Today in The Rhetorical Tradition, my students and I are going to learn just how similar John Locke is to David Cross. In one short section of his "Essay on Human Understanding," Locke rails against people who abuse language, specifically those who "apply the common received names of any language to ideas, to which the common use of that language does not apply to them." Gah. That reads kind of garbly, esp. for Locke, the King of Clarity.
Maybe a contemporary comparison would help, and for this, I turn to David Cross on the widespread misuse of the word literally. We'll leave aside--just for the moment--Cross's vulgarity, with which Erasmus might take issue. If you can stomach foul language, though, give it a listen--it's a classic.