La Cieca is starting a new series of Words Critics Need to Stop Using. The word of the day is “shambolic,” much beloved of British critics, and more or less meaningless, as in “[Les Contes d’Hoffmann] is an extraordinary and rather shambolic work based on three stories by the 19th century German writer of fantasies ETA Hoffmann, who is also the main character in the opera.” (The fact that the writer uses the more mundane and precise word “muddled” later in his review demonstrates that “shambolic” is just so much posing.)