Definition of "Romance"

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Haozhao Zhang
Geremy Carnes
English 124
09/17/12
Definition paper (final draft)
It must be a surprise if you are informed that the word “romance” is a literature genre which usually consist of adventure stories. You first reaction could be pointing out that it is me who was wrong about this definition by mentioning or quoting how people using this word in writing. But if you search for it in the dictionary or old novels before late 17th centuries, you would find that I’m telling you the truth. Actually, this word is being used in a way that not quite accurate in terms of the original meaning of the word. The meaning that the word currently carries is only the extension of its intrinsic meaning. So let’s contract those two definitions first then I will give my proof of why the original meaning is better. Defined by Wikipedia, “romance” means “love emphasizing emotion over libido”, in other word, it is “the expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction to another person associated with love”. To give a more specific definition, Wikipedia also put it into a common situation, “In the context of romantic love relationships, romance usually implies an expression of one's strong romantic love, or one's deep and strong emotional desires to connect with another person intimately.” Some people may say that the definition in Wikipedia can’t stand for the most accurate sense of the word, well, that’s true. But this is also a widely accepted interpretation by most of people and has no influence to the later analysis. From this definition, it’s clear that “romance” stand for love or some emotion that is related to love between people, that’s how people defined this word nowadays. But the original definition of romance is extremely different. To clarify that, I must begin with the history of the word here. In Oxford English Dictionary, the word romance is referred to “As a literary genre, and derived senses”. We can find more details in another...
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