President Obama’s expressing his opinion about same sex marriage stirred controversy among people who were for or against this concept. I am, personally, for complete equality between the same sex and opposite sex in marriage and am in full agreement with civil unions which is a legally recognized union similar to marriage. What slightly bothers me and is hard for me to digest are the words related to this concept: marriage, husband and wife.
I am a linguist and all my life I have been working with words in different capacities, teaching, writing, translating, and so on. I think the English language is very flexible, productive, and like other Indo-European languages powerful in coining new words for a new concept by the tool of affixation.
Therefore, it would not be difficult to coin a word for same sex marriage instead of using the archaic word marriage with all the historical, traditional, and cultural weight that it carries with it. The same is necessary for husband and wife.
The explanation of the word “marriage” in all dictionaries is: “a social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religion ceremonies, etc.” Or the explanation of “wife” in dictionaries is: “a woman joined in marriage to a man; a woman considered in relation to her husband; spouse.”
As much as gay people try not to be different, still there are some differences between opposite sex marriage and same sex marriage. This is a reminder of differences between a man and a woman. There are physical and biological differences between them but, these differences should not dictate any superiority of one sex over another. This is unequivocally applicable to same sex and opposite sex marriages. Although, they are different in shape, by no means, is one better than the other.
So, because of the differences in concept, we need to come up with an appropriate word that describes same sex marriage and the concept of husband and wife. The traditional, archaic description of a wife is a woman with pretty hair, a pretty face, nice clothing, and coquetry. Thus, when one sees a large figured man with beard and mustache who talks about his husband on the television the whole idea of a wife crumbles in her/his mind.
Again, one can easily see the necessity for coining new words for these new concepts. Here is my modest proposal: using “meryoage” for the same sex marriage when both are male. This comes from “meryo- "young man", in Sanskrit, the old language of India, “marya”- "young man, suitor". Also, “meriage” can be used when both are women. This comes from “mari," a young woman, from PIE base “meri”- "young wife" of course with the suffix “age” at the end of both terms.
It is up to you to come up with words for husband and wife. I am certainly not responsible for all.
|Recently by Mahvash Shahegh||Comments||Date|
|Nov 24, 2012|
خداوند و استفاده از زن برای تبلیغ
|Sep 19, 2012|
آیا این خداوند است که متمدّن تر شده یا پیامبر خدا؟
|Sep 07, 2012|
|نسرین ستوده: زندانی روز||Dec 04|
|Saeed Malekpour: Prisoner of the day||Lawyer says death sentence suspended||Dec 03|
|Majid Tavakoli: Prisoner of the day||Iterview with mother||Dec 02|
|احسان نراقی: جامعه شناس و نویسنده ۱۳۰۵-۱۳۹۱||Dec 02|
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Prisoner of the day||46 days on hunger strike||Dec 01|
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Graffiti||In Barcelona||Nov 30|
|گوهر عشقی: مادر ستار بهشتی||Nov 30|
|Abdollah Momeni: Prisoner of the day||Activist denied leave and family visits for 1.5 years||Nov 30|
|محمد کلالی: یکی از حمله کنندگان به سفارت ایران در برلین||Nov 29|
|Habibollah Golparipour: Prisoner of the day||Kurdish Activist on Death Row||Nov 28|