Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What the hell does Recombobulation mean? Maybe the TSA can help?

This sign was spotted at Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport. It is the place passengers go after the security check to put their belt and shoes on and reassemble computers and toiletry packs. I tried to search around for the definition of Recombolutation. This was a typical response online

That is - it is a made up word. Trying to figure it out I came across "Combobulate" which is (according to definition-of.com)
To put together in a somewhat mysterious manner. To bring something out of a state of confusion or disarray. To manufacture by some unusual or novel means. Antonym: discombobulate.
So drawing on my very poor high school grammatical training it is very nice of the Transport Safety Authority (TSA) to provide people with a place for Recombobulation or the
"putting back together of personal items in a somewhat mysterious manner"

Not sure if helping people do things in a mysterious manner should be hallmark of TSA service but then I am not the professional in this area. I am just thrilled to be able to add the word recombobulation to my list of techorati tags.

UPDATE - Looks like it was the airport not the TSA that put up the sign. Here is what the photographer "lark is already taken" had this to say about the photo in an exchange with me

"FWIW I had the impression that the airport put up the sign, not the TSA. Perhaps the airport is expressing an opinion on the whole screening process.."

Hat tip to Consumerist for the story and lark is already taken for the photo

UPDATE 2 - More fame and recognition for Milwaukee. The American Dialect Society has voted "Recombobulation" as the most creative word of 2008. To complete the story - the winner of the "word of the year" was "Bail Out" with runners up including "lipstick on a pig" and "change". Thanks to Steve Sherlock at Oodles who sent me the link.

No comments:

Post a Comment