Those who know me well know that I have obsessively neat handwriting. This has presented an interesting conundrum in the context of chemistry classes, many of which are somewhat rapid-fire expositions of reactions, transition-state structures, and tables of substrates. Anyone who has to jot down 100+ structures in fifty minutes develops certain, shall we say, quirks of chemical drawing. I personally often fall victim to my tendency to start drawing structures on the far left of the page, only to get frustrated by having to draw the left half of a molecule in the margin. Just this Friday, the left half of (DHQD)2PHAL, the Sharpless asymmetric dihydroxylation catalyst, ended up scrunched in the margin of my organic synthesis notes. Talk about annoying!
Other personal annoyances include “tipped” benzenes and cyclohexanes (I hate that “sad face” resonance structure of benzene), left-handed chairs, and hashed bonds (it bugs me if the spacing between the lines isn’t just right). As weird as that sounds, I think as chemists we all have our drawing pet peeves. What are some of yours?