Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Why “emotional” fails as an adjective

Describing someone’s current state as “emotional” is about as helpful as saying someone is human. Let me explain.

Whenever someone wins something on camera, they often cry as a result and describe their state of being as “emotional.” Athletes do this. Celebrities do this. People that feel blessed do this.

But it’s a vague adjective in the temporary sense of the verb “to be” (i.e. estar in Latin). Of course these people are emotional. The audience can obviously see that. What these victors and fortunate people on camera should really be saying is that they are overjoyed, elated, incredibly happy, deeply thankful; anything to more accurately describe what they’re feeling rather than the cliche, diluted, and catch-all “emotional.”

That said, emotional succeeds as a permanent descriptor of the verb “to be” (ser for any Spanish or Portuguese readers out there).

For example, I’m an emotional guy (right Lindsey!?), which means I cry more than most men, I’m enthusiastic, I’m impulsive, I’m responsive, I’m romantic, and I feel like a jerk after making even minor mistakes.

So next time you’re feeling an intense feeling, try to describe what it is you’re actually feeling. You’ll make a better impression, learn more about yourself, and enjoy the moment even more.