The ‘Damn’ Good Technique for Dynamic Social Media Posts (written to remind myself)

You’ve probably heard that ‘very’ does little to enhance a sentence. It makes our writing sound repetitive and dull. 

In “Dead Poets Society,” N.H. Kleinbaum advises us to “avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted.

And Mark Twain suggests: “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’. 

Why? This wordplay stimulates creativity, injecting dynamism into our text and refocusing on the core message. Like a good picture, the focus should be on the essence, with everything else complementing the composition. 

In the vast sea of daily content, standing out is crucial. Creative writing techniques help us shine. 

But Twain’s advice isn’t limited to the word “very;” it also applies to other “filler words.”

So let’s banish them to improve the quality of our writing and to please our editor (or our internal proofreader).

Twain explains: “Your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

In other words: let’s cut the dead weight and let our text’s essence shine through. 

But enough theorising! Who’s up for an experiment? Let’s try omitting  or replacing “very” in our social media posts for a week.

PS I’ve never seen myself as a good writer. But I’m learning to enjoy writing while battling fluff words like “very.” I wrote this for myself, but I hope you find it useful, too.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Foto Christine Sparks

What should I write about next? Any suggestions?

14 + 10 =