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Edited 11 months, 10 days ago

Poll: Is it okay to use the word 'literally' for emphasis? (286 votes)

Yes 26%
No 69%
*Just show me the results* 6%

This is based on the second definition:

Yes, this image is real, go try it yourself!

#51 Posted by joshwent (2112 posts) -

@voidoid said:

I absolutely understand the importance of accepting language as dynamic and not being a weird reactionary jerk about it. That said, I find every statement where the word 'literally' can be applied to a figurative expression tends to be sufficiently hyperbolic on its own. In a sentence like "I am so happy I could literally explode" literally is redundant and inelegant. Indeed, the fact that people feel they need a word to exaggerate their exaggerations says some unpleasant things about modern western society.

This!

I love words evolving, but redundancy is the opposite of communication. Words like "literally" that have recently become ubiquitous for exaggeration only make descriptions less interesting when they were fine by themselves.

This is probably pretentious of me in its own weird way, but I feel like it's also a word that people pepper their speech with to sound more intelligent. That's four whole syllables in there! Must be a smart one...

#52 Edited by ThePickle (4153 posts) -
#53 Edited by Superkenon (1388 posts) -

It should be avoided at all costs.

#54 Posted by Moonshadow101 (555 posts) -

Absolutely not. The word have an important functional meaning. If we let that meaning slip, we'll have to invent a new word to mean "No, really, actually Literally."

#55 Edited by GERALTITUDE (2917 posts) -

I literally don't care at all how anyone uses any of this joke language's words so long as I understand what they're saying. What, I look like some stinking prescriptivist to you?

#56 Posted by OldGuy (1511 posts) -

...while we're at it... ...it's "couldn't" not "could"... "I couldn't care less." Learn it.

#57 Edited by BabyChooChoo (4283 posts) -

Language evolves. People getting all uppity about spelling, grammar, and word meanings on the internet has become the most ridiculous trend ever.

I literally could not agree more. So much of our fucking language has lost it's original meaning so people can use the word "literally" however the fuck they want as far as I'm concerned.

#58 Posted by Zeik (2222 posts) -

Words may evolve, but that doesn't mean every evolution of a word is actually a good evolution. Examples: The word "gay" being used to express distaste with something. Dumb. "Sick" being used to suggest something is great. Dumb. "Literally" being used to emphasize a figurative saying. Dumb.

Whether or not people commonly accept it as a evolution of the word, it's still a fucking stupid evolution.

#59 Posted by Muttinus_Rump (814 posts) -

Sure. Words change meanings all the time. Look at you all, you're all already grumpy old men.

#60 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

I disagree with that google secondary definition. That is not using the word as defined. In that instance you would be using the word as some sort of oxymoron for effect.

@muttinus_rump said:

Sure. Words change meanings all the time. Look at you all, you're all already grumpy old men.

There is a difference between cultural twisting of grammatical rules for effect and the grammatical rules themselves. While it is not grammatically correct to use literally in this way, you certainly can use it like that and most people in North America and Europe will understand what you're trying to say. Incorrect, but not incomprehensible use of language.

@zeik said:

Words may evolve, but that doesn't mean every evolution of a word is actually a good evolution. Examples: The word "gay" being used to express distaste with something. Dumb. "Sick" being used to suggest something is great. Dumb. "Literally" being used to emphasize a figurative saying. Dumb.

Whether or not people commonly accept it as a evolution of the word, it's still a fucking stupid evolution.

Sir, I take issue with your flagrant misusage of the word 'dumb'! D:

#61 Posted by leftie68 (215 posts) -
#62 Posted by spankingaddict (2659 posts) -

I don't care !

#63 Posted by Redbullet685 (6025 posts) -

I don't know why so many of you have such a problem with it the use of the word as emphasizing something. It's literally so insignificant. Calm the fuck down.

#64 Edited by believer258 (11632 posts) -

@zornack said:

Just because some authors of classic literature used it in an unconventional way doesn't give a person free reign to use it however they want to.

That said, the misuse of literally isn't something that annoys me much. Mixing up "definitely" and "defiantly" is the one that baffles me the most. They are two completely different words, what the fuck is wrong with people? It's not like "it's" and "its", or "you're" and "your", or even "couldn't care less" and "could care less"! All of those look and/or sound alike. "Definitely" and "defiantly" do not look and sound alike, and the keys for typing them aren't even that close after four characters!

#65 Posted by Rorie (2682 posts) -

NEIN

Staff
#66 Posted by Zeik (2222 posts) -

@believer258: I would assume many of those cases of mixing definitely and defiantly are due to auto-correct/careless spell-check.

#67 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@zeik said:

@believer258: I would assume many of those cases of mixing definitely and defiantly are due to auto-correct/careless spell-check.

auto correct very nearly caused me to refer to my ailing grandfather as 'gramps' in a very serious business email where calling him 'gramps' would have been highly disrespectful. T___T

#68 Posted by Nardak (463 posts) -

There is literally nothing wrong with using words like this one. Literally world is full of people using similiar words all the time.

I can literally guarantee this.

#69 Posted by jking47 (1209 posts) -

I know that it is technically part of the definition, but it is still not okay.

#70 Posted by AURON570 (1672 posts) -

@zornack said:

Thankyou for posting this. Even just using language to converse on a daily basis is a complex creative process. I think a lot of people lose sight of that when they start nit picking about pronunciation, grammar, meaning and such.

#71 Posted by Khann (2782 posts) -

This is literally worse than Hitler.

#72 Posted by Video_Game_King (35993 posts) -

@auron570 said:

Even just using language to converse on a daily basis is a complex creative process.

Only if you're speaking in a non-native language which probably doesn't come naturally to you. Otherwise, it isn't that mentally demanding.

#73 Posted by Indiana_Jenkins (380 posts) -

Actually is the new literally.

Try it out.

It actually is.

#74 Posted by Fattony12000 (7040 posts) -

Litrelli.

#75 Posted by SycoMantis91 (26 posts) -

I've "literally" never seen someone use "literally" to emphasize a point that isn't actually "literal". I really haven't, I had no clue people did this, and the three people that do, should literally be banished to a special part of Apokolips where you're subjected to infinite lessons from old, slow talking English tutors with Alzheimer's that repeat the same lesson every five minutes for literally all eternity.

#76 Posted by AURON570 (1672 posts) -

@video_game_king: Umm no, just because something "comes naturally" to you doesn't mean it isn't governed by complex processes. Even if you aren't conscious of half those complex processes anymore because it is your first language and you are fluent in it. 4 year olds are capable of grammar, they probably wouldn't be able to explain to you how they are learning words and making sentences, but their brain is changing in a pretty dynamic way to make the use of language possible. So yeah, just to repeat, both learning and using a language is creative and dynamic. How you use language can vary depending on circumstances (who you are talking to, what tone you want to set, where you are, are you writing a formal essay or a post in an online forum?) So, I don't see anything wrong with the various uses of "literally".

#77 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5222 posts) -

Only if that emphasis is there to distinguish whether or not what your referring to is literal.

#78 Edited by Strife777 (1503 posts) -

I wouldn't put it above your vs you're or their/there/they're, but it's up their.

#79 Edited by TheHT (10880 posts) -