2326: Five Word Jargon

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Five Word Jargon
My other (much harder) hobby is trying to engineer situations where I have an excuse to use more than one of them in short succession.
Title text: My other (much harder) hobby is trying to engineer situations where I have an excuse to use more than one of them in short succession.


This is another comic in Randall's My Hobby series, the first of two hobby comics released in the same week, the second being 2328: Space Basketball.

This hobby involves "collecting" and presumably using five-words-long technical jargon. In the comic, White Hat uses a phrases with five such words while talking to Randall (as Cueball), causing Randall to exclaim "cool" (as in what a cool sentence), and then proceed to type the phrase into his phone to add to his list of favorite Five Word Jargon.

Randall then proceeds to list his current favorites among really satisfying five word technical phrases (or jargon) as a caption below the panel, with White Hat's phrase as the last, possibly the newest. Maybe it was the one that caused Randall to consider other phrases and make this comic.

In the title text, Randall says that he has another much harder hobby, which is to engineer situations where he can use more than one of his favorite phrases. It would seem difficult to combine any of the four listed phrases in a given conversation, as they are from four separate fields (medicine, economics/statistics, biology, and physics/cosmology). However, he said "situations", which is broader term than "conversations". For example, someone could arrange for experts on these fields to deliver TED talks on these topics, so that he could introduce them by saying "today, we will learn about..." and list the phrases, but Randall cannot, because he has been banned from TED. At least he has succeeded in using them together in this comic.

Technical jargon[edit]

Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt placement[edit]

A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is "an artificial channel within the liver that connects the inflow portal vein and the outflow hepatic vein". It is used to treat various intestinal bleeding. This term can be found in this publication: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16850140/
the shunt is inserted via the jugular vein
within the liver
blood is shunted from the portal vein (draining blood from the intestines to the liver) to the systemic circulation (returning blood from the liver to the heart)
a tube within the body that bypasses the normal flow of something (whether a natural defect, or an artificial device)
the operation to insert it

Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity model[edit]

A generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH) model is a statistical model for economic research. An autoregressive model of a time series is one that uses previous values of the time series to predict the next value. A conditional probability model is one that divides data into inputs and outputs and models the relation between them using a conditional probability distribution of the outputs given the inputs. A heteroskedastic distribution is one in which the variance (or standard deviation) of a random variable is not the same across all values of the variable. This phrase can be found in this publication: https://www.scirp.org/html/11-1241334_99870.htm
making more general, as opposed to a specific model
using previous values to predict future values, by involving linear regression.
outputs depending on specific inputs (in the sense of, "funding is conditional on meeting targets")
the property where the variance (that is, the random difference between an expected value and its observed value) itself varies in response to some variable. From Greek, meaning "different dispersion". For example, a graph of expenditure on food against income shows higher randomness at higher income levels, because poor people always eat cheaply, while rich people sometimes do and sometimes don't.
a set of equations that attempt to describe some property of the world for the purpose of analysis

Unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacteria group A[edit]

A unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacterium is a single-celled type of bacteria that is able to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a more usable form, and also generates oxygen through photosynthesis. The term can also be found in this publication: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303622/
Consisting of only one cell (Unicellular organism), such as all bacteria. The opposite is multicellular, which includes lifeforms like animals, plants, brown algae, etc.
Having the property of fixing nitrogen from the air into other chemicals.
A fairly broad category of bacteria which often play an important role in various habitats, using photosynthesis to convert light energy to oxygen. "Cyano" refers to their general blue color, not cyanide.
group A
the "first" group of several groups in a controlled experiment, or a scientific study; in this case, it is the first of several (B, C) groups of phylogenetically-related organisms, for which there is as yet no published scientific name, see here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308030272_The_small_unicellular_diazotrophic_symbiont_UCYN-A_is_a_key_player_in_the_marine_nitrogen_cycle.

Anomalous electroweak sphaleron transition baryogenesis[edit]

This is a term from Particle physics/cosmology. Baryons are subatomic particles containing an odd number of quarks; protons and neutrons are the most familiar examples. Baryogenesis is the hypothetical physical process that took place during the early universe that produced more matter than antimatter in the observable universe (or it could be any process that produces baryons). Sphaleron is a static (time-independent) solution to the electroweak field equations of the Standard Model of particle physics, and is involved in certain hypothetical processes that change the number of baryons or leptons (e.g. forming baryons and removing leptons). It is believed that the electroweak interaction is responsible for baryogenesis, but that at the temperatures involved (~1015 K), sphaleron interactions would wipe out any excess of baryons; therefore, for baryogenesis to "stick", it must have occurred at the transition out of the electroweak era...unless there were some kind of anomaly in the formation or interaction of sphalerons. Google reports no matches (other than this page) for the entire phrase in quotes, but shows about 70 results unquoted, indicating it finds only partial matches.
Deviating from normal or expected
A theory combining electromagnetism and the weak interaction, two of the four fundamental forces (alongside the strong interaction and gravity) in the Standard Model of particle physics.
a single, time-independent, solution to electroweak field equations, represented as a saddle point between two different low energy equilibria
creating baryons, which are a category subatomic particles containing an odd number of quarks, including protons and neutrons. (-genesis is a general suffix for a process which creates something; eg carcinogenesis means, creating cancer)


[White Hat, holding his palm up, is speaking to Cueball, who is typing with both hands on his smartphone. What he types is indicated with a jagged line going up from his phone.]
White Hat: Yeah, I learned about it when I was researching anomalous electroweak sphaleron transition baryogenesis.
Cueball: Cooool.
Text on phone: A-n-o-m-
[Caption below the panel:]
My Hobby: Collecting really satisfying-sounding five-word technical phrases.
Current favorites
  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt placement
  • Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity model
  • Unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacteria group A
  • Anomalous electroweak sphaleron transition baryogenesis

  • comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


    Approximate nonnegative matrix factorization algorithms

    That's all. - 22:04, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

    super cali fragilistic expiali docious Bo Lindbergh (talk) 22:26, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

    Over at Language Log they have fun documenting bewildering "noun piles". In the post noun pile blog post madness for example

    data bound control table row action links
    is a header in this page from Microsoft: DynamicHyperLink Class

    JohnB (talk) 23:59, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

    All cyanobacteria are unicellular. That word is just an imposition. Nitpicking (talk) 02:25, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    Cyanobacteria come in various types, such as unicellular, filamentous or colonial. Or even part of a composite organism such as lichen. Plastids, which are intracellular endosymbiotic organelles are technically acellular cyanobacteria. 04:31, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
    Plastids are still unicellular. Living as endosymbionts doesn't make them multicellular, it makes them endosymbionts. Colonial unicellular organisms are still unicellular.

    Cueball could be Randall copying down the phrase into his collection. 03:10, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    Yea that is clear from it being one of my hobby. Have changed the explanation. --Kynde (talk) 09:32, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
    I thought that Cueball was typing the phrase in to Google to figure out what it meant. Dansiman (talk) 13:54, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

    I was expecting these would in fact all mean something incredibly simple. I'm a little disappointed :( 04:03, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    My undergraduate research was on fluxional behavior in zwitterionic isoindoline complexes, so this struck close to home.Eärendil (talk) 04:17, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    The phrase from the caption really satisfying-sounding five-word technical phrases also meets (almost) every criteria it states (except maybe 'technical') - having read many of Randall's comics, I can't imagine this to be a coincidence... 07:39, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    Before reading this explanation, I was convinced these were nonsensical phrases that Randall had made up! 08:18, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    anomalous electroweak sphaleron transition baryogenesis - roughly translates out of Jargon as Weird Forces Slippery change creation 11:33, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    I really want to dive into the word relationships within these 'semantically multityped divaricatedly polyconstructed descriptors' and see how much or little they obey the 'rules' for word order of component adjectives, etc. Maybe when I get a piece of paper and pencil and a bit of time to tease them apart. ;) 13:02, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    Horrifically enough, Pachelbel's Canon uses five chords: I-V-vi-iii-IV-I-IV-V . (It's deeply hated by us musicians who have to play it at weddings and whatnot). Beethoven's 6th: AllegroMaNonTroppo; AndanteMoltoMosso; Allegro; Allegro; Allegretto. Mahler's Fifth: in short terminology, Pan&Bacchus; Flowers; Animals;Man,Angels; Love . Cellocgw (talk) 13:06, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    I don't believe Cueball is looking up the phrase when he types A-N-O-M... I think he's just typing the phrase into the file where he collects the 5-word phrases, as it's listed as the last of his favorites in the bottom section of the panel. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 13:11, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    Yea that is clear from it being one of his hobbies to collect them. Have changed the explanation. --Kynde (talk) 09:32, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

    I had a foundling dog diagnosed with "Juvenile Canine Psychogenic Polydipsia - Polyurea. He also had five different kinds of parasites. Pwydde (talk) 21:37, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    I've noticed that Epson loves five word names for its inkjet papers, such as "Ultra Premium Presentation Paper Matte" Tanana (talk) 23:37, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

    “Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery.” Might be one best not to know about.

    dear, thankyou for giving us something to not think about! oh and please sign your comments ocæon (talk) 20:18, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

    "Stationary ergodic Gaussian random processes" were the central part of a university project I did just a month ago ! 19:56, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

    My new favourite is Dynamic Organic Anthropomorphically Engineered Entropy. 21:59, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

    "and then proceed to type the phrase into his phone to add to his list of favorite Five Word Jargon" - That's not how I understand the comic. I thought he was typing it to look up the term on Google. That is also supported by this discussion about the previous comic #2325 on the XKCD sub-reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/xkcd/comments/hhcgej/randalls_done_it_again/fwh1vl6/ 04:04, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

    An intermediate phase Type-II superconducting plate suspended in a gradually increasing strong uniform applied magnetic field will have its core penetrated by individual cylindrical magnetic flux quanta together forming an induced quantum supercurrent vortex lattice with a minimized field energy spacing parameter that exhibits quasi-bifurcating meta-stable equilibrium state trajectories that form a transitory phyllotactic fluxon lattice spiral before reaching critical field flux density limits. 23:16, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

    I would say it should be "Exhibit" instead of "Model", but that would be gauche. Ysth (talk) 12:40, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

    Medicine is full to the brim with crazy terms like those above. Here are two contributions to the compendium of five-word jargon: "pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta" and "tuberculosis cutis miliaris acuta disseminata", but there are many more. Johanvs (talk) 04:55, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

    Explosive-pumped flux compression generator. Or if you count that as four words, try Nuclear explosive-pumped flux compression generator. 08:21, 21 May 2024 (UTC)