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Intensifiers: Totally Out of Question Words

Are you seriously running out of words? How about using an intensifier or a qualifier. These words not only convey what you really mean, but also what you really really mean.

Intensifiers (or fluff words, as they are more affectionately called) as the name suggests are words do not add any meaning to the sentence but are used to express the urgency and intensity of the words that follow them. Words like very, too, kind of, really, absolutely, actually, basically, intensify the adjectives that follow them. When you rely on an intensifier far too much then it’s time to go back to the comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives.

very light can be written as lighter
really very cheap can be written as cheapest
more fast can be written as faster
absolutely green can be written as greenest

Intensifiers are not really required. These when overused take away expression and sincerity in a sentence. For instance: “I really liked his work. Here the intensifier ‘really’, works like a justification. The author is trying to convince you of his own feelings, hinting that he is not too sure.

Absolutely –  This one has conveniently replaced ‘yes’ for an affirmation.
John: Are you coming for the party tonight?
Marry: Absolutely
Here even without Mary’s mention of an ‘absolutely yes’ or ‘absolutely no’ we assume that she is saying yes.

Basically – Basically is a filler and not such a good one too! In fact the most common and empty one. All it tells you is that the writer is struggling with words. Not a good impression to leave on your readers.

Intensifiers are perceived as warnings by the readers. They give out signals that the follow up word is not adequate. For example – “This flower is so so nice”. In this phrase the writer implies that he means something more than nice but has no clue about the precise word.

Fluff words have a meaning of their own but if over-used can leave a copy with verbal diarrhea.

Your copies would absolutely mean the same (not to mention will sound much better) even if you remove the fuff from them. Seriously, try it. It works.

I am a writer, reader, and a part time adventure and travel enthusiast. The other three things that vie for my mind share are dark chocolate, coffee, and photography. I am highly motivated by user perspectives and addressing the common human experience when I write.

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