Morocco Angers International Chemists By Unilaterally Renaming 18th Element in the Periodic Table

Argon To Be Known as Argan in Moroccan Chemistry Texts and All Official Government Communiques

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Senior members of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) were reportedly outraged today by the news that Morocco had renamed argon, the 18th element in the periodic table, argan, purportedly in honor of argan oil, the countries economic lifeblood and most iconic symbol. A visibly shaken and angry IUPAC spokesmen Jim Stevens said the following about the unconventional maneuver. “This unilateral decision made by the country of Morocco is an outrageous usurpation of power and cannot be allowed to stand. It is in violation of all norms of accepted element naming practices, the name itself does not even meet the IUPAC minimum requirements which clearly state that an element can only be named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property, or a scientist. Neither the argan tree, nor argan oil are any of those things. If Morocco is allowed to get away with this who knows what other country might decide they also want a special element name. Do you like nitrogen, atomic symbol N? Me too. Well what if some precinct minister in Oslo decides he would rather it be called Norway? Or, how about instead of lithium ion batteries, you find yourself putting Lithuanian ion batteries in your next laptop computer. Does that seem OK to you?” He then pulled out a newly issued Moroccan chemistry text and continued. “And look at the liberties they have taken in some of their descriptions of the facts concerning argon. Where a standard chemistry textbook says the following; Argon is a chemical element with symbol Ar and atomic number 18. It is in group 18 of the periodic table and is a noble gas. Argon is the third-most abundant gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, at 0.934% (9340 ppmv). It is more than twice as abundant as water vapor (which averages about 4000 ppmv, but varies greatly), 23 times as abundant as carbon dioxide(400 ppmv), and more than 500 times as abundant as neon (18 ppmv). Argon is the most abundant noble gas in Earth’s crust, comprising 0.00015% of the crust. The Morrocan textbook includes very similar wording but also adds a final so called fact- argan leaves your hair looking shiny and lustrous but without the greasy residue left behind by all those other hair oils. It may be true but it is entirely inappropriate.” He then slammed the book to the ground and stormed off the stage grumbling “damn f&*n Moroccan’s and their blasted argan oil.”

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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