Crack the door

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Aug 24 14:05:00 UTC 2009

At 2:25 PM +0100 8/24/09, Chris Waigl wrote:
>On 23 Aug 2009, at 19:12, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>I find it very odd too, much like "Could you warm the coffee" if it's
>>too hot and you want me to put in an ice cube or blow on it so it
>>will be (only) warm.
>I find /warm the coffee/ = "bring it from hot down to merely warm" or,
>for that matter, /cool the coffee/ = "bring it from freezing up to
>cool" pretty much impossible. (Warning: non-native speaker.) Does any
>native speaker use the two verbs like this? I'd just swap them, ie
>use /cool/ in the first case and /warm/ in the second.
You might need to exempt children.  I treasure the moment when my son
(then 3, now 27) asked me to make his bath water warmer--it was too
hot for him.  He didn't use the verb "to warm", but the facts are the
same for the comparative, I wager.  One place to find possible
counterexamples is by googling "warm down", which does seem to be
used as a synonym of "cool down" (rather than of "warm up"), as in
this rowing site: Seems
weird to me, but then I don't do much rowing.

Why warm down?

After exercise it is important to see the warm down as part of the
main session.  It is a vital part of the training routine and does
not need to take a long time to perform.  The benefits of carrying
out a cool down are that it:

     * allows the body time to get the blood flow back to 'normal',
reducing the risk of fainting and blood pooling
     * helps to clear lactic acid (produced during high intensity exercise)
     * is a good opportunity to increase flexibility
     * gives you time to assess the training session performed

It's also used as a transitive, sometimes primed by "warm up":

Warm up your voice and warm it down.
Pour a cap of cat shampoo into a cup and blend it with the bath water
to warm it down.
You have to treat it [one's voice] like a muscle - warm it up and warm it down.
Drinking cold water just forces your body to warm it down.

Weird language we've got here.



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