Reader's View: Stop qualifying adjectives, adverbs

'Extremely silent.' Really? Why not just 'silent'?

Reader's View.jpg

Degree adverbs and adjectives are words that enhance an action or event. For example, the recent northern lights could be described as simply beautiful or incredibly beautiful and I think most people who saw them might agree.

The two most overused words, I believe, are “extremely” and “incredibly.” Television and print reporters beat these words to death to the point where, I believe, they are losing significance. Do people work hard? No, they must work extremely hard. I wonder what they did to get to “extremely.” An athlete makes a difficult play. Incredibly difficult? I guess, if it never would be duplicated, but it likely will happen again.

A statement that really hit recently was an article about an individual’s reaction to a harsh comment. The individual remained extremely silent, the article stated. Really?

To those who write, people work hard; study hard; or are noisy, silent, tall, short, fat, or skinny: That’s enough description! If the weather is cold, hot, or rainy, it’s not necessarily incredible (likely to happen again) or extreme ( worse maybe around the corner or 500 years from now), but worse will almost certainly happen.

I implore those who report and talk or write: Save those degree adverbs and adjectives for events or actions that actually deserve the distinction.


George Balach

Duluth and The Villages, Florida

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