Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September 1, 2013

Literally? No Way.

Lately I've been mocking my family over the way they use the word "literally". I realize they only reflect what they pick up from current linguistic trends in society at large. But that's no excuse for them. I mean, they live with me. And "literally" is my current linguistic pet peeve. It literally is. Er, whatever.

Because, people, this word does not mean seriously. Or a lot. Or coincidentally. Or exclamation point! Or extra emphasis.

It means the opposite of figuratively. Like, I was literally hanging from that rock by my fingernails--yeah, they scratched lines down the surface of the rock and then ripped right off, because, well, fingernails aren't that strong.
As opposed to, I was literally hanging by my fingernails; meaning, I was figuratively hanging by my fingernails. 
Or, I was literally drowning in homework. Meaning, of course, metaphorical drowning. Because literal drowning in homework would seriously be a LOT of homework. Those witch-hunting …