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Meredith Cagen

Registered Nurse expertise in womens' issue of self- esteem and body acceptance. Dating, relationships and life in New York City. Author of "Size Eight in a Size Zero World"

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Health & Fitness



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03/09/2011 01:02pm
Four Letter Words

When you read the title of this article, which four letter word immediately comes to mind? One of my favorite 4lw (four letter word) is sale. I love getting things on sale. A sale conjures up a frenzy of hope (4lw), hope for getting a deal (another 4lw) on an item I covet.

But when you hear the expression, “that’s a four letter word,” you think of curse words. Profanity is usually expressed in 4lws. The “F” and “S” 4lws are used as verbs, nouns, adverbs and adjectives. They are multi-purpose words, and probably the most common. It’s difficult to gauge which 4lws are most popular. Few surveys are taken asking, What is your curse term of choice?

Everyone is on a diet (4lw). People want food with zero calories, as we’ve become a society obsessed with thinness. Zero is a 4lw and it is gaining popularity. More and more women brag (4lw) that they are a size (4lw) zero. Size zero did not exist years ago. Extremely skinny people were victims of a famine, not self control and voluntary starvation. Zero is a hot word. It’s catching up on diet.
Many 4lws have duplicity of meaning and are considerably profane. Love is a 4lw and initially appears to connote a positive feeling. But what exactly is love? According to definitions on Dictionary.com, love has to do with affection or sex or being zero.

What if we combine the three? You feel affection for someone, proceed to have sex but emotionally you feel zero?
The universal thought for the definition of love is affection and kindness. Making love is sex, but this is not necessarily done with someone you love. People make love for sport and other non-affection based reasons. Love means zero in tennis (no elaboration necessary).

Love and hate (4lw) are antonyms but often you hear the expression, ‘There’s a thin line between love and hate.’ If we substitute a dash (4lw) for the line (4lw) then we have a double 4lw or a hyphenated 8lw, love-hate. By putting these words together, we create a word that means zero, because love and hate cancel each other out? Or do they?
Love-hate relationships involve simultaneous or alternating feelings (or emotions) of love and hate. Technically, they can co-exist but it is confusing.

Love is probably everyone’s favorite 4lw. We have personal definitions of what the word love signifies or could signify. This idealistic love definition is all positive and like a Going Out of Business Sale, it draws us in. It is a feeling, a state of being, a location we desire to own.
For most of us, love is an elusive destination. We are on a quest to find and possess it like Indiana Jones search for the Holy (4lw) Grail or Dorothy’s search for a way home (4lw) in The Wizard of Oz.

It’s important to recognize love (in real time) or risk losing it. Futilely attempting to re-claim lost love is sorrowful. It creates the feeling that love is only a four letter word (4lw).


love, hate, language, humor, wit, meanings, double entendre
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