It used to be said of a man who had suffered a catastrophic setback in his line of work that he had been handed his head on a platter. We are being handed our heads with tweezers now.
In fact, a very similar phrase was invented to account for the sudden transition of wood, metal, plastic and concrete into an explosive condition, which was "nonlinear, catastrophic structural exasperation," or to put it another way--as a junior cabinet minister did on television the following night in a phrase which was to haunt the rest of his career--the check-in desk had just got "fundamentally fed up with being where it was."douglas adams
This was the country the Mormons settled, the country which, as Brigham Young with some reason hoped, no one else wanted. Its destiny was plain on its face, its contempt of man and his history and his theological immortality, his Millennium, his Heaven on Earth, was monumentally obvious. Its distances were terrifying, its cloudbursts catastrophic, its beauty flamboyant and bizarre and allied with death.
Blair, don't send our young prince to your catastrophic illegal war to make it look plausible.Chris Eubank
The long history of mankind is studded with convergences, perhaps most notably in social systems and the use of artefacts and technology. But for human history, set in the arrow of time, there appears to be one intolerable stumbling-block. This is the catastrophic failure in human values and decency.simon conway morris
More important than his record as a debater is Mr. Bush's record as a president. And therein lies the true opportunity for John Kerry notwithstanding the president's political skills, his performance in office amounts to a catastrophic failure.al gore
The oppressive weight of disaster and tragedy in our lives does not arise from a high percentage of evil among the summed total of all acts, but from the extraordinary power of exceedingly rare incidents of depravity to inflict catastrophic damage, especially in our technological age when airplanes can become powerful bombs. (An even more evil man, armed only with a longbow, could not have wreaked such havoc at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.)stephen jay gould
With a wracking head and literally my whole body shaking as with ague I write this and tell you I have just this afternoon early finished Clavicembalisticum... The closing 4 pages are so cataclysmic and catastrophic as anything I've ever done the harmony bites like nitric acid the counterpoint grinds like the mills of God...kaikhosru shapurji sorabji