Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Do We Really Look Like This Photographing The Workforce

There I was stopped at the traffic lights at the corner of Bank Plain and Prince of Wales Road when I noticed this guy atop a step ladder photographing the drones who work in the offices situated in the old Royal Hotel. These he had artistically arranged around the the doorway of the building. I had time to take one photograph of him before the lights changed. What you can't see, is that although the ladder was only three steps high, he had two people holding it steady.

I did a google search to find the correct spelling of acrophobia (the fear of heights) and found this terrific web site called The Phobia List which lists just about every phobia you can shake a hypnotherapist at. In the same way that if one reads a medical dictionary you end up with all the symptoms of all the illnesses described so I have discovered I have a lot of phobias I did not know about.

These include Pogonophobia (Fear of beards), Consecotaleophobia (Fear of chopsticks) and the quite reasonable Aulophobia (Fear of flutes)

While writing the above I have just realised something exciting. By replacing the suffix phobia with phillia the meaning changes neatly from Fear of to Love of hence Genuphobia (Fear of knees) becomes Genuphillia (the Love of Knees). The Phobia List web site thus becomes a excellent tool in my never ending search for new insults. We are so used to being sworn at with obscenities that they no longer have an effect but I can guarantee that if the next time you are cut up at a roundabout, you wind down your window and shout "Isopterophilliac!!!" at the offending motorist you will succeed in stopping the traffic. (An Isopterophilliac is a lover of termites and other wood boring insects by the way).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Being a bit of a word nerd, these lists of philias and phobias are all very well, but the compilers all seem to forget that philia and phobia are Greek, and a lot of the other words they're mashed with are Latin or something else. For example, I enjoy gonyphilia, having an unusually strong love for knees, not, for my money, genuphihlia. I realise that gony (the Greek root for knee) is strongly related to genu in Latin, and that's how eventually we end up with a word like knee with an apparently silly K at the beginning. The point is really, anyone an make these terms up as they go along if they know a bit of some language or other. Ergophobia - fear of work, sounds familiar, or hypnophilia, love of sleep. They might even have been used somewhere, but I don't know if they're recognised words, as I've just made them up. Still, we've all accepted words like television and homosexual, which are also mashups of Greek and Latin.