The Odd New Meaning of Phobic

<Note: I am starting back up some content for this blog. More current content is coming.>

As I take in my steady stream of media, I find bothered by the repetition of some new words that seem to have meanings that make little sense. There are many such words but I am wondering today about the odd use of the word phobia, as in homophobia and Islamophobia.

On Twitter today I saw a tweet that TOBuilt, an interesting database of Toronto buildings, was shutting down. It is an interesting site which I have visited and I was surprised. Going to the site, I saw the following letter on the home page:

October 25, 2010: End of TOBuilt

Thanks for your support over the years. I no longer have time to maintain this site or keep the data up to date. I've struggled with a decision about whether or not to re-engage and become more active with gathering data and photographing buildings, but my heart has not been in it.

Tonight, with the election of Rob Ford, my mind has been made up about how to proceed. Our new belligerent, homophobic, liar of a mayor, and the fact that the city around me voted for him overwhelmingly, seals my decision. Torontonians have voted for four years of backwardness and chaos, and I at the moment I have no desire at all to even be in the city, much less traveling its breadth in a quest to document its built environment.  

Thanks for your support over the years. Best of luck. 

I was surprised at the action but not surprised at the vehemence. I have been hearing Rob Ford vilified during the mayoral campaign as racist, anti-immigrant and homophobic.

Phobia defines a fear. Many now seem to have conflated disagreement with fear. This causes a freeze on discussions which are in any way outside the PC.

What a shame.