Tuesday, January 4, 2011


So there are those people. The "literally" people.

"Literally" guy: I literally laughed my head off!
Other person: I'm worried for your well being.

THEN. There are those "You mean figuratively!" people.

"Literally" guy: You are literally blowing my mind!
"You mean figuratively" guy: You mean "figuratively". I'm figuratively blowing your mind.

The thing is... no one means "figuratively". When you say figuratively, it takes all the punch out. Literally is kind of a dumb thing to say, but figuratively just sounds pretentious and completely takes the impact our of your statement.

Person: I am literally in love with this grapefruit.
Other person: Why don't you marry it??
Person: Fine. I am figuratively in love with this grapefruit.
Other person: If your love is only figurative, your grapefruit is underappreciated.
Person: I can't win.
Grapefruit: Neither can I.

Sometimes the correctors are more obnoxious than the correct-ees. And by sometimes, I mean usually.

The other overcorrected thing is this: the pronunciation of the word "mountain". This will be hard to type about because it's an auditory problem, but I'll try my best.

Many people from Utah pronounce "mountain" like this: moun-ehn. With equal emphasis on each syllable and with hardly any effort from their mouth/tongue. It's a lazy pronunciation.

MORE obnoxious, though, are the people who say this. "People from Utah are SO dumb! They say moun-ehn when normal people say mounTain!" They express total belief that is is completely normal to pronounce the T in mountain as if they're from jolly old Britain. No one says "mounTain". You sound like an a-hole.

I stand by this: the most common way to pronounce "mountain" is the subtle "moun-n". With no obvious T, but with some effort put forth by your mouth; as if it's trying to do its job.

 Or "moe-TAYNE". Both are acceptable to me.


  1. Spot on. Spot on. You should have been in some of my linguistics classes. The motto was "Let people say things however the crap they want. We still understand what they mean."

  2. I can teach you how to follow a season of football :)

    I had to enter the word "imbumsi" to post this comment. Come on, internet.

  3. You have to admit that something is strange about people in Utah. I understand Southern accents and other distinctive accents. The problem with Utahans is that they try to speak without an accent while still screwing up words. Anything ending in -ail (trail, mail, bail, fail, wail etc.) turns in to el (trel, mel, bel, wel etc-el.) I say, if you are going to have an accent, just go all out and sound ridiculous so that we can all get into the translating frame of mind instead of being fooled by seemingly normal English.

  4. Will you still love me if I say mountain like I'm from jolly old Britain?...because I do...

  5. Why can't we just say, "I laughed my head off" We all know no one literally means it and that if you say you mean it figuratively then you're dumb for mentioning it. Literally is an over-used word and it bugs me! (But I don't mean it comes at me with antennae!) :)

  6. Rachel, if you actually pronounce it like that, I think should be fine :)

  7. Apparently I am an A-Hole and I am quite all right with that. I will continue to say MounTain and FounTain and LayTon like I always have and be content with however anyone else wants to pronounce their words.

  8. Trent, as long as you're not lying about naturally saying mounTain to prove a point, all is well with the universe.


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