You searched for: “an
a, an
a (AY)

The correct choice of the “articles” a and an depends on the initial sound of a word, not on the initial letter, of the word that they precede.

The letter a should be used before all words beginning with a consonant sound except silent h (an honor) and before words beginning with vowels that represent combined consonant and vowel sounds (university, unit).

Examples: a boy, a European, a j, a picture, a store, a table, a bottle, a window, a phone, a hyphen, and a one-horse town.

There are also words that begin with vowels that have a consonant sound. Say “unique” out loud and you will hear that it contains in its first syllable a consonant y sound as well as the vowel oo sound. You are saying (phonetically) yoo-NEEK. Similarly, “union”, “use”, and “eulogy” begin with a consonant y sound and call for the article a. If you use your ears, you will never be guilty of “an historic” or “an unique.”

Let’s repeat and expand this concept: a is used in front of words that begin with a long u (when pronounced as yoo), eu, and ew, and before the word one. Examples: a united country, a usurper, a eulogy, a ewe, a U-boat, a European, a one-horse town, and many a one.

an (AN)

The word an should be used before all vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u). Examples: an entry, an f, an hour, an orange, an ape, an odor, an idea, an eagle, an honor, an umbrella, and an unbeliever.

One of the most common mistakes, both written and oral, is the use of an before “historical” or “historic”. When the word following the article begins with a consonant sound, the article used is a; when it begins with a vowel sound, the article used is an.

So remember, a word may in fact begin with a consonant, yet have an initial vowel sound. The word “honest” is a case in point. Say it out loud and you will see what is meant.

The initial consonant h is silent, so the word has an initial vowel sound; hence, an honest man, an hour ago, an heir to the throne, an honest and an honorable peace; on the other hand, when a word begins with an aspirated h (a speech sound followed by a puff of breath or the speech sound represented by English h), correct usage is a hotel, a house, a hill, a hymn, a honeycomb, and a history or a historical.

This entry is located in the following unit: a, an: Grammatical Articles (page 1)
an, and
an (AN) (adjective)
One, each: This is an excellent report.
and (AND) (conjunction)
Also, plus: Arthur ate a peach and a pear for his snack.

The dietician said Keith should eat an apple every day and at least one banana.

More possibly related word entries
A unit related to: “an
(confusion exists about usage of "a" and "an" in front of other words)
(Greek: prefix; no, absence of, without, lack of; not)
(Latin: miscarry, pass away, perish by an untimely birth)
(Latin: prefix; to, toward, a direction toward, addition to, near, at; and changes to: ac-, af-, ag-, al-, an-, ap-, aq-, ar-, as-, at- when ad- is combined with certain words that begin with the letters c, f, g, l, n, p, q, r, s, and t)
(the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma)
(Latin: suffix; forming nouns and verbs; an action done; the product of or a result of some kind of material or a process of doing something)
(Latin: suffix; quality of, act of, process, function, condition, or place; forms nouns that denote an action; a product of an action; a place, an abode)
(Arabic > Latin: alcohol, originally an "essence or very fine powder")
(an abnormal desire to eat "unnatural" things for food)
(Latin: suffix; indicating a person who specializes in something)
(the importance of Latin and Greek in the development of English as revealed in the history of English)
(an etymological approach to learning more about English words; especially, those from Latin and Greek origins)
(two separate units where one is dealing with phobias and the other one presents manias)
(index of links to a vast number of words with illustrations)
(Latin: a suffix that forms nouns; pertaining to, like; connected with, belonging to, resembling)
(Greek: up, upward; back, backward, against; again, anew; used as a prefix)
(Greek: ankos: a bend or hollow, an angle; a valley; also a crag)
(Latin: an old woman; old age of a woman; a "venerable woman")
(Latin: ring, an iron ring for the feet; circle; (so called because of its form); usually the posterior opening of the alimentary canal through which undigested food is voided; the anus)
(Latin: eagle; referring to or like an eagle)
(Latin: a suffix; pertaining to, of the nature of, like; denoting an agent)
(a suffix which forms nouns that refer to people who regularly engage in some activity, or who are characterized in a certain way, as indicated by the stem or root of the word; originally, which appeared in Middle English in words from Old French where it expressed an intensive degree or with a pejorative or disparaging application)
(Greek: a suffix indicating an enzyme)
(Latin: to long eagerly for; to wish, to desire; to have a keen interest in something; an intense eagerness to do something)
(Latin: armpit; angle; borrowed directly from Latin ala which meant both "wing" and "the hollow under a wing or an arm")
(Greek > Latin: an ancient Greek and Roman god of wine and revelry; earlier called Dionysus by the Greeks)
(using an instrument to detect photoluminescent signals in marine environments)
(an uncontrollable desire to take books based on a strong fondness for them)
(an example of a natural mimic of cockleburr seed casings)
(Greek: germ, bud; shoot, formative cell or layer; of or pertaining to an embryonic or germinal stage of development)
(Latin: burere, "to burn up"; from urere, with an inserted or faulty separation of b in amburere, "to burn around"; which stands for amb-urere, "to burn around", but it was misdivided into am-burere and because of this misdivision, the new verb burere was formed with the past participle bustum; so, it really came from urere, "to burn, to singe")
(Frigedaeg, an Anglo-Saxon name for Friday)
(Monandaeg, an Anglo-Saxon name for Monday)
(Saterndaeg, an Anglo-Saxon name for Saturday)
(Sunnandaeg, an Anglo-Saxon name for Sunday)
(Thursdaeg, an Anglo-Saxon name for Thursday)
(Tiwesdaeg, an Anglo-Saxon name for Tuesday)
(Wodensdaeg, an Anglo-Saxon name for Wednesday)
(an important symbol for many people)
(Latin: prison, jail; an enclosed place)
(Latin: to cut, geld, spay; to remove the testicles or ovaries of an animal, including humans)
(Greek: perforation, puncture, or tapping, as with an aspirator or needle)
(Latin: character; Greek: kharakter; originally, "a distinctive mark, a sign, or impression"; then it came to mean "an aggregate of distinctive qualities")
(Modern Latin: chemical element; from Greek and Latin, alumen, a substance having an astringent taste; metal)
(Modern Latin: chemical element; named in honor of Enrico Fermi, an Italian-American physicist; rare earth)
(Modern Latin: chemical element; named for Ernest Lawrence, an American physicist and inventor of the cyclotron; radioactive metal)
(Latin: named for Lise Meitner, an Austrian physicist; radioactive metal)
(Modern Latin: named for Glenn Theodore Seaborg (1912-1999), an American nuclear physicist and Nobel Prize winner; radioactive metal)
(Greek: khorde, "gut string" [of a lyre]; used in an extended sense to mean "sinew, flexible rod-shaped organ, string, cord"; Latin: chorda, "related notes in music, string of a musical instrument, cat-gut" via Old French, corde, "rope, string, twist, cord")
(Greek: dance; involuntary movements; spasm; in medicine, it is used to reveal a nervous disorder either of organic origin or from an infection)
(Greek: bed; slope, slant; to lean, leaning; an ecological term; in the sense of a slope or gradient)
(Latin: a code of laws, a writing tablet; an account book; secret writing; originally, "the trunk of a tree")
(Latin: an overhanging bank, precipice, cliff, crag)
(Greek: devil, demon [evil spirit]; an intermediary spirit between gods and men which could be good or evil)
(Greek: dilatation, dilation, expansion, extension, or distension of an organ)
(Greek: an entry)
(an accurate count is impossible)
(Greek: insect, bug; literally, "cut up, cut in pieces"; an insect because it appears to be segmented)
(the mandragora, or mandrake, plant was used as an anesthesia)
(Mark Plotkin, an ethnobotanist takes up the cause of rain forest conservation)
(Greek: -etikos, an adjective suffix meaning "pertaining to, of the nature of" for nouns ending in -esis)
(Latin: workshop of an artisan, building, fabric, forger)
(Latin: an unborn offspring, fetus)
(Latin: an insoluble protein that is an essential part of blood coagulation)
(Latin: fiber [an elongated, threadlike structure]; a combining form denoting a relationship to fibers)
(Latin: pipe; an abnormal passage or communication, usually between two internal organs, or leading from an internal organ to the surface of the body)
(Greek: an eating, or gnawing, sore ending in mortification, necrosis, or the death of bodily tissue; usually the result of ischemia or the loss of blood supply to the affected area, bacterial invasion, and subsequent putrefaction)
(international cheating, defrauding, and dishonesty and their detriments to human progress)
(an exhibit of artistically enhanced hands showing creative marvels)
(Latin: protruded viscus; rupture; in the sense of "protrusion of tissue or part of an organ through an abnormal opening in the surrounding walls")
(The human body is at the edge of human comprehension with its microcosmic mysteries and its 100 trillion cells!)
(Latin: suffix form of -an from -ianus, a modifier of the main word to which it is attached: belonging to, coming from, being involved in, or being like something)
(Greek: 1. Io, daughter of the river god, Inachus. 2. An arrow; poison, rust)
(Greek: ion, "going"; neuter present participle of ienai, "to go"; because an ion moves toward the electrode of an opposite charge)
(Latin: suffix used to form abstract nouns expressing act, state, quality, property, or condition corresponding to an adjective)
(a slip of the tongue, a mistake in uttering a word, an imprudent word inadvertently spoken; as expressed by public personalities in this series of articles)
(Latin: insect in its grub stage; from Latin larva, "mask" and by extension, "ghost", the idea being that an insect in its grub stage is merely a ghost of its future self and bears no resemblance to its future form)
(Greek: yolk of an egg; a reference to the ovum)
(Greek > Latin: an assumption that is taken for granted; a premise)
(Latin: letter; a graphic symbol, a written character, an alphabetic sign)
(Greek: a specific mental disorder or obsessive preoccupation with something; madness, frenzy; obsession, or abnormal desire for or with something or someone; also, an excessive enthusiasm or fondness for something)
(Greek: derived from an ancient villiage in Greece, northeast of Athens; as a result of an important Greek victory over the Persians in 490 B.C.)
(Greek makhana, machana > Latin machina: machine, device, tool; an apparatus for applying mechanical power to do work; mekhanikos > machynen, decide a course of action, contrive, plot contrivance; a machine or the workings of machines)
(Latin: mendicare, to beg; a beggar; an infirm, wretched, miserable person)
(an advisor or wise counselor)
(Greek mikso > Latin mixtus: mix, mixed, a mixing, a mingling, an intercourse; to combine or to blend into one mass or substance; to combine things; such as, activities, ideas, styles; to balance and to adjust individual musical performers’ parts to make an overall sound by electronic means)
(Latin: action, result of an action or condition; a suffix that forms nouns)
(Greek: mousike [techne] > Latin: musica, music; originally an art of the Muses)
(An American Dictionary of the English Language as conceived by Noah Webster)
(Greek: a meadow; a pasture; an abode; a place for eating; by extension, "distribution of an acute, necrotizing ulcerative process involving mucous membranes of the mouth or genitalia")
(an explanation of what it is and where it came from)
(Latin: foreboding; anything perceived or happening that is believed to portend or to suggest that something is going to happen which may be a good or an evil event or circumstance in the future)
(Greek: egg or eggs; used in an extended sense as the ovum)
(Greek: an organized structure; pertaining to a specific bodily part with a specific function or set of functions; instrument, tool, implement)
(Greek > Latin > French: excitement or violent action in an organ or part)
(Greek: used as a suffix; rupture of an organ or vessel; a breaking forth, bursting)
(Latin: marked with the palm of the hand; adorned with palm leaves; used primarily in the sense of "having five lobes that diverge from a common center" [as fingers from an open palm])
(Greek: pancreas [pan, "all" plus kreas, "flesh"; the idea apparently being that the pancreas is an organ composed entirely of glandular flesh])
(Greek: papyros > Latin > Old French; papyrus, an Egyptian rush [a reed plant] from which material was made for writing or drawing. Used in the sense of "fibrous material on which to write or to draw"; paper)
(Greek plektron > Latin plectrum: thing to strike with; such as, a pick for a lyre, a zither, a guitar, an autoharp, etc.)
(an abnormal way of getting warm in the freezing conditions of a Canadian winter as expressed by Robert Service)
(thinking that you can be successful in achieving an objective is a vital mental condition, but thinking that you can not do it is almost a guarantee that you will not be successful as indicated by Walter Wintle)
(an expression of admiration and appreciation for trees)
(Latin: individual; not in public life; apart from the State; belonging to an individual)
(Latin: a sign, an omen, portent; a wonder, a person; especially, a child who is endowed with extraordinary qualities)
(Greek > Latin: an addition; to put to, add to, to place)
(an artificial substitute for a missing part of the body)
(Greek: fall, a falling down of an organ; drooping, sagging; corpse)
(Latin: viscous matter; yellowish matter produced by an infection)
(Greek: door, gate, entrance; orifice, an aperture or hole opening into a bodily cavity; indicating the portal vein)
(Greek: pus; purulent, an infection or foreign material that causes a thick whitish-yellow fluid which results from the accumulation of white blood cells)
(an agency where after all is said and done, more is said than done.)
(an I specialist with self-admiration which lets off esteem)
(a result of an instant on the lips to a lifetime on the hips)
(sometimes an unexplainable panic and sometimes a justified reaction)
(an interval of confusion between wars)
(a pleasure that comes with an abundance of words)
(possibly knowing less but understanding more; utilizing common sense to an uncommon degree)
(German: radiation, "x-ray"; X-ray; 1896, translation of German X-strahl, from X, "algebraic symbol for an unknown quantity", + Strahl, "beam, ray")
(Latin numbers as cardinals, "quantities"; and as ordinals, "showing order" or "designating a place in an ordered sequence")
(Arabic: the gift of finding interesting things by chance; the faculty of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; an apparent talent for making fortunate discoveries accidentally)
(Latin: bristle [short stiff hair on an animal or plant, or a mass of short stiff hairs growing; especially, on a hog's back or a man's face])
(French: an outline portrait or an illustration of one color)
(Greek > Latin: that which binds tightly, press together; band, lace; hence, muscle that closes an aperture of the body; a ringlike band of muscle fibers that constricts a passage or closes a natural orifice)
(Greek: an inscribed stone slab; a block of stone, gravestone; a column, a pillar [also a reference to certain plant structures])
(Latin: to demand a formal promise, to bargain; to arrive an an agreement; to compromise)
(a story told with an emphasis on Latin and Greek roots and affixes)
(Latin: sanctuary, consecrated place; an open place marked out by the augur for the observation of the sky)
(Late Latin: feeler, to feel; a flexible appendage serving as an organ for moving around or for touching)
(Greek: tension, especially a convulsive tension; muscle spasm or tetanus, an infectious disease characterized by muscle spasms)
(Latin: a suffix forming nouns from verbs of condition and action; an act or process: resumption, absorption; state or condition, redemption, exhaustion; something resulting from or otherwise related to an act or process, assumption, friction)
(an excess of nutrients flowing from the land to the sea has created serious environment problems)
(an excess of nutrients flowing from the land to the sea has created serious environmental problems)
(an excess of nutrients flowing from the land to the sea has created serious environmental problems)
(an excess of nutrients flowing from the land to the sea has created serious environmental problems)
(the "tongue" term may be applied to both a body part in the mouth and an extensive reference to "language")
(Greek: chance, fortune, fate, providence; by accident, an unforeseen or unexpected occurrence)
(Greek > Latin: to beat, to strike; a blow; a dent, an impression, a mark, original form; a mold; a figure, an image, a form, a kind)
(Greek > Latin: an absolute ruler; an oppressor, a dictator)
(Latin: beyond, on the other side; excessive, to an extreme degree)
(Latin: a suffix that denotes an act or result, result of the act of)
(Latin: animating, enlivening; vigorous, vigor, active; to be alive, activity, to quicken; then a quickening action of growing; a specific sense of "plant cultivated for food, edible herb, or root" is first recorded in 1767; the differences between the meanings from its original links with "life, liveliness" was completed in the early twentieth century, when vegetable came to be used for an "inactive person".)
(Latin: to annoy, to irritate; to bother; an agitation; a shaking, a jolting, a shocking situation)
(Latin: victima, an animal or a human that is offered as a sacrifice to a god; perhaps a religiously consecrated creature)
(Latin: yolk, yolk of an egg)
(unit of measurement of electromotive force, or pressure, in an electrical circuit, or 'push', named for Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) renowned for his pioneering work in electricity)
(an abundance of Word Information about English Vocabulary derived from Latin and Greek sources)
Word Entries containing the term: “an
A teacher at school had to go to an ophthalmologist to get her eyes examined because she couldn't control her pupils.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 2)
a-, an- (Greek)
without, not
add an additional
This entry is located in the following unit: Pleonasms or Tautological Redundancies (page 1)
adjustable wrench; British, an adjustable spanner (noun); adjustable wrenches; British, adjustable spanners (pl)
1. A Crescent ® wrench or a pipe wrench.
2. A tool that has a fixed jaw and a movable jaw which is controlled by a spiral gear or slide.

It is used to install or to remove bolts and nuts of various sizes.

The wrench itself comes in a variety of lengths and jaw sizes.

A crescent wrench has smooth jaws while a pipe wrench has serrated jaws.

This entry is located in the following unit: junct-, jug-, join- (page 1)
an about face, an about-face (s) (noun) (no plural)
1. The act of pivoting to see in the opposite direction from the original position; especially, in a military formation or a military command to turn clockwise 180°.
2. A total change of attitude or viewpoint or a complete change in the way a person behaves or thinks about something.
3. An abrupt, complete change in opinion, beliefs, actions, etc.; a sudden reversal.
This entry is located in the following unit: facio-, faci-, face- (page 1)
An acre is someone who is in pain.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 2)
An adult is someone who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 2)
an anachronism in his own time *
This entry is located in the following unit: Pleonasms or Tautological Redundancies (page 2)
An autobiography is a history of cars.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 2)
An English History and Its Development, Introduction, Part 01
An English History and Its Development, Introduction, Part 02
Etymological approach to learn more about English words.
An eyedropper is a clumsy ophthalmologist.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 2)
An Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life

James L. Sumich, Grossmont College; Wm. C. Brown Publishers, College Edition; Dubuque, Iowa; 1988.

This entry is located in the following unit: Bibliography of Sources Regarding Habitat and Dwelling Environments (page 1)
Etc. is an abbreviation that sometimes makes others think you know more than you really do.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 3)
etherial (adjective) (an outdated or archaic form of ethereal
This entry is located in the following unit: ethero-, ether-, aethero-, aether-, aither- (page 1)
Geographic Information System, GIS, Mapping an Iowa County
Giraffiti is vandalism spray-painted very, very high, such as on an overpass.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 4)
In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of emergency, notify..." I answered "a doctor".
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 4)
per annum; p.a., per an.
By the year.
This entry is located in the following units: Latin Proverbs, Mottoes, Phrases, and Words: Group P (page 3) per- (page 1)
plebian, an alternative spelling of plebeian
1. Belonging to, or pertaining to, the common people.
2. A reference to, or belonging to, the ancient Roman plebs.
3. Common, commonplace, or vulgar; such as, a plebian or a plebeian joke.
This entry is located in the following units: -ian + (page 4) pleb- + (page 1)
Teenager: An adolescent whose hang-ups do not involve his or her clothes.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 6)
Thesaurus: An ancient reptile with an excellent vocabulary.
Time flies like an arrow while fruit flies like a banana.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 6)
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 7)
Yawn: an honest opinion openly expressed.
This entry is located in the following unit: paraprosdokian, paraprosdokia (page 7)
Word Entries at Get Words: “an
a, an: Grammatical Articles
Confusion exists about usage of "a" and "an" in front of other words; in this unit.
(how alchemists changed matter into useful applications)
(a reverse acronym or a regular word that also doubles as an acronym using the same procedures as with acronyms, except that the letters of a word are presented to form a phrase which defines the word or for humorous reasons)
(Algenol, an algae strain of microscopic plantlike organisms that feed off sunlight and carbon dioxide; a biofuel greener and cheaper than oil or corn-fed ethanol)
(what resembles an odd marriage between Trojan battle gear and Medusa is actually part of the most powerful brain scanner ever made)
(a radiographic technique that produces an image of a detailed cross section of bodily tissue using a narrow collimated beam of x-rays that rotates in a full arc around a patient to image the body in cross-sectional slices)
(an official language of the Republic of South Africa which developed from the Dutch of the colonists who went there in the 1600's; South African Dutch)
(an American Indian or an Eskimo; any of the languages of certain American Indians or Eskimos)
(an alphabetized listing of links to a world of the uncompromising multi-purpose, majestic, and fathomable universe of words)
(an extensive list of words with explanations that can expand and greatly improve your English vocabulary)
(the four gemstones which are most valuable are diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds; and anyone would be impressed with a gift of a diamond, a sapphire, an emerald, or a ruby piece of jewelry)
(this is an over-all listing of the special groups of topics listed on this site)
(an index of Mickey Bach cartoons)
(in 1946, an eighteen-year-old San Diego High School student wrote an essay in which he asked for plain courtesy when driving)
(words exist in all sizes and degrees of difficulty from numerous languages and English continues to churn out new words from the past and the present)
(a suffix freely used to designate someone who is associated with, concerned with, or characterized by a thing or an expression; sometimes, with a jocular [humorous] or derisive [contempt or ridicule] intent; borrowed from Russian, a common personal suffix)
(an exhibition of words that appear in headlines and sub-headlines which all of us should know)
(one of the group of biological sciences, each of which deals with an aspect of the study of living things)
Word Entries at Get Words containing the term: “an
a-, an-
Greek: prefix; no, absence of, without, lack of, not; in this unit.
Alchemy, an ancient science
Terms and article about the science of alchemy.
This entry is located in the following unit: Index of Scientific and Technological Topics (page 1)
An advanced word: tribo- and Its Modern Applications

The “advanced words” in the following contain valuable information if for no other reason than that the concepts of tribology are so important in all of our lives. You may find some aspects difficult to comprehend, but just knowing what the Greek element tribo means, as well as some of the English words that are derived from it, will give you knowledge that is lacking even among the very educated.

This issue of Focusing on Words will present a relatively new, and not widely known, element from Greek that is used in modern engineering and physics: tribology. This Greek tribo- element means, “friction”, “rub”, “grind”, or “wear away”.

Most of the information for this subject came from an article, “Better Ways to Grease Industry’s Wheels,” from the September 28, 1998, issue of Fortune magazine written by Ivan Amato.

  • Lubrication is central to machine performance, but it’s only part of the story. More and more, the bigger picture of machine health has been going by the label “tribology” [trigh BAH loh gee] which is based on the Greek word for “rubbing.”, “grinding”, or “wearing away”, etc.
  • Tribology combines issues of lubrication, friction, and wear into a complex framework for designing, maintaining, and trouble-shooting the whole machine world.
  • Tribology is already providing data that could be used to produce transmission fluids that give automobile drivers better fuel economy and a smoother ride.
  • The most visionary tribology advocates and practitioners tend to view their field as the cure for much of what ails industry and even entire economies.
  • Tribology has evolved into a bona fide field of research and technology since 1966, when a group of industrialists in England coined the term with assistance from an editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • The O. E. D. defines tribology as, “The branch of science and technology concerned with interacting surfaces in relative motion and with associated matters (as friction, wear, lubrication, and the design of bearings).” In 1968, H.P. Jost, in the February 8, 1968, issue of the New Scientist states, “After consultation with the English Dictionary Department of the Oxford University Press, we chose the term ‘tribology’.”
  • Many tribologists devote themselves to uncovering the fundamental chemical and physical dramas that underlie good and bad lubrication, friction, and wear. They are relying on new tools like friction-force microscopes, that can examine surfaces down to the molecular level (nanotribology?).
  • Transmissions are just one place where tribology makes a difference in the automotive industry. Other items on the agenda include controlling brake noise and wear, reducing internal friction in engines, and increasing the productivity, part quality, and energy efficiency of production machinery.
  • The “tribology tribe” points proudly to its crucial role in the thirty-billion dollar-a-year data-storage industry. When it comes to surfaces in motion, this is an especially harrowing arena. Yet it’s through tribological know-how that makers of hard-disk drives have been able to squeeze more and more data into less and less space.
  • The head that reads and writes information to and from a hard disk flies about 50 to 100 nanometers above the disk surface. That’s about one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Meanwhile, the disk typically spins beneath the head at about ten to twenty meters per second.
  • Woody Monroy, head of corporate communications for Seagate Technology, which makes disk drives, says that in terms of speed and clearance, it’s the equivalent of an F-16 jet fighter plane flying one-sixty second of an inch [less than one millimeter] above the ground, counting blades of grass as it goes, at Mach 813 (or 813 times the speed of sound).
  • There are many reasons computers go down, but one of the most dreaded is when the head assembly literally crashes into the spinning disk’s surface, tearing up and destroying precious data.
  • It’s a tribological triumph that, despite all the hazards, vulnerabilities, and abuse by users, most storage systems operate fine most of the time because of proper coatings. The first protective layer is at most twenty nanometers thick. One leading-edge tribo-tactic is to fiddle with the molecular structure of the thin lubrication layer on top of the disk (nanotribology?).
  • Tribologists have plenty of challenges to keep them busy, but it’s all part of making disk drives and economies run smoothly.

This entry is located in the following unit: Focusing on Words Newsletter #05 (page 1)
An extraordinarily-skilled pumpkin carver, Ray Villafane

Mr. Villafane carves and composes many pumpkins and creates additional structures with other materials for the pleasure of viewers.

A click on this entry will take you to his home page where you can view many more of his achievements and see some interesting videos about his work

Ray Villafane and one of his special pumpkin creations.

This entry is located in the following unit: Pumpkin Sculptures or Carvings (page 1)
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth (Matthew 5:38)
This entry is located in the following unit: Bible Quotations used in modern English (page 1)
emeralds, an emerald
Brittle gems which have a tendency to chip and are rarely flawless.

The rich green color of these stones are caused by the presence of chromium, a hard white metal.

In ancient times, powdered emerald was believed to cure fever and the plague.

Emeralds are formed from a combination of three main minerals: silicon (the chief constituent of sand and quartz), aluminum, and beryllium.

Colombia is the source of the finest emeralds.

This entry is located in the following unit: Gemstones or Precious and Semi-Precious Stones + (page 1)
Google creates an app for use at the checkout

"The technology giant introduced Google Wallet, a mobile application that will allow consumers to pay at a store by waving their cellphones at a retailer's terminal instead of using a credit card [or cash]."

"The app, for the Android operating system also will enable users to redeem special coupons and earn loyalty points."

The Global Edition of the New York Times, May 28-29, 2011; page 15.
In the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52)
This entry is located in the following unit: Bible Quotations used in modern English (page 3)
The 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin, an African-American, was very excited to meet the Obamas in the White House and she was dancing with joy.

Ms. McLaurin was invited as part of a Black History Month celebration. “I thought I would never live to get into the White House and I tell you I am so happy to have a black president,” she said to the smiling Barack Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama.

Click on this link: to see the video posted by the White House as Virginia McLaurin opens her arms wide and greets Obama with an excited "Hi!".

This entry is located in the following unit: Videos (page 1)