Clear Technical Writing
Simple Action

Have and Give

Simple verbs make writing clear.

Our titanium electrodes have high corrosion resistance.

Complex verbs risk the opposite.

Our titanium electrodes exhibit high corrosion resistance.

The verb exhibit is a complex version of the simple verb have. It can emphasize showing publicly, and it can suggest being easily verified. Often, the extra meanings are not needed.

When you do want to say something more complex, it is appropriate to use the more complex verb.

In these photos from our test lab, you can see that our titanium electrodes exhibit high corrosion resistance.

The same ideas apply to other synonyms for the simple verb have.

Our heat exchanger has titanium tubes.

Our heat exchanger is equipped with titanium tubes.

The verb equipped can emphasize being selected for a particular purpose, and it can suggest unique usefulness.

Our mil-spec heat exchanger is equipped with fewer titanium tubes and more welds.

Consider another simple verb, give, which means transfer ownership.

You must sign in before we can give the class notes to you.

You must sign in before we can provide the class notes to you.

The verb provide suggests making available for use but not necessarily for ownership.

During the class, we can provide you a computer.

Another synonym for the simple verb give is the more complex verb present.

The glossary presents definitions for all acronyms.

The verb present suggests giving formally and often publicly.

Our CEO will present several awards at the annual meeting.

Edit your writing by underlining verbs that may be unnecessarily complex.

The PCB exhibits six layers of copper-embedded fiberglass. My drawing provides enough information about components. The PCI bus should be equipped with a standard connecter. Our specification presents soldering instructions.
  

Lesson: Have and Give
Module: Simple Action
Course: Clear Technical Writing