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  • Ha! good one for the not in the periodic table list, chrissykp!

    October 27, 2011

  • Aluminum is actually correct, since it is from alumina, and this is the way it is used in America. This was the original name. At some point, everyone in England decided that they preferred aluminium, probably because most of the other elements ended in "ium". Isaac Asimov wrote an interesting essay on this exact topic, which I found enjoyable. Asimov was actually a pretty big etymology buff, having written several books about words.

    October 24, 2007

  • Wait, what? So aluminium = aluminia? I am sooooo confused.

    Agree re: MacGuffin.

    October 24, 2007

  • also, see MacGuffin

    October 18, 2007

  • Actually, that's not true. It should be "um" everywhere. The reason things ended in "ium" is that the word that were adapted from ended in "ya".

    October 18, 2007

  • According to TV Tropes:

    Phlebotinum is the magical substance that may be rubbed on almost anything to cause an effect needed by a plot. Some examples: nanotechnology, magic crystal emanations, pixie dust, a sonic screwdriver. Oh, and Green Rocks.

    CSI and its spinoffs come with gallons of phlebotinum. Their favorite kind appears to be Luminol, the substance that reveals traces of blood by glowing when traces of iron from the blood catalyzes its breakdown. Luminol is real, though.

    According to Joss Whedon, during the DVD commentary for the pilot episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the term "phlebotinum" originates from David Greenwalt's (a writer and director on Buffy and later co-creator of Angel) sudden outburst, "Don't touch the phlebotinum!" apropos of nothing.

    Note: Outside America it should properly be known as "Phlebotinium".

    October 17, 2007