Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Is there an antonym for "improved"? If not, can we invent one?

Asked by ETpro (34550points) July 3rd, 2010

Google just “improved” the Google News page so that it’s much harder to read, less fun, more confusing, and requires more scrolling.

They have been “improving” their search algorithm so that it either gives you links to pages full of links that lead to other pages full of links that seem to regress forever, or lists of the top eCommerce sites that use Google checkout, even if you are looking for info and not a store where you can buy the thing you searched for.

Many of us here on Fluther are refugees from other social Q&A sites that “improved” their user interface to the point it was too boring to keep us there any longer.

And yet, when I search for an antonym for “improved” I really don’t find any word that clicks. Is it just that the search spiders have “improved” their algorithms to the point I can’t find what I should be able to just think of if my mind hadn’t been “improved” by aging? Or is there no perfect word? And if there is none, what can we come up with to name this important, emerging phenomenon? Clearly, it needs a name.

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26 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Worsen, worsened, worsening.

FutureMemory's avatar

edit: gail beat me to it.

ETpro's avatar

@gailcalled That’s a good suggestion. I wonder why that didn’t come up in the antonym search.

gailcalled's avatar

@ETpro: Because the great Linguist in the Sky gave us our own brains?

ETpro's avatar

@gailcalled But as I noted, mine’s been “improved” by age. :-)

DominicX's avatar

I’d just use “deproved”. ;P

gailcalled's avatar

@ETpro: That’s what’s so nice about this particular collective. Collectively they can outsmart any individual.

Seaofclouds's avatar

damage, decline, decrease, diminish, harm, hurt, injure, weaken, worsen…. all from this site

Jeruba's avatar

Some that come to mind:



But it may be that the antonym that just clicks with you doesn’t come to mind for the simple reason that “improved” isn’t really what happened. They changed it, and people who make such changes always do it in the name of improvement, but as you’ve noted, improvement was not the result. The opposite of changing is not changing. So what would have been better (and the opposite of) this “improvement” would have been leaving it alone.

ETpro's avatar

@DominicX I tried “deproved” but got reproved for using it. I like the word though. It seems to fit.

@gailcalled How true.

@Seaofclouds Good list and links.

@Jeruba Amen. Bring back my unchanged News page.

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve actually used “deproved” for this purpose many times over the years, but always facetiously.

With the high-tech guys you could always try “disimproved.” They’re used to having things like that happen to normal words.

gailcalled's avatar

LL Bean has “new and improved” women’s cotton jerseys. That means they now have enough spandex in them to make removing any stain impossible. You wear one once, spill a drop of salad dressing down the front, and Bob’s your uncle…a new rag for washing windows.

Any of @Jeruba‘s list of transitive adjectives would work.

Buttonstc's avatar


zenele's avatar

Snafued it.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, @gailcalled, that worthy complaint warrants a magnificently frothing rant of its own and not just a side note to a question about adjectives.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

degraded, devalued, debased,

zenele's avatar

Well done @Dr_Lawrence (and gail and Jeruba) – what I liked especially was that you actually read through the thread first and then added your own. Based on his details, I thought snafu would be appropriate – but perhaps the (serious) best antonym in this case is yours @Dr_Lawrence – degraded. Although many of these synonyms have the same meaning, their so-called improvement, technologically based, was to upgrade the website – thus degrade would be a suitable antonym.

Kudos to @DominicX (yes, you read correctly), as he is in tune with this generations heartbeat a la friending (defriending); thus deprove is very clever – and will probably enter the English language within 5–10 years – like Google and SMS – as both nouns and verbs.

ETpro's avatar

@gailcalled I hear you loud and clear. You know what I am talking about.

@Buttonstc & @zenele Excellent suggestions.

@Dr_Lawrence Debased. YES! Debased. I now go to find an Email address and tell Google what they have done to themselves.

ucme's avatar

Plastic surgery?

gailcalled's avatar

One has complete freedom of speech these days. Think of the possibities.

Genuous; ingenuous, disingenuous. Generous, ungenerous, disungenerous (I can’t imagine what that would mean…inwittingly cheap?)

Therefore, I suppose you can turn an acronym into a verb. I TGIFed the day before yesterday. Can you disprove the sense of that?

@Jeruba; What with my ma’s medical issues and the insurance issues attached to them, I have to pick my rants judiciously.

jerv's avatar

I usually go for “fuckproved” or “shitified”, but I doubt that those will hit the mainstream.

zenele's avatar


When it’s Friday, and I feel like TGIF ing, but it’s a SNAFU situation, completely FUBAR – then what kind of TGIFubarsnafu day it’s been.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv Those definitely capture the feeling. :-)

zenele's avatar

@jerv I really like those – and I’m not always crazy about curses. The former, especially re. this question, I can literally hear it being used in the boardroom of Google et al:

But… but… Boss… it’s been improved…

Yeah, like FUCK proved! Back to the drawing board and take your fucking segue with you.

Jeruba's avatar

@jerv, I think you have to spell “shittified” with a double t.

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