Bad, Better, and Why

Let’s make the following bad sentences better, shall we?

Bad:  The well will be installed with a larger pump.

Better: We will install a larger pump in the well.

Why:  There is no rule requiring passive sentence construction in technical writing. If you are going to do something, go ahead and take credit for it and say “we will.”
Bad:  It was decided that a new pump should be installed.

Better: We decided to install a new pump.

Why:  Let the reader know who made the decision so the proper heads can roll if it fails.
Bad:  Of the 59 wells, 36 of them have FMI logs available.

Better: Of the 59 wells, 36 have FMI logs available.

Why:  The second “of them” is redundant.
Bad:  Water saturation was calculated by Archie’s equation.

Better: Water saturation was calculated using Archie’s equation.

Why:   Archie’s equation did not do the calculation; the equation was used by some human to do the calculation.
And here the kind of really funny sentence that can happen if you just change the numbers in last week’s status report:

“Wellhead pressure is 0 psi and declining.”

Oh, so the wellhead is starting to pull a vacuum and suck the oil up all by itself, eh? That’s some trick! Better patent that wellhead design!

Quotes of the Day
“Be smart enough to ask for what you need. You may be surprised at who is willing to help you.”
“Commit now to being a lifetime student, to actively seeking out new, challenging experiences and people who will push you to your next level.”
― Vickie L. Milazzo, Houston businesswoman and author


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