When Did This Happen?
When I was a college sophomore I took Organic Chemistry, then as now a rite of passage for pre-meds and other science majors. I don't remember it being much more difficult than inorganic, or first-year chemistry, but for some reason it was considered the course that, more than any other, separated the pre-med wheat from the chaff that didn't have what it took.
Over the last thirty years I don't believe introductory college chemistry has changed all that much, but of late I have become aware of a definite change in terminology (or, keeping in mind the subject, of nomenclature.) Back in my day (pause for deep sigh of "OMG I'm old") first and second year chemistry courses were known, respectively, as Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. For short, we called them simply "Chemistry" and "Organic."
Nowadays, though, the courses are the same but the names are different. First year is now called General Chemistry (often short for something like "Principles of General Chemistry" or such) and referred to in certain circles as "Gen Chem." Short. Cute. Almost rhymes. No problem.
But instead of good old "Organic," they now have: Orgo.
Orgo. Sounds like a Star Trek villain, doesn't it? ("Captain Kirk! Orgo is threatening to blow up the ship!")
Here's my question: When did this happen? I've heard twenty-something med students use the term, so I know it's not just the Nestling. (Brag alert: The Nestling, who wants to complete his BS/MS in Biochemistry in his four years at college, placed out of the first year of chemistry with his AP of 5, so he's taking Orgo as a freshman (and doing well, I hear. WTG!) /brag)
I'd love to find out just when this semantic shift occurred. I figure by using the comments and comparing age to preferred term for "second year, carbon-based, pre-med humbling college chemistry" we can pin this down. Any takers?