Combinations of More Exciting Perceptual Qualities in Language
An ongoing collection of popular, nonsensical expressions made up of sequences of qualities humans find exciting universally by default.
Humans perceive heat, fluidity, disorder, brightness, dynamic motion, upwardness and outwardness as exciting by comparison to their opposites coldness, solidness, order, darkness, stasis, downwardness and inwardness, as discussed in More and Less Exciting Things. This story is primarily a list of popular, idiomatic expressions containing a sequence of references to phenomena representing simple, exciting perceptual qualities. These sequences are far more common than one would expect, to the point that it becomes obvious our understanding of the qualities making them up predates the evolution of language in humans by a long period of time, and that they can be used to explore the fundamental physical structure of the brain. Languages evolve to fit a preexisting conceptual system based on these and other more and less exciting qualities.
We use references to the given exciting qualities or phenomena exhibiting them regularly in communication, often to convey various types of emotional excitement such as anger as in “piss off,” “get a rise out of,” “my blood was boiling,” and “fight fire with fire,” or sexual arousal as in “he/she is hot as hell,” as discussed in the story Brain Heat. Similar phrases are used to describe such things as danger (“a red flag”), disbelief (“way out there”), lying (“full of hot air”), uncertainty (“up in the air”), learning (“blown away”) and being high on drugs (“lit up,” “tripping out”).
To illustrate, using idioms in the previous paragraph translated into the given qualities, “pissed off” expresses anger using a combination of fluidity with outwardness. “Get a rise out of” combines up and outwardness to describe the same emotion, substituting upwardness for fluidity. “Boiling blood,” “hot as hell” and “fight fire with fire” are exciting…