Money can buy you love

Adopt A Word Jenni Trent Hughes

Bid for ‘love’ on eBay in time for Valentine’s Day.

It’s official! Despite the gloomy recession, the UK really does need LOVE. A national survey, commissioned on behalf of I CAN’s adopt a word initiative, found that whilst 60% of people would place a monetary value on love of over £500,000, 62% are spending less this year than they did in 2008. Luckily this February you don’t need to be a millionaire to possess LOVE. For the first time ever I CAN – the children’s communication charity – will be making love available to the highest bidder on eBay, from the 2nd to the 11th February.

The survey also found that 80% of the UK places a higher value on family and love than career, money or health. However, whilst we are unified on the importance of love in our lives, the country has mixed views on Valentine’s Day. East Anglia are the most romantic with 34.5% planning on spending the day with a loved one, the Northern Irish are the most cynical with 62% viewing the day as a chance for retailers to make more money whilst those in the West Midlands view Valentine’s Day as the worst day of the year.

Jenni Trent Hughes, author and relationship counsellor and adopt a word spokesperson comments; “Forget the French and the Italians, the fact is that we here in the UK are the real romantics! From Shakespeare and Lord Byron to the Beatles and Take That, we have always known the importance of love and how best to express it. Love is incredibly important – the need to love and be loved is one of our basic biological needs as human beings.

“We think nothing of ‘going without’ for love of our children. Sleep, necessities and even luxuries become meaningless in comparison to taking care of our bundles of joy. And as for heart-thumping, palms sweating, goofy-grinning kind of love – is there a better feeling? In times like now when other factors in life such as money and careers are so unstable and insecure we must come back to what is most important in life – namely family and love. They will provide the light at the end of this tunnel we now find ourselves in.”

The survey also revealed that London is the only region which is defying the credit crunch by spending more on Valentine’s Day this time than last year, whereas 73% of people in the North East and Northern Ireland are spending less this year as a direct result of the economic downturn. Interestingly, the UK’s youngsters (0-18) appear to be bucking the trend of ‘tightening pockets’ with 11% saying they will be spending between £1,000-5,000 this year on their loved one – more than any other age group.

The survey showed that over two thirds of women (67%) placed a monetary value on LOVE of over £500,000, yet 70% are planning on spending less on Valentine’s Day this year. Ironically although only 48% of men said they valued LOVE at over £500,000, in reality they are letting their wallets do the talking with 51% spending more on Valentine’s Day than last year. On average men are forking out £159 more than women. Despite this apparent ‘gender gap’, men and women did agree on one thing. When it came to romantic gestures both placed being whisked away for a romantic escape and a unique one off personalised gift as the most romantic gesture on Valentine’s Day above being proposed to and having a poem composed for them.

The word LOVE will be available to the highest bidder on eBay as part of the ultimate love bundle. The successful ‘cupid’ will receive:
- Official ownership of the word LOVE for one year;
- The chance to immortalise your love in a special one-off, leather bound edition of the Collins English Dictionary with a personal dedication next to the entry for the word LOVE;
- A romantic gourmet escape for two at a chic boutique hotel;
- A special edition, printed certificate and framed letter of ‘ownership’ from Collins.

I CAN’s Chief Executive, Virginia Beardshaw says, “Love is so important. It’s so refreshing in these difficult times to see that such simple values such as love and family mean more to people than money and career. The ability to express your love and build relationships with family members is underpinned by communication skills – the bedrock learning skills for the 21st century. This auction is the perfect chance for cupids to show the power of their love this February, whilst also helping children across the UK who have difficulty finding their own words.”

If LOVE really isn’t your thing this Valentine’s day, there are still plenty of other words available at So whether you want to buy ‘sugar’ for your honey, ‘admire’ for a secret crush or simply ’gorgeous’ for your best mate, from just £20 the word can be theirs to own for a whole year.

The LOVE auction forms part of I CAN’s adopt a word initiative, supported by Collins, giving people the chance to own a piece of the English Language. All proceeds from the auction go to I CAN and its work to help children who struggle to speak and understand words.

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