This will b in 3 parrs, as follows:
– A Reblogg
– Blog published in WP on 15/4/15
– Conclusion blog for publishing
This is Literally My 1st Post in Yrs, 21 Jan, linGuischtick.
This is something that I’m sure a lot of people have noticed: there is trend toward using the word “literally” in a sentence where the speaker is not actually being literal. For instance:
“There were literally a million people at Dave’s party” (when not even 50 people showed up)
“I literally dropped dead from shock” (when of course that didn’t happen)
This is really starting to irritate people, and “literally” even appeared on a few lists of “words to ban in 2015″ such as TIME and TYT. Of course, those aren’t literally attempts to ban the word (ha!), but this is definitely an indication of how annoyed people are.
What’s going on is actually complet mostly we don’t notice it. At any given point in time, langua ely normal. This is an example of language change. Languages are constantly changing, but ges are relatively stable, so we tend to think of language change as a thing that happened a long time ago, but which no longer affects us. But sometimes, a significant portion of the population starts using language in a different way, and people do start to take notice. Almost inevitably, this attention is negative. People who use “literally” in the new, non-literal sense, are accused of mangling or corrupting the English language, or they are simply called idiots.
But let’s try to take a more measured approach here. Instead of complaining about this, let’s ask why it’s happening.
First, it’s useful to examine the the older meaning of literally. What, exactly, does that word mean? Consider these pairs of sentences:
This is a linguistics blog.
This is literally a linguistics blog.
My mother works as a nurse.
My mother literally works as a nurse.
Birds are not mammals.
Birds are literally not mammals.
Is there any difference between them? Not really. The word “literally” doesn’t contribute much to the sentence. It has a meaning of something like “the sentence containing this word is true and should be taken at face value”. But that’s our default expectation anyway – we generally assume that the people we are talking with are going to be truthful. It’s one of the Maxims of conversation. So telling you this is a linguistics blog doesn’t really give you any additional information than telling you this is literally a linguistics blog.
So why bother even having this word? When would you use it?
Well, one situation where it’s useful is if you thought the person you were talking to might not take you at your word. If there was some chance they thought you were exaggerating, you could use the word “literally” to show that you are not.
For instance, it’s common to say “This will just take five minutes” to mean “This will take a short period of time”. It doesn’t mean “This will take exactly 300 seconds”.
But suppose that something actually does take 5 minutes. For instance, you have a frozen meal to put in the microwave, and the box says “Set for 5 minutes”. Then you could tell someone “Dinner will be ready in 5 minutes”. However, there is some chance that you might be misunderstood as using “5 minutes” to mean “a short time”, so to emphasize your point, you could say “Dinner will be ready in literally 5 minutes”. In fact, this happens a lot with extreme numerical expressions. Another example might be if you’ve been really sick, you might want to tell your doctor that you’ve been “vomiting literally every two hours” so she doesn’t think that “every two hours” is a short-hand for “very frequently”.
So in general, “literally” is going to be used with “extreme” contexts, contexts where you think you are in danger of being misunderstood as exaggerting. This is relevant to the current change that is happening. The old meaning of “this sentence is entirely true” is being lost in favour of the association with extreme emphasis, since that use may be more common. Now “literally” is routinely used to emphasize the extreme nature of a situation, without regard for whether the sentence, uh, literally reflects the truth of the matter. That’s why you now hear people saying:
“I literally lost my mind when she told me”
“I was literally walking on eggshells at the meeting”
Whether or not this change makes you shake with prescriptive rage, we should at least acknowledge that this doesn’t represent some kind of reckless disregard for English. It’s not like the change is completely random. People aren’t suddenly using “literally” to mean “milk”, or as a suffix to indicate progressive aspect. This is a change that makes sense, given the current state of the English language. People are taking an existing association between a word and a context, and then generalizing the meaning of that word from there. To me, this seems like a completely “reasonable” kind of language change.
This is not even the first time this has happened. The word “literally” is moving to join an existing class of words including “really” and “truly”. They contain the roots “real” and “true”, which are similar in meaning to “literal”, and they have been turned into adverbs which are now used solely for emphasis. Their relationship to “reality” or “truth” has completely disappeared.
For example, I can stand in my living room and say “It’s really freezing in here” and I don’t mean “The reality is that it is freezing in here” because water would not turn to ice in my living room. It has never gone below zero degrees. And nobody would think that’s what I mean either. I just want to emphasize how cold it is. Similarly I can say “That man is truly a giant” without meaning “It’s true that he is a giant”. I just want to emphasize how tall he is.
In fact, you can stick those words into the expression I’m mentioned above, and I don’t think anyone would bat an eye:
“I truly lost my mind when she told me the news” (was it true your mind was lost?)
“I was really walking on eggshells at the meeting” (really? the floor was littered with them?)
Perhaps one day the majority of speakers will use literally that way, and this will no longer be a point of debate, as happened with “real” and “true”. But for right now, this puts “literally” in an interesting position of having opposite meanings. Words with opposite meanings like this are called “contranyms”, and there are more examples of these words than you might think. For example:
against means “in support of” and “not in support of”, e.g. “The plank is leaning against the wall” and “The Liberals are against the new Conservative bill”.
finished in “That house was finished after a weekend of hard work” vs “After the hurricane, that house was finished”
seed “to plant seeds” or “to remove seeds” (e.g. seeded grapes – and this always confuses me too)
wind up “wind up a toy” means to start it, “wind up a meeting” means to end it (strangely, it’s the same as wind down in this case)
In these example, the different meanings are generally easy to tell apart, because they occur in different contexts. For example, “against” meaning “in support of” is used for physical objects holding each other up, but the “not in support of” meaning is used with people or ideas.
The word “literally” is different, because currently the two different meanings can occur in exactly the same context. Obviously, this has the potential to lead to confusion, so it’s an unstable state for a language to be in, and eventually it will have to resolve itself. Personally, I think that “literally” will become just another emphasizer like “really”, and it will be totally unremarkable. In fact, the word has already escaped just the extreme contexts, and is already being used in rather mundane situations:
“I literally need a cup of coffee before I do anything” (here)
“I literally love ice cream” (here)
“I literally lost my car keys” (here)
Finally, just to be clear, I’m
neither condemning nor condoning this new usage of the word “literally”. In any case, there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s just interesting to see a language change in progress.
Shytwan’s Dream (15/4/15)
Trust me these r not keys 2 happier life. Cumilatively they induce us 2 run after the “duniya” (it is also synonym for world but popularly referred 2 the wonting xof material world).
When we read these we don’t realize that although written in a series, they r also very cleverly set individually 2 portray each as a separate individual item. Also most phrases r common in most religions. So when we read them we feel as if we hav actually read a religious lay man’s nicely compiled version. Pretending 2 remind us some acts encouraged by Quran and/ or sunnat (words n deeds of prophet mohammad, peace b upon him).
Well actually they r relaying a sketchy portion of Quran n sunnat n that is the con scheme 2 carry u over 2 the material world shrewdly n subconsciously bcoz like Quran/ sunnat it has no bakward links ie., in case of Quran where each n every sura or chapter of a total of 114 suras in quran were revealed 2 prophet Mohammad over a span of lengthy 25 yrs in order 2 solve personal, family, social, national, economic, financial, diplomatic, religious, law, justice, education, military, ethics, ruling head of states responsibilities, mannerisms et al ie , any or everything required in a persons lifetime is narrated in the quran in view of a concurrant problem or situation arised then. Not only it gave logical, fair n widely acceptable solutions 2 the live problems, where necessary it also reminds historical parallels of misfortunes for people or nations that rejected Allah’s guidance. Similarly these shytwans (satan or. devil) prophesies (also in the form of so called famous quotes of some “intelligent” humans) hardly ever links 2 jannat or jahannam (heaven or hell). This helps these shytwans 2 continuously cheat human beings by attacking on allahs laws n requirements and if n when suceeded 2 fool themselves n others, all then they need is another set of monkey chant filled pic cards 2 b written again in their non stop attempts in gradually destroying the humanity. Shytwan follows many routes n processes in achieving this target. These cunning words r nothing other then shaytwans vehicle 2 link your mind thru “waswasaa” – mischief of the whisperer (of evil), who withdraws (after the whisper), (quran 114 :4) 2 the bragging, greedy, lustful, luxury alluring duniya.
Had a Muslim written it, it probably wud hav looked like this:
G: don’t forget 2 give your portion of zakat (sadaka)
R: only relate 2 those who love Allah n his prophet Mohammad (saw)
E: follow the hadis of prophet Mohammad (saw) that the best exercise for your body n mind is 2 pray as much possible nafal (extra) salat
A: give shukria 2 Allah (appreciate him) bcoz u r a Muslim n he is kind enuf 2 bless u with all the good things in life n also promised for hereafter
T: ask Allah for hedayat (guidance with blessing) 2 try out anything new. Inshallah that will bring in barkat (gain Max or wotever that is beneficial – considering here n hereafter).
D: where ever u r never forget the direction 2wards your kibla which is kaba
R: the 1 n only true way for resilience or bounce back is 2 perform an earnest taubah 2 allah (repentence n promise of non recurrence)
E: show emotions where Allah has directed u 2 ie., elderlies, sicks, your kids n your parents etc.. He even told n taught us how 2 pray for all of them 2 him.
A: only accept wot is halal in yor life
M: be part of something bigger n true ie , Islam (always).
Now u hav the choice in front of u. Whether u submit 2 the will of Allah – islam n b a winner or choose the shaytwans way where there is only sin n duniya. Allah has given u the book n prophet as guidance, made u the greatest of his creations n then said “Let there b no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error” (Quran 2:256). So inshallah its yor decision n may Allah guide u 2 take the rite decision.
Posted from WordPress for Android by Munir Chowdhury.
Conspiracy of Shytwan Exposed
Let’s look at a few points fm unknown 2 each other.
So in general, “literally” is going to be used with “extreme” contexts, contexts where you think you are in danger of being misunderstood as exaggerting. This is relevant to the current change that is happening. The old meaning of “this sentence is entirely true” is being lost in favour of the association with extreme emphasis, since that use may be more common. Now “literally” is routinely used to emephasize the extreme nature of a situation, without regard for whether the sentence, uh, literally reflects the truth of the matter
2day (now that day, 15/4/15) mashallah it.seems 2b my lucky day. For the 1st time I downloaded WordPress n was able 2 publish a blog in WordPress for the 1st time on the same day. Only thing I hav 2 know wot is publishing as opposed 2 posting as said in other blog sites (I think I know it now)..
Now bak 2 the point. Here again fm the suggested readings of recommended blogs by WordPress the 1 n only that mashallah I chose 2 read, the blogger wisely ventures in2 the meaning of “literally” as he sees awkward meanings, but wot he also defends as suitable for the current state of English language, as the word n language evolves. Although his explanation is lengthy n whining. The reason I don’t like this style of writing is bcoz it confuses the readers mind n it needs 2b read.a lot 2 understand wot the author is tryiing 2 say. Now read wot he says at a other place:
This is an example of language change. Languages are constantly changing, but ges are relatively stable, so we tend to think of language change as a thing that happened a long time ago, but which no longer affects us. But sometimes, a significant portion of the population starts using language in a different way, and people do start to take notice. Almost inevitably, this attention is negative. People who use “literally” in the new, non-literal sense, are accused of mangling or corrupting the English language, or they are simply called idiots.
I don’t know wot is ges o if it is a typo. The 1s general people calls idiots r then defended by a class of experts, intellectuals et all., as not idiots. There is an interesting name for these intellectual juries in bangla given by the population in general for when they cross the line of tolerance or understanding of the general peoples practice of culture, religion , traditions etc. These “atels” usually starts by challenging peoples natural laws embedded thru hundred of yrs of blieve n practice. They think they r smart n specially earned the capacity 2 defy almost antthing relating 2 Allah n his rules based on whereever, whenever these atels finds any theory or ism ie., Darwinism 2 scientology n communism 2 capitalism.
Finally this is wot I wrote in my blog:
Similarly these shytwans (satan or. devil) prophesies (also in the form of so called famous quotes of some “intelligent” humans) hardly ever links 2 jannat or jahannam (heaven or hell). This helps these shytwans 2 continuously cheat human beings by attacking on allahs laws n requirements and if n when suceeded 2 fool themselves n others, all then they need is another set of monkey chant filled pic cards 2 b written again in their non stop attempts in gradually destroying the humanity.
All evolutions of the languages r not necessarily natural. Like most of shaytwans deceiving acts with ulterior motives which r actually accomplished thru humans, who hav all the knowledge of the world except for the knowledge of truth or Islam. But with their in born genious instincts they somehow learn 2 hate Islam not having read even probably 2 chapters out of the 114 chapters of Quran (how long does take 2 read that? Probably 1 summer if u want 2 read, understand n lucky enuf 2 find anything in it irrational, unscientific, inconsistent, not forward looking n not justified n peaceful so that it can b challenged). Then y not, again? Only 2 b rewarded by shytwans. These r shown as winners in the short term by shaytwans. Then eventually a well recognized deceiving shaytwan within the society. but definitely a loser later in absence of wisdom n necessary blessings fm Allah.
I am not a. linguist or an expert in lit but thnxs 2 the blogger anyway. Contrary to his conclusions i feel all shud b aware of conspired n catastrophic changes in that language. Actually I hav smelt similar rats in my mother tongue. bangla too.
Posted from WordPress for Android by Munir Chowdhury