I promised that I would look into the source of seldomosis, but unfortunately I find myself with more questions than answers:
- Is the phenomenon of being discouraged upon hearing the word "seldom" restricted to people who are at home on the range?
- Is this perverse reaction to “seldom” weather specific? Among the people who get despondent at hearing the word “seldom,” are they only effected if the skies aren't cloudy? If it is a cloudy day, signaling that rain is on the way and the crops will be saved from the drought, does that diminish their linguistic sensitivities?
- What is the connection to frolicking hooved mammals? Apparently deer and antelope playing is in some way involved in causing seldomosis. What about other animals? If squirrels and badgers play, but deer and antelope busy themselves with grazing, can that also cause “seldom” to be a discouraging word?
- Which of these factors are more significant: weather, or animal entertainment? Or do both need to be in place, at home, on the range, to create seldomosis? Perhaps clear skies without animals playing would make “seldom” only mildly dispiriting.
- Is this purely an auditory phenomenon? If a person is home on the range, the skies aren't cloudy all day, and there are both deer and antelope playing, will they be discourage by reading the word “seldom,” or must they hear it spoken to have the wind knocked out of their sails?
- Lastly, are there any other words that upset sufferers of seldomosis? If so, is it phonetic or semiotic? That is to say, would “solemn” or “selenium” or “celadon” cause as much dismay as “seldom?” Or would those words be fine, but “rarely” and “infrequently” bring about feelings of hopelessness.