I found this article by anthropologist Grant McCracken really interesting. McCracken has surmised that Americans have changed how we use the word "really" from one that is "spoken with the upward lilt of a question" to one that "usually comes with an emphatic downturn in tone".
What do you mean by "really" really?: that American culture is under renovation?
It's definitely worth your time to read. Really.
(I love this part of one of the comments:
I think of "new" really being said before by Mom's.
Kid:"I didn't knock the lamp over, an alien did it!"
Personally, I think we should all aspire to have at least one "first-really" moment daily in our lives. Those are the ones made from childlike discovery. We should never assume to know everything that is going to happen. That would make us presumptuous and second-guessing - making us a "second-really" person. Those people should have no friends.
By the way, the other day I was talking about closemindedness and people's tendencies to not be open to new stuff as they get older (i.e. the loss of childlike discovery). After I used the stereotypical 50-something white American male as an example, some random guy walked up to me and said "Well, that will be you in 5 years, I guarantee". This bothered me so much that when I got home I blasted Tupac, popped in a Best of Allen Iverson DVD, and started reading Leonard Peltier.