Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Aug 16 00:26:10 UTC 2013

I suppose it's too much to ask someone writing this kind of article to look up the word in question in the OED.  In this case, they [sic] would discover similar uses of "literally" as a (non-literal) intensifier since the 17th century in writing by Dryden, Pope, Austen, Alcott, Dickens, Twain, Joyce, and others, as detailed in that entry and in the classic piece on the question by Jesse:

Sheidlower, Jesse. 2005. The word we love to hate.  Literally.  Slate, Nov. 1, 2005. At


On Aug 15, 2013, at 6:51 PM, Brenda Lester wrote:

> Any takers?
> brenda
> rhinebeck,ny
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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