Now, what I suspect was the case was that he was just blowing off steam having lost big time in family court and didn't actually intend for anyone's ears to ring. That and the fact that "Intent" (which is a key component of tortious actions) is not an easy thing to prove. That said, had he changed tactics and actually thrown a punch or spat in my face (which happens from time to time), today's word would have been BATTERY. No, not that kind of battery. According to Black's Law Dictionary (9th Edition) a civil battery is an intentional and offensive touching of another without lawful justification; a criminal battery is defined as the use of force against another, resulting in harmful or offensive contact. I suspect the difference between the two is who brings the legal action. If I were to sue the slug to slugged me, it would be a civil battery (and I would be seeking monetary and compensatory damages). If the district attorney were to pursue legal action, it would be criminal and he'd be seeking that the person sit in jail for a while and think about what he'd done - sort of like "time out" for adults.
So, I guess the moral to this story is - if you don't want to wind up being the focus of today's word of the day, yell outside the library and not at the librarian. Thank you have you all have a great rest of the day!