Alias Smith and Jones Fun and Fanfiction
Alias Smith and Jones Fun and Fanfiction

A site for all kinds of fun for fans of Alias Smith and Jones
 
HomeHome  PortalPortal  CalendarCalendar  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 7314
Join date : 2013-08-24

PostSubject: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:22 pm

I saw this and thought some of you might like it. It's brief and to the point so easy to remember.



"Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever

http://writerscircle.com/2014/04/very-and-other-useless-words-to-erase-forever.html


"And then the meeting was suddenly interrupted by a very loud noise that startled the board members." If the previous sentence isn't a train wreck to you, it's perhaps time to analyze your own writing. The sentence should hopefully drive in this useful point: the best writing out there isn't determined by what happens, but rather by word choice. Nothing takes readers out of the moment like one poorly worded sentence. To help your writing, we compiled a brief list of words to avoid along with our reasonings and a few suggestions to help you get around some messy phrasing. Oh, and if you were wondering, a decent way to rephrase the starting sentence would be "A deafening noise crashed through the otherwise quiet meeting, agitating the typically lethargic board members."

1. "Very" or "Really"

Mark Twain said it best: "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'. The words "very" or "really" (or truthfully any intensifier) are just another way of increasing the value of a word without adding anything descriptive. You're also using two words when one would suffice, and unless you're getting paid by the word, it's best to avoid. Instead of saying "very loud" like in the first sentence of this article, use "deafening," "thunderous," or "piercing." Not only do they roughly mean the same as "very loud" but they are much more descriptive. Here's a great, if brief, list of words you can use in replace of "very".

2. Suddenly

"Sudden" or "Suddenly" is another practically useless word. Anton Chekhov once said "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." The word "suddenly" tells the reader the moon is shining. It's telling the reader what to feel instead of forcing them to feel it. Let the sentence or the action itself jar the reader into feeling the suddenness of the action. "Suddenly" ironically slows down the action and delays the actual suddenness of the sentence. There's no actual replacement for the word, either. Just don't use it. Let the silence speak for itself to convey your message.

3. "Amazing" or "Awesome"

Both of these words are meant to convey very specific feelings. "Amazing" means "causing great wonder or surprise" while "awesome" means "extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear." There are two great reasons to not use these words. First, it falls into "telling and not showing," that is: telling the reader how they should feel or how the character feels instead of actually describing it in a way in order to convey that emotion.

The second reason to avoid these words is simple: they are over used. Everything, these days, is either awesome or amazing. Seriously, ask yourself the last time you've used either of those words to describe something innocuous like a hamburger or a delightful chocolate dessert. To quote Louis CK, "As humans, we waste the [expletive] out of our words. It's sad. We use words like 'awesome' and 'wonderful' like they're candy. It was awesome? Really? It inspired you to awe? It was wonderful? Are you serious? It was full of word. You use the word 'amazing' to describe a [expletive] sandwich at Wendy's. What's going to happen on your wedding day, or when your first child is born? How will you describe it? You already wasted 'amazing' on a [expletive] sandwich."

If you intend to use these words, it's worth asking if what you're describing really is 'amazing' or 'awesome' in its true sense. If it is, find a way of letting the audience feel that. If you aren't using the true sense of the words, there are alternatives like "neat," "delicious," "outstanding," or <insert other words that will fit better without entering into the realm of cliche hyperbole>.

4. That

"That" is a handy word and isn't always useless, however it's also commonly a crutch without a purpose. Whenever you're about to use the word, ask yourself if there is a better way to avoid it. Consider this sentence: "I saw the grail that shined brightly." The sentence is weak, right? Change the sentence entirely by avoiding the pitfall of the word "that" by rewriting it to "I saw the brightly shining grail." The sentence sounds much cleaner now, right? Also consider "I think that all puppies are adorable." Just remove the word from the sentence to make it cleaner once more: "I think all puppies are adorable." Any time you're about to use the word, ask yourself it there's a cleaner way of phrasing your sentence, or if the sentence makes sense without it. If it does, just ditch the word entirely.

5. Started

"He started running." "She started dancing." "The dog started jumping." All of these sentences are passive and slow. "Started" serves to slow down the sentence and little more. Instead, remove the word from your vocabulary. "He ran." "She danced." "The dog jumped." Any action performed is one started. If you want to signal that the action is a continuing one, add descriptors after. "He ran tirelessly past the starting line." "She danced all night long." "The dog jumped repeatedly." Each sentence provides a better scope of time than using the word "started".

Started isn't a word to avoid without exception, however, but it's pretty close. The car didn't "start", it "roared to life," for example. One time you can use the word "start", though, is when there's something that has a definite starting time. "I started writing in the 8th grade." These opportunities occur rarely, and it's much better to try to avoid the word as best you can. There are much stronger ways to communicate your point.
Back to top Go down
http://aliassmithandjones.canadian-forum.com
riders57

avatar

Posts : 536
Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 60

PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:43 am

Thanks MAP for this article.  It's awesome.  I suddenly occurred to me when I started to read it how amazing it is that these words are so overused.  I very much appreciate you posting this -- really.   Very Happy
Back to top Go down
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 7314
Join date : 2013-08-24

PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:12 pm

Thanks for your awsome posting. I think that is very, very, amazing. roll laugh jump face
Back to top Go down
http://aliassmithandjones.canadian-forum.com
Stepha3nie

avatar

Posts : 5017
Join date : 2014-07-12
Age : 49
Location : Scotland

PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:55 pm

Riders, I totally agree! Once I started reading, I suddenly realised that I really need to pay more attention to how I write. (Could it be that some of it sounded very familiar? Thinking back to a certain story...?)

MAP, thank you very much for this really awesome, amazing article.

_________________
"I can resist everything - except temptation"  Oscar Wilde
For me temptation is Hannibal Heyes, especially in chaps!
Back to top Go down
Stormr

avatar

Posts : 92
Join date : 2013-08-28

PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:44 am

MAP - it suddenly occurred to me that we are very grateful that you take such amazingly good care of us and post these articles.  You are truly awesome!
Back to top Go down
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 7314
Join date : 2013-08-24

PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:02 am

Aw, thanks, Stormr. I do try to make the place fun for everyone.
Back to top Go down
http://aliassmithandjones.canadian-forum.com
InsideOutlaw

avatar

Posts : 483
Join date : 2013-08-25
Age : 62
Location : Colorado

PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:24 pm

LOL, you all are really very amazingly awesome and I mean that!

After reading this, I had to go back and delete, delete, delete and excessive number of 'thats' in my challenge.  Thanks for the reminder, Mysty!

_________________
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

“The purpose of life isn’t to arrive at death in perfect condition but to slide into it sideways with your hair mussed, your clothes disheveled, a martini in one hand and chocolate in the other, shouting ‘Whooeee, what a ride!’”--Hunter S. Thompson
Back to top Go down
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 7314
Join date : 2013-08-24

PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:51 pm

'That's' something I do too. Very, very much!
Back to top Go down
http://aliassmithandjones.canadian-forum.com
Nancy Whiskey

avatar

Posts : 2704
Join date : 2013-10-14
Age : 50
Location : The Rusty Bucket Saloon

PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:23 pm

I noticed that too MAP.  In fact, I think you noticed that I was noticing that I noticed.  Very awesome if I do say so myself.

_________________
Tomorrow  I will no longer be reckless or feckless.  I will do everything with both reck and feck!
Back to top Go down
Javabee

avatar

Posts : 798
Join date : 2013-09-08
Age : 61
Location : Seattle

PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:47 pm

Never mind about how I write, it has suddenly occurred to me that I talk this way too! After reading the article, I have come to an amazing conclusion that my everyday conversation seems to depend on these linguistic crutches very often! Often frequently! Oh, and I like exclamation marks too, really I do!

affraid

_________________
"If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning." Mae West
coffee 
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever   

Back to top Go down
 
"Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» "Very" and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever
» Bingo!!! Pick your words here!
» Forever Travels #1!!!!
» Always and Forever
» Forever My Sarah

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Alias Smith and Jones Fun and Fanfiction  :: Writers Aids Feel free to contrubute to any of these threads :: Writing Tips-
Jump to: