority decision, that (as widely expected) the individual mandate (a requirement that everyone buy health insurance) in the 2010 Health Care law was ruled unconstitutional. They relayed the guess to an on-air face, who announced it at 10:07 AM, and CNN rushed into online and cable print. The definite retraction came at about 10:14. The Hastings article contained quotes from half a dozen newspeople.

[Both CNN and Fox News drew the same erroneous conclusion when Justice John Roberts, reading the majority decision he had written, declared that the mandate was unconstitutional as an act regulating interstate commerce (i.e., Congress did not have the power to impose the mandate under the powers granted it by the Commerce Clause of the US constitution). However, the majority decided that the penalty for not obeying the mandate should be regarded as a tax, and that this was constitutional under the powers of Congress to impose a tax. (Probably 8 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices -- many suspect 9 of 9 -- understood how stupid this reasoning is, since it gives the government the power to compel anything, so long as the penalty for not doing it can be regarded as a tax.) I don't know why CNN got more criticism than Fox for jumping the gun.]

When he was a boy, it was not uncommon to dress young boys in girls' outfits (with girls' hairstyles in the bargain). However, Ernest's mother Grace liked to pass off Ernest and his sister Marcelline as identical twins. This occasionally meant that Marcelline wore boy's overalls, but usually it was Ernest's gender that suffered a bender. As an adult, his nickname among friends was ``Hem.'' Why do I also write Ernest in all-caps? Well, we all know ``The Importance of Being Ernest.''

Marcelline, Grace Hall Hemingway's first child, was born January 15, 1898. She was held back from entering grade school so that she and Ernest (born July 21, 1899) could be together in the same grade. In 1917, Ernest was rejected for service in the US Army on account of a vision problem. In order to get in on the action (WWI), in early 1918 he lied about his age to join the Red Cross and drive ambulances for the Italian army. He gave his birth year as 1898, and ever since then many biographies have been getting it wrong. It's odd -- you wouldn't imagine that the Red Cross records or eligibility rules would be many biographies' source for his vital statistics.

Grace Hemingway seems to have made a project of getting her children confused, or making them confusing or something. The fourth of six children was named Madelaine and used the nickname ``Sunny.''

On the ides of March 2005, the address of the Philosophy Department at Mansfield University became Third Floor, Hemlock Hall, Mansfield University of PA, Mansfield, PA 16933.

No, Julius Caesar wasn't a professional philosopher.

Sir Henry HEAD (August 4, 1861-October 8, 1940)
A neurologist. The Head-Holmes syndrome, named after him and Gordon Morgan Holmes, would have been a more interesting name if his collaborator had been named Gorgon Mordan Holmes. Alas. It's also known as ``Head's syndrome.'' Uh, oh yeah -- about the syndrome itself: sensory changes produced by brain lesions, and correlated with the locations of the lesions.

Richard HELL
One of the founders of the punk rock movement. Credited with creating the anti-disco style of clothing and the "Please Kill Me" tee-shirt concept. Oh yeah, he also wrote some songs -- like that matters or anything. Anyway, he doesn't really belong here, because his real name is Richard Meyers -- Hell is just a stage name, and there is no ex post facto destiny (at least not yet). The real reason for this paragraph is to point you to the CBGB entry.

``Now in our third generation of family ownership, we feature one of the largest selections of hats and caps in the Pacific Northwest.''


A past president of the Orange Bowl game. Interviewed November 9, 2002, when Notre Dame was about tenth-ranked in the polls with a 9-1 record, he explained why the bowl would like to invite Notre Dame to play even if it ended the season 10-2.

``We have to put asses in seats. Notre Dame will fill us up. The way the system is now, if we don't sell our tickets [a mere $100 a pop], we're in the hole.''

Those few of you who wonder why ``Art Hertz'' is listed here probably think that football is all about brains -- mental alertness and a healthy lifestyle and such. In fact, there's an art to it.

He was named after his mother. That's right, a boy named Sue. Obviously, he had to become a country lawyer, and he did. But he is not remembered for a civil suit. Sue K. Hicks was the attorney who organized the prosecution team for the Scopes trial (see TSTA).

As a circuit judge in 1957, he presided over the trial in which William Tines was condemned to death. Tines's execution in 1960 was Tennessee's last until 2000.

The song ``A Boy Named Sue'' was written by Shel Silverstein and popularized by the late great Johnny Cash. It is often claimed that Sue K. Hicks was the inspiration for the song, but I haven't read anything definite. Silverstein died in 1999, so it's conceivable we may never know. We have more on unusual judge names.

This is probably the right place to mention Eugène Sue. He was a French limousine liberal -- a socialist with family money. Well, he wasn't a red-diaper baby. Apparently his views evolved. He eventually wrote a lot of soppy serial novels. He used the pen name Marie-joseph Sue -- now how smart is that?

A son of Hippolyta (an Amazon queen) and Theseus (the guy who slew the Minotaur). The Greek -lytus comes from luein, `to loosen.' (The alliteration in the translation is a consequence of the fact that the Greek and English words are cognates back in Indo-European [IE].) This guy needed to loosen up. In the prologue to the eponymous play Euripedes wrote about him, Aphrodite scolds. Now, is this stupid or what? But wait -- it gets worse!

The hippo part of the name means `horse,' of course, and no one can talk to a... Oh, sorry, got carried away there. The combined name thus suggests someone who breaks horses. Instead of fulfilling that destiny, he was pulled apart by horses, on orders of Poseidon.

(I think that pulling apart by horses captured the medieval imagination. I've seen the trope in one or two medieval stories, but the usual means of execution was hanging.)

Douglas HOGG
British Agriculture Minister during the beginning of the Mad Cow Disease crisis (vide BSE).

A hogg, in case you don't know, is a sheep. The BSE outbreak probably began because brains (along with other unsalable bits) of sheep infected with scrapie were ground up and added to cattle feed.

In 1802, James Hogg (probably no relation) and Walter Scott met. They shared a passion for the culturally rich Borders that was their home, for poetry, and specifically for the rich poetry of the Scots language. Hogg (1770-1835) and Scott (1771-1832) began a friendship that lasted the rest of Scott's life. Scott was middle-class and correct, while Hogg was usually poor and unapologetically earthy, and they lived in a time and a place where class counted for much. (Hogg's day job was shepherding.) Hogg even wrote, in his Familiar Anecdotes of Sir Walter Scott, that his acceptance by Scott's very status-jealous wife was somewhat exceptional. Some of Scott's other, ``classy'' friends did not stop at mere disdain, but deliberately misquoted and misrepresented Hogg's literary output in their reviews. It's well known that fear of legal and other reprisal is the reason that so much writing of the eighteenth and nineteenth century was published over pseudonyms. People tend to forget that much of that feared retribution would have been completely justified. [For another example, see this bit from Matthew Arnold.]

The Scott scholar Ian Duncan suggests [ftnt. 35] that the character of the homonymous Gurth in Scott's Ivanhoe is modeled on Hogg. Gurth becomes the loyal feudal follower of the knight Ivanhoe, evidently reflecting Scott's feudalistic ideal of his own relationship with Hogg. The character Gurth is a swineherd.

Lauren HOHL
Hohl is a German adjective meaning `hollow,' obviously cognate with English `hollow' and `hole.' The usual German word for a general sort of hole is Loch, though various other words are used, such as Höhlung. The word Höhle means `cave.' The surnames Hohl, Höhl, and Höhle were originally given to people who came from places whose topologies could be described vaguely as such: hollows, depressions, narrows, etc. Ms. Hohl is (as of May 2007) an assistant education director at Colossal Cave Mountain Park, and guides tours of the cave.

The German word hoh is a variant of hoch, meaning (and cognate with) `high.' Historically, the spelling was especially common in the area between Bamberg and Würzburg. Someone named Hohmann would likely be descended from someone in that area who was tall or lived in a high place. Walter Hohmann, a professional architect, re-earned the name by becoming space-travel royalty, a member of the International Space Hall of Fame (in New Mexico) inducted in 1976. His highness was concerned with interplanetary travel. In 1925 he published a small book entitled Die Erreichbarkeit der Himmelskörper; it was translated as `The Attainability of the Heavenly Bodies' (Washington, D.C.: NASA Technical Translation F-44, 1960).

One particular problem considered in the book was that of the powered space flight maneuvers needed to transfer a satellite from an initial circular orbit to a higher-altitude final circular orbit in the same orbital plane. His low-energy solution to that problem is known as the Hohmann transfer maneuver. (Hohmann believed that his proposal was a minimal-energy transfer, but in some cases bi-elliptic transfer is more efficient.)

He's the Director of Public Programs at the New York Public Library, as of 2010.

A German researcher in wood materials. In German, Holz means `wood.' I already pointed that out at the Holz entry, and I even gave you a little reminder nudge at the Lou (Holtz) entry, but I have to repeat it because you evidently haven't been paying attention. I swear, I don't know why I even bother!

I noticed D. Holz because of an article he published in the journal Holzforschung (Forschung means `research'): ``Tropical hardwoods used in musical instruments -- Can we substitute them by temperate zone species?'' (vol. 50, #2, pp. 121-9). The answer is: only to a limited extent. Tropical woods are strong.

A photographer for Playboy.

I have been asked what connection there might be between this person's surname and his profession. One is that the word pornography is ultimately derived from the Greek porne, `prostitute,' and graphein. Less literally, hookers and pornographers both work at the nexus of sex and money.

Bernard HOYLE
Coeditor of British Economic Performance, 1880-1980 (London; Dover, N.H.: Croom Helm, ©1984). (The famous authority on games was Edmond Hoyle, born in 1672. He's dead now.)

I hope I can eventually remember why I put this entry in here.

You know, this is really starting to bother me. It probably had something to do with the earlier Hoyle's unquestioned authority, which led to the expression ``according to Hoyle'' meaning perfectly in accord with the accepted rules.

Isaac HULL
Captain Hull was the first commander during war of the USS Constitution, a frigate of the U.S. Navy that was built in Boston, 1797-98. The Constitution seems to have a good one. She had a running fight for three days and nights, July 17-20, 1812, with five British vessels, but escaped. One of those five, the Guerrière, she captured on August 19, and she captured the frigate Java on December 29. On Valentine's Day 1814, she captured the Picton. For her various exploits, the Constitution earned the nickname ``Old Ironsides.'' (She was a wooden ship, of course, and still is.)

Walter HUNT
Designed the first repeating rifle in 1849. The same year, he invented the safety pin.

It seems he was hunting around for a way to lose it. Freedom Hunter, age 18, somehow came into possession of the driver's license of Tim Holt, and of the checkbook of a couple whose name was not reported. (All persons and events mentioned were in Lincoln, Nebraska.) Hunter wrote out a check for $275 from the couple to Tim Holt, and went to a drive-up bank window to cash it using Tim Holt's license as ID. The only problem: Tim Holt, who had reported the loss of his driver's license, was Hunter's teller at the bank. Holt called police as Hunter waited for the cash. Hunter was eventually found guilty in Lancaster County District Court of attempted second-degree forgery, and sentenced to six months in jail.

The crime took place on June 28, 1990, and Hunter was sentenced the following January 31. Hunter was represented by the public defender, so possibly the sentence amounted to time served awaiting trial. I don't know; the only report I could find of this interesting case was an AP wire story the day after sentencing. The case is mentioned (with fewer details) in Roland Sweet's Law and Disorder: Weird News of Crime and Punishment (Signet, January 1994), p. 35.

Dr. Hur (full name: In Haing Hur) is an obstetrician and gynecologist who practices in Anaheim and Garden Grove, California. His name and profession have been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Charles HURT
As of this writing (May 7, 2008), Hurt is D.C. Bureau Chief for the New York Post. Following Hillary Clinton's disappointing returns following presidential nomination primaries yesterday (in North Carolina and Indiana), an analysis column was published under Hurt's byline, entitled ``Stick a Fork in Her -- She's Done.'' Yes, it's hackneyed, but anyone named Hurt gets extra credit for using it.

Although I didn't block-capitalize Charles above, I'd like to add that a charle is a kind of hard hooked burr, kind of like a heavy gumball seedpod. Unfortunately, I don't know this to be particularly true in any known language. On the bright side, there are plenty of languages I don't know about.

Ibrahim SAVED Soliman Ibrahim
His curiosity killed this cat, but saved many more. Ibrahim was a crewman aboard the Egyptian merchant vessel Wabi Alaras, and he was doing a little courtesy or business freight on the side. His ship was in Brazil, next stop Canada. In Brazil an unidentified person gave him a suitcase to take to Canada. Ibrahim opened it in his hotel room, became acutely and severely ill, and died on April 11, 2003. Reuters reported that several health workers who discovered the body were evaluated at a hospital after becoming sick, but as of April 27 they were out of danger. Brazilian authorities are 90% certain the suitcase carried anthrax. In the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, RCMP Inspector Dan Tanner said ``there is absolutely no criminal or terrorist threat to Canada.'' I guess he figures that next time the terrorists will be more careful and transport it safely to its target in the US.

Richard Immerman is professor in the Department of History at Temple University. The plain sense of immerman[n] in German is `forever man,' which seems pretty appropriate for a historian. (In fact, the surname is really just a Herkunftsname, a `place-of-origin name,' for someone from a region that was known as Immer, and that place name apparently had no etymological connection to the adverb immer.)

A very offensive player for the NFL's St. Louis Rams. I never heard of him before either, and I probably wouldn't recognize him out on the street. When he was released by the Rams on December 15, 2009, the most recent file photo available was from September 27. (Okay, weak, I'll try to come up with something better.)

Gary INK
Research Librarian for Publisher's Weekly.

A Myanmar military-run prison in the suburbs north of Rangoon. More than a third of webpages containing the text ``Insein Prison'' contain the text ``notorious Insein Prison.'' Yes, it is pronounced ``insane.'' Myanmar, as you know, is Burma. Rangoon, as you probably don't, is now supposed to be known as Yangon.

President and CEO of P & G. He makes it into the nomen est omen list on account of P & G's acquisition, announced August 1999, of Iams Pet Nutrition Co. Iams is the second-ranked premium pet-food maker in the US (see IAMS). Durk Jager is Dutch, and in Dutch jager means `hunter.' It's a cognate of the German word Jäger (`hunter'). If you wanted to give the game a sporting chance, you might hunt with a dirk.

At the time of the corporate acquisition, Jager owned two cats and two dogs, to the extent that one can be said to ``own'' a cat. He noted that more households have pets than children [by chronological rather than emotional-maturity definition, I assume]. According to P & G, on average, pet owners spend over $150/yr. on health and nutrition products for their pets, and only $60 on laundry products.

Benjamin JEALOUS
Jealous was named president of the NAACP on May 17, 2008, assuming office the following September. Aged 35 at the time of appointment, he became the youngest person ever to be president of the then 99-year-old organization. He is a fourth-generation NAACP member. He began working on civil rights when he was 14 and helped organize voter registration for Jesse Jackson's presidential bid. (It reminds me of my cousin Victoria, who grew up in Los Angeles. She was handing out Democratic Party campaign material at some mall when somebody called her a ``communist.'' She had to ask her dad what that meant.)

Warren STEED Jeffs
Leader (``prophet'') of the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, estimated to have at least 40 wives and 60 children. When he was arrested in late August 2006, he was wanted on various charges, including two counts of rape as an accomplice, for his role in arranging an underage marriage. The following (from Shakespeare's ``Venus and Adonis'') is not meant to disparage the seriousness of those charges, but only to serve as a reminder of some connotations associated with the word steed:
The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Nimbly she fastens: -- O, how quick is love! --
The steed is stalled up, and even now
To tie the rider she begins to prove:
Backward she push'd him, as she would be thrust,
And govern'd him in strength, though not in lust.

WAYLON Jennings
An Old Dog who doesn't wail but howl.

As of this writing (late July 2013) he's the New York Yankees' star shortstop (DL) and team captain. In 1996, at the end of his first year as a regular starter (he had played 13 games in 1995 in place of injured SS Tony Fernández), he was the unanimous choice for the AL Rookie of the Year, and in 18 seasons (all as a Yankee), he's been an All-Star 13 times. Jeter is a French verb meaning `throw,' of course.

The Slavic countries that were proselytized mostly by Orthodox (Eastern) Christianity now use the Cyrillic alphabet (an alphabet not invented by St. Cyril or his brother Methodius). That alphabet is based most directly on the Greek alphabet, and the title of Christ is written with letters corresponding to chi and rho, as in the original Greek. In fact, if you ignore an occasional vowel diacritic and accept the lunate sigma, Christ is written as in Greek: Xpictoc (as close as I can get without fooling with fonts). That's the spelling in Serbian, Bulgarian and Russian, and probably most of the Cyrillic Slavic languages I didn't check.

However, although chi in Ancient Greek had a ``hard'' (an aspirated) k sound, in Slavic languages the derived letter represents an aitch, and is typically transliterated by "k" or "kh" in English. In Croatian, which is written with Roman characters, Christ is Krist (Croatia was proselytized by the Western church). In addition, the alternate Hristos is recognized in Croatian; it's the standard Roman spelling of the Serbian word (normally written in a slightly extended Cyrillic).

Hristo is essentially the Slavic version of English `Chris.' Hristo Jivkov plays Pilate in Mel Gibson's ``The Passion of the Christ.''

Note, BTW, that various Slavic languages have another aitch sound. The letter derived from Greek gamma, which was devoiced into the Roman c (originally with a uniformly ``hard sound'' -- unaspirated k), was devoiced differently for Cyrillic orthography. The Cyrillic letter we recognize as a gamma is pronounced like our aitch in Russian and Ukrainian. So the name Igor is pronounced ``EE-hore'' in the places where it is most common. (The same gamma letter occurs in the usual Greek loan words where we use g, and leads to a common feature of the Russian accent in Western languages.)

Not in any known way a relative of the British poet and lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson of England, this Sam Jr. was author in 1798 of the first dictionary compiled in America, A School Dictionary. [It wasn't a pen name either.] (See also the just coincidence entry.)

Lord Justice JUDGE
Sir Igor Judge first served as a high court judge of the Queen's Bench Division in 1988. Since 2005 he has held the office of President of the Queen's Bench Division. Cf. Lord Justice Laws. (We list other striking judge names.)

A philosophy professor at UT Austin. He is the author of Free Will and Values (1985), Through the Moral Maze (1994), and The Significance of Free Will (1996) and editor of various Oxford University Press volumes on the philosophy of Free Will.

An assistant secretary in the US Department of the Treasury who in October 2008, at the age of 35, was selected to head the Office of Financial Stability. That is, he was placed in charge of a $700 billion rescue of financial institutions. It's sort of a cash-and-carry deal.

John Harvey KELLOGG (Feb. 26, 1852-Dec. 14, 1943)
The surname, which is now most commonly spelled Kellogg and Kellog, is attested in older records as Kelhoge, Kelehoog, and Kyllehog (in order of increasing antiquity). If the compound had evolved as its elements did in the language, it would be killhog. The name means butcher. My source for this is A Dictionary of English Surnames, by P. H. Reaney and R. M. Wilson (Routledge, 1991), but the etymology does not appear to be controversial. The same source mentions Killebole and Kilfole as parallel but does not translate them. Presumably they mean kill-bull and kill-fowl. The OED2 has none of these, but does give various definitions for kill-cow as a person who cows others, a butcher, and related others. OED doesn't normally define proper nouns (unless they are used attributively, say), but that shouldn't be such a factor.

John H. Kellogg is probably the best known Kellogg who ever lived, especially as the Kellogg-Briand Pact fades into history (leaving behind nothing but Nobel Peace prizes for Frank B. Kellogg and Aristide Briand). John Harvey Kellogg was a vegetarian, and a physician in charge of a Seventh-Day Adventist sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. (It's now called the Battle Creek Health Center, and no longer associated with the SDA. Also, Kellogg was excommunicated.) There he developed nut and vegetable products for the patients. He did not invent cornflakes; his cornflake innovation was to serve them for breakfast. John Harvey's younger brother W.K. (Will Keith, who also lived over 91 years: April 7, 1860-Oct. 6, 1951) co-founded a company with his brother, to manufacture toasted cornflakes for former patients and even a few other interested parties.

John Harvey had the majority share, but he distributed shares to other physicians at the Sanatorium. Bad move. While brother John (are you sleeping?) was visiting Pavlov in Russia, brother W.K. bought up enough shares from John's fellow physicians to take a controlling interest. (I imagine this sort of thing happened during the dot-com boom too, when many start-ups paid their employees in shares.) Once W.K. got control, he changed the company name to W.K. Kellogg Company. The box lost the silly sanatorium picture and got W.K.'s signature in exchange. They started adding sugar and making money, and later offered some other dry breakfast cereals.

A former patient, C.W. Post, afterwards went into the same business. (Yeah, there's some name stuff happening there, but we have high standards, so he won't get his own entry.) I seem to recall there were some alleged-violation-of-nondisclosure sorts of issues between Kellogg and Post. Can't we all just be friends?

The famous Kevorkian is Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan euthanasia advocate and activist also known by the nickname ``Dr. Death.'' (Yes, he advocates euthanasia in other places than Michigan as well. I just wrote that sentence that way to save space and time, see?) A retired pathologist, Dr. Kevorkian was convicted of second-degree murder in 1999 for assisting in (by his own count, more than 130) suicides. He was released on parole after eight years. He has said that the terms of his parole limit his ability to discuss medically-assisted suicide, but they apparently don't prevent him from saying that he did nothing wrong and that assisted-suicide should be decriminalized. I guess he's not allowed to give how-to information. [He has other stuff he can talk about. He thinks Nazi Germany comes out well in a comparison with contemporary America. He favors elimination of all restrictions on posession and carrying of fully automatic weapons (okay, maybe this isn't so ``other'') and he urges people not to vote because the voting system is imperfect (this wording is perhaps a bit milder than his). He has an interestingly expansive take on the Ninth Amendment, too.] A lot of people who favor euthanasia would probably like to see him put away (again) for enthusiasm.

Sevan Kevorkian, late of San Diego, Ca., was someone else. Not a known relation of the doctor, he nevertheless was also unusual, and he could probably have used some how-to information from that doctor. Oddly, however, things eventually sort of worked out. You could move the ``oddly'' around in that sentence and see how that works out. On Saturday, January 26, 2008, his girlfriend found him (Sevan, in case that was unclear) hanging unconscious from what I would call a hanger rod in a closet of his apartment. She cut him down and revived him. This was not a Snow White moment; Kevorkian was apparently unhappy about his revival. He attacked his girlfriend and started pulling her around the room by her hair. The scene attracted the attention of a neighborhood couple that was parking at a nearby curb. The man climbed into the apartment through a window to stop the assault and put Kevorkian in a carotid restraint (a/k/a ``sleeper hold''). A picture accompanying one news report showed that Kevorkian, age 36, had a thick, football-linemanish neck. Nevertheless, he lost consciousness again and was taken to a hospital, where he died five days later (11:58pm, Jan. 31). The good Samaritan who intervened in the altercation will be charged with second-degree murder for assisting in Kevorkian's Rube-Goldberg suicide (no, no, just a joke, of course... I hope).

A team of archaeologists from the University of Leicester announced on Sept. 12, 2012, that they had dug up what they think might be the lost remains of King Richard III. He was the last English king to die in battle (Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485). It is hoped that some DNA can be recovered from the skeleton, and for comparison a DNA swab has been obtained from a direct descendant of Richard III's elder sister -- a 17th great grand nephew. Presumably they'll look for an mtDNA match. Turi King is leading the DNA analysis.

Take a guess, then see the AANR entry.

Klaus-Dieter KLASS
An entomologist at the Zoological Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark. The insects as a class constitute the Class Insecta within the standard taxonomy (for more on these hierarchical schemes, see King Phillip came over from German shore, which isn't far from Denmark). Within this there are two subclasses: wingless (Apterygota) and winged (Pterygota). (``Winged'' means that during some stage they have structures corresponding to wings, or that they are apparently evolved from such animals; it doesn't mean they can fly.)

Until 2002 there were only three orders within Subclass Apterygota: Archaeognatha (commonly: the jumping bristletails), Monura (extinct), and Thysanura (the common bristletails: silverfish and firebrats). Silverfish are commonly found in the basement of my old house.

Since 1914, no new insect order had been added to the 33 known within the entire Class Insecta, until Oliver Zompro, a graduate student at the MPI Plön, tried to classify an Eocene-era wingless insect encased in amber. He eventually found two similar museum specimens and suspected they were part of a new order. He sent them to Klass, who agreed. Order Mantophasmatodea of Subclass Apterygota was announced in April 2002. Before the year was out, living members of the order had been identified in Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania. (They didn't get around much, did they?)

Abel Klein is professor in the Mathematics Department at UC Irvine. I don't know that his first name isn't biblical, but it would be cool if he was named for two mathematicians. His work is in mathematical physics, but if he worked in a physics department it would be called condensed matter physics. That's okay; the great mathematician Felix Klein was planning to be a physicist until he got dragooned into completing the geometry text of his recently deceased dissertation advisor. It would be even cooler if Felix's Klein group had been named for Abel Klein, since it's Abelian. Old joke, no doubt.

KLEIN group
The Klein group is a group in the technical mathematical sense. It is also known as the Klein four-group, as it has four elements. It was named the Vierergruppe (German for `four-group' and origin of the common symbols V and V4 for the group) by Felix Klein in his 1884 book Vorlesungenüber das Ikosaeder und die Auflösung der Gleichungen vom fünften Grade. (`Lectures on the Icosahedron and the solution of Equations of the Fifth Order.')

The Klein group is the smallest noncyclic group, and klein is the usual German word for `small.' Somewhere I need to mention that the mathematician Klein who is generally known as Felix Klein was named Christian Felix Klein at birth, and doing so here keeps the count of my violations of the no-single-sentence-paragraphs rule small.

Barbara KNAPP
Knapp is pronounced ``nap.'' She was taking one on a couch in her living room on April 20, 2012, when Erica McCaffery crashed her car into Knapp's house and killed her. On the way in, McCaffery's car hit a fire hydrant at the corner of Corby and Twyckenham, in South Bend, Indiana. The fire hydrant flew through a wall of the home and out the other side; the house has since been torn down. McCaffery appeared to have been racing another car. The two cars were side-by-side moving westbound on Corby Boulevard when the other car turned onto North Twyckenham Drive. (McCaffery, regretably, only turned southwest.) McCaffery and her passenger were found lying on the front yard with non-life-threatening injuries; Knapp was found under the car and rubble from her half-collapsed one-story home, and pronounced dead at the scene. The crash also killed one of Knapp's dogs. Another was found uninjured, cowering under a bed. The car was an Oldsmobile Aurora, but the crash took place at 1:30 am.


Yoshio KOINE
Editor in Chief of Kenkyusha's New English-Japanese Dictionary, 5th edn. Hey, Japanese is Greek to me.

A Cambodian province. A 2009 Fox News slideshow (still accessible as of 2012), based on Reuters reporting, was entitled ``Crazy Cures From Around the World.'' The ninth item, which I won't describe, has this caption: ``Cambodia villagers collect the urine of a cow believed to have healing powers in Kompot province, about 62 miles [editor's note: that's very roughly 99.78 kilometers; you're very welcome] south of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Belief in the supernatural healing powers of animals such as cows, snakes and turtles is relatively common in Cambodia, where more than third of the population lives on less than $1 a day and few can afford modern medicines.''

In the West, by contrast, there are no crazy cures. Already in the twentieth century, for example, tuberculosis was prevented with synthetic cures. (I've temporarily misplaced a link to a Edward Lovett's hand drawn map, showing 60 places around West London where you could -- in 1914 -- buy necklaces of blue (and also some yellow) beads to protect against TB.

Incidentally, if you're thinking that cow piss could never pass for compote, you're thinking along the wrong lines. As the Wikipedia Compote entry used to warn: ``Not to be confused with Kompot.'' Fwiw, the dish (more like bowl) that my South American family calls compota is even more liquid than the Polish Kompot.

Carmen KONTUR-Gronquist
A shapely resident of Arlington, Oregon. A fitness buff, she had a picture taken that shows her attractive profile (this happens to be a principal sense of Kontur in German) outlined against the open driver's-side doorway of a firetruck, wearing only a black bra and panties, and a navel stud, and perhaps some sensible black shoes and socks, though that wasn't in the picture. Around the end of 2007, hard-copies of some of her pictures, which had been taken three years earlier, reportedly on some other town's firetruck (this was something people wanted to know), started to circulate around town. At that time, she posted the picture described above in her MySpace, um, profile, and it made national news in early January 2008.

Also at the time, she was the mayor of Arlington. Arlington had a population of about 500, so it's fair to say that the constituents she upset were village people (just not The Village People). Anyway, there was a recall election in late February, and she lost her job by a vote of 142 to 139. An opinion widely bruited about the blogosphere is that ``they're'' fake (not the pictures). I guess the voters wanted a mayor they could believe in. (But I say, if they don't come off with the bra, that's real enough. Go to the entry for pancreas -- located just below the bra -- for Jean Kerr's relevant thought on this matter.)

The mayor position is unpaid. She also worked as a bookkeeper for the local fire department, managed the rural health clinic office in town, and was a lifeguard at the town pool.

Alfred M. KRIMAN
Almost arrested once, in 1972. (Not counting the time I was stopped by plainclothesmen in Florence.) I could still get in trouble just explaining why (the other time).

Victor KUTZ
A guy who works in movie production. He's the only person I can find whose role in a production was ever listed as first second assistant director.

President and CEO of The Lackland Companies starting in May 1, 1994. He worked his way up some in the business, so I presume it's a family business that he did not found. He is also a primary shareholder of Lackland Self Storage, which operates self-storage facilities. Self-storage is used by people who lack the land, or at least the space, to keep all their property.

Most of the Lackland facilites are in New Jersey, the most densely populated state and the state which, as of 2010, had achieved the highest per-capita property-tax collections in the US. (It's just behind first-place Texas in average property-tax rates, but Texas has lower average property values. Texas also has no state income tax.)

A late pastor of University Baptist Church, near Baylor University. Despite the learning-related context, Rev. Lake did something that seems quite stupid. While standing inside a baptismal font, in water up to his shoulder, he grabbed a microphone and electrocuted himself. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. Live and learn, as they say. Pastors at University Baptist Church routinely used a microphone during baptisms. The woman Lake was baptizing was not injured. This happened on October 30, 2005, before a morning congregation of 800, in Waco, Texas.

The name Kyle is derived from a Scottish topographic term meaning narrow strait or channel.

Charles LAMB
Charles Lamb was born in London in 1775. His father was both clerk and valet to a barrister called Samuel Salt.

Charles grew up to become a writer of poetry, plays, an influential book of dramatic criticism, and various other now-forgotten works. His least-forgotten work was a series of essays for the London Magazine, published from 1820 to 1823 under the pen-name Elia.

Probably the best-remembered essay of Lamb, published in 1823, was the evidently self-serving (or is that self-preserving?) A Dissertation upon Roast Pig.

A scientist with the NOAA. In the July 2006 issue of sciency rag Discover, he was described as a ``science officer [yes sir!] at the National Hurricane Center.'' Cf. William Seaman.

Eugenio LA ROCCA
As of Summer 2005, La Rocca was superintendent of Rome's monuments.

In Italian, the noun rocca (plural rocche) originally meant `rock,' from the Latin rocca. In that acception, the word has been replaced by roccia (from French roche). Rocca now has a principal acception derived from an earlier transferred sense of `fortress, stronghold.' That broad sense (along with the earlier sense of `rock') is found in Dante, and Rocca is the first element in many old place names. (All these Romance rocks are of female gender, by the way.)

Current usage is a bit narrower: a rocca now describes a fortress built on high land, or the highest local point, and protected by steep walls or rock faces. Rocche are found in population centers founded a long time ago, and in Italy that's a long time ago indeed.

As a technical term (that is, senso stretto), a rocca refers to military architecture of the Renaissance -- fortified works generally more squat and more massive than medieval castles.

(Florence's Belvedere was built at the end of the cinquecento -- completed 1595. It was originally named Forte di S. Maria; it quickly got its popular and current name from its great view of the city from a point high above the Arno. Its walls have slanted but steep bastions. I don't know what they did wrong -- maybe the villa in the middle looks too daintily out of place. Anyway, it's usually called a forte, less often a fortezza. In 1951, the Italian Army transferred it (back, I guess) to the city government, and after restoration it opened to tourists in 1955. When I visited in 1987 or so, I looked down one of the walls and saw some guy tending a little microfarm that abutted the fort. You know, maybe it's not entirely a bad thing that Europe is headed for negative population growth, crowded as it is.)

The word rocca has other, mostly attributive senses. A homograph of the word is discussed at the Rock entry. Also worth mentioning is the noun phrase rocca forte, commonly contracted (roccaforte). This tends to be used more loosely, and may be translated `stronghold.' It may refer to a fortress, or to a walled, fortified, or naturally protected city, and the term is usually used figuratively. The regular plural is roccheforti (or rocche forti); interestingly, the variant roccaforti is common when the term is used figuratively. Yes, we have a Roquefort entry.

Bernard F.LAW
Head of the archdiocese of Boston from March 1984 until December 2002. Elevated to cardinal (cardinality?) in 1985. For decades before then, priests in his diocese who had been accused of child sexual abuse were repeatedly suspended, sent for treatment, and then returned to minister and teach the love of God in different parishes. Archbishop Law continued this established practice.

In 1992 there was a spectacular scandal involving sexual abuse by Rev. James R. Porter. That year a national meeting of US bishops acknowledged that mistakes-were-made in handling abuse cases and announced a new policy of openness in dealing with allegations. In January 1993 Cardinal Law implemented what he described as a rigorous new policy to remove dangerous priests from service.

The Roman Catholic Church does not have an FOIA, so determining who knew what when is a bit difficult. In the case of one priest, Paul J. Mahan, a Boston Globe investigation (reported Feb. 19, 2002) found evidence that some of the psychological evaluations finding that Mahan was incorrigible and likely to reabuse were known to Law many years before Mahan was finally defrocked in 1997. With Mahan as with many others over the years, when the Boston archdiocese would finally stop recycling a sexual predator through different parishes, Law defrocked him but avoided getting the organs of state law involved. However, this was perfectly legal: the Massachusetts laws that require most other caregivers to report incidents of sex abuse to police for possible prosecution specifically exempt clergymen. Thank God -- otherwise Law might have gotten in trouble with the law!

The problems that eventually brought him down in 2002 began in the first year of the rule of Law. They centered on John Geoghan, a priest who was accused of molesting boys. Following the accusations, Law moved him to a new parish in September 1984. In 1998, Geoghan was defrocked. The Boston Archdiocese has been negotiating with upwards of 450 of his victims, and by December 2002 its accountants recommended that the archdiocese file for bankruptcy, since it doesn't have the 100 million dollars needed to pay the negotiated settlements. More later.

SatireWire noticed the irony of Law's name also.

As of 2007, Lawless is a Chicago-based ``immigration rights organizer.'' That means he agitates so that people illegally resident in the US (``undocumented'' aliens) may become legally resident.

She used to be a cop. There are probably a lot of cops named Lawless, because Lawless is not an unusual name (e.g., see Billy LAWLESS, supra). As Lana explains, ``For 18 years, I was a cop for the city of Rialto, one of the most violent cities in Southern California. I worked the gang unit. I had a very tough and mean exterior. People didn't want to mess with me.'' However, she ``was compassionate inside. I always let the gay guys go; they had enough drama in their lives.'' That was all back when she was a burly man. Then she put some ``drama'' into her own life, by going from burly to girly. She had her gender surgically ``reassigned,'' as the expression goes.

She also had the associated hormone therapy, of course. ``I am a woman,'' insisted Lawless, who adopted her new name from classic-movie star Lana Turner but declines to discuss her previous name. ``I've lost muscle mass. I don't have big guns [biceps]. They give you a drug that stops you from producing testosterone. Your muscles atrophy. In about seven months, I went from 245 pounds to 175 pounds. I've gained back a little bit, but I feel like I don't have any power.''

The reason for her insistence is that on October 22, 2008, she won the World Long Drive (women's) Championship at Mesquite, Nevada. Lawless doesn't sound as powerless as she claims. Lawless is open about her gender history (I guess ``sexual history'' wouldn't quite capture the idea). In 2005, the USGA approved transgender involvement in golf competition. Various rules were devised to govern transgender golf competition, and Lawless was required to provide doctor reports, lab results showing that her hormone levels were within normal female limits, and had to submit to onsite testing. Still, this is much like deciding to allow participation by people who have used banned steroids -- the steroids in this case are natural, but even after they have been flushed, many of their effects remain.

Let's put it another way. Women who used to be men probably represent a tiny fraction of women who play golf (or tennis, for that matter). That even one should win a women's world championship suggests that such women are statistically over-represented, which is as much as to say they have a systematic advantage. Lana Lawless didn't break any rules or laws. What some may regard as ``lawless,'' at least relatively so, is the situation itself. Less than a month after the Lawless win, the situation (the women's division championship) itself went out of existence. For the official explanation, see the entry for WLD Champion.

Lord Justice LAWS
Sir John Laws is a lord justice of the Court of Appeals in the UK. He served as a high court judge of the Queen's Bench Division from 1992 to 1998. It seems the UK makes special efforts to keep this kind of work in the family; cf. Lord Justice Judge. (We list other noteworthy judge names.)

A professor of English at Norfolk State University (NSU) since 1987. Her graduate degrees are in Comparative Literature, from Yale University.

After working there for twenty years as a waitress, Nancy Laytart bought the Original Pancake House in South Bend in 2001.

A very learned fellow, though not a medical doctor. Here are some highlights and honors from his life (you can probably skip the first item):

On Tuesday, October 18, 1898, at 8 pm, memorial services were held in New York in honor of Prince Otto von Bismarck, who had died the previous July 30. They were held at the Metropolitan Opera House, with the assistance of Madame Johanna Gadski, soprano. Participating in the services were the Liederkranz and Arion Societies, and the United Singers of New York. The service was followed by a torchlight procession that lasted from 10 pm to midnight. Here is the price of seats, as given in the classified ad in the October 17 New York Times:

              Orchestra Chairs . . . . . . . . . $2.50
              Orchestra Seats  . . . . . . . . .  2.00
              Dress Circle   . . . . . . . . . .  1.50
              Balcony    . . . . . . . . . . . .  1.00
              Family Circle  . . . . . . . . . .  0.50
              General Admission  . . . . . . . .  1.00
              Boxes, 6 Seats . . . . . . . . . . 25.00
              Boxes, 4 Seats . . . . . . . . . . 15.00
The headlined eulogies were delivered by Prof. Marion Dexter Learned (in English) and by the Hon. Carl Schurz (in German). Learned's talk was reported in detail; Schurz's talk was described in brief generalities.

On July 9, 1900, Prof. Marion D. Learned was elected president of the National German-American Teachers' Association.

On December 15, 1900, when the College Entrance Examination Board of the Middle States and Maryland made public the Board of Examiners for 1901, Prof. M.D. Learned of the University of Pennsylvania was named as the chief examiner for German. I'm sure you want to know the whole list of chief examiners. You can find it at the CEEB entry.

In 1909, a special Report to the New York Times, dateline May 1, Berlin, reported that Prof. M.D. Learned of the University of Pennsylvania and Prof. E.T. Pierce, President of the California State Normal College at Los Angeles, were visiting Berlin. It was noted that Prof. Learned had been honored with an invitation to deliver one of the lectures at the previous week's annual celebration of Shakespeares's birthday, held at Weimar by the German Shakespeare Society.

You know, if you only came here following a link to the stuff about Professor Learned, you should scroll back up a bit and read about Nancy Laytart. I think that's pretty cool, and it's more recent. See also Billings Learned Hand.

William S. LEARNED
This Learned was born in Alpena, Michigan, on June 5, 1876. He doesn't seem to be any known relation of M.D. Learned (supra), but he also went to Germany to do graduate work (that was where to go) and he was also involved in standardized testing (this was rather less common).

``William S. Learned served the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a staff officer from 1913 until his retirement in 1946. During the third of a century of his professional labor as the `Scholar of 522 Fifth Avenue,' he participated in generously financed exploratory research as a member of the foundation's Division of Educational Enquiry. ... His reputation was most widely based on his work as founder and director of the Graduate Record Examination....''

The quoted text is from page 9 of Paul Douglass's Teaching for Self-Education As a Life Goal (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1960), a biography of Learned.

Friedrich LESSER
Known as the king of physico-theology during its heyday (1730's to 1760's). His Lithotheologie [`Stone Theology'], a heavy tome published in 1735, burdened the reader with over 1300 pages. It explored the ways that stones -- even though we humans misuse them -- allow us to marvel at God's wisdom. His Insectotheologie (1740) accomplished the experimental confirmation of divine wisdom on the basis of entomological speculation. You may be able to guess the punch line of Snail Theology (1744), Lesser's 984-page joke.

Physico-theology was essentially worthless, and Lesser gave much more of it.

The comparative and superlative (nonabsolute) forms of adjectives present an interesting asymmetry: these forms are thought of as expressing ``more'' of the same, even when the same expresses a notion of less (privative). This is explicit in the periphrastic forms: longer is more long, but shorter (less long) is also more short. Fewer are less than few, but more few. (If you already knew what I meant, then what I wrote won't have confused you.)

Author of a small book entitled The Big Book of National Insults, which consists mostly of quotes from literature and public affairs in a jingoistic or xenophobic vein. The first section dedicated to aspersions against a specific country is that for France, naturellement.

The copyright is assigned to the publisher, and one might wonder whether the author name is a pseudonym. The introduction, however, is subscribed with the author's name and an unnecessarily specific address in Greater London. Moreover, the same author is credited (I think that's the word) with other works, including at least one book of sports insults, and The Big Book of Sex ``Quotes'': 1001 Quips and Quotes.

The illustrator of Giambattista Basile's The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones (a translation by Nancy L. Cannepa of Basile's Pentamerone). In Italian, Lettere means `letters,' and caramello `caramel, candy,' so with a little license, ``carmelo lettere'' can be read as `I candify letters.' And what the heck, Basile wrote in the Neapolitan language anyway.

American bowler. He won the Masters tournament in 1981.

Sandra Ramsey LINES
A document expert and fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. (She was in the news in September 2004. The CBS TV show ``60 Minutes'' produced memos purported to have been written by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, one of George W. Bush's commanders in 1972 and 1973. They were quickly and widely denounced as forgeries, and Lines was hardly the first to do so, but she has the name.)

As of early 2009, Linker writes a blog for The New Republic. Like most blog postings, his contain links.

Linker also serves as a kind of human link -- between political journals that don't have a lot of contributors (or past contributors) in common -- because he's a political turncoat. Linker has had essays published in Commentary, National Review, and The Weekly Standard, journals with great prestige on the political right. He was also published in the Wall Street Journal, whose editorial staff leans right. From May 2001 to February 2005, he worked at First Things, an important politically conservative monthly with an emphasis on religion, first as associate editor and then as editor. Then in 2006 he published The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. I don't think he's welcome at his old haunts any more.

A securities analyst! On May 11, 1999, he provided the New York Times quotation of the day:

``Just as there is a lifelong search for the fountain of youth, there is a lifelong search for an easy way to lose weight.''

He was commenting on the prospects for the then-new diet drug orlistat (brand name Xenical), which had recently been approved for sale in the US. Loss, with HSBC Securities, said it had ``the potential to be a Viagra-type product in a different field.''

On January 3, 1970, a meteorite was seen over a large area of the US. Its fall was the first to be recorded by the Prairie Network, a NASA-funded system of 16 cameras that had been operated by the Smithsonian Institution's Astrophysical Observatory since 1964. The path was photographed by two of the cameras (Hominy, Oklahoma, and Pleasanton, Kansas). A trajectory and impact point were estimated from these, and six days later Gunther Schwartz, the field manager of the network, found the meteorite... near Lost City. The meteorite, which turned out to be an H5 chondrite, weighed 21.6 pounds (at ground level). It was estimated to have had a mass of about a ton when it entered the atmosphere. On January 17, Richard Halpain, a farmer near Tulsa, Oklahoma, while looking for a lost calf, found a small rock that seemed to be charred. That turned out on analysis to be a ten-ounce fragment lost by the same meteorite.

Lost City is a reasonably well-defined place, about 45 miles east of Tulsa, OK. But if you went looking for a city there you might indeed conclude that it was lost. Lost City is not an incorporated municipality and as such has no official boundaries. It is the name of a locally commonly recognized little concentration of human population, and the US census bureau defines its boundaries for statistical purposes. Within the 23.3 square miles of that CDP, the 2000 census gave a population of 809.

Christopher LOVE
Grief-stricken after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, this alleged 43-year-old from suburban Philadelphia emailed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein urging him to set aside his differences with Washington and join a US-led coalition against ''terrorism, hunger and strife in every country.'' Love is a software engineer, but he didn't actually get ahold of Saddam's email address. He emailed the Iraqi News Agency, which agreed to pass the message along. Love received a reply from Saddam on October 18 (Reuters did not report the return address) calling him a ''brother in the family of mankind'' and expressing condolences for the victims of the attacks. The pitiless torturer, mass murderer, and ruthless dictator also wrote: ''God has created us and to Him we return. May God give you a long life.''

Sometimes love is not all you need.

Barnes & Noble's religion-book buyer. She was quoted in an April 16, 2009, Time magazine article on the latest ``Romance Fiction Trend: Amish Love Stories.''

Dr. Susan LOVE
Susan Love, MD, is president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. What with Dr. Phil and Dr. Ruth already out there (not to mention Dr. Romance... at the Desirable Men entry, for example), this title might be misunderstood -- especially as the good doctor has a book out called Dr. Susan Loves Breast Book. Oh wait, got that wrong; it's ``Love's Breast.'' No confusion is possible, then. Dr. Love has a project going called ``Love/Avon Army of Women,'' to recruit at least a million womens willing to consider participating in surveys and other breast-cancer research.

Mildred and Richard LOVING
An interracial couple from Virginia who married in D.C. at a time (1958) when interracial marriage was illegal in their home state. After they returned to Virginia, they were arrested, pled guilty to violating an anti-miscegenation statute, and were given one-year prison sentences suspended on the condition that they leave the state. They settled in D.C., but eventually their case became the nucleus of a class action supported by the ACLU: Loving v. Virginia. The case reached the US Supreme Court, which unanimously overturned their convictions and found the Virginia laws to be in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. The Romans could have told you: amor vincit statum virgineum.

Virginia, of course, was named after Elizabeth I -- ``the virgin queen.'' In the 1960's or 70's, the state of Virginia began an advertising campaign to promote tourism with the slogan ``Virginia is for Lovers.''

Wanda LUCK
On Sunday, March 29, 2009, one Robert Stewart of Carthage, North Carolina, went on a shooting spree at a local nursing home (Pinelake Health and Rehab, specializing in Alzheimer's care), killing seven residents and a male nurse and injuring several others. The carnage would probably have been much worse at the 110-bed facility, but police officer Justin Garner responded to the emergency call and won a gunfight with Stewart. (Garner was shot three times in the leg and Stewart took at least one bullet in the chest; both survived.) There might possibly have been fewer innocent casualties had someone on the staff had a gun.

Anyway, Wanda was very lucky not to have been there at the time, because it seems she may have been a target. She and her husband Stewart (the same) were recently estranged, and she was a CNA on the staff at the home.

The German verb lugen, `to peek, spy' (cognate with English look) gave rise to surnames Luger (see next) and Lueg. It is probably also the origin of the less common surname Lueger. The plain sense of the common noun Lueger (or Lüger) in modern German, however, is `liar' (from the verb luegen or lügen, cognate with English lie).

In 1900, Karl Lueger was elected mayor of Vienna. He was the first European politician to gain significant office with a prominently antisemitic campaign.

In German, lugen is `to peek, spy' (cognate with English look). A Luger is either someone who peers from a hidden place (Leuer, which means and is cognate with `lair') or the place itself. (The surname Luger is usually regarded as being derived from the latter sense.) Georg Luger designed semiautomatic pistols, manufactured from 1900 on, with 7.65 and 9 mm bores. The Luger P-08 (first manufactured in 1908) was the German army's standard sidearm during both world wars.

August Marie Louis LUMIÈRE:
/* Make believe this is a switch statment and fall through */
Charles Antoine LUMIÈRE:
/* Make believe this is a switch statment and fall through */
Louis Jean LUMIÈRE
Charles Lumière ran a photographic firm in Lyon, France, and his sons August and Louis worked for him there, as a manager and a scientist, resp. After their father retired in 1892, the brothers worked on the new technology of projected motion pictures. (Specifically, externally projected motion pictures. The Edison kinetoscope was a peep show.) The Lumière brothers were not the first to invent such devices, and Maximillian Skladanowsky was the first (beat them by almost two months) to charge admission to view projected movies. However, the Lumières' cinématographe was much more practical than Skladanowsky's Bioskop, and it was their device that inaugurated the successful commercialization of projected movies. (There is also some question whether the Lumières' cinématographe was the same as the cinématographe patented earlier by Léon Bouly.)

Lumière means `light' in French. It's not entirely relevant to the people described in this entry, but I feel like pointing out, that lumière in French has a range of meanings similar to that of `light' in English. In particular, it refers both to light of the sort that always travels at the speed of light, and to lights that are relatively stationary and emit light of the other kind. There is also, in English, what one might regard as a semantically offset ambiguity in the word lamp, which conventionally refers to an device that provides light, but may refer more specifically to the light source that is part of the device. Anglophone lighting engineers have a solution to this problem: they use the word lamp only for a light source, and they use the French word luminaire for a lighting unit, including one or more lamps as well as the housing and related paraphernalia. For a bit more on the semantics, see the LUZ item below.

That's Spanish for `Jesus Light.' I am sorry to note that luz (in both Spanish and Portuguese -- like lumière in French, vide supra) only has the meaning of `light' in the sense of visible electromagnetic radiation and in closely related senses, and not in the sense of unheavy or unserious. That's too bad, because something like ``Jesus Lite'' would be a very apt name for an idol of any sort who had a close relationship with (not just any Italian madonna but the) Madonna (neé Ciccone), a woman old enough to be his mother.

Madonna, as you probably know, is an adherent of a Hollywood variant of Kabbalah, and Kabbalah is a Jewish thing. So the old Material Girl has a lot in common with the Virgin Mary, who was Jewish (and probably still is, by some accounts, though she is getting on in years) and had a boy named Jesus. Jesus Luz, a Brazilian model, dated Madonna from the end of the (US) fall semester until around spring break, when she announced the break-up during a ten-minute chat with fans on Twitter. (No, I don't think he's still in school. He was 22 in most reports, though one of his former girlfriends was still 18 when her opinions of the Madonna fling were published.)

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awards no-strings-attached fellowships to people it deems impressively worthy. Informally, these are known as the MacArthur ``genius grants.'' For the nomen ain't omen content, please proceed now to the invisible ink entry.

Chapter two of Handbook of Positive Psychology, ed. C. R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez (Oxford Un. Pr., 2002) is his article ``Stopping the `Madness' : Positive Psychology and the Deconstruction of the Illness Ideology and the DSM,'' pp. 13-25.

Three SHEPHERDS of MAD River Valley
Not a person, not even three persons, but an ill-omened name nonetheless. A facility in Vermont identified only as ``plant number 50-50'' (sounds iffy to me) produced specialty cheese under the name ``Three Shepherds of Mad River Valley,'' using milk from sheep later suspected of having been infected with a sheep version of Mad Cow Disease. [That would normally be scrapie, which is not known to be contagious to humans, but it might be some new transmissible form (TSE). See also Douglass HOGG.]

A drill sergeant in the US Air Force was demoted to senior airman and removed from extended active duty (reverting to Air National Guard status) after posing nude and in uniform in a six-page pictorial, as they're called, in the February 2007 issue of Playboy magazine. Commenting on these actions to the AP on Valentine's Day 2007, she said ``disappointed in our system'' and that ``they went too far with it.'' She was shown in uniform, yelling and holding weapons under the headline ``Tough Love.'' Other pages showed her partially clothed and nude. After the issue was published in January, Manhart was relieved of her duties pending an investigation. She soon received a letter of reprimand. She claimed that she was ``told'' not to talk to the news media; an Air Force spokesman said that she was ``not prohibited'' from talking to the media.

As of this writing, she is trying to resign from the National Guard, and looks forward to pursuing a modeling and entertainment career. She used the future subjunctive in commenting that ``my family is going to stay here, but I do have plans to pursue anything that comes my way, whether it be in LA or New York or Hollywood.'' Thirty-year-old Manhart has two children; her husband is also in the military. Manhart disappointed grammarians, who had started to become interested, by continuing thus: ``As far as moving on in my life, I'm happy. I hope this works out for my family and me.''

Jerome G. MANIS
Co-editor, with Samuel I. Clark, of a collection of gassy essays called Man and Society: An Introduction to Social Science (New York: Macmillan Co., 1960, when Manis and Clark were associate professors at WMU).

Author of a book entitled Manliness. Mansfield argues that manliness is an underappreciated virtue. His idea of manliness, by the way, is not mastery of the manly arts (you know -- things like opening jammed jam jars, carving the turkey, fixing the nuclear reactor). He means something like ``confidence in the face of risk.'' (Oddly enough, unreasonable confidence is known as ``cockiness,'' iirc.) Anyway, he surely knows whereof he speaks: he's a conservative professor of government in the belly of the leftist beast (Harvard U.).

Marcos is the Coptic form of English `Mark.' St. Mark evangelized in Alexandria (which had a very large community of Hellenized Jews) and is regarded as the founder of the Coptic Church. Father Marcos (I hope that familiarity is not too presumptious; if it is, I'll use Father Marcos instead) has kicked around -- he was at the St. George Coptic Church of Greater Philadelphia at one time, but is now, appropriately, Hegomenos at a St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church (this one in Toronto).

This name and that of former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali suggest to me that repeated name elements are a relatively popular style among Copts, but I'm not sure. All I can add is that Boutros is the Coptic form of Peter (Greek Petros), and that Boutros Ghali (born 1846) was a Coptic statesman. His assassination on February 21, 1910, ``sparked serious quarrels between Copts and Muslims, lasting throughout the years before World War I'' according to the article on him in (by Doris Behrens-Abuseif) in the Coptic Encyclopedia (ed. Aziz S. Atiya).

There is also a Bishoy (Metropolitan of two or more places I can't parse in Egypt; read it yourself) who is listed by Amazon.com as an author named ``Bishoy Bishoy Nicola.'' I suspect that this is just another instance of Amazon.com's mangling of author names, and that other on-line bookstores are following Amazon's lead error, but I don't plan to order the book to find out. His original name was Makram Eskander Nicola, and he was named Toma El-Souriani upon consecration as a monk. He received a number of promotions, mostly reportedly against his will, and at some point became Bishop Bishoy, before being elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.

He is the illustrator of a new (in 2008) edition of Simone Ortega's 1080 Recetas de Cocina (`1080 Recipes'). According to a <CasaDelLibro.com> newsletter advertising it in July 2008, this is the best-selling cookbook in Spain. This edition features 500 original drawings and 104 color photographs and, as always, an author with a French given name.

When I first saw the ad with Mariscal's name highlighted, my immediate thought was that mariscos (loosely `shellfish') are a popular food in Spain. The word marisco is a nominalized old Spanish adjective meaning `marine.' The word mariscal is not. It's another French loan, this one of maréchal. The DLE, the TLF, and the OED all agree on a Germanic origin with the ultimate sense of `horse servant.' The marshal has evidently come up in the world, over the past couple of thousand years. Perhaps I should mention that the Spanish are sort of the Chinese of Europe: they're, um, gastronomically adventuresome. So if we adjust the sense to `horse server,' we have a more legitimate instance of nomen est omen.

[The common Germanic etymology of marshall, maréchal, and mariscal will be more intuitive if you remember the English word mare. The Latin word mare, as discussed at the mar entry, gave rise to various other words besides marisco. A more precise definition of mariscos would be `marine invertebrates, especially edible crustaceans and mollusks.']

Matar is the infinitive form of a Spanish verb and means `kill.' The related word matanza is a noun whose meanings partly coincide with those of the English noun `killing.' The feminine form of the past participle, matada, functions primarily as an adjective, with some extensions of meaning beyond `killed.' (For example, the adjective sense of `boring' is attested in Cuba and Costa Rica.) If the word matanza did not exist, matada might well have a few of its noun uses. Nevertheless, matada does have one widely used noun sense, attested in Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, and Venezuela and regarded as a colloquialism: In those places it means a violent blow or fall.

Jose Matada of Mozambique (if you're good I'll look up the meanings in Portuguese) was a landing-gear stowaway on a Heathrow-bound jet in September 2013. He fell out when the plane deployed its landing gear on approach, at an altitude of 2000 feet. [Reports of such incidents often include phrasing like ``fell to his death,'' but the conditions at cruising altitude are vicious -- temperatures of around -48 deg. F and pressures of about 0.3 atmospheres at 30,000 feet, according to the FAA -- so only that minority who aren't crushed to death in the machinery and don't freeze to death or suffocate from the low oxygen pressure may die by hitting the ground fast. The rest are dead on arrival. I figure the ones who fall out near the destination are more likely to be the ones who died en route anyway.]

Shawnta M. McBRIDE
On September 9, 2004, when Shawnta McBride married Robert K. Konaido, she kept her maiden name. Between the following October 25 and June 6, 2005, she remarried five times at the Gwinnett County Courthouse in Metro Atlanta, allegedly neglecting to divorce (or kill or whatever) any of the husbands. On October 11, 2006, warrants were issued for her arrest on five counts of bigamy and false swearing. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution later reviewed state marriage records and discovered another couple of marriages, one each in Cobb and Fulton. It was reported that the ``motivation for McBride's alleged numerous nuptials [was] unclear.'' However, Lorraine Stafford, Gwinnett's Probate Court administrator, noted that of McBride's six grooms at Gwinnett, four were born in Ghana, one was from Morocco, and one was a London native. As of July 2008, she was apparently still on the lam.

Gwinnett had some other bigamy cases in 2006 that issued in the arrests of two men in September. Over the course of half a year Alvin Lorenzo Murdock allegedly took six brides. Another, William James (``Woody'') Fairley, married eight women over one year in Gwinnett alone. Mr. Fairley, a cook in College Park, Georgia, married at least twice more in Cobb County. Gwinnett issues close to 4000 marriage licenses a year, so the three separate magistrates who each married him twice in Gwinnett might be excused for not recognizing that Fairley, a 6-foot, 230-pound man with a thin mustache, was a ``regular.'' Of Fairley's ten wives, six were from Ghana and the others were from Cameroon, Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. They ranged in age from 28 to 45.

``Green-card marriages'' are not unusual, of course, but the usual pattern seems to be for a broker to charge between $2,500 and $6,000 to match an individual US citizen, single, with a foreigner (often from Ghana) seeking sham marriage and permanent residence.

Professors at the University of California at Davis, and coauthors of a college textbook published by W.H. Freeman and Co., New York. Alas, it's an introductory chemistry textbook. It doesn't say much about rocks or petrology or quarries, but it does have the necessary elements.

Kendrick MEEK
A US representative from the state of Florida, he ``inherited'' his seat from his mother Carrie.

Dr. Terry MEEK
I would hardly mention this moderately common name were it not for the fact that he teaches chemistry in the same school where someone with the slightly more common name of Coward (Mr. Adrian Coward) teaches computer programming. (The school is UWI.)

Dr. C.F. Menninger, and his sons Drs. Will and Karl Menninger, were among the pioneers of psychiatry in the US, and in 1925 founded the Menninger Clinic outside of Topeka, Kansas. (The clinic has evolved into a number of related institutions.) The meninges are the three soft membranes that envelop the brain. Drs. Roy W. Menninger and W. Walter Menninger (``Dr. Walt''), sons of Will Menninger, continuted to lead the Menninger clinic.

Gordon Kenneth MESSENGER
An officer in the Royal Marines. In late 2009 he was promoted to the rank of major general and achieved his life's nominal destiny by being appointed lead spokesman on British operations in Afghanistan. Cf. Larry Speakes.

He won the Boston Marathon in 1926, as an unknown, and again in 1929.

Joseph-DÉSIRÉ Mobutu
In French I suppose désiré is the past participle of désirer, `to want,' so the name Désiré is a gerund meaning `the one who is desired,' or, um, `wanted one.' The person who originally bore this name eventually adopted a longer one:

Mobutu Sese Seko KUKU Ngbendu wa za Banga
I'm not really sure what parts of the name to highlight here, because I lack the knowledge requisite to perform a lexical analysis. This is the name that Joseph-Désiré Mobutu adopted around the time that he renamed the Belgian Congo Zaïre. The Congo River became the Zaïre River, but since the (former French) Congo is on the right bank of the river, it's not so surprising that that renaming didn't take so well. The name Zaïre was apparently based on a Portuguese version of a local name of the river. All non-native place names were also changed; the capital's name changed from Leopoldville to Kinshasa. Christian given names were also banned. Part of the national rebranding (an ``authenticity'' campaign) was the replacement of Monsieur and Madame by Citoyen and Citoyenne. This last bit is not entirely innovative. The French Revolution adopted the same language reform, and until that revolution really started to bare its fangs, it was a popular fashion in New York City to use the appellations Citizen and Citizeness.

Mobutu made some other cosmetic changes, the most immediately visible one being the proscription of formal civilian Western attire in favor of a tunic outfit called l'abacost (q.v.). (On the subject of cosmetic changes, incidentally -- skin lighteners were illegal.)

The most fateful changes he made were not, however, qualitative innovations. He and his mismanagement team, as we might say, were corrupt and economically disastrous for the country in the usual ways, only more so. Apparently the word kleptocracy was specifically coined for his régime. He was usually aligned with the West during the Cold War, though he effectively played the two sides. In his early days he is reputed to have played informant to Belgian intelligence, the French were a solid ally, and he usually took the US side in the regional skirmishes of the Cold War. He was rewarded with foreign aid, at least. Therefore, all the bad stuff he did was the fault of the US, and if it hadn't been for the CIA, the former Belgian Congo would today be an advanced industrial democracy.

Anyway, enough trivia. The new name that Mobutu adopted for himself (Sese Seko...) was typically described in news reports as having the official or usual translation `the all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake' (with some variation in tense and hyphenation). In case that looks embellished, I've also encountered `the earthy, the peppery, all-powerful warrior who, by his endurance and will to win, goes from contest to contest leaving fire in his wake.' I should probably leave it at that, except to say that in May 1997, as a rebellion led by Laurent Kabila chased him from power, his own elite guard, left behind, fired on the cargo plane he used to flee the country.

But I just can't leave well enough alone. I'd figure that the official translation, if there really was one, would be into French first. French newspapers, it turns out, generally gave the official translation as `l'homme qui vole de victoire en victoire et ne laisse rien derrière lui.' English of that would have to be close to `the man who flies [or flees] from victory to victory and leaves nothing behind him.' Considering the thorough three-decade-long looting of the country, the ``flees ... and ... leaves nothing behind him'' was not far off the mark. Even the little economic infrastructure left behind by the Belgians was mostly allowed to fall into disrepair, and nationalization of foreign-owned businesses scared away foreign investment (duh). And when he left, of course, it was indeed a great victory -- for his decades-long adversary Laurent-Désiré Kabila. If there is in fact a single word that might be translated both rien (`nothing') and `fire,' it might be ashes.

It would probably help to know what the source language was, so it might help to know that Mobutu was a member of the Ngbandi tribe. I see the word Ngbendu as part of his name. Perhaps some variable interpolation took place in the translation process. That might begin to explain the alternate translation that was often given: `the rooster in the farmyard who covers all the hens' (`le coq de la basse-cour qui couvre toutes les poules').

P. Moitrel d'ELEMENT
An eighteenth-century chemical researcher. Despite the auspicious name, he's not widely remembered. He doesn't have an entry in even one of the dozen or so major encyclopedias I checked. (That's not to say I didn't learn anything useful. I learned that the mathematician Abraham de Moivre was born to Protestant parents in Vitry, France, in 1667, and took refuge in England after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and I learned that la Enciclopedia Italiana treats i and j as equivalent in alphabetization. Just to be sure, I went ahead and discovered that Dirk van Delen was a Dutch artist, main entry under Deelen, Dirk van.)

Anyway, here's what I glean from Chronologie der Naturwissenschaften, ed. Karl-Heinz Schlote (Verlag Harri Deutsch, 2002): in 1719 Moitrel d'Element described techniques for working with gases over water. According to A Short History of Chemistry, by J.R. Partington (various publishers, 3/e 1957; Dover reprint 1989): ``The manipulation of air over water was described by Moitrel d'Element in 1719.'' Neither source gives his first initial. (I found that here; for 3000 euros I can buy a book that contains various texts of Moitrel as an appendix.) Apparently his work was entitled La manière de rendre l'air visible and republished in 1777.

(Real name: Christopher Brian Moneymaker. His friends call him ``Money.'') He earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee, then a master's degree (in what and from where I don't know). He was working as an accountant and playing in online poker rooms, and the prize in one online tournament was a $10,000 buy-in to the World Series of Poker. His father Mike Moneymaker and a friend really named David Gamble put up some money to cover the cost for the trip in exchange for a portion of his winnings. At the age of 27, he won the 2003 WSOP ($2.5 million).

The name of a boat. Senator Gary Hart of Colorado was photographed there with a woman not his wife in his lap.

Nate Monanta is the son of Joe Montana, standout quarterback at the University of Notre Dame and Hall-of-Fame quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. The son also played quarterback and also went to Notre Dame. At the end of the fall semester of his junior year he was far down the QB depth chart at ND and transfered (begining of 2011) to the University of... Montana. (He was red-shirted as a freshman, so as a ``senior-to-be'' he has two years of elibility remaining. The quarterback position is open at Montana because starter in 2009 and 2010, Oregon transfer Justin Roper, exhausted his eligibility.)

Author of a book of poems entitled The Invited Guest (Williamsville, Ill.: H. Moore [hmmm], 1994). Invited by whom?

HUGH MOORE of Carrington, Foster County, North Dakota
The University of North Dakota, Extension Division, has this archival material: essays written by Hugh Moore, of Carrington, Foster County, N.D., for correspondence courses in American government and introductory poetry. Fifty items. Anybody is allowed to visit the Department of Special Collections at UND and just look at it.

HUGH MOORE (1887-1972)
In Easton, Pennsylvania, there's a Hugh Moore Park. The Lafayette College Libraries, in the same town, are home to a ``Hugh Moore Dixie Cup Company Collection'' of archival material spanning the years 1905-1986. The ``bulk 1910-1955'' material occupies 42 linear ft. (39 record cartons, 6 oversize boxes, 7 file drawers). But does it come with a convenient dispenser? The material ``[d]ocuments the corporate history of the Dixie Cup Company and the role of its president Hugh Moore, a pioneer in the paper cup and vending industry.''

Easton was Hugh Everett Moore's home from 1947 until his death in 1972, age 85. Moore got into the paper cup business the same way Kellogg got into the breakfast cereal business: practical idealism. Moore was in his second year at Harvard in 1907 when he became interested in an idea of his brother-in-law Lawrence Luellen: to replace the common (unsanitary!) tin dipper with water vendors and individual paper cups. He gave up his newspaper job and dropped out of Harvard the next year. You can make money selling water.

He married in 1917 and had two sons (one named Hugh). From the 1940's to the 1960's he was heavily involved with Planned Parenthood and other organizations that oppose population growth.

HUGH MOORE (1808-1837)
Author of Memoir of Col. Ethan Allen, containing the most interesting incidents connected with his private and public career (Plattsburg, N.Y.: O.R. Cook, 1834). Okay, I'm not getting it.

Hugh Moore was also editor (1833-4) of the Burlington (Vermont) Sentinel.

Author of Robert Penn Warren and History; the Big Myth We Live (The Hague: Mouton, 1970 [1971]). I still don't get it, but I think I can see a pattern developing.

He also coauthored A Concise Handbook of English Composition (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1972) with Karl F. Knight.

None of this is really as funny as I feel I had a right to expect.

Bryan Scott MORON
On January 4, 2008, he allegedly lost control of his truck and struck a mailbox, then a house. Moron, of Burleson, Texas, failed sobriety tests at the scene, and his blood alcohol level was recorded as being above twice the legal limit for driving. He was arrested at the scene. He was also alleged to have been driving at a high rate of speed when the accident occurred. To be fair, there are plenty of other stupid things he might have done.

Ciriaco MORÓN Arroyo
Author of The Humanities in the Age of Technology (Washington, D.C.: Catholic Univ. or Amer. Pr., 2002). Morón is a MOULDS
Richard Moulds is the author of chapter 3 in the second volume of Cognard: ``Design and Stress Calculations for Bonded Joints'' (pp. 197-231).

One set of meanings of the word mould (spelled mold in the US, but R.J. Moulds is British) have to do with giving form. One who molds gives shape, paradigmatically to a viscous substance that subsequently hardens into the imparted form. Moulds's chapter is concerned with bonding by adhesives which are applied in viscous liquid form and subsequently harden. Moulds is concerned specifically with how the geometry of the bond -- the way the bond is molded -- affects the strength of the bond.

Lorenzo MUSIC
He was a voice artist and a musician. Okay, okay, he was also an actor, writer, and producer. And I have to admit that he wasn't born ``Lorenzo Music.'' He was born ``Gerald David Music.'' He changed the name for spiritual reasons that I don't plan to understand.

This appears to be a blend -- a ``port man tow,'' I think they call it -- of mutt and fatwa. I'm not going to spoil it for you here. When you're ready, go to this paragraph of the AAA (for animal-assisted activities) entry.

Frederic NAUSEA
In the space of five years he participated in the Diets of Nuremberg, Ofen, and Speier. The next item also concerns diets.

Chairwoman of the Department of Nutrition Studies at New York University.

That was according to a New York Times Magazine article of March 10, 1996, pp. 37ff: ``The Morality of Fat,'' by Molly O'Neill, p. 38. Update June 2007: It's now the ``Department of Nutrition and Food Studies,'' and Marion Nestle is currently the Chair.

Friedrich NEUE
Neue is `new' in German. (It's one of the various inflected forms of neu.) Friedrich Neue wrote Formenlehre der lateinischen Sprache (`Morphology of Latin'), first published (by H. Lindemann, at Stuttgart) 1861-1866. It wasn't a new topic.

Neugeboren is `newborn' in German. In 1985 he published Before My Life Began: A Novel.

Are you sure you want to read this? This is a rather sad story.

In a New York Daily News exclusive (July 15, 2002, cover and p. 7), she is quoted as saying ``I want my son off the street, but I don't just want him in jail. He deserves worse than that ... the death penalty.'' Her son Andre Neverson, one of ten siblings, allegedly shot his older sister Patricia in a dispute over money. Andre called their father to tell him he'd never see his daughter again. ``He can't be my son and kill my daughter,'' said Denzil Humphrey.

Author of Appeasing Hitler (MacMillan Pr. Ltd., 2000). Neville Chamberlain was the British prime minister who appeased Hitler in the run-up to WWII. The best-remembered bit of appeasement was the last: in negotiations at Munich, he and the French agreed that Hitler could occupy the Sudetenland -- the Bohemian part of Czechoslovakia with a large German population (many of them German Jews trying to escape Nazi persecution). In return, Hitler promised that he would not seek to expand further. (He promptly expanded further.) Peter Neville's book is not about Neville Chamberlain. Instead, it is a defense of Nevile Henderson, the British Ambassador in Berlin during the height of that policy. The book is subtitled ``The Diplomacy of Sir Nevile Henderson, 1937-39.''

On page xii, Neville points out that in 1986, historian Edward Ingram ``compared Henderson's lack of competence and professionalism with that of Shirley Temple Black.'' STOP RIGHT THERE! Praise by self-evidently misguided criticism. Case closed.

A North Korean intermediate-range missile. When first tested in 1991, it reportedly had a range of 565 kilometers. Since then, its range is believed to have been continuously increased. In 2004 it stood at between 1200 and 1500 km. I'm not exactly sure yet why I've put this item in, but I'm sure I'll think of something.

J.F. von der NULL
Null was a Viennese banker. (Null is the standard way of saying `zero' in German.)

Keith NULL
A QB out of West Texas A&M who was taken by the Saint Louis Rams in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. Starting in place of injured quarterbacks Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller, he made his NFL debut in the Rams' thirteenth game and twelfth loss (this one 7-47) of the 2009 season. Null's jersey number was 9; 0 usually follows.

The Rams were obviously ``struggling,'' as they call it, and had been for a few years. It would be petty of me to wallow in this if I didn't didn't point out that, although Null's rank among all those who have ever played in the NFL is in five digits, to reached that level of play is an enormous achievement, and his college record in the Lone Star conference was epic, but now I have so it's okay. Null tossed five interceptions in his first game, but closed out his season (four starts) with only nine, and a won-lost record of 0-4. He was picked up by the Carolina Panthers the next year and actually made it on to their active roster. He never played in any more professional games, though, so he never endangered his record of zero wins.

David R. OBEY
Rep. David Obey (D-WI) is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee as of 2009. The US Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 7) requires that all revenue bills originate in the House of Representatives. Who pays the piper calls the tune. (Yeah, yeah, appropriation isn't taxation; it's still a very powerful committee.)

Jim Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13, selected names for the manned portions of the spacecraft: ``Aquarius'' for the LM (see Aqr) and ``Odyssey'' for the command module (the capsule). As explained on p. 87 of Lost Moon (details at Aqr entry), Lovell chose the name Odyssey ``because he just plain liked the ring of the word, and because the dictionary defined it as `a long voyage marked by many changes of fortune' -- though he preferred to leave off the last part.'' The voyage of the Odyssey turned out to be more difficult and eventful than expected.

Apolo Anton OHNO
A five-time (ahead of 2010 competition) Olympic medalist in the sport of short track speedskating.

Oxford Latin Dictionary. Wait -- the antiquity gets worse. As the entry explains, the dictionary is focused on classical Latin -- Latin that is relatively old.

Midori is `green' in Japanese. (At least it can be -- the name is written in hiragana.) Ono is a `small field.' The person bearing this name is an agricultural biologist, Ph.D. from Univ. of Nebraska, dissertation on insect resistance to pesticides. Not a relative of the next Ono, AFAIK.

Yoko ONO
Another musical innovation? Oh noooo!

This is an example of her nonmusical work.

Our Mother of SORROWS Church
At the end of January 2002, the Catholic Diocese of Tucson settled eleven lawsuits. The suits had been brought by men who had alleged that as boys (mostly in the 1960's and 1970's; one case from the 1980's) they had suffered sexual abuse at Our Mother of Sorrows. Four priests were named as abusers in the cases, which began to be filed in the 1990's; the diocese was accused of being aware of some of the abuse and taking no action. The two priests still surviving in 2002 had been suspended in 1991 and 1992. In a rare action requiring Vatican approval, in 2004 they were laicized -- ``defrocked,'' in the unfortunately apt conventional term. (The only one of the four who was also accused of sexual misconduct with an adult has the surname Teta, which means `teat' or `tit' in Spanish.)

The sorrow doesn't end there. At the time the laicizations were announced, a number of lawsuits were still pending; in September 2004, the diocese filed for bankruptcy, saying it needed court protection because of legal costs from sexual abuse lawsuits.

A professional baseball pitcher. He reached the bigs in 2008. In 2008 and 2009, he played for the Oakland A's. I can't give details of his career in 2010 and later years, because I'm writing this in 2009, so those are ``out years.''

Larry PAGE
Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin founded Google. Chances are, you found this page using Google.

Susan PAGE
Author of The Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book (New York: Broadway Books, 1997) and other books.

Not to be confused with Francine Prose.

PARACELSUS (1493-1541)
Paracelsus was the name taken by Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim, a name which merits its own separate discussion. The name Paracelsus is intended to mean `the equal of Celsus.' The reason this is ironic is that Paracelsus spent much of his (chemically) sober time vehemently denouncing ancient physicians like Celsus, and eventually Paracelsus himself came into ignominy, even among most of his own students.

Paracelsus was the first enthusiastic champion of ``better living through chemistry,'' During his journeyman years, he took an interest not only in matters directly of medical importance, but also in mining. See Agricola.

Ambrose PARE
A celebrated barber-surgeon who served kings Henry II, Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III... of France. [Pare was actually Paré, which has many meanings (among them `pared,' though only in certain animal contexts). I'm going with the English.

He is often described as having been a keen observer, and he left many colorful writings. Here is his description of a comet that appeared in 1528 (when Paré himself was about 18) quoted in English translation by Robert S. Richardson in his The Fascinating World of Astronomy (McGraw-Hill, 1960), pp.162-3:

This comet was so horrible and frightful, and produced such great terror among the populace, that some died of fear; others fell sick. It appeared as a star of excessive length and of the color of blood; at its summit was seen the figure of a bent arm holding a great sword in its hand, as if about to strike. At this point there were three stars. On both sides of the rays of this comet were seen a great number of axes, knives, spaces colored with blood, among which were a great number of hideous human faces with beards and bristling hair!

(Italics in Richardson.) I wouldn't cut any of it.

Sigfrido PARED Pérez
Vice Admiral Pared was the Director General of Migration (the top immigration official) in the government of the Dominican Republic, as of January 2011. He was in the news because of criticisms by Amnesty International and other groups (usually unnamed, but including the Jesuit organization in D.R.). They criticized the Dominican Republic for resuming enforcement of its immigration laws a year after the most recent major Haitian humanitarian disaster. (That would be the earthquake of January 2010, unless you count the cholera epidemic that had so far killed 3000 in Haiti and sickened 150 in D.R. The main stated motive for renewed enforcement was the desire to quarantine that epidemic.) Pared said that the crackdown was urgent because a massive entry of Haitians always occurs in January. (It wasn't stated explicitly, but the impression was given that Haitians come in larger numbers then because they can blend into the increased traffic of Dominicans returning from vacationing in Haiti.) Anyway, pared is Spanish for `wall.'

A trustee of the South Bend (Indiana) Community (public) School Corporation.

He was born Donald Lytle, and recorded under another name or two. It's hard not to suspect that the Paycheck name was an attempt to cash in (sorry) on the name of fellow country superstar Johnny Cash (just as the name ``Chubby Checker'' was created in conscious imitation of ``Fats Domino'') However, the story goes that he took the name after a heavyweight boxer, best known for being knocked out by Joe Louis. Run that by me again? The name also resembles his family's original Polish name. (This last does in fact account for many Paycheck surnames.)

As far as pop is concerned, Paycheck was a one-hit wonder in 1978 with the name-consistent ``Take This Job And Shove It,'' but his usual work is considerably bluesier, reflecting his life, which has given a lot of material for both blues and reflection.

A naturalist with the St. Joseph County Parks.


Arthur Stanley PEASE
A prolific author, known among other things for his work on ancient plants. The word pease is an ancient, or least old, name for the plant we now call pea.

The 1951 issue of HSCP was devoted to this scholar, and a list of his publications found there includes ``List of Plants on Three Mile Island,'' in Appalachia, vol. 12 (#3), pp. 266-76 (1911). The Three Mile Island he investigated is not the famous one in Pennsylvania but the one in the Lost River region of Maine that was owned by the Appalachian Mountain Club, based in Boston, that published Appalachia. Information on Three Mile Island is available online.

In volume 15 of HSCP (1904), pp. 29-59, he had article entitled ``Notes on Some Uses of Bells Among the Greeks and Romans.''

Edward PEASE
Once the secretary of the Fabian Society. See the GBS entry to understand why you are ROTFLYAO. See pease, please, if you require further food for thought.

Founder of J. C. Penney, Inc. Ka-ching! Compare Prices and save!

What is it about the name Penny that seems so inadequate that it must be buttressed with an explanatory word? The secretary at Bond's (James Bond's) home office was Miss Moneypenny.

Pennington was with the Parker Pen Co. Ltd. (Parker of Canada, headquartered in Toronto) for a ton of years. Almost twenty-five years, in fact. He was president when he retired in May 1959. He was replaced by Philip Hull, who had been a vice prsident of the Parker Pen Company in Janesville, Wisconsin, since 1953. Pennington stayed on as a consultant in Canadian affairs.

Mrs. Pepper was once head of the Consumer Section in the Marketing Service of the Canadian government's Department of Agriculture, in Ottawa. I really don't know much else about her besides the fact that she was an associate delegate to the Conference of the FAO, Ninth Session, held in Rome, November 2-23, 1957. (Three weeks! Ahhh -- dem wuz de days for guvumint jobs.)

We were throwing out a block of earnest booklets of good advice called Better Buymanship Series, published by Household Finance Corporation and edited mostly by its Consumer Education Department (some, like #8, ``Better Buymanship, Use and Care: Furs, are credited to the Department of Research). Generally speaking, I feel better if I can salvage some utterly valueless datum out of any printed material before it is recycled, and I noticed that Mrs. Pepper was acknowledged as a consultant for the booklets ``Money Management: Your Shopping Dollar'' (copyright 1950 HFC) and ``Money Management: Your Food Dollar'' (copyright 1951 HFC). She was already chief of the Consumer Section in those years. She was even acknowledged in the 1947 ``Better Buymanship, Use and Care: Dairy Products'' (another from the Research Dept.). She had the same job title, but HFC listed her then as at the ``Dominion Department of Agriculture.'' The reasons for this, if any, are probably lost to history, but history doesn't seem very concerned about the loss.

Proof that if you make a good name for yourself, you can have a sixteenth minute of fame. You can hear her voice here. She says ``toh-maahh-toe.''

Boston Celtics star who was attacked by three men at a bar in 2000. He suffered a collapsed lung after being stabbed eight times (he was also hit on the head with a bottle).

Arthur PIGou
An economist who developed the concept of economic externalities and proposed taxes to address the problem of negative externalities. Such taxes are called Pigouvian or Pigovian taxes.

Robert E. PIKE
Wrote a classic book of New England loggers' lore entitled Spiked Boots (self-published, 1956). He went on to write the definitive history of the New England logging industry Tall Trees and Tough Men (1967). Died 1997, age 92; obit in the 1997.08.11 NYT.

A pike is basically a pole with a sharp end, possibly barbed. If you knew anything about medieval warfare, you wouldn't have to ask.

He wrote a five-screen article for <Slate.com> entitled ``An American Barbecue Pilgrimage.'' The slug was ``What 15 Barbecue Meals in a Row Did to My Digestion.'' He ate them in seven days; his ``lower intestine ground to a complete stop,'' and he had a slight pain in his chest. In Yiddish, plotzen is `to explode.' In English the word is typically used in humorous hyperbole; e.g., ``if I eat any more I'll plotz.'' (The word is onomatopoetic, first attested in German in 1320 or earlier, as a noun for a rapid, generally loud movement. The only survivals in standard German are the adjective plötzlich, `suddenly,' and its derivatives. The word Plötze, for `red carp,' is an unrelated Slavic loan.)

Cardinal POLE
Mary I of England during her brief reign (1554-8) temporarily reestablished Catholicism in England, and she made Pole her archbishop of Canterbury. The first to be burned at the, uh, stake was John Rogers, close assistant of William Tyndale's (see WTT). About 300 other Protestants followed, including 5 bishops, 100 priests, and 60 women. Many others went into exile or hiding. Mary I was her father's (Henry VIII's) daughter, and this persecution was surely unobjectionable if turnabout be fair play. Whatever the case, about 1500 monks, nuns, and friars had survived the Protestant reigns. When Pole tried to restore monasticism, he discovered that fewer than 100 of these (about 6.7%, MoE 2.6%) were willing to return to celibacy.

A pollster [coauthor with George Gallup, Jr. of The Search for America's Faith (Nashville: Abingdon, 1980)]. Probably has bad spelling. We also serve a barge pole entry.

Steven J. POPE
Chair (in 2002, anyway) of the Theology Department at Boston College (a Catholic school).

A Denver man who worked for the Regional Transportation District, Porch was dropped off at home after working the graveyard shift, where he dropped on his own front porch and eventually died.

Porch, 46, might not have died had his collapse occurred any other time of year. He died on Friday, November 2, 2012. When the mail carrier came by that morning, he saw Porch on the steps of his porch but mistook him for a mannequin left over from Halloween. Porch's grown son found him an hour later, around noon, but efforts to resuscitate Dale Porch were unsuccessful. The family speculated that, had the mailman called for help, he might have survived. They noted that the body was still warm at noon. But, FWIW, if his was any normal kind of graveyard shift, and if the ride home was not extravagantly delayed or long, then he had probably been lying on the porch for a couple of hours before he was ignored by the postman.

R.E. Powers discovered two Mersenne primes, the 10th and 11th in the series of Mersenne primes. The Mersenne primes are prime values of Mersenne numbers, and the nth Mersenne number is one less than the nth power of 2. The primes discovered by Powers corresponded to the powers, i.e., the exponents, n = 89 and 107. He discovered them in 1911 and 1914, and they were quite a feat of human computational power: they were the last Mersenne primes to be discovered by direct manual (as opposed to, you know, digital) computation.

This item is not exactly NSFW, but if LOL is inappropriate where you are reading this, then steel yourself.

On April 29, 2014, Donald Popadick was arrested for exposing himself. Initial reports (see CTV here and Globalnews.ca here) did not detail which part of his anatomy he exposed, but the act was alleged to have been performed at Mooney's Bay Park (in Ottawa, Ont.), so I think we have the main possibilities, er, covered. Also, the news was tweeted for the Ottawa Police Service by Sgt. Iain Pidcock. I'm going to call that a hat trick.

Canada's National Post took the lead in investigating the onomastic etymology. According to a report posted that evening:

Although it is difficult to determine the exact national origins of the name, it bears a close similarity to Popadić, a village in central Serbia.
FWIW, final ć in Serbo-Croatian is pronounced like an English ``ch,'' but in my experience -- in the US, but I suppose it's a general Anglophone pattern -- the common -ić ending (originally patronymic) is often mispronounced ``-ick.'') I can't parse the village name Popadić entirely, but in the languages of European nations that are traditionally Orthodox Christian, as well as in Hungarian, names that begin with p-o-p usually refer to the common word pop that means `priest' in Slavic languages (from the Greek word pappas, `father,' originally better translated `dada' or `papa' -- also the source, via Latin, of `pope' in English).

Recognized in 1884 that E × B is a measure of electromagnetic power flux density. I.e., it is a vector pointing in the direction of electromagnetic energy flow.

You could use a pole to point, but a pike would be more intimidating.

Another point about 1884 is that in that year, the Washington Monument was capped with a pyramid of cast aluminum. That monument is far the highest structure in the area, so it must function as a lightning arrestor. That represents a lot of electromagnetic flow too.

A liberal radio talk-show host. More at 11.

Sol and Robert PRICE
Father and son (resp.) who founded a low-price outlet (a big-box store) called ``Price Club'' in 1976. Details at this PriceSmart page. For another instance of chain-store-founding nomen est omen, this one traditional-style retail, see J.C. Penney.

The man who murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo in June 1914. After the suicide of the Emperor's only son, Crown Prince Rudolph in 1889, the line of succession of the Austro-Hungarian Empire shifted to the Emperor's brother, Archduke Charles Louis. The death of Charles Louis in 1896 made his son Franz Ferdinand next in line to the throne, effectively the crown prince. Hence, in 1914, a man who was named `prince,' but who was not, murdered a man who was not named `prince,' but who was. Chiasmus caused WWI. FWIW, Gavrilo is a form of the name Gabriel, an archangel.

(If you want to get technical, ``crown prince,'' as an ordinary compound noun rather than as a royal title, is applied to a male heir apparent, and not necessarily to a male heir presumptive. Franz Ferdinand was only heir presumptive: Emperor Franz Josef, who turned 84 in 1914, had been a widower since the 1898 assassination of Empress Elizabeth. If he had sired a son, that would have trumped [not a technical term here] the archduke's claim.)

It seems to have become something of a tradition for Habsburg royals to be predeceased by the violent deaths of their partners. Crown Prince Rudolf shot one of his mistresses to death before killing himself; it was reportedly a suicide pact. Gavrilo aimed for Franz Ferdinand but shot his wife Sophie in the abdomen first; the second shot mortally wounded Franz Ferdinand.

Gavrilo Princip was a member of the Black Hand, a terrorist group that sought unification of Slavic peoples in a greater Serbia. Why does this sound familiar? Anyway, Princip and the other assassins (one lost his nerve, the bomb of a second bounced clear and exploded under another car in the motorcade, others bided their chance) all were given cyanide capsules. In those days, the suicide component of terrorism was explicitly understood as a precaution to protect the secrecy of the rest of the terror group, or infrastructure, as we now say.

Arthur Norman PRIOR
A New Zealand philosopher generally credited with the invention of tense logic.

Tense logic dines on operators such as `It will be the case that' in the way that modal logic sups on `It must be the case that.' If you don't know what modal logic is, then this is probably not much help. Okay look, it's like this: in traditional logics, concepts of time occur in the propositions, which are timelessly true. For example: it is always true that Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BCE. Temporal logic can qualify truth values in time, and consider the question whether it is true in 50 BCE that Caesar will cross the Rubicon. I don't know; it seems pretty obvious that this kind of logic can only be approximately coherent. As we have known since 1905, ``before'' and ``after'' are not attributes solely of the events they describe, but also of the observer -- the frame of reference. [For example, if your July 1, 52 BCE (the kalends of July) coincides with Caesar's kalends of July, 52 BCE (i.e., if you two synchronize your water clocks then), but if you happen to go off and approach the speed of light shortly thereafter (a constant acceleration of one g starting in August will do nicely), then Julius will cross the Rubicon long before 49 BCE, your time. (Of course, in your frame of reference July was Quintilis and August Sextilis; but in Caesar's, Quintilis became Julius no later than 44 BCE.)] In other words, relativity makes virtually any proposition that is not true a priori undecidable in a tense logic with only two truth values. I suppose it must be fun as a mathematical exercise, at some time. Sometimes it's called temporal logic. (Maybe you should see the entry on modal logic after all.)

The first significant presentation of a tense logic was in Prior's Time and Modality (Oxford: Clarendon Pr., 1957). One of Prior's main expositions of tense logic was Past, Present and Future (Oxford: Clarendon Pr., 1967). Prior died before his Worlds, Times and Selves was published in 1977. He died too early -- aet. 54 (born 1914, died 1969). Come to think of it, so did Caesar: the March he died was in 44BCE, so he died before Sextilis was Julius. It wasn't called 44 BCE either. You know, this isn't logic; this is just making unnecessary difficulties.

One of Prior's more generous contributions to my amusement was published in Analysis, vol. 21, #2, pp. 38-39 (December 1960). The title was ``The Runabout Inference-Ticket,'' and he commented (I mean: it is true now that he commented then) that he (I think it was him) was ``much helped in [his] understanding of the notion by ... some notes of Mr. Hare's.''

Later in the same volume (pp. 124-8), J. T. Stevenson replied with ``Roundabout the Runabout Inference-Ticket.'' Is it too late to give these people a speeding ticket?

JEUNE Pritchard
She's in broadcast journalism. I'd like to tell you how long her candle has been burning, but the effort to find that out isn't worth it. You'll have to draw your inferences from the following.

The movie Journey among Women was released in 1977. Here's a bit of Australian government-sponsored synopsis: ``In the earliest years of Australian settlement, Elizabeth Harrington, a high-born and headstrong young woman (Jeune Pritchard) helps a group of convict women to escape constant rape by their jailers.'' Also, Pritchard was doing rock music reporting at least as far back as 1973, when she interviewed Lillian Roxon. Roxon died young, FWIW, later that year. (To be fair, she had already been in declining health before the interview.)

A basketball player who starred at the University of Maryland in the mid-1990's and made it into the NBA.

The Einstein's-birthday edition of the Atlantic (well, it was dated March 14, 2012) had an article by Patrick Hruby entitled ``Basketball Players of the NCAA, Unite!'' Hruby made the case that the college basketball players are sorely exploited and should strike for fair compensation. The only NBA player interviewed for the article was Profit, and one can't help wonder if his name hadn't something to do with that. He was quoted saying ``We never talked about a strike, but we used to have the whole compensation discussion. We're the ones in practice, going through drills. But it's the coaches making millions--not only off their university contracts, but also through shoe deals and talk shows. Meanwhile, we were getting penalized if we took an extra pair of sneakers.''

Francine PROSE
Her Guided Tours of Hell was published by Metropolitan in 1996 or 1997. In a short review for the 1997.02.10 Newsweek, Laura Shapiro says it consists of two novellas described as ``buoyant'' descriptions of ``dark nights of the soul in Paris and Prague.'' That would sound oxymoronic to anyone but a sadist. Anyway, I don't think Prose is a pseudonym.

Not to be confused with Susan Page.

A former RCMP officer who became a community organizer in the immigrant-rich area of Montreal North. Gosh, those community organizers are everywhere. Prosper was a candidate for the Québec Solidaire party in the 2012 Quebec elections on September 4. In the event, Prosper did not prosper, but his party doubled the number of seats it would hold in the next provincial legislative assembly (called the National Assembly of Quebec) -- soaring from 1 to 2 (out of 125). The two co-leaders of the party, both running in Montreal, each won their ridings. Next time they should make all their candidates co-leaders. Then they will prosper. (Sorry. Had to do it.)


Ever been to Speaker's Corner (by Marble Arch)? I've seen him there. At least I think it was him. It was Greek to me.

A philosopher at NYU. On May 22, 2006, at the University of London, I'm quite certain he gave a talk entitled ``Hyper-reliability and Apriority.'' Cf. Prior entry.

Richard QUICK
Coach of the US women's 1996 and 2000 Olympics swim teams.

Randolph QUIRK
Coauthor with Sidney Greenbaum of A Student's Grammar of the English Language. I could probably have finished the subentry at that sentence, but I noticed that the copyright page contains the following line:

© S. Greenbaum, R. Quirk, G. Leech, J. Svartvik 1900

(The book is essentially an abridged version of A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (1985), on which the authors had worked in collaboration with Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartik. I assume the 1900 is just a typo -- possibly the fault of the Chinese printer.)

RACE Street
It dead-ends just behind the police station in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Born on June 28, 1946. On July 1, 1946, the US conducted an atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll. The bomb was named ``Gilda'' after the motion picture in which Rita Hayworth played the title role. (It was in the film noir genre.) The movie was filmed in Argentina, whose name means `[of] silver.' The name ``Gilda'' suggests gilded. (No, I don't know whether the movie played a role in the naming of Gilda Susan Radner.)

``Rad,'' ``radn.,'' ``rad-n'' and similar forms serve as abbreviations for ``radiation,'' which killed over 300 experimental animals and sickened many others in that test at Bikini. FWIW, Gilda Radner's ultimately fatal cancer was treated with radiation therapy (as well as chemotherapy).

The rad is also a unit of radiation exposure. If the test animals had been men then rem might have been a more informative unit (rem stands for ``Röntgen-equivalent man'' -- a measure of radiation exposure computed with an energy- and particle-dependent scaling). If Gilda had been a man, it's not likely that she would have died of ovarian cancer. (I know this is in poor taste, but we artistic types must have our liberty. It's edgy humor. She'd have appreciated that.)

Well, he's not unusually angry, that I know of, but he does have a grievance, it has something to do with the religion of Mohammed, and he's with a bunch of people with blood on their hands. You can guess his line, but probably not correctly. Give up? I know, you probably have some other guesses. Give up. Current events furnish a lot of ideas. No, no, still wrong. I say: give up!

Okay, it's this: Rage (I don't know how that's pronounced) is a community leader with the Omaha Somali-American Community Organization, and he's serving as an advocate and spokesman for Muslim workers at the JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Grand Island, Nebraska. In September 2008, those workers sought break times to allow prayer at sunset during Ramadan. I infer that some accommodation was made, as some non-Muslims were claiming that their Muslim co-workers were getting preferential treatment. There were walkouts during the week of September 14, and Rage said that nearly 200 Somali Muslims have been fired. At the time, the company was confirming 86 firings.

An eighteenth century rake in Pamela. Nomenclature is destiny remarkably often in seventeenth and eighteenth century fiction. Incidentally, Pilgrim's Progress was the first book (apart from the Bible) to be translated into a Dakota language after missionaries had developed a writing system for it. (Don't look too hard for connections here. I just personally happen to associate Pamela and Pilgrim's Progress, mostly because I read them at about the same time. That's how it goes.)

According to The Trucker (``America's Trucking Newspaper'') vol. 13, no. 16 (July 31-August 13 edition), this county (Louisiana counties are called parishes) has the most expensive speeding tickets in the US. Going 65 in a 55 zone costs $171 (including court costs).

Recovery Accountability and Transparency. There's a RAT, actually a RAT Board, in the ``Recovery'' bill that was passed by the US Congress in February 2009. It didn't sneak in on its own, like any ordinary self-respecting rat. It was snuck in. Read more at the RAT entry.

Romuald RAT
The first photographer at the scene of Princess Diana's fatal car crash in a Paris tunnel. While still there, he sold the exclusive UK rights to the pictures to the Sun over the phone, for 300,000 GBP. He then tried to, in his words, ``do something positive'' (for the victims!) by shooing away other photographers. Mr. Rat made the phone deal with Ken Lennox, the Sun's picture editor, who agreed in principle pending receipt of the pictures. At the time, Mr. Rat reported that Diana looked lightly injured. The Sun cancelled its agreement when Diana's death was announced. Alas, as Mark Anthony eulogized, the good that princes do is oft interred with their bones.

A Republican functionary from New Hampshire. He was appointed by the Bush #43 White House to lobby Republican senators on behalf of unqualified Supreme Court justice nominee Harriet Miers. ``Lobby'' is not quite the right term, of course; Rath's task was to advise the senators that they would feel the wrath of the White House if they opposed her nomination. Rath is an old-fashioned spelling of the German word now spelled Rat, meaning `advice.'

This name is here only because this is where you might think to look for it, but it's not an instance of nomen est any kind of omen. It's a stage name. Alto Reed is the long-time saxophonist of Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band. He's done other work for which he is less well known, always with a tenor or alto sax. The saxophone is a reed instrument. His official website is a myspace page. His real name is Tom Cartmell.

A rich fugitive from the law. He made the news in the closing hours of the Clinton administration by earning a pardon the old-fashioned way -- by paying influence brokers and raining charity on unsuspecting marks who responded with ignorant character references.

The offstage name of Barbie Cummings. What she does with the stage name, as she explained to the Tennessee state trooper who pulled her over for going too fast, is ``make dirty movies.'' The officer, whose nickname is ``Randy,'' expressed regret that he hadn't gotten into that line of work. He might as well give it a shot now (sorry), since he lost his gig with the highway patrol.

When he asked her if she had any drugs in the car (a pink Honda Accord), she admitted that she had some ``happy pills.'' (As she explained on her blog later that evening, she would take one or two of these sometimes before going to a club.) Many news reports describe the pills as ``illegal narcotics'' and also as ``prescription pills.'' Possibly they were prescribed in some way to someone, and possibly they were narcotic, but Justis and the Department of Safety definitely agree that they were illegal, and there was no mention of drugs in the citation resulting from the traffic stop.

According to her blog (taken down shortly after this story broke) or to the video interview she gave to the Knoxville News Sentinel, he pointed out to her that a drug charge would prevent her from traveling out of state. She started crying and explained that she has to commute to Los Angeles for her work. (According to an article I read in the early 1990's, the industry is actually concentrated along Van Nuys Boulevard north of the hills, but I guess such precision is not required. I think the article was written by Shere Hite and appeared in the Atlantic; will check.)

That was not the end of his investigation. Indeed, his probe expanded. Back in the squad car, he checked out her website and they watched sex videos on a laptop computer. His laptop.

He eventually decided to toss her pills in the brush by the side of the road. Mr. Romance also asked her, ``What does it cost for someone like me to get anything like you?'' I'd like to mention here that Richert is a form of the name Richard, but it is also possible to construe it as `enriches.' [That is the meaning of the German word reichert. If the verb were conjugated with a stem change (and historically perhaps it was), that would likely be spelled richert.] Many news reports described Justis (i.e., ``Barbie Cummings'') as a ``star'' of pornographic movies. (I think that articulates with ``starlet'' or ``co-star'' in less X-ly rated movies. If they use the missionary position, I suppose this is a supporting role. Sorry, sorry -- I couldn't restrain myself.)

Later, they went to a secluded place outside the car, where she thanked him for not giving her a ticket for the drugs. In her words ``I offered him an oral favor as a nice gesture.'' (We're not talking about a mint candy here.) Also, she (he, in some reports) apparently took video of this gesture, and she posted stills on her blog. Then, ``[h]e called me the night after it happened and asked if he could tell some of his co-workers and give them my website. [I can't give a rational explanation for this.] I said sure.'' Maybe she should have said ``You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law....''

The traffic stop took place on May 7, 2007. The next day an internal complaint was filed against the trooper. Talk about moving fast! On May 24, the trooper (James ``Randy'' Moss -- I was holding back on the full name until I could think of a way to wedge in a rolling-stone-gathers-no-moss angle, but I didn't get lucky) received a letter of termination; charges were pending. A week later, he was allowed to resign rather than be fired, and it was reported that he would not be charged for throwing out the ``small amount of drugs.''

Justis said she planned to appear in court to address the speeding charge (92 in a 70 zone; she was hurrying to her aunt's house). You know, if you contest the charge and the citing officer doesn't show up, you usually get off, in a manner of speaking. Contrariwise, if you don't show up to contest the charge, then you don't, even if the citing officer has been terminated. That's apparently what happened to Justis when she failed to appear for her hearing on June 29; she consequently had to pay her $159 speeding ticket, within two weeks. Some 16 other motorists did show up, however, and had their tickets dismissed.

After Moss resigned, other women (none of them porn stars) came forward with allegations that Moss had behaved inappropriately during traffic stops; in many instances he had reportedly asked to see their breasts. Look, I know this is a pathetic entry, but you don't have to read it. The DA was said to be planning to file misconduct charges although some of the complaints were said to be too old to prosecute. Not all, however. In October 2007, Moss was arrested after a grand jury indicted him on 10 charges related to his traffic stops. The charges included tampering with evidence, official misconduct, and official oppression. Moss was booked into the Wilson County Jail and later released on a $2,500 bond. The following January, he agreed to a plea deal which keeps him out of jail if he stays out of trouble during a term of probation (this is a typical ``diversion'' agreement).


Author of L'arte del convito nella Roma antica: con 90 ricette (Rome: "L'Erma" di Bretschneider, 1983). [In a fairly literal translation, the title reads `The art of the banquet in ancient Rome, with 90 recipes.']

Salza is a fair pun on salsa, the Italian word for `sauce.' The word ricotti (I don't know in detail about the surname) is virtually the same as ricotta: both can be translated as `recooked,' `reheated,' `annealed' vel sim. (The -i is the typical plural male ending and -a the singular female. The distinction is not reflected in translation, of course, because each English adjective has a single form that agrees grammatically with any noun. The -i at one time functioned as a nobility marker in Italian surnames.) Ricotta is made by reheating whey.

According to the Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret Funeral Homes homepage, ``In 1963 Bob [Ehret] opened the Rieth Rohrer Ehret Funeral Home in Goshen [Indiana] with the help of Don Rieth & Wally Rohrer. In 1967 he acquired the Lienhart Funeral Home in Wakarusa.'' Interesting how the name ordering went. Anyway, judging from a radio ad I heard, the surname Rieth is pronounced ``wreath.''

J. Thomas RIMER
Coauthor, with Robert E. Morrell, of Guide to Japanese Poetry. (Rhyme plays a relatively minor role in Japanese poetry.)

He wrote an article for Popular Science magazine entitled ``How To Build A 2,073-Foot Skyscraper: Inside the construction of the Shanghai Tower'' (all capitalization sic, from the webpage). [Article posted March 11, 2013; from the URL I suppose it appeared in the February issue.]

Roach BOMB
A roach bomb, or cockroach bomb, is a fumigation device. The name was chosen, so I understand, because after it has taken effect the roaches are supposed to be lying around dead, looking as if a roach-worldly bomb had been set off.

The fumigation involves a propellant, and the propellant is typically violently combustible. Here are a few unplanned ignition experiments involving these devices.

In 1946-47, Tennessee Williams wrote ``A Streetcar Named Desire'' while living in a third-floor apartment in the French Quarter of New Orleans. On March 12, 1995, a woman who had just rented the apartment set off six aerosol cans in the 8-by-10-foot kitchen (recommended treatment is one can for a 20-by-30-foot room). The fumes were apparently ignited by the water-heater flame. The tenant suffered cuts and bruises in the explosion, as did a passer-by who was struck by a falling door.

On December 13, 1995, a homeowner performed this standard experiment in absentia. He left his home in Cessnock, near Sydney, Australia, after setting off a roach bomb within. When he returned later that evening, the house had burned down. On the 30th of the same month, in nearby Burwood, a woman placed a bomb in a cupboard in her laundry room. Fumes leaked out and were apparently ignited by the nearby water heater. Senior firefighter Mick Holton was quoted as saying ``[i]t literally looked like a bomb had gone off.'' Pest control expert Shane Clarke was quoted as saying that such explosions were ``reasonably common.'' (I suppose this depends on what you think is reasonable.) Burwood Fire Brigade had once earlier responded to an explosion that occurred when a roach bomb placed in the back of a truck was apparently set off by the heat of the engine.

ORAL Roberts
Legendary televangelist and founder of Oral Roberts University. ``Fill in the information below, paying careful attention to the prayer request section. When you have completed the form, click on the `Send Prayer Request' button at the bottom, and your request will be forwarded to Oral and Richard Roberts.'' (I think I found that page in the 1990's some time. I thought it was pretty funny at the time, but in 2008 I saw similar advertisements by the Catholic University where I work. This year I bought a house; I had probably better search the yard for a St. Jude statue buried upside down, before it finds my lawn mower.)

With Billy Graham and Rex Humbard, Oral Roberts was one of the great pioneers in televangelism. It was Roberts who made the great discovery that people are more willing to cough up money for big bricks-and-mortar projects than for things like money to stay on the air. Hence, Oral Roberts University and its ``Prayer Tower,'' and an ambitious building campaign that included his City of Faith Medical and Research Center, founded in 1981 and closed or repurposed in 1989... In the 1980's he was hamstrung by something like a Laffer curve for charitable donations: to increase contributions, he started devoting a larger fraction of his air time to schnorring, until the whole show was nothing but a hectoring appeal for money. This from a fellow who had pioneered the use of secular entertainers to hook audiences. From 1980 through 1986, Roberts lost 59 percent of his audience. In the late 1980's he also suffered from the general erosion of, uh, faith, due to the scandals swirling around various other televangelists.

A nine-hundred-foot vision of Jesus had assured him that the medical center would be finished, and a message from God told him that ``the'' cure for cancer would be found there, but faith was not enough: he needed money, and in 1987 he announced that if he didn't raise $8 million quick, God would ``call me home.'' (He made other, similar appeals, on TV and by mail. Televangelists never ask just once.) He eventually was called home -- at least he departed -- on December 15, 2009 (Cupcake Day). According to ORU's page about him, at the time of his death he had ``13 grandchildren, one of whom is in heaven...'' Certainty is one of the benefits of faith.

Back when I was in grad school, one of the Dans I knew in the Music Department was a composer -- named Dan. It seems that one of his life-changing experiences was working as a clerk in a bookstore. It was not a university bookstore. Guns and Ammo was popular there. One day someone came in wanting a copy of ``Oral Roberts' Rules of Order.'' He was bound to be disappointed.

A thirteen-year-old girl from Bristol Connecticut who was attacked by a red-tailed hawk while on a school tour of Fenway Park, the home field of the Boston Red Sox. Her scalp was bloodied, and she was taken to a hospital by ambulance and released later the same day (April 3, 2008). A teacher who chaperoned the class trip said that Alexa was ``a little shaken,'' but not seriously injured.

The hawk, whose mate flies the official team colors, is clearly an avian member of Sox Nation, and was evidently confused. The hawk meant to attack Alex Rodriguez (``A-Rod''), a star Yankees hitter. The hawk had attacked a photographer in the park a day or two previously. I wonder what's going on at the Seattle football field.

According to wildlife officials, the hawk has built nests in the park since 2002, though there the hawk had not laid a (literal) egg until 2008. This is not a picture of reproductive success. A single egg was found in this year's nest, which was located in an overhang near the stadium's press booth. The nest and the egg were removed ``in hopes of keeping the hawk away.''

ROE Effect
``Roe,'' like ``Doe,'' is a fictitious surname used in courts to preserve the anonymity of vulnerable parties and when a proper name is not known. The famous case of Roe v. Wade was a class action with ``Jane Roe'' as lead plaintiff against Henry Wade, the Dallas County (TX) district attorney charged with (in the sense of being entrusted with the responsibility of) enforcing Texas abortion laws in Jane Roe's jurisdiction. He was the same DA who had earlier prosecuted Jack Ruby for murdering Lee Harvey Oswald (before Oswald could be prosecuted for the murder in Dallas of US President Kennedy). I believe you may be able to find some information on the web regarding Roe v. Wade. The case was appealed up to the US Supreme Court, where a 7-2 majority decided, among other things, that an implied right of privacy in the US constitution guaranteed the right of women to choose an abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. (Since that time the Supremes have ruled in about one abortion case per year; the resulting penumbra of a shadow of law is not easily summarized without undue burden to myself.) The decision made abortion legal and eventually fairly widely available throughout the country. (It had already been legal in a growing number of states.)

[The Jane Roe in this case, Norma McCorvey, revealed her identity publicly in the 1970's when she wrote an autobiography (I Am Roe: My Life, Roe v. Wade, and Freedom of Choice). This apparently made it easy for her to get work at clinics where abortions are performed, a step up from the bartending and carnie work the ninth-grade drop-out had been getting before. She was working at a Dallas women's clinic when the pro-life group Operation Rescue moved its offices next door. She struck up an acquaintance with Rev. Phillip Benham, Operation Rescue's national director, whom she would meet when she went outside for cigarette breaks. Eventually she became a born-again Christian and a pro-life activist.]

The Roe v. Wade decision had many political effects. One intriguing effect is a demographically mediated backlash. It seems reasonable to assume that women who are pro-choice will be more likely to take advantage of the abortion option opened by the decision, and would therefore have fewer children, on average, than they would have had otherwise. The Roe Effect (or better Roe Effects) refers to the electoral consequences of that demographic shift. The earliest effect is that relatively liberal ``blue states'' will tend to have a lower rate of natural increase than otherwise, lowering their electoral clout in the House of Representatives and in the Electoral College (see EV). If one assumes not unreasonably that the children of conservative parents (or socially conservative parents, or at least pro-life parents) are more conservative than the aborted children of pro-choice parents would have been, then a second effect is that the electorate as a whole, in all states affected by the Roe v. Wade decision, drifts further right, or less far to the left, than it would have absent that decision.

The nomen est omen aspect of this is just that the named effect arises when large numbers of potential offspring are prevented from entering the population. Roe are fish eggs, and as caviar and similar foods, they are also prevented from maturing. (Of course, they are normally harvested before fertilization.)

Lillian ROXON
Well, she doesn't anymore, as she died in August 1973, but otherwise the name is rather apt, and long antedates the term ``rock music.'' She was sometimes described by the epithet ``Mother of Rock Journalism,'' and Robert Milliken's biography of her had the title Lillian Roxon, Mother of Rock (Melbourne: Black Inc., 2002). A documentary film written and directed by Paul Clarke had the more felicitous title of ``Mother of Rock: Lillian Roxon.''

Roxon was born Liliana Ropschitz in Alassio, Italy, on February 8, 1932. The family immigrated to Australia in 1937 to flee fascism and antisemitic laws. In November 1940 the family Anglicized their name to Roxon. The name was little Lillian's suggestion. She became a journalist, and from the late 1950's was a New York-based correspondent for various Australian publications, becoming the first full-time female employee at the Sydney Morning Herald's New York office. During the 1960's she became interested in rock music. She became part of the rock music in-crowd and wrote serious rock music criticism when I suppose that may have been a rare thing. (Maybe it still is.) In 1969 she published her now famous Rock Encyclopedia. It was republished in 1971, and posthumously in 1980 with revisions by Eddie Naha. Finally in 2013 I bought a copy for a dollar, hence this note.

COY J. RUSH, Jr., David L. RUSH, Eric Soller, R. Gunner DeLAY, and M. Jered Medlock.
Partners in the law firm of Rush, Rush, and DeLay, with offices in Paris... Arkansas. Also in Fort Smith and Ozark. They handle both civil suits and criminal defense, and for all I know they have served as outside counsel to prosecutors.

There's an ancient legal maxim that ``justice delayed is justice denied.'' The idea is partly codified in statutes of limitation and in laws requiring that arrestees be charged or released in a timely manner. There are also stipulations in some laws that defendants pleading certain extenuations must announce their intention within a certain period of being charged. For statutory reasons like these, both defense and prosecution (or plaintiffs) often want to act quickly at the beginning of a legal proceeding. That's two ``rushes.'' On the other hand, once the technical requirements have been met, the reality of the maxim would seem to dictate that any party not interested in justice would prefer delay. Delay as a defense strategy is described by Arthur Train in his My Day In Court. That's one ``delay.'' (The main cause of delay seems to be the bottleneck of packed court dockets. But maybe this isn't the law firm's responsibility.)

Laura SAFE
Laura Safe is a morning newsreader at a radio station in Birmingham, England. On January 16, 2013, she was walking down some steps while texting her boyfriend, and did not fall down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, she continued texting as she walked to the edge of a canal and fell in. She was rescued immediately. She was quoted in The Sun: ``I thought ice on the canal was pavement because it looked dark in the corner of my eye,'' she said. ``I heard a man call out `stop' to me and I looked up at him, but it was too late by that point.'' She was not hurt, and while trying to avoid falling she did manage to save her handbag and mobile phone. She got a lot of ribbing, and later even she twittered ``Oh dear. I should really be called Laura UNsafe after the day I've had! Lol.'' This isn't fair. Okay, so she ended up cold, wet, and ridiculous -- but she and her precious effects were safe.

It surprises me that no one suggested that perhaps there ought to be a barrier there. It reminds me of a book by Daniel Patrick Moynihan with the somewhat apposite title of Traffic Safety and the Health of the Body Politic (1966 -- possibly his first). I don't have the book to hand, and I'm paraphrasing roughly from memory, but in it he commented that with millions of cars on the road, collisions are not accidental -- they're statistically inevitable.

Eliza Mary Ann SAVAGE
Miss Savage was a dear friend of Samuel (``Erewhon'') Butler, and the model for angelic Alethea Pontifex in his The Way of All Flesh. In a letter to him on Sept. 15, 1877, she wrote

And now, my dear Mr. Butler, let me give you a little good advice. If you wish to make yourself agreeable to the female sex, never hint to a woman that she writes or has written `with care'. Nothing enrages her so much, and it is only the exceptional sweetness of my disposition that enables me, with some effort, I confess, to forgive this little blunder on your part.

He could have used this Apology Letter Generator, or maybe flowers. There has been much speculation about why they didn't marry, and whether either of them wished they had. Apparently Butler felt that he was expected to make a proposal, but he didn't want to. He made a lot of excuses to himself about it, and after she died he set aside the Way manuscript largely because it called up painful memories of Miss Savage. One of his last literary acts was to assemble and edit his correspondence with her; Way was published posthumously. To the extent that anyone can say this for anyone else, it seems fair to say that he loved her. It was suggested by some that he didn't ask because she wasn't pretty (litotes alert).

The following appears in Hesketh Pearson's Bernard Shaw (1942), p. 310:

A strange lady giving an address in Zurich wrote him [Shaw] a proposal, thus: `You have the greatest brain in the world, and I have the most beautiful body; so we ought to produce the most perfect child.' Shaw asked: `What if the child inherits my body and your brains?'
Interestingly, this seems to repudiate Shaw's neo-Lamarckianism (expounded in the preface to ``Back to Methuselah''). Samuel Butler also had heterodox ideas about inheritance and evolution, which Way was intended to illustrate.

Linda is `beautiful [female]' in Spanish. The German words related to the root schade- all have to do with some kind of harm, as discussed at schade and subsequent entries (Schaden and Schadenfreude). (First two of those links still to come, but soon.) The word schade is also the form of two conjugations of the verb schaden, `to harm.' One occurs in the indicative mood: ich schade means `I harm.' German also has a ``weak subjunctive'' that is used for a kind of streamlined quoting that looks more like paraphrase. To illustrate the use, I give three ways of saying the same thing in German, with translations to English (the last uses the weak subjunctive form schade):
	er sagt ,,ich schade''                   he says ``I harm''
	er sagt dass er schadet                  he says that he harms
	er sagt er schade                        he says he harms

In the US presidential election of 2000, Democrat Albert Gore won a thin but clear popular majority over Republican George W. Bush. Ralph Nader, as the Green Party standard-bearer, ran a distant third. Still, he received far more votes than any other third-party candidate, and far more than the margin of difference in votes between Bush and Gore. It is reasonable to suspect that if Nader had not run, a large majority of the votes cast for him would have gone to Gore. One percent or so of the votes cast for Nader would have given Gore Florida and the election. (More on this at the EV entry.)

In 2004, Linda Schade was a spokeswoman for Ralph Nader's presidential exploratory committee. On February 20, a Friday, she announced that on NBC's ``Meet the Press'' the following Sunday, Nader would ``be discussing his role in the presidential election.'' She said that ``[h]e's felt there is a role for an independent candidate to play.'' Spoiler.

Of course, if you were for Bush, this was beautiful. The following Sunday, to no one's surprise, Nader announced that he would run.

On June 5, 2010, she became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam title in tennis. She did it at the French Open.

Born Regina Ann Schock. Best known as the long-time drummer for the Go-Go's. (The original drummer, when this girl group formed in LA in 1978, was Elissa Bello; Schock replaced Bello in the summer of 1979, was drummer until the group disbanded in May 1985, and has played drums in all or most of the reunion tours.) According to a concert review by Joseph Szadowski in the June 14, 2011, Washington Times, Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wiedlin has called her ``the `thumpiest' drummer in the world.'' (I can't find this anywhere else; perhaps Szadowski heard it directly from Wiedlin. My own vote, at least among groups with female lead vocalists, would go to Alex Cooper, drummer for Katrina and the Waves.) Anyway, if Schock plays any of those new-fangled electronic percussion instruments, more power to her, so to speak.

Karl SCHWARZschild
The name means `black shield' or `black sign' in German. Karl Schwartzschild is best known for discovering a solution of Einstein's field equations of general relativity. The solution describes an uncharged, non-spinning black hole.

William SEAMAN
A professor of fisheries and aquatic sciences at the University of Florida and associate director of the Florida Sea Grant College Program. Cf. Chris Landsea.

A physicist involved in fertility research. Proudly acknowledges the term eccentric. Announced in January 1998 that he wanted to clone a human. Didn't say which one, at first, then said he would clone himself first.

Author of Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Step by Step.

This is one of the holy trinity (any resemblances to Roman Catholicism are completely coincidental) of Hindu gods -- Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu. As any standard text will tell you, these correspond respectively the creator, destroyer, and preserver gods (a+, a, and a+a) (e.g., Sakurai: Advanced Quantum Mechanics, p. 27). I don't know about the others, but it seems apparent that Shiva, the destroyer, got his name from the seven-day Jewish mourning period known as Shiva. [Actually, my grandfather was born in the shtetl of HaShevata, but the only apparent connection is the number seven.] For another completely fatuous Indic-Semitic connection, see the Halaka entry.

Incidentally, many westerners who encounter the creator-destroyer-preserver description may wonder why the big cults worship Shiva and Vishnu, while Brahma (creator) gets short shrift. It may be helpful to rephrase things thus:

Brahma ==> Manufacturer
Shiva ==> Recycler
Vishnu ==> Reuser

You're welcome, I'm sure.

A runner who specialized in the longer events -- mostly the 10,000 meters and Marathon.

A peace activist whose influence (along with others') issued in the Kellogg-Briand Pact (a/k/a Peace Pact) of 1928. Eventually, most militarily formidable countries signed it. (The US Senate ratified it with reservations.) Although the Pact text does not contain the term ``self-defense,'' it was understood to outlaw only wars of aggression and not self-defense.

French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand had already shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926 with German FM Gustav Stresemann. [Briand and Stresemann had negotiated the Locarno Pact in 1925. (That was a non-aggression pact between their two countries; Briand got to sign it as French Premier late in 1925.)] In 1929, US Secretary of State Frank Kellogg got his own Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Paris Pact.

In 1931, Japan invaded China. Japan was a signatory to the Paris Pact, and was consequently in violation of international law! The Paris Pact has no enforcement provisions.

A South African millionaire who paid about $20 million to ride a Soyuz rocket to the international space station Alpha and stay for eight days. On April 25, 2002, he became the second space tourist (the first was California equity fund manager Dennis Tito). Okay, he didn't take the shuttle to the space station, but the parts from which the station was assembled were largely brought up by shuttle.

NASA doesn't like this little side business of the Russians, because it makes it too obvious that an astronaut is basically a ``man in a can'' or ``spam in a can'' (the original form and the coiner of the expression are uncertain; the Chuck Yeager character speaks the latter form in The Right Stuff). Carrying tourists takes the glamour out of it, makes it look like something even a septuagenarian ex-Senator could do without endangering his health. Mark was probably shuttle-worthy too.

``Some people will think I'm absolutely out of my mind, and I understand it,'' said Sicko to Mark McGuire of the Albany (New York) Times Union. They were speaking on Saturday, April 24, 2010, after the NFL draft had ended with Sicko, a tight end at the University of New Hampshire, not drafted. What many people thought was crazy, just literally mentally ill, was Sicko's decision not to pursue his options in the NFL as an undrafted free agent, given that a number of teams had expressed interest and that Dallas had assured him that he was likely to earn a spot on their roster.

Archbishop of Manila from 1976 until his death in 2005. He used to greet first-time visitors to his home in Manila with the words ``Welcome to the house of Sin.'' Why didn't he say ``of Cardinal Sin''?

Arguably the most influential bishop of the post-Vatican-II era in Asia, Cardinal Sin played a major role in bringing down two Philippine presidents. (That sounds better than it looks.) In both cases, their successors were women. La chica means ``the girl'' in Spanish.

Jean-Michel SIX
As of late 2011, Six was Standard & Poor's chief European economist. Starting in early 2009, European leaders had a series of summit meetings to solve sovereign debt problems in the euro-zone. In December 2011, Six commented that ``[a]fter a series of `final' summits, it would be nice this time to have a real `final' summit.'' A New York Times editorial on December 9 began, ``We're losing count of how many European Union summit meetings have ended with `historic' agreements...'' The number was five.

Pamela SKILLings
A career coach and the author of Escape from Corporate America (2008). (Her blog here.) The word skill occurs a little less often than I would have expected in the many interviews she has given. Anyway, here's a quote for the sake of the entry:
In order to position yourself for a career change, you have to understand how to communicate the value that you can provide in a new role. What are the existing skills and qualifications that you can leverage? What are some possible weaknesses and how can you present them in the best light? Why should an employer or investor want to ally with you and your brand?

Skipper is a captain of the entertainment industry. The official bio at ESPN (viewed November 2017) describes him ``taking the helm as ESPN president and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks on January 1, 2012....'' Sorry, I couldn't resis adding the italics.

On March 9, 1816, on a hastily-erected gibbet, five Boers condemned to death by the British colonial government were hanged at Andrew's Post in Slagtersnek. It wasn't a straightforward execution. On the first drop, only one of the men died. The other four men's ropes broke and they fell to the ground. The gathered crowd, which included relatives forced to attend, called the rope breaks a sign from God and pleaded for the lives of the survivors to be spared. The government's agents, Cuyler and Stockenström, did not have the authority to commute the sentences. They also didn't have any spare rope, so the broken ones were knotted together somehow and eventually all the condemned men were hanged.

Slagtersnek means `butcher's neck' in Afrikaans. The Afrikaner side in that war memorialized the events of Slagtersnek as a war atrocity.

Frank Gill Slaughter seems to have been his real name, and he wrote books with titles like The Thorn of Arimathea (subtitled ``a novel of the days following the Crucifixion'') and A Savage Place.

Kevin Slowey is a pitcher. He went to Winthrop University after high school, and entered the Minnesota Twins farm system via the 2005 amateur entry draft. He was brought up to the majors for the 2007 season. I'm still trying to find the ``slow'' angle. He's not particularly a change-up pitcher... yet. Going into professional baseball straight from high school is the fast track.

Bradford D. SMART, Ph.D.
Author of Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching and Keeping the Best People (Prentice Hall, 1999). His The Smart Interviewer: Tools and Techniques for Hiring the Best came out in paperback in 1990. Excuse me, but this is even more disgusting than Ashley Brilliant.

This is a proleptic entry. The late 20th-c. author of various books and articles on economics who publishes under the name ``Adam Smith'' is not an instance of nomen est omen. Instead, he is George J. W. Goodman, who first used that pseudonym for a column in New York magazine in 1966. (Goodman was a co-founder of that magazine as well as of New West and New Jersey Monthly, and he has been a member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times. Some egregious New-ness.)

R.E.F. Smith
Professor Robert (``Bob'') E.F. Smith of Birmingham University (in the U.K.) was the author of over ten major books, including A Russian-English Dictionary of Social Science Terms (London, Butterworths, 1962). It's found in the reference section, where the cataloguing labels on the bindings begin with ``REF.''

A Michigan State University quarterback who had a substance-abuse problem reportedly requiring in-patient treatment during November 2002. His substance problems that fall ``coincided'' with a dreadful season. (I guess it was a ``coincidence,'' neither the QB's problems nor the team's problems affecting the other.)

The name of a Dutch town sixty miles northeast of Amsterdam. A resident of that town, a twenty-year-old hacker who goes by OnTheFly, was arrested Valentine's Day 2001 on charges stemming from the Anna Kournikova computer virus.

Peter SNELL and John WALKER
Olympic track stars for New Zealand in the 1960's and 70's. In various Germanic languages, snell means `fast' (cognate of German schnell). (The word snail has an unrelated etymology.)

Snell won gold in the 800 meters at the Rome Olympics of 1960, in record-setting time. He successfully defended the 800-meter title at Tokyo in 1964 and went on take gold in the 1,500 meters as well.

H.A. and Sidney SNOW
In 1928, the Snows made a documentary about an Arctic expedition. Some of the least important details that you could imagine -- and yet survive to tell the tale -- are dumped in the GWN entry.

Window Snyder is a computer security expert who works on Windows systems. As a Microsoft security strategist, she was responsible for security sign-off on Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003.

Traditionally, protection against sophisticated forms of crime has required the kind of expertise found mostly among the criminals. For example, forgers and con artists are among the best detectors of forgery and fraud. Thus, law enforcement and private security organizations regularly turn to, or try to turn, criminals and former criminals. (Sometimes this can be quite problematic. It can create legal incentives for making progress in illegal activities.)

In computer security, although the legal issues are occasionally cloudier, it is also common to hire foxes to guard the henhouses. Window Snyder is one such fox, and she has been particularly involved drawing hacker expertise into the security community. The surname Snyder is one form of the common Germanic occupational name meaning `tailor,' written Schneider in German. Literally, the word means `cutter,' and that's a fair synonym of hacker. In September 2006, Mozilla Corp. hired Snyder to lead the efforts to secure its open-source software, particularly its Firefox browser. The principal strategy that she mentioned, when her appointment became official, was cutting: removing old code whose cost in vulnerability is greater than its value in functionality. I despise that. It's the same philosophy that has turned cars into nannymobiles. You can't do anything unless it's something that a designer decided millions of other users would also want to do.

Brenda SONG
Born Brenda Julietta Song. I guess she's known primarily as an actress, but she's done some singing. I've never heard her, but according to her IMDB bio, she has a trademark husky voice. Okay, I have now seen her in a YouTube video; so now I guess I know what ``husky'' can mean. But the important thing is that she makes it possible to say "Song sang," "Song sings," and even "Song sings a song" and easily make sense. And if you can't hear the capitalization, that makes it mildly intriguing.

George SOROS
A very rich investment manager turned philanthropist.

[column] Sôrós means `heap' or `pile' in Ancient Greek. On the other hand, sorós, with the first vowel an omicron rather than an omega, was `vessel.' Mostly it referred to a cinerary urn, and it was used as a nickname for old men and women (examples occur in the writings of that funny dead white guy Aristophanes). George Soros turned 74 in 2003.

Actually, George Soros was born George Schwartz. (In Hungary, so maybe that was György Schwarcz or Swarcz or similar.) When he was a boy his parents changed the family name to the vaguely Hungarian-sounding name Soros. George's dad was an active Esperantist, and in Esperanto the word soros is the future tense of the verb `to soar.' What is this, a hat trick?

David SOUTer
Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court. This pun works best if you don't palatalize the word suit.

In the 2001 movie K-PAX, he plays the lead role of Prot, a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from the distant planet K-PAX. He doesn't look alien... He's beginning to convince his psychiatrist (Jeff Bridges playing Dr. Mark Powell).

(This is a 109-minute remake of the 105-minute Argentine movie Hombre Mirando al Sudeste (1986) [`Man Looking Southeast']. (I know, I know -- ``so what?'')

An actor who played the title role in a 2001 movie entitled Joe Dirt. It was rated PG-13 for dirty language (``crude & sex related humor, language''). A spade is an implement for moving dirt, but as Spade shares writing credit for the movie, this is not a clear-cut case of nomen est omen. The promotional posters showed Joe Dirt holding a wet-mop. The Joe Dirt character is a janitor with a dream to find the parents who abandoned him at the Grand Canyon when he was a child.

Speakes graduated with a BA in Journalism from Ole Miss in 1961. He worked in journalism (mostly editing and managing) until 1968, when he found his metier as press secretary to Sen. James Eastland (D-MS). After working as a coordinator in Eastland's successful reelection campaign in 1972, Speakes started working in the executive branch. He mostly held press-secretary positions with Republicans in or running for executive office. (He worked for a private PR firm during the Carter administration).

James Brady was President Reagan's first press secretary; he was crippled in the assassination attempt on Reagan on March 30, 1981, and was unable to return to work. However, he retained his title, and Larry Speakes filled in, handling daily press briefings under the job title of ``Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary'' (from June 17, 1981) and then ``Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary'' (from August 5, 1983, until January 1987, when he resigned and was succeeded by Marlin Fitzwater).

This is sort of a borderline case. One of the shows he produced, Charmed, has some spell connections. It's mentioned at the alternate Spelling entry. On the other hand, Spelling was so prolific that it's probably not statistically significant. When Charmed began it was only one of eight of his shows on TV (in production; say nothing of reruns).

A Texas educrat chosen by Pres. G.W. Bush to be US Secretary of Education in his second term. She succeeded (spelled, if he should return) Dr. Rod Paige (pronounced PAGE), another former Texas educrat, who served in that post in Bush's first term.

Running back for the Miami Dolphins for the 1994 to 1997. In his four-season career he had eight touchdowns. I can't find video of any of those, so I can't say whether he spiked in the NFL.

Spikes have sharp points, like pikes.

A senior employee of RWE Thames Water, the London water supplier and one of the largest water utilities in the world. As of 2003, as Climate Change Client Manager for UK Water Industry Research, one of his main responsibilities is to find ways to conserve water resources.

When I get around to finding out what RWE stands for, I'll mention that in its own entry. Another water utility is Vivendi, mentioned at the A&M Records entry.

The 2020 winner of the Analyst of the Year award of (UK) Association of Mining Analysts. He works at Ocean Equities. Well (I wrote well), the water from some springs empties into the ocean.

That reminds me, and you'll doubtless be interested to know, that the German morpheme cognate with the English suffix -some is -sam, as in the word langsam, `boring.' That reminds me of a Feb. 1861 diary entry of Dimitri Mendeleev (yeah, the periodic table guy): ``I was forced to talk to Germans. Boredom.'' No disrespect to Mr. Spring, BTW. The stream of consciousness meanders where it will. Often it doesn't even reach the sea. The -dom suffix in English corresponds to -tum in German.

The German cognate of sea is interesting enough to have its own entry in this glossary (low bar, I know). That entry will say: Die See (i.e., See as a feminine noun) is `the sea, the ocean'; der See (masculine) is `the lake.' (See is pronounced ``Zey,'' approximately.)

A man arrested in May 2000 for vandalizing statues at several Roman Catholic churches in Brooklyn over the previous year. He said God had told him to do it, and cited the biblical commandment against graven images as a motivation of his sledgehammer protest against idolatry.

In Aristotle's model of the universe, a concentric sequence of ``crystalline'' (hard transparent) spheres held the planets and turned them around the earth (at the center). The rotation of the various spheres in this Russian-doll model was driven by the outermost sphere, which was turned by a ``prime mover.'' When Aristotlian philosophy was ``rediscovered'' and reintroduced from the Moslem world in the latter half of the Middle Ages, Christian theologians syncretized this model, making of the outer sphere heaven, and of the prime mover God.

Fortney Pete STARK
Stark is a German adjective meaning `strong,' but the English sense of the word seems apposite as well. One Friday, July 18, 2003, in the US House of Representatives, a Ways and Means Committee mark-up meeting became very heated. In the course of bitter partisan maneuvering, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Hayward, CA) objected when committee chairman Bill Thomas (R-Bakersfield, CA) tried to cut short the formal reading of a contentious pension bill. (This was important, but the reasons don't concern us here.) In reaction to the Stark outburst, Rep. Scott McInnis (R-CO) reportedly muttered ``shut up.'' The quoted words, though plausible and not denied, afaik, do not appear in the meeting transcript. According to some reports, Stark had been giving his uncomplimentary opinion of the intellect of Scott McInnis. The transcript did record the Stark reply:
You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on. Come over here and make me, I dare you. You little fruitcake. You little fruitcake. I said you are a fruitcake.

Later, on the House floor, McInnis (age 50) stated that he had interpreted the Stark remarks as ``serious. I considered the threat a bodily threat.'' McInnis is a former state trooper, so he might have some relevant experience to back up the claim. Denying that his remarks had implied a threat of physical violence, 71-year-old Stark said:

I'm an elderly gentleman. I haven't been in a fight involving bodily contact in sixty years. Look, I fall trying to put on my underwear in the morning.

Author of A Man Called Intrepid (1976), about the British counterintelligence chief William Stephenson who was based in New York City during WWII. Stevenson is Canadian. He's not related to Stephenson.

Alfred E. STOCK
Stock (1876-1946) was a German chemist who in 1919 published a suggestion for the naming of ionic compounds. He suggested that when the cation is an ion of a metal with two or more possible valences (besides zero), the name of the metal should be followed by the (nominal) positive charge on the cation in parentheses. Thus, Fe2O3 would be iron(3)-oxide and FeO would be iron(2)-oxide, instead of ferric oxide and ferrous oxide respectively. The main advantage and disadvantage of the system is that it helps simpletons to understand and do chemistry.

Some German commission took up the suggestion in 1924, but recommended the use of Roman numerals instead of Arabic, and a space instead of a hyphen (but, just as in Stock's suggestion, no space between the first parenthesis mark and the name preceding it). Hence, CuO is copper(II) oxide (instead of cupric oxide). Stock's simple system is congenial to German, which resisted the adoption of Latinate chemical terminology. Sadly, the system has come into general use.

It's hard to think of something more embarrassingly trivial to be famous for, and Stock's name has been deservedly condemned to the immortality of faint praise. The clumsy practice (in the form recommended by that German commission) is sometimes referred to as Stock's system or the Stock System. More frequently, the Roman numeral is referred to as the Stock number.

Chairman of Harvard's Economics Department, as of 2008.

Clayton Frank STOKER
After a night of drinking that began on July 27, 2002, Johnny Joslin, 20, and Clayton Frank Stoker, 21, were seated at a table outside a trailer park. It was Sunday morning, and they were in a heated argument about religion, specifically over which of them would go to hell and which to heaven (they apparently didn't expect to meet in the hereafter). Stoker, a Johnson County (Texas) corrections officer, said he would settle the argument, went into a house and returned with a shotgun. (This sounds like it was scripted. Was the presence of the necessary house introduced earlier in the story?)

Stoker loaded the gun and placed it in his mouth. Then Johnny Joslin pulled the gun out of Stoker's mouth, saying ``if you have to shoot somebody, shoot me.'' The shotgun discharged, hitting Joslin in the chest and killing him. Stoker was arrested and charged with murder in the first degree.

By now perhaps both have figured out an answer to the question. The reason I put this entry here is that I immediately thought -- ``he's stoking the flames of hell!'' Well, not really in those words: if you pay close attention, you'll notice that thoughts aren't necessarily verbal. But mainly I thought, this should go in the glossary. Where? Since you're going to read the glossary straight through anyway, you shouldn't mind particularly where. It's not as if I interrupted the train of thought you had about Stevenson that you didn't want to forget when you read about Stone, huh?

And now for something completely related. Previous laureates are an important outside source of Nobel prize nominations. That doesn't work so well with the Darwin Awards, partly because they are so often awarded posthumously. (Only the living may be nominated for a Nobel, although posthumous awards are allowed.) I have a candidate or two for the Darwin.

Okay, update on that. Darwin Awards has considered my submission and informs me that ``unfortunately'' -- oh, no! Rejected! I missed the cut. Not good enough for the Darwin's high standards of low inteligense. The ``moderators'' (their scores may still be on-line) were blasé, dismissive, and univocal (scored ``Definitely Toss''), and frankly cruel. What have they got against alcohol-assisted stupidity!? After all, it takes some native stupidity to get staggeringly drunk! I'm sorry, I---I'm feeling a bit low now. Rejection is so hard! It's so belittling to have one's submission turned down without a second thought. I mean really--what qualifies them to decide what is deeply stupid? Are they stupid or something? Pthah! Stupidity stumbles onward! Real stupidity will triumph in the end.

Fred Stone played the Scarecrow in the first theatrical production (1902) of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz (1900). According to Mark Evan Swartz's Oz Before the Rainbow: L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on Stage and Screen to 1939, (Baltimore and London: JHU Pr., 2003), p. 71, Stone
... took great pride in his ability to remain absolutely still for the duration of Dorothy's song, which often included several encores. One reviewer noted that ``when Mr. Stone is first lifted on the stage and leaned against the stile very few believe that the figure is that of a live man. They think it to be a rag dummy, a veritable scarecrow, and nearly all of those in the audience who are witnessing the extravaganza for the first time are convinced that this manikin will presently be replaced, to the accompaniment of some hocus-pocus, by the real man so essential to the play. Thus, when Dorothy rubs the magic ring and the figure exhibits signs of life there is a gasp of astonishment all over the theatre.''

Fred Stone wrote an autobiography entitled Rolling Stone (NY: McGraw-Hill, Whittlesey House, 1945). There (p. 133) he described his difficulties in the premiere, when he spent eighteen minutes with his weight balanced on the side of his ankle. Only the prolonged applause of the surprised audience gave time, as he leaned on Anna Laughlin's Dorothy, to lose the numbness so he could perform his dance.

Stones come in plums, don't they? The source for the linked entry is p. 65 of the Swartz book.

The town where, in July 1994, Connecticut state troopers raided a vacant storefront to seize plants they thought were marijuana, but which turned out to be oregano, apple mint, and other herbs hung out to dry.

Louise STORY
A New York Times reporter from at latest April 2004 to at least June 2007. Before that, she worked at the Boston Globe.

A sports columnist with the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. (At least as of mid-2009.)

A young man from England who became the first European to train as a sumo wrestler in Japan. (This was some time before 2002.) He left the program after a year.

A former city council president of Philadelphia, PA, Street was elected mayor in 1999 and reelected in 2003. By law the mayor is limited to two four-year terms, so after January 7, 2008, he was out on the street. (He was succeeded by Michael Nutter. I know Pennsylvania is famous for crazy place names, but this is ridiculous.)

Eduard STUDY
A German mathematician who worked on the theory of invariant ternary forms, spherical trigonometry, and hypercomplex numbers. I don't know how he came by a French given name and an English surname; he was born in Coburg in the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, so there's an English connection of sorts (see UK entry for some clarification).

DANIA Suárez
A Colombian prostitute currently (April 2012) at the center of an scandal involving a US security detail. The accused men -- 12 Secret Service agents and 11 members of the military -- were in Cartagena, Colombia, to protect President Obama at an OAS meeting April 14-15. They arrived some time before the president, and were replaced and sent back stateside hours after the president's arrival late on Friday the 13th.

Apparently some members of the security detail hired prostitutes; others have been accused of interfering with an investigation. Interfering with a criminal investigation is generally illegal (and often easy to prove), irrespective of whether any crime has been committed (something Martha Stewart won't forget next time). Prostitution is legal in parts of Cartagena.

The way the scandal got started is that there was a dispute between Dania and her customer over her agreed price. (Surprisingly, despite their usual reflexive allegeds and allegedlies, the US media seemed to take at face value Miss Suárez's claim that they had agreed on a price of $800. Journalists can be amazingly naive.) She called the cops, and the dispute is said to have been settled for about $200. It does not seem to be disputed that she did call the cops, so I suppose this all took place in a part of Cartagena where this sort of thing is legal. (Indeed, failure to pay for an illegal act is unlikely to be a crime, since contracts for illegal activities are not enforceable, though the IRS may still seek its cut. Still, it's not a good situation to find oneself in, if the verbal contract itself was criminal.) One week later, about half of the accused Secret Service men have been more or less involuntarily separated from their jobs, and the investigation continues.

In Spanish, Dania is pronounced like daña. (There might be a distinction in some dialects, but it would be an exceedingly fine one.) Daña means `she harms' or `he harms.' (Or `it harms.' Spanish is a pro-drop language; a third-person singular pronoun is implied by the verb form.)

(Incidentally, Cartagena is the Spanish name of Carthage -- transfered to the New World in the usual way.)

A spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity, a lobbying group that opposes the rights of people whose property is being squatted on by the unfit in the struggle for survival of the fittest.

An author of, or more precisely the text content-provider for, illustrated books about mammals.
  • The Book of the Unicorn.
  • Year of the Horse (May 2003) and Year of the Goat (May 2003).
  • The Boris Vallejo Portfolio, Superheroes: The Heroic Visions of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, Hard Curves: The Fantasy Art of Julie Bell, and similar books in which human animals are depicted with their teats at the very least discernible.

Oh, alright, he also did stuff like Year of the Dragon: Legends & Lore (May 2003). It's perfectly understandable, of course, that he did text for The Book of Sea Monsters and for other books illustrated by Bob Eggleton, who naturally draws reptiles, dragons, birds, and hybrids of these.

Andrew M. SUM
A Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. Bottom line, baby!

Mr. Superman, 62 at the time, and his wife Alice, reported a house invasion. I happened to see this in the Los Angeles Times of March 11, 1976, in a tiny item on page B2. (No, I was looking for something else.) They were at home in Long Beach, California, with a visiting friend (Martin Cohn, 24, of Santa Barbara), when two ``grubby looking'' armed men burst through the door and bound the three of them with adhesive tape. The robbers took $4000 in cash and $5300 in jewelry. After they left, according to the version of one reporter (writing for some publication whose morgue I don't have access to), Superman called police after belatedly bursting his bonds faster than a speeding bullet. Must've been a bad-krypronite day.

I wonder if this is the same Michael Superman who was a ``Fuller brush [door-to-door sales]man'' in the Los Angeles area 20 years before. Art Ryon had a jokey column in the LAT entitled ``Ham on Ryon.'' The lead item on Nov. 11, 1957, reported this (p. B5). In December 2011, there was an attorney Martin Cohn practicing in Santa Barbara.

Lisa Lombardi wrote an article entitled ``Don't say this on a first date'' that appeared in <yahoo.com> courtesy of <match.com>. She asserted that ``most of us know'' the big no-no topics like felony record. She wanted to dig deeper: ``But what about the more subtle subjects you're best not broaching right off the bat? We polled both experts and real men and women about the other deal-breakers...''

One of the ``real men'' she quoted in the article was ``Chris Suttile, a single guy in Chicago.'' The subtlety he was quoted as an authority for was that of not talking about plans to have children. (I believe hurried discussions of contraception may be permitted, however.) Anyway, sottile and sutil are `subtle' in Modern Italian and Spanish, resp. I haven't the time to check now, but if there isn't some Mediterranean speech (probably an Italian variety) in which suttile means or meant `subtle,' I'll eat my granola.

I'm not sure if this is a pseudonym. Another person quoted is ``Maria Amor of San Diego,'' but the rest have unremarkable names.

A blend of swagger and braggart?

He's a cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis, a singer and piano player like him. Well, like him in general. Jerry Lee Lewis's career nosedived when it was revealed that he had married an adolescent cousin. Jimmy Lee Swaggart's career nosedived when it was discovered (October 1991?) that he had been patronizing a prostitute.

Robert SWEET
The US federal judge presiding over civil suits brought in 2002 and 2003 against McDonald's, which claim that McDonald's food has more calories than one would expect. We have more on unusual judge names.

Wladyslaw SZPILMAN
A composer of popular songs and a performer on Poland's state radio, Szpilman wrote The Pianist, basis of Roman Polanski's movie of the same name. Szpilman is the Polish spelling of a Yiddish name meaning performer. (In German, Spieler is `player.') To be precise, Szpilman's memoir was published as Death of a City in 1946, and was republished as The Pianist in 1999, a year before Szpilman's death. It was made into a movie once, or perhaps better said twice, before the child-molester grabbed it. The first version was called Warsaw Robinson. It was suppressed by the Communist authorities (by the way, there's no more nomen-est-omen irony in this entry; I'm just adding fiber), who were unhappy with its unfavorable portrayal of Ukrainians. It was rereleased in an improved version with Soviet soldiers liberating Warsaw. (There might be some irony in the timing of that event.)

My friend Yoshi wondered why American newsfaces always pronounced this Japanese prime minister's surname ``tah-keh-shta.'' The normal Japanese pronunciation has even stress, and the vowel after sh is not elided. It's interesting that the effort to sanitize the name in English led to the introduction of a consonant cluster (sht) that is more unusual in English than in Japanese. [The sequence shuta, as in shutaisei (`identity'), is pronounced with a u that ranges from weak to virtually absent.]

In 1987, Takeshita and two other close supporters of Kakuei Tanaka -- Shin Kanemaru and Ichiro Ozawa -- took over control of Kaku-san's machine. [It was an essentially typical patronage-and-power political machine. Goodies for the folks back home included roads and bridges, and getting the route of the bullet train to go through his district. Tanaka was Japan's Finance Minister (1962-1965) and became Prime Minister in 1972. The Lockheed bribery scandal forced Tanaka out of office in 1974, but he maintained effective control of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) even as he faced indictment, trial, conviction, and extended appeals (on those and other corruption charges). His machine continued to dominate Japan until 1993.]

The troika of Takeshita, Kanemaru and Ozawa staged their internal coup while Tanaka, in addition to his legal troubles, was ill. Takeshita became PM in 1987, but resigned under pressure due to scandals in 1989. He was arguably Japan's worst post-WWII PM (a distinction for which there is substantial competition).

(FWIW, Kanemaru had become the new don in 1987, a role he played until he was arrested for tax evasion in 1992. That left only Ozawa, who turned reformer, and for the first time in 1993 the LDP lost a national election.)

(Interestingly, Tanaka rose to the top of Japanese politics despite having only an elementary-school education. Most Japanese PM's have been college graduates -- many from the University of Tokyo, Japan's most prestigious university. On the other hand, Taro Aso (LDP), who served as PM from September 2008 to September 2009, came to be ridiculed for misreading common kanji in his own speeches. His given name Taro became a schoolyard epithet meaning `stupid.' Taro is a common given name, so this likely won't last.)

As explained at the NFN entry, that's now legally his entire name. Teller is the half of the off-kilter performing duo Penn and Teller who never or almost never speaks.

He founded a white supremacist party of South Africa, the AWB, and was its leader until his assassination in 2010. (In news reports over the years, his surname appeared in the forms Terreblanche, TerreBlanche, and Terre'Blanche. I guess the former are regularizations for the latter.)

Georgia TESTA
Executive secretary of the Aristotelian Society (a UK society of philosophy so clever it'll make your head hurt, and not even in a good way). Testa is Italian for `head.'

The given name Lionel, be it noted, is from a medieval diminutive of the Middle English nickname Lion or the Old French name Léon, according to Hanks and Hodges. [I think the accent is a modern innovation, though.]

Dr. Lionel Tiger is Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University.

William A. TILLER
He wrote a book entitled The Science of Crystallization: Macroscopic Phenomena and Defect Generation (1991). P.W. Bridgman developed some of the most important techniques of crystal growth (including two which now bear his name -- ``Horizontal Bridgman'' and ``Vertical Bridgman'' technques -- described in Tiller's book). If you don't use some kind of bridge, then another way to get across the water is by boat.

The surname is a contraction of Torre quemada, Spanish for burnt tower. Thousands of his victims were burned ``at the stake'' -- a tower of fire. The Catholic Encyclopedia contains an evil entry describing his activities in defense of the one true faith:
``Whether Torquemada's ways of ferreting out and punishing heretics were justifiable is a matter that has to be decided not only by comparison with the penal standard of the fifteenth century, but also, and chiefly, by an inquiry into their necessity for the preservation of Christian Spain.''

In 2000, Pope John Paul II apologized and said it wouldn't happen again.

Madelyne Gorman TOOGOOD
A woman who slapped and punched her four-year-old daughter in the parking lot of a department store on September 13, 2002. Before beating the child inside the SUV, she looked around apparently to see if anyone was watching. But she was caught anyway. When she turned herself in to Mishawaka, Indiana, police on September 21 to face felony battery charges, she said she made ``a mistake.'' Of course: she forgot about the department-store surveillance camera.

Robert TOOLS
In July 2001, Tools became the first person to receive the AbioCor artificial heart (manufactured by Abiomed Inc. of Danvers, Massachusetts). He died five months after the surgery. (The AbioCor is not the first artificial heart by a long shot, but it is the first to be completely internal: it's the size of a softball and battery-powered, and no wires or tubes protrude through the skin.)

The English word organ is derived from the Greek word organon, which means `tool.'

This fellow practiced dentistry in South Bend for a number of years, I am assured by Chuck and Mary. I think he must have retired some time ago; detailed information about him is not readily available on the internet at this time. Since I live in the South Bend area, I suppose I ought to scrounge up some details for the higher good. Mary also says she once worked with a Fred Trout at the Bodine Fish Hatchery (a salmon and trout hatchery; see BSFH.

There is a website <http://toothacre.com/> ``[f]or resources and information on Arm pains and Pain'' including toothache. They also have surname links. I feel like I've been set up for a trip to the Twilight Zone.

A conservative politician in Ontario. The name is such an egregious instance of nomen est omen that by the time he was elected leader of the PC party in September 2004, it no longer merited a joke. The conservative party (name as of 2008: Progressive Conservatives) was disappointed in the 2007 provincial elections (no, I don't recall any details). Many expected or wanted him to offer his resignation shortly afterwards, but he didn't. Ever since then, Tory's leadership of the Ontario party has been described with words like ``embattled.'' The party will hold a convention in London on February 23, 2008, a couple of weeks from this writing, but I probably won't come back and update this entry. It seems no one else has wanted the job enough to challenge him for it, and he's planning to hang on with a bare majority in an up-or-down vote called a ``leadership review,''

A blogger on political races at RCP.

Robert TROUT
Defense lawyer for William Jefferson (not W.J. Clinton, just W.J.). Back when he was a US congressman, William Jefferson was caught on video with his hands in the metaphorical cookie jar. Specifically, the FBI taped W.J. accepting a briefcase with $100,000 at a Pentagon City parking lot. The money was supposed to be used to bribe the Nigerian Vice President. How appropriate.

William Jefferson's nickname when he was a congressman (and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee) was ``Dollar Bill.'' Several members of his former staff are in prison after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy. A businessman has already pleaded guilty to bribing him. It's reported that there are tapes of W.J. soliciting bribes. It would appear that the feds have the goods on him, but what seems likely to really ice the case -- the icing on the cake, so to speak -- was the discovery of $90,000 of that $100,000 in a nonmetaphorical freezer at W.J.'s D.C.-area residence. The money (in marked $100's) had been divided up into chunks, wrapped in aluminum foil, and stuffed into nonmetaphorical but possibly symbolic boxes of Boca burgers and Pillsbury pie crusts. They say the four-and-twenty blackbirds were a political metaphor, but exculpatory stories about that green are even harder to swallow.

Trout are famous for swimming against the stream and almost dying in the effort, but this case may require more than your run-of-the-water-mill fish ladder. At the start of his opening statement on June 16, 2009, Robert Trout remarked to the jury, ``I almost think I should begin with a joke about cold cash or frozen assets.'' It'll be a historic tragedy if it turns out that the freezer didn't have any fish. I hope full details come out during the trial. (Boca burgers are ersatz meat made from milk and vegetables, and probably taste better than paper. US paper money is printed on an ersatz ``currency paper'' that is about 25% linen and 75% cotton, plus some red and blue synthetic fibers, but no one has claimed that those $100 bills were also counterfeit, despite the unreal safebox.) At the start of the trial, it looks like the defense is going to be that when he wasn't drunk or making inadequately documented and implausible but perfectly legal transactions, W.J. was, okay, doing a lot of things that were tasteless, maybe even unkosher, but not quite, technically, letter-of-the-law illegal. Sure, you'd have better odds against dam-riding grizzlies, but you can't always have your choice of venue.

(Just for balance, and not to have egg-beaters on my face in case of acquittal, I should point out that despite how bad a lot of W.J.'s videotaped actions apparently look, the prosecution has its own obstacles. For one thing, sting operations arouse some skepticism in juries, and the feds' original star witness, the woman who gave W.J. that $100,000, will not be testifying for the prosecution. No reason for this decision has been made public. It does prevent the prosecution from introducing into evidence unrecorded conversations between her and W.J., but a lot of their conversations were recorded. Another problem for the prosecution is that W.J.'s alleged crimes are not simple quid pro quo bribery, but rather a form of influence peddling. Essentially, he traded on his connections in West Africa, offering to grease the skids for business transactions with money to be funneled through companies owned by his family.)

The first West Asian country to suffer fatal cases of bird flu in humans (in 2006).

A Secret Service agent. (Testified July 17, 1996 before House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, along with John Libonati, director of the [executive branch] Office of Inspection and Congressional Affairs, and fellow Secret Service Agent Arnold Cole.)

Undercoffer was assigned by the White House to review FBI background files on aides seeking permanent White House passes.

Uno is a dog, specifically a beagle, though he does resemble 2008 Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. He (Uno) competed in the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York City's Madison Square Garden in February 2008. On February 12 he came in at numero uno in the hound group. He was the first beagle since 1939 to win the hound group and thus reach the wonderfully portentious-sounding ``final ring of seven.'' (Huckabee lost all his contests on February 12.) The next day he (Uno) won ``best in show.'' It was the first time in the 102-year history of the competition that a beagle had won it all.

A country singer. The irony of the surname is obvious; the possible appropriateness of the given name not. Keith was a Scottish surname before it began to be used as a given name. It referred to lands in East Lothian that bore that name, probably derived from a Celtic word meaning, appropriately, `wood.' A wood is country enough. Then again, maybe it was destined to refer to the fact that he got Nicole Kidman with child, years after Tom Cruise gave up trying.

See the leverage the synergy entry.

Roger Valid's 1981 book, Mechanics of Continuous Media and Analysis of Structures, sounds like an engineering book, and indeed, Dr. Valid is among other things an ``[e]ngineer graduate of the École Centrale de Paris,'' according to the title page. And in engineering one is not concerned so much with precise validity as with robust reliability. But alarm bells go off in the mind as one reads Valid's preface, which begins with this claim: ``This is a course on Mechanics and Mathematics.'' What's he trying to pull?

As W.T. Koiter explains in the introduction, ``Professor Valid [uses] modern coordinate-free analysis in the mechanics of continuous media. The approach is typical of a French school of applied mathematics and engineering science. Professor Germain's eloquent recommendation to engineers in his preface to the original French edition of this work therefore applies even more strongly outside France.''

Prof. Germain (in the ``foreword'' of the English edition) is concerned because ``the reader who takes up the book without being familiar with the concepts and notations that Roger Valid handles so masterfully will find this ... perhaps a little disconcerting at first.'' Germain's task is to convice this reader that the mathematics is germane to his problems, and that Valid's is a valid approach to his problems.

(Don't tell me I'm stretching things too far. The book is all about elasticity!)

Dr. John W. VALLEY
A professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

At the end of the 1950's, San Francisco emerged as the center of the US counterculture, when that counterculture was the Beat Generation. Increasing police raids on gay bars, peaking in 1960, and action by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission to revoke the bars' licenses, led to the largest homosexual-rights movement in US history. That movement had an organization called the Society for Individual Rights (I'm not aware that it was abbreviated SIR) and a periodical called Vector.

Twenty years later, San Francisco became one of the centers in the epidemic of AIDS, whose spread was facilitated by gay bars. A vector, in biology, is a disease-transmitting organism (as opposed to a vehicle, which is inanimate).

A viral immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Virgin and his colleagues have conducted studies which demonstrate that infection with certain herpes-like viruses can improve immunity to dangerous diseases like plague (at least if you're a lab mouse). The work is described in the May 17, 2007, issue of the journal Nature.

Ngan Thi BICH Vo
A waitress at the Hawaii Cafe, a nightclub in Garden Grove, California. Vo, 20, was at work there on the evening of Monday, August 16, 2004. Some time after 11 PM, she called her boyfriend, who was at another nightclub. According to Garden Grove Police Lt. Mike Handfield, Vo told him she felt two customers had insulted her by tugging on her skirt and trying to flirt with her. She was very upset, and apparently she ``asked him to intervene.'' Later the two men, regulars at the nightclub, bought her a rose and apologized. It was apparently too little or too late. Around 1 AM, a man entered the crowded restaurant, walked past four tables, and shot the two men at point-blank range.

Steven VOLK
Author of ``Class, Union, Party: The Development of a Revolutionary Union Movement in Bolivia (1905-1952),'' Science and Society vol. 39, pp. 26-43 (Spring 1975).

Das Volk is German for `the people,' but has a narrower, somehow more political connotation than `people' can have: das Volk refers to an ethnos, a particular people connected by a common culture or nationality. In English, you can use the null article to remove this particularity: a phrase beginning ``people say'' or ``people are'' is clearly general, and if a particular group is meant, the restriction must be indicated by context. To get the same generalizing effect in German, you have to switch words and begin ``die Leute sagen'' or ``die Leute sind.''

(The German word Volk is cognate with the English word folk, of course, and they are pronounced similarly. In particular, the German v is pronounced like an English f, and the vowels are close enough, considering the variation in vowel pronunciation across dialects. The main difference is in the l, which is clearly articulated in German, but ``dark'' in English.)

A researcher into the properties of electrons in solids. For example, he wrote ``Thermalization of Subexcitation Electrons in Dense Molecular Media,'' chapter 3 of Excess Electrons in Dielectric Media, edd. Christiane Ferradini, Jean-Paul Jay-Gerin (CRC Press, 1991), pp. 75-104.

WACO, Texas
I'm convinced that the news media, as well as people living in surrounding communities, have been mispronouncing its name.

Oh, the 100,000 good people or so of Waco want you to know that they're only responsible for Baylor University (a/k/a Harvard of the Southern Baptists, also ``Thee University''). Still, if you go the seat of McLennan County, you might as well also visit the former site of the Mount Carmel compound of the Branch Davidians in nearby Elk (five miles east of the Waco city limits) or the ranch of US President George W. Bush in Crawford (ten miles west of the city limits). Then again, better not.

Waco also has an M&M candies facility and a Haircolor Headquarters. ``Headquarters'' -- nice pun, but overly militaristic overtones and highlights.

Comedian Steve Martin grew up in Waco -- need I say more? Okay, more at the Hfuhruhurr entry.

Chairman and CEO of GM's North American Division from April 2005 until March 2009, when he was fired by the president of the US, of all people.

A wagon is a wheeled vehicle without the power to propel itself. That seems pretty significant right there. A wagoner is a wagon driver or, as the OED has for its first definition s.v.: ``[o]ne who has charge of a wagon as driver.''

The name Richard was introduced into Britain by the Normans. It is composed of the roots ric (`power') and hard (`brave, strong').

Author of The Gallic Wars, a translation (1954) of Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico.

John Gibson WARRY
Author of
  1. Warfare in the Classical World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weapons, Warriors and Warfare in the Ancient Civilisations of Greece and Rome (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980), frequently reprinted.
  2. Alexander's Battles 334-323 BC: Conquest of the Persian Empire, Vol. 7 (London:Osprey Publishing, Ltd., 1991)
  3. Alexander the Great: His Armies and Campaigns 334-323 BC (London:Osprey Publishing, Ltd., 1999)

Yes, fortune is fleeting, so you should buy insurance. Rich Was is (you knew I had to write that) a State Farm insurance agent in South Bend, Indiana. "Rich Was" is what I see on all the signs and his unsolicited mail, etc., but he signs a longer name that ends in ``Jr.'' So Rich Was was and is.

The first mayor of Washington, D.C. Also the first black mayor of Washington, DC. But not the first black mayor of a city in the US South, because Washington didn't have a mayor until 1975, following the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, which was enacted in 1973. The first black mayor of Chicago, elected in 1983, was Harold Washington.

WATERTOWN, Massachusetts
On May 1, 2010, a water main break in Weston, Massachusetts, caused 64 million gallons of water to be lost from fresh-water reservoirs that supply Watertown. In order to continue providing water for firefighting and sewage (doesn't this remind you of Gulliver in Lilliput?), the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority had to substitute untreated water from backup reservoirs and issued a boil-water order.

Historic Watertown, on the Charles River about 6 miles northwest of Boston, has a population of almost 33,000 and thus represents more than 1% of the population served by the main and affected by the boil-water order. What, you were expecting maybe 2%? See the Detroit entry.

One week later, it is believed that the break was caused by the failure of a 15-foot-long, one-ton metal ``clamp'' (a/k/a a Brico coupling). It affected Boston and 29 of its surrounding communities, including Brookline and Swampscott.

His given name is pronounced ``EE-veh-lin'' or ``EE-v'lin.'' (Waugh rhymes with law.) Born in 1903 the second son of Arthur Waugh, brother of Alec Waugh; he was the father of Auberon Waugh. They should have stuck with A-names. (In fact, they did: Evelyn Waugh was christened Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh.) In 1928 he married Evelyn Gardner. Not surprisingly, it didn't work out. In 1930, Evelyn and Evelyn Waugh were divorced. (Many who oppose gay marriage on religious grounds like the slogan ``God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.'' Had to mention that.)

Hey, hey, Paula!

In 1937 he married a woman whose last name was Herbert. Two years later, Laura (neé Herbert) and Evelyn were not divorced. At this time he was Catholic. It's good he had waited until 1930 to convert: in those days, it was pretty hard to get an annulment -- it was until death did you part (and then I suppose you could be a bigamist in the afterlife).

He seems to have had a bit of a self-destructive impulse. In 1925 he tried committing suicide by swimming out to sea, but he was stung by a jellyfish and turned back. In 1939, Waugh (full name Evelyn Arthur Saint John Waugh) used his political connections to get into the Royal Marines, and eventually transferred to an Army commando unit.

Author of The Christian Agnostic (Nashville and New York: Abingdon Press, 1965). He seems to have been unusually open-minded. When you move your library, arresting volumes sometimes fall out. Maybe some day I'll skim this one more thoroughly.

Edward WEEKS
Weeks was editor of The Atlantic Monthly for many years. He started as an assistant editor for the journal in 1924. So far as I can tell from the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, his first published article (in 1927) appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. That year also, when he was still a reader and assistant editor, he recommended Ernest Hemingway's short story ``Fifty Grand'' for publication. The story, which had been rejected by The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, Collier's and Scribners, was Hemingway's first in a national publication.

He was editor of the Atlantic Monthly Press (the magazine's book-publishing arm) from 1928 to 1937, and moved back to the magazine in 1938 as its ninth editor and, by the time he retired in 1966, its longest-serving one. After his retirement in 1966, Weeks served as consultant and senior editor of the Atlantic Monthly Press until 1987 and continued writing. After retiring from this active retirement, he was editor emeritus at the Monthly and Press. He came in to work until two days before he died (Saturday, March 11, 1989) age 91.

Anthony WEINER
Weiner up-ended and probably ended (so it seems as of this writing, June 9, 2011) his career as a member of the US Congress (D-NY) by misdirecting a photograph of his tumescent member, publishing it to a large group of Tweet readers rather than sending it privately to his intended destination, a woman other than the one he was married to. (No, she wasn't his urologist either.) His surname is retrospectively ominous in both German and English.

In English, of course, (you already know everything articulated in this and the next paragraph) the Wiener surname is pronounced ``WEE-ner,'' presumably because in English, ei and ie are not usually distinguished except as misspellings. (That is, if either order is correct in the spelling of some word, then a spelling with the other order usually represents a recognizable misspelling rather than some distinct word or intended pronunciation distinction. There's a rule about it. Typically, the exceptions are recent foreign loans like lei.) In fact, weiner is a common-enough misspelling of wiener that it might be deemed an acceptable variant. (For example, googling on <<+wiener "hot dog" -anthony>> (the plus sign mostly prevents Google from returning pages that only have the weiner spelling) yields ``[a]bout 3,880,000'' ghits, while doing the same with weiner yields ``[a]bout 1,480,000.'')

Weiner is an informal name for a hot dog (a/k/a frankfurter), and is also, for obvious reasons, a (somewhat childish) euphemism for penis. (Yes, yes, I do parenthesize (quite) a lot, and my parenthesizing of modifiers is almost idiosyncratic. I can't help it -- I'm a dick.) The various euphemisms and dysphemisms for penis are also widely used as pejoratives. Under the circumstances, reportage and comment on the long-drawn-out Weiner story featured a lot of punning and references to punning (or to the commenter's meritorious abstinence therefrom, etc.). Even the ``wee nerd'' pun gets a few ghits with this story.

In German, wiener (capitalized only as a noun) means `Viennese,' and wiener Würstchen can be translated literally if awkwardly as `little Vienna sausage' or `Vienna sausagelet.' In the usual way, Wiener alone is understood (in appropriate contexts) to stand for wiener Würstchen. Also in German as in English, Würstchen, Wiener, and Frankfurter are among the vulgar synonyms for Penis. (In the German Sprachraum, a frank is normally all-pork, while a wiener is pork-and-beef.) In German, however, ie and ei have different pronunciations and are carefully distinguished, so the pun on Weiner's name does not work the same way.

Weiner is a common surname in Germany, an old contracted form of Wagner, which still means `wagon-maker' in southern Germany. There is an unrelated root in the verb weinen, which means `weep' and is cognate with the English whine. From this verb one has Weiner again as a common noun meaning `weeper.' In the June 7 news conference at which Rep. Weiner first admitted that it was indeed he who had sent the offending picture, he dabbed theatrically at his eyes and perhaps shed a genuine tear for his damaged and endangered political career.

[Obsessive detail, representing some of my research: You won't find Weiner in most German or German-English dictionaries. The Grimm has an entry with many examples of its use, however, as well as an entry for the female form Weinerin. A synonym that usually does get an entry is Weinende (same form for male and female). One reason that the common noun Weiner may not get an entry while Weinende does is that Weiner is regularly formed from the verb, using the productive ending -er (like whiner from whine), and German dictionaries tend not to define such regular derivations unless the meaning or usage is somehow other than what one would expect. In contrast, a construction from the adverb, like Geweinde, may or may not be accepted, so an entry for that is warranted. A possible second reason may be that Geweinde has become more common than Weiner. (It's hard to tell from ghits: even if the common noun Weiner were 70 times as common as Geweinde, it would still represent only 1% of the total Weiner ghits, most of which are for the surname or misspellings of Wiener. The inflected forms -- Weiners and Weinern -- are similarly swamped.) Fwiw, my mom doesn't recognize Geweinde and considers Weiner the translation of weeper, but she hasn't resided in Germany since 1938. She does wonder if there is a meaning of Weiner related to Wein (`wine'). The Grimm managed to uncover one such instance from the year 1470.]

White House Iraq Group. A task force created by Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. in August 2002 and charged, according to the Washington Post, with the task of 'marketing' the war in Iraq to the public.

Walter WHITE
Chief secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1929 to 1955, and during that time one of the most prominent black civil rights leaders in the US.

Democratic senator from Rhode Island, as of 2010. They say that every morning 100 US senators look in the mirror and see a future president (unless a seat is vacant).

In 1980, Wigglesworth published an article entitled ``Do insects feel pain?'' in the journal Antenna (vol. 4, pp. 8-9).

If you're interested in this subject, you should see the minireview by C.H. Eisemann, W.K. Jorgensen, D.J. Merritt, M.J. Rice, B.W. Cribb, P.D. Webb, and M.P. Zalucki, ``Do insects feel pain? - A biological view,'' in Experimentia, vol. 40, pp. 164-167 (1984).

Amy WINEhouse
A singer-songwriter who lived the blues. The most celebrated track from her five-Grammy-winning 2006 album Back To Black was titled ``Rehab.'' In 2007, her press was dominated by her bulimia, violent drunken fights with her husband and fans, and her problems with drugs (pot, cocaine, heroin, and more exotic items, in various combinations) and alcohol. Well-wishers suggested she stick to booze.

On July 23, 2011, she was found in her apartment -- dead at age 27. Everyone seemed to agree that the Winehouse death had to do with alcohol... somehow. There were reports that she had gone on (and perhaps after) a fatal binge, but family and close friends claimed the opposite: that her doctors had advised her to cut down slowly on her heavy drinking, but that she could only quit cold turkey. (Not wild turkey -- to only have quit that would have been incremental.) The day before she died, her doctor gave her a clean bill of health. Her parents, boyfriend, and manager all believed she had died from quitting too abruptly. It gives fresh meaning to ``physical dependence.'' Toxicology results eventially showed that her blood alcohol level was five times the legal limit for driving. I'm sure her family and friends would all insist that she wasn't driving at the time, but the coroner ruled that she died from drinking too much alcohol.

Bill M. WISE
Compiler and copyright holder of The Wisdom of Sam Ervin (NYC: Ballantine Books, 1973). A politician is deemed wise principally for the virtue of expressing forcefully the opinions one agrees with. Sen. Sam Ervin, Jr. (D-N.C.) became famous as chair of the Senate committee that held hearings on the Watergate Scandal. Information brought out in those hearings eventually forced President Richard M. Nixon to resign from office (the first US president to do so) in 1973. In particular, it came out (initially in answer to a routine question, in a staff interview with a White House employee who was to testify) that conversations in the White House Oval Office (the President's ceremonial and actual office -- how inconvenient) were secretly recorded.

Ervin became known for the homespun, common-sense indignation he expressed at Executive-Branch activities revealed in testimony before his committee. Conveniently, the president in office was of the opposite party, posing no partisan restraint on his wit. Ervin was known primarily for his wit (in the modern sense of humor), and only secondarily for his wisdom. Bill Wise's book demonstrates in detail just how imaginatively Ervin expressed his unimaginative opinions.

Whodunit Math Puzzles is a children's book by one Bill Wise (illustrated by Lucy Corvino). If this is the same Wise, he seems to have a thing about the intelligence gathered by criminal investigation.

A William Wise wrote the children's book Dinosaurs Forever (illustrated by Lynn Munsinger). The novel The Tail of the Dragon was written by Robert L. Wise and William Louis, Jr. Wilson. Only Wise is credited on the cover. The other fellow, regardless his connection with the book, is not some Wilson who was named after William Louis, Jr. It's just amazon.com's weird way with names. Similarly, Stephen R. Wise has contributed a volume to a series of books edited by ``William N., Jr. Still.''


Timothy Peter WISEMAN
A much-published classicist, whose books are copiously footnoted. See, for example, Catullus and his world: a reappraisal (Cambridge U. P., 1985). Chapter 1, entitled ``A World Not Ours'' is about the nexus of sex and violence in Roman thinking.

Head of the World Bank from 1995 to 2005. His surname means `Wolf's son.' He has had almost a child's eagerness to please, becoming a very popular president, at least within the organization.

They say the child is father to the man. In March 2005, Paul Wolfowitz was nominated and confirmed as Wolfensohn's successor. Wolfowitz is a family name equivalent to Wolfensohn, a patronymic constructed using a Slavic rather than Germanic suffix. Of course, it's written using the letter w to represent a sound normally written with a vee in English, because its original Latin-character spelling was in German and Polish. In German, incidentally, the word Witz means `joke,' cognate with English wit. (I'm sorry, I've exceeded my quota of ``the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce'' citations. You'll have to find a more complete description deep inside the pea entry or the Charlie's Angels entry.)

With the nomination of Wolfensohn to replace Lewis Preston as president of the World Bank in March 1995, US Pres. Clinton disappointed environmentalist and development groups that had hoped he would pick W. Bowman (``Bo'') Cutter, a top White House economic advisor. (Since you ask, Cutter was deputy head of the White House National Economic Council, with responsibility for trade policy and international economic issues.) Wolfensohn, who had little experience in the development field, made the case that he would be a cutter of superfluous World Bank staff. (Sorry, I can't cut out the superfluous punning stuff.) The following May 5, the Wall Street Journal reported that ahead of his June 1 start, ``fear'' gripped the World Bank: ``he is seen at the 9,000-employee institution as a cost cutter.'' Looks now like he went native.

The wolf was native to the forests of Europe and (or including) Britain, and was a common basis for names. Wolfgang is still a common German given name. The Latin word for wolf was `lupus,' whence Spanish lobo and the English surname Lovell (the -ell is a diminutive ending). A Lovell is mentioned in this glossary in connection with Odyssey.

Incidentally, another candidate passed over for the WB post in 1995 was Lawrence Summers, US Treasury Dept. undersecretary for international affairs and a former World Bank chief economist. His cause had been backed some US Treasury and senior World Bank officials. I don't know how disappointed Summers was at the time, but he went on to become a president anyway -- of Harvard University. His tenure there was characterized by sober attempts to just, you know, like, suggest that maybe some tenets of political correctness might not, ah, be entirely, uh, fact, and by his subsequent desparate and spineless apologies. After five years as president, he resigned (as he announced on February 21, 2006) or was forced out, effective the end of the 2005-6 academic year.

Plays golf well enough to have his own home page. Probably more than well enough. Drives with the woods, not into them.

I am at a loss for what to say.

But Gerard Baker is not. Gerard Baker is better known as the US editor of the Times of London, but the following is from a column he contributed to the American political magazine The Weekly Standard, May 22, 2006: ``...Prescott [see Prezza], 67, a brutish former seaman with a capacity to mangle the English language that makes George W. Bush sound like Wordsworth, had been exposed as having an affair with a jaunty 43-year-old lass who worked in his office.''

Author of The New Testament and the People of God, (London: SPCK, 1992) and (Minneapolis: Fortress Pr., 1992), and generally speaking a famous and respected name (I mean in the synecdochal sense) in Biblical studies. The N.T. in Wright's name stands for Nicholas Thomas, but it is abbreviated on the covers of his books.

As of summer 2002, he's working on a series of Bible commentaries, one for each book of the bible. These were originally intended to replace, but will now be published along side of, the old Barclay commentaries.

Dennis H. WRONG
Author of Power: Its Forms, Bases and Uses (Harper/Colophon, 1979). The book ``presents a detailed analysis of the elusive concept of power in social theory...'' What more would you need to know?

Malcolm X
For apt nomen-est-omen information on this individual, as well as X. J. Kennedy, see the chiasmus entry.

VIKTOR Yanukovych and VIKTOR Yushchenko
The two candidates in the Ukrainian presidential election of 2004 who won the most votes (but no majority). Both claimed victory in the subsequent run-off.

``Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and the creator of `The F-Factor Diet,' an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, and improved health and well-being.'' She has a regular feature on the Fox News Health Blog called ``Tanya's Tasty Tips.''

Zuckerbrot is a German word literally meaning `sweet bread,' but like the English sweetmeat, it applies to any sweet delicacy -- candy, candied fruit, sweet pastry, whatever. Just like the word sweetmeat, Zuckerbrot has gone somewhat out of use. Konfekt and confectionary are more common. The English word sweetbread, of course, is something else again.

Zuckerbrot survives as a common surname and also in the stock phrase ``Zuckerbrot und Peitsche,'' meaning `carrot and stick.' (Peitsche, as you recall from reading Nietzsche, means `whip.') The German version strikes me as more pointed.

Charles ZUKER
The modern German word for sugar is Zucker (see preceding entry), and Zuker is a variant of this (probably from before orthographic regularization, but possibly from transliteration into English).

Charles Zuker is a neuroscientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2001, he announced an important research finding concerning sugar: while there are more than 30 genes coding for bitter receptors in human taste buds, and a corresponding large number of different bitter receptors, there is only a single gene and a single kind of receptor for the sweet taste. Biochemists at Senomyx, a company cofounded by Zuker, eventually demonstrated that the two subunits of the sweet receptor each has a separate binding site. (This accounts for a synergy e