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Date TimeAugust 27, 2019
VoiceLinguist Steven Pinker is among those who have implied the singer was wrong to say ‘I was literally about to break’
Heres why its ok for Taylor Swift to use literally, figuratively | David Shariatmadari
In a frank interview with the Guardian at the weekend, Taylor Swift revealed just how traumatic the summer of 2016 was for her. “I was literally about to break,” she confided. As fans lapped up the detail about her spat with Kanye and why she felt unable to endorse a presidential candidate, in a more specialised corner of the internet, all hell broke loose.
Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration – the eminent linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker did call her “The newest member of A.W.F.U.L. (Americans Who Figuratively Use ‘Literally’)”, implying that he wasn’t keen on her choice of words, and around 3,000 people backed him up. The point is, we have to assume Taylor wasn’t in fact “about to break”, unless there’s something she’s not telling us about her yoga regime.

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