Now, I am doing a science worksheet and I came across an opportunity to write either "decoxide" or "decaoxide". Since the latter sounds wrong out loud, I decided to google it before I wrote it out, just to be sure. What I got instead, once I had filtered out all of the references to phosphorus or tetraphosphorus, was a whole lot of mentions of both. Both my phone's autocorrect and my worksheet itself use "decoxide". So, I did the obvious next thing and went to r/askscience. However, after I'd gotten no responses on there, I realized my mistake and came here.

Update: How do you write "three iodine atoms"? Is it "triiodide" (which my autocorrect says is correct, and which Wikipedia apparently uses) or is it "triodide" (which my autocorrect approves of)? Or even "tri-iodide"?

Thanks for any help you guys can provide!

  • $\begingroup$ We generally omit the first vowel. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 3:52
  • $\begingroup$ Concerning your update, you also need to distinguish between "triiodide" and "tris(iodide)". $\endgroup$
    – Loong
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 8:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NilayGhosh Am I to take that whole thread to mean that if the prefix is monosyllabic, then an elision is used, but if the prefix is bisyllabic, then an elision is not used? If that is the case, then that would seem reasonable, and I would then be inclined to spread the word. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – New Saxony
    Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 2:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, that is right. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 5:28


Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.