So my husband Leo, my daughter Q and I were sitting together around the dinner table, sharing our nightly repast. My husband was telling us about how much he has improved the lives of the three of us by doing so much housework today. He was especially interested in pointing out that both his daughter and his wife have benefitted from his efforts.
Him addressing both of us: "You are really lucky that your husband and your father does so much work around here."
Me addressing him: "You mean "or"...as in 'You are lucky that your husband OR your father does so much work around here.'" (any help with the quotation marks is welcome)
Him: "No. I am both a husband and a father."
At this, I roll my eyes.
Then he leans back in his chair a little bit so he can draw a boundary in the air around both Q and me with his hands and says emphatically: "Yooouuuu...as in plural." Like he's explaining a difficult concept.
Him, with his hands hovering in the air sorta like bestowing a blessing upon us: "Yooouuuu (waving his jazz hands over us) are lucky to have a husband and a father to clean up after you all the time."
Me: "Yes, but the quality of having you as a husband does not apply to each member of this group, nor does the quality of having you as a father. They don't distribute transitively among the members of the group. The group is a singular thing, even though there are multiple entities within it, and the separate relationships of husband and father do not apply to the group itself, because both qualities do not apply to each member of the group. Therefore, you should use the exclusive "or": 'You are lucky to have a husband OR father who cleans up after you.' " (again - quotation marks here - comments welcome)
At which point he sighed and started clearing the table.
The trick is to change the subject and wear him down.
Now, even as I was saying it, I wasn't sure I was right. I felt I was right, but thought I kinda sounded like an idiot. Not that I shared that thought with Leo, of course.
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