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catastrophe - but how? Aptitude goes mad

I ran
# aptitude install libreoffice-grammarcheck-en-gb
and aptitude just carried on without asking as is correct when there
is only one package; but it proceeded to uninstall my entire desktop
environment, hundreds of packages.  I couldn't believe it and used the
bash history to confirm that that was ALL I had typed.  Moreover, it
wouldn't respond to control-C.

Whatever happened?????

<groan.  Sinks head in hands>
And it isn't even my computer.


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