Friday, 1 April 2016

Thought 174: Enthusiastic Amateur

The word amateur is regularly used disparagingly of individuals who are less proficient in a given art form, ignoring the fact that we all start out as amateurs in whatever walk of life we choose to get involved in. 

But the word amateur does not, etymologically, mean a noob for the Latin root of the word, amo, means to love. 

If you're an amateur in a given trade you are, linguistically speaking, a lover of that trade (but presumably not professional and disabused enough). 

I should know. 

I'm an amateur pianist, an amateur poet, an amateur drawer, an amateur philosopher but I feel no less worthy for all that. 

In fact I prefer the word enthusiast to the word amateur because it captures the original sense of the word amateur (which derives from the Latin amo, to love) without the negative connotations. 

In short: enthusiasts of the world unite!