The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

This literally makes me tired. Figuratively too.

Hey, y’all. Today I’m going to tackle one of those topics that very many of you have asked me to cover. I know lots of y’all will want to—anonymously, perhaps—share this post with co-workers, friends, family members, and your favorite pre-teens.

My 12-year-old daughter LITERALLY used to use the word “literally” about 35 times each day (until I gently retrained her). She was FIGURATIVELY driving me crazy!

Sounds funny, huh? THAT’S BECAUSE NO ONE USES THE WORD “FIGURATIVELY” EVEN THOUGH THAT’S PRECISELY WHAT THEY’RE MEANING TO SAY.

Whew. Sorry about yelling there. When people use “literally” in the places they should be using “figuratively,” it does not LITERALLY drive me crazy. (Although some of my nearest and dearest might disagree.) I do not have a one-way admission ticket into Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital. When y’all overuse “literally,” I am LITERALLY:

  • Annoyed
  • Baffled
  • Concerned for the future of this country
  • Screaming at my TV/computer screen
  • Inspired to write another blog post
  • Driven to tears and fits of rage

I am also FIGURATIVELY:

  • Driven crazy
  • Dying of frustration
  • Dying of laughter
  • Steaming (out my ears)
  • Exploding with anger

Get it? “Literally” really (REALLY) happens; “figuratively” is an imaginative, illustrative expression.

Has your day LITERALLY been a roller coaster ride?

This is a literal roller coaster ride. (Image courtesy of cedarpoint.com.)

This is a literal roller coaster ride. (Image courtesy of cedarpoint.com.)

Or has it FIGURATIVELY been a roller coaster ride?

This is a figurative roller coaster ride (of emotions). (Image courtesy of 3diassociates.com.)

This is a figurative roller coaster ride (of emotions). (Image courtesy of 3diassociates.com.)

This guy LITERALLY died of laughter:

Not a bad way to go, I suppose. (Bless his heart.)

Not a bad way to go, I suppose. (Bless his heart.)

While she is FIGURATIVELY dying of laughter:

Image courtesy of chiacgotribune.com.

Image courtesy of chiacgotribune.com.

No comments from the peanut gallery necessary. (Image of crazy guy courtesy of ebay.com.)

No comments from the peanut gallery necessary. (Image of crazy guy courtesy of ebay.com.)

I think you literally get the idea, right?

I’d literally hug you now, but many of you are far away so . . . I’ll virtually and figuratively hug you instead.
TGB Sig

PS
When typing in all caps, does that mean I’m figuratively yelling? It’s something to ponder for the digital age.

PPS
If you’d like to send this post anonymously to someone you love, just send me a private message on Facebook and I’ll do your dirty work. It’s important for our future, y’all.

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13 comments on “This literally makes me tired. Figuratively too.

  1. Sara M
    April 30, 2013

    I know a certain ex-sorority girl that could use this advice. (It had to be said.)

    • The Grammar Belle
      April 30, 2013

      She literally emailed her way out of the Delta Gamma house . . . bless her (very angry) heart.

  2. Laura
    April 30, 2013

    A great post. Literally.

  3. outlawmama
    April 30, 2013

    This one gets me for sure. Also, can you tell me this: If you have a group of men, you can say Messrs. What is that called if it’s a group of women? I need you!

    • The Grammar Belle
      April 30, 2013

      It’s “Mmes.” Now I’m feeling all Frenchy right before my Parisian vacation. 🙂

  4. Kyle Fincher
    April 30, 2013

    You’re the bomb girl (figuratively).

    Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid – Ronald Reagan

    • The Grammar Belle
      April 30, 2013

      Where were you yesterday when I was trying to come up with more expressions?? 🙂

  5. Phil Anderson
    April 30, 2013

    Can I say you literally looked great last Tuesday night, figuratively speaking?

  6. mamarific
    April 30, 2013

    Ooh, this is a good one!

  7. Pingback: A Year of Grammar Goodies (With Bonus Pop Quiz) | The Grammar Belle

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