Once upon a time, literal meant actual. But why stick to those guns when figurative speech is the spice of life? Metaphors paint a picture, and similes are as clear as a calm blue sea. As clear as a bell, as clear as a crystal, as clear as the tears of a clown.
Idioms add color for those in the know. Slang separates the white bread from those who are hip AF.
For reals, when you speak—or write—from the heart, cut and dried meanings take a backseat to the magic spell of a rhetoric that murmurs and sings, ebbs and flows, with the rhythm of life.
A wordsmith with mad skills deserves the shout-outs, the props, and the major league swagger. What does meaning matter when words are getting fatter? It’s all shifting sands in the land of make-believe where we make our own truth, and we speak like the youth.
The grammar police gets hot under the collar? Psssh. It don’t matter in the vernacular.
The figurative literal may make the skin crawl, like nails on a chalkboard or climbing a wall, but is it literally ignorance… or literary evolution? Different strokes for different folks? Shorthand to understand, or a catch-22 that sends us back to square one?
Who could care less what words really mean? At the end of the day, when the whole nine yards become smoke and mirrors, the literal meaning is anyone’s call.
And when those chickens come home to roost, does it literally matter?