Friday, August 26, 2005

The Temperature of Attraction

Earlier this week, I was thinking about how whimsical our language can often be: notice how both the words hot and cool mean almost exactly the same thing when used in a social or cultural context ('Wow, he is hot!' or 'Isn't that cool!'). However, what is even more interesting to me is that we pick only these two words, and not any of their other synonyms, for such usage. 'Cool' may be hot, but 'cold' is not; 'Hot' is cool, but no such luck for 'warm'. In a somewhat unrelated aside, I remember reading some place that in cold countries, warmth is commonly associated with positive feelings ('warm welcome'); and in hot climates, like where I come from, it is not uncommon for one to compare the company of one's beloved to the rains or a cool breeze.