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This is most certainly true. And for the folks who know me, fisticuffs are not in my DNA.

Of course, this happened when I was younger–and at a brew pub–but the metaphorical significance prevails.

So there I was, gesticulating wildly to an interlocutor, spinning a yarn a mile wide whenI dropped the word ‘gerrymander’. It was admittedly not a perfect fit–but some aspect of it worked for me. I recall needing a word that connoted (not denoted!) ‘defining the shape of something for political ends’.  ‘Gerrymandered’ popped out. Nice, I thought.

Here’s a quick look at what happened next:

Friend-of-a-friend: “Hey, you can’t use gerrymander like that!”

Me: “What?”

Friend-of-a-friend: “Gerrymander means…[insert political science definition here]”

Me: “I know that–but I’m free to make words conform to my needs–language is pliable per user. I get to do what I want!”

Friend-of-a-friend: “That’s ridiculous! And sloppy!”

Me:  “That’s creative–and fun!”

So if you plotted the hostility on a graph it would look like a hockey stick.

All the other ‘friends-of-friends’ had to send us to opposite sides of the brew pub–DINGDINGDINGDING. It was like a boxing match… And somehow, about every 30 minutes, we would cross paths and the debate would burst open like a baked potato in a microwave.

Since I like make the world easy to understand, I’ll make this grand conclusion: Some folks just like to stick to the rules. And some folks (ahem!) think there’s just too much darn fun to be had breaking them.

The world is indeed a black and white cookie.