Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Misuse List, Literally

Over the years I have seen and heard numerous misuses of the word literally. Unfortunately, I did not document those examples. That stops today. Now, every time I see or hear any misuse of the word literally I will update this post. Also, please send me - via any avenue available to you - stories or links to any misuses you come across. If no link, make sure you tell me where you read/heard the misuse so I have something to put in italics. Thanks!

Here are three literally-relevant items:
1) a web log that amuses as it educates
2) a May 6, 1998 column in The Globe and Mail
3) the following video, Dictionary of Jack: Literally

Here are some misuses I've read and heard...

Dreamworks animation boss Jeffrey Katzenberg was literally keeping Kilmer on a short leash, sitting next to him at interviews and generally not letting him out of his sight. --- A Vancouver 24 hours article. Link.

"If I had that game on in my living room, my friends and I would end up smacking each other. Like, literally killing each other." --- Interviewer on the television show, "Electric Playground".

"What you need to do in a case like this, is literally become the bigger person." --- On-the-street color commentator on The People's Court.

"The Kooks are literally on a tear." --- DJ on CFOX 99.3FM at approximately 3:20pm, talking about said band's tour schedule.

"The fans are literally right on top of you." --- A commentator - talking about the arena's seats in relation to the players on the ice - during playoff game between New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Feature we brag about: “The best thing is the location and the price. We always brag that we get to go on vacation every day. No matter what the day might bring, no matter what stresses are in our lives, we just go to the beach, sit on a log, and watch the sun set. Perfect paradise, literally in our backyard.” --- From the My Digs feature in Westender. Link.

"... Literally the story is unfolding before us." --- A policeman on Global Television news, 11pm, commenting on a shooting death that took place a few hours earlier.

“When you take a look at Britney Spears and her behavior, it’s very frightening. She’s a person who’s completely addicted to sugar. This is like heroin for a junkie. She’s literally on a roller coaster to hell.” --- Dr. Timothy Brantley, a PhD who educates patients on the power of food, from a column on the Access Hollywood website. Link.

Venice High School dodged a bullet last week -- literally and figuratively. --- from a Los Angeles Times column about a school shooting; "only injury was to a boy who fell and hurt his wrist as he tried to get out of the line of fire". Link.

"She could literally take a sharp turn right at any moment." --- on the TV show Survivor, Todd discussing Courtney's wavering alliances.

I literally grew up in that restaurant with many years as staff as a teen, and then many years of my 20s with my family... --- posted by Sarah in the comment section of a blog post by Chianti Cafe. Link.

"Anything can happen - literally." --- chef Bob Bedard on film catering, in a Georgia Straight article. Link.

[Luciano] Pavarotti, the literally and figuratively larger-than-life tenor whose recordings sold more than 100 million albums, and whose voice boomed everywhere from the Metropolitan Opera to Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, died about 5 a.m. Thursday at his home in Modena, Italy... --- from a Yahoo! Music article. Link.


cher said...

sweet. i'll hook you up if (and when)i see it too. i am now so personally offended by the misuse of this word too. it's just awful.

cher said...

oh, and you still have a couple days to get it together to come over for our halloween party.

jblueafterglow said...

yes, do send them my way. i almost posted one from yesterday's news: "she was only helped, she says, when she literally threw herself on the floor". i decided it's not technically a misuse, but i'd say it's superfluous. have fun at the halloween party tonight.. i'll be there in spirit, which is appropriate eh?

cher said...

oh, and i'd like to say, that i did literally lol at your comment. in the most accurate of context ever....literally.