Technology makes us verbally lazy.
From text messages to tweets; Instagram posts to Snapchats, we cram our thoughts and observations into 160 characters or fewer. Spelling and grammar are ignored and words become numbers or even single letters. SRSLY?! Wht are U thinking?!
Where Laziness Starts
Where we cannot replace a word with an abbreviation or number, we become lazy and pick the easiest word. If we want to add emphasis, we add ‘very’ before the word. So, instead of choosing a word that accurately conveys our message, we take the easy route. In one of my favorite movies, Dead Poet’s Society, Professor John Keating tells his students:
“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.”
The same is true in our marketing communications, website copy and blog posts. Laziness will not do.
To help you, here are 128 Words to Use Instead of Very.
How do you prevent laziness when you write or speak?