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"Utilize"

This word annoys me. It annoys me because it is used all the time by people who are trying to sound important. I couldn't think of a single situation where the word "use" cannot be substituted.

So. Today the word showed up on my desk in three different documents. After having a bird, and snarling at the snobbery and general retardation of the individuals who wrote the documents, I figured I better make sure I'm right before I open my yap. I looked it up on dictionary.com.

u·til·ize ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ytl-z)
tr.v. u·til·ized, u·til·iz·ing, u·til·iz·es
To put to use, especially to find a profitable or practical use for.

Usage Note: A number of critics have remarked that utilize is an unnecessary substitute for use. It is true that many occurrences of utilize could be replaced by use with no loss to anything but pretentiousness, for example, in sentences such as They utilized questionable methods in their analysis or We hope that many commuters will continue to utilize mass transit after the bridge has reopened. But utilize can mean “to find a profitable or practical use for.” Thus the sentence The teachers were unable to use the new computers might mean only that the teachers were unable to operate the computers, whereas The teachers were unable to utilize the new computers suggests that the teachers could not find ways to employ the computers in instruction.

It appears that while I'm wrong, and there is a difference between the words, the idiots who wrote the documents on my desk still used the word in an inappropriate way. I will continue snarling at the documents on my desk, because I feel like it.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
osoqres
Feb. 15th, 2005 06:43 pm (UTC)
So?.... Utilize got you from shocked to bitchy in no time flat. I'm glad none of that is aimed at me. But thank you for the usage class. I hate when people use the wrong words just to sound intelligent.... makes me think the exact opposite of what they are trying to accomplish.... I think that they are dumber than the person that has a limited vocabulary.
sharya
Feb. 15th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
My moods are many and fleeting. If you blink, then you've missed one ;)
osoqres
Feb. 15th, 2005 06:56 pm (UTC)
As long as I fall in on a good one.... i'll be happy
phaedie
Feb. 15th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
Utilize that snarl to the best of your ability. :D
sharya
Feb. 15th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
I will :P
perviepom
Feb. 15th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
UtiliSe!!!!

I've always thought of utilise as being more to do with efficiency, such as resources not being utilised correctly, meaning that you should be making better use of what you have available.
sharya
Feb. 15th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
You know, I'm usually using the British spelling, except when it comes to z and s. Weird eh?

Your theory sounds like the whole profitability thing. If you're talking about resources, they definitely have a financial value, so you could use the word utilise in that example. According to dictionary.com that is.
whochewedmypen
Feb. 15th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
Words like "irregardless" do it for me.
It's REGARDLESS, morans. I mean.. MORONS.
I'll take self-indulgent professor lingo anyday over what
we get around these parts:
"Youse" and "alot" (that one drives me nuts. It's "a lot")

sharya
Feb. 15th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC)
YES!

Although I used to be an offender of the irregardless. I never say youse, that's like nails on a chalkboard, and the only time I say alot is when it's a typo (or if I'm talking about alotment :P )

Another super annoying one is "thaw". People who say, I'm going to un-thaw my meat. So... you're going to freeze it? *shudder*
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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