Lazy words: even Robin Williams agrees

If you missed it, instead of going ahead with my daily writing on Medium, I am spending the next month engaging with other writers and responding to their thoughts and pieces. Here’s what I want to respond to today:

Just like my books choose me …

… articles seem to as well. It’s serendipitous that I’m reading this today, a mere hour after my research class for my thesis. My lecturer told us, “never use the word very or never. Also: always, kind of, sort of, pretty much, forever, always”.

It remined me of Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society when he said this:

“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.”

For some reason this quote has always stuck with me. I think about it often. And it’s true. Williams, or his character, was right. My lecturer is right. Lyndsay Knowles and her husband are right.

Treat your writing right. Get rid of lazy words.