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Literally

[This entry was originally posted on my MySpace blog. It was transferred to WordPress on 1/20/2013.]

I was watching the news one night awhile back and as I was not paying attention to the sports segments, I overheard a gentleman being interviewed as he said, “We literally mopped the floor with those guys tonight.”  Well, that caught my attention.  I giddily stopped what I was doing and paid attention to the television hoping they’d show it.  Imagine:  seeing a team of basketball players dunking the other team’s heads into mop buckets and rubbing their heads on the floor, causing it to be sparklingly clean.  Now that is something I would love to see.  However, they just ran a highlight reel of a game in which one team humiliatingly defeated the other by a very large margin.  I was disappointed.

A friend of mine told me one time that when he had heard some particularly surprising news, that “it literally hit [him] like a ton of bricks.”  I was confused, because he had not been to the hospital (that I knew of) and he did not seem to be sustaining any injuries.  I asked him if he was okay, but he said, “You know what I meant.”  I silently played along, assuming it must have taken place longer ago than I thought.  He seemed to have recovered.

Just a couple nights ago, I was watching election results and a reporter “in the field” as they say was at a particular candidate’s headquarters.  The reporter relayed that it was a very close race and that “they are literally glued to the TVs down here.”  Well, that is something I’d like to see.  I was waiting to see the footage of the people entertaining one another by super-gluing televisions to various appendages, or even their heads (!) but unfortunately, they didn’t show us that.  All I saw in the footage were a good number of people watching televisions quite attentively.

I wonder why people get my hopes up by saying something is “literally” happening, but disappoint me when it does not actually come to pass.  Maybe they do not realize that “literally” means “actually” rather than “figuratively”.  I guess that makes sense.  Maybe there was not actual mopping, brick hitting or glueing of televisions.  If that turns out to be the case, that may just become one of my pet peeves.

Time to wrap this up.  I’m literally about to fall asleep.

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