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 Post subject: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 5:01 pm 
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When did the spelling of Sulphur formally change to Sulfur?? I have seen more and more of this creeping through the text books.


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 Post subject: Re: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 5:10 pm 
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Location: Reading
The Royal society of chemists accepted the change to spelling some years ago I believe. So now, even in the UK it's the official spelling.

Doesn't stop myself and colleagues spelling it with a ph though.


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 Post subject: Re: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 5:14 pm 
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1992 to be precise. Details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur#Spe ... _etymology


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 Post subject: Re: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 5:53 pm 
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does it get marked incorrect for spelling if the child spells it how is should? That is Sulphur?

What next? Center? Color?


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 Post subject: Re: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 6:37 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
sbarnes wrote:
does it get marked incorrect for spelling if the child spells it how is should? That is Sulphur?

I doubt it very much.

sbarnes wrote:
What next? Center? Color?

If it has clear Latin roots, quite possibly.

US English rocked up rather late in linguistic history, but it may still have a few things to teach us about logical spelling.


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 Post subject: Re: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
sbarnes wrote:
does it get marked incorrect for spelling if the child spells it how is should? That is Sulphur?

What next? Center? Color?



I'll check with a chemistry teacher and let you know when she gets back to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 7:01 pm 
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This is such an interesting area for me. Much as I dislike American spelling it does indeed have far more logic than the piecemeal but historically fascinating spellings of UK English. Noah Webster devoted many years of his life in the 1800s to compiling a dictionary of spellings that he found to be the most widespread and also the most logical in the US. These are the US English spellings used today across the world - speeded up of course by the global take-up of Microsoft products. But did you also know about the rival Cambridge and Oxford spellings here? -ise/-isation endings are Cambridge spellings, while -ize/ization are Oxford spellings.

I didn't know that sulfur was the official spelling now though. English is such a fascinating language, in a constant state of flux.

Sorry, could go on about this stuff for hours... I blame it on doing Latin A level. Constantly beguiled by language ever since.


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 Post subject: Re: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 7:06 pm 
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"It is the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) who deal with questions of nomenclature and naming when it comes to chemical elements and compounds. And so when IUPAC decided that element 16 should be spelled as 'sulfur' — either in 1971 (ref. 1) or 1990 (ref. 2) depending on the source — there should be no argument about whether there should be a 'ph' in there or not. It is not a question of American or Oxford English spelling, it is a given name — and 'correcting' such a name to a different spelling is wholly inappropriate. What would Fred Flintstone say if we insisted on spelling his name Phred Phlintstone! Just to hammer the point home, IUPAC only accepts alternative spellings for two elements, and neither of them is sulfur: 'aluminum' and 'cesium' are fair game, although Nature Chemistry uses aluminium and caesium."

http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/v1/ ... m.301.html

All the Chemistry specifications refer to sulfur - so it's sulphur that is incorrect.


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 Post subject: Re: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 7:09 pm 
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I just asked my yr9 boy - sulphur!

I have American friends who get quite worked up about the 'Oxford comma'. I had to google it. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Sulphur spelling
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 7:10 pm 
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I also have Oxford board Latin O level and totally understand Sulfur should be spelt with a F, but I am totally bewildered as to how, why this change came about. For many years it was spelt with a PH, now reverting to american ways.


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