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 Post subject: Once In a Word...........
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2001 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
In another thread - "Clown College", Zoe and I started talking about the meaning of words:<P>I posted:<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Zoe - maybe if you said it was a hot topic then everyone would join in........<P>Which can lead one to ask - what is the difference between a topic being "hot" or "cool"?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>To which Zoe replied:<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I don't know Basheva. maybe it is kinda like the fact that "fat chance" and "slim chance" mean the same thing. ???<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>Which leads to:<P>On a recent cool morning, while cooling my heels in a long line, one person in that line became impatient and was told by another person to “cool it”. It started me thinking about how a word that describes a temperature also describes an attitude. Not only that, it also describes a generation.<P>“Cool” is used to describe something that is “hot”. It also says to be patient – as in “cool it” and denotes how a situation is to be handled as in “play it cool” – be subtle – or let the other person make the first move/mistake.<P>But more than that it is also generational. I remember “Cool, man, cool” from the beatnik generation of the 1950’s and was given style and substance by the musical “West Side Story” (one of my favorites). It was even part of a finger snapping dance in that musical. <P> When something is “cool” it is also good, which makes it hot. Like if you see someone you really like (as in I dig him) then if you think he is “hot” you describe him as “cool”. Makes perfect sense. It’s the cool way to do it. Well, it’s better than cold at any rate.<P>It also means “I agree” – like if I say “I am hungry, let’s go eat” and the other person says “cool” – that means he is hungry too and agrees we should go eat – maybe even find something good to eat which would be – uh – cool, unless you like your salsa piquante'. <P>Here’s an example of how to think about this word.<P>If I am shivering on a cool morning – I have three choices:<BR> <BR>1. Complain about it – definitely uncool<P>2. Sit and shiver – then I will be cool but not happy.<P>3. Go get something warm to put on – now that’s the cool solution.<P>“Kewl” of the 1960/70’s is the result of the desire for lack of education standards. I know it is pre-computer because it just drove my spell-check crazy. (My computer is un-cool) And, “kool” of the 1980’s is a bow to frank puzzlement as to how to spell the word.<P>Now this little offering of mine is far too long and so isn’t kuwell at all.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Once In a Word...........
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2001 8:03 pm 
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Location: Knightdale, NC, USA
It it kewell to "chill" or "chill out"?


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 Post subject: Re: Once In a Word...........
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2001 9:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 74
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Isn't it interesting how we use these bits of slang without thinking twice (most of the time). That depending on the inflection of our voice and the situation we are in, we automatically understand the conotation of what is being said. Also, that to use "cool" and "hot" as words unto themselves is to use them, generally, in a positive way, but the minute we put them into a phrase such as "hot under the collar," "cool it," "hot head," or "cool your jets," they generally take on a negative feel.<P>I began thinking about our twisted use of slang here when I was working with a girl from Poland for a while. She was trying very hard to get a handle on our slang/colloquialisms and came into rehearsals every day with a string of questions pertaining to phrases she had heard. She certainly had questions about cool vs. hot, but her other big question came with our usage of the word "put." She couldn't figure out that to "put up" a person, to "put down" a person and then to "put out" for a person were three exceedingly separate things. You never realize how difficult and nuance-filled your own language is until you see it through the eyes of a foreigner.<P>tura


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 Post subject: Re: Once In a Word...........
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2001 10:42 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
That is well <I>put</I> Tura - you have <I>put</I> two and two together, which is <I>putting</I> it lightly. To say nothing of a <I>putting</I> green.<P>Another thing we do a bit differently in the United States is how we see "time". If someone asks how far is it from San Diego to Los Angeles, most of us don't say "it is 150 miles away". We tend to say "it is about 2hrs. by freeway".<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Once In a Word...........
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2001 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Yes, Basheva, this is very true. I had never thought about it. It got me thinking about my childhood view of time for some reason. Indicative of our television ruled society (ecspecially for my generation), when I was child, Sesame Street (a one hour show) and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (a 1/2 hour show) were very popular. When I was six, if I were to ask my mother how long it was until my father got home from work, she might answer "two Sesame Streets and a Mr. Roger's," and I would know exactly how long she meant. It has skewed my view and understanding of time for the rest of my life. LOL<P>tura


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 Post subject: Re: Once In a Word...........
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2001 11:39 pm 
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Yes, exactly... that is how my boyfriend was told about the length of car trips. "Mom, how long till we get there?" -- "Two Sesame Streets and a Mr. Rogers." I wonder how many other parents used the same methods? Now, if you have the correctly accessorized van, the kids could actually watch those shows all the way down the highway.


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