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Am I the Only One: Overuse of the Word "Literally"

I realize this is Data Lounge, where elegant grammar is as frowned-upon as sobriety, but what do we think of the overuse (and incorrect usage) of the word "literally" in the past decade or so?

It's meant to clarify whether someone is speaking figuratively or literally, and it used to be quite an uncommon word in spoken conversation. But lately, people have been using it for basic emphasis (where they used to use a word like "very" or "quite"). They say they are "literally" hungry enough to eat a horse, which is in fact butchering the figurative statement they just made. They say they "literally" just heard something on the news, cluttering up their speech with pointless adverbs. Even former president George W. Bush has weighed in on this, calling it a "mindless filler word" that is misunderstood by people too casual with their spoken language. And if you've lost the argument against that grammarian, then you're well and truly sunk.

Am I the only one who tunes out people who use this word unnecessarily in ordinary conversation/writing?

by Anonymousreply 15January 23, 2023 7:54 PM

Op, you are literally the only one who feels this way.

by Anonymousreply 1January 23, 2023 4:16 PM

you're literally a worst version of hitler

by Anonymousreply 2January 23, 2023 4:18 PM

misogynist mgtow incel raping the words most frequently used by females in order to divide us and turn us into the far right

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by Anonymousreply 3January 23, 2023 4:21 PM


by Anonymousreply 4January 23, 2023 4:21 PM

[quote] They say they are "literally" hungry enough to eat a horse, which is in fact butchering the figurative statement they just made.

like it's unnecessarily violent too, and like, promoting genocide and bestiality, and people that harm animals are like serial killers. like, trying to recruit kids, fer sure.

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by Anonymousreply 5January 23, 2023 4:24 PM

Millennials and especially Gen Z have decided that they’d rather use literally as “really” or “very,” rather than as “not figuratively.”

Yes it’s annoying and can actually be the opposite of the words previous meaning. “I’m literally dead.” But there it is. Literally.

by Anonymousreply 6January 23, 2023 4:28 PM


by Anonymousreply 7January 23, 2023 4:28 PM

I totally get, like, what you mean, OP.

by Anonymousreply 8January 23, 2023 4:30 PM

Using "like" or "you know" as filler words is a close runner-up, as is "ummm" as a verbal placeholder.

See Caroline Kennedy's disastrous interview when she was being considered to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

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by Anonymousreply 9January 23, 2023 4:33 PM


by Anonymousreply 10January 23, 2023 4:52 PM

She’s so oppressive. LITERALLY VIOLENT!

by Anonymousreply 11January 23, 2023 5:05 PM

OP's post. Literally too long, literally didn't read. Literally the world has moved on from this persnickety grammarian's talking point.

by Anonymousreply 12January 23, 2023 5:11 PM

Yes, and when a someone uses " No problem" in response to my " Thanks", I literally, just want to like, die

by Anonymousreply 13January 23, 2023 6:08 PM

No, OP, you’re not alone.

But what’s even worse nowadays is starting every goddamn sentence with “So….”

It’s particularly frustrating on the show Shark Tank, where the sharks ask the entrepreneurs a lot of questions and they must start every fucking answer with, “so, we’ve been in business two months.”

“What’s your sales?”

“So last year we sold $100,000.”

“How many units is that?”

“So that would be 1,000 units.”


by Anonymousreply 14January 23, 2023 7:30 PM

I have always said that if my job tried to screw me over and let me go, this is how I am going out - literally.

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by Anonymousreply 15January 23, 2023 7:54 PM
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