Best, Love, and Other Misused Words
It’s no secret that many words in the English language get used, abused, contorted, and slang-ified to fit modern day standards. Some words, however, should never be tampered with. The following words are some of the most important words used in your everyday relationships (whether friendly, maternal, or romantic) that have strayed from their original meanings. Electronically flag this next section, students, because this will be on next week’s quiz.
Modern Definition: the term ‘best’ is often associated with schmoozing or greed. A person may call you a best friend if you spot them a twenty, give them a ride to the other end of town, or agree to provide an excuse for their absence.
Actual Definition: Of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality: “you are the best friend I could ever ask for”. Use this adverb sparingly, only when you realize that your life wouldn’t be the same without this individual.
Modern Definition: love is a freely used term that holds a much lower standard. If it isn’t being uttered by 13 year old children on their first date, it is used by PMSing women wishing they could marry their brownie.
Actual Definition: to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person): “I love you”. As with ‘best’, this word should be used in moderation. As for when to use it, only your heart can tell you.
Modern Definition: fine is accompanied with a sharp, bitter tone. It is the valediction of an argument, leading to the silent treatment, or the lie you spread about your day, causing your true emotions to build up inside.
Actual Definition: In a satisfactory or pleasing manner; very well: ““And how are you doing?” “Oh, fine.””. Never use this word to cover up another emotion, only use it with a smile, emphasizing the pleasing manner.
Modern Definition: a promise no longer holds any assurance or gives a sense of security. It is the rushed response that will get your worried mother to let you go out to that cool high school party. It is the lie that you will call your boyfriend every night while you are apart. It is the thing you say in a wedding ceremony that ends in a divorce. According to modern day standards, a promise goes void after about 72 days.
Actual Definition: Assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen: “I promise”. Make sure to freely use the word ‘try’ if that better fits the mold – this word is better left to heartfelt meanings and intended futures together.
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