Lost for Words: Love

Now, normally, I’m the unsentimental variety who doesn’t do anything for the fast-approaching “holiday” that is St. Valentine’s feast-day. I don’t think a smidgeon of romance on one day because the commercially-minded tell us to is worth forgetting about it the rest of the year.

However, with all that in mind, while I was meandering through the OED, I  happened across the verb ‘to love’, and thence to the noun.

I once had a discussion with a more linguistically minded friend, and we came to the conclusion that the verb ‘to love’ should, grammatically speaking, be: First Person Plural Present Tense and a couple of other things I can’t now remember, and I can’t find the scrap of paper I wrote it down on. I forget how verbs are analysed grammatically. That was never my forte.

What I like about the word ‘love’ is that it has cognates in most Indo-European languages. The same base in languages from the Germanic to Latin to Sanskrit, with (almost) the same meaning in each – of feeling affection or being pleasing or being agreeable.

The Sanskrit root lubh- apparently originally meant something along the lines of ‘to be confused’. Which, to be fair, probably isn’t too far wrong, given all the songs and whatnot about love being confusing, and fools in love and so on. Sanskrit later gave it the meaning everyone else had, of feeling desire or affection. I think it should have stuck to its guns one the whole confused thing, although it did chuck greed into the later definition. Which, I suppose, is fitting for the modern Valentine’s Day, at least as far as the retailers go…

 

 

5 thoughts on “Lost for Words: Love

      • according to wiki the third sat in October lol. I couldn’t believe it when I first heard about it either. I honestly didn’t read the article on it but the short blurb that came up in the results said it’s a midwest/ northeast holiday….. I’m in the Midwest so that probably explains when I was suddenly assaulted with it

      • Sorry, I did just skim it. Scratch my first impression card makers and florists made the holiday. I should have guessed by the name, but it was candy makers. The holiday still promotes romance like V-day though.

      • It being Northeastern/Midwestern explains why I haven’t heard: it hasn’t made it across the pond to Britain yet. And October seems like a silly time for it – surely some point in the summer would be better? Candy-makers already have Hallowe’en in October…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s