G’day Dave an 'all; Here I go jumping in again! But don’t let
long chemical names throw you. They are not there to show how clever
the author is, but are virtually a description of what the substance
really is, so that chemists, who spend years learning to understand
the jargon, can easily visualise it.
A simple instance is acetylsalicylic acid - the chemical name for
aspirin. The word ‘Aspirin’ means practically nothing to a chemist,
but ‘acetylsalicylic’ acid does; from that meagre bit of information
one could see how to set about making some.
It is easier to register a long name by breaking it up; di bromo
quinone chlor imide - which gives a chemist a strong clue of what
it’s formula, and the shape of it’s molecule would look like, and
therefore what it’s properties might be.
Try ‘tetramethyldiaminodiphenylmethane!’ A leg-pull? No; it is a
well known dyestuff called bismark brown! The naming of chemicals
follows very strict international rules.
Mind you we have a similar problem pronouncing some New Zealand
place names like Turangawaiwai - a well know place in the North
Island. Break it down: Tur ranga wai wai. Not quite so difficult
like that, eh? And yes, that means something too. – Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ