Isaac Asimov wrote about chemists in his 1965 work, "To Tell a Chemist"...
Since I know the chemical profession best, I devised two questions, for instance, to tell a chemist from a nonchemist. Here they are:
- How do you pronounce UNIONIZED?
- What is a mole?
In response to the first question, the nonchemist is bound to say "YOO-yun-ized," which is the logical pronunciation, and the dictionary pronunciation, too. The chemist, however, would never think of such a thing; he would say without a moment's hesitation: "un-EYE-on-ized."
In response to the second question, the nonchemist is bound to say, "A little furry animal that burrows underground," unless he is a civil engineer who will say, "A breakwater." A chemist, on the other hand, will clear his throat, and say, "Well, it's like this -" and keep talking for hours.
There's my cue. Shall we talk about the chemical version of the little furry animal?