This is sort of a morbid thing, but I've been trying to come up with a single English word that best captures the fullness of a bad situation. In other words, if I wanted to describe the worst possible situation one could fall into, I'm looking for a word a bit more striking than say, disaster, or chaos, or that politically charged of late word, quagmire. The best I've been able to come up with is catastrophe. I can think of no other single word in English that captures the feeling of ruin and despair. I love the word, with its bold Greek origins. "An over-turning." Indeed.
As to why I felt compelled to engage in this exercise, besides the love of language, it had partly to do with coping with some personal issues, and reflecting on certain events still in the news, and how they all seem to hit at once. First of all, the situation with my grandfather's accident and paralysis, and the struggle to it all in. When we first found out that he was basically paralyzed from the neck down, I found myself trying to think of word to describe at all, and all I could think of was catastrophe, as in "this is a total catastrophe." Things are looking up though, and while there's certainly a long road ahead, by God's grace we'll pull through. I hesitated to blog on this, because I still hadn't taken it all in yet (I still haven't even now), and I don't want to unload negativity on the millions of readers I often pretend I have.
And then there's the Benoit story. Catastrophe. No other word for it. As a wrestling fan, and more importantly as a human being, there's not other way to decribe it.
OK, enough negativity. I've found my word. I'll keep a look out, but as it stands now, catastrophe is my word. Or rather not my word, because all things considered, my life isn't a catastrophe.
OK, that was a little cornball, I know.