Saturday, November 24, 2007

Being Fond of Someone and Being In Love

A heard a student a couple of days ago saying, "I am in fond of him." This is clearly incorrect as there is no such expression as "in fond of." Instead, we say, "I am fond of him/her/that." Obviously, the mix-up comes from the expression, "I am in love with him/her/that."

Why is it that we say "fond of" and "in love with?" Honestly, I don't know. This is a question of usage or convention more than anything. I'd like to think of this question in terms of images: when we're in love, we're really into a person. We're crazy about the person we're in love with! We're into his face, hands, hobbies, fears, passions, etc. The image I get is someone who is all over another person, holding him, hugging him, kissing him. People in love almost want to absorb the person they love! This is different from when we're fond of something.

When we're fond of something or someone, we like that person or thing very strongly, like the way we like and love a best friend or a favorite toy. Still, we are not into that person or thing. For example, we may know our best friends well but we don't know them as well as we know our spouses or partners.

Hence, we fall in love with a partner and we are fond of a friend (unless you start falling in love with your friend).

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