Worth quoting at length: a mild rant about varying terminology, albeit in a different context than Proposal Land.
I’ve actually forgotten which manuscript it was, but a while ago I read a passage that referred to the probability of something, then a few sentences later to the likelihood of something else. It tripped me up. Probability and likelihood are synonyms in everyday use, but carry distinct technical meanings in statistics. So I had to stop and think: why did the author change words here? Did they want me to apply the different technical definitions, and if so, why is the distinction important? Or were they just avoiding repetition? I spent a while thinking about this, but I couldn’t quite figure it out, and meanwhile I was distracted from the point the manuscript’s author was actually trying to make. That’s not, I suspect, where that author wanted me to be. (emphasis added)
– Scientist Sees Squirrel
“That’s not, I suspect, where that author wanted me to be.” No. Neither do we want our readers to be distracted from the point we’re trying to make. This is true for writers of RFPs and of proposals.
More reading on this topic: A Man Walks Into a Bar – Riff #2