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Andy Mac

Damian,
Your argument is very bad. Dumb and stupid also mean close to the same thing. Are you saying that you don't appreciate multiple colorful ways to express the same thing?

genevieve

who would have thought that an argument on the subleties of "utilize" and "use" would be so long and verbose!

but then again, i did read all the way to the end . . .

Rianne

The point of language is communication. The advantage of a large vocabulary is being able to better communicate your thoughts. The verbal form of these thoughts should be as lucid as possible, instead of spoken in the most exclusive language you can contrive.

To those who defend pretention, but condemn misuse of words: pretention is often a direct cause of misuse of words. If people grope for the "impressive" word instead of the most vivid and clear, this often means that people will forgo "best" for "biggest." Newspeak was tragic because it prevented competant communication, but so can the abstruse abuse of a vocabulary. No, clarity and conciseness do no always coincide, but pedantic circumlocution is often more harmful than simplistic clarity. True intelligence will manifest itself in your ideas themselves, and I would choose BEING intelligent over SOUNDING intelligent any day.

genevieve

here's a website that pretty much extends this conversation . . .. check it out

www.wsu.edu:8080/%7Ebrians/errors/errors.html#errors

it discusses ambiguity and errors in the english language

if your that obsessive
and you obviously are if you read this far

Kirsten

I feel that my post needs some clarification. 1) I did not defend pretension, I just don't believe that having a good vocabulary makes someone pretentious. 2) I condemned the misuse of all words, not simply the small ones, so if someone misuses a big word then they are just as guilty. 3) Newspeak wasn't a tragedy because it never happened in reality. The discussion of books should be held in the present tense. (e.g., Samuel Vimes IS a member of the Watch in "Men at Arms"). Furthermore, even if it had happened the biggest tragedy apart from being controlled through language by a dictator is that language would lose it’s beauty.

Now that that has been said, a sign of intelligence is a large vocabulary, so sounding intelligent and being intelligent often go hand in hand. Plus, you sound like an idiot if you constantly misuse "big" words.

Finally, there are a lot of people that have claimed that “utilize” is a pretentious words to use, but they have used other words with much more "everyday" alternatives. Are you being tongue in cheek or do you not really believe that big words are pretentious and are simply playing the devil’s advocate?

Basia

Okay - I really wanted to agree w/ Steffie, despite loving Damian's mind desperately. Then Steffie came out with "utilizability", and Damian failed to bust her for it. So did anyone else. Yes, the mini-thread about made-up words ran through after that, but there it was, right at the outset. Damian had the coup de grace laid at his feet, and turned away from it! Too gentlemanly to tell Steffie it should have been "utility"? How unsatisfying! Neither opponent now has my complete respect! (Although Damian still has those pants ...)

Haley

This whole thing is like super-old and I doubt anyone will even see my comment way down here, but I have to say that the word "utilize" IS necessary, if only to juniors in high school who desperately need to bullshit their way through an essay and use some "big words" to beef it up. So please, let us keep it.

Maleno van zitter

This makes me laugh. I didn't know that such a big issue will come out of the word "utilize" I think it was, and then it ended up talkig about the word "google" and then I lost track. As a high schooler I would have to say that the person that made such a big deal about Damian's use of language should perhaps not critisize others, but critisize himself to see what he could fix in his vocabulary. I probably have the worst vocabulary ever, even though I'm an honors student in my English class. I shouldn't be in that class, but anyways I understand that when somone wants to make a point they want to be right and it was fun to see how much people struggled to show their opinion. I don't think I have too much of an opinion except that now I know what the word utilize means and i will actually remember it, unlike the 20 vocab words I learn in english, then after the test forget them. People that love words I think you guys are great. But seriously.......reading all this drama is like listening to my friends fight in middle school....its just dumb and funny

bianca

im not sure about the whole story, like the point, because i actually dont know what the word 'utilize' means and i dont have a dictionary here. So i cant really say much about it. But from what i think i uderstand is that this was all before OK Go was actually all famous?? thats what i thought but then you mentioned "A Million Ways" which was new. Correct? I should really just forget this whole thing because i have no idea what i just read. Anyway. I love the band an help me understand this please.

Crystal

...o.o...yeah, i dont get this whole thing either...and now...its 2006....Damian has a gf?....mayjor reality SHOCK.

tooManyMagpies

Can we all agree that the typewriter has become an underutilized communication tool? Or do you simply feel that all those old qwerty machines in trift store windows are just under-used?
;-p

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