The Age of Platitudinous

I love you.

Once upon a time, those three words meant everything to a budding young couple. After all, those three words were restricted. Prohibited to say until one knew their meaning–and professed them.

Those three words divided a pair of lovers’ relationship as starkly as Jesus’ birth did to world history: before I love you, and after. And to get through to the other side, to get to the after, was a privilege only met by a selected few. The deserving. The elite.

However, times have changed. The mailman shows up with the paycheck you’ve been anticipating for weeks and when you finally see him, you blurt, “I love you.” The barista at your favorite Starbucks finally recognizes you and enters your order wordlessly, and you sigh, “I love you.”

The relationship between what one thinks vs what one says has been more easy-going in this day and age than the past. Source.

I love you. I love you. I love you. The three words that used to mean the world to all now only mean a few continents to some. The way the modern age has abbreviated it on various social media platforms do not help, either. New Comment! _____ has commented: omg ur so cute ily.

Certain words and phrases that used to be significant have lost their deep, deliberate meaning. This does not mean that they are no longer true; in fact, this only signifies that the definition of the words/phrases is expanding to encompass more wiggle room.

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 5.03.20 PM
A survey conducted under the question: “Have you ever said I Love You or I’m Going To Kill Myself without actually meaning it to the fullest extent?” Source: me.

Unfortunately, this leads to a widespread overuse, and misuse, of certain words and phrases that otherwise should not be uttered so carelessly. For example,  “I’m going to kill myself.” 

In a high-stress environment like Singapore American School, this sentence escapes the lips of numerous high school students in the hallways. Rarely is there an exam period that passes without at least one student turning to another and murmuring, “If we get tested on last semester’s chapters I swear I’m going to kill myself.”

But alas, the test passes smoothly, and no child is harmed in the process.

Words that used to mean the world to all now only mean a few continents to some.

So, why have words lost its traditional meaning and weight?

Why is the modern age so caught up with overemphasizing their emotions that it has resulted into the belittling of phrases such as “I love you” and “I’m going to kill myself” so much that they are spoken with barely a blink of an eye?

The effect of words has never mattered more than it does in our current society, with people finally understanding the weight that they carry. However, that does not mean that you have to bite back your tongue whenever your mailman comes around.

The casual tossing of an occasional I love you to emphasize your profound gratitude is something that we are all guilty of, and will continue to be guilty of. There’s nothing detrimental about that.

All it means is that it just makes it a bit more difficult for people, who actually mean what they’re saying to the fullest extent, to express their emotions/feelings in a few words or less.

Actions are, and should, speak louder than words. Source.

It requires, now, deep thought and concentration, on the part of all parties. Actions mean more than words anyway, and the next time you hear somebody utter out an otherwise significant phrase, pay attention to if they really mean it or not.

Thank you for reading this article. I love you.

Author: Anyu Ching

Anyu Ching is currently a senior in high school, and this is her third year as a reporter for The Eye. This year, she joins the staff as the Editor-in-Chief. Anyu was born in Singapore, but grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and spends most of her time flying back and forth between the two. Some of her hobbies include rewatching How I Met Your Mother for the seventh time, listening to The Strokes and rating coffees. Although she prefers phone calls, she can always be contacted at

2 thoughts

  1. Could not agrree with your comments more.

    “I Love You” has lost intensity when used freely everyday but can still have sincere meaning in a meaningful relationship.
    “I am going to kill myself” is simply “crying wolf”.


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