Monday, June 04, 2007


Almost every writer has a pet peeve regarding grammar or the proper use of words. Years ago I wrote something (several things, I think) about the use of "in fairness," which infested Philippine media then.

Now I discovered a blog about the misuse of the word "literally." Literally, A Web Blog is a site (a web blog, literally) that tracks down such errors in media, usually with a corresponding silly illustration or Photoshopped graphic.

The abuses are unbelievable. Sometimes people use "literally" to mean the exact opposite. They really meant to say "figuratively" or "metaphorically" but are probably too stupid or lazy to look up the word so they say "literally." "Literarily" is probably better (and what some of them really meant to say); I'm just not sure if it's a real word or if that is the proper use for it.

Thanks to Orac for the link. Writers, bookmark this site and try to contribute if you spot anything. I don't know how effective it'll be in improving grammar in general, but at least we'll get a hearty laugh out of it, literally.


Boom said...

Hahaha! your post made me check my blog for entries with "literally". i got some hits and misses.

missingpoints said...

In one forum we got sidetracked when someone posted that there's "literally tons of research out there" on a certain topic. We spent about a page calculating the amount of research involved and its weight when printed on paper.

It was about 3-5 tons so "literally" was the correct term.

Boom said...

it's been so overused to emphasize an idea that the original meaning gets lost in the process.