The literal meaning of “literal” is literally the most abused word in English.
A couple more examples:
“If he annoys me one more time, I am literally going to tear my hair out.” Ouch! That will hurt. If you do not really tear your hair out next time, you are a liar.
“I believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.” Really? So, when Jesus suggested that you should gouge out your eyes and cut off your hands, he was serious? That’s messed up. I think you mean you believe in an interpretation of the Bible that sticks to the original grammar, intentions, and context, rather than an always literal interpration. At least, that’s what I believe in.
Copyright © 2016 Sterling Hanenkamp.