In Canadian written English, it is important to learn how to be concise. This is a quality of well-written, refined writing and speaking, although it is not as important in casual speech. Being concise involves using specific vocabulary which more clearly states what it is you want to express.

The following article looks specifically at the word VERY which is very overused! We could say quite overused, often overused, notably overused, rather overused, extremely overused or simply overused. Each phrase has a slightly different emphasis.

We can apply this to other areas of writing and speech. It is good practice to edit your writing, one area being vocabulary usage and repetition. Replacing repeated terms and phrases with more concise vocabulary will step up your writing a notch. (That’s an idiom. A notch is a hole in your belt – when we tighten the belt by one hole, we say we moved it over or tightened it by one notch.)

So here’s a start to your vocabulary development. Choose a few words you like and start using them.

45 Ways to Avoid Using the Word ‘Very’

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. ~Mark Twain

Good writers avoid peppering their writing with qualifiers like ‘very’ and ‘really’. They are known as padding or filler words and generally add little to your writing.

According to Collins Dictionary: ‘Padding is unnecessary words or information used to make a piece of writing or a speech longer. Synonyms include: waffle, hot air, verbiage, wordiness.’

Read more…