Are we allodoxaphobic or are they ultracrepidarian?

In Trucking Toward a Better Future 20235 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 22, 2023

Lindsay Wood, director, Resilienz, offers some inspirational thinking for the 2023 Trucking Toward a Better Future competition.

It’s 5.54am, and thanks to the Tucking Towards a Better Future competition, I’ve already had a crazy mind excursion.

It began yesterday with me writing ‘Iraq war/chocolate’ when pondering ideas for this article. I’d had a mental flashback to reports of British schoolgirls inventing chocolate that wouldn’t melt so that soldiers in Iraq could enjoy the treat without it turning to squidge in their fingers. “That’d be a cool creativity story for TTABF,” I thought.

But Google had never heard of it and took me to all sorts of crazy places – like a performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in LA in 2019. I’m pretty sure Google also didn’t know that I’m having people for dinner tonight (although with AI, who knows who knows what), but somehow, it landed me on Cosmopolitan’s 50+ random fun facts to have on hand at your next dinner party.

With guests due soon, I parked TTABF in the corner of my brain and skimmed the list to find something to impress my friends over dinner. But TTABF didn’t stay parked for long because item four on the list was allodoxaphobia.

Of course, I hadn’t a clue what it meant, which is precisely why it was there. It’s fear of what others think – and bingo – Trucking Toward a Better Future. Isn’t fear of what others think a major reason we don’t risk our great ideas in competitions like TTABF? We’re often less worried about whether the idea is good and more about whether someone might try to make us look stupid.

But No.42 on the list offers us the perfect response: anybody who criticises our ideas is just being ultracrepidarian. Of course! Well, of course, once Cosmopolitan explained that ultracrepidarian is someone giving an opinion on something they know nothing about”.

There were more gems on the list. You might be especially interested to know that the late Queen Elizabeth, when only 16, learned the basics of truck repair, including how to repair tires and engines. Go you, Your Majesty!

And getting back to the competition, if you’re keen to enter, but your imagination isn’t firing up, just heed No.14 and take a shower. “People are more creative in the shower,” Cosmopolitan tells us. “When we take a warm shower, we experience an increased dopamine flow that makes us more creative.”

Ultimately, even Google must have taken a warm shower or two (or maybe didn’t like me calling it ultracrepidarian), because it finally turned up what I’d been looking for in the first place. A 2004 BBC webpage reports that girls from Afon Taf High School in Ynysowen, Merthyr Tydfil (try saying that in a hurry), earned the gratitude of British soldiers by discovering that adding glycerine to chocolate raised its melting point a critical step up from 37°C to 52°C.

So, if the Queen could repair truck engines, and the brainy girls of Ynysowen, Merthyr Tydfil were mentioned in military despatches, don’t be too allodoxaphobic about putting an entry into the TTABF comp. And if anyone doubts you, just let them know they’re sounding pretty ultracrepidarian.

I suppose I’d better take my own advice and not be allodoxaphobic about what I put in front of my guests for dinner tonight. And for good measure, I might ask them to say Ynysowen Merthyr Tydfil backward just after they’ve taken a mouthful.

Visit for full details on how to enter, and to find more weekly inspirational updates.