hot air disturbed him

Gergedan Cemil

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello everyone,
I was wondering if "disturb" is okay in the sentence I constructed. It's a sunny day and I'm talking about someone that doesn't like that:
"The hot air disturbed him."
As far as I know, "to disturb" can mean "to make someone anxious". But can it also mean something similar to "to irritate" or "to offend"? Or should I say "The hot air irritated/offended him." Also I'm not sure if the sentence's structure sounds unnatural. Instead, should I say, "He was disturbed by the hot air."
 
  • Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    I can't be so unequivocal about this; although it sounds quite natural and could mean irritated him or made him anxious, when talk of disturb/disturbance in a sentence about air we are usually talking about MOVEMENT - movement of the air (wind) or something such as a chimney being moved/dislodged by the wind.

    An upper-air disturbance refers to where the direction of the airflow in the upper atmosphere experiences significant changes in the flow direction.

    (Source: www.hko.gov.hk)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    While we are on the topic of hot air, Gergedan, I will add a little more of my own to the discussion. In talk about things that affect people, disturb isn't as specific as annoy or anger are. It may imply fear, annoyance, or perhaps even shame. Disturb in your sentence sounds very natural to me and I assume that it refers to something like annoyance in that context. However, I'm not sure of exactly how the hot air disturbs him.

    The vagueness and uncertainty in the meaning of disturb can be advantageous in telling a story about something if you want your story about this man to be interesting. Vague words can sometimes add a little mystery to whatever you are describing.
     

    Gergedan Cemil

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Thanks a lot for your suggestion, owlman. I have another question, if you wouldn't mind: Is "offend" also more specific than "disturb"?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You are very welcome.
    Is "offend" also more specific than "disturb"?
    Yes. If you tell me that something offends you, I assume that it somehow violates your notion of what decent speech or behavior should be. I expect you to feel angry or perhaps embarrassed by the offensive remark, deed, etc.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top