Friday, September 09, 2005

A marriage compact

Julia and Nick have a longstanding agreement that the first to marry will pay the other $100. No, they're not anti-marriage. When Julia suggested I blog about the agreement, I wondered what term to use in describing it. My first thought was to use the word "pact." I knew the term death pact, and sure enough, the term marriage pact is also common, though at least one usage doesn't apply in this case (friends who agree to marry each other if they're both unhitched at some future date).

Though I'm a bit too lazy to try to figure out why, I think "compact" might be the better term. The image shows the Mayflower Compact, famous but nothing to do with Julia and Nick's agreement. It's here because it's the only compact of this nature for which it's easy to find an image. Here's OED on the term: Etymology: "It. compatto (Florio), ad. L. compact-um a compact, agreement, from the verb compacisci to covenant together." Definition: " A covenant or contract made between two or more persons or parties; a mutual agreement or understanding; 'a mutual and settled appointment between two or more, to do or to forbear something' (J.). It is used without a in phrases, as by, from, with compact; also to strike compact." Quotation: "1590 SHAKES. Com. Err. II. ii. 163 What is the course and drift of your compact?"

I found this T-shirt on a web site and couldn't resist including it here, though it's hardly related to the compact. I got it from a page called Busted Tees : Jokes you can wear! Hilarious T-Shirts which I spotted on oishii. Here are some more:

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