Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

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cmcaulay07
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Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby cmcaulay07 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:53 am UTC

... drive me up a wall. I manage the QC lab at a refinery here and i constantly hear terms such as "olefin", "naphtha", "paraffin", and others. I know for certain that this won't change around here, as this nomenclature was invented in the early days of petroleum refining. Old habits sure are hard to break. Am I the only one who finds this aggravating, especially after having spent more than 4 years of my life learning the "right" (read: IUPAC) way to talk about compounds?

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TescoPeeledPlums
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby TescoPeeledPlums » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:36 pm UTC

Personally, I wouldn't find it aggravating. Personally I see no difference between calling them paraffin and naptha rather than "a mixture of alkane hydrocarbons" or naming any alkane, alkene or alkyne individually.

It's just the difference between how I pronounce and/or spell Sulphur, Aluminium etc. differently from (seemingly) the entire rest of the world that really grinds my gears.
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Cobramaster
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby Cobramaster » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:47 pm UTC

To be honest IUPAC nomenclature fuddles the process too much when the exact composition of a substance especially when it is a mixture, such as Gasoline which is a very varied mixture including toluene and enough alkanes to make your head spin octane being the more prevalent. or Natural gas instead of Methane and propane. and even in pure substances the common name is just as useful as the IUPAC and typically easier to remember and spell.
SlyReaper wrote:Did you never notice the etymological link between "tyrannosaur" and "tyrant"? 1% of the dinosaurs had 99% of the prey. Occupy Pangaea.

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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby MrGee » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:01 pm UTC

cmcaulay07 wrote:... drive me up a wall. I manage the QC lab at a refinery here and i constantly hear terms such as "olefin", "naphtha", "paraffin", and others. I know for certain that this won't change around here, as this nomenclature was invented in the early days of petroleum refining. Old habits sure are hard to break. Am I the only one who finds this aggravating, especially after having spent more than 4 years of my life learning the "right" (read: IUPAC) way to talk about compounds?


IUPAC names can get really, annoying long, and are difficult to remember. It makes sense not to use them.

Also, 99% of everything you learn in school will be useless for your job. Usually all you have to know is things like "push this button when the bell dings".

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justaman
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby justaman » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:40 pm UTC

MrGee wrote:IUPAC names can get really, annoying long, and are difficult to remember. It makes sense not to use them.


Exactly this!

I'm not going to use

"sodium 3-[[4-[(E)-[4-(4-ethoxyanilino)phenyl]-[4-[ethyl-[(3-sulfonatophenyl)methyl]azaniumylidene]-2-
methylcyclohexa-2,5-dien-1-ylidene]methyl]-N-ethyl-3-methylanilino]methyl]benzenesulfonate"*

for Coomassie blue (common dye in biological world).

* put in a carriage return so as not to break the page.
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby masher » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:19 pm UTC

TescoPeeledPlums wrote:Personally, I wouldn't find it aggravating. Personally I see no difference between calling them paraffin and naptha rather than "a mixture of alkane hydrocarbons" or naming any alkane, alkene or alkyne individually.

It's just the difference between how I pronounce and/or spell Sulphur, Aluminium etc. differently from (seemingly) the entire rest of the world that really grinds my gears.


This. If everyone knows what acetic acid is, then I don't really get the difference. It's when they says "We need aluminum", and I say "Do you mean aluminium?" that really gets my goat up...

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Cobramaster
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby Cobramaster » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:45 pm UTC

Aluminum and Aluminium are both correct under IUPAC though my spell checker does not like aluminium.
SlyReaper wrote:Did you never notice the etymological link between "tyrannosaur" and "tyrant"? 1% of the dinosaurs had 99% of the prey. Occupy Pangaea.

masher
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby masher » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:13 am UTC

but not sulphur and sulfur. Also, my spell checker does not like aluminum (or sulfur)...

.

A friend of mine did his PhD in Chemistry in Australia, but one of his examiners was in the US. One of the comments back from the examiner was to "change the 'ph' in sulphur to 'f'". This annoyed him greatly. So in the copy he sent back to the examiner (with the corrections) he had done a global search/replace "ph" for "f", so _every single word_ that had a "ph" was changed to "f". Imagine reading about 'fosforous' and the like...! The examiner didn't say anything about it though, he must have made his point!

Mr. Freeman
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby Mr. Freeman » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:51 am UTC

cmcaulay07 wrote:spent more than 4 years of my life learning the "right" (read: IUPAC) way to talk about compounds?


IUPAC isn't the only correct way to reference a compound. Yes, it's annoying when different places use different terminology, but it isn't wrong and IUPAC is no more correct than whatever old-fashioned way they're using. The first day we started naming things in chem 1 my prof told us that if we went into chemistry then we'd have to relearn a lot of the naming conventions depending on where we worked. He said you could fill volumes and stack them about 10 feet high before you covered most of the ways to name compounds.

IUPAC seems to be more logical and structured than everything else. That's great when you're learning how to name things, but a fucking pain in the ass if you are experienced and just need a name that's quick to say. Chances are if the place you're working at switched to IUPAC then people would start to abbreviate things and thus start to use improper names.

cmcaulay07
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby cmcaulay07 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:22 am UTC

Yes, this is all true. I am aware that gasoline is not a single hydrocarbon, but instead a vast array of hundreds if not thousands of compounds, and as such can not have a systematic name. But really, paraffin = alkane? Olefin = alkene? Grr, I'm just being picky, i know it's not a real issue... :(

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Cobramaster
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby Cobramaster » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:50 pm UTC

Well Parrafin is a wax that is also a conglomeration of individual compounds so alkane does not describe it either.
SlyReaper wrote:Did you never notice the etymological link between "tyrannosaur" and "tyrant"? 1% of the dinosaurs had 99% of the prey. Occupy Pangaea.

cmcaulay07
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby cmcaulay07 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:39 am UTC

Paraffin is used as a name for straight-chain alkanes. Paraffin wax is the generalized name for semi-solid alkanes between c=20 and c=40. Either way, I'm over it by now; I've been here a year... Just ranting a bit, maybe?

Seli
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby Seli » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:33 am UTC

I use non-IUPAC names all the time myself. Half the time because it is a nice short-hand, half the time because it gives some nice variation.
The f/ph thing is more irritating, but that has more to do with preferred spelling (mine is a mix-and-pick from UK and USA) than with chemistry.

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morvita
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby morvita » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:14 pm UTC

I do try to use IUPAC names for compounds whenever possible, but I understand that for many complex organic or biomolecules this is an impossible way to effectively communicate, so I frequently end up using common names for things.

On the topic of the f/ph in sulph(f)ur, I recently realized that my writing uses a combination of British and American spellings for science terms and many other words. I assume that this is a result of growing up in the US, but doing all my post-high school studying in Canada and learning all my undergrad organic chemistry from a British man (which screwed up my pronunciation of most organic terms more than anything). At this point my brain is so confused about which way to spell something is "right" that it ends up mixing US and UK spellings of words into my writing. As a recent example, in the space on one paragraph, I used the words "sulphur" and "selenylsulfide" twice each and used the ph spelling twice and the f spelling twice. I didn't even pick up on the switch until my supervisor pointed it out while he was reading it over for me.
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby James Scott-Brown » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:27 am UTC

cmcaulay07 wrote: Am I the only one who finds this aggravating, especially after having spent more than 4 years of my life learning the "right" (read: IUPAC) way to talk about compounds?


Well, I was never taught that IUPAC nomenclature was "right". I was taught that it was an international system of nomenclaure that was widely enough used that I absolutely had to learn it, but that it should be ignored whenever doing so would aid communication. One professor once said that the IUPAC rules are only useful for `constructing nice exam questions'.

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Cobramaster
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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby Cobramaster » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:41 am UTC

Yeah the most you should ever have to write and IUPAC name is once per paper for clarification if there is any room for miscommunication. and then use the common name from then on to be kind to the reader. Example from my research there is Queen mandibualar pheromone, IUPAC is 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid; cis & trans 9 hydroxydec-2-enoic acid; methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate; 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylethanol. Thats just one of the examples I like nor is it nearly as complex as many.
SlyReaper wrote:Did you never notice the etymological link between "tyrannosaur" and "tyrant"? 1% of the dinosaurs had 99% of the prey. Occupy Pangaea.

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Re: Places that refuse to use IUPAC nomenclature...

Postby SimpleSimon » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:04 pm UTC

IUPAC looks too much like tupac, and i don't like tupac
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