The word ‘literally’ is literally overused.
Really, you hardly ever need to use it. See? I just said the same thing I just said without using ‘literally’, and it was just as effective and much less affected.
It’s ok to use it when your head literally explodes, because that is unexpected.If someone said, “My head just exploded,” you might say, “Damn! No shit? Literally just exploded?” Of course, if your head literally exploded, you probably wouldn’t need to underscore the actuality of the event, nor would you be the one to tell about it. Maybe that’s not the best example.
I heard that the fat president, Taft I think, or maybe that president that died from eating too many dried apricots and plums, (was it Zachary Taylor? Did I just look that up on Wikipedia or do I just happen to know stuff like that?) internally combusted. That would be a good one. “He literally combusted from prunes and shit!”
Or if you eat a bunch of super-hot peppers and literal flames shot out of your ass. One would expect something to shoot out of your ass, but not actual fire, so the literally is good there.
Most of the time when literally is used appropriately, some sort of explosion is necessary.
But not when you miss the train literally by 5 minutes. Do you think someone is going to question you so you have to make sure that they know that it was truly 5 minutes? “Come on now,” they ask concernedly. “Are you sure you didn’t miss that train by seven minutes?”
You don’t need to emphasize the veracity of the situation when you say “I literally fell down the steps!” Just “I fell down the steps!” is funny enough. Or, “My deadline is literally Thursday at 7.” Who cares? Not me, that’s for sure. I have deadlines to miss of my own.
Plus, people lie when they use literally. “I was literally starving!” Really? Belly full of air, flies around your head, hallucinating-dancing-hotdogs-starving? I don’t think so. Or, “I literally didn’t have a single thought in my head!”
That one might be true. Some people are literal idiots. Eejits. Egrets. Some people are literally egrets.
Yup. I literally choose to end this post with that thought. That just happened. Suck it, egret.