It would be a very, very good idea to ban the word “very,” for very many reasons.  It would also be a really good idea to ban the word “really,” because it really doesn’t help your writing become really descriptive. 

I could give you all kinds of reasons why these words should be avoided in writing. Instead, I’ll give you one simple test to show why these words should be banished.

It would be good idea to ban the word “very” for many reasons. It would also be a good idea to ban the word “really,” because it doesn’t help your writing become more descriptive.

Sorry, “very,” and “really.”  When you’re gone, you aren’t missed. In fact, including you in a sentence only serves to water down the description.

When a writer resorts to pulling out “very” or “really,” and adds them to a description, the intent is to amplify that description: 

It’s not just loud. It’s very loud. 

It’s not just cold. It’s really cold.

Rather than resort to the crutches of ‘very’ and ‘really’ to amplify descriptions, think of more specific, concrete ways of describing something.

It was so loud, the fillings in my teeth were rattling loose.

It was so cold, the hairs in my nostrils froze solid.

During the revision process, go through your writing and remove ‘very’ and ‘really,’ and see if these two words are really necessary. I think you’ll find they’ll soon be forgotten.

So, in summary, our list of “Banned Words,” so far includes:

  1. Literally
  2. Very
  3. Really

Literally, it would be a very good idea to really avoid all of these words in your writing if you can. Really. I’m very serious about this!