So, I’m teaching a class on the Roots of English. Today, we looked at the morphology of English. One of the books I’m using is English Vocabulary Elements. And, at some point in the book it mentions that the morpheme “phile” in “bibliophile” and “pedophile” both mean “love”. They come from the same place. But, the words take that meaning in different directions. People who are bibliophiles really enjoy books. They love them. People who are pedophiles…well, they really enjoy children; they love them. *shiver*. They just love them in a way that is illegal and, in my humble opinion, wrong (and more than a little gross.)
And, this made me think. “phil” is a root we get from Greek, and I thought it meant a “brotherly sort of love”. The kind of love that is romantic is “eros”, where we get our word for “erotic”. So, shouldn’t “pedophile” be “pedoerotic” or “eroped” or something like that?