Approve vs Authorize
One gets to hear and read the words authorize and approve quite often in daily life, and it seems that people take them to be synonyms to be used interchangeably. However, this is not the case, and despite many similarities, there are differences that will be highlighted in this article.
One can open a casino in a city only after prior approval and authorization. It means that he has to get the license, which is another means to say that he has been authorized by the administration to operate a casino. So if, someone asks the owner of the casino as to whether he has the approval, he can proudly point to the license that indicates authorization by the administration.
It looks like instead of making clear the difference between authorization and approval, I have confused the reader a bit more. Let me clarify. You get your mobile and other electronic appliances serviced at company authorized centers as you believe that personnel in such places are qualified and trained, and would take care of your gadget in the manner company advises. The word authorized displayed prominently outside such centers instills confidence in people as they can forget any worries about handing over their costly appliance over to the personnel in these centers.
In some organizations and institutions, there is boldly written on some doors ‘Entry to authorized personnel only’. This means that ordinary or common people who do not have authorization from the administration cannot enter the door.
If we go by dictionaries, we find that the word approval signifies getting ratified or sanction from authorities or those who matter. It also implies acceptance or liking by those who are important. Authorize, on the other hand, means delegating power to someone, or granting some license or certificate to carry on certain activities or business. Authorization, thus has an in built approval from the authorities.
In a parliamentary system of democracy, a bill, once passed by the lower house goes to the upper house for its consent or approval. Once upper house grants its approval, the bill goes to the President for his consent. It is his authorization that converts the passed bill into a law.
If you have heard of power of attorney, it is nothing but a document that a person hands over to another person authorizing him to carry on business on his behalf or to take decisions on his behalf in his absence.
A student in a class becomes a monitor, entrusted with the responsibility, to keep other kids disciplined and quiet. Monitor has the approval from his teacher to mind other students. Thus, he has been authorized by the teacher and has the approval to treat children in a certain manner.
Difference between Approve and Authorize
• Though both approve and authorize have similar meanings, approval means people who matter either like or give their consent to something
• Authorize is a verb that means a person has been empowered to behave in a certain manner by the authorities
• There may not be official authorization yet tacit approval from those who matter in some circumstances does the trick