It’s really very unnecessary

I’m back to redundant words, they take up a lot of my time when revising. Really and very take the stage. Just like up and down, very and really very often have an entourage of unnecessary words tagging along for the free ride. I know when I’m using these words that I’m getting wordy and to slow down. I go through what I originally wrote and take a good look at what needs to be changed.

Generic spell check programs will catch some of them, but not all.
For example:

The very blue sweater was really loose on Sasha. (9)
Sasha’s blue sweater was loose. (5)

See? Same point, four words less.

Cal was very late. He was really going to get a lecture from the Sargent this time. (17)
Cal was late. A lecture was imminent from the Sargent this time. (12)

The temptation to say it’s ‘very’ anything is really strong. 😉

She held her hand up. It was very dark, too dark to really see her hand in front of her face. (21)
It was too dark to for Sasha to see her hand in front of her face. (16)
Or
It was too dark to for Sasha to see her hand before her face. (14)

When I search for the redundant words or filter words I only search one at a time. That way I can focus on what I need to fix. Usually I find other things to fix and other words to remove along the way.

My advice about the very unnecessary and really redundant words.
It is really very easy to plunk extra words in, it’s really very unnecessary so just don’t do it. Get that search/find feature going and nix the redundant ones.

-Sheryl

Related posts

Read, revise and repeat. The shampoo process of editing.

The “word count” down.

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11 thoughts on “It’s really very unnecessary

  1. This made me laugh, so true! It’s the same kind of redundancy as people trying to describe something as ‘good’.
    “How was the film Dave?”
    “Good.”
    “YOUVE TOLD ME NOTHING!!”
    or is it just me?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently started avoiding writing the words “very” and “really,” and I discovered that the impact of my sentences is stronger without them. Over the last year I’ve caught myself writing words like “totally,” and I realized that those words are unnecessary when something is clearly complete.

    One of my middle-school teachers counted off points each time we wrote “very” in a paper. I think of him each time I start to write the word, and then I hit the delete button. The power of my words strengthen when I leave the word out. He was absolutely right…..He was right.

    Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Filter words are my bane to this day. When I do search them out, I find my ‘repaired’ sentence is better and stronger.
      Thanks for reading and letting me know what you think.

      Liked by 1 person

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