Sometimes my partner says silly things. I forgive him because, after all, we do all have our faults--and mine is leniency. However, sometimes he makes statements like,
"I'm glad I didn't go; if I had gone, and seen hipsters running amok, I would have cried severely."
He uses 'severely' in that fashion ALL THE TIME. I finally took issue with his grammar, & he said that it can mean "to a great degree, or requiring great effort," in which case I put up with him (severely), but that's hardly a good explanation.
I understand that 'severely' is an adverb modifying 'crying.' I still think he's ENTIRELY INCORRECT. MeFi, help a girl out?
When asked later whether she's objecting to the grammar (e.g., the word order or something) of the statement or the semantics, she clarifies that it's the semantics.
I loved this response by ROU_Xenophobe:
I feel that, semantically, one cannot cry severely.I love those examples so hard.
If it's just a light slang usage of a perfectly cromulent word, sure you can.
I mean, say that he was using "thermonuclear" instead. As in, "I would have cried, thermonuclear" or "You hurt me thermonuclear bad." Clearly, he cannot actually cry thermonuclear because his body could not survive converting matter to energy inside his tear ducts.
Or say that he used "level 10" instead. I would have cried level 10. This also can't be, because crying does not involve discrete levels.
Or say he used "filthy." As in "I would have cried filthy" or "I kill you filthy, Vorga." Obviously you can't cry filthy, unless you consider tears to be filth, which is verging on the pathological.
But in all cases you know what he means. He sounds a bit like... dude... but in most circumstances that's not a big deal. If he can speak proper when he needs to, and if he'll stop if this is causing you actual no-shit consternation, all is well.