Airports in recent years have learned how to put the 'travail' back in travel, so it can be refreshing to land in a smaller airport that, though still ever vigilant as to shoe bombs and Total War toothpaste attacks and the like, still manage to maintain a bit of whimsy about the whole ordeal. Last weekend, as my sister and her two young children and I were gathering ourselves after running the security gauntlet at the Milwaukee airport, we looked up to find that we were putting our shoes back on in the 'Recombobulation Area'. The word itself lightened the experience no end--in part, I think, because it humorously put us in solidarity with all the other travelers who had passed beneath this sign before us.
Of course, we all instinctively know what it means to 'recombobulate', even if we have never heard the word before. It means 'to put oneself back together again'. We know it because we have at least a passing acquaintance with the antonym discombobulate, which means something like 'to confuse, to take apart, to scatter'. I know that the 'dis-' negates the 'combobulate', and com is probably, 'with' or 'together' or something like that, but what's the 'bob' in aid of? I'm sure that 'bob' is not the root of this word, but it is a funny old sound in the midst of this very latinate sounding word...Shall we see where it comes from?
Hmm--I guess this is a first. Apparently, it's a made up word. FreeDictionary.com posits it as a possible alternative to 'discompose', but, not satisfied with this, I found this interesting post by someone who has walked this path ahead of me...
Friday's Forgotten Books, April 28, 2017 - You can find the links right here. Stay tuned here for an interview with Dana King coming up at 10:00 AM
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