You Can Now Use The Word “Literally” In Peace — Dictionaries Amend Definition

I sometimes feel that sorority girls literally have a language all their own. I’ve been told by gentleman callers, many a time, “I’ve got to be honest. I’m not a fan of the abbreviations.” Just today, a co-worker told me “I couldn’t replicate your speech pattern if I tried.” My mother has told me to cool it with the “likes” since before my first menses. The list goes on and on. One particular example, much to my delight, seems to have gone mainstream. The English language is finally catching on and submitting to our desires (just like everyone else in our lives). Thank heavens.

Google has added a second definition to everyone’s favorite word. In addition to the widely accepted meaning of the word “literally” — “In a literal manner or sense; exactly,” Google has added the following:

Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has also added the second meaning as a definition, and doesn’t explicitly accept this new definition, but explains that the word is often used hyperbolically in speech and in writing.

To borrow words from my bestie, “We’re literally light years ahead of the dictionary.” Literally. What does this mean for us? Very little, besides knowing that when those snarky little shits petulantly correct, “Well, you don’t mean ‘literally,’” we can now say, “Actually, I literally do. Look it up, punk.”

Sorority girls: 1, English language: 0.

[via Brooklyn Magazine]

Image via Brooklyn Magazine


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Veronica Ruckh

Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at

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