If you feel that your reference to "a big dog" doesn't do the dog justice, instead of writing "a [very big / damn huge / friggen humongous] dog," a good journalist will ask questions so that the passage will read "130-pound Rottweiler named Bruiser."
If calling something "a disappointment" doesn't do it justice, calling it "a big disappointment" or "a very big disappointment"
or "a colossal disappointment" will be no better. Express intensity in
more direct, context-sensitive ways. A fourth-quarter loss might be "a
crushing disappointment," while an uninteresting movie might be "a
mind-numbing disappointment." Instead of "a big X" or "a very big X,"
consider "a crippling blow," "an unwieldy overcoat," or "a generous pie