Dictionary definition of love changed after LGBT+ killings

Leading authority on Slovak language reacts to homophobic attack in Bratislava.

(Source: Pixabay)

Love n.
1. Affection of one sex towards another

For many years, this was one of the definitions of love in the Dictionary of the Slovak Language. But following the murder of two LGBT+ people in Bratislava last week the official definition has changed.

On October 17, the Ľudovít Štúr Institute of Linguistics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the leading national authority on the Slovak language, changed the definition in the online version of its dictionary to, among other things, "a strong affection for another person based on physical, mental, and emotional attractiveness".

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In a statement, entitled Of Words and Deeds, explaining the change, officials at the institute said: "We use words to make promises, depreciate, lie, or threaten. By saying them we convey a meaning, becoming understandable for others. That is why we seek not only to convey our vision of the world meaningfully, but to adjust and embellish it in our favour, to better suit our goals."

They added: "When it comes to basic human rights, nothing can be embellished. You either have them or not. The LGBT+ community are an equal part of our society, and everyone should have the same rights."

They said that words not only lead to deeds, but become deeds the moment they are spoken. And with words, for example, we decide what love means to us.

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The move followed the October 12 murders of Matúš Horváth and Juraj Vankulič, who were killed by a radicalised student outside a bar in the capital. The killer took his own life a few hours after the attack.

The unprecedented homophobic murder, which police are investigating as terrorism, has shocked Slovak society, with the LGBT+ community and much of the wider population calling for more to be done to improve the safety of LGBT+ people in Slovakia and guarantee their rights.

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