Limitations of English

So last night I was doing a bit of day dreaming while I was suppose to be fixing something, I had made a note to someone online that I was a little bit sad now that I've finished Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2, very good games, as it means that there aren't any games coming out anytime soon that I'm really excited about.

At this point he told me "get a life!"... which put my back up as I replied this sadness wasn't "a family member died" or even "my pet died", it was a tiny sadness on par with "oh, my favourite TV show is finished for good". He apologised and empathised, understanding what I meant.

But that got me thinking, English is so wonderfully precise about something, with dozens of different words with slightly different meanings for some things, but so horrible imprecise about emotions.

Take for example the word Love, in English the word can mean so many different things, all depending on context, yet other languages such as Ancient Greek they had 5 different words for love, each depending on context, the two most famous were Agápe (family / friend love) and Éros (romantic love).

It makes me wonder why English with it's complex grammar and wide range of words for the simplest concepts doesn't have different words to convey different levels of the most complex thing humans can experience, emotions, hell we don't even have our own word for "person I'm going to marry" having to borrow it from the French (fiancée).

It's odd, really.


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