February 5, 2011

Literally...One of My Top Pet Peeves

I'm watching a new show on the Syfy channel called Face Off. It's one of the few reality shows I'm willing to give a try. The concept is cool, but I'm only halfway through the first episode and the contestants have literally annoyed me to the point I'm ready to delete it from my DVR and never watch it again.

As with other reality shows, this one has little side interviews with the contestants. They explain what was happening, give their opinions, snark on other contestants, etc. The problem? This bunch injects the word "literally" into their interviews quite often and always inappropriately. It's happening so often, it could be a drinking game.

"Yay! Gabe said literally! Take a drink!"

"Anthony just said it. Take another shot!"

"Go, Jessica! Drink! Oops, getting a little tipsy now."

People. When you use the word literally, it means that you actually did whatever you just stated. So when one guy said he "literally did back flips." I expected to see him doing them. No. It doesn't mean you mentally did something or you emotionally did something. It means you ACTUALLY did it.

I hear people misuse this word every day and I'm always tempted to correct them, but I can't. That would be rude. Instead I grit my teeth and let it go. But maybe I should begin speaking up. Maybe if I teach a few people the proper use of the word, perhaps it will literally ripple across America and things will change. Or maybe I'll literally get a slap in the face and never bring it up again.


  1. People don't want to change...you just have to stay quiet and live with it.

  2. Wish we could change people. This is a pet peeve of mine too.

  3. I literally took flight when I read this! I agree! ;)

  4. I literally agree with what you wrote! hehe People using words like "literally" wrong is a pet peeve of mine too. I mean, really? You literally fell out of your chair laughing? Are you okay? Did you hurt yourself?

    Thanks for the tip! That's one more SyFy show I can avoid!

  5. Preach it, sister! I'm right behind you. (But not literally, what with that 1/2 of a country land mass between us.)

    Once after an all-night flight I literally fell asleep and(almost) fell out of my chair at a rehearsal. Woke up with face just inches from my knee. And that's truth. Literally.

    I have no idea why your post reminded me of that little escapade. It's probably a sign of early-onset insanity due to being (literally) snowed in all week.

  6. @Christy: I literally wanted to jump up and down when I read this, but my boss frowns on that. So I literally spun my chair around. This caused a few funny looks, but nothing I'm not used to. They should know me by now. My fingers then flew across the keyboard, but not literally, in order to forward the link to your blog to a few chosen friends who could appreciate this posting.

    @tastinggod: That is funny! I've never literally fallen asleep in a chair in public (assuming rehearsal was in public).

  7. @Steven, don't bother. I've watched two episodes and not really worth it.

    @Susan, LOL! No one woke you as your head slowly lowered to your knees?

    @Hooka Looka, thanks for passing the link on!

  8. Hehe, did you ever watch the sitcom Frasier? He was a radio shrink and people called into the show for advice. I think you might sympathize with Frasier in this quotation (er, actually found the whole setup on the internet):

    Doug: Look, it's about my mother. She's getting on now and she doesn't have much of a life. And she doesn't want to do anything or go anywhere and she literally hangs around the house all day. I mean, it's very frustrating...

    Frasier: I'm sorry Doug, can we just go back a second? You said your mother literally hangs around the house. Well, I suppose it's a pet peeve of mine but I suppose what you mean is that
    she figuratively “hangs around” the house. To literally hang around the house you'd have to be a bat or spider monkey. Now, back to your problem?

    Doug: Do you mind if we stop while I tell you my pet peeve?

    Frasier: Not at all.

    Doug: I hate it when intellectual pinheads with
    superiority complexes nit-pick your grammar when they come to you for help. That's what I got a problem with! [hangs up]

    Frasier: I think what he means is, that is a thing with which he has a problem.

  9. @Lindsay, LOL! I think I saw that episode. Love it!