In respect to your request of several months ago, I have had my team analyzing the word in question, giving due consideration to its many and varied uses in ancient literature. We addressed its complex morphology, its varied spellings and tenses, and the fact that it seems to appear in all parts of speech. While we attempted to cross reference it with other words within the context you provided, it is with regret I must tell you that I cannot give you any definitive answers as to what it means.
The problem is not, as I originally expected, that the word has too few instances of occurrence to ascertain its correct meaning. Quite the opposite, the word occurs so often throughout all archives, and in so many contexts, and with such diverse apparent meanings that it is virtually impossible to determine with accuracy how it was used.
In general terms, it seems that native speakers used it to indicate a position of preference for or fondness toward a person or thing. However, its appearance in both the most trivial and mundane of contexts, as well as the most ardent and serious, lends the notion that it is not intended to convey a specific thought. For example, looking at archival documents all written by a single individual, we found instances in which it was used in reference to food items, and other instances in which it was attached to individual people, and still other cases it was used to refer to a particular activity. It occurs in certain contexts as a sort of pronoun for a group of people, and in one case we found (used with an alternative spelling, phonetically identical) was part of an imperative.
It is entirely possible that it only occurs to modify other words within its context, much as modern day speakers use words like “UGH” and “ZIPPY,” to provide some examples. In conclusion, my team’s finding is that for 21st century English speakers, the word “LOVE” held virtually no meaning whatsoever.
Dr. Jasmine Feingold
* * * * *
This story should not have been written, but I wrote it anyway.