Adverbs are usually included on the lists of words to avoid. So I thought I’d hit a few of them.
Exactly. Sometimes I use exactly when it is not necessary. Here are my examples from The Proper Way to Say Goodbye.
-And how exactly did you get into the bar?
-I couldn’t exactly say no.
-Except I didn’t know how old she was exactly.
-They look exactly the same.
I can remove the exactly, and it doesn’t change the sentence one bit. In most cases, my exactlys were totally unnecessary, and I was only using them for emphasis. (Just as I used totally in the previous sentence.)
One exception would be the first line, since that one is dialogue, and I could leave it in for the voice, but I still got rid of it.
So check your exactlys to see if you actually need them. Because I cut most of mine.