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I’m Literally Going to Go Psycho on the Next Person Who Misuses the Word “Literally”

Michele Piacquadio

I went on vacation last week with my three step-children (all under age 25), my husband and his family. Yes, I literally got a whole lot of Sollars last week. My step-daughter (age 17) has picked up a little habit that literally drives me crazy. She says “literally” literally all the time and this editor is about to literally tear all her hair out.

Not only that, but she literally has the entire family saying “literally” – from our middle-age aunt, to her dad, to her younger siblings. They use “literally” to emphasize that they are, in fact, telling the absolute (so help them God) truth but also throw it in places “literally” has no business being. For example, I will not really be tearing my hair out over this annoying habit; I just want for you to know how serious I am!

The only one who isn’t saying “literally” besides myself is my one-year-old daughter, who can only say sentences as extensive as “Carseat HOT” or “Me hungy.”

I can handle a lot of grammatical goofs. I’d even venture to say, this post is full of incorrect AP stylings but the overuse and incorrect use of the word “literally” literally makes my brain hurt. And, no, my brain isn’t actually in pain because of this! #seewhatididthere

So, English teachers out there, you have a hard road ahead you to stop the madness! Hopefully, soon, the differences among “literally,” “figuratively” and “metaphorically” will be as common as “to,” “two,” and “too.”


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