Today’s Daily Post inspired me to play lexicographer – see other responses here.
Would it be great if we all spoke the same language? I wonder about this.
On one hand we could perhaps avoid many misunderstandings. But what would be lost? Can we craft a universal language that somehow includes all the cultural beauties we don’t share? To somehow create a highest common denominator rather than a lowest one?
My native language is English, and while there’s a wide range of words to express oneself in English, there are big gaps. A common example is our words for snow: “snow” and “sleet”. To describe what’s happening outside in the winter we’re reduced to phrases like “It’s really snowing out there!” or “What big, fat flakes are coming down!” or “The snow has gotten hard and crusty.”
But what really gets me is the word “love”. Is there a more abused, over-used and misunderstood word out there? Like snow, love takes a lot of forms and changes over time. The Inuits have a lot of words for snow, they can be very specific without verbosity. We need more specific words for “love”.
And now I finally get to my word today: “parsamy”
From the Latin roots for “partial”, “pars”, and “love”: “ami/o” – “parsamy” is love when it’s only held by one person, non-reciprocal love, unrequited love, one-sided love.
“He thought it was love, but it was only parsamy.”
Sadly it’s only a noun. “Love” is both verb and noun. Perhaps “parsamate”, “parsamation”, “parsaming”, or “parsamour”?
“Oh yeah, that boy from my algebra class. He was my parsamour.”
“When two people don’t communicate clearly they run the risk of parsamation.”
“Don’t parsamate me.”
Perhaps I don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Do you know a language that has more nuanced words for “love”?