There is a common societal misconception that the more syllables the word has, the more articulate it seems. This leads to the rampant misuse of words like UTILIZE in blog posts and publications everywhere. I'm looking at YOU, technical manuals! Utilize is not a fancier version of use, it has its own very specific meaning.
You are UTILIZING something when it is being used for something other than its intended purpose. When you USE a large kitchen knife to dice vegetables, you're using it. When you UTILIZE the back of that same knife to whack a jar to loosen the lid, you're utilizing it.
Now go forth and USE the word UTILIZE correctly!
Check back next Sunday for another tip to tighten up your writing.