Seems really very awfully bad

Darx Circle 310314

From very thorough sort of look
It seems there is, within my book,
More ‘very’ than one ever dreams,
And very much too much of ‘seems’

It seems that it is very clear
Very bad things here seem near,
So very often some words seem
To seem so very far extreme 

While seemingly so very bad
Very good reasons seems I had –
The words all seemed so very apt
Seems, though, got very overlapped.

To vary ‘very’ I must try –
‘Extremely’ substitute get by?
Burst out at ‘seems’ must be unpicked –
‘Appears’ seems problem to have licked?

It is strange how one can become over-fond of some words which are not even needed for sense. This rhyme illustrates two words I seem to use very much too often.  I had to go through all 400 pages of my latest on a ‘seek and destroy’ mission. These are the weeds which often lurk in overplanted beds of flowery language.

If it hadn’t been for the ‘Find’ function it seems I would have taken years, and I still would have missed very many.  I have become blind to them. They seem to skim past me with the same very great ease of ‘the’ and ‘and’ and ‘a’.

Colonialist March 2014 (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Children's Fiction, Language, Personal Journal, Writing, Young Adult Fiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Seems really very awfully bad

  1. The Asian says:

    One of my managers starts almost every sentence off with “therefore”. I get so frustrated when I see it all the time because he just ends up stating the obvious


  2. bluebee says:

    Writing a book is very challenging, it seems, so very often, a good editor with a fresh eye is very much needed to assist.


  3. Ruth2Day says:

    seems as if this was a very, very good idea


  4. I’m sure I keep re-reading the same posts. I keep reading about self-pub authors who aren’t happy with their editing but still insist on going it alone without an editor. And others say they wouldn’t even dare go down that road. I’ll be writing about some self-pubs one that I’ve been sent to review at some point, and there is marked difference between the one who used an editor and the ones who didn’t. Men tend not to use pro editors. I am sure there is no conclusion to be drawn from that unscientific survey.

    If you want your book to look poor
    Do not use a professional editor

    Or words to that effect.


    • colonialist says:

      I try and edit until I would swear there is not the remotest chance of a spelling, punctuation or grammar flaw remaining. At that stage, the outside edit occurs – and reveals many examples of all of the above. By the same token, when I edit books written by people who edit books, theirs have the same faults. They wrote them, so they miss them.
      Of course, a major factor is also the cost aspect. Without a good deal of luck, one has little prospect of recovering the cost of a professional edit.


      • I’ve been doing a couple of editing jobs this week. One used an on-line proofing service and another just passed it across to me as was, sometimes that’s actually easier!

        I realise independent publishers fund a hell of a lot themselves so I keep my charges well low. They are below the going rate for a what a good editor should charge, but I admire self-publishers and as you say, a professional edit is expensive. So that’s why I set mine well below the £200 plus mark which is what it should realistically cost. And that includes a lot of proofing plus editorial suggestions.

        Markets and rules change and we need to adapt and change. Sadly it doesn’t mean much money for any of us.

        I edit my blogs until I swear there is not an error, hit publish and bingo! staring me in the face.

        As a writer/sub-editor/editor/publisher/designer blah blah I have to say I wd die If I had to think about paying anyone else to check for me. I really think if I was doing the paid-for market book thing that I could get it right. But I have spent more than 30 years doing this.

        Must go. The puppy is still teething and is cantankerous today. I’ll try and write my post about self-pub and editing soon. Well, this month anyway.


        • colonialist says:

          I also try and pare to rock-bottom for novelists. Commercial or advertising editing/proofreading is another matter entirely – there, one pushes it to the max! Still, in my experience the ones who have the greatest need are the most penny-pinching-and-wise, pound foolish, ones of all.


  5. MoreThanACat says:

    you intrigued me – so I did a find and replace. In at smug was appears – which didn’t appear at all. “Very came in second with 104 of the blighters turning up in 50k of words. However, the least said about “seems” and its com-padres, the better. Bizarre how we become word blind. My favourite word of the moment is “clearly”. Ironic don’t you think? 🙂


  6. cobbies69 says:

    At first it seems I had trouble to understand, but on the second run it seemed to become clearer and now it seems I might wrong. So it seems we interpret things different to another. 😉 loved it as usual.


  7. melouisef says:

    Not really


  8. Sonel says:

    As usual I had fun reading your rhyme Col and only you can do it so well. 😀
    I won’t even dare to try. I might just twist myself up in a knot. LOL!


  9. Here’s to the ‘find’ function 😉 and what a tongue twister of a poem!


  10. suzicate says:

    My tongue is totally twisted after reading this!


  11. Grannymar says:

    I suffer from the repetition disease too. Think of a word and it magically appears in every sentence.


  12. Oh how I sympathise with your affliction – it haunts my writing, too. That Find function is handy, but unfortunately it doesn’t ‘find’ the suitable alternative. The saurus is my saviour.


  13. misswhiplash says:

    Your words seem very good to me
    and with very good reason that would be
    because its very good to stand the test
    of which you only do your very best


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