It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but I thought I’d get back into the habit. Today’s quote is one I stumbled upon while perusing Pinterest. Knowing my own love of words, I enjoyed this quote quite a bit.
“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.” ― N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society
This quote makes me smile for several reasons. Not only does it give good writing advice, but there’s some humorous love advice as well.
I remember when I first heard the advice to remove the word “very” from my writing, and I was surprised at the difference it made. I still slip it in there from time to time, but I’m much better about using an expanded vocabulary now.
As for the love advice – it’s true. For me at least. I love words – on a page, in a book, from a letter, whispered in the dark, accompanied with laughter or tears, said with passion. Words, particularly the written word, move me like nothing else.
In my experience and speaking as one myself, women tend to over-analyze words, especially those said by a significant other. We will remember the tiniest phrases and ponder over their meaning, whether there was one beyond the literal or not. We will remember those things no one wanted us to remember in fights. We will treasure those phrases that melted our hearts or picked us up on a bad day. We will make note of those seemingly unimportant words said in conversation together and file them away in our memory for later. Because words matter.
Basically boys, don’t be lazy with words. For this girl at least (and I’m sure many others), it won’t do you any favors.