Veterans Business Resources

a portal for all Veterans and SDV Small Business Owners

Language Matters

When reading the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), language matters.  When having discussions or negotiations with a Contracting Officer, language matters.  When defending your position to employ a particular acquisition strategy, language matters.  When preparing to rebut a protest, language matters.  When determining what you can and cannot do as relates to Government Contracting, language matters.  When reading through and preparing to respond to a solicitation, language matters.  When testifying before a Senate Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, language matters.  When reading law to determine exactly what you’re entitled to, language matters.  

The language we speak of is commonly used throughout the world of Government Contracting, but its misuse and misunderstanding can cause huge problems and tremendous twists of fate for both the villain and victim.  We are speaking of 5 simple words that carry the entire world of Government Contracting on their shoulders.  Those 5 words are SHOULD, MAY, MUST, WILL and SHALL.  They are rank ordered from lowest to highest.  

The 10 Commandments given to Moses all began with thou “SHALL.”   Think “SHALL” is a pretty big deal in the language of Government Contracting?  It is the word of words!  Language really does matter. 

See you on the high ground! 


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