Thursday, February 17, 2005

MOChossid's Pet Peeve

is apparently the use of the word "literally" to mean "figuratively". As he says, the two words are antonyms.

However, as this entry in makes clear, "figuratively" it is in fact almost one of "literally"'s meanings, and is acceptable in the context he deplores. It is not really that "literally" has come to mean "figuratively", but rather "literally" is being used as an intensive before figurative expressions, just as it is often used as an intensive in other situations. Kind of like how 2 sentences ago I used "in fact" as an intensive. Or how someone might say mamash (mamish) as an intensive.

Update: Meanwhile, I misspelled MOChassid's name. :)

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