X marrying Y <> Y marrying X?

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Sep 10 19:35:09 UTC 2007

That's exactly what I thought, which is why the original sentence is so
puzzling. I think CW got it right, below, though. It's the unusual
nature of the reciprocity of the act of marriage that results in people
constructing odd-sounding sentences.

Perhaps "...that prevented white folks and black folks from
intermarrying/marrying each other" is the best way to fix this. BB

Baker, John wrote:
>         The point is, if it's mutual, you don't have to tell who is the
> marrier and who is the marriee.
Chris F Waigl wrote:
 > Benjamin Barrett quoted:
 >> =============
 >>  From http://bbsnews.net/article.php?story=20060824223757467
 >> A 1967 Supreme Court case that struck down a Virginia law that prevented
 >> white folks from marrying black folks and vice versa.
 >> =============
 > Well if you leave out the "and vice versa", the sentence sounds as if it
 > was only the white folks that were being "prevented". The entire thing
 > needs rewriting.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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