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Utilize is used too often
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:08 am Reply with quote
Dennis
 
Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 26
Location: Bethesda, MD


OK folks, back me up on this one...

So many people use the word "utilize" when "use" is more appropriate.

My understanding is that when something is used for the purpose it was intended, it is simply "used", as in "I used the house for shelter."

When something is used for a purpose for which it was not intended, it is "utilized", as in "I utilized the trees for shelter."

So it bugs me to hear people say "I utilized my staff to perform the job." or "Public transportation was utilized to get to work."

This is just my latest pet peeve, I'm sure I'll get over it, but I could utilize your support to feel better. Confused

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:25 am Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


Ah yes--a pet peeve I share.

I think some of it is the prejudice that if one syllable is good, three syllables must be better.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:24 pm Reply with quote
Anna
 
Joined: 09 Dec 2008
Posts: 2


ugh. I hate the word "utilize".
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:51 am Reply with quote
thegooseking
 
Joined: 10 Sep 2006
Posts: 64
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland


I'm quite happy with 'utilise' instead of 'use' if it's used in the context of maximising utility. If one has considered all the possible strategies and chosen the most useful one (for some definition of 'useful'), as opposed to just picking anything that gets the job done, I would say that 'utilise' is appropriate.

That may be incorrect, though, and may be prejudice informed by studied Computing Science and a bit of Game Theory. I may be using it in a slightly technical sense, there.

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Utilize is used too often
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