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Literally

February 2, 2010

Sorry Martin, but the English love the word – literally. They use it all the time. At the start of a sentence for no reason: ‘Literally, the tube was packed’. In the middle of a sentence, again for no reason: ‘The tube was literally packed’. Incorrectly as a metaphor: ‘The world is, literally, her oyster’.

Just as Australians might say ‘um’ or ‘er’, the English say ‘literally’. Although they use it with a vague understanding of the word. They use it to highlight a point, in place or words like really, absolutely, actually, genuinely and positively.

Here is an amusing blog that tracks the abuse of the word.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Singaporean in London permalink
    August 29, 2010 11:29 pm

    Oh, don’t forget the word “obviously” as well… Obviously, that’s one of the most used words as it’s literally placed at the start of every other sentence!

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