G: giga; standard prefix meaning one billion
g: gravity (6-g acceleration; passengers in a BMW are exposed to 2 g); the gravitational notation, g, is often italicized to differentiate it from “g” for “gram” or “grams”
GaAs: gallium arsenide, a semiconducting material, like silicon, used for integrated circuits; spell out on first use
Game Boy; Game Boy Advance; GameCube
GB: gigabyte. Use Gbyte or spell out.
Gbit: gigabit. Use Gbit or spell out.
Gbps: gigabits per second
GBps: gigabytes per second
Gbyte: gigabyte. Examples: 25 Gbytes, 25-Gbyte memory
GEM: Digital Research’s Graphics Environment Manager, an operating environment for MS-DOS PCs
genlock: to superimpose computer-generated graphics over videotaped images (from a camera, VCR, or VTR)
*GIF: graphic interchange format?an electronic file format
giga-: standard prefix meaning one billion
GIGI: DEC’s General Imaging Generator and Interpreter
GIGO: garbage in, garbage out
GIPS: billion instructions per second
GIS: geographic information system
GKS: Graphical Kernel System, an international graphics standard
GlobeCom: IEEEE conference
*GNP: gross national product
GNU: supports GNU Linux; GNU’s not Unix
GOPS: giga operations per second
GPIB: general-purpose interface bus
GPL: General Public License
GPRS: General Packet Radio Service
*GPS: Global Positioning System; a constellation of 24 satellites used for navigation and precise geodetic position measurements
*GPU: graphics processing (or processor) unit
graftal: an image constructed using parallel graph grammars to define complex objects
grandparent, grandmother, grandfather: a group of family words used to describe relationships among nodes in databases. The terms are legitimate—do not edit out. Use gender-neutral grandparent when possible.
grand challenge: a difficult problem at the leading edge of a computing field
Grappa: Java graph drawing package from AT&T
gray: not grey, except in quoted material
Gray code: binary sequence in which two contiguous numbers differ in only one bit; capitalize Gray because it is the inventor’s name
gray scale (n), gray-scale (adj): for example, displayed in gray scale, a gray-scale display
grid; grid computing
GSM: Global System for Mobile Communications
*GUI: graphical user interface
GW-Basic: Microsoft version of Basic for MS-DOS computers; BasicA is the IBM version
hacker: an expert who explores the details of programmable systems to stretch their capabilities
halfword: half a computer word
halftone: an image reproduced from a photo or similar original medium, comprising a series of lines arrayed in a screen, to facilitate sharp, clear printing of images when producing books. Also the preferred format for images in electronic text for camera-ready and other forms. A 100- to 110-line screen is best; lines per inch is the US unit of measure
handheld (adj, n)
handshaking: identification protocol for modems
hard copy (n), hard-copy (adj)
hardwired: describes circuits with only wire and terminal connections, with no intervening switching (no resistors, inductors, or capacitors)
HCI: human-computer interaction
HD: (adj): high-definition
HDL: Hardware Description Language
*HDTV: high-definition TV
hertz: see Hz
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories: either HP Labs or HP is acceptable. Always use the hyphen when you spell it out.
hexadecimal: A numbering system with a base of 16. “A” through “F” represent the decimal numbers 10 through 15.
HID: human interface device
hidden-surface removal: In computer graphics, removing from the display the surfaces that ordinarily would be obscured by the rest of the object.
high level (n), high-level (adj)
high-speed (adj): For example, high-speed computing, high-speed switch; but very high speed switch; also, International Journal of High Speed Computing.
Hippi: high-performance parallel interface; also written as HiPPI and HIPPI—be prepared to negotiate
hither, yon: In computer graphics, the near and far clipping planes.
HMM: hidden Markov model
HPC: high-performance computing
HPCwire: An online weekly publication about high-performance computing. Paper copy does not exist. Italicize it as with the name of any periodical.
HPGL: Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language
*HTML: Hypertext Markup Language
*HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol; in Web addresses, use lowercase—http://
HVAC: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; always spell out
hyper- (prefix): not hyphenated when used to form a compound
hypercube: a parallel computer architecture
hyphenation: If you can’t resolve a hyphenation question by consulting Webster’s, review CMS 7.82-7.90.
*Hz: hertz; the standard term for cycles per second
IAB: Internet Architecture Board
IAMA: Internet Assigned Members Authority
IANA: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
IAP: Internet access provider
*IBM: International Business Machines Corporation; sometimes informally referred to as “Big Blue”
IBM 3740-formatted disk, IBM 370-type controllers (note hyphenation)
IBM PC, IBM PC AT, IBM PC XT, IBM RT PC, IBM PS/2 (Models 25, 30, 50, 60, and 80): no hyphens. IBM PC AT-compatible (adj).
IBM System/360, IBM System/370: IBM mainframes
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
IC: integrated circuit; acceptable on first reference if context warrants
*ICANN: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
ICASE: Institute for Computer Applications in Science and Engineering, at NASA’s Langley Research Center
ICCC: International Council for Computer Communication, Washington, D.C.
ICOT: Japan’s Institute of New Generation Computer Technology, the so-called Fifth Generation project. The initials refer to the Japanese transliteration of the program, not the English translation.
*ICQ: an instant-messaging program
ICT: information and communications technology
IDC: formerly International Data Corp.
IDE: integrated drive electronics; also, integrated development environment IDL
: Interface Definition Language
i.e.: that is—spell out; accept in Transactions if authors insist
IEC: International Electrotechnical Commission—an international standards organization
IEE: Institution of Electrical Engineers, UK; as of May 2006, renamed Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)—the IEE merged with the Institution of Incorporated Engineers
IEEE 488 bus
*IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IESG: Internet Engineering Steering Group
IET: Institution of Engineering and Technology
IETF: Internet Engineering Task Force
IFIP: International Federation for Information Processing
IGES: International Graphics Exchange Standard
iff: if and only if—spell out; accept in Transactions if authors use it
IIL: integrated interconnection logic
Illiac IV: An early computer, retired from NASA use at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., in 1985
IMACS: International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation
i-mode: a wireless service
IMP: interface-message processor
Inc.: abbreviate when used in text as part of a company name, but avoid using it unless a company’s name might not be clear without it (Lisp Inc.); no longer set off with a comma
inches: Whether you use symbols or spell them out, be consistent when describing dimensions—for example, three inches by five inches or 3″ x 5″. See also the Numbers and Symbols section.
indexes: use indices in mathematical contexts
informatics: a term often used to refer to computer science
INFORMS: the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences; formed in 1995 when the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) merged with the Institute of Management Sciences (IMS)
in queue: hyphenate when using as an adjective (an in-queue directory)
*INRIA: Institut National de RÃ©cherche en Informatique et en Automatique (French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control)
INSPEC: Information Services for Physics, Electronics, and Computing, an IEE (UK) database of English-language research papers. Not a true acronym, but handle as one.
integrated circuit: IC is acceptable on first reference
Intel’s XScale processor
Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics (IBI): a UNESCO organization that was active from 1971 to 1989
International standard: use ISO standard
Internet: normally “the Internet”; Internet 2
Internet Stream Protocol: ST
intranet: internal network
*I/O (n, adj): input/output
IOP: Internetworking Operating System
IoT: Internet of Things
IP: Internet Protocol; intellectual property
iPSC: parallel processor from Intel
IPsec: Internet Protocol security
IPv6: Internet Protocol version 6
IPX: internetwork packet exchange
IRDS: information-resource dictionary system, a de facto CASE standard
IRQ: interrupt request
ISAM: indexed sequential access method
iSBX bus: product of Intel
ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network, a telecommunications service
IS-IS: Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System Protocol
ISM band: Industry, Science, Medicine band
ISMM: International Society of Mini- and Microcomputers
ISO: International Organization for Standardization (ISO); use ISO when referring to standards (for example, ISO 9000 or “an ISO standard”), but use the entire name with the letters in parentheses when referring to the organization. ISO was originally a true acronym for the International Standards Organization, but the name has been changed and the letters are now only an identifier.
*ISP: Internet service provider
italics: Use sparingly for emphasis or to introduce new terms; use also for foreign expressions not commonly accepted in English (that is, not found in the main body of Webster’s), single-letter variables, longer variables that might be confused with text if not in italics, book titles (includes manuals), movie titles, and TV-series titles.
*IT: information technology
ITC: International Test Conference
iterator (n): a programmed action that sets up a counter to control the number of times the action is performed
ith: note no space, no hyphen, no superscript
ITU-T: International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication Standardization Sector; formerly, CCITT