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A Little Swagger is not a Bad Thing
Posted Oct 14, 2009 - 9:26:50

73rd StSo yesterday Calvsie posted something to my forum regarding the definition of "Swank." He, of course, had focused on the negative definitions of the word -- when anyone looking at the context could clearly see I was using it in one of its more positive senses. This got me thinking, as one of those definitions is "Swagger."

Now before someone with a dictionary jumps down my throat about some of the more negative definitions of the word, let me say that the one I'm referring to is akin to acting in a confident, somewhat cocky manner. I guess Confidence would be a better word to talk about, but Swagger just has a better sound to it.

I have to admit it, I've been described by some as overly cocky over the years. Okay, maybe not just by some -- by many, many people. Sometimes it's an affectionate description, sometimes it's said with derision... but almost always it's said at some point. That confidence sometimes gets misunderstood as arrogance though, and it sometimes makes me wonder why.

Let's make no mistake, we love fictional characters who have a bit of Swagger. The character Eddie Haskell was the real star of Leave it to Beaver, Han Solo is the character most people want to be out of the original Star Wars (and not the hero Luke), and it's the entire appeal of every single memorable character Nathan Fillion has ever played.

And nerds and geeks like me love to watch these characters for this very reason. Apparently though, they hate anyone with that quality in real life. I think of any of my friends who act in a confident manner, and I'll overhear someone make a comment about what a jerk they are. Mind you, the person they're talking about - this supposed "jerk" - might be the most decent person I know. But they make the comment.

I know they make the comment about me too.

And while I know that Geek and Nerd culture is full of Passive Aggressive people terrified of anyone with any sign of confidence, I really think they need to get over it. Having a bit of Swagger is what moves us beyond what we have. It helps you have fun. Most of all, that confidence is what makes sure you can get things done.

So don't be afraid to have a bit of Swagger.
- Traegorn

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In all honesty I was just confused by your usage because I had not heard it used as a positive before...
And don't be afraid to listen to a little Swagger, as well.

(I find it amusing that that's the Flogging Molly album I was listening to this morning as I read this entry for the first time.)

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