Talk:Stereochemistry

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Re complex tag[change source]

Just a few items from the first paragraph that make this article complex and not at all simple.

  • Sentence 1 "Stereochemistry is a subdiscipline of chemistry." Subdiscipline links to Wiktionary discipline where the relevant definition is third--requiring extensive checking of a linked page to then make meaning.
    •  Done - by PDU.
  • Sentence 2 "It involves the study of" Not simple. What exactly does "involve" mean?
    •  Done - by PDU.
  • Sentence 5 "This means that the atoms of the molecule can take more than one shape, even though both shapes have the same set of links." Idiomatic "take shape". What does "same set of links" mean? Link has a simple meaning which may not be what is meant.
    •  Done - by me
  • Sentence 6 "Most chemical bonds leave the atoms in a molecule free to flop and twist around." Phrasal verb "leave st free to". "Flop" not simple.
    •  fixed
  • Sentence 7 "However, when a molecule has a double bond or a ring structure, the molecule can be sorted into different isomers (varieties that have the same chemical structure but different layouts)." Layouts is not simple vocabulary. Using complex vocabulary to explain complex vocabulary is not effective.
    •  fixed

Further down, this entire passage is word-for-word and not even close to being simple: "One optical isomer of the drug was safe while the other had teratogenic effects, causing serious genetic damage to early embryonic growth and development. In the human body, thalidomide undergoes racemization: even if only one of the two stereoisomers is ingested, the body converts it to other one. Thalidomide is currently used as a treatment for leprosy and must be used with contraceptives in women to prevent pregnancy-related deformations. This disaster was a driving force behind requiring strict testing of drugs before making them available to the public." Only the opening phrasing of the paragraph is at all simplified and the rest is left as-is.

If this is not deleted under the current RfD, please consider userfying this until it is simple. Gotanda (talk) 10:18, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Just this one note for now (will look at it later): involve is simple. Thanks for the points anyway. This is much more helpful than "a automated program rated this article as not simple". Thanks, -Barras (talk) 23:27, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Some are done, working on the rest! -Barras (talk) 07:41, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Finally, I think all points are addressed now. Please review the complex tag! -Barras (talk) 08:41, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

I think it is better, but there is still more to do. It should not be deleted, but at the moment I think think the complex tag should stay. And the automated programs support my judgement. --Peterdownunder (talk) 12:18, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

We have a discussion of the automated programs on Talk:Diels–Alder reaction. They are biased against poly-syllable words used in chemistry. Can you please point out one additional sentence or area where I can work? I need to develop your "feel" for simple. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 12:56, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Poly-syllable words are complex words, and if there are a lot of them in an article, it will make it a complex article. You cannot say the tool is biased - that is its job! Until you do start to develop a "feel" for what is simple, trust the tool. If it says complex, then it probably is. It is like using litmus paper. Sometimes it is more complex than simplifying "a" sentence, or "a" word. Sometimes the entire syntax is complex. Try and put yourself back in Organic Chemistry 101. Start knowing nothing and build. It took me a long time to work out what this article was about. If I am right (and please tell me if I have it wrong), it is like this. All molecules are made from atoms. Different molecules can be made from the same atoms, depending on how they are joined or arranged. Stereochemistry is the science of studying the arrangement of the atoms that can make up these molecules.

Writing simply is not simple!--Peterdownunder (talk) 11:25, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I like most of your changes. The problem is that Eskimos have many different, specialized words for "snow" and chemists are the same. For example, this article talks about the atoms "moving." Of course, there is the motion caused by heat, where the molecules vibrate. There is the motion caused by the bulk object being moved from one place to another. There is the rotation of the Earth, but here we are focusing on the ability of the atoms to change relative configurations ("to twist and flop around"). Each vocabulary simplification has an information penalty. No two editors will agree if the price is worth the simplification. That is where the intuitive "feel" is useful. Racepacket (talk) 09:38, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I saw how you fixed my changes to make them accurate. That is one of my problems that without knowing the topic I can make fundamental errors while trying to simplify and not even know. Part of the skill in writing is to be able to explain those specialized words, without having to rely on more. And this is hard, people use "jargon" because it has a precise shared meaning which can make for clear and concise explanations. When you cannot use it, articles have to become longer, and do sacrifice some of that precision. I am enjoying working on these articles, I feel that I learned something about organic chemistry.--Peterdownunder (talk) 20:27, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Weak definitions, unclear writing, needs organization[change source]

Using the term or part of the term to be defined in the definition is a poor way to define terms. See "Stereochemistry is a part of chemistry."

 Done --Peterdownunder (talk) 05:04, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Who is studying what in this article? People study things. Scientists study things in certain ways. Chemists are scientists.

  • "It (stereochemistry) studies the way that atoms are arranged within molecules." No. Stereochemistry doesn't study anything. Chemists do.
 Done --Peterdownunder (talk) 05:04, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
  • "It (stereochemistry) studies the effect on the physical or biological properties these relationships give molecules." Again.
 Done--Peterdownunder (talk) 05:25, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
  • "Using stereochemistry, a chemist can work out the relationships between different molecules that have the same atoms." Now it is something scientists use. Scientists use lab equipment. This sense of use is less simple.
Do not agree here - scientists use formulas as well which are not "lab equipment". I think you can "use" sterochemistry.--Peterdownunder (talk) 05:25, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Then, halfway through the article, you have a new definition. "Stereochemistry is the study of this arrangement of the atoms."
{{Done)) removed unnecessary definition --Peterdownunder (talk) 05:25, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
  • "Stereochemistry was important in solving the thalidomide disaster in the 1960s." Now it is important. Explain. More likely is that scientists who understood stereochemistry were able to understand the thalidomide problem. The thalidomide problem may be an example of how understanding stereochemistry is helpful, but it is not the history of stereochemistry.
Have moved it to a sub section of its own. Still looking for sources, and further explanation.--Peterdownunder (talk) 05:25, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

I noted vocabulary problems earlier because they are the easiest to identify, but this needs a thorough re-write to become simple. There are three problems I see now: personification of stereochemistry, and unclear mish-mash of uses of the word with various definitions in various places, and the thalidomide section.

If the first line doesn't clearly and simply state what stereochemistry is, then this article can't really be simple. This problem seems to apply to many of the other chemistry articles as well. Gotanda (talk) 01:47, 13 August 2011 (UTC)