In physics, stress essentially captures forces in a body, where as strain captures displacements. Two dimensionally very different concepts. If you look it up in a thesaurus, stress and strain are synonyms. How did they come to denote such different things in physics?

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    $\begingroup$ Very good question. This has bothered me for 20 years. It would also be nice to how how other languages describe stress and strain. German has stress-strain diagram = Spannungs-Dehnungs-Diagramm (Google), Dehnungs denotes some expansion which is more descriptive. $\endgroup$
    – AChem
    Nov 24, 2019 at 0:01
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    $\begingroup$ Technical English and everyday English (much like technical vs everyday in the other languages I've learned) are not the same. This is generally true of any specialty (see, for example, law) in order to be precise. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 25, 2019 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ As @JonCuster said, many many words in any given specialty mean different things from their meaning in everyday language. Each specialty needs to be able to distinguish disjunct concepts. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2019 at 15:23


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