Specifications must, above all, be unambiguous. This requires writers to be explicit about who is to do what, where, when, in what order, how, and with what materials. These are mainly matters of content: but style also needs care. An ill-chosen word can leave a gap through which much time, money, and goodwill can leak away. The following extracts from specifications exemplify the most common weaknesses that are matters of style:

Kiln instrumentation and control specifications

Item 1 introduces one of the commonest weaknesses in the writing of specifications-the use of will. Unfortunately, in casual day-to-day usage in British English, we use will in six ways:

1 as the third person form of the future tense of the verb to be, to make a simple statement of something that will happen in the future:

The reactor will be built in two stages. The new drug will be available from the beginning of next year.