I ENTREAT my readers not to be frightened at the first sight of the
notation I employ, for it is really very simple to understand and easy to
recollect. It was impossible for me to get on without the help of something
of the sort, as I found our ordinary nomenclature far too ambiguous as well
as cumbrous for employment in this book.
For example, the terms uncle,
grandson, have each of them two distinct meanings. An uncle may be the
brother of the father, or the brother of the mother; the nephew may be the
son of a brother, or the son of a sister; and so on. There are four kinds of
first cousins, namely, the sons of the two descriptions of uncles and those of
the two corresponding aunts. There are sixteen kinds of first cousins once
removed, for either A. may be the son of any one of the four descriptions
of male or of the four female cousins of B., or B. may bear any one of
those relationships to A. I need not quote more instances in illustration of
what I have said, that unbounded confusion would have been introduced
had I confined myself in this book, to our ordinary nomenclature.
The notation I employ gets rid of all this confused and cumbrous language.
It disentangles relationships