A clue on Jeopardy! the other day put the word “AMATEUR” into a completely new context for me. Oftentimes, words have more than one meaning; but their modern meanings grow so prevalent, we often forget what else they could signify. And, when the modern meaning of a word is a negative one, it can oftentimes leave people feeling hurt or rejected. Hence, the true adage:
Now, the word “amateur” is most times thought to mean, “a person inexperienced or unskilled in a particular activity.”
However — the word is actually derived from the Latin amare, which means “to love.” Then, we have the Latin amator, or “lover.” Fast-forwarding, we have the Italian and French for “lover,” amatore and amateur respectively. So, really — amateur just means lover. Its connotations of a “dabbler” only date from around 1786.
Now we see that we must look much more closely at words!
Here are three other lovely definitions for the word amateur.
1. A person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than financial benefit or professional reasons.
2. An athlete who has never competed for payment or for a monetary prize.
3. A person who admires something: devotee; fan.
So, to all my fellow independent authors — when someone calls you an amateur, thinking that they’re hurting your feelings, or just making you feel like you’re not as good as someone else, respond THIS WAY!
“YES — I am an AMATEUR! But that only means that I love what I do, and I don’t do it because I’m a money-grubbing pig!”
We must be careful with our words. They have POWER! All hail . . .