Who taught: Many friends, The Big Bang Theory and Alex
If you were in the U.S., one of the words you would hear very often is this word, “literally.”
The definition of literal is
Taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory
Another definition is “free from exaggeration or distortion.”
A few days ago, Alex commented on my last post. He mentioned that there is a difference between literal speech and figurative speech. As I read his comment, the first word that came to my mind is this word, literally. You know why? It’s because of this TV show, The Big Bang Theory. In an episode where Penny was seeing this guy who is not as smart as the other guys in the show like Sheldon. I mean who can be even considered to be as smart as those guys, especially Sheldon. Anyway, this guy who is literally dumb says, “I haven’t been to a comic book store in literally a million years.” And, Sheldon who is a PhD, of course, reacts like this guy does not have any clue what he is talking about, saying ‘Literally… Literally A MILLION YEARS?”
Can you get it? I am sure you can because you are smarter than Penny’s boy friend. Oh man! You should see this show. This show literally makes me laugh all the time.
So, the point here is that you will hear many people using this word, literally, not to mean something literal, but to exaggerate something that is not literal at all. If you think about it more, it is a very strong exaggeration. To me, it’s a figurative speech using the word, literal. How ironic! So, it is not bad and you can totally use it.
One tip! If someone says literally for something that is not really literal at all, don’t act like Sheldon in the show. That is not cool. If one of your close friends did, well you could be his/her Sheldon. It would be fun. 🙂 That is something I am going to try next time my friend says literally.