Cramming the information into her head frantically. It was the last day before her exams and there was no choice but to do this: to stay up into the wee hours of the night, listening to quiet night-sounds, like snoring and crickets chirping, while in her head it whirled with a buzz of activity.

SO4 and SO3 were sulfate and sulfite; their valency was 2-. While NO2 and NO3 were nitrite and nitrate, their valency was 1-.
This was all heavy stuff, even more so because each element was unique and had things to remember. Like potassium, a metal with valency 1-. That was easy. Strontnium, valency 1- as well. Or…. not?
She consulted her book, realising to her dismay that it was 2+ instead.
Oh dear. Things were not going very well for this student. Nothing would stay in her head; they kept dropping out like dead flies. Oh no!
And what would become of her if she were to go to medical school? There, there would be millions of multi-syllabled words to keep in her head in their proper places, dozens of acronyms and abbreviations; how?

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