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Language Log

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 12:36 p.m.

One of the things I liked about True Grit (the book-- I haven't seen the movies) is how Mattie is, for all her matter-of-fact toughness, just a regular 14 year old. These days with all your strong female action hero types (I know they're still tokens, so it sounds odd to say it that way), one's expectation tends to be that the female lead will kick butt. The females thse days either kick butt or are damsels in distress. But Mattie was a more realistic character-- singleminded, but no stronger than average and no better with a gun than usual and even cries under stress. But nevertheless she has grit.

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