I think what we need to kill this one is for a singer to record a song called "Literally" that gets the word wrong over and over again.
Yes, just like the mid-'90s and Alanis Morissette destroyed our ability to properly use the word "ironic," now we can't get enough of saying (and misusing) "literally."
"Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?"
There. I made the terrible joke so you won't have to. You're welcome, comment section.
Everyone on the Internet is "literally dead right now" or "literally can't" or "literally just peed their pants," and if that were all true in a literal sense, then, well, the Internet is a more disturbing place than I imagined.
David Cross' 2002 takedown of the word is hilarious and worth a watch, but the fact that that was over 10 years ago and it's still a problem is ... troubling.
And no, I don't think a good solution is for everyone to annoyingly say "figuratively." That's not going to solve anyone's problems. Let's just save "literally" for when it is true. Like, if you say, "I'm literally going to murder you right now," why don't you actually murder that person? You might go to jail for the rest of your life, but at least you'd know you died sticking to your literal guns, assuming you used guns for the murder.
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"I'm a man of convictions and convictions."
"That awkward moment" is, basically, supposed to be followed by a universal anecdote. "That awkward moment when you fall asleep in class and then randomly twitch violently" being an example.
But now, as with most memes, it seems more of an opportunity to bring up what is essentially a humblebrag.
"I'm Zac Efron and I'm holding an adorable kitten? Awkward!"
"That awkward moment when you have dinner at Kathy Griffin's house for a work function" would be a good example of a dickish one I could have said a couple jobs ago.
But basically, everything about this is redundant. The Internet, and human interaction in general, is about finding shared experiences and pointing them out so that other people can say, "WHOA WAIT I FEEL THAT TOO!" So there's no need to put it in this restrictive "awkward moment" frame. This is just what we're conditioned to do anyway.
Amazeballs! For when you can't possibly just say "amazing" and also want to alert everyone that you think balls are great!
Since when do we use the word "balls" like that? The mere fact that this phrase was popularized by Perez Hilton should give you an idea of where we should place it in our cultural experience.
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Totes amazeballs. YOLO. Hashtag whatev.