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Linguistic query: "Really?"
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Over the last few months, I have been seeing a decided increase, in both written and verbal communications, of the usage of the word "Really?" with a specific connotation. Approximately: "It's not that I actually don't believe you, but you have just uttered something so incredibly lame that I must give you the chance to take it back." Extra irony optional. Often used multiple times in a paragraph, not necessarily contiguously.

Now, that's always been a reasonable usage of the word, but I'm seeing it a lot more recently, and I'm wondering if it's just random language drift, or if there's some specific source that popularized this usage. Anyone got insight?
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I've been familiar with that since... Well, for many years. But it does seem to have been on the rise steadily.

In the younger and hipper set (and the set that watches too much Grey's Anatomy), it has more commonly been replaced by "Seriously?"

Then again, "really" is more for when someone says something stupid or unbelievable, and "seriously" is more for when someone does something stupid or unbelievable.

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