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 Love ", The word, the meaning, the use

From the Series
 "The Other Side of the Coin"

L. J. White

Love, Webster's defines it as, "Strong affection, beloved person, enjoy greatly ".  This is a simple, perhaps erroneous definition for such a strong and meaningful human emotion, Love.  What is Love?  Can we clearly define this widely used word?  Do we really know the meaning of Love?  In the English language the word Love is widely used in our daily conversations.   I often hear statements such as, " I love going to the beach “, " I love my new car " or " I'd love to have an ice-cream".  I can safely say this word is one of the most used in our language having many different interpretations.  A clear example comes to mind when I constantly hear people say they love inanimate objects like cars, trains and planes.  Well, although I guess it is within the realm of possibilities to love an automobile, a more suitable adjective can be used such as enjoy, like, cherish, etc.  Religious denominations generally refer to love as the ultimate strongest force and emotion, God like in nature, and capable of rebuking all evil.   Of all human emotion it is the most misunderstood while at the same time holds the greatest moral value of all. 

The English speaking countries use the word love quite loosely, giving little thought to the real meaning or proper application of this word.   Using it as we do, in so many different ways, not only confuse the elusive definition but renders it, well perhaps, " Cheap and Common ".  In the Spanish language, Love translates as "Amor" and grammatically or in daily communication the word love applies only when referring to the actual emotion.  Many other adjectives are used to describe feelings that the English language confuses for love and are not even related.  Synonyms are many for love but they are not given the importance they deserve.  Should there be one to begin with?  Short of Telepathy language is the most important communication means at our disposal, not abstract in nature and highly descriptive.  Thousand of words are used, some highly technical, describing perfectly and precisely objects, emotions etc., leaving no room to the imagination or false interpretation.  The grammatical definition of Love falls very short of being comprehensive, if correct at all, and the use in our daily communicative process is ambiguous and confusing to say the least.  Perhaps the lack of understanding of Love as an emotion gives cause to the misuse of the word.

Love, in the emotional content is the least understood most often confused and certainly one of the most written about subjects.  Our lack of understanding of this precious emotion hinders the attempt to properly define it.  In its purest and only form love could be defined as;   " The feeling of fulfillment experienced by a voluntary act of kindness without expectations of material or emotional gain ".   If we are to take this simple and short definition seriously, we certainly can realize how this word is totally misused by all of us.  The indiscriminate abuse of the word Love in our daily written and verbal communications undermines our very concept of the emotion, its meaning and practical application.  Some might argue that there are many kinds of Love and ways to display it.  For instance, " The love of Sports", in essence one is not capable of loving sports, only participate and enjoy them.  I believe there are many misconceptions regarding Love, however I refuse to accept the idea of many kinds of Love.  If you search for commonly used phrases you will find countless references using the word love, erroneously by true definition or application.   I do not think it is feasible to drop the distorted use of this word from our communications.  In addition, I do not foresee Webster coming up with a new word properly describing this powerful emotion.  What then, how can we, within our language, use and give Love the proper place and meaning it deserves?  Tough proposition, is it not?

Maybe we can approach the issue through our children at the Elementary School level, home, church and other educational environments.  First by trying to properly define this word and then educating our youth as to the proper use.  As adults, we should realize the importance of good communication skills improving and using our language correctly.  Poor or inadequate use of words can have a very significant and adverse effect on our lives and society.  Communication is responsible for the enduring of values, among other implications; improper use or the lack of an adjective describing a specific emotion will damage the results.  By realizing that in fact we have become accustomed to using the word Love constantly and incorrectly we can begin to attempt a more, lets say, respectful use.  Even though "Picking" on the word love and how is used may appear unimportant, it is not.  Theoretically, it may have had a tremendous impact in our English Speaking society, until today totally overlooked.  The way in which we express ourselves not only educates our children but also molds our character and influences our everyday life.  The use of language, like music, strongly influences values, mores and behavior and is not to be overlooked.

There are distinct differences in the American way of life and set of beliefs in comparison to the Latin or Spanish speaking countries.  I am by no means suggesting that the use of the word Love is responsible for the overall contrast.  However, language as a whole plays a role.  Family ties, emotional expressiveness, amorous and sexual behavior, religious beliefs and devotion are areas of pronounced differences between the two groups.  Spanish is a "Romantic" language and incorporates the use of gender for inanimate objects.  As I mentioned before Spanish uses a single word defining Love, "Amor", seldom if ever used loosely as we use Love.  When "Amor " is part of a phrase, sentence or verbal exchange it clearly depicts the emotion of Love.  It is very difficult for the English speaking community to grasp and understand the differences between the two languages and form of communication.  By not mastering the Spanish language makes it just about impossible to realize the significant and different way in which it affects, educates and influences the Spanish speaking society.

As we look at America today we cannot help to notice the rapid decline in moral values and the lack of what we can refer to as principles.  Many factors and circumstances are responsible for this.   The Educational System is to say the least, deplorable, in my series of articles I will be addressing this very important issue.  The Government is also a major contributor to the problem with high levels of corruptive contaminants, widely known as Politicians.  The Media may indeed come in first in the responsibility race as it is held accountable for our communications and information; I think they also might run the Country, we just do not know it.  My Expose of the word Love and is use is but a "Drop in the Bucket " in the overall picture; however a valid argument

To Americans, Loving an ice-cream cone is perfectly natural... think about it.  " I'd love to see him fired ", Love just instantly turned to hate, no problem; How’s that for " Warping" values?   We are constantly and usually unaware of the countless times the word Love is desecrated, yes of course by us.   Personally, I was not aware of it until the other night after going to bed ending a long night of writing.  I had been working on a Spanish article and after a few minutes in my forward cabin, just as I began to relax, it dawned on me.  In that particular article I had to measure very carefully using the word " Amor" in order to express the proper emotional content in my work.  All of the sudden, I realized the word Love could be used almost at will.  I decided then to write a short paper exposing this crime against literature.  I do not think for one minute that Americans in general ever gave a second thought to the subject at hand.  Furthermore, I am sure that by not doing so they totally missed exploring the...........

  " Other Side of the Coin ". 

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