The word “use” has nearly been taken over by more highfalutin and pretentious verbs such as “employ” or “utilize.”
I guess that’s because being “used” sometimes has the connotation of being taken advantage of.
According to Webster’s Ninth dictionary, all three words mean to put into service, especially to attain an end.
Use implies availing oneself of something as a means or instrument.
He used a spoon to eat his soup.
She used the Peng-Robinson equation of state as the compositional simulator.
Employ suggests the use of a person or thing that was available, but previously idle or inactive.
In fact, a Google search for “employ” brings up mainly job hunting or employment hits rather than synonyms for “use.”
The construction crew will employ a cherry picker to install the new equipment way up there, rather than building a scaffold.
Oxy hopes to employ 300 new engineers in the next few months.
Utilize is used when a new strategy is put to practical use or a chemical reactant is being consumed in a reaction.
The new timesheet should be utilized to track the hours spent on each project.
Taking Vitamin C along with your calcium supplements enables your body to utilize the calcium more effectively.
Don’t be afraid to use “use.” It’s certainly not overused.