Literally – Self Help

“Literally” is the opposite of “figuratively”, so many authorities object to the use of literally as an intensifier for figurative statements. For example “you literally become the ball”, by the primary sense, would mean actually transforming into a spherical object, while it is likely that the speaker means “figuratively” and is using literally as an intensifier. However, it is now common in very informal speech for this mistake to be made, as in, “she was literally in floods of tears”.

What it means when you say “literally” – The Oatmeal.

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