Snafu

Sever snafu, pic: http://obamapacman.com

Snafu is an acronym, spelled out it means: situation normal, all fucked-up.  This expression implies that a normal situation is not in a good state but that that is pretty much the normal state of affairs.

The term is believed to have originated in the US Army during World War II.  It was picked up by the mainstream media in contexts like this: “Last week U.S. citizens knew that gasoline rationing and rubber requisitioning were snafu.” (Time magazine, June 16, 1942).

Since then the word has undergone a bit of a shift in menaing, it is now often used to mean mistake or confusion.

Here are a couple of examples:

“A server snafu caused the breakdown of the Intranet and disrupted internal communicatiuons for hours.”

A news headline using the word snafu is here.

Snafu is fairly widely used as an acronym, I suspect, though, that many people do not know what it stands for (I certainly didn’t until 10 minutes ago …)

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