Meaningless! Meaningless! Literal is Meaningless!
‘Literal’ is a darling word for many, attractive because it suggests straightforward, direct and reliable communication. However, the fact is that it gets used to mean quite a few different things by different people and if subjected to sufficiently intense scrutiny the assurances it offers are shown to be meaningless. While carrying emotive power it lacks utility making it as dangerous as counterfeit medicine.
Is that controversial? Well I think it’s not only true but fairly obvious, and in a while I’ll explain and I’ll also go into some of the implications. Watch this post.