• @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.