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Mandy Len Catron's Love Discussion Highlights the Language of the Emotion

By: Joey Haar - Jan 31, 2017
References: ted & youtube
In Mandy Len Catron's love discussion, the writer and English teacher attempts to approach the language surrounding love with a completely open mind. Though love is ostensibly a positive experience, its use in the English language is surprisingly brutal. Catron opines that changing how the usage surrounding the concept of love can have an impact on the experience of it.

Love is almost always described as a bittersweet experience at best and a painful experience at worst. The primary metaphor for the experience of love is "falling," which implies an unwilling descent. Even the most flowery language of love is still negative: phrases like swooning, lovesickness, burning with passion, having been smitten et cetera. The result is the expectation that love is just as maddening as it is fulfilling.

This isn't a problem without a solution, however. Catron believes that replacing metaphors for love with more active words can make it a better experience in reality. Her suggestion is to replace "falling" with "stepping," a positive word that implies willingly beginning a journey.