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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 10 months ago

What is cool?


A timid girl approaches an ivy covered brick building. She is surrounded by a sea of kids rushing to their first day of classes in middle school. Her months of planning and expectations have come down to this moment. Would she make friends at her new school? Would she be popular? Would she be cool?


What exactly does it mean to be cool? This is a very important question, especially because it may be the most important issue for kids and teens in today’s world. The last thing someone wants to hear is that they are not cool. This is such a vital part of adolescence, it needs to be a less abstract statement. The easiest way to clarify this term is to look at the dictionary. According to World Reference DictionaryWorld Reference Dictionary, to be cool means fashionable and attractive at the time; often skilled or socially adept. This, however, is just one meaning of the word. What about using cool to describe the weather, a color, whether or not someone is calm? By defining each aspect of being cool on a broader level, a better understanding of the true defintion of the word can be attained.


For the purpose of this paper, I am going to use the definition that defines being cool as an adjective used to show pleasure and approval. While the word cool has been used throughout time, ?? its meaning has evolved over the years. Today’s understanding of the word cool developed in the early 1930s.

Nice. Historical precedence is often an important type of evidence.

The meaning of “fashionable,” which is most closely associated with today’s meaning;

The bolded phrase is a sentence fragment.

it is thought to be popularized by saxophonist Lester Young, in jazz circles. It may also be traced back to the saying “you are a ‘cool cat.’” The word has become one of the most widely used slang terms ever. The history of the word cool gives only a little insight into today’s meaning.


Your shoes are so cool! Wow, he is a cool person! This music is the coolest! These statements are all compliments, so the word cool has a positive connnotation in this definition. Being cool can be simplified to something being good. Everyone wants to be cool, to be liked, to be desired.


How is coolness attained in society? Is it a superficial term to describe what someone looks like on the outside, or is it describing a personality trait? To be cool is more about personality. Some may think people are cool because they are good looking, but until they get to know one another they will never know if they are actually cool. Avoiding peer pressure and having your own style define what it is to be cool.


But, the adjective cool does not only describe people. Actions can be cool or uncool, fashion can be cool, technology, sports, tv shows, and the list goes on. The word cool is universal.


Being cool should not be confused with being popular. It should not be confused with being unoriginal either. Being defined as cool goes beyond being popular. It can mean that someone is different, and cool because of that. Coolness is a reflection of the person’s true attributes, as opposed to they pretend to be. Whereas not everyone will think the same things are cool, they do use the word for the same reason. They use it to express preference, and show what they find appealing.


It is interesting to take a look at how cool things differ throughout different countries, age groups, and genders. My 42 year old mother sees Bruce Springsteen as being one of the coolest singers, whereas a 13 year old may see Brittany Spears as the coolest person. Cool to my guy friend are cars, women, and beer; my best girl friend finds makeup and hair cool. Cool is a word that depends not only on the sex of the person, but their ethnicity as well. In Asian countries, being at the top of the class is seen as cool. Here, in America, skipping classes and not doing work can make someone cool. On the other hand, working hard can make someone a loser. No matter where, it is possible to find cool and different people using it in different ways.


Aquiring the status of cool can be a futile or successful journey, but it is all in how you look at it. Defining such an abstract term as being cool leads into many avenues. Here is a quote from the Simpsons exemplifying the never ending quest to find what is cool.

Marge: Well, how the hell do you be cool? I feel like we've tried

everything here.

Homer: Wait, Marge. Maybe if you're truly cool, you don't need to

be told you're cool.”

Even one of today's most popular televison shows know the importance of the word cool. In order to be cool, you must advoid peer pressure, and be true to yourself. Still yet, defining coolness starts on a personal level and develops from there.


You don't quite come down on a definition. Gather the attributes together to say "Cool is _ _."

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