Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Discussing "individual" vs. "person"

Eugene Volokh starts a worthy discussion on the relative merits of using the word "individual" vs. the word "person". The comments are lively, and they touch on other sticking points in the language. I especially like this from "John Jenkins":
Utilize: This is the most useless word in the English language. It should always be replaced with use. This one just drives me bonkers.

I heartily agree, though I would qualify his "always" with "almost always". "Utilize" has its place, but the shorter, more-to-the-point word "use" is often the better choice.

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