Monday, March 12, 2012

Prevaricating about the bush? Use "use" instead of "utilize"

trying to sound like Einstein?

Michelle's comment in my last post brought up an excellent point: there's no need to use big words when a simpler one would do unless there's a compelling reason to do so.

(An example of a compelling reason would be if you had to watch your word count for a submission and needed to sub in a single work for two or more words. E.g. I'd substitute "suffice" for "would do" in the previous paragraph.)

I've noticed that people often say "utilize" when "use" is not only the nicer and tighter word, but actually the correct word as well. Below are three good, short articles to explain when to use either "utilize" or "use."

How to Use "Use" versus "Utilize" Correctly
Mother Tongue Annoyances (I love that title!)
Grammar Girl (it's the middle part of the article on the page)

And now that you know, go forth and make things right! What's your pet peeve in misused words?

"There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day." – Alexander Woolcott

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