Most people seem to call it "homophonia" (25,000 ghits), but I'm not even sure what that means: "Homophonia" (7/31/14).
Following this cartoon in Magic Coffee Hair (8/16/12) and Gretchen McCulloch's article, "What's the Difference Between Homophonia, Homophobia, and Homophonophobia?" (8/1/14) in Lexicon Valley, I'll go with homophonophobia (4,310 ghits), despite the fact that it is a forbidding mouthful, as being a more accurate term for what I want to describe: an extreme, irrational fear of or aversion to words that sound alike. In this post, we will discuss homophonophobia, particularly as it relates to Japanese, but also touching upon Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese manifestations of this type of anxiety disorder.
Read the rest of this entry »