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Re: Acronyms

William wrote:

>With the mushrooming use of acronyms in today's world I have found it
>very difficult to keep track of their meanings.  Would somebody please
>post a list of the ones used in this forum including the chemical
>symbols.  I'm not a chemist
>by any stretch of the imagination and I find it confusing.  Thank you.

Acronyms can be confusing and no doubt plenty of them get thrown around on 
this list.  I thought it an interesting challenge to come up with as many 
of the more common ones as I could think of.  Any corrections or additions 
are welcome of course.  Note that some symbols, those of ions, will 
sometimes (and correctly) appear in normal use with their electrical 
charge.  For instance, potassium may be written as K+ or nitrate might be 
written as NO3-.  For the sake of readability, I left charges off for the 
most part.

C = carbon
Ca = calcium
CaCO3 = calcium carbonate
Cl = chloride
CO2 = carbon dioxide
CO3 = carbonate
Cu = copper
CuSO4 = copper sulfate
Fe = iron
Fe+2 = ferrous iron
Fe+3 = ferric iron
H = hydrogen -- hydronium
H2CO3 = carbonic acid
H2O2 = hydrogen peroxide
H2S = hydrogen sulfide
H2SO4 = sulfuric acid
HCO3 = bicarbonate
HCl = hydrochloric/muriatic acid
HNO3 = nitric acid
K = potassium
K2SO4 = potassium sulfate -- Sulfate of Potash
K2HPO4 = dibasic potassium phosphate
KCl = potassium chloride -- Muriate of Potash
KH2PO4 = monobasic potassium phosphate
KNO3 = potassium nitrate -- Salt Peter
Mg = magnesium
MgSO4 = magnesium sulfate
MgSO4 * 7H2O = Epsom Salts
N = nitrogen
Na = sodium
NaCl = sodium chloride -- table/aquarium salt
NaHCO3 = sodium bicarbonate -- Baking Soda
NH3 = ammonia
NH4 = ammonium
NO2 = nitrite
NO3 = nitrate
O = oxygen -- superoxide -- oxygen free radical
O2 = oxygen (gas)
P = phosphorus
PO4 = phosphate
S = sulfur
SO4 = sulfate

DO = dissolved oxygen
ORP = oxidation-reduction potential
TDS = total dissolved solids

PC or CFL = (power) compact fluorescent
VHO = very high output fluorescent
NO = normal output fluorescent
MH = metal halide

Many of the acronyms used here and elsewhere on the Internet for common 
phrases -- shorthand such as YMMV (your mileage may vary), FWIW (for what 
it's worth), etc. -- as well as some other useful acronyms can be found here:


Click on the "Newsgroup Info" button at the top left side of the page, then 
scroll down to "Terms and Abbreviations".  I noticed a couple of commonly 
used acronyms do not appear on the list:  IME = in my experience, PITA = 
pain in the ass.

Sometimes folks will make up their own acronyms on the fly, so you just 
have to guess or ask what they mean in those cases.

Be sure to study this weekend.  There will be a quiz on Monday.
Chuck Huffine
Knoxville, Tennessee