Distinctio (dis-tinc’-ti-o): Eliminating ambiguity surrounding a word by explicitly specifying each of its distinct meanings.
I was wedlocked when I was 17, or should I say “married,” the common term for being wed. I think “wedlock” best describes the state of being married. “Lock” is the key—ha, ha. The key to the cage of marriage is a ruthless lawyer, who relishes the pain and suffering of your spouse and can transform it to your advantage in divorce court. If she uses cash, she’s stealing your money. If she walks your son to school, she’s abusing him, tiring him out and affecting his performance in school. If she cooks, she’s trying to poison you. And then, there’s the Big A—Adultery. The gold standard of marriage breakers.
I planned my wife’s unfaithfulness meticulously. I used a book I got at Barnes & Nobles as my guide. It was an instruction manual titled: “How to Make Her Look Unfaithful.” The plans were elaborate, but foolproof, especially with the “Lying Eye” video app. I videoed her naked walking across our bedroom after her nightly shower. She blew me a kiss. Then, when we got an Amazon delivery, I videoed her walking through the garage to take the package from the delivery man. I was excited. Soon I would be rid of her at no cost because of having been the victim of her immorality.
I went down in the basement to edit the video. I edited the garage video, cutting out everything but the package handoff, but leaving the background of the garage. Then I layered in her naked walk, editing out the bedroom background. It looked like she was meeting the delivery man naked in the garage! It was a triumph of incrimination. She was horrified when I showed it to her. She wanted to know where I got it from. I wouldn’t tell.
I filed for divorce the next day. Two weeks later I walked into the courtroom and nearly died. There were the delivery man, the woman who had sold me the instruction manual, and, on Zoom, the CEO of the company that sold me the “Lying Eyes” app. Needless to say I went down in flames. I got six months in jail for fraud, was fined $2,000 and had to pay court costs. The divorce was reheard. I lost everything.
Two years later, I was walking through the mall and I saw my former wife and the delivery man. I was shocked. She saw me and waved shyly. She was pushing a baby carriage.
- Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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