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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/708

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

a melody or a picture. Its function is, nevertheless, very important. By virtue of its volatility it is a valuable prophylactic; by the great intensity of its effects it can bring about salutary modifications of physiological functions, particularly of the amplitude of respiration; and it possesses in the highest degree the luxurious character of every artistic enjoyment. Flavor has an essential part in nutrition; so has touch. Hearing and sight are indispensable to relations with other persons; but smell, necessary to the animal for finding its prey and avoiding danger, has become, under normal conditions, an almost useless sense to man, since the refinements of civilization tend to prevent the production of miasms and the pestilential odors from which he has to protect himself. It is therefore becoming more and more a sense of luxury for civilized man; and that, perhaps, is the reason why poets, from the author of the Song of Songs down, have associated all kinds of beauty and joy with perfumes.—Translated for The Popular Science Monthly from the Revue Scientifique.

 

CHANGES IN CHEMICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL WORDS.
By FREDERIK A. FERNALD.

"HOW do you pronounce quinine?" is a question that is often asked, and, unless the person appealed to is unusually dogmatic, the answer is never decisive. Webster's International Dictionary gives three forms as being in good use—namely, kwī'nīn, kwǐ'nīn, and kwǐnēn; the Century Dictionary gives two of these and a fourth form, kwǐn'ēn, kǐnēn', and kwī'nīn; while a fifth variant is found in Stormonth, which has only kwǐn'īn and kwǐnīn. Physicians and chemists, from having to use this word oftener than the general public, have been more annoyed by the conflicting pronunciations. Other words that have troubled the chemists are the names of the halogens, some pronouncing them chlō'rǐn, brō'mǐn, ī'ōdǐn, and flū'ōrǐn, while others said chlō'rēn, etc. A more serious difficulty is the liability to mistake certain substances for others, from the close likeness of whole classes of names, both when spoken and when written. This occurs with the chlorīdes and the chlorītes, also with the sulphīdes and the sulphītes. In order to do away with these difficulties, a proposition for a revision of the spelling and pronunciation of chemical terms was made in the Chemical Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at the annual meeting in 1887. Accordingly, a committee to make