I suspect that all of us have, at times, run into those whom words cannot describe, or at least, those who insist that words cannot describe them.
Are you liberal or conservative? No.
What kind of music/movies/books do you like? My tastes are really to eclectic to define.
Are you two dating? I think that phrase is very limiting. We're definately something, but dating is such an awkward term.
Indeed. Terms are awkward. A word or phrase is seldom comprehensive enough to describe the whole of something, and so one often must resort to describing it several times, in different ways, in order to get one's point across.
And yet, words -- however imperfect -- are how we convey meaning to our fellow men. To refuse to use them, or refuse to use them in common ways, eventually becomes a sort of linguistic anarchism.
One must agree that it is often silly to call the man a woman in her late twenties is romantically attached to her "boyfriend" -- a term perhaps better suited to the activities of high schoolers. And yet, rightly or wrongly, that is the most standard way to refer to such a connection.
Next to inapplicability, another objection often thrown at standard terms is that they are too ordinary to convey the amazing reality of one's life.
"We're not just 'going out'. It's so much deeper than that."
Indeed. Congratulations. But you see, the world is populated by people who imagine themselves to be so much deeper than that. They only look identical and trite in their relations because you are not they, and have no wish to be. A single word is used for all these relationships, not because they are all the same, but because it is necessary to have some term which captures the whole constellation of of such things in order to allow common conversation. Each snow flake is unique, yet even the Eskimos have a comparatively small number of words for snow.
The great time for this insistence that words cannot describe one's life seems to be high school and college. It's at that time when one feels oneself so very different from "all those normals". Over the following decade or two the insistence on uniqueness cools, not so much because all of those over thirty are reduced to clone status, but because one becomes aware that one is not the only person to be unique.
Evenutally, words have to suffice.
Genesis Notes: A Stumble and a Son
1 hour ago