Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Grammarian, XI

What's up with all the use of literally on the news?

This is literally driving me crazy. There are literally hundreds of times I hear every week in which newscasters abuse this word. It's literally everywhere. I am literally lying awake nights wondering if they have anyone screening their broadcasts for them, and saying that they use the word literally literally more than any other word. It's literally insane. Go ahead, turn on the news tonight, and I literally guarantee you that if you find some "breaking news" event on the national scene, you'll find some reporters or reporterettes literally breathless from having literally arrived at the scene seconds ago, saying something like "there are literally of people who have lost their homes here in southern California." Somebody tell them. I'm literally about to burst . . .

Seriously, boys and girls, let's remember that the proper use of language is a very good thing, because language is a gift from Almighty God. Now, let's always be careful that we don't condemn people for using bad grammar, of course, or even think poorly of them for doing so, as that would be bad manners (and a worse offense than bad grammar). But we ourselves should always strive for excellence in speech.

And I think we can be allowed to expect it of our newscasters too. People listen to them every night. Literally.

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