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This is a section from clayden's organic chemistry textbook. I do not understand why it says energy gain and not energy loss

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree, that doesn't make sense. If you looked at the enthalpy, I would say those bond-forming processes are exothermic, therefore an energy loss by the system (reactants->products). $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn
    Jan 28, 2019 at 16:07

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In the context of the picture provided, it seems just a matter of language choice. When energy is lost, it is gained somewhere else because of conservation of energy. So a change in energy corresponding to a gain is at the same time a loss elsewhere. The author of that diagram could have used interchangeably energy loss without loss of meaning.

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