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Have you ever looked over an engineer's structural calculations and felt like they were written in a foreign language? The purpose of this article is to try to make a little sense of the terms and symbols engineers use. Moment This is a way of describing a force acting at a distance. A teeter-totter is a good example (see Figure 1). Let's assume that the seats are 14 feet apart and the hinge point is fixed at the middle of the board, 7 feet from each seat. You (the 160-pound adult) put your child (40 pounds) on the seat that is resting in the gravel, then walk to the other end to get on. Will the teeter-totter