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Grammar Police Announce New Task Force to Tackle the Misuse of Literally; Literally Everyone Worried

Last updated on March 28, 2024

A ripple of dread has spread through the English-speaking world as the Grammar Police announced the formation of the “Special Task Force on Hyperbole Elimination” with its first target – the rampant misuse of the word “literally.”

“We’ve tolerated this assault on the language for long enough,” declared Chief Inspector Pedantic, his face etched with the grim determination of a man who actually corrects people’s grammar at parties. “The word ‘literally’ has a specific meaning, and it’s not ‘figuratively’ or ‘for emphasis’.”

The task force plans to employ a range of tactics, from issuing heavily-worded citations for casual “literally” offenders to launching SWAT-style raids on internet comment sections, where the word runs rampant. “Repeat offenders may face mandatory reeducation camps focused on the nuances of adverbs,” the Chief Inspector added, a chilling glint in his eye.

The public reaction has been swift and fearful. “I say ‘literally’ all the time!” wailed one anxious social media user. “How am I supposed to convey the intensity of my emotions if they take that away? Will I just have to settle for boring old ‘really?'”

Office workers nervously scan their emails, purging any potentially incriminating uses of “literally,” while novelists scramble to rewrite entire manuscripts. “My protagonist was ‘literally exploding with rage’! What do I do now?” sobbed one romance writer.

Linguists, while sympathetic to the Grammar Police’s mission, warn of unintended consequences. “Language evolves,” explains Dr. Anya Petrov, a linguistics expert. “The informal use of ‘literally’ is widespread. This crackdown might cause more confusion than it solves.”

Undeterred, the Grammar Police vow to press on. They’ve even established a hotline for citizens to report egregious misuse of “literally.” Reports of family members turning on each other and long-time friendships dissolving in a haze of accusatory “Well, actually…” are on the rise.

As the crackdown intensifies, a black market for “literally” emerges, with desperate individuals resorting to shady back-alley deals to score those precious syllables.

Whether the Grammar Police can win this linguistic war remains to be seen. But for now, one thing is certain: everyone will think twice before they casually drop a “literally,” lest they face the full wrath of the grammar law.

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