Tuesday, September 3, 2013 12:15:59 PM
NO, NO, NO! This is wrong! Even if the statement that people are using the word "literally" in is figurative, the meaning of the word doesn't change--just the syntax of the sentence. If I say, "He is literally ten feet tall," or some other statement which is supposed to suggest hyperbole, "literally" still means "as stated", it is the context of the sentence that changes. In other words, it is not the individual words that create the meaning, it is the context and syntax in which the sentence is spoken. Even if the way that the word "literally" is being used is changing (which I am opposed to, by the way), the dictionaries that are providing new definitions are wrong.