An enemy is a person who is against an idea or another person or group of people. Not like leaning against it — against it in the philosophical sense. Opposed to it.

“Enemy” is a loaded word. It’s serious and scary. An enemy is a threat to you — your ideas, your family, your friends, your safety.

Here at Wordmonster, when someone tells us another person is our enemy (or worse: THE enemy, as if there’s only one enemy of anything and that person is it), we fight the urge to panic. Despite what you may have heard, most people don’t hate us.

Instead of panicking, we ask as many questions as we can, starting with these two: 1. Is this “enemy” really my enemy, or might the person speaking be exaggerating or misinformed? 2. Is there any reason this person might want me to think other people are my enemies even if they’re not? Maybe he’s trying to recruit us to join his army or stand by and do nothing while he punches our “enemy” in the face.

We also try not to let scary words affect how we treat other people.