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suggested glossary entry

Posted by Norman King  
Norman King May 24, 2012 01:49PM
There was a discussion recently about the mindat glossary, and how to find it. Well, right now I can't find it. Yeah, you really need to make it more accessible. I got to the glossary by noting the column on the Home page "New/Updated Glossary Entries."

"Pyritohedron" is currently such an entry. Under that term it says "See Also: rhombic dodecahedron" and then "Compare with: dodecahedron."

I do not see an entry for "pentagonal dodecahedron," which is what a pyritohedron is in general terms. "Dodecahedron" is an even more general term for any 12-sided solid. In mineralogy we deal with rhombic, pentagonal, and tetrahedral-pentagonal dodecahedrons. The third kind is uncommon, but it occurs in the tetartoidal class of the isometric system, has at least one mineral, ullmannite, listed in the Fourth Edition of Dana's Textbook and on Mindat (more may have been discovered), and some artificial compounds crystallize in it. Pyritohedron is preferred by mineralogists in referring to the pentagonal dodecahedron, but chemists wouldn't use that term. So, it seems to me that pentagonal dodecahedron should be in the Glossary also.

OK, here is a note that may cause some people to roll their eyes. But, the better you present this material, the better it will be received, and the more people will think this is a serious enterprise. As a former professional editor of sorts (years ago, I'm the one who signed off on the textual products submitted by my technical writing company), I can tell you that perceptive people will notice this, and they will shake their heads at the amateurism. Namely, if your format is "See Also," that's fine. But in the next line it says "Compare with." By itself that's fine also. But if it is "See Also" it should be "Compare With." If it were "See also" then "Compare with" is correct. "See also" and "Compare with" is proper here, in my opionion. But, at least make up your minds about format! This may sound overly harsh, but one might say that there is nothing wrong with producing professional-looking material (i.e., just because we are amateurs doesn’t mean we have to look like amateurs).
D Mike Reinke May 24, 2012 05:24PM
So you're saying 'make it all one or all the other', right? That makes sense to me. "See also' and 'Compare' are either redundant, or taking the reader in 2 different directions, though perhaps related. That may be picky, but I think accurate.
I hear the sloshing of vitreous humor as ones roll their eyes.
Peter Haas May 27, 2012 03:42AM
In general terms, a pyritohedron is a pentagon-dodecahedron. It's certainly NOT a pentagonal dodecahedron, though.
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