• @corsicanguppy
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    12 months ago

    Ah. Popular kids dictate what goes into the dictionary of popular mistakes. That’s why Mirriam-Webster claims ‘literally’ also means its exact opposite.

    Systems of language need to be sound and complete; and the English that includes that self-contradiction fails on point 1. While we can dig out other failures, maybe we can correct those too.

    ‘Emails’ is a particular embarrassment for the speaker.

    • @m0darn
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      32 months ago

      That’s why Mirriam-Webster claims ‘literally’ also means its exact opposite.

      Just like “really”, “truly”, “absolutely”, “actually”, “genuinely”, “honestly”, “surely”, “totally”, “verily”…

      It’s just a type of vernacular inflation. It may be happening more quickly than it used to because people are communicating more and thus have more opportunities for “one-upping” each other with amplifying adjectives but it’s (literally/metaphorically?) a force of nature (maybe both).

      Overstatement is a very common rhetorical device, it doesn’t usually cause confusion.

      Obviously people should choose different amplifiers when saying “literally” is likely to cause confusion, but people shouldn’t be chided if they say “literally” in a sentence where it’s obvious what they mean.