If there is one word that is literally jumping off the page asking to be used properly, it’s “literally”. I’m sure all of you spotted the deliberate mistake in the previous sentence: words don’t actually jump off pages. Most of the time, they do things “figuratively”, the opposite of “literally”.
There are some terrible offenders, but the worst is probably Jamie Redknapp of Sky Sports. Some of his nonsensical pronouncements include: “He had to cut back inside onto his left, because he literally hasn’t got a right foot” and “Centre forwards have the ability to make time stand still. And when Chopra got the ball, it literally did just that.”
There are plenty of other examples on the ‘Literally’ Misused blog which links to the brilliant “You are not ‘literally’ on fire” Facebook group – reminding us that “if you are literally on fire, you have bigger problems than your grammar.”
So, until next time, literally think before you use “literally”.