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Picture of Kalleh
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I know we've talked about this before. However, I was recently reviewing a paper, and take a gander at this sentence:
quote:
It could very well be that these changes in the larger environment in which APRNs work will ellipse in influence traditional forms of regulation such as state nurse practice acts


I guess the author must have meant "eclipse?"
 
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Hi Kalleh;
That sentence is a mess. I suspect it should read something like the following:
quote:
It could very well be that these changes in the larger environment in which APRNs work will eclipse traditional forms of regulation such as state nurse practice acts
Even then, I don't understand it, but take it (perhaps incorrectly, God knows) to mean something like the follows:
quote:
These changes to the APRNs' general working environment may eventually eclipse state-level regulations governing nurses' practices.
... but I don't see even that as either proper or clear, and the following might capture the matter better:
quote:
These changes in the APRNs' general working environment will eventually need to be reflected in state-level regulations governing nurses' practices.
... but I don't mean to be presumptuous, as much as I am attempting to come to grips with what is being said.

So, to me, this muddled sentence has more wrong with it than a typo! Wink


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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Oh, yeah, I know. I just hate it when writing like this is so unclear - and it was in a professional journal!
 
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... and it was in a professional journal!
... unfortunately that doesn't always save matters!

I remember my university newspaper quoted a humanities professor who was ruing the "vehicular emanations from [one of] the student parking lots" (his words). The "vehicular emanations" in question was his ostentatious term for the traffic coming from said lot! What a foolish piece of gratuitous pedantry ... much worse even than referring to a "house" as a "home".

Happy New Year.


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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"Vehicular" is a word that has multiple possible interpretations, just as "house" has. A bicycle is a vehicle, a book is a vehicle for ideas or entertainment, etc. Perhaps said professor's thinking was more ossified than ostentatious.
 
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Perhaps it was ossified, but I need concede little on my claim that it was ostentatious. What sort of prig uses "vehicular emanations from" to mean "traffic out of"? Wink His was such an obfuscating diction that, even in context, what he is talking about is not readily obvious. For example, until I had got well into or re-read the article, I was assuming that he was ranting about excessive exhaust fumes from idling cars in that lot or something!


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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Agreed. I also assumed foul exhaust.
 
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Our town park has an issue with fowl emanations year-round
 
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From resident geese? They seem to have forsaken migration and settled for free handouts in parks.
This could have Darwinian implications, but could be just climate change. Whaddaya think?

Geoff, who feeds raptors by attracting sparrows
 
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His was such an obfuscating diction
It seems that some of his pedantry rubbed off on his students. Wink
 
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... I couldn't say, Kalleh. And - in case this is leveled at me - I hope you don't have the effrontery to suggest that I was IN THE ARTS? Red Face Egad, no, I was exclusively science, math and computing! Wink


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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... also, I guess that once again I have not been clear. I decry the construction "vehicular emanations from" (in meaning "traffic out of") not because it is overly complex, or even because it is flowery. Oh no, not at all! I decry it because it is bombastic without having a ghost's chance of being understood! Consider the expression for a minute. We all know what "vehicular" means, and similarly, "emanations"; these are not particularly complex words. But even then, the pairing "vehicular emanations" never reasonably means what he is putatively trying - and failing so signally - to describe. So his use of this expression can only be from one who is totally out of touch with his listeners, who opts for complexity over accuracy, with an anxiety that prefers impressiveness to clarity ... and who is [therefore] a prig! Roll Eyes


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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Ahhh...I was kidding, dear WeeWilly.

By the way, where did you get that name? From the Scottish nursery rhyme?
 
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On this one WeeWilly, I agree with you wholeheartedly. The only reason people use language like this is to make themselves sound clever. The trouble is it doesn't make them sound clever, it makes them sound pompous and in this particular case it makes the expression so opaque as to be meaningless. I like to sound clever, but I also like to give my readers a better than even money chance of understanding me. Big Grin


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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quote:
Ahhh...I was kidding, dear WeeWilly.

I know, but it gave me an opening to explain further ... something I am never loathe to do!

Profile info: Wee Willy (like Wee Hughie) is a rather charming(?) Irish diminutive that appeals to me. I can claim no more right to the name than that! I do wish I could include my avatar in my profile (I am a devotee of the old fairy story and book illustrator who was its originator), but the 48x48 pixel limit is jes' too small! I'll need to work on it a bit!

Hi BobHale: Yes, if one must use complex (or interesting?) verbiage, it should at least have the value of being clear. "Vehicular emanations" utterly fails this fundamental test!


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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The only disagreement I have is that, being an academic, some of the use of more flowery words in articles and the like is simply routine. Everyone does it and expects it. If I write an article with the word "use," my editor (who usually wins in the end, if I want it published) will change it to "utilize."
 
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my editor (who usually wins in the end, if I want it published) will change it to "utilize."
.... but maybe that is only a comment on your editor. He is not God (unless you work at a newspaper, come to think of it!) Wink

In point of fact, "utilize" does not mean the same as "use". To use something means to employ it [in the manner for which it was made]. To utilize something is to use it in a manner it was not made for or intended for. I'll admit that I went surfing to check up on this. One example sentence I ran across stated "You use a pen to write, but you can utilize it as a weapon."

I suggest that being an academic is the poorest of reasons to use flowery language [solely to be pedantic]. It is, rather, exactly the right reason to use language correctly. Note that this does not mean that there is no room for flair. I love listening to British soccer commentary, for, amazingly, the commentators make almost no errors of speech. Yet I loved one commentator who said, "My word, that was a shocking pass!"

Anyone who wants to see language used at its very best would do well to read Jane Austen's books. In my opinion, no-one - and I mean no-one - uses English any better. Of course, I am not alone in this view! Just about anything you lift from Jane Austen is a model of how to use English well. Consider her brilliant summary of the silly Mrs. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice:

“She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.”


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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I've heard that suggestion about use/utilize and I don't buy it. It crops up from time to time on what I like to call "thou-shallt-not-split-an-infinitive" sites where people ignore the actual way that language is used in favour of made up rules. Use "use" or "utilize" to mean "use" and no normal person will disagree with you. Insist on this distinction and no normal person will agree.

Also I'm very happy to see that you are in favour of singular "they".

Every body was punctual, every body in their best looks: not a tear, and hardly a long face to be seen

Nobody meant to be unkind, but nobody put themselves out of their way to secure her comfort.

I am sure of this -- that if every body was to drink their bottle a day, there would not be half the disorders in the world there are now

To be sure, you knew no actual good of me -- but nobody thinks of that when they fall in love.

These are all examples from Jane Austen.

I mention this not to pick a fight but simply to illustrate that the kind of errors that cause the grammar pedants throw up their arms in horror are used by what they simultaneously hold up as the models of fine English usage. (I am not suggesting that you fall into this category!)

And you are certainly correct. Jane Austen is a very fine writer indeed.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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The OED defines utilize as "To make or render useful; to convert to use, turn to account."

Merriam Webster's Dictionary of English usage says "Utilize is a distinct word having distinct implications. More than use, it suggests a deliberate decision or effort to employ something (or someone) for a practical purpose."
 
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It doesn't work the other way round though. It's perfectly fine to say "I'll use my shoe to bang in the nail."
And I wouldn't have any objection to "When nailing the door shut to keep out the zombies, utilize a strong hammer."


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Right, "employ something for a practical purpose" isn't the same as "employ something in a manner it was not made for."
 
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Yes, I realized that after my example of "use" and "utilize," I'd be criticized. They are not exact synonyms. "Utilize" had been referred to earlier in this thread (or maybe another recent one) as being flowery, so I used (utilized?) that example.

I know, WeeWilly, academics alone is not a good reason to use flowery language. However, many times academic language seems "flowery" (or whatever) to others when in fact it's the accepted language to academics.

I really don't believe I am supporting "flowery" language, but the more I thought about it, I realized that maybe it's more like a professional lingo.

I do love Jane Austin. Bob is right, though, prescriptivists must be careful whose writing they hold up as the gold standard. Strunk and EB White set out some rigid standards that EB White himself didn't follow in some of his lovely prose.
 
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Hi Bob;
quote:
I've heard that suggestion about use/utilize and I don't buy it.
goofy's OED reference would seem to support the suggested distinction between "use" and "utilize".

Actually, I do buy this explanation, at least on a pedantic semi-historical plane, and it does seem inherently reasonable. In practical terms, I tend to see them as interchangeable, and so, lean towards the simpler "use". Ergo, I have no trouble, on any level, with the sentence "He used his voice like a dagger!", and, indeed, feel it would suffer considerable diminution if rendered "He utilized his voice like a dagger!"

"They" as a singular pronoun has stuck in my craw for a long time, but I am slowly succumbing to the usage because we do need SOMETHING to replace the ueber-PC'ist "he/she" common in the ugly Human Resource parlance! In short, this usage of "they" as a singular pronoun is not some modern a-la-modality as much as it is an expression born of necessity! And if Jane can do it, then it's good enough for me!

Your other examples from JA show how language has changed in a couple of hundred years. We would never write "everybody" (as it is being used in the example) as two words. Of course, we would still separate it in a sentence like "Every body should be stored in its own drawer."

Hi Kalleh: I suspect we have different notions of "flowery language". For me, flowery language is overly ornate language, as opposed to language that merely uses "big" or "rarer" words. Thus, an expression such as "obfuscating diction" is not flowery, even if it is poorly designed to be understood in the kindergarten. For me, flowery language tends to be characterized by the overuse of adjectives and adverbs. So this is flowery:
quote:
... we do need SOMETHING to replace the ueber-PC'ist "he/she" common in the ugly Human Resource parlance! In short, this usage of "they" as a singular pronoun is not some modern a-la-modality as much as it is an expression born of necessity!
... and the following is less so:
quote:
...we do need SOMETHING to replace the ugly "he/she" of Human Resource parlance! So, using "they" as a singular pronoun is not an a-la-modality as much as a necessity!
Wink

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"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
goofy's OED reference would seem to support the suggested distinction between "use" and "utilize".


But it's not the same as the distinction you made.
 
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... but it comes perilously close, goofy, and that's why I chose - rather carefully I would have thought - my wording "... seem to support".


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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? They are not the same. The standard complaint about utilize (according to MWDEU) is that it is pretentious, or that it should only be used with the meaning "turn to practical use or account". Of course that is the meaning it is used with. I don't know where this "use something in a manner it was not made for" prescription came from, but I don't see any support for it.
 
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quote:
use something in a manner it was not made for

Sigh! Consider that definition to be modified to read:
quote:
use something in a manner it was not [necessarily] made for
... or, more legally worded,
quote:
Turn something to a practical purpose, including, but not limited to, one for which it was not necessarily intended.

I looked up the following to read a discussion on the matter:Here

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"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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But you've changed it! Don't you see? You changed the definition! Using something for a practical purpose is not the same as using it for a purpose it wasn't made for!

quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
I looked up the following to read a discussion on the matter:Here


This article says:

quote:
Merriam-Webster defines utilize as, “to make use of; turn to practical use or account.” So how is this different from use? In a nutshell, to utilize something is to give it a use it may not have originally had.


So it went from one definition to the other with no reason or explanation. Who should I trust? The dictionaries that have recorded the way the word is actually used, or some random website?
 
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Hi Kalleh: I suspect we have different notions of "flowery language".
Yes, I think you are right. Is academic lingo better? Rosemarie Parse's theory of Human Becoming is a perfect example in nursing.
quote:
Nurses and other health professional live the art of humanbecoming in true presence with the unfolding of illuminating meaning, shifting rhythms, and inspiring transcending.
Now that's clear. Wink
 
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Who should I trust?

I guess, goofy, you'll need to stir this into your wine, and ultimately make your own decision. Perhaps look at the general sense of what is suggested as the difference, rather than taking it so literally. As for me, I think the explanation offered for the essential difference between "use" and "utilize" is pretty good, and is vaguely consistent with the "ize" suffix. See: Here for a discussion on "ize" ... but as I alluded to before, I tend to see them as similar. On the other hand, the site does show some places where the terms are not interchangeable - at least, in my opinion. You don't "utilize" a steering wheel to steer a car, you "use" it. This latter example, suggesting the wrongness of "utilize" in this context, really gets at the idea of putting something to a use not really intended. But the following example would be reasonable: "To be sure, the steering wheel was gone, but he was able to utilize a wrench to steer the jeep." In this last sentence, "use" would probably work for us non-pedants, but "utilize" is surely la mot juste!

Hi Kalleh: Yes, I agree that "academic lingo" is more in keeping with the notion you put forward. But again, the best speakers and writers, by definition, express things well. Whatever "well" means in this context may be moot, but I suggest that it doesn't mean "in an overly pedantic, learned or complex manner." The desire to "sound professorial" is a very poor start for good diction.

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"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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Originally posted by WeeWilly:
As for me, I think the explanation offered for the essential difference between "use" and "utilize" is pretty good,


It's made up. We know the word isn't used only this way. I searched COCA and found plenty of examples of "utilize" being used not to mean "use something in a way other than what it was made for". I can't copy and paste the results here, but you can search for yourself.
 
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It's made up.

Again, I see this as being overly literal in a place where "cut and dried" rules of usage are obviously not on the table, and where opinions abound! As for me, I feel the argument (pointing to the general use of the suffix "ize") that differentiates the general sense inherent in these two words has a clear ring of truth - beyond the one word's being a pompous version of the other! Have you looked at the two steering examples, and can you really disagree with them? If so, what can I say? Best Wishes.


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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The desire to "sound professorial" is a very poor start for good diction.

I don't think I said otherwise.
quote:
Again, I see this as being overly literal in a place where "cut and dried" rules of usage are obviously not on the table, and where opinions abound!
Not opinions, WeeWilly. There were lots of evidence and sources put forth, including Jane Austin. I think this has been a well-reasoned dialogue and not "where opinions abound." Sorry you don't agree.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
Have you looked at the two steering examples, and can you really disagree with them?


I don't disagree with them. But as I said the word is found in plenty of places where your definition doesn't apply. From COCA, there are examples like:

quote:
And entrepreneurs like Khanna and McMullin are thinking up new ways to utilize every husk and leaf and stem.
Are young adults with MR and autism able to utilize cognitive strategies independently?
Many scholars agree that in order to utilize salmon, Indigenous societies must have developed economies...
Stumped for ideas beyond scrambled and fried? Here are seven ways to utilize these small wonders.
Most current PKI users utilize RSA keys less than or equal to 1,024b
Legal teams will utilize workflow-based project management technology and practices to move from a reactive approach to e-discovery to a measurable, repeatable business process
Quite simply, the more that institutions can encourage students to seek out and utilize support services, the more likely their overall engagement will increase


If you're saying your definition is what utilize should mean, well that's an opinion and I'm not interested in arguing about it. But if you're saying that this is what utilize does mean, which is what wikinut is saying and is what I thought you were saying (but maybe I was wrong), it's not true.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
Kalleh:
quote:
I don't think I said otherwise.
... you didn't, but it is worth remembering that being in the know or learned is no excuse for being obscure; in fact, it is reason not to be. Also, I doubt that you disagree with this!

About "use" and "utilize":
quote:
Sorry you don't agree.
With what???? Sorry, Kalleh, somehow I am miles off base, for, yes, there was lots of evidence put forth, and indeed, I felt I had done my share in this respect. Moreover, I don't disagree with goofy, and have totally lost sight of what he is pounding away at! I agree that today, with few exceptions (see my examples), these two words are interchangeable. Where they are, I tend to prefer the simpler "use" to "utilize".

What is the matter here? - for we seem to be arguing about nothing to the purpose? I already put into legalese (for goofy, who seems very focused on the black and white) the vague something about "utilize" that seemed to me to be pertinent to oddities such as to why we don't "utilize" a steering wheel to steer a car or a pen to write, we "use" them, per the following definition for "utilize":
quote:
Turn something to a practical purpose, including, but not limited to, one for which it was not necessarily intended.
... and gave full permission to anyone to disagree and to their own opinions of this and these examples. Moreover, to quote myself (from an a earlier posting on this thread) commenting on the "unintended use" miasma of "utilize":
quote:
Actually, I do buy this explanation, at least on a pedantic semi-historical plane, and it does seem inherently reasonable. In practical terms, I tend to see them as interchangeable, and so, lean towards the simpler "use". Ergo, I have no trouble, on any level, with the sentence "He used his voice like a dagger!", and, indeed, feel it would suffer considerable diminution if rendered "He utilized his voice like a dagger!"

There is a whole website, with much well-reasoned argument, devoted to this essential (admittedly very blurred with usage) difference between "use" and "utilize", and I agree with it in essentials, but, as you see, from the preceding "using a voice" example (where we are putting a voice to "a use not intended" - to wit, as a dagger), I treat it with a grain of salt. Apparently goofy doesn't agree (although I am not sure I have this right). Therefore, goofy presumably has his own view of why we don't "utilize" a steering wheel to steer, or why this curious suffix "ize" - that crops up in many places to do identifiably similar duties - is part of "utilize". Or maybe he does find quite reasonable the notion of "utilizing" rather than "using" a pen to write. If, like me, goofy doesn't find this reasonable, then he has to find his own notions why, whereas I believe that this is explainable through the "impure" but persistent notion that "utilize" tends to carry some remnant of that sense of putting something to an untended use! So, in spite of your protestations about no opinions, we would seem(?) to have differing ones!

This seems to be the "home" vs "house" syndrome again, where I feel as if I am tangled up in cobwebs, and finding little to disagree with. It both these cases, I have put forth arguments - as is surely consistent with a forum discussing words - to suggest, perhaps tacitly, that there is some difference in these words (ie, "house" vs "home", and "use" vs "utilize"), what that difference might be, and why we might all consider using the simpler words ("use" and "house") when they do the job, only resorting to their more complex(?) forms - to wit, "utilize" and "home" - when required. Anyone has my full permission to disagree!

Do you think we have covered this adequately, or is there something still outstanding?

BTW it's "Austen" not "Austin". Smile

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"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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Originally posted by WeeWilly:

Moreover, I don't disagree with goofy, and have totally lost sight of what he is pounding away at!


You wrote:

quote:
In point of fact, "utilize" does not mean the same as "use". To use something means to employ it [in the manner for which it was made]. To utilize something is to use it in a manner it was not made for or intended for.


That is not the meaning of utilize. We know that because when we look at how the word is used, we find that it is used with a much broader meaning. What is hard to understand about this?
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
Rosemarie Parse's theory of Human Becoming is a perfect example in nursing.
quote:
Nurses and other health professional live the art of humanbecoming in true presence with the unfolding of illuminating meaning, shifting rhythms, and inspiring transcending.


That's some powerful jargon. Of course what I find weirdest about that link is the weird statement that the dictionary definition of man changed from "humankind" to something else somewhere between 1981 and 1992.
 
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Goofy, Are you away back there? Did you see my posting where, when I saw how literally you were taking this, I explained further, by modifying this to the following…
quote:
Turn something to a practical purpose, including, but not limited to, one for which it was not necessarily intended.

No wonder I don’t understand, for the entire hours of discussion I put into this seem to be totally ignored in your postings! Did you see ANY of my intervening discussion of WHY I arrived at this? I didn’t pull this out of the air because, dammit, THIS IS THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF "UTILIZE" - which is ALL I CLAIM FOR IT. I said again and again that these words are nearly interchangeable today, but I did give some [powerful, provocative?] examples to show that a vestige of that "use not intended for" still lingers with utilize! What do you say to those examples? If you read them at all, did you simply ignore them? For Heaven's sake, don't believe it if you are so inclined, but we seem to be traveling in ever decreasing circles!

I am sorry to start e-yelling, but this is beating a dead, dead horse, where surely all interest in this has been wrung out of it a long time ago, and I am totally frustrated. I have replied as best as I can directly to your comments, but I get no feedback to what I see as poignant arguments to support my contentions. Ergo, I have shot my bolt and have nothing left to say about this topic. All the best!


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
No wonder I don’t understand, for the entire hours of discussion I put into this seem to be totally ignored in your postings!


And I get the feeling that you ignore everything I write. We seem to have a big difference in how we think language and meaning work. I've ignored your examples because I don't think they are relevant. I believe that we determine a word's meaning by examining how it is used in the wild, nothing more. The lexicographers have already done the work. I don't think we get to make up a new definition. I know nothing about original intents or essential meanings or vestiges.

I'm sorry I upset you. This conversation requires beer.

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This conversation requires beer.


We have lift-off, for I entirely agree. Cheers. Smile


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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That seems to sum up what WeeWilly is saying, I think. What are your thoughts, goofy?
 
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Yes, it takes the same line as WeeWilly. Here's a comment I tried to post - I'm not sure if it went through as I got an internal server error when I tried to submit it and the second time I got the message that it was a duplicate post:
quote:
What is the source for these dogmatic comments? The vast majority of these 'rules' are actually an author's personal opinion and have no real bearing on the real world.

To quote the 19th century grammarian Henry Sweet, "In considering the use of grammar as a corrective of what are called 'ungrammatical’ expressions, it must be borne in mind that the rules of grammar have no value except as statements of facts: whatever is in general use in a language is for that very reason grammatically correct."

If 'utilize' is used commonly as a synonym for 'use' that doesn't make all those instances wrong. The fact that 'utilize' has extended meanings has no bearing on the matter; there are no completely exact synonyms in English.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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quote:
there are no completely exact synonyms in English.


.... very much to the point, Arnie. Moreover, for a language to function effectively, both the speaker and the audience must agree on a story - viz, on the meaning of the words and grammar used - else there may be misunderstanding between speaker and listener, at least on some level. Occasionally, this can be very significant.

This is an English language forum, where we are all users of this language, and so, the things we discuss will often tend to be fine differences in usage and meaning. And so it was here. Smile


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
That seems to sum up what WeeWilly is saying, I think. What are your thoughts, goofy?


The site Proofreader linked to is just more assertions with no evidence.
 
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Yes, very true.

I was thinking how I'd use "utilize." Of course, as in that link, I'd not say I'd "utilize" my fork. However, I might say: "We will utilize the organization's new policy to update our administrative rules" or some such. Given that, I'd probably not use it to mean changing the original intent. Of course, I have no evidence for that, either, except for the online OED definition, which is, "To make or render useful; to convert to use, turn to account."
 
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Permit me to resist the urge to apologize for prolonging this thread. After all, this is a forum on language, and in such context, there is still some unfinished business here.

Arnie:
quote:
What is the source for these dogmatic comments? The vast majority of these 'rules' are actually an author's personal opinion and have no real bearing on the real world.
For some time, I have been pondering on your use of "dogmatic" to describe my(?) comments.

In my - at times, very lengthy - postings I have very pointedly avoided dogmatism by (a) quoting a source that took considerable effort to support its contentions, and (b) supporting my arguments to my own poor best. For example:
quote:
As for me, I think the explanation offered for the essential difference between "use" and "utilize" is pretty good, and is vaguely consistent with the "ize" suffix. See: Here for a discussion on "ize" ... but as I alluded to before, I tend to see them as similar. On the other hand, the site does show some places where the terms are not interchangeable - at least, in my opinion. You don't "utilize" a steering wheel to steer a car, you "use" it. This latter example, suggesting the wrongness of "utilize" in this context, really gets at the idea of putting something to a use not really intended. But the following example would be reasonable: "To be sure, the steering wheel was gone, but he was able to utilize a wrench to steer the jeep." In this last sentence, "use" would probably work for us non-pedants, but "utilize" is surely la mot juste!
Ergo, I have not simply put something forward dogmatically as a personal opinion, but instead, have labored away to show why I hold the views I do. After all, this is what should be expected of a posting or thread in a forum on language and its usage! Hence, to characterize these efforts as mere dogma is, to say the least, unjust.

Interestingly, no-one but Kalleh has addressed the arguments. Goofy even went so far as to state that he ignored them because they were irrelevant! What????!!! Egad, then does he see it reasonable to "utilize" a pen to write, or to "utilize" a steering-wheel to steer a car? Whether he does or doesn't, many people would not, and so these questions (and the arguments around them) are not irrelevant, but instead, go a long way to explain that, while "utilize" and "use" are often interchangeable, they do comprehend slightly different things, and this comes out in these examples. Those examples, and the arguments around the general meaning of the suffix "ize" in English, all support the contentions that I put forward. I suggested that the difference (the additional aura around "utilize", if I might so word it) tends to lie in whether the thing in question is designed for the task or not. That is a suggestion of mine (and the source website I cited) that seems to explain the point at hand rather well (to my mind)! Where is dogma in any of this? I tried, in another thread, to support my notions of the difference between "home" and "house", with similar lack of success. But I do not quote simple dogma, or, where I do, I shall acknowledge it (as I did with my not using "core competencies").

That's how I see it an any rate.


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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You have an opinion about what the word means to you based on how you use it (you would use it in one context and not another). That's fine.

My problem is that you're using one made-up example as evidence that "use something for a purpose it wasn't made for" is an original or essential meaning of the word. That is, you seem to be saying that this is the original or essential meaning not just for you, but for everyone. You are universalizing your preference (it seems to me). This is not how we determine what words mean. The meaning of the word is much broader than this. We know this because of usage. I provided examples of the word being used in other ways. Lexicographers have determined that the word means "To make or render useful; to convert to use, turn to account."

In order to show that "use something for a purpose it wasn't made for" is the original meaning of the word, you need to provide evidence, that is actual real-world usage, showing that your meaning was the earliest meaning of the word. You also mentioned essential difference; I don't know what that means, but you would have to define it and provide evidence. Anything else is irrelevant.

Does that make sense? I don't mind if we disagree, but I'd like it if we understood each other.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
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Hi goofy;

My last post was a lament on Arnie's use of the word "dogma" to describe my(?) position (or my posts?), for it is simply unjustified - not to mention grossly inaccurate - after the exhaustive arguments I put forward here. I have little notion of what people think of these arguments - since no-one but Kalleh made any reference to them - but at least I put them forward as support for my contentions. This is the very opposite of "dogma". BTW, I do not decry the need for these arguments, for this is grist for a forum on language usage (and this is the very reason that a forum like this is of interest to me ... to us?), don't you think? Whether "dogma" applies to your arguments is for others to decide, for they leave me utterly adrift.

So, sorry, but I've run my length on submitting arguments about these two words, for we seem to have a total disconnect in communication. Again, you ask for evidence, and this after I (and the website I pointed you to) put forth, from the first, what I thought was rather compelling evidence of actual usage to suggest the essential difference between them, and you repeatedly call them all "irrelevant".

When these words, "use" and "utilize" first entered the discussion, I found them rather intriguing, and wondered whether they were interchangeable, and if not, what might be the essential difference between their meanings, and so, where interchangeability might break down or be inappropriate. So, was one word, as suggested in one posting, merely a "snobbish" version of the other (in keeping with the pervasive modern tendency to "dishonestly" inject complication and/or interest, in the way that "home" does for "house", or "mathematics" does for "arithmetic", etc), or was there something more "honest" or basic at work here? In the spirit of investigation, I started by looking up several dictionary definitions, and then poked around various websites, and the one I cited seemed to me to be the best at differentiating between these two words in a way that "struck a chord". In short, my understanding (or beliefs in the essential truth?) about these two words started to coalesce - or simply put, I liked the arguments and explanations. So, then, I formulated a post or two on this subject to explain what this poking around had gotten me - and why - and we have been traveling in ever-diminishing circles since!

In general, discussing shades of meaning, particularly of common words, will need non-absolute terms. Hence, we should expect Kalleh's word-peeve "suggest", or similar diction, to appear in the discussions! Wink Thus, remarks like "'Utilize' tends to suggest some sense of 'using in a way not intended'", and so on. After all, as we have elsewhere observed, many words are in a state of flux, where regional, generational, artistic, educational, environmental, occupational, and other factors all jostle one another to confound matters. As alluded to elsewhere, my own personal bias is to distrust, or look for, motives behind word usage - particularly where these change quickly - and, Heaven knows, I am not the only one to notice how charged words can be. There are many agendas at work, and many of these usages are calculated, manipulative, and far from innocent - viz, "dishonest", in my parlance. Aside: This is one of the reasons I shall miss the cantankerous George Carlin, who didn't miss a trick on this subject!

Cheerio.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: WeeWilly,


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:

So, sorry, but I've run my length on submitting arguments about these two words, for we seem to have a total disconnect in communication. Again, you ask for evidence, and this after I (and the website I pointed you to) put forth, from the first, what I thought was rather compelling evidence of actual usage to suggest the essential difference between them, and you repeatedly call them all "irrelevant".


It wasn't actual usage, it was a made up example. Someone's opinion about the "essential difference" between these words. Does the rest of the English speaking community share this opinion? Do they use the words in such a way that highlights this essential difference? How do you know?
 
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