I was watching one of those antique hunt programmes while I was in the gym the other day, and I heard one of the experts say, “These table legs are literally on fire”. But of course, they weren’t; they were just sitting there, being table legs. In the same way, you didn’t literally sleep all day, and you’re probably not literally dead on your feet. But if you have a friend who’s a Harlem Globetrotter and he’s on his own at a party, yes, he’s literally the tallest person there. Keep literally for when it means ‘in a literal sense’. If you don’t mean it in a literal sense, don’t use the word.
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