"Darling, I love you very, very, very much."
If you know anything about me at all, you know that Paul McCartney is in my DNA. I’ve loved him for over four decades, and while I admit that he’s put out some clunkers (“Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime”, anyone?), I tend to stick up for him during the rather frequent times people tell me how much he sucks.
Obviously, I don’t agree. And I’ve all but stopped defending the man. He doesn’t need my help. My response to crappy comments about him is to take the high road, and to try not to rain on whatever the commenter likes. That’s just not on.
But I will take him to task now and again for stuff like this lyric from “Press” (Press to Play, 1986):
Okay, that’s a lot of love, Paul. A very, very, very large amount of love. I see that you needed all those “very”s rhythmically, but come on.
Though attributed to all kinds of people, this gem is most widely attributed to Mark Twain: “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” (source)
Let’s give it a shot, shall we? “Darling, I love you damn, damn, damn much.” Truly silly. I actually prefer to replace “very” with “goddamn”. More of a punch, I think. “Darling, I love you goddamn, goddamn, goddamn much.”
If you’re singing along, you’ll note that Paul could have used “goddamn” and it would have worked just as well rhythmically. But it sounds ridiculous.
Listen here. Oh, Paul. At the height of your beauty…
Where was I?
I once edited a novel in which the author had used the word “very” nearly 200 times. I advised them to do a quick Replace All with “goddamn”. Pretty amazing how quickly nearly all of those 200 words could go.
I invite you to give this a try. In your document, enter “very” into the search bar. Replace All with “goddamn”. See what I’m talking about? It’s one of my very, very, very, very best goddamn tips for instant polishing and brightening of your work.