Friday, March 13, 2009

Paraskavedekatriaphobia













James Joyce, in "Finnegans Wake," coined the word Bababadal­gharagh­takammin­arronn­konn­bronn­tonn­erronn­tu
onn­thunn­trovarrhoun­awnskawn­toohoo­hoo.

Aristophones, in his play "The Assemblywomen," coined the word lopadotemakhoselakhogameokranioleipsanodrimypotrimmatosilphiokarabomelitokatakek
hymenokikhlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptokephalliokigklopeleiolagōiosirai-
obaphētraganopterýgōn.

Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism: The longest nontechnical word in the OED

Antidisestablishmentarianism: The longest noncoined/nontechnical word

Of which, Wikipedia provides the agglutinative origins:

establish (9)
to set up, put in place, or institute (originally from the Latin stare, to stand)
dis-establish (12)
to end the established status of a body, in particular a church, given such status by law, such as the Church of England
disestablish-ment (16)
the separation of church and state (specifically in this context it is the political movement of the 1860s in Britain)
anti-disestablishment (20)
opposition to disestablishment
antidisestablishment-ary (23)
of or pertaining to opposition to disestablishment
antidisestablishmentari-an (25)
an opponent of disestablishment
antidisestablishmentarian-ism (28)
the movement or ideology that opposes disestablishment.

Honorificabilitudinitatibus is the longest word in all of Shakespeare's works.

One of the longest place names is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokai
whenuakitanatahul. (It's a hill in New Zealand.)

But if we're talking about paraskavedekatriaphobia "the origin of the link between bad luck and Friday the 13th is murky. The whole thing might date to Biblical times (the 13th guest at the Last Supper betrayed Jesus). By the Middle Ages, both Friday and 13 were considered bearers of bad fortune. In modern times, the superstition permeates society.

Five Friday-the-13th facts:


1. Fear of Friday the 13th - one of the most popular myths in science - is called paraskavedekatriaphobia as well as friggatriskaidekaphobia. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.

2. Many hospitals have no room 13, while some tall buildings skip the 13th floor and some airline terminals omit Gate 13.

3. President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not travel on the 13th day of any month and would never host 13 guests at a meal. Napoleon and President Herbert Hoover were also triskaidekaphobic, with an abnormal fear of the number 13.

4. Mark Twain once was the 13th guest at a dinner party. A friend warned him not to go. 'It was bad luck,' Twain later told the friend. 'They only had food for 12.' Superstitious diners in Paris can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.

5. The number 13 suffers from its position after 12, according to numerologists who consider the latter to be a complete number - 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas and 12 eggs in a dozen.


Pythagorean legacy


Meanwhile the belief that numbers are connected to life and physical things - called numerology - has a long history.

You can trace it all the way from the followers of Pythagoras, whose maxim to describe the universe was "all is number.'" (Livescience.com)

However, there are also those who have no hesitation in using the number. "In the Great Seal of the United States there are 13 olive leaves (with 13 olives), 13 arrows, and 13 stars. These form a triangle over the eagle with the number 13 on each point. On the reverse the pyramid has 13 levels.

The number 1138 (1+1+3+8=13) is scattered through many of George Lucas' films, namely owing to the fact that one of his early films was THX 1138. In fact it is represented in all six of the Star Wars movies.

Ozzie Guillén, manager of the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, has worn the number throughout his baseball career. Alex Rodriguez began wearing it upon joining the New York Yankees (three, the number he had previously worn, is retired by the Bronx Bombers to honor Babe Ruth). Dan Marino, an American football player known for passing the 2nd most yards in NFL history, wore the number 13, although pundits in the sport have often cited him as the greatest quarterback never to win an NFL championship. Basketball great Wilt Chamberlain wore the number 13 on his jersey throughout his NBA career." (Wikipedia)

In Italy, 13 is considered to be a lucky number. Ciào.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

Nice post. I myself use the number 13 to turn dodgy situations into dear ones.