With Valentine’s Day just slightly past us, I wanted to touch upon a subject that has been on my mind lately. I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for several weeks now and I have been saving it just for a slow blogging day like today.
I wanted to write about the words, “I love you.” There are few words that are more beautiful or more meaningful when put together than the three small words, “I love you”. However, one thing that has always bothered me is when people use phrases such as, “love you”, “love ya”, “i luv you”, “i luv u” or their variants. By changing any one of the individual words, not only are you changing the meaning of the individual word, but you’re also changing the collective meaning as well.
Let’s break down each of the words one by one and see why each one is so important. The first word “I” is a pronoun, signifying the one who is speaking/writing or in this case, feeling. The word “I” lets everyone know who feels the love for the other person. By including the “I”, you are proudly taking ownership of the love and letting others know that “Hey everyone, I am the one who loves you!”
Without the word “I”, we have to assume who is feeling this love. The remaining words “love you” simply means that there is some feeling known as “love” and that it is directed toward you. In other words, someone loves you. And by someone, it could mean anyone. Your mother loves you. Your pets love you (unless you forget to feed them) . Your friends love you (unless you forget to feed them). By including the word “I”, you remove all ambiguity. Without it, it merely speaks of platonic love.
The word “I” is one of the shortest words in the English language. To exclude it just for the sake of saving one keystroke (or two if you include the space that follows it) is just laziness when you consider how much meaning you lose by omitting it. If you truly love someone, then include it. They should be worth that extra letter.
Then it takes us to the word “love”. When people spell it any other way (e.g., luv, lub, etc) than how it should be spelled, it’s not the same “word”. Love in its purest sense is the strongest emotional connection and feelings that one can have for another person. According to 1st Corinthians, 13:4-7:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love is beautiful. Love is strong. Love is too wonderful to fully describe in words. For those who are blessed to have experienced true love, it is unmistakable. It is what I feel for Tary and what she feels for me. It’s a feeling that cannot be bottled up. It is more than just an emotion. Love is something that grows each day.
“Luv” is not the same thing as love. “Luv” is what a teenager feels for their high school crush. “Luv” is what you feel when they think it might be love but are afraid to say it. “Luv” is what you feel when you are not ready to love someone more than you love yourself. As the quote from the Bible stated, love is not self-seeking. Truly loving someone means that you will put their needs and wants before your own. “Luv” is not ready for that kind of commitment or selflessness.
Love is so much greater than “luv” or its any of its cousins. I cannot state that more plainly than that. For you math majors out there, love > “luv”. For you geeks, love = FTW while “luv” = FAIL. Love deserves to be respected so if you truly love someone, use the actual word to tell them.
Lastly, we have the word “you”. “You” identifies the target of your love. You are clearly stating who you have love for. There are millions of things that you can love. You can love your family. You can love your favorite team. You can love your new computer that is really buff. But with the words “I love you”, you are stating exactly who you love and not just what you love.
The word “ya” is a slang term for “you”. It is informal. It is impersonal. The only place that “ya” appears somewhat useful is in a rhetorical question. Ya know what I mean? Ya catch my drift? Okay, I think ya get the idea.
So the next time you are on Facebook or on some instant messenger program and you have someone that you love, stop and think about this post. If you truly love them, take the time to write out those three small words, “I love you” and tell them how you really feel. Don’t be lazy and try to save a few keystrokes. They’ll appreciate the extra effort. They’ll appreciate the extra meaning behind those words. And if you must be lazy, at least copy and paste the “I love you” from this sentence.