An ice-cold glass of blood??
November 22, 2019 12:54 PM   Subscribe

In this NYT article, the author describes using "kk" (versus "OK") as "an ice-cold glass of blood: mostly neutral, slightly basic." Have you ever heard the phrase "an ice-cold glass of blood" before? How is this "mostly neutral" and "slightly basic"? What's at all neutral about a glass of blood? It seems very dramatic to me. Could it be the acidity? I'm so confused.
posted by catcafe to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Given the next two answers in the column, this appears to be workplace advice from Night Vale. But I cannot tell if it is fiction or if Night Vale is here, and my blood runs ice-cold wondering.
posted by clew at 1:03 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I would think it is the acidity: Blood pH is regulated to stay within the narrow range of 7.35 to 7.45, making it slightly basic.
posted by ringu0 at 1:06 PM on November 22, 2019 [10 favorites]

I'm even more confused after reading the article. The point the LW makes is that "OK" is viewed as passive-aggressive or angry, so you're supposed to use "kk" to show you're not mad or whatever. So why is "kk" the one described as "an ice-cold glass of blood"? Shouldn't that description be for "OK"?
posted by holborne at 1:54 PM on November 22, 2019

I think it's saying "kk" is neutral and basic (like blood) not passive-aggressive like "O.K.", but also gross, like a glass of cold blood?

This gen-xer uses "kk" because it's easier to type with my clumsy fingers. And a single "k" is a declaration of silent, seething, endless war. And if you add a period, the assassins are already en route.

posted by lovecrafty at 2:13 PM on November 22, 2019 [10 favorites]

For what it's worth, the author of that article Caity Weaver has a pretty unique writing style. I love her The Best Restaurant series. That said, I'm an extremely online person who follows her writing and I also don't get that reference (but I do use "kk" for the reasons discussed in the article).
posted by wuzandfuzz at 2:43 PM on November 22, 2019

Best answer: I mean, this article also asserts that the seven actually indispensable employees in existence are known as the Seven Shields, so it is possible absurdism has crept in somewhere
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 2:51 PM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: She was going for a fresh way to say 'sang froid' (as in calm and unruffled) and it didn't quite land.
posted by mdrew at 3:04 PM on November 22, 2019 [29 favorites]

I think she is using the newish, slightly derogatory "your taste is mainstream/boring" definition of the word "basic". As in, basic people might say "kk let's get pumpkin spiced lattes". It is neutral in that it doesn't feel rude or curt. Then she is using the other definitions of neutral and basic (chemistry) to make a slightly jokey analogy.
posted by acidic at 3:17 PM on November 22, 2019 [17 favorites]

Acidic is correct, and they should know.
posted by exceptinsects at 3:49 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

This means "cool," as in noncommittal and unruffled, as in a riff on "cold blood."
posted by Miko at 9:02 PM on November 22, 2019

My take is from the contextual warmth standpoint, imagine if you will the sole 'k as indecisive and moot, the 'ok' as rage to end spite, and kk as the idiot who tripped over his own foot on his way to stab you in the throat. Most text messages in conversation length drawl have one of these participants . I agree this is as basic as an ice cold glass of blood, lacking any intellectual acid.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 6:01 AM on November 23, 2019

The way she uses the phrase "ice cold glass of blood" really does sound like the opposite of what she means, so I'm a bit confused, too. On the other hand, the only person I know who regularly used Kk instead of Ok is a total asshole, and seeing it now really does chill my blood, so.
posted by Mchelly at 3:30 PM on November 23, 2019

The author addressed it on twitter
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 4:52 AM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

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