Today’s eletter is short and sweet. It’s inspired by the flight attendant on our flight into San Diego yesterday. Here it is…

The word “utilize” means to use something in a way that it was not originally intended. For example, you utilize a knife to open a paint can… you utilize a shoe to kill a fly… and you utilize a chair to stand and change a light bulb.

You don’t, however, utilize the overhead bin to store your luggage… nor the red carpet for priority boarding.

And while you may utilize your seat cushion as a flotation device in an emergency, you definitely don’t utilize the bathroom for anything other than… well, you know.

Choosing the right words is important in travel writing. It’s one of the things that separate the amateurs from the pros. Before you send a query to an editor or submit an article, read through your text to be sure you’ve got the right words in the right places.

A great resource for checking word usage is www.bartleby.com, which offers up (at no charge) a selection of thesauri, dictionaries, quotation books, and more.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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