Thinking that every thing that you can like and dislike, you can also not care about and there may be a suffix for it.
As far as I know, no. We could make one up, here. "-phile" and "-phobe" are derived from the greek words "philia" (love) and "phobos" (fear), so we'd want to look for an greek word meaning "indifference", I think.
"adiaphoria" looks like an early contender, being what Google translate comes back with for "indifference". There is already a philosophical concept "adiaphora" (note no 'i' at the end) meaning "indifferent things", referring to (my summary) things which are neither moral nor immoral. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adiaphora
This isn't quite what we're after, and it's a bit long, anyway - it would be nice to be able to have a single-syllable suffix like "phile" or "phobe".
"neutral" gives "oudéteros", which again is a bit long.
Perhaps we could use "mesis" which means "middle" - so you could have the adjective suffix "-mesic" like "phobic", and the noun suffix "-meso" like "phobe".
Eg, an "audiomeso" is someone who neither hates nor loves music, and if you genuinely didn't give a sh*t about whether someone is gay, you could call yourself "homomesic".
EDIT: @Nathaniel, in the comments, pointed out that the noun form suffix should be "-mese", not "-meso", so "audiomese" or "homomese". This feels right to me and I thank him for it.
I am not aware of a suffix per se with that meaning, but I sometimes see the idea expressed by forming a pairing with the word agnostic. Although the first meaning of this word is specifically about religious belief, it can also be used in a more general sense:
- a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something
Though M-W does not document it, other sources indicate that the word can also be used as an adjective to describe a person who holds the (non-)beliefs of an agnostic on a particular subject.
Thus, you might say "Chrome and Internet Explorer both have strong partisans, but I am browser-agnostic."
I propose '-meh'
In the right tone of voice, I think that could work.
Meh is an interjection used as an expression of indifference or boredom. It may also mean "be it as it may". It is often regarded as a verbal shrug of the shoulders
It seems you are looking for a concise, easily understandable term for someone who is neither a
-phile nor a
-phobe. I would suggest the suffix
-neutral. It may be more of an adjective than a noun, but it can be pressed into service as a noun by ellipsis. Thus:
Which of the following describes you best?
I am a technophile
I am a technophobe
I am techno-neutral
90% of the technophiles, 50% of the techno-neutrals* and 10% of the technophobes said they had heard of the product.
techno-neutrals is an ellipsis for
techno-neutral respondents to the survey.)
Not the best choice suggested here, but one might use
▸adjective: feeling two different things about someone or something at the same time, for example that you like them and dislike them
▸ adjective: uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow ("Was ambivalent about having children")
▸ adjective: characterized by a mixture of opposite feelings or attitudes ("She felt ambivalent about his proposal")
- "I'm cinephilic, Sinophobic, and cyno-ambivalent"
I'd also propose
Apathetic (adj): Showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern
Apathy derives from French
apathie, via Latin from Greek
apathēs without feeling, from
a- without +
AiluroapatheticIs unconcerned about or indifferent to cats
A slightly lighter-weight version of @EricKigathi's -apathetic.
-pathic, suffix meaning affected by —The Free Dictionary (citing Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 2009(
apathic, without sensation or feeling. —The Free Dictionary (citing Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 2007)
apathic, synonym of apathetic —Wiktionary
Despite the frequent concurrence of don't know and don't care, they mean different things. @PellMel's browser-agnostic is a good term for code that doesn't know what browser it's running on (and doesn't need to know, because it's compatible with all of them). But the OP question contrasts -phobe and -phile so this is about feeling. Browser-apathic code was written by someone who didn't care which browser they were trying it on (so it may only work on one of them).
- techno-phobic - hates technology, averse to using it
- techno-philic - loves technology, early adopter of gadgets
- techno-agnostic - ignorant of technology, doesn't know how to use it
- techno-apathic - apathetic about technology, as likely to choose a nontechnical solution
- arachno-philic - fascinated by spiders
- arachno-phobic - afraid of spiders
- arachno-agnostic - ignorant about spiders, but might want to learn
- arachno-apathic - apathetic about spiders, neither jumps at them nor checks which species
@MaxWilliams' -mesic may be useful if you wanted a term that was ambiguous about knowing or caring. Is there a case where that's better than being specific? Haven't thought of one yet.
I'm doubtful there exists one clear middle ground between love and hate. @SAH's -ambivalent is a third. Maybe there are others, and they shouldn't be muddled.
@user1892306's -meh is exquisitely precise in meaning but it doesn't look like a suffix; turning it into one loses recognition even from those familiar with this neologism.
It is not worth it using a short suffix that is semantically only close to what you are trying to express, for a concept used that rarely.
You could invent a new suffix that describes by definition exactly what you want to say, otherwise the usage of extra syllables should be preferred over losing part of the meaning.
Indifference is oftentimes used as the default condition, a placeholder, and it isn't univocal, as opposed to like and dislike.
When you are indifferent it can mean that you haven't thought of the matter before, and thus you haven't made up your mind yet [Case 1]. Or it can mean that you have thought of it and you really are indifferent [Case 2].
This ambiguity increases the complexity of inventing such a suffix.
To illustrate the above, let's suppose that there exist arachnids, and people can either be averse or fond of them. What a person feels towards arachnids can be thought of as a variable that can have one of the following values: 'like', 'dislike', 'indifferent', which describe fondness, aversion or indifference towards arachnids. The value indifference is the indifference we described in Case 2. The variable however can also have no value (this is exactly how 0 works in numbers -it's a placeholder). This "no value" is the indifference described in Case 1.
In programming we do:
if the value of arachnid_variable is 'like' Then the_person likes arachnids else if the value of arachnid_variable is 'dislike' Then the_person dislikes arachnids else if the value of arachnid_variable is 'indifferent' Then the_person gives 0 fucks about arachnids else the_person is indifferent towards arachnids because he is not even aware of their existence, or because he has never thought to form an opinion about them
A suffix like -phile or -phobe for indifference would have purpose only in Case 2, when you want to make the statement that you have considered the 'like' and 'dislike' options, and you have opted for indifference. In contexts where indifference is the default condition (i.e. the "no value" we described above), it should not be stated, and thus such a suffix would be unusable.
As it's very well stated in the accepted answer (by Max Williams), adiaphoria (= indifference) is indeed the concept between -phile and -phobe (even though it is said that the opposite of love is indifference and not hate ^^).
In Greek, adiaphoria eventually boils down to "the act of making no distinction/ differentiation" (probably pretty close to 'indifference'). So, if you want to invent a new suffix derived from greek "-mesis" and "-oudeteros" (concepts of in the middle and neutral) are not correct. "-adiaphoric" could work ("adiaphoro" with the Greek suffix), but I would prefer the English suffix -indifferent, as proposed by daniel Azuelos, which is simple and precise.
The suffix "-path" (as in apathy) may have this meaning, but I can't think of any other examples right now besides "sociopath" (one who doesn't care about society), and possibly also "psychopath". Clearly, the suffix can also have other meanings, as in "homoeopath" and "naturopath", but in some cases, I think it may have the meaning you're looking for.
"Don't care" means one has no heart for something, it is not usually synonymous with "unfamiliar" or "innocent". It connotes veiled disdain for a given topic, making -nostic & -neutral & -middle (Gr. -meso) too gentle, and -phobic insincere.
The prefix "anti-" seems more correct than any available suffix. The most appropriate term in Greek: "ekhthros", (personal enemy), is unsuitable for an English suffix. ("Techno-ekthros?")
There's also '-clast' (Gr. -klastes, a breaker or wrecker), the sole English word being iconoclast, used to describe certain Christian zealots that vandalized or defaced sculpture and art which they believed promoted idolatry and false gods; later iconoclast mellows and signifies nonconformists and radicals who break with tradition, yet need not break physical objects.