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Use of the word "very"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ColbertNation, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    I had an editor tell me once that "very" was a meaningless word and was to be avoided at all costs. Now I'm on a desk, and in the slot three to four times a week, and a lot of our veteran writers have no qualms about using "very." I'm hesitant to say anything because they've been in this business for longer than I have. Should I say something, or was my old editor off his rocker when he said to drop "very" from my vocabulary?
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    What was his reason?
  3. brettwatson

    brettwatson Active Member

    Your editor was correct. The word is not necessary. Feel free to delete it from any story you edit.

    Your editor was very correct. The word is not very necessary. Feel very free to delete it from the any story you edit.


    Which graf reads better?
  4. Get rid of very. Get rid of pretty.
  5. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Unless in a quote, I avoid it. It almost smacks of editorializing. Also, what is the difference, really, if a player peformed "well" or "very well." How does the reader quantify the "very"? Is that like, an extra three touchdowns?
  6. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    I agree with Ty.
    I only try to have it in quotes, but quotes with very usually aren't the best. "This was a very, very good win for us tonight." All this tells us was it was a good win. I'd rather know what made it such a good win.

    I had a prof who told us to replace very with damn or some other four-letter word. The point was you wouldn't want very in the paper a lot, just like you wouldn't want damn.
  7. Boomer7

    Boomer7 Active Member

    I was weaned off "very" by a high school English teacher. Guy had a point.

    My new crusade is to abolish "now" and "currently" -- 95 percent of the time, both words are entirely unnecessary, because the present tense implies "now" and "currently."
  8. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
  9. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    I automatically take it out, then, for the sake of the writer, I'll think about it for a minute and ask myself if it really should be in there. 99 percent of the time, it's gone.
  10. Dan Rydell

    Dan Rydell Guest

    Same with "located." Get rid of it.

    The school was located on McKenzie Drive.

    The school was on McKenzie Drive.

    Another peeve: Never use "eatery." It's a very, very, very stupid word.

    Avoid it in your workery, please.
  11. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Say something. You're not overediting by removing "very."
  12. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    It's very extraneous and -- in almost every instance -- very superfluous.
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