I have a client with whom I’ve met for 2-4 hours a week for more than a year.
We’ve done a LOT of projects together.
He knows my style by now.
But I swear, at least 4% of my work with him is to make sure his business never uses the word “utilize.”
Just today, I deleted it in three places from a new document. 🙄
Why do I hate this word so much?
I’ll let the Oxford dictionary explain for me:
“Utilize, borrowed in the 19th century from the French utiliser [to use], means ‘make practical or effective use of.’ [As in, vitamin C helps your body utilize the iron present in your diet.]
Because it is a more formal word than ‘use’ and is often used in contexts (as in business writing) where the ordinary verb use would be simpler and more direct, ‘utilize’ may strike readers as pretentious jargon and should therefore be used sparingly.”
Basically, there’s almost never a time where the word “utilize” is more appropriate than “use.”
If you take nothing else from subscribing to this newsletter, please take the word “utilize” out of any and all writing you do from now on.
Your authenticity will thank you.
PS – Would you like to be coached personally by me for the next StoryBrand livestream marketing workshop on September 13 & 14? I’m still deciding if I’m hosting a coaching room. Oh, and a scholarship may be available for purpose-driven entrepreneurs. (Here’s last year’s application if you want to learn more.)
Hit reply if you’re curious and let’s chat…
This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.