Saturday, 9 October 2010

Conversational Pet Hates: The Literal Meaning

No lady you didn’t literally write bullshit in your Politics exam paper because if you did the story would have been all over campus as soon as the papers reached the exams office and we would have spent the rest of the week laughing at your foolishness. Nor dear friend of mine did you literally wet yourself laughing at a joke you were told, because if you had you wouldn’t have dared tell me and would have been too busy stocking up on Tena Lady to recount the story. Man on the bus, you did not literally roll home from the pub because you were too drunk to walk normally, yes you will have been bouncing off walls all the way home but there was no literal rolling involved.
I don’t understand what the fascination is with the word but whenever I hear someone using it I want to slap them sharply across the face to make them realise how stupid they sound. Have our vocabularies shrunk so much that we are left with no other ways to express ourselves? Or are people just lazy? I’m sure there are people who have literally wet themselves laughing or literally told their boss to piss off before storming out of the office in a huff. However I will wager that those occurrences are few and far between whereas dropping the ‘L’ word into conversation is common parlance now.
It even annoys me more than people who use ‘txt spk’ or who go one step further and ‘rItE lYk DiS’ because I tend not to have dealings with people who do that. The literal zombie appears to have stolen several of my friends brains and infiltrates their conversations on a regular basis. I’d like to have a ‘Family Fortunes’ style buzzer hidden about my person so that whenever someone commits the crime of dropping the ‘L’ bomb I can stun them in to silence with a big fat ‘UHH ERRR’.
Capitalising on their stunned silence I would then gently, I promise not to use my fist, explain why they got buzzed before letting them go on their merry way safe in the knowledge that they have been schooled in the art of conversation. Read more by Alice.