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to get unnaturally enraged when i see the words "literally"; and "random" misused by just about everyone these days?

(48 Posts)
mayorquimby Tue 07-Oct-08 12:28:53

like when people say "i was in a bar and i randomly bumped into john" that's not f'ing random that's a coincidence.
or people saying things like "i literally died when i saw him/he literally threw the rule book out the window" when they neither passed away nor did someone fling an actual rule book of some kind out an open window.

nametaken Tue 07-Oct-08 12:30:16

yanbu - I hate it too grin

MamaG Tue 07-Oct-08 12:31:25

are you my DH?

He said both things last night shock

mayorquimby Tue 07-Oct-08 12:35:03

ha ha doubt i'm yor dh, but maybe it's a bloke thing to be annoyed about.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 07-Oct-08 12:37:07

"literally" means "figuratively" now. I don't know why, but it does.

Coincidences are random, I don't understand your objection to that usage.

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 07-Oct-08 12:38:44

I like the word 'random' used just as a statement (Armstrong & Miller's airmen sketch to blame I'm afraid)

AMumInScotland Tue 07-Oct-08 12:42:30

I hate "literally" misused.

But "random" doesn't bother me, because they're not totally ignoring the meaning, just twisting it!

sherbetdipdab Tue 07-Oct-08 12:46:21

There was a book out last Christmas about people using "literally" out of context, I laughed so hard in WhSmith reading it that DP marched me out.

There are pictures that go with the quotes, I particualrly remember 'Abraham Lincoln literally gave birth to the American Army....' grin

theyoungvisiter Tue 07-Oct-08 12:47:42

I don't care.

Language is a fluid and ever-changing entity. Just look at the OED entry for words like "silly" and "fit" if you want to see examples of words that have totally changed their meaning over time - and we don't expect anyone to use the original meaning now.

Yes, "literally" is often used colloquially in a way that is different to the dictionary definition, and yes, in an ideal world people would know what that dictionary definition and abide by it in formal usage.

But there is no point in being King Canute trying to hold back the tide of people's changing usage of words in general conversation.

ghosty Tue 07-Oct-08 12:47:59

Yeah, it's like, literally, totally, random

2point4kids Tue 07-Oct-08 12:49:25

I randomly met this guy yesterday and he literally talked like that ALL the time.

SO annoying

theyoungvisiter Tue 07-Oct-08 12:50:45

Plus I'm with other posters - puzzled at your objection to "random"?

Surely it isn't a mis-usage - if the person didn't go there to meet John then it IS random chance that caused them to be in the same place at the same time?

AMumInScotland Tue 07-Oct-08 13:06:18

"Random" has just stretched to include anything unexpected or surprising.

Kathyis6incheshigh Tue 07-Oct-08 13:11:09

I know words change and all that, but sometimes you really do literally piss yourself laughing and if this goes on there will be no way to say it hmm

NappiesGalore Tue 07-Oct-08 13:11:51

yes yabu

focus your rage/energies into something of consequence. you know it makes sense.

christywhisty Tue 07-Oct-08 13:14:56

Random seem's to be my 11 year old DD's favorite word at the moment. She always seems to be using it

tarantula Tue 07-Oct-08 13:19:51

Can I just point out that King Cnut was trying to prove that you can't hold back the tide. Not that I'm trying to be pedantic or anything grin

LadySanders Tue 07-Oct-08 13:22:11

i like random as in armstrong and miller too.

lately i am irritated by the misuse of the word "essential" (especially in letters from school) when what they actually mean is "preferred" or "useful"

sparkybabe Tue 07-Oct-08 13:22:42

'That's random' seems to have replaced 'that's weird.'

Uriel Tue 07-Oct-08 13:24:53

<random>

theyoungvisiter Tue 07-Oct-08 13:26:06

ha ha - very true tarantula!!

Extra pedant star (gold) grin

Although I suppose you could still say that he was trying to hold it back - in that he made the attempt, while knowing it would fail.

UnquietDad Tue 07-Oct-08 13:26:36

It's all very well to say "language evolves" and so on, but the changes should be driven by need, not linguistic abuse or ignorance.

"Literally" really annoys me too. "I was literally over the moon."

bythepowerofgreyskull Tue 07-Oct-08 13:27:05

YANBU - I can't abide it.

theyoungvisiter Tue 07-Oct-08 13:33:28

Why should the changes be driven by need?

Surely language is a product of a mutual contract - when we say a certain set of phonemes we agree that we mean a certain concept in our head. That concept may change from person to person, region to region, time to time.

It's only comparatively recently that we've tried for formalise that contract by writing down our definitions in dictionaries - and then we get surprised because people continue to subtly alter the contractual bargain regardless of what someone in Oxford wrote down in 1984.

Is it worth getting upset because what a Scottish person means by a turnip isn't the same as what an English person means by the same word? No, we accept that there are different social contracts at work in different areas - this is just an example of the contract shifting over time instead of geographically.

Somehow we seem to think that just because we got there first with our definition it gives us a right to define a word for all time, regardless of what the next generation wants to do with it.

lulabellarama Tue 07-Oct-08 13:34:12

I remember watching the OJ Simpson murder trial and the judge saying 'The visit to the house literally ran like clockwork' and being appalled that a judge could make himself look so stupid.
Still, it's quite a funny mental image when you imagine a group of jurors wandering around a murder scene in clockwork.

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