Weed Words: Very

Show Notes

Are you using or abusing the word VERY?
Here's a Weed Word to remove from your speaking

The Weed Words are words and phrases that can choke your intended message like nasty weeds. These short clips will highlight one word or phrase each week so you can remove these weeds from your speaking.

Episode 153 


Stop using the word very because it is vague, lazy and deceptive.

Very is an adverb. That means its purpose is to modify an adjective, verb or other adverb. Adverbs have a broad range of work. Maybe that’s why they are often misused.

I’ve noticed that very shows up as the most overused and misused adverb.

That should be enough reason to stop using it.

When you use the word very, you are not standing out. You are simply repeating a word that too many people use and misuse.

Very is a lazy word. What do I mean? People use very when they are lazy. They can’t be bothered to search for a better word, so they say very.


It was very cold. Did you mean freezing or frigid?

It was very hot. Did you mean boiling or stifling?

I was very hungry. Did you mean famished?

It was a very slow. Did you mean sluggish?

It was very important. Did you mean crucial?


Just when you thought that the word very couldn’t be more abused, we are tormented with the phrase - very unique.


What does that mean?

Unique means one of a kind. Unlike any other. There’s nothing else like it.

There are no degrees of unique. No shades of gray. Simply one of a kind. Unique.

You can’t modify the word unique. It’s unique or it’s not.

It gets worse.

Have you heard very, very unique?   That’s ridicules. It’s lazy talk and it’s a lie.


The mistake that people make is believing that adding the word very in front of their description makes it stronger. Instead, it makes it vague and weaker.


Are you smart or very smart?

Did you mean brilliant?

The word very is a vague expression of more. However, it’s not visual and it’s not measurable. It’s vague. It’s a lazy word choice.

We can’t see or feel it.

When you use the word very, you confuse your audience because they don’t know what you mean.

Instead select words that are clear, measurable or visual.

Beware of the Weed Words.

Listen to these Weed Word Alerts every week. Then listen to the latest episode where we explore aspects of business communication skills.

George Torok

Watch the Weed Word videos


our host is George Torok

George is a specialist in executive communication skills. That includes conversation and presentation. He’s fascinated by way we communicate and influence behaviors. He delivers training and coaching programs to help leaders and promising professionals deliver the intended message for greater success.


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