AWADmail Issue 391
December 27, 2009
A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Tidbits about Words and Language
From: Lynda Lunn (lmglunn yahoo.co.uk)
Def: A fear of being in public places, open spaces, or in crowds.
Joke from the paper:
The bad news for agoraphobics is that a cure is just around the corner.
From: Vaughn Hathaway (pastorvonh bellsouth.net)
Today's economy may lead us to invent a new definition for this word --
fear of the marketplace; especially since the marketplace has not been
friendly to many portfolios.
From: Maryanne Leonard (maryanne.leonard verizon.net)
My husband is a real estate broker in Westlake Village, a lovely but
pricey Southern California community. Homebuyers expressing sticker shock
at Westlake Village home prices are often asked if they would consider
homes in nearby Agoura or Agoura Hills, generally a bit more affordable
areas. When clients turn up their noses at the very idea, local Realtors
of course, among themselves, call that reaction Agouraphobia.
From: Carsten Kruse (c-kruse t-online.de)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--agoraphobia
In German agoraphobia is known as "Platzangst (Platz = place, Angst = fear).
Platzangst nowadays has two meanings: It stands both for Agoraphobie and
also Klaustropobie (claustrophobia). The latter one -- which is much more
commonly used -- should be translated into Raumangst (fear of (small, enclosed)
rooms) but this word is rarely used. So, within a few dozen years a word has
taken a meaning which is sort of the opposite of its original meaning :-)
From: John Foyston (johnfoyston news.oregonian.com)
Subject: Re: Re: A.Word.A.Day--dipsomania
Def: An insatiable, periodic craving for alcohol.
I love the Christopher Hitchens coinage from his foreword to "Everyday
Drinking", a collection of drinks columns by Kingsley Amis:
"Dipsography: Writing about drinking (in reverse of the more usual process...)"
From: Frank Brown (frank.brown travelport.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--dipsomania
Once again, I am learning so much. First that agoraphobia has nothing to do
with bull fighters and now this - dipsomania is a craving for alcohol. Hmmm.
Here in the Southern US, dipsomania is the relentless craving for snuff
(or chewing tobacco).
"Just a pinch between cheek and gum, and the world gets better for sure,
From: Jamie Spencer (jspencer stlcc.edu)
Subject: fear and trembling : astraphobia
Def: An abnormal fear of lightning and thunder.
A friend of my parents was a fan of James Joyce and visited him at his
Paris apartment in the 30s. Apparently a storm was in progress and Joyce,
he learned, had an intense case of astraphobia. The great writer literally
shook in fear of the thunder throughout their visit.
From: Cindy Haynes (cbd.haynes verizon.net)
People have nothing on dogs when it comes to astraphobia. Up to 20 percent
of dogs of all ages and breeds suffer from noise phobias so severe that
their people seek professional help for them. Lightning and thunder send
our Sadie under the desk where three walls can protect her. I never had
the word for her fear until now. I will teach it to her today. :)
From: J-Mag Guthrie (j-mag brokersys.com)
Def: An obsession with particular words or names and desire to recall or repeat them.
A haiku or senryu consists of three lines of words ... the first and third
lines are five syllables, and the second line is seven. It's an interesting
challenge to write these forms with the second line containing only a
Over and over
Over and over
From: Jan Smith (forjhsmith gmail.com)
For the longest time, I've had a strong urge to recall onomatomania.
Now I know why.
From: Wayne Hathaway (wayne diamondsandjeans.com)
Def: An abnormal fear of heights.
I suffer somewhat from acrophobia, and for me the standard "fear of heights"
just didn't describe it. But one day I read a description that hit the nail
on the head: When you are in a high place, acrophobia is not the fear of
falling, but rather the dead certainty that you are going to jump! Of course,
that's why it is a phobia, an irrational fear, but that also explains why I
had no trouble doing a tandem skydive. When I was standing on the platform
outside the airplane, my acrophobia started screaming "You're going to jump!",
so I calmly said "You're right" and jumped!
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
No man, or body of men, can dam the stream of language. -James Russell
Lowell, poet, editor, and diplomat (1819-1891)