How hot is cold

Temperature, (the measurement of heat or the absence thereof) is a man made concept. We (the general human ‘we’) used to think cold was a force(as it can be), or an entity in and of itself. Therefore, the first few people who tried to explain what cold was were either scorned, imprisoned, or burned. Well at least these last were warm. But cold also contains other meanings than just what is relevant to temperature.

How many bands have featured a song called cold? Well as far as I can discover there are six such songs (but probably many more.) There are at least three bands named “Cold.” One of which existed in Florida. Now were these songs and these bands talking about the dearth of heat or about some other concept associated with the word?

What is meant by the saying, “You have a cold heart.” Since we all operate at an approximate 98.6 degrees, we can’t actually be living and be, in a temperature sense, cold. Therefore, we assume the phrase to mean someone who is either unresponsive or emotionless. But what else can come from this one word?

Of course, when you see someone with a red nose, or hear someone that sounds as if their head is filled with cotton balls, you invariably ask, “Do you have a cold?” The suggestion is that this particular person is infected with some one of the many strains of the rhinovirus. Why did this affliction become known as a cold you ask? Well, the virus seems to attack, more commonly, in the colder part of the year. This has manly been attributed to the fact that people are in closer proximity at this time. Therefore, people seem to get more “colds” at this time of the year, and thus, the erroneous nomenclature.

What about heat associated with cold? Originally our definition of cold was the absence of said heat. Therefore, the original association. Cold (from a temperature standpoint) is not something we experience. We are actually feeling the absence of heat, which is real. This heat is actually the increased energy released due to the excitement of atoms (I realize that this is a very simple explanation, but brevity is required.) With greater movement comes greater heat. Conversely, with less movement comes more cold.

A cold person (in the unemotional sense) can also generate heat in the form of anger. Why is someone said to be heated if they are angry? The physical response to anger is generally an excitement which causes the core temperature to rise slightly. This effect usually comes with a flushed (or red) appearance and sweating, as if from exertion. Therefore, the heated, cold person.

Also, a rhinovirus can deliver a fever as one of its many possible symptoms. This fever (which is a good thing because it can speed the body’s response to and lessen the danger of a pathogen) causes the person who has the cold to feel hot. Thus, another paradox. But with all meanings of the word comes an essence of etymology which makes the English language so intriguing.

One thought on “How hot is cold”

  1. Cold is not absense of heat. When we say something is cold or hot, we are comparing our senations. If we say something is cold, we are saying it’s temterature is lower than environment.

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