Think About What You Are Saying

10 August 2008

I have posted a number of articles under the category of "Words For Thought".  Part of the purpose in writing those articles is to share interesting insights into words that are often unusual. Today I would like to focus on words from a different perspective: words that are common in our society but that we often use without fully considering the meaning of what we are saying. I will hopefully add to this article as time goes on as I come across additional words to consider.

First up: romance


The word romance dates back to the 14th century. Merriam-Webster defines the word as such:

1 a (1) : a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural (2): a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious (3): a love story especially in the form of a novel b : a class of such literature

2 : something (as an extravagant story or account) that lacks basis in fact

3 : an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure, or activity

4 : love affair

5 : Capitalized : the Romance languages

That second definition caught my attention: "something that lacks basis in fact". Uhm... that would be a lie or a deception right?
The third definition gave me pause as well: "an emotional attraction..." Hmmm, that reminds me of Jeremiah 17:9:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Realizing the emotions are part of our lives we should strive to maintain control over our emotions so our emotions do not control us.


The word infatuation dates back to 1533 and M-W defines the word in this way:

1 : to cause to be foolish : deprive of sound judgment 2 : to inspire with a foolish or extravagant love or admiration

"Deprive of sound judgment". Having been infatuated before I definitely attest to that definition of the word.

This brings to mind 2 Tim 4:3-4

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.


M-W dates this word back to 1861 and defines it in this way:

: full of glamour : excitingly attractive

Since that wasn't particularly insightful I searched for glamour (also spelled glamor) and M-W provided this:

1: a magic spell <the girls appeared to be under a glamour — Llewelyn Powys> 2: an exciting and often illusory and romantic attractiveness <the glamour of Hollywood>; especially : alluring or fascinating attraction —often used attributively <glamour stock><glamour girls><whooping cranes and…other glamour birds — R. T. Peterson

Ay, chihuahua!  Here we go with magic spells and illusory attractiveness. <sigh> We have entire magazines devoted to this stuff? Yikes.


Young adults first leaving home and desiring to be more mature often seek to become "sophisticated". Let's see what the dictionary has to say about this word:

1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly. 2. To make impure; adulterate. See synonyms at adulterate. 3. To make more complex or inclusive; refine.

Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

Yeah... that sounds like something we want our kids to pursue.  Not.

To be continued...

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