Posted By: CarleeO What is the word? - 01/24/16 04:42 PM

There is a word for the phenomenon in which inanimate objects such as machines or tools conspire against humans. They will quit working or disappear at the same time causing no end to frustration. I used to know this word, but I can't find it no matter how hard I search. The story by Russell Baker in the link below explains this very well. Thank you for any help.

A constant reader,
Carlee O.
Fargo, ND

Posted By: LukeJavan8 Re: What is the word? - 01/24/16 04:52 PM
A very fun read, thanks, and welcome
Posted By: CarleeO Re: What is the word? - 01/24/16 04:54 PM
Thank you!
Posted By: wofahulicodoc Re: What is the word? - 01/24/16 09:12 PM

My mother used to call this phenomenon "Resistentialism" - the inherent perversity of inanimate objects...

I think there exists a more formal and not-quite-identical definition out there...
Posted By: tsuwm Re: What is the word? - 02/10/16 08:26 PM
the worthless word for the day (was): resistentialism

Paul Jennings's mock philosophy which maintains that
inanimate objects are hostile to humans. [OED2]

"Resistentialism is a philosophy of tragic grandeur...
Resistentialism derives its name from its central thesis that
Things (res) resist (résister) men... Resistentialism is the
philosophy of what Things think about us."
- P. Jennings, The Spectator, 23 Apr. 1948

"'Things are against us.' This is the nearest English trans-
lation I can find for the basic concept of Resistentialism."
- P. Jennings, Oddly Enough (1950)

"I must object to Oxford's dubbing resistentialism a "mock
philosophy." There is nothing mock or sham about it, as
anyone who has ever had to call a plumber on a Sunday
morning to unclog a refractory toilet will attest."
- Charles Elster (who devotes most of two pages in
his "There's a word for it!" to this word)
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