Word of the Week: Take Cover!

7:30 AM

The first time I realized people did not appreciate my logophilia was at church, in the coat racks. I lightly said (after a near fatal collision, no doubt), "I'm just oscillating back and forth."

"Oscillating?" said someone.

"Oscillating," answered I, unsure.

"Like an oscillating fan."


Well, that's a poor example - but you get the point. The staring and polite snickering - sometimes the guilty fear of ignorance - it's enough to frighten any serious, tenderhearted logophile right out of her socks. Lucky me. I go around barefoot.

The truth is, my dear readers, people just aren't interested in etymology and words like you are. They don't take the time to read my column; they don't feel anything but insulted when I approach them with a new word.

And some people are downright scared. Would you tremble at antidisestablishmentarianism? Think you safe from Shakespeare's
honorificabilitudinitatibus? Are you nightmare-proof over the introduction to supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Thank goodness - most of you have all your breath and sanity about you by now. For those of you who are hyperventilating, I'm sorry to say it, but you have a problem.

Of course, there's a name for it. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. It's quite simple to see if you have it. No need to pronounce it, either. You simply look at the phobia - there it is above - and check your vital signs to make sure you're alive.

Now, this is not a free diagnostic column, so we'll go no further. Suffice it to say that hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia comes from several words - hippopotamus, monster and sesquipedalian, which of course means having many syllables or characterized by the use of long words.

Like me.

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6 impressions

  1. Hehe, that video was so funny! I'll have to show dad that one!

    Fun Word of the Week Bailey!!

  2. :o) You'll notice I didn't include the pronunciation of any of the words precisely because I could not do it with such poise and accent as that lady. Isn't that gigantic three-page length word scary?

  3. WOW! Lets just say those words will never be in my vocabulary or to my understanding...( this was over my head words.) I liked how you added on the video clip with it. I wonder how many times that lady had to practice to pronounce those words perfectly. Very creative post... and it's so you! Love, Stacy

  4. I have been trying to say "honorificabilitudinitatibus" all this morning. It's not working. ;o)

    I see you have to have an anonymous account, now that Sarah took over your profile. Little sisters. ((hugs))

  5. Ack. I nearly fainted at some of those words...

    *grin* That was hilarious!


  6. Wow, lol! I think I'll get some of the words off of that video and use them. :P



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