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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Love is one of those curious words. Since its inception in the proto-indo-european roots amāyō, kāmi, and stergō its definition has remained relatively unchanged. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word love as:

 A feeling or disposition of deep affection or fondness for someone, typically arising from a recognition of attractive qualities, from natural affinity, or from sympathy and manifesting itself in concern for the other's welfare and pleasure in his or her presence (distinguished from sexual love at sense); great liking, strong emotional attachment; (similarly) a feeling or disposition of benevolent attachment experienced towards a group or category of people, and (by extension) towards one's country or another impersonal object of affection. With of, for, to, towards.

The development of the word love from its earliest form has led to several other words and definitions such as kami, a Japanese word for superior or lord. Love has also been developed from Old English as a law or treaty. Uses of the Old English version of the word date back as far as the early 8th century. However, from the definition provided by the OED, love is often referred to as an attractive bond between people. The Greek god Cupid, and later the Roman god Eros, was famous for making couples fall in love with each other after being shot. This classic idea of falling in love with a person is a huge part of our culture today as many musicians and pop icons talk about Love at first sight. The truth behind the word love and its use in today’s culture is that it has changed from what it used to mean.  Love has always meant a strong affection towards someone or a group of people, and in earlier times having love or loving someone was a serious and respectable thing. For instance, in one of Shakespeare’s plays King John Shakespeare says “What good loue may I performe for you?” (OED) Love used to really mean something in earlier times; times of chivalry. In today’s modern culture the use of love has been overused and twisted to mean something else. Love nowadays has a very sexual context to it when used as the significance has been removed by the repetition of the newer context.


"love, n.1". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/110566?rskey=kZ7oTd&result=1&isAdvanced=false (accessed November 21, 2012).

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