A chemical nomenclature is a set of rules to generate systematic names for chemical compounds. The nomenclature used most frequently worldwide is the one created and developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
The IUPAC's rules for naming organic and inorganic compounds are contained in two publications, known as the Blue Book and the Red Book, respectively. A third publication, known as the Green Book, describes the recommendations for the use of symbols for physical quantities (in association with the IUPAP), while a fourth, the Gold Book, contains the definitions of a large number of technical terms used in chemistry. Similar compendia exist for biochemistry (the White Book, in association with the IUBMB), analytical chemistry (the Orange Book), macromolecular chemistry (the Purple Book) and clinical chemistry (the Silver Book). These "color books" are supplemented by shorter recommendations for specific circumstances that are published from time to time in the journal Pure and Applied Chemistry.
The primary function of chemical nomenclature is to ensure that a spoken or written chemical name leaves no ambiguity concerning to what chemical compound the name refers: each chemical name should refer to a single substance. A less important aim is to ensure that each substance has a single name, although the number of acceptable names is limited.
Preferably, the name also conveys some information about the structure or chemistry of a compound. CAS numbers form an extreme example of names that do not perform this function: each CAS number refers to a single compound but none contain information about the structure.
The form of nomenclature used depends on the audience to which it is addressed. As such, no single correct form exists, but rather there are different forms that are more or less appropriate in different circumstances.