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What is the correct phrase to use when you call the police multiple times for less than urgent matters? Misuse of resources???

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    This could be misuse or abuse. Generally, abuse is the stronger term and implies causing damage or harm in some way; misuse just implies not using something correctly.
    – Lee Leon
    Feb 23, 2018 at 10:47
  • Welcome to ELU. Please see also: English Language Learners
    – Kris
    Feb 23, 2018 at 11:05

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In general: Abuse is used for knowingly taking advantage or doing something bad.

Misuse is used for making a mistake or unknowingly doing something wrong.

Of course there's exceptions, but that's the most straightforward way to explain the words in this context.

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