Word Usage Heats Up Internet, 'Literally'
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Good morning. I'm David Greene. The Internet is literally on fire this morning over the usage of a word. Traditionally literally means something that is strictly true. Google's dictionary, bloggers just noticed, says you can also use that word for emphasis. Like I would literally give my right arm to own a pickup truck. That's true. Grammar sticklers claim Google has sided with language traitors and broken the English language. In other words, the sky is literally falling. It's MORNING EDITION.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.