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DisgustipatedinCA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:00 PM
Original message
Literal, defined: Adhering to fact...
I notice lots of people misuse the word "literal", or more commonly, "literally". One cannot literally hear drool coming from posts. That's done figuratively. Thank you. Please commence with scolding me for being a schoolmarm; I deserve it.

1literal
adj \ˈli-t(ə ;-)rəl\
Definition of LITERAL
1
a : according with the letter of the scriptures b : adhering to fact or to the ordinary construction or primary meaning of a term or expression : actual <liberty in the literal sense is impossible B. N. Cardozo> c : free from exaggeration or embellishment <the literal truth> d : characterized by a concern mainly with facts <a very literal man>
2
: of, relating to, or expressed in letters
3
: reproduced word for word : exact, verbatim <a literal translation>
www.m-w.com

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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. Futile, defined: Having no useful result
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AngkorWot Donating Member (792 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. Irregardless, mistakes like that are a diamond dozen.
In this doggy dog world, there's no point in getting upset over it, for all intensive purposes. Really, I could care less.
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. I hate the misuse of littorally, that's for shore!
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Excellent!!!
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. MineralMan will be so proud!
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DisgustipatedinCA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. No....I remember his multipart manifesto
I just had a small little outburst of pedantry. I'm all better now, and I'd have to guess that Mineral Man wouldn't be impressed with my lack of staying power on the subject.
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Actually, I a big fan of the grammar police...
... and anything else that helps DU members better frame and articulate (and spell) their cases!



A gentle correction is always appreciated.
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. then allow me to gently point out that you're missing an "am"
;) :hi:
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. LOL Thanks, I needed that! n/t
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. meh -- it's just a colloquialism, and has been used that way since the 18th century
I see it as akin to "seriously" or "honestly," as in a sentence like: "Seriously, when people misuse that word it literally makes my ears bleed." The use of serious does not indicate seriousness, but rather hyperbole, just as the use of literally does. As with most colloquialisms, it generally doesn't belong in formal prose, and people should be wary of the potential of being misunderstood, but that's unlikely in expressions like "his head would literally explode," etc. Discussion on places like message boards (as in real life) often employ usages that are colloquial/non-standard.

I don't care for the usage, personally, but for stylistic reasons (it's not usually a particularly effective way to indicate hyperbole, and hyperbole is overused and often poorly executed anyway) rather than because that particular use (which, again, has a long history--OED has an example from 1769) runs counter to the original. But that's just me.

Inidentally, speaking of the OED:

c. colloq. Used to indicate that some (freq. conventional) metaphorical or hyperbolical expression is to be taken in the strongest admissible sense: virtually, as good as; (also) completely, utterly, absolutely.

Now one of the most common uses, although often considered irregular in standard English since it reverses the original sense of literally (not figuratively or metaphorically).


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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
11. I tell people
I will literally punch you in the neck the next time you use literally incorrectly.

TlalocW
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
12. I read that as "Liberal; defined: Adhering to fact..." and I thought that should
be the definition of Liberals. They do tell the truth.
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