No matter how long a tangential line is extended, it will never be able to reach the value it is closest to. Even though it will be really close to the approximated value, it will never be equal to it. Close, but no cigar. 1.99999999999 will never be equal to 2.
Words are similar. We use words to estimate and approximate a certain emotion, sentiment, or an object. When the signified object is not in plain sight, preventing anyone from gesturing to it or pointing to it, we use words, words which are known to both parties to express what we want the other to understand. Maybe our mental image of a car, for example, would differ from each other, but the differences are not enough for misunderstandings in conversations. Thus, words help facilitate the exchange of ideas, a hierarchy of command, and improvements in society through good communication.
We use words for lack of better sustainable methods of expression. Deeply rooted in years of traditions of exchange and interdependence, words provide a convenience that mere gestures cannot provide. One cannot merely point to an abstract concept to provide a comprehensive explanation and discourse about it. We use words to refer to already-familiar concepts to define new ones.
I once overheard someone comment on a certain phenomena. The person noted that when he used words to describe an emotional event or feeling, he felt that this “cheapened” the experience. Looking back into my own experiences, I found this to be true. I would get excited and tell my friend about an extremely special moment in my life, and I would always feel that words were not enough. When I tried to get back on my cloud nine, I often found that I could not reach the state of emotional “high” I got from the memory.
“Love.” I both like and dislike this word. Firstly, I like it because of its unifying nature. Countless couples and lovers have been brought together by the concept it embodies. This word has also inspired various acts of selfless service and bravery. We see heroes, small and great, who have sacrificed their well-being for their love of country, love of others, and love of their own families. Finally, it causes people to go beyond themselves and care for the well-being of others. Fathers and mothers toil day and night for their children, even if their efforts may not be proportionately appreciated and returned. The word “love” is a great motivation to do good, aside from being a way to communicate an intangible feeling.
However, the word has some disadvantages. It is common to see the word used in everyday conversation as a term of friendship and endearment. I’ve often heard people tell each other, “I love you, bro.” While this may be clearly forms of endearment and terms of camaraderie to the people talking, it can also be misconstrued as an emotion deeper than what one party intended to mean. There may be a misinterpretation of feelings and sentiments due to the broad scope of the word. There are also many forms of love and loving. Love between friends and love between romantic lovers are distinct from each other.
Again, we can go back to the discussion of tangents. “Love” is an approximation, an attempt to quantify something that cannot be quantified. It can either bring people together, and at the same time it has the potential to draw them apart. A lot depends on the context.