Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

"Structure and function" is a fairly common pairing of words used in structural biology; is there some word that means the same as the both?

I've taken to using "anatomy and physiology"—"structure and function" applied to the macroscopic—but I feel that it requires some poetic license.

share|improve this question
    
Physiomorphology apparently refers to function and form, but may be too uncommon a word for your purposes. –  jwpat7 Jan 2 '12 at 22:05

2 Answers 2

I'm not a biologist, but it seems to me structure and function/anatomy and physiology covers more or less everything in the field.

Here are over 8000 instances in Google Books for "the biology of the ear", and over 45,000 for "the biology of the liver". I'd be pretty sure they're all about the structure/function of those organs.

TL;DR: "anatomy and physiology" is biology.

share|improve this answer
    
Perhaps "physics" for me, as I'm using "structure and function" from a relatively cold, sterile viewpoint –  Nick T Jan 2 '12 at 21:10
    
On the contrary, structure and function are built on the base of physics. –  Gangnus Jan 2 '12 at 21:23
    
@Nick T: Well, I'm not a physicist either, but I must admit the physics of [some organ/organism] more strongly suggests just the physical structure. And outside the realm of biology, I'd probably classify the "function" of anything inanimate as metaphysics. In general I think "function" implies "purpose", which doesn't mean much without living things, but physics is the study of what reality actually is, rather than why it is so. –  FumbleFingers Jan 2 '12 at 21:33
    
@FumbleFingers I'm actually trying to get away from a "purpose" suggestion as I'm referring to purely the mechanism. –  Nick T Jan 2 '12 at 23:40
    
@Nick T: I'd have thought anatomy and physiology would fit the bill if you don't fancy just biology. But if you want a really rare word that should still be comprehensible on first encounter to most people working in the field, jwpat7's physiomorphology should do you. –  FumbleFingers Jan 2 '12 at 23:53

IMHO, structure and function means everything except unorganized matter and energy. That makes the informational side/part of an item as opposet to the material one. And of course, any synonyms could be used - information, organization, system ... I think, it is rather filosophical question. (of course, English too)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.