"No, no," say you. Civilization has been ending for so long that it is literally going out with a whimper and not a bang. "But it is worse than that," say I. The bang has a silencer on it. The whimper does not reach the intensity of a murmur. Civilization now literally expires with a sigh. [DE]
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By Jason Boog
For years, readers and writers have debated a common informal use of the word “literally.”
In conversation, some people use the word to provide exaggerated emphasis for a statement: “I love Haruki Murakami so much I literally read South of the Border, West of the Sun one hundred times.” Back in 2011, we even published a grammar PSA about the word.
Reddit reader andtheniansaid shared three separate dictionary definitions that include this informal usage, arguing that “it is okay to use the word ‘literally’ for emphasis.”
Here are three major dictionaries that mention the exaggerated “literally” usage…