RARA-AVIS: Hard-boiled about definitions

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 27 Apr 2002

I guess I am always surprised at how serious people can get about definitions. I've never been one to want to bear down hard on my crayon to make boxes with heavy lines. This is in; this is out. Sez me, according to two or three words that I have defined the way I want them defined and if there is a borderline case, well then, I'm the judge and jury of what goes in that box.

It's just not a game that gets me off. Is "self-confidence" automatically a part of "tough?" Gee, I don't know. I've certainly seen people where I suspected their outward toughness was a result of a lack of true self-confidence. Some of them were too big to discuss my theory with them.

I've also known some mean little guys who would jump anyone, any size and never quit until they were KOed. Such cases of "fear-aggression" might not qualify as "tough" by some definitions but those are the guys I give a lot of room when the pool hall gets rowdy. Are they hard-boiled? Gee, I don't know. They are certainly colloquial and have attitude to spare.

Don't get me wrong. I can be as arbitrary as the next guy. I don't think of Batman as "hard-boiled" because I consider comic-book super heroes as some other category. It has nothing to do with his upbringing or his speech pattern. I guess it's something about batmobiles and everybody dressing up in masks and tights that make me view such a character as not in the same category as Spade and Marlowe.

Any of you are free to think of Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman as HB without bothering me in the least.

Richard Moore

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