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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Deeper Meaning of Liff
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105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2001
What a fantastic book - what a brilliant concept. Hundreds of words simply wasting their time hanging around on signposts. Hundreds of objects, situations, states of mind etc. for which there are no words in common use.

Two quick examples...

Have you ever walked along a street, only to encounter someone coming in the opposite direction, at which point you engage in a little dance that involves both of you skipping from side to side, interspersed with apologies? You have? Droitwich!

Those bits you find in bacon, that you only actually discover when you bite on them and break your teeth...? Beccles!

As for seeing someone you recognise at the opposite end of a long corridor, and judging when is just precisely the right time to let them know you've seen them... well I'll leave that for you to find out yourself.

This is a great, great book. One you can come back to time and time again, and always find yourself sniggering, or laughing out loud, or sometimes just nodding sagely (with a smirk at your mouth!).

If anything, The Deeper Meaning of Liff is not quite as good as the original Meaning of Liff, the former being a thicker version of the latter (extended by using words hanging around on non-British signposts), but if you don't have the original, you might as well buy this. It can only be 5 stars! Fantastic!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2000
This book is a 'dictionary' of words for things or situations which there are no specific words yet. For example, Ipplepen - "A useless writing implement made by sellotaping 6 biros together which is supposed to make it easier to write 100 lines".
What makes this book totally brilliant and original is the shock of realisation that everything described in this book is totally familiar to us and yet we never give them a second thought. Until now. It is a book to be dipped into when you are tired of meandering through Middlemarch or bored of being bamboozled by Beckett, and you just want to put your brain in neutral. It's unashamedly light reading, but what of it. You pick it up and it makes you go 'ahhhh'. Douglas Adams's stamp is all over it - the book has a life of its own. Buy it NOW !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 1999
If you've ever wondered why there isn't a word for the "pleasant coolness on the reverse side of the pillow" or for "standing in the kitchen wondering what you came in here for", here's your solution. Douglas Adams and John Lloyd have come up with the ultimate guide to situations and things well known to most of us which have so far not been properly named. Get it! You won't regret it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2001
This book is a great companion when touring the country. Look again at all those boring road signs and look up the definitions that have been assigned to them. Never again will journeys be dull. Witty, hilarious and some just down right rude, this is the work of a warped mind and it's brilliant! One of the most tumbed books in my collection. Every "Hitch Hikers Guide" fan will love this and so will others new to Adams' work. Not yet met anyone who didn't appreciate it.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2001
Douglas Adams has already become famous with the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy with it's really random approach to the world in his classic sci-fi humour. In the Deeper Meaning of Liff, Douglas teams up with John LLoyd to make the ultimate in random and true humour. If things that are funny becasue they're true are you thing, then you will instantly fall in love with this book. There is not a single page where there isn't at least one word that will set you bursting out with laughter. All words are place names from around the word and some words even have illustrations to go with them. What should really be known as the random bible, The Deeper Meaning of Liff is a collection of common objects or experiences for which there is no word for it and damn, is it funny or what? Even the little bit at the beginning about the preface reprints is hilarious. So why not sit back when your bored, get the Deeper Meaning of Liff off the shelves and prepare to be laughing for ages, therefore making it the worst book to take to places where you must be quiet. Genius.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2001
A wonderful concept. Douglas Adams and John Lloyd used actual place names from the UK and beyond, and then assigned meanings to them for situations and descriptions of things that don't have a word in the English Language.
That descrition doesn't do it justice really, but a quick read of a few of the definitions at my local book shop had me convinced (You'll be lucky to find it at a local bookshop these days, so buy it here).
I'm a major fan of all of Douglas Adams work, and this ranks right up with the best of them. It isn't a story like the Hitch-hikers 'trilogy' or Dirk Gently books, but it just bursting with Douglas' unique brand of humour. I was truly helpless with laughter.
Fantastic!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2000
The idea behind The Meaning of Liff, first published in 1983, as well as The Deeper Meaning of Liff, which followed seven years later, is actually quite simple. As the authors put it: there are hundreds of common experiences, feelings, situations and even objects which we all know and recognize, but for which no word exists. On the other hand, the world is littered with thousands of spare words doing nothing but loafing about on signposts pointing at places.
Douglas Adams - the one of the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy fame - and John Lloyd have done their best trying to pair the two. Just for the gusto, here's an example of dictionary entry: Wyoming (ptcpl.vb.) Moving in hurried desperation from one cubicle to another in a public lavatory trying to find one which has a lock on the door, a seat on the bowl and no brown streaks on the seat.
Although The Deeper Meaning of Liff is significantly expanded in size over the original, I guess I would choose the latter. While The Meaning of Liff mostly covers place names from the Britain, the expansions seem to be predominantly reaching abroad, resulting in somewhat diluted compendium. After all, there is some logic that English place names are fitting best in an English dictionary, isn't it?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2013
I was in on Liffs from the very beginning, having first encountered the concept in the form of the "Oxtail English Dictionary" in the "Not The 1982 Calendar". At first sight anyone new to Liffs might think that "The Deeper Meaning of Liff" would be the ideal book to buy, since it is essentially the original book with a lot of new Liffs added - but political correctness has been at work, and somehow for me it lacks the fearless edginess of the original. Still, the new ones are generally still of a high standard, so it is very much worth buying. However if you are new to Liffs, I would recommend getting hold of the original "Meaning of Liff".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2012
Similar to "The Meaning of Liff", I already have this book, and thought it would be great for a friend about to have surgery. It's the sort of book one can pick up for a few minutes, have a giggle (as long as she doesn't burst her stitches), smile, and put down easily. I didn't want to lose my copy, so I've bought her a new one - but I'll not let her have it until she goes into hospital. Some of the words in this book are now in our family language.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2010
The description should explain that this is an expanded version of the original "Meaning of Liff". Both are brilliant, but there is little point in buying both.
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