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Do You Speak the Language of Love?

September 20, 2017

According to the ancient Greeks, love is the madness of the gods. Today, psychologists define love as a desire to communicate and form an emotional union with someone. In 2012, Google announced that "what is love?" was the most searched key phrase and produced the most traffic for search queries in that category. Author Gary Chapman theorized in his 1995 book, The Five Love Languages, that each of us has one primary love language and one secondary love language that we use to communicate and analyze expressions of love. Chapman states that people tend to give love in the same way they would prefer to receive love.

The latter statement indicates there is a philosophical element involved in the language of love, as Chapman suggests following the "Golden Rule" in communicating love is often an obvious source of miscommunication. He goes on to recommend the better process for the language of love may be to follow the "Platinum Rule" to express feelings of love in a way the recipient would prefer. Since thinkers have argued the origin of language since ancient times, Chapman's approach follows the reasoning of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant who believed language originated from rational and logical thought. That is contrary to Genevan linguist Jean-Jacques Rousseau who argued that language originated from emotions.

Assuming language can be defined as the human ability to acquire and use complex systems to communicate expressions, it is feasible that the language of love has properties of productivity and displacement. Although there is little scientific evidence of animals experiencing "romantic love", it is believed that many animal species are capable of a similar range of emotions as humans. Obviously, the human language is unique in comparison to non-human forms of communication as both words and actions can be utilized to express an unlimited number of possible ideas. Moreover, the complexity of language suggests that it is equally important to communicate feelings of love verbally in addition to non-verbal expressions.

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