To celebrate Valentine's Day, Mark Steyn has an amusing essay lamenting the few words that rhyme with "love" in English.

Happy Valentine's Day, a day on which we anglophones struggle under one of the worst burdens in a world which has otherwise blessed us: the word "love." The French for "love" is amour, which rhymes with dozens of other useful words - toujours (always), jour (day), carrefour (crossroads), tambour (drum)...

English has just four and a half rhymes for "love," approximately three-quarters of which offer highly limited possibilities: "above," "dove," "glove," "shove," and (the half-rhyme) "of," pronounced "uv." The last is the reason why, in English songs, "love" is a thing you spend a lot of time "dreaming uv." "Shove" is of limited application, except in ballads for spousal abusers. "Glove" is annoyingly singular. ...

In Portuguese, it's different. Coracao (heart) rhymes with violao (guitar) and cancao (song), which is why there are a zillion Brazilian bossa novas about giving you my heart while I play you a song on my guitar. The constraints of language help define our notion of romance, and in English we're more constrained than most.

I can't wait to read his opinion about Silver Elbow Month!



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