The end times are near again


Locutus
#1
According to the dictionary, “literally” now also means “figuratively”

Thanks in part to the overuse of "literally," Merriam-Webster says the word can now mean its exact opposite.



Much has been made of the use, misuse and overuse of the word “literally.”

Literally, of course, means something that is actually true: “Literally every pair of shoes I own was ruined when my apartment flooded.”

When we use words not in their normal literal meaning but in a way that makes a description more impressive or interesting, the correct word, of course, is “figuratively.”

But people increasingly use “literally” to give extreme emphasis to a statement that cannot be true, as in: “My head literally exploded when I read Merriam-Webster, among others, is now sanctioning the use of literally to mean just the opposite.”

Indeed, Ragan’s PR Daily (external - login to view) reported last week that Webster, Macmillan Dictionary and Google have added this latter informal use of “literally” as part of the word’s official definition. The Cambridge Dictionary has also jumped on board.

How did this come to be? Mainstream use of “literally” to provide emphasis to a statement was aided in recent years, perhaps, with the help of a couple of popular sitcoms. Parks and Recreation’s Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) extends his liberties with the word even further with his pronunciation (LIT-rally (external - login to view)) and the frequent misuses of the word in “How I Met Your Mother” even helped inspire a drinking game. (external - login to view)

But I digress…

Webster’s first definition of literally is, “in a literal sense or matter; actually.” Its second definition is, “in effect; virtually.” In addressing this seeming contradiction, its authors comment (external - login to view):

“Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposition of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.”

So it’s okay to use literally to mean figuratively as long as you really, really, really need to do so? Hmph.

According to the dictionary, “literally” now also means “figuratively” - Salon.com (external - login to view)
 
SLM
+1
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

According to the dictionary, “literally” now also means “figuratively”

Thanks in part to the overuse of "literally," Merriam-Webster says the word can now mean its exact opposite.



Much has been made of the use, misuse and overuse of the word “literally.”

Literally, of course, means something that is actually true: “Literally every pair of shoes I own was ruined when my apartment flooded.”

When we use words not in their normal literal meaning but in a way that makes a description more impressive or interesting, the correct word, of course, is “figuratively.”

But people increasingly use “literally” to give extreme emphasis to a statement that cannot be true, as in: “My head literally exploded when I read Merriam-Webster, among others, is now sanctioning the use of literally to mean just the opposite.”

Indeed, Ragan’s PR Daily (external - login to view) reported last week that Webster, Macmillan Dictionary and Google have added this latter informal use of “literally” as part of the word’s official definition. The Cambridge Dictionary has also jumped on board.

How did this come to be? Mainstream use of “literally” to provide emphasis to a statement was aided in recent years, perhaps, with the help of a couple of popular sitcoms. Parks and Recreation’s Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) extends his liberties with the word even further with his pronunciation (LIT-rally (external - login to view)) and the frequent misuses of the word in “How I Met Your Mother” even helped inspire a drinking game. (external - login to view)

But I digress…

Webster’s first definition of literally is, “in a literal sense or matter; actually.” Its second definition is, “in effect; virtually.” In addressing this seeming contradiction, its authors comment (external - login to view):

“Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposition of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.”

So it’s okay to use literally to mean figuratively as long as you really, really, really need to do so? Hmph.

According to the dictionary, “literally” now also means “figuratively” - Salon.com (external - login to view)

I gave up long ago and decided just to make things up as I went along. It's much more peaceful that way. Confusing as hell for everyone else, but oh well.
 
Locutus
+1
#3
I hear ya.

oh wait...
 
SLM
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

I hear ya.

oh wait...

As I always say, leave 'em laughing or leave 'em wondering what the hell you meant. Both are very personally rewarding.
 
55Mercury
+2
#5  Top Rated Post
irregardless, I'm still going to use literally in its most literal sense.

get that in ya
 
QuebecCanadian
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post

According to the dictionary, “literally” now also means “figuratively”

Thanks in part to the overuse of "literally," Merriam-Webster says the word can now mean its exact opposite.



Much has been made of the use, misuse and overuse of the word “literally.”

Literally, of course, means something that is actually true: “Literally every pair of shoes I own was ruined when my apartment flooded.”

When we use words not in their normal literal meaning but in a way that makes a description more impressive or interesting, the correct word, of course, is “figuratively.”

But people increasingly use “literally” to give extreme emphasis to a statement that cannot be true, as in: “My head literally exploded when I read Merriam-Webster, among others, is now sanctioning the use of literally to mean just the opposite.”

Indeed, Ragan’s PR Daily (external - login to view) reported last week that Webster, Macmillan Dictionary and Google have added this latter informal use of “literally” as part of the word’s official definition. The Cambridge Dictionary has also jumped on board.

How did this come to be? Mainstream use of “literally” to provide emphasis to a statement was aided in recent years, perhaps, with the help of a couple of popular sitcoms. Parks and Recreation’s Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) extends his liberties with the word even further with his pronunciation (LIT-rally (external - login to view)) and the frequent misuses of the word in “How I Met Your Mother” even helped inspire a drinking game. (external - login to view)

But I digress…

Webster’s first definition of literally is, “in a literal sense or matter; actually.” Its second definition is, “in effect; virtually.” In addressing this seeming contradiction, its authors comment (external - login to view):

“Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposition of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.”

So it’s okay to use literally to mean figuratively as long as you really, really, really need to do so? Hmph.

According to the dictionary, “literally” now also means “figuratively” - Salon.com (external - login to view)

Nobody needs to learn proper grammar any more. MW will simply bow to the masses. Irregardless of what is right. It's literally easier that way.
 
Locutus
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by 55MercuryView Post

irregardless

 
tay
#8
Webster bas tardized English because he hated the British.


That's why Americans can't speak English.........










In its standard use literally means ‘in a literal sense, as opposed to a non-literal or exaggerated sense’, as for example in I told him I never wanted to see him again, but I didn’t expect him to take it literally. In recent years an extended use of literally (and also literal) has become very common, where literally (or literal) is used deliberately in non-literal contexts, for added effect, as in they bought the car and literally ran it into the ground. This use can lead to unintentional humorous effects ( we were literally killing ourselves laughing) and is not acceptable in formal contexts, though it is widespread.




What is the Oxford English Dictionary? - Oxford Dictionaries (external - login to view)
 
MHz
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Confusing as hell for everyone else, but oh well.

News Flash Sherlock, the truth does the same thing, . . . only better.

Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post

Webster bas tardized English because he hated the British.


That's why Americans can't speak English.........

Is that why the Americans don't hate the British as well?
 
Twila
#10
Just no.

 
Said1
#11
This thread was so misleading........ literally.
 
eh1eh
#12
It is a red herring. Figuratively speaking of course.
 
damngrumpy
+1
#13
I think the time has come to stop speaking in sentences that way people will no longer
be confused. If we stop speaking in sentences we can put words where ever we want.
We can use a variety of words in any order
During the end times people will speak in tongues
 
Praxius
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

I think the time has come to stop speaking in sentences that way people will no longer
be confused. If we stop speaking in sentences we can put words where ever we want.
We can use a variety of words in any order
During the end times people will speak in tongues

I don't agrE. We nEd 2 kEp speaking n normal, pln eng o society wiL jst git dumber & misunderstandings wiL jst git worse!!!11!!7eet!!1!1UBER!!1!
 
55Mercury
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

I think the time has come to stop speaking in sentences that way people will no longer
be confused. If we stop speaking in sentences we can put words where ever we want.
We can use a variety of words in any order
During the end times people will speak in tongues

but you already do that, D'umpy, and you get by.
 
QuebecCanadian
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by PraxiusView Post

I don't agrE. We nEd 2 kEp speaking n normal, pln eng o society wiL jst git dumber & misunderstandings wiL jst git worse!!!11!!7eet!!1!1UBER!!1!

What does it mean that I understood that?
 
Twila
+1
#17
we sure are working hard at dumbing down society. The one thing humans have that sets us above the other animals is our varied language and ability to create a picture in another persons mind.

If we choose to let specific words have no set meaning or are wishy washy about what they mean, we will have no way to describe specifics, to voice abstract ideas, we will be unable to communicate feelings, meanings, intent. We might as well just grunt our good bye to imagination and creativity.
 
55Mercury
#18
<<< grunting
 
Twila
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by 55MercuryView Post

<<< grunting

what? I dont' understand...can you be more specific?
 
55Mercury
#20
<<< grunting and nodding

k?
 
Locutus
#21
like totally
 
tay
+1
#22
Steam understands........














 

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