Among elementary school children and their parents and teachers, another name for the alphabet. As in, "Now I know my ABC's, next time won't you sing with me?"

Of course, the word alphabet comes from alpha and beta, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet. So perhaps the major civilization that's around a couple thousand years from now will have a similar alphabet, but refer to it as their Aybeecee (with the emphasis on the first syllable).

This is the genealogy of the programming language ABC:

ABC was first known as B in year 1981.
It became ABC in year 1987.
Then it begat Python in year 1991.

ABC is an interactive programming language and environment for personal computing.

This genealogy is brought to you by the Programming Languages Genealogy Project. Please send comments to thbz.

NATO acronym for Atomical, Biological and Chemical. An attack with any of these weapons would be classified as an ABC attack, and personel must prepare for ABC mode combat. The large difference between the A and the B+C is of course that the atomic warfare results in enormous explosions while the biological and chemical do not detonate (Not of any importance, anyway.) That's why the ABC standards are filtering and shielding standards. A war ship is usually ABC compliant, vehicles can be ABC compliant, gas masks and combat suits can be ABC compliant etc. But none of them are made to resist a direct atomical attack, only radiation and fallout.

The ABC system also includes drills of personel in case of an ABC attack. These drills can be on a per person basis such as getting on gas masks in a time frame, or unit wide such as sealing off a M.A.S.H. unit and preparing it for attack.

NOTE: The acronym NBC for Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, is also used. The ABC term is used more in training of troops, since it's easier to grasp and remember.

When your world is full of strange arrangements And gravity won't pull you through You know you're missing out on something Well that something depends on you

ABC was one of the most influential bands of the eighties and crashed onto the world's music scene like Fred Astaire in a mosh pit. Before ABC, Pop was just not polished. Jazz was elegant and accomplished maybe, but pop and rock were all but polished. This is the early eighties, remember? We're talking Sheena Easton, Kim Wilde, Blondie, the Clash, Japan, etc. Profound and angry perhaps, but elegant?

So, how did ABC actually happen? Well, at first there was a god-awful electronic trio called "Vice Versa" (reviewed by the NME in 1979 as "...a bizarro trio who show occasional flashes of promise, but whose pretentiousness becomes quite tiresome"). These three were Stephen Singleton, Mark White and David Sydenham and were one day interviewed by journalist called Martin Fry (for a zine called Modern Drugs). For some weird reason they hired him (most likely the hair or the voice) as their singer, and hey, presto: ABC was found.

For their first album Neutron Records hired them ex-Buggles whiz and future superstar of the recording studio Trevor Horn. The man must have been seriously in love with his Fairlight CMI, as he was able to conjure up the most sophisticated sounding record ever. His Art of Noise partner Anne Dudley arranged the most lavish and dramatic strings around the weird, sometimes dadaistic lyrics that Martin Fry came up with.

This first Album, The Lexicon of Love (1982) was both their creative climax and their nemesis, as they were never really able to repeat that sort of impact they had and people always judged their later albums on this gem.

Most memorable moments: The intro to "the look of love", the London Symphony Orchestra starting off the album with Show me and much more, too numerous too mention.

The effects this album was having was quite staggering: Suddenly men threw their black leather jackets out of the window and went for pastel colours, glittering jackets and Martin Fry hairdo's.

Women swooned.

With a big world tour (after which Fry decides to flush his famous gold lametta suit down a toilet in hotel in Tokyo) a 45 minute movie called Mantrap was released, a rather entertaining little spy movie, speckled with live recordings and directed by Julian Temple.

After the departure of various members, ABC was suddenly a trio, sick of their image and desperate to record anything but strings. This resulted in the, ahem, different Beauty Stab (1983), which sounded a bit like Marvin Gay singing on an AC/DC album: crashing guitars and angry crooning. That was then, but this is now the name of the first single, was obviously anathema. That decision obviously backfired, and nobody really wanted to listen to a buch of angry, guitar-wielding, er, Duran Duran lookalikes.

So Stephen Singleton retired from the band as well, only leaving Fry and White to continue. I don't know WHAT they smoked, but they decided to become, ahem, Cartoon Characters. With the vertically challenged and bald David Yarritu and babe Fiona Russell-Powell (who as I remember both did not musically contribute to any song) they released How to be a Zillionaire (1984) with a couple of cartoon clips, most memorable How to be a Millionaire and Be near me). And now the funny thing: it worked! The album even made them stars in the US of A (which, on the other hand is taste challenged anyway, so it makes sense to display yourself in garish superhero costumes and cartoon strips).

By that time Fry developed Hodgkin's Disease and is close to death, but miraculously recovers and gets back to songwriting.

Now a duo, in 1987 Fry and White come up with Alphabet City: a fictive journey between house (Chicago) and modern soul (Prince + Jam and Lewis's Minneapolis), this had strings, hommages to soul crooners (When Smokey sings) and drama (The night you murdered Love). A truly remarkable album, it makes ABC household names again.

And now the strange thing happens: ABC discovers deep house, release two Albums and vanish in obscurity. Not that the songwriting on Up and Abracadabra was bad, not at all, but Parlophone obviously didn't have any interest in promoting them. So White leaves in 1992 and ABC is defunct after almost 12 years.

Or is it? After a couple of years and relaxation Fry releases Skyscraping (a collaboration with Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory under the old ABC name and: it's actually pretty good. Even the audience and the critics agree, and Fry decides to tour again after 17 years, and that's what he's still doing: catch ABC when they are around, as the quality of the musicianship is impressive, and the set is full of amazing songs.

..and for the encore Fry still puts on that Gold Lametta Suit.

No rhythm in cymbals No tempo in drums Love on arrival She comes when she comes Right on the target But wide of the mark What I thought was fire Was only the spark The sweetest melody Is an unheard refrain So lower your sights, Yeah but raise your aim Raise your aim

Kudos to:
You can also see the letters "ABC" on a fire extinguisher. This means that it can handle all three fire types. A fire is classed by the type of material burning, as that will determine what methods can be used to put it out:

  • Type "A" fires: These are fires involving solid materials. Such fires are relatively easy to deal with.
  • Type "B" fires: These are fires involving liquids. Using the wrong method of firefighting (like using water on an oil fire) will make such a fire worse.
  • Type "C" fires: This designates electrical fires, which are similar to Type A, as usually insulation and other solid materials are burning, but where electricity is present, which poses personal safety hazards and fire-rekindling potential.

Most modern fire extinguishers are "ABC" types, but one may find "BC" types in special hazard areas such as chemical facilities or electrical generation and switching areas.

In any English speaking first aid approach, ABC stands for Airway, Breathing, Circulation.

Airway: Is the airway open (patent)?

Breathing: Is the casualty breathing?

Circulation: Are there signs of circulation? Does the casualty have a pulse? Capillary refill? Cyanosis?

These three criteria form a hierarchy for treating an unconscious victim, i.e. an airway needs to be secured before a person can breathe and breathing implies circulation. Thus there is little sense in doing chest compressions on a breathing casualty since he must have a pulse. Similarly, a casualty with an obstructed airway will not benefit from CPR until a patent airway can be secured.

In an attempt to generalize the ABC mnemonic, the letter D is often added to represent "deadly bleeding" or "delicate spine". As well the letter C sometimes also represents C-spine (a cervical spinal injury).

ABC is Accidental Breast Contact. That is, one or more breasts coming into contact with usually arm or back in a social situation. It should perhaps be divided into two subsets, AABC, Apparently Accidental Breast Contact, and possibly SDAABC, Subconsciously Directed Apparently Accidental Breast Contact. ABC is a step beyond flirting. ABC means 'I want to sleep with you'.

The ABC thesis is that a woman will never touch a male of breeding age with her breasts by accident. Women are usually quite careful what they do with their secondary sexual characterisics around men, living as they do in a society that reinforces the idea that cunning use of one's physical attributes is the best strategy for the young female in almost any given situation.

In personal experience, women deny that my theory has any basis in reality. This leads me to believe that either I am deluded and a borderline misogynist, or that people are often less aware of the true motivations for our actions than we would like to think.

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