Distinctio (dis-tinc’-ti-o): Eliminating ambiguity surrounding a word by explicitly specifying each of its distinct meanings.
Pecker: a very complex term layered with meanings that become clear when it is put into play in an unambiguous context, or not. I will list sentences below that use the word pecker, followed by the pecker synonym fitting the context of each listing.
1. His pecker was big and fat and pink and was dripping on the floor. NOSE
2. He grabbed the duck by its big orange pecker and threw it over the fence. BILL
3. He put his string firmly in his pecker, guaranteeing he would shoot where he wanted to. He had just had his pecker scrubbed down for the day’s event. He was sure he would shoot the farthest and the straightest and be grand champion again this year. NOTCH IN AN ARROW
4. He stood behind the big wooden pecker, looking for inspiration. This was a special group of people who had invited him to speak. The big pecker was made out of maple, unstained and uncolored—along with its size, it was the most beautiful pecker he’d ever stood behind. Too many peckers these days are made from metal instead of wood. Wooden peckers usually have carvings symbolic of the interest the peckers serve—spiritual, educational, political. LECTERN
5. He was the biggest pecker I ever knew. He loved Home Style Buffet, where being a super pecker was lauded—often with a standing ovation. He loved to lay on the floor under the ice cream machine and have somebody turn it on and dispense his favorite chocolate straight into his mouth. Once he almost choked to death, but a fellow chocolate lover gave him mouth to mouth, as much for the flavor as the first aid. He was the King of Peckers, at his best when slurping macaroni and cheese from the stainless steel Experts Trough. It was eight feet off the floor with red carpeting on the stairs and “Experts Trough” flashing off and on in an arc of red and yellow lights. Two people had drowned in the trough. It must’ve been terrible. At a memorial service for of them, in lieu candles, they held up small ziplock bags filled with warm macaroni and cheese. Anyway, my friend was a big pecker; a great pecker, a wonder pecker, almost too good to be true. FOOD LOVER
Well, there we have it—many of the ins and outs and ins and outs of peckers. We know now that pecker has more meanings than plain old “pecker.” So, fill a bag with your best peckers and be like Jimmy Carter. TOOLS.
- Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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