A NYC Bar Literally Banned Customers From Saying ‘Literally’

Despite the fact that even Charlotte Brontë used the word “literally” to mean “figuratively,” using the word in a hyperbolic or figurative way is a practice that many grammar lovers resent. Now, one East Village bar is taking grammar-policing a step further, banning the word “literally” from its premises altogether.

Dive bar Continental posted a sign in its window this week reading: “Sorry but if you say the word ‘literally’ inside Continental you have 5 minutes to finish your drink and then you must leave. If you actually start a sentence with ‘I literally’ you must leave immediately!!! This is the most overused, annoying word in the English language and we will not tolerate it. Stop Kardashianism now!”

The notice began to gain attention online when Twitter user @evgrieve posted a picture of it (taken by @edenbrower) Wednesday. Owner Trigger Smith told Grubstreet that “the policy is tongue-in-cheek, but he really does hate the word.”

“What’s annoying is people aren’t even aware they’re saying it,” he said. “How could you be so unaware of your words that it’s coming out every couple minutes?”

As could be expected, the rule made a splash online, with some irritated by the condescending nature of the note, though others were amused by it.

One Twitter user loved the idea.

Others had some fun with ~word play~:


This person had the ultimate slam dunk:

As Grubstreet points out, the bar is set to close in the coming months anyhow, so its controversial linguistic policies won’t have lasting effects. People have been using the word “literally” to mean “figuratively” for nearly 250 years — there’s *adopts Chris Traeger voice* lit-rally no way they’re stopping anytime soon.

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