Love, a four letter word.

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Thoughtful thinking.

Love. What does it bring to mind? Romantic getaways, the bride and groom running through a shower of bird seed to the awaiting limo, a walk on the beach with someone dear to you, the feeling a mother has for her child? All very real love, no doubt about that.

Then why do we use the same word for our like for our favorite fast food restaurant? I LOVE McDonald’s. I LOVE my car. I LOVE my T.V. C’mon guys, that’s pathetic.

Love should be defined as a passion, an emotion so strong that the bearer of it would die to protect or save the one they loved. Would you die to save your car? Probably not. If so, then you have another problem. What happened? Where down the grammar chain did somebody decide it was ok to use the most powerful word in the most ordinary way?

We sling this word around like it’s nobody’s business. I’m guilty of it; I think that we all are. We love our family, and we love our pets. There has to be some distinction between this word because I know the love that I have for my family is an unbreakable bond while the like I have towards the family pet is nothing in comparison. We love our friends, and we love our cell phones. The love I have for a friend cannot be measured in height or worth, but my attitude towards my cell phone depends very much on its service. When it’s working, I like it. When it’s not, I hate it. When did this word become commonplace to use for everything?

So what would we say then? “I have an extreme affinity for chocolate chip cookies.” How’s that? Easier to say “love”? Yea, but at least we aren’t butchering the word. Who knows, it may even be good for us to widen our lazy vocabulary a little bit and use a word that’s new to our vocal chords every once in a while.

Have you ever read Pride and Prejudice? No? Neither have I, but I have seen the movie. The long, good one. And I enjoy the way they talk in that movie. Every word meant something; everything is said powerfully, yet, at times very subtly. Instead of the modern movie way of settling your score with somebody by fighting, they fenced with their words, jabbing and stabbing at each other’s wits with their dagger of a tongue. I think that is so cool. No breath is wasted on unnecessary jabbering and babbling, except for the mother. Every sentence had a purpose.

Fast forward to today when people talk simply because they lov- ,excuse me, relish the sound of their own voice. I was inside a line for some type of college aid once and I found myself placed directly in front of two individuals whose mouths ran like an open faucet without a filter. Normally I would not be bothered with such matters, but for some reason, being stuck in a line for an hour and a half in front of two people who talked too much about what they didn’t know was excruciatingly painful. I wanted to turn around and tell them to be quiet so at least they might look intelligent. I probably do this myself. In fact I may be doing it now. It’s so hard to tell though when you are doing it yourself. If I ever do go on a verbazilla rampage. Please let me know by promptly telling me so.

Back to the word love. It has now become a four letter word that is abused right up there with all the profanities. For all the sacred things that love stands for, it is most often demoted to the use for describing our attractions to a pair of shoes. “Oh my gosh, I just LOVE that pair of shoes, they are so cute!” Is it the same love you have for a loved one? I hope not. So why not say so?

Love needs to take its place back where it belongs. And really, if we truly love one another, it is something that need not be said at all. But by our actions we should know. Does your family know you love them just because you say you do? No. Love is a human definition for the most complicated, powerful emotion. No word can do those feelings justice. So treat the one we have with respect.



  1. Josh says:

    Isn’t this the sad truth? I’ve often had the same thoughts; to hear “love” thrown around so…carelessly is dismaying. I suppose the best remedy would be to (a) use it less carelessly(duh), and (b) do the best we can to show love to the people around us.

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