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Alkane means cane-like or, more specifically, sugar cane-like. Any plant, animal or manufactured object that looks, smells, tastes, or can be used to administer a thrashing like sugar cane can be said to be alkane.

You might have noticed that, despite meaning cane-like, alkane has a k, not a c in it. The substitution of k for the c results from the German root of the word alkane. The k in alkane comes from the word kaiser, which is the German word for emperor. How kaiser became mixed up with sugar cane, resulting in a k rather than a c in alkane, is anyone’s guess. And, to the best of my knowledge, no one has or cares to guess about that. In short, it just is and nobody knows why. So kindly just accept it and shut up about it.

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