getting warm? ABC Murders

Following my first question here of Feb.25, to which Dr. Sheppard has kindly given a quick reply for which I thank you very much, I would like comments on the below:


"We are getting warm,"said Inspector Crome-rather inaccurately, for he himself was always slightly chilly.


What is "inaccurate"?

 My friend says "getting warm" is not accurate English expression, but "getting hot" accurate. But, acording to my dictionaries, "getting hot" seems not inaccurate. I would appreciate explanation on this. 


  • The term 'getting warm', is a term used to suggest you are getting close to solving something. As a kid, it was always used as a clue in an 'I Spy' guessing game to help the person find the answer. I can't find the page in the book where it is spoken, but Inspector Crome's words suggest that he thinks they are getting close to solving the case. The word 'inaccurate' as used in the book implies that Inspector Crome was not very good at solving the clue and hence he was chilly - a play on words. We would not use the phrase 'getting hot' in this way, but one that implies the temperate of the room is heating up hence, getting hot or hotter.
  • Inaccurate means not accurate, or not correct. I think the word is used ironically, because the rest of the sentence - that he himself was always rather chilly - is meant to be understood realistically - that he always felt physically cold. 

    In England the weather has always been a subject for conversation. At the time the book was written, it was believed that people who were pampered - who didn't exercise, weren't active physically, didn't take cold showers and kept their bedroom windows closed - would feel the cold more than people who did the opposite (and would also be more sick or "catch a chill"), so that calling a person "rather chilly" is a mild criticism. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Inaccurate is a Polite way of saying wrong
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