Recently I have literally heard the word literally dozens of times each day – at the lunch table, listening to news reports, in meetings, and much to my dismay, I have literally caught myself using the word several times each day.
Are we really taking that many things literally these days? Have we become such exaggerators that we now need to make it clear when we are literally telling the truth?
As a researcher, I for one, think we need to literally start searching for a cure for this new virus that is literally chipping away at our ability to form complete sentences without the need to qualify them as being true.
According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, there is literally a place to use literally in an informal way, but maybe we have literally taken that too far as well.
Definition of literally in English from: Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
1.1 informal – Used for emphasis while not being literally true: I have received literally thousands of letters
I literally hope it isn’t too late to eradicate this new virus.
There is literally one up side to its use – Literally has actually replaced the word actually that we became so fond of using in the previous decade.
And like, maybe it is keeping people from saying like so much.