The boundaries of mixed metaphors
By William Wetherall
First posted 5 February 2007
Last updated 5 February 2007
Marriage -- whether voluntary, arranged, ordered, encouraged by bribary, compelled by a shotgun -- is between two people, though families, clans, political parties, corporations, estates, and even states may be the true partners and beneficiaries.
Marriages between people of different gender is taken for granted. Only when both spouses are of the same gender are people wont to attach a label like "same-sex" or "homosexual" -- in contrast with which other marriages become "opposite-sex" or "heterosexual".
The same is true for other unions of people who cross boundards of faith, race, caste, class, or even country. Curiosity, apprehension, disgust, and opposition move people to call such unions "interfaith", "interracial", "intercaste", "interclass", or "international" -- and the list goes on.
Marriages between people of different backgrounds, whatever their traits, "mixed marriages". Marriages between people of different races, especially when prohibited by law, have been called "miscegenation" meaning "race mixing".
Some Japanese expressions
混血 konketsu = mixed blood 純血 junketsu = pure blood 雑種 zasshu = mixed species, hybrid, mongrel 乱婚 rankon = promiscuous marriage [marriage sanctioned after intercourse] 雑婚 zakkon = mixed marriage [usually marriage between people of different races] [may be disparaging today] 国際結婚 kokusai kekkon international marriage [marriage between people of different nationalities] [most common term used today in Japan] 領事結婚 ryoji kekkon = consular marriage, foreign marriage [marriage legalized at overseas consulate] [British usage] 内外結婚 naigai kekkon = inner-outer marriage [between someone from inside and someone from outside a country] [Japanese usage] 渉外結婚 shogai kekkon = liaison marriage [involving procedures countries take to facilitate marriage between a national and an alien] [legal term in international private law]
To be continued.