A Good Start in Need of Significant Linguistic Improvements
Which We Have Undertaken and Are Here to Report On
Fillastre Pèl-Roig,a Belle-Fille Rousse,b Hijastro Pelirrojo,c
Rauðaz Khæran Steupa-Kiltham,a,b Rotkopf Stiefkind,a,c
Punatukkainen Tytärpuoli,b,c and Vörös Hajú Mostohagyereka,b,c
with begrudgingly acknowledged & extremely minor input from Trey Jonesz,Ω,☣
Well That’s Dumb
For the last 19.4 years, those of us with the CLAPa,b,c have been exploring a number of alternate approaches to Jones’s suggestions for kinship nomenclature as laid out in his article on Pseudo-Psiblings, family “bushes”, and one’s ex-step-brothers’ ex-wives. The most glaringly obvious problem with Jones’s approach is that it recognizes the notion of “reciprocal” relationships and relies heavily on them, but doesn’t do much to untangle the mess they cause. For example:
- the reciprocal of a spouse’s (parent’s sibling’s child) is:
- (reciprocal-of-child’s reciprocal-of-sibling’s reciprocal-of-parent)’s reciprocal-of-spouse
zzz ... zzz ... Sorry, we reciprocal-of-nodded off there for a reciprocal-of-moment. Jones’s exegesis is a mind-killer, a little death that threatens to bring total obliteration to his otherwise admirable enterprise.
Some of these issues are dealt with to some degree in other kinship systems, such as Russian’s свояк (“wife’s sister’s husband”) and деверь (“husband’s brother”), or Indian English, in which your spouse’s sibling’s spouse is called your co-brother or your co-sister. While these address more possibilities than Standard American English, they are not sufficiently comprehensive.
We can and must do better than Jones’s framework—specifically by not only calling out but naming his reciprocal relationships, giving them first-class status in our framework. Also, our effort involves a full, living community of Utahn native speaker-genealogists, who spend much of their professional and personal time researching and discussing their family trees, bushes, shrubs, hedges, brambles, briars, and a wide variety of other genealogical scrub. This has burnished down the most artificial edges of the original framework and has led to some very amusing neologisms and very interesting phonological reduction strategies.
The final result is more thorough, more thoughtful, and, frankly, more linguistical than Jones’s proposal.
The Reciprocating Saw of New Terminology
The first thing we wanted to do is to not only call out but name the important reciprocal relationships.
Grand and Petite
The most straightforward named reciprocal is petite, which is the opposite of great/grand. We take grand to refer to the older person in the relationship, such as a grandparent; this is also arguably a more central meaning of grand, since everyone has grandparents, but not everyone has grandchildren. Following Jones:
- grand means “parent’s”
- petite means “child’s”
So your child’s child is your petitechild (i.e., petiteson or petitedaughter).
In-Laws and Out-Laws
The obvious and historically jocular opposite of an in-law is, of course, an out-law. When thinking of your in-laws as a group, you naturally think of your spouse’s relatives, not all of the spouses of your own relatives—whom we now define as your out-laws.
- in-law applies to the relatives of your spouse
- out-law applies to the spouses of your relatives
Hence your wife’s brother is your brother-in-law, but your sister’s husband is your brother-out-law and your wife’s sister’s husband is your brother-in-law-out-law and your sister’s husband’s brother is your brother-out-law-in-law—clearing up a long-standing source of confusion in many families.
We maintain the orthographic distinction of analogically hyphenated relativizer out-law from the unhyphenated fugutivizer outlaw, though their relationship is not entirely null, given that your children’s husbands and wives would now be sons- and daughters-out-law, fitting with the way many are treated by their in-laws.
It is worth noting that some important out-laws have their own terms, such as Jones’s aunt2 and uncle2, who are the out-law spouses of an aunt1 or uncle1.
Steps and Reds
The modifier step seems not to have a strong natural direction—though the authors find a mild intuition that having a step-parent is more influential, on average, to your life than having a step-child, but individual circumstances vary wildly.
There does seem to be a cultural converse to step-father: the red-headed step-child. (There is also a cultural converse to step-mother, namely Cinderella—but it is too unwieldy.) We shorten red-headed step-child to red, and define step and red as follows:
- step applies to ancestor-mediated roles, established by marriage
- red applies to descendent-mediated roles, established by marriage
So, your father’s new wife is your step-mother, and your new husband’s daughter is your red-daughter.
Examples—Step/Red and Grand/Petite
Below are some diagrammed examples, with explanatory notes.
A is the husband of B’s mother, hence A is B’s step-father.
B is the son of A’s wife, hence B is A’s red-son.
A is the wife of the father of the mother of B, hence A is B’s grand-step-mother,
i.e., “parent’s step-mother”. (We recognize Jones’s correctness on the necessity of distinguishing grand-steps, step-grands, and step-grand-steps.)
B is the daughter of the daughter of the husband of A, hence B is A’s red-petitedaughter, i.e., “step-child’s daughter”.
A is the mother of the wife of the father of B, hence A is B’s step-grandmother,
i.e., “step-parent’s mother”.
B is the daughter of the husband of the daughter of A, hence B is A’s petite-red-daughter, i.e., “child’s step-daughter”.
A is the husband of the mother of the wife of the father of B, hence A is B’s step-grand-step-father.
B is the son of the husband of daughter of the wife of A, hence B is A’s red-petite-red-son.
As the sibling-like relationship between A and B is mediated by their ancestors (their respective parents), they are step-siblings.
The notion of red-siblings,
a sibling-like relationship mediated by the marriage of your child, might be applied to the parents of the happy couple—that is, A and B below could logically be red-siblings. However, in practice, there doesn’t seem to be much call for such a usage.
As noted by Jones, the term cousin packs a lot into its two syllables. We best like the definition that your cousins are “the grandchildren of your grandparents”—though we prefer to formulate it as “the petitechildren of your grandparents”—while maintaining Jones’s parsimony principle which precludes riddle-like contexts, such that “the petitechildren of your grandparents” cannot refer to your own siblings or to yourself.
A and B are prototypical cousins; they share grandparents on one side, and their parents are siblings.
A and B’s cousin-like relationship is mediated for each by the marriage of a grandparent, so A is B’s grand-step-parent’s petitechild, and B holds the same relationship to A, i.e., they are symmetric step-cousins.
Recalling the definition of cousin as a grandparent’s grandchild (or, grandparent’s petitechild in our framework), B is A’s step-grandparent’s petitechild, or step-cousin, while B is A’s grandparent’s petite-red-child, or red-cousin.
A is B’s step-grandparent’s petite-red-child, or a step-red-cousin, and B is in the same relationship to A.
Arguably, A is either B’s step-grandparent’s red-petite-red-child (step-red-red-cousin) or B’s step-grand-step-parent’s petite-red-child (step-step-red-cousin), depending on how we navigate the relationship between C and D. Since C and D are step-siblings, the latter (step-step-red-cousin) seems more appropriate.
A and B are cousins, so C is A’s cousin’s spouse, i.e., A’s cousin out-law, while A is C’s spouse’s cousin, i.e., C’s cousin in-law.
Real World Implementation—Grabababing Great-Grampa’s Out-Laws Out West!
As should be obvious by now to the attentive reader, this alternate kinship nomenclature framework is perspicacious, and easily mastered. And so, 19.4 years ago, in an effort to explore alternate approaches to Jones’s original proposal, we arranged for an entire community of Utahn genealogists to master it.
Over the last two decades, in addition to mastering our framework—thereby putting it miles ahead of Jones’s proposal, which as far as we know, no one has ever used, except maybe Jones’s informant, “X”—our community of Utahn genealogists have unintentionally polished down the roughest edges of the framework, especially through the introduction of some fascinating neologistic short cuts.
As is common in many contexts, SIL and BIL were used by our community of Utahn genealogists to refer to the traditional roles and terms sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Not surprisingly, these were occasionally pronounced out loud, as /sɪl/ and /bɪl/. Once the out-law formulation caught on, SOL /sɔl/ and BOL /bɔl/ quickly followed. As a natural extension, once people became comfortable calling your wife’s sister’s husband your brother-in-law-out-law and your sister’s husband’s brother your brother-out-law-in-law, these were abbreviated as BILOL and BOLIL.
Another interesting pre-existing linguistic quirk of the community of Utahn genealogists who adopted our framework is that they had already extended the informal pronunciation of grandmother as /grænmʌðər/ to distinguish paternal and maternal grandmothers. Reasoning that “b is for boy” and “g is for girl”, they were using gragmother /grægmʌðər/ for maternal grandmother and grabmother /græbmʌðər/ for paternal grandmother, and constructions like graggrabgragfather for “mother’s father’s mother’s father”.
A few of the young adults living in this community of Utahn genealogists when we arrived had generalized the system, dispensing with the final mother or father, and using grag or grab as appropriate, such that “mother’s father’s mother’s father” would be graggrabgraggrab. Some younger, more innovative children, had haplologized that even further, to gragabagab.
This system intrigued us, naturally. After a couple of years working within our community of Utahn genealogists our original framework was well-established. We decided it was time to merge our a priori philosophically superior system with the community of Utahn genealogists’ efficient phonological reductionism. We introduced the system gradually over many months, slowly extending it, and allowing the speakers in the community of Utahn genealogists to become at first familiar with and ultimately fluent in it.
Our plan was to extend this phonologically reduced system to be more productive, with a clear compositional semantics and morphology. All relationships are defined as CCVC syllables, where the CCV root defines the relationship (e.g., gra /græ/ for “parent”), and the final C indicates gender. We kept g (“for girl”) to mark the female gender, and b (“for boy”) to mark the male gender. We use n (“for neither”) to mark unspecified gender, thus keeping /grænmʌðər/ as a label for the mother of an unspecified parent.
As the formation of gragabagab and its kin were quite appealing and well-liked by the younger members of the community of Utahn genealogists, we allow for the initial CC of the root to be omitted when following a syllable with the same root.
Thus, if your mother’s father told you stories of his grandmother, but you don’t know or can’t remember which of his grandmothers it was, you could refer to her as your graggrabgranmother, graggrabgrangrag or gragabanag.
We then introduced the roots sbi /sbɪ/ (often /spɪ/—English speakers are slaves to their phonotactics!) for “sibling”, pti /pti/ (sometimes /pᵊti/) for “child” (from petite), and spou /spaʊ/ for “spouse”. Thus:
- brother → sbib
- sister → sbig
- sibling → sbin
- son → ptib
- daughter → ptig
- child → ptin
- husband → spoub
- wife → spoug
- spouse → spoun
In keeping with the original genitiveless paradigm of great-great-grandmother, we don’t use ’s when stacking relations.
Examples—Uncles and Aunts and Lions and Tigers, Oh My!
In this system, your generic uncle1 (your parent’s brother) is your gransbib, while your paternal uncle1 is your grabsbib, and your maternal uncle1 is your gragsbib. Meanwhile, your generic aunt2 (your parent’s sibling’s wife) would be your gransbinspoug. Jones’s example of “Aunt Jack” from the film Mrs. Doubtfire would be clearly rendered as the children’s father’s brother’s husband, i.e., their grabsbibspoub.
Similarly, the term for your BILOL (your wife’s sister’s husband) would be your spougsbigspoub, and your BOLIL (your sister’s husband’s brother ) would be your sbigspoubsbib. The /aʊ-ɪ-aʊ/ and /ɪ-aʊ-ɪ/ vowel patterns are indicative of in-law-out-laws and out-law-in-laws, respectively! A more complex example: your husband’s sister’s wife’s sister’s husband’s brother’s wife is your spoubsbigspougsbigspoubsbibspoug—and again the alternating /aʊ-ɪ-aʊ-ɪ.../ pattern makes the nature of the relationship crystal clear—what could be simpler!
A generic grandparent is your grangran (or granan), and a generic grandchild is your ptinptin (or ptinin). A daughter’s son is ptigptib or ptigib. A son’s daughter is ptibptig or ptibig.
Cousins as a class, become significantly less confusing. Collectively, cousins are your parent’s sibling’s children—adhering to Jones’ parsimony principle, we need not go through the grandparents in the typical case—and thus your gransbinptins. You can refer to all of your male cousins—even those on “opposite sides” who are not related to each other—as your gransbinptibs; all your cousins on your mother’s side are your gragsbinptins; all your cousins who are children of your parents’ sisters are your gransbigptins. This opens up a whole new world of clear cousin classification!
Nieces and nephews are similarly simplified, with Jones’s niblings being generically just siblings’ children, or sbinptins.
To our surprise and delight, these phonological reductions were adopted with gusto by our community of Utahn genealogists, so we continued to expand the framework.
Don’t Step in the Red!
After several more years, we considered ways of representing step and red relationships, but realized that spou and Jones’s parsimony principle can do all the heavy lifting. A red-child is a spouse’s child, thus a spounptin. A step parent is a parent’s spouse, and thus a granspoun. More fine-grained distinctions require no extra syllables—your mother’s husband is your gragspoub, and your father’s husband is your grabspoub, easily distinguishing your two step-fathers.
Similarly, grand-step-parent (grangranspoun or grananspoun), step-grand-parent (granspoungran), and step-grand-step-parent (granspoungranspoun) are easily accommodated.
One, Two, Many
As our involvement with this unique community of Utahn genealogists continued over the years, a few gaps in our system revealed themselves, and either we or the community of Utahn genealogists promptly moved to fill them.
The mellifluous sbigptins refers to the children of your sister(s), but what if you want to make it clear that they are the children of multiple sisters? That is, the difference between your sister’s kids and your sisters’ kids? (Note that the distinction is still ambiguous in spoken English!)
As our gender suffixes, -b, -g, and -n are all voiced, their regular English pluralization is /-z/; as s’s already abound in our framework, we gave it the orthographic form -z as well. Thus, “your sister’s kids” would be sbigptins, while “your sisters’ kids” are sbigzptins.
Our innovative community of Utahn genealogists found it desirable to be able to explicitly indicate a singular, and settled on neologistic -o (“o for one”), after a brief natural competition among a flurry of contenders. (Variants included -w (“/w/ for one”) and our favorite, numeral -1—though there was no consensus about how best to pronounce it.)
Thus children of your explicitly only sister would be sbigoptins—or, in some cases, sbigoptinz, as some speakers have extended the internal plural marker, -z, to act as the overall pluralizer, perhaps in harmony with the urban slang -z.
Unfortunately, divorce is a fact of life, and referring to those who are no longer relatives-by-marriage is necessary. Similar to the -z plural marker, we created the prefix ek- /ɛk-/, meaning “ex”, which can be applied to whatever spousal relationship has ended.
Thus, your ex-wife’s brother is your ekspougsbib, and your brother’s ex-wife is your sbibekspoug. All of your ex-wives’ brothers—who may be your fishing buddies—are collectively your ekspougzsbibz, and all your brothers’ ex-wives are your sbibzekspougz.
More interesting and complex relationship are easily labeled. If two of your ex-wives are sisters, then their brother is your ekspougzsbib. If both of your brothers share an ex-wife, she is your gold-digging sbibzekspoug; the epenthetic gold-digging is not required, but it seems to be a common occurrence in this particular construction in the rare cases in which we’ve heard it being used.
What’s a Factor of Two Between Friends?
Another side effect of divorce is half-siblings. We use the prefix haf /hæf/ to mean “half”, with the final -f for the non-gendered version, and the usual -b/male and -g/female endings available. This your generic half siblings are hafsbinz. Your half-brothers on your mother’s side do not need to be gragspoubptibz, but rather are hagsbibz, and your half-sisters on your father’s side are habsbigz.
Jones’s informant “X” could describe his “ex-step-sister”, who is also his “half-brother’s half-sister” in more detail—indicating the genders of the parents involved—with little effort: gragekspoubptig (“mother’s ex-husband’s daughter”) or hagsbibhabsbig (“half-brother on mother’s side’s half-sister on father’s side”).
Your maternal half-aunt who shares a father with your mother is merely your graghabsbig. Her children are your half-cousins, graghabsbigptinz.
Recall from Jones that your double cousins are your married parents’ married siblings’ children. The obvious granzsbinzptinz means parents’ siblings’ children, which merely implies that you have multiple parents with siblings, and multiple of those siblings have children—quite economical, but not quite what we are looking for.
Instead, we indicate the double connection with the dub- /dʌb-/ prefix. It prefixes the relationship where the doubled parallel paths diverge. For double cousins, the divergence happens with the parents, so dubgranzsbinzptinz, or more simply dubgransbinptinz are double cousins. Note that since we are imagining a husband and wife with married brother and sister, the -n ending (with optional -z suffix) is used. For your husband’s double cousins, the doubled paths split at his parents, so we get spoudubgransbinptinz.
The icky but logically possible double-grandparent is dubgrangran (or dubgranan) and Jones’s science fiction scenario of a double parent would call for a dubgran (or dubgrag or dubgrab, depending on the technological details of the conception). If your parent had a science fictional double parent, that would be your parent’s double parent, or your grandubgran—which is much less icky than when the dub is at the beginning.
Let us also recall Jones’s hypothetical that leads to a double-half-aunt:
Consider a couple, John and Mary, who meet and marry in the usual way. Suppose that John’s father and Mary’s mother, both unmarried themselves (divorced or widowed) decide to also marry. Now John and Mary are not only husband and wife, but also step-siblings. If John and Mary are young (say 20 or so) and their parents each had their respective child when young (say 20 or so), then the parents could still be young enough (40 or so) to have another child. Thus John and Mary would share a half-sibling—let’s say a sister. That half-sister would be John and Mary’s children’s aunt—specifically a half-aunt—on both sides. That is, John and Mary’s half-sister would be their children’s double-half-aunt.
She is the children’s doubled parents’ half-sister—what an unwieldy mouthful!—or, more simply, their dubgranhafsbig—easy peasy!
Predicaments of Parentage
The community of Utahn genealogists are also attuned to the complexities of adoption, and devised and settled on the following without any input from us. Adhering the general phonological and morphological pattern of ek-, haf- and dub-, they adopted the prefix ad- /æd-/ for “adopted” (as in “adopted parent”) and the prefix bir- /bɚ-/ for “birth” (as in “birth mother” or, as Jones points out as not generally in use, “birth child”).
Thus an “adopted aunt” is wildly ambiguous, and could refer to either an aunt1 or aunt2 that is related by adoption either between child and parent, or parent and parent’s sibling. In the case of an adopted aunt1, your mother’s adopted sister is your gragadsbig, while your adopted mother’s sister is your adgragsbig. For an adopted aunt2, your father’s adopted brother’s wife is your grabadsbibspoug, and your adopted father’s brother’s wife is your adgrabsbibspoug.
The community of Utahn genealogists also recognized the importance of surrogates and general biological relatives. They adopted the quite reasonable prefix sur- /sɚ-/ for “surrogate”. They arguably went a little off the rails with bloi- /blɔɪ-/ for “biological”; we discovered the etymology to be b + reversed orthographic iol, giving bloi. While this is in keeping with our original phonological pattern for roots, it’s an affix, which follows a looser, incidental pattern of monosyllabicity, which we probably would have broken to use the obvious bio-. However, over the years, bloi- has grown on us, and the community (of Utahn genealogists) has spoken. We did, however, suggest quite firmly at one point that bir- be used instead of a combination for sur- and bloi- when applied to mothers, to end an ongoing feud over whether surbloi- or bloisur- was the appropriate concatenation.
Consider the following scenario:
- A’s parents are both infertile
- A’s mother’s sister (B) donates an egg but cannot be pregnant
- A’s father’s brother (C) donates sperm
- A’s father’s brother’s wife (D) acted as surrogate to carry A
Thus A’s bloigrag is her adgragsbig (B), her bloigrab is her adgrabsbib (C)—and generically, her bloigranz are her adgransbinz—and her surgrag is both her bloigrabspoug and her adgrabsbibspoug. Of course, any of these relationships may be the most relevant in any given context.
Love is a Many-Spousèd Thing
Not surprisingly, in a community of Utahn genealogists, the topic of bigamy and polygamy are unavoidable. Given the rise in general awareness of polyamory over the last 19.4 years, it makes sense to treat polygamous relationships and polyamorous relationships as subsets of the general notion of polyspousal relationships, without going into the social aspects of either. We’re using spouse here in the sense of a long-term domestic partnership, whether or not recognized by a legal or religious authority.
Here B is A’s husband’s wife’s husband’s wife’s brother—i.e., the brother of a woman at the other end of a polyamorous chain.
In our original framework, a spouse’s brother is a brother-in-law, so a spouse’s brother-in-law (again following Jones’s parsimony principle such that your spouse’s brother-in-law isn’t your own brother) would be a brother-in-law-in-law, and so on. So B is A’s brother-in-law-in-law-in-law-in-law, or BILILILIL.
Conversely, your sibling’s spouse is your sibling-out-law, your sibling-out-law’s spouse is your sibling-out-law-out-law, and so on. A is B’s sister-out-law-out-law-out-law-out-law, or SOLOLOLOL.
In the phonologically reduced system that has evolved in our community of Utahn genealogists over the 19.4 years of our study, B is, generically, A’s spounspounspounspounsbin, or spounounounounsbin, and specifically A’s spoubspougspoubspougsbib, or spoubougoubougsbib.
Let us further test our system with the case of two bigamous arrangements joined by sisterhood. A is F’s husband’s wife’s sister’s husband’s wife, as F is A’s.
Starting with A, B is A’s husband. C is A’s husband’s wife. This poses a bit of a problem, in that both “spouse’s relative” (in-law) and “relative’s spouse” (out-law) apply. We argue that the in-law interpretation should take precedence, making C A’s wife-in-law (WIL). D is A’s WIL’s sister, or SIL-in-law. E is A’s SILIL’s husband, or BILIL-out-law. F is A’s BILILOL’s wife, or SILILOL-out-law, or SILILOLOL /sɪlɪlɔlɔl/.
To our chagrin, the phonologically reduced system of our community of Utahn genealogists is superior and much more direct here. F is A’s spoubougsbigspouboug, and vice versa.
Not all in our community of Utahn genealogists are primarily genealogists. Some budding STEM students (...shudder...) in this otherwise respectable community of Utahn genealogists have tried to generalize expressions like “3-greats-grandmother” into our framework, using a mix of Greek and Latin prefixes, such that a grananananag is a quadgranag, or even a pentgrag (the last of which we think a reduction too far).
Without this innovation, a generic fifth cousin twice removed is either a grangrangrangrangransbinptinptinptinptinptinptinptin (grananananansbinptininininininin) or a grangrangrangrangrangrangransbinptinptinptinptinptin (grananananananansbinptininininin), depending on which side you are coming from. Human memory processing limits being what they are, this can be a bit unwieldy. More efficient and clearer is pentgransbinseptptin or septgransbinpentptin.
One proponent of this system speaks of her “mother’s mother’s 3-greats-grandfather’s father’s great-grandmother”—her gragagananananababananag—as either her bigragquadgranbigrabbigranag (which is two syllables shorter, but four letters longer) or her bigragquadanbiabbianag (which is just silly). The simple and elegant dekagranag seems sufficient. (We speculate that perhaps this particular proponent of STEM-style–prefixing wants mostly to make sure we know which of her dekagranagz she is referring to, since she was an important founder of this community of Utahn genealogists. Of course, being a community of Utahn genealogists, everyone knows who she is. Referring to her by her name, Jolololenene, should normally suffice.)
As this framework is part of a living, evolving language ecosystem, in constant use by a living, evolving community of Utahn genealogists, there is significant variation. The most “hardcore” genealogists in this community of Utahn genealogists use the system regularly, with exactitude and verve, and are at the leading edge of systematic and logical lacuna-filling innovation.
Other genealogists in this community of Utahn genealogists have embraced the system, but are either not fully fluent, or do not take it “seriously”—which we think is a fine thing, since very little in life or language must be solemnly serious. Here we present some of these native-speaker genealogists’ playful usages—a few of which may form the seed for the next round of grammaticalization in this community of Utahn genealogists.
A common theme is to mix parts of the framework with the less precise but more traditional terms. Thus, maternal siblings are guncles and gaunts, and paternal siblings are buncles and baunts.
As both common usage and our original framework shorten relations to one syllable, some speakers use existing shortened forms or coin new ones. Thus sbig is often sis /sɪs/, sbib is often bro /broʊ/, spoub is often hub /hʌb/, and spoug is often wif /wɪf/ (not /waɪf/, perhaps a spelling pronunciation?). So, rather than spoubougsbigspouboug, we have heard hubwifsishubwif. An amusing variant, to be sure.
Also of note, dubcuz /dʌbkʌz/ for “double cousin” is less uncommon than actual double cousins.
Since a spouse’s relatives are in-laws, and relatives’ spouses are out-laws, some have taken to using inl /ɪnl̩/ for word-initial spouC and outl /aʊtl̩/ for word-final spouC. This gives inlsishubbroöutl for wife (spouse)’s sister’s husband’s brother’s wife (spouse). The use of a diaeresis to mark syllabicity is common in this less formal usage, as the need arises.
Though it seems to have started as a jocular extension, there is now a common usage in this restricted context where a spouse evenly spaced between inl- and -outl can be referred to as the -midl- /mɪdl̩/; hence inlsismidlbroöutl.
Finally, one of the most intriguing usages among this community of Utahn genealogists we have seen in the last 19.4 years is the neologism shoggoth /ʃɑgɔθ/, which seems to be a term used to apply to a particularly creepy relation—an uncle, a second cousin, a brother’s new girlfriend, an unnamed horror lurking on the back porch. Its usage among this community of Utahn genealogists is irregular and erratic, but we will keep several eyes on it.
Today’s multiply-blended and re-blended families in Western society present extreme difficulties for any system of nomenclature evolved in more conservative times, even among a community of Utahn genealogists.
The present system achieves its goal of greatly extending the power and flexibility of our nomenclature by rationalizing and productivizing new terminology. Few, if any, lexical gaps remain, and situations without canonical interpretations in this community of Utahn genealogists unsurprisingly often allow us to quickly define new canonical terminology.
Members of blended families will wish to familiarize themselves with this system, so as to explain their often complex situations and relations to friends (and even family from the less-well-blended portions of the family scrub). As an aid to understanding blended families—understanding both in terms of comprehension and compassion—those from “pathologically unbroken homes” should become conversant with this terminology, so that they can provide empathy and friendship—rather than vacant stares—to that friend in a community of Utahn genealogists who wishes to discuss her gragekspoubptibekspoug, who is also her hafbrohafbroexwif and mother of her hafbro’s niblings. (No diagram necessary—after all, what could be clearer!)
a Centre de Lingüística Antropològica Proactiva, Llívia / Angostrina i Vilanova de les Escaldes.1,3,4
b Centre de Linguistique Anthropologique Proactive, Angoustrine-Villeneuve-des-Escaldes.1,2,4
c Centro de Lingüística Antropológica Proactiva, Llívia.1,2,3
z Unaffiliated with any Center, Centre, Centro, Centrum, Sentrum, Zentrum, Κέντρο, Центр, Център, 센터, or センター.
Ω Though previously U.N.-affiliated—allegedly.
☣ The authors would also like to recognize getting a big load of help from G. Onococcal, Ch. Lamydia & Pete Chiae. Their enthusiasm for this project has been infectious!
1 Not to be confused with the CPN, the Center for Proactive Neurolinguistics—an organization dedicated to the use of advanced medical techniques for the improvement of the linguistic abilities of both aphasic and non-aphasic individuals.
2 Not to be confused with the CLAP, the Centre de Lingüística Antropològica Proactiva—with headquarters in the Llívia / Angostrina i Vilanova de les Escaldes Greater Metropolitan Area—an organization dedicated to dealing with grave problems in anthropological linguistics.
3 Not to be confused with the CLAP, the Centre de Linguistique Anthropologique Proactive—headquartered in Angoustrine-Villeneuve-des-Escaldes, France—an organization dedicated to dealing with otherwise unaccented problems in anthropological linguistics.
4 Not to be confused with the CLAP, the Centro de Lingüística Antropológica Proactiva—headquartered in Llívia, Spain—an organization dedicated to dealing with acute problems in anthropological linguistics.