Dictionaries recognize same-sex marriage; opponents allege plot

Dennis Baron debaron at illinois.edu
Thu Mar 19 03:51:04 UTC 2009


There's another new post on the Web of Language:

Dictionaries recognize same-sex marriage; opponents allege plot

Opponents of same-sex marriage have discovered to their chagrin that  
two major English dictionaries have revised their definitions of  
marriage to reflect changes in the way that people have been using the  
word.

Merriam-Webster acknowledged the increased discussion among supporters  
and opponents of gay and lesbian marriage in recent years by adding  
this section to its earlier definition of marriage: "(2): the state of  
being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that  
of a traditional marriage." The dictionary made that change in 2003,  
one year before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same- 
sex marriage.

This month the Oxford English Dictionary modified its definition of  
marriage as well by adding, "The term is now sometimes used with  
reference to long-term relationships between partners of the same  
sex." TheOED's earliest citation comes from the New York Times in  
1975: "The move toward legally-sanctioned marriages between persons of  
the same sex."

... to find out the rest, read the post on the Web of Language:  http://illinois.edu/goto/weboflanguage

____________________
Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321

http://illinois.edu/goto/debaron

read the Web of Language:
http://illinois.edu/goto/weboflanguage







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