I literally need you to understand that my ‘literally’ is figuratively literally
Here’s a common conversation I have:
Me: That thing literally killed me.
Some Douchebag: You mean ‘figuratively‘.
Yes. I mean figuratively. When you make such a remark you are either doubting my reincarnation abilities or my language. And although I haven’t perfected my reincarnation skills yet, my language is pretty much okay. For once let’s assume that I know what I am speaking. In that case, what I mean is ‘That thing figuratively literally killed me’. In this sentence, ‘literally’ is for emphasis. I use it as a substitute for ‘almost’. And many people do that. Ask anyone who misuses or mixes the words ‘figuratively’ and ‘literally’ and much more often that not, they know precisely what both words mean.
The problem is, with the world being so fascinating and all, most of thing are not as remarkable as they are when told in third person. For example:
Me: Dude, he was almost crying.
Dude: Hmm. Happens.
Me: Dude, he was literally crying.
Dude: OMG! Are you serious?
Now, in most of the cases, ‘dude’ knows that ‘he’ was not actually crying. The context is enough to tell him that. And that’s just how I use literally. You might have a problem of me misleading the listener, but when I say ‘fuck you’, I don’t really want to have sexual intercourse with you. Over a period of time, the meaning has developed around the world and that’s the way it is today. Similarly, for quite a few people it is the same case with ‘literally’. Which is why I propose that people use an automatic ‘figuratively’ qualifier to every ‘literally’ I ever use.
Me: Dude, he was (figuratively) literally crying.
The reason I can’t just use ‘figuratively’ is that it raises a nerd alert. I mean, just think about it yourself.
Dude: I propose that our assembly of friends traverse to the nearest source of edible hydrocarbons and perform actions necessary for our metabolic activities.
Me: Dude, the burger there figuratively smells of rat pee.
Or on the other hand,
Me: Dude, I’m literally gonna fuck you up.
Dude: Just chill, dude. It’s no big deal.
imagine the other scenario,
Me: Dude, I’ll figuratively fuck you up.
In case I want to use literally in the real sense, this is what I’ll probably say:
Me: Dude, he actually cried.
Moreover, to make my case, I’ll supply explicit details of the incident lined with a few possible predictions from myself. Because when something actually happens, I don’t need to convince you that it happened. It did and the scenario is OMG-compatible. However, when something almost happens, I need to convince you that it was very very close to actually happening. And anyways, it’s not long before ‘literally’ is going to become cliche. So, till that time, just let me use it without those bastard grammar nazis literally mind fucking my figuratively literallys.