"Utilize"? It's no use
Scott Baradell, who runs a PR firm in Dallas and the accompanying Media Orchard blog, is annoyed by the overuse of utilize when a simple use will do.
Clearly, many corporate folks think big words sound more impressive than small words. It just sounds better to "utilize" state-of-the-art technology than to "use" it, doesn't it?Baradell -- a former alt-weekly reporter who also has "Belo VP for corporate communications" on his resume -- doesn't say utilize should be thrown in the trash heap. Compare the different implications in these two sentences:
The teachers were unable to use the new computers.Utilize there means "to make practical use of."
The teachers were unable to utilize the new computers.
Baradell's suggestion to his press-release-writing readers? "Utilize 'utilize,' but use it sparingly." Hear, hear.