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May 11, 2012
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I wonder whether the word "really" had a similarly debated transition to hyperbole/emphasis. I would certainly say something like, "Boy, was I mad. I really went through the roof". However, it's my biggest pet peeve to hear somebody say, "Boy, was I mad. I literally went through the roof". There are plenty of hyperbole and emphasis modifiers. If we let "literally" slip away, we would lose the elegant (dare I say literate?) way to express that you had an accidental collision with John at the lift.
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