Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekly Whine: Literally

I was having a conversation with someone at work yesterday and they were literally using the word "literally" in every sentence. I feel like "literally" is a word that is really, really overused.

They were using it properly. They weren't saying things like, "I was literally going out of my mind." But it was still too much.

I mean, you don't need to say, "It literally took me five tries to get the line going." You could just say it took you five tries. Everyone is going to assume that you mean it literally.


  1. Except now the definition of literally has literally changed to mean not literally.

    1. Beat me to it. Congratulations, America, we broke English.

    2. That, figuratively, breaks my heart.

  2. It is part of common parlance these days. Just as "like" (as in, "He was, like, so late for dinner") is part of common parlance. Not much to be done about it.

  3. The only time "literally" doesn't annoy me is when it's used in the explanation of an extreme-sounding pathology or phenomenon, to emphasize that the description is not an exaggeration. (I.e. "In uterine prolapse, the uterus literally protrudes into or out of the vagina.")

  4. I'm, like, totally sooo good at, like, mimicking teenagers, it's literally incredible!

    Seriously, these words drive me nuts. Not literally.... I can only handle so many "likes" in a conversation before I leave. But it works surprisingly well when you mimic a teenage conversation and they see how stupid an adult looks speaking like that.