Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Friday, December 19, 2014

Literally - not so much...


Definition of LITERALLY
1:  in a literal sense or manner :  actually
2:  in effect :  virtually literally [Emphasis mine - K]
I love the English language.  It is versatile and you are able to nuance the hell out of statements, questions, and insults.  I'm not a master of the language by any measure - and I SUCK at punctuation.  So, I am an English enthusiast.  So from inside my little glass hut, I'm gonna throw a brick. (I'm not throwing the brick until graf 6 - the rest is simply chatting among friends - I'm not scolding ANY of my readers.)

At least once a year I like to post a little reminder specifically for our female readers, especially our younger females who had no chance at even a remotely acceptable education because of their age.  I remind our female readers that I never bother with the he/she nonsense when using pronouns.  When writing in English the male includes the female.  No, your gender is not female simply because you have a vagina - that's your sex.  In fact, that you do or do not have a vagina is absolutely, LITERALLY immaterial to your gender (For you English Geeks ;) - gimme this one. I know it is a bit sloppy in precision, but to be precise would require way more writing than I am up for at the moment. ;).  Sex and gender are NOT the same.  I don't care how many people call a Zebra a Lion, a Zebra is not a Lion.  I don't care how many tons of stupid you can fit in a 5 gallon bucket - adding more stupid doesn't get you any closer to being correct.

So, ladies, if you've ever felt I have been discriminatory when writing because my pronouns are male, now you know I am simply writing properly, not rudely.  (Caveat: It is entirely possible I am writing properly as well as rudely.  ;)

For those helpful folks who write me when I write about having 'taken' a decision versus 'making' a decision, it is, again, because I am writing the language as is proper.  One can't "make" a decision.  One can't "create" a decision.  What one can do is choose from the available options/solutions, thus "take" a decision.  So that's that.

Why am I bothering with this at all?

Because I just became aware that the brainiacs at Webster's dictionary (now THAT's an oxymoron) have, in their brilliance of safeguarding the use of our language, decided to add a second meaning to the word 'literally'.  Why?  Well, they claim it is because so many people use the word incorrectly in daily usage, they may as well simply change it to mean what all the WRONG people say it means.  And when I say people use it incorrectly, I mean 180 degrees from the ACTUAL meaning of the word.  Need I remind you of the Zebra and the Lion?  The folks at Websters added more stupid to the bucket, and see - no closer to 'correct;.

The word 'Literally' has, so far as I know, always meant 'Actually'.  It's an absolute.  There is no room to nuance the word literally.  It's one of those words you can't play with.  When you use it, it means X - every f'n time, it means X.  When you use it improperly, you should be receiving - at a minimum - sad glances from people who actually understand the language. 

When you say you are going to 'storm the gates at the castle' you may or may not plan to actually assault any castle.

When you say you are going to '...literally storm the gates at the castle' - you'd better have a flippin' war axe in your hand.

Literally means LITERALLY you fucktards at Webster's!  And when I say the folks at Websters are LITERALLY FUCKTARDS, I am not being hyperbolic.  I am not using their new, added 'acceptable meaning'.  I think when you look up the word Fucktard you should see the company photos of the people working at Webster's. 

Oh, and one last thing - an ellipsis is not a pause for dramatic effect.  At least until the new Webster's comes out...



  1. I've spent 21 years with a man who uses "domicile" in the place of "docile", as in "the prisoner was domicile". In the beginning of the relationship, I tried correcting him gently. When he mocked me for creating the word "docile", something broke in me. Now I'm immune to such ill uses of the English language. Literally.

  2. Calm down or you're going to have a stroke and then you'll have to use that Imperial walker. Bawhahaha!

  3. (Chuckling) MissV never uses vague language. :)

    "(Caveat: It is entirely possible I am writing properly as well as rudely. ;)"


    1. "(Chuckling) MissV never uses vague language. :) "

      Only with my hands, no, wait, I'm going to have to take that back.

  4. In the Corps, we used the term "shit a decision" if somebody was wavering or indecisive.

    As in, "Hurry up and shit a decision, asshole!"

    Works for me...


  5. MY TURN !!!! did someone do a two-step through someone else's toastee-o;s recently..??? lolololol

    it's been a hairy (or is it harry or harey) week... i needed a laugh but the reality is: more stupid in the bucket doesn't make any stupid situation correct...

  6. Webster's was replaced by Newspeak some years ago. "Literally" means in your imagination only...just as "freedom" means slavery.

    The gender thing is one of English's few weaknesses. A lot of people nowadays use the plural form for genderless references, even when singular---"To each, their own" or, "Any person has a right to their property." In theory your usage may be better, but the explanations get tiring, eh?

    Yes, we MAKE a decision. You're right that we pick or take from alternatives, but we create THOSE in our minds. Hence the process is wholly one of creation and therefore "make" is vastly superior. Otherwise, it sounds like a platter from which you're taking, and who the hell did the cooking?

    But Zoomie's right...in a pinch, you shit 'em. Zoomie's always right; that's axiomatic.

  7. I've always been pedantic when it comes to word usage, grammar, and spelling. My mother started teaching me to read and how to use a dictionary (I've read 6 cover to cover) before I was in kindergarten. Your rant about the definition of "literally" struck a nerve with me. The atrocious state of writing these days drives me crazy. I get called a grammar nazi all the time.
    The word usage that really twists my knickers is decimate (to reduce by one tenth), when devastate (to destroy utterly) is what's meant.

    1. That's why a prescriptive approach to language is a losing cause.

      Come to think of it, that may not be so off-topic in this place at all.


Please post anonymously. III Society members, please use your Call Sign.