So, I thought the recent story over the Queen getting herself into a “kerfuffle” by stepping outside the bounds of the monarchy by commenting on the case of a radical Islamic cleric was hysterical. No, not because it was as unusual as Madonna shouting to the crowd at a recent show of hers that Obama is a Black Muslim and then claiming afterwards she knows he isn’t but she was being ironic. It’s because I love the word “kerfuffle” and also, the fact that the English still deploy the English language, well, so effectively. I went to the Urban Slang Dictionary and found the following meanings for the word:
1) A social imbroglio or brouhaha. An organizational misunderstanding leading to accusations and defensiveness.
I spend half my time these days on the phone with HR, ever since Bob started that kerfuffle with his flaming e-mail to everyone in the sociology department.
2) A minor disturbance or disagreement. Smaller than a contretemps, larger than a snag, involving more people or things than a SNAFU or a stink.
Lawton couldn’t understand all of the kerfuffle over the suggestive signage at Herbert’s Sherbert.
3) Trouble, hassle or when a scuffle! I need a little bit of help getting him in and out of the pool! …should be relatively kerfuffle free.
The first two make sense to me but the third example may be proof that we don’t deploy the English language very effectively. I mean, can you imagine saying to someone, “Well, getting him out of the pool should be relatively kerfuffle free?”
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