by waldo041 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:13 pm
I would hope that, whomever gets this, their mouth would figuratively hit the floor, not literally hit the floor.
Absolutely agree, I did not realize a figure of speech would be taken literally among us adults. But realize now there are children here as well.
I don't want to gunk up Waldo's post in the Garage Sale any further, so I'll move this over here. And I won't bite on the "children" comment, Mike.
First, let me apologize. I was in fact an English major for one year of college, so I do try to pay attention to the details of our our common language. I always used "literally" in the dictionary sense and got my knickers in a twist when I heard it misued as in Waldo's post. But in digging into it today I'm learning that it has been misused this way so often that it's now becoming accepted- even making it into the dictonary as an alternate meaning. So I was wrong.
Here's an internet article describing how I always understood this:"10 Words You Literally Didn’t Know You Were Getting Wrong
Literally vs. Figuratively
Last month, Joe Biden sent the grammarian crowd into a tizzy by misusing the word literally multiple times in his speech at the Democratic National Convention. For the record, literally means “actually; without exaggeration.” For some reason, this word gets used all the time to mean figuratively, which is the exact opposite concept. It's unknown to me how this particular usage came to be so popular--maybe it just rolls off the tongue better than figuratively, or maybe it’s like using the word badass to describe something as incredibly good and desirable. Who knows why, but one thing is for certain; Biden literally needs to hire a new speech writer.
If you are a fan of the show Parks and Recreation, then you have probably heard the character Chris Traeger (played by Rob Lowe) abuse the word literally. Like Biden, Chris frequently misuses the word (“I have a resting heart rate of 28 beats per minute. The doctors who studied me said that my heart could, literally, pump jet fuel up into a jet.”), but his character is so obnoxiously upbeat that on some occasions, you actually believe him when he says “Biking for charity is literally one of my interests on Facebook.” Either way, the term fits the character perfectly, which is why it's funny whether he uses it correctly or not. For the rest of you, though, unless you literally mean exactly what you are saying, don’t use the word literally. If you have to use SOMETHING, try the word actually. "http://litreactor.com/columns/10-words-you-literally-didnt-know-you-were-getting-wrong
But I don't think it's childish
to try and use words correctly- even if it is here in our little just-us-guys backwater internet community. Ask Hunter. Ask Barlow. They agonize for days to get just the right word in a song or in almost anything they write- because it's worth it. You're conveying information to another person. You don't hear "Hail at my back literally like a shotun blast" because he's talking about a figuative
shotgun blast, not a literal one (a blast from a 410 actually blamming into your spine will do a real job on you).
So I'm sorry if I ruffle feathers here occasionally with the grammer and spelling stuff (I'm (literally
) the world's second-worst speller). If someone here said they were selling a guitar for $500 plus $50 shipping and wanted $600 for it, we'd call them on their math. And if Waldo were to slip and say you want to put a 100 ohm volume pot in your Tiger to be just like Jer's we'd all say "um, Mike, could you please double-check that...?" Right is right and wrong is wrong whether it's arithmetic, circuit diagrams, the guitar Jer used on 8/27/72- or grammar. I'm really not trying to be a smart ass, a dickhead, or ruin the laid-back party for everyone and most of the time I can just sit on my hands and let it go, but occasionally I just can't help myself. Sorry guys, I guess there's one in every crowd (that would be me). And this has to be the first time in my life I've ever been called an "anal retentive wonk"! You gotta see my desk, and my car, and my music room, and.....
So again, my apologies for mucking up Mike's McIntosh ad. Using "literally" the wong way is now so common it's becoming accepted and I'll just shut up and grit my teeth if you want to go ahead and use it that way, I'm a big boy, I can take it...
(and just to show you how this bugs me, I watched my Bruins give up the lead with 1:17 left in the third and go on to lose the Stanley Cup, but I rolled around in bed last night pouring over literally vs. figuatively. Go figure....)
"Do not write so that you can be understood, write so that you cannot be misunderstood." -Epictetus
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