Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Very is a stupid word

I find myself using the word very lately, as in something is very important or very stupid. (I also use really in a similar fashion, but we'll overlook that on the "V" day of the A to Z blogging challenge.)

Really now, if something's important (or stupid), how does does very make it more so? Aren't the words important and stupid explicit enough on their own without having to define degrees of important and stupid? And grammatically speaking, how correct is it to modify an adjective with another adjective?

Why do we use adjectives anyway? Sure, the red car distinguishes it from the blue and green ones but why do we have to say the green grass? Yep, in places like Montana grass turns dirt brown in the dryness of summer but, otherwise, it's green ... and don't we all know that?

Same thing with adverbs. Yes, the earth spins slowly on its axis. I suppose it might be important to stress the fact to someone who's very stupid but, really, how many people are so stupid they think the earth spins quickly on its axis? And if someone were that stupid, why would you be talking about the earth's axis anyway?

All kidding aside, I understand the value of adjectives and adverbs. I'm just practicing a more judicious use of them lately.

What are your thoughts about the little buggers?


  1. They soften speech, which is helpful in interpersonal communications, but in writing not good. Because writing needs to be strong not soft. Still, I'm a fan of the word "very." I just can't help but like it. Not "really" tho-- don't care for it.

  2. "Really", keeps cropping up for me. I don't like it either but it's always rearing its ugly head :(

  3. I always use "Right?" to emphasize a point; and I don't like it. I guess it's all about the emphasis of something- to make your point get across ten fold. It kind of bugs me, like when you point out the GREEN grass, but I never thought of "very" being so bothersome.