Element 114 received the name flerovium by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2012. Flerovium has the symbol Fl. The element is named for the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, part of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia. the Joint Institute is a huge research facility employing scientists from around the world. The element was discovered in a collaborative effort by the Dubna scientists and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Source: Loss, Robert D. and John Corish. “Names and Symbols of the Elements with Atomic Numbers 114 and 116 (IUPAC Recommendations 2012).” Pure and Applied Chemistry, 84.7. June 2012. 1669–72.

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Element 113 received the name nihonium by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in June 2016. Nihonium has the symbol Nh. The element is named for Japan, Nihon, literally “land of the rising sun,” being one name for that nation in Japanese. The element was discovered by the Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Wako, Saitama, Japan. It’s the first element to be discovered in an Asian country.

New IUPAC guidelines formulated in 2016 require new elements be named after either a mythological character or concept (or an astronomical object named after such a mythological concept), a mineral, a place, or a scientist. Elements in columns 1–16 of the periodic table take the usual suffix -ium. Those in column 17 take the suffix -ine, and those in column 18 the suffix -on. Nihonium is in column 13, hence the -ium ending. Of course, older names for elements may not conform to these guidelines.

Source: “IUPAC is Naming the Four New Elements Nihonium, Moscovium, Tennessine, and Oganesson.” IUPAC press release. 8 June 2016.

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Latin Dictionary (Lewis & Short)

Lewis, Charlton T., and Charles Short. A Latin Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879.

Lewis and Short for many years was the standard Latin dictionary and remains one of the two most often cited Latin dictionaries. Many classical scholars now prefer the Oxford Latin Dictionary (1982), but, despite its age, Lewis and Short is a better source for medieval and post-classical Latin.

The Perseus digital library at Tufts University has made Lewis and Short available and searchable online for free.

You Don’t Say

McIntyre, John E. “You Don’t Say.” The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.

McIntyre, a veteran copy editor for the Baltimore Sun, blogs about language, copy editing, journalism, and other sundry topics.



Readers of the Wordorigins discussion group will recognize Languagehat. This is his blog about language, translation, and copy editing.

Dictionary Society of America Blog

Dictionary Society of America, http://www.dictionarysociety.com/.

Updates about the society and language stories that are in the news.

Garner’s Modern American Usage

Garner, Bryan A. Garner’s Modern American Usage. Fourth ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

I use the third (2009) edition, having yet to purchase the new edition.

See my review of the third edition here. And here is another discussion of why I dislike Garner’s approach.

Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style. Sixteenth ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Probably the most comprehensive American style manual in widespread use. A must-have for professional writers.

Dictionary of the Scots Language

Skretkowicz, Victor. “Dictionary of the Scots Language.” Scottish Language Dictionaries, http://www.dsl.ac.uk/.

This site comprises electronic editions of the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language: the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the Scottish National Dictionary. The first contains information about Scots words in use from the twelfth to the end of the seventeenth centuries (Older Scots); and the second contains information about Scots words in use from the eighteenth century to the present day (modern Scots).

Don’t confuse Scots with Gaelic. Scots is a dialect of English and in the Germanic family of languages. It is widely spoken throughout Scotland. Gaelic is a Celtic language, quite distinct from English, now largely restricted to the remote, highland regions of Scotland.

Official Dictionary of Unofficial English

Barrett, Grant. The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

A great dictionary of neologisms. It’s now out of print, but still available from used booksellers.

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