I have a very dear friend who I know loves me. I know this as surely as I know birds fly and fish swim. But for many years this friend had an immensely difficult time saying the words. Or even writing them. She wasn’t in any way afraid to love me. She was just weirdly uncomfortable with communicating that love in words.
I have another friend who refuses to say I love you to anyone but her partner. End of story. For her these are romantic words saved for her one and only. Fair enough.
I have yet another friend who has no trouble at all yelling I love you across a parking lot, saying it to me privately or even posting it on social media. This dear friend is a love warrior, heart on her sleeve, no hesitation whatsoever kind of gal.
And there are those sweet pals who simply say “love you.” These two words are somehow less ‘romantic’ than I love you. Less formal. Less committed. And I get that. I get that we protect our hearts and express our feelings at the same time, simply by removing the word “I”. It’s almost like hey, the planet loves you and I am a citizen. It’s not like I love you in a singular and special way. I get it.
But there’s this new favourite which I quite frankly do not get at all.
Did you know that the word luv is actually accepted in Scrabble? I play a lot of Scrabble and yes it is. Did you also know that my spellcheck does not like luv. Nope. It’s not there in my dictionary. if I want luv I have to add it.
Interestingly, dictionary.com defines luv simply as “love”. Apparently luv = love.
So why then do so many people replace love with luv? If luv = love why not just say love?
And while we’re at it if ya = you why not just say you? Who the hell is ya? I don’t much like being called ya. It’s almost as bad as yous. Which as I’m sure you know is often utilized to express more than one you. As in ‘yous guys’. I mean, come on, we all know the proper word is ‘y’all.’
I recently received an email signed ‘luv ya’ and that’s what got me to pondering this conundrum. Why? Why did the writer of that email sign off in such an oddly colloquial manner? This friend is articulate and intelligent. Well spoken and well written. So why?
Best I can guess is ‘luv ya’ is the new ‘love you’ taken to a lower level. And by lower level I mean there is quite literally less love involved with ‘luv ya’ than ‘love you’ which is of course far less than ‘I love you.’
I wonder if ‘I luv ya’ is on the horizon?
But honestly, if you love why not just love? And if you like why not just like? What is this new middle ground?
Many years ago I online dated a guy who always signed his emails ‘loving you.’ Eventually I inquired to his meaning and he responded “I am loving you. I’m just not in love with you.”
Terrific. I mean I wasn’t in love with him either but geez, way to burst my Disney bubble thank you very much.
But I get it. He had feelings for me. He felt affection for me. We were great friends and there was definitely a sexy spark. But it wasn’t love. It was luv.
I am most definitely a word girl so excuse me if I pick this stuff apart more than most. There are many new expressions that have become established forms of communication. LOL comes to mind. I can only surmise that when we use LOL it’s because we’re not quite sure we’re as funny as we think. The reader may not get that we’re attempting amusement and so we clarify it for them.
I guess it’s the same with ‘luv ya’. We’re not committing to any big emotion. We’re just saying you’re kind of special.
And ya know what?
I know, I know. I did it on purpose.
I’m okay with that. At first it kind of riled me a bit. As in if you love then please for Pete’s sake just love. There can never be too much love in this world. Platonic, romantic, familial, friendly … whatever. Just love.
But I’ve thought it over and I am now fine with luv. I’m fine with its intent and its distinctiveness. Contrary to the dictionary luv is not love. Luv is luv.
Not sure I’ll ever be fine with ‘ya’ but hey, one word at a time okay?
Luv you, dear readers. Thank y’all always for checking in.