Friday, May 13, 2011

Chapter Sixty-Two: Rarify Deaf

A shame that such simple things as technology set us back so far. Let's recap, yes?

Friday, the thirteenth of May, 2011.

Isn't it fun?

You know, friggatriskaidekaphobia isn't actually one thing - no, I take that back. It is. But the superstitions around Friday the thirteenth aren't - it's the result of a combination of the Fear of Friday and the Fear of thirteen. In some places, for example Italy (there's a brilliant gelato place on the outskirts of Venice - I can't remember what it's called, but mm), thirteen is lucky (in Italy, 17 is considered unlucky).

Many consider seven to be a Lucky Number, as well as three, and sometimes five. Ten is a solid base used in many places. (What's wrong with the Metric System, Americans?)

In much of Asia, the number four is unlucky and related to Death, because the word for four in - Chinese, I think - and the word for Death are the same (shi).

In some other parts of Asia, like Japan (try sushi with honey and gelato, mmmm) the number nine is unlucky as well; the word for nine (ku or kyu) can be taken as shorthand for kurushimu, which means "Suffering" or "Pain".

What's that, mathematicians of the World? Oh, yes - four plus nine equals thirteen.

In a more indirect example, if you take the 17 from before and subtract its first digit from its second, you get six, a number widely and wildly associated with the devil.

And unhappy day for all those poor folks at work or school today; the Japanese also have a word for literally working yourself to Death: karoshi.

And then there's Phobias. And Phages, and Phobophages, but we'll get to those later. Let's list a few of my favorites, shall we?

Dendrophobia: The Fear of Trees.
Erythrophobia/Erytophobia/Ereuthophobia: The Fear of Redlights, blushing, or red.
Nomatophobia: The Fear of Names.
Nyctophobia: The Fear of Dark or Night.
Ombrophobia/Pluviophobia: The Fear of Rain or being Rained on.
Taphephobia/Taphophobia: The Fear of being buried alive or of cemeteries.
Tyrannophobia: The Fear of Tyrants.
Xylophobia: The Fear of wood or Forests.
Zelophobia: The Fear of jealousy.

So that's Fear in a nutshell for you. All in the mind. It may be so that the only thing to Fear is Fear itself, but then you end up Fearing the Fear of Fear and ugh, it's a bloody cycle. When you're feeling Fear, you're probably not feeling Fear, but instead the Fear of your expected Fear - he's said all this before, hasn't he? Well, I call it the Scarecrow Effect.

I've just told you quite a bit about myself, really, so I'm being really generous in not taunting you at all or anything. I'm feeling a bit peckish though, so I'm off to grab some Jaffa cakes. Make some tea. Oh, but I do love Jaffa and tea, as stereotypical of me as they may be.

I'll keep his pattern nice and tidy for when he comes back. I do so love anagrams.