Posted by: blogone | April 29, 2006

There are thousands of people reading this, literally!

Have you noticed how so many people are using the word ‘literally’ in everyday speech? There must be millions of people doing it, literally. Have you noticed how the word ‘literally’ is being used to describe things that are more figurative than literal?

Here’s an example:
Person: It rained loads yesterday

Me: Yeah.

Person: It must have been 10 inches of water, literally.

Me: Are you sure?
Isn’t that more figurative, because there wasn’t 10 inches of water, there was barely an inch, literally.

Andrea and I were talking about this. So we’re going to try something and we’d like you to try it too. When you say something that is exaggerated use the word ‘figuratively’ at the end of the sentence or in the sentence.

Another example:

Me: “I was at a great house party last night, there must have been figuratively thousands of people there.”


If you prefer to not to do that do this, when you hear someone use ‘literally’ in the sentence, say at the end, “that’s not literal, that’s figurative.

This is bound to increase your standing with your friends / family and get you off the invite list to parties /events you never want to attend anyway.



  1. interesting..

    what about ads like this one, advertising a house for sale near my own house.

    “the bus is literally on the door-step”

  2. That is exactly the type of thing we are talking about. The bus stop can’t be on the doorstep. Are there lots of people on the doorstep between 7.30am and 9.00am waiting for a bus to take them to work, and again between 4.30pm and 6.00pm to take them home? I would think that if that were the case it would be less of a selling point for the house. Will you support our odd initiative and use the word FIGURATIVELY and / or point it out to others?

  3. you want me to literally speak differently to people?? have I got it?

  4. This post has been removed by the author.

  5. It would figuratively blow my mind if you did.

  6. ok – so you can consider that one as “back of the net”, figuratively speaking. I’ll slip that into my conversation.. I can almost feel the increased admiration for my already pedantic conversation.

  7. Oh my God – don’t get me started – this is like fingers scraping on a blackboard to me – literally (No, I mean it, it has exactly the same effect when I hear it, goosebumps, freezing cold, feeling of nausea – It’s incredible – well not literally incredible, because you would believe it and incredible means you wouldn’t believe it, unlike uncredible, which means, well nothing actually.)

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