This is trivial and I will be mocked. More 4 is currently rebroadcasting The West Wing from the beginning and they have it surrounded by this sponsorship thing from 118118 which is some directory thing I refuse to use. And one of the adverts that surrounds the thing has the 118 people saying, “I have totaphobia, it’s the fear of absolutely everything,” and it’s supposed to be a joke or something, but it drives me mad! The main reason it drives me mad is because (1) it’s not a word and (2) there is a word for this condition and it’s a real bloody word and it’s not bloody totaphobia. You know why it’s not totaphobia? Because tota– is derived from Latin. I think it’s Medieval Latin. On the other hand -phobia is derived from Greek. Greek is not Latin! Normally when you try and make new words out of nowhere then you only use one language to do it. It’s only sociology and television that break that rule and they’re stupid words anyway and everyone knows it. Coincidentally there’s a word for ‘all’ in Greek and when you put that word together with -phobia then you get a perfectly real word that gets used all the time and the word is pantophobia. Which is even funnier than the word they used on the television! And I know that it’s not a really well-known word, and I’m sorry about that, I really am. But every time they say totaphobia on television I cringe and flinch and I die a little inside. And that is all…
17 replies on “A brief tirade about totaphobia…”
Of course, you should add “homosexual” to the list of words with both Greek and Latin roots. Which of course means that “homophobia”, while purely composed of Greek elements, only makes sense with the omitted Latin-derived “-sexual”. Otherwise it would be fear of similar things, wouldn’t it?
It all reminds me of what CP Scott said:
Television? The word is half Greek, half Latin. No good can come of it.
Jesus. It’s not like “pantophobia” is a particularly obscure word. Have these people never seen A Charlie Brown Christmas?
Most likely the makers of the advertisement think that “pantophobia” sounds like it means “fear of undergarments.”
I agree. Words should be monolingual.
Unilingual, that is.
ahh I know what you mean, it annoys me too. Though not as much as that woman with the wierd eyes on the moostured toilet roll advert.
List of all known phobias: http://www.phobia-fear-release.com/list-of-all-known-phobias.html
Plus, annoyingly, West Wing didn’t start at the beginning either this evening – they missed off the pilot, the real episode 1, so we start off with a bewildering “previously on West Wing…”
Another reason not to use that directory service is that their sponsorship credits are just so bad, they completely remove any enjoyment the programmes they “sponsor” may be giving you. Something dramatic has just happened on screen and then those two goons come along and spoil the moment. I actually can’t watch drama on C4/More 4 now because of them. I’d rather buy the DVD’s, download or just miss out completely.
They started at the beginning last week — the first episode aired on the 6th and again on the 7th (in the same timeslots as the second did this week). They also showed the pilot as part of the marathon preceding the final episode on July 29th, so it’s actually been shown three times in the last couple of weeks!
Well, as I work for a company called Technorati, I am not in a great place to comment, but I always loved that CP Scott quote – I snuck it into QuickTime Streaming as an Easter Egg.
Let’s not forget that totally ridiculous word “Scientology” now, shall we?
“Science” in Latin and “logos” in Greek have roughly the same meaning in English, so “Scientology” means something like “knowledge knowledge”.
No mocking from these quarters either – this is exactly the sort of thing that gets on my nerves too…
People make up fears with the suffix ‘-phobia’ the same way they make up illnesses with the suffix ‘-itis’. The latter really gets on my nerves.
More 4 showed the pilot last Sunday.
Worse than crapolaphobia, which is bad enough I agree, is the apocalyptic unwords that use -aholism as an ending. I’m sorry, but if there was a substance called Sexahol that I could get addicted to, I probably would drink a bunch of it. Similarly Chocahol. Not so interested in Shopahol – it seems like it would be a bit of an expensive drink. Dear God, people! These aren’t real! So how can you be a shopaholic?! You bloody well can’t.
I suspect that your “no Latin/Greek portmanteau words” rule may not bear much investigation as a grammatical rule.
Part of the liveliness that underpins English is the ability to blend words at will.
yup, my mistake, seems the Pilot was shown, three times as noted above, and the tivo failed to grab it every time… unbelievable. *sigh* You know it’d be great if there was a really user friendly tv download site around… oh.
You’re not the first person to think that.
“Television? The word is half Greek, half Latin. No good can come of it.”
C. P. Scott
I like to think this would have annoyed Jed Bartlet as well.