Saturday, January 24, 2009

Literally annoying

In my last blog, I posted a quote from someone else, and the final three words of that quote reminded me that I need to blog about this very important subject. The quote: “It literally rocked.”

Literally. Really? It literally rocked?

It’s a big pet peeve of mine when the word literally is used incorrectly. Not that it makes me upset - I don’t care that much. But when people do it I judge them because I know that they say words that they don’t understand.

Definition of literally:

  1. in the literal or strict sense: What does the word mean literally?
  2. in a literal manner; word for word: to translate literally.
  3. actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy: The city was literally destroyed.
  4. in effect; in substance; very nearly; virtually.

When I was a kid I went to church with my mom. For a number of years the pastor there was a woman who really liked the word literally. But, you might have guessed that she didn’t exactly understand her fave word.

She once was telling us in her sermon how much she loved God/religion/etc. “I literally hunger and thirst for the church.” Think about it…

But, the all-time best, most inappropriate use of literally ever: Someone was upset with said pastor. What did he do? He “literally chewed her out!” I’m not going to say more about how that statement completely backfired on her. I think most of you can figure out what comes to mind to a lot of us when we think of someone being literally chewed out. Barf.

If you have any equally amusing word misuses, post them in a comment so that we can bask in the ignorance of others.

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