or lack thereof

Discussion in 'English Only' started by hly2004, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. hly2004 Banned

    What's the meaning of "or lack thereof"?

    It fits your life - or the complete lack thereof (an advertisment slogan)
  2. Typo Member

    New Zealand
    That saying means that the product is right for you - whether you are active, and get out and do things, or not. :)

    Specifically, "lack thereof" must refer back to a noun already mentioned - in your example, the product ("it").

    In "lack thereof", this noun is represented by the word "there".

    It means "lack of (the noun in question)"
  3. hly2004 Banned

    Sorry, I'm still confused :)
  4. DavyBCN Senior Member

    UK - English
    My understanding is that it means "the absence of" in most cases, including this one. The advertiser is suggesting that you may be lacking an interesting or good life - so buy their product.
  5. hly2004 Banned

    Does "or" means "otherwise"?
  6. DavyBCN Senior Member

    UK - English
    Or does not mean otherwise, but there times when you can use both to mean the same thing. In my text, and normally, it is used to connect two different things and you cannot use otherwise here, or in examples such as black or white The following example shows when you could use either.

    Do your homework or/otherwise you cannot watch TV!

    In this example a comma before otherwise, or even starting a new sentence, would be appropriate, but not essential.
  7. hly2004 Banned


    Here is the context, I hope it'll be helpful

    Most car ads talk about the car or the life-style of its owner. VW's infectious spot does neither. Instead, it shows two slacker twentysomethings cruising aimlessly around a desolate stretch of Los Angeles in their VW Golf to the monotonous ditty Da Da Da. They retrieve an abandoned chair from the street, only to discard it minutes later after detecting its stench, then drive off, leaving viewers with this message about the car: "It fits your life or the complete lack thereof."

    I guess In this advertisment, a comparison is showed to viewers betwee the car and the chair.

    Does "or the complete lack thereof" has something to do with "the chair"?

    BTW: I've another question in this post, What's the meaning of "retrieve", does that mean "find" or "pick up" in this context?
  8. DavyBCN Senior Member

    UK - English
    Definitely suggests they have a dull and uninteresting life - that they lack anything which most people would call a life.
  9. hly2004 Banned

    I am still in confusion.:(
  10. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Thereof means "of this" or "of it." Lack thereof means "lack of it," and
    refers to "your life."

    This car fits your life, or your lack of one (i.e. a life).

    This car fits your life, even if you don't have a life.

    Buy it no matter what! It will get you where you're going, and if you've got nowhere to go, you can still drive around in it, aimlessly.
  11. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    You don't have a life, or get a life, are idiomatic English expressions meaning that you don't have anything really interesting to do. Perhaps you spend all your time at work, or in front of the computer. :rolleyes:
  12. rodrigito Member

    Spanish, USA
    WordReference.com definition

    thereof = of or concerning this or that;
    "a problem and the solution thereof"

    could also be written as --
    "a problem and the solution [of it]"
    "a problem and the solution [of said problem]"

    M-W.com definition
    1 : of that or it
    2 : from that cause or particular

    hope that helps..
  13. CBTman New Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    The meaning of "or lack thereof" is, "the absence of it".

    For example, in the sentence, "You should use the system's technical description to identify the faulty area by its behavior or lack thereof", the meaning is, "... identify the faulty area by what it does or fails to do".

    This expression is often used in a sarcastic tone.

    In the example, "It fits your life or the complete lack thereof", the author could have said, "It fits your life or the complete absence of it". The underlying, sarcastic meaning is, "This car sucks, so does your life".
  14. Crocefisso7 New Member

    This is the befitting explanation. 'Lack Thereof' is a negation of the subject in question, often used sarcastically.

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