It is interesting how words can acquire over time a meaning that is opposite to their original meaning, it is even more interesting when the original meaning of a word and its acquired opposite coexist at the same time. This is the situation for the word professional. Indeed, one can see the two meanings in the Wikipedia definition for professional—“a professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified activity.” Now at first glance these two meanings may not appear to be opposites in that members of a profession usually earn their living from the practice of their profession, but if we look beneath the surface we can see how the two meanings of the word professional are indeed opposites of each other.

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