I'm a software developer and I'm continually faced with efforts on the part of other developers to "improve" software that I'm involved in maintaining. But from my point of view, often the things they do have the opposite effect on the software.
There is no truly apropos word. "Impoverished" isn't right. "Transform" isn't either. Neither is "transmogify". I need some really much stronger version of "deprove."
- "Worsen" isn't really the right word, because that kind of implies that the software was bad to begin with. The reality is a worse tragedy than that, because the software was perfectly good before!
- "Destroy" isn't really right, because the software still exists. So the reality is actually worse tragedy than that, because now we have this awful software to contend with. If they'd "destroyed" it, we could build something as good or better.
- "Tainted" isn't really right, because that implies it's mostly still perfectly good, it just has some small part of it that is bad, when the reality is that it is now entirely bad.
I need a single word for the act of taking something perfectly good and turning it into something awful. "Monstrousize"? "Frankenate"?
Hey, thanks so much for the responses!
Ok, I'm afraid I let my emotions run away with me and I asked this question badly.
What I'm actually looking for is a word that really functions as a direct opposite for "improve." A word that implies nothing about the initial state or the final state, but only implies something about the direction of the change.
"Ruin", "break", "spoil", etc., all kind of imply good things about the initial state and bad things about the final state. I'm looking for something like "worsen," but even "worsen" kind of implies that the state was bad to begin with. "It's condition was worsened by the changes" could be construed to imply that the condition wasn't great to begin with. "Improve" doesn't imply that the initial state was good or bad, it just comments on the direction of the change.