Compare the shiny car at the left with this un-waxed Honda Accord, and its matte camouflage paint job. The owner of this Honda clearly has a serious case of glossophobia, accompanied by delusions of stealth.
If you look in Wikipedia it currently says that “glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking.” Try looking up glossophobia online in the Merriam Webster dictionary - it isn’t there. (It’s also not in the Oxford English Dictionary). Using that word is pedantic nonsense. It will not help you to locate good information about fear of public speaking.
Nevertheless, glossophobia just keeps right on showing up in blog posts by both public speaking coaches (for example, here and here) and by Toastmasters clubs (here and here ).
The word glossophobia is NOT useful jargon because that is not what the psychiatrists and psychologists who study it (and treat it) call that problem. They used to call it public-speaking phobia. More recently they have called it speech anxiety or public speaking anxiety, a subtype of social anxiety.
In the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Anxiety Disorders there is a 9-page article on The Relation Between Public Speaking Anxiety and Social Anxiety: A Review. The word glossophobia never appears.
If you look in Triumph Over Shyness, a book by the psychiatrist Murray B. Stein you will not ever find the word glossophobia used. Neither will you find that word in Laurie Rozakis’s book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Public Speaking.
Now, I also have seen it claimed that glossophobia is not the fear of lip gloss. Perhaps it should be.
Just knowing the name for something is a very low form of knowledge. In his book of reminisces, What Do You Care What Other People Think?, Richard Feynman recalled what his father told him about birds in the following quote:
“You can know the name of that bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird. You’ll only know about humans in different places, and what they call the bird. So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing – that’s what counts.”