I’m #literally #blessed to be so #busy.
For a while now, I’ve refused to use these three words and hashtags. Because I’m just plain tired of hearing them, and I’m tired of them being misused.
You may have heard of or read the blog that went viral some months ago about the trend in social media of people using the hashtag #blessed. While I was not an avid user of the word or the hashtag, I did feel a little prickling of my pride as I realized my occasional misuse.
We are not blessed because of any material things we so happen to have, or even if we have food and shelter. Think of the millions of people who don’t have, yet they still have every reason to be #blessed. Without reiterating what the blogger states so well, I will simply say that it’s only because of the Gospel that we can call ourselves blessed.
I’m thinking of starting a new trend — instead of taking a foot-in-the-sand selfie and hashtagging “blessed,” I’ll apply that hashtag to a foot-in-dog-crap selfie and see if that starts to set something off in people’s minds about the meaning of the word. It would certainly make me stop.
I like the alternate word “grateful,” and when I feel compelled to use the b-word inappropriately, I replace it with “grateful.” And it feels good.
“Busy” is a word that many of us have used to describe our hectic, overflowing, over-committed lives. Another viral post is floating around the interwebs about being “busy.” It struck me to the core. (And yes, you should read this one, too.)
Admittedly, I found myself sometimes labeling my daily activities as oh-so-important and keeping me so crazy busy that it was insane. Why did I feel like that was a badge of honor to display to any who would ask or listen? It kind of falls in line with those other labels of “super woman” or “does it all.” First of all, those labels are impossible to attain truly. Second, I’ve realized all these labels are not desirable to attain anyway. I want to be known for my steady and focused commitment to a few things, rather than my haphazard and ragged inadequacies with many things.
At this point, I twinge a little each time I read or hear the word “literally.” Nearly 99% of the time it is used, it’s either incorrect or inappropriately used.
“Oh my gosh, I literally peed my pants from excitement today.”
More than likely, I didn’t actually wet myself. I was just lazily using the word for emphasis.
“The traffic was so bad coming home from work that it literally took two hours to get off the highway!”
In fact, I did have to wait for two hours on the highway. But is it really necessary to use “literally” to explain my high level of frustration?
And, oh my. I just looked up to see how Mr. Webster or someone similar defines the word and saw that even dictionaries have started to accept the misuse as legit. The Oxford Dictionary just labels it as the “informal” use. It’s not too difficult now to see how a word’s meaning can evolve over time, even if it…literally…ends up implying something totally different than when it started.