One year does not a marriage make....

Worcestershire

Senior Member
One year does not a marriage make; it is just long enough however, for couples to decide whether they have improved an already-strong marriage, or miraculously saved it from imminent demise, or recklessly endangered what was once a beautiful thing.

“Is an open marriage a happier marriage? New York Times

Question:

Is this typo. Should it really be: “One year does not make a marriage”? Or does this peculiar order of words convey something that ordinary sentence could not?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    No, Worcestershire, there is no need to "correct" the unusual word order in that set phrase. I don't know why the phrase uses that word order, but perhaps the author of the original source decided that the word order had a pleasing rhythm.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's a reference to a proverb attributed to Aristotle and commonly translated into English as "One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day" meaning "One day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy." The inverted word order gives a poetic feel to the proverb. Writers often use the structure of a well-known saying to make their point.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top