I would like to comment on "Let's Put an End to Textbook Nonsense" (November 30, 1987, p. 11) by Stephen J. Hawkes. Basically, Hawkes is right. We should make a determined effort to put an end to textbook errors. Hawkes also points out that it is no easy matter to correct errors-even well- known ones-in textbooks, and he cites some of the reasons.
However, it is also true that errors are sometimes promulgated because authors find it difficult to tell "the whole truth" in introductory textbooks, since the whole truth is sometimes rather complicated and lengthy. An illustration of this is Hawkes' own example of MgCl, which most certainly does not exist in aqueous solution as the simple ion-pair MgCl, but as MgCl combined...
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