“I love that sweater!” I looove that song. I so love this Truffle in Paradise ice cream. I am so in love with that fabulous show, Mad Men. I love my kids. I love my man. Have you ever noticed how very limited the English language is in its’ expressions of affection and admiration? How is that we can love a new restaurant--and also love our darling significant other? Arguably, we do not feel the same affection for our nifty Stella & Dot earrings (adorable though they are) as we do for our offspring. But, yet, we declare “love” so very easily.
As a self-admitted logophile, I am a sucker for beautiful language, evocative adjectives, and finely-crafted word-smithing. Words like serendipity, carousel, and enigmatic are among my list of favorites. However, I do envy other dialects that find ways to express affection, satisfaction, and preference, very specifically and intentionally.
For example, the Swedish word, mangata. It means “the road-like reflection of the moon on the water”. Looking for a word that describes “much more than coziness, a positive warm emotion or feeling rather than just something physical, and connotes time spent with loved ones, a togetherness”? The Dutch have a word for it--gezellig. For other marvelous monikers, I highly recommend Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World. The title alone is worth the cost of the book.
The French have “aimer” which means “to like”. However, when you say, “J’aime bien”, you are saying you like something--or someone--very much. Interestingly, if I should say, “Je t’aime”, I am saying “I love you”. I would inquire as to how various conjugations and forms of "aimer" cover such a gamut of emotions; but, if you know anything about French culture and tradition, you simply don’t ask such questions stupides!
I do think the Greeks were on to something. They have four different words--agape, storge, eros, and philia--to describe various types of loves. Agape is an unconditional love, the love that God has for man--and vice-versa. Storge is a love and affection that is found between parents and children, a familial kind of love. Eros is an intensely passionate desire for someone. Ideally, that someone is the person with whom you have exchanged vows (or with whom you plan to do so in the very near future!). Philia is an affectionate regard between two persons, in a friendship context. As a side note, C.S. Lewis wrote a mind-blowing (at least, for me) book on this quartet of concepts--The Four Loves. There is much in there on which to chew. And, I am still chewing.
There are two roads which have diverged in this wood of words. (Robert Frost is rolling over in his grave). Firstly, I want to challenge myself to find other words to describe my affection for inanimate objects--things like my new fleece hoodie and the nifty ’69 Corvette Stingray I saw at Discovery Park. Such an effort may “noodle my noggin”, as it were; but, a good thesaurus and a great imagination can help ease the pain.
Secondly, I will discover other ways to tell my “Ninja” and “He-who-is-now-taller-than-I” just how special/unique/incredible I think they are. And, to tell my favorite Philosopher how much “I ardently admire and love” him.
Oh, wait, that’s Darcy talking. Perhaps, I’ll just go alphabetically. I appreciate you. I am besotted by you. I cherish you. Dude.