“I love avocado toast!” “I love the way the sun feels on my skin when I’m on the beach.” “I love my parents.” “I love blogging.” In all four of these sentences, the word ‘love’ is used in a different context to convey enjoyment, pleasure, emotions, and value.
I have been thinking about how often I use the word ‘love’ and in what context. I discovered I use it most often to describe enjoyment or admiration rather than “an intense feeling of deep affection”. Merriam Webster has several definitions of love, but the relationship between them is a deep feeling of pleasure, affection, or fondness.
Most people use the word ‘love’ too frequently in their day to day lives. Whether to express fondness for a song, admiration for someone’s shoes, or comment on the weather, the word ‘love’ is used far too casually. By doing so, we diminish the power, and precious value and meaning of one of the most important words in the English language.
We all could benefit by using other words to express our emotions and desires. Words such as enjoy, admire, beautiful, tenderly, and like might be better options than love. By considering your word choices carefully you’ll be forced to think more seriously about what you’re saying. Eventually however, you will find you only use the word ‘love’ when you truly feel deep and tender emotions.
Something you may not know about me is that I have a passion for learning languages. Since I was a small child, I developed a strong comprehension of the Romance Languages (Italian, French, Spanish, and Latin), as well as a good ear for identifying similarities between languages. In Romance Languages, one never uses ‘love’ (amore, adore, amor) to describe simple enjoyment or to comment casually. In Italian for example, you wouldn’t say, “adoro il colore delle tue lenzuola,” (I love the colour of your bed sheets). ‘Love’ is only used to describe a strong desire, infatuation, or affection. Instead you would say, “mi piace il colore delle tue lenzuola” (I like the colour of your bed sheets). Don’t start to panic if you’ve made this mistake before, I have too! Whoever you were talking to understood what you were saying.
English is a relatively young language and is derived from the Romance, Germanic, Celtic, and even Slavic Languages. Nevertheless, our definition of words and the way we use them is often different from these more ancient languages. Therefore, whenever I have a question about the use of a word, I like to refer back to its origins to better understand its meaning.
I hope I didn’t frighten you into never using the word ‘love’. Instead I hope to inspire you to use explore other words and only use love to describe something you are very passionate about! Are there any words you feel are overused or are being used in the wrong context? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious to hear what you have to say!