Old School: Cool! An old post, for your weekend pleasure!

English-Language Thoughts

I’ve written before about how we use words and phrases associated with temperature, and specifically heat, in the English language. Today, I was struck by the word cool, and how it seems to contradict, yet also agree with, some of these words and phrases.

If we consider that we often associate heat with excessive passion and anger, coolness makes sense, describing someone who doesn’t get angry or overly excited easily; who keeps calm and doesn’t get stressed or worried.

And yet, it’s a short step from there to being cold: unfriendly, uncaring and unkind. Things get very confusing when we start talking about blood. Being hot-blooded means getting angry and excited very quickly, and in contrast, a cold-blooded individual is cruel, emotionless, pitiless. They’re at opposite ends of a spectrum, and equally undesirable because of it. One can be harmful to themselves and others by being too quick to anger. On…

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