Literally speaking, not really

August 15, 2013 stephhwilliams 1 Comments

You know the saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”? Well, apparently a bunch of wrongs can make something right. Because so many people use “literally” improperly, i.e., when they mean figuratively, the powers that be have added this to the definition of “literally”:

“used for emphasis while not being literally true” (informal usage, Oxford Dictionaries).

“used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling” (Google).

I’m literally banging my head against the wall.

No, really, see:


Now, I appreciate the evolution of language. If a language does not grow and adapt, then it ultimately dies. I get that. In fact, I’m fascinated by it. But does growing and adapting mean just accepting error?

I mean, what’s next?

“could care less”?

“whether or not”?



This makes my head hurt. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the wall-banging. I’m just saying if “supposably” makes it in the dictionary, my head will explode.

No, not literally. Because then I’d be dead. Of course, then the whole “grammar kills” argument would carry more validity.

Cyanide and Happiness:
Cyanide and Happiness:

See also:

Have we literally broken the English language?

44 Everyday Phrases You Might Not Know You’ve Been Saying Incorrectly


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