In the interests of full disclosure, I must stress the fact that I’m never wrong—about anything. I thought I was wrong recently, but I later learned that I was right. I was chastised by a blogger for misspelling “adultery.” I was told that the correct spelling is “adultry.” I don’t spell by rote—I spell by instinct. That statement is copyrighted, but all are free to use it. Check out this definition of adultery at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adultery. It’s worth the read.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Adultery” is referred to as extramarital sex, philandery, or infidelity, but does not include fornication (Italics are mine). The term “adultery” for many people carries a moral or religious association, while the term “extramarital sex” is morally or judgmentally neutral.”
I’ve read that definition humpteen times, so to speak, and I still don’t understand it.
Adultery does not include fornication?
Wikipedia defines fornication separately as “consensual sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other.”
If this is true, that in the context of Wikipedia’s definition of adultery that fornication is not adultery and given the time-worn adage that the thought is as bad as the deed—or as good, perhaps, but not likely—one may as well do it. Perhaps most of us will deny it, but most of us are guilty of such thoughts, even the illustrious among us. Jimmie Carter, for example, a former president of the United States and married to the same woman for more than sixty years, was quoted in his interview for an article published in Playboy magazine as saying that he lusts in his heart. Perhaps, as Jimmie Carter goes so goes the nation, but perhaps not. I wager that very few of us would be as honest as Jimmie Carter was in his statement to Playboy, but I could be wrong—I can only speak for myself.
Permit me to quote (and corrupt) a stanza from a poem by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832):
“Breathes there a man with soul so dead
that never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!”
If you are wondering about the pertinence of the above quote, trust me—it’s pertinent. In today’s society when we, whether male or female, are faced with a physically attractive person of the opposite sex we tend to voice, albeit soundlessly, the following thought to replace the third line of Sir Walter Scott’s poem as follows:
“Oh, boy! I’d like to . . . . . .”
The possible variations of substitutions for the third line are infinite—one is bound only by one’s imagination.
Of course Sir Walter is referring to a man’s fealty (fidelity) to his native land. He probably never considered the possibility that his words might, some two centuries after his death, open a wide window of opportunity to the feckless (and reckless) among the world’s population.
Special note: In compliance with our Equal Opportunity laws and in fairness to the fairer sex (females), it must be noted that the corruption of this stanza in Sir Walter’s poem requires replacing the words “man” and “himself” by the words “woman” and “herself.”
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Postscript: I returned to this post today, February 14, 2011 (Valentine’s Day—ain’t that a hoot!) intending to bring it up to date with a reposting, and in researching Wikipedia I found that the above sentence, “Adultery” is referred to as extramarital sex, philandery, or infidelity, but does not include fornication. The term “adultery” for many people carries a moral or religious association, while the term “extramarital sex” is morally or judgmentally neutral, has been removed from Wikipedia’s definition of adultery. Apparently someone, perhaps an alert reader of the original posting, challenged that definition and called Wikipedia’s attention to that clause.
So listen up, everyone, and be forewarned—adultery does include fornication!