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Thread: Use vs usage

  1. #1
    whl626 is offline Member
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    Default Use vs usage

    I wonder if anyone can give me some examples to point out the difference of these two words. Or give a couple of examples where they are interchangeable. I have them mixed up most of the time.

    Thanks

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    RonBee's Avatar
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    Go here:
    http://forums.delphiforums.com/Using...ges?msg=6167.1

    That will help (I hope).

    :)

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    whl626 is offline Member
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    There are no answers there ??? Ron, you mean have this question discuss there ?

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Not at all- I regard 'usage' as more to do with analysing the differences in varieties of English and in contexts. Usage is where rules get broken, or where there are differences in opinion, use less so. Everyone would agree that 'did' is the past of 'do', but usage shows that Americans would say it where Brits would go for the present perfect. Both are correct in their context, so usage is different.

    Descriptivist views of language tend to look at usage (actual use) more than theoretical use.

    BTW- I do like Michael Swan's 'Practical English Usage' for the way he looks at genuine usage in English and manages to synthesise logical descriptions from it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whl626
    There are no answers there ??? Ron, you mean have this question discuss there ?
    I was hoping to get some help there. There wasn't a very quick response, was there? (There should be some before the day is out.)

    :(

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Use vs usage

    Quote Originally Posted by whl626
    I wonder if anyone can give me some examples to point out the difference of these two words. Or give a couple of examples where they are interchangeable. I have them mixed up most of the time.

    Thanks
    The Longman Dictionary of Linguistics gives Henry Widdowson's distinction-
    Usage- an element in a linguistic system.
    Use- its function as part of a system of communication.

    The progressive form would be studied in terms of usage- be + ing, and use, for plans, etc.

    So Widdowson actually uses them in the opposite sense from me. In which case, I'd trust old Henry before me.

    However, their first definition of usage is 'the ways people actually speak and write', which is closer to mine. It would appear that the situation is a bit confused.

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    Try this: http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/mb/...ry&msg=15151.1

    This has turned out to be a question that is not easy to answer, but I am sure somebody will come up with something. When that happens I am sure Tdol will include the explanations in the glossary.

    :wink:

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    It's a tricky one because people use them interchangeably or following different patterns. A right mess. ;-|

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    whl626 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    It's a tricky one because people use them interchangeably or following different patterns. A right mess. ;-|
    I was so used to the ' usage '. But when time and again that people tend to use ' use ' instead of ' usage '. It makes me wonder how to use it correctly :x

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    Quote Originally Posted by whl626
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    It's a tricky one because people use them interchangeably or following different patterns. A right mess. ;-|
    I was so used to the ' usage '. But when time and again that people tend to use ' use ' instead of ' usage '. It makes me wonder how to use it correctly :x
    I much prefer usage. I am much more likely to employ use as a verb than as a noun. Indeed, on the forums people usually talk about usage rather than use.

    :)

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