Figuratively intelligent

Today I went shopping in an area that has two malls across the street from each other. Finally! Anyway, there’s a traffic light and crosswalk between the two, but you have to push the button for the walk signal to be activated. A large group had gathered to cross (because how better to honor our nation’s great presidents than by dashing between Foot Locker and Forever 21), but apparently no one had pressed the button because a full light cycle went through without us getting a walk sign. Two girls behind me were very upset by this. So upset, in fact, that one of the girls said “This is literally stupid.”

Of all the misuses of “literally,” this one definitely took it in a different direction. I don’t even know if I can call it a misuse, really. Literally.

  •  Anonymous

    Golly, Ms Molly, there is a great rant on “Literal” and “literally” at

    Also, I want to start a Molly Erdman fan club in my town in Alaska. Do you have a catalogue of Molly E gift items? Many of us would like a Sonic eatery here.

    We love Ya….

  • Ted

    I just hope those girls were doing well once they got across the street.

  • Dave

    Maybe she meant it figuratively.

    I heard one this morning on ABC’s earliest news show (4:30 a.m.!) One of the reporters had a piece on the monarch butterfly migration to Mexico where thousands of the monarchs gather each year. He was holding one in his hand throughout the piece. When they switched back to NYC, Vinita Nair commented on how well-behaved the butterfly was. I went off on that, about misbehaving butterflies, vicious butterfly attacks, maybe Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Butterflies”. Mary was laughing so hard she couldn’t catch her breath. I figure there’s a video for you and your buddies to put together.

  • http://www.backtothefridge.comrel=nofollow Charlie Hills

    Oh Ted, you didn’t. :)

    Here’s a related story, Molly. Local newscaster was talking about the weather, might have even been about an incoming hurricane, due to the direness of his tone. That’s when he warned us to be careful because, “The weather can literally turn on a dime.”

    I’d actually like to see that.