Browser Extension Replaces 'Literally' With 'Figuratively,' And That's All It Does


Are you endlessly irritated with the chronic use of the term “literally” to mean “figuratively?” If so, you’re in luck, as some genius has made a browser plugin dedicated solely to fighting this problem. A new Chrome extension automatically replaces the word “literally” with “figuratively” in websites, thus giving linguistic prescriptivists some much-needed peace of mind in a chaotic, lawless world.

The extension, which is literally called “Literally,” was created by Mike Walker. It does nothing other than scan text on websites for the word “literally” and replace it with “figuratively,” and considering how often the former is misused to mean the latter, it’s usually pretty successful. The downside — in addition to its inability to affect tweets — is that it sometimes makes a replacement when the original use was actually correct. A couple of headlines that the extension botched:

Still, it’s generally on point — especially when it comes to threads on message boards (see here, here).

The growing use of “literally” to mean “figuratively” has enraged many, and that rage only grew when Merriam-Webster made the preposterous decision to expand the former’s definition to include the latter (preposterous because “figurative” is, literally, the opposite of “literal”). This Chrome extension is a good, albeit small, step to remedying this problem — or at least making it easier to live with.