The meaning of Liff

Published: Mar 06 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

It has been said that Inuit have more than 17 different words for snow. Why should this be?

Anthropologists hold the view that the language we speak both affects and reflects our view of the world. 

The idea that Inuit have so many words for snow has given rise to the idea that they view snow very differently from people of other cultures. For example, when it snows, many see snow, but Inuit could see any version of their great and varied vocabulary. Using this thinking language is thought to impose a particular view of the world — not just for Inuit languages, but for all groups.

Over 30 years ago the wonderful Douglas Adams wrote a dictionary of words that do not exist, but in his view (and his co-author John Lloyd) should. They took much of their inspiration from place names which they then added definitions to. Their stated ambition was to actually get one of their made up words listed in the Oxford English Dictionary.

A couple of favorites of mine are:

ABERYSTWYTH  (n.) - A nostalgic yearning which is in itself more pleasant than the thing being yearned for.

 MARLOW (n.)- The bottom drawer in the kitchen your mother keeps her paper bags in.

This got me to thinking that we should begin to develop our negotiators dictionary of terms to recognize the process and behaviors within the negotiation arena.

BARTON IN THE BEANS (adj.) – The sinking feeling usually felt in the groin region, when you have given information that you really should have held on to.

 PLUSH  (n.) – The environment that should be created to engender long term successful negotiated settlements.

 TITABOUTIE  (n.) – The recognition that the planned strategy has failed and that the alternative ought to be deployed.

 Having a way of talking about what is happening to us and recording it may be a bit of fun, but it also starts to build a common language within our peer groups and business’s which help us to think more clearly about negotiating.

And you can take that to the Shilbottle! (An area within the corporate data base that holds on to information that will have future value).

What words and definitions would you add to the negotiators dictionary?

The best received at blog@scotwork.com will win a bottle of bubbly. Editor’s decision is final. 

 Alan Smith


SHARE

blogAuthor

About the author:

Alan Smith
No bio is currently avaliable

Latest Blog:

Squashed

I find this rather difficult to write, as I am a person of some size myself, but I shall press ahead anyway in the fond hope that no one is offended. Recently, on a holiday in the USA, my wife and I found ourselves on an internal flight on a budget US airline. If I share with you at the outset that this airline made Ryanair look like the Savoy hotel of the airline industry, you’ll begin to get the picture. Anyhow, I was allocated seat 4B on a plane that the check-in steward told me was completely full – a middle seat; my wife was in seat 4E – a middle seat on the other side of the aisle. I had missed the bit about pre-booking your seat for $25 a seat; how full was the flight from Phoenix-Mesa to Rapid City going to be, for heaven’s sake? It turned out to be very full. Who knew? As we were waiting to board,...

Latest Tweet:





United States
973.428.1991
usa@scotwork.com
Follow us
cpd.png
voty2016_sign_gold.png