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Kerbal

adjective; other word formation type Novel Creation
When used as an adjective, kerbal describes the problem solving method which involves little to no tact and involves haphazardly adding or removing components until the problem is solved without regard for safety, efficiency, or elegance
 
The term ‘kerbal’ comes from the PC game Kerbal Space Program where the player can make any kind of rocket, plane, boat, trebuchet, or any contraption out of a set number of parts that include various rocket components. The main goal of the game is to get to space but where you go from there is up to you, you can make a space station, land a mining colony on the moon, capture an asteroid and land it as the space center; all in a fully explorable scale version of our solar system. The characters in the game are called kerbals and they are little green astronauts with cylindrical heads. Although there is the opportunity to perfectly optimize the design of your crafts, the usual method of construction is to just add rockets until it looks about right and then basically taping it all together and hoping for the best.
Etymology : The word ‘kerbal’ is the adjective form of the term ‘Kerman’ which is a novel creation using the affix ‘-man’ from human to mean living being.
Source : “Just do it the kerbal way, ‘MOAR BOOSTERS!’ and ‘MOAR STRUTS’ until it works!” (In conversation with friends 3/2014)
Last modified: 2 December 2016


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