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Don’t say “literally” at East Village bar Continental

Continental Bar
photo via @aaronsylvan

Former music venue and current bar Continental is set to close on June 30, 2018 after 27 years on the corner of St Mark’s and Bowery (the building is being knocked down to make way for new development). That gives you five months to visit the East Village institution infamous for its cheap shots. In its final months, Continental is also gaining infamy for something else: a pedantic ban on the word “literally.” East Village Grieve posted a picture of a sign posted inside and outside of Continental that reads, “sorry but if you say the word ‘literally’ inside Continental you have 5 minutes to finish your drink and then you must leave. If you actually start a sentence with ‘I literally’ you must leave immediately!!! This is the most overused, annoying word in the English language and we will not tolerate it.”

Bar owner Trigger Smith called the sign a joke in a text message to PIX11, saying, “My ban is tongue in cheek. It’s fake news. I’m just trying to shake things up a little and possibly enlighten people to be a little more respectful of the English language. We are not Literally throwing people out. Yet! :)” He also clarified to Grub Street that the sign isn’t intended to be sexist: “anybody who knows me knows I’m a feminist who supports women’s rights and is 100 percent behind this whole ‘Me Too’ thing. I guess people will find an issue in anything.” He does feel strongly about misuse of “literally,” though, telling NPR, “I had a dream, and it felt like a higher power was speaking to me, saying that it is your task to put an end to the over-usage of this word.”

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