Utilize / Utilization
(Utilize/Utilization is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
These two words are perfectly fine when you mean utilize or utilization. These become annoying when you really mean use or use (as in “yooz” the verb or “yoos” the noun).
Utilize/utilization in place of use/use is overkill. Strike that. It’s annoying overkill. Annoying managers utilize the word utilization to sound intelligent.
Of course, they do not… cannot… sound intelligent regardless of their word choice.
We sometimes like to call this government-employee-speak. No disrespect intended, but when you see police officers, the fire department’s spokesperson, the mayor, or virtually any other government employee interviewed on television, they morph from an average human using everyday language into a robot programmed only to use the biggest words possible.
Instead of hearing about how the bad guy broke into the house using a screwdriver, we’re subjected to, “The alleged perpetrator illegally entered the victim’s residence penetrating the exterior ingress with the assistance of a flat, elongated, metal apparatus.”
Clarity be damned in television interviews and, unfortunately, in your office.
Replacement phrases: Use
See also: Hammer it Out; Impact
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon