I literally am not being literal

“ACKcha-ly…” the customer service rep on the other end of the phone began, and I winced. She had alsoliterally snapped her gum earlier in our conversation, so I was already on the edge of my seat, rolling my eyes and holding my other hand down from ripping my hair out.

Then, she gasped. I could sense she had a computer snafu.

“I literally just had it here in front of me…where is it”, she exclaimed.


I wanted to die (not literally).

Why can’t people use this word — and others — properly? And, it’s one thing to be talking with friends, but while doing your job?! Unless you’re a Kardashian, you’re being unprofessional. Because, being stupid is their job — not yours.

I loved this

The more I thought about it, though — I know I’m guilty of using these generously in blogging and while talking with those who know me best, but I would never think to use these, wrongfully, in any other setting. Time and place, people. Put your causal party pants on after work.

However, I’m not so sure we should be too harsh on people who misuse these words. Most of these are used as fillers. They buy time so the next thought can be gatherepaused, especially since they’re usually used with a pause after them.

“Actually…”, “Basically…” Like…” (SN: I’m a fan of ‘essentially’)

And really, in a world where everything is instantaneous and real-time — ‘do it right now, get it done yesterday’ — we need those extra couple seconds to make sure we’re staying on track. So, I suppose I could cut the ‘literally’ abusers some slack.

There is no excuse for gum snapping, though. Never.


11 thoughts on “I literally am not being literal

  1. Amanda I am such a fan of yours. Now I read that you hate when people snap their gum. The sound of someone snapping gum gives me chills, pisses me off, grosses me out, etc. It’s just nice to know I’m not alone in my disgust for that habit. I miss reading your TU blog and I’m so happy I found this one. Keep up the good work, you are a truly gifted writer.

  2. Is that Rachael Zoe?

    I’m not a fan of literal fillers, but then again, I’ve been told I talk to much and am never at a loss for words. The gumming is like nails on a chalkboard.

    • Amanda replies: But, how could she have lost something that previously hadn’t been “literally” up on her screen? It was either there or not. I thought her use of the word was unnecessary, and more of a filler.

      • I’m not saying it wasn’t filler, I’m saying if there were computer issues (as you indicated probable) it’s entirely possible that a code, piece of information, file or access to a program/application was not on her screen where she thought it was when she went back to it. You’ve never had that happen? Or accidentally closed out something?

      • Amanda replies: Sure, I have! But, I would just say “I just had it on my screen”, because saying “I literally just had it” sounds like “I really really just had it.” Maybe you’re right that it’s not wrong, but it sounds silly. And in any case, she already ticked me off with the gum, so I was hyper aware of anything else she’d say. 😉

  3. ‘Put your casual party pants on after work’ and ‘There is no excuse for snapping gum. Ever’ LOVE!

    But uhhhh, leave my ‘K’ girls alone…..they may (or may not) be alot of things but they are NOT stupid (not nice Amanda)!

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