getting warm vs. getting warmer

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Milkyway, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Milkyway Senior Member

    Good morning, everyone.

    Which one is right? or both are right?

    - It's getting warm here.
    - It's getting warmer here.

    - It's getting hot here.
    - It's getting hotter here.

    - It's getting dark.
    - It's getting darker.

    I really don't know which is correct.
    Any comments are welcome. Thank you.
  2. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    Any of those are grammatically correct. They all depend upon context, technically speaking.

    It's getting warm here. The temperature as of late has been cold.
    It's getting warmer here. The temperatures have been cold or warm, but are now getting "warmer" than they have been.

    Similar constructs can be made for "hot" and "dark."

  3. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    With regard to temperatures, I am a crusty old pedant.:D

    In my book, temperatures are high or low.
    Temperature is a measure of heat - it cannot itself be hot or cold.
    Things can be warm or cold.
    The weather is hot. The temperature is high.

    Ditto for prices.
    Prices can be high or low, but only goods/services can be cheap or expensive/dear.
  4. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England
    hmmm very interesting.

    I must admit I would not have noticed what you did, but now that you say it - I can see your point, especially when loooking at the other example you give. However, I'm sure I might say "the temperature is cold". Is this because there isn't another word to use, apart from just weather? (or "it" as in It is cold today - which is what genjen was expanding to explain the point ..)

    However, I am dozy with this sort of thing, my partner chides me for errors on the distinction between melt and dissolve. It seem that I use melt far too freely in situations where dissolve would be the "right" word!
  5. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England
    Maybe we say the temperature is cold and we are being elliptical for "at the cold end of the scale"?
  6. blancalaw

    blancalaw Senior Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    USA, English
    It is all in perspective. If you think it already is cold at 40 degrees F and it drops 10 more degrees, it is still cold, but because the temperature is even lower, it is colder.
    But being from Michigan, in this time of the year I would say 40F (4C) is pretty warm and I would welcome it!!! :p
  7. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    I see your point about temperatures not being hot (which despite being quite pedantic at times I wouldn't have thought of) but (isn't there always a but) I don't see how you can then go on to say "the temperature is high" is ok.

    Things are hot relative to something else. Things are high relative to something else. There is no such thing as something that is intrinsically hot nor intrinsically high. Therefore if you apply your logic that temerature is a measure and therefore can't be hot I don't see how it can be high either.
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I follow Timpeac's argument, impeccably presented of course, but still feel that I am entirely comfortable with temperatures that are high or low, but not temperatures that are hot or cold? In case you feel like asking why, I really haven't a clue.

    A half-hearted, feeble explanation is that the object, or "it" (the weather) may be hot or cold.

    The other half of the half-hearted, feeble explanation is that in any given context I understand high temperature or low temperature implicitly.
    So if I am talking about me, high temperature is anything over 38 degrees.
    If I am talking cooking in the oven, high temperature is probably over 200 degrees.
    If I am talking about physics, low temperature is about whatever nitrogen freezes at.
    If I am talking washing machine, low temperature is about 40 degrees - which is more than high temperature when talking about me.

    Is that clear?

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