However, engineers often have additional trouble writing due to the way they think. The problem solving mentality engineers often employ involves mathematical equations that represent real-world items which consistently obey natural laws. This methodology works well for solving science-based problems.
Although language can be considered scientific (ask any linguist if you doubt that), language is also an art. And like any art, the form has a subjective nature. Additionally, language evolves over time. For example, during the Middle Ages happy meant lucky. Today that same word connotes a positive sentiment much broader in scope than that associated with luck.
Not only do definitions of words change with time but also how we use those words. A good case in point is critique. Critique is a noun meaning an evaluation. And for many years, critique was nothing more than a noun.
But as the English language evolved, the use of critique changed as well. Today the noun critique has an associated verb form to critique meaning to evaluate — essentially to offer a critique. Because its introduction in use came from spoken English, many grammarians have proscribed against the use of the verb form for formal audiences, like those for technical writing. Many still do.
However, I am not one of them. Language evolves and therefore change is inevitable. Some changes are worth resisting, like split infinitives, because keeping the rule not to split infinitives respects the underlying structure of the language. (I addressed why you should not use split infinitives in technical writing in Tip #31.)
But that’s not the case with to critique. Creating a verb form of a noun shows no disregard to any structural consideration. In fact, English has many examples of nouns and verbs which have similar spellings and very related meanings — shovel/to shovel, writing/to write, machine/to machine, run/to run, drive/to drive, and walk/to walk, just to name a few.
Thus, while some will argue that the example sentence in the above graphic is inappropriate, I contend the opposite. To critique is just as appropriate for technical writing as the examples of related noun-verb pairs I just gave. Language evolves, and writers who understand which changes are better resisted and which are better accepted tend to produce more effective writing. And that makes a more effective presentation of your brand and organization.