Introduction to Usage

Usage is similar to grammar: it helps determine how you should use a language and which words you should use in a specific context. However, usage focuses more on the meaning of words than on their mechanical function within the language. For example, if you’re trying to decide if you should use the numeral 17 or spell out the word seventeen, that decision falls under usage. Usage also deals with commonly confused words, spelling, and capitalization.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules when it comes to usage. Additionally, there aren’t often reasons behind the correct answers either—especially when it comes to spelling. This section will provide you with resources to help guide your decisions as you write.