Names in Pedigrees

My last post concluded a seven-part series. The following is a postscript to that series, an additional thought that I neglected to mention.

You might find it helpful to consider names in pedigrees in terms of language.

Beyond the fifth generation names in pedigrees are like punctuation marks. The period, comma, colon, semicolon, etc. have no meaning of themselves.

In the fifth generation names in pedigrees are like letters of the alphabet. They have no meaning of themselves.

In the fourth generation names in pedigrees are like words. They have meaning but no artistic value of themselves.

In the third generation names in pedigrees are like phrases. They have meaning but little artistic value of themselves.

In the second generation names in pedigrees are like sentences. They have meaning and are beginning to possess some artistic value of themselves. Some sentences are constructed better than others. Some sentences are even “beautiful.”

In the first generation sires and dams are like paragraphs. They have meaning and definitely possess some artistic value. Some paragraphs are constructed better than others. Put two well-constructed paragraphs together, and you just might have a work of art (a successful racehorse).

The statements above pertain to prose (as opposed to poetry, which is horse of a different color). Poetry does a much better job than prose of concentrating meaning into a work of art with very few words. In that spirit I offer the following:

“Names in pedigrees are like alphabet soup

There’s a reason for calling this ‘genetic goop’

If you insist on hunting that elusive SNARK

Beware of BOOJUM before you even embark.”

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2 Responses to Names in Pedigrees

  1. Mike Dorr says:

    I quite like this way of thinking about the influence of distant ancestors. In the out generations, do you think some phrases/words/letters are more important than others? I tend to think the direct female family and all their sires are more important. In other words, in the 3rd generation, the grand dam’s sire is more import than the dam’s grandsire. Still, I like the analogy a lot. Thanks

    • ddink55 says:

      I don’t know if I would say “more important,” but I would agree that P4 in the third generation has a better chance of exerting some positive “influence” than P3 in the third generation (which is the example you gave). This is not for any mystical reasons but simple math. The best sires show up frequently at P3. They show up far less frequently at P4. “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Therefore, when a good sire DOES show up at P4, it is more likely to be beneficial than the same sire showing up at P3. Clear as mud???????

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