Today I am honored to share a guest post by the astounding Michelle Simkins, aka Greenwoman, as part of her "Summer of Bloggerly Love" tour. The general theme: Love. I'm guest posting on her blog today, so be sure to visit. Here, I give you Michelle and her take on our lexicon of lurve. Nom nom nom!
Y'all, we have a problem. It goes a little something like this:
- a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
- a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
- sexual passion or desire.
- a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
- (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
- to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.
- to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).
- to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.
- to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.
- to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.
And those are just the official definitions. The dictionary forgot "to, like, really totally enjoy?" As in, "I love avocados." Or, "to find unbearably cute," as in "I love puppies."
And forget about defining love as "want to stalk" or "think you own". That's much deeper than I really want to go in this post.
Do you see my problem here? Our love lexicon SUCKS. We REALIZE there's an enormous difference between the affection we feel for a parent or child and sexual desire (unless, of course, you are reading The Collector's Edition of Victorian Erotica, in which it appears that people only have intimate encounters with their relatives or their teachers, or both. And usually there is a switch or riding crop involved somewhere. And excessive use of the word "lascivious". Not that I would know from experience or anything.) And we know that sometimes sexual desire comes without "profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person."
We won't talk about sexual desire and avocados.
The lack of terminology for the varieties of love and affection gets us in trouble all the time. If I tell you "I love you" on Twitter, chances are good that I don't mean "I want to spend the rest of my life with you and would jump in front of a speeding train to save you." Rather, my meaning probably falls somewhere between feelings of friendship and enjoyment of avocados. Probably I like you more than avocados, but it's hard to say. I like avocados an awful lot. So what do we do? I think we need a new Lexicon of Love, people. I would like to make some proposals toward that end. Let us consider the following terms.
aff could be used when we feel affection for someone, such as a child or a friend or someone with whom we've had meaningful interactions. "I aff you." I think it's cute, don't you? And then we'd have a new noun too. "She's my affie." It's like BFF. Only, more sincere (because let's face it, BFF's never ARE Best Friend's Forever.) But that's another blog post.
fam could be a term for affection such as we'd feel for a member of our family.We could use it to express not just familial love, but also the kind of deep friendship that we feel for our chosen families. "I fam my friend Linda.".
lust. We already HAVE a word for sexual passion and desire, and it's a good word. I think we should start using it more often. Dude, if you just want to sleep with someone, call a hard on a hard on. No need to say you love them; say "I lust after you", and nobody gets hurt.
nom is a perfect way to express our deep enjoyment of certain foods. "I totally nom avocados." Because nomming is more than eating, right? It's consuming with gustatory delight and enthusiasm. It is the love of the eating world.
wub: I have often seen casual love and affection spelled "luv" or "lub" or "wuv" or "wub". I have chosen "wub" because of it's similarity to web. And I propose that "wub" should henceforth be used to denote the specific variety of love we feel for those who amuse and delight us on the internet (or web). It is, you see, web love. I wub you, Feral Pony. I wub the Goat Posse. And none of you expect me to drop to one knee with a little velvet box. Unless, of course, it's a little velvet box full of avocados, and someone just kicked me in the leg.
If we adopt these or similar terms, we could then reserve the term "Love" for "profoundly tender, passionate affection" and avoid confusion. I would be free to express my feelings for the funny folk I meet on the internet without anyone showing up in my driveway with a UHaul and a Justice of the Peace.
And I'm definitely open to other suggestions. I know I have many friends who are more clever than I am and who can help me solve this linguistic problem.
Let's nom some avocados, affies. I wub you all.