Plugin Wipes Out Wrong Uses of 'Literally'
Because that word is figuratively everywhere
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 27, 2014 8:13 AM CDT
In this Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, the Chrome logo is displayed at a Google event in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – Ruthless about grammar? Got Google Chrome? This plugin, highlighted at Yahoo, could figuratively solve all your problems. The "Literally" browser extension gets rid of the pesky incorrect uses of "literally" that litter the Internet, replacing them with "figuratively." According to the extension's developer, "that's literally all it does." At Slate, Will Oremus offers some examples:

  • "The 2014 MTV Movie Awards Were Figuratively on Fire."
  • "Momentum Is Figuratively the Next Starting Pitcher for LSU."

The downside: Even correct usage gets replaced. That means you'll see phrases like "White Sox Rookie Abreu Figuratively Destroys a Baseball"—when in fact he literally destroyed the thing. In the Guardian, Alison Flood doesn't see this as a problem. "The linguistic abuse of literally has got out of control," she writes. "Now it is time for figuratively to suffer, starting off with the figurative destruction of that baseball." (More cool Chrome apps: one that allows you to delete Chris Brown from the Internet, and another that lets you avoid the endless parade of baby photos on Facebook.)

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
Apr 28, 2014 10:58 AM CDT
Ok, all you grammar and word Nazis, I have one question for you. Does it bother you that the sole contribution you provide to most conversations could be replaced with a keystroke? (spellcheck, click) The ultimate Nazi repellant.
Tony Bucca
Apr 28, 2014 8:53 AM CDT
I don't have the endless baby picture problem...I haven't been on FB for 3 YEARS!
Apr 28, 2014 7:10 AM CDT
Forget about the correct usage. What about over-usage? I don't need to know if somebody "literally had pancakes for breakfast". Just saying one "had pancakes for breakfast" is enough to provide clarity to the statement.