Do you remember high school English class very well? If so, you likely spotted the flaw in that sentence. If you didn’t, here’s a refresher: As our composition teachers told us long ago, the modifier “very” is lazy and inprecise—and some of America’s most prominent writers can vouch for that assessment.
Florence King, the sharp-tongued American novelist, essayist, and columnist,reportedly once wrote: “‘Very’ is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen.” As for Mark Twain, he advised writers to writers to “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; Your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
There’s always a stronger, more vivid word to describe something, which is whyLifehacker recently posted the infographic below, created by the editing pros over atProofreadingServices.com. It lists 128 adjectives you can use instead of the dreaded “V” word. Peruse the full list, and refer back to it later if you’re still struggling to conjure the perfect phrase.