Some software engineers at GE used this venn diagram to explain the definition of the English word "shenanigans" to a Chinese colleague. The outer, all-encompassing circle is labeled "The Space of Foolishness". Within that, American Dad and YouTube fall on the line between "Bad" and "Stupid." Hooligans are the connection between "Dangerous" and "Bad." And, finally, "Shenanigans" lie at the junction between "Silly/Wacky" and "Bad."
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.