What Do Romance Languages Have to Do with the Type of Romance Between Lovers?

The word romance can refer to an enchanting quality that makes a heart beat faster, but in linguistics, Romance languages are the Indo-European languages descending from Latin, such as French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Why is one word used for both?

The link arises from a type of story. Romanz is the Old French term for “verse narrative.” In the 14th century, a romanz was a story told in vernacular (as opposed to Latin) about a chivalric hero’s adventures and quests. Fair maidens, often saved from some sordid fate by the hero, played consistent roles in the stories. The best-known romance of this time is probably Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The key to the romanz was that it was written in the language people spoke, the vernacular, or Romantic languages, and the name stuck as the fictional form grew in popularity across Europe.

One of the foundational characters of the romance is Sir Lancelot, who embodies the ideals of courtly love, which is roughly “a highly stylized code of behavior popular chiefly from the 12th to the 14th century that prescribed the rules of conduct between lovers, advocating idealized but illicit love.” This appears to be the link between romantic stories and the idea of romantic love. In short, it’s the first “love story.”

Romance stories had huge popularity through the end of the 17th century, after which they were dismissed as too over the top. Romances were ridiculed in satire such as Cervantes’s Don Quixote. By this time, romance as an idea connoted virtue, noble intentions, and the conquering of good over evil. As a fictional form, it dealt exclusively in ideals.

The idea of courtly love, the kind that makes one swoon from emotion, was attached to the word romance only in the early 20th century. Romance is still held high as an ideal, but it would serve those who love to remember that Lancelot’s story is a classic example of adultery. (Speaking of which, learn the real link between the words “adult” and “adultery,” here. You may be surprised.)

Kohl’s to Open Its First Department Store in Florida.

The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) May 25, 2004 Byline: Rachel Pleasant May 25–Among the handful of tenants officially signed on to the Lakeside Village project, one is a mystery to the Polk market.

Neighboring Tampa and Orlando are home to Bed Bath & Beyond, Talbots and Cobb Theatres and are well-known to Polk residents who’ve managed to cross the county line.

But Kohl’s — a department store chain based out of Menomonee Falls, Wis. — doesn’t have a single location in Florida, leaving many shoppers wondering just what Kohl’s is all about.

For a firsthand look, this reporter recently visited the Kohl’s in Cumming, Ga. — about 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta. First impression is a department store similar to Sears without power tools and lawn mowers. It also has been compared to Mervyn’s, which was an original anchor at Lakeland Square.

The Cumming Kohl’s is located in a shopping area with Super Target, Ross, Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath & Beyond and Outback Steakhouse.

There are the expected departments: juniors, women’s, men’s and children’s apparel.

Sales are a regular occurrence at Kohl’s. On this visit, shoppers could buy capri pants for half price, colorful camisoles for $6, lightweight white shirts going for 60 percent off and Levi’s jeans selling for $35, marked down from $40. in our site kohls coupon codes

There are big-name brands, including Nike, Reebok, adidas, OshKosh B’Gosh and LEI. But Kohl’s also carries a number of its own brands.

“I think we have a nice mix of national and proprietary brands,” said Dan Whitlock, personnel operations manager at the Cumming store.

Croft & Barrow, a brand found only at Kohl’s, offers, among other items, nifty leather sandals. On this visit, shoppers could pick up a pair for $14.99.

The large shoe department had one unexpected display of technology: Shoes are fastened with digital price tags.

A sales associate explained Kohl’s corporate headquarters programs shoe prices before the store opens.

The digital tags make it easier to change prices when items go on sale. It’s a new program for Kohl’ s, which still uses paper tags for other merchandise.

Kohl’s also offers a greeting card department.

The store design includes bedding, luggage, housewares and a toy section.

No one from Kohl’s corporate office would comment on the company or the planned Lakeland location because Kohl’s hasn’t made a formal announcement.

The company’s Web site, www.kohls.com, provides background and financial information.

Kohl’s was founded by the Kohl family in Milwaukee in 1962.

In 1978, it was bought by the BATUS Retail Group, a subsidiary of British-American Tobacco Co.

The company operates 589 stores in 38 states. A year ago, there were 492 stores in 34 states. web site kohls coupon codes

Kohl’s plans to open another 95 stores in fiscal year 2005. The average store size is 86,500 square feet.

One of those might be in Jacksonville. Dale Hokrein, business editor at The Florida TimesUnion, said there are persistent rumors of Kohl’s coming to town, but there hasn’t been an official confirmation. Hokrein said the company is advertising in the area.

In March, Kohl’s released its quarterly financial standings and the numbers show a healthy performance. Net sales for the quarter were $2.4 billion, an increase of 12.4 percent over the same period a year ago.

Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 0.1 percent year to year.

Net income for the quarter was $113.8 million.


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  2. David -  June 6, 2013 - 12:15 pm

    Indeed the origin of the term “Romance” is related to “Roman” vs “Latin” the last being the official language during the Middle Ages, the previous being the popular (“vernacular”) In Spanish there was an idiom where you could order sbdy “speak Romance!” (of course we pronounce the last “e”) meaning “speak plainly” – as opposed to speaking with learned language – ergo, the distinction “Latin” (learned) vs. Romance (vernacular) Why “Romance”? Well it was a conscious effort to name two languages sprung from Italy – Latin was already taken, so they went for “Romance”, stg like “Roman-ish” in the original sense of the word. True, unlearned troubadours sang their popular love stories in the vernacular (not in Latin) and therefore helped to connect “Romance” with its present day meaning…

  3. Kaly -  May 8, 2011 - 8:10 am

    I agree with Acasandru about Romanian, as it is more Latin than all of the other Romance languages indeed, except Italian. The only problem with Romanian being recognized as a Latin language is that it’s isolated in the East of Europe, where most of its neighbors speak Slavic languages (Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian), but Romanian is a direct descendant of the Latin spoken by the Roman invaders more than 2,000 years ago, who stayed and married into the local population. People just don’t know this out of ignorance…

  4. DT -  March 2, 2011 - 4:14 pm

    Hmm… I got to agree about the comments on this article. Romanian should’ve been in the languages and it’s Romance/Romanic because it came from the ancient Rome.

  5. louis paiz -  March 2, 2011 - 1:15 pm

    for me vernacular language is the way how we call our leveone nomatter how we say it is always sweet to the ear. thanks

  6. wordjunkie -  March 1, 2011 - 4:19 pm

    Maybe they should have quit the Spanish topics while they were ahead….

  7. animekiss -  March 1, 2011 - 12:11 pm

    I don’t give a damn what anybody says. Any other language besides English is super-smexy.

  8. Mr. D [A.K.A] Elysian -  February 28, 2011 - 11:30 am

    I didn’t see it, but from what i hear it used to be nights and not knights…thats ashame dictionary…..

  9. Atomicfrog -  February 28, 2011 - 10:24 am

    I think you’d want to take out this article as it contains several errors (research, terminology and spelling).
    As a Romanian speaker, I am offended by this “…the best-known being French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.” The best known? There’s only one left.
    I am sorry, but it is discriminatory.

  10. David -  February 28, 2011 - 6:56 am

    As an avowed MAN, I am happy to to see that the lovey-dovey meening of the word “romance” is at least 2 or 3 semantic leaps away from what it actually means, (or meant). All the ladies out there expect us to figure out what this means (to women in general, and to them individually), when in fact there is no real tie between what is called “romance” and the word “romance” – Sheesh! No wonder we can’t get it right! Ladies, when talking to a man about digging, call a space a spade.

  11. Carl -  February 27, 2011 - 6:58 pm

    Hey, leave my mother’s tongue out of this. I can assure you, there’s nothing romantic about it.

  12. Junfan Mantovani -  February 27, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Wherefore art thou Romeo?

  13. Kelly -  February 27, 2011 - 11:33 am

    This is peculiar. I had always though that they were called Romance languages because they had Latin (or Roman) roots.

  14. Blueberry -  February 27, 2011 - 11:26 am

    Spanish is my mother tongue. I didn’t know the word “romance” was relatively recently connected to the feeling. Nice article.

  15. Don -  February 27, 2011 - 7:32 am

    “Fair ladies, who the hero often saved… ”

    Whatever happened to ‘whom’?

  16. Acasandru -  February 27, 2011 - 7:25 am

    Who wrote this article? It seems that the author has a big lack of knowledge about the real roman / latin languages. Romanian language, spoken in Romania, is a more roman / latin language then any other latin languages, except of course italian. French has a much lower influence of the latin language.

  17. Philologist -  February 27, 2011 - 7:25 am

    All the modern form of Latin derive from the language of Rome. Ergo, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Provencal, etc., are Romance (that is, Roman) languages.

  18. Bob -  February 27, 2011 - 7:06 am

    The creators of this article are fricking idiots, why? Because Romania is also a prominent Romance language, in fact it’s one of out the 5! ROMANIA, Spain, Italy, France and Portugal. Shame on you idiots, get your facts straight and stop creating spurious articles.

  19. Marc -  February 27, 2011 - 6:39 am

    Yes, but you don’t say why they’re called “Romance Languages.” I always assumed it was because they sprang from the language of the Roman empire. And you don’t include “Romansch” – the fourth national language of Switzerland, similarly derived. Also FYI the country “Romania” was an important possession of the Roman empire because of the silver mines (they called it Dacia). Those Romans are still messing with our heads millennia later!

  20. Ole TBoy -  February 27, 2011 - 5:50 am

    “Nights” of the Round Table? You mean “Knights,” don’t you?

  21. Al A. Britto -  February 27, 2011 - 5:43 am

    Weren’t they the Knights of the Round Table?

  22. C. Salter -  February 27, 2011 - 5:28 am

    Interesting, but shouldn’t it be “Knights” instead of “Nights” in paragraph 2?

  23. inviting a handlename -  February 27, 2011 - 3:11 am

    Were those lovers in the medieval romance novels communicating by telepathy? –We want something untouchable–When we cannot, then take solace to eating.

  24. Bill Davis -  February 27, 2011 - 1:00 am

    Why not take it all the way back? Old French Romanz itself came from the Latin Romanicus “Roman” (i.e. Latin). The link between “romance” And “Romance Languages” is “languages descended from Latin (Roman)” and has nothing to do with those languages being romantic or used for love stories.

    This just shows how it is a fallacy to derive definitions or insights on definitions, upon etymology. Word meaning is found in how the word is used at a point in time. Not necessarily having anything to do with the meaning of that word’s “forebears.”

    No, wait… maybe since “forbear” is an alternate spelling of “forebear” we gain an insight into the meaning of ancestral forebears, because they really had to put up with a lot of bad behavior (forebear) from our ancestors when they were teenagers!

  25. Yann -  February 27, 2011 - 12:09 am

    ” King Arthur and the Nights of the Round Table”

    Also, what is the difference between “romanic” and “romantic” (etymologically etc)?


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