Thursday, August 20, 2009


Arby is on vacation this week. Please enjoy this post that originally appeared on Arby's Archives.

I’m not one to scare easily, unless you jump out from behind a door and yell, “Boo!” Oh, I do have a healthy case of Ballistophobia. Most people do. If a bullet is heading my way, I usually duck. Whenever someone points a bazooka at me I tend to scramble for cover. Like most people, I am a bit Bolshephobic. I have a fear of Bolsheviks. I will admit here and now that I have one darned good case of Politicophobia. This probably comes from living in Chicago where you learn early in life that if a politician pats you on the back with their left hand you can be certain that their right hand is reaching for your wallet. My fear of politicians only increased this morning when the Boss sent me a link to a news article about our cousins across the pond. The UK’s Telegraph, “Britain’s #1 Quality Newspaper Website,” is reporting that the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in Kent has banned the term “brainstorming” from use by borough staff. The preferred terms are “thought showers” or “blue-sky thinking.” In an excellent use of taxpayer’s pounds, the council already put staff through formal training to remove the offending verbiage from their lexicon.

I like the term “brainstorming.” I regularly use it in my writing instruction. I used it in my classroom regularly. Never once did I have a problem resulting from using the term “brainstorming.” Maybe the problem was that I didn’t have any epileptics or mentally ill people in my classroom to complain that the use of the term “brainstorming” was offensive to them. Apparently, the Wells Borough council in Kent has. But I take umbrage at the substitute terms suggested by the good borough in Kent. On behalf of Ombrophobes, Lilapsophobes, and Cyanophobes the world over, I protest! The new terms are insensitive to people with genuine fears.

How can we justifiably ask someone with a fear of being rained on to engage in “thought showers?” That is horrendously insensitive to people who suffer from Ombrophobia. They might drown in a pool of their own thoughts. Equally appalling is asking a Cyanophobe, some one who is afraid of the color blue, to engage in “blue-sky thinking.” It would be like asking Chicken Little to look up! If we are to abolish anything, we must abolish the entire concept of generating ideas, as Lilapsophobes, people who fear tornadoes and hurricanes, might not be cable of brainstorming in any form, an idea that the esteemed Tunbridge Wells Borough Council never developed in their extended original thinking sessions.

I’m sure that by now many of you are thinking, “Hey, Arby, You are being unfair. You’re obviously a moronophobe.” I may be guilty as charged, but I see insanity spreading in this world. It’s a communicable disease that is well on its way to becoming a pandemic. That makes me an Agateophobe.


CrossView said...

Amen! ;o)

Kathleen said...

I seem to recall a huge deluge (pardon the pun) of phobia terms that were sent to you the last time you posted. I'll refrain. However, since I am teaching high school again now, I'll have to take this in to consideration. I suppose "Let's do some inclement weathering of the brain" is not acceptable either because of its reference to rain? There could be some global warming of the brain in there or perhaps some "brain climate change." Hmmm...I shall have to ponder this further.