I have a coworker who uses 'literally' incorrectly

…and uses it often; you can hear at least three or four of them in one conversation. It bugs me, make no mistake, but now I get my kicks by watching people flinch/cringe and then quickly rearrange their faces back into a neutral position. My coworker never notices this and continues on, merrily oblivious.

Turning negatives into positives - it’s literally the only way to make it out of cube life with your sanity intact. :wink:

I hate when people do that. It literally makes my head explode.

Do you actually know what the definition of literally is? Unless she’s using it to mean, like, “triangle” or “motorcycle”, she’s probably actually using it correctly, just in a way that you don’t like.

'nough said.

Thats right, the world has accepted the “incorrect” usage.

I’m not saying I agree, just pointing it out.

Yes, I’m aware and I will continue to fight the good fight against the dumbification of the world.

I’m with you there.

It’s not just dumbification, though. It’s that allowing literally to have two opposing meanings makes it meaningless. (And I mean that literally! :smiley: )

Merriam-Webster are whores.

If we let this go, we have literally lost the use of an important word.

Doesn’t bother me half as much as people using “figuratively” when that is literally the only meaning that would make sense. If you think your target audience is too stupid to realize your head didn’t literally assplode, and you want to insert the word figuratively there, get yourself a new target audience.

It’s long established though - Dickens used it in Nicholas Nickleby. It’s just one of those things where context matters.

I will literally fight you all if you disagree with me.



adverb | lit·er·al·ly

Definition of LITERALLY

1 : The opposite of literally.

I’ll trade you a co-worker who manages to use the word “arthurized” or “arthurization” at least once a day. I have a mental picture of the person on the other end of the phone turning into Dudley Moore wearing a top hat in a bathtub.

You’re using these words incorrectly.

Bugs are insects. This thing annoys or irritates you.

Kicks are a physical move involving the legs. You get your enjoyment by doing the other stuff.

And I’m pretty sure you mean that you are rearranging your fist into their ugly mugs, not their faces into a neutral position.

I literally could care less about this, irregardless of what the pedants say.

I’m not as eager to fight dumbth as I once was. If literally is used to mean “as it is in literature,” I will accept that.:wink:

I think s/he means that the ugly muggers rearrange their own faces after flinchcringing.

And your examples would be a bit more on point if “kick” also meant “a mental move having nothing to do with the legs,” and “bugs” meant both “insects” and “non-insects.”

If literally can now mean figuratively, we need a new word that means literally.

For some people, the current definition of literally is “a word I throw out.”

Nonsense. MoonMoon is using those words metaphorically, which is extending their original meanings by applying them in new situations.

That’s not what happened with literally. People just began using it wrongly because they were ignorant of its meaning. And then rather than give up their ignorance, they feel the meaning of the word should be abandoned.

The former is an example of the growth of a language. The latter is an example of the degradation of a language.