CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
We have painstakingly curated 52 lost meanings of wedlock, one to inspire each week of an engagement. Why lost meanings? The definition of "marriage" has become hotly debated of late, to the point that the word has become "increasingly unmentionable" (Catholic Herald) or even "has no meaning at all" (Family Policy Institute). It's been said that only through loss can there be gain, that only through loss can we truly grow and understand what is at stake, that only through loss can that which is beautiful be found. As the poet Joseph August has noted, "Only through loss can we glimpse the deepest meanings, / hints and flashes whispered from below / elucted as from underwater, deep." The collected lost meanings of wedlock might surprise even those who would otherwise be considered well-informed.