Biden: I Have Met “Literally Every” World Leader

220px-Nouveau_Dictionnaire_Larousse_page225px-joe_biden_official_photo_portrait_2-croppedFor many, the use of the word “literally” is literally the bane of their existence. People often use it for emphasis when the literal meaning of the sentence could not possibly be true. Take statement of Vice President Joe Biden who loves to use the word and, on Monday, told a crowd that he has met “literally every” world leader at my school, George Washington University. It was funny enough that Carrie Dann of NBC News had to tweet it.

Notably, while most dictionaries have literally held the line on the definition, Google has added a meaning that is more Bidenesque:

in a literal manner or sense; exactly.
. . .
used for emphasis while not being literally true.
“I have received literally thousands of letters”

Thus, we can assume Biden is using the Google meaning and has not literally (formal) met every world world but it literally (informal) feels that way.

Source: The Week

44 thoughts on “Biden: I Have Met “Literally Every” World Leader”

  1. I figuratively have met everyone who says they literally would never use hyperbole in a million years.

  2. I never understood the reactions to that usage of that word. Hyperboles are common, and there is no reason the word “literally” can only be used literally.

  3. Paul – I forgot about that one. “The first mainstream African-American who is articulate.” Ohhhhhhh, I can’t stand it. I literally cringe every time I read that quote . . . literally.

  4. OK, this is the funniest thread I’ve read in a while. 🙂

    Oh, Joe . . . he suffers from chronic foot-in-mouthitis. Remember when he kept asking the guy (Chuck Graham) in the wheelchair to stand up?

  5. George

    His mother was an American. He meets the requirements for president. I believe you are mistaken.

  6. Literally, the occupant of the Oval Office is the “first African-American President.”

    Let’s parse that one out. His mother was European. His father was a foreign citizen. The person in the White House is half African-American and half eligible for the office. If you’re half right, you’re half wrong. If you’re half wrong, you’re all wrong.


  7. Lrobby99

    Both tolls and increasing the gas taxes are regressive . I’d ask that fed inc. tax be increased. That tax is progressive and the tax rates are pretty darn low. (Lowest ever?)

    1. For those who think the tax rates should be raised, let me remind them that they are free to donate to the Treasury Dept at any time. The Treasury does take donations both big and small.

  8. I love it when Biden fulsomely praises something Obama has just done as being “literally incredible!!”

    Yes, Obama the liar has been literally incredible since mid-November 2008: Transparency, accountability for war criminals, Wall Streeters and mortgage fraudsters, robust public option, save Social Security and Medicare, deficit-fetishism, and all that. Remember the “Fierce urgency of now!”??

    Yup, Joe: You’re right. Thanks for the reminders.

  9. Keebler: I read it. Given the situation, it seems to be the reasonable step to take. The roads are not getting better, are key to our economy, and cost more money than taxpayers have agreed to pay. Do you have a better idea? And the word is “disdain”.

  10. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” –Joe Biden, referring to Barack Obama at the beginning of the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Jan. 31, 2007

    The All-American Joe Biden.

  11. I agree with Wayne and J. Holmes. And add Biden is a great guy who has your Regular Joe American interest at heart.

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