The verb soften refers to the action of making something soft (flaccid, flabby, loose or soft). For example: “To soften the meat, it is best to hit it with a dough or boil it for an hour”, “The new mattress is a little hard, but I know it will soften over the course of days”, “The recipe indicates that it is best to soften the chickpeas in warm water. ”
Beyond the use of the term in a physical sense, softening can also be linked to softening a posture, a thought or something symbolic: “The government does not plan to soften its position and will remain firm in the negotiations”, “The solidarity campaign has managed to soften the hearts of thousands of people “, ” Analysts believe that the ruling candidate must soften his image to reach other sectors of the electorate. ”
This sense of the word soften can serve to refer to misconceptions, usually related to anger between two people over superficial issues. If someone gets angry with a friend for reasons of little gravity, it is possible to be said that “when it softens, the relation will return to be as before”. This is because obfuscation, that is to say a state of great confusion and the impossibility of reasoning correctly, is considered homologous to extreme solidity.
The idea of softening, on the other hand, is used with respect to what is carried out to get a person to put aside their intransigence or anger: “We are going to leave him locked up for a few days: this is how he will soften”, “The authorities sent the soldiers to soften the suspects “, ” I have great resistance, they will not be able to soften me easily “.
In some South American countries, finally, the notion of softening is linked to the fact of rolling a new vehicle (0 kilometer) until the parts of its engine are seated and fit together perfectly, and that the pressure of the lubrication circuit and the compression of the motor can be carried out correctly.
In this sense, specialists recommend traveling a certain number of kilometers taking various precautions to soften the car, such as constant control of temperature and oil, and avoiding speeds that exceed a value determined by the manufacturer. This “softening” process of brand new cars is considered very important for optimum performance and durability.
A few decades ago, cars that had just left the factory used to bring a sticker that indicated the need for such special treatment, with phrases such as «On softening; do not withdraw before traveling 1000 kilometers ». Thanks to the presence of this warning message, drivers behind one of these vehicles knew that they should not require their owners to exceed certain speeds or accelerate sharply.
The experts in the field assure that the old vehicles that continue to work admirably owe their condition to an adequate softening process. Over the years, engine technology has advanced considerably, and today zero kilometer cars are delivered with a pre-settlement process, without stickers like those mentioned above. All of this has led consumers to think that cars no longer need to be softened for optimum performance and extended service life.
However, this is not entirely true: to ensure that the different components of a new car offer ideal performance, it is still necessary to travel a certain number of kilometers, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, taking the aforementioned precautions.