Secure vs. Procure

Which word would you use in the following sentence, “procure” or “secure”?

What is needed is a list of what items to _______ and the quantity desired.

According to Merriam-Webster, to “procure” means to get possession of or to obtain something. To “secure” means to make safe or sure. It also means to get lasting possession or control of something. The word “secure” has the connotation that the item might get away somehow and that ownership of it must be protected. On the other hand, “procure” merely means to get your hands on it, either by buying it or borrowing or even begging.

So, looking at our example, it appears that the goal is to get your hands on the items, not ensure that they are locked up in a controlled environment. So “procure” would be a better word in this case.

Here’s another case:
We need to ________ another drilling rig until 2017.

In this case, you are not only trying to get your hands on one, but also trying to make sure it is available for your exclusive use for the full time period, without anybody else contracting it in between. Thus, “secure” would be the better word to use in this sentence.

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Profound Quote of the Day:
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin, American publisher, scientist and statesman, 1706-1790
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