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Consider the passage:

The IT industry has come a long way from the time it started. In not even a hundred years, we have seen dreams — like robots — come true. But we have also seen the [unforeseen bad dream?] — viruses.

I want a good word to place in the brackets — like a word which means an "unforeseen bad dream" — or some other word which better fits the context.

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Do you mean an unpredicted bad dream? Or a disturbing dream? –  Third News May 14 at 14:07
    
@ThirdNews unpredicted bad dream - yes that's what I mean. –  Gaurang Tandon May 14 at 14:12
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Please clarify how a dream can be unseen, especially if we have expressly seen it. –  RegDwigнt May 14 at 14:12
    
@RegDwigнt When the IT industry started, nobody had predicted that there would be viruses (a bad dream) - had anyone ? –  Gaurang Tandon May 14 at 14:14
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Then you mean unforeseen. That is a completely different word. I have edited the question accordingly. Likewise, please do not use hyphens instead of dashes. They do not mean the same thing. –  RegDwigнt May 14 at 14:15
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8 Answers 8

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'd say:

But we have also seen the unexpected evils , like viruses.

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I'd remove the –  Tim S. May 14 at 15:16
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How about unsuspected instead: "not known or thought to exist or be present; not imagined possible." The word unexpected does not resonate with the moral aspect, as it is more related to likelihood and probability, making it neutral. –  Daniel Dinnyes May 14 at 19:04
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You can use nightmare to fill the blank. But since the word unseen is associated,

An unaccounted nightmare

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Well, that would be sort of "too heavy" word - I am going to use this passage in my project, so, is there sort of a "light word" ? –  Gaurang Tandon May 14 at 14:13
    
IMO Nightmare is a very common word , but if you feel its heavy then Josh's "unexpected evils" is pretty accurate as well! –  Invoker May 14 at 14:16
    
unaccounted is not a good synonym for unforeseen. The first means "Something, after it happened, can not be explained" while the second is for "Not felt or realized beforehand". –  Daniel Dinnyes May 14 at 19:14
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What about nightmares? Not exactly “unseen”, but I am not really sure what you mean with that.

The contrast between dreams (usually implied good) and nightmares (always bad dreams) is commonly used, and would certainly fit in this context.

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Yeah , when I read the question second time , I came to that conclusion and made necessary changes. I thought the OP just needed a synonym for bad dream.. And dream is not usually implied as 'good' it is nuetral.A good dream would be a 'fantasy' –  Invoker May 14 at 14:06
    
Dream on its own is neutral, true. But when juxtaposing it to a nightmare, the good is implied quite clearly :) –  oerkelens May 14 at 14:43
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How about perverse consequences?

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"But we have also seen the emergence of an unanticipated spectre -- the virus problem."

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How about phantasm for a more interesting word?

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I like the word phantasm but its strongest connotation is "illusion," which is not appropriate to the request. –  Chris Sunami May 14 at 18:22
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How about darkness. Seems like it might fit if nightmare is too heavy. It may be a slightly odd relation to dream, but I think it could work.

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The IT industry has come a long way from the time it started. In not even a hundred years, we have seen dreams — like robots — come true. But we have also seen unexpected foes -- like viruses -- crop up.

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