• @[email protected]
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      32 months ago

      People often say this as a way to dismiss concerns about the degradation of concise language in English.

      Evolution is a result of survival of the fittest; it almost always improves survivability amongst a certain population. That’s the opposite of what’s happening in this case; a word is losing a concise meaning, making the language more difficult for everyone, as now “advise” can be either a verb or a noun. Nobody benefits from changes like this.

    • @[email protected]
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      12 months ago

      Ah. Popular kids dictate what goes into the dictionary of popular mistakes. That’s why Mirriam-Webster claims ‘literally’ also means its exact opposite.

      Systems of language need to be sound and complete; and the English that includes that self-contradiction fails on point 1. While we can dig out other failures, maybe we can correct those too.

      ‘Emails’ is a particular embarrassment for the speaker.

      • @[email protected]
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        32 months ago

        That’s why Mirriam-Webster claims ‘literally’ also means its exact opposite.

        Just like “really”, “truly”, “absolutely”, “actually”, “genuinely”, “honestly”, “surely”, “totally”, “verily”…

        It’s just a type of vernacular inflation. It may be happening more quickly than it used to because people are communicating more and thus have more opportunities for “one-upping” each other with amplifying adjectives but it’s (literally/metaphorically?) a force of nature (maybe both).

        Overstatement is a very common rhetorical device, it doesn’t usually cause confusion.

        Obviously people should choose different amplifiers when saying “literally” is likely to cause confusion, but people shouldn’t be chided if they say “literally” in a sentence where it’s obvious what they mean.