Appropriate Use of "Literally"

January 26, 2020

My transition from urban to rural has illuminated many English phrases I grew up with.  I'm not even sure the current generations of kids is familiar with this agricultural heritage.  But more on that in a moment. 

 

Think of the metaphors that come from a time when most people lived on farms.

 

I have literally cried over spilled milk.  

 

 

 

We have literally had to make hay when the sun shines.

 

We literally can not count our chickens until they hatch.  

 

Our friend Kelly was learning how to milk the goats, testing them out before possibly purchasing one.  Every time she milked, she took home a jar of the white stuff for her dog.  She didn't wind up buying one of our goats, because, as she said, "Why buy the goat when you can get the milk for free?"

 

The rude term "cutting the cheese" as a euphemism for flatulence gained new meaning the first time I sliced open the wax coating on a redolent block of home-made cheddar.  None of the girls in our Farm Skills program admitted to having heard this phrase before, which makes me worry about the new generation losing touch with their rural roots.

 

Fortunately it all adds up to a hill of beans.  I hope.

 

 

 

 

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