I’ve just come across a Top 10 list site called ListVerse. A few months back Andrew Pepper posted a list of 10 misused English words. I don’t completely agree with the list but it is still worth reading.

  1. Refute
  2. Instant
  3. Enormity
  4. Less
  5. Chronic
  6. Literally
  7. Panacea
  8. Disinterested
  9. Decimate
    and
  10. Ultimate

While I’m glad that decimate made the list (it means kill 10%, not everyone), there’s at least one word that I don’t believe should be listed: literally.

There’s an ongoing discussion over whether it is correct to use the word the way it sounds or of it is okay for it to be commonly misused. For example, some would object to “steam was literally coming out if his ears”. But I would not. Most uses of the word “literally” are deliberate exaggerations, and thus they are not meant to be taken literally.

What do you think of the list? Are there any words that you feel should have been included?