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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 Generation."

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:

twhitson@udel.edu 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 days.

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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