February 23rd, 2004


An interesting item of note

I was reading roc441's post on this, and decided to look up "marriage", just to see how the American Heritage Dictionary defined it. You might be surprised:

marriage 1a. The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife. b. The state of being married; wedlock. c. A common-law marriage. d. A union between two persons having the customary but usu. not the legal force of marriage: a same sex marriage.

So I looked up "marry", because the dictionary told me to:

marry -tr. 1a To join as spouses by exchanging vows. b. To take a spouse. c. To give in marriage. 2. To preform a marriage ceremony for. 3. To obtain by marriage. 4. Nautical To join (two ropes) end to end by interweaving their strands. 5. To unite in a close, usu. permanent way.
-intr.</i> 1. To take a spouse; wed. 2. To combine or blend agreeably.</i>

So I looked up Spouse, because I was highly curious as to what this "spouse" they talked about was. Is it a man, a woman, or even gender-specific?

spouse A marriage partner; a husband or wife.

Hmm. Weird. So where does "spouse" come from? that might tell me more:

[ME < OFr. spous < Lat. sponsus < p. part. of spondere, to pledge.]

It then directed me to the PIE root of the word, spend- and so I went and looked it up.

spend- To make an offering, perform a rite, hence to engage oneself by a ritual act.

So there's a lot of jargon there. What does it all mean? It means basically that the dictionary defines marriage as an pledge between two parties of indeterminate gender.

Personally, I think this rocks.

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