Thursday, November 17, 2011
A short list of ubiquitous language tics that make me crazy.
"My eyes literally popped out of my head when I saw his outfit."
Your eyes figuratively popped out of your head. If they had literally popped out of your head it would be a medical emergency. Stop using the opposite of the word "figuratively" to mean "figuratively."
"We had a meeting around upgrading our accounting software."
No you didn't. You had a meeting around a table. You didn't sit in a circle surrounding a physical manifestation of the idea of "upgrading our accounting software." You didn't have a meeting a block from "upgrading our accounting software." The word "around" is an adverb or preposition that describes your physical proximity relative to a THING.
"What a gutty performance by LeBron tonight."
Either you meant "gutsy" or you are an Irish person colloquially referring to a street urchin who lives in the "gutter." Gutty is not a word.