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  1. #1
    Romeo4755 is offline Junior Member
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    'hone' - do you use this word?

    Dear friends,
    I've had a discussion if the word 'hone' is quite natural in today's language.
    Example: The more you hone your skills today, the better you will be at them tomorrow.
    I would say here exercise/ develop/ employ/ exploit (or whatever).
    'hone' seemes old-fashioned or pompous to me. I d like to know your opinion.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: 'hone' - do you use this word?

    It's not terribly common but there's nothing old-fashioned - and certainly nothing pompous - about it.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
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    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Re: 'hone' - do you use this word?

    I use it in phrases like "hone your/my/his/her/their skills". Come to think of it, I don't think I use it in any other context.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
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    Skrej is offline Key Member
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    Re: 'hone' - do you use this word?

    It's also relatively common to refer to honing edged tools, if you have occasion to work with them.

    It's fairly common as a noun as well in such contexts. In fact, I recently purchased a set of diamond hones that has proved well worth the investment.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 26-Oct-2017 at 22:21. Reason: Fixed typo
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. #5
    bubbha is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 'hone' - do you use this word?

    "hone" means "sharpen". Picture someone sharpening a blade on a stone: that is honing. So "hone your skills" means "sharpen your skills" or "refine your skills".

    It's not pompous or old-fashioned in my opinion. It's also not uncommon. It's a normal word.

    Sometimes people misuse the word, saying "hone in" when they should more properly say "home in" (e.g. "to home in on a target").
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  6. #6
    Romeo4755 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: 'hone' - do you use this word?

    Thank you so much for you opinions, dear people. )) I didn't know the expression is so popular.
    I lost my password and couldn't thank you earlier, sorry for that.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: 'hone' - do you use this word?

    People also use hone in on, although purists prefer home in on. It may not be very common outside a few contexts, but it is used both naturally and unnaturally, though those using it don't know that they're using it this way, in modern English.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hone%20in

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