Literally vs. Figuratively

December 16, 2013 | by Anne Curzan

“Her speech literally blew me away.” “I literally died of embarrassment.” Are these speakers making a usage faux pas, or is this a natural progression in the use of “literally”? LSA English Professor Anne Curzan explains the way the meaning of the word “literally” has changed and why this should not make us fear – literally or figuratively -- for the future of the English language.

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Video production by Natalie Condon and Rob Hess.


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