Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Virtually" is not a Synonym for "Literally"

In the past week, I have noticed on three occasions, people using "virtually" incorrectly.

I try not to be a grammar snob, because I know I am not perfect with the English language.

However, I do not ever try to sound smarter than I am.

There has been a lot of flak recently about people misusing "literally." I can only assume that this sudden rise in the use of "virtually" is an attempt to continue using an adverb.

Literally and virtually do NOT mean the same thing. "Virtually" is like a measurement – it means “almost.”

Unless, you have the goggles on and you are virtually doing something like petting a dog. Then it’s the OPPOSITE of literally, but it isn’t quite figuratively either. It’s an alternate reality - it's virtual.


    1. nearly; almost.
    "virtually all those arrested were accused"

    synonyms: effectively, in effect, all but, more or less, practically, almost, nearly, close to, verging on, just about, as good as, essentially, to all intents and purposes, roughly, approximately, pretty much, pretty well;
"the building is virtually empty"

    2. by means of virtual reality techniques.

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