David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Sun May 3 10:49:47 UTC 2009

From:    Victor <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>


> Recently, strangers I meet seem particularly peeved by people who use
> /literally/ to mean /figuratively /(the ones who say things like "he
> literally exploded with rage"). Even strangers I don't meet are
> fixated—two of them run a reasonably informed blog
> <> devoted to "tracking abuse of the
> word 'literally.' "
> As is often the case, though, such "abuses" have a long and esteemed
> history in English. ...

Isn't this normal, though? Some people become annoyed by behaviors once
they're common enough to be easily noticed. (And that assumes that in
the quote i snipped Benen was referring to something new, rather than
throwing in a snide aside--an asnide?--to undercut Daly's credibility.)

Semi-connected sidebar: Jeanne (my wife) has told me that she thinks she
ought to start using "figuratively" to mean "literally", and see if
anybody notices. The conclusion i draw from this is that engineers are
just as weird as linguists.


David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

The American Dialect Society -

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