Imagine that a new polyatomic anion called "platoate" is invented. What would an acid of "platoate" be named?

1 Answer
Jun 16, 2017

Well, since the name seems to be based off of Plato, the philosopher... (though it would sound better as "platonate"...)

...Probably platonic acid, taking off the "ate" and adding "nic acid". That would emulate carbonate vs. carbonic acid, but avoid the awkwardness of saying "platoic acid" without a consonant in between two vowels.

Plus, we say historically "platonic" to describe things that are related to Plato anyway.

(Sometimes naming is fudged so that it sounds nice. For example, we don't say "sulfic acid" or "phosphic acid", but "sulfuric acid" and "phosphoric acid", even though their anions are "sulfate" and "phosphate", not "sulfurate" and "phosphorate".)