the killing cold temperature and the cutting wind combined with our clammy feet

sounds inappropriate.

Should we use:

  1. the killing cold temperature, the cutting wind, and our clammy feet
  2. the killing cold temperature and the cutting wind (coupled/along with) our clammy feet

For reference: We brought a beach tent, set it up on a hard ground that seemed impenetrable. Without a ground sheet or even an earth pad, the killing cold temperature and the cutting wind combined with our clammy feet made us feel like we won’t survive the night.

  • You have a problem here with clammy feet. The other conditions sound threatening enough, but nobody in any language ever failed to survive the night due to clammy feet! The idea and both phrases are, frankly, hilarious in that context, and I don't think you're trying for humor here. Or are you? Aug 11, 2016 at 5:35
  • @P.E I disagree. It's common to utter something like If I get bitten by another mosquito, I'm going to die. Such would likely be a typical example of hyperbole, not neccessarily expressive of humor. Besides, if the combined effect of those factors were sufficiently intense, a speaker could be quite reasonably concerned about survival. Aug 11, 2016 at 6:13
  • 1
    To this reader, at leaat, it sounds unintentionally humorous. Aug 11, 2016 at 7:13
  • @P.E I can't argue with that! :) Aug 11, 2016 at 7:50
  • @P.E.Dant actually its a bit exaggerated that we wont be able to survive the night because of clammy feet. What we're saying here is that all these factors, the killing cold temp, cutting wind plus the clammy feet (main factor that kept us awake) were the reasons we had a hard time during that moment. And yes, we're using hyperbole. Aug 11, 2016 at 8:12

1 Answer 1


The writing is grammatical, but not exactly natural for native speakers.

We can use combined with as it's used in the text you provided. We can also use along with to give the same meaning.

We can also use coupled with, but to couple means to join two things, or to refer to two things jointly. There are three things mentioned in the text, but we can conceptualize the idea as (A + B) + C.

A more standard way to give the idea expressed is:

Without a ground sheet or even an earth pad, the killing cold temperature and the cutting wind, combined with our clammy feet, made us feel like we wouldn't survive the night.

The commas I have added shift the meaning to suggest that all three things together made us worry.

Without the commas, it tends more to suggest that these factors acted to link themselves together, or that an external force or agent put them together. This distinction can be a subtle one, or an important one, depending on the context.

Along with stands apart from the other choices because it is more likely to suggest that we are referring to things collectively, and does not carry the possible connotation that the things were combined as an action.

  • ... is temperature really needed? I think not.
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 11, 2016 at 8:20
  • @JavaLatte its really cold that time. freezing cold Aug 11, 2016 at 8:29
  • @Arkei, yes, but killing cold is enough. You don't need to say killing cold temperature. Adding temperature doesn't make it sound colder.. just a bit weird.
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 11, 2016 at 8:40
  • @JavaLatte ooohhhh okay now I get it! Aug 11, 2016 at 13:41

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