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Literally again

August 6, 2012

I’ve blogged about literally before, but there was an especially egregious example on the Olympic commentary today: ‘And Kenny is literally on fire’. What on earth did that commentator think he meant? Obviously the word literally was not meant literally; I was watching the race and Kenny was not (thankfully) on fire. I know that we are all inveterate metaphor-makers, and I suppose there is no reason why the word literally should not be used metaphorically – but if it was a metaphor, then what was it a metaphor for? 

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