Using Braces as Limits

This makes it much easier to specify what you want and a lot less text to type.
     \documentstyle[12pt]{article}
     \begin{document}

     ``It's {\Large {\bf very}} provoking,'' 
     Humpty Dumpty said after a long silence, looking 
     away from Alice as he spoke, ``{\small to be 
     called an {\em egg}} -- {\bf  very}!''

     \end{document}