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When you have an IUPAC name that starts with a number, i.e. "3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid", but it's at the start of the sentence would you capitalize the first letter in the name? For example:

3,5-Dinitrosalicylic acid can reduce sugars with aldehyde or ketone functionality.

or,

3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid can reduce sugars.

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1 Answer 1

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According to the ACS style guide [1, p. 240]

Chemical names are not capitalized unless they are the first word of a sentence or are part of a title or heading. Then, the first letter of the syllabic portion is capitalized, not the locant, stereoisomer descriptor, or positional prefix.

Therefore, the following capitalization is correct:

3,5-Dinitrosalicylic acid can reduce sugars with aldehyde or ketone functionality.

Reference

  1. The ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information, 3rd ed.; Coghill, A. M., Garson, L. R., Eds.; American Chemical Society; Oxford University Press: Washington, DC; Oxford; New York, 2006. DOI: 10.1021/ed083p1603.1, ISBN 978-0-8412-3999-9.
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  • $\begingroup$ I don't have access, but the new version should be here: doi.org/10.1021/acsguide $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2023 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ I used the previous reference for the third "offline" edition since the quoted part can be found there, and I don't have access to the latest ACS SG either. Added woke BS aside (i.e. Part 6: Inclusivity), I would suspect the content would be pretty much the same. If anyone who has access to the latest SG, please feel free to make a correction. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    May 18, 2023 at 8:22

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