[On the December 1943 Editor's outlook]

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  • L E T T E R S To the Editor:

    Your editorial in the December issue of the JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL EDUCATION was too early to acknowledge the following contribution which appears in the Journal of the Americnn Chemical Society, 65, 2478 (December, 1943) : "The writer does not feel a t all venturous in predicting that this book will gather more reagent stains on its open pages than dust on its cover."

    Please note that the book referred to is an advanced quantitative analysis. I almost hope that my students in analytical chemistry don't read the Journal of the American Chemical Society, because even the elemen- tary ones are supposed to develop enough technique so that they don't stain their books with reagents. Perhaps Professor Willard should have repeated in this book the last sentence of the first paragraph, page 10, third edition, of his elementary book.

    R. D. COOL Tm. UNIVERSITY ox OXLAHOMA

    NORMAN. OKLAHOMA

    Chemical Shorthand To the Editor:

    I append some notes explanatory of a system of cbemical shorthand which has proved of value to me in expressing chemical formulas and may possibly be of interest to others. J

    Hackh' bas described a system of chemical shorthand - ' HACKH. Science, 48, 333 (1918).

    * . OH4, CH3, or CIIZ 11 Double bond 111 n ? Triple bond

    - X Straight chaln structure: x is a pos l t lve integer

    \ Oxygen ( a s oxlda)

    * Bonds mvat be determined by inspection. t The number of hydrogen atoms attached to the carbon must be deter-

    mined by inspection of the structure of the maleeule.

    151

    which is applicable to all organic formulas. His system is briefly mentioned by Bemthsen.2

    The system about to be described possesses a two- fold advantage in that it is very rapid in execution and, what is more important, can be typewritten.

    In brief, the carbon atom with its four valences is represented by a single period or dot. I t is assumed that hydrogen atoms are attached to the carbon atom unless-notation or visual inspection indicates other- wise. Thus methane is represented by . , ethane by.. , etc. Notations for various other groups are given in Table 1 while Tabk 2 gives examples of the use of the system.

    With very complex chemical compounds the system becomes unwieldly, a defect true of any system of chemical shorthand, and i t therefore is not recom- mended for rapid note-taking when dealing with such compounds.

    It is apparent from an inspection of the notations given in Table 1 that all of them can be readily im- provised on a typewriter provided with a standard keyboard.

    EUGENE W. BLANK COLGATE-PALMOLIVE-PEET COMPANY

    JERSEY CITY. NEW JERSEY - QERNTHSEN, "A Textbook of O r g a n i c C h e m i s t r y , " revised

    by J. J. SUDBOROUGH, D. Van Nostrand Company. Inc., New York C i t y , 1922, p. 19.

    T A B L E 2 Compomd Shorlhond Notalion

    E ~ * N B . .