Stuart Pearcey
Words and Spaces Ltd
Thu,7th August, 2014

Short of talking about a city in France, a sugary biscuit or the people who approve drugs, I can think of no reason for anyone to write the word 'nice'.

Though come to think of it, we'd be writing Nice, Nice, and NICE in those instances. My aversion to the word is that it's a dumbed down version of so many other, better, words offered to us by the English language to describe something we like or approve of. In fact, thanks to Roy Clarke having written the line 'Oh, nice' for the late Geoff Hughes to say whilst playing Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances, it can mean exactly the opposite of, well, nice.

And I'd also like to issue a 'no' vote to 'very'. That's unnecessary when it's nailed onto the front of another word in an effort to emphasise the word chasing along behind it. Even worse is when it's repeated twice or sometimes, Heaven forbid, three times to create a superlative.

So let's start now. Let's heave into the skip 'very big', and get out 'large', 'enormous', 'huge' or 'colossal'; let's scrap 'very hot' and replace it with 'scalding' or 'incandescent'; and do away with 'very angry' and use 'furious' or 'enraged'. The English language offers so many options; choosing an alternative word now and again allows it to flourish and become so much more expressive.

How to do that in your own writing or speech? Go to you nearest search engine and type 'synonym' followed by the word you're looking for an alternative to. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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