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Washington, DC 20590
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Construction

Development and Review of Specifications Attachment 8

Needless Words and Jargon

To increase the clarity and readability of specifications, avoid wordy phrases and complex words that can be replaced with fewer or simpler words that convey the same meaning.  The list below identifies some common wordy phrases alongside possible plain language substitutes.

Word phrases and their plain language substitutes:
Instead of Consider
a minimum of at least
a number of some
absolutely essential essential
accordingly so
aforementioned the, that, those
as concerned with concerns
as a means of to
as may be necessary as needed
as prescribed by in, under
at a later date later
at the option of the contractor the contractor may
at the present time now
by means of by
capability can
cease and desist stop
commence start
consequently so
contract requirement contract
due to the fact that because
enclosed herewith enclosed
endeavor try
facilitate help
for a period of for
for the purpose of for, to
free from without
give consideration to consider
give due and sufficient written notice give written notice
give recognition to recognize
heretofore until now
however but
if the contractor so elects The contractor may
implement start, carry out
in a manner such that so that
in a timely manner promptly, on time
in advance of before
in an effort to to
in lieu of instead of
in many cases often
in many instances sometimes
in order to to
in the amount of for
in the event of if
in the event that if, when
in the near future soon
in such a manner as to so as to
initiate start
is applicable to applies to
is hereby authorized may
is indicative of shows
it is intended shall
it shall be incumbent upon shall
it shall be the responsibility of the contractor the contractor shall
it shall be the duty shall
make payment pay
make preparations for prepare for
make use of use
methodology method, way
not less than at least
on a quarterly basis quarterly
on a regular basis regularly
pertaining to of, about
prior to before
should it appear that if
so as to to
subsequent to after
successfully complete complete
such that so
terminate end
the month of June June
the question as to whether whether
through the use of by
throughout the construction period during construction
timely prompt
undertake an analysis analyze
until such time as until
utilize use
Updated: 11/26/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000