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Recently, I have faced a question like below: The new systematic nomenclature was so (i)__ that many chemists preferred to (ii)__ the older trivial names that were at least shorter. At least, that is the ostensible reason. Actually, tradition seems to carry more weight than (iii)____ with some scientists.

Blank (i) A. succinct B. cumbersome C. irrational

Blank (ii) D. revert to E. adopt F. suspend

Blank (iii) G. chronology H. longevity I. system

And I answered it: BEI whenever the answer given is: BDI.

My question is if it is not much suitable to use adopt the system rather than going back to the system?

  • If the chemists referred to switched to IUPAC then back again, they obviously reverted to the older nomenclature. If they never actually adopted IUPAC recommendations, you need F' = 'retain'. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 27 '14 at 17:01
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"Adopt" should be used when starting something new, whereas "revert" should be using when returning to a previous behavior.

Looking at the Merriam-Webster definition of adopt, it says "to begin to use", whereas the definition of revert is "to go back to" or "to return to".

If we substitute the words "begin to use" and "return to using", it is clear that "revert" is correct:

The new systematic nomenclature was so cumbersome that many chemists preferred to begin to use the older trivial names that were at least shorter.

vs

The new systematic nomenclature was so cumbersome that many chemists preferred to return to using the older trivial names that were at least shorter.

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  • Can't put it any better than this :) – Mynamite Sep 27 '14 at 9:49
  • This goes beyond the original three, but would "sustain" belong in this list, so we have "the new way", "the old way", "the current way"? – Ulrich Schwarz Sep 27 '14 at 14:06

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