IN ANTICIPATION of the new year, I will get my almost-annual rant about how we abuse the English language off my chest. This time, my gripe is with our impulse to make everything more than it is.
Let’s get a couple of the obvious ones out of the way first. The use of “literally,” for example. It’s currently the most misused word in our language.
If I was to say, “The constant misuse of the word ‘literally’ is literally driving me insane,” it would mean it was actually driving me nuts, as in send for the folks in white coats and take me away.
Nowadays, though, it’s used simply for emphasis.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.