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Simple Grammar

Superbird

Fire emblem is great
I swear, I am figuratively about to explode from all this nonsense.

It just doesn't have the same ring to it, though!
 

Vipera Magnifica

The World
Pronoun
he
I swear, I am figuratively about to explode from all this nonsense.

It just doesn't have the same ring to it, though!
It might not be as effective, but at least you sound like someone who knows the meaning of the words you are using.
 
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Minish

*
Pronoun
they
Yeah uh nothing is more hilarious than people getting huffy about 'bad grammar' when it's. not. And nothing is more tiresome than people getting huffy about 'literally' because it just feels like they've been told they should feel huffy! If people consistently use 'literally' in this way, that is a meaning. Eventually dictionaries will comply, eventually it won't even be just 'colloquial'. Sorry.


No, no, the most hilarious is when punctuation is suddenly grammar. It's actually orthography! And it's not built into the way we structure language at all. I will forgive this guide because 2008.
 

ultraviolet

yeehaw
Staff member
Pronoun
she/her
My point is that people who say 'literally' a lot often do not know its actual meaning. Of course they're exaggerating, but they don't know the meaning of the word that they're using to do it. They substitute 'very' or 'really' with 'literally' without understanding the actual meaning of the word. I'm not (trying to) imply that these people aren't joking, but that they don't know the word that they're using.

It's not really a big deal, honestly, but then much of grammar isn't.
but literally isn't being used as a synonym for 'very' in this context anyway. I think a lot of people do know what 'literally' means, because a lot of the time if you prod them about it they'll switch to 'actually' or something. Why would someone choose to say 'literally' without knowing what it means? I mean sure, people actually misuse words all the time, but that's true of lots and lots of words, not just literally.

also yes lol grammar is very silly; I had to take several classes last year on grammar while I was still doing an editing minor and let me tell you my life has not been enriched by knowing what a co-ordinating conjunction is.

Vehement Mustelid said:
It might not be as effective, but at least you sound like someone who knows the meaning of the words you are using.
no, saying you're going to figuratively explode will make you look asinine because it doesn't make sense and misuses 'figuratively'.
Saying 'I am literally going to explode' is a correct usage of 'literally'. Saying you're figuratively going to explode makes no sense because you can't 'figuratively explode'. the entire point of saying that you're literally going to do something impossible is that you're exaggerating for effect; 'figuratively exploding' is absolute nonsense and nobody will understand what you're talking about.
 
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ParsnipTheRaichu

Apple Prouductions
Pronoun
he
Misusing the word literally is literally no big deal. I have never herd it used correctly. If you want something to be literal, you don't need to say literally most of the time. The word literally is used mainly as an exaggeration.

"He was about to kill someone." vs. "He literally was about to kill someone."
 

Butterfree

Still loves Joltik, though!
Staff member
Pronoun
she/her
This is actually a really old discussion; the last post in it was in 2012. You're allowed to post in it and all, but the conversation you're responding to is long over.

But yes, using 'literally' in the colloquial sense is exactly the same kind of exaggeration as "I've told you five hundred times!" No one would argue that if somebody says that they don't know what the number five hundred means. The main reason people resist the use of 'literally' for exaggeration, though, is just that its literal meaning is something you can use specifically to indicate that you're not being hyperbolic or figurative, and when it's used for exaggeration, it makes it harder to convey that meaning when you actually need it. Usually it's pretty clear from the context anyway, but I can appreciate why one would lament the loss of clarity.

People saying you should use 'figuratively' instead of 'literally' are being ridiculous, precisely because the whole point of using 'literally' is hyperbole, and 'figuratively' does the exact opposite. If you're not allowed to use 'literally' for the purposes of exaggeration, then you're going to leave it out altogether, or use other hyperbolic constructions, not switch to something that downplays the statement.
 

Stryke

The finchiest of widgets
Pronoun
he
Under homophones, it would be a good idea to include "affect" and "effect", as those two words are frequently confused with each other.
 

audrey729

AWESOMENESS
Pronoun
she
Wait... what's the difference between effect and affect? I've seen so many things on it, but I just don't GET IT!!!
 

Negrek

busy dizzy lazy
Staff member
"Effect" is usually a noun. Every cause has an effect. One effect of global warming would be an increase in sea levels. Increased cancer rates could be an effect of pollution.

"Affect" is usually a verb. One thing affects another thing: the weather might affect a person's mood, for example, or a glitch might negatively affect a reviewer's opinion of a video game.
 
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