Sunday, January 25, 2015

Parsing the Agora

Illustration by Lucinda Rogers

Agoraphobia is a disorder characterized by anxiety in large, crowded environments he or she feels are dangerous or uncomfortable. The word comes from the Greek "agora" meaning "gathering place". So far so good, unless you happen to be an agoraphobe.

I always took "gathering place" to mean "marketplace" as that's my preferred gathering spot. Thus I decided the opposite of agoraphobe must be agoraphile. As a bibliophile loves books, so an agoraphile must love the marketplace?

Not sure why, after years and years of using the word to describe my love of browsing and buying, I looked it up. As it turns out, I am very, very wrong. This is what happens when you love words and think you know all of them.

An agoraphile is a person who experiences sexual excitement from being outdoors.

I hate being outdoors, and this is not that kind of blog.

I don't have the strength or patience to dig into 3+ years of posts and make the necessary corrections. So if you've read somewhere I describe myself as an agoraphile, please know that what I meant to say was I am an agora-adorer.

That just doesn't have the same ring.

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