Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Strongly Entrenched in Amor

A great friend of mine recently began a blog called Memoirs of a Modern Amorist and I think that it's what drove me into wanting to start this blog finally. Because in all honesty, I've been mulling this whole idea of a knowledge blog over in my mind for quite some time now and have talked to a few people who thought it'd be a great idea. But who knows until you try right?  Anyway, so the title of his blog, which I'll abbreviate as the MoMA (not referring to the Museum of Modern Art), struck me as so simple, but with such an aura of creativity about it.  I loved it.  I was enamored by it.

Get it? Enamored by it? Maybe not. Yet.  You see, the word AMORIST is one of the many English words that derive from it's Latin root: AMOR = to love. In fact, many languages use the exact same word for Love. The Spanish and Portuguese AMOR (pronounced the exact same way), the Italian AMORE, the French AMOUR, and the list goes on.  Amorist itself means one dedicated to Love or one who writes about it, which my friend working the MoMA blog is doing just so.  So ENAMORED would mean that he's inspired me with Love.

Other words derived from the Latin amor include AMOROUS, AMATORY, and yes, even AMATEUR! For those sports fans out there, amateur comes from the Latin AMAT which means he/she Loves.  Amateur literally means Love of sport.  We also see amor in the Italian name for cupid "AMORETTO" (pl. amoretti).

Speaking about mythical creatures of Love, let's talk about some of the Pagan gods of Love.  There are many.  But have you ever noticed that the mythology of the Greeks, the Romans and the Egyptians are all the same?? Well... that's another story for another day.  But the Greek god Aphrodite and the Roman Venus are one and the same, with the same mythology and history, and their whole thing was about amor.  Aphrodite gave us a nifty little-big word in English. Can you guess it? APHRODISIAC, which is anything that makes you... well want to make Love.  Unfortunately Venus got her own word, but it's not as pleasant. VENEREAL. Nope, not pleasant at all.

Anyway, a little bit of our usage of the word Love is lost to us today.  Instead of saying "I Love her/him," we may say a half-hearted "I like her/him".  This is not the case for most other languages though.  In fact, there is no word in most languages to describe the word for simply "liking" someone/thing else.


If you do find yourself needing some Love advice, please check out my friends blog, the MoMA. He has great, practical advice for the casual dater to those lost in translation, and all you need to do is ask him a question and he'll be willing to answer it for you.

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