I can imagine Ian and Baillie both rolling their eyes as they read that heading.
It's a word. The problem with this word though, is with the definition.
What brought this post about? The other night I had sent an email to someone which had said something along the lines of "One of the things I love about her...". The following day, the friend who I'd sent the email to asked me "How drunk were you?".
Despite the fact that I was, in fact, drunk, I don't think the word was used inappropriately or that I should be embarrassed by it.
For me, the word simply means I would do anything within my power to help that person even if it is at great cost to myself.
I love my sister and dropped everything in order to play babysitter (though I don't always particularly like her).
I love my best friends - if they were in dire need, I would be there in a shot.
I also love things about people or things, though I'm not really sure how my definition fits into that.
For example, I love that one of my friends is really ambitious and wants to travel the world for work. It makes me sad that she won't be around but I would be sorely disappointed if she suddenly wanted to stay in New Zealand. It's the value of that part of her personality I wouldn't want to change. Perhaps the notion of the word love in this case is used to indicate that I wouldn't want that very value to ever change.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then the meaning of love is in the mind of the person saying it.