Stop with the Overdone Modifiers
On Writing Well taught me to cut the use of modifiers such as “really,” “very,” “so,” and “quite.” I save those for when I *really* mean something 🙂 It’s amazing how many articles I’ve edited that abused these words that they lose meaning.
Using Only in Sentences
“An Ode to Only” shows how the placement of “only” in a sentence can change the meaning. For example:
She was the only child who sang in the talent show.
She was the child who only sang in the talent show.
The first one indicates no one else sang in the talent show. The second one implies others did more than sing. The advice is to “place ‘only’ as close as possible to the word or phrase it modifies. The article cites examples of reputable newspapers misuse of “only.”
Imagine how different the James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only would be had it been “For Only Your Eyes” or “Only for Your Eyes.” All three say the same thing with the sentence having one phrase to modify. But these two don’t “sound” as good as the original title.