Specifications or specification

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ouzhantekin, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. ouzhantekin

    ouzhantekin Senior Member

    Izmir/ 伊兹密尔
    Turkish - Standard
    Hey guys,

    I have a document in my hand called "Administrative Specifications" which has all the requirements/specs for regarding a tender. I need to refer to this document in one of the articles. How should I do that?

    a) ...in this Administrative Specification hereby...

    b) ...in this Administrative Specifications hereby...

    c) ...in these Administrative Specifications hereby... (this might mean I individually refer to the specs in the document)

    My problem here is that I cannot decide if I should treat the word "specifications" as a mass noun or not.

    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    You've already said that there are "requirements" (plural). Ergo, the specifications (synonymous) are plural as well.

    I would say "in these administrative specifications ...," (lower case)

    Unfortunately, you have not given us a complete sentence and I don't see how the "hereby" will work out.

    Nor do I know what "articles" means. If you're writing some sort of legal document, where terms are defined at the beginning, then other issues might apply.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  3. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Specification is like most other words. If there is one, it's singular, if there are many, it's plural; no mystery there!

    When a purchaser, an architect, etc. writes out what he wants, he rarely writes just one specification. He writes a long list of different specifications (size, weight, strength, price, etc.). That is why Specifications is most frequently seen in the plural.

    (Drop the hereby, it's meaningless.)
     
  4. ouzhantekin

    ouzhantekin Senior Member

    Izmir/ 伊兹密尔
    Turkish - Standard
    "In the event that there is a difference between the articles of the Administrative Specifications and the Contract Draft (all starting with capital letters to emphasize we are talking about one and only document), provisions of this Administrative Specifications shall prevail."

    This is the whole sentence. The thing is I want to refer to that document/ not the specs separetely and there is only one of this document. That's what I find mind-boggling.

    And above, articles mean as in "provisions" ...or as in "Article 1 of this document". Thanks
     
  5. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    How about referring to it as the Administrative Specifications document? It should then be clear that you mean one document that contains several individual specifications.
     
  6. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    "If there is a difference between the articles of the Administrative Specifications and the Contract Draft, the provisions of these Administrative Specifications shall prevail."

    Plural noun requires plural demonstrative qualifier.

    I differ from Egmont on two points:

    • Everybody calls them the specifications or the specs (informal), without the need for document.
    • If you did use document, specifications would then become an adjective and revert to the singular.
     
  7. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Aha!

    You first say "the Administrative Specifications" and then switch to "this Administrative Specifications in the same sentence


    Try: "...provisions of this the Administrative Specifications shall prevail."

    Given the loose usage of capitalization by some people, I would also italicize the names of documents to ensure that the terms are not taken generically

    Good luck
     
  8. ouzhantekin

    ouzhantekin Senior Member

    Izmir/ 伊兹密尔
    Turkish - Standard
    First of all thanks for all of your kind replies. So I have to use the plural form in any case when I am to use the word "Specifications" no matter what. And also, in the mean time while I was waiting for your replies I also came up with the idea of adding "document" for practical purposes. Still, I cannot always make my way around the word so as not to choose between plural and singular :)
     
  9. Jim2996 Senior Member

    Boston, MA
    American English
    Is this the title of the document? You do capitalize it, and put it in quotes. If so, you should refer to it as "in Administrative Specifications ..." or whatever words you want to put around this proper noun.

    There are different styles for writing titles. You should check this in some style manual.

    Then there are the contents, which are administrative specifications. (I assume that there is more than one.)
     

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