In conversation tonight, I was talking with a friend about anger and its results. My friend shared a story, opening with the line, "well, one of my friends got me mad... like REALLY mad."
Though I politely said nothing, my instant reaction was a sarcastic, "Oh wow, so like, really mad?"
I understand what my friend was trying to express. But I stress the word "trying" here. Without the context of what came before and after that sentence, it does not successfully convey the power of emotion she had felt.
She was beyond angry, beyond livid, beyond fury; she was even beyond seething. She experienced a blinding, white-hot rage that consumed her rational mind and exuded hate.
It doesn't matter in what way you visually modify the word "really", if you are "really mad" it just does not come close to all of the other more descriptive words and phrases out there.
I've mentioned vocabulary at least a few times on Cheff Salad (type "vocabulary" into the new search bar and see what comes up). It is, in fact, that important. Tonight, I had a particularly effective (and I hope poignant) example and wished to illuminate a point I have steadily made through the years.
Diverse vocabulary matters... like REALLY matters.