Tag Archives: literally

"Literally" – you are dead to me

I’ve tried, I really have. When Webster and other dictionaries, announced that the second definition of the word “literally” means “figuratively” – “My head literally exploded” – I had some difficulty with that. Still I tried to shoehorn this new meaning into my vocabulary. Alas, I have failed.

“Literally” served me well. When I wrote, “LOL, literally,” this meant that an audible chuckle erupted from me, not just that I found it quite funny.

I noticed that Arthur@AmeriNZ is not bothered by this. He says, correctly, “English is constantly evolving and changing, and it always has been. New words enter usage and old ones die out.” And so I noted at the time that it didn’t bother me. But the more I thought on it, the more I was irritated by the change.

So while using literally to mean figuratively may be OK (for some), what do I use when I REALLY, REALLY mean literally? How can I make this clear to the reader/listener?
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