Misuse of the word 'literally' can conjure up some strange mental images...
|The 'How To Save The World' books.|
"You'll literally laugh your head off!"
However, I remember watching Stephen Fry argue once that language is a living thing and that language is constantly evolving. So if people are constantly using a word to mean something other than what it was originally intended, you could therefore argue that after a certain length of time this word then acquires a new meaning. For example the word ‘fabulous’ originally meant ‘pertaining to fables,’ i.e. a centaur or a griffon, for example. But nowadays ‘fabulous’ is just a word which posh people use to mean ‘brilliant’.
I remember arguing with a mate once about language and when I quoted the wisdom of Stephen Fry on language in support of my viewpoint my mate then suddenly conceded the argument stating, ‘You can’t argue with Stephen Fry when it comes to language.’ I would have to agree, so maybe you could argue that the word ‘literally’ has now developed a new meaning, i.e. ‘literally’ now means ‘not literally at all’.
Anyway, whether the word ‘literally’ has obtained a new meaning or not, when taken literally it can produce some interesting mental images, so I thought it would be a cool idea to compile a list of quotes which quite literally use the word ‘literally’ in a totally non-literal sense.