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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Are You Very Very Sure of This? #4

English: Kaley Cuoco
English: Kaley Cuoco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For these few weeks, I’m looking at how writers very often use ‘very’, which is very bad, as you know very well.

Okay; very silly, but you know we all do it: use ‘very’ to modify a verb or an adjective rather than search for something stronger that will say the same thing, but better. So, here are a few examples to make it easier for you to reject the easy option. 
Choose with care; synonyms aren’t always exact matches, so consider context. And bear in mind that, like you, I have my prejudices.

Very capable – skilled, accomplished, dexterous, efficient, masterful, competent, smart, resourceful, Jeeves.
Very roomy – commodious, spacious, expansive, capacious, cavernous, voluminous, vast, Baggy Trousers.
Very hot – fiery, scalding, fervent, white-hot, smouldering, blazing, incandescent, ardent, molten, Kaley Cuoco.
Very wet – dripping, soaked, drenched, saturated, deluged, sopping, waterlogged, swamped, drowned, David Cameron.
Very conventional – conforming, conservative, orthodox, ingrained, unoriginal, traditional, customary, Republican.
Very strong – vigorous, unyielding, lusty, irresistible, omnipotent, powerful, overwhelming, overpowering, Popeye.
Very dirty – filthy, squalid, grimy, befouled, polluted, slovenly, unwashed, mucky, sleazy, soiled, Professional Footballer.
Very stupid – asinine, idiotic, senseless, fatuous, inane, foolish, risible, ludicrous, simple, apish, Religious Extremist.

This is the fourth lot; there’ll be a few more next week.

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