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I just want a confirmation because it sounds weird to me... Is the following sentence correct, or is there a better word than "used"?

This picture is used twice in this book.

I can't tell you why but this "used" doesn't seem to be right at all...

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Sounds fine to me. A picture can be used to illustrate a point, or it can be used in the sense that you take someone's work, whether a physical picture or a computer file, and use it in your work.

As to alternatives, you could say "this picture appears twice" or "this picture can be found twice", or something like that.

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I too feel slightly uncomfortable with "used" here. The only context in which it's valid implies it's not a typesetting mistake (which it probably is). A usage which only makes sense in some unusual context is best avoided.

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It is correct and acceptable.

You understandably resist it because "used" is so often employed in English as a convenient verb when there is often a more specific verb that will better describe the action. Your discomfort at such linguistic abuse marks you out as someone who understands the language at an intuitive level rather than one who simply parrots phrases.

In this case at least, "used" is probably correct. You could say printed or reproduced, but it all depends on context.

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