Terminology: Turn the AC “Down” or “Up” to Get Cooler?

published Aug 9, 2010
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Being a writer by trade—with more than a few writer friends—we’ll often get caught in discussions about semantics. Things like whether it’s proper to say “done” or “finished,” for example. But recently we got caught up in an Unplggd-worthy battle of meaning: When you want it to be cooler, do you turn the air conditioner “up” or turn it “down?”

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You say po-TAY-to, I say po-TAH-to. You say turn it up, I say turn it down.

It can all seem really trivial. But when you’re dealing with roommates, the specific language you choose can have a big effect on your communication.

Personally, I always say “turn the AC down.” I’m always thinking about the temperature, and that means that to make it cooler, you’ve got to turn the thermostat down.

In my group, I was in the majority. But others still argued that it depends on how you say the “AC” part. If you’re asking for it to be cooler, you could say both turn the air conditioner up, or turn the air conditioning down.

What do you think, readers? Are you an “upper” or a “downer?”

Should this be another thing to have to hash out with new roommates? Has your wording ever caused a dispute? Tell us in the comments!

(Top image: flickr user @heylovedc under license from Creative Commons. Inside image: Photoillustration with images from flickr users Brandi_ and sean dreilinger under license from Creative Commons.)