In A Word

Others’ blogs have focused on the word amae that Evans referred to, yet what struck me most when reading about this word was how it made me feel. I found the fact that the English language did not have its own unique equivalent somehow jarring. Mark Twain once stated that “the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter- ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” This quote has always resonated with me, as I’m sure any English major would understand, when writing and reading. Finding that perfect word and being able to convey your meaning without ambiguity is essential, and when reading I marvel at this ability in others.

Evans’ article answered my question as to why I found the lack of the English word for amae so disconcerting. The inability to effectively portray our emotions has from an evolutionary and biological standpoint led to complications in that our true emotions are misjudged. As Evans points out, those emotions of a higher cognitive nature are fundamentally social. The more accurately we are able to convey our emotions to those around us the greater our awareness is of our relationships and social situations, enabling us to make more informed decisions. As an English and Psychology double major I really appreciated reading this article!