I can be a word snob; I admit that. But I am also a reasonable man. When things reach such a crisis level as this, immediate diplomatic action is required, lest things break out in to total chaos.
I am, of course, referring to Google’s addition to its definition of “literal” as “used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true.” In other words, “literal: meaning, you know, not.” And this is literally insane. Word purists have been driven to the edge (figuratively) for years by people exclaiming that they “literally exploded” with anger, or “literally crapped [their] pants” in fear without it now being validated by Google, thank you very much.
But, recognizing that language is a living, fluid thing, and wanting to avoid physical conflict (because, let’s face it, the Word Snobs are probably going down hard in that one), I offer the following compromise between the Word Snobs, and the Colloquialists:
“Literally”: I enjoy irony as much as the next red-blooded American, but having a word that means absolute truth meaning something else is too much. Besides, it’s already juggling two meanings: literal, and something which occurs in literature. This one’s ours. Google, do your part.
Using “everyday” when you mean “every day”: Yours. Take it. Enjoy. Advertise that your restaurant has “specials everyday” with impunity.
“Could Care Less”: Tricky one. Because if you say “I could care less” about something, then you do, in fact, care. This one’s ours, because it’s so easy to say correctly, but with the exemption that if it’s said with clear, prima facie sarcasm, it’s acceptable.
“Affect vs. Effect”: This one’s easy – we eliminate “affect” and just use “effect” instead. Everyone’s happy, except for people who refuse to follow the new rule. Also people with quirky affectations might take umbrage, but they’ll just have to cry into their cravats, or dragon-headed canes, or shoulder-mounted ferrets, or whatever.
“Momentarily”: This one should go to the word snobs, but it’s been ruined by smugness. The stewardess announces that the plane “should be landing momentarily,” and someone smirks and says, “Oh? And what will it do after it’s landed for a moment?” And looks around for, I don’t know, high fives? So, you cost us this one, smirking airplane snob.
Confusing “its” and “it’s”: Ours. Come on. If you’re saying ‘it is’ or ‘it has’ there’s an apostrophe; otherwise, not. This is a very simple rule. Learn it.
“Expecially”: Are you under 8 years old? Then fine. Otherwise, it’s deportation for you.
Saying “nucular” instead of “nuclear”: This one requires a middle-ground. You may say nucular, BUT, if you cannot say nuclear, you are not allowed access to or involvement with anything nuclear.
“Irregardless.”: Ours. This is not a word. No discussion. People should be allowed to literally go ballistic when this gets said.