Literally and Figuratively – OR – Two Words, Two Meanings

Literally: truly, actually, exactly.
Figuratively: metaphorically, not actually.

I’m getting severely concerned that “figuratively” will soon cease to exist because of society’s obsession with dramatizing and embellishing sentences, thoughts, and stories. I’m not so much concerned with individuals’ not understanding the difference between the two words at the beginning of this post; based on my experiences [with correcting people’s use of “literally”], the definitions are clearly understood. Perhaps I will never understand. Perhaps I should stop using “literally” sarcastically in order to save its f-word opposite. Perhaps…ugh. I literally can’t even.

Anyway, I’ve rounded up a couple of my favorite images/cartoons/memes that really drive home the misuse of literally, and I would be doing the word “literally” a disservice if I did not include a Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) clip from Parks and Recreation. Feast your eyes, literally.


Unfortunately, I cannot find the originator of the following two cartoons, so if you’re out there, contact me and I’ll add the appropriate attribution. Because, besides the “ANNOYING” and “WAY MORE ANNOYING” headings, these images satisfy my sarcastic mindset and frustration with the love I have for the English language.

LiterallyFiguratively


Someecards: humoring me with the irony of the world since whenever I first discovered them.

Apostrophe S Literally


The Oatmeal publishes wonderful little nuggets, and their literally comic is no exception.


And while I’ll never get over Parks and Recreation ending, that doesn’t stop me from promoting and referencing it every chance I get. Chris Traeger is especially appropriate for this post…

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