Why the hell has it become common for people to use “literally” just to be emphatic about something, rather than actually meaning something literally?
Last example I came across, someone was describing the Germans conquering France in 1940, and after describing the operational movements of the German army, they said “The Germans literally pulled the carpet from under their feet.”
Wow. That must’ve been a really fucking huge carpet, that the whole fucking French army was standing on it. And it would’ve taken quite a bit of fucking horsepower to move that thing. Bravo to the Germans.
In that context, “to pull the carpet out from under someone’s feet” is a figure of speech. One might even say that it was used figuratively. As in, the opposite of literally.
That was just a random example, I’m coming across this all the time, people using “literally” to emphasize something. I’m going to - quite literally - start yelling at people.