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The Meaning of Liff Hardcover – March 7, 1984


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Hardcover, March 7, 1984
$40.00 $0.03
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The Meaning of Liff + The Deeper Meaning of Liff: A Dictionary of Things There Aren't Any Words for Yet--But There Ought to Be + Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony Books Random House Crown (March 7, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517553473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517553473
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,979,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Douglas Adams created all the various and contradictory manifestations of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: radio, novels, TV, computer game, stage adaptations, comic book and bath towel. He lectured and broadcast around the world and was a patron of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Save the Rhino International. Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge, UK and lived with his wife and daughter in Islington, London, before moving to Santa Barbara, California, where he died suddenly in 2001. After Douglas died the movie of Hitchhiker moved out of development hell into the clear uplands of production, using much of Douglas' original script and ideas. Douglas shares the writing credit for the movie with Karey Kirkpatrick. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Well worth it, if you stumble across a copy!
John Ronald
This is definitely worth a look, if you are able to get your hands on one.
Jenn Moore
Brit humour at its best - in fine Monty Python form.
cohasset7

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John Ronald on February 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Monty-python-esque approach to language...this is the British version of what in America are called "sniglets", little neo-logisms invented for things and situations which don't have proper words to designate them but ought to. The difference is that these creations ala Douglas Adams & John Lloyd use already existing town names in the UK and re-define them to make them useful (and funny)...this is altogether different from American sniglets like "bevemirage" (the black plastic bottom of a liter bottle of dark cola that fools you temporarily into thinking there is more cola left in the bottle than there actually is), which tend to be creative word-fusions of already existing words. The only U.S. linguistic construction I can think of that comes close to what Lloyd and Adams are doing here is the phrase "in a New York Minute", aka "really fast". Though there is no collorary such as "in a Topeka minute" (or whatever) to mean slow, drawn out (but maybe there ought to be). I bought this book in the UK for £4.99 GPB, but it seems it's out of print here in the USA, alas. Probably out of print in Britain also. Well worth it, if you stumble across a copy!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a brilliant little book. It contains words for all those annoying things that there ought to be words for but aren't. For example: 'the precise distance between your outstretched fingers and the ticket sticking out of the machine at the gate entrance to a parking lot'. If you want something to make you giggle, this is the book!
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "drweir" on March 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
(Attention, if not warning: this comment contains two or so profanities. When confronted with them, just block your eyes then, eh??! OK, great!!:)
I've tried 'em all, Webster's, Oxford's, Cambridge's, but none of those dictionaries ever really made sense to me. I mean, I could not possibly care less how many people live in a town named Aalst (nothing personal, Aalst, but that's where I always gave up)??! It wasn't until I found a small, black, paperback with some graved letters on the cover, that I was able to enjoy anything else more than the phonebook!!!
I didn't, for example, know that I ski with Zeal Monachorum before I read THE MEANING OF LIFF. Nor did I know that Aird of Sleat was placed upon Heathrow Airport!! Thanks for warning me, Doug and John!! Also, this little black book can help all of us, when, for example, confronted with a glossop, or what we did, when someone says we've just commited a wigan. Now I can play golf AND enjoy it as well!!! Instead of the frustrating how-many-bogies-have-I-got count, I just count Whaplode droves. Then this once-useless game finally has an amusing purpose.
No, really. This book, alongside being pantwettingly funny, is, in my opinion, an honest and respectable attempt to save the English language from a violent and tragic destruction. For English, as it exists today, is becoming a language of three words: .... This book, and indeed the Deeper Meaning Of Liff as well, is a guide to help us all to save this beautiful language (as all languages are).
At least my Liff has a Deeper Meaning now.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Big Dog on May 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Although a number of your friends may think you a bit weird if you tried to retell them. This rates as one of the few books that makes me laugh out loud (very loudly). A collection of explanations of strange & bizarre place names from around the world, Mr Adams and Mr Lloyd truly show off their incredibly imaginations and pure wit. While the reader may need a "Monty Pythonish" (or even a Hitch-Hikers Guide!) sense of humour, this is a genuinely very funny book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Hanna on August 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any Douglas Adams book is worth buying, keeping, gifting and reading. To bad he died because I am sure there would have been many more great books by him.
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By Brian Quinlan on May 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's great, everything I wanted and more. It's arrived early and in great condition. What else is there to say
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By andrew clark on April 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
quite simply the funniest and cleverest book ever written. adams has the unique ability to visualize definitions from the look and sound of an obscure word, and deliver them in the wittiest way possible; this is comedy at its best. all these words should be promoted to everyday use. we need more fun like this!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not quite as useful as the Oxford Book of English Place Names, but very jolly to dip into or to read favourite snippets to friends.
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