s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: And the prize for the most egregious use of the word “literally” in last Sunday's democratic debates goes to . . .

Monday, January 07, 2008

And the prize for the most egregious use of the word “literally” in last Sunday's democratic debates goes to . . .

Bill Richardson, for the line “Entrenched interests are literally stealing our children's future.”

No, Governor Richardson, outside of a sci-fi story, you cannot literally steal someone’s future.

10 Comments:

At January 07, 2008 6:38 PM, Blogger Miss Hass said...

Yikes. Perhaps we could start a campaign against the inappropriate use of 'literally'?

 
At January 07, 2008 9:01 PM, Blogger Katya said...

A friend of mine has a huge pet peeve about people using the word "literally" in figurative senses. As a good descriptivist, I shouldn't really care, since the meaning is still conveyed, but it's fun to think about what the literal interpretation would actually be . . .

 
At January 08, 2008 2:03 PM, Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

Hee hee. I love it.

 
At January 08, 2008 2:36 PM, Blogger Th. said...

.

Sure you can. How else could I be celebrating my 385th birthday this year?

 
At January 08, 2008 2:40 PM, Blogger Th. said...

.

(found it

 
At January 09, 2008 11:16 AM, Blogger Confuzzled said...

You're all obviously unaware of the conspiracy theory that Richardson is, literally, a time-manipulating alien :)

 
At January 09, 2008 2:36 PM, Blogger Peter said...

I think you can still be a descriptivist and recognize stupidity.

 
At January 12, 2008 1:40 AM, Blogger eleka nahmen said...

Brilliant :D

 
At February 05, 2008 11:08 PM, Blogger Janssen said...

oh man, this is one of my big pet peeves since my meeting my husband who notes every times someone does this: "It literally blew me away!" or "I was literally walking on air!"

Please.

 
At January 24, 2010 10:24 AM, Blogger Rob said...

To spend money today that must be repaid in the future by someone else; where that someone else has no say in today's use of funds (which monies are only credit today secured by someone else's actual produced value in the future) is to literally steal today money which must either be caused by someone else in the future to exist, or else force that someone else in the future to declare themselves bankrupt in that future time--very reasonably the someone forced to pay in the future for our decisions today will be our own descendants, our children if you will--thus we literally steal our children's future, we hijack it by force of credit today which must be paid later. Not the same misuse of literally as "literally walking on air". It is appropriate in the given context. We do literally execute cause today which will in the future result in a literal effect.

 

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