Re: Documentation Review

Subject: Re: Documentation Review
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: Annie Wood <yossari53 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2007 07:47:10 -0500

Annie Wood wrote:

We're a fairly smallish company (definitely a small department) and we are in the process of putting a set of standards and processes into place. I guess the means for my questions were to get an idea of what people concentrate on while reviewing, who is utilized, and how.

Who is used....

From “Getting the Words Right,” by Theodore A. Rees Cheney, Writer's Digest Books. (ISBN 0-89879-114-6)


It would be difficult to find a page of governmental, military, or academic writing that doesn't have on it the word utilize. It must be one of the most over-utilized words in the world. It seems as through people out to impress people with the significance of what they're going use utilize when they should use use.

Utilize is not an elegant variation of the word use; it has its own distinct meaning. When you utilize something, you make do with something not normally used for that purpose, e.g., you use a dime when the bloody screwdriver is nowhere to be found. If the screwdriver were there, you'd use it, not utilize a stupid dime for that purpose. Use use when you mean use, and utilize only when it's properly used to mean – to use something not normally used. The computer went off-line, so they utilized Mr. Wang's abacus, the one he liked to use. Despite the temporary breakdown, the computer's use-rate was up (not its utilization-rate).

In addition to the archives, you might find helpful information on Geoff Hart's site (


Al Geist
Technical Writing, Online Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design, Award Winning Videos, Professional Photography
Voice/Msg: 802-658-3140

Cell: 802-578-3964
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
URL: <> (online portfolio/resume)

See also:
URL: <> (fine art prints for home for office, and note cards for all occasions)

"When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer "Present" or "Not guilty.""
Theodore Roosevelt


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today!

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Re: Documentation Review: From: Annie Wood

Previous by Author: Need information from software documentation specialists for school
Next by Author: Re: How D'ya Find Out ...
Previous by Thread: Re: Documentation Review
Next by Thread: Medical Listservs similar to techwr-l

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads