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Thread: Cool vs Cold

  1. #1
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    Question Cool vs Cold

    I read this news headline on yahoo today:
    "Bush cool to giving Pakistan nuclear deal"

    This gave me the impression that "it is cool with
    Bush to give Pakistan nuclear technology"
    but the news story itself had this:

    "U.S. President George W. Bush gave no sign on Saturday that he would support granting Pakistan the same kind of nuclear agreement just reached with India."

    In other words Bush was "cold" (can I say 'gave a cold
    shoulder to Pakistan') to giving Pakistan nuclear technology.

    Is it correct to use the word "cool" in the above headline?
    If it is correct, then using 'cool' in everyday use (as in "It is
    cool with me") has the totally opposite meaning, right?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cool vs Cold

    Can you give me a link to that article please? I would like to see the source before I answer.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cool vs Cold

    The headline is correct, albeit colloquial, and it means Bush is reluctant to give nuclear technology to Pakistan. If I say "I am cooling to you", it means I am growing "less warm" to you - I like you less than I once did. For example, "I thought Jane liked me, but these days she seems very cool". In this case, "cool" is a less extreme way of saying "cold" - it is a synonym for "offhand". This is the original meaning of "cool" in English.

    As you say, "cool" has now acquired the opposite meaning through the reverse formation process, so I might say "Jane seems very cool" and actually mean "Wow! I really like Jane. What a babe!" Of course, she could be REALLY cool, and then she'd be HOT!

    Reverse formations can often be hard for native speakers, so I understand what problems they cause for learners of the language. You can only try to pick up clues from the context of the dialogue or the speaker. For example, if a teenager told me that he/she thought the rap singer Eminem was "wicked", I would probably infer that he/she likes their music. If a preacher from the deep South of America said the same thing, I would probably infer the opposite.

    In the case of the headline you quoted though, it could only mean what you thought originally if it said "Bush cool WITH giving Pakistan nuclear deal".

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cool vs Cold

    I read that article. Being an American, I can say with great experience, that Bush would never give Pakistan a blessing to support nuclear power.

    In this case, I honestly believe the author of the article has a poor usage of the word cool.

    You have to remember, just because a native English speaker wrote it, does not necessarily make it correct or even mainstream. In fact, I have met more English learners who spell better then most native English speakers.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cool vs Cold

    The headline is slightly badly worded because it can easily be misunderstood.

    The intended meaning is that Bush did not warm to the idea -- that is, although he didn't denounce it outright, he didn't support it and probably made it known that he was against it -- as Coffa correctly interpreted it.

    It's actually the preposition that makes the difference here. Bush was cool to the idea; he wasn't cool with it. If you are cool to, or towards, something, you do not endorse it (you might give it a "chilly reception"); but if you are cool with it, it means you're not unhappy with it, you think it's fine.

    The headline is perfectly correct, but not well thought-out.

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    Default Re: Cool vs Cold

    Quote Originally Posted by Blax
    I read that article. Being an American, I can say with great experience, that Bush would never give Pakistan a blessing to support nuclear power.
    With all due respect, it is completely irrelevant whether he would or not. The article itself makes the position of Bush perfectly clear. All we are discussing is the use of the word "cool" in the headline.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blax
    In this case, I honestly believe the author of the article has a poor usage of the word cool.
    Then you should have no difficulty explaining why. I have explained why I believe the opposite. It is your prerogative to disagree, but surely you must have a reason?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blax
    You have to remember, just because a native English speaker wrote it, does not necessarily make it correct or even mainstream.
    You don't need to convince me of that, I assure you .

    Quote Originally Posted by Blax
    In fact, I have met more English learners who spell better then most native English speakers.
    I've no doubt. I've met English learners who knew more about grammar than most English speakers too.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cool vs Cold

    Blax, looks like you found the article already.
    Sorry, I forgot to post the link.
    Regarding language learners being better spellers,
    I am reminded of a quote by Mark Twain:

    "They spell it Vinci, and pronounce it Vinchy; foreigners always spell better than they pronounce."

    Thank you Coffa and rewboss for clarifying that
    the preposition makes all the difference in the meaning.
    Coffa, that was a good example of reverse formation (enimem &
    "wicked"). I am reminded of an old advert I saw
    in the US many years ago. It was for Wendy's or
    Burger King or some such place. It showed a black
    man with a kid enjoying a burger and saying "It is BAD!"
    and they show an older white couple (who hear this remark) looking completely confused. :)

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    Default Re: Cool vs Cold

    Coffa, as being irrelevant on Bushes view in this matter holds high relevancy. The relevancy is that I know how Bush feels and in knowing how he feels I know that he did not mean the word “cool” as being ok or down with the situation. Hence, I made sure the English learner here understands 100% that Bush does not think it is “cool” meaning a good thing.

    I understand what the author is saying and agree with rewboss’s answer. However, I still think it is a poorly written article.
    Last edited by Blax; 04-Mar-2006 at 16:17.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cool vs Cold

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffa
    In the case of the headline you quoted though, it could only mean what you thought originally if it said "Bush cool WITH giving Pakistan nuclear deal".
    I think it could also have this meaning if it said 'Bush cool about giving...'

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cool vs Cold

    "Cool'' is an example of what linguists call a contranym, a word with two meanings that are the opposite of each other.
    Other examples are cleave, sanction, bound, left, oversight, fast.... And bad, sick and wicked are often used by young people to mean "excellent, wonderful."

    One meaning of "cool" is the one intended in the headline:
    unfriendly, unreceptive, resistant. Bush thinks it's not a good idea.

    But there's also a slang meaning of cool.
    Thirty years ago it meant great, very good.
    That usage isn't common now, and sounds old fashioned.

    Cool still occurs in the expression "I'm cool with that", meaning that it's okay with me, I have no problem with that.

    Good writing is clear and has one meaning. Whoever wrote that headline made a mistake, using a word that could be understood in two different, opposite ways.

    regards
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by englishstudent View Post
    I read this news headline on yahoo today:
    "Bush cool to giving Pakistan nuclear deal"

    This gave me the impression that "it is cool with
    Bush to give Pakistan nuclear technology"
    but the news story itself had this:

    "U.S. President George W. Bush gave no sign on Saturday that he would support granting Pakistan the same kind of nuclear agreement just reached with India."

    In other words Bush was "cold" (can I say 'gave a cold
    shoulder to Pakistan') to giving Pakistan nuclear technology.

    Is it correct to use the word "cool" in the above headline?
    If it is correct, then using 'cool' in everyday use (as in "It is
    cool with me") has the totally opposite meaning, right?

    Thanks

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