Have you ever listened to teenagers have a conversation? They use the word “literally” a lot – like literally every other word.
When something is literally occurring, that means that it happening exactly as described. Someone who is literally passing out from excitement has their eyes rolling back in their head, and is collapsing to the ground as we speak.
Usually, the intended word is figuratively, which means that whatever is happening is being described metaphorically. Someone who is figuratively on pins and needles with anticipation is really looking forward to something.
Someone who is literally on pins and needles is currently experiencing small puncture wounds on their body.