Friday, March 23, 2007

Nitpicking: "Literally"

News story about Aaron Glenn's murdered niece quotes Lt. John Denholm of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
“We are exploring whether it's even possible to search for her remains at this point,” Denholm said. “It's the literal needle in the haystack.”

Poor old "literal". Is there any word more abused? Here's another example:
I can only thank my angels and God for leading me to what was literally a needle in a haystack.

Actually, it was a key in a storage room - and this woman is a professional writer!

And while I'm nitpicking, I watched "Inside Man" last week with the commentary track by Spike Lee. What an unpleasant man he is. So I was delighted to hear him describe a 180° camera move as, you guessed it, a 360° move. What a maroon!

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