The Oxford English Dictionary literally changed the definition of ‘literally’ and no one noticed

I am literally baffled by this. Literally. This move literally makes no sense. Now, it could be because I literally have an English degree, which is literally useless, or it could literally be that this decision is literally pandering to the literal masses. The Oxford English Dictionary has literally changed the definition of literally. Literally. I am literally not kidding. This literally happened. You literally don’t believe me? Well, I am literally holding the truth (Coors Light tallboy) in my hand. You can literally read about it right here.

Oxford English Dictionary Editor Fiona McPherson literally had this to say about the changes:

‘Our job is to describe the language people are using. The only reason this sense is included is because people are using it in this way.

‘Words have changed their meaning ever since the first word was uttered. Meat used to mean all food but now its sense has narrowed.’

Yup. So all of this time that you’ve spent correcting people on their use of literally, literally demanding that they say figuratively, and you have literally been the jerk. I am literally starting to lose steam at this point on the whole literal spamming of the word literally. I am literally pooped. On that note, now there will literally be a strange and suspenseful aura around such phrases as, “I literally pooped my pants!” If you actually (literally?) soiled yourself, or are just using literally for emphasis, people will literally be left in the dark.

You will also literally be considered a pants pooper for the rest of your life. This is literally not recent news. They made this change literally back in 2011, and literally no one even noticed it. Literally.

Published on August 16, 2013 at 3:12 am
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