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USAGE: cold (was Re: Nouns with arguments, verbs without arguments)

From:Jonathan Knibb <j_knibb@...>
Date:Saturday, April 12, 2003, 12:50
Christophe wrote:
I always found the English treatment the odd one. After all, me being cold is quite a different thing from a soup being cold (in the first case, it's *experiencing* coldness from outside, not really *being* cold. Because if you're really cold then there's a big problem, unless you have asked to be frozen ;))) ), and ought to be treated differently :)) . <<< And from an English medic's perspective, I would add that I don't recall ever saying of a hypothermic patient, 'He/she is cold.'. In formal language one would use 'hypothermic', and in informal language probably 'his/her temperature is low'. On further reflection, this is especially true if the patient is capable of expressing whether they feel hot or cold. To me, 'He/she is cold.' is nicely poised between the hypothermic and subjective interpretations, and so I might say it of an unconscious patient (in whom the subjective interpretation is unavailable) but probably not otherwise. Jonathan. [reply to jonathan underscore knibb at hotmail dot com] -- 'O dear white children casual as birds, Playing among the ruined languages...' Auden/Britten, 'Hymn to St. Cecilia'


John Cowan <cowan@...>