Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Choke On This!
The word pnictogen refers, in Greek, to the concept of suffocation. The Germans even call nitrogen Stickstoff, meaning suffocating stuff. I choke a little myself on the word pnictogen every time I hear it -- it comes out sounding like feeble erudition. The neighboring group words chalcogen and halogen are only slightly better, and the latter at least finds widespread use. But the concepts pnictogen, chalcogen, and halogen are cool enough and neatly correspond to the idea of periodic rhyming of elements.
Nitrogen is the group leader for team pnictogen and I have arrived at element 15, phosphorus, in my little Aufmarsch from element 1 to element 112 or so. Link
Anybody got any good phosphorus stories?