The creation of words from chemical element symbols seems to be a popular pastime, judging by the number of questions that are asked about it. Most of them are closed as duplicates:

The most frequent dupe target is the first question. However, for reasons I don't understand it was closed as unclear in March. The last question in the list was posted yesterday.

Which question(s) should we (keep) open, what improvements (if any) are needed, and if the first one is to be kept closed and another chosen as the canonical question then what should be done about its answers?


1 Answer 1


The original question (Words from periodic table of elements) is perfectly clear* and has five answers. It should be reopened as the canonical question and Secret Message Part 1, Elements closed as a dupe of it.

* Anyone who disagrees: you may, of course, downvote this answer, but please also write an answer yourself explaining why you think it's unclear.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I refrained from posting for a while because I thought other people would have strong opinions, but since not even the author of the most recent question seems to want to defend it I think it's time to answer myself. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2017 at 11:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ 24 hours isn't exactly "a while". Most PPCG users don't even visit meta once every 24 hours, I'd imagine. That said, I agree with this answer, and I think my close vote from 4 months ago was in error. I'll wait for some more discussion before casting a reopen vote, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Jul 26, 2017 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego, you have an out-by-20 error. (And I was expecting to get an answer or two within 6 hours given that it was already a live issue on meta). \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2017 at 14:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Serves me right for not looking closely at the time stamps. Still, once every 48 hours is still higher than the average Meta visit rate. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Jul 26, 2017 at 20:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ By modern standards (i.e. what I'm used to seeing in my short time here) the original question is unclear. I believe the expected input is a word or list of words, and the output is that same word or list of words, along with its numerical representation. Editing the original question to maintain its original intent but clarify the spec would make it a better canonical question. \$\endgroup\$
    – BLT
    Jul 28, 2017 at 16:05

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