Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Question of the day, 08/31/2010

When did the word "literally" come to mean "figuratively" or "so to speak"?  How can otherwise intelligent people expect me to take them seriously when they commit such solecisms catachresis. (Catachreses?  Catachresi?  Make that "commit such a catachresis.")

2 comments:

Sailorcurt said...

Who is it that is claiming that "literally" doesn't literally mean "literally"?

I'm also unaware of this change in definition. From whence this apostasy?

BTW: "catachresis"...now THAT's a good word. My spellchecker doesn't even recognize it and has it accusingly underlined in red.

I'm gonna use that one someday in polite company and amaze people.

Now I've just gotta figure out how to pronounce it.

D.W. Drang said...

Some co-workers, but since one example of catachresis is "He literally flew down the track", obviously this isn't new.

I started to call it a solecism, then chickened out and looked that up, and followed the link to catachresis. "Cat-uh-cree-sis"?