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U u

German, und. English: `and.' FWIW, in Old English the conjunction was commonly spelled (and probably pronounced) both ``and'' and ``ond.'' See also 7.

Unified atomic mass unit. Unified in 1961, as explained at the amu entry. According to CODATA, the value is 1.66054 × 10-27 kg. Visit, you can tell how much they resent the very existence of non-SI units.

Unit. Also ``EIA Unit'' or ``EIA U.'' In particular, ``U'' is a standard unit of measure for the heights of computer enclosures and the appropriate unit for specifying the size of units to be mounted in a standard (EIA standard SE-102) equipment rack. A number of letter-designated standard panels are listed at the rack-panel entry.

A lot of electronic equipment is not rack-mounted, but as of 2013 a lot of it still is. Straying incompatibly far from the standard is going to make your product less marketable, and few equipment manufacturers have found a compelling reason do it.

One U equals 1.75 inches. That would be 44.45 mm in them newfangl'd ``metric'' units they use in France and a few other out-of-the-way places. (In Germany, incidentally, the U is ``HE,'' for Hocheinheit, `height unit.')

In any language, U is the distance between mounting-hole clusters on the vertical mounting rails (aka ``posts''). There are three screw-holes in the rail per cluster, and if your unit is only one U tall, you are well-advised to use four screws: top and bottom on each side. As illustrated here, there is a slightly uneven distance between adjacent mounting holes: the upper and lower mounting holes are five eighths of an inch (5/8 in.) from the center hole (distances given between centers of holes); there is a center-to-center spacing of only one half inch between the top hole of a cluster and the bottom hole of the cluster above it.

Traditionally also, the inside distance between mounting rails is about 450mm (17.72 inches). The idea is to mount them on screws, not squeeze them hard up against the rails, so this distance isn't so critical. They're called 19-inch racks because that's the horizontal center-to-center spacing of the screws, but there's relatively more play in that distance. The holes in the supporting front panel are not exactly circular: they're horizontal slots. A less-common alternative to 19" is 23".

As you may be realizing by now, although the U is standard, the ``standard'' electronics rack is not so standard. For deeper, heavier equipment, you buy racks with four posts, so the equipment can be supported at the back. Of course, the problem is a product (had to say that to torque you off) of weight and lever arm: a transformer (frequently the heaviest single element) may, with the rest of the power supply, be towards the back.

Racks with back support (it won't end well if you think of large bras) usually have horizontal rails connecting the front and back posts. (I told you.) The cross-section shape of these rails varies; Agilent (the old HP) has both C-type and J-type, and their J-type is not exactly the same as that of Tektronix. Tektronix rack-mount equipment frequently comes in slide drawers, and their nicer stuff folds down to expose the rear panel for easy servicing.

It's the usual story with standards: if one standard is good, then many standards must be very good. And here's a laugh: Agilent racks have their own serial numbers.

There's also a standard form of the plaint that there are too many standards. The relevant sentence above is supposed to read ``...usual story with standards: so many to choose from.''

University. I should probably say something here about the University of Paris and the University of Bologna. These were the two earliest universities in Christian Europe, and furnished the models on which all the other famous old universities of Europe were based. But that's not what I want to write about today, so that general remark will have to do.

Some universities are known by full names of the form ``University of <place>,'' yet have common abbreviations with U representing university in which U is not the initial initial. The only case in which I've attempted to nail down the origin is that of the University of Denver (see DU). Others include

In the US, to a degree, a university is a college that offers post-baccalaureate degrees. According to a more popular definition a university is ``a college with a football team.'' Neither of these definitions holds uniformly.

Uracil. A pyrimidine base of RNA that pairs with the purine base Adenine (A).

Uranium. Atomic number 92.

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

Ú., ú.
Úsase. A very common abbreviation in Spanish dictionaries. In Spanish, active-voice constructions with the reflexive third person object se are a common way to express the idea that English usually conveys by the passive voice. Thus, ``se toma en serio'' means both `he takes himself seriously' and `it is taken seriously.' The pronoun se can precede the verb or occur enclitically, so úsase is equivalent to se usa. (This is a common behavior of dative and accusative pronouns in Spanish.)

Anyway, as a dictionary abbreviation, úsase clearly has the sense `it is used,' where it refers to the term defined, and there are many abbreviations built on it, like ú. t. c. s.: úsase tambié como sustantivo, `also used as a noun.' That usually refers to an adjective. For example, alto means `tall,' but is also used as a noun meaning `tall person, tall one.' In many cases, the gender is obvious from the ending, especially -o/-a forms like alto/alta, `tall male, tall female.' (These are typically derived from Latin adjectives of the first and second declension.) Other adjectives have a common form for both genders. (Without thinking about it too hard, I suppose these are often derived from Latin third-declension adjectives.) For these cases, one can use more explicit abbreviations, such as ú. c. s. f. (úsase como sustantivo femenino, `used as a feminine noun.'

YOU in chat. You in chat? Whatcha doin there? That's for airheads!

YOU rebus.

(Domain code for) Ukraine. ``.uk'' (pron. yoo-kay) was taken, I guess; on the other hand ``Uke'' (pron. Yook [i.e. /ju:k/]) is an affectionate gentilicial noun.

German, und andere[s]. English: `and others' (et al.).

German, unter andere{n|m}. English: `under others'

United Airlines. Also ``UAL.''

United Alternative. A Canadian political party that was founded with the intention of being temporary, as explained at this CA entry.

United Artists. Gee, when I try to access the top-level index page of the unitedartists.com domain, I reach the MGM page. I wonder what that means.

United Association. Hmm -- so distinctive. Oh, here we go: United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting, Sprinkler Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada. Founded in 1889. They probably added the ``sprinkler fitting'' bit some time later.

Gosh, now the web site explains ``UNITED ASSOCIATION'' as ``Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and HVAC Service Techs'' next to the logo that mentions plumbers, pipefitters, sprinkle fitters, steam fitters, and service techs. The page also mentions pipeliners.

I read once about some guys who were contracted to remove or repair some piping that had a high cadmium content (it was special marine piping). They were all poisoned by the vapors; I can't recall if any of them survived.

University of Alabama. The one that doesn't need to be identified by a city name is the one in Tuscaloosa.

We had an alumnus stop by the other day -- he got his Ph.D. in electrical engineering here at Notre Dame University I-don't-want-to-think-how-many years ago. His son is a high school junior and is thinking of attending his dad's American alma mater. Dad has no idea why. They're not Catholic. Well, okay, it's a good school academically (with the possible exception of some departments that might not be very good elsewhere either). But there are other good schools. Dad doesn't understand it. Could it be because of football?

Oh yeah, so back to the University of Alabama, a/k/a 'Bama, a/k/a the Crimson Tide. Hmm, forgot what I wuz gonna say.

University of Alaska. It has campuses all over the state of Alaska: UA Anchorage (UAA), UA Fairbanks (UAF), UA Southeast (UAS), and their subsidiary or affiliated campuses and colleges. They show a picture of students jumping to their deaths (or at least probable hypothermia) at UA Southeast, wearing modest swimming attire.

University of Alabama. Located in Alabama. I'd be more specific, but when I clicked on ``site map'' all I got was a bunch of words. See also UA at Birmingham and UA in Huntsville.

University of Arizona. Teams name: Wildcats. (In Tucson; cf. ASU in Tempe.)

User Agent.

Universidad Adventista de las Antillas. `Antillean [Seventh-day] Adventist University.'

University of Alaska Anchorage. The website seems to prefer the unpunctuated form, as if this is where you would leave your boat if you were attending the UA (q.v.).

Urban Affairs Association. They could have made their headquarters at the University of Alaska Anchorage and been the UAA at UAA, but they blew it. (Anchorage is Alaska's largest city, with a population of over a quarter million in 2000.) The association is based at UD instead.

``UAA is the successor organization to the Council of University Institutes for Urban Affairs, formed in Boston in 1969 by a group of directors of university urban programs. As urban affairs developed as a professional and academic field, the need for an organization that welcomed urban faculty, professionals, and students as well as urban program directors and deans became increasingly apparent. In recognition of this need, in 1981 the organization's name was changed to the Urban Affairs Association. Today, UAA includes institutional, individual and student members from colleges and universities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Among its other activities, UAA sponsors the Journal of Urban Affairs.''

Utilized Agricultural Area (AA). That's what it stands for in some EU publications, at least. For someone else it might stand for unused AA.

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Gosh, all these Romance languages are so different that they are mutually unintelligible. The above name in Catalan, for example, would be Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona in Castilian.

University of Alabama at Birmingham. Birmingham is the capital of the state of Alabama.

If you want a cheap flight across the country from Atlanta, Georgia, you go to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport south of the city (the main hub for Delta Airlines) and take a bus to Birmingham, which serves as the hub for one of the low-cost carriers. If you're already in Birmingham, you save yourself a bus trip. This might be a UAB selling point for cash-strapped students from the West Coast. On the other hand, you're also 150 miles from metropolitan nightlife.

Unaltered Augsburg Confession. Cornerstone inscription on many US Lutheran Churches (according to this posting; I never noticed), indicating adherence to the Augsburg Confession in Philip Melanchthon's original form of 1530, rather than in his 1540 rewrite (fudge) that attempted to bridge a major difference with Calvinism (the Reformed Churches) over sacraments. See also some etext of Bente's Historical Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions (1921). In fact, even without this particular weakening, the U.A.C. designation would be necessary, since Melanchthon was an incorrigible amender, freely improving his work with every edition, so that in the 1540 version, the doctrinal article section (Art. I-XXI) was nearly twice as long as in the original. He never seemed to understand that once it had been accepted as a doctrinal statement, it was no longer his property to amend, any more than an approved peace treaty is subject to amendment by the original negotiators.

Come think of it, that seems to be the understanding of treaties in the Middle East: infinitely subject to renegotiation. I think that one way to deal with this would be, when their side proposes post-negotiation changes beneficial to them, our side should offer post-negotiation changes detrimental to them. Otherwise, they'll always see the advantages, and never the costs, of nonadherence to agreements.

United Arab Emirates. See the .ae entry.

Unrecoverable Application Error.

University of Alaska Fairbanks. Also see the UA entry.

User Authorization File.

University of Alabama in Huntsville. Durn near Tenn'see.

Up-Armored HMMWV.

Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Umbrella organization for Reform (in British: ``Liberal'') Jewish movement.

Unprotected Anal Intercourse. This ought to mean hearing from your boss in person.

United AirLines. Also ``UA.''

Urban Airshed Model. A watershed, for those who don't know, is not just an important political event, but also the designation of that area drained by a particular river or river system.

U and non-U
Upper-class and other class. Designates linguistic usage posited as the primary distinguishing characteristic of the upper classes of England. The terminology was introduced in a scholarly paper of 1954 by Alan Ross. Immediately, that made about as big of a splash as you would expect for an article about the English published in a Finnish journal of linguistics. However, the next year it was mentioned prominently in an article Nancy Mitford wrote for Encounter magazine, and her article caused a sensation. The following November, Encounter published a condensed version of Ross' original paper, with this Editor's remark:
In the September ENCOUNTER, Miss Nancy Mitford referred to a learned article by Professor Alan S. C. Ross (who occupies the Chair of Linguistics in the University of Birmingham) on "Linguistic Class-Indicators in Present-Day English," published in "Neuphilologische Mitteilungen" (a well-known Finnish philological periodical published by Uusfilologinen Yhdistys). In view of the extraordinary interest that Miss Mitford's essay provoked, we think our readers will be interested in the following extracts from Professor Ross's article. We have been forced to omit some over-technical sections on phonetics, and Professor Ross has been kind enough to revise a few of the other sections so as to make them more easily comprehensible to the lay reader.
    We should like to apologise to our readers and would-be readers for having been unable to fulfil their many requests for copies of the September issue, which was sold out immediately after publication. We have, however, prepared a special reprint of Miss Mitford's essay on "The English Aristocracy," which will be sent to those who write for it, enclosing 2½d. in stamps to cover postage.

There is a little confusion which I would like to clear up regarding the title of the journal in which Ross's original article was published. Nancy Mitford's article (the lead article in the September issue of Encounter, pp. 5-12) cited (on p. 6) A.S.C. Ross's paper as ``Upper Class English Usage,'' in Bulletin de la Société Néo-philologique de Helsinki (contrast the title given by the editors). It's an understandable confusion: when the journal was begun, its title was in German, as given earlier in this entry, and professional linguists continued to know it by that title. By 1954, however, the title page included the French title cited by Mitford. The German title continued to appear at the top of the page, but the French title below it was in a larger font. Today the journal's title (and inside-front-cover submission instructions) appear in German, French, and Spanish. It continues to cause confusion. [Until I pointed it out to our reference librarians, the French and English titles were listed in the ``issuing body field'' and the German name of the society was given in the dative (in the ``imprint'' field) as it appears in a prepositional phrase on the title page. The reference librarian asked if I am a cataloger. I told her what my last German teacher told me his German teacher told him: ``Hey, wanna be a translator? The pay is poor, but the work is tedious!'']

I want you to realize that I've been pretty good about this. Normally I would be obtuse or oblique or obscure and send you to the Neuphilologische Mitteilungen entry, where you'd have to plow through many long and irrelevant paragraphs before you got an explanation of that multiple-title business. So considering what a swell guy I've been, why don't you be nice and follow this link?

Uusfilologinen Yhdistys also publishes Mémoires de la Société Néo-philologique de Helsinki. That's actually a different publication.

Nancy Mitford's article unleashed a flood of creative writing on this subject, published in 1956 in a thin volume edited by her, entitled Noblesse Oblige - An Enquiry into the Identifiable Characteristics of the English Aristocracy.

Another of the famous Mitford sisters, Jessica, moved to and made her writing career in the US. (She married, but kept her maiden name -- at least as a pen name.) In the May 1962 edition of Esquire, she had an article on the South and its civil rights ferment. In 1979, an anthology of her articles was published as Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking. The article was reprinted there under the restored title ``You-All and Not-You-All: A Southern Potpourri'' (pp. 60-76). (For an excerpt from the article, and for more about Jessica Mitford, see the Lady Bird entry.)

In her comments on the article (pp. 76-78), Jessica Mitford complains about some of the changes made by Esquire editors without consulting her. Among them was that her title, ``derived from my sister Nancy's book about U and Non-U usage, was changed to the meaningless `What They're Thanking Down There,' which does not even catch the cadence of Southern vernacular.'' I think she's being a little hard on the editors, who may have had a less personally-biased estimate of how likely their readers were to recognize the allusion to her sister's work. The substituted title seems meaningful and authentic to me, but in my experience (some of it described at this SLA entry), people often have unexpectedly strong opinions about Southern accents.

United Arab Republic. Egypt. Name is from a pan-Arabist period early in Nasser's regime, when UAR was supposed to include the country we now call Syria (not that that country had another name, but ``Syria'' once referred to a broader region).

Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter. A serial port adapter for asynchronous serial communications.

No! Thou art; U R.

UnAvailable Seconds.

University of Alaska Southeast. Also see the UA entry.

Unmanned {Airborne|Aerial} Vehicle[s]. Actually, I've seen the ugly expansion ``Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle'' on the DFRC page, but I, ahem, the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve disapproves. The acronym is superfluous in English, since we have the synonym drone. Cf. UGV and ROV.

In the January 2007 Proceedings of the IEEE there's an invited paper (pp. 92ff) by T. Samad, J. S. Bay, and D. Godbole, entitled ``Network-Centric Systems for Military Operations in Urban Terrain: The Role of UAVs.'' According to the abstract, small UAV's ``that can operate autonomously, in coordinated groups, are being designed to provide surveillance and reconnaissance for fighting wars in urban areas.''

Entire squadrons of drones. Great, now if we could arrange to have robot armies fight unmanned urban guerrilla forces in entirely automated cities away from any population centers, war would finally be the civilized game it was meant to be.

United Auto Workers. An industrial union.

German, Um Antwort wird gebeten. English equivalent: RSVP.

Ungermann Bass.

University of Baltimore.

University of Bridgeport.

On October 20, 2004, Connecticut's Board of Higher Education gave UB its approval for a bachelor's degree program in martial arts. The program of studies covers ``the theory and practice of martial arts, incorporating study of world religions, international political economy and diplomacy, literature and civilization.'' Today's guest lecturer, David Carradine. Thomas Ward, dean of UB's International College explained that it's ``a liberal art with a specific focus in martial arts.'' It's like music or painting, but with greater impact. Students will be required to take at least 12 credits in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. A few East Asian schools offer a bachelor's degree in martial arts, but in the US this is apparently a first. (Indiana University does offer a certificate in martial arts.)

University at Buffalo. Founded as a medical school in 1846, it eventually became the University of Buffalo, still a private institution. In 1960, threatened with the possibility that the state might otherwise build a competing university nearby (this kind of ploy is sometimes called a bear hug or protection), it joined the New York State system as SUNYAB -- the State University of New York at Buffalo. Locally, however, another common name for it is ``University at Buffalo,'' the different preposition being the only name change conceded to indicate the change in status. It is supposed by some that this usage reflects pride or resentment arising from UB's earlier independent status. This interpretation would be more convincing, however, if SUNY-Albany were not also referred to as ``University at Albany.''

Universidad de Buenos Aires.

A French word often defined as the `northern side of a mountain.' We ought to adopt this cool and useful word in English, but make sure it means [versant] ombrée. Here ombrée is the presumptively more shaded side on average (over the course of a year): the foo side of a mountain in the foo hemisphere, where foo is north or south. Likewise adret, the sun-facing side.

Untergrundbahn. German, `subway.' For an example, see the rail-transport map at the BE entry for Berlin.

The Unofficial Brady Bunch Home Page.

Uniform Building Code.

University of British Columbia. This appears to be located in Vancouver, which is in one of the Canadian provinces.

UnderBalanced Drilling.

German: `translation.'

UB Foundation. UB is the University at Buffalo.

UB Library Hours
I used to want this information in a hurry.

Under-Bump Metall{ization|urgy}. ``Bump,'' in this context, is a dot of solder (``solder bump'' or ``ball'') that is part of a rectangular array of bumps on the underside of a chip that uses a ball-grid array (BGA) for electrical interconnection.

UnderBalanced Operations. See underbalanced drilling.

Université de Bretagne Occidentale.

From German U-Boot, short for Unterseeboot, `submarine.' One of the most counterproductive weapons of these last few centuries. At the end of 1916, the Axis powers dominated Europe: the fragile Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires stood, Germany occupied Alsace-Lorraine, the industrial heartland of France to Reims, and most of Belgium in the West, and Poland and Romania in the East. And Russia hadn't even withdrawn from the war yet. All the combatants were exhausted and sick of the man-devouring war, but neither side could budge the other. US President Woodrow Wilson (the Jimmy Carter of his day) who had begun his first term hoping to advance an ambitious domestic reform agenda, had been trying for years to negotiate a peace between the warring sides. If WWI had petered out or somehow ended with a cease-fire in place, the Axis might have hoped to hold its gains, as Germany had in 1871. But Germany resumed unrestricted U-boat warfare, the US joined on the Allied side, and the rest, as they say, is history.

For something not so simple-minded as the above, read Barbara W. Tuchman: The Zimmermann Telegram (revised edition 1966), which is essentially about how the US got into the war. She argues that the revelation of German diplomatic efforts to instigate and abet a joint Japanese/Mexican invasion of the American Southwest was crucial: by galvanizing US opinion against Germany overnight, it brought the US into WWI many months earlier than would otherwise have been the case, and those unknowable months may well have been crucial. One can never know.

The U-Boot was very effective in WWII during a period known as ``the happy time,'' but later in the war, countermeasure developments, particularly radar, turned them into big coffins.

One or more readers have wondered: ``why was this known as `the happy time'? It can't have been very happy for the people in the sunk boats.'' Well, I didn't say it was ``the happy time'' for everyone. It wasn't ``coffins'' for everyone either.

Unspecified Bit Rate. Designates a type of traffic management control within ATM. Appropriate for applications in which successful task completion is optional.

ABR (q.v.) and UBR are the two ATM ``best-effort'' service types, a sort of steerage class of data transmission, in which the network makes no absolute guarantee of cell delivery. In UBR, there are no guarantees of any sort. To make a railroad analogy, if ABR is second-class service, UBR is riding on top of the cars.

United Bank of Switzerland.

Universal Bus Transceiver.

Ultra-Wide-Band (radar).

You Be Too. Personals-ad abbreviation in the Austin (TX) Chronicle and elsewhere.

A reggae group formed in Birmingham, England. The name is said to be taken from a British-government unemployment form. However, UB40 was also a much-loved guitar amp. Katrina and the Waves had some success with ``Going Down To Liverpool (And Do Nothing).'' That had a line that went ``Where you goin' with that yoo be forty in your hand?'' The Bangles covered it later. I'll try to track some more information down on that, but for now I can say that Katrina and the Waves was founded in 1981 and that today I can't find the jewel box for their CD.

BTW, although I didn't see the complete lyrics anywhere on the web, I did see that many sites quote ``We're going down to Liverpool and do nothing, all the days of our lives.'' No. It was a four-part harmony (in the version of Katrina and the Waves), but the lyrics were in the singular. (``I'm goin'... all the days of my life.'') Apparently it caused a stir in Liverpool -- TV interviews with an indignant mayor, all that.

Upper Case. ``Capital letters.''

University of California. A still-mighty state university system.

University of Cincinnati.

University of Crete. It's situated in the cities of Rethymnon and Heraklion. The Greek name is Panepistêmio Krêtês (accents on the first two etas, represented conventionally by ê in the Roman-character transliteration), abbreviated P.K. (i.e., Pi Kappa).

Unitrode part number prefix.

Universal Cheerleaders Association.

Gooo... WORLD!

Yay everything! Rrrooollll back the nothingness! Excite the vacuum!

I once had a friend who had attended a small high school, where she was a cheerleader for the school teams. She eventually became a professor of math at one of the Cal-States. Now, in case you are a cheerleader I hope you will take this in the proper spirit, but, um, cheerleading and math professing describe points near opposite ends of the braininess spectrum: Br-negative and Br-positive... respectively. (Though I don't mean to stereotype -- too much. I'm actually somewhat serious about this: I have known a very good as well as a quite mediocre physicist who both played on their college football teams. And the year I taught Emag I had three members of the pep squad in my class -- a cheerleader and a couple of band members. Of course, Notre Dame is probably exceptional.)

The former cheerleader also became a Sandinista symp in graduate school. Again, on a spectrum of conventionality, in the US milieu, I think it's fair to say that cheerleader is Cn+ and Sandinista symp is Cn-. What all this goes to show is that in a small school (200 total in her high school) the various duties fall on a small number of available student personnel. Each student wears multiple school hats, not even counting mortarboards.

Of course, 200 isn't a tiny school. One friend of mine grew up in a nonurban part of South Dakota. His high school basketball team consisted of the boys.

Universidad Centroamericana. A Jesuit (SJ) institution. Either in Nicaragua (.ni) -- Universidad Centroamericana de Nicaragua, or in El Salvador (.sv) -- Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas.

University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development. Developing Internet2.

UCAID proudly claims that the ``Internet2 project is being led by over 130 research universities....'' This is oxymoronic, and maybe not so oxy.

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

(UK) Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles. Can you say ``drones''? Sure you can!

University of California at Berkeley. Also called ``Cal.'' Although the name of Bishop Berkeley is pronounced ``Barkley,'' the California town (which has no functioning Republican party but does have two Democratic parties -- last I knew, anyway) and this university use the pronunciation apparent from the spelling.

Back in the thirties, with about 15,000 students, this was still the University of California, what we call UCLA was still called ``the Southern Branch'' and Davis was home of ``the Aggy school''

School teams at Berkeley are called ``the Bruins.'' The state flag of California is basically a picture of a Bear.

University of Colorado at Boulder. This initialism is used extensively, but CU seems to be more common.

Uniform Code Council, Inc. A voluntary association of commercial distributors and retailers that coordinates use of UPC. This group assigns the first 6 digits of the U.S. 12 digit code. The individual company assigns the next 5 and the last is a check digit.

Uniform Commercial Code. The body of statutory law that governs most US business activity today. Developed jointly by the National Conference of Commissioners (NCC) and the American Law Institute (ALI). The model legislation grew out of the need for business law that was substantially uniform across states, and reflected a realization that had been growing since the twenties and thirties that existing legal assumptions (many a part of common law doctrine) were at odds with the modern expectations of business. (A major contributor to this thinking, and one of the best legal writers of the time, was Benjamin Cardozo.)

The first version of the model code was only issued in 1952. The UCC has since been adopted, with some local variations, by all fifty US states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands. The state of Louisiana has adopted only articles 1, 3-5, and 7-9 of 11 (but 10 and 11 just have to do with timing of adoption and how the transition is handled; article 2 covers sales and leases, article 6 bulk transfers). Louisiana, because of its Spanish and French colonial history, has a legacy of Roman Law, and is legally exceptional in many respects.

United Church of Christ.

Upper Canada College. Canada's most prestigious private high school. (Actually ``a day and boarding school for boys from Senior Kindergarten through Grade 12,'' but apparently better known for the secondary program.)

Uniform Consumer Credit Code.

United Council of Cultural Fraternities and Sororities (at UB, at least).

Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Act.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Organization. See the AUCCO entry for the skull-bending details.

Utah Community Credit Union.

University of California (at) Davis. Gotta admit, I haven't heard this acronym used so much as `UC Davis,' so I suppose the Irish can have it. No, not those Irish! These Irish:

University College Dublin.

Universidad Central del Ecuador.

Unsolicited Commercial Email. Not precisely the same as spam.

University CENter. The student union at UCSB.

Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales. A private university with about 13,000 students, based in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The school's English pages don't seem to offer an English translation of the name, which may be translated as `University of Managerial and Social Sciences,' or the same with ``Entrepreneurial'' in place of ``Managerial.'' This is a significant disciplinary nexus: when future US president Ronald Reagan attended Eureka College, he majored in economics and sociology.

The acronym UCES, pronounced in any American dialect of Spanish, is homophonic with uses, a subjunctive form of the verb usar. [E.g., ``que lo uses'' means `that you use it' in instances where a modal verb like may or should might be inserted after you; ``no lo uses'' = `don't use it.'] (UCES and uses are also homophones in much of the province of Andalucia in Spain.)

UCES was founded in 1991 [pursuant to a resolution, Oct. 4, 1991, of the Ministerio de Cultura, Educación y Justicia de la Nación authorizing its operation].

The main campus is at the intersection of Paraguay and Uruguay. Heh, it reminds me of the time ``when Canada was in Los Angeles'' (and I imagine hotels were booked solid out to Seattle). Wait a sec -- Paraguay and Uruguay don't intersect. They don't even osculate! They've been separated by Argentina, Brazil, and at least 300 km since before the Guerra de la Triple Alianza. Oh, I get it: Paraguay and Uruguay are the names of streets in Buenos Aires. UCES also has sites in Cañuelas (Provincia de Buenos Aires), Olivos (Provincia de Buenos Aires), Rafaela (Provincia de Santa Fe), Resistencia (Provincia de Chaco), San Francisco (Provincia de Córdoba), Río Grande (Provincia de Tierra del Fuego), and Venado Tuerto (Provincia de Santa Fe). ``Provincia de Tierra del Fuego'' above is short for ``Provincia de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur''; as you know if you've seen an Argentine map of Argentina, Argentina claims a generous pie slice of the Antarctic, as well as some islands governed by the UK.

Universal Conductance Fluctuations. Variations in conductance of mesoscopic systems, order of e²/h. These are variations in conductance measured as a function of applied magnetic field or bias. They look like noise, but they are repeatable (between anneals).

University of Central Florida.

Universidad de Chile.

University of California at Irvine. The city name rhymes with and has the same stress pattern as ravine, but I'm sure that's the only connection. UCI is about 50 miles south of LA. That would be about 80.46720 kilometers; this is another clear demonstration of the inferiority of the metric system to the universal system of good ol' merkin units.

When I first saw the team name in a cursive script on a UCI baseball jersey, I did a double-take, a triple-take, and an n-tuple-take, where n tended to infinity. I tried to get my eyes to see ``Gators,'' as if Irvine were in a different state of sunshine, but it wouldn't work. Fans in the bleachers held up signs with ``EATER NATION'' written in can't-mistake-it block letters. It turns out that the team mascots and official teams name are Anteaters. (I purposely made the last sentence awkward so as to avoid grammatical-number problems, and also to avoid having to write a second sentence. It didn't work.)

Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act.

Université catholique de Louvain. [English page here.]

University College London. Everything about the university system in England, if it can be called a system (and especially if it can't) is confusing. However, a document on graduation ceremonies at UCL represents an especially high level of achievement in the disorientation, with just enough information to make you glimpse how really hopelessly confusing it is.

What many people want to know is, why is it called ``University College''? The reasons have to do with the religious-contentious history of the place.


Université catholique de Louvain: Département d'études grecques, latines et orientales. Dans la Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres.

There's a Francophone mailing list for classics at UCL called AgoraClass, l'AGORA des Classiques.

UCLA, U.C.L.A., Ucla
Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado. `Lisandro Alvarado East Central University' of Venezuela. It was founded in 1962 and is located in the city of Barquisimeto, about 365 kilometers (about 225 miles) west of the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, in the opposition-led state of Lara. I wonder what it would cost, in black-market dollars, to change the name of the state to Lara Croft.

I've never heard the acronym pronounced, but I suspect it's usually pronounced as two syllables. It does have the advantage that its grammatical gender is feminine (from universidad), and so follows has usual gender of words ending in a that are not derived via Latin from Greek.

The school only came to my attention on March 12, 2014, due to the student protests there and in surrounding parts of Barquisimeto. Student-led protests had been going on across the country since mid-February. On Monday the 10th, unknown gunmen had killed 24-year-old student leader Daniel Tinoco and injured two other students in the western city of San Cristóbal. [The name is Spanish for `Saint Christopher,' incidentally. English takes the name of Christopher Columbus from Latinized Italian. In Spanish he is Cristóbal Colón.] According to San Cristóbal mayor Daniel Ceballos, soldiers were blocking entrances into the city. As of the March 12, at least 22 people across the country had died in the protests.

Every so often, I decide that I'd rather blog news than define acronyms. Sorry about that.

In Barquisimeto on the twelfth, student protesters were barricading streets around campus, and ``unknown gunmen'' were shooting at them. Francesco Leone, rector of UCLA, said that on Tuesday (March 11) two protesters suffered bullet wounds while blocking roads around the university, and that another was injured by rubber bullets. He said that National Guardsmen were in the area around the protest, but did not intervene when the protesters were attacked. The victims said their attackers appeared to be pro-government civilians (``colectivos,'' as they are called -- `collectives'). (I had imagined that they were hunters who keep rubber bullets on hand to hunt endangered species.) The attackers then entered the campus and set fire to some vehicles, the student center, and library. Later, National Gaurdsmen joined them in shooting at the students. The students continued to provoke them by throwing back tear gas canisters. It's surprising to me that tear gas canisters aren't already designed to break into separate hard-to-throw pieces on landing.

University of California at Los Angeles.

In America this is always pronounced as an initialism. (``You see el-AY.'') ``Oo-klah'' has been heard in France among some whose familiarity with UCLA is based on tee shirts. UCLA is one school in the University of California system, which includes UCB (also ``Cal'') (Berkeley), UCD (Davis), UCI (Irvine), UCR (Riverside), UCSB (Santa Barbara), UCSC (Santa Cruz), UCSD(San Diego), and UCSF (San Francisco). The state of California also has a separate system of State Colleges.

(US) Uniform Code of Military Justice.

University of Central Oklahoma. What exactly is ``Central''? I figure that OU, in Norman (just south of Oklahoma City) is already pretty central.

UCO is in Edmond, OK?

The University of Connecticut.

Unified Command Plan. Business diagram for the military.

Uniform Customs and Practices.

Under-Color Removal. In CMYK-based color printing, the replacement of ``equal'' amounts of C, M, and Y (cyan, magenta, and yellow) by K (black).

Uniform Crime Reports. Annual reports compiled by the FBI.

I remember in 8th-grade US history class with Mr. Rosenblatt, the assistant varsity football coach, how he made sure to make clear that these were crime reports that represented crime statistics in a way that was uniform across jurisdictions with differing laws and in particular different crime definitions, and that it did not refer to crimes committed by people in uniform. As the FBI says,

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program was conceived in 1929 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to meet a need for reliable, uniform crime statistics for the nation. In 1930, the FBI was tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving those statistics. Today, several annual statistical publications, such as the comprehensive Crime in the United States [CIUS], are produced from data provided by nearly 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States.

University of California at Riverside.

Unión Cívica Radical. Often translated `Radical Civic Union' or `the Radical Party' (los radicales or el partido radical). The name is traditional, and the conventional meaning of the word radical conveys a sense of the party -- just about as well as the conventional semantic distinction between democratic and republican conveys the difference between the Democratic and Republican parties in the US. The Radical party in Argentina is the most politically conservative of the two (three, counting the PSP) major political parties. The party was founded in opposition to the conservative oligarchy that dominated Argentina up until the 1920's. The radicals represented the interests of the middle class, but further to their left the socialists (PSP) represented the interests of the working class.

If you like, you can think of the word radical now as expressing a concept closer to `fundamentalist' in a political sense. The other major party is the Peronists (PJ).

Unintentional Comedy Rating. Official scale devised by ESPN Page 2 columnist Bill Simmons as his own contribution to recognizing and sorting out the camp/kitsch/preposterity nexus. (Interestingly, many of the programs mentioned at the degradation entry were mentioned as Hollywood contributions to a new spin-off genre of ``Intentional Unintentional Comedy'' with orchestrated ``UCR moments,'' like posed candid photographs. If Candid Camera stunts were ever funny, I suppose they might figure into this analysis.)

Bill Simmon's UCR list is longer than the list of TV programs I could name, and this is just a sideline to his sports commentary. The man is dedicated!

University Centre for Computer Corpus REsearch on Language. At Lancaster University. Vide CLAWS.

The Union of Concerned Scientists.

Uniform Communication Standard.

University of California at Santa Barbara.

Back when I was in charge of inviting speakers for one of the regular seminars at UB, I had Gary over to talk about whatever it was that he was researching at the time. As we walked through the campus halls, he marveled that there were students studying everywhere. It was true -- in the library, on the grass, on the floors along the walls between classroom doors -- there were a lot of serious students. A beautiful sight. On one of my visits to Santa Barbara (in August 2003, toward the end of Summer Session) I happened to eat at the Denny's on State Street on a number of late evenings/early mornings, and every night the place filled with UCSB students studying. On Saturday night there was a table playing some knowledge-challenge game. I bought a UCSB cap and tee shirt. The UCSB teams' name is Gauchos.

University of California at Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is Spanish for `Holy Cross.'

University of California at San Diego.

University of California at San Francisco.

University of Cape Town. It turns out that Cape Town is spelled as two words.

University and College Union. A labor union formed by the merger of the UK's two university and college employees' unions (AUT and NATFHE) in 2006.

University of Dayton. Despite the name, it's a Catholic school. I was about to write ``but it's a Jesuit school, so it's practically secular,'' until I discovered that it isn't. It's Marianist. The great tragedy of humor: the slaying of a nice joke by an inconvenient fact. Sure, there's some interest in the morphological relationships among Mary, Marian, and Marianist, but it's just crumbs in the humor department. Humor is so hard, I think I may go and become a scientist.

University of Delaware.

Universal Decimal (subject) Classification. An adaptation of the Dewey decimal system (DDC), created by Paul Otlet and Nobel Prizewinner Henri La Fontaine, and published in French from 1904 to 1907.

Why doesn't everyone just use the LC system? That's flexible enough and convenient for me.

You probably want to know more about Henri La Fontaine, Belgian Nobel Prize Laureate. With a genius behind this effort, you gotta figure this UDC is a brilliant piece of work. From his biography at the Nobel e-Museum I see that his achievements were in the area of peace. I was going to continue this entry in a light, humorous, tongue-in-cheek tone, but frankly, the hypocrisy and inanity of Nobel peace prizes makes me gag. Let's just say that La Fontaine was a politician with fine intentions and no meaningful achievements. In 1901, he asked the Belgian government to demand arbitration between the contending [white] sides of the Boer War. Did he ever condemn the genocide of black Africans wrought by Belgian colonialism? (That was a rhetorical question. A joke.) He was known as a strong proponent of internationalism, in a time when international agreement would have been largely a consensus of monarchs, dictators, and assorted uncrowned scoundrels. The faith that some have had in the procedural-reform road to the bureaucracy of utopia is only a more acute form of the delusion that a law can make any fact [discussed (disgust?) here].

Eight months after he received the Nobel prize, WWI engulfed his country. Before he went into politics, he was a bibliographer.

Nothing here should be taken to suggest that La Fontaine did not earn his laurel. By the terms of Alfred Nobel's will, the peace prize should go to the person who ``shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.'' After sifting through the rubble of those ors and ands, one doubtless finds that his yeoman conferencing work put him head and shoulders above the fools who make peace by defeating invaders.

Peace is as easy as surrender. Neville Chamberlain deserved the prize as much as anyone.

This started out to be an entry about UDC, didn't it? I can't remember. Let's meet at the UDCC entry later and try again, shall we?

Universal Digital Channel.

Up-Down Counter.

User-Defined Commands.

Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) Consortium. Entry under construction, okay? There's some relevant information at the UDC entries, in the 000's in the Dewey system and in the Z's in the LC system.

Proper Buffalonian pronunciation of ``other.''

The SBF Eco expert's grandson, reviewing his observations at the fair (see Grandparents' Day) recalled the balloons (cf. balloon smuggler) he observed at the milk cow exhibit. If you're reading this, you can't be too busy. Why don't you read the au pis entry too?

L'Université de Montréal.

Union pour la Démocratie Française. A center-right party grouping of France. Under the Fifth Republic, many French political parties and party groupings of the right have been created primarily as vehicles to support their leaders, rather than as vehicles to advance specific agendas. The UDF, in particular, was created to support President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. It was formed in 1978, about half-way through his one term as president, as a coalition of smaller parties -- the venerable Parti radical, the Parti républicain (now DL), and the Centre des démocrates sociaux.
Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

On November 11, of all days, in 1965, Southern Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith made a UDI. The uni- here referred to the fact that the British, who were granting independence to all their African colonies in those years, were not invited to participate in determining the form of government Rhodesia would have after independence. I think this had something to do with race. Yes, I'm pretty sure of it, I don't think I'll even bother to look it up, just like I didn't bother to look up the approximate stuff I put in the .zw entry for Zimbabwe. There is a little bit of the antecedent history of Rhodesia at the NIBMAR entry.

Mr. Smith was a great advocate of democracy for the white population. In 1980, a British team negotiated an end to the civil war over majority rule, a bilateral declaration was issued, and Rhodesia became Zimbabwe. Ian Smith even had a (white minority party) seat in the national legislature. As I passed by this entry in 2005 and 2006, I observed that Zimbabwe has really been racking up the bad decades. As of 2008, the intensity of misery and misgovernment had cranked up a notch or two.

While it was in force, newspapers often referred to the UDI as Smith's ``declaration of UDI.'' They say that time wounds all heels, but I'm not sure. It's clear, though, that time can heal an acronym AAP pleonasm.

In Spanish, the letter wye (y) used as consonant and the double-el (ll) have the same sound almost everywhere Spanish is spoken, but that same sound is different in different places. In most of Mexico and Spain, the sound is a glide that you might write as a consonantal wye in English, or /j/ in the IPA. In Puerto Rico it's more like the jay sound in English, and in Argentina it's the zh sound, identical with the sound of j in French, or of the ess in standard English pronunciations of elision. The ess in Asia or Rhodesia is similarly pronounced either as zh or zee. In Spanish, the word rodilla means `knee.'

The year 1980 was an important moment in US history, a post-WWII nadir, and Rhodesia was part of that moment. More on that later; I may actually look something up. When I was a kid in elementary school, it was hard to suspect, let alone understand, that the US that emerged triumphant from WWII only twenty years before had been back on its heels in 1942, truly fearful of Japanese attack, and thinking but not uttering the word defeat.

The UDI attempted to achieve something similar to the American Declaration of Independence of 1776, and is more and less loosely patterned on that earlier document. One of the closer similarities is the inclusion of a catalog of grievances (shorter than, but similar in some content to, that of the American declaration) and a claim that the declarers have made a good-faith effort to avoid the rupture. Probably the closest resonance is in the opening:

Whereas in the course of human affairs history has shown that it may become necessary for a people to resolve the political affiliations which have connected them with another people and to assume amongst other nations the separate and equal status to which they are entitled:

And whereas in such event a respect for the opinions of mankind requires them to declare to other nations the causes which impel them to assume full responsibility for their own affairs:

Now therefore, we, the Government of Rhodesia, do hereby declare:

For comparison, here is the opening of the 1776 declaration:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

To most Americans, I imagine, Ian Smith's imitation looks like ugly travesty, and not just for aesthetic reasons. It can stir the melancholy thought that authors of the two declarations shared a straitened view of whom God or some unnamed authority had entitled to benefit from separate and equal status.

Unión Democrática Independiente. One of the two political parties on the right in Chile. The other (more toward the center) is Renovación Nacional (RN).

In 1989 the UDI and RN formed an electoral coalition which has lasted to this day, but which has gone through five names:

A small comment is in order about the word por that occurs in the last three coalition names. The Spanish prepositions para and por can both often be translated by the English word `for' (and the German für, for that matter). The preposition para means `for' in the sense of `for the purpose of.' (Hence ¿para qué? means `what for?') The preposition por means `for' in the sense of `in favor of' (or `for the purposes of,' so to speak). That's why por is the word in Unión por Chile, for example. (This would be translated -- the expression is awkward in English -- as `Union for Chile'; `United for Chile' would be more natural, if less literal. For a similar construction in French, see RPR. For an expression using French pour in the Spanish para sense, see UDPS or the UDR's below, or SUPRAS.) Of course, both prepositions have other meanings. For example, the instruction para la derecha means `to the right' (the semantic overlap is imprecise, and each language has related expressions that carve up the neighborhood of related meanings a bit differently). The instruction por la derecha means (approximately, of course) `via, or by, the right side, going along the right.' (There's a little more on por at its own entry.)

Unique Data Log (filetype).

Universal Digital Loop Carrier. Superseded by IDLC.

Ultra DMA.

Unsymmetrical DiMethylHydrazine. Also expanded UnsymDiMethylHydrazine, and more plainly described as 1,1-dimethylhydrazine. By any name, a liquid rocket fuel. It's a hypergolic, which in layman's terms means that it's really just an explosive set off a little at a time.

It's also called asymmetric dimethylhydrazine. In English, of course, unsymmetric is a rare alternative to asymetric. However, a lot of the early research on hypergolics was done in Germany. As it happens, however, asymmetrisch is standard German, and unsymmetrisch is just as selten auf Deutsch wie auf Englisch, which just explodes my first theory of how the UDMH name came about.

Unit Director Of Nursing (DON).

Uridine DiPhosphate.

Usenet Death Penalty. Ostracism of a site notorious for spam. Imposed with five business days of opportunity to curtail abuse. Any site can choose to receive postings from UDP'd sites anyway -- i.e., ignore (selectively or completely) the UDP cancels.

User Datagram Protocol.

L'Union pour la democratie et le progres social. `Union for Democracy and Social Progress.' An opposition political party in Congo/Kinshasa.

Union des démocrates pour la République. French for `Union of Democrats for the Republic.' The UDP was founded in October 1958 as l'Union pour la nouvelle République (`the Union for the New Republic'). The New republic was the Fifth Republic. In 1962 it merged with the leftist-Gaullist Union démocratique du travail `Democratic Union of Labor to become the Union for the French Republic-Democratic Union of Labor (you can guess the French). For elections in 1967 this party label was discarded in favor of Union démocratique pour la Ve République (`Union of Democrats for the Vth Republic'), or UD-Ve République for short. For the 1968 elections the name became Union pour la défense de la République (`Union for the Defense of the Republic'), changed in 1971 to the one which the head term of this entry (UDR) abbreviates. None of these name changes caused any confusion or really mattered, because it was always just the Gaullist party, q.v.

Union pour la défense de la République. French for `Union for the Defense of the Republic.' The Gaullist party's name, 1968-71. See preceding entry.

U dub
Yoo Double-yoo. University of Washington (UW). Cf. dubya.

UD-Ve République
Union démocratique pour la Ve République French for `Union of Democrats for the Vth Republic.' The 1967 name of the Gaullist party. See UDR.

[book icon]

Umberto Eco. Cf. E.U.

[Mortar-board cap]

Undergraduate Education. Visit UB's Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. View an Undergraduate catalog.

Unión Europea. Spanish for `European Union.'

L'Union européenne. French for `European Union.'

United Educators. ``Education's Own Insurance Company.''

``United Educators is a licensed insurance company owned and governed by approximately 1,000 member colleges, universities, independent schools, and related organizations throughout the United States. Our members range from small, private schools to multi-campus state universities.''

Union Européenne de Football Association.

Union des étudiants juifs de France. `Union of Jewish Students of France.'

United Empire Loyalist. A British loyalist from the former British colonies of North America (recently reorganized as the independent United States), who resettled in what remained of British North America. (Most resettled in Nova Scotia or Canada.) See UELA.

Upper Explosive Limit. The concentration above which a substances is not considered an explosion hazard.

United Empire Loyalists' Association. An organization that is exactly identical to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), except that it's co-ed, based in Canada, and has a different take on the American Revolution.

Union of European Veterinary Practitioners. One of the four ``vibrant sections'' of the FVE which was founded in 1975. The UEVH actually antedates the FVE: ``At a meeting of public health veterinarians held in Paris during October 1966, the decision was taken to create an European organisation called the 'Association européenne des directeurs d'abattoirs publics'. The first General Assembly of this new veterinary organisation was held on the 1st July 1967 in Geneva.
During 1976, the Association changed its statutes in order to become eligible for membership of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe and adopted its current name.''

Union of European Veterinary Practitioners. One of the four ``vibrant sections'' of the FVE.

Universal Eclectic Wicca. A branch (or, as religion physicists would say, an eigensect) of Wicca. The way the US auto industry is going these days, they might outnumber working UAW members.

Urban Enterprise Zone.

University of Florida.

The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. The organization was originally mostly concerned with the humane treatment of lab animals, but has expanded into zoo and farm animals, wildlife management, and pets.

The University of London Animal Welfare Society (ULAWS) was founded in 1926 by Maj. Charles W. Hume. In 1938, UFAW was created to expand membership, with ULAWS (no longer referred to by the original name or initialism) becoming UFAW's first branch.

Ultimate Fighting Championship. ``Ultimate fighting'' is actually pretty tame stuff. Out on the frontier, back when the western frontier was Kentucky, gouging and biting were a regular part of fighting, and not some Mike Tyson one-off. ``No holds barred'' was progress.

Uniform Fire Code.

Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement. A program of the Division of Undergraduate Education of the NSF, ``enabling faculty members who teach undergraduate students to gain experience with recent advances and new experimental techniques in their fields and learn new ways to incorporate these into undergraduate instruction.'' Dang, and I thought ``Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement' was free face-lifts, boob jobs, and `male enhancement' (as appropriate, of course) for professors teaching those large survey courses. Oh well, maybe under the new (Obama) dispensation.

United Faculty of Eastern. ``For a Strong and Vibrant University in Eastern Washington.'' UFE is part of the United Faculty of Washington State.

United for a Fair Economy. For related (similar and dissimilar) organizations, see the WTO entry.

UnFractionated Heparin. A blood anticoagulant. Heparin binds reversibly to antithrombin (AT III), functioning as a sort of homogeneous catalyst to increase the rate at which antithrombin inactivates most activated clotting factors, particularly thrombin (big surprise there) and factor Xa. Thrombin inactivation in turn reduces fibrin clot formation and thrombin-induced activation of platelets and factors V and VIII. UFH, administered subcutaneously, is used to prevent complications in major surgery and, also prophylactically, to certain inpatients at risk. It is also an initial treatment, by continuous IV, of some thromboembolic disorders.

The term UFH is used because the low-molecular-weight fractions (LMWH) also have medical application. LMWH's generally perform the same function as UFH, but have longer half-lives (which may be an advantage or not) and have different patterns of side-effects and drug interactions than UFH [e.g. lower rates of immune-mediated heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)].

University of FLorida. The question that immediately occurs is: ¿what has UFL got to do with MESFET's? This confusion probably explains why the University of Florida more frequently uses the initialism UF.

Unbuffered FET Logic. A D-MESFET-based logic family.

Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. Serves gay men and lesbians. The National Council of Churches (NCC) can't decide whether to even accord the UFMCC observer status.

Unidentified Flying Object. Some friends of mine made some UFO's from plastic garbage bags. They overcame the earth's gravitational field, to some extent, by functioning as hot air balloons. The air-heating elements were candles, installed on crosses of slats that held the bags open at the bottom. The candles gave the bags a glow that some would describe as `eerie,' and the wind carried them at speeds that one could reasonably compute to be extraordinary, if not for the fact that they were only at treetop level. The police received a number of alarmed reports, and my friends had to knock it off. I was not involved. Alas. Don't try this at home, particularly if your home is in a wooded, flammable area. Visit your friends and do it at their home.

FUFOR awards small cash prizes for UFO research (see news note).

The movie The Abyss includes the following dialogue:

Lindsay Brigman: There is something down there. Something not us.
Catfish De Vries: You could be more specific.
Lindsay Brigman: Not us. Not human, get it? Something non-human but intelligent ... A non-terrestrial intelligence.
Alan "Hippy" Carnes: A non-terrestrial intelligence? NTIs. Oh man, that's better than UFOs. Oh, but that works too, huh? "Underwater Flying Objects".

Must have been octopi or porpoises.

Useful Field Of View.

United Federation of Planets. The `Federation' in Star Trek. A sharp website for the Federation, UFP Galaxy, is maintained by the International Star Trek Association.

Unique Factorization Ring.

Unruptured Follicle Syndrome.

Unified Field Theory.

United Federation of Teachers. Founded in 1960, local 2 of the AFT.

With more than 140,000 members, the UFT is the sole bargaining agent for most of the non-supervisory educators who work in the New York City public schools. It represents approximately 74,000 teachers and 17,000 classroom paraprofessionals, along with school secretaries, attendance teachers, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, education evaluators, nurses, laboratory technicians, adult education teachers and 32,000 retired members.

The UFT also represents teachers and other employees of some private educational institutions. The allied Federation of Nurses/UFT represents some 2,500 registered nurses of the New York City Visiting Nurse Service and several private New York City hospitals and health care institutions.

(Domain code for) Uganda. The MyUganda site (formerly with the title ``Uganda -- Pearl of Africa'') is (still) boosterish.

UnderGraduate. Someone enrolled in a program that will, under favorable conditions, lead to a Bachelor's degree.

Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico.

User Group. A productive suffix on OS-, HLL-, and App-name acronyms.

University of GeorgiA.

Uga! Uga! Uga shaka... I can't fight this feelin' ...

``The University of Georgia, a land-grant and sea-grant university with state-wide commitments and responsibilities, is the state's flagship institution of higher education. [It certainly seems appropriate for a sea-grant university to be a flagship, but does that make up for the handicap of being 200 miles from the sea?] It is also the state's oldest, most comprehensive and most diversified institution of higher education. Its motto, `to teach, to serve and to inquire into the nature of things,' [that probably sounds a lot more exalted in the original Latin] reflects the university's integral and unique [etc.].''

UGA is located in Athens, about 50 miles east of Atlanta. It was incorporated by the state's general assembly in 1785. (About that A in UGA: It's true that UGA is located at Athens. But then, Ohio University is also located in Athens -- coincidence, of course -- and it's not called OUA. Not even UOA.)

Universities' Global Atmospheric Modelling Programme.

Urban Growth Boundary.

Upper GastroIntestinal Bleeding.

University Government Industry Micro/nano. As in UGIM Symposium, UGIM Proceedings, etc. A biennial symposium sponsored by the IEEE.

Undergraduate Library (the Oscar O. Silverman Library) at UB.

Universal Gate for Logic Implementation.

Ugli fruit
An ugly citrus fruit. Never tried it.

ugly bruises
They're not bruises? They're tattoos! Art! Well, then, I guess they must not be ugly either. But please wear long sleeves anyway.

Underwater-to-Ground Missile.

Unión General de Trabajadores. Spain's `General Union of Workers.' Allied, since its founding congress at Barcelona in 1888, with the Socialist Party (PSOE).

Unmanned Ground Vehicle. Cf. UAV and ROV.

Texting shorthand for `YOU Got TO BE Kidding,' which means `you've got to be kidding' in my generation's English, and was probably expressed as `you must be joking' early in the nineteenth century.

University of Hawai'i. I just noticed that the possessive form of Hawai'i is Hawai'i's; add double contractions like shouldn't've, and it looks like English is following the path that French took, before it switched to hyphens.

University of Houston.

United Hellenic American Congress.

University of Houston, Downtown.

Ultra High Frequency (300 MHz to 3 GHz).

Unrestricted Hartree-Fock. A sham, a fraud, and a deception! We're all going to hold a protest rally at the Physics Congress. This is the kind of nomenclature that the nomenklatura calls ``somewhat misleading'' when it deigns to address the crisis.

In fact, truly unrestricted Hartree Fock minimizes the Ritz energy functional in the space of Slater determinants of single-particle states. This honest HF suffers from a disease called the symmetry dilemma -- that is, the HF operator does not generally commute with angular momentum operators (spin and orbital) even when the true Hamiltonian operator does. The UHF procedure solves part of this problem -- the spin noncommutation -- by restricting the orbitals in the Slater determinant to be sz eigenstates (i.e., they are simple products of a Pauli spinor with a function of position). With a fixed number of orbitals are assigned spin up, and the remainder spin down, the UHF wavefunction is an eigenstate of the z component of total spin, Sz.

For more revelations, see RHF.

Shwa vocalization used during ``filled pause.'' In many Spanish-speaking countries [possibly in all; certainly in Argentina (.ar), as well as a few others where I've noticed it], one uses the word este meaning `this,' with the final vowel being extended to fill space after most of the word has been pronounced. In Korean, one can use ku ro myun which means something like `if it were this.' [The extension of an en (``n'') to fill a pause is yet another indication of the vowel character of final en.] In Chinese, one can also fill pauses with this, which is pronounced tsü4. (The fourth tone is reflected in the initial pronunciation of the word; the vowel is extended at a constant pitch.) In Japanese, one does a similar thing with ``ano,'' which means that. In Spanish, ano means anus.

Many languages, including Korean and Chinese, use an extended shwa as English does.

Filled Pause Web Links is a good page on this stuff.

University HONors. ``University honors'' is used to designate an honors program and its students. One place I know this acronym is used is USD. The term ``university honors'' doesn't normally refer to graduation honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laud).

Ultra-High Molecular Weight. Long-chain polymers.

Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene.

Upper Half-Plane.

Ultra High Vacuum.

Until Hell Won't Have It. Until there is a substantial excess.

Unemployment Insurance. (Canadian usage.)

University of Idaho. Pronounced like a pair of personal pronouns.

University of Indiana? You mean Indiana University.

University of Iowa. Hawkeyes.

Unix International.

Unnumbered Information.

User Interface. See CUI and GUI.

Universitetet i Bergen. (University of Bergen in Norway.)

Universität Innsbruck. `Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck.' A school that was twice elevated from a secondary school to a university. In 1562 the Jesuits established a secondary school in Innsbruck, and in 1669 it was made a university by Leopold I (king of Hungary and Bohemia, and Holy Roman Emperor from 1658 to his death in 1705). At some point it was was reduced to a lyceum (i.e., again a secondary school), but in 1826 it was re-established as the University of Innsbruck by Emperor Franz I of Austria. (The same person was Holy Roman Emperor Francis II from 1792 until August 6, 1806, when the Empire ceased to be regarded as existing.)

University of Illinois at Chicago. (Used to be called Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Circle.)

User ID Code.

Union Internationale Contre le Cancer in Switzerland. [`International Union Against Cancer.']

University of Iowa Center for Human Rights.

uid, u.i.d.
Uniformly Independently Distributed (random variable). Most random number generators, and especially those that come bundled with compilers, attempt to generate u.i.d. distributions. Other (nonuniform or correlated) distributions one usually generates in user code by transformations of single or multiple u.i.d. variables, or as a last resort by a rejection method. In principle, this u.i.d. can also be written as i.u.d., but there's this namespace intrusion problem.

User ID.

Utilities Industry Group.

User Interface Language.

Université Interdisciplinaire de Paris. French for IUP: `Institution for Utter Pretentiousness.' Philosophy of Le Big Bang, Science and Religion, Buddhist monk in international-orange robes being deliberately unselfconsciously contemplative (you know: posed candid shot) by a lake filthy with rippling Symbolism, Wisdom-emitting older people gazing Beyond you with sententiousness bursting from at least one puckered end of their GI tracts (``tracts,'' yes, I'm lovin' it), Mimetic Desire and the Post-Modern Slam Poetry of Goedel's Theorem, the First-Cause Argument revisited for the bazillionth Time, James Cameron's non-Darwinian Avatar Vision, Materialism and Conscience, that sort of chocolate. We are oh-so-thoughtful that we amaze myself; we even impress our valet. Aucun étudiant.

User Interface Panel.

Sorry, that's IUPAC.

Utilities Industry Standards Group.

Upper Iowa University. A private college established in 1857, because it makes a really cool palindromic abbreviation, or perhaps for some less excellent reason. You don't have to actually find the place (somewhere in ``America's heartland,'' yet in the scenic Volga River Valley -- it sounds kinda outatheway either way), because they offer an MBA in two years or less with no residency required.

University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. Pet name ``U of I in Champaign-Banana.''

Oh wait -- a correction has come in:

That's SHAMPOO-Banana!

Sorry about that.

In fact, a lot of shampoos have a fragrance between apple and banana, because the ester amyl acetate, which is a major component of the odor of ripe apples and bananas, has good cleaning properties. When I used to make MWPC's, one of the cleaning stages used amyl acetate. (The wires had to be very clean and smooth so they wouldn't have false signals due to spontaneous dielectric breakdown.) But the final stages generally involved alcohols. I think champagne-banana would be tastier.

United Jewish Appeal.

You fell asleep and hit your head on the keyboard again. It's a qwerty. Go home.

[column] Aristotle used to write while holding a heavy weight in his other hand. When he fell asleep, he would drop the weight, which would wake him up so he could get back to work. They said that Socrates was ugly, but Ari must have looked like a crab. Rube Goldberg was a later philosopher who also was a less-than-ideal upstairs neighbor.

UniJunction Transistor. How do they do that?

United Jewish Welfare Fund. An earlier name for the United Jewish Appeal still used in some communities.

German military jargon, in use since about 1875, abbreviating the unabkömmlich, `indispensable.' Refers to people indispensable in their civilian roles, who are not called up for military duty.

(Domain code for) United Kingdom (UK). International telephone access code 44.

UK, U.K.
United Kingdom. Of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A king is a male monarch. Britain has had a female monarch for ages, and probably promises to do at least until either Prince Charles or Prince William grows up, whichever comes first, but they still don't call it the ``United Queendom.'' In America, we spell queane (British for /kwi:n/ of the drag variety) the same way as the regal variety, so it might occasion an extra snicker. Still, no one can gainsay the House of Windsor has been at least, and perhaps exactly, as much fun as a barrel of monkeys.

The House of Windsor began its reign in Britain, and the Communist party its rule in Russia, in 1917. The House of Windsor has won the endurance contest, but by how much?

Actually, in England it was the same old house, with a duplex division put in during a family feud called World War I (WWI). What happened was that the royal houses of the UK, Germany, Russia, and many other countries were connected through marriage. Just a few years before the war, in fact, Britain's King George V and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were guests at the wedding of a daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II. (If you missed this when it was in the society pages, you can find details in A Distant Thunder, memoir of the Kaiser's children's English tutor.) At the time, George V's dynasty took its name from his grandmother Victoria's beloved consort Prince Albert (grampaw): the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. During that hemorrhagic war that began in 1914, the family connection between George V and the Germany Kaiser came to be perceived as a source of anti-royal feeling in Britain. To address this, it was decided to sever formally the royal link with Germany. There was a brainstorming session at the castle to come up with a new name for the royal house, and finally someone (you could look up who) suggested ``Windsor.'' Everyone immediately recognized the fitness and Englishness of it. Windsor Castle had served as one of England's royal residences since at least the year 1110. Kaiser Wilhelm II (also a grandson of Victoria) had visited Windsor Castle in November 1899; he irritated the Prussian officers accompanying him by pointing to the Round Tower and saying ``Gentlemen, from that tower the World is ruled.'' Three days after Bastille Day, 1917, George V proclaimed that ``all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name Windsor.'' He also surrendered some of his hereditary titles. When cousin Willi heard the news, he quipped that he could now go to the theater and see ``The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.''

You can read a little about ``The Merry Shrews of Venice'' at the KSV entry. (Incidentally, if you're not getting these jokes you can be fairly well assured that you are a philistine.) You can also read some self-indulgent nonsense concerning Windsor, Ontario, at the London entry.

Unless you subscribe to some of the wilder conspiracy theories (and even if you do) the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 at Yekaterinburg, the night of Bastille+1. (Still under construction.) (I mean the entry. The entry is still under construction. The Bastille was mobbed and destroyed on July 14, 1789.)

One observation that inclined Thomas Jefferson towards revolution was the realization that the British royal succession was so often interrupted and diverted that revolution, in some form, could be regarded as a method of electing rulers that was sanctioned by hoary, if not holy, tradition. Of course, Conor Cruise O'Brien, better known for other things than introducing the acronym ACROV, would probably argue that Jefferson didn't need much convincing.

International calls to the UK begin with the international access code (you probably knew that) followed by 44.

University of Kentucky. Never ``KU.''

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

United Kingdom Baton Twirlers Association. For similar organizations, see the majorette entry.

University of Kentucky Computing Center.

UK Consortium for Photonics and Optics.
Welcome to the home page of the UKCPO, the voice of the UK photonics community. This is your starting point to find out about the UK capability in optical techniques and technology-from light curtains to laser cutting via medicine, communications and non-destructive testing.

The UKCPO was founded by Professor Colin Webb of the University of Oxford and Chairman of Oxford Lasers. The consortium is currently led by the President, Professor Julian Jones, and is driven by a board of members drawn from a wide range of industrial and professional organisations.

UKCPO is not a member of the ICOIA (as of 4/2008). SOA, a founding member of UKCPO, is also a founding member of ICOIA.

United Kingdom Federation of Majorettes. Reportedly, this `` is the only baton twirling association that is recognised for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.'' If this is not a pressing concern, then you might look into a number of similar organizations listed at our majorette entry.

UKIP, Ukip
United Kingdom Independence Party. A conservative party that advocates the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

United Kingdom Kant Society.

United Kingdom Meteorological Office.

United Kingdom Office for Library and Information Networking. I suppose that to the people who work there, this acronym doesn't bring to mind the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln), just as for students and faculty at the University of Kentucky, UK normally doesn't summon the words ``United Kingdom.''

UKRainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

UK Society for Sartrean Studies.

UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia. See AAO.

United Kingdom Warehousing Association.

University of KwaZulu-Natal. Capitalization thus. The result of the merger of the University of Natal (with campuses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg) and the University of Durban-Westville, which officially took place on January 1, 2005.

Ulice. Polish word meaning `street, lane.'

Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. A nongovernmental technical safety certification organization. Lately there's been some controversy over whether their standards aren't too lax.

University of Louisville. Apparently when there is space to spare for a couple 'more letters, they prefer ``UofL.''

Upper Level. In a hotel or shopping mall, that would be above the first floor somewhere, ask at the info kiosk. In statistics, it would typically be the upper limit of a confidence interval (cf. LL).

Urban Legend. Modern folklore. Likely and unlikely stories. Discussed on AFU and archived at TAFKAC. There's a popular web-based forum on UL's at <Snopes.com>. (This used to be branded the ``Urban Legends Reference Pages'' and sponsored by the San Fernando Valley Folklore Society.)

Back in the 90's, it seemed that the majority of virus alerts were hoaxes. Some achieved the status of legends. The Good Times virus was perhaps the most legendary virus hoax. I haven't seen ``Good Times Virus! It's the real thing this time!'' yet, and by now I guess I never will.

If you receive a virus alert in a personal email message, take a moment to check it against the list of hoaxes compiled by Symantec or by McAfee. Do this before you pass along the warning; good intentions alone are not enough.

Uncommitted Logic Array. A programmable gate array.

University of London Animal Welfare Society. See UFAW.

Université Libre de Bruxelles. [`Free University of Brussels.'] Brussels, the capital of Belgium (.be) is a Francophone island surrounded by a Flemish sea. As a nod to bilingualism, there are English index pages leading to French content. Cf. ULg. There's another Free University of Brussels: Vrije Universiteit (VUB).

Underwriters Laboratories of Canada. An affiliate of UL.

Urban Libraries Council.

Ultra-Low-Density PolyEthylene.

Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle.

European Ultraviolet Laser Facility. It is part of IESL.

Université de Liège, in Belgium (.be). [University of Liège.] Liège is a Francophone city near the German and Dutch borders. Belgium is a bilingual country, as evidenced by the fact that in both Walonia and Flanders, universities offer many of their pages in both the local language and English. This sort of thing wouldn't happen in Quebec. Cf. ULB.

Unfair Labor Practice[s]. A worker is also said to ``file a ULP'' when he or she files a grievance alleging that a ULP has been committed. Of course, punishing a worker for filing a ULP is itself a ULP. An employer could be found innocent of the charges in a ULP initially filed, but guilty of ULP in connection with mistreatment of a worker who filed that ULP. It's like committing a foul away from the basket, but there's a free throw even if you weren't over the limit.

Ultra Low-Penetration Air (filter).

Uniform Limited Partnership Act.

Ultra-Large-Scale Integration (>1,000,000 transistors; vide integration).

Ultra-Large-Scale Integrated Circuit (>1,000,000 transistors). integration).

Ultimately, justice was served.
An innocent man was harshly punished and his family suffered, but he didn't have to serve out all of his original sentence. The criminally obtuse prosecutor insists he was guilty.

Ultimately, the system worked.
The system all but failed, and if not for all the unwanted publicity, it would have been just another routine outrage.

ultraviolet divergence
A divergence at short wavelength. Most crudely resolved by an ultraviolet cut-off. Cf. infrared divergence.

Upper Limb Tension Test.

Ultra-Low Volume. Pesticide application of no more than a few gallons per acre.

This Ulysses is never coming home.
This Ulysses has ambitions beyond the home island.
This Ulysses is Irish but not especially literary.
Here you can find a literary Ulysses, and whether or not it's close to Irish, it is close to Ireland.

Underground Man. Anyone like the protagonist of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Notes From the Underground (1864). Originally designated a rather specific sort of literary protagonist, but the definition was expanded by Edward Abood in his critical analysis Underground Man (1973).

The U.M. is a frustrated idealist immobilized by his intellect: able to see not just the imperfections of the world but also the imperfections of reformers, revolutionists and all committed idealists, he is without faith and isolated. Post-heroic. A cynic only in his perceptions, not in his sensibilities.

Something like that, anyway.

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man lived underground as well.

University of Michigan. See U of M.

University of Montana. It's in Missoula. Hence (and for another reason) the appropriate initialism is MUM, q.v.

U-M, U of M
University of Michigan. Campuses at Ann Arbor (the flagship campus), Dearborn, and Flint.

Utilization Management.

Arabic and Hebrew word meaning `nation.' There's some more information on this at the USA entry, but you may want to use your browser's search function.

Japanese for `horse.' Tane uma is `seed horse' or stud. Cf. umami.

Uma Thurman appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair for January 1996. She didn't seem to know what to do with her right hand, really, but two cigarettes would have looked too odd. A lighter might have worked. Maybe a blow-torch.

According to a widely disseminated humor collection, Tyra Banks has remarked that

I don't know what to do with my arms. It just makes me feel weird and I feel like people are looking at me and that makes me nervous.

I guess the humor part is that people are looking at her.

Uma's father is a Buddhist scholar, and Buddhism is practiced in Japan, but I don't know how he came up with the name (vide uma)...

The Hindu earth goddess. One of the consorts of Vishnu. Also named Kali. In Ancient Greek, kallos means `beautiful' and kalli- is a productive root with related senses, as discussed at the more-honored-in-the-breech entry.

Unified Memory Architecture.

Union du Maghreb arabe. Also, in English: Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) and Union of the Arab Maghreb. Maghreb transliterates the Arabic word for `west.' Sunset is ghurub. (But ghurab is `raven.')

Upper Memory Area. MS-DOS memory access extended to addresses above 640K but below 1Meg. Oh, thank you.

Ursa Major. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation. Genitive form of the name: Ursae Majoris. Remember that, it'll be on the test. Cf. UMi.

Japanese for `tastiness, savoriness.' Noun form of the adjective umai, etymologically unrelated to the Japanese word uma.

The scientific understanding of taste is still a stew. Taste, strictly construed, excludes the olfactory and mouthfeel (tactile) elements of flavor. Traditionally, taste has been regarded as comprising salt, sour, bitter, and sweet sensations. However, there is not a simple one-to-one relation between different kinds of taste cells and different taste components, and various theories have plausibly posited five, six and more taste components. FWIW, as of 2001 the one added taste that has the greatest support among researchers is umami, excited by MSG, q.v.

University of MARY. Not Maryland, not ``Our Lady of Holy This'N'That,'' just Mary. First-name basis. It sounds like a regular possessive, as if it could as well have been ``Mary's University.'' It's a Benedictine institution in Bismark, North Dakota. ``The University of Mary, the only Catholic university in North Dakota, was founded in 1955 as the two-year Mary College by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. It became a four-year degree-granting institution in 1959 and achieved university status in 1986.''

They have a thing about leadership. They are ``America's Leadership University,'' and here I'd never even heard of it. I guess I haven't been following that stuff. The sisters' old monastery-and-girls'-high-school complex houses the university's Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership, which sounds like an oxymoron and in principle is not. Sr. Thomas Welder, University President, writes: ``Your future as a leader is our deepest concern. At the University of Mary, we have always measured our success by the success of our graduates.''

The Harold Schafer Leadership center provides model value-based educational experiences for present and future entrepreneurs and leaders.

The inspiration for the Harold Schafer Leadership Center comes directly from the life and career of North Dakota entrepreneur Harold Schafer.

Did you ever see the movie ``Back to School'' (1986), starring the late Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004)? Harold Shafer has that look. (An unnecessary remake has been penciled in for a 2006 release.)

University of Massachussets, Boston.

Upper Memory Blocks. Writers' blocks and readers' blocks, all together in one convenient electronic location.

University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

United Methodist Church.

University of Missouri, Columbia.

University of Michigan-Dearborn. Locally `U of M,' but see also ``U of M.''

University of Minnesota (at) Duluth.

UNI Management Entity.

University of the Middle East Project. It ``is an independent non-profit and non-governmental organization promoting educational leadership for critical thinking, open inquiry, cross-cultural understanding and regional cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa.''

Understanding Modern European and Latin American Literature. According to the editor's preface in each of the volumes, ``a series of guides for undergraduate students and nonacademic readers. Like the volumes in its companion series, Understanding Contemporary American Literature, these books provide introductions to the lives and writings of prominent modern authors and explicate their most important works.... [The series volumes] do not provide detailed summaries of plot because they are meant to be used in conjunction with the books they discuss, not as a substitute for study of the original works.''

Oh well, in that case I'll take the Cliff's Notes, the report is due tomorrow.

German adjective and adverb: `comprehensive, fully.' The present participle of the separable verb umfassen, `embrace.'

Upgraded Metallurgical Grade. An upgraded grade. Hmmm.

Université de Mons-Hainaut. At Mons, in the French-speaking Belgian province of Hainaut.

We mention this school a number of times at the FUCAM entry. FPMs is yet another school in Mons.

I think it used to stand for University MIcrofilms. Their website is an object lesson in the unreadability that results when you refuse to summarize.

The corresponding organization for France, Atelier National de Reproduction des Thèses, stocks microfilms of French theses and (if authorized by the author) sells hard copies of them. Kind of pricey; on something approximating A5 paper; no credit-card orders. Try different searches -- the engine is hit-or-miss.

Ursa Minor. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation. The name means `little bear' in Latin. The Latin genitive form, meaning `of the little bear,' is Ursae Minoris. Remember that -- it could come in handy one night.

University of Missouri-Kansas City. Part of the University of Missouri System.

Unified Modeling Language. As of 2007, the most widely used graphical modeling language for designing object-oriented systems.

Unified Medical Language System.

Hmmm, yeah, uh, well, nn. I, umm, guess you should go to the uhh... entry for more about, ummm, filled pauses.

University of Minnesota. Main campus at Twin Cities.

University of Maine at Orono. The once and current plain ol' ``University of Maine.'' When Maine's universities were organization-charted into a ``University of Maine System,'' this one became its flagship university and got tagged with the ``at Orono'' moniker. (Orono is near Bangor.) In 1986, they got their old name back, but a lot of people still call it UMO, which is a lot more distinctive than UM.

U-shaped groove MOS. U-shaped grooves make me think of glacial valleys.

Umpire. The final arbiter of official opinion in a particular sport contest. The designated abusee thereat.

UMP, ump
Union pour la majorité présidentielle. Original name of the UMP.

UMP, ump
Union pour la majorité populaire. A coalition on what passes for the moderate right in French politics.

Sorry, that should be Oompa-Loompa.

A large but undetermined ordinal number. In practice: second or third.

University of Missouri-Rolla. Part of the University of Missouri System.

University of Missouri-St. Louis. Also ``UM-St. Louis.'' Part of the University of Missouri System.

UM System
University of Missouri System.

Universal Moynihan Theory. A foredoomed attempt to explain the passions and opinions of the erudite senior senator from New York State [Ftnt. 5]. Mickey Kaus gives it a shot in a New York Times review (Kristallnacht anniversary edition (see Martinmas, 1996) of Moynihan's Miles To Go.

Universal Mobile Telecommunication System. Third generation cellular communication standard under development by ETSI or ITU, I'm not sure which, maybe both. Intended as a successor to GSM, to be based on direct satellite linking. It's expected to be operational by 2003, combining a global minimum speed of 384kbit/s with 2Mbit/s in areas of high population density (compared with 9600 bits/s today).

University of Maryland University College. This isn't the worst university-name acronym I've encountered; it's only the worst one I can recall seeing used by the university it describes. (They also use the personalized ``MyUMUC.'') ``University College'' does not appear to be a toponym: ``Headquartered in Adelphi, Maryland, UMUC has classroom locations in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, Europe, and Asia, and provides award-winning online classes to students worldwide.'' It's unclear what information is supposed to be conveyed by the second instance of ``University'' in the name, or by ``College.'' Nervous insistence, perhaps. They should create a ``University of Maryland University College University Program.''

United MineWorkers (union). A union that is usually led by a Hoffa, much as Chicago is usually led by a Daley.

University of Mary Washington. I can't think of any other colleges with a name of the form ``University of First_Name Last_Name.'' For more fascinating observations, see the sister-school entry. If you wanna ride, see FRED.

Spanish: `one' [male]. More detail at uno entry.

un-, UN-
A productive negating prefix for modifiers and verbs, but not for nouns. Examples of incorrect or informal usage (for noun inflection) are ``Seven-Up, the Uncola'' and the United Nations excuse for a ``protection force'' in Bosnia, called ``unProFor.''

Toni Braxton had a hit in 1996 with ``Unbreak My Heart.'' The music and lyrics were written by Diane Warren. It was first released as a ``single'' on a two-track CD. The other track was a Spanish version. Stupidly, the title lyric was translated as ``No Rompas Mi Corazón'' (`Don't Break My Heart.') Unstupid people familiar with Spanish know to coin a nonce word corresponding to unbreak, obviously desrompe in Spanish generally (tú conjugation) and desrompé (vos conjugation, used fairly consistently as the standard familiar form in Argentina and Uruguay; also used, but not always exclusively, in parts of Central America and western Colombia).

Also in 1996, David Faxon, a pioneer in angioplasty techniques, was named one of the best doctors in LA by Los Angeles Magazine. A 1997 story on him by Christopher Tedeschi was entitled ``Unbreak My Heart.''

Teresa Hill borrowed the title for a book in 2001.

I don't think the Elton John/Kiki Dee duet ``Don't Go Breaking My Heart'' has been recorded in Spanish by anyone, but the song title is sometimes glossed in Spanish as ``No Vayas Rompiendo Mi Corazón.'' That's ordinary Spanish and fairly accurate. The extended sense of go not referring to movement is paralleled in Spanish by ir and andar (these have somewhat overlapping ranges of meaning that can often be translated `go,' and both can be used in the sense needed here, though ir is more common in this function). The only thing that keeps the translation from being strictly word-for-word is that negative commands are handled differently in the two languages. English uses the auxiliary do and not followed by an infinitive; Spanish uses no (meaning `no' or `not') and a subjunctive (vayas here is a subjunctive form of ir).

United Nations.

The UN and its current Secretary General, Kofi Annan, shared the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. They were recognized for ``their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.'' They join the ranks of such previous laureates as Yassir Arafat.

The United Nations existed as a concept during WWII, forming a prominent part of how the American government presented what it was doing in the war. See, for example, the VOA introduction quoted by Gertrude Stein (quoted at the VOA entry, just to confuse you) or the quote from Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo under DOOLITTLE. The following occurs at the beginning of Masuo Kato's The Lost War (bibl. details at for the duration): ``The world's newest and most devastating of weapons had floated out of the summer sky to destroy a city at a stroke, but its arrival had small effect on the outcome of the war between Japan and the United Nations.''

Gertrude Stein spent WWII in Vichy France. Here is her description of how American wartime broadcasts would begin: ``The Americans say with poetry and fire, this is the Voice of America, and then with modesty and good neighborliness, one of the United Nations, it is the voice of America speaking to you across the Atlantic.'' (More context at the VOA entry.)

For those who are getting tired of the monochrome UN standard, there's a new ``Worlds Flag'' (sic). The flag background is like the French tricolor, but the vertical band at the right (red in the French flag) is green in the Worlds Flag. In the center, the flag features a projection of the globe into a circular map. (This is doubtless intended to stand as a symbol of distortion.) Two yellow eagles face off from opposite upper corners, hovering and pooping four stars apiece.

Well, some people say it doesn't look like the French flag at all, but like the Ivory Coast flag, with the left vertical band blue instead of orange. A third group says it's really like the Sierra Leone flag, rotated clockwise 90 degrees and then stretched horizontally. The partisans of these different views are quietly lining up allies.

The Worlds Flag was put forward in 2002 by an organization that ``believe[s] that the first and most important step towards a truly global outlook is the creation of a world flag.'' This is manifestly preposterous, but it's a better premise than that a parliament of delegates from the world's dictatorships will promote world freedom. A point in favor of the Worlds Flag proponents is that, for one reason at least, you can't call them ``silly one-worlders.'' Another point is that unlike the UN, their idea has not yet been tried and found wanting, unless you count the UN flag. In fact, there has been at least one accidental experiment of sorts, and it was a success of sorts.

The first national flag of the Confederate States of America was the stars and bars. It looked much like the thirteen-star flag of the 1776 rebels, except that it had three bars instead of thirteen stripes. (The blue square had a height equal to two bars.) The arrangement and number of stars in the blue ``union'' field was specified thus: ``In the center of the union a circle of white stars corresponding in number with the States in the Confederacy.'' (The Confederacy soon counted 13 states: the 11 that officially seceded, plus two states with secessionist legislatures that had fled or formed outside their state capitals. In practice, the number of stars varied from 1 to an optimistic 17, and the patterns varied also.) From a distance, this flag was too easy to confuse with the Union flag. This confusion probably led to some hesitancy, and perhaps caused fewer shots to be fired. Soon enough, the Confederacy adopted a ``battle flag'' that bore a closer resemblance to the British flag. (Good thinking: the distinguishability of that flag from the stars and stripes had been battle-tested.) The battle flag replaced the blue-field-with-stars in subsequent national flags of the Confederacy. Based on the American experience, it is clear that the Worlds Flag will be especially effective in promoting peace when all nations are required to use it and no other. That will happen on the same day the UN becomes effective.

``The idea for The Worlds Flag is a determinative step on the road to universal peace - a single emblem to unite people everywhere.''

On the subject of unrealistic schemes for world peace, it may be remembered that one of the putative advantages of an artificial world language (such as Esperanto, though the claim has been made for others) is that it would lead to worldwide understanding and reduce war. It would be hard argue that this hypothetical pacific effect is an absolute one, or a few wars would be hard to explain. Just off the top of my head, that would include the Peloponnesian War, the wars among Alexander's generals for control of his empire (after his death), the war between Prussia and Austria-Hungary, virtually all Latin American wars, many wars for independence, and most civil wars. Someone will say, ``at least they were civil.'' They weren't.

Spanish: `one' [female]. More detail at uno entry.

Utah Nurses Association.

...unable to recall at the present time.
...have not been granted immunity from prosecution.

UNiversity and Airline BOMber.

Look, this entry is not mostly about Ted Kaczynski, okay? I'm sure you can google a more appropriate webpage. This entry is about the origin and usage of the term UNABOM. The investigation into these issues is ongoing. This entry represents an interim report.

The term was coined some time between 1979 and 1985, and apparently only filtered into widespread public usage some time between 1987 and 1990. As I write this in January 2003, it's difficult to reconstruct the early usage history without a certain amount of old-fashioned visual searching, as many electronic databases tend to peter out in the early 1990's or mid-1980's. Another problem is simply confusion. For example, one database keyword list includes unabomb and unabomber, but not unabom.

The earliest hits I can get on LexisNexis are in three USAToday articles from 1990. They apparently took the approach of using the term Unabomber for the person (January 2, August 7, October 6) and Unabom as an adjective or attributive noun (``Unabom task force'').

According to a WPost article, June 26, 1993,

[f]ederal officials coined the code name UNABOM after the 1980 bombing of [then-United Airlines President Percy] Wood, according to Rick Smith, spokesman for the FBI in San Francisco. Short for "United Airlines bomber," the moniker also alludes to the suspect's penchant for targeting academics.

Alternate name of unau, q.v.

Joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS.

Universidad Autónoma de México.

United Nations Advance Mission In Cambodia. Preceded UNTAC.

United Nations-African Union Mission In Darfur. Also called the ``UN-AU hybrid mission.''

Rodolphe Adada, the civilian head of UNAMID, told the BBC that the force would be only one of ``two legs for finding peace in Darfur.'' On the BBC's Network Africa program, he said ``I'm sure it will be one of the main tools for forwarding peace in Darfur, but it's only a peace operation, you need to have peace to keep.'' In the meantime, they're allowed to protect civilians.

United Nations Assistance MIssion for Rwanda.

``UNAMIR was originally established to help implement the Arusha Peace Agreement signed by the Rwandese parties on 4 August 1993. UNAMIR's mandate and strength were adjusted on a number of occasions in the face of the tragic events of the genocide and the changing situation in the country. UNAMIR's mandate came to an end on 8 March 1996.''

Not a model of effectiveness.

A relatively small and fast-moving sloth of Central America having two long claws on each forefoot and three long claws on each hindfoot. Other names: unai, two-toed sloth, Choloepus didactylus, and Choloepus hoffmanni. Unau is useful in finishing off a crossword with an ambitious number of Q's. Unai too. Choloepus hoffmanni? Great clue!

United Nations Angola VErification Mission. If they're there now they can verify that the war has started up again.

University of New Brunswick in Fredericton [sic, no k] NB, in a faraway land known as Canada.

unbalanced drilling
Less common and less specific name for what is usually called underbalanced drilling.

Not believably. The word sometimes seems to be used with uncanny and unintended accuracy. For example, in 2011 on December 7 (a day that lives in infamy for another reason), former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (``Blago'') appeared at his sentencing hearing in US District Court and made a final plea for leniency. [He had been convicted on 18 corruption charges. He was found guilty, among other things, of attempting to sell (for money or other considerations) an appointment to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the election of Barack Obama to the US presidency.] His plea included the words ``I am unbelievably sorry.'' The sentence handed down was 14 years in prison, though the judge told reporters afterwards that he did believe that Blago was sorry. Because of his truly unbelievable hairpiece, federal sentencing guidelines require that he serve at least 85% of the nominal sentence. Illinois being what it is, it is possible to gather statistics on gubernatorial convictions, and Blago's is the longest so far. It is among the longest ever for any Illinois politician.


United Nations Border Relief Operation (for the Thai-Cambodian border).

Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina (.ar). This site actually has an interesting, modern-artsy homepage graphic. It's one of the few non-US institutions (all of them universities) in the .edu top-level domain. Those few were grandfathered-in; there won't be any more.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels.

United Nations Compensation Committee. This was set up in 1991 to direct Iraqi monetary compensation to victims of Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The UNCC was merged into the Oil for Food relief program when that began operation in late 1996. The UNCC took a 30% share of U.N.-approved Iraqi oil revenues through 2000, and 25% afterwards. The party ended with the US-led invasion of the Saddam fiefdom in March 2003. The Oil-for-Food program ultimately made sales totaling about $65 billion, and UNCC skimming of this produced most of the $18.8 billion disbursed by UNCC through 2004.

United Nations Capital Development Fund.

UN celebrity advocates
The UN employs a variety of celebrity advocates, including over a hundred goodwill ambassadors, selected by individual UN agencies, and nine Messengers of Peace, appointed by the secretary-general.

The first UN goodwill ambassador was Danny Kaye, who pimped for UNICEF starting in 1954. Now I don't feel so guilty about extorting small change for those little orange Halloween boxes when I was a kid. Today, UNICEF employs three main kinds of official celebrity advocates: Goodwill Ambassadors, Special Representatives, and International Spokespersons.

Since a lot of people still have a net positive opinion of the UN and even of UNICEF, being a UNICEF celebrity advocate is sort of like being in a joint marketing agreement to promote oneself and UNICEF. Current and recent goodwill ambassadors well-known in the West include Richard Attenborough, Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins, Audrey Hepburn (from 1988 until her death in 1993), Julio Iglesias, Angelina Jolie, Roger Moore, Liv Ullmann, and Peter Ustinov.

Vendela -- one of those one-name supermodels has been an International Spokesperson. Or maybe not. Is Vendela Thommessen the same supermodel as Vendela Kirsebom? Excuse me while I go study the photographic evidence. Special Representatives: Susan Sarandon and Vanessa Redgrave.

United Negro College Fund. When this was founded, it had a hard time just renting office space in New York City. The white secretary, Betty Stebman, would look a place up, and space would be available; then as soon as she explained the identity and purpose of the prospective tenants, the space was no longer available. Finding a decent restaurant where founder Frederick D. Patterson could take prospective donors was, so to speak, no picnic either. You can read about it in the secretary's memoir, ``Recollections of the United Negro College Fund'' in the Appendix to Chronicles of Faith: The Autobiography of Frederick D. Patterson (Tuscaloosa: Un. of Alabama Pr., 1991). Prepare a handkerchief. And in case you're wondering, yes, the ``D.'' was for Douglass.

Really, subtle racism is a bad thing, but blatant racism is worse.

Hypocrisy is the homage paid by virtue to vice.

[The above quote is Maxim #218 of Duc François de La Rouchefoucauld (1613-1680).]

University of North Carolina -- Greensboro.

United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network.

United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. The good guys' organization in ``The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'' The main good guys were Napoleon Solo (US) and Illya Kuryakin (USSR). That's right, US/USSR peace-keeping cooperation in 1964. Visionary. The name of the bad guys' organization, T.H.R.U.S.H., is not just a bunch of capital letters and periods, as I had thought.

A TV show that was primarily a send-up of ``The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'' was Get Smart. It first went on the air in 1965 and outlasted it by two years. The good guys' organization on that show was CONTROL.

Uncle Miltie
Milton Berle. From 1948 to 1955, he starred in, hosted and co-wrote the Texaco Star Theatre. The show was a hit from the start. The first broadcast was on Sept. 21, 1948. Less than two months later, it was the only program not preempted on election night for the returns of the Truman-Dewey presidential race.

Well, okay -- it was a bit early to preempt on the east coast in those days. The show aired on NBC at 8PM on Tuesday nights. (That's in the eastern time zone; I don't know about elsewhere, but the time was actually part of a song he sang at the end of each show.) In Milton Berle, an Autobiography (1974; written with Haskel Frankel) he recalled that ``crazy things started happening all over the country.'' Nightclubs changed their closing to Tuesday nights from Monday, restaurants were empty for the hour he was on the air, and business in movie houses and theaters plummeted. He retold a widely circulated story: ``In Detroit, an investigation took place when the water levels took a drastic drop in the reservoirs on Tuesday nights between 9 and 9:05. It turned out that everyone waited until the end of the 'Texaco Star Theater' before going to the bathroom.''

According to Life magazine, in 1947 there were 17 television stations in the US, broadcasting to 136,000 sets. By the end of 1948 there were more than 50 stations and 700,000 sets, and Berle got much of the credit. NBC showed its appreciation in the sincerest possible way. His salary the first year was $1500 a week, but by the 1950-51 season it was $11,500/wk. On May 3, 1951, he signed a ``lifetime contract'' with NBC: $200,000 guaranteed per year, for the next thirty years.

Berle's was basically a vaudeville variety show, cleaned up for a family audience. The same stuff he'd been doing for thirty-five years (since he was five) on stage and radio. Berle earned the reputation, cheerfully conceded, that he would ``do anything for a laugh.'' He also earned the reputation of being unusually unoriginal -- of stealing more jokes than was decent. Fred Allen described him as ``a parrot with skin.'' Milton Berle happily conceded that like all comedians, he borrowed good stuff he thought would work. He also earned a reputation as an egomaniac and a tyrannical perfectionist. He happily -- now look, enough concessions! I remember watching a callow TV reporter interview him some time in the 1990's, all but asking Berle what he had ever done. Berle's reply wasn't funny enough. Berle was the first star of the new medium, and was known unironically as ``Mr. Television.'' He was so often in drag that maybe they should have called him ``Mrs. Television.''

Alright, maybe audiences were not so sophisticated in those days. The jokes were -- let's just say the whole family could enjoy them, including the five-year-old. Here's how Larry Gelbart excused what he described as ``caveman comedy'': ``But, by God, you find yourself laughing at the silliness of it, the manic-ness.'' Gelbart, a long-time comedy writer, is best known for MASH -- not the movie, but the smarmy, smug TV hit loved by everyone. He also reprised the drag shtick with the movie Tootsie.

To tell you the truth, I'm feeling less good about this greatness with each successive paragraph. It seems to have worn Berle down too. The first year, in addition to the 39 shows he did on Tuesday, he did 39 shows as the headliner for Texaco's Wednesday show on ABC radio (9-10 pm). The radio show had been very popular, particularly when Fred Allen was host, but after Allen quit for health reasons they had gone through a couple of hosts. In 1948 when they auditioned for hosts for the TV version, Texaco still considered the radio show to be more important than the TV show. The next year, they cancelled the radio show and Berle did only the TV show. (I have read the claim that during the first year Berle was part of an emcee rotation. I think this is a garbled version of the fact that in the Summer of 1948, three test shows were done, one with each prospective host. However, Berle won the job and did all 39 TV shows in the 1948-49 season.)

By 1951, Berle insisted on the right to take every fourth week off. He later regarded this as a big mistake. Perhaps, but it's hard to know what if. Television programming was beginning to bulk up. Tuesday night prime time saw Gene Autry and Red Skelton, and finally Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko. Like everything else, the show got old. In 1953 Texaco let Buick take it over (it became the Buick-Berle Show, and then then finally the Milton Berle Show for its last year). The final show of the seven-year run was broadcast June 14, 1955. A couple of attempted revivals (one as early as 1958) were canceled after a year or less.

Milton Berle died on Wednesday, May 15, 2002. He had been a fixture at the Friars Club in Los Angeles for many years. [Okay, okay: to be specific he was a water faucet, with buck teeth and make-up and a skirt. Also, one of his autobiographies was B.S. I Love You: My Life as a Friar (1988).] Reached that day by phone, Friars Club of California President Irwin Schaeffer said that Berle had been at the club as recently as three weeks previously. Then he passed the phone to Buddy Hackett, who recalled how Berle got him to become a Friar in 1947. Hackett summed up Berle's contribution to comedy this way: ``Whatever you see on television, Milton did it first. We used to have a lot of variety shows on television. No one knew what they were doing, no one knew how to do it. He showed them how to do it.'' Incoherent. Vintage Hackett.

Texaco Star Theater was broadcast live. (Pretty much all the major shows were, back then. I think I Love Lucy was the first prerecorded show, but don't quote me.) So one day live on the show, Berle reached out to rip a specially-designed tear-away suit off of guest Red Buttons. This was supposed to leave him exposed in his underwear, but the underwear went too. (If this doesn't ring a bell, see the SB entry.)

One night in 1949, to fill some air time, Berle addressed himself to the children in his audience, saying: ``Since this is the beginning of a new season, I want to say something to any of you kiddies who should be in bed, getting a good night's rest before school tomorrow. Listen to your Uncle Miltie and kiss Mommy and Daddy good night and go straight upstairs like good little boys and girls.'' That's how he came to be known as ``Uncle Miltie.''

Berle had a part in the star-packed ``It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'' (1963). He also had generally forgettable guest appearances on scores of subsequent TV shows.

United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development.

United Nations Conference on Trade And Development.

University of North Dakota.

Undecided Rule
The Undecided Rule is that in a political race, undecideds break for the challenger at the end. It's a rule of political science, so it's as much a rule as politics is a science. It was formulated by Nick Panagakis, who called it the Incumbent Rule and published it as the conclusion of polling research in ``Incumbent Races: Closer Than They Appear'' in the February 27, 1989, edition of The Polling Report.

``Incumbent races'' are, of course, races in which an incumbent is running. If there is no incumbent or if the incumbent does not run, then it is often (particularly in the case of a legislative race) called a race for an ``open seat.'' The research of Panagakis concerned how to call elections on the basis of polls taken during the campaign. Such polls usually find a number of prospective voters who are undecided, but election ballots do not have a corresponding place to mark that option.

under a hundred dollars
$99.99 plus tax.

underbalanced drilling
This is a technique used in oil drilling. If you don't know what drilling mud is, you should visit the ODC entry first and find out about rotary rigs. Now then, drilling mud is normally under pressure. The hydrostatic pressure in the drilling mud at the depth of the bit is normally comparable to the formation pressure. Formation pressure is simply the pressure of the fluid in pores at that depth (due, of course, to the weight exerted by the soil, stone, etc. of the geological ``formation''). Underbalanced drilling uses drilling mud at reduced pressure. The reduced pressure is typically achieved by injecting gas into the mud by any of a variety of techniques. Underbalanced drilling has various advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious disadvantage is that drill cuttings are cleared less efficiently. One of the more interesting advantages is that it allows cavitation bubbles to be formed by the turning bit, and the implosion of these bubbles causes shock waves that break up target rock. (Cavitation is a common problem with ship propellers, which are gradually eroded by cavitation implosion shocks.)

Overlap underneath. Term used to describe diffusion of dopants under the edges of a diffusion mask. Oxidation under an oxidation mask is usually called encroachment.

It may suffice to give some examples.
  1. ``Knowledge is good.'' [Sage words quoted beneath a bust of Faber College founder Emil Faber, a prop in the opening sequence of the movie ``Animal House.'' Tee shirts and other merchandise with the fictional school's name and this quote are avaiable from cafépress.]
  2. ``If a child does not master reading, his chances for a successful life are less than average.'' [Joseph Wingo, Jr., a ``group facilitator'' in the Voyages Program, quoted in an article by Amber Travis in the South Bend Tribune, June 26, 2008 (pp. B-1, B-2). The Voyages Program, created in 1996, teaches fundamental reading and writing skills to young black boys in the South Bend, Indiana, area. The program runs for a month each year after the end of the regular school year.]
  3. ``[T]he overwhelming majority of great French writers have had a reading knowledge of French.'' [Something I pointed out once, en passant.]

undisclosed recipients
Fellow spammees.

United Nations Disengagement Observer Force. Observing disengagement on the Golan Heights since 1974.

United Nations Development Program.

University of New England. In Armidale, New South Wales. Armidale is a ``city'' of 22,000, located ``roughly half-way between Sydney and Brisbane.'' This sounds an awful lot like the middle of nowhere to me. Cf. GR.

University of New England. In Portland, Maine. This sounds an awful lot like the middle of nowhere to me.

United Nations/Economic Commission for Europe.

United Nations Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT). International standard for EDI. (Cf. ASC X12.)

United Nations Emergency Force.

United Nations Environment Program.

They're not supposed to be concerned about the environment at the UN.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Here's a gopher site on the UNDP server.

UNESCO is best known for its history of political and economic corruption, which has been remarkable even in comparison with the other filthy arms of the UN.

True but.

University of North Florida. It's in Jacksonville. Great place to study tropical storms and hurricanes from the discomfort of your own back yard. I guess the only way you can get through is to develop a philosophical attitude about the whole thing. Back in 2002, I read that they were developing an M.A. program in ``applied philosophical studies.'' Hope that wasn't washed away.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

As of October 5, 1999, 84 countries have signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCC (negotiated 1997), but only 15 have ratified.

United Nations Force In CYPrus.

United Nations Fund for Population Activities. Original name of what goes by the same initialism but is now called the United Nations Population Fund.

Uracil N-Glycosylase. Has a somewhat technical application in PCR.

German: Literally `monstrous[ly].' Less literally, and more commonly: `enormous[ly].'

German: `monster.'

In his Jenseits von Gut und Böse [`Beyond Good and Evil'], Friedrich Nietzsche wrote

Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird.

[`He who battles monsters should watch out, lest he himself become a monster thereby.']

University of New Hampshire.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Has gopher site on UNDP server.

In the media, UNHCR is often expanded ``UN High Commission for Refugees.'' This is understandable -- when there is a commissioner one expects there to be a commission. A former UNHCR staff member has assured the SBF staff that no such ``commission'' officially exists. The official name of the organization headed by the high commissioner is ``Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.''

Gil Loescher, who has served in various official advisory capacities to the UNHCR (and is not the ``former UNHCR staff member'' mentioned above), has written what is described (probably correctly) by the flap copy as ``the first independent history of the UNHCR,'' The UNHCR and World Politics : A Perilous Path (Oxford: OUP, 2001).

UN Human Rights Office.

Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione. `Italian National Standards Body.'

UNIversity. Not an abbreviation so much as slang, and not English so much as German (okay, so I should have expanded that as Universität). Actually, in the English-speaking world it seems to be widespread in Australia and New Zealand, and not unknown in the UK. It's positively strange in North America.

University of Northern Iowa. To get right with the universities of northern parts of I-states, see the NIU entry.

User-Network Interface. Term especially used in ATM.

United Negro Improvement Association. An early black-nationalist organization created by Marcus Garvey.

United Nations International Computing Center. Their homepage has a number of useful UN links.

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. I don't think they like the original expansion of their name; they now style themselves ``UNICEF -- United Nations Children's Fund.'' In addition to http above, there's also a gopher site.

Wait! Wait! Don't hit the back key! It's not another wretched UN organization. It's an Italian-American service organization. Unico means `unique' or `only one' in Italian (and Spanish). The letters stand for Unity, Neighborliness, Involvement (in community service), Commitment (to same), and Opportunity (ditto). Oh, sorry: that's what it stands for to the Scotch Plains-Fanwood (NJ) chapter. Over in nearby Fairfield, IC stands for Integrity (of character) and (true, unselfish) Charity. Anyway, you get the idea. Right now all I want to know is, do they accept furniture donations?

Unicode is like ASCII: not a font but a conventional assignment of ``code points'' to characters. Code points are non-negative numbers, normally written in hexadecimal digits. As of late 2005, the highest code point used was at least U+1D7FF. In some fonts a character may appear as glyphs for more than one code (e.g., ``H'' for upper case Latin aitch, Greek eta, Cyrillic en, ...), much as the Arabic numeral 1 has often been represented by small-cap i or lower-case el.

UNique Identification CODing SystEm. A system used by Purolator Courier to, as they explain somewhat opaquely, ensure ``accuracy in directing freight to the proper destination terminal using Postal Codes.''

UNIversal COmpiler FORTRAN compatible. No idea where the ess is from.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Clever: the English acronym represents (in Spanish and some other languages) the singular masculine adjective meaning `united.' The singular form of the adjective is rare.

UNIted Nations Development Fund for Women.

United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon. You can't say they don't do anything. During the 2006 war they broadcast details of Israeli arms and troop movements.

The ``Interim'' began in March 1978. How time flies.

United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission.

This is a thesaurus entry for the notion of emotionally uninvolved or unengaged. I can't seem to care enough about these words, and sometimes I need them.

desultory, perfunctory, more later.

oh, uncommitted, uncaring, I guess. maybe disinterested.

In the context of Northern Ireland: of the opinion that it should remain part of the United Kingdom. I.e., pro-Union-with-Great-Britain. Cf. nationalist.

Of an employing organization: contracting for labor through a union. Of a chemical species: the same as un-ionized. (Cf. Neuromantik.)

A ``closed shop'' is a workplace in which contracts forbid the hiring of non-union personnel for specified (usually all nonmanagement) positions. In organizations that are not closed shops and not fully unionized, but in which a union has won the right to represent employees, management negotiates with the union to establish compensation and benefits. Some benefits may be administered through the union, and the union have dues (in compensation for ``services'' including representation) deducted directly from the paychecks of all employees, whether they are voting members or nonmembers. Under US law, nonmembers can be refunded only the part of their dues attributable to certain political expenses.

At the University at Buffalo, faculty are represented by UUP, which is the tail of a much larger dog called the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The AFT was the late Albert Shanker's personal poodle.

union shop
A shop in which employees are required to belong to a union. See the longer closed shop entry for more.

UNIversity of South Africa.

UNIversity of South Australia.

United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

You already know what unison usually means. You're reading this entry to find out what else it means. (I can read your mind.) In music, ``the unison'' is a null interval. That is, just as a major third and a second are musical intervals of two whole tones and one whole tone, unison is an interval of zero whole tones (also zero half tones; zero is special that way).

União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola. Portuguese: `National Union for the Total Independence of Angola' (apparently the official expansion in translation). Created in March 1966 by Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, who had been foreign minister in Holden Roberto's FNLA. Encarta Africana offers a very brief history of UNITA stopping in 1997, one year before Savimbi abrogated the 1994 agreement with MPLA and returned to military activity.

Following is an excerpt from a 419 I received in 2004, purportedly from a nephew of Jonas Savimbi. NOTE YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE WILL BE APPRECIATED.

You may know that my Uncle was recently killed in a battle with the
government troops of Angola led by President Dos Santos on friday 22nd
February 2002 Now Mr Antonio Dembo who was my Uncle's second in command
has assumed office as leader of UNITA In spite of this UNITA is like a herd
of cattle without shepherd Prominent members like Carlos Morgado are still
lobbying to oust him and assume office as leader to enrich themselves
and some of them who see me as a threat to their ambitions including Mr
Dembo are planning to kill me For more information check www.angola.org

Well, if all you get is spam, make spamwiches. Anyway, I had to check the accuracy of the claims before I invested. According to a spokesman for Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Savimbi was killed around 3pm on that 22nd in a gun battle between government troops and UNITA in rural Moxico province, about 480 miles southeast of the capital, Luanda. A couple of days later they displayed the bullet-riddled corpse on Angolan TV, just so everyone would know that this report was finally for real. On February 26, UNITA spokesman Carlos Morgado announced that the group's Vice President Antonio Dembo had taken over interim leadership. Later that day, dos Santos met US president George W. Bush, who was expected to urge dos Santos to offer an immediate ceasefire rather than to press for victory.

General Dembo, a 58-year-old Swiss-educated engineer, had at one time been UNITA's representative in Kinshasa. This was a key post, because the military and other supplies for UNITA's war against the MPLA came mostly through Zaïre. He was reportedly successful later as a commander leading operations from forests to the northeast of Luanda. Savimbi, 67 at his death, was often described as ``charismatic,'' and as founder/leader of UNITA he had built a kind of personality cult. To go with this, there were periodic purges. When Savimbi fell, Dembo was widely considered to be the last capable commander left in the organization, partly because of defections and partly because of the purges. One reason given to explain why he had not been killed in any of the purges was that Savimbi needed him for ethnic reasons: Demba was a northern Kikongo, from outside UNITA's southern Ovimbundu heartland.

The first reports of Dembo's death came in early March, so it seems possible to date fairly precisely the redaction of the urgent 419 missive I received in 2004 to a ten-day period two years earlier. I think I'll put off answering.

This part of the spamwich is going to be about hunger. I haven't written this bit yet; I just wanted to whet your appetite. (Or wet your apatite, if you're a geologist.)

Here's something that was reported in the New Straits Times, Nov. 7, 2002. A 27-year-old lawyer in Kuala Lumpur, who for some reason wished to remain anonymous, said she was taken in by an e-mail received on Aug. 8. The sender, one ``Hasan Johnson,'' claimed to be the son of an assassinated Minister of Exterior Affairs in Angola called Jonas Savimbi, and asked for help to transfer US$18.5 million (RM70.3 million) out of South Africa. She ended up parting with about RM40,000 before discerning that she'd been scammed.

I guess this isn't so much a spamwich as a 419 Dagwood.

An Internet Company and a legendary quarterback (Johnny).

The UNinitiates' Introduction To Engineering program. Why do I have a feeling that this name was contrived to expand a preselected acronym? Note: while initiates are indeed those who have been initiated, those who have not been initiated can, following a standard pattern of English noun construction, be called the uninitiated, and this can be used as a count noun. UNITE is an ARO-funded, JETS-run summer program to ``introduce [high school] students to an academic experience which closely parallels that of a first-year student in a university engineering program.''

Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees. Successor to the ILGWU. Merged with HERE in 2004 to form UNITE HERE.

As explained on a link from the homepage (when I visited in April 2005), ``UNITE (formerly the Union of Needletrades, Textiles and Industrial Employees) [sic] and HERE (Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union) merged on July 8, 2004 forming UNITE HERE. The union represents more than 440,000 active members and more than 400,000 retirees throughout North America.'' Hah -- and you thought Social Security was demographically unbalanced!

Bad spellers of the world: UNTIE!

``Needletrades and textiles,'' eh?

unit pricing
One of the irritations of buying microelectronic parts is that very often the part is not available from any retail distributor, and you have to buy in lots of 1000 or 10,000.

UNIVersal Automatic Computer. A company founded by Eckart and Mauchly, who built ENIAC. They delivered the first UNIVAC I to the census bureau in 1951.

There was an original estimate that the market for computers was five, but for a long time the only sales were three government orders in 1948. At the time there were a number of realistic estimates of market size in the single digits, for this and other machines. These always seem so ridiculous and short-sighted, in retrospect, that they become the seed of stories. The stories usually degenerate into a version which features Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

The degree-granting subsidiary of an NCAA football team. Often abbreviated U.

Actually, there are some other universities in the US, but no one has ever heard of them. Here's something I read about in my spam filter: ``fast track diploma plan; no books, no courses, no tests, no studying; We've been helping people since 1957 obtain the recognition they deserve for their life experience. Through established relationships with distinguished non-accredited Universities and Colleges, we can help you too.''

Here's Henry Rosovsky from his The University: An Owner's Manual (New York, London: Norton, 1990), p. 18, n. 2:

... In a recent interview, the distinguished linguist Noam Chomsky described those who run our university as ``commissars of the mind.'' Given Chomsky's political views, it is not immediately clear whether one should take offense at this description. ...

university library
No one needs a definition, but some people could use an introduction. Today (December 6, 2006), in addition to being the eve of the anniversary of the day that has been living in infamy, is also the last day of classes at a well-known university. The library is nowhere near as crowded as yesterday, but Chuck (a guard who's been on since late afternoon) is seeing the usual upsurge of newbies -- undergraduates who are disoriented because their shadows had never yet darkened the library entrance. Eight so far, these past 4 or 5 hours. ``Are there bathrooms here?''

(It's probably worth noting that the dates that have to skulk around in the shadows, shunning television retrospectives, are different for different countries. As it happens, December 6 is the anniversary of the ``École Polytechnique Massacre.'' It was even reported in the US at the time.)

On April 24, 2007 (thanks to the miracle of text editing, that's ``yesterday'' forevermore), a fellow I've seen around the first floor of the library all year asked me a question. He was looking lost in the general vicinity of the reference stacks and finally showed me his puzzle -- a code on a piece of paper. He said he'd gotten it from the online library catalog, and wanted to know what it was. He had had the good judgment not to copy the library's fax number or zip code, which also appear on these webpages. In fact, he had managed to copy the call number of a book. I explained that the books were shelved in alphabetical order (I hope that wasn't too technical), and that a sign by the elevator would tell him which floor to go to for books with call numbers beginning in E. He seemed grateful for the information.

Unix, UNIX
Name is an in-joke: a jibe at the earlier Multics. ``Open Systems'' means ``using Unix instead of some proprietary OS.''

Real men use Unix. Spoken out loud in the wrong context, this sounds intriguing.

Unix for the PDP-11. What else?

This term has a little-known specialized sense. There is a definition of it en passant in F.R. Allchin's article ``India: The Ancient Home of Distillation?,'' in pp. 55-63 of the journal Man (publ. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1979), on p. 58:
The critical historian, basing himself on textual evidence, can hardly be blamed for concluding that while fermentation was commonplace from very early times in India, distillation was `unknown' (the infelicitous term often used by textual scholars when they mean `not mentioned in texts') before the twelfth century...

University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

unlike many other
This is a commercial. We are about to describe an attribute of our product that is not shared by some other products that might arguably be regarded as intended for a similar purpose.

Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina (.ar).

University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

University of New Mexico. Based in Albuquerque.

United Nations Mine Clearance Programme. Started out as the MACTP, eventually became MAPA.

Merciful Heavens! Why would anyone use this double-affixed word when the more terse, graceful, yet pungent merciless is available? Ming the Merciless is to Ming the Unmerciful as The Prince of Darkness is to Scott Adams's Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light. [Which reminds me, Goethe's last words were supposed to have been ``Mehr Licht!'' (`More light!')]

According to Thorndike and Lorge (1944), the word unmerciful used to occur at a frequency between 1 and 2 per million words, while merciless and merciful both had frequencies between 5 and 6 per million. (The -ly adverbs formed from these clocled in at 2-3 per million. Mercifully, the word unmercifully was beneath the one-per-four-million threshold of notice.) In a search in September 2007, I got 353,000 ghits for unmerciful and 3,990,000 for merciless. That's encouragign, but you should get with the program too, and I'll try to read a better class of literature.

United Nations Mission In Kosovo.

United Nations Mission In Liberia.

United Nations (UN) Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan.

United Nations (UN) MOnitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission.

University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

University of Northumbria at Newcastle.

Spanish, `one.' That's the cardinal number one (like eins in German) or the pronoun one (like man in German) or the predicate adjective one (like the inflected forms einer, eine, eines in German. The word that translates English one occurring as an ordinary quantifier preceding a noun is un. This form (un) is also the male indefinite article. The uno/un distinction disappears in the feminine -- both have the form una. I suppose it must seem slightly odd to an Anglophone that unos and unas mean `a few.'

The name of a chain of pizza restaurants. I heard a radio ad for them the other day. (No, not that day, the other day. Hint: it was early September 2007.) On the ad, the name was pronounced with initial palatalization, like ``YOU know.'' I suppose that's standard when an initial letter u represents the long-u sound /u:/ in English (unit, utility, etc.), but it sure sounds strange to me.

Università degli Studi di Napoli ``L'Orientale.''. Founded in 1742. See the A.I.O.N. entry for more, mostly about the school's name.

Occasional alternative acronym for UNOCHA.

United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance.

University OF Louisville. Probably not pronounced ``you awful'' or even ``you offal.'' Probably more like ``you oval,'' but with some other stress and a southern accent. Liouville always presents pronunciation problems. The home page instructs: ``dare to be great.''

Occasional alternative acronym for UNOCHA. (You know -- name misremembered as ``UN Office of Humanitarian Assistance Coordination.'')

United Nations (UN) Observer Mission In Liberia.

United Nations (UN) Operation in MOZambique.

United Nations Operations in SOMalia. The sequel was called UNOSOM II.

Bill Walsh, the avenging copy editor, does not mention UNOSOM here, but I can guess that he would take a dim yet politically neutral view of it, or at least of its name.

UN peace-keeping forces
Troops from various third-world countries, wearing UN-blue helmets, whose job is KEEP observING the PEACE at places where non-UN FORCES face each other, unless there doesn't happen to be any peace to observe, in which case they run and hide. But see UNIFIL.

United Nations PeaceKeeping Operation. Someone I met who's writing a Ph.D. dissertation on these tells me that there are about a couple of dozen UNPKO's currently active. (``Active'' should probably not be understood very stringently here.)

UN PROfessional Force. Also, and not necessarily less accurately, UNPROfessional FORce. That's what it suggests to me, anyway. And this force does what, exactly? Cf. FORPRONU.

Union pour la nouvelle République. French for `Union for the New Republic.' The Gaullist party's name, 1958-62. See UDR.

unreasonable effectiveness
Eugene Wigner (1902-1995) wrote in ``The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences,'' Comm. Pure Appl. Math., vol. 13, pp. 1-14 (1960):
The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.

United Nations Refugee Emergency Fund.

I was going to make a big deal about how people often write or say unrelenting when relentless would be the better word, but after writing the unmerciful entry I decided to do my research first and then write the entry. For the word unrelenting, searching only ``English [language] pages'' I got ``about'' 2,240,000 ghits, while for relentless I got 3,120,000. In better times, as recorded by According to Thorndike and Lorge (1944), the word unrelenting occurred at a frequency between 1 and 2 per million words, while relentless occurred at a frequency of between 4 and 5. As we see, then, the relentless decline of English continues unrelentingly.

unrequited love
``Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.''
(Words uttered by Charles M. Schulz's ``Peanuts'' cartoon character Charlie Brown, who's been carrying the torch for that cute little red-headed girl for most of the forty-plus years that he's been going to elementary school. In all this time, she hasn't noticed. He should think about Patty.)

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Not only is this difficult to pronounce, it's ungainly to call out as an initialism.

United Nations Special Commissioner.

United Nations Special Committee on Palestine.

United Nations Security Council Resolution.

The word unseen is used as a noun in the UK for what in the US is called a sight translation exercise.

University of North Texas.

United Nations (UN) Transitional Authority in Cambodia. Preceded by UNAMIC.

United Nations (UN) Transitional Administration in East Timor. ``Administration'' here, ``Authority'' there.

United Nations Trade Data Elements Directory.

Untied States
I dunno...this might not be what the writer intended to write.

This was a joke even before the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton, for which commemorative pens were made and distributed to senators, bearing ``Untied States'' in fine lettering.

An obvious truth that isn't true. Every untruism is a truism, but some truisms may not be untruisms. It is obvious that the situation calls for multivalued logic.

United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.

United Nations University. The name does not honor Burmese independence leader U Nu, who served as his country's first, third, and fifth prime minister. It gets old after awhile, doesn't it? U means `mister'; these guys had actual given names also. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Nu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Thant The name also does not honor fourth UN Secretary General, U Thant. U Thant's older brother was U Khant, so things may be more complicated than that. United Nations University (UNU) Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, has named their premier conference facility after U Thant. A tiny island in the East River opposing the headquarters of the United Nations, U Thant Island, is named for him. Belmont Island, in New York City waters across from United Nations headquarters, has been unofficially renamed U Thant Island and dedicated to the late Secretary-General's legacy.

An Icelandic music group created in 1993 by the musician, journalist, and renaissance man Dr. Gunni and the guitarist of the then-recently defunct Sugarcubes, Þór Eldon Jónsson.

unusual hair
Albert Einstein and the romance novel cover model Fabio both were born in Europe on March 14. Fabio dislikes being thought of as a dumb blonde.

United Nations Volunteers.

Universal Nubian Voices. An R&B vocal group from Detroit, Michigan.

UN Watch
United Nations Watch. ``UN Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter. UN Watch was established in 1993 under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Morris B. Abram, the former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. UN Watch participates actively at the UN as an accredited NGO in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). UN Watch is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee (AJC).''

I visited their website in 2007 and found that it was no longer entirely a doormat. When I first put in this entry (some time between 2000 and 2005), it read roughly as follows:

``United Nations Watch aims to promote the balanced, fair, and non-discriminatory application of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and to encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, gender, culture, language, or religion.''

Kofi Annan [then the Secretary-General of the UN] was quoted here as having said

I deeply appreciate the valuable work performed by UN Watch. I believe that informed and independent evaluation of the United Nations' activities will prove a vital source as we seek to adapt the Organization to the needs of a changing world.

I can promise you that I will pay close attention to your observations and views in the years ahead.

On the basis of this, you might reasonably conclude that UN Watch, based in the UN-mooching city of Geneva, is just a UN lickspittle organization, and you'd be wrong. It's merely ineffectual. Also, it's mostly concerned with Middle East issues, so it had no comment, for example, on the whitewash of the UN's derelictions in Rwanda, where Annan acquitted himself badly. And naturally, it hasn't had anything to say about the infamous corruption of organizations like the UNESCO kleptocracy. (That the UN is an effectual, honest, and fair contributor to the steady progress toward peace in the Middle East goes without saying. I certainly wouldn't say it.)

Gee, the ``published work'' (an editorial in The Forward) ``Surprising News on UN Dues'' kinda missed an opportunity to mention some of the reasons that countries perfectly capable of paying their dues might be unwilling to do so. No wait, I take that back! It says

But the fact that 27% of UN Member States have accumulated such steep debts, either implies an inadequate respect for the UN, or a problem with the UN's budgeting methods.
(My emphasis.) So you see, it's really a hard-hitting editorial from a credible organization, yeah. Uncle Fritz had an opinion on the UN Charter as well. (Not your uncle Fritz, probably. Not really mine either.)

UN Watch ``published works'' also appear in the International Herald Tribune (back when this was based in New York and still had readers, Karl Marx accepted pay to report for this newspaper), the Cape Cod Times (``UN: Dream and Reality''), The Earth Times (``Here's an Operation of Which to be Proud'') and Tribune de Genève (``The Significant Uses of the Secretary-General''). Now you know where you can get your first big break in big-time journalistic editorializing.

Once upon a time, there was an organization called the World Tourism Organization, abbreviated WTO. It was called by other names, but these weren't not-nice names. They were mostly translations of the name into different languages important in tourism, like Russian. The WTO has a friend called the UN, which is concerned with global warming caused by hot air. One day a big hairy monster called the World Trade Organization came and took away the World Tourism Organization's abbreviation. The World Tourism Organization cried and cried, and called out to the UN for help. The UN sprang into action and ran to help the World Tourism Organization. After just seven short years (plus three long ones), the UN arrived panting and said ``There, there. You can be the `un-WTO.' That's a nice short abbreviation too.''

Upstate New York Oracle Users Group.

Odor Unit[s]. That's what they're normally called, but it's likely few will object if you call them units of odor to conform with the abbreviation order. The odor unit is, in effect the concentration of a volatile chemical at the threshold of detection. That is, the concentration of a volatile ``in Uo'' is the concentration of the chemical divided by the threshold concentration for the chemical.

Typical threshold values for the acids, esters, ketones, and aldehydes that give fruits their odors are within a factor of a thousand or so of ppb concentrations (i.e., in the range 10-12 to 10-6).

University of Oklahoma. In Norman. And Tulsa.

University of Oregon. In Eugene.

United Ostomy Association. It ``is a volunteer-based health organization dedicated to providing education, information, support and advocacy for people who have had or will have intestinal or urinary diversions.'' (Colostony, ileostomy, urostomy, and continent diversions. We have an ostomy entry.) Cf. IOA and UOAC.

United Ostomy Association of Canada. Cf. IOA and UOA.

Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

U of A
University of Arkansas.

U of C
University of Calgary. I don't plan to itemize all of the universities referred to as ``U of C.'' I imagine there're quite a few. I may put in entries as U's of C happen to come to my attention. This one came to my attention when ISIS was mentioned in a ScienceMode article about determining an ``edge of space.'' There, now you know all my secrets.

U of C
University of Chicago. [column] Visit the Classics at Chicago homepage to learn about, uh, Classics at the U of C, including upcoming public lectures.

U of G
University OF Guelph. Guelph is ``a vibrant community of 100,000 with a lively downtown, good shopping and a dynamic cultural core.'' If it were built on an active fault it would be a vibrating community with a deadly downtown and a dynamic geophysical core.

U of M
University of Minnesota or University of Michigan (see U-M). And probably quite a few others.

U of T, UofT
University of Toronto. Most of our information about U of T is at UT.

UCAR Office of Programs. (UCAR stands for University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.)

You think I care? You think this is a site I visit often enough to have bookmarked? Do you think I need this glossary entry? No. I did it for U.

University of Reading. Well I for one think it'd be cool if there were a UoR Gaol. Sort of a minimum-security ``Club Read'' for writers down on their legal luck.

An adverb meaning ``in an UPward direction.'' For those with a working knowledge of gravity, little further explanation may be needed. Those of you in free-fall may wish to keep reading.

Metaphorically, going up often means increasing in quantity. If we collected things by floating them on the water, so they formed a deepening raft as we accumulated more, then perhaps going down might have this meaning, but we don't and it doesn't. Check with the Polynesians.

In some cases, the metaphorical use of vertical directions is less obvious. One case is antiquity. At least in the case of paleography, higher apparently means older, of greater antiquity. It seems that here age is thought of concretely as something one can have more or less of. It makes sense to imagine that age is something that accumulates over time. I'm certainly not getting any younger. The metaphor occurs with various quantity and direction words: Here are some examples using high, reduce, downward, and raise, (all boldfaced for your convenience below) in articles by Frank Moore Cross. They're from papers 52 and 53 of his Leaves from an Epigrapher's Notebook: Collected Papers in Hebrew and West Semitic Palaeography and Epigraphy (Harvard Semitic Studies 51, 2003).

Paper 52 -- ``The Origin and Early Evolution of the Alphabet'' (published in Eretz-Israel vol. 8 (1967) -- includes these examples:

As these texts were collecting, it began to become apparent that the earliest of the series gave the appearance of being more archaic or at least as old as the pictographs from Sinai; the latest of the group, from the late thirteenth or early twelfth century [BCE], seemed to be evolving toward linear Phoenician. These data contradicted the high dates proposed for the Proto-Sinaitic group on the one hand, and the high dates assigned to linear Phoenician epigraphs from Byblos on the other.
A number of scholars ... had attempted to reduce the thirteenth century date attributed to the 'Ahiram Sarcophagus by the excavators using both archaeological (ceramic) and paleographical arguments.
Dunand capitulated in part, reducing the date of the key 'Ahiram Inscription to about 1000 BCE on the basis of Iron I sherds found in the tomb shaft.
[A]nother barrier [to understanding the evolution of the Proto-Canaanite script] was removed by the redating of the Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions downward to the early fifteenth century.

Paper 53 -- ``Early Alphabetic Scripts'' (delivered at a 1975 symposium, apparently revised for the 1979 publication) --

From Raddana comes an inscribed jar handle from the late thirteenth century or the beginning of the twelfth century. Happily its date is controlled by the stratified context in which it was found as well as by paleography. ... Aharoni's attempts to raise the date of the little epigraph to the fourteenth century are, in my opinion, unsuccessful ....

Of course, the high middle ages is something else again. What about the alphabet? Look, this entry is bursting at the paragraph breaks. Let's have another glossary entry!

Microprocessor (µP).

UltraPure (Ge semiconductor grade).

Union Pacific. ``Union Pacific reorganized its corporate structure in 1969, and now comprises three operating companies: Union Pacific Railroad, Overnite Transportation, and Union Pacific Technologies. Union Pacific Railroad, the continent's largest, is responsible for more than 90 percent of the parent corporation's revenue. Overnight is also called ``Overnight Trucking.''

United Press. Original name of UPI, q.v.

United Provinces. Old name of the area that became Uttar Pradesh (U.P.).

Universidad Politécnica in Castilian Spanish; Universitat Politècnica in Catalonian (and Valencian, if that is regarded as sufficiently distinct). UP is sort of an acronymic bound morpheme. Like TU, UP almost always occurs in combination (UPM, UPV, etc.). In my vast experience, polytechnic universities are not necessarily any more technical than technical universities.

UP, U.P.
University Press.

Unknown Public.
[B]oth a journal and a compilation CD, packed in a brown cardboard box [so the postman will think you're receiving a pornographic DVD] with notes, correspondence, essays and images and mailed to subscribers in 50 countries. It draws on the creativity of hundreds of musicians: the performers, composers and producers who contribute master tapes to Unknown Public - in much the way that writers contribute manuscripts to a literary publication. With the support of a network of loyal subscribers, UP uses recent innovations in computer and audio technology to produce a professional product. Nearly every aspect of UP's operation makes use of the latest technology, but it remains a `cottage industry' based in Notting Hill [in the UK], where the boxes are packed and labelled by hand. Unknown Public is not available in conventional record stores.

The name Unknown Public refers to the [subscribers]....

Upper Peninsula. The part of the state of Michigan that's on the northern side of Lake Michigan. AKA irredentist Wisconsin (q.v.).

Uttar Pradesh. Current name of the Indian state formed from the ``United Provinces (U.P.).

Uniform Partnership Act.

Uniform Prenuptual Agreements Act.

Uniform Probate Code.

United Poultry Concerns. ``Promoting the Compassionate and Respectful Treatment of Domestic Fowl.'' In the immortal words of Dave Barry, I am not making this up.

``O honorable Duck! I am come to convey thee clean across the foul river Styx, to a Better Place and a more permanent Condition.'' (Okay, that I did make up. It's just a suggestion. For multiple duckpersons, use plural ``Duck'' or ``Duckth'' in the salutation, and change ``thee'' to ``ye fowl.'' For domestic turkey, the proper salutation is ``Hey stupid!'')

UPC apparently came up with the idea of ``International Respect for Chickens Day'' (every cuatro de Mayo) in 2005. They might be the only people who get choked up about the annual ``pardon'' of a Thanksksgiving turkey by the US president. They would probably agree with me that ``pardon'' is an inappropriate term. (It reminds me of an 11th-grade English teacher whom I once surprised -- ``Wait, you agree?'') I would be satisfied with ``commutation.'' UPC runs a bird sanctuary; I don't know what they call it, but this gives a whole new felicitous meaning to the term ``Funny Farm.'' I prefer my chicken promotions to be associated with a different UPC...

Universal Product Code. Merchandise barcode (``zebra'') system.

Explanation by Marshall Brain at HowStuffWorks.

Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. `Peruvian University of Applied Sciences.' In Monterrico.

Usage Parameter Control.

UPC code
Universal Product Code Code. Also ``UPC bar code.'' Similar locutions at this entry.

The file http://www.plexoft.com/SBF/updates.html lists recently updated files of the glossary. It's crude, but it'll do.

Now he tells us!

Uganda People's Defence Forces.

up do
A hair-do with the hair up, usually something complicated for an event. High-school girls are the worst: they come in with a picture and they want their hair to look exactly like that.

University of Prince Edward Island. In Charlottetown, PE, Canada.

It was 2002 host for the ARPA annual meeting (October 18-19). Other stuff probably happens there too. The theme of the meeting was ``Evolution [apparently the biological kind] & Philosophy.'' The keynote speaker was Michael Ruse, author of such books as Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution a Social Construction? and Can a Darwinian be a Christian? The Relationship Between Science and Religion. This is a borderline case -- he almost made the nomen est omen honor roll.

UCL Primary rate Interface. If this information should ever come in handy for a reader of this glossary, please notify my descendants.

United Press International. A worthy also-ran wire service, for a long time. Time ran out in the early 90's. I thought most of the pieces were bought up by AP, so how does it happen still to be in business? Hmmm, it's owned by something called ``UPI Acquisition Corp.''

Originally founded in 1907 by E. W. Scripps as UP. Merged with William Randolph Hearst's International News Service in 1958 to become UPI.

Universal Programmable peripheral Interface. For 8051-series microprocessors and clones.

Types C and St have been identified.

Union des Patrons et des Professionnels Juifs de France. `Union of Jewish Business-Owners and Professionals of France.'

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Umklapp process. A collision of quasiparticles or excitations (e.g., electrons, holes, phonon, photons) within a crystalline solid, in which quasimomentum is not conserved in the strictest sense. Instead, the initial and final total quasimomenta differ by aitch-bar times a reciprocal lattice vector.

Thermal conduction is single-crystal insulators is ultimately controlled by the frequency of U-type collisions among acoustic phonons. Since the velocity of low-energy (and thus small-wavevector) phonons is proportional to the momentum, a complete absence of U-processes would lead to a conserved heat current and infinite thermal conductivity. (In principle, point defects would prevent this, since scattering by these does not conserve quasimomentum. In practice, however, U-processes are the dominant cause of non-infinite thermal conductivity.) (Note, proportionality of phonon velocity and momentum is through a tensor coefficient. Nevertheless, since no sound velocity is infinite, there is a lower bound on the heat current for a given (conserved) quasimomentum.

Umgekehrte Polnische Notation. German for ``Turned-around (Reverse[d]) Polish Notation'' (RPN).

United Paramount Network. A defunct television network. See CW.

Universal Product Number.

UvuloPalatoPlasty. A surgical treatment used for some sleep apneas, with about 50% success. Cf. Laser-Assisted UvulaPlasty.

Ultraviolet Photoemission Spectroscopy. Vide ESCA.

Uninterruptible Power Supply. A unit that passes along line power in normal operation and smoothly switches to battery backup when voltage falls out of acceptable range or fails altogether. Typical units filter out voltage line voltage surges and sags.

United Parcel Service. A private parcel delivery company. Unlike the US Postal Service (USPS), a semipublic company they compete with, they do not have the right to put mail directly in your mailbox.

A backpage article by Stephen Glass, in the November 4, 1996 New Republic (TNR) reveals that those brown UPS uniforms are babe bait, while FedEx togs are a turn-off. He cites anecdotal evidence (Drew Barrymore lines in the movie Boys on the Side; the song ``Drive By Love''). He backs this up with a scientific survey of two or three therapists and other evidence. On the other hand, it later turned out that there were, uh, problems with Glass's reporting (the main problem being that he made stuff up, especially the most interesting stuff; see the CSPI entry).

Univeral Press Syndicate.

University of Puget Sound.

upside down
Among pollsters, a public figure is said to be upside down when his or her name-recognition ``unfavorables'' exceed ``favorables.'' (If the extreme favorables and unfavorables are both large, on the other hand, the person is ``polarizing.'')

University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. Cf. MODSIT.

Universal Personal Telecommunications. A way of communicating with individuals or entities regardless of location, through a fixed address at the point of use. True ``person-to-person.'' Still in the development stage.

up the alphabet
What direction is ``up the alphabet''? Most opinion appears to fall into one of two schools of thought, indicated by the numbered examples below. My unsystematic impression is that by more than a factor of two, ``up the alphabet'' is taken to mean in the direction called alphabetical order. Cf. down the alphabet (coming soon).

    Reverse alphabetical order:
  1. progressing up the alphabet from Z
  2. Animals are housed by health status and, in general, by vendor. Six levels of health status are maintained in the facility, designated A (most clean) through F (contaminated). ... Personnel may descend the alphabet when going to more than one animal room per day, but not move up the alphabet. (I.E., you can move from A to B to C, etc., but not from C to B to A.)
  3. should start with Z for the first child and progress up the alphabet for all other participating children. [Granted, this is from ``Glossary of Adult Basic and Literacy Education Program Data Collection'' and therefore suspect.]
  4. This is intended to replace the old rule of hiring only the A crowd and firing the the C's (while the B's madly tried to move up the alphabet chain). [Okay, there might be some metaphor admixture.]

    Alphabetical order:
  1. ...(moving up the alphabet as in the case of the Caesar cipher). In the above example, the first `t' would become a `b' (shifted up by 8, since `h' is the eighth letter of the alphabet).
  2. The following meeting, we move up the alphabet. For instance, if Deborah Ramirez goes first at Monday's meeting, Tom Sander will go first on Wednesday.
  3. Since the Enterprise-D bit the dust (literally) in "Star Trek Generations," it was time to move up the alphabet, so Eaves and Zimmerman together designed the Sovereign-class Enterprise-E for "Star Trek: First Contact."
  4. int main() {
    	char capital = 'A';
    	capital+=5; /* Move up the alphabet */
  5. The grades start at "A" for the most junior and move up the alphabet accordingly. When the grading system was originally set up, nurses were still being trained in hospitals rather than studying in university. So the grades A, B and C were assigned to first, second and third year students. However since nurse training moved to university in the UK, the A, B and C grades are now used for health care assistants.
  6. Move up the alphabet through flaxseed, oats, quinoa (pronounced kween-wa), rice and wheat...
  7. ...you guys need to move up the alphabet a few notches from gchat to ichat...
  8. After 2nd finger "C#" is 3rd finger "D" and after 3rd finger "D" is 4th finger "E." 4th finger "E" matches "Open-E." We continue going up the alphabet

up to
Less than.

up to ... or more
We have the R&D department working on this one. I'll enter a definition if one is found.

Preliminary result: ``up to 30% or more off!'' means that `at least one item discounted 30% and at least one item discounted more than 30%, but they were both sold before you got here, which is good for you because they're shlock.'

Universal Postal Union. l'Union postale universelle in French; Unión Postal Universal in Spanish. Founded in 1874, now a specialized agency of the UN, under the aegis or whatever of the UNDP. The question is, how much opportunity is there to skim off the top? What's the cash flow?

After my father's father emigrated to South America early in the twentieth century (before WWI), he would send care packages back to his family in Ukraine. He would send one of his brothers a package containing two bags of sugar, and the package would arrive with one bag. Within certain constraints, sending two equal-size bags must have been the unique optimal solution. If you figure the Tsar's postmen were smart enough to destroy all motivation but too greedy to allow more than the minimum of motivation, and if you assume they couldn't be bothered to do too much rebagging, then any other number of bags, in any combination of sizes, would have had a lower shipping yield for my family.

See, uh, see CP.

When the UPU was created, it was considered a sacred rule that each postal administration retained the charges it collected. It was assumed that between any two countries, the mail volume was approximately the same in each direction. Under this ``reciprocity assumption,'' it could be argued that any equitable revenue sharing would have a net effect too small to be worth the accounting trouble. The assumption of bilateral symmetry was always known not to be exact, and over the years the asymmetries grew.

Generally today, delivery is free and postal systems collect most of their revenues from senders. Hence, the postal services of countries with net outflows (generally the industrialized countries) would benefit from a policy of not sharing revenues. In response to this situation, starting in 1969, financial compensation (called terminal dues) began to be paid by national postal systems with a surplus of sent mail. The postal systems that are on the net receiving end of mail are also on the receiving end of the terminal dues. The formulae for the dues have undergone various changes over time. In addition, part of the remuneration is being routed through a general ``Quality of Service Fund'' (QSF) for improving mail services in developing countries. For more details, see this article.

Universidad del País Vasco. Spanish: `University of the Basque Country.'

Universitat Politècnica de València. (In Spanish, i.e., Castilian, the name is Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.)

UPV/EHU. (Obviously.) See? It's not just Canada. Multilingual start page for The University of the Basque Country here.

Ultra-Pure Water.

University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Université du Québec. A province-wide system with 76000 students and 500 faculty as of 2003 or so.
École national d'administration publique. ``National'' is an interesting word.
École de technologie supérieure. (En Montréal.) It's fascinating that the ÉTS and TÉLUQ get an accented vowel, but ENAP (particularly), UQAC, UQAM, etc. do not. (Well, they apparently heard my plea. Mere weeks later, 31 January 2004, I've received a quasi-announcement from ``UQÀM.'')
Institut national de la recherche scientifique.
Télé-université du UQ (also written Téluq). (Distance-learning university.)
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.
Université du Québec à Hull. Well, I've seen references to this. It seems to be the old, hard-to-pronounce name of UQO.
Université du Québec à Montréal.
Université du Québec à Rimouski.
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The only branch of UQ that is completely under water.
Université du Québec à Outaouais. It's in Gatineau (and Mont-Laurier and Maniwaki), in the heart of Outaouais. If you can pronounce the G-word, you're admitted. If you can pronounce the O-word, you graduate.
What's this?
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.

Université du Québec à Montréal. I have no idea what this means, but it's got a lot of accents, so check it out!

Unconstrained Quadratic Problem.

Unbalanced Quadrature Phase-Shift Keying. Nope -- don't bother looking, I already checked: it's not explained at the QPSK entry. Nothing is.

Looks kinda Polish, dud'nit?

Umm al-Qura University.


Cf. U2.

Under Review.

The Uruguay Round (q.v.) of GATT.

Uruguay Round Agreements Act of GATT.

A language that is essentially simplified Hindi with a very large infusion of Arabic words, written using the Arabic alphabet. I should probably point out that someone I know who is familiar with both languages disagrees, but I won't.

Urban Resource Development Unit.

Its synthesis by Alfred Wöhler in 1824 was the first organic synthesis, and the death of vitalist theories.

Universal Resource Identifier. See T. Berners-Lee, ``Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW: A Unifying Syntax for the Expression of Names and Addresses of Objects on the Network as used in the World-Wide Web.'' (RFC 1630, CERN, June 1994.)

University of Rhode Island.

Upper Respiratory (tract) Infection.

urine breakthroughs
The large role of piss in the progress of science is a surprising, perhaps suppressed story.

  1. In 1669, phosphorus (P) was first identified by the alchemist Hennig Brand, who prepared it from urine.
  2. In 1828, Friedrich Wöhler (1800-1882) synthesized urea from ammonium cyanate. This achievement definitively overthrew the vitalist theory that organic (vital) and inorganic (nonvital) chemicals were fundamentally different, so that organic chemicals could not (ex hypothesi) be synthesized completely from inorganic chemicals. Wöhler's synthesis marks the beginning of the modern era in organic chemistry.

    Urea [ CO(NH2)2 -- diamino methanal] is an organic substance produced in the liver and known from its presence in urine.

  3. In 1949, John F. J. Cade discovered the psychoactive properties of lithium (Li), as the result of a line of research that began with the observation of a cross-species effect of urine (described at our alkali metals entry).

Hah! And at first you probably thought the ``urine'' of this entry was a pun on ``you're in.'' That phrase, with stress on the second syllable and the slightest hint of double entendre, occurs at the <Wow, who's the mother?> entry and elsewhere.

urine news
The following noteworthy event didn't merit listing in the higher-prestige urine breakthroughs entry:
  1. During the Apollo 15 mission (late July/early August 1971), NASA officials became concerned when radioed data indicated a possible oxygen leak in the lunar module. Astronauts David R. Scott and James B. Irwin investigated and found that a valve in the urine dumping system was open, allowing oxygen to escape. They closed the valve and mission controllers decided that the loss was not great enough to require any curtailment of the astronauts' scheduled 67-hour stay on the moon.

Uniform Resource Locator. (Was originally Universal ....) See T. Berners-Lee, L. Masinter, and M. McCahill, ``Uniform Resource Locators (URL).'' RFC 1738, CERN, Xerox PARC, University of Minnesota, October 1994.

URL's have a habit of getting long, particularly when they contain form data to be passed by the GET method, particularly when the CGI coding is poorly done. When you put these long URL's in emails, they have a tendency to wrap. If they are longer than about 255 characters (the maximum length of a text line in the email protocol), then problems multiply. One way around this problem is to use a free URL redirection service like the ones offered at <http://www.makeashorterlink.com/> and <http://www.ulimit.com/>.

Universidad Rafael Landívar. You've got to love their URL: <http://www.url.edu.gt>. A Jesuit (SJ) institution in Guatemala (.gt).

Uniform Resource Name. Intended to be a kind of logical-name reference to documents. Has previously been Universal for U and Number for N. Many proposals, apparently some local implementations, but none is widely supported.

An abdominal appendage of a crustacean. The word is constructed from the Greek roots ourá `tail' (i.e. posterior) and poús, pod- `foot.' Originally, the term referred to any abdominal appendage of a crustacean. This is the sense found in the big ol' 1913 Webster's, and it's the definition in the OSPD4, so you should memorize it if you play by those sort of Scrabble rules. Eventually, the meaning became restricted to refer to either of the sixth and final (posteriormost) pair of abdominal appendages of a malacostracan crustacean (like a lobster or shrimp). Ugh, made me lose my appetite.

A hump out of which grow the tail feathers of a bird. (Note that the brilliant display fan of a peacock is made of feathers that grow out of its back. They're not tail feathers and they don't grow out of its uropygium.)

The word is from the Greek ouropúgion [literally `tail rump'], minimally modifed in the usual way into Latin. The regularly-constructed Latin plural is uropygia, but most English dictionaries give no plural (neither this nor uropygiums). The adjective uropygial is encountered more frequently (there is a uropygial gland). Oddly, the OSPD4 gives only uropygia, defining it as ``the humps from which birds' tail feathers grow,'' leaving a doubt as to whether each tail feather gets its own individual hump. The main dictionaries valid for tournament play (SOWPODS and TWL98) both accept uropygium, uropygia, uropygiums, and uropygial. A related word is callipygian, explained at the entry more honored in the breech.

Selects a random URL. Play!

Upper Reading Room. Of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Guess what LRR stands for?

Union des Républiques Socialistes Soviétiques. French for USSR.

Utility Receipts Tax.

Universidad Rafael Urdaneta. It's in Maracaibo, Venezuela. The UNU has a branch in Venezuela also. Who would have thought that Venezuela would achieve such a prominent place among countries with universities m/U.U/? URU and UNU both have grandfathered-in non-US .edu domains.

Uruguay Round
  1. A big, traditional yellow cheese of Uruguay [.uy].
  2. Alternate name for eye round cut of beef, because it's shaped kinda like the country.
  3. The eighth and final round of international trade negotiations sponsored by GATT. The round began in Uruguay in September 1986 and ended there in December 1993, and took place mostly in Geneva, Switzerland. All during the negotiations, two concerns were uppermost in the minds of negotiators: (1) that the negotiations might end without an agreement, and (2) that the negotiations might never end without an agreement. The sponsor, GATT (q.v.), had its existence terminated by the final agreement of the Uruguay Round. This is a scapegoating process perfected by the EU, EC, EEC, and other organizations, in which the failures of a basic idea and group of people are symbolically transferred to the name of an international organization. That organization is ritually slaughtered, the resentments its actions gave rise to fade away as if by magic, and somehow a new organization arises to fill its place (the WTO, in this instance). The sacrifice of these bureaucrats -- nay, international public servants -- is selfless in the truest sense of this word. They serve womanandmankind heedless that they know not where their next office plaque is coming from.

Okay, okay, so the first three definitions are jokes.

The wonks abbreviate the round of the third definition as UR. An earlier round (this sounds like a dance, doesn't it?) was the TR.

Upper Range Value.

Union of Rubber Workers.

Totally off topic, my ex-condisciple Fred, a nuclear physicist, ended up working in the petroleum industry and was proud to join a society (SPE?) that allowed him to describe himself as a lubrication engineer.

ur wc, u r wc
YOU'RE WelCome, YOU ARE WelCome. Chatese. Or maybe YOUR Water Closet, YOU ARE a Water Closet. Chat discussions can get pretty weird. You wanted to know this.


UltraSound. Sound at frequencies above the range perceptible by humans (say above 20,000 Hz). Typically, it's more efficient to generate these using a piezoelectric transducer than an electromagnetic set-up like a loudspeaker. In common parlance, and in medicine, US stands for imaging based on ultrasound. In Spanish, it's all the same, with US standing for ultrasonido.

Unbelievably Salacious. We just made this one up to streamline the POTPOTUS, um, entry.

(Domain code for) United States (USA). Partly because many of the top-level domains are exclusively (.gov, .mil) or almost exclusively (.edu) for US organizations, the ccTLD of the US is not very heavily populated.

Most state governments have websites at http://www.state.<USPS>.us and at http://www.<USPS>.gov (where <USPS> is the two-letter US Postal Service code for the state, territory, or federal district). The URL's http://state.pr.us and http://pr.us were resolvable in February 2003 but returned only an Apache test page. By January 2005 they were gone. A large number of local domains are defined under .us in the form <city>.<USPS>.us, where <city> is the Western Union (telegraph -- remember telegrams?) city code.

Often, I put some country information in the glossary entry for its ccTLD. Here's the US page of an X.500 directory, and here's a map.

United States. In principle, this might refer to another country than the one sharing borders with Canada and Mexico, as many other countries are federations of states (Estados Unidos Mexicanos, for an example). More at the USA entry (no, not the very next one).

United Synagogue. The largest synagogue grouping in the UK, representing ``moderate Orthodoxy.'' Cf. USCJ.

Unit Separator. The function originally conceived for the ASCII (and EBCDIC) nonprinting character corresponding to an integer value 0x1F (decimal 31). It is supposed to be equivalent to ^_ (control-underscore), but don't count on it.

United Space Alliance. A joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed-Martin that combined the divisions of those companies and of Rockwell that were primary contractors for NASA, it manages and conducts space operations work for NASA and (in principle only, as far as I can tell) others. Created mostly to consolidate and stabilize the market for NASA's Space Shuttle outsourcing. It is now contracted for some other NASA stuff too.

United States of America. You've heard of it?

In the major national languages of Europe, the name of the US is simply a translation of ``United States,'' with or more often without the ``of America.'' In German, for example, the United States is die Vereinigten Staaten.

In Hebrew, it's Artzot Habrit, literally `Lands [of] the Covenant' (optionally followed by shel Amerika, `of America'). Most Hebrew words, and all Hebrew words in this entry, have accentual stress on the final syllable. There is no upper-case/lower-case distinction in Hebrew -- I've applied capitalization to conform to English usage. The letter c for the k sound is systematically avoided in transliteration. I'm doing the best I can. What you want, I should write in Hebrew characters, maybe? That would make you happy?

It's widely believed among Hebrew-speakers that this surprising name (viz., `Lands of the Covenant' instead of a literal translation of ``United States'') was created to avoid confusion with the Hebrew for United Nations, but this is just legend. In fact, the term appears in Hebrew papers in the nineteenth century -- in the Hamagid L'Israel weekly as early as 1857. (That newspaper's name could be translated `The Preacher to [the people] Israel,' but something closer to `Intelligencer' was meant. Modern Hebrew has other words translating reporter and herald, and magid also has the sense of `narrator.')

I expect that you're picking up by now that ha is the definite article in Hebrew. Just as in Ancient Greek, a definite article between two nouns typically implies an `of.' Now getting back to the UN thing, it happens that the Hebrew name of the United Nations is Ha-umot Hamehadot. Mehad means `united' in the political sense, from the word ehad (`one'). This wouldn't likely be mistaken as a name for the United States, because umot means only independent `nations.' (Like the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, perhaps.) However, the word medinot has a range of meanings similar to that of English `state' (including `province' and `country'). Thus, Hamedinot Hamehadot, the most literal translation of `the United States,' could indeed also mean `the United Nations.'

By now I imagine you should have glommed on to the fact that -ot is a plural ending. It's the feminine plural ending, though a few common male words form plurals with it (see the agricola entry). It gets repeated in adjectives because in Hebrew, as in most languages with noun gender (afaik), adjectives have to ``agree'' with the nouns they modify. At this rate, in a couple 'thousand more paragraphs of this 'ere USA entry, you'll be fluent in Hebrew.

This would be a good place, or say almost as good a place as most, to consider proposed official languages of the US. The US doesn't have an explicitly designated official language. Probably the best-known federal legislation touching on the issue is section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended. (It's actually part of the 1975 amendment and extension of the VRA.) This law does not designate an official language. Implicitly, however, it contains a clear recognition of the de facto status of English as the standard language of official communication and electoral activity. For example, one condition that can trigger a requirement of ``bilingual voting materials'' is a Census Bureau determination that ``more than 5 percent of the citizens of voting age of [a] State or political subdivision are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient'' (42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a). (I suppose the fact that the law is written in English might be taken as another suggestive indication that English is the de facto standard language.)

Around the time that the US was founded, on the other hand, there were a number of proposals for an official national language for the new nation. Apart from English, the languages proposed included French, Greek, and Hebrew. Most of the non-English languages were probably seriously proposed but not very seriously considered. It was proposed in the Virginia legislature that some laws be published in German as well as English, but the bill was narrowly defeated.

The proposal for official Hebrew was made by that old fool Benjamin Franklin (what'd he ever do?), who also wanted the wild turkey to be the official national bird. (Official drink, okay.) I understand that most of the major European powers then used some eagle as emblematic bird. In the case of both proposals (official language and emblem), the motive was partly to differentiate between the Old World and the New. In this connection, it's interesting to recall that the word Hebrew is derived from a root with senses related to `separate.' A Hebrew (person) is Ivri in the Hebrew language (the language is Ivrit). Abram and his people were called Ivrim (-im is the male and generic plural ending). The name refers to the area they lived in: Ever Hanahar, `across the river.' [Never mind the vowels; the constant element in Semitic words is the three- or occasionally two-consonant root. In Ivri and ever, the consonants are the silent ayin (see 0), bet (see beta), and resh (what, you want everything explained?).]

Daylight Saving Time, wild turkey mascot, and now official Hebrew! Either Franklin was a long-term crack-head, or he was very badly misunderstood. I'll have to look into this. Maybe he suggested that Hebrew be an official language, but optional. Maybe he was buskin' again.

In that place name Ever Hanahar, the river (Nahar) in question was the Euphrates. The general area where Abram lived was called Aram Naharayim, `Aram of the two rivers' (-ayim is the dual ending). The other river was the Tigris. A similar name for the same general area is our Mesopotamia, from the Greek meaning `middle [between] rivers.' This kind of naming is not so unusual. The Argentine province directly north of Buenos Aires is called Entre Ríos (literally `Between Rivers'). It's bounded on the west by el Río Paraná and on the east by el Río Uruguay. And -- I know this is off-topic, but I promise it won't happen again -- a major ancient Greek city on the Italian peninsula was named Metapontum, `beyond [the] water.' Interchanging the roles of water and land in naming, we have the Mare Mediterraneum, `sea in the middle of the earth.'

[Just as an aside, we certainly want to be fair and balanced to all those unbelievers who are going to hell (Gehinna) -- give the devil his due, as they say. So we'll point out that there are those who feel that Abram was a purely legendary figure who never existed. Ipso post facto, he can't have lived in any part of Aram if he didn't live at all.]

Looking back now at all those -ot plurals, it's interesting to consider the singular forms. Maybe you think it's not interesting, but I'm driving so that's where we're going. The word umot is the plural of uma, `nation.' It's obviously cognate with the Arabic word normally transliterated umma. This has the same meaning, and some others, and in particular is used for the `community' of Muslims. (Other words with similar pronunciation are discussed after this entry.) The word medinot is the plural of medina, with various senses related to `state.' The Arabic word medina meant `town' or `city,' but is now used more to refer to the old or original (often walled) part of a city, or to the town center. The Arabian city we call Medina was originally called Yathrib. It became known as Medinatu'l Nabi, `City of the Prophet,' after Muhammed migrated there during Hijrah.

This semantic divergence of medina is reasonable, when you consider that our current notions of state are largely modern inventions. The ancient entities that corresponded to the modern notion were often city-states, or city-states that grew. This coincidence of words for city and state makes one wonder about a similar-seeming resemblance in German...

The plural form of the word Staat, meaning `state,' occurs in the German name of the US (Vereinigten Staaten, remember?). Staat sounds much like Stadt, which means `city' (the main difference is a longer vowel in the former word). The two words ultimately stem from a common Indo-European root *sta, meaning `stand,' with a subsidiary sense of `that which stands.' This is one of the most prolific roots in Indo-European (giving rise, for example, to the word stem in the previous sentence). In Latin it gave rise to the word status, which had a truckload more uses than the straightforward loan word status in English. That Latin word gave rise to both the English word state and the Modern German synonym Staat. On the Germanic side, the same IE root *sta gave rise directly to the Old High German word stat, meaning `place.' In Modern German, the word statt alone is a preposition meaning `instead of.' You can think of this as `in the stead of,' where the English stead (from *sta) means ``place'' (stede in Old English). The Modern German verb stattfinden means `to occur, take place' (more literally `find place,' if you like). Anyway, the modern noun Stadt, `city,' arose as an alternative spelling of statt created to distinguish related meanings of the one word. (Details in the Grimm. I don't make this stuff up, you know.)

Yiddish, incidentally, is a development parallel to Modern German (the branches separate from Middle High German). The word stat, as place or city, occurs in the well-known -el diminutive form of shtetl, `village.' The Yiddish name of the United States is essentially the same as the German. So the Hebrew can't be explained as a translation of some weird Yiddish term.

Since this a longer-than-average entry, we're going to have a review. In Hebrew, the name of the United States is Artzot Habrit, `Lands of the Covenant.' End of review. The word artzot is the plural of feminine noun eretz (`land'). Brit means `covenant.' Presumably the covenant referred to is the Constitution which constitutes one nation out of many states. So this is akin to saying `federation of lands.' (In the German Federal Republic, in fact, the state-like entities are called Länder, as you recall from some entry I can't find now, but which should be cited at AbhKM. That's why I thought Yiddish might provide a clue.)

In the appropriate context, the word brit (bris in the Ashkenazi pronunciation) is short for brit milah, meaning `covenant of circumcision.' So much so, in fact, that in effect brit virtually means `circumcision.' That's sort of okay, because circumcision is so common in the US that `lands of circumcision' would not be entirely misleading. Now you're probably wondering about the precise pronunciation of the word brit, and whether it sounds like the word Brit, short for British. The short answer is no. The vowel in the American pronunciation of bris (which is all I have to go on for the Ashkenazi and Yiddish pronunciations) is around the short-i vowel in the English words Brit, hiss. In the Israeli (and, I presume Sephardi) pronunciation, the i is brighter, like the Spanish i, though not as bright as what would be written breet in English. But I'm glad you asked. Britain, of course, is not a land of circumcision, at least not much. An American guy I knew went to England for the last year of high school, and he said that in the gym he felt like an alien.

I guess we really need a transition sentence here. This glossary is under construction.

The Finnish language uses a frightful number of case declensions instead of prepositions. On a generous day, we can think of them as attached postpositions. For convenience, therefore, ``USA'' is treated as an ordinary noun and declined accordingly (USA, USAn, etc.) even though it's an acronym of English words. Göran told me this in 1978.

I used to give Göran's last name in this entry, sort of like one of those interstellar beacons, sending out a message just in case anyone is out there to receive it. (These are the satellites that send out a recorded message saying ``Helloooooooooooooooooo! Is anybody out there???'' Something like that. Probably in French, Greek, and, uh, Hebrew too, just in case those ignorant uncircumcised aliens don't know English. Details here.) In 2004, he emailed back a correction, so now he's just named in the virtually anonymous style we normally use. That's the way it goes: for the better part of a decade, the entry is wrong and identifies him by name, making him look like he doesn't know his own language. As soon as it's correct, the name goes down. There's gratitude for ya. I'm disgusted! (Cf. LFA 8/e.)

All this naming and crediting business reminds me of a book that, coincidentally enough, has something to do with the putative subject of this entry (USA -- you remember?). It's A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America (London and New York: Granta, 2002). The copyright page includes the following sentence:

Malise Ruthven has asserted his moral right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the author of this work.

It sounds as if the publisher was suggesting a safer policy.

If you came to this entry to learn about the USA, you must not be impatient, because if you were impatient you wouldn't have read this far.

US Army.

Utrechtse Studenten Amerikanistiek. `Utrecht Students of American Studies.' An organization of students in the American Studies masters program at UU.

United States Army Air Corps. Peacetime designation of what officially became the USAAF in 1942. An antecedent designation for the USAF (q.v.).

United States Army Air Force. An antecedent designation for the USAF (q.v.).

After March 9, 1942, the USAAC was officially the USAAF, although it continued to be called the Army Air Corps informally. As explained on this page, the USAAF was divided into a number of separate air forces. Some of these were further divided into air divisions, some of these into

United States Army Aviation Section, later the United States Army Air Service. Two stages in the administrative evolution of what became the US Air Force. See the USAF entry for more details.

United States Advanced Battery Consortium. Formed in June 1991. A consortium within USCAR.

United States Auto Club. Pronounced ``You, sack.'' An organization for Indy car racing. [Alternative name: IndyCar Racing League (IRL).]

United States Army Corps of Engineers.

United States Army Corps of Engineers Information Network.

United States Anti-Doping Agency. Trying to keep athletes au naturel. You know: in the nude, the way the Ancient Grecians did it. Oh! You meant ``all-natural''? No drugs? I didn't know! Why don't you make my suspension effective starting after the games, huh?

Spanish: `used [female].'

USA Deaf Sports Federation. (Previously the AAAD.)

United States Air Force. There were various air forces within the Army before WWII, and in May 1940, when President Roosevelt called for an air force of 50,000 planes, the US air force was still the US Army Air Corps. A separate service was finally established by the National Security Act of 1947.

The same act guaranteed an air component for the Army. Friction between the two services led to various conferences attempting to iron out the differences. The first, the Key West conference in March 1948, produced an agreement that limited Army air forces: Defining land, sea, and air as the domains corresponding to the ``primary missions'' of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, the Joint Chiefs agreed that while secondary missions might overlap, no service was to develop weapons or capabilities that could serve only its secondary capabilities. An agreement later in the year placed weight limits on Army aircraft. As things developed in practice, the Navy was able to develop specialized naval air resources, but until 1966 the Army was forced to rely on the Air Force for air support. The story of this struggle is told by Frederic A. Bergerson in The Army Gets an Air Force: Tactics of Insurgent Bureaucratic Politics (Johns Hopkins U.P., 1980). It's mostly about (the bureacratic maneuverings for) helicopters.

    Michael Robert Terry, in Historical Dictionary of the United States Air Force and Its Antecedents (No. 11 in the series Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest) (Lanham, Md. and London: Scarecrow Pr., 1999) identifies the following as among the antecedents of the US Air Force.
  1. Aeronautical Division of the (Army) Signal Corps created by administrative memorandum, August 1, 1907. (Orville Wright's historic first flight had occurred on December 17, 1903.) After years of training and testing, and the purchase of fifteen planes of various descriptions, first operational unit of the Signal Corps, Aeronautical Division was formed as the First Aero Squadron, subordinate to the Army's Second Infantry Division.
  2. Law passed June 18, 1914 established the Aviation Section, Signal Corps (USAAS), effective July 18 that year.
  3. The first air company of the US National Guard formed Nov. 1, 1915 under the unwieldy but standard-style name of Aviation Detachment, First Battalion, Signal Corps, National Guard, New York.
  4. Amid wartime military aviation expansion, Aviation Section becomes Airplane Division (within the Aviation Section), and other divisions are formed to coordinate production, engineering and other functions.
  5. Army Air Service, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) created by order of AEF HQ on Sept. 3, 1917 It was demobilized in 1919. Following recommendations of the War Department, a five-year expansion program begins on July 1, 1926, and it becomes
  6. Army Air Corps (USAAC), name changed by act of Congress July 2, 1926.
  7. Army Air Forces (USAAF) created by Army regulation 95-5 on June 20, 1941 (but maybe that was July 20). The USAAF was an organizational entity that incorporated the USAAC and a GHQ, Air Force, until the USAAC was officially dissolved on March 9, 1942.

United States Air Force Academy. Located in Colorado Springs, CO. Undergraduates at the USAFA are called cadets, just like undergrads at the USMA. In general, the ranks and insignia of the USAF parallel those of the US Army, the service out of which it was created. The British Royal Air Force has a similar parallel, but I can't remember whether it's with the Navy or Army. I'd look it up for you, but unfortunately the library is closed now in observance of a day of prayer after today's (September, 11, 2001) unprecedented terrorist attacks.

United States Agency for International Development.

United States Automotive Materials Partnership. Formed in June 1993. A consortium within USCAR.

United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. How refreshingly original: uncountable (or is it singular?) science! It has to be plural Arts because ``Art'' means ``Fine Arts.'' (Not that Fine Arts have to be fine -- they can often be coarse and terrible.) But come to think of it... Better yet, let's forget it.

``Oklahoma's only public liberal arts college...since 1908.''

In 1696, the pioneering demographer or economic statistician Gregory King estimated numbers of households, average household sizes, and average incomes of various social classes in England and Wales for 1688. (Actually, the term was ``political arithmetician''; for more on King, follow the link.) Out of a total population of 5,500,500, only 750,000 were members of farmers' households (150,000 families), though an additional 2,575,000 were in the two groups ``labouring people and out-servants'' and ``cottagers and paupers,'' many of whom worked as farm or ranch hands. (``Cottagers'' were people who lived in cottages: individual homes without farmland.) I mention this only for scale. I could as well have mentioned that there were 10,000 households of ``persons in the Law.'' (These had an average household size of 7. King used the term ``family'' and included in family any person, such as a servant, living in the home. Dogs did not count as persons. Because of King's bizarre notions of what counted as family and what did not, I describe his results using the term household.)

There were 16,000 households of ``persons in sciences and liberal arts'' (average size 5). More when I get back from the gym.

Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism ACT. First enacted in October 2001. There is a sunset provision, but many of the enactments that impinge most on civil liberties are exempted from this provision. The law was passed with very little debate. Cf. DORA. With some minor changes, it was renewed at the beginning of 2006.

Universal Synchronous/Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter. A serial port adapter for either asynchronous or synchronous serial communications. Typically faster than UART by a factor of as much as 16.

U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

USA Today. McPaper.

United States of America Track and Field. The organization in charge of covering up positive doping results of potential US Olympians. Or maybe that's the role of the USOC. I guess everyone has an important contribution to make, even if it's only urine. An example of an NGB.

USA Today
Often disparaged as ``MacPaper,'' this periodical is beginning to earn a kudos or two: In My Sister Roseanne: The True Story of Roseanne Barr Arnold by Geraldine Barr with Ted Schwarz, ©1994, it is argued that USA Today has ``national and international hard news and sports'' coverage superior to that of the National Enquirer, and it is implied that its performance in more important categories is at least not incomparably far below the standard set by the Enquirer.

The technical term for glossary entries like this is ``slumming.''

USA Volleyball. The NGB for volleyball in the US.

USA Weightlifting.

Universal Serial Bus. See USB-IF.

University at Stony Brook. Part of SUNY.

Upper SideBand.

Universal Serial Bus Implementers Forum.

United States Bracket Racing Association. A drag-racing association. Vide goracing.com, VROOM!

United States Basketball Writers Association.

UltraSonic Cleaning.

Uniformed Services Clinics.

United States Code (of laws). Also served here by Cornell Law School. The code is divided hierarchically into titles (there are 50), chapters and sections. Sometimes chapters are divided into subchapters, labeled by roman numerals. Chapters are numbered starting from 1 within each title. Sections are also numbered starting from 1 within each title, continuing to increase across the chapters (i.e., the first section of chapt. 2 is not numbered 1). Many section numbers are not used. This may be done so that a chapter or subchapter may consist of a block of sections numbered from, say §§21-27, and the next (sub)chapter start at §31.

In the notation ``## U.S.C. ###,'' the first number (##) is the title number, and the second number (###) is the section number. If you want to refer to a chapter, you really should write something like ``## U.S.C. Chapt. #.''

The fundamental purpose of the legislature is to pass laws that tax the numbering system of the U.S.C. As a back-up in case this fails to make things sufficiently confusing, sections of a law are often referred to by the section or title number in the original act, rather the section number in the U.S.C. This is only one provision of the Lawyers' Full Employment Act.

Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. It's in Galicia. The Spanish (i.e. Castilian) name is Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (very different, see?). They have a tolerably translated English start page also.

University of South Carolina. It's in Columbia.

University of Southern California. ``Southern Cal,'' or ``'SC.'' Also expanded by faculty as ``University of Spoiled Children.'' USC is one of those geographically named private schools, like the University of Pennsylvania. It's the alma mater of O. J. Simpson, who was a very popular running back for the Buffalo Bills. For his subsequent highly remunerative career as a celebrity, he was based back in Los Angeles, where he achieved greater fame as an acquitted murderer.

The president of USC from 1991 to the present (writing as of late 2002) is Steven B. Sample (he was president of UB until 1990). During the rioting that followed the Rodney King videotape, he was pinned down below window-sill level in his office. It's a rough part of town, just off campus.

United States Code Annotated. A version of the US Code (U.S.C.) published by West Publishing Company with an apparatus of court decisions, presidential proclamations and executive orders, etc.

United States Council for Automotive Research. They now (2003) see themselves as working to assist the competitiveness of DaimlerChrysler, FMC, and GM.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

United States Coordinating Committee on ElectroMagnetic Compatibility.

No, know it is not some transcontinental collaboration between Southern Cal (USC) and Columbia University. It's the University of South Carolina at Columbia.

United States (Army) Corps of Engineers.

United States Council of EMC Laboratories.

I know what you're thinking: ``What is EMC''? I think they mean electromagnetic compatibility EMC, but they don't reveal the secret.

United States Chess Federation. How quaint. A bunch of John Henries to the digital hammer.

United States Coast Guard.

United States Colored Infantry. Obsolete, I do believe.

United States Computers, Inc. Out of business, I do believe.

United Systems Cabling, Inc.. The link provides access around the world to a company that installs cable in Oklahoma City, OK. Isn't the web wonderful?

Actually, they have a useful set of links to the K-12-oriented computing-related services.

US Council for International Business.

United States Civilian Internee Information Center.

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Founded in 1913 as an employment agency. Okay, not exactly. It was originally an organization of synagogues affiliated with the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. So it was the synagogues that got rabbis who'd been trained in the seminary for the Conservative movement. (Or ``Conservative stream.'' Jewish denominations are increasingly called streams instead of movements.)

You know, it was a bit fuzzy at first. Reform Judaism is older; Reform was a originally a movement that sought to modernize traditional Judaism (e.g., shorten the services, include prayers in the vernacular, allow instruments for the music, loosen Sabbath and dietary restrictions). The movement began informally in Western Jewish communities, primarily Germany, France, England, and the US. The changes were local and organizationally independent, but sufficiently similar to constitute a coherent movement or at least an identifiable trend. Reform is often and reasonably described as having begun specifically in Germany. It may well be that that is where the first moves toward reform took place, and certainly for a long time Germany had the only rabbinical college producing rabbis specifically for Reform congregations. However, I think the reforming must have gone further in the US. For example, in the Reform synagogue my mother attended in Breslau, Germany, in the 1930's, women and men had separate seating. This was abolished in US Reform (and not reinstituted in Conservatism).

I've read contradictory accounts of the origin of Conservatism. One account has it essentially as a US reaction against Reform -- a feeling that too much had been jettisoned, so the Conservative stream flowed out of the Reform. In the other account, Conservatism was a separate development from Orthodoxy -- like Reform, but not as radical. Conservatism was probably the largest Jewish movement in the 1950's. It's hard to put precise numbers on denominational populations nowadays, as very roughly half of American Jews are not formally affiliated with a synagogue, but Conservatism is now firmly the second-largest denomination in the US after Reform.

Anyway, over time, the USCJ evolved from not-exactly-an-employment-agency into the congregational arm of Conservative Judaism. There's also a related youth organization called United Synagogue Youth. The educational arm of the USCJ is the Solomon Schechter Day School Association (SSDSA); the United Synagogue Day School (USDS) is just a school in Toronto. First the singular ``Synagogue,'' and now this. Maybe they should reform the whole thing.

There is also a ``United Synagogue'' (see US) in the UK, which is part of the Orthodox stream.

Mordechai Kaplan was a Conservative rabbi who wanted reform (``reconstruct'' was his favored word) the Conservative movement in various ways. Probably the most prominent was to reform the English in prayer books to make it gender-inclusive. He didn't want to start a new movement; instead, he promoted the formation of ``havurot'' (essentially discussion and prayer groups) within Conservative congregations. They also became popular in Reform congregations, and a number of them formed independently of Reform or Conservative congregations. Eventually, Reconstructionist became a fourth stream. The situation resembles that of the Wesleys, or John Wesley, who didn't want to create a new church outside the Church of England: he only wanted to reform it. The high-church leadership of the Church of England held fast, however, and eventually Wesley's followers created the Methodist movement.

Unified School District. Fashions in US public education shift back and forth between centralization and decentralization.

United States Dollar. Not equivalent to ``Almighty Dollar,'' even when the currency is strong. Latter term refers to a state of mind. Construction of the symbol follows standard explained at the currency symbols entry.

A Universal Currency Converter is available online, but they don't give away free samples.

Oh, here's another currency converter. There seems to be a widespread interest in money.

A few other currency converters are at our currency converter link (oddly enough).

University of South Dakota. ``South Dakota's flagship university.'' As near as I can tell, though, it is not the flagship of the University of South Dakota system. Instead, it appears to be the system. It's located in Vermillion. There are also State universities.

User's Supplementary Documents. For BSD Unix.

United States Department of Agriculture. Gee, why don't they follow the pattern of other cabinet-level departments like the DOD and the DOC, and just call it DOA?

United States (military) Disciplinary Barracks.

United States Distance Learning Association promotes distance learning (defined as ``[t]he delivery of education or training through electronically mediated instruction including satellite, video, audiographic computer, multimedia technology and other forms of learning at a distance''). More on distance learning at ODL entry.

United Synagogue Day School. A K-8 school in Toronto. The general term for day schools affiliated with United Synagogue is Solomon Schechter school. USDS is the largest one (see SSDSA).

used & new from
When you bring up the page for a book on the Amazon website, you find the list price (say $11.99) as well as a couple of links to, say ``12 used & new from $9.37'' from independent online booksellers like elephant_books or mediacrazy_com. You know, just folks who are clearing out their attics and have sold somewhere between a myriad and a million books. Okay, maybe they're not exactly mom-and-popperations. (My neologism, but I permit you to use it for free.) Ten of these books are new or in mint condition.

It happens that on February 8, 2007, I heard from someone whose book was published on December 31, 2006, by Authorhouse. As you can guess from the name, Authorhouse is a possible solution for authors who can't interest major publishers in their work. It's what we would call a vanity press, if we weren't so circumlocutorily polite. And some self-published books are good, even quite good. This entry may be of interest for the authors of such books -- the good books that can't find regular (as we call them) publishers. If you're writing a bad book and plan to self-publish, never mind.

Okay, now I just wanted to point out that those numbers in the first paragraph are not made up but real, and they're on the webpage for the book referred to in the second paragraph. The author of the book is selling it himself for $12 a copy. He also offers the book at a discount through a distributor, so that retailers can mark the price back up and make a profit. Nothing prevents those retailers from giving the book away for a loss, or making a smaller per-book profit by selling the book at a discount off the list price. If the legalities are followed, then the author gets paid. In fact, depending on the terms of the retailer's discount, the author may get paid the same amount as for a book sold at full price.

Many self-publishing outfits offer to handle distribution to jobbers or wholesalers, and even marketing. From what I've read and heard, it seems that self-publishing authors typically take a pass on the marketing offer. They'll do book-signings in local stores or make inappropriate postings to mailing lists, and try convincing independent bookstores, non-bookstore book retailers, or other relevant organizations (a gym for a fitness book, say) to carry their books. For the rest, they let the printer arrange to supply any retailer that may be interested. One expects that to be mostly Amazon.com and the like, and these generally offer a book at the list price. I just want you to realize that you may also get instant cut-price competition.

Then again, you might not. Another self-publication I am aware of, a snide book about the Swiss, is offered on Amazon.com at $12.95, and there are (as of Lincoln's birthday 2007) 25 ``used & new'' copies available at prices ranging from $12.45 (new) and $12.65 (used) through $14.97 and $16.76 (collectible -- like new) up to $18.70 (new). There's also a used copy in very good condition available for $41.33. It's not clear whether personal references are required before they will consent to let you have it at this price (trust me: it's a steal). But wait--there's more!

In addition to the used copies available in paperback, there are also three paperback copies (yes, paperback) available used. They start at $57.61 (used -- very good). This one is marked with a little checkmark and the words ``low item price.'' The other two copies are only ``used -- good'' and are from booksellers with low customer ratings (91% and 90%). On the plus side, if you're short of shelf space, this is an efficient way to drop $75.43 or $125.14 (plus shipping). [Alright, just to spoil some of the fun: the highest-priced used copies are of the Minerva Press third edition, published in 2000. Minerva Press has apparently gone out of business. (Do not confuse it with Minerva Books, an imprint of Butler Books ``publishing commercially-viable books for the faculty and staff of the University of Louisville.'') The more recent copies are from Authors Choice Press (2002).]

The uncompetitive prices for the Swissy book are offered by many of the same booksellers that are undercutting that guy mentioned in earlier paragraphs, so you might guess that the Swissy author has lowered his price to meet the competition. I'm pretty sure that's not the case. He first posted editorial reviews and some badly faked customer reviews in November 1999. I've saved the Amazon.com page for his book from December 2000 (this had no used-&-new links), and at the time the book was priced at $12.80.

I think the take-home from all this is, if you pay around $12 for a book, then one way or another, you probably paid too much.

United States Education Information Network. Here's a link; I have the impression that it was the title of some now-defunct federal initiative.

Usenet, USENET
USErs' NETwork. The newsgroup system. This link should take you to about the right part of an FAQ listing.

Index and access offered by Google, which bought the archives of deja.com (which used to call its service Deja News). AltaVista (used to be an option, now it's a separate page) and Lycos (where the search is on newsgroup names, but you can browse the selected newsgroup from the Lycos site).

So Deja leaves. The word deja in Spanish translates some senses of the word leave in English. It is not too tortured to say ``Deja nos deja'' (`Deja leaves us') although ``Deja deja de ser'' (`Deja ceases to be') is more natural. In French, déjà means `already.' Fertile ground for macaronic business history.

Here. The Advanced Computing Systems Professional and Technical Association.

(Weblint says it's ``bad form to use `here' as an anchor!'')

United States Escapee Program. An old US State Department program to help refugees from communist countries. I think ``USEP'' and its expansion are informal names, and that officially it was just the (United States State Department's) ``Escapee Program.''

A well-known artistic theme is ``Houdini escaping from New Jersey.''


Use pure, clear, simple, concise Anglo-Saxon; avoid Latin derivatives.
A joke. Every word in the sentence is a Latin derivative.

[It was old when mentioned by W. L. Carr of the University of Chicago High School, in an article entitled ``The English Vocabulary of the High-School Freshman,'' Classical Journal, XV (#1) pp. 20-29 (Oct. 1919).]

I've seen a calque of this -- benutzerfreundlich -- used in German.

Nope, nope. Reasonable guess, though. It's actually the name of an Egyptian (yeah, like, what other kinds are on offer?) Pharaoh. Very little is known about him, so this could eventually be a relatively comprehensive entry. But first some context.

We count Egyptian dynasties (pop etymology: die + nasty), following the Egyptian historian Manetho, starting with the first kings who ruled over a united Upper and Lower Egypt. The founder of the first dynasty was Menes (a/k/a Aha), a king of Upper Egypt who first united Upper and Lower Egypt. (He also founded Memphis and Crocodopolis.) The fifth and final king of the second dynasty was Khasekhemwy, about whom little is known besides the fact that he undertook massive military campaigns and united Upper and Lower Egypt. About many of the nine kings between these two, often very little is known, except that they united Upper and Lower Egypt. For example, Anedjib, fifth and next-to-last king of the 1st Dynasty, was not the least known, but apart from some family details, the main thing we know is that his crown bore symbols of Upper and Lower Egypt, to indicate that they were united under his power. We also know that his word was a dead letter, or maybe a dead logograph, in Lower Egypt.

The first two dynasties are together known as the ``Early Dynastic Period.'' Wait, wait, we're building up to Userkare. I'm not giving much in the way of dates because they're not very certain, BTW, but Menes ruled around 3000 BCE, and Khasekhemwy around 2700.

The next four dynasties (that would be the 3rd Dynasty, the 4th Dynasty, the 6th Dynasty, and -- oh yeah, almost forgot -- the 5th Dynasty) are known as the ``Old Kingdom.'' This period saw the building of the first pyramids, growth in the worship of the sun god Ra, and elaboration of the beliefs about the afterlife that were eventually incorporated in the Book of the Dead. Other important stuff probably happened, but since this is just a microelectronics glossary, we're not going to get into the parts of it that don't concern us.

Well, okay, about the pyramids. The early Egyptian kings were buried in bench-shaped mounds called mastabas. Netjerykhet (a/k/a Djoser or Zoser), the second king of the 3rd Dynasty, got the royal treatment. His architect, Imhotep, stacked six mastabas of diminishing size one on top of the other to create a step pyramid. I imagine that it would have been more interesting had he stacked the bigger ones on top. Anyway, the fad caught on for a millennium or so. The Old Kingdom was the golden age of pyramid building, however. Snofru (or Snefru or Sneferu; what the heck, call 'im Snuffy), the founder of the 4th Dynasty, got the first smooth-sided pyramid -- a step pyramid filled in with stone and covered with a limestone casing. Let's face it: ancient Egypt was a skateboarder's paradise. Later on, Snuffy had a vogue among 12th Dynasty pharaohs, and they all built their pyramids near his. Snuffy's sonny Khufu (Cheops in Greek), third of the dynasty, built the Great Pyramid at Giza. The base covers over 13 acres.

As you can imagine, all this heavy government spending couldn't go on forever. The pyramid of Cheops was the largest ever built, and his son Khafre's was the second largest ever built. Grandson Menkaura had a much smaller one, and that was it for the 4th Dynasty.

The 5th Dynasty, starting around 2500 BCE, also had smaller pyramids. Things were headed south, figuratively speaking. Around 2350, Teti founded the 6th Dynasty. According to Manetho, he was murdered by his guards. Eventually, he was succeeded by his son Pepi I (yeah, yeah, it's a funny name; get it out of your system; a/k/a Meryre). What happened between those two reigns is unclear, but it appears that someone else ruled for two to four years. The someone else was apparently Userkare, and his claim to the throne seems to have had some legitimacy. On the other hand, there are indications that he was associated with the party that killed Teti, and that afterwards his inscriptions were subject of a rather thorough damnatio memoriae. Teti and Pepi I, and the fourth and fifth kings Merenre and Pepi II, all had pyramids at Saqqara. If Userkare had one, or if he even had a burial plot staked out, we don't know.

In late April 2003, Vassil Dobrev of the IFAO announced the discovery of a previously overlooked necropolis in the center of Saqqara. The necropolis contains rock-cut tombs of various high priestly officials of the 6th Dynasty. One of them, Hau-Nefer, served Pepi I, and it is unusual that his tomb is not near his king's pyramid. Stay tuned.

user name, username for translation
In Spanish, what I've encountered is ``nombre de usuario.''

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. ``[P]rohibits discrimination against persons because of their service in the Armed Forces Reserve, the National Guard, or other uniformed services.'' Passed by Congress over twenty years after the US defeat in Viet Nam, when everyone was feeling all guilty for not welcoming the boys back home. A feel-good measure signed into law days before the mid-term election, it must have shored up support for the Democratic Congress, sure, but that November saw a historic Republican victory, quickly squandered.

USERRA complaints are handled by VETS, which may refer unresolved complaints to the OSC.

The act itself, in all its original wordiness, can be found here.

That name (``Uniformed...'') reminds me of the FBI's crime reports (UCR's).

US Employment Services. Employment service of last resort.

University of South Florida. It's at Tampa. Okay then, if Tampa is ``South Florida,'' then what's Miami -- Cuba North? As a matter of fact, yes.

United Supplement Freedom Association. Here's the motto I would recommend: ``Dope responsibly.''

Uniformed Services Family Health Plan.

US (military) Forces Korea.

United States Figure Skating Association. Cf. PSA.

United States Foreign Medical Graduates.

Uniform System of Financial Records.

Uniform System of Financial Records for Charter Schools.

United States (government) Fish and Wildlife Service.

Undoped Silicate Glass. An insulating material between IC metalization layers.

Unix Support Group. (I'm not aware of any twelve-step programs, though.)

Urea SuperGranule[s].

United States Golf Association. It's the governing body for golf in the United States and Mexico.

United States Geographic Board. The name during 1906-1934 of the entity that was previously and is now known as the Board on Geographic Names (BGN).

United States Global Change Research Program.

US Geological Survey, part of the Department of the Interior.

Utah System of Higher Education.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. On the mall in DC.

University of Southern Indiana.

User-System Interface.

United States Information Agency. Public Relations organ of the US government.

User-Specific Integrated Circuit.

U.S. Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East. Does pressing the Enter button imply acceptance of this terrible initialism?

Hmm. No highlights or action alerts or any other news on the website since early 2000. And they say no news is good news.

United States-Israel Educational Foundation. Funds Fulbrights.

United States Information Service. Overseas name for the USIA.

United States Institute for Theatre Technology.

United States Mint.

Unlisted Securities Market.

US Military Academy. At West Point, New York. The first engineering college in the US. Undergraduates there are called cadets.

U.S. Military Assistance Command - Vietnam.

United States Marine Corps.

United States Medical Licensing Examination. Administered by the NBME.

United States Marshals Service.

During FY 2004, US marshals ``apprehended more than 36,000 federal felons, clearing 39,000 federal felony warrants -- more than all other law enforcement agencies combined. Working with authorities at the federal, state, and local levels, U.S. Marshals-led fugitive task forces arrested more than 31,600 state and local fugitives, clearing 37,900 state and local felony warrants.''

US Navy.

USN Plane Types
Prefix Function or Type Examples; Comments
A Amphibious
B Bomber B-17, B-25, B-52, B-1, B-2
F Fighter F4U, F6F-3, F4F-3, F4F-4, F-100, P-38F, P-40F
FB Fighter/Bomber P-40C
G Single-engine transport
H Ambulance mnemonic: Hospital
J Utility mnemonic: Jeep
JR Utility/Transport
N Trainer mnemonic: New
O Observer
OS Observer/Scout
P Patrol P-38F, P-51
PB Patrol/Bomber PBY
R Multi-engine Transport
S Scout
SB Scout/Bomber SBD-3, SB2C
SN Scout/Trainer
SO Scout/Observer
T Torpedo
TB Torpedo/Bomber TBF, TBD-1
X Experimental

USN Plane Manufacturers
Code Manufacturer Examples; Comments
A Brewster mnemonic: Brewster Angle
B Beechcraft/Boeing B-17
C Curtiss SB2C, P-40C, P-40F
D Douglas SBD-3, TBD-1
E Bellanca/Piper
F Grumman F4F-3, F4F-4, F6F-3, TBF
G Goodyear
H Howard
J North American B-25, P-51
K Fairchild mnemonic: Kindergarten
L Bell P-39
M Martin/General Motors
N Naval Aircraft Factory
O Lockheed P-38F
P Spartan
Q Stinson
R Ryan
S Stearman
T Timm
U Vought, Chance Vought F4U
V Vultee
Y Consolidated PBY

US Naval Academy. An undergraduate institution where the students are called midshipmen. Located at Annapolis, described at the AACC entry.

U.S. Naval Institute.

``For nearly 135 years, USNI has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

As an independent forum that produces thoughtful periodicals, scholarly books, and stimulating conferences, USNI makes a material contribution to the professionalism of Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, and in turn plays a unique and vital role in our national security.''

United States Naval Observatory. ``The U.S. Naval Observatory performs an essential scientific role for the Navy, for the Department of Defense and for the United States. Its mission is to determine the positions and motions of celestial objects, to provide astronomical data, to measure the Earth's rotation and to maintain the Master Clock for the United States.''

US News and World Report. A newsweakly.

You probably want to know if there used to be magazines called ``US News'' and ``World Report.'' Yes. At the beginning of 1948 (volume 24), as for some years previously, The United States News had a vertical blue bar along the left 40% or so of the front cover. That listed the title and had five white stripes with ``The only magazine devoted entirely to reporting ... interpreting and forecasting the news of national affairs'' in red caps. Some white stars and red shadowing of white letters and stars completed the patriotic color scheme. ``Published Weekly at Washington.'' The last issue with this layout was that of January 9, 1948. Among the cover stories in that issue: ``Third-Party Chances'' (Henry Wallace was planning his run) and ``Cold Cure in Sight?'' The next issue, of January 16, had a banner announcing ``Starting With This Issue U.S. NEWS and WORLD REPORT Are Combined.'' The red (``... only magazine ...'') text was removed and ``World Report'' over a blue globe superposed on the old stripes. The magazine length grew from 48 pages to 72 pages (usually) while the price stayed at 15 cents. (World Report, a weekly launched on May 23, 1946, had also been published by United States News Publ. Corp. ``The weekly newsmagazine of world affairs.'') The March 19 issue used a layout similar to the one they still have in 2005. (Blue square with ``U.S. News and World Report.'') The Whispers section for March 26 included the following short item:

Pope Pius XII is being forced to consider alternatives to Rome as headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church by possibility of a Communist regime in Italy. Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and Quebec, in Canada, have received some consideration. The church in Italy is openly opposing the Communists and will be in trouble if Communists win.

Spanish noun meaning `use,' and verb form meaning `I use.' But in Spanish, the ess in unvoiced in both words and the pronunciations are indistinguishable.

United Service Organizations. Chartered by Congress on February 4, 1941, the USO is a voluntary and non-profit civilian organization for the men and the women in the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. On December 20, 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed the USO Congressional Charter into law (Title 36, U.S. Code, Chapter 45) and the USO became incorporated in the District of Columbia.

Utah Symphony Orchestra. Where do you suppose they play their home games, er, performances? Yes! Downtown Salt Lake City -- lucky guess.

United States Olympic Committee.

At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Prince Alexandre de Merode of Belgium, chairman of the IOC's medical commission, said that the USOC covered up five positive drug test results before the 1988 Games, and that some of the athletes protected may have gone on to win medals in Seoul.

We are always grateful for information, but Prince Alexandre has a habit of being a day late and a dollar short. A decade after the Los Angeles games, he explained that he had been unable to report all of the drug positives at the Los Angeles games (1984 -- the revenge counter-boycott year) because a maid at the Biltmore Hotel had mistakenly tossed out documents from his room. I guess he forgot to bring his dog.

Universal Service Order Code.

USO at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). According to this brochure, the ``USO/SFO is the first airport USO in the world. It was established in June 1966 during the Vietnam conflict at the request of the Sixth Army to serve the large number of military personnel en route to and from Vietnam and the Pacific.'' My friend Rob used to volunteer there. It's a small world.

Unique Sales Proposition. Scam.

US Pharmacopeia. See here some of what is no longer used to fill prescriptions.

United States Public Health Service.

US Postal Service, semiprivate since 1971. They distribute garbage, but occasionally some critical mail is mixed in, so you're forced to sort through the junk, which is usually disguised to look like mail. In foosball and other games, this is called ``keeping [you] honest.'' I think this is outrageous, but the USPS has a competitive advantage: it owns the marketplace. Although ``private,'' it is the only organization legally permitted to use your mailbox.

Below is a US map with their two-letter state codes. (These are not abbreviations of the sort that one should use in writing, incidentally. Thus, for example, an address label could have `MN' while a list of states would include `Minn.')

Some years earlier, when the service was being deprivatized and Washington was president of the US, Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General. Franklin brought important professional experience to this appointment. When he was starting out as a printer in Philadelphia, the mail concession was held by his former employer and rival publisher in town, who prevented him from getting out-of-town news until he had published it, thus always scooping a newspaper that Franklin was trying to start. Franklin wrote in his autobiography that he made himself a vow then, to deliver the mail fairly if he came to have the concession (which he eventually did). Franklin's life was full of this sort of thing: each injustice done him, or misfortune befalling him, taught Franklin a moral lesson, and led to a practice or conviction that often enough had very long-term benefits for the new nation.

That doesn't sound very cynical, does it.

Postal delivery monopoly is a recurring theme in Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, © 1966, 1965.

US map with state outlines

US Patent and Trademark Office. Website here. Other countries' offices here.

STO serves a patent search tool. MicroPatent serves separate patent and trademark tools. The Intellectual Property Network allows you to search the patent records of several countries simultaneously.

US Robotics. Less well known than the USSR, but then they're still in business. Also, they don't make robots, exactly. They make data communications equipment (``DCE''), like modems.

Universities' Space Research Association.

Universal Synchronous Receiver/Transmitter. Cf. USART

United States Ship.

United States Sports Academy. So that's what all those rock songs were about! According to the homepage, `` `America's Graduate School of Sport.' '' (It's not clear whom they're quoting.)

... The Academy is a private, non-profit graduate school that offers sport-specific residential and online distance learning programs to students, teachers, and administrators around the world. The Academy has a special mission to serve the sport industry as a resource in instruction, research, and service.

``Sport'' -- isn't that like an atavism in reverse?

A song keeps running through my mind's ear, trailing off ``back in the yoo ess ess e-ey.''

Upper Single SideBand.

United States Satellite Broadcasting (Company).

United States Soccer Federation. A member of CONCACAF. You think ``conk a calf'' sounds stupid in English? It could be worse.

And what's with this ``soccer'' thing anyway? Is it played professionally? Does anyone in the world watch the events or care who wins? How many soccer celebrities in rehab have you even heard of?

United States Special Operations COMmand.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. According to Cornelius Castoriadis: ``Four words, four lies.'' That's a lie, of course, because of ``of.'' It is ``no coincidence,'' as a favorite communist phrase went, that this is reminiscent of Mary McCarthy's famous comment about Lillian Hellman: ``Every word she writes is a lie, including `and' and `the'.'' (She said this on ``The Dick Cavett Show'' in 1980, quoting her own comments from an earlier interview with Paris Metro. Hellman sued but died while the case was still being argued, and her executors dropped it.) Part of the animosity between Hellman and McCarthy was due to the fact that Hellman was in fact dishonest and that McCarthy was ferocious in pursuit of truth, but part of the animosity had to do with some of the things that Hellman was dishonest about. Hellman was a Stalinist (in the sense that Americans were ever Stalinists: a supporter of and propagandist for Stalin, a defender of the show trials, a critic of Krushchev's de-Stalinization). McCarthy was a part of the anti-Stalinist left -- one of the ``New York intellectuals.'' Stalin was the leader of the USSR from not long after Lenin's death until his own death in 1953.

The USSR, or Soviet Union, was an important twentieth century country (1917-1991). As a result of the ``October'' revolution which led to the creation of the USSR, Russia switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, in consequence of which the October revolution was seen to have occurred in November. Thus we see how the revolution, by propelling Russia into the future, contained within itself the seeds of its own destruction.

The enduring state-planned collectivist economy that characterized the Soviet Union was imposed mostly by Stalin. Stalin's method of persuading his country along that path was state terror, made credible by mass executions, deportations, deadly work camps, show trials -- your basic (and paradigmatic) twentieth-century totalitarian horror. Through the thirties and much of the forties, much of the left in western countries largely bought in to Soviet propaganda depicting the USSR as a progressive society, possibly making a few mistakes. By the late 1940's and into the 1950's, most of the US left became anti-communist. A consensus was forged, that communism had to be resisted or ``contained.''

It was widely claimed that the fall of the USSR was unheralded, but here in the title song from his album ``Lawyers in Love,'' Jackson Browne makes his clear prediction a full eight years earlier (©1983 Night Kitchen Music ASCAP):

   Last night I watched the news from Washington, the capital.
   The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, like Russians will.
   	Now we've got all this room,
   	we've even got the moon,
   And I hear the U.S.S.R. will be open soon
   As vacation land for lawyers in love.

Of course, there was also Soviet dissident Andrei Amalrik's essay, Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984? (published in 1970). Amalrik's conclusion was less tentative than his title, and perhaps his analysis of the USSR's weakness and vulnerabilities was accurate, but his attempt to predict the future course of the regime was mistaken in many major details and lacked a catchy melody.

November 7 was Revolution Day in the USSR, a day to celebrate the achievement of the Octobrists. On November 7, 1996, coming out of quintuple bypass heart surgery, President Yeltsin issued a statement renaming it ``Day of National Accord and Reconciliation.'' Later the same day, in the afterglow of elections that assured that President Clinton would also continue as president of his country, a rash of long-awaited cabinet resignations began. Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested that this is ``a chance for [Clinton] to reach out and be very bipartisan and even appoint some Republicans in a way which indicates a real willingness to work together.'' In the elections, Republicans strengthened their control of the Senate, which must approve cabinet appointments, but lost some House seats, some of whose lame-duck occupants must have been looking for work.

Accord, Shmaccord. Admit it, politics is boring, and reconciliation is positively soporific. More on ``Lawyers in Love'' at the PSU entry, and even at the bobo entry, where we mention the decadent bourgeois.

United States Specialty Sports Association.

Underground Storage Tank. Cozying up to the aquifer.

[Phone icon]

United States Telecom Association. Founded by a group of independent telephone company executives [nice history at that link] in 1897 as the National Telephone Association. After the break-up of AT&T in 1982, the name was changed to United States Telephone Association, and the seven Baby Bells (RHC's) were admitted as full members.

United States Tennis Association. May is USA Tennis Month.

United States Trotting Association. Only horses.

United States Twirling Association. Associated with the WBTF. The USTA is one of the two major majorette associations in the US. The other is the NBTA (associated with the GA, of course). My failed attempt to enumerate only the major twirling associations can be found at the majorette entry.

``The Association was founded in 1958 as the first national twirling organization to be run democratically and it remains the only twirling organization that elects its Board of Directors through its membership.''

Urdu title of respect, meaning about the same as Hindi Pandit.

Spanish pronoun of respect, meaning `you,' but taking third-person verb conjugations. Traditionally abbreviated Vd.

The coincidence of conjugations leads to frequent confusion, because subject pronouns are normally omited in Spanish. That is, when I (first person) am talking to a second person, about a third person, which person I am talking about is usually clear just from the verb conjugations. But if the person I'm speaking to expects to be addressed using polite forms (as opposed to familiar forms), then my statement about a third person could be misinterpreted as a statement about the person I am speaking to.

The traditional Spanish second personal pronouns are tu (singular `you') and vosotros (plural `you'; `y'all' in the strict sense). (We'll just focus on the nominative forms here, okay? The rest are similar.) I'll have a lot more to say about vosotros and vos, and French and Latin, when I get around to writing the relevant entry, but for now the thing to note is that while vosotros is still used in Spain, it has virtually disappeared in the Americas, replaced by the plural polite pronoun Ustedes. (In principle, if you're talking to second-persons plural about third-persons plural, then this compounds the problem described in the preceding paragraph, but really if you attend gossipy speeches, you get what you deserve.)

The replacement of familiar or unmarked forms by polite ones is a common phenomenon (pun intended). English provides another example: you. Originally, the words thou and ye were the singular and plural. So:

``Thou, get into thine ox-cart!'' (sing.)

``Ye, getteth into your ox-cartes!'' (pl.)

As the language evolved through Middle English and Early Modern English, two successive major changes took place. First, the plural came to be used as a polite singular form. I hope it is intuitive that addressing someone in the plural is suggestive of respect, 'cause I ain't gonna explain it, yer majesties. The second change was that the group of people who merited the polite form grew to include pretty much everyone. That left thou, the original singular and erstwhile familiar form, as a marked form. Presumably under the influence of the KJV, this marked form continued be used in addressing God. In effect then, the earlier polite form you became the modern unmarked or familiar form, and the earlier familiar form thou became the modern polite form. A neat inversion. Thou continued to be used in various dialects, particularly of religious communities. An interesting case is the Quakers, perhaps the largest well-known group to continue using thou and thee, except that in conversational use, many now apparently interchange the nominative and oblique cases. Alright, another can of worms:

Originally, thou was the nominative form and thee the oblique or object form, the way I and me are nominative and oblique forms, respectively: Thou givest to me, I give to thee. The usual crude explanation is that the nominative case is for the agent of the action, and oblique case is for everything else except possession (my, mine, thy, thine, your, yours). I think it's just an accident of etymology that the long -ee ending appears in the oblique forms of of I and thou. As it happens, the first- and second-person plurals followed had -ee nominative forms. Perhaps the pattern of I and thou made a nominative ye sound somehow off. For whatever reason, the form you replaced ye and is now the common nominative as well as oblique form. (No comment on he.)

Just to complete a thought: Spanish has familiar and polite imperative verb forms. One increasingly hears parents unironically addressing their children using the polite forms, even though they normally use familiar indicative forms. It is jarring to hear, but it's becoming more common, and appears to be part of a trend in which the familiar imperative form is disappearing. Time will tell.

The US Southern expression y'all originally served as a replacement for the Old English ye. That is, it distinguished the second-person plural. You didn't say y'all to a single person. Apparently, however, the construction has proven more useful as an affectation of friendly folksiness, adopted by Yankees and misused even by Southen' city-slickers. Y'all is reminiscent of Spanish vosotros (and nosotros), since otros means `others.'

University of Science and Technology of China.

Formal second-person (sing.) personal pronoun in Spanish.

United States Trade Representative.

United States Travel and Tourism Administration. In 1994, the US ran a $21 billion net surplus in tourism, officially, but these numbers are pretty hard to pin down accurately. Vide Tourism entry.

Utah State University. A public land-grant university whose main campus is located in Logan, it was originally established in 1888 as the Agricultural College of Utah. It later became Utah State Agricultural College, and finally took its present name in 1957. USU and Utah University are the only Ph.D.-granting universities in the USHE system.

Utility Services Use Tax.

Isuzu in the rear-view mirror.

Unterbrechungsfreie StromVersorgung. (Ger.: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).)

Unmanned (water-) Surface Vehicle.

United States Virgin Islands. See VI entry.

UnderSea Warfare.

And so forth. [For und so weiter in German.]

United SteelWorkers of America.

United Synagogue Youth. ``... serving 9th - 12th graders, is the youth arm of the Conservative Movement, affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.''

Universal Time. What you mean when you say GMT; see UTC.

University of Tampa. A private university.

University of Texas. Unless otherwise qualified, probably UT at Austin, the flagship school of the UT System, especially as UT Austin is not normally abbreviated ``UTA.''

University of Toronto. More commonly ``UofT'' or ``U of T.'' U of T has three main campuses (there's also an outlying campus for aerospace studies -- UTIAS). The St. George campus in downtown Toronto is the main one. St. George has a number of constituent colleges.

One of those colleges, founded in 1964, moved to a new campus in Scarborough (eastern edge of Toronto) and became known as UTSC, but since 1972 it has been a separate division of the University of Toronto, and is now called the University of Toronto at Scarborough. It seems that the Erindale College of the University of Toronto, located on Mississauga Road in Mississauga (how strange is that?) became the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM).

Upper Tester.

A Latin adverb and conjunction. How am I supposed to explain this? In what manner should I do it? As, for example, in this clause, as also in this one (as [of course] in this one). Yes, so, and as follows: each italicized word or phrase in this entry corresponds to ut in some translations of the English into Latin. How I do explain this!

B. G. Whitfield's little book, A Classical Handbook for Sixth Forms (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1956) has an entire paragraph devoted to the 32,000 different meanings of ut (in Latin alone).

The first word of a hymn to John the Baptist:
Ut queant laxis
Resonare fibris,
Mira gestorum
Famili tuorum,
Solve polluti
Labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes!

Each line of the hymn begins one note (of the diatonic scale) higher than the line before. In other words, the initial syllables correspond to ascending degrees of the C major scale. In the eleventh century, Guido d'Arezzo used this fact as the basis for representing degrees of (his) scales by the bolded syllables above:

ut, re, mi, fa, so, la

The syllable ut is not as euphonious as the others. Moreover, Italian doesn't much like final consonants anyway. (In detail, so far as I am aware: l and n occur as final consonants in words that never end a sentence -- il and con -- and in the Venetian dialect. If I remember Dante, the word for and was still written et, but I suspect that the t was unaspirated and simply represented the sharp end of the eh sound. Cf. EEK!. So I figure it was pronounced much like the current e.) Probably ut was pronounced like English ooh, but even so: that vowel has a relatively high principal formant, making it just a little harder to use for a low note. Anyway, no one seems to know the origin, but it's not surprising that in Italy the ut was quickly replaced by do. That change was adopted virtually everywhere but France. (By ``everywhere'' I mean Western Christendom, which was in musical terms rather homogeneous.)

In the Western musical tradition, scales are enumerated or sung beginning at the low pitches. This is so standard that it seems natural, but it is an unusual feature of our musical tradition. (When I write ``our'' I don't me the ``royal we'' me; I mean you too.) In other surviving traditions, as in ancient Greek music, scales are normally begun at the highest note and followed down. This seems to be easier on the voice, which is perhaps a more important instrument in non-Western music. The assumption that scales go up led to a misunderstanding and complete reassignment of the ancient Greek mode names in Medieval and later Western music.

That's enough for now, I guess. One thing I won't mention until later is the etymology of gamut (gamma (G) + ut: synecdoche for the entire scale).

Utah. USPS abbreviation.

The Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy serves a page of Utah state government links. USACityLink.com has a page with some city and town links for the state.

University of Texas at Arlington. Part of the UT System. By settled convention, ``UTA'' is not used as an abbreviation of University of Texas at Austin.

Ultra-Thin Body. So far as I can tell, this term is not used in the modeling and fashion business, but only in microelectronics packaging.

University of Texas at Brownsville. Part of the UT System since 1991. Operates in close partnership with Texas Southmost College (TSC), a Brownsville municipal college.

ut bémol
French, the note `C flat' or a flatted do, whatever do (ut) is, if it isn't C. In fact, if do is C, then ut bémol is B.

UltraThin Cell. Probably an ultrathin GaAs-based PV cell for space applications.

Uniform Traffic Citation.

United Technologies Corporation.

Le temps universel coordonné. `Coordinated Universal Time.' I'm sure there's a language in which this initialism is probably ordered. (No, that's not an error for ``properly.'') I've seen ``Universal Time Coordinate,'' which is a properly constructed English noun phrase, and ``Universal Time Coordinated,'' in which the C-word is consistent with the French ``expansion.'' We should all have such trivial problems.

UTC is essentially the current version of what used to be called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT, or Zulu or whatever) except that it is no longer supposed to be called that, and it's computed from time kept simultaneously by atomic clocks around the world. The Greenwich observatory isn't even in Greenwich any more -- it's in Cambridge (or Oxford, I can't recall).

Here is the UTC from USNO: Clock requires Netscape

UTC is not precisely a linear measure of time -- it's more like a piecewise linear measure: it is adjusted so that on average over the years, the Sun is overhead within 0.9 seconds of 12:00:00 UTC on the meridian of Greenwich. The adjustment is by a whole number of leap seconds -- usually the addition of one or maybe two seconds. The adjustment is made at the recommendation of the IERS, and so far has always been made on the first of January or July. At other times, UTC tracks TAI, a consensus of atomic clocks. As of mid-July 2004, UTC differs from TAI by 32 seconds.

Usado, usada o usadas también como sustantivo. Spanish dictionary abbreviation: `also used as a noun.'

University of Texas at Dallas. ``We are the future,'' they say. Perish the thought. Part of the UT System.

ut dièse
French, the note `C sharp' or a sharped do, whatever do (ut) is, if it isn't C.

ut dièse mineur
French, `C sharp minor' key. Cf. ut dièse.

ut mineur
French, `C minor' key. Cf. ut.

Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. In BAires.

University of Texas, El Paso. Part of the UT System.

Urinary Tract Infection.

University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

UTK intercollegiate teams are called ``The Volunteers'' or ``The Vols.'' It sounds so socially responsible.

The July 21, 2000 Chronicle of Higher Education had an interesting article concerning athletics at UTK.

Upper Tolerance Limit. Also Upper Limit (UL) and Upper Limit of Tolerance (ULT).

Universal Transverse Mercator (projection).

University of Toronto at Mississauga. Vide UT.

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Part of the UT System.

[Phone icon]

I guess it's from Greek Eu + topia -- `good place.' The eu you recognize from evangel (ev + angel: `good' + `message' -- roughly equivalent to ``gospel'); the top- is the same root as topic, topos, topographic, ...

Sir Thomas More invented the word. It was the name of an island that enjoyed a perfect social, legal and political system. Like any uninhabited island, except that this one had people on it too, and was imaginary. The locale of an eponymous book published in 1516.

Disclaimer: you really want to read the next entry as well.

Hmmm. Seems I got the etymology not quite right. Alright, then, give me a hint. [The U in Utopia doesn't stand for eu.] Okay then, maybe it stands for Yiddish oy, as in ``Oy! what a place!'' [No.] Well it was a good try anyway, I should think! [ou, Grk. `not.'. ``Utopia'' is no-place, just like J. S. Mill's Erewhon (almost nowhere spelled backwards.] There, see, I was right: ou is oy in Latin transliteration.

Probably the best-known instance of Greek ou in the sense of `no' is in Homer's Odyssey. In one episode, Ulysses tells the Cyclops Polyphemus that his name is Outis, literally `no one.' Later, Ulysses and four companions put out the eye of Polyphemus, and he ends up telling his fellow Cyclopes, when they come in response to his cries, that no man has delivered a mortal blow. His unsympathetic fellows say it's an act of god (Zeus, to be specific) and go back to sleep. It does seem just a bit contrived.

Universal Test and Operations PHY Interface for ATM.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (cable).

Universal Television Program Code. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 enables the UTPC transmission with both analog and digital signals to be ``guaranteed.''

Unshielded Twisted Pair Transceiver.

The initialism apparently stands for University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, though as of this writing (2004) it is officially called the University of Toronto at Scarborough. Vide UT.

UT System
University of Texas SYSTEM. Cf. Texas State University System.

As of fall 2005, the UT System comprises nine universities and six health institutions:

  1. University of Texas at Arlington (UTA)
  2. University of Texas at Austin (``UT Austin'' or simply UT)
  3. University of Texas at Brownsville
  4. University of Texas at Dallas (UTD)
  5. University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
  6. University of Texas - Pan American
  7. University of Texas of the Permian Basin
  8. University of Texas at San Antonio
  9. University of Texas at Tyler
  10. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
  11. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB)
  12. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  13. University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  14. University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
  15. University of Texas Health Center at Tyler

The universities with names of the form ``University of Texas at Foobar'' are called ``UT Foobar'' for short.

Ulster Teachers' Union. It has one of those grandfathered-in non-US .edu domains.

Universiteit Utrecht.

Unix-to-Unix. Productive, as in UUCP and uuencode.

University (Student) Union Activities Board at UB.

Unix-to-Unix CoPy. (Or Unix-to-Unix Copy Program.) Unix utility that formed the basis for Usenet.

The O'Reilly & Associates book on this features a greater kudu, and was written by Grace Todino & Dale Dougherty.

Unix-to-Unix ENCODE. Electronic mail is designed to transfer ASCII characters. When non-ASCII (i.e., ``binary data'') files are sent by email, some of the non-ASCII characters may be munged by the mailer, if it interprets them as instructions to itself, and on the receiving end, the receiver's machine may munge them. It is also inconvenient to edit non-printing characters from a file. The standard procedure when transferring non-ASCII characters (filename1 in the example below) is to compress and asciify them, in the sequence

%compress filename1
%uuencode filename1.Z filename2.Z >filename3

The sender includes the ASCII contents of filename3 in email. On the receiving end, the user may extract via a mailer feature or shell, or just write the mail to a file, edit out the header and other non-uuencoded bits, save the result to some file filename4, and in the directory containing that file:

%uudecode filename3
%uncompress filename2.Z

[The four filenames filename1, filename2, ... can be any legal file names, and need not be different.] The compression is not necessary, but is advised in mailing between different machines, so as not to tax bandwidth, and since uuencoding balloons the size of the file by a factor of about 2X.

Of course, modern mail codes manage all this transparently in MIME-encoded attachments (uuencode is a MIME type, as is binhex, which does something similar for Macintosh files, which have the further complication of being divided into resource and data forks).

(To ftp binary files, just set binary.)

Presumably, this would originally have been expanded Unix-to-Unix NET. Later it became a ``network integration and services provider'' belonging to MCI WorldCom.

Ulster Unionist Party. Formerly the Official Unionist Party. The main unionist (q.v.) party until 2003. It formed all the governments of Northern Ireland from 1921 until 1972, when direct rule from London was imposed.

United University Professions. A union that is reputed to represent and negotiate in the interests of ``nearly 29,000 academic and professional faculty on 29 state-operated State University of New York campuses, plus Central Administration, Empire State College, and the New York State Theatre Institute.'' Part of the AFT.

Unit Under Test.

Unmanned Under{ water | sea } Vehicle.

UltraViolet. Indicating a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum at energies above, but near, those of the visible spectrum. UV light has just enough energy to drive certain chemical reactions, including certain kinds of polymerization, and also to excite electrons out of the floating gate of an EPROM. (We're rather overdue for an ozone entry. Sorry.)

The UV used in ``optical'' lithography is now typically 0.365 µm, which corresponds to photons of energy of 3.41 eV.

Universiteit van Amsterdam.

University of VirginiA. There's a bit on UVA history, some of it impolitic, at the Harvard of the South entry.

UV light in the wavelength range 400nm to 320nm. The region around 365nm is dominant in many tanning lamps.

UV light in the wavelength range 320nm to 290nm. ``Bad UV.''

UV light in the wavelength range 290nm to below 260nm. The absorption peak of DNA is centered around 260nm. That UV-B radiation is most significant is a kind of compromise: solar intensity falls off exponentially with decreasing wavelength (shorter than green), so UV-A is most intense, but sensitivity falls exponentially with increasing wavelength from UV-C. In the UV-B region the product of intensity and sensitivity is a maximum.

UV divergence
Vide ultraviolet divergence.

UV-erasable PROM. Synonym for EPROM.

UV filter
Camera filter especially useful for preferentially lowering the intensity of a bright sky or sun.

UltraViolet (UV) Germicidal Irradiation. Erases them li'l buggers good as'n EPROM, so you can breathe easier. Of course, UV radiation also suppresses immune response.

UV Index. A service mark of Accuweather, which computes it for places in the US.

University of VICtoria. In British Columbia.

University of VerMont. Given that the state name is a compound noun, VM makes a lot more sense than VT. Someone should point this out to the USPS. It's not as if anyone's going to think VM stands for Virginia. More likely they'd mistake VT for Virginia Tech.

No, I don't know anything about the place... but a former colleague of mine went there twenty years ago and was quite happy as a professor in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS), last I heard. He looks older and more distinguished than I remember him. I guess we all look older, but the more distinguished bit isn't so automatic.

Utah Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Utah Valley State College... no more:

Utah Valley University. Located in Orem. The legal name of the institution was Utah Valley State College until July 1, 2008. Nope, I don't know anybody there. I just have a thing for palindromes. Utah could have more of them, with a little effort.

Usenet Volunteer Votetakers. Information here.

UV/VIS, UV-vis
Ultra Violet/Visible or Near UV.

Here's some instructional material from Virginia Tech on UV and visible-light absorption spectroscopy. Here's a bit from Perkin-Elmer.

United Way. (They seem not to have coordinated their web sites: uw.org is Salt Lake City, uwnyc.org is UW in NYC, uway.org is UW ``of the Midlands.'' ``The Midlands'' is one of those slightly informative terms, like ``tristate area.'' In this instance, they mean north central South Carolina. Oh -- those Midlands. Of course.)

University of Wisconsin. The graphical homepage of the UW System doesn't display properly in Netscape, and all the links on the text-only homepage point back through a custom parser to the text-only homepage. Good goin', guys!

University of Wisconsin-Madison. Better not abbreviate this ``UWM.''

Back when I was an undergrad, I spent a summer working at Fermilab with a collaboration (targets at the Meson Area) that included faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I figured I should mention that first -- full disclosure and all that.

Elsewhere in the glossary, probably in among the double-yoos somewhere, we have an entry for WARF, an institution that helps cure your heart with rat poison.

I'm on a history-of-science (HOS) jag at the moment, so I'm going to have to mention UW's Department of History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. When it was founded (as the ``Department of History of Science'') in 1956 or 1957, it was the first such department in North America (as opposed to interdisciplinary programs, typically based in history departments). Today it is the largest HOS program in North America. Still, at that it only has thirteen regular faculty.

There's actually a good reason to go to Madison: a museum mentioned at the TP entry.

University of the West Indies.

It's intriguing, how one sets up a university for an archipelago. The answer now seems to involve distance learning. ``The University of the West Indies is an autonomous regional institution supported by and serving 15 different countries in the West Indies - Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize (a pied-à-terre!, sorta), British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.''

UWI has three campuses (at Mona in Jamaica, at Cave Hill in Barbados, and at St. Augustine campus in Trinidad). ``In addition to the three main campuses, the University has centres in all of its non-campus Caribbean countries.''

Apparently some courses are taught in parallel by an instructor on one university campus and local instructors at the NCC centers, using a common syllabus and set of materials and tests. The centers seem typically to be part of local colleges like CFB.

University of Wyoming.


University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Not the flagship campus at Madison; that's ``UW-Madison'' or just plain ``UW.''

University of Western Ontario. ``Western'' Ontario? It's in London, FCOL!

Okay, here's more for triangulation: the Central Canada Seminar for the Study of Early Modern Philosophy is meeting at the University of Guelph in October 2005. The seminar is presented by the Guelph-Laurier-McMaster Doctoral Programme. U of G, WLU, and McMaster (in Hamilton) are all east of London. Therefore, we can confidently conclude that UWO is in Western Canada. (And did you know that the Great Plains of the US Midwest are in the Rocky Mountains? I just calculate that!)

University of Wisconsin, Parkside.

User eXperience.

UneXploded Ordnance.


Latin word for `wife.'

(Domain code for) Uruguay.

(Domain code for) Uzbekistan. Learn more at the Uzbekistan homepage.

U15, U-15
Under 15 years of age. A soccer age group.

U16, U-16
Under 16 years of age. A soccer age group. You know, this seems to be about half precise. Presumably it includes fourteen-year-olds if and only if there is no U-15 group.

U17, U-17
Under 17 years of age. There is a biennial international soccer competition among national teams of U17's, the FIFA U17 World Cup.

U18, U-18
Under 18 years of age. A soccer age group. An ice hockey age group. I suppose there's little to prevent the concept and the term from being used more generally.

U19, U-19
Under 19 years of age. A soccer age group.

An Irish rock group. The group was founded by a bunch of Dublin teenagers at the beginning of the 1976-77 school year, on the initiative of drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. It was known as ``The Larry Mullen Band'' for about a day, then as ``Feedback,'' and then as ``The Hype'' starting in March 1977. A year later, the remaining four members of the band started playing as U2, a name which was chosen partly for its ambiguity. This is all cribbed from the Wikipedia page in English, which has more detail.

A detail it does not have, but which is currently (2008.01.23) mentioned at the Spanish Wikipedia page for the band, is that the band name honored the Lockheed U-2 spy plane. This legendary spy plane was believed to be out of the range of enemy fire until a U-2 being flown at 80,000 feet by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union by a SAM-2 missile on May 1, 1960. Paul David Hewson was born on May 10, 1960, and is U2's lead singer with the stage name of Bono (from his nickname Bono Vox, from the Latin words bona vox). I doubt that the proximity of the May dates had much to do with the choice of name, but stranger things have proven true. Anyway, you need at least two meanings to achieve ambiguity, and the only other one anyone mentions is that U2 is a rebus of ``you too.'' [``You two''? What would be the significance of that?]

Dick Evans, older brother of U2 member Dave Evans (stage name ``The Edge''), was the last original member to leave the band before it changed its name to U2. Dick Evans went on to join a band called the Virgin Prunes, which did not go on to fame. But that was an ambiguous enough name too: it might be understood as meaning ``old maid'' or it might be understood as not meaning ``old maid.'' And it might refer to the card game or not. Look, I'm running out of ideas here and I'm in danger of devoting my life to worthy causes. It would be painful to watch, so let's put this entry out of its misery. You can go visit the extra virgin entry while I take this one out behind the barn and shoot it.

U20, U-20
Under 20 years of age. A soccer age group.

U21, U-21
Under 21 years of age. A soccer age group.

Under 6 years of age. A soccer age group. You know, soccer is a conceptually challenging game, cerebral. I'm not sure five-year-olds can grasp the idea of putting the ball into one goal but not the other, of kicking the ball forward but to themselves, of hitting the ball with their feet but not their hands. Maybe they should try a simple game like chess.

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