I thought to excerpt this article because it mentions the etymology, and concludes by using use and usage in the same sentence.
What is the difference between ‘use’ and usage’? Both come from the same Latin word usus (noun), which in turn is from the verb uti - to use. So how do they differ?
The difference is subtle but useful.
The noun ‘use’ comes from the verb ‘use’, meaning to employ for a
given purpose or put into action, and larger dictionaries will list
many variations and adaptations of that basic meaning. Examples are:
‘I use a keyboard to type in these words’ ‘I use a knife and
fork to eat my dinner’, ‘I use short words in speaking with small
children, because they probably won’t understand long words’. So
the noun ‘use’ (with the ‘s’ as in ‘goose’, not, as for the verb, as
in ‘cruise’) means a given purpose or application. Examples would be:
‘The English language is in common use around the world’ , ‘I put
my keyboard to good use’.
For the noun ‘usage’ the basic dictionary definition can look
pretty much the same as that for ‘use’, but with ‘usage’ there is a
sense of ‘continued’ or ‘common’ use. And with language, the
distinction is that ‘usage’ is the way the language is actually used,
as distinct from what might look correct if you try to construct a
sentence or phrase from a dictionary and grammar book. Examples would
be: ‘Although old-fashioned grammarians say you should never split
an infinitive, that is done every day in common usage.’ and ‘I
was taught at school that every sentence must have a verb, but actual
usage shows that many excellent writers include in their work
‘sentences’ without verbs, such as ‘His arrival at any gathering was
always a dramatic event. Bold. Arresting.’
How useful is this distinction? Well, in everyday life it probably
doesn’t have a lot of application, but for me it is an interesting
distinction, partly because of the origin of the words. As indicated
above, both use and usage come to us from the Latin
usus, but usage has arrived via Old French, from the 14th century AD.
But there is a very practical consideration here.
Anyone who wants to be a highly confident, fluent speaker of English
would do well to develop an insatiable curiosity to know the
appropriate usage, which is a way of employing language at a
higher level than technically correct use.
For those who want to have a ready reference on this subject, I
recommend The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage.