Scientific crudity

Close-up of an arsoleClose-up of an arsoleScientific nomenclature - i.e. what top boffin scientists insist on calling things to in order to sound clever - is not known for its hilarity. Names like sodium chloride (table salt), aluminum potassium sulfate (alum) or magnesium silicate (talc) are long-winded for sure, but in no real way funny.

Fortuitously, there have been rare exceptions. Certain high-level chemistry books must be almost as funny as that joke from Monty Python that is so funny it was used as a deadly weapon by the Ministry of War.

Paul May has taken the wise step of assembling some pages of the cream of the molecular funny-name crop.

The best is probably the first on the list. The Poorhouse can do it no more justice than to repeat his commentary.

Yes, believe it or not, there is actually a molecule called Arsole... and it's a ring! ... Contrary to popular belief, new research...shows that arsoles are only moderately aromatic.

The delightful Inkycircus blog preferred (Mg,Fe)7Si8O22(OH)2 - otherwise known as Cummingtonite.

But there are plenty more to go around; selected highlights include Dickite, Moronic acid, Fucitol (which perhaps unsurprisingly is an alcohol), Crapinon, Welshite, Vaginatin, Fornacite and Khanneshite.

The Poorhouse applauds the valiant efforts of the scientists that brought these names to bear, and hopes that if you one day discover something so new-fangledly wonderful it requires naming you will at least make it sound a little bit like a swear word.


And not so crude...

See this more serious one from Chemistry World's Bench Monkey.

Ta, somehow that seems even

Ta, somehow that seems even funnier than all the ones that sound a bit dirty at the minute. Maybe because it actually could be used as a windowpane? Say what you see...

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