‘Literally’ figuratively destroyed by program to remove the word’s misuse

'Literally' figuratively destroyed by program to remove the word's misuse 1

A new browser plug-in displays all instances of the much-abused adverb as its traditional opposite. It’s a figurative blast.

My favorite misuse of “literally” came from an August editor at an August publishing house. A debut novel, she declared to a group of journalists, had “literally broken her heart.” We all, of course, then made sure to steer well clear.

Not being a football follower, I didn’t know that Jamie Redknapp had formed in this area, however, and I’m rather impressed. I think “he had to cut back inside to his left because he hasn’t got a right foot” is brilliantly surreal.

Anyway, Slate has brought music to the ears of grammar sticklers everywhere, pointing us towards an ingenious new browser plug-in that replaces the word “literally” with “figuratively” on articles across the web. (“That’s all it does,” writes the developer on the extension’s site; it already has one, five-star review: “This is figuratively the best invention of all time,” says a user, predictably enough.)

Image result for plugin

Slate gave it a whirl: “a quick Google News search for ‘literally’ turns up the following headlines, modified by the browser extension to a state of unintentional accuracy: The 2014 MTV Movie Awards Were Figuratively on Fire; 10 Things You Figuratively Do Not Have Time For; Momentum Is Figuratively the Next Starting Pitcher for LSU,” it says.


Unfortunately, the plug-in is not able to spot the correct usage of the word literally, “so if you install it, you’ll also start seeing the word ‘figuratively’ to describe things that are literally true, as in, ‘White Sox Rookie Abreu Figuratively Destroys a Baseball.’ (The baseball was in fact destroyed),” says Slate.

This could be a fatal flaw in the invention – but you know what? I think it makes it even better. The linguistic abuse literally has gotten out of control – even the OED now includes an informal definition of literally as “used for emphasis while not being true.” Now it is time for figuratively to suffer, starting with the figurative destruction of that baseball, an enjoyably surreal image to rival that of Redknapp’s one-legged footballer. As for me, I’m figuratively installing the extension as I write.

Twitter users can no longer set their background pictures as they browse the site after the company quietly turned off the much-loved feature and replaced backgrounds with a uniform light gray.

User-set backgrounds will still be visible when a specific user’s feed, or individual tweet, is visited. But when browsing the home timeline, users are now faced with a plain background rather than one of their own choice.

The change was initially made without an announcement, prompting many users to wonder if the site had broken, but a Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the update was deliberate.

“We’re removing background images from the home and notifications timelines on the web for all users,” the company told Engadget. “Now, background images are only available where logged-in users will see them publicly [Tweet pages, list pages, and collections pages].”

The reversal through Adobe – and its choice to focus on the open HTML5 platform for mobile – brings to a cease a protracted and tumultuous row between Apple and Adobe over the usefulness of Flash on the cell platform. The iPhone was released in 2007 without Flash capability, as did the iPad in 2010.

Steve Jobs, then Apple’s leader government, and Apple’s engineers insisted that Flash changed into a “battery hog” and introduced safety and balance flaws; Adobe countered that it become widely applied in desktop PCs and used extensively on the internet.

“The ability to use whatever words we want is one of our most basic freedoms, yet the NSA’s growing surveillance of electronic speech threatens our first amendment rights,” said Grosser.

“All ScareMail does is add words from the English language to emails written by users of the software. By doing so, ScareMail reveals one of the primary flaws of the NSA’s surveillance efforts: words do not equal intent.”

ScareMail is available as a plugin for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and the source code is free for all at Github.

The selection also increases a query mark over the destiny of Flash on computing device PCs. Security vulnerabilities in Flash at the desktop had repeatedly been exploited to contaminate PCs in the beyond 18 months, while Microsoft has additionally said that the default browser in its approaching Windows eight device, anticipated on the giving up of 2012, will now not include the Flash plugin by way of default. Apple, which inside the third sector captured 5% of the world market, does not consist of Flash in its computers using the default.

John Nack, a fundamental product supervisor at Adobe, commented on his non-public blog (which does not always mirror Adobe views) that: “Adobe pronouncing that Flash on cell is not the exceptional direction ahead [isn’t the same as] Adobe conceding that Flash on cellular (or some other place) is bad generation. Its satisfaction is irrelevant if it is no longer allowed to run, and if it’s not allowed to run, then Adobe will need to locate exclusive approaches to meet customers’ wishes.”

Some users have speculated that the changes pave the way for adverts that take over the whole background.

The change has upset some users, who appreciated the ability to personalize their Twitter experience, and one has created a chrome plugin to undo the change. Mika, a coder based in Leipzig, Germany, released the Twitter Background Restorer on Github on Tuesday morning. “I bet there’s gonna be paid-for background ads now,” Mika said this morning. “People are defending it in the comments with ‘good, people were myspacing it up anyway’ – you can still see the background on individual tweets!”