If I want to convey that "this update has caused a lot of confusion", then what should I say? I understand that this term is a bit informal, nonetheless I would like to use it in my sentence.

  • 3
    "Snafu" originated in U.S. military jargon as an initialism of the phrase "Situation Normal: All Fucked Up." However, the verb was soon bowdlerized to fouled, and snafu is now an acceptable, if somewhat informal, noun. "The update caused some snafus" is informal and will be understood by most English speakers. Nov 22, 2016 at 5:40
  • As @PEDant said, the word snafu is understood my most English people, but not all, so I personally would exercise caution when using it Nov 22, 2016 at 8:59
  • I doubt that most English people would understand snafu. Among the the engineering and IT fraternity this might be the case, but not the wider community. I see no benefit to using the term in preference to more standard words such as problems or issues. In addition to the question of whether you will be understood by your audience, you are using a term that implies it is normal to create problems - cynically, this is probably the case but let's not appear to be accepting of failure!
    – djna
    Nov 22, 2016 at 9:37
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    Given that the use of "snafu" keeps increasing, I'd expect it to be understood by most American English speakers. I can't address how common it is in Commonwealth English or Indian English or elsewhere.
    – stangdon
    Nov 22, 2016 at 17:35
  • "Snafu" is the name of a children's board game, for what it's worth. Nov 25, 2016 at 5:26

1 Answer 1


"This update has been a total snafu."

I am assuming you mean the update was badly done, not that other things went wrong AFTER the update was carried out.


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