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The word Nomenclature comes from Nomenclator, who is a person who calls out names. "Nomen" means names and "clator" is a person who calls out.

At graduation the person who calls out the names of those being presented with a diploma is the nomenclator.

In the movie My Fair Lady, all the distinguished guests were announced by the Nomenclator.

Another type of nomenclator is the person who accompanies a VIP and tells him or her the names of the other VIPs. That ensures that the VIP isn't embarrassed by not knowing the other VIPs names as they greet them.

So a nomenclator is a person good at the art of nomenclature (the calling out of names).

Nomenclature is about the calling out of names. All subjects have their own nomenclature. If you don't want to be embarrassed, then you learn their nomenclature or hire a nomenclator to do that for you.


Chemistry has its own nomenclature. The more nomenclature you learn the easier it is for you to communicate with others in that field.

It's just like learning a language, the more you learn, the easier it gets, plus the more you can communicate with others. Also, every little bit helps.

Nomenclature in chemistry mostly refers the the naming of compounds. From an earlier tutorial on building blocks you learned that compounds are often grouped into two categories, inorganic compounds and organic compounds. Organic compounds, if you remember, are based on carbon. These are compounds like alcohols, hydrocarbons (methane, propane, etc.), amino acids, proteins, fats, and more. Pretty much what living things are made from.

Inorganic compounds are often metals combined with non-metals, which is usually the way we find metals in the ground. Inorganic compounds can also be non-metals combining with other non-metals. Those are usually gases.

In CHM130 nomenclature is normally aimed at inorganic compounds. You usually study nomenclature of organic compounds when you take the organic chemistry class (that's logical).


Nomenclature Menu
Tutorial on the Language of Chemistry

After doing tutorial on "Language of Chemistry", read pages 103 to 121 in Chapter 6 p 11th & 12th editions.

Tutorial of Nomenclature of compounds in Health Related Careers

Rules for Naming Covalent Compounds
Atomic View of Ionic Compounds
Rules for Naming Ionic Compounds
Rules for Naming Acids
Polyatomic Ions
This tutorial gives a good way to look at the learning of nomenclature. It approaches this task like learning a new language. Selected problems from Chapter 6 are in the quiz at Sapling Learning. These PowerPoint tutorials were used in face to face teaching but can be valuable for online students. They aren't necessary, but are a good supplement to the textbook. To download click link with right mouse button and choose "Save Target As..."

This tutorial and quiz focuses on naming inorganic compounds that are common in the health care field.

Quiz for this tutorial is at Sapling Learning.

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Since March 13, 2008