Usage is the manner in which written and spoken language is used. h. w. fowler's dictionary of modern english usage "defines usage as 'points of grammar, syntax, style, and the choice of words'". the oxford dictionary of english defines usage as "the way in which a word or phrase is normally and correctly used. " but the word's meaning can be ambiguous. it can mean "the way people actually use language" or it can mean "the way one group of people feel other people ought to use it.