...busting up my brains for the words

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Language watch

I am a big fan of
But I couldn't help but notice one of my pet peeves in their Commentary today;

"THE BANDWAGON & 2008: Here's some good news for President Bush: the LA Times reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger has changed his mind and "may" campaign for Bush outside of California. If he does, the local and national publicity Arnold will generate for Bush will literally blot out the sun - and that includes anything Kerry and Edwards do in the days leading up to the RNC."

The word "literally" has been so blatantly misused for the past decade that half our literate population has forgotten what it means. I have no doubt the writers at RCP understand fully well what the definition of the word is. It's come to be accepted as a means of magnification. But the tragedy is that such exaggeration sullies this previously useful word.

I won't expect the English-speaking world to come to their senses any time soon in its usage. But in the meantime, I will be stocking up on extra lightbulbs in anticipation of Arnold's campaigning.


  • At 1:07 PM, Blogger Porlock said…

    There was a joke about this in an early episode of 'Frasier' where he tells the caller the word he should be using is 'figuratively'. The caller wasn't too happy about the on-air English lesson as i recall.

  • At 1:57 PM, Blogger pinkmonkeybird said…

    While I'm not a Frasier fan, I've seen a funny moment or two on the show. A stripper I once knew told me I remind her of Dr. Niles Crane...the character played by David Hyde Pierce.
    I must say I've never been able to understand why.


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