Re: To utilize or not to utilize

Subject: Re: To utilize or not to utilize
From: "Gay Alson" <galson -at- wordwiz -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2001 14:16:44 -0400

I'm reminded of the recent posting that listed writing rules including "Do
not use a long word when a diminutive one will do" or words to that effect.

Where I work we generally eschew (gesundheit) long words where possible--for
both of the reasons you gave--and I cringe to imagine the reaction if any of
us writers used the word "utilize". I'm telecommuting today and my copy of
the MS Style Guide is back at the office so I can't double-check, but I'd
bet my DSL connection that "utilize" is a no-no according to that particular
gospel. (And no, we needn't reprise the ongoing debate about style guides.
Ya gotta pick one and go with it--and if your PM is truly attached to
"industry standards", certainly the MS Style Guide is *generally* considered

I did check Webster's, and it gives each as one of many definitions of the
other. So if they're synonymous, and it appears they are, it seems to me
that for tech writing purposes, less is more...

My 10¢ worth (Canadian)

G. Alson


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To utilize or not to utilize: From: Stegall, Sarah

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