"The rather strong acidity of trichloroacetic acid is usually ascribed to the inductive effect of the three chlorine atoms attached to the end of the molecle opposite the acidic proton. Electron density is withdrawn away from the carboxylate group so that the trichloroacetate anion that is formed when the acid dissociates is stabilized." (Skoog, West, Holler & Crouch, 2003) Isn't oxygen more electronegative than chlorine? So why does the electron density shift in favour of the chlorine atoms? Is it because they outnumber the oxygen atoms, or is it a consequence of the structure (shape) of the molecule? Also, what is the meaning of the term "stabilized" as used here? Any input appreciated. I will also continue to search elsewhere; so far it's been to no avail.