phobia-150x150.jpgWe all know that there are some pretty weird and specific phobias out there, like asymmetriphobia, the irrational fear of things that aren’t symmetrical. I didn’t know that there were so many related to language, though. I had heard of hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia – the totally unfair name for the fear of long words – but a few unknown ones caught my eye today.

There are some sort of general ones, like:

Verbophobia – the fear of words.
Logophobia – the fear of words or speaking.
Graphophobia – the fear of writing or handwriting.

Then there are some quite specific ones:

Onomatophobia – the fear of hearing a certain word or name (often to do with connotations or superstitions).
Scriptophobia – the fear of writing in public (perhaps due to not liking their own handwriting, or not being confident in their ability to spell correctly?).

The ones that we, as language learners, should definitely try to avoid are xenoglossophobia (the fear of foreign languages) and glossophobia (the fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak).

Do you know of any more language-related phobias?