Fairly Cool

At the weekend I was briefly introduced to some young people with this line,
“Oh this is Ian from the Diocese, he’s fairly cool!”

This left me wondering how I was to understand, “fairly cool?” Where on the subjective continuum from “tragically un-hip” to “Cooool” does it sit? Should I be pleased? Should I be discouraged? I have no pretensions about actually being Cool but maybe something along the lines of,
“hey this is Ian, he’s not uncool!” (I like double negatives) may have been better!
I need some definitions here!
As ever I’m left with lots of questions:
What is the unit of coolness?
What is the universal standard of cool that is kept in Paris from which subsequent measurements are taken?
Is Coolness something which is important for a youthworker aged 37?
What is the entry level of coolness acceptable to a youthwork employer?
If being un-cool became the new cool, how cool would that be?

Yours fairly coolly

2 Replies to “Fairly Cool”

  1. In my experience “Fairly cool” is actually better than “cool” cos young people don’t always like to be precise about these things. An element of uncertainty like “fairly” probably means they don’t think you worry about whether you’re cool or not but think you’re acceptable.
    As to what the scale of cool is measured by. According to more than one young person I have a COOL CAR (It’s a 1988 Fiat Panda!) – Go figure!

  2. There is, of course, the Eddie Izzard school of thought regarding coolness. This takes a circular form, starting with “looking like a ****head”, round to “average”, “cool”, “really cool”, “hip and groovy”, which then comes back round to “looking like a ****head”. It’s a fine line, apparently, so I’m guessing the ideal state is around the area somewhere between average and cool.
    The very fact that they said “fairly cool” illustrates that they’re trying to be cool themselves (seeing as being TOO interested in anything between the ages of 12 and 16 is totally unacceptable). This suggests that the introducer was either trying to look cool in front of the introduced, or in front of the introducee. My guess is that it was both.

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