Talk:make use

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I feel like my definition could be better. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:59, 4 February 2010 (UTC)


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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

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Can anyone find usage of forms of "make use" in the sense of "use" that are not of "make use of"? I have found an instance of "make use out of" at COCA. Also from transcribed speech at COCA: "You may have such a number of them as you should think fit to make use upon this account.", which looks to me like a mistake, based on the occurrence of "of them" earlier in the sentence. DCDuring TALK 18:15, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Well, google books:"made use and abuse of" gets three distinct relevant hits. They are using "make use of", of course, but the coordination obscures that. But since you've obviously already noticed and disregarded cases of P-stranding ("of which we made use") and cases of interposed adverbials ("made use from time to time of"), I guess you're not going to find coordination any more convincing?
I guess I'm not sure what you're wanting, exactly. Are you saying this entry should be deleted, because we already cover the idiom at [[make use of]]? Or are you just saying that the context tag "usually with of" should be changed to simply "with of"?
RuakhTALK 18:29, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
If it fails this, it should be deleted, I think. It clearly is not an RfD matter; it is empirical. I would not be in the least surprised to find dated, archaic, or obsolete usage of make use in approximately this sense with other prepositions. Also, the possible existence of dialectal and informal synonyms for "of" ("a", "uv", "out of", "outa") gives me some pause. DCDuring TALK 19:08, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Your sentence "It clearly is not an RfD matter; it is empirical" aptly sums up the problem with RFD discussions. RFD voters should take facts into account, but for some reason many don't. But you can't solve that problem by bringing questions here that are manifestly not RFV matters. There is no policy that says that [[make use]] should be deleted unless make use is used citeably without an of-headed complement.
That said: If you want, we can leave this here for a month, and if no one produces the cites you're looking for, you can move to RFD with facts in hand. (I'll vote keep or redirect in that case, BTW.) Alternatively, you can list this at RFD now, with a vote along the lines of "Move to RFV, and delete unless citations without of-headed complements are produced". If other voters share your view, then we can bring this back to RFV with a much clearer mandate.
RuakhTALK 21:37, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
In any event, it would benefit from citations, especially of the type I've mentioned. Perhaps the optimal sequence is to do what may be deemed cheap (talk is cheap, after all) and uncertain before doing what is not as cheap (getting citations). Alternatively, the sequence is to provide citations that provide focus for whatever subsequent discussion is required. DCDuring TALK 22:31, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
How about google books:"made use thereof"?
By searching for "made use on", I did find one intransitive use, one directly-construed use, and one use construed with on, but I'm inclined to view these all as errors.
RuakhTALK 00:43, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I'm starting to think that maybe make use of is SOP: one can also say "make much use of", "make a great deal of use of", "make good use of", etc.; and also "use was made of" and so on. I'm not suggesting that we delete it, but it's hard to judge whether "of" is essential to the idiom, given that there doesn't seem to be an idiom here at all. —RuakhTALK 00:53, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
That kind of problem bedevils many other entries of the form [V NP Prep] and also many of those in Category:English predicates. Some of them might be considered, like this, prototypes of constructions. A few OneLook dictionaries have this (MWOnline, RHU, AHD Idioms, McGraw-Hill). I don't think that alternative forms accommodate the variation. Usage notes? DCDuring TALK 01:20, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Wouldn't grammar dictate that if the phrase comes at the end of a sentence, it would refer to something "of which we make use"? bd2412 T 00:45, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes, or something "that we make use of". But I'm afraid I don't see what you're getting at; care to elaborate? :-/   —RuakhTALK 02:35, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
I think the term should be at make use and not make use of; the "of" is just a connecter to whatever is being used. make use of. We have, for example, take stock, but not take stock of. bd2412 T 02:51, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
I've added a citation for "make use" without "of." A second, included as a comment, is by the same authors on the same subject. — Pingkudimmi 05:37, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Good find, but I don't think it illustrates the sense. It would seem to be of a not very common SoP V - N construction. DCDuring TALK 16:16, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Here is one truly intransitive use: William Shakespeare, The plays and poems, Volume 4: "Good Cromwell, neglect him not; make use now, and provide for thine own future safety". However, my understanding is that the sense of "make use" here is "help yourself" as in this other book: "And of whole Courage and Loyalty We shall look to make use, before We shall think of any Foreign Aid to Succour Us". Anyway, this other sense, if attested (can someone confirm this?), is a good reason to not turn this page into a redirect. — Xavier, 00:13, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

It's worth to notice that the "of" may disappear in some passive sentences. See the definition of "bolster" here: "a long ticking sack filled with feathers made use to raise or support a person's head in bed". Another example here: "... not because Water, which is the Fluid commonly made use for these Purposes, has no other Fluid Matter over, or above it, ...". This tends to confirm the opinion of those, like Ruakh and BD2412, who consider the "of" as a mere connector that should be omitted in the entry's title. — Xavier, 00:48, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

See also google books:"make use some of". There is a fair number of "make use some of" instead of "make use of some of". For example: "We could make use some of the pride that individuals have in their communities, in agriculture, in small towns, if we would offer agribonds at a lower rate ..." (here). Are all of these grammatical mistakes? — Xavier, 13:25, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
I think they are mistakes. Equinox 13:37, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Is it your opinion too for the passive form reported above? — Xavier, 21:08, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes. "A sack...made raise" seems ungrammatical to me without the "of". Possibly it's an old-fashioned construct I've never encountered, but I doubt it. Equinox 22:04, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
FWIW it seems to me were actually arguing over the entry title, as make us of currently redirect to make use, we're merely proposing to reverse that. It's really a WT:RFM request. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:19, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Right. Struck, kept with the new context tag and usage note and redirect from make use of. - -sche (discuss) 05:09, 12 October 2011 (UTC)