Derelict/Dilapidated apartment

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rehaan

Senior Member
hindi
Context::It is a film that delves into the lives of three bachelors living an unkempt life in a apartment which is in shambles.

What would be the difference between the two sentences?
And which one would be more appropriate to underline my point.?
1.The dilapidated apartment was a nightmare to live in.
2.The derelict apartment was a nightmare to live in.

(in relation to the above context)

Thanks in anticipation.
 
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  • Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    "Derelict" suggests the decay that results from lack of maintenance because of abandonment, and therefore is inappropriate for an inhabited dwelling. "Dilapidated" comes from Latin words that describe the disintegration of a stone structure, the stones or stone blocks falling away from each other. Even without a strict interpretation, it implies physical deterioration.

    Neither of these words seems to me to be a synonym for unkempt, which itself is an excellent word to describe the disorder of an apartment in which dirty dishes are not washed and put away, dirty clothing is scattered about, trash like beer and soda cans and pizza boxes is not disposed of, etc. Another word would be disorderly, although that might not be strong enough.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I'm with Fabulist's first paragraph. I can't agree with unkempt, though. To me, unkempt is associated with the appearance of a person rather than an object, as it has its origins in the verb comb.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    I'm with Fabulist's first paragraph. I can't agree with unkempt, though. To me, unkempt is associated with the appearance of a person rather than an object, as it has its origins in the verb comb.
    Well, "delapidated" has its origins in the Latin word for "stone," but I think we can now use it for wooden buildings that are falling apart. I don't think we should use it for disorganization, however.

    Another possible term for a disorganized apartment is cluttered.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I would have used squalid and cluttered/messy. Maybe a den instead of apartment... I might even call the place dingy, probably a pigsty :D

    The meanings of derelict and dilapidated have already been explained and I agree with the previous posts...
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    squalid/cluttered/messy are all attributes that originate with the inhabitants; dilapidated and derelict are of the fabric of the building itself.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Boozer's suggestion of 'squalid' is just brilliant. I fear that cluttered and messy are far too mild. My house is often cluttered and untidy, often' messy', but never ever 'squalid'.
    "Squalid" implies filthy dirty as well as a total lack of concern about one's surroundings - decor, repairs, hygiene and so on.

    Hermione
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    What about that lovely word "shambolic"?
    Strictly British slang; not used in AE. (I had to look it up.) I know (from the dictionary) that it relates to "shambles"—but that's the last thing that might have occurred to me. It seemed to be the result of someone who's very drunk trying to pronounce "symbolic".
     

    rehaan

    Senior Member
    hindi
    squalid/cluttered/messy are all attributes that originate with the inhabitants; dilapidated and derelict are of the fabric of the building itself.
    This is absolutely what I thought before posting.

    http://www.google.co.in/imgres?imgu...1t:429,r:4,s:0&tx=110&ty=108&biw=1280&bih=882

    What I am trying to say is that not only do the bachelors live an unkempt life but they also live in a flat which is filthy and even in a state of collapse.

    The words like squalid, cluttered,messy would ascribe to the unkempt lifestyle of the bachelors but would not underline the condition that they haven't created at the first place.

    So do the words like derelict or dilapidated still hold inappropriate or what?
     

    Calina18

    Senior Member
    francophone Québécois d'origine belge
    That is how I understood your post in the first place and I still think derelict and dilapidated are appropriate .
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Derelict is certainly not appropriate, in my view - it is very much like disused. Dilapidated describes the condition of the building so I suppose it is better.

    PS. If I was told somebody lived in a derelict house, I would think that person was a squatter. :D
     
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    scrotgrot

    Senior Member
    English - English
    Personally, I see derelict as meaning the condition of the actual structure of the building, more or less always due to abandonment.

    Dilapidated I think means a more general poor state of repair. I'd be happy describing a house with non-structural problems like damp, holes in the walls, leaking ceilings, and plants growing out of the chimney pot as dilapidated.

    If the housekeepers are the ones at fault for the state of the house, for instance, they've left food to rot everywhere or never cleaned the bathrooms, or whatever, I'd use squalid or similar.
     

    Calina18

    Senior Member
    francophone Québécois d'origine belge
    What does my friend Merriam Webster has to say about this ?

    Derelict : abandoned, especially by the owner or occupant; also: run down.
    and
    under run down it says : being in poor repair : dilapidated .
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    But that still doesn't mean they are the same. Derelict and dilapidated conjure up completely different images in my mind, more or less what Scotgrot describes...
    There certainly are dilapidated dwellings that are not derelict. However, most derelict dwellings become dilapidated over time. :)
     

    rehaan

    Senior Member
    hindi
    From the point of discussion,it appears to me that dilapidated is appropriate in the context.But what is the problem with calling it as a derelict apartment..Actually I read it as an derelict apartment from an accomplished critic.
    Here is the link:
    See the second Para :
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/masand-delhi-belly-guarantees-a-good-laugh/164267-47-84.html

    In the second paragraph it is written.
    So could You please explain as to why Derelict isn't appropriate?

    Thanks a lot.



    @Boozer:Are You trying to say that Derelict is an extreme stage of dilapidated apartment.....
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    What does my friend Merriam Webster has to say about this ?

    Derelict : abandoned, especially by the owner or occupant; also: run down.
    I suspect that this means run down by virtue of having been abandoned.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    @Boozer:Are You trying to say that Derelict is an extreme stage of dilapidated apartment.....
    Not exactly.

    This is what I understand when I hear the word derelict:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/derelict
    left or deserted, as by the owner or guardian; abandoned: a derelict ship.

    Therefore, if someone lives in a derelict apartment, he/she must be a squatter, the way I see it - the place has been abandoned by its rightful owner and someone has moved in... illegally in a way.

    On the other hand, when something is abandoned and disused, its state of repair deteriorates with time and it is very likely to also become dilapidated...
     

    frenchifried

    Senior Member
    English - UK/US
    Just because "shambolic" is a UK colloquialism doesn't negate its usefulness as a word. There is a lot of US slang which is embraced with fervour all over the world. Here is what Merriam Webster says (and it gives the word more importance than Chambers UK): "shambolic . . . (1970) chiefly Brit : obviously disorganized or confused." And I still think it is a good word for a messy apartment and it follows on from "shambles".:D
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Just because "shambolic" is a UK colloquialism doesn't negate its usefulness as a word. There is a lot of US slang which is embraced with fervour all over the world. Here is what Merriam Webster says (and it gives the word more importance than Chambers UK): "shambolic . . . (1970) chiefly Brit : obviously disorganized or confused." And I still think it is a good word for a messy apartment and it follows on from "shambles".:D
    I quite like the word, and it describes my office quite well. However, my office is neither derelict, run-down nor delapidated - it's in perfect working order but just disorganized. Shambolic does not seem to convey the desired meaning here.
     
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