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Re: [xmca] Word Meaning and Action: Plausible | cool
ruminating on uses of "cool," it seemed to me that in the US this has not
been a matter of just bland teen pop-speak, but has derived from more
socio-historically intresting usage since at leas the time of "the Beat
So I checked the OED. Under #8 I see a number of conflowing sources. The
African-American is also probably informed by the specific use in jazz
that comes earlier (before #8) in the entry.
Here's the link, which they say will give free access for the next 3 days:
email@example.com has sent you a link to the OED entry cool, adj., adv.,
and int.. The following link allows free access to this entry for three
On Fri, 17 Jun 2011, Tony Whitson wrote:
This is a less-substantial (frivolous, maybe even) post, but some besides me
may find this amusing, and I think it does illustrate Vera's point.
On Fri, 17 Jun 2011, Vera John-Steiner referred to the
social dissemination and negotiation of newly coined or reinterpreted
meanings like "cool" which in originally youth parlance did not refer to
temperature. That meaning can shift or have different "meanings"
according to context is obvious but the consistency with which Vygotsky
emphasized it is "in the text."
When I started watching Brazilian movies and TV, I was struck by the use of
"legal!" as the most common (it seems to me) Brazilian Portuguese equivalent
for "cool!" For a while, I expected that "legal" was maybe not such a close
equivalent, and maybe carried nuances resonating our use of "legal" (which is
also used in Portuguese with reference to legality, etc.). Hearing enough
instances has convinced me that when a young paulista says "legal!," most
times she really is just saying "kewl!"
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