I literally am not being literal

literally

"ACKcha-ly..." the customer service rep on the other end of the phone began, and I winced. She had also snapped her gum earlier in our conversation, so I was already on the edge of my seat, rolling my eyes and holding my other hand down from ripping my hair out. Then, she gasped. I could sense she had a computer snafu.

"I literally just had it here in front of me...where is it", she exclaimed.

Literally?!

I wanted to die (not literally).

Why can't people use this word -- and others -- properly? And, it's one thing to be talking with friends, but while doing your job?! Unless you're a Kardashian, you're being unprofessional. Because, being stupid is their job -- not yours.

I loved this

The more I thought about it, though -- I know I'm guilty of using these generously in blogging and while talking with those who know me best, but I would never think to use these, wrongfully, in any other setting. Time and place, people. Put your causal party pants on after work.

pause

However, I'm not so sure we should be too harsh on people who misuse these words. Most of these are used as fillers. They buy time so the next thought can be gathered, especially since they're usually used with a pause after them.

"Actually...", "Basically..." Like..." (SN: I'm a fan of 'essentially')

And really, in a world where everything is instantaneous and real-time -- 'do it right now, get it done yesterday' -- we need those extra couple seconds to make sure we're staying on track. So, I suppose I could cut the 'literally' abusers some slack.

There is no excuse for gum snapping, though. Never.