I love the way that English steals words from all over the place and then misuses them with such verve and enthusiasm.
I love the way that French involves speaking-very-fast-and-rather-like-a-machine GUN, too.
The trouble is that when English steals from French we sometimes end up with a word that we can't use unless we're prepared for machine gun fire to erupt most uncomfortably in the middle of a perfectly ordinary sentence.
Debacle is a beautiful French word, but to make it fit comfortably into an English sentence you have to say it dayBARKle, which is ridiculous.
Now, a debacle is never a ridiculous thing (it can be a chaotic collapse or retreat, or the floods caused by the breaking up of ice in spring, or a violent debris-charged rush of water).
But, let's face it, a dayBARKle sounds as if someone's lost a sock, or forgotten the password to a supermarket account.
All that weight of tumultuous fate dwindled to...well, something small and annoying, like a dripping tap.
Word Not To Use Today in English: debacle. Before this word was French, débâcle, it came from the Old French desbacler, to unbolt, from the Latin baculum, a rod or staff.