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The Irony of Irma, Literally

I spent a week visiting family in Orlando and Eastern Florida shortly after Hurricane Irma. Other than debris and short power outages, I am thankful my family was spared. Much of my travel time was spent on the Florida Turnpike (no tolls, thank you Governor Rick Scott). As I drove, I saw many fallen trees pushed off to the side of the highway and lots of cattle in open pastures. I naturally thought, as any city gal would, how did they survive? I was told that they hunker down and ride out the storm.

Shown below are typical scenes. Some folks weren’t taking any chances with the other hurricanes swirling out there and kept boarded up. In front of every house you’d see piles of debris from fallen fences and tree branches.

irma house and trash

Irma boarded house

Irma side of road

Getting to the irony part of Irma, the turnpike and other major roads in Florida are billboard intensive. You see everything from “Jesus loves you and your unborn baby” to “Your wife is hot, get your air conditioning fixed.” All of those had been blown away or shredded by Irma’s fierce wind. Guess what billboards remained intact? Literally, only lawyer advertisements. I couldn’t believe that even Irma didn’t want to mess around with those Florida lawyers who will win you loads of cash for every imaginable lawsuit.

I recently read that the word literally is one of the most common overused words of 2017. See if you can go a day without using it. It is harder than you think especially since most of us are using it incorrectly. Literally means factually, exactly, or accurately. For example, “That novel was translated literally from Russian.” Most folks use literally to replace the words actually or really. So in my example above, I should have said “Actually, only lawyer advertisements.”