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ScienceNostalgia101

Why is water called "dihydrogen monoxide"?

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Water is easily the most common oxide of hydrogen. Its two hydrogen atoms for every oxygen atom correspond to the 2- charge of oxygen and 1+ for hydrogen. I would think, if only for those reasons, "hydrogen oxide" would be the most appropriate name for it.

 

To cap it off, other covalent hydrogen compounds seemed to be named that way. H2S, for instance, isn't called "dihydrogen monosulfide." 

 

However, I always hear "dihydrogen monoxide" referred to as the name for water when people are using it to mock environmental scares. I see two explanations for this:

 

A. They're actually that ignorant about this, which would make it seem rather hypocritical to then paint environmentalists that way, or...

 

B. They're deliberately misrepresenting the way chemical names work to catch people off-guard, whether to make it sound scarier than water's actual chemical name would be, or to avoid allowing anyone an opportunity to think "hydrogen oxide, eh? Hmm... what is formed when hydrogen is burned in oxygen again?"

 

Is there a legitimate reason H2S is more commonly referred to as hydrogen sulfide and H2O as dihydrogen monoxide, or am I onto something here?

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Posted (edited)

I have seen Water refereed to as Hydrogen Hydroxide too, but more of a joke / humour. 

 

Paul

Edited by paulsutton

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1 hour ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

 

B. They're deliberately misrepresenting the way chemical names work to catch people off-guard, whether to make it sound scarier than water's actual chemical name would be,

This. Makes it sound bad. Carbon monoxide is bad. 
 

To catch folks unaware.

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2 hours ago, swansont said:

This. Makes it sound bad. Carbon monoxide is bad. 
 

To catch folks unaware.

So does that make it misleading, then, if its actual scientific name is hydrogen oxide?

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3 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

So does that make it misleading, then, if its actual scientific name is hydrogen oxide?

Yes, but...

Since most people aren’t familiar with chemistry nomenclature what ir reveals is people willing to respond without getting clarification of what they don’t understand 

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46 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

So does that make it misleading...

Yes. That's the point of saying it that way.

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