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Thread: literally

  1. #1
    Eartha is offline Member
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    Default literally

    Dear all,

    How should I understand "literally" in red in the sentence below?

    Thanks in advance.

    Things were going so well, in fact, that stock traders on New York’s Wall Street were compelled to take their business literally off the street in March 1817, moving it indoors and forming the New York Stock Exchange.

  2. #2
    Iamasking is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: literally

    I guess back then stock traders worked on the streets and didnt actually had any head office, so they literally took their business of the streets and created one.

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    Eartha is offline Member
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    Default Re: literally

    Quote Originally Posted by Iamasking View Post
    I guess back then stock traders worked on the streets and didnt actually had any head office, so they literally took their business of the streets and created one.
    I knew the meaning of the whole sentence.
    But I failed to get why the word is used here.
    Is it an emphasis or something...

    Thanks all the same.

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    jlinger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: literally

    The word is used in emphasis only. It is not required, but to add it adds emphasis and also, as Iamasking said, reminds the reader that their business was actually conducted on the street and now is in an office. ("Actually," as used just 11 words ago, is another "emphatic" - I went back and stuck it into the sentence because it didn't seem to be clear enough without it. It isn't needed - I just feel more comfortable with it there.)

  5. #5
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: literally

    Quote Originally Posted by Eartha View Post
    Dear all,

    How should I understand "literally" in red in the sentence below?

    Thanks in advance.

    Things were going so well, in fact, that stock traders on New York’s Wall Street were compelled to take their business literally off the street in March 1817, moving it indoors and forming the New York Stock Exchange.
    I disagree about the emphatic use of this word generally; and I disgree that it's used emphatically here.
    It's used in cases where something might be taken metaphorically, to make clear that what is written is meant literally. If you conduct your business "on the streets", that might mean you do it anywhere you can find space, or you move around. The author is saying, no, I mean literally on the street.
    That is the correct usage. It should be unnecessary here, with the use of "moving it indoors".

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