Zemblanity Happens

I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Believing this allows me to believe in karma and serendipity.


But it wasn't until I visited one of my newest, favorite websites World Wide Words that I even considered that there would be a word that was the opposite of serendipity.  Of course there should be, but why would you need it?  I am basically an optimist.  Not as much as in Voltaire's Candide. I do think there are things that we can do to improve our world and that we are not quite yet in the "Best of all Possible Worlds" as Dr. Pangloss would like to remind Candide. Even still, I believe when you are working for good and you are nice to other people then your life will be filled with serendipity.  More recently this is referred to as the "Secret" (That good attracts good shhhh).


It only seems fair that if a person can find unexpected wonderful things happening in their world they should also be able to find the opposite kind of situations happening to them.  I picture poor Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh fame.  He would mope around because surely bad things were coming his way.  The opposite of Serendiptiy, according to Michael Quinion, is Zemblanity.  This word was used at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009 and most recently in an Irish judgement in 2012 according to Quinion's site. It was also included in a book of endangered words.  You won't find the word Zemblanity in the Merriam Webster Dictionary and so you'll just have to go visit the World Wide Words website for more on this peculiar and weird word.