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Surfin': Radio Lover


"Amateur" is a word with two related definitions. According to Merriam-Webster, amateur is "one who engages in a pursuit, study, science, or sport as a pastime rather than as a profession," or "one lacking in experience and competence in an art or science."

Both definitions irk me, especially the second, which is a putdown.

I don't know about you, but I know many radio amateurs who are more expert in the field of radio than many radio professionals. They are not incompetent and lacking of experience.

A visit to the Online Etymology Dictionary reveals the origin of the word. Accordingly, amateur is a French word meaning "lover of." It was derived from the Latin word amatorem that means "lover."

"Radio lover" sounds much better than "radio incompetent" by a hundred fold. And "radio lover" denotes more commitment to the radio art than "radio professional." A professional may consider radio as just another occupation, a way to earn a paycheck, an occupation that he or she may even dislike or hate.

So, whenever you hear the words radio amateur, hear it as the French originally intended -- all you need is love.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, is an unabashed radio lover. To ask him what he plans to do with his dust collectors, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog. By the way, every installment of Surfin' is indexed here, so go look it up.


Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor