Usage question: "avail"

I’m familiar with “to no avail” and “to avail oneself of sth.” but what about the following, which I stumbled across today in my editing?

Good asset quality avails XYZ Co. of high flexibility in feedstock mix and product combination.

This rubs me the wrong way; I don’t believe ‘avail…of’ means ‘provides’, but I’d like your opinions before correcting the writer.

Go with your gut. Nix it.

Just because something might be technically correct doesn’t necessarily prevent it from being crap writing.

That’s true and I could change it for that reason alone, but I just wondered whether non-US writers used the word in that pattern; i.e., is it even technically correct? I doubt it, and my dictionaries seem to concur, but thought I’d ask. :idunno: There’s not much else to do while waiting for Dragonbabe’s bus. :stuck_out_tongue:

If in doubt,
chuck it out.

Mmm. Friday evening - time to avail myself of the local hops soup. :beer:

thanks for availing yourself of the dictionary first, DB.

i have only rarely heard it used like that… seems pretty much restricted to the reflexive phrases you mentioned earlier. nix it.

Fowlers’ 3rd ed.
“Some other new (and avoidable) uses…”
Can it.

If you don’t think it sounds natural, change it, as should be your wont.

It sounds like higher register/elevated writing to me. I don’t believe it is wrong, but if it doesn’t match the tone of the rest of the writing then it will sound stilted.

Did a quick Google search using some terms using that same pattern and got some results:

13 results for “avail your company of”
565 results for “avail you of”
3 results for “avails the company of”

Considering the register of the phrase, it’s not surprising to find fewer occurences of it on this sort of search. And most of the hits come in fairly well-worded texts (at least, from a cursory inspection). So, despite not having many hits, it looks like the phrase is correct.

But again, if the rest of the text doesn’t use the same register, then you can safely get rid of it.