'Literally' Adding Definitions In Search Engine And Dictionaries - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

'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>>

  • Tip Leads To Marijuana Bust Inside Havertown Residence

    Tip Leads To Marijuana Bust Inside Havertown Residence

    Tip Leads To Marijuana Bust Inside Havertown Residence

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-04-24 04:31:43 GMT
    Haverford Police have arrested a local doctor and his daughter accused of growing and distributing marijuana inside their home.Haverford Police have arrested a local doctor and his daughter accused of growing and distributing marijuana inside their home.
    Haverford Police have arrested a local doctor and his daughter accused of growing and distributing marijuana inside their home.
    Haverford Police have arrested a local doctor and his daughter accused of growing and distributing marijuana inside their home.
  • DUI Driver Will Not Be Charged In Teen's Death

    DUI Driver Will Not Be Charged In Teen's Death

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:24 AM EDT2014-04-24 04:24:27 GMT
    Cops say a driver accused of hitting and killing a Bucks County teen and injuring another while driving under the influence of prescription drugs and cocaine will not be charged.
    Cops say a driver accused of hitting and killing a Bucks County teen and injuring another while driving under the influence of prescription drugs and cocaine will not be charged.
  • Forest Fire Burning In Cumberland County

    Forest Fire Burning In Cumberland County

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:17 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:17:05 GMT
    Skyfox was over the scene near Ackley Road in Downe Township Wednesday night.
    Skyfox was over the scene near Ackley Road in Downe Township Wednesday night.
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 | Terms of Service | Ad Choices