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Zoë Triska Headshot

Annoying Words: The Word 'Literally' Is Literally Overused (VIDEO)

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Don't you feel like the word 'literally' is literally overused? People just like to throw it in there to give their sentences pizazz. Also, many people don't seem to know the difference between 'literally' and 'figuratively' so let's discuss that now.

When something literally happens, that means it actually happens. It's not a metaphor, nor is it innuendo. For example, if I say, "Who literally let the cat out of the bag?" then there must be a cat on the loose. It does not mean, "Who told this secret that I was trying to keep hidden from my mother?" I, unfortunately, had to learn the difference between 'literally' and 'figuratively' the hard way.

My family has a vacation house off the Gulf of Mexico. When I was around 7, we were repainting the outside of the house, and I got into a mess with the paint. One of my aunts exclaimed, "Oh my goodness, Zoë! You're going to have to bathe in Pine Sol to get all that paint off!" So I literally got a bottle of Pine Sol, and poured it all over my body. Let me tell you: NOT a pleasant experience. That is when the intense burning started. When my aunt saw what I had done, she said, in horror, "Oh no! I didn't mean 'literally'! You need to get in the shower immediately!"

Once you learn that kind of lesson, you never forget it. Do I misuse and abuse the word 'literally'? You best believe that it literally never happens.

Stylist Rachel Zoe, on the other hand, sure doesn't seem to know when to stop using the word 'literally.' Who doesn't want to see Rachel Zoe say literally literally 29 times in a minute in 29 seconds, beginning with, "I literally want to cut myself in half"?

What do you think? Is the word overused? Any other words that you're sick of hearing misused or overused? Let me know in the comments!