13/03/17 Literally vs. Figuratively

Literally and Figuratively

Something literally means exactly what the words say it means (think literature). Literally is used illiteraly when employed as an intensifier <the defendant was literally sweating bullets

[read was sweating bullets] as the verdict was read.>
In the example, the defendant was figuratively (metaphorically) sweating bullets, although you would never write it that way – just omit literally when it’s really not literal.