Journal article

Engineering jargon and civil liability

RW Day

Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice | Published : 1994


It is important for civil engineers to use language with care because some words have a specific meaning in the law. Examples include “guarantee,” “warrant,” “certify,” and “ensure.” These words should be avoided in reports because they can have legal definitions that increase the liability of the civil engineer. Other words such as “control," “inspect,” and “supervise” can be legally interpreted to mean a level of project involvement well beyond the intent of the author. Superlatives, such as “maximum,” “minimum,” and “always,” are frequently used by civil engineers in reports, but these words imply an absolute or ultimate condition, with no margin for error. Some technical words can give f..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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