Term checker rules

You can select the rules to use.

Archive: Term checker rules for ASD-STE100 issue 6.

ASD-STE100 issue 7 rules

ASD-STE100 issue 7 rules that the term checker uses
Rule numberSummary of ruleIn term checkerComment
1.1 Use approved words from the dictionary, technical names (TNs), and technical verbs (TVs). Yes The term checker finds unapproved terms, approved terms that possibly are used incorrectly, and unknown terms. You must add your organization's technical names and technical verbs to the term checker.
The term checker gives information about many unknown terms:
  • STE alternatives for more than 2400 terms that are unknown in the STE specification.
  • Suggestions for approved alternatives of some unknown terms, if the unknown term is an approved term that has an unapproved prefix or suffix. Example for the term 'inaccurately': STE 7, rule 1.1. The adverb 'ACCURATELY' is approved, but 'inaccurately' (possibly is prefix+adverb) is undefined. Use the adverb.
1.2 Use an approved dictionary word only with the approved part of speech. Yes, but with limits The term checker has rules only for nouns and verbs. Thus, if an approved adjective is used as a noun, the term checker does not give a warning. For example, for the sentence, "When a general tells you to ...", the term checker does not give a warning about the noun general.
For problems of disambiguation, refer to Use a word only with the approved part of speech (rule 1.2).
1.3 Use an approved word only with its approved meaning. Yes The term checker gives a warning that a term is possibly misused for these conditions:
  • In the dictionary, a term has a note in the Alternatives column.
  • A technical name or a technical verb has a not-approved entry in the dictionary. For example, communicate is approved as a TV (rule 1.12.2.c) and it is also not-approved in the dictionary with the meaning of tell or speak.
  • A technical name or a technical verb has a non-technical meaning. For example, conscious is a TN (rule 1.5.14), but it does not have the approved meaning in the sentence, "If you are conscious of a problem…"
  • A word is correct in only some contexts. For example, all the TVs in rule 1.12.4 must be used only in operational contexts.
1.4 Use only the approved forms of verbs and adjectives. Yes
1.5 Use words that that you can include in a technical name category. Yes The term checker includes a basic set of TNs. You must add other technical names to disambiguation-projectterms.xml.
1.6 Use an unapproved word only if it is a technical name or part of a technical name. Yes
1.7 Do not use a technical name as a verb. Yes
1.8 Use technical names that agree with the approved nomenclature. Yes Refer to the comment for rule 1.5.
1.9 When you must select a technical name, use one which is short and easy to understand. No "When there is no technical name in approved nomenclature, select one that is short and easy to understand." The term checker cannot help you to select your organization's technical names. Select the technical names and the unapproved alternatives before you start to write the technical documentation. Refer to Case study: text simplification for shipping procedures.
1.10 Do not use slang or jargon words as technical names. Yes The term checker finds all slang and jargon words, because they are not approved. The term checker gives STE alternatives for some slang words and jargon words.
1.11 Do not use different technical names for the same thing. Yes To identify this problem, you must add the unapproved alternatives to grammar-projectterms.xml. For example, if the approved technical name is servo control unit, add the unapproved alternative technical name actuator in grammar-projectterms.xml.
1.12 Use words that that you can include in a technical verb category. Yes The term checker includes a basic set of TVs. You must add other technical verbs to disambiguation-projectterms.xml.
1.13 Do not use a technical verb as a noun. Yes
1.14 Use American English spelling. Yes Rule 1.14 lets you use British English or some other English. In LanguageTool, Text Language, you can select English (American) or English (British).
If you select English British, you must also select Text Checking>Options>'STE 7, rule 1.14. Use British English (override American English)'.
Note: for some British English words, the suffixes ize and ization are correct. These words have the language subtag en-GB-oxendict. For example, both energise and energize are correct spellings in British English. As much as possible, the term checker uses the spellings that are approved in ASD-STE100. Thus, you will get an error message if you write energise.
2.1 Do not write noun clusters of more than 3 nouns. Yes
2.2 When a technical name has more than three words, write it in full. Then simplify it as follows:
  • Give a shorter name.
  • Use hyphens.
Yes The term checker does not clarify noun clusters automatically. For each long noun cluster, add the approved term to disambiguation-projectterms.xml and add the unapproved term to grammar-projectterms.xml.
2.3 When applicable, use an article or a demonstrative adjective before a noun. No
3.1 Use only those forms of the verb that are given in the dictionary. Yes
3.2 Use the approved forms of the verb to make only: infinitive, imperative, simple present tense, simple past tense, past participle as an adjective, future tense. Yes
3.3 Use the past participle only as an adjective. Yes
3.4 Do not use helping verbs to make complex verb structures. Yes
3.5 Use the '-ing' form of a verb only as a modifier in a technical name. Yes "You can also use it [the '-ing' form] in titles to describe a task, such as 'cleaning'" (page 1-3-4).
3.6 Use only the active voice in procedural writing. Use the active voice as much as possible in descriptive writing. Yes The term checker does not identify procedural text and descriptive text. The rule finds the passive voice in all sentences.
3.7 Use an approved verb to describe an action (not a noun or other part of speech). Yes Refer to Use an approved verb to describe an action (not a noun or other part of speech) (rule 3.7).
4.1 Write short and clear sentences. No
4.2 Do not omit words or use contractions to make your sentences shorter. Yes, but with limits The term checker finds contractions such as don't and isn't, but it does not find omissions.
4.3 Use a vertical list for complex text. No
4.4 Use connecting words and phrases to connect sentences that contain related topics. No
Section 5 Procedures No
Section 6 Descriptive writing No
Section 7 Safety instructions No
Section 8, except rule 8.1 and rule 8.2 Punctuation and word count No LanguageTool has rules for word count (Text Checking>Options>Style>Readability: sentence over n words). But, these LanguageTool rules do not calculate the number of words as specified in rule 8.4, rule 8.5, or rule 8.6.
8.1 Use all standard English punctuation marks except the semicolon (;). Yes
8.2 Use hyphens (-) to connect closely related words. Yes The term checker ignores these hyphenated terms:
  • Three-word adjectives that have the structure number-to-number, for example, three-to-one and four-to-three (part of rule 8.2.1).
  • Two-word fractions and numbers such as forty-seven, ninety-ninth, and three-sixteenths (rule 8.2.2). The term checker ignores units of measurement that are adjectives if the first part of the adjective is a cardinal number, for example 5-liter. The term checker does not ignore five-liter.

You must add your organization's hyphenated terms to disambiguation-projectterms.xml.

9.1 Use a different construction to write a sentence when a word-for-word replacement is not sufficient. No The term checker cannot tell you how to rewrite text.
9.2 Use each approved word correctly. Yes, but with limits The term checker helps you, but it cannot make sure that you use a word correctly. The term checker has rules for parts of speech (rule 1.2) and for meanings (rule 1.3).
9.3 When you use two words together, do not make phrasal verbs. Yes, but with limits The term checker finds many phrasal verbs if the parts of the verb are together. The term checker does not find a phrasal verb if a noun or a noun phrase is between the parts of the verb.
9.4 When you select terminology or wording, always use a consistent style No
GR-1 The conjunction THAT Yes, but with limits The rule is implemented only for the verb MAKE SURE.
GR-2The preposition WITH Yes
GR-3 How to use pronouns No
GR-4The pronoun THIS No

Compare the rules in the TechScribe term checker for ASD-STE100 with the rules in the Acrolinx checker for ASD-STE100.

Global English Style Guide rules

The term checker includes rules that are derived from The Global English Style Guide by John R Kohl, used with permission.

Guidelines from The Global English Style Guide that the term checker uses
NumberGuidelineIn term checkerComment
3.12 Write positively Yes, but with limits Only for approved adjectives and approved adverbs that contain a prefix of negation and that have the word not in front of the word. Examples: not unusual, not incorrect, not impossible (impossible is not-approved, but possible is approved).
8.1 Ampersands Yes
9.10 Eliminate obscure foreign words Yes
9.11 Eliminate unnecessary Latin abbreviations Yes
9.12 Eliminate other non-technical abbreviations Yes
9.13 Eliminate clipped terms Yes
9.17 Eliminate wordy phrases Yes

Refer also to

The Global English Style Guide: a review

Plain English rules

Pronouns such as he and she are not approved in ASD-STE100. You cannot add those pronouns as technical names or technical verbs, because they are not nouns, adjectives or verbs. The term checker has a category of rules for plain English. Because the terms are not approved STE terms, you will see a warning message for each term. To prevent the warning messages, in LanguageTool Options, deactivate the rule 'Plain English for technical documents' (refer to 'Deactivate some default LanguageTool rules').

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