5 Reasons To Never Use The Word “Literally”


Even this kitten thinks you're an idiot.

Deep within the bowels of society, a new enemy rests.

A word.

A word ready to burst out of the badonkadonk of pop culture and destroy us all with its pungent smell.

The word ‘literally’.

If you’ve heard it and used it, you’re part of the problem.  We’ve all sat back and watched the word taint conversations everywhere.



Are you going to get all crazy mad about some dumb crap nobody cares about?


I’m unemployed.

It’s what I do.

Five reasons to never use ‘literally’.


She definitely didn't laugh at my taint joke.

1. You’re Not Using It Right.  Ever.

“Literally” means the literal use of a word.  Meaning you’re not being figurative, symbolic or metaphorical.

The fat blogger is literally grasping at straws.

Correct because right now, I am grasping at three straws that will allow me to consume my tiny cannister of Diet Coke.

Fine regular Coke.

2 liters.

Omg you guys!  I didn’t eat anything, I’m literally starving.

You’re not starving.  Just hungry.

Omg you guys! I literally ran 2 miles today!

No, you did run 2 miles.

Omg you guys! I literally love cheese.

That might be a problem.


Try to control yourself.

2.  It’s The New “Like”.

What’s worse?  Saying literally or using like every minute?

Or using “omg”?

Or combining them all to create a vapid unholy trifecta?


3. It Makes People Think You’re Lying.

Using ‘literally’ as an intensifier is like saying ‘honestly’.  You don’t need it if you tell the truth.


4. It Stops You From Being Creatively Expressive.

Take this.


This individual was in class for a brief period of time.

Wouldn’t it be better if she changed it to this?


Maybe not.

5. This?  This Is What You Sound Like When You Use “Literally”.





There you have it.  Reasons to never use “literally”.

I know many of you will hurtfully attack me because I come off like I’m word Hitler or something.

And I’ll face a shit storm of anger.

Just hopefully, not literally.

Let me bathe in your Twitter stream here.


  • Krista

    I blame those idiot Kardashians for saying that word every 2 minutes until I'm ready to vomit. Jonah Hill is just is bad. He was on Conan O'Brien and in 5 minutes he said "literally" 6 times. That's slightly over 1 "literally" per minute!!!

  • Yonas Getu

    Well, according to the dictionary, you can cross #1 off your list. It literally is killing me that I used literally correctly in this sentence.

  • Don'tbeadumbass

    really it is literally killing you? You should probably go to the hospital to get that checked out.....

  • Yonas Getu

    according to the Oxford dictionary, literally also has this definition:
    "informal used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true:"

    Which I think is just messed up, they literally had to use the word in the definition.

  • Willpower.Careers

    I felt compelled to mention this to a professional speaker and business guru recently. She said "literally" so often that I started counting halfway through the seminar. She said "literally" 34 times In the last 35 minutes, with "like" and "actually" each occurring about every two minutes.

  • As annoying as "I know, right?" A catchy little phrase that is making me mad.

  • CLS


  • IQTech52

    The other phrase I would like to see dropped - "Just sayin'!" "Just sayin'" what? Very often, it gets tagged at the end of what can be a very mean spirited comment. Is this supposed to mitigate the nastiness? It doesn't work.

  • IQTech52

    I want people to stop using the term "grammar Nazi" - because complaining about the slaughter of language is nothing like slaughtering millions of people because they were not members of "the master race".

  • Elizabeth

    Oh, so you're one of THOSE.

  • Do you mean literally 'never'? That would suggest that 1. the word has no legitimate uses. 2. You don't understand the meaning of the word never (or in your use of that word as an intensifier you have committed the same crime you are railing against) or 3. You're willing to throw the baby out with the bath water, figuratively speaking

  • Gucci Reyes

    A word ready to burst out of the badonkadonk of pop culture and destroy us all with its pungent smell.

    The word ‘literally’.


  • Another new knowledge I've learned from reading your blog. I'm sure that many of your readers also find this post of yours very useful.

  • Jewels

    Thanks for writing this! With language being dumbed down to the point where I cringe when I hear most people talk, it's nice that someone is calling people out on the fact that they sound uneducated and moronic when they use words unnecessarily, incorrectly, and/or waaay too frequently.

  • Blair A.

    You just need to shut the hell up and get off of your literally lazy butt. The second you stop criticizing people who are superior to you in every way possible, because they have the personality to enjoy using the word literally to rationalize the severity of either their hunger, amount of gas, or amount of money (which yours is probably laughable judging by the fact you informed us you have no job), is the second you can actually put a smile on your face and make people feel warm when you are around them. Otherwise you will just continue being a cold spirited, unfortunate human, literally! 

  • Don'tbeadumbass

    So correct me if I'm wrong, but you are getting on our asses for correcting your grammar? Does that bother you when people correct your grammar? I have a simple solution. Perhaps if you knew the correct grammar in the first place no one would have to correct you. Also, maybe just maybe you stand a chance at holding and intelligent conversation.

  • Krista

    Moron. Literally.

  • ihopeyoufindahobby

    I am sorry you're so bored with your own life.

  • D.

     you really didn't read this article did you.

  • Wthomaswarren

    Please don't get me started about the non-adverb "hopefully." You can be hopeful, but can you act "dispairingly"? Sure. But hopefully is another over-used modifier.

  • Santmelo

    Dude, like what's that? And literally are words that are irritating.

  • Rate this top review on linguistic fads an "A-" with the minus for having to interject "Hitler" into your critique. That is 'literally' over the top, as that form of emphasis does not fit the crime.

  • 2e9ohcilzf

    I think you may have misread the article. He didn't even use the word "Hitler" with the crime. He said he does not want to be compared to Hitler for dictating how (not) to use the word "literally". And I think it wasn't out of place. It was a nice exaggeration.

    Also, remove sand from your vagina.

  • The Guardian is a bit behind the times and just published an article on this very subject... http://www.guardian.co.uk/medi...

  • kendiggy

    I normally don't post to these articles, but I have an 18 year old, and he uses literally all the time. And I call him out on how he's not using it right. Some of your examples sound just like him! Now, if I could get him to stop saying "actually" so much, and teach him that not everything is "AMAZING", I'd be good to go!

  • mygreenhandy

    Ditto. TOTALLY. (An intensifier from the late 70s. LOL.)

    By the way, EVERYTHING is AMAZING to an 18-year-old because their hormone levels literally turn them into vampires for fun, sex and AMAZING experiences. It's true. I remember it.

    Plus, their lives revolve around their peer groups. Metaphorically, not literally. Or they'd have the spins and be vomiting all the time. Metaphorically. If vomiting all the time literally occurred, they'd have no time to breathe, eat, have sex, sleep, eat, have sex, drink, sleep, eat, have sex...etc.

    So for them, using buzzwords like those makes them cool. Or fit in. Or something. So they think. Or don't. Think, that is.

    Actually, they are not vampires. Basically, however, yes they are -- metaphorically. OMFG! I literally used ALL of those words! ROFL

    Good articles on the subject:



  • Kylierae21


  • Next post.  The lack of ramdom use of the word choice random.  

  • Ahmad

    interesting article, but i literally don't find it a problem to use it, we use it in a wrong way, ya same like we use many other words wrongly, i like the word "literally" literally and i will keep using it, and i literally enjoyed this article :-)

  • D.

     That is a weak argument, just because we use other words incorrectly and there is no hope of those changing doesn't mean that people should still continue to do it with the one word that means what it says, and to use it otherwise is, well for lack of a better word, stupid.  I really don't care if people continue to butcher this language even more than it already is, but that one word is the exception to this.

  • Jackwagon


  • Josh Kivijarv

    Finally, people who actually understand the meaning! I always call people out on their misuse of "literally". Usually the response is "I literally have no idea what you are talking about".

  • I'm so glad I found this article.  I am so sick and tired of people saying it.  I almost always hear it used as an intensifier.  No reason for this, just leave it out.  Ugh!  It is okay to be a word Hitler.

  • This is music to my ears, I love it.

  • Great info like that

  • CafeAwesome

    i would add that the word literally should be declassified as an actual english word and brought into the CDC as a virus. it has a way of infecting itself in your brain and the more you think about not saying it you hear more and more people using it, slowly trying to take over.

  • Alicia_taylor86

    I completely agree with you! Thank you!!!

  • Lance Manion

    Thank You. The overuse of "literally" is one of my most frequent pet peeves. It drives me crazy.

  • Tcothrel

    Literally, you cannot have "one of my most frequent pet peeves." "Most" and "pet" are superlatives, so you can have one and only one of whatever it is. You meant to say "The oversuse of 'literally' is one of my more frequent peeves."

  • laparadox

    LOVE this article... Now can you tell me why we even HAVE the word "utilize"? For all of my musings, the best explanation I can give is that people like to add syllables to "use" in order to sound more intelligent without actually communicating anything different. Thoughts?

  • mygreenhandy

    People use words, aside from direct communication, to signify groups they belong to. 
    Language can indicate class differences. English with lots of Latin words gives the effect of higher education and higher class -- translating to greater prestige. Many people are all about prestige...using money, cars, clothing, and language.

    On the other hand, simple English (more Anglo-Saxon words) is more direct, aggressive, guttural. Yo! Check it:

    Dude 1: "Yo, 'sup homes!"

    Dude 2: "Hi there good fellow, how are you doing today?"

    Dude 1: "What da fuck you jes' say??
    Dude 2: "Well, we seem to be experiencing a communication impasse, eh?"

    Dude 1: "Mah homies gonna fuck you up! We got us shivs so here da 411: Git da fuck out!" 

    Dude 2: "Gosh, please don't utilize cutlery to settle differences, my good man! Let's trot over to the club and enjoy some fine scotch!"

    Dude 1: "Huh? Y'all got some hooch? I'm down wit dat bro! Less geta buzzon, ima bring mah homes, yo?"

    Dude 2: "Good man! I was fairly certain that drinking could resolve our cultural differences! To the scotch!"

    Dude 1: "Fuck yeahhhh!"

    Get my drift? Know what I'm sayin'? Check da 411! You savvy? Do you understand now?

  • Tobycek

    Good comments but... what the hell is a "badonkadonk"?

  • Akshay Vasant

    The first slang which I found to be more than five letters.... It means a curvaceous woman's behind... But you could always have googled it. I did....

  • Some dude.

    I remember Dane Cook had a good example of this in one of his stand ups.

    "She literally cheated on me. No, I'm serious. I woke up and she was literally having sex with another guy on top of me."

  • Owens

    very very funny

  • georgie_of_the_jungle

    at the risk of sounding pedantic, "literally" can correctly be used as "in a literal manner" or an intensifier before a figurative expression. Saying it's wrong to use it in the 2nd sense is like being one of those grammar Nazis who bitch when people don't pronounce the 't' in 'often' - even though the 't' is actually supposed to be silent.

  • John

    I literally just shit my pants laughing so hard. No, seriously. I have brown stains now. Thanks a lot.

  • Dare Bear


  • Shut Up Already

    You spelled "cannister" wrong. :)

  • Heard this the other day from a friend about a girl we went to high school with: "She is literally a whore."

    I immediately ended that friendship.

  • armeni

    Also, redic and legit(imate) can be added to this list. I use legit a lot but I blame a recent move to NJ.

  • Love it!!! LOL

  • @SharonDV just gave you the Honest Scrap Award: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/t... -- Check it out! Congrats :)

  • Walker_Talker

    I thought this was hilarious. I am definitely a repeat offender of using both "like" and "literally." I think the overuse of "literally" started for me after watching numerous episodes of Grey's Anatomy where the character Izzy used it ALL THE TIME. Thank you for writing this.

  • OMG like, literally ROFL right now!!!!
    ...not really, this floor is nasty, i'm not touching it.

  • Actually, when you have a chance, literally, I'd like a post from you on the increasing use of actually, instead of like, or perhaps, literally. Oh, nails on blackboards, if there were any blackboards around. Oh, two posters ahead of me have actually used actually. Ugh.

  • C Ladeelee

    LOL! this is so true!

  • superphilman2

    I use it correctly... I use it correctly every time.

    This made me shit a brick with anger, figuratively of course.

    "I have just shit myself...Literally" mean you have actually just defecated in your pants.

  • jasbase

    You can literally take this article and shove it up your ass

  • Kat

    In your number 3 example you wrote, "I have WAY too many posters. It's actually pretty rediculous..."

    There is no red in ridiculous. Sorry.

    People can call you the word Hitler, but I am the spelling Nazi.

  • Eh.

    You might want to take that up with the person he was, um, quoting.

  • OMG! I like literally ROFL!

  • OMG. This is literally the best blog post I have ever read. Literally.

  • Guest
  • You're right. It's overused. I noticed that I was saying "literally" too often and in the wrong way, so I ceased suckling at the teat of Bad Wordiness and gave it up. The word, that is. I still love tits, though.

  • First off, the woman in that picture looks like Alyssa Milano.

    Second off, this post is literally a good idea. I like when people attack things that people say just because, and don't really have a meaning. It helps them to become critical thinkers.

    Our good friend George Carlin was an expert at this so I would like to add a link to a clip of his that takes this idea and runs with it.

  • bwahahaha - you literally said taint.

  • Lisa

    Holy POOPY pants!

  • wanderingmex

    Ooh, now do "ironic." Please!

  • Edrees

    You must read xkcd comics, Dee. http://www.xkcd.com/725/ hahaahha

  • Lucy

    Now do "comprise."

  • Very helpful. I thought my posts were too brief, but based on your advice some of them could use trimming.

  • zigbushing

    Show me some proper uses...

  • Morgan Phillips

    Does anyone else realize that celebrity fashionista Rachel Zoe is to blame for the recent popularity of this word? She says it every five seconds... that, and "I DIE." Such a drama queen.


    This was *cough* LITERALLY a waste of time.

  • If you're going to bag on incorrect usage of the word "literally," it's generally a good idea to look it up in the dictionary first.

    Literally ~= figuratively.

  • Audree

    If you're going to "bag" on his "incorrect usage of the word 'literally', it's generally a good idea" for YOU to look it up in a LEGITIMATE dictionary first.

    1. in the literal or strict sense: What does the word mean literally?
    2. in a literal manner; word for word: to translate literally.
    3. actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy: The city was literally destroyed.

  • Really?

    (Read: antonym)

    Urban Dictionary isn't an actual dictionary, dude.

  • Dee, you didn't use literally7.jpg.. i saw it.. it is funny too :D :D

  • danmoriarty

    Yes, thank you. I hear this all the time, especially bothers me in the news. For example, during a disaster, a reporter says, it was 'literally hell on earth.' Really? Hell on earth? Holy crap.

  • Holy Toilet Paper! Funny. A past offender, I am now rehabiliated and promise more creative word choices in the future.

  • I literally loved this!! No seriously, words and language evolve and change and you should just accept it - William Shakespeare did!!

  • ericaswallow

    I literally just ROFLed.

  • Great post, sadly I don't think teenagers really care about how to use the language, or Californians either ;)

  • Too funny. I literally almost crapped my pants from laughter. Literally.

  • How do you feel about "at the end of the day"? If I hear THAT one more time, I might literally do harm to the speaker.

  • Ali

    This makes me happy. A bit ashamed, but happy.

  • It reminds me a recent xkcd picture.
    Which was literally great.

  • Jenn Whinnem

    thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you

  • Will you really face "a shit storm of anger" full of hope? That's weird.

    I hope you did that on purpose. (Not: "Hopefully, you did that on purpose.")

    People basically misuse "hopefully" all the time. They misuse "basically" as well.

    I just did. On purpose. Basically.

  • Thank you. Now, please help everyone out with "begs the question."

  • clmetsfan

    OMG like seriously I was literally just complaining about the misuse of the word literally this morning. Literally.


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