Despite years of warnings from literally every linguist ever, officials at the English Word Science Institute confirmed this week that the correct definition of the word “literally” has now been literally, totally forgotten and lost forever and ever, like extinct.
“You know, not exactly forgotten,” said Graeme Ryder, PhD making air-quotes with his fingers in a press conference Monday, “We’re just kinda saying that these days it seems like the original meaning has been, like… literally forgotten, you know?”
“Of course,” Ryder assured the audience with a chuckle, “we all still totally know what the word means.” However, when pressed by reporters on the actual meaning, Ryder appeared literally brain-dead. “It kinda means ‘really’…” he said, his voice modulating upward as if asking a question, “but just sort of… different, you know? Like, extra-really. Stronger somehow.” He assured reporters that his organization was looking into it, with books and things.
Monday’s announcement from the EWSI has literally set the academic world ablaze with real flames, like, literally licking up the sides of it. “I’m stunned. It’s like I literally have no idea what is happening,” said an incredulous Linda Snell, head of the English Studies department at Harvard and literally the queen of these kinds of things, like with an actual crown and everything. “It’s like I’m hearing the words, but they’re literally going in one of my ears, out the other and boom, falling right onto the floor. I, no shit, literally want to die right now. Like lie down on the floor of my office and literally die.”
Outside of academia however, the announcement was met with a resounding whatever. “Yeah, I heard something about it on the news,” said Alice Aldridge, 23, of St. Cloud, MN. “I couldn’t believe how serious they sounded and stuff! It was literally like a bomb had dropped or something.” Asked if a bomb had dropped, Ms. Larkin’s eyes literally popped out of her skull and she proceed to literally laugh her head off, like plop, clean off of her body. “No you idiot, a bomb didn’t, like, drop on anyone!” she scoffed, giving this reporter a playful shove. “What are you, stupid?! I said it was literally like a bomb had dropped.”