Has Love Lost Its Meaning?

Isabella Wartzenluft, Reporter and Editor

The way humans choose to express emotions and thoughts differs and shapes each individual.

Elise Skarda, an Arrowhead junior, says, “Language is essential for humans to be able to communicate with each other and to be able to describe our thoughts and feelings. Out of everything you can teach a child, language is one of, if not the most, important.”

There is one word I hear every day: love. I have been told numerous times that the word ‘love’ should be used sparingly. I know friends who rarely say it and friends who note how frequently I say it. One day, the word was brought up in my British Literature class in reference to the book 1984. And this question arose: has the love lost its initial meaning?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, love means a strong feeling of affection. Due to it being used so often, has it simply become another word that is said in every sentence, yet carries little significance? Do people use this word for things that they do not truly have a strong feeling of affection for?

It scares me that one day people will stop themselves from using words simply because they do not believe they have the right to or that its meaning will run out.

Skarda says, “I believe that for certain people, the word love has lost it’s meaning. Often, people overuse the word, describing everyone and everything as something they love. This makes it difficult sometimes to tell whether or not someone truly loves something.”

Most people in the class chose to call love ‘exhausted’ and proceeded to explain that if someone uses a word with such a strong meaning behind it too often, it will eventually die out. They said that once a person says “I love you” to too many people, it can all become lost, and that is terrifying. I could not help but disagree.

I’m worried that people will stop describing how they love the way light streams through windows and illuminates the dust, or the how they love the strangers laugh across the street. It’s those small things that we enjoy, the small things we love, and the small things that make our lives worth living.

Why is, then, that the peers in my class worry about this word becoming less important? Love should be the thought that matters, not the word that is used.

In the book 1984 by George Orwell, language is a central theme. In the novel, a way of speaking called newspeak is created in an attempt to narrow range of thought and implement behavior control by reducing the meaning of language.

Rather than having hundreds of words describing the same thing, there is simply one word with few variations. For example, one may use the word ‘best’ or ‘wonderful,’ but in newspeak, one would say ‘doubleplusgood.’ Or rather than saying ‘bad’ or ‘worst’, ‘doubleplusungood’ would be used.

Essentially, newspeak diminishes creativity. Nothing is original, but rather a variation of something else.

This is why I believe that the word love is important. Without strong words in our language, we are losing creativity, our ability to think, and ultimately original thoughts. We may as well just use newspeak.

1984 supports my opinion on language, that it is crucial to human development. In 1984, the concept that if you don’t have a word for something, it can’t exist is explored. However, I don’t feel that this is entirely accurate. At one point in time, nothing had a word to describe it, but now we have thousands of words to describe thousands of ideas and concepts. This leads me to believe that while the restriction of language in 1984 would eventually control most of the population’s thoughts, you don’t need a word to know that you feel something,” says Skarda.

According to Leonardo De Voles of Trinity College, language is what separates humans from other animals. Through our language, we are able to communicate and create lasting bonds.

It terrifies me to live in a society where there is only a certain amount of people that I can love, and that if I say “I love you”  too often I could reach a limit. I like to believe that my love and my language has no maximum capacity.