Considering the hyphen…

..which I have had particular cause to do this week. On Wednesday last, at 9:30 p.m., my niece gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, and I became a great-aunt.

When I announced this to friends, sundry of them responded with, “Well, you’ve always been a great aunt!” Immodest as it may be of me to say so, I think I’m doing not too shabbily in the aunting department. I may, in fact, be a great aunt, although it’s not really for me to say.

Add the hyphen, though, and I can definitely claim great-aunthood. Those who know me know I’m not really a kid person, so I find myself rather unexpectedly excited about this little guy. Maybe it’s just the whole generational thing – becoming as close as I’m ever going to get to being a grandma.

Or maybe it’s just that now I have a really simple, clear demonstration of the importance of the hyphen. Without the hyphen, I am a sterling example of all aunthood should be. With it, I am my sister’s grandchild’s aunt – or possibly aunt-once-removed. And if you put them both together, well, then I’m a spectacular great-aunt, a GREAT great-aunt. Something to which to aspire.

However you write it, I’m very happy about the whole thing, and looking forward to meeting my great-nephew. My great great-nephew.




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2 Responses to Considering the hyphen…

  1. Sandra says:

    Congratulations! I think you’re a great, great-aunt, too! Say hello to all concerned! I’m going to see my great, great-niece for her first birthday next week. Lovely feeling, this multi-generational things, and hyphens to boot! Xo

  2. Father Steve says:

    When I married my sweet bride fifteen years ago, I instantly became “Uncle” Steve to seventeen nieces and nephews. In order to execute the office properly, I loaded their particulars into my Outlook programme so as to be prompted concerning birthdays and such. Then, five years ago, my eldest nephew created a whole new layer of uncletude by having first one and then a second daughter. Who are these children to me? If they are my great nieces, then I am their great uncle. If they are my grand nieces, then I am their grand uncle. But which is it and why?

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