intensifiers :


People are always looking for ways to emphasize how really, reallyspecial the subject under discussion is. (The use of “really” is one ofthe weakest and least effective of these.) A host of words have been worndown in this service to near-meaninglessness. It is good to remember theetymological roots of such words to avoid such absurdities as"fantastically realistic,” “absolutely relative,” and “incrediblyconvincing.” When you are tempted to use one of these vague intensifiersconsider rewriting your prose to explain more precisely and vividly whatyou mean: “Fred’s cooking was incredibly bad” could be changed to “WhenI tasted Fred’s cooking I almost thought I was back in the middle-schoolcafeteria.”See also “”

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