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    #1

    'not hot' vs. 'cold'

    Dear Friends,

    A linguist said the other day:

    'Not hot' means 'less than hot' rather than 'cold'.

    Hm. Do you all agree?

    Thanks a lot.

    Palinkasocsi

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 'not hot' vs. 'cold'

    Quote Originally Posted by palinkasocsi View Post
    'Not hot' means 'less than hot' rather than 'cold'.
    Probably. But it doesn't mean anything by itself. Use it in a sentence.



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    #3

    Re: 'not hot' vs. 'cold'

    If I say 'the water is not hot' - would you definitely exclude the meaning: the water is cold? Because this is what the linguist meant. According to him it can only mean the water is "less than hot" and not 'cold'.

    P.

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    #4

    Re: 'not hot' vs. 'cold'

    Quote Originally Posted by palinkasocsi View Post
    If I say 'the water is not hot' - would you definitely exclude the meaning: the water is cold? Because this is what the linguist meant. According to him it can only mean the water is "less than hot" and not 'cold'.

    P.
    The water is not hot is equivocal it doesn't necessarily mean that the water is cold. If you want to indicate that the water is cold, then it is better to say The water is cold.

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    #5

    Re: 'not hot' vs. 'cold'

    this topic is interesting!
    it seems to be like " little " and "no little"

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    #6

    Re: 'not hot' vs. 'cold'

    Quote Originally Posted by palinkasocsi View Post
    If I say 'the water is not hot' - would you definitely exclude the meaning: the water is cold? Because this is what the linguist meant. According to him it can only mean the water is "less than hot" and not 'cold'.

    P.
    No. As bhaisahab said 'The water is cold' is clearer; but in some contexts 'it is not hot' could mean 'it is cold': 'the water is not - on the contrary, it's freezing cold'.

    By the way, what is 'a linguist' in this case (Is it someone who can never be wrong? Is it someone who pontificates about the meaning of words without considering context?...)

    b

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    #7

    Re: 'not hot' vs. 'cold'

    I'm not a teacher.

    Hi palinkasocsi,

    'Not hot' means 'less than hot' rather than 'cold'.

    It is most likely that you gave us an inkling of “lukewarm” = mildly warm; tepid,(moderately warm) ”

    Regards,

    V.

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    #8

    Re: 'not hot' vs. 'cold'

    Quote Originally Posted by palinkasocsi View Post
    If I say 'the water is not hot' - would you definitely exclude the meaning: the water is cold? P.
    That's the idea; Unfortunately it doesn't always play out in the real world. For example, Max is checking the temperature of the water running out of the kitchen faucet, while Sam, who is in the basement, is adjusting the water temperature:

    Sam: Is the water hot now?
    Max: No. It's still cold.
    Sam: What about now, is it hot?
    Max: No. It's not hot.
    Sam: Is it lukewarm at least?
    Max: No, it's still running cold.

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    #9

    Re: 'not hot' vs. 'cold'

    Quote Originally Posted by palinkasocsi View Post
    If I say 'the water is not hot' - would you definitely exclude the meaning: the water is cold? Because this is what the linguist meant. According to him it can only mean the water is "less than hot" and not 'cold'.

    P.
    It's really a simple matter of logic. The words don't really matter, since we all know what hot and cold mean - they are points on a temperature spectrum.
    It can apply to any spectrum, such as tall/short; near/far, fat/thin.
    In none of these cases does "not X" mean "Y".
    The only time you can apply the rule "not X" -> "Y" is when you have two mutually exclusive categories into which an object must fall.
    eg. male/female, dead/alive (assume you're excluding transsexuals and zombies).
    In these cases, "not X" implies Y and "not Y" implies X.
    Hot and cold don't fit this rule.

    NB: Note however that, in continuums, although "not-X" doesn't imply Y, it doesn't exclude Y either.
    So, not-hot coffee can be cold, but not simply by virtue of being not hot.
    Last edited by Raymott; 14-Sep-2008 at 17:39. Reason: Add NB

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