Sunday, June 16

Are You Phobic?





Some people are afraid of the dark. Some people are afraid of spiders, snakes, mice etc. Some people are afraid of standing on the edge of a tall building. And some people are afraid of blood.



There are many kinds of fears. Almost everybody is afraid of something.



Maybe you have to make a speech in front of so many people. Or maybe you’ve just watched a very scary horror movie. Being afraid is normal.



But there’s a small group of people that feel more afraid than others. We call them “phobic.”


images courtesy of stock.xchng



A “phobia” is a strong feeling of being afraid. It’s very strong but the person who feels it can’t explain it. This is actually a kind of medical condition. The people who feel this are not crazy at all, but they can’t control their feeling of being afraid. This affects their everyday life, their jobs, and their overall happiness.




Affix



Talking about Phobias is a good way for you to learn Affixes.



What is an Affix? you might ask.



An Affix is a group of letters that we add to a word to change its meaning. There are 2 different types of it:



(1) Prefix = a kind of Affix added to the beginning of a word


Ex. un, mis


(2) Suffix = a kind of Affix that we add to the end of a word


Ex. ness, ly


So if we use Affixes, we can make new words. Take a look:



un + happy = unhappy


mis + understand = misunderstand


lovely + ness = loveliness


correct + ly = correctly



As you can see, Affixes are very useful in English, especially if you want to learn new Vocabulary faster.




If you’d like to learn more about Affixes, just click the links below:








A Short History of Latin



In English, many Affixes are from Latin and Greek.



By the way, Latin means the Latin language. It’s what we call a “dead language” today. But before, Latin was the mother language from which many other languages started, including Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.



Now the Latin language is only spoken in some religious services and ceremonies inside Vatican City. But many words in science (especially names of plants and animals) and in medicine are Latin or from Latin. And legal (law) English is full of Latin words and phrases.



Some learners confuse the original Latin language with the name of Latin America, where Spanish and Portuguese are spoken.  



Going back to our topic, many Affixes come from Latin and Greek.



This is because Latin, as the “mother language” of French, has had a great influence on English. In addition, Roman monks brought with them many scientific, scholarly, and legal words from Latin.





Lastly, during the 17th and 18th centuries, grammarians and dictionary writers felt that English was an imperfect language while Latin was perfect. So, they made many new words from Latin words.



Because of these, many Affixes in the English language come from Latin and Greek.



For example,


A Few Greek and Latin Affixes

anti+
+or
+ative
over+
+ic
pre+
inter+
re+
+ment
semi+
mid+
sub+
mis+
+tion
non+
+trans



For learners, it’s a good thing to remember that many words in English can be divided into separate parts. And if you know the meaning of one part, whether it’s a Prefix, Suffix, or Root Word (basic form), you can guess the meaning of the whole word.



Like I said earlier, this can make your Vocabulary-learning faster.



For example,


Pre + view = before


Re + view = again


Inter + view = between




Phobias



The word “phobia” itself is Greek. So any word that we want to connect with it should also be Greek. This is actually a kind of rule.



(Greek word) + phobia



But this rule has been broken many times. Especially in the field of medicine, some people mixed Latin with Greek to make new terms.



At first, language experts disliked this, but as time passed by, the fused terms became accepted by people.



Speaking of phobia names, it’s true that you don’t need to use scientific and medical terms in your everyday life. But the important thing is to be familiar with the way words in English are made. If you know this, then Vocabulary-learning will be so much easier.



Besides, learning phobia names is very interesting.



There are so many different kinds of phobias. Very generally, I’d like to divide them into 2 types: (1) Technical Phobias and (2) Casual Phobias, which I’ll explain later on.



First, here are some examples of Technical Phobias:



Greek / Latin term

Meaning

+phobia
Total Word
acro
high places
phobia
acrophobia
aero
flying
phobia
aerophobia
agora
open spaces/ crowds
phobia
agoraphobia
andro
men
phobia
androphobia
arachno
spider
phobia
arachnophobia
astra
lightning & thunder
phobia
astraphobia
ataxo
disorder / untidiness
phobia
ataxophobia
bathmo
stairs / steep slopes
phobia
bathmophobia
belone
pins / needles
phobia
belonephobia
claustro
small spaces
phobia
claustrophobia
coulro
clowns
phobia
coulrophobia
cyno
dogs
phobia
cynophobia
dento
dentist
phobia
dentophobia
eluro
cats
phobia
eluro
entomo
insects
phobia
entomophobia
glosso
public speaking
phobia
glossophobia
gyno
women
phobia
gynophobia
hemo
blood
phobia
hemophobia
herpeto
reptiles
phobia
herpetophobia
hydro
water
phobia
hydrophobia
iatro
doctors
phobia
iatrophobia
necro
death / dead things
phobia
necrophobia
obeso
gaining weight
phobia
obesophobia
ophidio
snakes
phobia
ophidiophobia
patho
disease
phobia
pathophobia
pyro
fire
phobia
pyrophobia
scopo
being seen / stared at
phobia
scopophobia
tacho
speed
phobia
tachophobia
xeno
strangers / foreigners
phobia
xenophobia




Casual Phobias



Aside from Technical Phobias, there are also what I call “Casual Phobias.”



This is because the Affix +phobic can also be added at the end of a word to make many other Adjectives.



These Adjectives don’t have the meaning of only strong fear like the ones that we have above. Rather, these Adjectives can also mean dislike or hate.  And the way these words were made is less formal than our previous examples.



For example,


homophobic 
(=afraid of or disliking gays)

cat phobic 
(=the real name for this fear is elurophobia)

storm phobic

thunder phobic

fat phobic

commitment phobic 
(= a dislike to form a commitment in a romantic relationship)



Lastly, you can also use the word “phobic” alone, as in:



Ex. I’m a little phobic about roller coasters.


My mom is phobic about mess.




Did You Know?



Some of the longest phobia names are:



Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia = fear of the number 666



Paraskavedekatriaphobia = fear of Friday the 13th



And the funniest phobia for me is:



Ergasiophobia = fear of going to work



Aren’t they interesting? Maybe you can start collecting phobia names.






How about you? Do you have any phobia?

Keep on learning !










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