No, not the 90s boy band, but I sure did love them. Instead, let’s do a little learning, shall we? I was reading and I read something that I had to look up. At this point, I honestly don’t remember what it was. But I stopped reading and looked it up, which made me click on a link, which lead to another and another and another. And somehow, in the midst of all this, I ended up reading about manias, paraphilias and phobias. Basically, psychological terms for things that can be wrong with people.
Interesting, but heady, stuff, to be sure. So I read through these lists and was just sort of boggled by the whole thing. I mean, I’m a pretty educated person, but the sheer volume of things I didn’t know is kind of frightening. I guess knowing what I don’t know is part of my education, but that’s another story.
For instance, did you know that oniomania is an obsession with shopping? Or mottephobia is a fear of moths? I mean, that’s interesting. But then I saw a few that blew my mind. Now, I’ve long known of triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13. While being afraid of numbers is not something I get, I do understand the irrationality that is attached to that particular number. But, tetraphobia? Fear of the number four? What’s wrong with 4? Or how about hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia? Fear of the number 666. No, I’m not kidding. At this point, I’m more concerned about sesquipedalophobia, the fear of large words. (Seriously, even I couldn’t make this up.)
The thing that blew my mind, though was stumbling across porphyrophobia. The fear of the color purple. Purple! Aside from the fact it is my favorite color, I don’t understand. What is it that scares you? Color just is. It doesn’t do anything. How can it be scary? It’s like being scared of a piece of wood. Hylophobia. Nope, not kidding.
But then I kept looking and found.
Colorphobia – fear of color
Erythrophobia – fear of color red (also used for fear of blushing)
Chrysophobia – fear of color orange
Xanthophobia – fear of color yellow
Chlorophobia – fear of color green
Cyanophobia – fear of color blue
Porphyrophobia – fear of color purple
Leukophobia – fear of color white
Melanophobia – fear of color black
and, of course,
Iridophobia – fear of rainbows
All these years and suddenly my fear of chartreuse feels validated. I wonder what that would be. Since it’s a mix of yellow and green I’m leaning toward Xanthochlorophobia. I mean, come on.
Language, though, it’s a beautiful thing. Even if people are nutso, the words we’ve created never cease to marvel. And that’s how I abandoned my book for an hour of reading about strange words and writing this blog. Someday, if I ever write my book, expect one of my characters to suffer from a crazy fear, like koumpounophobia. Fear of buttons.
In the meantime, I’m more of a porphromaniac. One obsessed with purple. And a bibliomaniac. Obsessed with books. Perhaps even a logophile, obsessor of words. And that, my friends, is our very first TYNKYNK (for my new readers, that is Things You Never Knew You Never Knew, for weird stuff I like to teach on this blog) for 2016. I hope you learned something.