The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life

Hi, my name is The Wordsmythe and I’m papyro-ergophobic!

It’s official! I hate paperwork! Ok, so maybe ‘hate’ is such a strong word but I have an aversion to paper work. It’s such a chore, such tedium! I’d much rather be getting on with fun stuff than be bogged down filling out forms, balancing accounts and other related matters.

As I write, there are a number of folders piled up on the side table awaiting my attention. There are forms and assessment sheets that need filling. I need to collate my accounts (income and expenditure) for my  accountant to send off to the Inland Revenue before the end of June otherwise I am liable to pay a fine of £150! Phew!

I will usually do anything else just to avoid it. Like writing this blog post now when I should really get started on all my filing, assessment sheets, blah, blah, blah!

I appreciate that keeping correct and regular paperwork makes life smoother but it is the doing of it that I have a problem with. It’s so hard! It is one of the few tasks I procrastinate on and keep off till as late as I possibly can. Sometimes I make an effort to do it as soon as possible so I can get it out of the way and not have to worry about it, unfortunately this isn’t one of those times.

While thinking of writing this post, I thought there might be a word for a phobia of paperwork. Someone gave a synonym for paperwork as ‘Satan’ 😮 but I couldn’t actually find the word I was searching for. Instead I happened on another, papyrophobia, meaning the pathological and irrational fear of paper.

It’s fascinating what you stumble across when you’re not actually looking. Who knew there was a concept like, much less a word for a fear of paper? Certainly not me! Apparently the symptoms of this phobia include feeling uncomfortable, becoming nauseated or beginning to perspire. More severe symptoms displayed by this phobia could be crippling anxiety and/or panic attacks, muscle tension, trembling, dry mouth, hyperventilating and gasping.

I admit that I don’t really understand how anyone can actually fear paper but I do not, by any means, wish to trivialise what may be a valid and palpable condition for some people. I do however feel sympathy for them as I love reading so much I couldn’t begin to imagine how traumatic it would be for me not to be able to touch paper seeing as books as made from the very same.

I wonder if having papyrophobia also makes one hate reading or if it is possible to enjoy reading but hate paper? That would make the person a bibliophile-papyrophobe – one who loves reading but hates paper. In that case, every bibliophile-papyrophobe must be doing cartwheels since the introduction of electronic readers. They now have a chance to get on with the business of reading and not have to touch any paper while doing it.

In my usual fashion and in keeping with tradition, when I can’t find a what a word that accurately expresses what I want to say, I make one up. It’s called poetic licence! Besides language is constantly growing and evolving with words being added to it regularly. So here’s my contribution to the growth and expansion of the Queen’s English, papyro-ergophobia!

Here’s my equation for newly coined word;

Papyrophobia = Fear of paper

Ergophobia = Fear of work

Therefore Papyrophobia + Ergophobia = Paphyro-ergophobia, fear of paperwork.

So this is my public confession. Hi, my name is The Wordsmythe and I’m a papyro-ergophobic.

I’m off to face my demons and tackle some of that paperwork right now. Wish me luck!

Tara for now.

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14 thoughts on “Hi, my name is The Wordsmythe and I’m papyro-ergophobic!

  1. Joxy on said:

    All the best dear, happy tackling :).

  2. Nkem, I feel you. I hate paperwork as well and I do exactly the same thing, leave everything to the last minute. All the best as you tackle the work.

  3. Kaodi on said:

    Hope u got thru the pile???
    Rememeber, I can do ALL things thru Christ…… 🙂
    Enjoy!!!

  4. Globetrotter on said:

    Roll up your sleeves and dig in. it might not be fun, but it gets cleared fairly quickly!

  5. lol…my hubby hates paperwork too…pls do what u have to do to avoid that fine @ all cost…all the best.

  6. LOL…..

    You know, mine is so bad that I destroy every paper bill that comes to my house without reading it? I prefer my e-bills and statements. One time I threw $200 in the thrash can – I thought it was regular paper. That’s why you won’t see me carrying cash around. Give me a card or i-pad or something…I can handle that. I’m sure I was the most excited nurse when the hospital I work for went completely digital…no more paper. Give me paper and you’ll find a confused woman in your hands.

    So I’m raising my hand up in the air to confess: My name is LD and I’m a Paphyro-ergophobia.

    Girl, You are so much in good company 🙂

  7. Sam Morris on said:

    question is the hyphen necessary?

    • Sam Morris on said:

      Looking for a word for one whose primary reason for doing something is the love of it. Amateur does not work because it implies not getting paid and being less than a professional at whatever it is. An example is someone who plays baseball for the love of the game whether he gets paid or not as opposed to someone whose primary reason for playing is the money.

      • Hi Sam,

        I put in the hyphen because I combined two words.

        I don’t know the word you are looking for but I will be on the look-out and will let you know if I find it.

  8. I, too, have an AVERSION to this kind of paperwork. Filling in forms. Dealing with bills and insurance claims. It’s become a serious phobia in my life! Paralysing!

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