In this month’s column, I’d like to discuss a serious medical issue. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people suffer from this grim condition. It’s not going away, hopefully catching, seldom malignant, and often inconvenient. My significant other and I both suffer from this disorder, and its brought us closer together, as we have started to spare others the awesome devastation brought on by our outbreaks.

Simply put, we are word whores.

Symptoms that indicate word whores, or double dubs, include texting each other obscure words, such as cariad, plinthite, bouncebackability, toposequence, slickensides, or revanche; using “big words” in conversation; asking each other’s favorite words; and reading books that don’t include Stephanie Plum, Bella or Jacob.

Diagnosis and Tests

You know you suffer from double dubs when you find yourself looking up words you don’t know in the dictionary. You also may own a thesaurus or have one bookmarked on your web browser. People may tell you that “normal people don’t talk that way,” or a quizzical look, cocked head, and blank stare may occur following a conversation at the bar over beers. Due to your love of words you may be ostracized by friends and loved ones, given strange looks when speaking in public places, and take to reading the dictionary alone in the bathroom at 3am, especially during serious outbreaks of double dub.

Treatment and Care

There is no cure for word whores. Usually this disease is present in young children and persists into adulthood. Symptoms may alleviate with age, may wax and wane as life progresses, but as of this writing no cure has been discovered by medical professionals.

Home Remedies

Alleviation of symptoms through home remedies is so far the most effective option. Alternatives for lessening the indications this disease include reading Jane Austen, George Eliot, Salmon Rushdie, or books on quantum theory. Herbal teas, namely ones with complicated names, have been shown to ease the anxiety that comes from the public ridicule and snubbing by family members. Also the reading French cookbooks and learning the proper pronunciation of Steak Provencal has been shown, in some unofficial studies, to reduce symptoms in some sufferers.

Other treatment methods include implementing a multivitamin and yoga routine to help control spontaneous outbreaks of verbosity. A diet consisting mainly of vegetables and fruits, with grass-fed meats, free-range brown eggs, and whole grains, with plenty of water and teas, also aids in controlling symptoms. The most important thing is to stop word whore symptoms before they start. Curb your tongue at parties and keep a varied and balanced diet of words, from science, classics, and popular books. Above all, no matter what, do not read while walking. Traffic accidents involving double dub suffers have been reported nearly eight times the national average, especially in front of libraries and post offices.

Finding Help

The important thing to remember, fellow double dubs, you are not alone. Reach out to the greater word whore community. Really, we are everywhere. Reading the Wall Street Journal, stuck in book stores, even custodians cleaning toilets and hiding in the men’s stalls with yesterday’s newspaper and Soy Bean Journal. This is not a disease you have to suffer in silence. It’s time we no longer live in shame. While there is no cure for being a word whore, the best treatment options include voracious reading, attending spelling bees if you have children, and taking a pillow and lavender tea with you and the dictionary to the bathtub at 3am.

Axie Barclay, is a Michigan writer with a cow-habit. Having discovered the joys and potential for growth inalternative agriculture, she quests ever longer and harder for ways to combine farming and writing into a business. When not milking cows, making disgruntled noises at the latest disgusting thing the heeler dogs dredge up, riding horses, or keeping the fence up around her small beef herd, she’s holed up reading an eclectic array of books or tapping out pages. When not working, she enjoys kicking back with her honey, family, and friends at a bonfire with some beers. Chat her up on Twitter and Facebook, /axieb, or http://barclayfarmsandlit.blogspot.com where she delves into literature and agriculture with a relish… and occasionally ketchup. Soon to be homemade.