RESNET has proposed an amendment to their standards to define the word "shall". The proposed amendment is open for public comment until this coming Monday the 24th. If you've had the opportunity (or misfortune) of hearing me talk about the use of shall, then you already know my case against it. If not, then buy me a beer at the next conference and I shall enlighten you. Or you can read comment #8.
Not only is Saturn advocating against the use of shall, we promoting the elimination of it in the standards wherever it exists. We owe it to the readers of the standards to be very clear in our meaning. Shall is anything but clear. Make your voice heard and post your comments at RESNET's website.

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Nice points, though they also need to list the one overriding exception which is if it conflicts with state rules & regulations. I also agree with some of the others, no matter if they do change the definition or decide to take your advice (which I agree with) is show all the changed locations & submit them all  

If language is not correct,

Then what is said is not what is meant.

If what is said is not what is meant,

Then what ought to be done remains undone.

- Confucius (551-479 BCE)

We already suffer from a dramatic loss of precision in language in modern life, and I see no need to further "dumb down" technical specifications and codes to the lowest common denominator.

"Shall" means to impose a duty or obligation on a person. "Must" means of necessity and is more appropriately applied to inanimate objects.

For instance: "The contractor shall comply with ASHRAE 62.2." because "ASHRAE 62.2 must be used as the standard."

On standards published by International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), requirements with "shall" are the mandatory requirements.


Shall we use must or must we use shall

I am not a lawyer

I am not a philosopher or a king.

I shall not be required to use must

I must not be required to use shall

I have a hammer and it does not split hairs 


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