Breakfast Babble: ED’s own little space on the interwebs where we gather to discuss ideas and get pumped up for the day. We judge things too. Sometimes. Always. Whatever, call it catharsis and join in people.
Certain ‘literary enthusiasts’ use some words that not only make the lot of us, who tend to get triggered by the excessive and nonessential use of the words, go banging our heads into the walls, but also make themselves look farcical and wannabes.
If I were to mention all these overused words and phrases, I’d have done an injustice by myself and my community of fellow (genuine) literary enthusiasts. But let me bring you to one such word that, when read or heard without context, brings out the worst in me.
“Literally” is a word that literally gets used more often than not, and usually at places where it is not required. At all. The reason for me being so bothered by this transgression is unknown to me but I find solace in the fact that I am self-aware. It does bother me, so why hide the truth? Why not vent it out? And therefore, here I am!
What Does “Literally” Not Mean?
As opposed to what some questionable characters believe, “literally” does not enhance a sentence. Nor does it, when used out of context, make you seem like a know-it-all. That being said, “literally” just points at the word-for-word meaning of the phrase/sentence in question.
Forgive me for coming off as rude here, but the categorical denial of people correcting themselves even after being told the origin and the meaning of the word annoys me, to an extent.
Read More: In the shoes of a Grammar Nazi
What Can We Use As An Alternative?
Yes, as you might have noticed, I used the hyperbole above (within context). If I’d have said that “The use of this word “literally” makes my blood boil,” then it would have come off as wrong and I’d have made a fool out of myself.
You might try using the word “figuratively” instead of “literally” for the sake of our collective sanity and the endangered literary soul. And only when the need arises, and context permits, use the word “literally”. Thank me later.
Do you have a triggering word/phrase as well? Let us know in the comments below! Let’s vent together.
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