tikibarber

Video: Tiki Barber should rethink his use of the word “literally”

Tiki Barber appeared on the Howard Stern show Tuesday morning and had a few interesting things to say.  The former Giants running back, former Football Night in America analyst, former Today Show correspondent, former… eh… you get the idea, is preparing to take on his newest media gig as CBS Sports Radio national morning host alongside Dana Jacobson and Brandon Tierney.  He was talking about his ability to easily forgive others during his tumultuous career when he offered this unintentionally funny quote…

"You can literally sh*t on me, and I'll still be kind to you."

I've always found the odd use of the word "literally" by people in sports to be amazing.  I've literally heard the word misused a million times.  To best explain this phenomenon, I think it's best to turn it over to thefreedictionary.com for this one…

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"Usage Note: For more than a hundred years, critics have remarked on the incoherency of using literally in a way that suggests the exact opposite of its primary sense of "in a manner that accords with the literal sense of the words." In 1926, for example, H.W. Fowler cited the example "The 300,000 Unionists … will be literally thrown to the wolves." The practice does not stem from a change in the meaning of literally itselfif it did, the word would long since have come to mean "virtually" or "figuratively" but from a natural tendency to use the word as a general intensive, as in They had literally no help from the government on the project, where no contrast with the figurative sense of the words is intended."

In reality, I think Tiki's trying to make an exaggerated point about his own kindness and generosity (gee, what a guy) and not encouraging people to relieve themselves upon him.  Lord knows there's been enough people do that already over the last few years since his playing days.  Literally.

(H/T @JimmyTraina)

Matt Yoder

About Matt Yoder

Managing Editor of Awful Announcing and award winning sportswriter. Bloguin consigliere. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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