Attention, Tumblr: Learn the Meaning of the Word “Literally”

I just got an e-mail, from Tumblr (I used to blog a lot there, before coming here to WordPress). The e-mail has the title, “Your Dashboard is literally on fire.” I’m now afraid to go look at my car, OR log on to my old Tumblr account. I dislike being burned.

5 thoughts on “Attention, Tumblr: Learn the Meaning of the Word “Literally”

  1. And how does your mind deal with the fact that it’s physically impossible for a digital representation of a welcome screen to be on fire? Isn’t that enough to cue you that the meaning here is figurative?


  2. If the screen itself were on fire, and the screen were still functioning, it would certainly look like the digital image there was on fire, as well — not just the screen.

    Surprisingly often, what what be enough to cue most people in to such things doesn’t penetrate my strong tendency to take nearly thing literally. When it comes to the actual word “literally,” this tendency becomes even stronger. This may be because the incorrect use of one of my favorite words (and concepts) irritates me.

    It’s also an common thing for Aspies to do this. Posts here tagged “Aspie” or “Aperger’s” describe this further, especially this one, which you may find interesting.


    • Yes, I had read that (excellent) post before making this comment, I even used the examples within to teach my parents about AS during dinner today (I’m neurotypical).

      When you read “Your Dashboard is literally on fire”, and you look at your monitor and verify that it is not on fire, and reason that certainly your monitor will not catch fire when you visit Tumblr (no website has the power to do this), what is it that still scares you about the message/stops you from visiting your Dashboard normally?


      • What stopped me from visiting my dashboard normally, at least at first, was that I was irritated with Tumblr for sending out an e-mail which made it appear as if they do not know the meaning of the word ‘literally,” a word they should know, and should not misuse. If they DO know the word’s meaning, and they misused it deliberately, that’s even more offensive. In other words, I got angry at them.

        Of course, the fact that most of my blogging activity is now on WordPress, rather than Tumblr, made staying away from the Tumblr dashboard quite easy. That was the nice part of this.


        • Yeah I really dislike the misuse of the word too, but we’re out of luck, because I think it has become a “cool” word used by youngsters. I think that’s what they wanted to achieve with that e-mail title, look hip. They could have used “hey dude, your Dashboard’s like, totally on fire” for the same effect 😛


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