Thursday, December 21, 2006

Word Play: Phobia

As a writer, I often cringe at the misuse of words and grammar in everyday life. More often than not, we collectively look like ignorant fools based on how we communicate. So I thought I’d start a series of short “Word Play” articles to shed light on the truth behind some of these common misuses.

So Rosie O’Donnell just talked smack about The Donald and it sounds like he’s not going to let her off very easy. All this reminds me of something I saw her say on a promo for "The View" the other day. Her exact line was “I find that a very homophobic remark.”

I don’t know what the remark was. But, in my experience, there is very little homoPHOBIA left in mainstream society. Anger? Maybe. Disgust? Perhaps. Mostly I see tolerance. So I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look at the word, Phobia.

American Heritage Dictionary
pho·bi·a (fō'bē-ə) n.
- a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.
- a strong fear, dislike, or aversion.

So perhaps there are still people out there who are unwilling to merely sit by and hold their tongue as they watch their modern society slide into a dung heap. But I highly doubt that it was a phobic remark of any kind.

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