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Tag Archives: literate

Everyone take a deep breath, delete the “we finally killed English” joke from your Facebook wall, and stop making terrible “literally” jokes1.

From my understanding of the news breaking, the main culprit is Gizmodo’s post2 on the subject, though one of their sources seems to have nailed it. But before I get to the latter, let’s talk about the former. Here’s how the first sentence starts:

Grammar loving folks who love to point out where commas should be inserted instead of periods and how semi-colons are both simultaneously underused and overused, should pick up their red pens, furrowed brows and pitchforks at the fact that the definition of literally is literally no longer the literal definition of literally.

Son, that’s not how you spell “Grammar-loving,” I don’t know how to pick up furrowed brows, that first comma doesn’t belong there3, and maybe “because of” or “in response to” but definitely not “at.” Sure, it’s not a grammar thing, but “the fact that” is excessive and I guess if you’re going for heavy-handed, you’ve got to just really drive that home at the end of a sentence, right?

At any rate, where that bit’s terrible, the other link from The Week also points out that despite adding the terribly disheartening new definition, Merriam-Webster4 also “added the disclaimer that ‘Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposite of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.'” Those beautiful, brilliant bastards.

Let me give you an example of another word I think is straight-up stupid. Try this video where an editor from Merriam-Webster explains that irregardless is both a word and a word that people will think you are stupid for using.

So what’s changed is that Merriam-Webster has finally expanded literally’s definition in the second, hyperbolic sense so that when people inevitably look it up, they will know that it is technically the wrong way to use it. They will finally understand that it is both a word and a word that, if used in the hyperbolic sense, people will think you are stupid for using.

Stay literate out there, amigos.

1. Things like “We literally killed English today” or the entire miserable Gizmodo post. While you’re here, I should also mention that he misspelled “make-believe” and “more so” in the second paragraph as well as “humans'” in the final sentence.
2. This is how it appeared on 8/15/2013. I doubt they’ll correct any of it, but, you know, that’s what it said before they edited it (if they do).
3. I am aware of the irony of this clause.
4. This is the industry standard. I used to test apps for a living, but the M-W app is the only one I use every single day.
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HaveĀ  you ever had a 24 -hour day? Did itĀ  happen while you were still in college?

I might not have done a work-marathon like Tuesday night/Wednesday morning since last summer, but it brings up some serious questions for me: If I’m the kind of guy who can be considered desirable enough at two places of employment to schedule for two workdays in one day, why is it that I’m still ungainfully employed? I know of a collection of people (and employers) off the top of my head who seem to like me and seem to find me reliable and yet, here I am working in retail and interning still. I’m reliable, talented and able–you’d think that’d be a good thing.

So the internship is Mondays and Tuesdays and today was Day 3. I spend most of my time using iShowU to capture videos from websites and Tivo boxes. Realistically, editing the videos can be a little monotonous and repetitive, but I also spend most of my days watching funny clips or catching up on classic comedy routines. And I get to put that on my resume. Yes, in Webster’s that’s probably Ex. 4 for “ludicrous” or Ex. 2 for “awesome.”

It’s not like it’s solid gold, though. I admit the responsibilities list is weak right now; I have independence like I’ve never before and I keep battling off urges to just spend my time there applying for jobs. I mean come on, my resume is amazing: who else interns this much or for this long?

No matter where I get my next job, I’m very excited to have this new phone with me. I got a Yelp app for it and for three out of three days, the recommendations have been amazing (obviously I filter for $ because I can’t spend $$$$). I went to an Indian place back on Tuesday that had Saag Paneer that, for the first time I know of, made me think, “Holy shit, I need way more spinach.”

Today I had some of the best Mexican food this side of the Mason-Dixon. I’m probably not qualified to make that statement, but I can definitely tell you I was extremely surprised that a hole-in-the-wall place like this with more signs about the absence of a bathroom than employees could have such quality tortillas and hot sauce. And then there was a coffee shop right across the street that had delicious coffee and white-chocolate macadamia-nut cookies. Thus, today was a mouth- and brain-gasm day. I love being me right now, I just need a new job that would let me afford to continue to love being me.