BBC News

Why editors are 'literally' changing the dictionary

What is wrong with this quote from football pundit Jamie Redknapp?

"In his youth, Michael Owen was literally a greyhound."

The answer is: nothing. That is because the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary have changed the definition of "literally" - so it can now be used in a similar way to "metaphorically."

Senior OED editor Fiona MacPherson told BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast: "If enough people use a word in a particular way... it will find its way into the dictionary."