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Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Now Shashi Tharoor Warns Us of the Fear of Long Words

Are you too afraid to pronounce long words?

Raka Mukherjee | News18.com@RakaMukherjeee

Updated:October 11, 2018, 12:49 PM IST
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Now Shashi Tharoor Warns Us of the Fear of Long Words
Are you too afraid to pronounce long words?

If "exasperating farrago of distortions" had people confused, Shashi Tharoor's tweet on Wednesday which claimed that his book was more than just "Floccinaucinihilipilification" had people running for their dictionaries.

According to the Oxford dictionary, the word 'Floccinaucinihilipilification' is a noun and means "the action or habit of estimating something as worthless." Shashi Tharoor also helped you pronounce the word in an audio clip he read out.

And while it had Twitter in a panic with people trying to pronounce these words, it also raised the question--why are people always so skeptical of Tharoor's words.

Tharoor addressed this by sharing the word for fear of words, and brace yourself, it's a long word - Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia.

Tharoor's tweets which often turn into a meme come from his 'extensive vocabulary' which people are not very familiar with.

The fear of long words is an actual phobia - people often face a great deal of anxiety when faced with long words. It is ironical that the scientific name given to this phobia is such a long one.

The Oxford Dictionary uses the word Hippopotamine to refer to “something very large”. The word “monstr” is the Latin origin of a ‘monstrous being’ or something that is huge or terrifying and sesquippedalio is derived from the Latin word sesquippedali meaning ‘measuring a foot and a half long’. Phobos stands for morbid fear.

So if any of Shashi Tharoor's bombastic vocabulary has got you flustered, you can try pronouncing it with him or you can be flustered and discover that you have a new phobia - one which you probably cannot pronounce.

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