Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It is, literally, New Year's Eve...

It is morning of New Year's Eve and the main thing I would like to get off my chest is how frequently the word literally is misused.  I planned on discussing the recent rocket attacks at the Gaza Strip then following it up with some North Korean prison camp information, but then again I'm speaking figuratively, because I literally am not going to discuss either one of those things.

The funny thing is my pet peeve is something that has been around for generations.  In 1839 Charles Dickens misused literally saying his character "had literally feasted his eyes in silence on his culprit."  In the book "Garner's Modern American usage", there is a scale which gives literally a 3 out of 5 in its misuse by the majority of the population.

In an attempt to thwart this growing trend here are the facts. Literally means exactly.  It means you did exactly or experienced exactly what you said you did.  If you wait 20 minutes in line at the grocery story and say, "I literally waited all day," according to correct usage of the word, you would be a liar and a drama queen.  Here's more: