Words of wisdom

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Inconsistent connotations

From Dictionary.com:
con·no·ta·tion: An idea or meaning suggested by or associated with a word or thing
Evidently a word ending in "-phile" connotes a person who loves the thing described at the beginning of that word:
  • A bibliophile is a person who loves books
  • An Anglophile is a person who loves everything English
  • A cinephile loves movies
These are all good things, right?  So why does the word "pedophile" have such a bad connotation, the opposite of the above?  I'd think that all parents are pedophiles.  But no ... for whatever reason, in this case, "pedophile" doesn't mean someone who just loves children; it means a person having pedophilia, the sexual desire for children.  That is not so good.

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