Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"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.
The teachers were unable to utilize the new computers.
Utilize there means "to make practical use of."

Baradell's suggestion to his press-release-writing readers? "Utilize 'utilize,' but use it sparingly." Hear, hear.


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