The biggest thing I’ve learned since editing a bunch of content is to simplify language. Ain’t nobody got time to read your big fancy words and Google what you really mean. This is one way you can cut the fluff. All of this information was taken from a variety of sources (below). None of this is new info, it’s a one-stop place for me and my co-workers to get helpful English tips.

Use vs. Utilize

The word “use” was of the English language way longer than “utilize”. It wasn’t until the last hundred years people misused the words. It’s usually to sound smarter by throwing out the word “utilize” where it doesn’t belong.

You use something for its intended purpose; you utilize it for a different purpose.

Here are two examples:

  • The cat uses her human’s bed to take a nap.
  • The cat utilizes her human’s bed to throw up a hairball (gross right? So is the word “utilize”).

What about “utilization”? It’s a noun that means the act of using – basically using use.

Surprisingly, utilize has a very specific use in the scientific world. It often appears “in contexts in which a chemical or nutrient is being taken up and used effectively”. For example, “If a diet contains too much phosphorus, calcium is not utilized efficiently”.

Overall, unless you have a specific use for “utilize” or are a scientist, don’t use it.

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