Shambolic

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Dr. Goodword
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Shambolic

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:03 am

• shambolic •


Pronunciation: shæm-bah-lik • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: (Colloquial) Chaotic, disorderly, disorganized.

Notes: Today's Good Word rarely emerges among speakers raised in the US. It is a particularly British bit of slang, but certainly deserving wider circulation in colloquial English. It is so new (1970s) that it has had no time to develop a family, though I suppose an adverb shambolically could be used without fear of severe chastisement.

In Play: As the history will reveal, today's Good Word is related to shambles in both sound and meaning. However, the two do differ in that shambles implies a rickety object near collapse, whereas shambolic implies only disorganization: "Hardy Hacker's study appears shambolic to the untrained eye, but he can find anything he needs to write a pristine program in seconds." If your mother is distraught over the messiness of your room, this word might calm her worries for a while: "Mom, I admit that my room is a bit shambolic, but it is not in complete shambles."

Word History: Today's Good Word is either shambles itself or its seldom used adjective, shambly, dressed up to fit in with words like symbolic, metabolic, and the like. It first appeared in the London Times in 1970, but no doubt was out in the patois long before that year. Shambles comes from Old English scamel "counter, table for conducting business". It is used in the plural because by Middle English it was being used to refer to a meat or fish market, where there were many such counters or tables. The Old English word apparently slipped into earlier Old Germanic from Latin scamillum "low stool". (I hope this treatment of Tony Bowden's Good Word suggestion is not too shambolic to fully comprehend and appreciate.)
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LukeJavan8
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Re: Shambolic

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:02 pm

After about a month, again, I am receiving the daily email.
It's good to be back
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Slava
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Re: Shambolic

Postby Slava » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:07 am

I propose a new family member: shambolicification, making a shambles of.

Americans are currently witnessing the shambolicification of their country's international credibility.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

George Kovac
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Re: Shambolic

Postby George Kovac » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:44 am

Slava wrote:

Americans are currently witnessing the shambolicification of their country's international credibility.

Personally, I would go for a mathematical metaphor, and call it the fractalization of America. My on-line research says that fractal theory is "useful in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena."

Or maybe it should be the fracktalization of America: the widening and exploitation of fissures lying below the surface.
“The messy layers of human experience get pulled together, and sometimes ordered, by words.” Colum McCann “But Always Meeting Ourselves” New York Times, June 15, 2009

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Slava
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Re: Shambolic

Postby Slava » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:23 am

Good idea, we sure are fracked.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.


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