a weblog of wordplay by Eric Harshbarger
Word ChemistryIt's always nice to see that I'm not the only logological nut in the world...
Yesterday I stumbled upon a webpage where a fellow composed a list of all words that can be spelled with chemical abbreviations. He uses the ENABLE wordlist.
I remember doing a similar thing years ago when I sat in 10th grade chemistry class. Then I simply determined which chemical names could be constructed using chemical abbreviations (the puzzle stuck with me; over fifteen years later I included the exact same puzzle at my first Puzzle Party). The question also appeared in the October 2005 issue of GAMES magazine a few months after my Party (though I was not the one who submitted it to the publication).
Here is the list of elements that work (with multiple combinations for some):
ArSeNiC ArSeNIC AsTaTiNe BiSmUTh BISmUTh CArBON CoPPEr COPPEr IrON KrYPtON NeON PHoSPHoRuS PHOSPHoRuS PHOsPHoRuS PHoSPHORus PHOSPHORuS PHOsPHORuS SiLiCoN SiLiCON SILiCON SILiCoN TiN XeNON XeNoNOf course, new chemical elements are slowly being discovered, and slowly being given new names and abbreviations. But if all of the new names keep ending in "ium" and no abbreviation of "M" or "Um" is created, none of the new elements will get added (though a few old names might slip in).
I am happy to note that with the recent naming of the 111th element, Roentgenium, and its abbreviation of Rg, I am finally able to compose my last name with element abbreviations.
-- ErIC HArSHBaRgEr
[4 January 2006]
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