One of my good friends is all about defining things when we chat. I'll tell him my weekend was "good" and he'll ask me to define what "good" means to me.
Is that "weekend in Vegas that made my wallet four inches fatter" good or "went to the pool and none of my children drowned" good?
I'll drop a line about how well my kids are sleeping and he wants to know what a kid sleeping well looks like. "Definitions matter," he says, "because everyone views the world differently."
So to answer the question of whether or not Tiger Woods' 149-shot traipse around Congressional Country Club for the Quicken Loans National last week was a "success" let's first define what "success" looks like.
And instead of me making up some arbitrary definition, let's go to the source. Actually, first let's go to Webster.
According to the dictionary "success" is "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose."
Now to Tiger's "aim or purpose" from the beginning of last week when asked whether or not he was at the Quicken Loans National to win it.
"Expectations don't change," he said. "That's the ultimate goal. It's just that it's going to be a little bit harder this time. I just haven't had the amount of prep and reps that I would like, but I'm good enough to play, and I'm going to give it a go."
By that definition -- his own, by the way -- any time Woods doesn't win a golf tournament, it's a failure, or "not a success."
I think he would step outside of that a little bit and say the goal (not the ultimate one, but just a weekly goal) is to at least compete for a tournament title at every tournament which, despite a few bright spots, he did not come close to doing.
This is complicated, though.
Because Tiger is coming off a large-scale back surgery a successful tournament to me was just him playing and not getting injured.
And it was partly successful to him, too.
"Even though I missed the cut by four shots; the fact that I was able to even play," said Woods after the tournament. "I came back four weeks earlier than we thought I could. I had no setbacks. I got my feel for playing tournament golf."
So it was a success in the sense that there were no setbacks and based on Woods' retroactive definition of a successful week.
But as Fox Sports' Robert Lusetich pointed out, Woods played so badly that he took to blaming the type of grass he plays on for his poor performance. That's not the Tiger we know, back surgery or not.
That's not the Tiger that Tiger wants to be either, if his pre-tournament press conference -- the one where he said "expectations don't change" -- was any indication.
Maybe the real question should be whether or not Tiger needs to set some more realistic pre-tournament goals of what success is these days (especially after back surgery).
But despite his upbeat attitude after the second round about how he just had a few "little things" to fix this, by his own pre-tournament definiton, was not a successful week of golf.
He missed the cut for only the 10th time in his career and failed to move up in the FedEx Cup points rankings (he's still 208th). He did nothing successful golf-wise.
This is a different Tiger, though. A family-oriented-recovering-from-surgery Tiger who seems to have a lot of non-golf stuff going on in his life.
He thought it wasn't successful but then he did. And I sort of did, too, based on my pre-tournament definition for what success would mean for Tiger.
You know what?
The real answer about whether or not this week was a success, just like Tiger's game (and life) for the last five years, is pretty complicated.