Taking a side trip from Sandyic's thread about not being a snob <http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/922300>, there is a big difference between an aficionado and a snob. Below, after the definitions, are a couple of old threads to remind us that most of us are indeed the former, not the later.
a·fi·cio·na·do [uh-fish-yuh-nah-doh; Spanish ah-fee-thyaw-nah-thaw, ah-fee-syaw-] Show IPA
noun, plural a·fi·cio·na·dos [uh-fish-yuh-nah-dohz; Spanish ah-fee-thyaw-nah-thaws] Show IPA .
an ardent devotee; fan, enthusiast.
snob [snob] Show IPA
1. a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others.
2. a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.
1775–85; orig. uncert; first used as a nickname for a cobbler or cobbler's apprentice, hence a townsman, someone of low class or lacking good breeding, commoner, hence someone who imitates persons of higher rank
From what I have seen over the years people on Chow and Chowhound are definitely enthusiasts; and (with a few notable exceptions) are not condescending or overbearing to others. Although, speaking at least for myself, we all have our moments. Hence we are by and in large aficionados, not snobs.
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