'Literally' Adding Definitions In Search Engine And Dictionaries - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

'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>>

  • Police: Man kills wife, wounds self at New Jersey hospital

    Police: Man kills wife, wounds self at New Jersey hospital

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:17 PM EDT2014-08-27 21:17:28 GMT
    Authorities say a man shot his wife and himself at a hospital in southern New Jersey.Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Jason Laughlin says both are alive and being treated.
    Authorities say a man shot his wife and himself at a hospital in southern New Jersey.Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Jason Laughlin says both are alive and being treated.
  • Two Bodies Found In Schuylkill River After Violent Abduction

    Two Bodies Found In Schuylkill River After Violent Abduction

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-08-27 21:09:19 GMT
    Police are investigating a deadly abduction that ended at The Schuylkill River where two bodies were pulled from the water. A third person is being treated for stab wounds.
    Police are investigating a deadly abduction that ended at The Schuylkill River where two bodies were pulled from the water. A third person is being treated for stab wounds.
  • Girl set to testify in Bryant School school abduction

    Girl set to testify in Bryant School school abduction

    A now 7-year-old girl abducted from her Philadelphia kindergarten and sexually assaulted could testify Wednesday in the trial of a former day care worker.
    A now 7-year-old girl abducted from her Philadelphia kindergarten and sexually assaulted could testify Wednesday in the trial of a former day care worker.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

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