Yes, I know it's steel. It's everywhere on the web and I did google. But I seek enlightenment.
My physics textbook defines elasticity as:
Property by virtue of which a material regains its shape.
Or, the ability of material to resist change in its shape or size.
While I get what my textbook intends to say, I strongly think that there is a subtle difference between the 2 definitions. I mean according to the first definition, certainly rubber is more elastic than steel as rubber has tendency to regain its shape even when stretched several times its natural length. On the other hand, a steel bar would become permanently set and even fracture if the strain increases ever so slightly (let's keep "but it requires tremendous force" out of the way here, that's not the main point here) . In this sense, obviously rubber is more elastic.
But the second definition makes clear that steel is the winner. Steel has greater tendency to resist its shape change and hence it should be more elastic.
So, it is very clear that we can define elasticity 2 ways, either by a picture of strain tolerance (winner = rubber) or by stress tolerance (winner = steel). Most of the physicists (but definitely not all) seem to prefer the stress tolerance definition (mostly without clarification). What I seek here is a logical(and maybe philosophical) answer to why? Why prefer one definition over other, especially the one which defies common sense of general public? When everyone seems to agree with rubber as winner, why change the rules?