Main Entry: litÂˇerÂˇalÂˇly
Pronunciation: \Ëli-tÉ-rÉ-lÄ, Ëli-trÉ-lÄ, Ëli-tÉr-lÄ\
1 : in a literal sense or manner : actually
2 : in effect : virtually
Usage: Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposite of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.
People use the word âliterallyâ when they literally mean it actually, really, literally happened. And it has become literally accepted to literally use the word âliterallyâ as emphasis. Unfortunately, the overuse of the word âliterallyâ has literally moved the word âliterallyâ into literal oblivion, leaving it literally bereft of all meaning.
So the word âliterallyâ can sometimes literally mean literally the opposite of what the word âliterallyâ literally means, however, it can be literally overused to the point where the word âliterallyâ literally means nothing much whateverâŚliterally.
Words mean things, donât they? Stay tuned for next weekâs edition of Word Wednesday featuring another misused word or term.