Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's a literal literal literal literal world.

My number one grammatical pet peeve is the misuse of the word "literally." It is defined as "word for word; not imaginatively, figuratively or freely" If one were to say "it's literally raining cats and dogs" there had better be cats and dogs falling from the sky.

Just this morning I'm quietly reading my newspaper when I came across an Associated Press article under the byline of Morris and James Carey titled Energy savings add up to serious change. The final paragraph had me literally screaming out loud (and my significant other can attest to that as I do scream every time I read a misuse of the word.)

To keep your hard-earned money from literally going down the drain, be sure to
repair faucet leaks at the kitchen sink

Now, if the drain were just a big open hole one might lose one's money down the drain, but it wouldn't be due to a leaky faucet, it would be due to tossing your change into the sink.

Please editors, correct your writers!!!

A couple of years ago, after hearing my screams almost daily, dear significant other said "why don't you start a blog about literally?" What a great idea, document all the misuses I come across. Well, fellow grammarians, it's already been done, by multiple individuals. One very well done blog is at:

1 comment:

Marianaria Sra. bibliotecaria said...

Thanks for this post. The constant misuse of "literally" drives me crazy too, non-literally.