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A New York bar is banning people from saying ‘literally’

In a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ pushback against ‘Kardashianism’

A bar in New York that’s closing down in June has started banning its customers from using the word “literally” – clearly the bar wants to either limit the amount of money it makes before then, or stir up some publicity. The bar, which is apparently famous for its five shots for $12 deal, put up a sign last week stating that anyone who used the word “literally” would have five minutes to finish their drink before they had to leave, while those who started their sentence with “I literally” would have to immediately exit. It claims that the rule is to “stop Kardashianism”.

The sign, naturally, drew criticism from patrons and Twitter users who aren’t 110-years-old. The landlord – who yes, is in fact a man, why do you ask – told Time Out that the whole thing is tongue-in-cheek, and that they haven’t actually been enforcing the rule! It’s all just a funny joke isn’t it! A little laugh! Although the thing is that the reason women say ‘literally’ so much – and it is women, for the most part – is because we are already so fucking anxious about saying literally anything ever that we cushion our sentences with filler and hedging so that we don’t get told we’re wrong or rude quite as quickly.

Smith told Time Out that “my bar would be empty if I enforced the sign. How could I mean that? How could I be serious? I literally feel sorry for anybody who would take this seriously”. Sounds like a man who’s realised he’s made a mistake and wants to continue making money IMO. However, he does actually hate the word, saying that it’s the fault of “TV shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians or The Bachelor”, so how much of a joke could it be... really? If I asked someone for loads of money because I wanted it, and then they said no, and I said “haha I was...joking ;)” I still meant the initial sentiment, didn’t I?

Look, whether he meant it or not, whether it was a joke or not, it’s still two things. It’s a) part of a weird growing trend of pushback by crusty old bar owners against the modern world and b) shite patter. It’s just not funny. It’s not a joke. An A4 page-long rant full of exclamation marks just reads like the unravelling of a man’s mind, not a punchline. Kourtney might say literally way too much, but she spits out more dry one-liners in an episode of KUWTK than Trigger Smith can ever hope to. If you’re in the area and want to have some shots and say ‘literally’ so much you literally drive a man insane, though, Continental will be demolished sometime after June 30. Come thru.