Today we were folding laundry and trying to match all the socks into pairs.
Dad: "These all singles?"
Me: "Yup. We'll have to get them a date."
Art: "No, why not we exchange them for a twenty?"
Dad: "Oh look, there's the match for this sock."
Me: "No need for a blind date!"
Art: "Yeah, they're sole mates."
Language is imprecise. So many words have more than one meaning, yet are spelled the exact same way.
Of course, language's imprecision can be funny, but sometimes it is just depressing. You can say what you mean, but because words have so many meanings and connotaions, your listener may get a completely different picture.
Take love, for instance. I am have been learning so much about love recently. I talk about, think about, and seek to understand love as much as Art likes to do the same about truth. (I am even considering writing "LOVE" on the side of my notebook.) Whenever I use the word love, it means so much to me and I am always careful how I use it. Love is a value I have, a goal I yearn for, an abstract I cannot comprehend.
But, it sadeness me that love has such a bad rap, so to speak. I can't talk about love without people in general automatically thinking of sappy, emotional, romanic love, and often of Need-love. If I see the word "love" in people's status messages, I wonder do they know what they are talking about. Do they mean the self-sacrificing example of love God gives us, or do they mean the momentary, fuzzy-inside feeling?
That is certainly not what I mean, but love has been dumbed down and lame-ified to a point of gross error.
The music, the TV, and the movies I consume are full of romantic love. Even Christian artists like Relient K sing about human love more than the Lover of our souls. Sure, romantic love and all that is important, but love is so much more!
Then you have all the college students who care about purity about as much as they cared for spinach when they were six. They say it's love. Short-lived and selfish, this love always takes and never gives. I think, "if this is love, this is lame."
All of this though, is just me being frustrated. I guess I would rather blame language for making love sound silly than stand up for real love.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. - John 13:35
Does imprecise language frustrate you?