About Fierce Particular

My name is Paul Kurth. I live in Portland, Oregon and these are my Libertarian opinions.

What is a Fierce Particular?

One recent evening before bed, I was reading The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle to my young son. It’s part of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit’s Storytime Collection which includes some outstanding color artwork, a dapper frog, and of course a cabbage-stealing rabbit thief. The style of speech throughout these stories is antiquated, and the characters sometimes speak in rather interesting ways which I enjoy reading aloud. My two year old could care less, but thinks we might be on to something with the frog who eats bugs. As we were reading, one line stuck in my head and after putting my son to bed, I flipped back through the story searching for what I thought were the words, “fierce particular.”

The hedgehog washerwoman replies to a question from an inquisitive girl named Lucie about some fabric soaking in a basin:

“They’re little dicky shirt-fronts belonging to Tom Titmouse – most terrible particular!” said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. “Now I’ve finished my ironing; I’m going to air some clothes.”

I had mistaken the word, but had stumbled upon my muse.

I doubt Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle voted for Ron Paul in any recent election, (nor for Theodore Roosevelt in 1904).  As an English woman and certainly as a hedgehog, such things were unheard of in that day. Lucie certainly wasn’t old enough for anything more than talking to fully dressed animals, and so you can see that Beatrix Potter’s influence on politics ends here.

This is all to say that Libertarian opinion is a particularly fierce line of reasoning, and you should take care when ironing the shirt of a titmouse.

Paul Kurth

[December 2012]

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