Friday, January 26, 2007

Love, Luv and Lurve

Venus and Adonis.
Sidney Harold Meteyard.

I don't use the word love lightly.
Nor do I consider all my acquaintances friends.
Nor is everything great, and just fab. Or even awesome.
Is this erzatz excitement of over-the-top language necessary?
Is it an imitative artificial rush? Or a frantic need for insta friends, insta passion?
All. Everything. Now.

When I say I love something or somebody, I mean it.
Repressed of me, I'm sure.
Perhaps an unconscious tabu ordained by the grammar gods that one should avoid the easy superlative and gushy excess.
As well as the charge of insincerity.
Yet I see the word love tossed around like glitter. By the handfuls.
A lot of serial lovers out there.
Sure, we're temple prostitutes. But we shouldn't be cheap.
Words are our currency.
We debase it by inflation.
It's alright to just like something. Really.


Erik Ivan James said...

A few months ago, I purchased a couple of romance novels to get a feel, so to speak, of what was selling. The owner of the used book store that I frequent pointed out a couple of the more popular ones. I read them...kinda.

The "everybody falls 'deeply in love' after fabulous sex" themes of both books turned-me-off, not on. Real life ain't that way. But then, mine is only one male's POV.

Good post!

JLB said...

It's alright to just like something. Really.

Agreed! I am likely guilty of an overuse of the word love in a casually-delighted sense, but I am certainly frugal when it comes to who I truly call my friends and "loved ones." :)

JLB said...

whom! I meant whom!

Anonymous said...
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Savannah Jordan said...

'Serial lovers out there'! Heee Bernita, that's a good one :) And, even though I might romance, 'love' is not easily won or given, nor is it passed around like the village bicycle.

Anonymous said...

I love my wife. I love my brothers, in a different way. I have relatives that I love, still in a different way. I like some of my relatives, some I seldom think about. I love a good movie, a good book, good music. There are lots of things I love, but those I meet along the way are not included. I like some of them, but love is reserved for special people and special things. And, it is not given or taken easily.

Anonymous said...

I don't see this too much in my social circles. Probably because I have no social circles. I'm a prisoner on work release.

I may be easy, but I'm not cheap.


Bernita said...

Thank you, Erik.
Someone ( can't remember who - but I thought it was an acute comment) recently described romance as a story where love leads to sex and erotica as one where sex leads to love.
I think the point is, Erik, that the books are intended as idealism or fantasies. They do not pretend to represent reality. That's a different genre.

You're forgiven, JLB. For who has not screwed up antecedents in blog posts?
I do. Too frequently.

I'm certain your plots and characters do not, Savannah.

Wonder if it is a generational thing, Steve. All this easy lovin'.

Sam said...

I'm reticent about professing love for anything, but I have friends who love to gush and just absolutely love everything.

I once said, 'I adore carrots' in front of a little girl, who looked at me and in a holier than thou voice said, "We only adore God."

That made me step back and look at what I said closer. I hadn't meant to be irreverent.
It also made me look closer at the little girl and wonder what kind of santimonious twit she'd grow up to be...

anna said...

speak for yourself about being a temple protitute hee hee!!!

as for who and whom
i can never figure this one out
is there an easy rule? my god there must, at least there should be an easy rule.

love ya bernita, HaH!

Ric said...

That's funny, Sam.

Had the same experience with "hate" - kids would come home, "I hate my English teacher". Word inflation. You dislike, or can't get along with, but hate is too strong.

Good post, Bernita, but you did get me going with love in the title, and it being Friday and all. Ah, life's little disappointments.

Bernita said...

Excellent anecdote, Sam!

I admit I'll quite happily prostitute my "art," Anna.
"Who" is used for subjects, "whom" for objects.
Cream pot love, child.

Good point, Ric, that "hate" is another bloated usage.
Thank you. I'll admit to a mild sadism here.

Bernita said...

You're a prisoner of love, V95?

writtenwyrdd said...

Funny, I think exactly that way about the word hero. I absolutely love how when someone deals with adversity as simple as a hangnail, they are insta "heros". Bleh.

However, I think that when you hesitate to lable something with extreme words, you are just showing your inherent self-awareness and honesty. You don't want to tell an untruth by extreme exaggeration. It means you care about what the word love stands for.

I know we all exaggerate at times; but sometimes it is wiser not to. I mean, if the cop who pulls you over for speeding says you were doing 900 miles per hour, it's a lot different than in a casual conversation with a friend!

writtenwyrdd said...

PS, did you notice my use of love? LOL. But exaggeration as a form of sarcasm is allowed. I think.

Anonymous said...

[Points at nose] ;~) -V95

spyscribbler said...

Oh, I LOVE tons of things. But try to get me to say I love someone? I practically choke and go into fits.

And you know what I noticed? I looked in all my novellas, and even though my characters sometimes agree to marry ... I can't find a single instance where they said "I love you."

Okay, time to session with Freud or someone. :)

Bernita said...

Funny, Written, I was also thinking of the word "hero."

Constant exaggeration can degerate into superficiality.
Use for humourous effect is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it's a mainstay of that type.
Waddyamean? We were only going 30 over that time...

~snorts at V95~

You do, Spy?
I like/appreciate/admire/enjoy/delight in/take pleasure in many things - but am wary of saying I LOVE them.
Maybe I'm a love miser.

Holly Kennedy said...

Oh, Bernita, nicely said. What a great post ..."Love tossed around like glitter". You have a beautiful point of view.

archer said...

I remember a girl complaining about this when I was--was--was, um, younger than I am now. She had a boyfriend and someone was asking her about it and she said "Can't I just be in like? Why do I have to be in love? I mean, being in love is work."

raine said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

This is a pet peeve of mine from long ago. "Love" is special, significant, not a word to be used lightly.
Another word whose frequent usage makes me cringe is "genius". I'm sorry, but the number of people who've qualified as true geniuses throughout history is limited. It's what sets them apart.

(and btw--I don't believe for a MOMENT that you COULD write a crappy chapter, Bernita!).

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Hmmm thoughtful discussion!

It's similar to one that a writer friend of mine is having about the word 'fan'. It creeps her out to say that her avid readers are fans, because of the word etymology that fan=fanatic, so she likes to just call them readers!

As for the word love, severral have reinterated...and I also feel that there are different kinds of love...ei..husband, sibling, twin sister not related by birth, blogging friends etc. unless I assign a different word to each relationship to define the degree of love, I 'm stuck using the same word for all, while genuinely meaning it when I say it.

Oi Vey! I just gave myself a headache trying to disseminate that definition! LOL!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Holly. Nice of you.
Also nice of you to stop by.
For personal reasons, I have an affection for your first name.

Sounds like she had more brains amd maturity than her peers, Archer, who were usually in "luv."

Tired of people saying it when they don't truly mean it, Raine.Sounds so false.
I agree, "genius" is yet another word worn thin.
Ha,kind Raine, you haven't read it.

Bernita said...

I do love you, Bonnie!
Yes, there are degrees and kinds of affection for which the word "love" seems to be the most appropriate collective.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

And I do love you too, my twin sister who was not separated at birth!LOL...and I'm older and eviler...LOL...I don't think that's a word, but it sounds good!

Bernita said...

Hee,Bonnie, thought we agreed to take turns with the evility!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Uh...okay...but it should be exemplary evil! Mwhahaha!

LOL...I think we're going to scare away the others, or they're going to start sending us garlic!

Bonnie Calhoun said...
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EA Monroe said...

If I do not mean what I "feel" behind a word, I will not say it, use it. Kinda like I have to truly respect someone (respect earned) to even say, "Yes, sir!" Good thing I was never in the military! Nice post, Bernita!

Robyn said...

I suppose I'm guilty of gushing. Although, referencing your title, I should say I lurve lots of things, not love them!

Anonymous said...

When I say I love my house, it's true. Scary, but true. Bernita, you are a such a good dose of fresh air and a sweet slap in the kisser. I really liked this post. But I think I may love you.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Elizabeth.
In the military, the respect is for the position, even if the individual is an idiot.

Don't think I've ever read you as "gushing," Robyn!
Refreshing, sympathetic and fun, and certainly not superficial or insincere.

Aw, Anon.We can truly love things as well as people.
Thank you. Just a brief infatuation perhaps?

Tattieheid said...

I think we sometimes overuse words in these "modern times." Not sure if it is laziness or lack of a reasonable vocabulary.

Love is a strange word that seems to be some catch all, multi-level statement. As a spoken word used in contex it's meaning can be varied by tone of voice, circumstance and body language. As a written word it's meaning should be more specific and less diluted. There are so many other words to choose from that are probably more appropriate.

Love the post. :)

Shesawriter said...

That's why I'm loving YA w/romantic elements. I don't have to have h&h ride off in the sunset at the end and they don't have to have the world figured out. They can just BE, and that's enough.

ORION said...

My exuberance requires me to throw my LOVES, GREATS, and ADORES around like confetti.
Guilty as charged.

Bernita said...

As long as there are no stakes and torches, Bonnie...

Couldn't resist, could you, Tattieheid?
Think it is sometimes just a habit, sometimes a "slang thang." Like, "cool." In-crowd.

They may not have the "answers," Tanya, but I suspect they have the questions?

That requires stamina that I do not have, Pat!

Marie said...

I agree, Bernita. Some people are just too over-the-top with language, and they're the ones that often don't really mean what they say.

Just liking something is OK. It means you're being honest. You can't love everything and everyone.

Bernita said...

Hee, Marie, I have a friend who runs a bookstore to whom everything - without exception - is "awesome."
No discrimination whatsoever!