Karl writes: I am a faithful reader of chinadaily. I've got a question. What's the difference between "use" and "usage"? I am often puzzled about that. Could you explain this for me?
Karl, you don't have to be a faithful reader of China Daily to ask me a question. When you do raise a question, please offer more information (about the question).
In the current case, both you and I could perhaps do better if you explained a bit about your being "often puzzled" by the words in question. I mean, what's your confusion? "Use" (the act of doing something with a tool) and "usage" (the manner in which such an act is performed) seem to be two distinctly different terms. Even as a noun, "use" points to the act rather than the manner of the act.
This said, without your giving examples, I can't really pinpoint the source of your puzzlement. In future, you may perhaps save the "faithful reader" part of your introduction for space in which to further illustrate your point, and in the process, spare me the guesswork.
And certainly make sure my comments stay relevant to your particular predicament.
Anyway, without the luxury of knowing exactly what you're looking for, I'll simply offer a few examples on the general "usage" of "use". Note that in none of the situations discussed here are these two words interchangeable. Hence, hopefully, your puzzlement will dissolve, or at the very least begin to dissolve.
The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society. It's the title of a book by Norbert Wiener.
2. come into use:
"How did the am/pm clock come into use?" Well, find the answer to this question and many more on Yahoo! Answers.
3. what's the use (of):
The other man says, Will we have another pint, mister?
Dad says to me, Wait outside another few minutes, Francis.
Don't be a bad boy.
The other man says, By Jesus, if that was my son I'd kick his arse from here to the County Kerry. He have no right to be talkin' to his father in that manner on a sorrowful day. If a man can't have a pint the day of a funeral what's the use of livin' at all.
- Angela's Ashes, again.
4. have no use (respect) for:
Given a small country with few inhabitants, he could bring it about that through there should be among the people contrivances requiring ten times, a hundred times less labour, they would not use them. He could bring it about that the people would be ready to lay down their lives and lay them down again in defence of their homes, rather than emigrate. There might still be boats and carriage, but no one would go in them; there might still be weapons of war but no one would drill with them. He could bring it about that “the people should have no use for any from of writing save knotted ropes, should be contented with their food, pleased with their clothing, satisfied with their homes, should take pleasure in their rustic tasks. The next place might be so near at hand that one could hear the cocks crowing in it, the dogs barking; but the people would grow old and die without ever having been there".
- The Way and Its Power, a translation of Dao De Jing by Arthur Waley.