A 20-something relative visited me recently. It was a struggle to remain calm as I overheard her on the phone misuse random & literally. So I’ve decided to begin saying things like, “Come downstairs, your coffee is non-metaphorically getting cold.” She: “Who was that on the phone?” Me: “Some intentional person.”
I’ve also added “Doesn’t misuse ‘random’ and ‘literally’” as a skill on my LinkedIn profile. Please endorse.
Lee Houck at the Grammar Piano pointed out that this is not just a grammar problem:
What does it mean that we have lost the ability to discern what actually happens randomly, and why are we in a constant state of reiterating the realness of any situation?
If you are interested in learning when to use these words, read this article about literally and this one about random, which, for the most part, tells grammar curmudgeons like me to lay off young people’s use of the word.
As I was searching for a graphic, I saw this one. It is too amazing not to include here: