Writing Wednesday: expressive words

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In my son’s class, their teacher doesn’t let them use words like good, bad, or very in their writing assignments. There are several reasons for this: 1) these words are generally overused, and not interesting, 2) they are not specific or expressive, and 3) she wants the students to expand their vocabularies by using other words.

I think this is a great exercise when writing. I know I tend to overuse “very” the most. Instead of writing “very tired,” would “exhausted” make the point more emphatically? Or if “exhausted” is too expansive, maybe “weary” would paint a better picture of what the writer is feeling.

Instead of “very happy,” what about writing “ecstatic” or “thrilled?” Instead of “very sad,” would “melancholy” or “troubled” fit better?

Have you ever tried to write without using the words good, bad or very? Have you realized which words you tend to overuse?

2 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: expressive words

  1. Fantastic. I would have appreciated these instructions at such a formative time! When I find myself struggling to get over these little criminal words I find it therapeutic to read a little Hemingway!

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