Careful. I’m pretty sure you meant “figuratively.”

26 Apr

Ironically, I think that's a gerbil, not a mouse.

Alan and I both get a kick out of the word “literally,” since so many people use it incorrectly. An example? A colleague of mine recently said, “It was so hot I literally melted!”

My inner monologue then sounds something like, “Really? You literally melted? Then why are you standing here conversing with me? I would think you should still be in a puddle somewhere without lips. Literally.”

Anyway, we had gorgeous weather in DC this past weekend… it was 80 and sunny, so I spent a good amount of time outside. Just before we walked to Mike and Betsy’s place, I ran into the bathroom to pee.

I pulled down my pants and – there, on my leg, was an ant crawling around.

I literally had ants in my pants. Or – I suppose if we’re truly being literal – an ant in my pants.

So this week, whenever someone has asked how my weekend was, I’ve been responding, “I literally had ants in my pants on Saturday.”

I keep waiting for someone like me to call bullshit and say, “Literally? That must’ve been uncomfortable,” expecting to provide me with a lesson on the difference between something literally and figuratively occurring.

But apparently no one is that nerdy, because I’ve just gotten a bunch of puzzled looks. Which is, literally, a shame.

One Response to “Careful. I’m pretty sure you meant “figuratively.””

  1. Alicia April 26, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    amen. I’ve already instructed both boys in this matter. Thankfully, Lemony Snickett does, too, in The Bad Beginning. Perhaps the best use of the children’s author soapbox I’ve seen.

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