*Taken from The Meaning of Liff
I don't know about you guys, but I work in an office. My office has long and narrow corridors. My company is also quite small. Therefore, when walking through these corridors, I am often faced with the awkward situations that generally come when you spot a casual acquaintance walking toward you from the other end.
After several years of making stupid faces, feigning blindness, and blatantly ignoring people, I finally turned to Douglas Adams and John Lloyd's essential guide to The Meaning of Liff. This little book has helped me through many a rough patch, by allowing me to see that I am not alone in life. This awkward corridor syndrome that I seem to have, is not only my problem. It seems, by the presence of the following six words in Adams' and Lloyd's book, to be lots of people's problems.
Perhaps, by sharing these words, as well as the book's corresponding website with you, I can bring comfort and confidence into the your lives, and the lives of others as well.
Read on for the authors' mission statement, as well as the six words that will change the way you walk down a corridor.
In Life (and indeed, in Liff) there are many hundreds of common experiences, feelings, situations and even objects which we all know and recognize, but for which no words exist. On the other hand, the world is littered with thousands of spare words which spend their time doing nothing but loafing about on signposts pointing at places.Our job, as wee see it, is to get these words down off the signposts and into the mouths of babes and sucklings and so on, where they can start earning their keep in everyday conversation and make a more positive contribution to society.Douglas AdamsJohn Lloyd
CORRIEARKLET (n.)The moment at which two people approaching from opposite ends of a long passageway, recognise each other and immediately pretend they haven't. This is to avoid the ghastly embarrassment of having to continue recognising each other the whole length of the corridor.
CORRIECRAVIE (n.)To avert the horrors of corrievorrie (q.v.) corriecravie is usually employed. This is the cowardly but highly skilled process by which both protagonists continue to approach while keeping up the pretence that they haven't noticed each other - by staring furiously at their feet, grimacing into a notebook, or studying the walls closely as if in a mood of deep irritation.
CORRIEDOO (n.)The crucial moment of false recognition in a long passageway encounter. Though both people are perfectly well aware that the other is approaching, they must eventually pretend sudden recognition. They now look up with a glassy smile, as if having spotted each other for the first time, (and are particularly delighted to have done so) shouting out 'Haaaaaallllloooo!' as if to say 'Good grief!! You!! Here!! Of all people! Will I never. Coo. Stap me vitals, etc.'
CORRIEMOILLIE (n.)The dreadful sinking sensation in a long passageway encounter when both protagonists immediately realise they have plumped for the corriedoo (q.v.) much too early as they are still a good thirty yards apart. They were embarrassed by the pretence of corriecravie (q.v.) and decided to make use of the corriedoo because they felt silly. This was a mistake as corrievorrie (q.v.) will make them seem far sillier.
CORRIEVORRIE (n.)Corridor etiquette demands that once a corriedoo (q.v.) has been declared, corrievorrie must be employed. Both protagonists must now embellish their approach with an embarrassing combination of waving, grinning, making idiot faces, doing pirate impressions, and waggling the head from side to side while holding the other person's eyes as the smile drips off their face, until with great relief, they pass each other.
CORRIEMUCHLOCH (n.)Word describing the kind of person who can make a complete mess of a simple job like walking down a corridor.While in my above statement, I expressed feeling a sense of comfort in knowing that I am not alone, upon having reread these glorious words, I now realize that I am now, and ever shall be, a right corriemuchloch.