Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V4 #235

Date: 26 Apr 2002

Hi Jim,
    The more you're called upon to explain and defend your definition, the more I admire what you've done. You haven't strayed an inch outside the campground in which you staked your original claim. The size and shape you've given us may not please everybody, and it may not win universal acceptance, but it certainly meets the criteria of a good definition - it is precise, clear, simple, easy to apply, and it covers most (or all) of the class under consideration, and few (or none) of those who fall outside the class.
    To a large degree we test definitions through intuition. We pick up examples that we "know" fit within a given catagory, and measure them against the definition. If they don't fit, we either discard the definition or develop a new understanding of the examples. Each time someone has thrown examples your way, you've applied your definition and tossed the candidate
"in" or "out," and in each case your judgment has been consistently applied.
 You've had no problem living with the consequences of applying your definition.
    Like many others on the list, I've encountered instances in which the invocation of "Doherty's Rule," hasn't "felt right;" it has either been too restrictive or too loose. Consequently, I continue to tinker around the edges of your choice of words, but overall, I'd say you've nailed hardboiled and noir in a thoroughly tough and colloquial manner.

                                        Jim Blue

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