My friend and colleague Professor Andy Wood provides some insights into the usage of “Use vs. Utilize” today — interesting read.
I agree with him in that utilize is often used in place of use to bolster credibility. simple strategy: bigger word, stronger impact 🙂
The Grammar Girl’s take on the usage can be summed up thus: If you’re just a regular person writing a regular sentence, you should probably just stick with the word “use.”
According to the AP Stylebook’s Ask the Editor section online:
Q. When is it appropriate to use “utilize” rather than “use?” – from Milwaukee on Thu, Sep 18, 2008
A. In some technical contexts, such as utilize waste heat.
As a writer working on fundraising proposals as well as magazine articles, I find myself using “utilize” in the former but almost never in the latter.
What’s your take?