Are words unnerving? Are sentences scary? Are phrases frightful? Sure, spooky stories can set us on edge. Tales of horror can be hairy. But some people are simply scared of words in general. It’s a genuine phobia.
Verbophobia is the fear of words.
The word is derived in part from the Latin word “verb,” which means “word.”
Verbophobia is the fear of seeing or reading words. Folks with this fear may also dread hearing words, although this phobia is generally focused on the written or printed word. It differs from logophobia, which is the fear of talking or actually using words. In some cases, verbophobia may arise from an inability to read, a reading-related learning disability, or a past traumatic experience involving reading.
Related fears also include glossophobia (fear of public speaking), hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of long words), and onomatophobia (fear of specific words).
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