In our culture today the word “love” seems to be used to excess.
We hear all the time how someone “loves” their new haircut, or their car or their jeans!
The actual definition of love is “an intense feeling of deep affection arising out of kinship or personal ties.”
Can you then really love an inanimate object?
I like many things in my life, my house, my books, my little black dress but at the end of the day they are just things. When I think about what I truly love every last thing is a person (or a dog.)
Why then do we insist on using such strong language to express our feelings?
It is possible that we have changed so much as a society that material objects are starting to replace personal relationships.
Maybe a cell phone has taken the place of what was once a best friend. In that case love actually may be the correct term to use, but gosh I hope not!
Perhaps in a world where we are inundated with information from so many sources, we feel the need to be more dramatic in our speech to get the attention of others.
Where once saying you liked something was enough, now it has to be loved or adored to get someone to listen.
All we can do is guess at the cause.
The same daily overuse can also be applied to the word hate. Do you really feel “intense hostility and aversion” to everything you say you hate in a day? Spiders, the weather, the fact that the internet crashed again surely can’t elicit such strong emotion.
I catch myself saying it and realize that I am misappropriating the word.
The overuse of it has somehow diluted the meaning, what once was an almost taboo word has morphed into something we hear on a daily basis.
This evolution of language is common and so gradual as to be almost unnoticeable.
I have to admit I only recognized what I was saying when I had my children and their young ears picked up on every word.
I now consciously make an effort with the words that I choose. I try to say what I mean and mean what I say, this is not as easy as you may think.
Language is powerful and I want those in my life to know that when I say I love them it means just that little bit more than when I hear that great song on the radio.
If you “love” vinyl records or even just like them a lot then come join us Saturday Feb. 10 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Summerland Library. Bring your own vinyl and spin in the stacks! An evening for adults 19 and older featuring good music, appetizers and wine tasting by SummerGate Winery.
Adele Meadow is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland branch and likes many things but only loves a few.