Dear Dr. Bill,

But, but, but...philomath and polymath are not the same! That "love" bit in the philomath definition is a crucial distinction. I have an uncle who can only be described as a philomath. The man eats, sleeps, and breathes learning. (He's retired, but he's always been this way. Now he just has more time.) He knows all the libraries in the city, and the specialties of each. He watches televised university classes for fun. He has a complicated system to keep track of which library books are due when. He loves to argue with you over something he's just learned about. So at least in my family, philomath is a very necessary and useful word!