Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Why one should never tamper with dictionaries

Health Warning: You may be about to develop a phobia against words to do with phobias.

I have a list of phobia words in a book (I don't suffer from bibliophobia: the fear of books). I have been looking through them for ideas (neither do I suffer from ideophobia: the fear of ideas). I now have a new idea (which means I can't have neophobia either: the fear of novelty).

Are you fed up yet? (If so, you perhaps have all of the above-mentioned conditions and should see a doctor; that's quite a problem you have there.)

I think some of the definitions of these phobia names are BORING, so I have redefined some. I am sure my new definitions will be appearing in a dictionary near you at some point soon.

1. barophobia - apparently this means 'fear of gravity'. How tedious is that? I think it's either:

  • a condition affecting ex-ballet dancers
  • a pathological reluctance to pay for the next round of drinks
  • something intelligent children can claim to have when their parents push them into a law degree
2. eosophobia - this is 'fear of the dawn'. What rubbish. It really means:
  • anathema to any story with a fable in it written by ancient Greeks
  • a fear of unfinished statements about people, something of a tendency in teenagers, as in 'He's so ....'
3. musophobia - 'fear of mice', so they say. Of course it's not. It's

  • a terror of thinking, affecting many young people today, and manifested when their teacher says, 'Now, I want you to consider this carefully.'
  • a preference for talking radio over any other sort of radio that is so pronounced it causes fights between spouses (including someone NOT VERY FAR FROM THIS COMPUTER)
4. rypophobia - this is apparently a 'fear of soiling' which, though understandable, is not the best use of the word I can think of - not as good as:

  • a life-threatening condition which exhibits itself in rages should no firm fruit be in the refrigerator
5. potophobia - it says it means 'fear of alcoholic drink'. The first thing to say here is that I think I have the opposite condition, presumably called 'potophobiaphobia'. The second thing to say is that it also means:

  • a condition which causes children under three to race at top speed away from any plastic bottom-shaped utensil into which they know they are expected to perform
  • a pathological hatred of spouses who put hundreds of plants in small containers in very tiny gardens, leaving a minuscule area in the garden for sitting, something relevant to a person NOT VERY FAR FROM THIS COMPUTER
6. pteronophobia - this is the fear of feathers. Is it heck. It's really:

  • a serious condition in which a person, at the sight of words beginning with two consonants, about which the pronunciation is ambiguous, runs away screaming
If I have, with this post, induced in you an attack of blogophobia, I am very sorry.


  1. noverifarfrothis.comophobia - the disturbing inability to tune out disturbances (and disturbing people) not very far from one's computer.

  2. I've had it for years, Mark. No medication has worked.