Submitted by Nancy Williams / Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 18:27

We all hate it...yet we all need it. Short of buying IUPAC's two versions of the Little Red Book, do people know of good resources?  There's the Wikipedia page on the 2005 "reforms" here:…


Maggie Geselbracht / Reed College
I've never heard of the Little Red Book, but maybe that tells you the importance I place on teaching (and learning) nomenclature.  So, I will ask the we need it in our classes?  I hand out a one page handout on naming coordination complexes and usually ask a few homework questions, but other than that, I don't teach much nomenclature.  What do others do?
Fri, 08/15/2008 - 18:40 Permalink
Nancy Williams / Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College

Oh, heaven forfend! I'd rather rip my still-beating heart from my own chest with my bare hands than teach out of a nomenclature book! 

 I find that the "chlorido-, ammino-, aquo-" table in every inorganic textbook and cis/trans/mer/fac/eta is about all the nomenclature I can take.

I think I'll put the Wiki link in my syllabus, because, damn it, there are times when you absolutely, positively, have to name something overnight, and if they turn in a formal lab report, or write a thesis, they ought to get the nomenclature right. But I certainly hope IUPAC stormtroopers don't arrive at my institution and force me to teach real nomenclature. I'll leave the field and become a plumber.

Sat, 08/16/2008 - 12:38 Permalink
Lori Watson / Earlham College
I hated it as a student, so as a teacher I don't really teach it!  I think I do what some others do, basically teach (i.e. have students read:)) what's in the inorganic textbook and leave it at that.  I basically want them to be able to draw a structure from a name they might see in a journal article, and be able to name a structure so that others can draw a structure.  I do an in-class activity (which I need to post to VIPeR) where we practice this (it takes five names from the literature and five structures--I have two sets.  Students then draw structures and attempt to name.  On the "attempt to name", I then have them trade answer sheets with another student with the 2nd set.  They get a "point" only if the other student draws the correct structure.  There's alot of  "Come on!!!  You can draw THAT!").
Tue, 09/09/2008 - 08:39 Permalink