As some of you may have heard, the word literally has finally been amended in the Oxford English Dictionary. It seems that things in the world of academia take a long time and with all the other very important things going on in the world, it struck me as funny. Here’s how I imagine these brilliant men coming together to discuss this important issue.
“Lord Falconer, welcome. We have important issues to attend to this morning and one of them has to do with changing our beloved Oxford Dictionary.”
Lord Falconer clears his raspy throat and with a slightly befuddled look and a cough he grunts, “Ah, yes.”
“Let us introduce everyone after we fix this behemoth problem regarding the word ‘literally’.”
“Professor Sparrow has sent us an email regarding Mark Twain’s incorrect usage. Shall I read it now?”
“Please Lord Hastings, let us hear the missive.”
“Not quite a missive, good chap, just a mere email.”
“Sorry, not familiar with modern communication, Sir. I employ a secretary. Carry on....”
“Should I send you a text message with a link?”
“What part of modern communication do you not understand? I don’t use email and I don’t have text messages on my phone.”
“Very well, I’ll skip it but there is another writer from 1769 who also used the word incorrectly.”
“That author of “The History of Emily Montague?”
“Yes, have you heard of it?”
“No, of course not, sounds like romantic bog-water. I read about it in the bloody Times,” Lord Falconer looks perturbed.
“Why hasn't this been changed earlier? It’s just a small addition and now we look foolish?”
“Is that literally?” Lord Hastings asks, while scribbling notes.
“Do we have other words up for review?”
“Yes, in fact there are many, let me see,” glancing at his notes, Hastings looks up with a smile and says, “the next one on the list is irregardless.”
“Jolly good, let’s break for tea and discuss the other later.”