Exclusive: Xenophobia is Actually Spelled Wrong!

dictionary xenophobia featured

“It’s strange because every English speaking child on Earth will hear that word and proceed to write a ‘z.’ There’s no logical sense for the ‘x,’ and it turns out there’s no history for the ‘x.’”

aNewDomain / SkewedNews — Two anthropologists from MIT, Dr. David Waller and Professor John Nolan, were perusing the dictionary in a heated debate about the history of the letter “x” when they came across an amazing discovery: we’ve been spelling “xenophobia” wrong.

Dead wrong.

Nobody bothered to look it up after all this time. We’ve all been just copying what the other guy wrote.

It has come as quite a shock to the anthropological community, as well as linguistic and literary, and also to those Luddites who just never understood how an “x” could make a “z” sound.

Professor Nolan said,

It’s strange because every English speaking child on Earth will hear that word and proceed to write a ‘z.’ There’s no logical sense for the ‘x,’ and it turns out there’s no history for the ‘x.’ I think we got it from ‘xylophone.’”

We sat in the lab with the two language-struck intellectuals, and Dr. Waller was quick to cushion Nolan’s strong words. He elaborated on the history of the word coming from Greece, and the Greeks believing that everything in the Western dates back to them.

The question still stands: Does zenophobia mean the same thing as xenophobia?

Nolan had to look it up. Turns out it does!

“At first I thought, this is clearly fear of Zena Warrior Princess,” Waller said, “but then Nolan reminded me that that is spelled with an X.”

It’s a big day for the letters X and Z, and an even bigger one for those who actually suffer from xenoph – excuse me, zenophobia. They can now spell their fear without ever wondering why it’s spelled so weird — which, as it turns out, is called ortographobia — the fear of misspelling something. That one, as far as history and science tells us, is spelled correctly.

For aNewDomain and SkewedNews, I’m Daniel Zweier.

Featured image: Dictionary by Greeblie via Flickr

About the author

Daniel Zweier

Based in San Francisco, Daniel Zweier is an editor and writer for aNewDomain and our sister pub, BreakingModern.

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