'Literally' Adding Definitions In Search Engine And Dictionaries

'Literally' Adding Definitions In Search Engine And Dictionaries

Posted: Updated:
A Google search of 'literally' will get you this A Google search of 'literally' will get you this

This week, Google added a second definition to the word "literally." The second definition, commonly used in speech, is regarded as incorrect if used in the classroom.

The standard definition of literally is "in a literal manner or sense, exactly." So if one literally interprets the boss' order to drop everything and go, he or she would throw down everything in his or her hands immediately and get running.

But many English speakers use "literally" in a colloquial way for the sake of emphasis. For example, "I literally just got my butt kicked by my boss." This use of literally means something along the lines of "virtually," or as Google now defines, "to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling."

Google is not the only one adding the common usage of "literally" to its definitions. Earlier this year, the Merriam-Webster dictionary added the second definition to the word. And a search of Oxford's English dictionary yields a phrase that says, "an extended use of literally (and also literal) has become very common, where literally (or literal) is used deliberately in nonliteral contexts, for added effect: they bought the car and literally ran it into the ground."

Adding words and definitions to the dictionary is nothing new, in fact dictionaries add new words every year. Verbs like "google" or "frenemy" are all examples of recent additions. According to dictionaries like Merrium-Webster's, the criteria for adding new words/definitions is basically through the usage and context.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Council Rock South Mourns The Loss Of Three Classmates

    Council Rock South Mourns The Loss Of Three Classmates

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:23 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:23:09 GMT
    Three boys from Council Rock South High School died over the weekend when their SUV overturned.
    Three boys from Council Rock South High School died over the weekend when their SUV overturned.
  • Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers no-hit Braves

    Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers no-hit Braves

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:42:38 GMT
    Cole Hamels and three Philadelphia Phillies relievers combined to pitch a no-hitter Monday, beating the Atlanta Braves 7-0.
    Cole Hamels and three Philadelphia Phillies relievers combined to pitch a no-hitter Monday, beating the Atlanta Braves 7-0.
  • September Sizzle

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:55:49 GMT

    Summer is not over just yet!  Hot and humid conditions much of the week with temps in the 90's and upper 80's.

    Tuesday (91/72): Clouds/Storm

     

     

     

    Summer is not over just yet!  Hot and humid conditions much of the week with temps in the 90's and upper 80's.

    There is a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms Tuesday.

    Tuesday (91/72): Clouds/Storm

     

    Wednesday (90/74): Sun/Clouds

     

    Thursday (89/67): Sunny/Hot

     

     

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices