Of course, I don’t know for sure, but I think she was just exaggerating; I don’t think she literally wanted to kill her students.
Even if she wrote, “Now Friday was literally a different story…” we still couldn’t be sure if she really meant it.
We don’t only use literally when we mean it in the literal sense- “without exaggeration or inaccuracy”- we also use literally to exaggerate a point.
For example, it’s common to say, “I literally almost died laughing” or “I was so scared that I literally peed my pants.”
But, this is what it means to “literally” pee one’s pants:
When we use literally in conjunction with phrases like "peed my pants," in most cases, we aren’t suggesting that, like Fergie, we actually peed our pants; we are simply trying to emphasize how scared we were.
Using literally in this way- to emphasize rather than in the literal sense- is one of the most common grammar pet peeves people have. And they have a point: If Fergie said, “I was so nervous during my concert, I literally peed my pants,” we would probably incorrectly assume that she was exaggerating.
But, although using literally to emphasize irritates a lot of people, like wearing leggings as pants irritates me, there’s no actual law against it.
In fact, Dictionary.com says:
"Since the early 20th century, LITERALLY has been widely used as an intensifier meaning ‘in effect, virtually,’ a sense that contradicts the earlier meaning “actually, without exaggeration…The use is often criticized; nevertheless, it appears in all but the most carefully edited writing. Although this use of LITERALLY irritates some, it probably neither distorts nor enhances the intended meaning of the sentences in which it occurs. The same might often be said of the use of LITERALLY in its earlier sense ‘actually.’”
Dictionary.com also defines leggings as "close-fitting knit pants," but, as I suspected, it says nothing about having to wear them underneath anything.
You win this round, Lohan.
Well...if you can call this winning: