Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Times-Picayune, Judah Benjamin, and a Poor Choice of Words

I almost choked on my oatmeal when I read this over breakfast. In a decent article in today's Times-Picayune about a nice-sounding exhibit on one of the most significant figures in Louisiana legal history, Judah P. Benjamin, the article mentioned that the driving force behind the exhibit was a state congressman's wife. She was interested in Benjamin because he is a distant relative, or, as the article put it:
Even in Louisiana, "very few people have heard of Judah Benjamin, unless they are Jewish or Civil War buffs," said Laura Cassidy, a fifth-generation descendant of Benjamin through his sister, Rebecca Benjamin Levy. (Emphasis added.)

(Jonathan Tilove, Resurrection: Groundbreaking Statesmen Judah Benjamin is All But Forgotten Today, But a New Exhibit Could Change That, Times-Picayune, April 20, 2010, at A1.)

Yeechhh!!! She's descended from Benjamin and an incestuous union with his sister? Very, very, sloppy, poor choice of woods. Yeah, obviously she's not a "descendant" of Benjamin, but of her sister. Maybe a "descendant of Benjamin's family through his sister..." or, even better, "her great-great grandmother was Benjamin's sister, Rebecca Benjamin Levy". But not descended "through his sister". Sounds like another sequel to Mandingo.

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