In an average lifetime, a person will inevitably experience love--even the haters. There is love for animals, love for architecture, love for nature, love for gadgets, love for adventure, love for movies, and love for another human being among others. While the Greek levels of love may be applied to any love, for the sake of brevity, this article focuses on a person’s love for words.
A person who loves words is known as a logophile--from the Greek words logos (word) and phile (lover). A logophile may not go through all the stages of love (see below) for words, but chances are that he has experience in or is currently mired in more than one of the following levels of love:
Disclaimer: The proceeding discourse is based loosely on the ancient Greeks’ perception of love with a slathering of the author’s opinion. It is not, in any way, meant to be canonical.
This is the puppy love stage; the beginnings of a person’s adventure with words; a point in time when an aspiring logophile is prone to throw around highfalutin words in every conversation, and in writing. He does this expressly with the goal to impress. Now while there are times that the use of complicated words can’t be avoided, the use of these eventually dwindles and becomes more strategic as the love for words deepens.
Once weaned out of the puppy love stage, a logophile enters--to borrow a term popularized by Ramon Bautista--the friendzone. At this level, a logophile learns to use words he is comfortable with to further his relationships with his friends, colleagues at work and family. He then develops a skill for integrating the new additions to his vocabulary into everyday conversations. The new words he integrates in his everyday conversations are essential to his work, hobbies and interests.
Here are a few limited examples of Philos words:
*accountant, banker or businessman
---credit, debit, balance, deficit, profit, tax rebate, net gain, gross income, depreciation, interest, growth, ROI, BPI
--- score, points, goal, runs, steal, rebounds, penalty kick, at bats, strikes, balls, kills, blocks, drift, jab, cross, tombstone, butterfly, OBP
---carbon dating, Newton, galaxy, excavations, bacteria, elements, intensity 6, cardiovascular movement, mass-spec reading, meteorite, super sonic, Big Bang Theory, BP
---zodiac, black cat, charm, witchcraft, vampires, broken mirror, doppelganger, cross-fingers, voodoo, destiny, deja vu, crystals, gem, tarot, blood type
---deception, baby swapping, cheating, bida, contrabida, happy ending, love triangle, benefactor, fate, revenge, payback, wisecracking sidekick, payback, evil stepmother, payback
At the end of the day, some logophiles realize that their Philos words can only take them to a certain level of happiness and contentment. It is at this point when they tire and begin to search for words that would make them feel complete. Not all logophiles get over the Philos stage, and many don’t want to leave the comfort zones they have built. Not everyone finds joy in words related to faith and family such as respect, loyalty, trust, gratitude, love, belief, friendship and fortitude---but for those who do, life becomes more fulfilling as they become men who live for others.
This is the highest level of love according to the Greeks. For a logophile to reach this stage, he must give words his true and unconditional love. A logophile in Agape conveys his intent to use the least possible number of words for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. He tailors his words to suit his audience. He knows and trusts that simple is often best.
The love for words is a lifelong passion. In whatever stage one is at, the important thing is having fun. There is a reason why words are flexible---it’s so anyone may form a love affair with them at any level, at any time.