The Problem with Language

Someone recently said “I love you” to me, now knowing the person I assumed it wasn’t a romantic declaration. But there was a horrible niggly voice in the back of my mind, did she actually mean it that way. Later questioning revealed that I was right. But it did lead to a rant, which I have now edited and extended because it is kinda worth the read.

This is a big problem that I have with words. When you can say “I love pizza” and “I love *insert romantic interest*”. These things mean two completely different things! I hate it, I hate when other people do it and I hate it even more when I do it. Because it’s a stupid small four letter word that doesn’t mean anything except what you want it to mean. It doesn’t tell anyone the whole story, no matter what story you are trying to convey. When I really like a girl the whole world seems better when she smiles, the slightest touch of her elbow against mine is enough to set my heart racing and I want to talk to her all the time, even when I don’t know what to say. But all of this is condensed into a stupid four letter word, which sometimes I use to describe how much I like certain foods.

Now I have more of a problem with stuff like this because I find it difficult to see hidden meaning in how people say things, sarcasm is horribly difficult for me to get at the best of times, and trying to work out what someone means when they say something using words that have different meanings in different contexts makes things a lot harder for me. It gets even more complicated when people have a different standard meaning. Even if someone says they love you and mean it in a romantic way, does it even imply the same about of romantic interest that you would put into that type of declaration?

Now an actual word that has gotten me in trouble quite a few times is the word “Friend”. There are quite a few people that would consider me a friend that I don’t consider friends (If you ask me I swear I will cut you). Now this isn’t any fault on their part, I just have different criteria for judging if someone is my friend or now. How long have I known them? Have they been there for me in times of trouble? Do I trust them with my secrets? Do they trust me with their secrets? Have they been consistently nice to me (Consistently does not mean always)? The list is ongoing and now all of the boxes need to be ticked. But you get the picture. It’s not because I like you less than you like me, though that may also be true it isn’t always the case.

These things are all words, we use them every day. They are comprised of symbols that have meaning, they have meaning though not always the same meaning. They are confusing and they are dangerous. But above all no one word will ever be able to describe how I feel about something or someone. The meaning will change depending on who uses it and when. But in the end they are just words. Language is a construction that we have created to get a point across, be we take shortcuts and easy answers and words lose all their meaning when said over and over again. So don’t say “I love you” tell them how you really feel.

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About Snababo

What can I say? I'm 26, Irish, have Asperger's Syndrome and a lot on my mind.
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