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A New (WEnglish) Twist on L-O-V-E

What is love, actually–(besides a movie I watch every Christmas)? Thousands of books, songs and movies address it, try to define it, analyze it, and tell us whether we’re in it or not.

As a linguist, I like to find clues to meaning within actual word spelling, to see if there’s a deeper meaning hiding inside. LOVE is no exception.

Typically I start by splitting a word into syllables, but LOVE has only one, so that’s no fun.

I’ll also conduct word twists, taking letters of a word apart and rearranging to see what other words can be created. With LOVE, I found only two, if you’ll allow a man’s name ‘OVE’, which is a good but sort of sad movie.

Then there’s ‘VOLE’, a mouse-like creature that’s very hard to appreciate as my sister will attest to, because they love to burrow and chew through roots of living plants, even trees!.

In desperation, I finally spelled LOVE backwards and OLÉ! I was stunned and delighted. LOVE spelled backwards is EVOL, which is not quite a word— however, my rule with word play is that I can use letters in words more than once. With that in mind, I could spell ‘EVOLVE’. Isn’t that wonderful?

Yes, LOVE EVOLVES, doesn’t it? (Some of you are probably saying, “Yes and it DISSOLVES, too”), but isn’t it really we who evolve?

Being ‘in love’ allows us to be INVOLVED.

Wherever or not you find yourself in a love relationship with another person this month, make sure YOU are at tha top of that list! Loving yourself is essential to loving others. If you’re not sure how to love yourself, check out my memoir, ‘I Was A Yo-Yo Wife…Until I Learned THIS’. Once I got THIS, my love relationship changed in about ten minutes and has lasted more than 36 years!

Vivian Probst

Author, Linguist, Creator of WEnglish for WEquality

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As a linguist, I've studied English for (let's say) approximately fifteen years. No kidding. What about English could possibly enthrall a linguist that long? So glad you asked. Even if you didn't, it'


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