Friday, May 20, 2005

Last Weeks Word of the Day

Well before my blog entry on last weeks word of the day, I'd like to say that I spent a fair amount of time working on yesterday's blog entry. However, damn computer "couldn't find server" when I tried to submit it and it was lost. Therefore, this will be the entry for right now. Who knew there was a phobia of the number 13?

Word of the Day for Friday May 13, 2005

triskaidekaphobia \tris-ky-dek-uh-FOH-bee-uh\, noun: A morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th. Thirteen people, pledged to eliminate triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13, today tried to reassure American sufferers by renting a 13 ft plot of land in Brooklyn for 13 cents... a month.

--Daily Telegraph, January 14, 1967 Past disasters linked to the number 13 hardly help triskaidekaphobics overcome their affliction. The most famous is the Apollo 13 mission, launched on April 11, 1970 (the sum of 4, 11 and 70 equals 85 - which when added together comes to 13), from Pad 39 (three times 13) at 13:13 local time, and struck by an explosion on April 13.

--"It's just bad luck that the 13th is so often a Friday," [1]Electronic Telegraph, September 8, 1996

_________________________________________________________ Triskaidekaphobia is a fairly new word (first found in print in 1911) formed from Greek treiskaideka, triskaideka, "thirteen" (treis, "three" + kai, "and" + deka, "ten") + phobos, "fear." The adjective form is triskaidekaphobic. One who fears the number 13 is a triskaidekaphobe or triskaidekaphobic. There are many [2]theories about the origin of triskaidekaphobia. In medieval Christian countries the number 13 came to be considered unlucky because there were 13 persons at the Last Supper of Christ. Fridays are also unlucky, because the Crucifixion was on a Friday. Hence a Friday falling on the thirteenth day would be regarded as especially unlucky.

Some famous triskaidekaphobes1:

* Napoleon * Herbert Hoover * Mark Twain * Richard Wagner * Franklin Roosevelt

1. Source: "It's just bad luck that the 13th is so often a Friday," [3]Daily Telegraph, September 8, 1996
References 1.

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