Warming down (was Re: Crack the door)

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Tue Aug 25 17:39:09 UTC 2009

----- Original Message -----
From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 10:05 AM
Subject: Re: Crack the door

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Crack the door
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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: http://www.ara-rowing.org/indoor/warm-down. Seems
> weird to me, but then I don't do much rowing.
My son did this, too, at age 6 and earlier:


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