New Word – Disimprove
I have been using this word for a while now and I find it increasingly useful, although I would prefer that not to be the case. The meaning of the word is when someone tries to improve something but actually manages to make it less good. I am sure you will be able to instantly come up with several examples! See, the word is very useful 🙂
It is not the same as deliberately ruining something, as the intention is claimed to be good. So the company who makes your favourite biscuit deciding to stop making it is not a disimprovement, but them changing the recipe so you no longer like the biscuit is.
Neither is it the same as things getting worse for other reasons: my arthritis might get worse, but it is not a disimprovement unless it was as a result of trying to change it for the better, for example if one had a hip replacement which went wrong, or when drugs cause horrible side effects worse than what they are supposed to be treating.
It can be done with the best of intentions, or it can be an excuse, as when the recipe change is claimed to improve the taste, but is actually a result of their desire to use cheaper ingredients. As long as it is claimed to be an improvement, but isn’t, that is a disimprovement.
Governments are very good at disimprovements.
Sometimes if enough people protest the disimprovement might be changed back. This would have to be called an undisimprovement, as it is not an improvement over the original situation, just a restoration of it. I was disappointed when Blair did not undisimprove what Thatcher had done and even more disillusioned when he continued to make disimprovements of his own.
Unfortunately, not everything can be undisimproved. It may be too late to correct climate change, but that does not absolve us from trying.
What do you think of my new word? Will you start to use it too? It would be great if a word I invented got into the dictionary! I would really feel my life had been worthwhile 🙂