Art of Eloquence Blog — literally RSS

Everyone Who's Anyone is an Expert. Aren't You?

Last week I talked about the misuse (and overuse) of the word "literally."  This week, I continue my series of misused words with the word, "Expert."  Expert is another word that has "literally" been overused to the point of being lost in meaninglessness.  With so many able to claim expert status on the net, everyone is an expert in something these days.  Aren't you? If you've been on Twitter for any length of time, you will notice a huge influx of Marketing Experts and Social Networking Gurus.  I'm followed by at least one per day!  Hundreds of them per day spam my Twitter and email accounts with things like, "How to get six million followers before lunch!" and "Make money...

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Literally is Literally the Most Overused Word

Literally, according to Merriam Webster, the word "literally" literally means: Main Entry: lit·er·al·ly Pronunciation: ?li-t?-r?-l?, ?li-tr?-l?, ?li-t?r-l? Function: adverb Date: 1533 1 : in a literal sense or manner : actually <took the remark literally> <was literally insane> 2 : in effect : virtually <will literally turn the world upside down to combat cruelty or injustice — Norman Cousins> Usage: Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposite of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary. People use the word "literally" when they literally mean it actually, really, literally happened. And it has...

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