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Author Topic: What the hell, English?  (Read 1490 times)

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Donald X.

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2017, 06:56:22 pm »
+1

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
I don't follow you. It's the same. In "I ate a million pickles," "a million" means "a million," even though I did not eat a million pickles. In "I literally ate a million pickles," "literally" means "literally" (in the sense of "actually," not, "word-for-word"). In "I actually ate a million pickles," "actually" means "actually."

If you are saying "literally should only mean word-for-word," well that ship sailed even earlier.

No, I mean what I said. Maybe people use "actually" instead of "literally" because it hasn't lost its meaning like "literally" has, not because people complain about one and not the other.
I don't know what meaning of "literally" you think "literally" no longer has.
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DG

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2017, 07:00:37 pm »
+2

Literally in this context has virtually no meaning apart from emphasis, just like swear words when they are used as adjectives or adverbs.
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infangthief

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2017, 02:41:41 am »
0

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
I don't follow you. It's the same. In "I ate a million pickles," "a million" means "a million," even though I did not eat a million pickles. In "I literally ate a million pickles," "literally" means "literally" (in the sense of "actually," not, "word-for-word"). In "I actually ate a million pickles," "actually" means "actually."

If you are saying "literally should only mean word-for-word," well that ship sailed even earlier.
I believe the use of "literal", to mean word-for-word, is still firmly in port, so I think it unlikely that the corresponding meaning of "literally" has quite rounded Cape Horn yet.
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silverspawn

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2017, 05:20:55 am »
0

Apparently, "literally" is not as misused as I had thought: https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/literally-centuries-of-non-literal-literally/

How can I bust someone's chops for using "literally" as "figuratively" when Bronte, Dickens, and Joyce have all used it that way?

This week may have literally blown my mind now.

This message never sinks through, but in fact no-one ever uses "literally" to mean "figuratively." No-one ever does that, not ever. People use "literally" to exaggerate. If I say, "I ate a million pickles," I am exaggerating. If I say, "I literally ate a million pickles," I am still exaggerating; I have not shifted to meaning "I figuratively ate a million pickles." That word "literally" isn't me pointing out that I'm being figurative; it's me exaggerating even more.

Yeah that is totally true.

Donald X.

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2017, 05:55:03 am »
0

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
I don't follow you. It's the same. In "I ate a million pickles," "a million" means "a million," even though I did not eat a million pickles. In "I literally ate a million pickles," "literally" means "literally" (in the sense of "actually," not, "word-for-word"). In "I actually ate a million pickles," "actually" means "actually."

If you are saying "literally should only mean word-for-word," well that ship sailed even earlier.
I believe the use of "literal", to mean word-for-word, is still firmly in port, so I think it unlikely that the corresponding meaning of "literally" has quite rounded Cape Horn yet.
I don't know what you mean by this. I don't know what you are referring to when you say "the corresponding meaning of literally," or how you are using your metaphors. My best guess is that you are saying that non-"word-for-word" uses of "literally" must be lacking legitimacy due to the continued use of "literally" in the "word-for-word" sense; that doesn't make any sense though, lots of words mean more than one thing with ease.

I don't mind if you don't wish to explain yourself, or if LF doesn't; I am just telling you, that is how the communication has gone so far. All I can do is try to interpret the words that appear on my monitor.

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Witherweaver

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2017, 06:34:55 am »
0

These days sometimes people use "actually" to mean "literally," because no-one complains about that yet.

Or maybe because it still means what it's supposed to mean, unlike "literally"?
I don't follow you. It's the same. In "I ate a million pickles," "a million" means "a million," even though I did not eat a million pickles. In "I literally ate a million pickles," "literally" means "literally" (in the sense of "actually," not, "word-for-word"). In "I actually ate a million pickles," "actually" means "actually."

If you are saying "literally should only mean word-for-word," well that ship sailed even earlier.

No, I mean what I said.

Do you mean to say that you were being literal?
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Witherweaver

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Re: Biweekly, bimonthly, etc.
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2017, 06:51:48 am »
+2

If you literally ate a million pickles, you would be some kind of machine for trolling forums and eating pickles.

This is literally the best thing I've ever read.
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Cuzz

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2017, 11:02:15 am »
+1

Language is alive and has been for thousands of years and isn't ever ever going to conform to your rules regardless of how logical you insist that they are.

People complain about literally being used as exaggeration but never have a problem with "really" being used in similar ways. But, like, what do you think "really" started out as meaning? It's got a big hint right there in the spelling.
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Witherweaver

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2017, 11:25:32 am »
+2

Language is alive and has been for thousands of years and isn't ever ever going to conform to your rules regardless of how logical you insist that they are.

People complain about literally being used as exaggeration but never have a problem with "really" being used in similar ways. But, like, what do you think "really" started out as meaning? It's got a big hint right there in the spelling.

Really?
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Cuzz

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2017, 11:36:25 am »
0

Also pretty sure I disagree with DXV on the figurative thing. In the sentence "He is literally the devil," "literally" is being used figuratively.
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sudgy

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2017, 11:37:10 am »
+1

Also pretty sure I disagree with DXV on the figurative thing. In the sentence "He is literally the devil," "literally" is being used figuratively.

What if you're actually talking about the devil?
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   Quote from: sudgy on June 31, 2011, 11:47:46 pm

Cuzz

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2017, 11:40:02 am »
+1

Also pretty sure I disagree with DXV on the figurative thing. In the sentence "He is literally the devil," "literally" is being used figuratively.

What if you're actually talking about the devil?

You mean if I'm literally referring to the devil?
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Witherweaver

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2017, 12:00:10 pm »
+5

Then you would say, "He is actually literally the devil."
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Cuzz

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2017, 12:10:36 pm »
+3

Then you would say, "He is actually literally the devil."

I think "literally actually" is the standard the Times uses.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 12:12:00 pm by Cuzz »
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Puk

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2017, 01:35:26 pm »
0

Language is alive and has been for thousands of years and isn't ever ever going to conform to your rules regardless of how logical you insist that they are.

Agree. If you want a logical language, learn a programming language.
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Donald X.

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2017, 02:31:35 pm »
0

No, I mean what I said. Maybe people use "actually" instead of "literally" because it hasn't lost its meaning like "literally" has, not because people complain about one and not the other.
I do not know what meaning you are saying "literally" has lost. As far as I can tell it means all of the things it's ever meant.

Edit: oops I said this already.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 06:32:42 pm by Donald X. »
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Donald X.

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2017, 02:33:10 pm »
+5

Also pretty sure I disagree with DXV on the figurative thing. In the sentence "He is literally the devil," "literally" is being used figuratively.
Using "literally" figuratively does not mean using "literally" to mean "figuratively."
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Cuzz

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2017, 02:44:27 pm »
0

Also pretty sure I disagree with DXV on the figurative thing. In the sentence "He is literally the devil," "literally" is being used figuratively.
Using "literally" figuratively does not mean using "literally" to mean "figuratively."

This is fair.
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Witherweaver

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #43 on: September 30, 2017, 03:48:25 pm »
0

Also pretty sure I disagree with DXV on the figurative thing. In the sentence "He is literally the devil," "literally" is being used figuratively.
Using "literally" figuratively does not mean using "literally" to mean "figuratively."

I actually didn't get what you were saying until you worded it this way.
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Cuzz

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2017, 05:02:02 pm »
0

Also pretty sure I disagree with DXV on the figurative thing. In the sentence "He is literally the devil," "literally" is being used figuratively.
Using "literally" figuratively does not mean using "literally" to mean "figuratively."

I actually didn't get what you were saying until you worded it this way.

Right, like when someone says "I literally ate a million pickles" they don't mean "I figuratively ate a million pickles" because likely no one ever would say the second one. It might even be true, in contrast to the first, but it's not what they intended to say.
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tripwire

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #45 on: September 30, 2017, 05:47:46 pm »
0

Just in case anyone is wondering: on average a person would have to eat about 28 pickles a day to literally eat one million pickles in a life time
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sudgy

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #46 on: September 30, 2017, 05:53:16 pm »
+1

Just in case anyone is wondering: on average a person would have to eat about 28 pickles a day to literally eat one million pickles in a life time

Hey, that's actually doable!  How healthy are pickles?
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   Quote from: sudgy on June 31, 2011, 11:47:46 pm

Witherweaver

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #47 on: September 30, 2017, 05:54:42 pm »
0

Just in case anyone is wondering: on average a person would have to eat about 28 pickles a day to literally eat one million pickles in a life time

Hey, that's actually doable!  How healthy are pickles?

Not a good source of calories, actually. You'd need to eat other stuff. But you'd be getting a lot of salt from all those pickles. Dangerous levels I think.
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Kirian

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #48 on: September 30, 2017, 06:30:09 pm »
+1

Literally in this context has virtually no meaning apart from emphasis, just like swear words when they are used as adjectives or adverbs.

This is fucking literally the best fucking thing in this thread.

Language is alive and has been for thousands of years and isn't ever ever going to conform to your rules regardless of how logical you insist that they are.

Agree. If you want a logical language, learn a programming language.

Yes.  Start with Brainfuck.  Good luck.
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Witherweaver

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Re: What the hell, English?
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2017, 06:51:14 pm »
0

If you're going to learn a programming language, learn Arnold C. Literally the best programming language ever, literally.
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