The “L” Word

There is a particular word in the English language that has been abused, mangled, and cut up; its body parts strewn across the plain of modern day speech in a way that many would describe as careless and heartbreaking – that is, if they noticed it at all. See, this abuse – resulting in a definition so marred and obscure that one struggles to define it at all – has occurred so gradually and so quietly that it has gone completely unnoticed.

The word I am talking about is love. (Although I recognize that a similar case could be made for hate as well. However I am not here to talk about hate.)

There are very few of us who are not guilty of misusing this word. I admit myself that I am guilty of taking part in this abuse. It is heard every day: you love your outfit, you love those potato chips, you love swimming, you love the colour green, you love that new song on the radio, you love those shoes, you love that video game, but none of that is the same way in which you love your friend, which is not the same as the way in which you love your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.

How is one to tell the difference?

When one over hears someone say, “I love you” how can one know which meaning the speaker is using? Moreover, what is this meaning? Webster’s New World Dictionary lists eight different meanings for the word ‘love,’ ranging from “a deep and tender feeling of affection for or attachment or devotion to a person or persons” to “God’s tender regard and concern for mankind.” But these definitions are not very clear and there are so many. How is one supposed to tell whether they are feeling a “…feeling of affection… to a person” or a “passionate affection… for another?”

The fact of the matter is that this word and its definition, though they may have been clear at one point in time, have become incredibly vague and confusing. It has reached the point where very few people have a firm grasp on what love really is and even fewer are able to discern if and when they are or have experienced it. I feel that those few are very lucky.

In this day and age, due to the abuse of the word, many people don’t know what love is and that, dear readers, is nothing short of a tragedy. 

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2 Comments

  1. I think we lost its meaning when we all jostled to define it and forgot to just feel it. When someone’s in a successful relationship, they don’t talk about emotions and feelings the much others do; instead, they talk about happiness and complacency. They not talk about, but exude love.

    Also, in the world now, ‘Love’ as a global emotion is missing on a wide scale – if you look now, you’ll find grudge, haughtiness and hatred. It’s only normal that this breaks down to individuals and divest them of their own share of the meal.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for your comment.


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