Literally

I’ve been keeping track of misuses of the word “literally” lately.

This morning on one of the network news shows, one of the anchors said, “The Republican race is heating up — literally and figuratively!” Was there a glitch in the heating system at the debate? Or is the weather in South Carolina unseasonably warm? Why else would the race be “literally” heating up?

A few weeks ago, a sports anchor said, “The Packers literally feasted on the Lions’ offensive line.”

A guy who came into the office the other day used it correctly, sort of. He referred to someone “getting the crap kicked out of him — not literally, but figuratively.” I’m glad he clarified that.

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4 thoughts on “Literally

  1. Thanks Bret for reminding us what “literally” literally means. Now, do you have it in your power to help save the adverbs. From the speech of presidential candidates, to news reporters, to 1st grade teachers we see daily evidence that the old adverb is on it’s way out. Will verbs become less imaginative as a result? If the verb should subsequently flounder we’ll be back to cave man gibberish. It’s a slippery slope. Things can change “quick”. Steve J. (MPLS)

  2. Thanks Bret for reminding us what “literally” literally means. Now, do you have it in your power to help save the adverbs. From the speech of presidential candidates, to news reporters, to 1st grade teachers we see daily evidence that the old adverb is on it’s way out. Will verbs become less imaginative as a result? If the verb should subsequently flounder we’ll be back to cave man gibberish. It’s a slippery slope. Things can change “quick”. Steve J. (MPLS)

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