Posted by: Jack Henry | November 3, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Use

Last week I sent out an article that contained a peeve of mine about the word impactful. Several of you wrote in to share your peeves with me, and asked me to put out some reminders to others about these topics. Today’s peeve is the use of the word utilize in place of use.

You may recognize this topic since we’ve written about it before. “What is wrong with the word utilize? It means use. It’s in the dictionary. What’s the problem?”

The problem is that the word use does mean the same thing, yet people ignore it and employ its more complicated counterpart utilize. Use is straightforward. It’s short. It doesn’t add syllables just to make your papers longer or more fancy. We editors like the word use. It seems most of your coworkers prefer it, too.

It seems that utilize is almost like a drug to some people. It might be okay once in a while when you have come down with something or you need a word version of NoDoz® to keep you awake. But once people start to use it, they become addicted. They tell their kids to “utilize the big fork for your entrée.” Or perhaps, they utilize dried fruit in their granola. Maybe they even utilize blue pencils for fun.

Be a pal. Choose use.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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