I noticed a few questions appearing on the active tab that had the tag. At first I didn’t think much, until I saw that it had been freshly created and is being applied to questions where it may fit. It also has a (short) tag wiki and a (bad, because it just copies the description from the tag wiki rather than saying what the tag should be used for) excerpt. Both explicitly talk about organophosphates.

That is my problem. Organophosphates are essentially DNA, RNA, a very small set of organic solvents rarely used (trimethyl phosphate anyone?), a set of chemical weapons and even more rarely, a compound whose hydroxy group was turned into a phosphate leaving group.

I feel this is a very narrow scope that hardly warrants a tag, especially since $90~\%$ of its use would be DNA and RNA questions that already have a tag of their own .

Wouldn’t a much better tag be (not sure if that is too long) or something of the kind? It would include Wittig salts, phosphonates, phosphite esters (used in chemical DNA synthesis), phosphanes and many many more. Phosphates just seems too limited a tag in my opinion.


  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Yes. Broadening the scope to organophosphorous compounds seems like a good idea. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    May 28 '16 at 23:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ organophosphate=ester? $\endgroup$ Jun 2 '16 at 7:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Btw, iirc there is a 25 character limit on tags, so we need something else (cut a char). $\endgroup$ Jun 3 '16 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Mart just [organophosphorus]? $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Jun 4 '16 at 13:03
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Knowing how handy it is to have atropine nearby. $\endgroup$
    – DrAzulene
    Jul 5 '16 at 18:21

14 Aug 2017: This has now been implemented, thank you for voting. If you have time, tag a few questions, in particular those involving Wittig or Horner–Wadsworth–Emmons reactions ;) And also please look through the questions currently tagged with it to make sure that they are relevant.

Tag wiki has been created 17 Aug - check it out here!

9 Aug 2017: As of today, the tag character limit has been raised to 35.

As such I propose , which is generally in line with our tagging system where is heavily used. It also parallels the existing .

(Note also that the element is spelt phosphorus and not phosphorous.)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would have said just do it. There was hardly any objection to begin with, just a technical limitation... $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '17 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ Just to be safe... $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    Aug 9 '17 at 4:25
  • $\begingroup$ I feel inclined to just accept your answer ;) $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Aug 9 '17 at 5:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan you probably can, now :) $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    Aug 14 '17 at 7:20

I agree, that is not a very good tag for the reasons Jan pointed out. Additionally to the tag, the tag could be applied, since it is covered by the tag usage:

For questions about the synthesis, properties and reactions of ester compounds, both organic and inorganic.

The problem with is that it is too long.

A search phosphorous is:question reveals that there are currently only 29 entries. Hence I suggest to further broaden the tag to . Otherwise we need to find a way to truncate the tagname. Full disclosure: I am not a big fan of 'organophosphorous'.

In any case I would recommend renaming the tag to for consistency.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 73 results. You misspelt phosphorus. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Jun 8 '16 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan Indeed... or did I? Sometimes I hate language. Scratch that, many times I hate language. Anyhow, since phosphorous is the adjective, those need to be included, too. Which makes me think, in analogy to ionic-compounds, etc., it should be with the o since it is used as an adjective. Aww... that is so complicated. $\endgroup$ Jun 8 '16 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ Phosphorous compounds sounds too much like $\ce{P^{III}}$ compounds to me … $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Jun 17 '16 at 23:12

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