It is convenient to classify the main operation involved in functional class nomenclature as an additive one, as is done here. However, it is also possible (and probably more relevant from a historical point of view) to regard the process as one of specifying the "radicals" present in compounds for which a class name is given. For instance, the name methyl alcohol (for ) consists of the name methyl for the "radical" and the class name alcohol (for ).

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