Trials & Tribulations of a life in advertising

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Words you badly wanted to learn, but didn’t know who to ask

Can you describe the pleasing coolness on the reverse side of a pillow when you hit the bed?

Haven’t you noticed how people stand when they examine someone else’s bookshelf? The-one-hand-tucked-in-pocket look that all of us are used to? Can you describe that posture?

And who hasn’t had trouble balancing hot and cold shower taps? Can you put a word to it?

Another universally acknowledged phenomenon. The sneeze that tickles, but never comes. Do you have a word to describe that irritating feeling?

Ladies and gentlemen, help is at hand.

Aptly titled ‘The Meaning of Liff’, it’s a project by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd (Yes, the legend behind the Hitchhiker series) to define and put words to people, situations, things and feelings that, unfortunately, have no names as of now.

Think about it.

How many times do we say ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ while meaning ‘no’?

Or how many times do we find a lost object immediately after we have bought a replacement?

Sure we know people who would suggest to everyone that they should split the restaurant bill equally and then order two packs of cigarettes for themselves?

Imagine if we could put a name to such things, occasions or people. That’s exactly what Adams and Lloyd have done.

Take a tour. Your vocabulary will never be the same again.


Blogger arun said...

ABILENE (adj) Descriptive of the pleasing coolness on the reverse side of the pillow.

ALLTAMI (n) The ancient art of being able to balance the hot and cold
shower taps.

AMERSHAM (n) The sneeze which tickles but never comes.

9:55 AM


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