"Sure" is sometimes (colloquially) used sarcastically, intonation is important here: "suuuure you did." As pointed out by @curiousdannii,
"sure has the same sense, but when used sarcastically is spoken in
what would strictly be considered a lie."
See this video for an explanation of the different colloquial interpretations of "sure."
The case of the clean desk policy is very interesting
"Clean desks policies are quite literal"
The expression "quite literal" shows up in Google Books once in 200 years, whereas "quite literally" is on a tear.
For purposes of this discussion I'll rephrase it to
"Clean desks policies are to be interpreted quite literally"
What's interesting is that both "quite" and "literally" are considered contronyms (words with contradictory meanings).
So the word you are looking for is
A word with two opposite meanings, e.g., sanction (which can mean both
‘a penalty for disobeying a law’ and ‘official permission or approval
for an action’).
The coexistence of two opposite meanings in a word is called
Sanction: “approve” and “punish.” Why do such antithetical meanings
coexist in this word? Sanction has always referred to law (that is,
encouragement to do something) and a penalty for breaking it, though
the first sense is of course primary (sanctify is a cognate of saint,
from Latin sanctus). In the twentieth century, sanction “punitive
measure” became so common that when today we read about sanctions, we
think only about actions undertaken to enforce international rules.
However, the verb in its positive meaning has survived. The
coexistence of two opposite meanings in a word is called enantiosemy,
and the examples are rather numerous.
Oxford University Press's Academic Insights for the Thinking World
This Wikipedia article about contronyms gives an example that is quite clear
Other contronyms are a form of polysemy, but where a single word
acquires different and ultimately opposite senses. For instance quite,
which meant "clear" or "free" in Middle English, can mean "slightly"
(quite nice) or "completely" (quite beautiful).
There's even a book entitled, quite literally, "Quite Literally: Problem Words and How to Use Them"
literally features in all style and usage guides. Don’t use it when you don’t mean it, they say. ‘He literally exploded with anger’
is absurd. But do use it if you need to make clear that a stale
metaphor is, for once, an accurate statement. ‘He literally died
laughing’ could be true…
Others seem to think that by putting ‘almost’ in front of ‘literally’
they can make it work:
The people of the rebuilt Oradour lived, almost literally, within this
history. (Adam Nossiter)
But how can something be ‘almost literally’ true? Either it is true or
Because literally is so generally misused, some people feel that they
have to add an intensifier like ‘quite’ – to say ‘I really mean it’…
In turn ‘quite literally’ becomes the standard phrase… And so for
people who want to say ‘I really mean it’, a further intensifier is
needed. Both examples come from the Guardian:
Lee Westwood has backed himself to win the Sun City Golf Challenge
after an abysmal year by his standards. Quite literally, in fact. The
Workshop player put a sizeable wager on himself.
In Sicily one Vittorio Greco has gone to his grave. Quite literally,
in fact. Vittorio was checking progress on a family tomb when he
slipped, struck and died on the spot.
Quite literally, in fact – or literally, literally, literally. Why not
give this word a rest? (pp. 131–33)
Iva Cheung: Book review: Quite Literally
So we have quite literally four possible meanings
- Rather actually
- Rather virtually
- Completely actually
- Completely virtually
Four meanings of "quite literally?" Am I sure? Suuuuure I am.