I was shameless.
That 1984 commercial for Hefty trash bags sang about inferior bags.
“Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy!” teased the nasal singers as America watched a mess burst from a cheaper bag.
When I was invited to an elementary school to talk about how I wrote children’s books (and still do), I sang the commercial.
“Throw those wimpy words in your trash bags,” I begged. “Use HEFTY words.”
Then, I bashed the limited worth of the words “a lot” and “very.”
Is “very” much as good as “very, very” much? Is “a whole lot” twice as good as “a lot?”
I implored those classrooms to choose details. Specific details. More words won’t promise more meaning.
As you take out the trash this week, remember your writing. Should you be discarding a few excess words, too?