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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Literally...

From an ad for a conference called Blogworld (which I will not attend): "I leave with my brain literally on fire."

Either this fellow needs to learn the definition of the word "literally," or someone should pass him a heavy-duty fire extinguisher.

This has become one of my pet peeves. Writers must understand that "literal" allows no room for metaphor.
Comments:
Q: What's a metaphor?

A: To keep cows in.
 
A kindred misused word is "ironic," which means "the opposite of what is expected." "Ironic" is the inverse of "coincidental," for which it is often substituted, wrongly.

It's ironic that the most exciting World Series of recent memory ended with such a routine game. Coincidentally, I was there.

yet the words are used interchangeably.
 
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