The Hollow Victory Actually
Translation: Did you misspell Pyrrhic?
“Actually it’s a trilby, not a fedora.”
“Well, it’s from the Greek so actually your name should be pronounced…”
“Actually, you don’t, because the Upper West Side ends at 96th, so what you mean is, you live in Manhattan Valley.”
“Well, actually, you don’t mean ‘literally,’ you mean ‘figuratively,’ no?”
“Well, actually, you’re not nauseous, you’re nauseated, unless of course you really mean…”
“Uh, hang on, no, it’s not an umlaut, it’s a diæresis. They’re actually different, phonologically.”
“That’s actually not an acronym, it’s an initialism. To be an acronym…”
The Pleasant Surprise Actually
Translation: My low expectation has been exceeded.
“Actually, you’re right… mostly.”
“You’re funny. You actually just made me laugh out loud.”
“That’s actually a very good question.”
“I mean it was a wedding but actually I kind of had a good time.”
“Actually, yeah, that might… that could actually work. Good job.”
“Wow, yeah no, I did, I do love it. It is my favorite. You actually remembered.”
The Low Self-Esteem Actually
Translation: Yay, stupid me.
“Huh, I actually like the way this looks on me.”
“Yeah, Benford’s Law. I’ve actually heard of that.”
“It went great. I actually contributed a few ideas.”
“I actually think this came out not too bad.”
“Things are good. Great, even? I don’t know, I’m actually in a good place these days. Happy, even.”
“I’d never played before and I was actually pretty good!”
The Damage-Control Actually
Translation: Join me in deciding this isn’t a big deal.
“I actually can’t help you tonight, I have plans.”
“I actually don’t have a copy of my résumé on me, but you can just Google me.”
“I would love to, and happy birthday to your cousin, but I’m, actually, I can’t.”
“Yes, I remember saying I could but actually stuff’s kind of crazy so I can do it, but tomorrow.”
“No, actually, I didn’t read the whole article but that’s not the point. What I’m commenting on, and really, what I’d appreciate your response to, is the tone and the general attitude.”
The Diplomatic Correction Actually
Translation: Sir, no.
“I know. Craig. Yep. Hi, Craig. We’ve actually met before. Couple times.”
“I did actually turn it off and then turn it back on, so no, that’s not it. So can you help?”
“She, actually. My doctor’s a woman. Anyway, what she said was…”
“It was my first language, so actually, I’m pretty sure I pronounced it right: broo-sketta.”
The Self-Soother Actually
Translation: Control the narrative, control the narrative.
“So fuck it, you know? And, actually, maybe it’s a good thing I got fired. Fuck that job. Best thing that ever happened to me.”
“Embarrassed? Why would I be embarrassed? No. actually, I thought it was funny.”
“In fact, nah, you know what? I’m relieved. I don’t have time for that shit, so actually, it’s better that I haven’t heard back from her. Fuck her.”
“I didn’t mean to reply-all but you know, it had to be said. So, in the long run, actually, I’m glad it happened.”
“Thank you. It was scary there but actually, it was a wake-up call, and now I’m exercising, eating better. I wouldn’t have made a change if it hadn’t happened.”
“Thanks. It’s okay. Really. I’ll just take the time to work on it some more. I kind of felt rushed so actually, I’m relieved. No, really, I was actually glad I didn’t get it.”