…mean what you say
There’s been a bit of an uproar lately as grammar enthusiasts have discovered Google’s alteration of their definition of “literally.” And if you didn’t already know that was the topic of this post, you either completely skipped over the image at the top (go back), or the fact probably won’t bother you all that much.
For many of us the descent into haphazard use of the English language is worrisome and tiresome. Just because everyone is using the word incorrectly doesn’t mean we should go around changing the rules for them.
Imagine if that was the way the world worked: Imagine the chaos that would consume our lives if each mistake made meant the rules were changed in favor of the offender.
Professional sports would cease to exist due to the exhausting process of changing the rules every time they were broken. Or at the very least they’d be played by steroid-fueled super-humans. Anarchy would be the rule of the day.
Basically, disrespecting grammar ends in anarchy, end of story. Of course, I’m not being literal but figurative with a touch of hyperbole. Still, while I’m not thrilled with this adjustment it is just Google. They are trying to be everything for everyone, but a dictionary they still are not. Let’s check a more reputable source like Dictionary.com.
Dictionary.com, your definition of “literally,” literally contradicts itself. You can’t use a word that literally is often confused for to define the word literally. That doesn’t make sense.
Well, Dictionary.com is just a website, let’s check with the real authority. The “we also come in print” dictionary itself: Merriam-Webster.
Your usage discussion is where that second definition belongs. Can it be used in a hyperbolic sense? Yes, of course, but that doesn’t alter the definition of the word. That simply changes the context.
And, really what do the Americans know about the English language. There’s no way the Brits would stoop to this level of grammatical pandering.
I give up. An emphatic, hyperbolic definition of the word literally is just too much for me.
Sorry English majors, the value of your choice of studies has reached a new low…should have gone with Philosophy.
…and because this deserves a second viewing…
Posted on August 13, 2013, in Humor, News, Opinion, Randomness, Thoughts and tagged definitions, dictionary, Google, literal, literally, parks and recreation, Rob Lowe. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.