The definition of “literally” is no longer the literal definition of “literally.”
So-called language nerds’ heads (like mine) explode when they hear someone mis-use the word “literally,” as in, “language nerds’ heads LITERALLY explode!”
But dictionaries seem to be going along with the new usage. Google’s online definition now includes “used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling.”
Merriam-Webster and Cambridge dictionaries are also adding the informal, non-literal definition. Some language experts seem to be saying this could LITERALLY be the end of the English language.
Of course, one of the primary (and most hilarious) mis-users of the word is Rob Lowe’s Chris Traeger on the TV show Parks & Recreation. Enjoy the supercut below.