Saturday, November 08, 2008

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I ran across an article on the BBC website yesterday about the top ten most annoying things people say, and one of them was the use of the word "literally" when the person using it is not speaking literally at all. This conversation I heard recently came to mind as a perfect example and I am sharing it with you first of all as a cautionary tale and secondly because it still makes me laugh.

A: This depiction of reporters isn't actually realistic. I was a reporter for many years. For the most part, they're not that rabid.
B: But wasn't there ever a story you literally would have killed for?
A: No, I never would have killed someone for a story.
B: But literally, you wouldn't have killed for a story?
A: . . . No.


Ivan said...

you once sent me a present that said "yup, i got you a murder weapon. happy birthday!" and honestly, that kind of humor (which i totally respect!) makes me think you're the sort of person that would literally kill for a story... or at the very least maim.

Simon said...

1. you've never gotten a murder weapon for your birthday before? i guess that's just a special tradition in my family then...

2. the fact that said murder weapon was actually a lobster pick makes it, i think, somewhat less menacing

3. i would kill characters for the sake of a fictional story. i would not kill actual people for a news story. because i do not want to BE a news story.