You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

1. The willful distortion or depreciation of the original meaning of a word.
2. Word crime. – The Nut

As a student of linguistics, I am supposed to believe that all language, from the stuffiest formal phrasing to the most callously colloquial, is magical and worthwhile and deserving of praise and study.

As a writer, I understand that truths can be stretched, metaphors extended, hyperboles milked, and words liberty-taken-with in order to achieve a certain tone or impact.

But as a human being who still has a tattered shred of common decency floating about in her otherwise insubordinate little brain, and no matter what misguided concessions modern dictionaries have made to the contrary, I cannot, I will not, EVER agree that it could, should or will ever be acceptable for “literally” to mean “figuratively”.


And that’s all I have to say about that.

Nutty, OUT.

Today’s blog post was brought to you by the letter V, the number 4614, and the If Prescriptivism Is Wrong Then Why Does It Sometimes Feel So Right Challenge, AKA the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

1 “verbicide.”, 2016. Web. 26 April 2016.

4 thoughts on “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  1. I love the t-shirt that says “Misuse of ‘literally’ drives me figuratively insane.” Although at least in my limited circle word seems to have gotten around and I don’t hear it as often as I used to. Although I do grit my teeth whenever I heard “impact” used as a verb. I know it has a long history of being used as a verb but I believe it’s the result of people who are too lazy to distinguish between “affect” and “effect”.
    That’s why this is never far from my mind:

    Liked by 1 person

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