which begins with quotations from Mark Twain and Florence King, respectively:
"Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be"; and
'Very' is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen".
The article goes on to include this exhortation by N.H. Kleinbaum to
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.
And yes, this is followed by 45 erudite words that are superb (to the point of causing a glistening in the eyes of inveterate verbivores) alternatives to the plebian “very”.
(To whet the reader’s appetite, one should substitute “terrified” for “very afraid”; “furious” for “very angry”; and “atrocious” for “very bad”.