For example Acetone has the shortest carbon chain in which a ketone functional group can be added. Other examples include Acetaldehyde, Acetylene. Was this some sort of older naming system in which the prefix ace was used for simplest examples of functional groups or is this some sort of large coincidence. There do seem to be some contradictions to my theory such as acetaminophen or paracetamol but these usually contain more than one functional group so they could just be coincidentally named with ace- or acet- at the start.

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    $\begingroup$ Your hypothesis falls apart at acetaldehyde; it's not the simplest aldehyde. $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2022 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ Formaldehyde $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2022 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ No. It has a historical origin, going back to the 19th century. Acetone was first discovered by pyrolysis of sodium acetate $\ce{CH3COONa}$. When heated in the Bunsen burner flame, sodium acetate produces a new volatile substance, according to $$\ce{2 CH3COONa -> CH3COCH3 + Na2CO3}$$ As the first chemist who discovered this volatile substance did not know that it was the first member of a new series of compounds, the ketones, he decided to name it as if it was a derivate of an acetate, without any sodium. So he created the name acetone, by changing the last letters of "acetate". $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Sep 8, 2022 at 15:47


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