What is Cool?
What is “cool?” Does it have to do with temperature or someone’s personality? Is it a slang word or a proper English word? And most importantly, how is it decided that something or someone is cool? Cool is a word that can have many different meanings, can be used as slang or proper English, and can be subjective when it comes to using it. I use the word in a couple of ways, but not all are in the Oxford English Dictionary, likewise, the Dictionary recognizes meanings of cool that I did not even know.
When I think of the word cool, I immediately think of it much the same as my peers would: a desirable image that excites the mind. Something cool can be a person, place, or thing. Cool is desirable because it is exciting. Cool is something I want to be a part of. Thinking of cool, I imagine an attractive, rich young man wearing all the latest fashions and surrounded by four or five beautiful women, also wearing sexy attire, who all think he is the greatest thing to walk the Earth. Or I imagine a professional snowboarder doing an incredible trick that amazes all the fans. I think of any situation I would love to be in. I get a feeling of greatness when I imagine myself in cool situations, as if I am standing tall, arms akimbo, and everyone is admiring me. Cool is something we want to associate with – possibly due to the feeling of greatness caused by being cool.
This definition of cool all depends on what excites a particular mind. Cool can be different for other people. I think snowboarding is cool, but someone else might think theater is cool, while another thinks toenails are cool, or whatever. It is up to the individual whether or not something is cool. We all have different minds, so all of our standards for cool are different.
I do not just think of cool as an exciting image. Sometimes I use it to describe something that is less severe in temperature than cold but more chilled than average. Just as warm is to hot, cool is to cold. I might say that it is cool outside if it is not freezing yet, but I can barely see my breath. I can also say that an object is cool, like an apple just taken from the refrigerator. Anything that is not quite cold can be considered of cool temperature. Cool temperatures fall into the region between cold and average. These temperature regions are defined by the person describing the temperature. Cold feels cold; average feels average, and cool falls between the two. This feeling that defines cool makes standards of cool hard to specify. Each person has a good idea what she or he thinks a cool temperature is. Someone from Phoenix, Arizona might think a cool temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, while someone from Alaska might think cool is anything between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also depend on how a body is feeling at the time. If a person is sick and has the chills, temperatures normally considered warm would now be considered cool....