August 23, 2007

Catastrophe is an interesting word, meaning to turn up and down or to overturn.

What is the antonym for a catastrophe? There really are no acceptable words in my view. There is miracle, but this is too religious. And there is wonder, but wonder is more a personal sense or act. This lack is so annoying to me, I’m going to make a satisfying antonym, goodtastrophe.

It seems to me that there have been many catastrophes as of late, and not enough goodtastrophes. The Apollo Moon landing is a great example of a goodtastrophe. It was also an event that overturned, but positively. This was particularly the case when Earth got a snapshot of itself from the point of view of the Moon. There need to be more goodtastrophes.

For example, on February 16th, 2009, the last eighty percent efficient solar array is put into place in the Mojave Desert, completing an expansive solar farm that powers the entirety of LA. In celebration of this goodtastrophe, the power company cuts all non-emergency power in the city for thirty seconds. At four in the afternoon, the lights go off, and when they come on again not a single watt of grid power comes from coal or oil.

In June 2010, the first child is cured of autism. July 2010, the emissionless flying car comes into production. October 2008, the opening of the first world-wide carbon-credit exchange. We need more goodtastrophes.


2 Responses to “Anti-Catastrophes”

  1. kt Says:

    Sticking with the Greek, that would be “Anostrophe.”
    to turn upwards (ano), as opposed to turning downwards (kata).
    This invented-word is less obvious in meaning, but i can’t not point it out anyway.

  2. Joe Donahue Says:

    Tolkien developed the word “eucatastrophe” to make up for the absence of such a word. Composed from the Greek prefix “eu” meaning “good.”

    So pretty much it means “goodtastrophe” only using Greek!

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