Our word amateur comes to us through the French from the Latin amator, from the root amare, to love. So an amateur is somebody who does something for love rather than money. A lot of times we use the word to imply a lack of skill. Certainly, I would hesitate to avail myself of the services of an amateur or “shade tree” dentist. But amateur poems and amateur cooking compare favorably with the output of any credentialed professional. And I gotta tell you, I'd sooner hop in the sack with an amateur than a seasoned pro. Sometimes, enthusiasm trumps expertise.