I originally wasn’t planning on presenting today in class. I had read the blog prompt; I had thought about different words that I could do for the project; I had originally decided against going, but then, with a boost of spontaneous courage and open time to do so in class, I proceeded to get up in front of the class and share some of the ideas that had been marinating in my mind. One of the other main contributing factors to me getting up to present was that I had noticed a pattern in the words that had gone before mine: hot, cold, smooth. I found that they all related to my word in some way or another.
The word, or texture, that I thought of was hard. I knew that once I shared that word with the class it would produce snickers, but I didn’t want to take my presentation in the mind-in-the-gutter route. I got the idea for the word when I was lying in bed (which, thanks to my mattress topper, isn’t hard) scrolling through my Yik Yak feed, and reading about how hard the most recent orgo midterm was, which got me to thinking. When we think about a surface that’s hard, it’s not comfortable; it doesn’t give, and if you fall on a hard surface, it’s going to hurt. However, when people were talking about this orgo midterm, it was hard in the sense that it was difficult, the test was unforgiving. This is where the connection to previous words comes in because before thinking about the connections to the words hot, cold, and smooth, I had only thought about these two definitions. With the word hot, I began to think of the phrase “hot-headed,” and I proceeded to assume that someone who was hot-headed would also have hard features. They wouldn’t be a friendly person, and his/her face would be rather stern. With the word cold, I thought about someone who is cold-hearted. A cold-hearted person would have a hard personality (I’ve heard this phrase before, although I have a feeling that it’s not that common) and, I’m assuming, hard to get along with as well. The last connection that I made was to smooth. When Phil was talking about having a smooth drink, I couldn’t help but think of a hard drink. Ironically enough, most of the drinks that he described, whiskey or rum, as being smooth are also considered hard drinks.
Steeping back, all these variations on hard seem to have a theme of unwelcoming, discomfort, and unforgivingness. By realizing the connotations associated with the word “hard,” we are able to understand on a deeper level whenever we read or heard something described as hard. Instead of just understanding on a pure feeling or aesthetic basis, we can understand on also a societal one as well.