Tagged: context

The use of ‘usage’

ūüė¶ The usage of technology is very important to learn effectively.

OK this¬†is a tricky one. I’ve¬†searched online for an answer but could find only one that is useful for IELTS candidates and EAP students. I’m going to borrow heavily from this person’s¬†post. Unfortunately I cannot include an¬†attribution because link added to the post is no longer active.

When we refer to ‘word usage‘, we mean the ‘conventions’ for using words:¬†“This text describes the principles of word usage.”

By ‘conventional’ use, we mean:

  • how¬†a word is conventionally used in a certain communicative context
  • how a word is conventionally used next to other words in a sentence
  • how the same word is conventionally used in a particular language (The Indonesian meaning of ‘convenient‘ is not quite the same as the English meaning.)

When we refer to ‘use of words’, we mean only the employment of words:¬†“He is noted for his frequent use of wrong words.”

People frequently use usage when they should use use. The noun usage should not be substituted for use when the meaning is ‘the employment of’ ‚Äď even if you think it sounds more sophisticated.

Neither of the following is correct:

ūüė¶ “the wise usage of computers saved the company money”
ūüė¶ “usage of insulation can save fuel.”

In both of these examples, use is the appropriate word.

Returning to our opening example, we need:

ūüôā The¬†use¬†of technology is very important to learn effectively.

usage

Even better, avoid ‘use’ altogether and begin with a more coherent theme:

ūüôā Technology plays an important role in effective learning.
ūüôā Learning is more effective with the help of technology.

Incidentally people also¬†write¬†utilisation¬†when they¬†mean¬†use. That’s another one likely to get you into trouble, so just avoid it.¬†Use¬†is all you need!

@eapguru

Advertisements

Today shit happens/is happening!

ūüė¶ Today, with the introduction of information technology, life becomes more complex.

Here¬†you use a time expression –¬†today –¬†in order to provide your reader with time context, or a time frame. Unfortunately¬†your verb¬†and your¬†time¬†expression do not match.

Today¬†can mean literally ‘today’, so if today is Thursday then¬†today¬†means Thursday.¬†But¬†today¬†can also mean other things. In academic papers¬†today¬†often refers more generally to¬†time around now.

Time around now began at some point in the past and is likely to continue until some point in the future. Exactly how far into the past and how far into the future does time around now¬†extend? Well that depends on the topic. Since ‘information technology’ implies quite recent innovations, then we’re probably thinking – in this example – of¬†a roughly twenty year period with ‘now’ somewhere in the middle.

Time around now can also refer to a recently new, more permanent condition, that may not be likely to change, at least not for a long time.

Depending on which verb tense we choose, we can communicate either new, permanent condition OR continuous action.

Since information technology is changing continuously Рi.e. becoming more complex all the time Рthen we need present continuous tense.

ūüôā¬†Today, with the introduction of information technology, life¬†is becoming¬†more complex.

flag-of-indonesia¬†‘Become’ always implies a change, unlike the Indonesian¬†‘menjadi’, which can¬†communicate a permanent state: “Siti bilang bahwa rumahtangganya tidak bahagia, karena suami tak pernah memberikan nafkah batin yang menjadi haknya.”

If we want to describe a more permanent state in English, then present simple tense is used:

ūüôā¬†Today, with the introduction of information technology, people communicate¬†more easily than they used to.

Remember that state verbs are never used in continuous form:

ūüôā¬†Today, with the introduction of information technology,¬†people prefer¬†to send emails rather than write letters.

@eapguru

image credit