Element 112

To view this message in MSWord, a notoriously illiterate and substandard word-processing program of extremely limited capabilities, you may have to switch the font to Lucida sans unicode to view all of the characters that competent word-processors use without such complexities.

The suggestion to name element 112 after Nicolas Copernicus is unobjectionable; certainly Copernicus is a pivotal figure in the development of science and worthy of the honor. However, given the large number of elements beginning with the letter “C” and the antepenultimate accent rule in English,

    copernicium

would end up being pronounced something like [kəˌpɝrnɨˈsijəm] which sounds awful. Given the fact that his Moravian name was Kopernik, and that the latinized form was Copernicus not *Copernicius, wouldn’t it be better to propose

    copernicum

or

    kopernicum

(symbol Kp) pronounced [kǝˈpɝrnɨˌkəm] or [kǝˈpɛrnɨˌkəm]?

WebElements: the periodic table on the WWW [http://www.webelements.com/]

Copyright 1993-20010 Mark Winter [The University of Sheffield and WebElements Ltd, UK]. All rights reserved.