I'm having a difficulty understanding something from the book You Only Have to Be Right Once, by Randall Lane, p. 32:

Pulling onto the 405, he attentively configures the optimum temperature and wind levels for the convertible;

What are exactly those "wind levels" for the convertible?

  • It means how fast he could go in the open-air convertible before the velocity of the wind became intolerable, probably.
    – Robusto
    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:20
  • Wind speed in Beaufort?
    – lennyklb
    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:21
  • 3
    I believe it means "the optimum temperature level and optimum wind level." There is only one "wind level"; "levels" is plural because there is also a "temperature level". Jun 5, 2015 at 9:58
  • 1
    He might either be adjusting the speed of the heating/cooling fan within the car, or adjusting the windows to minimize noise from external wind, which depends on car speed. Jun 5, 2015 at 10:11
  • @PeterShor: If one were trying to determine how fast he could go before the wind became a problem, there would be more than one wind level tested, don't you think?
    – Robusto
    Jun 5, 2015 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


Your question is, "What are 'wind levels' in a convertible?"

I don't have a copy of the book, so cannot answer in context. I will, however, answer your question making the assumption that the author is expressing himself in proper and clear English.

In this case, a meaning that can justify the use of plural levels of wind, and still be related to temperature and be under the driver's control would be balancing the temperature by adjusting the air speed of the various fans (heater, air conditions, vent controls) adjusting any air flow cowlings or spoilers, rolling up side windows, etc to change the level of "wind flow" for each passenger, for the hair style of the occupants of the car, and for effecting stability of stacks of papers on the seats. Wind can flow differently through the several parts of the car.

If all this seems over complicated, then you can make the assumption that the author should have used the singular air flow. The use of the phrase " attentively configures the optimum* however implies a multivariate problem without a stable/homeostatic solution, hence multiple flows being adjusted and optimized.

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