Thursday 4 October 2018

Bound vs Bounded

It's always good to start the day with an arbitrary rant. Here is the one for today (since a lot of people seem to get this wrong). There are two similar words in the English language: bind and bound. "Bind" means "to connect" - and this is what we usually use in chemistry. "Bound" means "to restrict" - and this does not really have a use in chemistry. Now, the tricky bit is that "bound" is also the past tense and past participle of "bind".

This is how you should use it:

  • A strongly binds to B.
  • A strongly bound to B, yesterday.
  • A and B are strongly bound.
  • But A and B are not strongly bounded (unless you mean that they are restricted).
If you do want to use "bounded", then use it in a mathematical context:
  • The function f(x)=x2 is bounded from below.
You are allowed to say that.

By the way, if you want to avoid this whole dilemma, use bond/bonded/bonded.

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