I’m not one to advocate “banning” anything, least of all words. But, there’s one exception:
Why, you ask? Because you can use “use” in nearly every case–and may be using “utilize” wrong. And using “utilize” doesn’t make you sound smarter. Or more professional. Or more important.
It just makes you sound like you’re trying too hard to sound smarter, more professional, and more important. In summary, it makes you sound pretentious.
Communication is all about getting your point across. This is not to say you shouldn’t use big words just because someone won’t understand them, and it’s not that incorrectly or unnecessarily using “utilize” will negatively affect (there’s another one) your communication. But, whenever possible, we should all strive for clarity and accuracy. The Duke Graduate School Scientific Writing Resource elaborates on when you may consider “utilize.”
Yes, the same goes for “utilization.”