The clinical fear of long words is known as Sesquipedalophobia. This fear may be rooted in a lack of education. It can be embarrassing to be faced with reading a long word aloud only to realize you don’t know the word and are likely saying it incorrectly.
It is possible a family member would gloss over large words and another member usually a younger sibling would come to believe that these words should be avoided at all costs. Some people who have this fear will avoid reading altogether. These individuals may also refuse to read anything in public.
Other symptoms may include sweating, air hunger, trembling, nausea, dry mouth, panic attack, loss of control, crying.
An individual with this fear may also avoid fancy restaurants that may feature dishes with long names. They may struggle to be around individuals who use long words in their regular speech and they may find it difficult to interact with people from other cultures simply because they not understand what is being said.
Sometimes learning to access information about words can help. Many online dictionaries can provide an audio pronunciation of the word along with a simplified meaning. Many people are finding online dictionaries a great tool in learning more about the things they are interested in while remaining in the comfort and privacy of their home as it allows individuals to learn more about the things they struggle with, while they don’t have to feel any shame in looking for the information.
A therapist can also help you learn if the fear is based in self-esteem issues or if other fears may be involved. This can be important if only because treating a symptom of fear is much less effective than treating the source of the fear.