Don't Fear, Paraskavedekatriaphobics; It's Almost Over Friday the 13th inspires a kind of horror among the superstitious. There hasn't been too much weirdness in the news today (unless you live in Buffalo… good luck shoveling all that snow!) Maybe we are blase about it, since this is the second Friday the 13th this year (we had one in January, don't forget). From Wikipedia, we learn that "the fear of Friday the 13th is called 'paraskavedekatriaphobia' (alternate spelling paraskavidekatriaphobia, paraskevidekatriaphobia) or 'friggatriskaidekaphobia,' specialized forms of triskaidekaphobia, a phobia (fear) of the number thirteen..."
NPR logo Don't Fear, Paraskavedekatriaphobics; It's Almost Over

Don't Fear, Paraskavedekatriaphobics; It's Almost Over

Friday the 13th inspires a kind of horror among the superstitious. There hasn't been too much weirdness in the news today (unless you live in Buffalo... good luck shoveling all that snow!) Maybe we are blase about it, since this is the second Friday the 13th this year (we had one in January, don't forget).

From Wikipedia, we learn that "the fear of Friday the 13th is called 'paraskavedekatriaphobia' (alternate spelling paraskavidekatriaphobia, paraskevidekatriaphobia) or 'friggatriskaidekaphobia,' specialized forms of triskaidekaphobia, a phobia (fear) of the number thirteen."

Good grief! I don't fear the day, but I do fear the thought of having to pronounce any of those words on the air. Broadcast reporting is so much more difficult than print reporting when it comes to superlongandcrazywords.

Maybe that's why NPR hasn't run a lot of stories on Friday the 13th, at least not that I could find in our archive. But the Friday the 13 story is a perennial favorite for reporters who go around asking people if anything strange has happened to them. And National Geographic ran an interesting story a while back on why this day is supposedly so unlucky.