Developers Beware: 20 Most Ambiguous Weasel Words and Phrases not to be used in a Specificatio

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July 19, 2011

I am indebted to an Associate and friend – Jim Sinopoli – CEO - Founder of Smart Buildings for his insight and thought about words and phrases, we should avoid when creating specifications and other related documents. We wanted to share them with you.

20 Most Ambiguous ‘Weasel’ Words and Phrases not to be used in a Specification

1. User-Friendly

2. Seamless

3. Robust

4. Flexible

5. Heretofore (or other legalize words)

6. Securely Mounted

7. Carefully Performed

8. Common Practice in the Industry

9.  Minimize

10. Etc.

11. Workman-like-Manner

12. When required

13. Any

14. And/or

15. Satisfactory to the Owner

16. Provide as Indicated Full and complete

17. Actual

18. Immediately


20. Optimize

Think about what you say when preparing specifications – Does the reader understand what you mean? Often this is where the confusion starts that often leads to nasty words, time lost and in many times lawsuits.


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