“The law literally is an ass in this particular case.”
That’s John Key’s assessment of parts of electoral law, according to a 3 News report.
A Google image search for “ass” serves up a mixture of donkeys and human backsides. It’s all very puzzling.
The prime minister is not alone in his misuse of “literally”, however. Just recently, the British deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg spoke of “people literally in a different galaxy who are paying extraordinarily low rates of tax” – which metaphorically sparked a wider debate on the use of the word.