The cool factor

8 02 2017

“That’s cool.”

“He’s cool.”

Person 1: “I have done/seen something”

Person 2: “Cool”

“Cool” is one of those new-age slang terms that fascinate me. The way it’s used in varied circumstances and to mean different things.

The urban dictionary presents come cool interpretations of this cool word (pun intended):

  • Popular
  • Awesome
  • Laid back, relaxed
  • Very good, stylish, neat, pleasing, generally positive
  • Nice
  • Okay with each other (not nice, not mean)
  • Used when the conversation goes silent
  • Used when you don’t know what else to say,
  • Used when you are not interested in a conversation
  • Used when you do not know anything about the subject but want to appear as a know-it-all

Wow, look at that! Have you noticed the contradictions? It can mean either “nice”, or just “okay”. It can mean “awesome”, or just “nice”. And it’s especially intriguing to note its role as a conversation filler. So many connotations. Needless to say, it would be almost impossible to interpret the intention behind this word correctly without the tone and other non-verbal cues and in come cases lot of context.

I’m particularly interested in exploring its use with people. A person is cool if he’s perceived as relaxed and laid back. Or if he/she has a confident, or don’t care attitude. It can also mean that the person possesses some admirable traits. This implies that there cannot be a definitive set of traits that define coolness. They differ based on circumstances: in one setting a person who expresses his emotions and vulnerabilities can be deemed as cool by  his peers, whereas in another setting, the person who holds up a facade in the midst of turbulence is considered cool. Also a cool “guy” usually has totally different traits compared to a cool “gal”.

Here is a quote from Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl on “cool girl”:

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, …, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want.”

In effect, coolness is anything desirable. You perceive someone is cool if that person possesses those qualities that you desire. Someone is also cool if they have traits and exhibit behavior that you wish you have it in yourself (courage, candidness, confidence, charm etc.). Since desirability is highly subjective, so is what constitutes being cool.

Such a versatile word! Very convenient. 🙂

What do I write about most?

28 04 2012

(Cloud created using Wordle)

Beauty in words

14 12 2009

Most women in literature/fiction are very beautiful. As I read through the descriptions of their beauty, elegance and charm, they always seem to me as nothing less than celestial. The exquisite words and flowery language make me imagine the ladies with ethereal beauty which I usually can’t compare with anything I can found in real life. I imagine even the plainer looking women of fiction better than they actually are (I mean how the author perceives them). For me putting something in words makes it more striking.

In cases where the books have been made into movies, many times I’ve been disappointed because the actresses never seem to justify the characters in looks. But actually they helped me realize, at least to certain extent, that women in fiction aren’t really more exotic and that the ladies I see around me aren’t any worse either.

Now that I think about it, the other reason for my inability to gauge the personality of real life damsels might be that I don’t usually appraise them nor observe them with a keen eye (no particular reason to do so, in the first place 🙂 ). But I still can’t really understand why I impart more romanticism to words.

Just thinking aloud

10 09 2009

I have a feeling that this blog is becoming more awkward with each post. When I started this blog, I hoped that it would improve my Writing. I’m not sure how much I accomplished in that direction so far but a few things bother me…

Every time I start writing something, all my thoughts about that topic become so jumbled and incoherent that for a moment I forget the main point I wanted to make. Often, what comes out is so different from what I originally thought of.

It also seems to me that blogging has affected my thought process, as I sometimes steer my thoughts to accommodate my limited vocabulary and inefficient expression.