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Interoppo Research
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Linking research & learning technologies through standards » Nick Nicholas

Ἡλληνιστεύκοντος
(Greek Linguistics)

2009-10-07

Elithiolexitherophobia and Coeliomyophilia

(This post hyperlinks to the Old Perseus interface, because the New Perseus interface is unusable and unacceptably slow. Something regrettably common with upgrades...)

(This post is rated M for Mmmm... Prurience...)

Seen over someone's shoulder in today's MX, the daily free publication of Teh Stoopid, which has already occasioned Your Obt Svt's notice. 2009-10-07, p. 13:

It's True! We've all heard of claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) but to have lachanophobia is to fear vegetables, while medorthophobia is to fear an erect penis.

NO IT BALLY WELL ISN'T, you utter smeghead. Medorthophobia, as far as it can mean anything, is a fear of Medians Standing Up. Did you get Persians and Penises confused in your abuse of a Greek dictionary? Well then, perchance you might also confuse some gentle constructive criticism with MY BOOT UP YER ARSE!

Actually mēdea μήδεα is also a Homeric word for genitals, but it's the entire package: it's what people threaten to chop off and feed to the dogs ("they drew out his 'vitals' and gave them to the dogs raw"), or what gets lopped off Uranus and cast into the ocean ("and swiftly lopped off his own father's members"). It always occurs in the plural, which should tell you it's not just a penis. And μήδεα ὀρθά is just plain nonsense: genitals standing up? Upright balls? So the criticism stands. Here's a damn funny Greek blog post dedicated to μήδεα and their role in the etymology of Archimedes.

So no, a word for "genitals, standing, phobia" is not the word for a phobia of erect penises. Inasmuch as there should be a word for the phobia of erect penises—and an eminently irrational phobia that is too, for erect penises, I am informed, have their uses—then that word would be closer to ithyphallophobia.

I, on the other hand, have elithiolexitherophobia: a fear of idjits with dictionaries. Or rather, a fear *for* idjits with dictionaries, if they should ever cross my path.

Idiot. Where did this crap come from, Urban Dictionary? At least this page has both the stupid and the correct word for it.

Who do I blame for this, seriously? The OED online doesn't have it, thank fcuk. (It doesn't have ithyphallophobia or phallophobia either.) Google Books has it in a 1969 list of phobias in Word ways: the journal of recreational linguistics (recreate THIS, MOFO! At least they add the correct ithyphallophobia), and a 1967 "Cyclopedic lexicon of sex" (cycle THIS, MOFO!). Only one book on psychology in Google Books seems to have been snookered by the coinage so far, but without snippet preview, I can't tell yet whether to organise a letter-writing campaign.

In other news, I went and seen Chicago last night. I'd refused to watch the movie when it was on, and I don't know what I missed there, but it's ingenious. Especially what they've done with the music: it's an encyclopaedia of '20s musical vernaculars, and presented as that. Cleverly done, and very Brecht. (Which is more a property of the revival than the original, I understand.)

As to the plot, I'm not surprised at the surmise that the revival got more public resonance because it was post-OJ Simpson, and our society even more celebrity-driven than the '70s or the '20s. The plot was a little obvious, granted, but it's a musical, they don't trade in subtleties in the word.

They trade in music and movement. And I'm only startled by it because I don't get out much, but the dancing! It was phenomenal: all violence and exuberance and sex. And the dancers... Good Lord. The men had six-packs. The women had six-packs. I won't vouch for it, but I'm reasonably sure the trumpets had six-packs. And me, i think I'm discovering I have coeliomyophilia: an inordinate affection for or attraction to abdominal muscle.

For we love what we lack in ourselves...

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