Friday, March 2, 2007

Like, literally.

It just occured to me (duh!) that like is often used where the speaker means something occurred literally , e.g.:

"The icicles were, like, falling off the roof."

Often people say literally in situations where something is like another thing, e.g.:

"My hands and feet were literally burning." ("My hands and feet felt like they were burning.") Or: "She was literally a father and mother to him." (Only one case where this could apply, that I know of - Cartman!!)

Another example of a constantly changing language: last week on Fresh Air I heard Maureen Corrigan's review of Ben Yagoda's When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It. She mentioned Pimp My Ride, where the first word has morphed from noun to verb, and the last word from verb to noun.

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