I just stopped reading a blog piece I was interested in because the author used the word “literally” twice, both superfluously, before the third paragraph had ended. I mean, I literally stopped reading. Literally. Stopped.
But how else can I stop, besides literally? If I had done anything but actually stop reading, then I would use another word or phrase, such as “slowed down”, “took a break from” or “read with less interest”. But I stopped reading, which means my reading ceased, it came to an end.
Friends, we have a problem with the word “literally”. We have become utterly addicted to throwing it into sentences. Its overuse knows few bounds. I hear my college students overusing it, I hear adults overusing it, I hear second-graders overusing it. I went to an academic conference last month where it was so overused that at one point during a mid-afternoon breakout, I had the following text exchange with my colleague who sat next to me: Continue reading “Literally, stop saying “literally””