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Social Media’s Good for Something. Sometimes.

Learned another word the other day—on Twitter, no less—and it’s glorious: Shambolic.

My first thought was that it was a rather clumsy way of coining an adjectival form of Shambhala. But that hardly seems necessary, and the context didn’t exactly support this conclusion anyway:

Our mainstream institutions are either in the process of being hollowed out from within by identity politics, or they have already been devoured to the core and only shambolic husks remain.

So I hied myself over to the nearest dictionary and looked it up. Turns out it’s a British colloquialism dating only to the late 20th century; a portmanteau of shamble—the “scene of disorder or devastation; a muddle, a mess” definition—and, perhaps, symbolic. The new word means “chaotic, disorderly; inept, mismanaged.”

There are times when I positively love the English language.



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