“Like is stronger than death”

Ordinarily “love” is a stronger term than “like.” I like my classmate, but I love my mother. I like ham, but I love bacon.

I was emailing a professor of mine who had not yet given me feedback on the paper I sent him. I wrote that “if you have finished grading the paper, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.” “Love” sounded too strong and also emotional in this context so I considered changing it to “like.”

But ordinarily, phrases such as “I’d like to…” or “I’d like you to…,” directed at another person, express a polite command in English. “I’d like you to go get me some milk,” “I’d like you to hand in your report by Tuesday.”

“I’d love to…” or “I’d love for you to…” does not seem to have this kind of implication in English. “I’ve love for you to hand in your report by Tuesday” almost seems to demand a subsequent clause: “but if you get it in my Wednesday, that’s fine.”

So, in the context of my email, saying “I’d like to hear what you thought of it” sounded as if I were issuing a command to my professor, which would be inappropriate. So “like” here had a stronger meaning than “love.”

(FWIW, I ended up saying something like “I’d be happy to hear…” in order to avoid the use of “love”)

Advertisements
Standard

One thought on ““Like is stronger than death”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s