USAGE: cold (was Re: Nouns with arguments, verbs without arguments)
|From:||Jonathan Knibb <j_knibb@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, April 12, 2003, 12:50|
>>>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.
[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'