I'd just as soon be called Tom. Actually as a generic term I like "private
collector" and for those who have really gotten into it, "conchologist."
But in the end, I stick with my first sentence.
Tom Eichhorst in New Mexico, USA
> We had a discussion awhile back on what to call the person who collects
> shells without having a degree or license to do so. They aren't
> 'professional malacologists' and they aren't 'shell dealers'. We used to
> call them 'amateur collectors' but for some reason that term is going out
> favor these days. 'Hobbyist' is inadequate to describe some of these
> who may be extremely knowledgeable and sometimes have very large
> collections. 'Conchologist' may be uncomfortably formal for collectors at
> the other end of the spectrum, who may be very un-knowledgeable and have
> desire to study (ology) their shells (conch). 'Non-professional' is
> and sounds like an insult ('unprofessional').
> Paleontologist Earl Manning (Tulane University) suggests the phrase
> collector' as a generic term. That is apt, since there are private art
> collectors, and they buy and sell art occasionally like most shell
> collectors without losing their 'amateur' status. Once in a long while,
> indeed, an art collector is admiringly called an 'amaTEUR' with the
> cultivated French pronunciation emphasizing the original meaning, 'lover
> the arts)', but no one considers this an insult. Flattery, perhaps.
> So, how about it, Conchlers? Would you like to be called 'private
> collectors', and occasionally, if you're really good at it, 'amaTEURS'?
> Andrew K. Rindsberg
> Geological Survey of Alabama