Have you noticed an uptick in the use of the word literally?
I feel like literally 2/3s of the population of the world has added the word to their routine vocabulary.
I hear this word used literally 5000 times per day.
So, if you use it and you think you see me literally roll my eyes at you, you're literally correct...I did roll my eyes at you.
The thing is, literally 99% of the time, the word is misused. But, actually, no it's not.
Because, the world "literally" literally means "exactly."
I am kind of a grammar nerd (Note...I said grammar, not spelling...so, if I misspell something, that's because spell check didn't work properly). I poke fun when people use the incorrect form of they're, there or their. Or, when someone says, "I could care less," when really they mean they "couldn't care less."
But, my new pet peeve is the word literally.
THERE! Just now...outside my office, I heard someone say the word! I LITERALLY just heard the word used 30 seconds ago!!!
Yesterday, met with a financial advisor. Kim looked at me as I rolled my eyes after he incorrectly used the word.
The other day...was at a work meeting and heard it used at least 4 times by the same person.
Here's the thing. As I mentioned, "literally" means "exact." It means that something happened EXACTLY the way described. So, if you say "I have seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail literally a thousand times!" you are saying that you, without exaggeration, have seen that movie 1000 times. That would be about 1,516 hours and 67 minutes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Over 63 days of your life. More than 2 months straight of African vs European swallows and the Knights Who Say NI! Come to think of it...I think I literally have seen that movie 1000 times.
Why? Why is it being used so much? Is it just an easier emphasis than saying something like, "I laughed so hard that I figuratively peed my pants?" I mean, if you only figuratively peed your pants, maybe the joke wasn't actually that funny, so you decide to tell people that you, a grown adult who has been potty trained the majority of your life actually pee-peed while dressed? I mean, if you didn't, the joke obviously would be worth telling.
Anyway, it's time for a friendly reminder. Please stop incorrectly using the word "literally!" In fact, just stop using it so much all together. Even those who are using it correctly are overusing it. Seriously...it's not like the word "is." We couldn't get very far in life not saying "Is."
I once saw a comedian do a stand up routine about the word literally, but now I can't find it. If you know where it is, post it in the comments section. In the meantime, here is a video of politicians literally misusing the word "literally."
I am literally getting back to work, now.
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