"...the reduction step [for methamphetamine production] can vary from one synthesis to another, and there's a lot of differences in the reducing agents. And so I said, I don't know what reagent you want. They said to send them a list, and they liked the one that was aluminum-mercury because it would be easier for the actors to say those words.
That's another example of where I let [the producers] be boss. I wouldn't go back to them and suggest another reagent because it might be safer, cheaper, or have a higher yield. I just said, 'yes, sir.'"
|"Sodium cyanoborohydride? No way am I saying that!"|
Over at xkcd, Randall Munroe cheekily trounced our current cultural fixation on trochees, spoken words with a two-syllable stressed / unstressed pattern (ninja, pizza, Wal-Mart, Ke$ha, Xbox, etc.). "Aluminum-mercury," though taken right from the periodic table, hardly rolls off the tongue: seven* syllables!
"Classic" reagents for the reaction in question, like sodium cyanoborohydride (10 syllables) or sodium tris-acetoxyborohydride (12) certainly won't get by the writers without a grumble. But what about formic acid (4, with two trochees)? Raney nickel (4, two trochees) should also pass muster. Even better, maybe you could just fold the first two reductants into the generic "borane" (2, trochee) category?
Hey, AMC: Let's do lunch.
*And, of course, 8 if you live in the UK, and add that extra "i" to aluminium!