Wednesday, June 01, 2011


An ancient word, from Proto Indo European quei, literally "at whom?" Related to what, who, and where. In Proto Germanic it became khwi, and in Old English hwi, the instrumental case of hwaet ("what"). Hwi could be used to mean "why" or "how", but as how became more popular, why came to mean only "for what reason"? Spiritually, the word indicates a willful energy initiating thought, mind, art.

I was poking around on a forum the other day, and someone asked for feedback on why a man would get married in 2011. After all, a man no longer has to actually get married to get many of the traditional benefits of marriage: a loving partner, children, solid family life... For that matter, the same is true for women. At least, this was the argument put forward.

I feel like the answer is obvious. I’m getting married for two reasons: (1) because I'm committed to Alison, and I want to codify and set that commitment in a way that goes beyond simple words, beyond easy promises -- I want ritual, and oath, to show my devotion and loyalty. And (2) because a marriage is not just a private contract between two people, but a social act — one that involves the recognition and support of the entire community. When we marry, we will perform a ritual of commitment that is witnessed by our families and friends, and that means a lot to us. We’re literally asking you to share our joy with us, and to recognize that we consider each other to be family.

1 comment:

  1. When you told me you'd written a blog post about why you wanted to marry me, I was expecting all romantic, lovey-dovey mush.

    Linguistics is way better! :)