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When do you use coldness? I rarely but sometimes here it in the sense of someone's lack of feelings, for example (like someone's coldness from the inside), but even then I'd say that cold is not inappropriate either.

I searched a bit online but did not find serious (enough) arguments.

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Also dark, darkness.

I couldn't see because of the dark/darkness.

Dark is not an abstract quality; it's the absence of light.

Cold is not abstract; it's the lack of heat.

Sometimes it's speaker's choice, but the noun formation using -ness creates a noun from the adjectives cold, dark. One would use the -ness versions when expressing the abstract quality of the adjectival version:

His heart was dark. There was darkness in his heart.

Her heart was cold. There was coldness in her heart.

The -ness nouns are modifications of the given adjectives.

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    great, thanks, nice comparison with 'dark' – Marius Hofert May 11 '19 at 16:05
  • And saying "I didn't like him because of his cold" means something else. – Weather Vane May 11 '19 at 17:44

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