jumbled-lettersAfter realizing that I use the words “customize” and “configure” somewhat interchangeably, I decided it would be a good idea to do some research.

I figure that I should know how badly I’m misusing these words, at the very least. To that end I looked up the Merriam-Webster definitions.

cus·tom·ize (verb): to change (something) in order to fit the needs or requirements of a person, business, etc. (source)

cus·tom·ize (transitive verb): to build, fit, or alter according to individual specifications (source)

con·fig·ure (verb): to arrange or prepare (something) so that it can be used (source)

con·fig·ure (transitive verb): to set up for operation especially in a particular way (source)

From this, I understand that the initial setup details that I take care of to make a program run smoothly are the configurations.

Most of what I do is customization, as it has to do with my personal preferences.

Does anyone else think that the configuration process sounds an awful lot like a customized installation?

I think that I will continue to mix up customization with configuration indefinitely.

What about you? Do you customize, configure, or just install?